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01.29.10

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: January 29th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 29/1/2010: Many New Releases of GNU/Linux, Oracle Makes Promises

Posted in News Roundup at 7:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 81

    The following Linux-based operating systems were announced last week: Android-x86 1.6, Linux Mint 8 RC1 KDE Community Edition, Ubuntu Electronics Remix 9.10 and Tiny Core Linux 2.8. In other news: the Ubuntu Manual team needs your help to make the upcoming manual, for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system, better and useful! The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated and the development releases.

  • Microscopic virtual machines becoming a reality

    Virtual machines are the entire state of a computer, frozen into a memory file, and saved. You can run them in the corner of the memory of your PC. Like a picture in a picture or a baby in a womb, a virtual machine is an entire, self-contained image of a computer, running inside your own computer. You can have as many virtual machines running as you want and that your computer can bear. I’ve seen Mac laptops running Windows 7 in one virtual machine, Linux in another. And that Linux image is, itself, running a simulation of the veteran Commodore 64 microcomputer, just to be perverse.

  • Weblog of an ISP

    I found this site reports 4.4% GNU/Linux visitors from their webloag. The site is a dial-up ISP and co-location service so they may have more visitors who are techie but at least we know that up front. It shows MacOS at 4.7%. Now to find reports far and wide, wherever Debian goes…

  • Audio Shows

  • Server

    • IBM steps up Sun conversion program

      Migrations can be made from Sun Solaris to Linux or IBM AIX.

    • Cisco announces new Linux-powered router

      Cisco today announced the launch of a new Linux-powered router, “the Linksys by Cisco Wireless-N Broadband Router with storage Link (WRT160NL)”, for the Indian market.

    • Cisco Unveils Linux-Based Wireless-N Router with Storage Link in India

      Cisco Systems Inc. has launched a new Linux-powered router, the Linksys by Cisco Wireless-N Broadband Router with Storage Link (WRT160NL) in India. This new product complements the existing Linksys by Cisco consumer router line-up and is essentially the next generation of the popular WRT54GL router.

    • Georgian College Runs Oracle PeopleSoft Enterprise on Oracle(R) Database 11g Grid

      In February 2009, Georgian College went into production with a four-node Oracle Database cluster running industry-standard servers and Linux powering enterprise applications used by students, faculty and administration.

    • Zarafa 6.40 RC1 adds full-text indexing

      Zarafa is a Linux-based groupware product which offers its own WebAccess web client, IMAP/POP3 access, a CalDAV gateway and native MAPI integration with Outlook.

    • CloudLinux and its Server Optimization Technology for the Hosting Market to be Unveiled at Upcoming Industry Summit

      “I created CloudLinux OS based my previous work developing the H-Sphere Control Panel. I could see the need to give providers a way to control the CPU and IO demands of individual users to achieve high level of server stability,” states Igor Seletskiy, CEO of Cloud Linux Inc. “This work is based on a lot of research that has been done over the years. We went deep into Linux kernel to achieve high level of resource isolation. We also wanted to be able to offer the OS with a professionally staffed, 24/7 support operation and at a low cost for providers. So on behalf of my team and after these many months of hard work, I am proud to be introducing this new technology here at the Parallel’s Summit.”

    • Affordable Linux Solutions

      The Linux server market is proving to be big business for San Francisco-based Polywell Computers, a manufacturer and distributor of servers and desktops to the corporate market. In fact, the 23-year-old maker of low-cost PCs and servers has experienced a steady and significant rise in demand for Linux boxes over traditional Windows PCs and servers.

      “Ten years ago, 99% of our servers were Windows-based, and today 99% are Linux-based,” says Polywell CEO Sam Chu (www.polywell.com). “We see all sizes of companies, and government, moving from Windows to Linux.”

    • Linux in the school office

      We had all but given up on the FOSS MIS in UK schools and had resigned ourselves to virtualising an MS server instance on what otherwise would have been a pure Linux server stack just to run SIMS.

      However, it seems to me now to be a MIS-take! To elaborate on this it is necessary to look at the trends in the market.

    • LSE and Intel

      There’s news that the London Stock Exchange plans to move to GNU/Linux within 12 months. There is also a story on Groklaw about GNU/Linux meeting the needs of Intel better than that other OS ten years ago. GNU/Linux is a great OS.

  • Kernel Space

    • Limits?

      How big? How many? How long? Questions about the limit on things in Linux abound.

    • Linux Foundation

      • Linux Foundation chief hits back at WinMo

        Hitting back at Microsoft’s recent denunciation of Mobile Linux, the Linux Foundation’s outspoken director Jim Zemlin has defended the open source platform against charges of fragmentation.

      • Linux providing free courses to help you find work

        The Linux Foundation is offering global training programs, including a free webinar series, to help prospective job searchers meet the rise in demand for Linux-related jobs.

      • Free Linux training to help you get a job

        Research shows the demand for Linux talent is on the rise with some firms reporting a 50 percent increase in Linux-related jobs just in the last year. This is certainly good news if you already know how to work with Linux, and perhaps better news if you are looking for a new technical role.

      • The Linux Foundation Will Train You – For Free

        A little less than a year ago, the Linux Foundation launched a program to provide a variety of training opportunities for Linux professionals. Just a few months later, the Foundation moved the program online, offering web-based sessions of select courses to reach a wider audience. On Tuesday, they took it one step further, announcing the free — as in beer — Linux Training Webinar Series.

      • What? Free Linux Training Becoming Available

        The courses are VENDOR-NEUTRAL. I think this is an important detail because the huge variety of distro’s, applications and the like are all running on top of a common kernel.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Bringing Groupware to KDE – Akonadi resources for Open-Xchange and Groupdav

      Akonadi is the central point of accessing PIM data for all KDE applications. It abstracts all the different implementation details of various sources so that the mail program or calendar application does not need to know the details of how to access the sources itself. However, Akonadi does need these details, which is where its resources come into play.

    • Camp KDE 2010 Wrapup

      Last week, the KDE Community had their yearly Americas event, this year in sunny San Diego. Despite California not living up to its sunny reputation, the attendees certainly had a good time. The first three days featured talks about a variety of topics (day 1, day 2 and day 3), there were CMake and Qt development courses and of course several small meetings and work to be done. However there was more than sitting in the conference room at UCSD. We had a great time at Banana Bungalows on the beach, went out for a variety of food, had a few dragons and babies visit us and risked our lives getting to and from the university. Read on for some general impressions on the event, and for some motivation to attend Camp KDE 2011 next January, at a location still to be determined.

    • KDE to Appear at SCALE 8x

      The booth will need to be staffed from 9am-6pm. The great news is that you will get into SCALE for free, and because you will not need to be at the booth the whole show, you can take time to check out the talks or visit other booths.

    • New Qt Training Courses, KD Tools 2.2 Released, Steven Kelly Interviewe

      KDAB, the Qt Experts have issued a new release of the Qt Addon collection KD Tools. This release goes along with a significant extension of KDAB’s training course offering, now including in-depth trainings and more advanced topics. KDAB developer Stephen Kelly has been interview after he won the Qt Contribution Award. He, and all other KDAB developers are now Qt certified.

  • Distributions

    • Mandriva Brazil launches its brand new website

      Mandriva, Europe’s leading Linux publisher, announced today the launch of its brand new website for its Brazil’ subsidiary: www.mandriva.com/br

    • New Releases

      • Tiny Core Linux 2.8 released

        Tiny Core lead developer Robert Shingledecker has announced the availability of version 2.8 of Tiny Core Linux. Tiny Core is a minimal Linux distribution that is based on the 2.6 Linux kernel and is only about 10 MB in size. In addition to the usual bug fixes, the latest update includes a number of changes and updates.

      • Review: Tiny Core Linux

        The guys over at Linux Outlaws are always talking about Tiny Core Linux because it always seems to be releasing a new version. I was impressed back in the day that Damn Small Linux could have a working Linux distro in only 50 MB. I know that Tiny Core Linux is technically not a full Linux distro, but I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It came in a recent LXF disc and I decided to check it out.

      • GParted LiveCD 0.5.1-1
      • Elive 1.9.57 development released

        The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the development version 1.9.57

      • SystemRescueCD 1.3.5
      • SystemRescueCd 1.3.5 Incorporates GParted 0.5.1

        On January 25th, François Dupoux released version 1.3.5 of the SystemRescueCd Linux-based operating system. The new SystemRescueCd 1.3.5 is now powered by Linux kernel 2.6.31.12, with an updated Btrfs filesystem from Linux kernel 2.6.32. The popular GParted application for partitioning tasks was updated, as well as the FSArchiver and NTFS-3G.

      • PC/OS 10 released

        We are proud to announce that we have just released the newest release of PC/OS. PC/OS OpenWorkstation and PC/OS WebStation are the two editions released. These replace PC/OS 2009 OpenWorkstation and WebStation. This release is based on the Ubuntu 9.04 series. Some of the higlights that target the new release are as follows.

      • PC/OS 10 Is Based on Ubuntu 9.04

        Yesterday evening, January 26th, Roberto Dohnert proudly announced the immediate availability for download of the PC/OS 10 Ubuntu-based operating system.

      • Openwall GNU/*/Linux 20090128
    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s Open Source School of Thought

        The idea of open source need not be limited to software — it can also apply to subjects like education, business, law and life in general. That’s the philosophy behind Red Hat’s new Web site, anyway. Could opensource.com be Red Hat’s attempt at reviving excitement in the open source movement? Perhaps the site was put up in an attempt to clarify the difference between open source and collaboration.

      • State of the union at Red Hat – Times are ‘exciting,’ CEO proclaims

        I’m kicking off my third year at Red Hat this month and would like to take a step back as we move into 2010 to reflect on the past year. In keeping with the U.S. presidential tradition of delivering a “State of the Union” address each January, I’d like to maintain a similar tradition at Red Hat and highlight some of our milestones from 2009.

      • Fedora Linux history tour

        Last weekend I went through a somewhat lengthy process of upgrading one of my servers from Fedora 6 to Fedora 12. The server is vital for a company that uses it, there is more than 2 TBytes of data on that machine, and I only had a weekend to go through the upgrade.

        Fedora is a very dynamic distribution, with new releases coming out roughly every 6 month. An upgrade backward compatibility is maintained only for the last 2 releases. So, I had to first upgrade from Fedora 6 to Fedora 8, then from Fedora 8 to Fedora 10, and then finally from Fedora 10 to Fedora 12.

      • Oracle

        • What’s the Future of Linux and Solaris at Oracle?

          Several of the concerns about Oracle’s acquisition of Sun have revolved around how Unix technologies led by Sun would continue under the new ownership. As it turns out, Solaris users might not have much to worry about, as Oracle executives on Wednesday affirmed their commitment to preserving the efforts.

        • Oracle tag teams Solaris and Linux

          If you want to know what Oracle’s roadmap is for Linux, just watch what Red Hat does. Oracle Enterprise Linux is just a clone of RHEL. Getting a sense of what Oracle really has planned for Solaris – aside from deploying it in SMP systems and clusters – is going to take some time. Oracle’s plans for virtualization and system management are more clear.

        • Sun-Oracle strategy update event: my perception

          Linux was referenced a lot. Larry is a Linux fan, and so are his colleagues — there’s no doubt. ZFS was referenced a lot as one of the most powerful filesystems (it can do snapshots), I really hope that Linux fans will be able to truly enjoy ZFS on Linux kernel level because as of now it works so slowly via Fuse (Filesystem in Userspace).

    • Debian Family

      • Discovering Ubuntu 9.10, a Free Linux OS

        Ubuntu 9.10, code-named Karmic Koala, debuted in late Oct 2009. And unlike the commercial operating systems, Ubuntu is totally free;it doesn’t cost you a dime. Eric Geier tells you all you need to know about this nifty Ubuntu upgrade.

      • AMD rolls out ATI Catalyst 10.1, introduces support for Ubuntu 9.10

        AMD has made available its first new ATI Catalyst driver release of 2010, introducing support for Linux operating system Ubuntu 9.10.

      • Canonical copyright assignment policy ‘same as others’

        “The guidance at Canonical is that we encourage our employees to sign copyright assignment agreements for the projects they participate in (as far as I know we’ve done so for MySQL, Zope, FSF, Novell, Red Hat, Intel and others) in order to facilitate the upstreaming of their work. There are variations on the language used. Canonical’s was highlighted in a recent LWN article, but I think the article created the very mistaken impression that Canonical’s agreement is materially different from any of the others I’ve mentioned.”

      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 Theme for Google Chrome
      • Canonical releases Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS

        The Ubuntu developers have announced the availability of Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS, the fourth maintenance update to the Long Term Support (LTS) version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, first released at the end of April 2008. The maintenance release of “Hardy Heron” includes 77 updates, covering several bugs, security issues and errors in the installation system. These issues include, Nautilus not displaying Samba shares for certain networks, specific hardware fixes for Dell computers and GRUB installation failures on certain non-Ext3 file systems.

      • Ubuntu: More bugs than ever?

        Interestingly enough, the amount of open bugs has stayed relatively steady since Ubuntu 8.10, with Intrepid (8.10) containing 290 bugs compared to 272 in Karmic (9.10). In contrast to this, the last Long Term Support edition of Ubuntu (Hardy – 8.04) contained the most open bugs with a whopping 466 bugs remaining open to this day.

      • Surviving Windows

        I have recently converted all but one of my personal computers to Ubuntu. To be more specific I am now using Ubuntu 9.10 on two desktops and one Netbook. Windows XP is only surviving on my laptop for support reasons and handling accounting backups on a program that only works in Windows. That conversion is also in development and sometime soon I have a very good feeling Windows XP will die on my notebook and Ubuntu will rise. Wait, I am being too harsh in my descriptive passage. Windows XP meant a lot to me over the years and it was truly great! But it is time to move on. It has been a gamble but so far so good.

      • MSPs Create Managed Services Middleware Market

        A prime example: Back in April 2009, Austin told us Rezitech was leveraging Ubuntu Linux at the heart of his data center. Most folks consider Ubuntu a desktop operating system. But Rezitech spotted the server and cloud opportunities early. Now, Austin is looking to do the same in the MSP middelware market.

      • Mailspect Announces New Antispam and Email Archive Solutions for Ubuntu Server

        Mailspect is pleased to announce a new email defense and archive solution that instantly transforms any Ubuntu server into a highly scalable email security and archive device. With the introduction of our new APT installation a single apt-get command will install Mailspect and all related components on Ubuntu and Debian servers thus providing a substantial improvement over the open source antispam tools provided in Ubuntu.

      • Another Small Victory for Ubuntu Server Edition

        Each day, the drumbeat for Ubuntu Server Edition is getting slightly louder. In recent weeks, a growing list of ISVs (independent software vendors) has vowed to support Canonical’s Linux server operating system. The latest example involves Mailspect launching antispam and email archiving solutions for Ubuntu Server.

      • Ecocyn Introduces New Epoch Green Solutions for Consolidation and Savings

        Ecocyn today announced new Linux Ubuntu offerings for the Epoch iGx mainframe to help clients run smarter and more efficient data centers that maximize the use of IT resources and reduce energy costs.

      • Linux Mint 8 (Helena) KDE Community Edition Release Candidate

        I have previously described Linux Mint as “Ubuntu plus all the stuff you would probably add to it yourself after installing”. Of course, you need to be aware that a lot of the things which are added are proprietary or otherwise non-FOSS, so if you are a GNU/Linux/FOSS purist, you should be aware of that at the beginning. I am not of that persuasion, and Mint is one of my two favorite distributions (SimplyMEPIS is the other). Now, with the quality of Mint and the care that the Mint Community contributors have taken in adding KDE 4.3, this is sure to be an excellent distribution. If you are a KDE devotee, and you have been disappointed by Kubuntu (I know that a lot have), I would strongly encourage you to take a look at this distribution.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Texas Memory Systems Delivers Fastest PCIe Flash for Open Source Community

      RamSan-20 open source drivers for Linux and Solaris are now available to provide economical, high performance PCIe Flash storage.

    • PS3 hacked after all?

      The PlayStation 3 up until now was the only one of the modern consoles that hasn’t been hacked. Reason for this, people often reasoned, was that Sony had already catered to the “hackers” needs by granting the ability to install Linux on the platform.

    • Geohot releases PS3 exploit

      I’ve gotten confirmation the exploit works on 3.10. Also I’ve heard about compile issues on Fedora. I did this in Ubuntu. I would really like someone to write up a nice tutorial :)

    • PS3 Hacked by iPhone Jailbreaker

      The hacked console means that players can now run pirated games, unrestricted versions of Linux or home made software.

    • High-end NAS device runs Linux

      Enhance Technology announced an eight-disk, Linux-based network-attached storage (NAS) device, offering up to 16TB of SATA storage. The UltraShare NAS8000-P4 incorporates an Intel Xeon (Nehalem) CPU clocked at 2.0GHz, four gigabit Ethernet ports, and an optional gateway for expanding to up to 176TB.

    • ATX mobo includes USB 3.0 and SATA III

      MSI announced an ATX-format motherboard based on Intel’s P55 chipset that supports LGA1156-socketed Core i3, i5, and i7 processors. The “P55-GD85″ offers connections including USB 3.0, SATA II, SATA III ports, RAID , PCI Express, PCI, and FireWire, and offers a Linux-based fast-boot OS called “Winki.”

    • Kontron launches Core i7-based AMC card, VPX blade

      Kontron announced an “AM4020″ AMC module and a VPX format “VX6060″ computing blade, both equipped with Intel’s 32nm-fabricated Core i7 processor. The Linux-ready products are the first of many Core i7 systems Kontron plans to introduce this year in formats including AMC, CompactPCI, and COM Express, says the company.

      [...]

      Kontron also announced a Linux-ready, VPX-format 6U computing blade for parallel data and signal processing applications. The Kontron VX6060 is equipped with dual Intel Core i7 processing nodes linked to an Ethernet and PCI Express infrastructure, says Kontron.

    • Alpha Micro adds Xport Pro networking module

      Xport Pro is available running Linux and IPv6, providing Linux developers with a compact compute platform, along with an industry standard development environment.

    • Anders system-on-module features TI processor

      From a software point of view, the CM-T3530 is supported in the mainline Linux kernel from rev 2.6.33, and offers full Openembedded Angstrom Linux distribution and full support for Windows CE 6.0 R3.

    • Phones

      • Stylish and functional the Motorola Moto ZN300 offers something for everyone

        The Motorola Moto ZN300 utilises a Linux/Java-based MOTOMAGX operating system, which makes it somewhat different from many handsets market. Reliability and stability are key elements and the use of this operating system provides that and more. The unit itself is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, as well as being a functional slider phone. Measuring 95 mm x 46 mm wide and only 15 mm thick it is somewhat compact. At only 103 g, this impressive social media handset is also lightweight.

      • Android

        • Michael Dell shows off the Mini 5, confirms US arrival?

          To recap, the Mini 5 is a 1GHz Snapdragon-powered netpad (did I just coin a phrase?) running Android 1.6 with 5 megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G mobile. It should be selling for $1,098 before carrier subsidy.

        • Android angling toward multi-touch

          Cypress Semiconductor announced a touchscreen device driver for Android and Linux that supports Cypress’ TrueTouch touchscreen controllers, complete with “all-points” multi-touch signaling support. Meanwhile, “Cyanogen” has hacked a multi-touch interface for Google’s Nexus One phone, and Google is upgrading the Android-based phone’s spotty 3G support, says eWEEK.

      • Nokia

        • Nokia Has An Android Phone

          A hacker called Brandon Roberts has worked out a way to dual-boot the native Maemo-Linux operating system on the Nokia N900 and also the Android operating system.

        • Nokia N900 Running Google Android Video

          A video has recently shown up on SlashGear showing a Nokia N900 running Google Android, as standard the N900 runs the Linux-based Maemo OS.

        • Nokia Announces Second Push N900 Developer Contest

          Nokia has announced its second Push N900 developer contest meant for developers to push themselves creatively by figuring out creative uses and hacks for the Maemo Linux based Nokia N900.

        • A PC in your pocket

          The Nokia N900 smartphone is the first open-source handset to use the pioneering Maemo 5 software, delivering a PC-like experience on a cellular handset.

          This means you can adapt the phone’s software (built on Linux) to integrate many applications such as Facebook, Skype and open-source add-ons.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Haleron Launches $149 ‘Swordfish’

        Do you want your computer to be adorable? If so, you might want to look into one of Haleron’s new machines. These tinier-than-netbook ‘Swordfish’ (via Netbooked) have a 7″ screen, VIA ARM 300 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM (up to 256 MB) and 1 GB flash storage (up to 4).

        [...]

        3G support is optional, and you can also choose to run Windows XP or Linux if you wish.

      • X2390: The tablet has landed

        Inside the X2390 is an Intel Atom processor Z530 clocked at 1.6GHz running Microsoft Windows XP Embedded, XP Professional or Linux.

      • Archos readying 7-inch Android tablet?

        The screen resolution is set at 800×480 pixels, while a webcam is built into the device’s frame.

      • Archos 7 Android Tablet w/ Flash Storage Leaked

        There is of course an Archos 7 Tablet on the Archos site running on Linux. This new scoop from ArchosLounge points to an Android-based Archos 7 tablet. The specs also indicates a flash-storage device instead of a hard drive one. It should be the same 7-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen tablet with WiFi. The Archos 7 Android comes with a 180 euro price or about 150 British pounds.

Free Software/Open Source

  • I’m in a good open-source software place

    I ran my first Linux live CD in January 2007. I’ve been using free, open-source operating systems on my personal machines for much of my work for the past two years, more intensively in the last year.

  • Open source alive and thriving

    New York University anthropologist Gabriella Coleman says the open-source software movement has emerged relatively unscathed from the economic downturn.

    Ms Coleman was the opening keynote speaker at Linux.Conf.Au, a trans-Tasman conference held in Wellington last week that attracted more than 600 open-source software developers and enthusiasts.

  • Waiting for the open source impact

    Waiting for open source to give Microsoft a much-needed kick up the jacksie has seemed like waiting for Godot. We wait, we wait and we are still waiting.

  • Publication of Second Issue – International Free and Open Source Software Law Review

    The Editorial Committee of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review (IFOSS L. Rev.) is proud to announce the immediate availability of the publication’s second issue. IFOSS L. Rev. is a peer-reviewed biannual legal review dedicated to analysis and debate about Free and Open Source Software legal issues. It is published by an independent Editorial Committee.

  • International Free and Open Source Software Law Review – 2

    The International Free and Open Source Software Law Review (IFOSS L. Rev.) is a collaborative legal publication aiming to increase knowledge and understanding among lawyers about Free and Open Source Software issues. Topics covered include copyright, licence implementation, licence interpretation, software patents, open standards, case law and statutory changes.

  • Open Source ECM Leader Nuxeo Introduces Nuxeo Studio to Connect Subscription Customers

    Nuxeo, the Open Source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) company, announced today that it has enriched the value of its Nuxeo Connect support and maintenance offering with the introduction of Nuxeo Studio.

  • A nuts and bolts engineering approach to using open source IP

    In the world of product development, time-to-market keeps shrinking and demand for better quality keeps growing. Open Source, which is often thought to be the definitive solution to meet both objectives – faster development cycle and better quality, is on the mind of many OEMs and product companies.

    In reality, the companies find it difficult to overcome the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) to make a final decision and say, “Yes, we will use open source in our product.”

    In the product development process, at the one end are the engineering people – developers, architects, engineering managers – who are aware of open source and its benefits, but lack the power to take decisions. At the other end, are the management and the legal people, who can take decisions, but may not have sufficient ground-up information. How do we bridge this gap? How can the engineering team convince the management to boldly embrace open source?

  • UK designer creates open source RTOS

    An open source real-time operating systems (RTOS) has been developed by a UK-based engineer.

    “As a professional embedded systems developer working in the UK, I started writing the OS a while back in my spare time,” said designer Kelvin Lawson.

  • Embrace crunchiness: survive the software recession

    Red Hat’s President and CEO Jim Whitehurst does a “State of the Union” blog (which I think should be a mandatory action for all CEOs) during which he talks about the company’s double-digit growth rates for both revenue and headcount throughout the course of the recession. Open source appears to have thrived in during the downturn (whether we are out of it or not) and I think that might just be because open source likes the going to be crunchy.

    If you had to ascribe the terms ‘wealth and sogginess’ and ‘crunchy and on the edge’ to a) proprietary software systems and b) open source software – which way round would you put them? See what I mean? Open source is all about survival of the fittest rather than survival of the fattest. Now of course that’s doing proprietary vendors a huge disservice, but I am trying to make a point.

  • DIY Vicacopter is open source and autonomous

    A caveat is included stating you need to be an expert in PIC assembly, electronics, and the devices source code to make it work.

  • Open Source Company Kitware Announces New Availability to its MIDAS Server to Further Research Collaboration and Open Science

    Kitware, a company that builds open source platforms and develops advanced research solutions to overcome the challenges of our time, today announced it is opening up the main infrastructure of MIDAS under a nonrestrictive license allowing freedom to install the MIDAS server on location and build on top of the platform for free.

  • Apache Jackrabbit 2.0 released with full JCR 2.0 support

    Jackrabbit 2.0 has been updated to now require at least Java 5 and common components have been spun out into separate projects for better re-usability. Support for database connection pooling is now available for all supported database back-ends and a local data store feature is enabled in the default configuration.

  • Eucalyptus Continues Private Cloud Momentum

    In 2010, Eucalyptus is going to focus more on refining what they have and finding new business opportunities, Wolski said. But the eventual goal is to become to the cloud what Linux is to desktop operating systems: the free, customizable alternative platform that has the potential to put gray hair on the bigger, better-funded competition’s heads.

  • VoIP

    • Is Asterisk Channel Finally Ready For Its Close-Up?

      If you’re a solution provider, vendor, developer or technologist with a vested interest in open-source PBX and VoIP, particularly Asterisk, your time is now.

      That was the resounding theme of last week’s Digium Asterisk World conference in Miami Beach, where a number of open-source devotees said the opportunity to push Asterisk platforms further into networking and infrastructure is pronounced like never before.

    • Open source VoIP has come of age

      The time is now for engineers, developers, providers and vendors of Asterisk solutions, ChannelWeb has said.

    • Biana: a software framework for compiling biological interactions and analyzing networks

      A web interface to BIANA providing basic functionalities is also available. The software can be downloaded under GNU GPL license from http://sbi.imim.es/web/BIANA.php.

  • Healthcare

    • Q&A: Connecting in Connecticut

      How important is an open-source solution for HIE, when interoperability is required for compliance with federal mandates?
      The Nationwide Health Information Network, and the fact that it is using open-source technology, really led us to start our own in-house project. Given that, it was a natural for us to move over to Misys.

    • Open-Source Health IT Proponents Weigh In on Proposed ‘Meaningful Use’ Requirements

      Proponents of open-source health IT systems have some concerns about the recently proposed “meaningful use” rules, including the time frame for electronic health record certification and adoption.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla Firefox for Android coming in February?

      After Maemo, Firefox Mobile (aka Fennec) is about to conquer another Linux-based platform – Android. This is not to say something’s wrong with the built-in Webkit-based browser, quite the contrary, but as you know – more choices are always welcome.

    • Android to Taste Firefox in February, Mozilla Says

      With the final version of Firefox for Maemo just around the corner, and with more stable versions of Firefox for Windows Mobile down the pipe, the guys over at Mozilla are also gearing up for the first release of Firefox for Android, it seems. The company already announced back in 2009 that they were considering a move in the Android area, and it seems that we are nearing the first step to be taken in this direction, with a usable flavor of Firefox for Android expected to arrive in February.

  • Sun

    • Where Life Takes Me Next…

      You’ve probably seen the news – the Sun/Oracle transaction has closed. With the passing of that milestone, I can once again speak freely.

      Having had nine months to accelerate down the runway, there’s not a doubt in my mind Oracle’s takeoff and ascent will be fast and dramatic. I wish the combined entity the best of luck, and have enormous confidence in the opportunity.

    • Project Kenai a casualty of Oracle acquisition

      “Kenai today is a good idea but we don’t think it is quite working” said Ted Farrell, Oracle’s Chief Architect and Senior Vice President for tools and middleware.The plan is to close the public facing version of Project Kenai and bring the project “inhouse” where, Farrell says, there are a number of internal projects which are a good fit for Kenai.

    • Oracle to Sun open source users: Don’t worry

      Oracle promised during its five hour webcast Wednesday to continue Sun Microsystems open source commitment by throwing money and support behind MySQL, Open Office, and Solaris, promising to make each offering better. As expected, open source users are skeptical.

    • Oracle promises to keep Sun’s open source storage and tape products

      Oracle executives have said they intend to use Sun Microsystems’ storage product portfolio to compete in the disk and tape business – in support of and outside of Oracle’s software applications — now that the sofwtare company’s acquisition of Sun is finally complete.

    • Sunset: The Oracle Acquisition Q&A

      If yesterday’s epic five hour webcast discussing Oracle’s plans for its finally acquired Sun assets was a long time coming for the analysts listening in, you can imagine how much of a wait it’s been for those on both sides of the transaction. It’s been roughly nine months, remember, since the database giant announced its intention to acquire the one time dot com darling.

    • Oracle Talks Plans for Linux, Solaris

      Several of the concerns about Oracle’s acquisition of Sun have revolved around how Unix technologies led by Sun would continue under the new ownership. As it turns out, Solaris users might not have much to worry about, as Oracle executives on Wednesday affirmed their commitment to preserving the efforts.

  • Business

    • Virtualization Management Vendor Zenoss Grows 150% in 2009 Despite Global Downturn

      Among the new Zenoss Enterprise customers in 2009 were Hosting.com, Agilent Technologies, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Real Networks while leading organizations such as Carlson, Deutsche Bank, Rackspace Hosting, iStock International, and Motorola renewed their agreements with Zenoss.

    • Opengear Scores $1 Million Deal

      Here’s some short but sweet (and lucrative) news involving money in the open source industry. Opengear, provider of an open source console server, scored its first $1 million deal in December 2009. Next up, Opengear has won a deal involving Linode, a cloud and VPS (virtual private server) hosting company. Hmmm…. are solutions providers waking up to these niche open source opportunities?

  • Releases

    • The sky’s the limit for new Zulu spell checker

      Translate.org.za are the proud parents of a new Zulu spell checker.

      What makes us such proud parents? We’ve ported the spell checker from the Myspell platform to Hunspell. Which means what exactly? It means that we can now spell check Zulu text at much higher precision. It also puts the platform in place to ratchet up the checkers performance.

    • Weave 1.0 now available for download

      Mozilla has released Weave 1.0, the Firefox extension and service that provides Firefox user data synchronization among computing devices like laptops, desktops, and starting tomorrow, with Firefox for Maemo release, mobile devices. It is also great for users who dual-boot, and what don’t want to bother remembering where they did what.

    • Weave 1.0, Mozilla’s Firefox bookmark sync extension, released

      Weave is open source and licensed, like Firefox, under the GPL/MPL/LGPL tri-licence.

    • BonitaSoft releases Bonita Open Solution 5.0

      Bonita Open Solution is released under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2).

  • CMS

    • Alert: What’s Coming for Open Source CMS in February 2010

      In January, Acquia (news, site) announced its private beta launch of DrupalGardens.com, a hosted Drupal (news, site) solution. They also launched an Open Government program to help US government agencies meet the requirements of the Open Government Directive.

    • UK Web Design agency chosen to host International Open Source Software conference

      Popular Open Source Software offerings such as Linux and Open Office have seen substantial increases in market share as the recent global recession has prompted more and more organisations to look for additional value from their software. The UK Government is already heavily backing Open Source Software, accelerating its use in public services.

    • Look, Ma – No Blogs! ESI Shows Why WordPress Won Best Open-Source CMS in 2009

      Technology services company East Summit, Inc (DBA ESI Web Services) has launched a campaign to reveal the true power of WordPress to the small and medium enterprises that can benefit most from its features.

    • OS Discrim on the path to Drupal Gardens

      I was greeted by the ominous discriminatory phrase “To join the Webinar, please use one of the following supported operating systems”. Oh, what a surprise. Linux isn’t one of the supported operating systems.

      This is all the more incredible because the vast majority of Drupal installations are on Linux web servers.

    • Rob Klause: From Whitehouse.gov to Siteworx

      Perhaps what Klause is currently best known for is being the man behind the move of Whitehouse.gov to open source Web CMS Drupal. He returned to the public sector during the run-up to the 2008 elections, and regardless who won, there would be a new administration.

      Such an event requires that the outgoing administration’s final message be archived for posterity. You can see the results today in the US government archives.

  • Government

    • Why Open Source is Needed to Combat Climate Change

      The new U.S. Administration has demonstrated an immediate commitment to investing in green energy technologies and developing the new regulatory frameworks required to address the crisis of climate change. We have a unique historical opportunity to incorporate these open elements into the policy framework, but we must seize this opportunity now if we are to achieve the pace of innovation and adoption required to avert the climate change crisis. Government spending commitments and economic incentives of well over $100 billion for green technologies provide the necessary commercial leverage to drive an open innovation model, much as the U.S. Department of Defense’s spending on computer equipment in the 70s enabled it to drive the adoption of the Internet Protocol that led to the modern Internet. This leverage needs to be exercised now while contracts and governance for these large taxpayer investments are still being put in place and while policy frameworks for regulation and market mechanisms are being detailed.

    • Obama enforces trade embargo against open source

      The Obama Administration has forced Sourceforge to deny service to its anti-terrorism sanction list.

    • Sound off: What is open government?

      Open Source for America’s Guidelines for Open Government Plans will help inform the different agencies about what policies and practices should be included in their mandated Open Government Plans. OSFA has opened this discussion on its website and plans to finalize its set of guidelines the second week of February, thus providing the agencies with sufficient time to take them into account before the April 7th deadline. Later in the year, the organization will issue a report card about the agencies, using these Guidelines as part of the process of the grading system.

    • Greens press for open source software policy

      Greens communications spokesman Scott Ludlam has called for the Commonwealth to better audit its software licensing and support costs and to encourage the adoption of open source software where a robust alternative exists.

      [...]

      The Commonwealth is understood to spend more than $500 million annually on software licences and support.

    • M’sia govt touts 95 percent OSS adoption

      Some 95 percent of Malaysia’s government agencies have adopted open source software (OSS), but the remaining 5 percent have not warmed to the concept–and is unlikely to anytime soon, according to a government official.

    • UK Government upgrades Open Source policy

      The UK Government has revised its 2009 Open Source strategy and will now require suppliers to show they have considered open source. Although the government says that the new strategy documentPDF “does not represent a wholesale change to Open Source Open Standards Reuse Strategy” they have taken account of feedback from writetoreply.org.

    • UK.gov tweaks open source policy small print

      The UK government has rejigged its open source and open standards software procurement policy, following pressure from OSS vendors last autumn.

      Early last year the Cabinet Office revised its rules on public sector open source software purchases, but many OSS players complained that the policy amendments didn’t go far enough.

    • A “Refreshed” ICT Strategy for Government?

      Clearly, much of this is just words, words, words, as someone once said. Moreover, the time scales are depressingly long: 2015 is a generation away in technology terms. Still, the fact that open source is mentioned explicitly in the ways described above, and that there is a growing understanding of the problems it faces, gives me some slight hope that one day we might even start seeing free software being widely used by the UK government.

    • Government plans to overhaul computing system

      The government’s planning to overhaul its entire computing system, focussing on open source software and cloud computing.

    • Open source vendors underwhelmed by government’s ICT plans

      The UK government’s stance on open source is meaningless without any significant means of enforcement. That’s the view of the open source community which has bemoaned the lack of teeth in guidelines issued this week.
      Although there was a broad welcome for the new Cabinet Office strategy document, particularly the passages affirming the support for open source, several commented that there was a need to go further.

    • The government and open source – all talk and no action

      The Cabinet Office seems to have got its PR strategy all wrong. The period leading up to the launch of the iPad would have been a perfect day to have buried bad news #169;Jo Moore but the new ICT strategy seems to be something to celebrate: a move that saves money, cuts carbon emissions, sets out a cloud computing policy and offers more to the open source community should be trumpeted loud and clear on a day free from any other distractions.

      [...]

      So, if we accept that public procurement should be more loaded in favour of open source software, what can be done about it? Should we adopt a policy like Hungary’s where 20 percent of public procurement has to be open source? (although the open source community in Hungary is not entirely convinced it should be a poster-boy for European open source adoption) Should we adopt a policy like the Netherlands where open source has to be adopted, all other factors being equal? Or should it like France where there’s no set policy but open source has taken off to such an extent that 96 percent of public sector bodies are now using it.

    • Public sector open source body needed

      The government’s revamped open source procurement policy will continue to lack teeth unless a single body is made accountable for enforcement, a member of the open source community have warned.

      The measures, which have taken a total of five years to overhaul, are intended to promote open standards and encourage the reuse of software.

  • Liberation

    • Claudia: Telefónica I+D will release as Open Source research results on IaaS Clouds

      As part of its exploitation strategy, Telefónica I+D decided to release as Open Source a number of components developed during the research on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Clouds. These components will be integrated in the Claudia Platform that will offer a Service Management toolkit to deploy and control the scalability of service among a public or private IaaS Cloud. Telefónica I+D chooses MORFEO Project to release the software because it guarantees the access to the results of research beyond the end of the project.

    • setiQuest: Out of this World Free Software

      I’m constantly amazed and heartened by the new domains in which free software is turning up. Here’s a nice one: setiQuest.

      For centuries humans have looked at the stars and wondered “are we alone?” Now, setiQuest is an opportunity for you to help answer that question. In 1960, Frank Drake conducted the first scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Since then, scientists from many countries have conducted more than 100 projects looking for communication signals from other civilizations. With the spread of the Internet in the 21st century, it is now possible for humans around the globe to participate in a new SETI program.

      You can participate as a software developer, signal detection algorithm developer, or a citizen scientist.

  • Openness

    • Wikimedia hires open-source veteran as CTO

      The Wikimedia Foundation, publisher of Wikipedia and other online sites, has hired open-source veteran Danese Cooper as chief technology officer.

    • Business of the House

      We are entering an era in which the mark of an open society is the way in which it guarantees access to open knowledge through the internet. It is therefore vital that liberal democracies do not send mixed signals to closed societies that seek to restrict internet freedoms for their citizens. The anti-counterfeiting trade agreement that is being discussed in Mexico might inadvertently do that, so may we have a debate in the House so that hon. Members can test that notion and find out more about our negotiating position?

    • The commons as a common paradigm for social movements and beyond

      We can only promote the commons as a new narrative for the 21st century if they are identified as a common denominator by different social movements and schools of thought. In my point of view, enforcing the commons would be not only possible, but strategically intelligent. Here are 15 reasons why:

      1. The commons are everywhere. They determine our quality of life in great many ways. They are present (even though often invisible) in the social, natural, cultural and digital sphere. Think about the things we use to learn (read and write), the things we use to move (land, air and sea), the things we use to communicate (language, music and code), the things we use to feed and heal (land, water, medicine) or the things our reproduction depends on (genes, social life). The commons is about how we share and use all these things.

    • GEEKS AND GLOBAL JUSTICE: ANOTHER (CYBER)WORLD IS POSSIBLE by Kate Milberry

      This dissertation is an exploration of alternative visions of social organization beyond the horizon of capitalism.

    • Wikipedia squeezed onto a single CD

      A South American group has managed to shrink virtually the full content of Wikipedia onto a CD which can be read with on-the-fly compression.

      The Argentinian Python users’ group, PyAr, aims to distribute the CDPedia CD to remote schools which lack connectivity.

    • Drug Discovery, Open-Source Style

      ‘We are putting into practice the philosophy of open-source software: that given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” So says Zakir Thomas, project director of Open Source Drug Discovery, or OSDD. Established in India, OSDD has established a novel open-source platform for both computational and experimental technologies to make drug discovery for infectious and neglected diseases cost effective and affordable to the people of the developing world.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Tagging the Noosphere

      Today, just 11 years after the first release of XML, there are hundreds of XML languages, schema and supporting standards. Because of standards like XML (and HTML and the Unicode), the noosphere has morphed from a philosopher’s foil to a boundless resource to be mined by the great and the humble, the rich and the poor, wherever they may be.

      XML will not be the last standard we will need to fully capture the promise of the noosphere. But it is one of the small set of foundational standards that have set us on our way into a future that could not have been imagined but a short time ago. Except by visionaries, like de Chardin, who were able to look past the horizon of time to imagine a world that it will be our privilege to experience first hand.

Leftovers

  • Calif. bill requires witnesses to report crimes

    Witnesses could be charged with a misdemeanor for failing to report violent attacks in California under legislation approved by the state Assembly.

    The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Pedro Nava of Santa Barbara follows the October gang rape of a 16-year-old girl outside Richmond High School’s homecoming dance. Investigators believe as many as 10 people participated while another 20 or so watched without calling police.

  • WWW

  • Security

    • Labour invents 33 new crimes every month

      Labour has introduced 14,300 new offences since taking office in 1997, with Gordon Brown’s administration inventing crimes at a rate of more than one a day.

  • Environment

    • (Heart)Breaking News From The United States of Ostriches

      The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies released the results of a new national survey on public responses to climate change. This report finds that public concern about global warming has dropped sharply since the fall of 2008:

      * The percentage of Americans who think global warming is happening has declined 14 points, to 57 percent.

      * The percentage of Americans who think global warming is caused mostly by human activities has dropped 10 points, to 47 percent.

  • Finance

    • Greece Makes Austerity Vows Amid Scrutiny

      As speculative pressure intensified against Greece in European financial markets on Thursday, senior figures in the Greek government sought to bolster confidence that it will repay its debts on time.

    • Former Goldman Sachs CEO and Former Treasury Secretary Stutters Through Hearings
    • Geithner Blasted by Rep. Lynch on Goldman Sachs

      Rep. Stephen Lynch (D) seen in this video grilling Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner at the House Oversight AIG hearing today…

    • Subpoenaed Documents Show Goldman Sachs Offered to ‘Tear Up’ AIG Derivatives Contracts at ‘Right Price’ Before NY Fed Took Over Negotiations
    • ‘I think it was a terrible decision on your part’

      Representative Stephen F. Lynch grilled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on why regulators propped up AIG in the fall of 2008 when they let Bear Stearns fail earlier that year and why they allowed AIG to fully reimburse business partners, such as Goldman Sachs, with what was essentially taxpayer bailout money.

    • The Next Subpoena For Goldman Sachs (GS)

      Yesterday’s release of detailed information regarding with whom AIG settled in full on credit default swaps (CDS) at the end of 2008 was helpful. We learned a great deal about the precise nature of transactions and the exact composition of counterparties involved.

    • A government gift to Goldman Sachs?

      When Goldman Sachs (GS) decided to pay out bonuses to the top 30 employees in stock, a big issue was where the strike price–so to speak–will be set. That is, how much stock would it take to get the bonus level. It depends of course on how the calculation is made.

    • Obama’s Inadvertent Gift to Goldman

      The Obama administration may have made bankers’ pay a focus of criticism, but its recent initiatives may have actually helped boost the bonuses of firms like Goldman Sachs.

    • Goldman Sachs to sell its toilet water to Fed for 12 billion dollars.

      Joint press conference at 85 Broad Street. Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein, and Senator Chuck Schumer were present.

    • Another $8 billion on the bail-out tab for Goldman Sachs?

      Today, Jim Cramer was getting hysterical on his defense of Goldman Sachs. Just like he did last Thursday when the stock was breaking the 160 level on CNBC. Now its close to breaking 150, so he’s upping it a noy=tch.

    • The Ascension of Volker and Battle Between JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs

      Senior executives from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. also got involved. Rainmaker James B. Lee, who serves as a firm vice chairman, and Jes Staley, who runs the investment bank, each placed calls to senators over the weekend urging support for Mr. Bernanke, according to a person familiar with the situation.

    • Kucinich Questioning Probes Goldman Sachs/AIG Myth:

      In the testimony of Timothy Geithner and Henry Paulson about the decision to pay AIG counterparties full value on credit derivative contracts, Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s (D-OH) questioning disclosed that Goldman Sachs had not expected full payment on those contracts from AIG for over a year, and that Goldman Sachs was in fact exposed to up to $2.5 billion AIG losses once the Government stepped in to rescue the ailing company, contrary to Goldman’s public statements. The decision by the New York Fed to pay 100 cents on the dollar gave Goldman Sachs a better deal than it was legally entitled to receive.

    • ‘Regulators soft on Goldman Sachs’

      Goldman Sachs Group, one of the biggest recipients of funds from the US bailout of American International Group, was seen by the public
      as favoured by regulators, according to an internal Federal Reserve Bank of New York e-mail.

    • Goldman Viewed as Favored by Regulators, Fed Says (Update2)

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., one of the biggest recipients of funds from the U.S. bailout of American International Group Inc., was seen by the public as favored by regulators, according to an internal Federal Reserve Bank of New York e-mail.

    • House Panel’s Other Punching Bag Is Goldman

      Mr. Geithner, who was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York during the A.I.G. bailout, said during the hearing that he was faced with a “stark, tragic” choice when the decision was made to pay off A.I.G.’s counterparties at par instead of at market value, but that it was the right one considering the circumstances at the time.

    • Thomas Friedman on Goldman Sachs

      New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman lashes out at Goldman Sachs today, writing, “The behavior of some leading Wall Street banks, particularly Goldman Sachs, has been utterly selfish. U.S. taxpayers saved Goldman by saving one of its big counterparties, A.I.G. By any fair calculation, the U.S. Treasury should own a slice of Goldman today.” This is a flawed line of reasoning, for at least four reasons.

    • AIG – Goldman Sachs – MSM – Scandal

      This is truly remarkable. Three amazing things happened in a period of 6 minutes.

      1. A Democrat is not closing ranks with his fellow Democrat
      2. A Democrat from MA recognizes that the money the Federal Government is spending belongs to the American Taxpayer. You know, the American Taxpayer the one who pays the bills a.k.a “those rich people”. He states this repeatedly as well.
      3. The Democrat from MA recognizes that the folks at Bear Sterns got a crew cut, but the folks at Goldman Sachs got 100 cents on the dollar. This is typically called “picking winners and losers.” Behavior that any resident of a banana republic would recognize.

    • Goldman’s Friedman Says He Didn’t Favor Bank at Fed (Update1)

      Friedman said New York Fed staff kept sensitive information away from him and other officials with private-sector ties to avoid conflicts. He testified today before a U.S. House committee on what some lawmakers are calling the New York Fed’s “backdoor bailout” of banks, including Goldman Sachs, that did business with American International Group Inc.

    • Boston Activists Rally at Goldman Sachs

      Goldman Sachs’ speculation and profiteering was a major cause of the recession and now their CEO is giving out $16.7 billion in bonuses. They got a bailout, what do all of us get?

    • Goldman Sachs, a bank apart?

      Recall the Rolling Stone description of Goldman Sachs (GS) as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” So is that good thing or a bad thing? For some, this is a virtue, as long as the blood funnel is properly jammed. It’s clear to many that the bank does not randomly throw its funnel around. It’s culture makes it as circumspect as could be, if you ask its supporters.

    • No Bonus? No Problem! Goldman Sachs Offers Mortgages to Cash-Strapped Bankers

      Wall Street is cutting back on cash bonuses, which means paper-rich banksters are forced to choose between preschool tuition and new wine cellars until their restricted shares mature. Goldman Sachs is lending a hand by offering mortgages to its staff.

    • Goldman Sachs on the ropes

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has already taken a beating in the press and more blows are on the way.

      Some of the punishment follows the less than impressive testimony on Wednesday by U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner about his role in rescuing AIG Inc., the failing insurer. The rescue resulted in a multi-billion-dollar payout to Goldman, which held credit default swaps with AIG.

    • Goldman Sachs Will Lose Access To The Discount Window Under The Volcker Rule

      Unless it dramatically changes the way it does business, Goldman Sachs will lose access to the discount window of the Federal Reserve under the new financial regulations proposed by Barack Obama last week.

    • Goldman Sachs to go private?

      The Volcker plan has not been fully sketched out, and it would on the surface appear to hit Goldman Sachs less than other banks that are more commercial-investment bank hybrids. Goldman Sachs doesn’t have a lot of FDIC-insured accounts, and it could always give up its bank holding company charter.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • EU may limit US ‘anti-terrorism’ finance tracking

      The transfer of financial data from Europe to the US ‘to fight terrorism’ may be unjustified, according to EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding.

      In a speech marking Data Protection Day, she said that the amount of financial data being transferred to the US had ‘considerable privacy-invading potential’.

    • The software side of SWIFT financial crime monitoring

      Let me contribute some open source intelligence on the SWIFT case. One of the leading SWIFT related software solutions providers is the German company Tonbeller AG. As we can see the company is specialised on business intelligence, risk analysis and financial profiling solutions. SWIFT itself seems to be their client or certification agency, here is the Partner profile from SWIFT.

    • EU Keeping an Eye on Financial Data Sent to U.S. via SWIFT

      Reding also urged greater privacy controls on behavioral advertising because “[u]sers are not always aware that they are being tracked whenever browsing the Internet.” In her view, data gathered without the users’ informed prior consent should not be used.

    • EFF Reveals How Your Digital Fingerprint Makes You Easy to Track

      Think that turning off cookies and turning on private browsing makes you invisible on the web? Think again.

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a new web app dubbed Panopticlick that reveals just how scarily easy it is to identify you out of millions of web users.

      [...]

      The purpose of Panopticlick is to show you how much you have in common with other browsers. The more your configuration mirrors everyone else’s, the harder it would be to identify you. The irony is, the nerdier you are — using a unique OS, a less common browser, customizing your browser with plug-ins and other power-user habits — the more identifiable you are.

    • Privacy Bill Nears Introduction in House

      The House Democrat heading up the push for legislation that would set new online privacy safeguards that could dramatically reshape Internet marketing said he plans to introduce the bill shortly, with several Republicans likely signed on as co-sponsors.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • MBC finally gives in and embraces P2P sharing

      MBC, a major Korean broadcasting company, announced (link in Korean) it will make nearly all of its content available to anyone for sharing. This means any individual or company can freely grab MBC’s original content and put it up on their server without any restrictions.

    • Census of Files Available via BitTorrent

      BitTorrent is popular because it lets anyone distribute large files at low cost. Which kinds of files are available on BitTorrent? Sauhard Sahi, a Princeton senior, decided to find out. Sauhard’s independent work last semester, under my supervision, set out to measure what was available on BitTorrent. This post, summarizing his results, was co-written by Sauhard and me.

    • Could P2P blocking be legalized by new net neutrality rules?

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation can’t believe it: the FCC’s network neutrality draft rules, if adopted in their current form, might give Comcast permission to flat-out block BitTorrent—precisely the scenario that led to the rules being drafted.

    • Is deep-packet inspection a criminal offence?

      What seems clear is that Virgin may have a lengthy legal dispute in its hands if it insists on using DPI. While they have not stated it, Virgin might be taking this decision in order to pre-empt any potential legal threats as content owners insist more and more on making ISPs liable for illegal content shared in their networks. It will be interesting to see if other ISPs follow Virgin’s lead.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Copyright Issues Go Back a Long Way

      Charles Dickens was angry at those American publishers in 1842 when he arrived in Montreal following a trip to the United States. Stephen Leacock notes in his book Charles Dickens, His Life and Work, that Dickens wrote home:

      Is it not a horrible thing that scoundrel booksellers should grow rich here from publishing books, the authors of which do not reap one farthing from their issue by scores of thousands; and that every vile, blackguard and detestable newspaper, so filthy and bestial that no honest man would admit one into his house for a scullery doormat, should be able to publish these same writings…?

      In 1880, the copyright issue was still around. In November, the Literary and Debating Society at the Mechanics’ Institute of Montreal had this item as a subject of debate: “Is the action of the American Publishers respecting copyright likely to advance literature?”

    • What Can We Learn from Gift Economies?

      3. It seems like a gift economy would be a whole lot easier to operate than a barter economy. Would that advantage be the reason gift economies, rather than barter economies, were so widely adopted historically?

    • Of Art and Copyright

      It would be absurd if the amazing possibilities of digitising museum and art collection holdings were squandered because of a short-sighted and misguided obsession with copyright. We need to nip this in the bud, and get some leading institutions to come out in favour of disseminating their holdings in this way. If we don’t we’ve decades of lock-down in front of us, just when things should be available to all.

    • EU’s Gallo Report: Rubbish Recycled

      I’ve noted several times an increasingly popular trope of the intellectual monopolists: since counterfeiting is often linked with organised crime, and because counterfeiting and copyright infringement are vaguely similar, it follows as surely as night follows day that copyright infringement is linked with organised crime.

    • IFPI Claims That Three Strikes Can Surgically Remove One Family Member From The Internet, But Not The Rest

      Perhaps the folks at the IFPI don’t quite understand how the internet works (or perhaps that’s a given) but generally speaking, when you have internet access at your house, you don’t set up separate access accounts for every family member… And if others in the family have access, what’s to stop the “cut off” one from using the other’s access?

    • What’s A Bigger Entitlement Mentality? Demanding Old Business Models Must Remain… Or Liking Free Stuff?

      Apparently times are hard over at ECN Magazine. Rather than come up with compelling content to draw people in, its Technical Editor decided to pen the mother of all troll-baiting editorials. NSILMike points us to Jason Lomberg’s recent rant on The Internet Entitlement Mentality, which I think may set a record for repeating pretty much every long-debunked fallacy about online content and business models, as well as how it describes those folks who actually understand basic economics, and how free works as part of an economic ecosystem.

    • Neutralize UK File-Sharing Legal Threats – Join TalkTalk

      This week the condemnation of file-sharing “legal blackmail” lawyers ACS:Law has been widespread, with extremely harsh words coming from the country’s House of Lords. Despite this the law firm are unrepentant and say they will persist with their campaign. It is, however, possible to immunize your family from this growing threat.

    • Why I Think the Times Charging for Online Access is a Bad Idea, and How I Think They Could and Should Make Money

      Is it reasonable to question how data, as an unproven but potential revenue source for the New York Times, would compare to the direct monetization scheme currently proposed? Of course. But given that one negatively impacts users, and one does not, I know which one I would try first. Not that they need be mutually exclusive, of course, but I would exhaust all of my options before embarking upon a course of action that might materially and permanently impact my relationship with my customer.

    • Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0003

      I’ve marked some names in blue, and the reason I’ve marked them in blue is that Sound Exchange is supposed to be responsible to musicians, and the names in blue are remoras. For those who don’t know what a remora is, it’s a fish which attaches itself to larger marine animals, like sharks or whales to get a free ride. It offers nothing back to the animal is rides, nothing at all, and it couldn’t exist without it’s ride.

Clip of the Day

Copying Is Not Theft — remixed (jazz)

New UK Survey: Free Software is Winning

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Success

Summary: Free software (not necessarily libre but at the very least gratis) is increasingly adopted, based on a new study

The press release: Half of Large Organizations to Deploy More Enterprise-Wide Free Software in 2010

Coverage:

Firms seek replacement for Microsoft and Adobe software

A survey commissioned by Global Graphics found that one in four firms of 1,000 employees and more, are looking at free software to replace Microsoft applications.

Big Firms Leaning Towards Free Software, Says Survey

A research poll commissioned by the UK-based software company Global Graphics revealed that more than half of the organisations are poised to boost up the use of free applications across their enterprise networks, with Adobe’s PDF Reader being the most preferred of them all.

Big companies set to use more free software

Big firms using free software, poll finds

Free software embraced by CIOs

Big businesses consider free alternatives to Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat

Marketfish Gets CTO from Microsoft, Update on Microsoft-Filled Juniper

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Seattle skyline

Summary: Andrew Thomas (the Microsoft employee, not the TG Daily shill) is joining Marketfish

SEVERAL days ago we wrote about the impact of Microsoft implosion on other companies. People with loyalty to Microsoft are joining other companies and the latest example is Marketfish, which hires Andrew Thomas (not to be confused with the rude Microsoft shill who is also called Andrew Thomas). TechFlash writes:

We’ve been intrigued by the flow of aQuantive talent out of Microsoft over the past few months — tracking folks such as Brian McAndrews, Karl Siebrecht, Brent Turner and others as they land new gigs at companies around the Seattle area. Now, tiny Marketfish has hooked a former aQuantive manager who comes to the Seattle startup via Microsoft.

Andrew Thomas, who served as software development director at aQuantive for more than a decade, has joined Marketfish as chief technology officer. Thomas joined Microsoft after it acquired aQuantive in a $6 billion deal more than two years ago, managing the development of reporting applications across the Microsoft ad platform.

We wrote about McAndrews [1, 2, 3, 4] and Siebrecht [1, 2] before. In their defense, they didn’t quite choose to work for the convicted monopolist, they were paid a lot of money be acquired and they fled Microsoft not so long afterwards. Still, their obligations to their former employer may lead companies they join to striking advertising deals with Microsoft.

Another company to watch out for is Juniper, which keeps getting filled with former Microsoft executives [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It is somewhat weird seeing longtime Microsoft executives speaking about the company’s results in yesterday’s news (Juniper's CEO is Microsoft's Kevin Johnson).

Microsoft is Lying About Vista 7 Sales, Bloat

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Vista 8, Windows at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft lies

Summary: Microsoft generates hype in very dishonest ways and Vista 7 is shown to be buggy and disliked by some

WE already know that Vista 7 is about as heavy as its predecessor and our reader Ryan, a former Microsoft MVP, insists that Vista 7 is more buggy than Vista (which is why he prefers Vista). Microsoft runs a campaign of disinformation for Vista 7, just as it did for Vista back in 2007. The latest round of disinformation revolves around the financial results, which seem like another case of book-cooking [1, 2] (Microsoft's CFO quit the company at the end of last year). We will provide more details on that at a later stage, but in the mean time, here are our long discussions about it (just yesterday in IRC, but this carries on today). To quote just a fragment of the points being raised:

DaemonFC a negative quarter disguised to look like their best one since the launch of XP is what they did Jan 29 00:27
DaemonFC by delaying pre-sale income Jan 29 00:28
Chips_B_Malroy its all in the math, the preception, the PR, the spin, the lies of marketing of M$ Jan 29 00:28
DaemonFC they borrowed heavily from their third quarter to bolster their fourth quarter Jan 29 00:28
DaemonFC on paper Jan 29 00:28
Chips_B_Malroy DaemonFC, yes, but I give them a small bounce out of Seven.  Give the devil his due Jan 29 00:29
DaemonFC It’s like if I borrowed $300 from myself this month and put it in savings and had a shitty hell of a time breaking even Jan 29 00:29
DaemonFC then next month I’m $300 ahead Jan 29 00:29
Chips_B_Malroy exactly the same thing Jan 29 00:29
Chips_B_Malroy Ballmer wants to pretent that MS is now recovered Jan 29 00:30
Chips_B_Malroy but Seven has been selling for awhile now Jan 29 00:30
DaemonFC it’s not that I did better next month, it’s that I put the hurt on myself this month to have a great on paper bank statement next month Jan 29 00:30
DaemonFC yes, that’s a common trick in business Jan 29 00:30
Chips_B_Malroy that last link had some interesting figures on how much stock MS is buying Jan 29 00:30
Chips_B_Malroy wow Jan 29 00:30
Chips_B_Malroy they are trying to drive the stock price up is my thought Jan 29 00:31
DaemonFC Chips_B_Malroy: In business you want to cut expenses or make more sales, preferably both Jan 29 00:31
DaemonFC Microsoft isn’t doing either very well Jan 29 00:31
DaemonFC Walmart does both very well, despite how evil they are Jan 29 00:32
DaemonFC they know that if they put in skylights they can turn most of the lights off and lower their electric bill Jan 29 00:32
Chips_B_Malroy DaemonFC> M$ isn’t dead or dying, just wounded right now Jan 29 00:32
DaemonFC their PR department then calls it “going green” Jan 29 00:32
Chips_B_Malroy it will die, if it continues on its present path Jan 29 00:33

According to this new report from The Register, technical problems are afoot for Vista 7. Microsoft desperately needs to sell the illusion that businesses are adopting Vista 7, even if whenever they buy a new computer/XP it still counts as “Vista 7″ (that’s a trick Microsoft also used to fraudulently inflate Vista numbers).

“In order to give the impression that Vista 8 is just around the corner, Microsoft is creating some new buzz and dates are named.”The Register writes that “Laptop owners upgrading their Windows XP and Windows Vista machines to Windows 7 are complaining that Microsoft’s new OS has severely reduced their available battery life.” The author quotes a person who wrote: “I was having excellent battery life until I installed the RTM of Windows 7 – all RC and beta builds that I installed I had nearly three hours of battery. Now, I have about 20 minutes and Win7 shuts down my laptop…”

As Richard Rasker puts it (regarding the above), “I don’t see the problem. Not only does this save a huge amount of energy, as the cause seems to be flaky Windows behaviour, not actual battery drain, but it incites people to get off their lazy ass and do something useful instead of staring at their laptop screens.

Microsoft need not worry though. It has already moved on to Vista 8 vapourware. This one will fix everything, they promise us. In order to give the impression that Vista 8 is just around the corner, Microsoft is creating some new buzz and dates are named [1, 2].

“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…

“One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered… So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft

Fans of Apple Disappointed by iPad; Hype is Paid for by Apple

Posted in Apple, DRM, FSF, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Novell at 9:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple logo - think different

Summary: Looking beyond the spin and the shameless marketing, Apple’s announcement is a yawn

THE news is still filled with coverage of a non-event from Apple. The company has released or at least announced a product that’s inferior to anything that has been on the market for a while. What’s rather shocking is that Apple’s hype technique (it is fake hype which Apple knows how to generate) is actually working. There is a lot of coverage out there and nobody can explain why.

“iPad seems like a low-cost entry ticket into the “Apple lifestyle” (or club), much like the Mac mini.”Okay, so Apple has managed to generate so much hype for what seems like another one of their long-forgotten failures (like attempts at television) and perhaps we in GNU/Linux world can take a lesson in marketing. But whatever stunt Apple pulls, it doesn’t come for free. Only yesterday we showed that Apple may have bribed prominent figures who blog and now we find that Jason Calacanis too was among the recipients of an iPad weeks before the announcement. Calacanis is very influential and friendly to Macs, so Apple knows what it’s doing.

Apple’s “hype machine” is so blatant that IDG has just published a whole new article about it, titled “Apple’s tablet and the media hype machine”

The principle behind the Apple tablet hype-excitement-burnout cycle is nothing new, of course; we’ve seen this happen time and time again (see: the weeks leading up to every other Apple event in recent history). Whether you’re an Apple fan or an Apple hater, odds are you’ve by now reached the point of saturation when it comes to the endless analysis of a product we don’t actually know anything about.

iPad seems like a low-cost entry ticket into the “Apple lifestyle” (or club), much like the Mac mini.

GNU/Linux Does Better

As SJVN puts it, GNU/Linux is already offering something better than Apple’s iPad.

[R]eally, is there anything here that Linux can’t do just as well for less money?

[...]

Besides the Moblin/Atom boxes, you’ll also see iPad-like tablets using ARM processors and Google’s Android 2.0 take on Linux coming out at about the same time. Android 2 vendors, like Motorola with its Droid, have always targeted the iPhone. The iPad will just be another arena for their battle.

And, last, but by no means least, there’s Google with its Chrome operating system. It’s going to take longer to come to the market then the others but I can see Chrome Linux powered netbooks giving the iPad trouble as well as giving the traditional desktop market fits.

All that taken into consideration, I’m also still sure that the iPad will be wildly popular. Apple products, when Apple puts its mind to it, usually are very successful… for users who have the money for the shiniest new toys. In the longer run though I’m willing to bet that collectively the Linux-powered entertainment tablets will end up having more customers.

Another tablet PC will come from MSI quite soon, maybe running GNU/Linux.

Micro-Star International (MSI) is set to launch a Nvidia Tegra-based tablet PC in the second half of 2010 priced US$500, according to company sales director Sambora Chen.

Lenovo’s new tablet runs both GNU/Linux and Vista 7.

Question of Freedom

As we noted yesterday, the FSF attended this launch event of Apple and it did a great job highlighting the problems and attracting press coverage. Among the resultant articles we have:

IDG: Is the iPad ‘iBad for freedom’?

In an online petition and an open letter to Steve Jobs, the open source organisation says: “The iPad’s unprecedented use of DRM to control all capabilities of a general purpose computer is a dangerous step backward for computing and for media distribution. We demand that Apple remove all DRM from its devices.”

Defective by Design.org is a campaign of the Free Software Foundation. GNU founder Richard Stallman is its president.

The Register: Apple iPad spanked with Defective by Design protest

Not everyone is drooling about Apple’s soon-to-be-launched tablet. Members of the anti-DRM group Defective by Design were protesting Wednesday morning outside Apple’s tighty controlled launch event, handing out cards mocking Apple’s invitation, with Apple’s tagline “Come see our latest creation” replaced with “Come see our latest restriction.”

Not only the FSF makes such an opinion be heard. Jeremy Allison too has publicly called it “iShackle ™”.

Well, what about Novell, Jeremy Allison’s former employer? Novell does not care what the FSF has to say (it even distorts the FSF's message); Novell is actually supporting the iPad by bringing .NET to it. Shame on Novell.

Even the Apple Fans Don’t Like It!

What is the iPad really? It’s an oversized iPhone thingie without even a keyboard for touch-typing. Here is a very concise summary from Tim Bray, a longtime Apple/Mac enthusiast:

Compared to my laptop, the iPad lacks a keyboard, software development tools, writers’ tools, photographers’ tools, a Web server, a camera, a useful row of connectors for different sorts of wires, and the ability to run whatever software I choose. Compared to my Android phone, it lacks a phone, a camera, pocketability, and the ability to run whatever software I choose. Compared to the iPad, my phone lacks book-reading capability, performance, and screen real-estate. Compared to the iPad, my computer lacks a touch interface and suffers from excessive weight and bulk.

“For creative people, this device is nothing,” Bray concludes. “Nothing Creative” was the headline.

Mike Masnick, who is very insightful on these matters, is excited neither by the iPhone nor the iPad, which is just a larger version it (with limitations akin to those of carriers). He writes:

Wait, Who Wants A Proprietary, Locked Down Device That Limits What You Can Do?

I honestly didn’t have very much to say about Apple’s introduction of the iPad, which seems like something of a non-event, really.

Exactly. In another post, Masnick insists that iPad will change nothing for publishers. DaniWeb has the article “15 reasons why the iPad is no game-changer” and MacLife names 7 things that are missing from the iPad. When even fans of Apple are not excited by a new Apple product (or find flaws in it), then clearly it’s just a dud. Let’s move on.

Turbolinux is History After Microsoft Patent Deal

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, Turbolinux, Xandros at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TurboLinux
Google trends for TurboLinux (search volume)

Summary: iSoft buys TurboSystems and Novell is in a state of disarray

THE company known as TurboSystems lost its way after it had signed a patent deal with Microsoft. It sold out. According to the news (most of the coverage is in Asian languages), “iSoft Infrastructure Software Co Ltd, a Chinese software company, yesterday announced that it has bought a 51% stake in Japan’s TurboSystems, which belongs to Turbolinux and specially engaged in researching and developing the Linux technology, sources reported.” The headline says that “China’s iSoft buys Japan’s TurboSystems”, so it’s likely to be a complete acquisition (or a majority stake). There’s heaps of coverage in Chinese and it can hopefully draw an accurate picture.

Turbolinux seems like it’s over. Our last update on its terminal state showed that it was just one of those companies that lost GNU/Linux focus after Microsoft deals. What happens to Turbolinux right now is similar the story of Linspire-Xandros. Linspire got absorbed only to be put in its deathbed. This is okay because both Xandros and Linspire sold out to Microsoft, deciding to promote OOXML and to pay Microsoft for imaginary patents. The fewer of these companies that are left, the better. It’s down from 4 to just two now, Xandros and Novell.

“The problem of distributions that sell out to Microsoft is made more densely contained as their activities are ebbing.”Xandros said that it was more or less quiting its “Linux” direction and Novell too seems more focused on Microsoft technology (this one is from yesterday, posted by a Microsoft MVP who is a Novell vice president), just like Corel after the Microsoft deal [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

The problem of distributions that sell out to Microsoft is made more densely contained as their activities are ebbing. Novell is arguably the only sellout left now; it makes it a lot easier for us to track the problem with distributions whose use is harmful for GNU/Linux and Free software. Back in 2007 the problem had spread to four separate distributions, 3 of which merely followed the “Novell model”. That’s what makes Novell so unique, except for its size.

As for Novell itself, its SUSE efforts are shattered by the abandonment of Zonker (the latest among several managers like Levy, Jaffe and Friedman, who leave Novell as well). SUSE is crumbling and Michael Löffler looks for a new Community Manager:

In the meantime, I will be working with Andreas Jaeger and other Novell colleagues in marketing and engineering to cover openSUSE community relations activities.

The comments there are interesting too. Back in 2006 SUSE was probably the leading GNU/Linux distribution for the desktop (exceeding even Ubuntu). The deal with Microsoft turned Novell from hero to zero overnight.

Novell Promotes Apple, .NET

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell is fitting a flavour of Microsoft onto crippleware from Apple

NOVELL’S Mono, as we’ve pointed out before, is a tool for promoting Microsoft as a standard among developers (who largely distrust Microsoft for good reasons). Mono is mentioned about 15 minutes into the latest Linux Basement episode and it is also mentioned in this new article for being “Microsoft-Compatible”. That’s exactly what’s good for Microsoft and is also actively enforced using a community promise that is a threat to anyone who thinks about deviating from the Microsoft way of doing things.

Apple’s latest Freedom-hostile product (more on that later) got the attention of the Mono team. Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza rallies his colleagues to bring .NET to this product.

Another Mono-race, in 24 hours we are aiming to:

* Support the iPad SDK from Apple (freshly baked and published).
* Add MonoDevelop support for it.

Eventually they made it, but it’s no triumph. It’s about spreading .NET, not GNU/Linux. It is also about assisting a product that harms Freedom.

The impact of MonoTouch on one’s personal goal is something which we wrote about in:

Mono used to be marketed as something that’s beneficial to GNU/Linux. But now that Microsoft is funding Novell, priorities are different.

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