To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
Linux is still a strong player in the little laptop market. MSI has announced that Novell’s new mashup of Moblin and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop will be available as an option on the upcoming 10-inch MSI U135 netbook. Smartbooks have finally arrived and are making a big splash at CES. HP has an Android-based smartbook with a 10-inch resistive touchscreen, and Lenovo announced its slim Skylight with a Web-oriented Linux OS. Both products ship with the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon ARM processor.
I use my Lenovo T400 Thinkpad as a work laptop but also as an experimental machine on which I put and delete various Linux distributions and software. At various times I’ve had Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE on the computer, though most often Ubuntu, and that’s what is there now.
What are the ten characteristics of a Linux Guru?
1. Knowledgeable in all major Linux distributions.
2. Configures Samba, DNS, Sendmail and Apache with no Googling.
3. Helps others solve their problems with Linux.
4. Blogs or writes about personal experiences with Linux.
5. Donates time and resources to at least one Linux project.
6. Uses Linux on a variety of computing hardware.
7. Hacks Linux-based devices for fun and/or profit.
8. Finds innovative ways to use Linux at work.
9. Is a Linux Evangelist.
10. Has a collection of very early (Kernel 1.x or older) Linux CDs.
91% (210 votes)
Linux 2.6.33 will have new and improved drivers for Wi-Fi chips by Intel, Ralink and Realtek. Several drivers for old Wi-Fi hardware have been moved to the staging area and will probably soon be discarded. New additions include various LAN chip drivers and several improvements to the network stack.
It retails at USD99 (GBP62) and includes a CD containing example programs and installation software for both Windows and Linux operating systems.
Version 1.7.4 of the X.Org Server has been released this morning. This point release continues to bring new bug-fixes to the X Server 1.7 series branch since its release last year. All major development work continues to be focused on X Server 1.8, which is expected for release in March.
There’s just one month left until the Free and Open-source Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) takes place once again in Brussels, Belgium. Like in past years, there will be an X.Org development room where various talks about X will be held, but this year it has turned into a one-day affair. Even with having half the time as past years to talk about X, the schedule is not even full at this point.
Even though in the world of Twitter there are a lot of fantastic, feature-full programs for the Twitter power user, that’s not exactly what I, a simple Twitter user, is looking for.
Opera is aiming for broader adoption on Linux set-top boxes with some new features in its Web Widgets system, which has been enhanced on Linux to support interaction from TV remote control devices. The Linux SDK also supports hardware accelerated rendering and DirectFB.
Atom Developers’ Program — a way for developers to adapt old applications to take advantage of the netbook explosion. Consumers will be given beta to first storefront of AppUp Center, one-stop shop for users to find netbook apps for Windows and Linux.
Intel is taking the same approach with netbooks, most of which are powered by its Atom processors. AppUp, which was launched here at CES 2010, has a number of different applications, and more will be added every day. The AppUp software will now be installed on every Atom-equipped netbook, and for those who already have an Eee PC or Wind, you can download the software for Windows or Linux.
Today, KDE has released the first release candidate of the next version of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). KDE SC 4.4 Release Candidate 1 provides a testing base for identifying bugs in the upcoming KDE Software Compilation 4.4, with its components the KDE Plasma Workspaces, the Applications powered by KDE, and the KDE Development Platform.
So, I needed an application that could load a couple of pictures, showing two pictures side-by-side for visual comparison and at the same time presenting the more important meta-data attributes such as focal length, exposure time, ISO and aperture.
I’m Mathias, a new contributor to KDE Games. During the last year I spent some time to code on Granatier, a new game which will be released with KDE SC 4.4 and I would like to give a short introduction.
Contributors to the WebKitGTK+ project recently gathered for a hackfest to improve the open source HTML renderer’s integration with the GTK+ toolkit. They added some cache control APIs, improved support for HTML5 video, form persistence, and other features.
some guys over at TechCrunch UK (or something like that) made a review of 8 linux distributions which ships KDE as their default graphical desktop.
the first one? Slackware…
The Elive team announced today another unstable release of their Elive Live CD Linux distribution, now at version 1.9.56. Being powered by Debian, the Enlightenment E17 desktop environment and Linux kernel 2.6.30, the new development version of Elive brings support for 3G phones, the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player and installer fixes. Without any further ado, let’s take a closer look at the changes brought by Elive 1.9.56:
· Updated Linux kernel packages to version 2.6.30;
· Added 300 new operators in order to support more 3G phones;
· Automatic connection of a 3G phone, at boot;
The project chair has appointed Red Hat employee Colin Walters to the board. John Poelstra begins the year with open feedback to the board’s work.
With Red Hat developer Colin Walters, the last open position on the Fedora board has been filled. John Poelstra, who was appointed to the board by chair Paul Frields in June of 2009, nevertheless regretted in his blog the less than enthusiastic participation of the board. Halfway through his term, he writes, he wanted to evaluate its accomplishments. The two big themes were the Fedora trademark (as we reported) and the question of Fedora’s mission, vision and target audience. Poelstra opened the discussion on the board mailing list in October 2009 after the issues apparently emerged in a board meeting shortly before.
Social media and social networking are huge now-a-days, with Twitter, Facebook and the like being hugely successful at keeping friends and family in touch. Now only that, but social networks are huge for charities, with many causes being supported and heavily promoted via social networking. Corporations and business use social networking too to promote their products and services to users in a manner which is so relevant that they tend not to annoy as is generally the case with more corporate advertising.
To that end, Wind River has duly launched VxWorks 6.8. VxWorks is Wind River’s home-grown real-time operating system. It stands beside Wind River Linux 3.0, the company’s real-time Linux variant, and the new commercialized variant of the Android Linux-for-handsets that Wind River announced a month ago.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Sony has introduced its new dash “personal application viewer” featuring built in Wi-Fi, stereo speakers, a USB port and a 7-inch touch screen. According to Engadget, the Dash runs the Chumby OS, an open source Linux-based operating system.
Sony says the Linux-based wireless device will have access to over 1,000 applications including YouTube and other social apps – it also seems the company is intending to open app development up, too.
EMC subsidiary Iomega is readying a WiFi-enabled, Linux-based network-attached storage (NAS) device that costs $100. The Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station has no storage of its own, but acts as a wireless hub that shares data stored on devices hooked up to its four USB 2.0 ports.
As such, Skiff showed us a total of four different devices accessing its content: a color e-reader prototype as well as Skiff apps running on a Palm Pre, Viliv MID, and of course the Linux-based black and white e-reader launching sometime this year.
Texas Instruments (TI) announced an e-book reader development platform for Linux and Android, based on its OMAP3621 system-on-chip. The eBook Development Platform is equipped with an E Ink electrophoretic EPD display, TI’s new TPS6518x EPD power management IC, plus an integrated WiLink chip (WiFi, Bluetooth, and FM) and 3G support.
The GENIVI alliance, of which Visteon is a part, aims to provide a standard Linux automotive infotainment platform, so developers can easily build for multiple cars. Visteon showed off a GENIVI system running off an Intel ARM processor, and powering four different LCDs, an instrument cluster, navigation, and two rear seat monitors, simultaneously.
Korenix Unveils JetBox 3300 series Compact Embedded Linux Computers with DIO, Isolated Serial Ports and -40~80oC wide operating temp. for Front-End Controller Applications in Severe Industrial Environments!
By contrast, the Picowatt lets individuals set up a home energy monitoring themselves. The smart plugs, which fit over existing outlets, are essentially mini Wi-Fi routers running Linux, each capable of gathering data and controlling devices. People can view data, such as historical energy usage, from a Wi-Fi-enabled PC or through a Facebook application that can be operated from a smart phone.
The Rochester, New York start-up says the smart plug, about the size of an Apple AirPort, will be available in April of this year for $79 and will be sold directly to consumers. The smart plugs fit over existing outlets, act as tiny Wi-Fi routers running Linux.
While the Edelweiss didn’t find a “suitor” and just faded into the night without any success, the Monolith has some promise. Especially now that it is being exhibited at CES under the name “Else Emblaze”, or “Else Intuition”. It was built by Sharp and has a Linux-based touchscreen OS licensed by Access, and offers quite a few respectable features, not to mention adding in the uniqueness factor.
The Maemo 5 OS experience to me is no longer a minimalist thing, but is rather a clear canvas to paint your entire digital lifestyle.
The new Nexus One is a sleek, awesome handset, but the most important ingredient in touchscreen smartphones is software. The screen is just a canvas that software paints on, and Android 2.1 is a work of art.
Lenovo unveiled a Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Android smartphone aimed for a 1H 2010 release in China, says eWEEK. Meanwhile, Dell officially announced a version of the Mini 3 Android smartphone aimed at AT&T’s U.S. network, and showed off a MID-like Android “slate” prototype.
The way the company both hits the $99 price point and makes a little profit at the same time is to a) ship with free, open-source Linux and b) offer minimum specs but actually build the laptops with whatever the cheapest components are at any given time.
Over the last 12 months, netbook and mobile Linux has made massive advances in features and install base. This is primarily thanks to two netbook distributions – Moblin and Canonical’s Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR).
All laptop users have something in common: we want our device’s batteries to last longer. Whether it’s for the daily commute or a long flight, an extra 30 minutes of power means an extra 30 minutes of entertainment.
If you’re running a Linux-based distribution on your netbook, there’s a lot you can do to squeeze every last negatively charged ion from your power source. Here we’re going to cover the best techniques that we’ve discovered.
In terms of overall performance, I am intensely happy with Ubuntu on this machine. I was worried about the Atom CPUs being sluggish, but I’ve had no problems whatsoever. Having 2 gigabytes of memory probably helps, but this netbook can even run Windows XP in VirtualBox without flinching. That’s a lot more than I can say for the circa-2004 Pentium IV Inspiron laptop that my Latitude is replacing.
In its laptop incarnation, the device behaves as a conventional PC running Windows 7, the particular flavor of which (Home, Professional, or Ultimate) was not specified. But the entire viewiing screen can be completely detached from the keyboard base – smoothly, by hand, no tools required! – and restarted in a Linux-quick 3 seconds. It is then an independent touch-screen tablet operating on the Skylight OS, with the laptop base as a wi-fi hotspot.
This is certainly a spectacular way to bring new meaning to the term “dual boot,” but I’d like to suggest it’s a whole lot more than that. Lenovo is an independent manufacturer now, but it was not long ago that it was simply the PC hardware arm of IBM, presumably fully ordained as an OEM for Microsoft Windows.
The Linux user interface looks a bit like Google Android thanks to the widgets that pop up on your desktop. But the Freescale tablet is designed to be used with a stylus, not a fingertip.
No self-respecting geek enjoys dealing with closed-standard Word documents or Exchange servers. What kind of bizarro world is this where engineers are not only going crazy over Microsoft’s latest proprietary API, but actively denouncing its open-standard competitor?
VMWare appears to be positioning itself to provide the virtualized or cloud-based alternative to Oracle, Microsoft and IBM. This is a very interesting approach, and it will be interesting to see it play out over time. With Oracle and IBM taking a more systems-centric approach, meaning they are both providing the storage, computing and software stacks in the form of a system, this leaves Oracle’s traditional hardware partners out in the cold (HP, Dell, EMC, Netapp, etc.) along with budding potential partner Cisco. VMWare may envision themselves providing the Linux-based alternative to Microsoft in this game of strategic positioning.
EtherPad is a collaborative in-browser text editor. AppJet launched the product in the fall of 2008 with both commercial and free (limited to eight concurrent editors) versions, and it quickly gained popularity in the first half of 2009. When Google unveiled its own real-time collaboration system Wave in June, comparisons were inevitable. Many users found EtherPad’s interface simpler to use and easier to understand, however, so it was no great surprise when Google announced that it had purchased AppJet and EtherPad on December 4. The AppJet engineers would work on Wave, ostensibly making it as easy to use as EtherPad itself.
It’s my pleasure to introduce to you the single greatest Launchpad planning achievement for 2010: the roadmap.
For the last few months we’ve been working on bridging the gap between the Ubuntu distribution and the upstreams that it’s made from: making it easier for patches, translations, and bug reports to flow between Ubuntu users, Ubuntu developers, and upstream developers.
We’ve been asking users what they want and trying really hard to listen to them. And, of course, since we’re Free Software now, all of our discussion, development and planning is out in the open.
I have a feeling that the desktop operating system as we know it is on its last leg. The reason I make such a bold statement is that cloud computing will replace our fat, bloated, virus-riddled, failure-prone desktop with something far more agile and elegant: A lightweight browser-based system. This sounds like good news to me. I’ve waited for a server-centric world for several years now and the time is almost upon us. In this brave new cloud world, you’ll have access to all of your documents, music, data, pictures and applications regardless of the device in your hands.
An open-source Web-based operating system called eyeOS is getting a big boost from IBM. The computer giant has begun selling high-end mainframe servers with eyeOS pre-installed, hoping the operating system will entice customers who are hesitant about using cloud computing.
This add-on allows you to edit text from any “textarea” on a Web page in an external editor. Once it’s installed, you can configure the extension to use whatever your favorite editor happens to be. In my case Vim (GVIM, in this case), but you could also use Gedit, Kate, or any other editor that you prefer.
Want to help the Mozilla Project produce the best Firefox possible, but have no developer skills at all? Can you point? Click? Read instructions? Then you’re ready to suit up as a Firefox Test Pilot. Crashes not required.
If you’ve ever felt like you want to give back to the Firefox project, or if you feel like Firefox needs improvement, the Test Pilot project is the the easiest way to provide useful feedback to Mozilla and put those browsing hours to work.
For the last few years, Firefox has been the alternative browser of choice. But could it be running out of steam, wonders Simon Brew…
2009 wraps up another year of terrific Firefox growth! Roughly keeping pace with previous years, Firefox grew 40% worldwide. Two regions in particular continued adopting Firefox at a breakneck pace — South America (64%) and Asia (73%).
As you can see, he believes the GPL is sufficient, that the community can develop powerful programs with the license, and that there is an important difference between the GPL plus exceptions and changing to an Apache license, which is what Monty has been suggesting. So if you see further FUD from Monty about the GPL or how rms allegedly agrees that the GPL is insufficient, here is your rebuttal.
I trust Monty will remove or rewrite the misrepresentation on the Save MySQL page, so people are not misled into signing this petition due to the false belief that Mr. Stallman supports the campaign.
Some of you may have signed that petition thinking Mr. Stallman wanted you to do so. A lot of people would sign a petition if they thought Mr. Stallman wanted them to. If so, you may wish to let Monty know you have changed your mind and wish to remove your name. You may also wish to let the EU Commission know about the change.
This tweet from former MySQL AB CEO Mårten Mickos caught my eye. It shows a trend of increased demand for MySQL and PostgresSQL expertise while job postings on job websites for those with Oracle and Ingres expertise declined.
The new year has barely started, but it’s already become apparent that at least one dire prediction about 2010 isn’t going to come to pass.
IPv4 address space will not be exhausted in 2010 as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) had once forecast. But that doesn’t mean that network managers or even consumer electronics vendors should sit on the sidelines. This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the American Registry for Internet Names (ARIN) is advocating that vendors start making the move to IPv6 now.
A TSA agent was arrested on January 3rd in Terminal One at LAX, a source told NBCLA. He had just gotten off duty and was behaving erratically, saying, “I am god, I’m in charge.”
If you’re wondering who the strange looking fella’ to the right is; he is the new face of/logo for the Identity and Passport Service’s latest ID card marketing campaign.
The fact that he appears to be a fingerprint leaves Big Brother Watch in the strange position of not being sure whether to laugh or cry.
Yet another domino in the RSA encryption scheme has fallen with the announcement Thursday that cryptographers have broken 768-bit keys using the widely used public-key algorithm.
Heartland Payment Systems will pay up to US$60 million to issuers of Visa credit and debit cards for losses they incurred from a 2008 data breach at the large payment processor.
This year will be one of the top five warmest years globally since records began 150 years ago, according to figures compiled by the Met Office.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, during its $180 billion bailout of American International Group, Inc., instructed AIG to omit details of its purchase of certain toxic assets from a December 24, 2008, Securities and Exchange Commission filing, according to e-mails between the company and the Fed released Thursday.
Using bailout money provided by the Fed, AIG paid a number of banks 100 percent of the face value of credit-default swaps, contracts tied to subprime home loans, at a time when other institutions were negotiating deep discounts for the paper. The names of the banks were also omitted from the SEC filing.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then led by Timothy Geithner, told American International Group Inc. to withhold details from the public about the bailed-out insurer’s payments to banks during the depths of the financial crisis, e-mails between the company and its regulator show.
The problem with such a game is that non-cash “earnings” aren’t money and while they look good on the balance sheet if they don’t materialize later on you’re sunk! My call at the time was that they wouldn’t materialize and WaMu would indeed be sunk, and it was.
This is a bit different, in that nobody is (yet) claiming that Goldman doesn’t have the money. What’s being alleged here is that they have effectively pilfered the public Treasury and then paid that out as bonuses, rather than doing with it as Treasury intended and their shareholders were entitled to, which is to use the capital to rebuild the firm’s foundation and strengthen it against future potential losses.
Glaxo says they won’t have control over the content of the film and won’t even be pushing to make sure Alli gets mentioned.
The body responsible for the .uk internet addresses disconnected over 1,200 websites without any oversight from a court. The much-publicised action last month was based only on police assertions about criminal activity on the sites.
Two Nominet executives have told technology law podcast OUT-LAW Radio that it severed the connection between 1,219 domain names and the sites that lay behind them without the kind of court order that web hosting companies would usually demand.
Yeah. Like that will work. Trying to suppress information online doesn’t work, no matter what law you put in place. I’m reminded of the convicted German murderer, who is demanding that information on his conviction be removed from Wikipedia under a similar type of law. All that did was call a lot more attention to the story.
Last year, we wrote about the rather troubling situation in Chicago, involving prosecutors who were given information from the famed Medill Innocence Project (which consist of journalism students who examine potential wrongful conviction cases) indicating a wrongful conviction. Rather than use the new evidence, the prosecutors began a campaign against the Innocence Project subpoenaing a ton of information that has no bearing on the case whatsoever, but seem designed to intimidate the journalism students.
Generally speaking, the subject of a photograph does not have copyrights therein. These accrue to the photographer, unless there is a contract to the contrary.
Actress Vanessa Hudgens has apparently been shocked to find full frontal, nude images of herself on the Internet, specifically on the site of moejackson.com, but as tends to happen with such things, the images are already available more widely.
That a U.S. senator must ask a federal agency to share information regarding a proposed and “classified” international anti-counterfeiting accord the government has already disclosed is alarming. Especially when the info has been given to Hollywood, the recording industry, software makers and even some digital-rights groups.
During the last two decades, the Swedish band Rednex have sold more than 10 million records, with number one hits in eight countries including Germany and the UK. Today the band, known by most people for the single “Cotton Eye Joe,” released their first single in 18 months. They chose to share it via The Pirate Bay.
The Pirate Bay is currently promoting the new Rednex single on its frontpage, which guarantees exposure to millions of downloaders. Rednex believes that new forms of distribution will eventually make the record labels redundant.
“We think that this is undoubtedly the future method of releasing music. Within 12 years all the record companies will be extinct and the copy-free system will rule, no matter what anyone tries to do about it. It is inevitable and we are simply adapting to the coming reality. We admire the file-sharing communities and the unrestricted spread of information, as this will ultimately lead to great all-round benefits,” they add.
According to TorrentFreak, last summer’s Star Trek movie was the “most pirated movie of 2009.” So it seems that Paramount Pictures was prescient when it gave testimony before the FCC that used Star Trek as an illustrative example of how “Internet piracy” is poised to devastate Hollywood and (though the nexus here is less than clear) undermine residential broadband in America.
Buskers at SkyTrain stations in Vancouver are about to get an Olympic-sized price hike as TransLink negotiates a deal with the Society of Composers, Music Publishers and Authors of Canada – the Canadian body that collects licensing fees on copyrighted music.
The arrangement, set to be finalized by Feb. 1, will cost the transit service $880 per station per year and the hefty price hike will almost certainly result in higher licensing fees for buskers. Right now, TransLink buskers pay an annual licence fee of $75.
Dwayne Bailey, Founder and Managing Director of Translate.org.za (2004)
Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.
Summary: A respected British newspaper, which has already shown that it occasionally delivers Microsoft lies, is up to no good again
ONE of our readers, ThistleWeb, understands very well that audio-only content is medium through which to transmit a lot of nonsense without getting caught, or at least with one’s limited ability to point at the proof. Back in October he warned us that The Guardian was advertising Vista 7 (as an 'article'/'podcast') and wallclimber kindly volunteered to transcribe it so that we can rebut and dissect the lies.
The Guardian is sadly doing it again. Well, The Guardian is a paper I generally enjoy on all sorts of topics, so it’s a true and utter shame. Reporting officially becomes corrupted by Microsoft when there are placements or money (advertising) at play. It means that self censorship is to be expected, if not from reporters, then from editors.
“[I]t’s a promo piece making MS out to be something they’re not”
–ThistleWebWhen it comes to technology, British papers are often not reporting the news but rather just parroting what Microsoft pays them to say (in exchange for money). The Register, for instance, sells out to Microsoft under the "whitepaper" excuse (Ziff-Davis is the same) and the BBC is just generally run by many people who used to work full time at Microsoft UK [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
ThistleWeb previously helped show the biased reporting at the BBC about Vista 7 and now he analyses the latest Microsoft promotion from the The Guardian.
He wrote: “Have you heard the Guardian tech weekly CES special with MS?” He paraphrases/quotes/says: “plans for MS in the future is about consumer choice, better value etc
“They’re a “horizontal” player where you can choose a Sony tv, Toshiba laptop, Nikon camera etc…. a “partnering company” [...] it is a MS spokesperson, I just wonder what planet he’s describing, because it ain’t this one [...] bringing tech to a larger number of manufacturers, lowering costs to consumers rofl [...] how the hell do MS get away with blatant lies like this? [...] it is a MS interview so you’d expect the bias, but this is a joke [...] it’s a promo piece making MS out to be something they’re not [...] the interview is only the first 10 mins, but it’s complete fantasy [...] talking about horizontal plans being better value for consumers, like they did on the PC market….in their plans for mobiles [...] and the Xbox 360 being a success [...] or how they were gonna use the power of the Web to connect people……like they’ve failed over and over and over to do in the past [...] apparently the Xbox is an open eccosphere [...] anyone who knows anything beyond the MS PR will have several “points” per min with that interview…”
Is anyone willing to transcribe this full audio? █
Summary: Workstation for multiple concurrent users
Similar demo with GNOME will come tomorrow (with 6 seats). Who said GNU/Linux isn’t cutting edge?
Summary: New (or newly-disclosed) loopholes permit lobbyists to operate secretly and Gates intervention in (mis)education shows negative effects
NO TECHNOLOGY company lobbies like Microsoft does, so the system got bent as we last showed this morning. To make matters worse, lobbyists are going underground using new loopholes:
This is outrageous.
National Journal’s Under the Influence blog has a piece up on a new lobbying shop whose selling point appears to be that they can provide some services lobbying firms would provide, but without the reporting requirements.
Citing what its founders call a “volatile climate for lobbyists,” K Street Research opened shop today in hopes of helping clients with policy and research needs while lowering their lobbying disclosure numbers.
First, “policy and research” are incredibly vague descriptions.
Second, the lobbying disclosure act was designed to require disclosure of this sort of research. See 2 USC 1607 (7):
(7) Lobbying activities
The term “lobbying activities” means lobbying contacts and efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation and planning activities, research and other background work that is intended, at the time it is performed, for use in contacts, and coordination with the lobbying activities of others.
They should also succeed in drawing attention to the need to update the Lobbying Disclosure Act, since this business is apparently based on the benefits of skirting it.
The Microsoft lobby must absolutely love these loopholes. The real scale of lobbying/lobbyists is nowhere near what’s publicly reported. Some of the most effective lobbying is done under another ‘umbrellas’ like “campaign funding”, “charity”, “donations”, and “favours”.
Bill Gates, the de facto education minister and one of the world’s biggest lobbyists [1, 2, 3, 4] is still thriving in secrecy as he attempts to control more of the education agenda using his new firm. Here is some new information about a $10 million investment that gives Gates the influence he requires:
A representative of the Gates Foundation is in town today to meet with the new board members. Why is this significant? Well, the district and the teachers have been working together to submit a grant to the Gates Foundation to fund a new teacher evaluation system.
So…we’re having meetings with the program officer of the Gates Foundation today. I requested joining a meeting in which two other board members were in attendance, but the Superintendent’s staff told me that they wanted to avoid having to post a meeting notice and record the briefing (three board members present triggers “Sunshine” laws because it constitutes an official meeting). I asked why this had to be behind closed doors. I stated that the public has a right to know not only the bad, but also the good.
For background, also see:
Later on, it should not be surprising that children around the world are grown and raised into a Microsoft Office ecosystem. The schools act as mono-cultural (against choice) indoctrination facilities for these proprietary products. Only then it becomes even a job requirement (“Minimum Intermediate aptitude using MS Project Server 2007 and MS SharePoint 2007 team collaboration tools“). As Jonathan Eisen puts it (with Glyn Moody’s remark), “Xprize seeks Genomics Prize Lead, but reqs include MS Office proficiency…” █
“In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.”
Summary: Peter Brown from the FSF (Free Software Foundation) argues that PCs should not be saddled with Windows and that the EU Commission should therefore take a look at the problem
Thanks to the European Commission’s antitrust like activities, European citizens will soon be presented with a ballot choice between twelve browsers when first using a newly purchased computer preloaded with the Microsoft Windows operating system.
But is this really progress? It’s not much of a choice when you have to give up your freedom first in order to select a browser — a few of which might be free software. Why not give citizens the option of purchasing the computer with a free software operating system like GNU/Linux, or with no operating system at all? The best way to fight monopoly isn’t to give more choices after the most basic premise of the monopoly has already been agreed to — it’s to let people opt out of the monopoly from the beginning.
Thousands of Italians are preparing to sue Microsoft over bundling, as reported earlier this week. We wrote about this on Wednesday and added many more references yesterday. Marcel Gagné, a Canadian, has just written about the notorious “Microsoft tax” as well:
As I mentioned, that’s a lot of computing power for a small price tag. Even at the ‘sale price’, I’m betting that Best Buy made money and Acer made money and other people down the line made money. Add to that Windows 7 Premium Home edition which, according to my local Future Shop, is $225 Canadian for a full version or $130 for an upgrade. We Linux and FOSS people call this the Microsoft tax. There were also a bunch of other pieces of software installed, some full versions and others time-limited trials. I don’t really care, I wasn’t going to run any of it anyhow. Assuming that this story is correct in saying that NewEgg offers OEM versions of Windows 7 for $110, then my notebook could have goes a full hundred dollars less, at the very least. So now, I could theoretically have gotten all this computing power for $500 or less. Just install Ubuntu or Kubuntu or any other version of Linux you prefer and you have a seriously inexpensive, seriously powerful, and infinitely more reliable machine than the Microsoft-taxed version can offer.
How much pressure will it take to end the illegal bundling? This was challenged very strongly in France and to an extent in Belgium too. We wrote about these issues before, under posts that include some of the ones below. █
Summary: A rebuttal to Dana Blankenhorn, who redefines “FOSS” in a very unhelpful way
Philips has a murky history when it comes to Free software. Philips is attacking software freedom with aggressive patent fronts like Sisvel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], but things are hopefully about to change.
A couple of days ago we showed that Philips decided to add Free software to an appliance/gadget it develops. Dana Blankenhorn wrote about this and he added a sort of slur against the term “FOSS”:
Songbird, the open source media player, is now being embedded in Philips’ GoGear line.
This is a win-win.
This is the way open source is supposed to work. It’s supposed to connect with the market. If you don’t want your hands stained with filthy lucre you’re FOSS, not open source.
The “F” in FOSS represents “freedom” and Blankenhorn clearly understands this. What is that last sentence intended to achieve then?
In another very recent post, Blankenhorn seems to be painting FOSS as anti-capitalist, so with the repetition appears a pattern which is worth addressing and hopefully tackling. He wrote:
Legally, the analysts telling mySQL’s community to shut up are saying, yes, it could. And you couldn’t say a thing about it. That’s just capitalism.
It may be, just as Tom Sawyer’s game to get his friends to whitewash Aunt Polly’s fence was capitalism. But when Mark Twain wrote that his sympathies weren’t really with Tom. He was satirizing capitalism itself, and telling young readers to be wary of its glib promises.
Blankenhorn has been citing someone whom he calls “Big Money Matt” for just over a year; his cold attitude towards GNU/Linux and perhaps an increased emphasis on money seems to be missing the point. It is worth remembering what the “F” in “FOSS” is all about. It was never about cost at all. Free software is very capitalist by nature; it also obeys other important pillars like liberty and competition.
In the following video from Digital Tipping Point, Professor Larry Lessig (a current flag holder for the FSF’s membership rally) explains how the public was led to the point of totally misunderstanding Free software and associating it with “communism”, especially in the United States.
Part I (preceded by a minute or so of introduction in Portuguese)
For referencing, the above is Larry Lessig’s keynote speech at FISL Con 5 in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2004). He speaks slowly for a crowd whose English is a secondary language. █
1. Windows – 58.70%
2. Linux – 19.45%
3. Macintosh – 18.32%
4. iPhone – 1.70%
5. SunOS – 0.75%
6. (not set) – 0.43%
7. Android – 0.20%
8. iPod – 0.20%
9. SymbianOS – 0.07%
10. BlackBerry – 0.06%
Linux has its own advantages. It sure is geeky, it is powerful and now you can even do your bit to help the deteriorating environment. The folks at lesswatts.org have devised a number of ways to save power with Linux. The results have been obtained from continued stress-testing on all mobile, desktop and server machines and have been favorable so far. The kernel used for these tests are the 2.6.22 version but they are hoping that the power-saver features will go into the kernel 2.6.23.
In some respects, it is a little surprising that, given the intense business interest in free and open source software, Australia’s national Linux conference only took up the topic as a separate mini-conference last year.
The first thing that jumps out at you is that they’re almost all based on open-source software. For example, the operating systems behind Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace are all Linux. Facebook uses F5 Big-IP, which is a family of Linux-based appliances that also perform network management.
If asked to name significant Linux organizations, Fujitsu Ltd. might not be a company that comes immediately to mind. But to underestimate the value Fujitsu brings to the Linux ecosystem would be erroneous: the world’s fourth-largest IT services provider and Japan’s top IT company has a big stake in Linux, and some big-name Linux customers.
Just how big? Currently, Fujitsu is the number-two server vendor contributor to Linux kernel development, behind IBM. Their Linux deployments include the replacement of existing mainframes at the Japan Ministry of Justice and the Tokyo Stock Exchange–systems that are recognized as being among the strongest Linux deployments in the world in terms of size and reliability.
So how did Fujitsu, a company with a strong history selling mainframes with proprietary operating systems, become such a leader in the Linux ecosystem? Like many other vendors, it was the customer who guided the way.
In this podcast comprookie attempts to describe, the relationship between Pulseaudio and Alsa.
Nouveau is now used by default as the driver for NVIDIA cards, when proprietary driver is not in use .
The challenge here for KDE is: what do we have that can also be spread out across the spectrum?
Not everything will move very much. I don’t see Digikam making the leap to smart phones, for instance, nor should it try to in my opinion. That’s not the point of Digikam, and trying to do so would probably ruin it.
As we move from 2009 to 2010, KDE’s source code is in a sort of odd limbo itself. The majority of our code is in a subversion revision control installation hosted on svn.kde.org, but more and more of the code we produce is ending up on gitorious.org. The idea is to eventually have everything moved over, with the exception of translations (and documentation?) which will stay in svn for the sake of the translation teams workflow.
This one should be really short, because it’s more of an open ended question and some food for thought than a long exploration of a tangly topic. That question is: are we doing enough to ensure that projects that start to wobble a bit don’t fall off the rails, crash and burn on us?
Creating your own OS can be quite a daunting task that requires a lot of computer knowledge. I found a site that may interest you, Custom NimbleX2 is an open-source project that allows even newbies in computing to create their own Linux OS.
One of my actions from the recent Ubuntu UK team meeting was to organise a evening out on the Real Ale Train.
To enjoy Spotify on an Ubuntu PC, first install the Wine software. Left-click on the Applications menu and then Add/Remove. Select All available applications in the Show menu and type wine in the box to the right.
The manual is first expected to appear on the 10th of February, with the Alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. The Final release will be ready on the 29th of April. The manual will be released and revised every six months and will be available as a pdf file.
The second Alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx is due for release next Thursday (14th January) but what can you expect to find inside it?
Sony’s Dash, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday, typifies the increasing number of hybrid products being made possible on small screens with internet connectivity.
Its mother is the digital photo frame (DPF) and its father could be a bedside alarm clock, but it has an elder brother in the Chumby , which seems to have had a big influence on the Dash.
In addition to embedded database expertise, Trident Infosol offers services for popular embedded development tools and operating systems, such as Linux.
Q: What does the choice of ARM over x86 mean in practical terms?
A: Well, it affects the software selection, most obviously. Most Linux distributions’ support for the ARM chipset is minimal: Ubuntu, for example, only supports two flavors of ARM chips, and the known issues list is grim reading. Which is likely why Qualcomm (who’s been hiring for this), Lenovo or both seem to have created their own flavor of Linux, with “widgets” and a task oriented interface.
We are already aware that Android is likely to enter our home as the back-end software running our appliances but it would be more interesting to see the development of Android on MIPS as it would let Android drives more “home entertainment” appliances.
Google open source guru Chris DiBona has acknowledged that the company’s freewheeling approach to building a mobile operating system can cause a few headaches for developers, with unfamiliar versions of its Android OS appearing on new phones with little warning. But, he says, that’s not developers’ main concern – nor Google’s.
I’m trying to figure out just what “principle” that might be, because there doesn’t seem to be any legal principle. It’s hard to argue that there’s any moral principle either, since “nexus” is a word that’s been around since well before Philip K. Dick used it. In fact, the only matter of principle I can think of is the one where someone demands money for something where they clearly have no right to it and have done nothing to deserve it. Like demanding a big company pay up because it has a product named sorta similar to something your dad wrote decades ago.
Last night, during his keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off a prototype for a new HP Slate computer running on Windows 7. It was supposed to be an Apple-stealing moment and it was Microsoft’s moment, which is probably why Hewlett-Packard has not yet publicly mentioned that it is working on another tablet/slate computer that is running on Android. You know, Google’s mobile operating system.
HP did announce an Android-powered netbook yesterday, but that has a keyboard. A source who has seen a prototype of HP’s Android Slate says it looks just like the Windows-powered one Ballmer held last night (see image below), maybe a little smaller. “It is almost identical in every respect to the one he showed off except for the OS,” says my source.
Unfortunately, by simply shoehorning the Windows 7 interface (albeit a great desktop/notebook UI) into an interesting and relatively novel form factor, the announcement of HP’s slate was just a big yawn.
On the other hand, the use of Ubuntu opens up these slates to a wide variety of free educational software with a growing body of touch- and stylus-enabled software. Add to that (or, more correctly, subtract from that) the licensing cost of Windows 7 and suddenly these tablets get cheaper, more robust in terms of software offerings, and easier for digital natives to use given a more appropriate interface for the device and suddenly a somewhat disappointing device becomes far more compelling.
I’m convinced, as are most other tech bloggers, that the tablet form factor is here to stay. This is a good thing. However, what we really need are interfaces that exploit the tablet rather than highlight its compromises. Moblin and NBR are mighty fine places to start.
Even Google’s involvement with its own open-source Android operating system could inhibit free development around it going forward. For Google, one of the big benefits that all Android phones bring is steering users into the company’s lucrative search-and-ad ecosystem. With the release of today’s Nexus One Android-based phone — which takes the company’s commercial stake in Android handsets to two (Droid being the first) — could Android itself be increasingly influenced by Google’s proprietary interests? Just as Microsoft leverages Windows for the benefit of its own applications, Google could do the same with Android. The Open Android Alliance is already developing versions of Android devoid of Google applications due to these types of concerns.
Dell today announced it has chosen AT&T as its exclusive U.S. carrier for its upcoming lineup of Android-based smartphones, known as the Mini 3. Dell has already chosen China Mobile, Vodafone and Claro Brazil as partners outside the U.S.
One of the cooler software announcements to already come out of CES 2010 is from Chevy and OnStar regarding the upcoming 2011 Chevy Volt, their all electric vehicle. The new Android-based application gives Volt owners added control over their vehicles with options like monitoring charging status, unlocking doors, and more. There have been rumors for some time that these types of applications would be coming but now those rumors have been confirmed with their unveiling at CES 2010.
It appears Android-equipped devices are enjoying a coming out party at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show. Major hardware manufacturers, including Dell, HTC, MIPS Technologies and Motorola, have announced plans to launch consumer products, including smartphones and TV set top boxes, which feature the Android mobile operating system.
Palm announced today that it will jump from Sprint to Verizon when it releases two new phones on January 25.
Speaking to reporters at the Consumer Elelctronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Palm Chairman and chief executive Jon Rubinstein said the new phones – the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus – “will be available exclusively on the Verizon wireless network.”
Palm’s CES 2010 press conference didn’t offer nearly as much fanfare as last year’s event, where the company unveiled the Palm Pre. But Palm did announce new phones, a software update, and new partnerships, proving that this once-struggling handset company is not just a one-trick pony.
Verizon Wireless will start selling improved versions of Palm’s Pre and Pixi smartphones later this month under an exclusive arrangement with the handset maker.
This morning Palm announced a slew of product updates, including two new handsets, updates to the webOS platform, and a carrier relationship with Verizon. This afternoon I got some hands-on time with the Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus and tested the new video capture app.
It’s speedier, thanks to the double RAM that’s been added, and noticeably easier flipping between apps and programs. The screen is responsive, but no more responsive than it was before. All in all, it’s the same Pre experience you’ve had before, just faster. Oh, and guess you’ll have to fork out for a TouchStone now.
2009 was a year of intense renovation. Many of the projects we began in 2009 will launch in the first half of 2010. Our goal with these projects is to make the Second Life user experience more intuitive, more accessible, more reliable and more connected to the social web. We must reduce dramatically the “Time to Delight” (i.e., the time it takes to get to that wonderful “AH HA!!” moment in Second Life) from several hours to several minutes. This will benefit both user acquisition and retention. We’ve also been working on improving the support we give to the ecosystem of content creators, merchants, landowners and solution providers since they/you are the lifeblood of Second Life. Finally, we’ve been working on platform projects to improve stability, reliability and quality of the Second Life experience which is top-of-mind for all Residents.
The idea of Grendel is to provide an internal (behind-the-firewall) REST-based web service to keep a user’s data encrypted and ensure its integrity when the user isn’t using it. Grendel uses OpenPGP to store data, with the user’s password encrypting an OpenPGP keyset. That model makes it easy for a web site to store data safely and only decrypt it when the user is logged into the site. Since only the user has their password, once they log out, their data is safe, even if the web site’s database is compromised or stolen. Of course this isn’t an infallible protection — there is no such thing — and in particular it doesn’t protect against web site developers acting in bad faith. It does, though, protect against an attacker getting access to all the secrets stored by users in one step.
Media center software maker Boxee announced the public launch of its Boxee Beta software, today, after only a month in private beta.
In addition to releasing the first full beta of the application, the company is announcing several new content partnerships. New partners include TV.com, Blip. tv, gaming powerhouse IGN, and the upcoming film The Wolfman.
Now that the Boxee Box by D-Link is officially official, and the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset is the same, Boxee can finally confirm that yes, they’ve used the low-power 1080p-capable Tegra T20 chip in their upcoming media streamer. According to a new post on the Boxee blog, the dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU means the Boxee Box is capable of Adobe Flash 10.1 decoding, HD streaming and local 1080p playback.
When I co-signed the letter objecting to Oracle’s planned purchase of MySQL 1 (along with the rest of Sun), some free software supporters were surprised that I approved of the practice of selling license exceptions which the MySQL developers have used. They expected me to condemn the practice outright. This article explains what I think of the practice, and why.
Selling exceptions means that the copyright holder of the code releases it to the public under a free software license, then lets customers pay for permission to use the same code under different terms, for instance allowing its inclusion in proprietary applications.
We must distinguish the practice of selling exceptions from something crucially different: proprietary extensions or proprietary versions of a free program. These two activities, even if practiced simultaneously by one company, are different issues. In selling exceptions, the same code that the exception applies to is available to the general public as free software. An extension or a modified version that is only available under a proprietary license is proprietary software, pure and simple, and no better than any other proprietary software. This article is concerned with cases that involve strictly and only the sale of exceptions.
In fact, PostgreSQL as a project is pretty healthy, and shows how vulnerable projects like MySQL are to the winds of change. PostgreSQL could die tomorrow, if a huge group of its contributors dropped out for one reason or another and the remainder of the community didn’t take up the slack. But that’s exceedingly unlikely. The existing model for PostgreSQL development ensures that no single entity can control it, it can’t be purchased and if someone decides to fork the project, the odds are that the remaining community would be strong enough to continue without a serious glitch.
FreeNAS 0.7 is based on FreeBSD 7.2 and includes a lot of file sharing protocols. This way it can talk to all major operating systems: GNU/Linux, the BSDs, Windows, and Mac OS X. FreeNAS also supports several types of media streaming protocols and can act like an iTunes server. In addition, it supports iSCSI and different levels of software RAID. All of this can be managed from the web interface so users don’t have to know the FreeBSD commands under the hood.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will on Thursday launch a website hosting hundreds of sets of data – including previously unreleased information – about the capital, as part of a new scheme intended to encourage people to create “mashups” of data to boost the city’s transparency and accountability.
What had changed? His contact told him that Google was placing a new emphasis on getting the social web right, in a way that is good for the web. That month Google publicly launched a campaign that had run informally inside the company for two years, called the Data Liberation Front. It works across departments to enable users to remove their data from Google services, a key part of the vision of an Open Distributed Web that Messina has been working toward.
SINCE its economic reform began in 1978, China has gone from being a poor developing country to the second-largest economy in the world. China has also emerged from isolation to become a political superpower. Its meteoric rise has been one of the most important global changes of recent years: the rise of China was the most-read news story of the decade, surpassing even 9/11 and the Iraq war.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson has confirmed that the National Identity Register contains National Insurance numbers and answers to ‘shared secrets’.
In a revelation that is likely to intensify the arguments over the privacy implications of the database, Johnson claimed the NI numbers have been included to “aid identity verification checks for identity cards and, in time, passports”.
The vetting and barring scheme – requiring millions of adults to be given criminal records checks before being allowed to work with children – risks giving schools “false confidence”, according to Sir Roger Singleton.
Anti-terrors laws are still being used by a Lancashire council to snoop on residents.
In the past year “static surveillance” including video was used five times by Preston Council to spy on families suspected of housing benefit fraud and to gain evidence of the “illegal dumping of waste” at a city supermarket.
A new, comprehensive analysis of mountaintop mining shows that it radically alters the hydrology of its surroundings, ruining streams and the people and ecosystems they support.
Climate sceptics are failing to understand the most basic meteorology – that weather is not the same as climate, and single events are not the same as trends
Goldman Sachs Group Inc was sued on Thursday by an Illinois pension fund seeking to recover billions of dollars of bonuses and other compensation being awarded for 2009, saying the payouts harm shareholders.
In a lawsuit filed in New York state supreme court in Manhattan on behalf of shareholders, the Central Laborers’ Pension Fund said Goldman had by September 25 set aside nearly $17 billion for compensation and might pay out more than $22 billion for the year. It said this “highlights the complete breakdown” of corporate oversight.
The lawsuit contends that Goldman’s revenue for the year was artificially inflated by government bailouts of the banking industry and the insurer American International Group Inc, as well as a change in Goldman’s fiscal year.
In what is the most ridiculous move yet in this ongoing saga, the CFO of AIG is resigning over pay. That dumb thing thinks she is not paid enough? For presiding over the GS fiasco? For being the turkey of the industry? the laughing stock of a generation?
Authorities in the northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai have handed a six-year jail sentence to a Tibetan filmmaker who returned from exile to make a documentary about his homeland, Tibetan sources say.
People who post intimate details about their lives on the internet undermine everybody else’s right to privacy, claims an academic.
Dr Kieron O’Hara has called for people to be more aware of the impact on society of what they publish online.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski came to our office today to talk about broadband (check it out), and during both the event itself and the conversations I had with people before and after, it became clear to me how optimistic many of us should be about the New FCC.
Jelli has raised $2 million from a group of angel investors for its service, which lets users dictate what songs they want to hear on traditional radio stations. With Jelli, radio listeners can vote online on what songs they want to listen to; participants can also earn virtual points which gives them more control over the selection process.
U2 frontman and humanitarian Bono had a page-long op-ed in this past Sunday’s New York Times, where he describes what he calls “10 ideas that might make the next 10 years more interesting, healthy or civil. Some are trivial, some fundamental. They have little in common with one another except that I am seized by each, and moved by its potential to change our world.” So let’s look at some issues that made the list…. a twist on cap and trade, fighting the rotavirus, new cancer research, the rise of Africa and… limiting the scourge of file sharing.
Copyright holders would have to tell ISPs how much financial damage they suffer from alleged digital copyright infringements, under an amendment proposed to the Digital Economy Bill.
The amendment, proposed by Lord Lucas, says that “copyright infringement reports” – which record labels and movie studios would send to to ISPs, detailing instances of alleged abuse by a customer – must also “set out the value of the infringement on the basis described in the initial obligations”.
The Mexican government says it has notified Starbucks Corp. that Mexico is owed intellectual property rights for a line of coffee mugs showing pre-Hispanic images.
La Quadrature du Net has submitted its response to the European Commission’s consultation regarding “Online Creative Content”. La Quadrature calls on the Commission to reconsider the EU’s coercive and repressive copyright policies, while encouraging it to match words to deeds by fostering the rights of the public in the digital creative ecosystem.
The University says it doesn’t matter if the University’s name or logo isn’t on the clothing at all. Even a shirt that says “Go Cats!” needs a license. Even worse, they’re not just looking to stop people from selling such clothing, they’re happily putting them in jail for it.
An anonymous reader sent over yet another example of copyright being abused for monopolist reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with “promoting the progress,” and actually represent a serious healthcare issue. I had no idea, but apparently the various “codes” used by doctors to classify every visit are actually covered by a copyright held by the American Medical Association, which refuses to allow any free or open distribution of the codes (known as Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)). That’s because the AMA makes about $70 million per year “licensing” the codes.
Apparently Nicolas Sarkozy will get “the last word” on whether or not to adopt this policy, which means that it’s pretty likely. Sarkozy — who has a long history of copyright infringement by his own party — seems to believe that stronger copyright means defending French culture, when it really just means handouts to a few failing businesses who haven’t wanted to adapt.
Google and other net firms could be taxed under plans being considered by the French government.
A key ingredient of Eat’n Park’s case is the lawsuit’s Exhibit A, which shows a circle with two round eyes, a dot for a nose and a perky smile.
The thing is, I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to make art. I have spent no time learning how to negotiate the licensing of music. These are very different skills! It’s bizarre that in order to share my art, I need to have the latter skill set, or hire someone who does. The lack of that skill set results in my work being kept secret.
It’s really backward. I would love to talk to artists directly, and negotiate something that’s mutually beneficial. Right? My work calls attention to their work. I’m a big fan of their work. I want to support their art and their livelihood. I want everyone to know about and support their work. It’s such a natural alliance, but it’s perverted by this system we have now.
And if this is true, why are they lying to legislators, in an attempt to get these laws enacted?
Enric Teller assembles chairs for CitizenSpace (2009)
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