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Links 9/1/2010: Wine 1.1.36, 2010 Spring Alpha1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Sandbox

      All in all, simply working with a virtual machine 80% of the time is a lot nicer than working with a physical machine 100% of the time, and has really allowed me to not exhaust my patience when working with kernel code.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Silicon – auto image mounter for KDE 4

      Perhaps you know how mount ISO image by commend line. However, If you are lazy – like me – to use Konsole, Silicon is a good choice for this task. I tried Furius ISO before, but I don’t like it because it lacks KDE4′s integration.

    • Searching and Filtering Photos in digiKam — Part 2

      Besides the quick search and filtering tools at the bottom of the main window, digiKam offers more advanced search features accessible via the left sidebar. Here, you’ll find a variety of search options, including the Calendar, Tags, Timeline, Searches, Fuzzy Searches, and Map Searches. The Map Searches option was covered previously, so let’s take a look at what else digiKam has to offer.

  • Distributions

    • On the road again with Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring Alpha1

      Mandriva team wishes you happy new year 2010 and is proud to propose the first alpha release for 2010 Spring. Together with these isos, you will find also technical specifications for this coming release.

      Many improvements and new functionnalities are planned for this new version: your desktop will be smart and connected! Smart desktop is still one of the focus of main version, you can have a look on the coming roadmap. But you will find also easy home encryption so that your personal data are secured even whereever you are. Also planned a big work on our tools to manage softwares installation and update to give more useful information and help user in choosing the best of open source softwares.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Enterprise Virtualisation Powers Cost-Effective Growth

        Red Hat, the world leading provider of open source solutions, recently released Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV) that gives businesses unprecedented technology prowess to unlock capital and enhance operational efficiency. RHEV is built on open source and comes at a much lower cost than proprietary virtualisation products.

        RHEV is the first open source virtualisation solution that features Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor, the software that allows multiple virtual operating systems to run on a host machine or system.

      • Open source may be a venture capital dry hole

        Still, some companies manage to make money. Red Hat makes money.

        Most people credit Red Hat’s success to its relationship with IBM and the fact it’s selling a Linux. But I suspect there is more to it than that.

        Marc Fleury built JBOSS around committers, and many cashed out when Red Hat came in during 2006. It has taken Red Hat a long time to build back a proper support infrastructure, but now that work seems to be finally done and, while the company doesn’t break out its numbers, JBOSS seems to be a profit contributor rather than a cash sink.

    • Debian Family

      • Does Ubuntu Make Linux Look Bad?

        One may argue that Linux is not supposed to be “one size fits all.” It was never meant to be an all-in-one solution. Linux is not Windows! It can be just about whatever you want it to be, as much or as little as you desire.

        This is an eye-of-the-beholder thing. To a newbie who has known only Windows or Mac, Ubuntu and other similar Linux distributions make Linux look beautiful! Simple, graphical, versatile, powerful, infinitely configurable. It’s “one-size fits all” is simply what they have come to expect from an operating system because that’s all they know.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hands-On With the Boxee Set-Top Box and Remote

      A host of video services on the web enable you to watch your favorite TV programs and movies anytime you wish, and Boxee is an open platform striving to weave them all into one neat interface. To get the Boxee experience onto a TV, D-Link has launched a set-top box dedicated to the open video platform, along with a special remote.

    • Phones

      • Nokia N900

        • gTranslate – Translation Anywhere on N900

          Nokia N900 is full of little gems thanks to it’s open source nature and a growing developer community . Although much of the applications are available in the Untested Maemo Repository but still it never stops us from playing with them .

      • Palm

        • Palm opens developer program, adds plug-in support

          The number of applications available for webOS is much smaller than for the iPhone or Google’s Android OS. To close this gap, Palm will also open up its application distribution channel to developers and Web sites, giving them access to detailed information about applications and statistics, such as the number of downloads. This will allow them to build their own application directories and application ranking mechanisms, Mitic said.

        • Palm Prē lands in France

          Palm is extending the market range of its smartphones to France through a partnership with mobile service provider SFR, which will begin offering the Palm Prē and Pixi to its existing 20 million mobile customers – and, hopefully, more – in the second quarter of this year.

        • Palm fishes for devs with $1m lure

          Palm has – finally – opened up its application development program for webOS to one and all. It will also open its app database to anyone who wants to build a store, extend its SDK’s powers with a plug-in kit for C and C++ coders, and prime the development pump with $1m in incentives.

        • Palm updates devices, opens App Catalog, boosts gaming

          Palm revealed new versions of its Pre and Pixi handsets during its press briefing today at CES. The company also expanded its development platform and demonstrated new features of its webOS software.

        • AT&T Will Add Android, Palm Devices, Boost Apps

          AT&T will offer mobile devices using nearly every operating system as it adds more Android devices, including Dell’s, and Palm webOS devices to its smartphone lineup. Observers think AT&T is preparing to lose its exclusive U.S. contract for Apple, Inc.’s iPhone. AT&T also plans to encourage development of applications for its devices.

        • AT&T to begin selling Android and Palm smartphones in the U.S.

          AT&T has announced it will soon begin selling Android and Palm smartphones in the U.S., The company announced it will offer five new devices based on Google’s open-source operating system and two devices that use Palm’s webOS.

      • Android

        • Android Unleashed

          Vizzeco (nee Koolu) a company that I work for, even invested their resources in porting Android to the Openmoko “FreeRunner” phone in an attempt to have the best of both worlds. Vizzeco wanted Android and the “openness” of being able to change Android to meet our (and our VAR’s) needs while maintaining application compatibility. Unfortunately while the FreeRunner served as a good platform for prototyping mobile phone operating systems, there were limitations to its manufacturing capacity which limited the usefulness to Vizzecos’ business.

        • 400,000 Motorola Backflip Android phones ordered by AT&T?

          Although it’s the last major US carrier to launch Android phones, AT&T seems to be betting heavily on Google’s open source mobile platform.

          According to Eldar Murtazin (who is, most of the time, right), AT&T has ordered 400,000 Motorola Backflip handsets, and it might even order more – which means that the carrier is hoping to sell them like hot cakes.

        • The Backflip: Motorola’s Innovative Android Phone

          The Backflip will try to surpass or at least equal the success of Cliq (Dext) and Droid with its own good looks and innovative features. The two previously released Android smatphones have really revitalized Motorola’s struggling handset business and they hope that Backflip will ride the momentum.


          Motorola hasn’t announced the price and availability of the Backflip just yet. But there are reports that it would cost the same as Cliq and it will be available to consumers this first quarter of 2010.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Are Tablet PCs Destined to Flop?

        For all the hype about the rumored Apple Tablet, the ‘will they or won’t they’ about Microsoft’s Courier tablet, and a host of actual tablet announcements such as Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 and theDell’s still unnamed slate, everyone seems to have forgotten one tiny, little fact: tablets have been around forever and have never, ever lived up to their buzz.

      • Does a Tablet PC Market Exist for Apple and Others?

        Sounds like the UMPC To Me

        Yet for all the hype, we’ve seen a device with similar functionality before, one that didn’t go over terribly well. Consider this: In July 2006, more than three years ago, I wrote a review of a device for InformationWeek that sounds surprisingly similar to what we can expect from tablet PCs. The product was the Samsung Q1, a precursor to the Netbook market, known as a UMPC or Ultra Mobile PC.

      • Hands On With the Litl [GNU/Linux] Webbook

        Powering the litl is a 1.8-GHz Atom Z540 processor, with 1GB of 533-Mhz DDR2 RAM. The bright, two-toned chassis is sturdy, belying its dainty appearance. Its 12.1-inch screen is driven by Intel integrated graphics, and offers a 1280 x 800 resolution. It also weighs just over 3 pounds, making it very portable.

      • Screens From Former OLPC CTO Now in Devices

        Mary Lou Jepsen and her team at start-up Pixel Qi have their display-screen technology in several products being shown at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and plan to put a DIY (do it yourself) screen kit on the market early this year.

        Jepsen, formerly the head of Intel’s display division and chief technology officer at One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), has focused on lowering the battery drain by LCD screens and making them useful as e-readers in addition to normal computer use.

      • After the Hype: The current state of OLPC and Sugar Labs

        Back in early October a tweet by someone I follow alerted me to the fact that the deadline for submissions to the 26th Chaos Communication Congress (26C3) was less than 48 hours away. In a lunch break I whipped up a quick proposal for a lecture called “After the Hype – The current state of One Laptop per Child and Sugar Labs”. A couple of weeks later I learned that my submission had been accepted.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Symbian Lays out Mobile OS Roadmap

    Symbian Foundation, responsible for development of the Symbian mobile OS, is readying its Symbian^3 and Symbian^4 versions of the platform, with version 3 likely to be feature-complete next month, a Symbian blogger said this week.

  • Tool King rebuilds its e-commerce site on an open source platform

    Open-source software has freely available source code that is open for development by a broad community of developers.

  • WSO2 Launches Open Source BAM for SOA

    WSO2 is offering a Business Activity Monitor for its open source SOA offering, providing real-time visibility into processes, transactions and workflows.

  • Yahoo Helps IIT Bombay Set up Hadoop Cluster Lab

    Yahoo has helped the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay to set up a Hadoop cluster lab in Mumbai by donating a cluster of servers running the open-source Hadoop software.

    Apache Hadoop is an open-source distributed-computing project of the Apache Software Foundation that Yahoo supports.

  • Happy Birthday, Chris Messina, And Enjoy Advocating The Open Web At Google

    It’s no secret that Google is a big proponent of open source technology and the open web (to a degree), and it’s no secret that Chris Messina is too, either. It’s thus not terribly surprising that the man is joining the Mountain View Internet giant as its new Open Web Advocate.

    Messina announced the news on his blog, and referred to his move as a very happy birthday present (he’s turning 29 today).

  • Lucid Imagination Streamlines Apache Solr for Enterprise Search Applications

    Lucid Imagination, a commercial company dedicated to supporting open source Apache Lucene and Apache Solr search technologies, today announced the immediate availability of its LucidWorks Certified Distribution for Solr 1.4.

  • I Run 13 Browsers At Once; 11 of Them Just Went Open Source

    FluidApp is what’s called a Single Site Browser and is a great way to pull key websites you use throughout the day out of your primary browser and onto your Mac dashboard as standalone applications. It’s super easy for anyone to use. The service has a thriving community of users – I have 10 Fluid browsers running on my computer right now and wouldn’t want to work without them. In fact, I’m writing this blog post from Movable Type inside a Fluid Browser.

  • GlassFish ESB 2.2 released

    ESB can be downloaded for free under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL); Sun offers commercial support for the distribution, which also contains the latest version of Sun’s open development environment NetBeans (6.7.1) and the GlassFish application server (2.1.1) .

  • OrangeHRM – 300,000 Downloads and Counting…

    OrangeHRM, The world’s leading Open Source HR Management solutions provider hit a new milestone. The company said today that it went past 300,000 downloads of its application.

  • HIE deploys open-source interoperability software

    Here comes the first wave of products with “meaningful use” in their names. Open-source health IT company Mirth Corp., has an interoperability program called the Mirth Meaningful Use Exchange (Mirth MUx), and says the system now is being deployed at Redwood MedNet, a health information exchange in Northern California.

  • Asterisk – A Disruptive Force in IP Communications

    In fact, new developers are joining the Asterisk community at a rate of nearly 60 percent annually, and the open source adoption rate in some countries is approaching 80 percent.

  • WANdisco Names Hyrum Wright to Lead Subversion Open Source Efforts

    WANdisco, a leading provider of infrastructure software for replication, scalability and high availability, today announced that Hyrum Wright has joined the company to lead its open source team.

  • Jan 14: Emerging Technologies & Trends Series in RTP presented in partnership with WorkSmart (Raleigh)

    Open source enables companies to continuously improve their product utilizing partners and customers that use it the most.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla Drumbeat Aims to Expand Web Participation

      Open source has dramatically reshaped the software development landscape. Yet is it enough to help propel the Web itself forward for the next decade?

      That’s what Mozilla believes. After having been synonymous with open source for over a decade, thanks to its efforts behind the popular Firefox Web browser, Mozilla is now creating a new effort to help shaping the Internet’s development using the same sorts of techniques that have made open source a success.

    • Firefox for Maemo closing in on final release

      Mozilla is expected to push out an update for Web surfers who have already downloaded the first release candidate into their Nokia N900 or N810 devices. You can also download the RC2 directly from the mobile browser.

    • Mozilla releases Firefox 3.6 RC1

      The Mozilla developers have announced the availability of the first release candidate (RC1) for what will become version 3.6 of their open source Firefox web browser, code-named Namoroka. As with the previous development releases, Firefox 3.6 RC1 is based on version 1.9.2 of Mozilla’s Gecko web rendering platform. The RC1 release includes over 70 bug fixes made since the preceding beta, with three known issues affecting all platforms concerning tracing and web worker performance, crashes in FIPS mode and problems with Hotmail scroll arrows. A known issue also exists for Linux where some distributions will have trouble playing system sounds and another exists for Mac OS X where there is a problem opening local files with a space in the name.

    • Intelestream Extends Free Trial for intelecrm, the On Demand CRM Application for Small and Medium Businesses

      Intelestream, Inc., the leader in open source CRM consulting and developers of intelecrm™, the award winning online small business CRM solution, today announced the company has extended the fully functional free trial of intelecrm from 30 days to 60 days. Customers must mention promo code 60extCRM to qualify for the extended trial.

  • Databases

    • MySQL, Oracle And Cloud Computing

      Ever since Oracle announced the acquisition of Sun Microsystems along with MySQL, all hell broke loose in the open source community. With EU questioning the deal, there is a war (of words) erupting inside the community with one side asking EU to block the deal or, at the very least, change the license to another open source license from GPL and the other side urging EU to allow the transaction to go through. Even though I have no love for Oracle, I think it is time to let the deal go through at least for the sake of Sun employees who are sitting there with their future unknown. At the same time, I am not unduly worried about the future of MySQL because I have complete confidence in the open source license of MySQL. Let me try to explain my position here in this post.

  • CMS

    • Movable Type 5 Released, Adds Versioning, Better Management

      Movable Type was released as open source in December 2007. The clarity around this effort and the its community momentum has largely languished from what we see. The current MT 5 release messaging highlights the open source version as an option for developers. It does not seem to be positioned the same way other commercial open source options are. This is probably one of the reasons why ex-Movable Type product manager lead an effort to fork Movable Type Open Source into what is now know as Open Melody (news, site). The first release of Open Melody is due in Q1 of this year.

    • Bespoke CMS – bad news for you, good news for your agency

      In a world of widely available, top quality, open source and commercial content management systems, there’s no upside to using a bespoke system. All the advantages lie with the agency, not the client…which of course is why they try to sell them to you!

    • VT4 using Drupal

      Flemish commercial television channel VT4 is using Drupal on http://www.vt4.be. VT4 is part of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, the second-largest broadcasting group in Europe. Cool!

    • Ragnaroek 8.09.7 released

      Lodz, January 6th 2010 — The Midgard Project has released the seventh maintenance release of Midgard 8.09 Ragnaroek LTS. Ragnaroek LTS is a Long Term Support version of the free software content management framework.

  • BSD

    • BSD Magazine goes free

      I’m glad to see BSD Mag go free. Hopefully, more people will read BSD Mag now and become interested the BSD branch of operating systems. However, on the other hand, if there’s little income (ads etc), how can this be maintained?

  • Openness

    • Unreliable evidence? Time to open up DNA databases

      WHEN a defendant’s DNA appears to match DNA found at a crime scene, the probability that this is an unfortunate coincidence can be central to whether the suspect is found guilty. The assumptions used to calculate the likelihood of such a fluke – the “random match probability” – are now being questioned by a group of 41 scientists and lawyers based in the US and the UK.


      Without external scrutiny of the databases, doubts will remain, Mueller argues. “All of this… can be resolved by letting scientists have access to the data to do what they need to do.”

    • ISCB Licenses Virginia Tech’s GenoCAD Software to Ensure Long-Term Availability to Open Source Code

      In an unusual move, the International Society for Computational Biology announced this week that it has licensed the GenoCAD synthetic biology software from Virginia Tech in an effort to help ensure the long-term availability of the software under an open-source license.

  • Programming

    • What Java EE 6 Offers the Enterprise and Integration

      Sharples: The big selling point of Java has been always choice. Because it’s an open specification driven by an open process (the JCP) and because there’s a very active Open Source Java ecosystem – there’s choice at every level. If you are a developer – there’s a choice of technology frameworks – there is no single vendor dictating how you should build your applications and what technologies and APIs you should use. But at the end of the day – it’s all Java and very familiar to a large number of developers — as a result there’s a huge developer base to tap into and a huge ecosystem of tools and applications designed to work with Java EE.


  • Acer Recalls Notebook Computers Due to Burn Hazard

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following products. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

  • No, a nearby supernova won’t wipe us out

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I attended the first few days of the American Astronomical Society meeting this week. I went as a member of the press, as I have for the past few years. The press room is a fun place; lots of old friends, banter across the table, and, of course, the press releases.

  • Testing, Testing

    The health-care bill has no master plan for curbing costs. Is that a bad thing?

  • Crime

    • Former CEO of BetOnSports.com Sentenced to Prison Term

      The former director and CEO of BetOnSports.com, a large offshore sports-wagering business, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for his role in running the illegal gambling operation.

    • Killing Organizers in Honduras

      The bodies of slain activists are piling up in Honduras. While it’s being kept quiet in most Honduran and international media, the rage is building among a dedicated network of friends spreading the word quickly with the tragic announcement of each compañero/a.

    • Iraq files case against Blackwater: PM

      Iraq has filed a lawsuit against private security firm Blackwater in a US court and will file another in Iraq, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday, amid fury over an American court dropping charges against five Blackwater guards.

      “The US justice department has protested against this decision,” Maliki said, referring to the ruling last week to dismiss criminal charges against the guards, who were accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in an unprovoked attack in September 2007.

    • Cancer – The Deadly Legacy of the Invasion of Iraq

      The real hazard for Iraqis these days is cancer. Cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq. Thousands of infants are being born with deformities. Doctors say they are struggling to cope with the rise of cancer and birth defects, especially in cities subjected to heavy American and British bombardment.

  • Security

    • American Civil Rights Just Died. Again.

      One of George W. Bush’s worst policies, the Military Commissions Act, has been reinforced by the Supreme Court as not just Constitutional (which it is, of course, not) but also allows for the administration to declare you a “suspected enemy combatant” and at that time, you cease to exist as a “person”. Per the Supreme Court, a suspected enemy combatant, even if they are an American citizen, does not have any rights: human, inherent, natural, or any legal standing whatsoever. Even if you are a normal American citizen walking down the street, if President Obama (or any other president after him) declares you a suspected enemy combatant, you will simply cease to exist as a legal entity in the United States at that time.

      From then on, the federal government can arrest, torture, or do whatever they feel necessary with you. You or your family have no legal recourse – after all, in the eyes of the national government, you don’t exist. Obama’s promise to end torture still applies – after all, if they’re torturing “suspected enemy combatants”, legally speaking, they’re not torturing people.

    • More Surveillance Can Make Us Less Safe

      In the wake of the September 11 attacks, we had a post detailing why greater surveillance wouldn’t have helped prevent the attacks. The data was all there, it just wasn’t put together. And yet, in the time since then, the government has, in fact, continually focused on gathering more surveillance (warrantless wiretaps, anyone?), rather than on making better use of the data that is there. Back in 2002, in another post, we discussed how collecting more surveillance data in data retention schemes also made it harder to find the useful data and harder to connect the dots on the data that you had.

    • Dominic Lawson: If we are all under suspicion, then we are all threatened

      Even were I to live within walking distance of the Queen’s Sandringham estate, it would never occur to me to spend any part of Christmas Day standing outside its church to take photographs of attendant members of the Royal Family. Yet, odd as such behaviour might seem – it’s not as if the media don’t produce film and pictures from the same event, saving everyone else the trouble – it is about as harmless as anything can be.

  • Environment

    • First Carbon Tariff Will Tax CO2 at the Border

      The first carbon tax to reduce the greenhouse gases from imports comes not between two nations, but between two states. Minnesota has passed a measure to stop carbon at its border with North Dakota.

      To encourage the switch to clean renewable energy Minnesota plans to add a carbon fee of between $4 and $34 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to the cost of coal-fired electricity, to begin in 2012, to discourage the use of coal power; the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Copenhagen gatecrash protesters released after 20 days

      Four protesters held for 20 days in a Copenhagen prison have been released today after embarrassing the Danish state by impersonating world leaders at last month’s UN climate summit.

      The four, from Greenpeace groups in Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Spain, have had to promise that they will return to Copenhagen for a trial later this year. They will be accompanied by a further five protesters who took part in the action, the details of which were passed to police by Greenpeace this week as part of the conditions of release. The nine have been charged with impersonating police officers, trespass, and falsifying documents.

      They admit hiring limousines and evening dress and joining 120 world leaders at a state banquet in the Danish parliament.

  • Finance

    • House panel wants Geithner to testify about New York Fed and AIG

      The chairman of the House oversight committee turned the spotlight Friday once again on the government’s much-maligned bailout of American International Group, saying he would ask Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to testify about whether company executives were told to withhold key details about how they were spending taxpayer money.

      Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said he will hold a hearing later this month to examine the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s role in advising AIG to limit its disclosures about billions of dollars it paid to other firms during the height of the financial crisis. Geithner was head of the New York Fed at the time.

    • 2010: Giant Gathering Storm Clouds

      Instead, with much greater force, enthusiasm, and recklessness, the financial system hurtled deeper into the Weimar chambers of commerce. Worse, most steps simply apply greater doses of precisely what caused the problems with debt overload and excessive monetary expansion. Worse doubly, most reforms grant even more power to those responsible for the breakdowns and fraud perpetration. The Untied States is being recognized internationally as a rogue nation moving headlong toward communism, run by powerful syndicates, whose most prominent foreign policy is explained by military hardware.

      There is no shred of the capitalist structural makeup remotely evident outside of Asia. We see cronyism systems in the West, but worse, we see syndicate systems with alleged cords of criminality. The discredit of the central bank franchise system is barely noticed by the mainstream, which applauds the printing press monetary operators without recognition of the repeat of Weimar chapters. Just today, the New York Times formally posed the question of how the US Federal Reserve can prevent the next asset bubble when it missed the last one.

    • Fighting Trend, China Is Luring Scientists Home

      China’s leaders do not. Determined to reverse the drain of top talent that accompanied its opening to the outside world over the past three decades, they are using their now ample financial resources — and a dollop of national pride — to entice scientists and scholars home.

    • Keeping America’s Edge

      The United States is in a tough spot. As we dig ourselves out from a serious financial crisis and a deep recession, our very efforts to recover are exacerbating much more fundamental problems that our country has let fester for too long. Beyond our short-term worries, and behind many of today’s political debates, lurks the deeper challenge of coming to terms with America’s place in the global economic order.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Wikileaks Funding Plan Could Be Risky

      The open-source whistleblower site, Wikileaks, which according to The National has “produced more scoops in its short life than the Washington Post has in the past 30 years,” has temporarily and voluntarily suspended its own service.

      The staff of Wikileaks is making a direct plea on the Website for financial assistance, with a slogan proclaiming: “We protect the World – will you protect us?”

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • Court Notices That The FCC Appears To Have No Legal Mandate To Enforce Net Neutrality

      Still, it’s not just the groups supporting the FCC on net neutrality that are taking inconsistent positions here. Remember how Comcast — which this latest ruling supports — has in the past used the argument that the FCC does have this mandate over them to try to avoid regulatory oversight in California. So neither side looks very good here. In fact, in a recent interview concerning the proposed Comcast/NBC merger, Comcast’s spokesperson highlighted that people shouldn’t be afraid of NBC getting preferential treatment because “existing law already prohibits any discrimination.” What existing law? Uh, the same one Comcast just convinced the court doesn’t exist. In other words, the law doesn’t exist when Comcast doesn’t like it, but if anyone says Comcast might violate neutrality, it insists the law suddenly does exist.

    • Court Questions FCC Authority to Impose Net Neutrality

      FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has stated that the FCC acted based on the Four Freedoms outlined by the previous FCC administration in 2005. These principles, while not formal rules, have been used to govern net neutrality on a case-by-case basis:

      1. Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice.

      2. Consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.

      3. Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the network.

      4. Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and service providers, and content providers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • The FFII calls to remove the chapter.

      Korea FTA and the ‘acquis communautaire’

    • Karel de Gucht grilled

      The Trade Commissioner-designate De Gucht will be grilled before the European Parliament INTA committee, Tuesday 12 January 9-12h. While the Council told me that ACTA was not about legislation the new.


      The Korean FTA is a good example. What else than legislation is included in the IP chapter? De Gucht seems to be unaware of the problem that the trade portfolio is abused for “policy laundry”, and an international legislative process.

    • Fox News Sued For Copyright Infringement

      A former adviser to Michael Jackson sued Fox News on Thursday for copyright infringement, claiming the cable channel aired portions of an interview with the singer’s ex-wife without proper payment or permission.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Dwayne Bailey, Founder and Managing Director of Translate.org.za 02 (2004)

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

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: January 9th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Novell News Summary – Part III: Plugs in the Press and SCO Case Galore

Posted in Courtroom, Google, Identity Management, Mail, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell, SCO, Security, Virtualisation, VMware at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lake Powell, Utah

Summary: Novell news from the past two weeks (excepting SUSE/OpenSUSE)

THERE is a heap of stuff to be shared here this week, but none of it is groundbreaking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part II: Ballnux and MSI/HP Return, More Ballnux at CES 2010

Posted in HP, LG, Microsoft, Novell, Samsung, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 4:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A lot of news about distributions and vendors that let Microsoft have its way with Linux


Over the course of two weeks (including CES in the second week), a lot has happened in terms of new products. But just as a decade ended, SJVN decided to put together this list of key events which include the important buyout:

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE Survey and Site Changes, Breakage

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE, Marketing, Novell, OpenSUSE at 2:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: OpenSUSE news from the past fortnight, extending from Boxing Day to present

LAST week there was no post on the subject because of the holidays. This week’s post is a calm and mostly positive one.


Zonker, a Novell-paid spinner, writes about writing release announcements, which are naturally filled with a lot of promotional language.

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time away from the computer while on vacation, which has been nice, but I took some time yesterday to catch up on my RSS feeds. Even thought it’s pretty quiet out there right now, I found several posts and announcements about beta releases, project releases, and so on.

Zonker also writes about SCALE again. OpenSUSE will have presence there.

The Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) is coming up shortly. We’re looking for some volunteers to help man the openSUSE booth at the show. If you’re an openSUSE enthusiast and planning on attending SCALE, please drop a note to the openSUSE marketing list.

Novell is hoping to put the red “N” and green Geekos right in people’s faces.


OpenSUSE 11.2 is far from a new release, but eWEEK did a special report on it just around Christmas.

eWEEK Labs’ Jason Brooks and Andrew Garcia discuss Novell’s latest community-oriented Linux OS, OpenSUSE 11.2, which is packed with official OpenSUSE versions of the latest and greatest of what the open-source software world has to offer. Where OpenSUSE 11.2 sets itself apart from its Linux rivals is its focus on highlighting community software contributions alongside the official distribution-provided packages. This community software focus, combined with the long time “power user” orientation of SUSE distributions, makes OpenSUSE 11.2 a very configurable–but potentially confusing–Linux-based operating system option.

Zonker wrote about promo DVDs of OpenSUSE 11.2 and later on he mentioned the OpenSUSE survey. OpenSUSE-Edu Li-f-e got coverage from Download Squad:

The best collection of Linux educational software for all ages that I know of is the openSUSE-Edu Li-f-e (Linux for Education) Live DVD.


There’s a wide variety of “edutainment” software on this DVD for kids 12 years old and up. For religious education there’s BibleTime, a Bible study tool. For chemistry, there’s Avogadro, Chemtool, gElemental, and XDrawChem. For astronomy, there’s the Stellarium planetarium simulator, and for math there’s Dr. Geo, Euler, K3DSurf, KSEG, wxMaxima and Xaos.

Let’s look at some reviews of OpenSUSE 11.2.


Here is a new comparison which was labeled “The Ultimate Distro Showdown”. Important distributions like Fedora are conspicuously missing, whereas OpenSUSE 11.2 is included.

We laid our hands on all the three biggies—Ubuntu 9.10, Mandriva 2010 and openSUSE 11.2—and pitted them against each other. What followed was the battle of the century, as each distro pulled off one unique trick after another to stay on top of the game.

A KDE developer had some difficulties with OpenSUSE 11.2, but it might not be related OpenSUSE itself. Other people who are closer to OpenSUSE seem to be getting along just fine.

Now finally yesterday I installed OpenSUSE 11.2 on my notebook (this one).

Installation went very smooth, and it seems all the hardware components were recognized automatically, 3D graphics, even WLAN.

Only issue, it still seems modern networking (aka networkmanager) doesn’t like me. Or I am too stupid.

By contrast:

In summary, all is well with openSUSE 11.2 on the Dell Mini 10v including the 3D desktop with compiz.

Looking at the GNOME side, OpenSUSE 11.2 received this fantastic new review.

openSUSE 11.2 Emerald is really a phenomenal release. It’s smooth, polished, expensive, with extreme attention to little details. It comes with everything you may need, want or desire. You will have to work very, very hard to find any flaws.


There were many posts of a technical nature but nothing spectacularly new or exciting. Ben Kevan wrote some posts about OpenSUSE and packages that it includes. Thunderbird 3.0 is among them:

Thunderbird 3.0 got released and is available as official update for openSUSE 11.2

Google Chrome got tested under OpenSUSE 11.2 over at Linux Crunch, which is a nice new Web site.

I would like to share with you my short experience with Google Chrome on openSUSE 11.2. Although it is in a beta stage, it is stable and fast. I like many things in it and I even tried to emulate them in Firefox (thanks to Firefox add-on). In this post, I will state my personal thoughts about Google Chrome and I will refer to Firefox in any comparison. I am using version


I can summarize the GUI design of Google Chrome with three words: simple, clean and effective. I like the way Google Chrome puts tabs in the title bar. I enjoy also how Google Chrome populates the speed dial page with time. There is no status bar.

We have found many HOWTOs relating to SUSE Studio or OpenSUSE 11.2 and Masim still makes a lot of OpenSUSE HOWTOs, such as this one. Here is an extensive installation guide for OpenSUSE 11.2:

When I wrote and published my extensive Ubuntu installation guide, I promised you many more step-by-step installation guides to come. Indeed, I have kept my word. You have had the Windows 7 guide and the new dual-boot guide for Ubuntu and Windows 7. Now, it’s time for the openSUSE installation guide.

Currently, openSUSE 11.2 is the latest openSUSE release, which will be the focus of our article today. We will learn how to choose the right edition, download it to our computer, burn the image to a CD/DVD, and then install the distribution to hard disk.

For those who want to build OpenSUSE packages, more information was made available [1, 2] and Katarina says that “YaST is falling” as she makes some suggestions.

Other technical posts of interest include:

Gemcutter + openSUSE Build Service cooperation (idea)

Last but not least: If Fedora and Mandriva had gem2rpm templates in a perfect shape too, Build Service could provide packaged gems also for their distributions.

Command-Line Tool Fuzzer Beta 2

On my train travel to Nuernberg I heavily rewrote fuzz-cmdline while testing it by fuzzing several setuid command-line tools on openSUSE 11.2.


OpenSUSE Weekly News went on as usual throughout the holidays (issues 103 and 104 are out, as well as an audiocast in German). They are looking for more translators/polyglots.

Improvements have also been made to openFATE, which we last mentioned a month ago (more details here).

Today i’ve made an little Cleanup in the openFATE Databse.

Site changes are an ongoing issue that led to technical problems and the OpenSUSE Wiki keeps getting changed, even “renewed” according to one source.

The openSUSE wiki is on the way to be renewed.

They have been saying this for quite a while now. Some of it appears to be coordinated in IRC.

Patents Roundup: Patent Backlash, Microsoft DRM Patents in USPTO, Software Patents in Israel Revisited

Posted in Apple, Asia, DRM, Microsoft, Patents at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“DRM is the future.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Summary: Signs of patent unrest and new pushes from Apple, Microsoft, including a lobby for software patents in Israel

THERE IS a lot of news about patents to go through today, but it’s probably worthwhile starting with analysis. Here is a new paper which is titled “Are Patents Impeding Medical Care and Innovation?”

From the abstract: [via Glyn Moody]

Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers argue that the current patent system is crucial for stimulating research and development (R&D), leading to new products that improve medical care. The financial return on their investments that is afforded by patent protection, they claim, is an incentive toward innovation and reinvestment into further R&D. But this view has been challenged in recent years. Many commentators argue that patents are stifling biomedical research, for example by preventing researchers from accessing patented materials or methods they need for their studies. Patents have also been blamed for impeding medical care by raising prices of essential medicines, such as antiretroviral drugs, in poor countries. This debate examines whether and how patents are impeding health care and innovation.

Last month we wrote about “The Great Pharmaceutical Patent Hoax” following another analysis. The Against Monopoly Web site has just published an essay on “The ‘Productivity’ of Patent Brainstorming” and in conclusion:

This abomination is what pro-patent libertarians thing is just? They think this is compatible with rights and liberty? They think this is productive, innovative behavior? Give me a break.

Someone from Identi.ca shows or at least claims that patents may be responsible for “no multitouch for US nexus one.” There is also this later addition:

Update: According to a Google employee on a Google Mobile help page, the phone shipping to European markets will be no different than the one here in the US. We’re not sure we entirely buy that, but we’ll get to the bottom of this before long.

Here is Apple obtaining another hardware-related patent:

Today, touch-sensing components sit atop the layers that form a liquid crystal display (LCD) screen. In effect, Apple’s invention aims to make the LCD pixels “touch sensitive” by eliminating the additional layers. By doing so, the screen becomes thinner, somewhat lighter, and brighter.

O’Reilly’s Andy Oram, a vocal proponent of software patents, sums up the impact of patents, which mostly punish the developing nations and harm the less wealthy societies, as usual.

As I understand the argument, the institutions responsible for passing new rules respond to the most powerful countries. The US and Europe are on the decline in these organizations. All the countries that benefit from looser IP regimes–China, India, Brazil–are growing in economic strength and are finding themselves in more and more seats at the tables of the world’s closed economic institutions. For just one concrete example, look at the shift of responsibility in recent years from the G-7 to the G-20. The G-7 is a familiar set of countries that were powerful from the 1950s through the 1970s. The G-20 is truly diverse, bringing in strong economies from around the world (but still just the ones with some international economic clout).

Other proponents of software patents are self-serving and rude about it. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than a lawyer or a monopolist actually defending these. Programmers certainly do not want software patents, they already have copyright law (polls and studies show this perceptual tendency very repeatedly and consistently).

This brings us to Microsoft, which is now making torrents evil (with DRM) and demands a monopoly on the idea. From Slashdot:

Anonymous Crobar writes “Microsoft has received a patent for a ‘digital rights management scheme for an on-demand distributed streaming system,’ or using a P2P network to distribute commercial media content. The patent, #7,639,805, covers a method of individually encrypting each packet with a separate key and allowing users to decrypt differing levels of quality depending on the license that has been purchased.”

Original article here:

Microsoft has patented a method to employ P2P networks to distribute commercial media. The system has the advantages of 1) shifting distribution costs to users, 2) encrypting digital content and 3) allowing efficient asynchronous playback (known as “fast-forward” and “reverse” to the VHS generation).

The system works like a standard torrent network: content is split into thousands of little packets and stored on the computers of each peer. When a user wants the content, his machine grabs a list of the nearest peers and what parts of the content they have. The user downloads the individual pieces and the file is reassembled on his computer.

Microsoft itself does not obey patent law and here is another update on the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

Microsoft on Tuesday lost an appeal against a $290m patent infringement case in its biggest legal setback in an intellectual property case this year. In spite of the upholding of an injunction barring it from using the infringing code in its widely used Word program, Microsoft said it did not expect the decision to disrupt sales of its Office suite of applications, of which Word is part. in favour of i4i, a Canadian software company that had claimed Microsoft’s Word 2007 infringed a software patent it was awarded more than 10 years ago, the FT reports.

“Governments stifle hi-tech innovation, says trade group” – that’s the headline from the BBC, which would be correct assuming only that the stifling is caused by patents. They retard innovation.

Government needs to do more to encourage innovation, America’s first chief technology officer has been told.

Here is Western Digital suffering from a monopoly on encryption, which is a security mechanism. Yes, even securing one’s product is becoming a violation of someone’s imaginary property. This puts people at risk, all for the glory of patents.

Western Digital is being sued by Taiwan’s Enova Technology for alleged unauthorised use of its encryption technology in My Book and My Passport external drive products.


It refers to two US patents; 7,136,995, issued in 2006, and 7,386,734, filed in 2008. The ’995 patent describes a cryptographic device and, with the ’734 patent, refers to real time data encryption/decryption by devices such as disk drives without materially compromising their operational speed.

Last month we showed that software patents try to sneak their way into Israel. Here is an update on this, courtesy of EndSoftwarePatents.org.

I need help contacting groups in Israel. With a February deadline, the Israeli patent office is asking if it should grant software patents. To help, join this mailing list: israel-public-discuss@endsoftwarepatents.org. As usual, the small businesses, individual programmers, and software user groups don’t seem to have noticed this consultation. This is common in public consultations – but you can bet the lawyers groups and the multinationals are aware and working on their submissions. So I need help with informing people in Israel now so they have some time to get prepare submissions.

Progress on this is already being made (see comment/s).

More Critical Vulnerabilities in Vista 7, Windows Left Unsafe for Another Month

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 8:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Global warming

Summary: Microsoft does not patch serious flaws (it only patches one “critical” flaw, even in Vista 7) and many people are knocked offline as a result of Microsoft negligence

AS Microsoft prepares to patch critical problems in Vista and Vista 7 next week, it seems apparent that:

  1. Microsoft continues to be knowingly negligent when it comes to security (also see [1, 2])
  2. The latest version of Windows is just as vulnerable as predecessors and some experts say it is even more vulnerable

Among the posts which demonstrate the second point:

Here is the latest demonstration of the first point — that Microsoft is being negligent. From The Register:

Microsoft won’t fix vulnerabilities in the latest versions of Internet Explorer or Windows during its regularly scheduled patch release on Tuesday, meaning users will have to wait at least another month to get updates that correct the security risks.


That may lighten the load on IT admins, but it also means potentially serious vulnerabilities known to affect Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7 will be allowed to fester for at least another 28 days.

As reported previously by El Reg, the IE 8 bug can enable attacks against people browsing websites that are otherwise safe to view. The flaw can be exploited to introduce XSS, or cross-site scripting, exploits on webpages, allowing attackers to inject malicious content and code. Ironically, it resides in a feature Microsoft added to harden the browser against that very type of attack.


Also remaining unfixed is a bug that allows an attacker to completely lock up systems running windows 7 and Windows 2008R2. The flaw, which resides in the OSes’ SMB, or server message block, can be triggered remotely by sending malformed traffic that specifies incoming packets that are smaller or larger than they actually are. SMB is a network protocol used to provide shared access to files and printers.

More at IDG:

Microsoft Won’t Fix Windows 7 Crash Bug Next Week


However, the company acknowledged that it does not yet have a fix for a crippling bug in Windows 7 that went public nearly two months ago.

The expected update will patch a vulnerability rated “critical” — Microsoft ‘s most serious rating in its four-step scoring system — in Windows 2000. The bug also affects Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, as well as Windows Server 2003, Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2, but is tagged as “low” for those editions.

And more from the British news:

Websense warns on Microsoft rogue AV

Searches redirect to malicious sites

Here again is the latest consequence of having hundreds of millions of Windows zombie PCs out there.

About 30,000 customers of the Cheshire-based ISP Vispa were forced offline for almost 12 hours today by a DDOS attack traced to the Baltic state of Latvia.

That would be a whole day’s work/leisure lost for approximately 30,000 customers (some of whom are entire families). What would the cost of this DDOS attack? Either way, Microsoft UK is profiteering from this (also outside the UK), almost always at the expense of taxpayers (externalities to them).

Paid Microsoft Slug Michael Gartenberg Does the OLPC Slog

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OLPC, OpenOffice at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Former Microsoft AstroTurfer attacks OLPC, calling a Free software success story “tragedy”

MICROSOFT’S attacks on OLPC typically come not directly from Microsoft but from unofficial Microsoft spokespeople like Rob Enderle (yes, he did that too). Those attacks have not ended.

Therefore, it was not particularly surprising to find former Microsoft AstroTurfer Michael Gartenberg (sometimes on the company’s payroll), who is currently serving Microsoft from outside the company [1, 2, 3, 4], throwing some more mud at OLPC.

In The Tragedy of One Laptop Per Child, Michael Gartenberg at Slashgear just called a million and a half computers in the hands of children, radically transforming education and social structures in dozens of countries, a tragedy. With another million on order.

Microsoft’s actions speak for themselves. James H. Clark, the former Netscape Chairman, once said: “Microsoft is, I think, fundamentally an evil company.” Microsoft is constantly attacking not just education [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] but the developing world too. It’s all about money to them. 2 days ago we wrote about Microsoft's alleged “scare campaign” to derail existing migrations to OpenOffice.org and here is an interesting new comment on the subject (one among many):

First off,
- how many students complained about OOo? They don’t say
- Did the students or their representatives discuss the issues with the administration or the IT group of this municipality before sending the letter to the mayor? If they did, why didn’t they say anything about it in the letter? Sounds fishy to me.
- Did the blogger do any investigative reporting or just published a sensational article? There is a note about MS complaining but no mention of any administration comments about the subject. It looks like sensationalism at large to me
- Training is very important. Is the administration/IT of this municipality that dumb to roll out a new application before offering adequate training? I don’t think so. May be they did offer, but was not enough for some and may be students just chose not to attend.
It seems to me that some one is behind this with ulterior motives, especially when the reasons given are the same old ones we constantly hear from MS

It’s just like with OLPC. Microsoft exaggerates the issues and hopes that by declaring something “dead”, dead it will become.

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document on “the Slog” [PDF]

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