To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
My people are running XP in 256MB with a serious over-commit to virtual memory. I can run 12 users at once and services in 1024 MB with GNU/Linux. That would explain a lot of the speed difference. My terminal server is not swapping.
Fortunately, nobody is making us fall under the spell of fancier, shinier, ever-more-closed toys, and we still have a wealth of great choices open to us. Like Linux and Free/Open Source Software, for starters. All you need is a PC, an Internet connection, some time, and the creative possibilities are legion.
obarthelemy writes “Having at last gotten Linux to run satisfactorily on my own PCs, I’d now like to start transitioning friends and family from XP to Linux instead of Windows 7. The catch is that these guys don’t understand or care much about computers, so the transition has to be as seamless and painless as possible. Actually, they won’t care for new things; even the upcoming upgrade to Windows 7 would be a pain and a bother, which is a great opportunity for Linux. I’m not too concerned about software (most of them only need browser, IM, VLC, mail and a Powerpoint viewer for all those fascinating attachments). What I’m concerned about is OS look-and-feel and interface — system bar on the bottom with clock, trash, info on the right, menu on the left, menu items similar to those of Windows. Is it better to shoot for a very targeted distro? Which would you recommend? Are there themes/skins for mainstream distributions instead? I’ve been looking around the web, and it’s hard to gauge which distros are well-done and reasonably active.”
If your small business is looking for a solid point of sale system, without so many bells and whistles as to increase the learning curve, LemonPOS might be just what you are looking for. It’s not Quickbooks POS, but it will help you to get your business up and running quickly and inexpensively. And, since it’s running on top of the Linux operating system, you know it’s running on top of a proven, reliable system.
Not only is Linux and FreeBSD holding on to the server markets but also under the hood of iPhones and ARM processors. Spreading its seeds across all continents be it the PC Market or Laptop or Mini-Laptop Market, the species continues to awe its original developers.
Oh well, better late than never. The year of GNU/Linux on the desktop has come and gone, he agrees, and we will go forward to much greater accomplishments.
I have to say that over the last couple of years, I’ve really come to love Ubuntu. Until recently, I rarely felt the need to go back to Windows or OS X (I’ll tell you more about that in another blog post). I’ve been generally pleased with each new release of Ubuntu and enjoy seeing the incremental improvements. Ubuntu has come an unbelievable way since I first tried it almost 5 years ago.
A new laptop aims to make it easier for anyone to get online, surf the net, send emails and keep in touch with friends and family.
The Linux based 15.4-inch Alex laptop comes with a suite of programs for everyday tasks including office and image editing tools.
That’s right: I installed Linux on the laptop, and therefore Newegg is not going to honor my refund.
Need I say more? Newegg is now on record as a vendor from whom you purchase at your own risk. They have demonstrated that they will knowingly sell defective hardware, and not honor refund requests on same.
When I plugged in the router and went to view a website on my computer, I was redirected to an activation page, where I had to enter my name and postcode and stuff like that. Except that the first page you go to checks to make sure you’re running Windows or using a Mac. Thankfully, Konqueror and Opera both let me change my browser identification string so that Virgin’s servers think I am using Windows.
Help desk support is provided along with systems and network monitoring. For larger, more sophisticated businesses, Staples provides cross-platform and open source support for Windows, Linux, and Apple operating systems.
I have heard of my geeky friends talking about this Linux stuff. I wasn’t sure what it was so I asked them about it. Honestly, I thought they were trying to sell me some religion the way they jumped all over me trying to explain what Linux is. They did make some very good points though. I have always felt uncomfortable with using a pirated version of windows but I can’t justify the expense of buying an original version. I am also tired of all the problems I have been having because of virus and spyware infestations. These Linux guys tell me that they don’t have any problems with that stuff.
If Linux is recommended by the Department of Defense, then I consider it good for me as well. I no longer trust Internet Explorer or Windows for that matter, with any valuable information online. Too often I hear about rootkits and malware running silently in Windows, allowing critical information to be gathered through a backdoor. Even the most recent activity regarding the TDL3 rootkit which was installed on a huge amount of Windows computers. Users never even knew it was there until the Microsoft patch for the 17 year old bug was released. I’ve seen malicious programs get downloaded and launched by simply visiting a website with Internet Explorer. With all things considered, Linux proves to be the most solid platform in the long run, which to me should make it the #1 choice for servers and desktops, or whatever application you choose.
Currently, the vast majority of workloads requiring a large number of processing cores or large memory have already moved or are in the process of moving to Linux.
These once-proprietary Unix applications have been relatively easy to migrate or are increasingly being written for a Linux or open source operating system alternative. This makes it inherently easier for these workloads to move to x86 infrastructure, providing more flexibility in their deployment models and giving customers the ability to take advantage of higher-performance and lower-cost commoditized systems.
One of the most obvious benefits of free and open source software is the ability to download world-class software and implement it gratis on your system. But, sometimes, there is a big difference between theory and action.
I’m not talking about installing desktop applications like Firefox, OpenOffice.org, or GIMP. Most of the Linux distributions have by now made this process newbie-simple, and Windows and Mac systems have never had a problem with installation. Rather, I am talking about complex server systems, like Ruby on Rails, Tomcat, Joomla!, or Drupal. Regardless of platform, getting one of these instances running can range from a bit tricky to downright hair-pulling.
In the famous online argument between Linus and Minix creator Andrew Tanenbaum during the very early days of Linux, one of the more memorable statements from the latter was the following:
I think co-ordinating 1000 prima donnas living all over the world will be as easy as herding cats
The “prima donnas” that he was referring to were hackers, rather than opera singers, and his point was that it’s hard to get technically very able people with strong opinions to agree to the point where they can move a software project forward. And that, indeed, is part of the amazing achievement of Linux and all the free software projects that have adopted its methodology: without formal lines of command or management structures being imposed on them, those same prima donnas often *do* manage to agree on enough to make projects successful well beyond what traditional development techniques can produce.
So, it turned out that Tanenbaum was wrong as far as herding those particular cats was concerned, but what about at the next level: how easy is it to herd *meta*-cats – that is, to get the various projects working together in a more coordinated fashion?
John Johansen, a developer with commercial Ubuntu sponsor Canonical, has submitted an updated version of the AppArmor security framework to the Linux kernel developers for inspection. Johansen writes that, like the SELinux and Tomoyo solutions already integrated into the kernel, this fourth general posting of AppArmor uses Linux Security Modules (LSM) to hook into the kernel. Some, but not all of the characteristics criticised by the kernel developers when AppArmor was posted last have reportedly been corrected in the new posting – known for his rather direct comments, however, the maintainer of the Virtual File System (VFS) of Linux soon also found various inconsistencies in the newly posted code.
Invoking specific kernel functions (system calls) is a natural part of application development on GNU/Linux. But what about going in the other direction, kernel space calling user space? It turns out that there are a number of applications for this feature that you likely use every day. For example, when the kernel finds a device for which a module needs to be loaded, how does this process occur? Dynamic module loading occurs from the kernel through the usermode-helper process.
Last month we reported that the Wayland Display Server was losing its Eagle-specific bits and today this dependence migration from Eagle to Mesa’s EGL stack has been confirmed.
For those interested in proper OpenGL support for gaming or other situations, the NVIDIA binary driver can still be installed in Ubuntu 10.04.
One of the key responsibilities of a system administrator is to ensure the safety of an organisation’s computer data. This is a critical task for any organisation, given that the loss of important data could have profound implications on its future prosperity.
What do you get when you cross business logic and 80s arcade video games? An open source Space Invaders clone that’s being used to illustrate the power of a business logic integration platform for game design.
So here are my 7 reasons why you should use Puppy Arcade:
1. There is a wealth of games/systems that you are able to relive your childhood/youth with.
2. Scott Jarvis is dedicated to this distro and updates are regular.
3. Spec requirements are low.
4. It puts the best of the emulation scene in one distro.
5. Puppy Arcade runs from a modified Puppy Linux which is as fast as hell
6. It has a really groovy backdrop!
7. It really is that damn good.
One of the most common complaints I hear about Linux is that it’s just no good for gaming. Some complain about hardware support, others the lack of titles, others that it’s just too complicated. It’s true that Linux probably isn’t the first platform that comes to mind when I think about PC gaming, but some parts of that reputation are inaccurate or outdated. Sabayon Gaming DVD takes on that myth to see just what a Linux gaming system can do. It’s got a fast Gentoo base, built-in codecs and 3D driver support, Compiz, and many of the best games available for Linux. On top of the usual Gnome games, you get such titles as Neverball, Battle for Wesnoth, OpenArena, Tremulous, Warsow, Nexuiz, and Warzone 2100, all playable from the live DVD.
From the makers of the Penumbra series comes a brand new survival horror game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
KDE announces the immediate availability of the KDE Software Compilation 4.4 on 9th feb 2010, “Caikaku”, bringing an innovative collection of applications to Free Software users. Major new technologies have been introduced, including social networking and online collaboration features, a new netbook-oriented interface and infrastructural innovations such as the KAuth authentication framework. According to KDE’s bug-tracking system, 7293 bugs have been fixed and 1433 new feature requests were implemented. The KDE community would like to thank everybody who has helped to make this release possible.
Kdevelop was another application that I noticed was much quicker. Under Ubuntu I could barley use KDE as it was but now I can use KDE and the KDevelopment system and I have no lag issues at all. I’m really starting to wonder what the Ubuntu team is adding to their distribution to make it such a hog.
I love KDE, and the latest release is better than ever. It’s easy, fast, beautiful, all that.
So when I installed Arch on another partition in another attempt to to find the cause behind those pesky network problems, and I slapped Openbox on it because I didn’t want to waste my bandwidth on a KDE install I’d never use, I certainly didn’t think I would consider using it full time.
15 Awesome Mandriva Linux Wallpapers: We’ve featured several distro-specific wallpapers before, like our awesome Slackware wallpapers collection and a number of cool Ubuntu wallpapers. This time, I’ll be giving tribute to one of the best Linux distributions (currently topping our “Best Linux Distro of the Decade” poll) around, by sharing with you yet another set of beautiful desktop wallpapers.
My point is that, it shouldn’t matter what Linux distribution you are going to use — you need someone to keep it up and running. I think Gentoo is great because it removes the veil from saying, “just run these versions of the software and you’ll be totally fine.” Bugs creep in all the time. Binary distributions stick you with a set of packages, that if, you want to break out of that pigeon hole, it may be completely impossible to do. With Gentoo, the definition of “stable” is left up to the user, the maintainer, the systems administrator. I love it.
The much-anticipated split between the Fedora “Rawhide” development repository and the stabilizing Fedora 13 repository has happened at last. That means that people continuing to follow Rawhide should fasten their seat belts and update their backups in anticipation of a flood of packages intended for Fedora 14.
KolibriOS is very impressive stuff, and after finding a brief set of instructions for installing it to a hard drive, I had a “dual-boot” system of both Debian and Kolibri running on the old Thinkpad 560e that’s still floating around the house.
Eeebuntu, the Linux distribution for netbooks which won the Sourceforge Choice Awards: BEST NEW PROJECT in 2009 has released the first beta of the new version 4. For now only the i386 version is available.
Canonical is developing a 2D ARM interface based on Enlightenment Foundation Libraries for the upcoming Ubuntu 10.04 (“Lucid Lynx”) version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix. In other Ubuntu news, Ubuntu Live CDs in Lucid Lynx will boot 33 percent faster, and The Linux Box will market Ubuntu.
How to convince a Mac OS X or Windows user to try GNU/Linux? Installing the desired distribution in a Virtual Machine? Read them all those FAQs about partitioning your hard drive for a dual-boot system? No, no – there’s an easier way: live CDs or DVDs! Almost every distribution (like Ubuntu, Knoppix or Fedora) are capable of booting into a fully functional desktop right from a burned disc. Simply download the .iso image file, burn it to a CD or DVD with your favorite disc burning application, and reboot your machine!
According to Bennett, tweaks to the debconf database have boosted the live CD startup time nearly 33%!
The decision to stick with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel rather than the soon to be released Linux 2.6.33 kernel for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS that will be released in April is leading to a few more headaches for those involved with packing X.Org and the graphics components for the Lucid Lynx release.
In a recent interview (as of yesterday, 19 February) for DellVlog, Mark Shuttleworth says Ubuntu will finally change the default theme from Human to a “light theme”.
In an interview recorded on February 19 2010, Mark Shuttleworth revealed that a new light theme will replace the Human theme in Ubuntu 10.04. The Human theme has been the default theme in Ubuntu since the first release.
The annual Mobile World Congress was dominated by open source operating systems
The annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) is always a highlight of the year for the mobile sector but this year’s show was also a big one for open source software. Traditionally in a market dominated by proprietary operating systems there has been a significant shift towards open source software by mobile phone makers over the past year.
It’s no secret that Linux runs behind many consumer devices, and embedded Linux fits in the tiniest of places. One of the latest ways to get your Linux fix comes in what looks like power wall wart from TonidoPlug. Under the cover you’ll find essentially a Marvell SheevaPlug with a 1.2 GHz CPU, 512MB of DDR2 memory and a 512MB flash disk. On the outside you’ll see a single USB port and an Ethernet jack.
Samsung unveiled an Android 2.1 phone equipped with a built-in pico projector. The “I8250″ Android phone offers a 3.7-inch WVGA “Super AMOLED” display, an eight-megapixel camera, and up to 16GB of internal memory, says Samsung.
Mobile phones are incorporating pico projectors for on-the-spot presentations, or for just sharing photos with friends, projected up to 100 inches wide. Four phones showcased that feature at Mobile World Congress.
Some may be surprised by the merger, announced this week, of the open source Maemo and Moblin projects, given their architectural differences. Maemo targets ARM, while Moblin aims to enable devices with Intel Architecture (commonly “x86″) processors.
OpenPeak announced an Intel Moorestown-based tablet device, which may well end up running the new Nokia/Intel MeeGo operating system. The OpenTablet 7 features a 7-inch multi-touch display, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, cellular, HDMI output and dual cameras, says the company.
As you may be aware by now Nokia and Intel have announced that they will merge their respective Maemo and Moblin software platforms to create a combined Linux-based operating system targeting a new broader range of fixed and mobile devices. MeeGo is aimed at creating a unified Linux-based environment that will run across smartphones, mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, digital TVs and in-vehicle infotainment systems.
After years of hearing about it, I’m only aware of one phone the N900 that runs Maemo -and that’s from Nokia a company with hundreds of devices and handsets. Moblin on the other hand is the benchmark standard that Linux distros have been aiming for when it comes to netbooks – Intel Atom powered netbooks to be precise.
Q: What about the decision to host it with the Linux Foundation?
A: That’s a positive. It will get more visibility than it would directly managed by the vendors, it will abstract the project from certain institutional political interference (think ARM enemies at Intel, and the pro-Symbian crowd at Nokia), and it gives the project a more open image.
Google’s Linux-based Android operating system powers the industry’s latest must have, the Motorola Droid. Many more Android phones are making their debut, such as Motorola’s Backflip, which will be sold by AT&T it was announced at the Mobile World Congress this week. Apple must be thrilled.
Google’s significant gains can likely be attributed to the release of the Motorola Droid and Droid Eris phones on Verizon, along with the ingenious marketing campaign that introduced those phones to the public.
AT&T will sell its first smartphone with Mountain View Internet juggernaut Google’s adroit Android operating system next month: Motorola’s Backflip.
The SIM cards in cellular telephones might be smaller than a postage stamp and less than a millimeter thick but that hasn’t stopped South Korea’s SK Telecom from cramming all the major components needed to run Google’s Android OS inside one of them.
The carrier’s Android SIM, a prototype of which is on show at this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, includes an ARM-based processor, companion memory and 1GB of flash memory to store the OS and other data.
Huawei announced the U8800, which it calls the first Android smartphone to run the 14Mbps HSPA+ cellular technology, and also tipped three lower-end Android phones — the U8300, U8100, and U8110 — plus a 7-inch “SmaKit S7″ Android tablet. Meanwhile AT&T confirmed that it will launch the Motorola Backflip on Mar. 7.
The French company Stantum is demonstrating multi-touch displays that can react to as many as ten fingers simultaneously. The Android-ready “PMatrix” technology permits the use of gloves or styli, responding to varying levels of pressure, according to the company.
According to Stantum, its PMatrix IP core and firmware watches every grid intersection of a touch-panel’s matrix and reports any change of electrical characteristics, “delivering an exact image of what’s happening on the touchscreen surface.” As a result, the company claims, there’s essentially no limit to the number of simultaneous touches a device can respond to.
The iPhone’s share of the smartphone grew to 25.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009–up more than a point–while Research In Motion (RIMM) fell to 41.6 percent, down a point, according to a comScore report. Microsoft (MSFT) and Palm (PALM) also lost ground while Google’s (GOOG) Android gained nearly 3 points to reach 5.2 percent.
Both the high-end HTC Desire and the more modest HTC Legend offer Android 2.1 along with a new version of HTC’s Sense UI layer. Most notably, the new HTC Sense offers an application called HTC Friend Stream, which is said to aggregate social communications, including Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, into one “organized flow of updates.”
The French company Stantum is demonstrating multi-touch displays that can react to as many as ten fingers simultaneously. The Android-ready “PMatrix” technology permits the use of gloves or styli, responding to varying levels of pressure, according to the company.
ARM based platforms traditionally have a problem with graphics drivers and free software. Encumbered by licensing issues, many platforms only ship with 2D based drivers whilst the 3D driver-enabled offerings only frequent the poshest of circles such as Nokia’s N900. There are exceptions, but its a painful reality at the moment.
Vendors are trying to work around it, especially as there is the expectation of a ramp-up in the availability of ARM based hardware. Super long-life netbooks, low powered touch based computers, and even a flurry of smaller embedded devices are forecast to hit the market this year, many of which will be based on the Linux operating system. Ubuntu would be a great match for this.
It’s been just over two months since Google, the New York Times and the Washington Post joined together to experiment with a new way to provide news with Google’s Living Stories. Today, Google has declared the experiment a success and has said that it will offer the project’s functionality to the general public.
The Workshop on the Future of Research on Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) was recently held in Newport Beach, California.
FOSS 2010 was an invitation-only workshop aimed at identifying the key research projects and challenges for free and open source software. FOSS is funded by the Computing Research Association and the National Science Foundation, and hosted by the Institute for Software Research at UC Irvine.
To get a sense of how the health of the Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) community is in general and to monitor the interest in FOSS and Linux in the region in particular, the Southern California Linux Expo staff watches pre-registration closely leading up to SCALE 8X.
SCALE, the Southern California Linux Expo, kicks off today in Los Angeles. More than a Linux geek fest, there are signs that SCALE is starting to attract solutions providers that work with Red Hat, Novell, Canonical and other open source partner programs. Here’s a look at five key trends solutions providers should be watching at SCALE.
The Eucalyptus Project has reached a major milestone this week with the 1.6.2 release. While it mostly consists of minor improvements for performance and stability, the point release also marks the implementation of Amazon’s EC2 and S3 specifications. Your private cloud is now ready!
Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science announced this week that it is has joined the Open Cirrus project, adding one of its clusters to resources available on the open-source test bed for cloud computing research.
With Eucalyptus – the open source platform that put the Koala in Ubuntu’s Karmic Koala – you can mimic Amazon’s so-called infrastructure cloud inside your very own data center. At least up to a point.
At the moment, Eucalyptus duplicates the APIs for Amazon’s three primary Web Services: Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), and Elastic Block Store (EBS). But it’s yet to provide things like elastic load balancing or an Amazon-esque browser front-end – something that lets users tap your so-called private cloud through a reasonably intuitive GUI.
Twitter loves open source.
In a sense, this is a non-story: after all, does *anyone* these days not use open source for these kind of massive, rapidly-growing sites?
A recent Washington Post story observed that Twitter loves open source. Twitter’s not the only ones. Most, if not all, social networks are built on top of Linux and open-source software.
When the writer wrote that Twitter loves open source he wasn’t exaggerating. He was quoting from Twitter’s About Open-Source page. There, Twitter states that, “Twitter is built on open-source software-here are the projects we have released or contribute to.”
News is making the rounds that Twitter has put up a directory showing all the open source projects it loves, which in real terms means the projects that Twitter contributes to. It’s an impressive list of projects, including cachet, its Java-based text-processing software for handling Tweets, contributions to several Ruby tools, and other major contributions. Of course, notably absent is the actual platform that runs Twitter itself — so the love only runs so deep, apparently.
Jetpack has been iterating pretty rapidly. The 0.8 release brings a few new APIs to work with. Namely, a toolbar API and the Places API to work with history and bookmarks in Firefox.
Linus Torvalds has said Linux wouldn’t have happened if 386BSD had been around when he started up. We trace the history of FreeBSD and how it’s affected the open source world.
I am hereby publicly announcing project OsmocomBB: A Free and Open Source software project to create a Free Software GSM baseband firmware.
The baseband chipset is the part of a mobile phone that actuall communicates directly with the GSM network. It typically includes a DSP and a microprocessor running some RTOS, drivers for the baseband chipset, the GSM protocol stack and some kind of user interface.
I’m very happy to report to FreeBSD users that the HAST project I was working on for the last three months is ready for testing and already committed to the HEAD branch.
I’ll describe what HAST does in few words. HAST allows for synchronous block-level replication of any storage media (called GEOM providers, using FreeBSD nomenclature) over a TCP/IP network for fast failure recovery. HAST provides storage using the GEOM infrastructure, meaning it is file system and application independent and can be combined with any existing GEOM class. In case of a primary node failure, the cluster will automatically switch to the secondary node, check and mount the UFS file system or import the ZFS pool, and continue to work without missing a single bit of data.
NetworkManager, the free software project that’s backed by Red Hat and used by many distributions for easily managing network connections from the Linux desktop, is ready for its version 0.8 milestone. NetworkManager 0.7 is getting old and while NetworkManager 0.7.1 brought some improvements last year, the 0.8 release is rather exciting.
The Wine development release 1.1.39 is now available.
What’s new in this release (see below for details):
– Support for registry symbolic links.
– Many MSI fixes.
– Build process improvements.
– MSXML cleanups and fixes.
– A number of MSHTML improvements.
– Various bug fixes.
As you will probably know, I have a vested interest in seeing the Cabinet Office’s Open Source, Open Standards and Re-Use Action Plan[pdf] implemented in full and as quickly as possible. The comment above however, coming from deep within the halls of power, is a clear indication that there seems to be little appetite to drive this Action Plan into, ahem, action.
The long running case of Jacobsen v. Katzer has been settled on terms favourable to Jacobsen, a developer of the Java Model Railroad Interface project. The case came about when Katzer incorporated Jacobsen’s code into it’s proprietary model trail software, after deleting the copyright notices that existed in the code.
A long running case of great significance to the legal underpinnings of free and open source/open source software (F/OSS) has just settled on terms favorable to the F/OSS developer. The settlement follows a recent ruling by a U.S. Federal District Court judge that affirmed several key rights of F/OSS developers under existing law.
That case is Jacobsen v. Katzer, and the settlement documents were filed in court just after 9:00 AM this morning. Links to each of them can be found later in this blog entry. The brief background of the case, the legal issues at stake, and the settlement details are as follows.
The software underlying such an important legal dispute is almost charmingly inconsequential from a commercial point of view – model railroad software. But to the litigants, the stakes were high relative to their resources and their commitment to that niche. The plaintiff, Robert Jacobsen, is a software developer member of the Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) Project, and the defendant, Matthew Katzer, is the owner of a proprietary vendor of model train software called KAMIND associates, d/b/a KAM Industries.
The lawsuit is dismissed with prejudice (i.e. the case cannot be refiled by either party). This case is an excellent resolution for the FOSS community and the lawyers for Jacobsen should be congratulated for their hard work and success.
Moody jokingly told the LCA2010 audience that the genome book is essentially the same text as Rebel Code, his 2002 book on Linux and the open source movement, with just a few terms changed.
There is, he suggests, a more direct connection between the two endeavours. A public programme to piece together into a complete genome the fragmentary sequences of genetic materiel that came out of analysis in the early years of the decade was competing with a parallel programme run by private company Celera Genomics, which could have patented crucial parts of the discovery.
They form the basis of the newly-formalised Panton Principles for open data in science, and are followed by the four short principles themselves – essentially that there should be an explicit statement of what may be done with the data, and that ideally that data should bein the public domain.
Victoria’s IT innovators will be invited to take part in a $100,000 online competition to create new applications to be formally launched later this month, as mentioned in the statement of government intentions released this week.
Minister for Information and Communications Technology, John Lenders, said the ‘App My State’ competition would give Victorians the motivation to turn their creative ideas into applications used by other Victorians every day.
According to a post on the Subversion Community website, Subversion, the popular open source version control and configuration management tool has been accepted as an Apache Top-Level Project (TLP). The news marks the end of Subversion’s time in the Apache Software Foundation’s (ASF) Incubator which is the first step to becoming an ASF Top-Level Project. It also means that it will now be governed under the Foundation’s meritocratic process and principles.
The engineers responsible for the development of the JRockit and HotSpot Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) are “spending lots of quality time together” to work out how to combine the Oracle JVM and what was Sun’s virtual machine.
This said, the situation in Italy can be summarized as follows: file formats are alphabets, open file formats were officially declared necessary at least five years ago, an official organization of the Italian Government says the formats of Microsoft Office are not open ones, but those formats are still ignored, when not actually refused, in most Italian Public Administrations. Why? Very often, it’s just out of inertia and because citizens themselves never complain. So don’t follow this example, check what your national laws say about open file formats, demand that they are applied and to know more keep reading Stop!/Zona-M.
I am a big fan of Open Standards, but the nature of development do not take care about open standards. Recently my brother asked me why do not I use Quillpad ( http://www.quillpad.in/hindi/ ) for writing hindi.
And that’s when it gets strange. One of them starts to seriously talk about praying demons away, and then after the prayer has driven the demon out of the person, you have to support the person so that the demon doesn’t come back. And nobody laughs at him.
Seriously? What year is it again? I’m pretty sure they didn’t have Costco foodcourts in the middle ages, but maybe there was some time warping going on.
What the hell is wrong with people?
In many ways, Nepali culture of today closely resembles pre-tech revolution Japan. The way the aunties at Ama Ghar prepared food in the kitchen or washed clothes in buckets of cold water reminded me of the way my Japanese grandmother went about her daily chores — it’s something about the pacing and the commitment to what may seem like the most menial tasks that made me nostalgic for my childhood. I see many similarities between Japanese and Nepali culture. They’re both traditionally patriarchal societies, with heavy Buddhist influences; children are taught to respect and care for elders, and society as a whole values community over individualism. But an unfortunate side effect of economic growth was that some of these cultural values have been compromised — if not ignored outright, they have at the very least become marginalized.
The most startling implication of Anthem/Blue Cross of California’s announcement last week that it is going to raise individual health insurance rates by up to 39 percent this year is not that insurance companies are arrogant and untouchable. That was already well known.
What has to be more alarming for the 800,000 Californians who are covered by Blue Cross individual health insurance policies is that their insurance rates appear to have entered what insurance industry underwriters call a death spiral.
Though most users feel anonymous when browsing the Web, their browsers constantly turn over unique information such as a list of installed plugins, screen resolution, and the user agent string. Taken together, such bits of information can uniquely identify many users even without cookies.
A mother claims she was issued with a £50 fine when her toddler dropped the end of a banana out of his pram.
CRIME outside shops on a road on an Oxford estate has risen since long-awaited CCTV cameras were switched on two months ago.
FELIXSTOWE: Moves are under way to extend the town centre’s crime-busting CCTV system as part of work to revamp the shopping area.
LONG-TIME Murwillumbah resident Ken Ward thought it would be safe to park his Landcruiser ute under the CCTV security cameras in central Murwillumbah
One-time Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr riled the conservative CPAC crowd on Friday, when he declared that civilian courts were appropriate for handling terrorists and insisted that — if a trial was what they wanted — those who used waterboarding should be brought before a judge.
“I don’t feel that school has the right to put cameras inside the kids’ home, inside their bedrooms and spy on children,” Holly said.
The government has quietly dropped plans to jail personal data thieves, frustrating the Information Commissioner and arousing criticism of the Data Protection Act as toothless.
Staff sources say that the sessions have included being told how to spot anything suspicious, and being asked to report anything – no matter how trivial – to police, such as quantities of empty bottles of bleach.
Support workers who visit a range of clients in their own home including vulnerable groups, people with addictions and elderly people, have been among the first to get the training.
Concierges, community safety teams and other front-line staff across the council are also to be sent on the sessions, which are hosted by police as part of the Home Office’s counter-terrorism strategy.
The federal government should ground plans to charge air travellers for the privilege of subjecting themselves to full-body scanners while going through security.
Tracy residents will now have to pay every time they call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency.
That is the logo for the 2012 Olympics in London. My first reaction to it was that it’s just hideous from a design standpoint, but others quickly noticed something worse. You can look at that logo and… um… see what appears to be Lisa Simpson… doing something she shouldn’t be doing. Yeah. Once you see it, it never goes away. So, as CHT notes, given that ruling of child porn for having an image of a Simpsons cartoon child performing sex acts… is looking at the 2012 Olympic logo going to be classified as viewing child porn now?
The FBI is investigating a Pennsylvania school district accused of secretly activating webcams inside students’ homes, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press on Friday.
Days after a student filed suit over the practice, Lower Merion officials acknowledged Friday that they remotely activated webcams 42 times in the past 14 months, but only to find missing student laptops. They insist they never did so to spy on students, as the student’s family claimed in the federal lawsuit.
This has to be one of the more ridiculous things I’ve heard in a while. Does the town really want to discourage people from calling in the event of an emergency? In my life, I think I’ve called 911 four times — and three of those were after witnessing car crashes by other people. With this rule in place, I would have much less incentive to call to get the police if I witness something bad happening, whether it’s a car crash, or someone getting mugged. 911 is a public service. You shouldn’t have to pay for a 911 call.
Sports mad, always full of energy and certainly not fat, five-year-old Lucy Davies’ parents had no concern about her health.
They are perfect for encouraging children to swim by keeping the stinging chlorine out of their eyes.
But health and safety officials today revealed a darker side to swimming goggles.
In late January, NetWitness security research were able to gain visibility into a large scale ZeuS-based botnet, taking user credentials and confidential information from thousands of organizations around the world (See The Wall Street Journal article). Some of the information collected has been synthesized in the Kneber Bot whitepaper that you can dowload from the NetWitness website.
Report for the UN into the activities of the world’s 3,000 biggest companies estimates one-third of profits would be lost if firms were forced to pay for use, loss and damage of environment
A fair number of people have written in response to my previous posting – The Real Struggle Behind Climate Change – A War on Expertise – griping that I do not get a crucial distinction between climate-change “Skeptics” and “Deniers.”
Several claimed to be rational, educated fellows who regret the shrill anti-intellectualism of Fox News. Yet, they still defend the core notion underlying the anti-HGCC (human generated Climate change) movement — the premise that virtually 100% of the thousands of scientists in a given field can be suborned, corrupted, or intimidated simultaneously into supporting a nonsensical, baseless theory.
Skeptics first admit that they are non-experts, in the topic at hand. And that experts know more than they do.
Sound obvious? Especially regarding complex realms like atmospheric studies, or radiative transfer, or microcell computer modeling. But this simple admission parts company from…
… Deniers, who wallow in the modern notion that a vociferous opinion is equivalent to spending twenty years studying atmospheric data and models from eight planets.
One is the trail of stupidity, leading to a cliff. Almost 100 years ago, in The Decline of the West, Ozwald Spengler transfixed the public with his certain-sounding explanations for why Europo-American society would soon dissolve into pain and despair, decadence and dust.
The schism over global climate change (GCC) has become an intellectual chasm, across which everyone perceives the other side as Koolaid-drinkers. Although I have mixed views of my own about the science of GCC, and have closely grilled a number of colleagues who are front-line atmospheric scientists (some at JPL), I’m afraid all the anecdotes and politics-drenched “questions” flying about right now aren’t shedding light. They are, in fact, quite beside the point.
That is because science itself is the main issue: its relevance and utility as a decision-making tool.
As part of the Agency’s Open Government plan, they’re soliciting input from the public through March 19th. Not only can you offer ideas, you can vote, and comment, on other people’s.
A CBS poll reveals that when asked whether the Obama administration, raised, lowered, or kept taxes the same for most Americans, only 12% get the answer correct: taxes were decreased.
• 24 percent of respondents said they INCREASED taxes.
• 53 percent said they kept taxes the same
• And 12 percent said taxes were decreased.
Charlie and Maria Cardoso are among the millions of Americans who have experienced the misery and embarrassment that come with home foreclosure.
WITH smartphones taking the world by storm, a phone that can only send and receive voice calls and text messages may seem like a relic from a bygone age. Yet in East Africa, simple phones like these are changing the face of the economy, thanks to the “mobile money” services that are spreading across the region.
The steady drip of details about the financial crisis continues. PBS News Hour has Paul Solman interviewing an ex-bank regulator, William Black who now teaches at the University of Missouri link here. Points Black makes that are worth thinking about:
*Following the S & L collapse, more than 1000 executive insiders were convicted and jailed for fraud. No one has been charged in the current mess, much less convicted or jailed.
In an interview last week, President Obama said he didn’t begrudge Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorganChase, and Lloyd Blankfein, the head man at Goldman Sachs, their 2009 bonuses of $17 million and $9 million, respectively. He said that while $17 million was “an extraordinary amount of money,” there are “some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well.”
Goldman Sachs and other big banks aren’t just pocketing the trillions we gave them to rescue the economy – they’re re-creating the conditions for another crash
We can’t help but share the “shocking” news we came across in the Sunday Times that former US Treasury Secretary (and former Goldman Sachs (GS) CEO) Hank Paulson does not believe that banning proprietary trading at large banks (i.e. Goldman Sachs) insured by tax payer dollars is a good idea. Since most of those in Washington with the power to formulate financial reform have spent most of their careers on Wall Street, and maintain close ties with their former pals, this “shocking” news should not come as a surprise. But it still makes us sick to our stomach.
First there was Enron; then, subprime. Now it turns out that some governments have been just as adept at using financial alchemy to hide debts. Take Greece, a country with a $350 billion national debt that is now under investigation by the European Commission (EC) for underreporting its deficit by as much as 9 percent of GDP in 2009. It used derivatives devised by Goldman Sachs to give itself an off-the-book loan, sold future EU subsidies and lottery earnings to investment banks for upfront cash, and raised money by mortgaging its highways and airports.
OVER the past few weeks, financial headlines have been hijacked by Greece. A number of commentators have almost buried the euro, pointing to the failure of Greece as the first domino to fall and to be followed by Italy, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. All those who had predicted in the 1990s that the euro was a stillborn project are at it again.
Greece replaced its debt management chief with a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker, as declines in the country’s bonds roil European markets.
The Greek crisis has thrown another detour into the euro’s march to world currency domination.
The rise of the European common currency has been a market theme for years. At its peak early in the financial crisis, the euro had gained 59% against the dollar since its inception in 2000, thanks to the European Central Bank’s inflation-fighting mandate and years of lax policy in the United States.
The rest of the euro-zone countries can come to the rescue. Indeed, these countries — led by France and Germany — have pledged twice this month to do what’s necessary to see Greece through its deficit crisis and defend the common currency. If need be, officials say, that will include a financial bailout of Greece, providing the funds to allow Athens to make its debt payments as the government slashes spending and raises taxes, no matter how unpopular this may be with its taxpayers.
A US corporation, GE Healthcare, has dropped the controversial British libel action it brought against a scientist who criticised one of its drugs, saying the firm did not mean to stifle academic debate.
Lawyers for leading Danish radiologist Henrik Thomsen said today: “He will be obviously relieved. Now he won’t have to worry about his future financial position, and won’t have to keep looking over his shoulder before he says anything.”
At a 2007 Oxford medical conference, Thomsen criticised use of Omniscan, GE’s best-selling contrast agent injected into patients so their tissues show up better during MRI scans.
I for one despair of us being dependent on a Court and a Parliament which have grown from a very different jurisprudential and cultural tradition to protect our rights, and for those with a sense of British liberty and freedom it feels rather shameful, doesn’t it?
A UCT student has been arrested, had his house searched and been questioned about his political affiliations after gesturing at President Jacob Zuma’s convoy of vehicles.
Police officers have claimed he pointed his middle finger at vehicles in the convoy and tried to resist arrest.
Possibility of stricter measures after resolution passed restricting sale to minors
With violent games currently causing a stir in Australia, closer to home it has emerged that Switzerland is now considering banning violent video games outright in the territory.
Meanwhile in a surprising twist, Eirecom have apparently pulled out of the negotiated settlement they reached in January 2009 to disconnect subscribers “repeatedly” using P2P for (alleged) illicit downloading. This was the result of the Irish court case brought against them by various parts of the music industry for hosting illegal downloads, and appeared to open up a route to “voluntary” notice and disconnection schemes on the part of the ISP industry; a worrying trend both for advocates of free speech, privacy, due process, ISP immunity and net neutrality.
UK Music has filed a formal complaint to the BBC over what it believes is a breach of the corporation’s editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality. The complaint relates to an an edition of The Culture Show broadcast on BBC2 on 4 February, 2010, which featured a segment on the Digital Economy Bill (DEB), which includes measures on clamping down on illegal filesharing.
The umbrella organisation that promotes the interests of Britain’s music industry claimed the programme-makers misrepresented certain facts relating to the bill that had been presented to them in advance. In a letter to the editor of the show, UK Music stated that this resulted in a broadcast it believes was not only grossly misleading and inaccurate, but also misinformed the audience in a biased and prejudicial manner.
But with iplayer, and other DRM systems, you are point blank breaking the law if you take that speech and use it – even though you wish to exercise your right to free speech, supposedly guaranteed in copyright law. This is because it is also illegal to get round copy restriction systems.
That’s right. You must break the law to use your legal rights. That’s very wrong. In a world full of bloggers, where free speech is genuinely being exercised publicly by thousands of individuals, these rights really matter.
THE NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (NPA), which is adopting a King Canute strategy against new technology, is trying to stop the BBC from making its content available on mobile phones.
From a practical point of view, trying to regulate the distribution of these materials over the Internet is an unachievable goal. No matter what laws are put in place, technological advances by ingenious young computer geeks mean that youth will always be one step ahead of the authorities. The industry may successfully prosecute and punish a few people but their success will be short lived. Almost no one will be deterred by legal prosecutions because the chances of being caught are minimal.
Awhile back an author and thinker named Richard Florida wrote articles and penned a book about the “rise of the creative class,” a demographic of young urban professionals who would be ferociously attractive to dying cities that have lost their industrial/manufacturing base, and what these cities would have to do in order to attract them. While there’s been some impressive debate about whether or not Florida’s thesis has proven true, and what cities are really benefiting from this push, one thing that’s clear to me is that the “creative class” — journalists, writers, programmers, Web designers, graphic artists, traditional artists, musicians, and so on — need all the help they can get.
Coming at the same question from the other direction, again, I have trouble seeing “resentment” as the issue at all. When we look at the success stories, the one thing that comes through loud and clear is that respecting fans results in those fans becoming incredibly loyal. They’re loyal to a fault, in fact. There’s no resentment there at all. If anything, at times, it seems to border on hero worship.
In the meantime, EFF and Public Knowledge have teamed up to ask the USTR to change the process and, at the very least, stop taking the word of industry lobbyists as if it were gospel. They also suggested that the USTR be more flexible in allowing countries to set their own IP policy — noting, amusingly, that the US itself famously didn’t implement its “international obligations” in the Berne Treaty for decades, because the country felt differently about certain aspects of copyright law. Hell, even today we’re not in full compliance with Berne. But for some reason the USTR acts as if other countries need to fall in line with US IP policy, even as we’ve chosen to go in a different direction when we felt it was warranted.
A new report by a consultancy firm specializing in analyzing consumer consumption of digital media reveals that during the last quarter of 2009, increasing numbers of Swedes accessed unauthorized movies and TV shows online. The research indicates that the downward trend provoked by the introduction of the IPRED legislation is over.
I rip all my kid’s DVDs (not least because she has a tendency to scratch them to hell), and the difference between firing up a movie on a laptop and it just starting versus trying to explain to a toddler why Daddy has to spend five minutes pressing next-next-next menu-menu-menu is enormous.
There once was a lawyer from the IOC,
who called us to protect “intellectual property.”
“During the Olympics”, she said with a sneer
“your site can’t use an Olympian’s name even if they use your gear.”
“No pictures, no video, no blog posts can be used…”
Even if they are old? “No!”, she enthused.
While Olympians chase gold the IOC pursues green.
Cough up millions, or your logo cannot be seen.
So it is obvious that whatever ACTA is, it isn’t a trade agreement. I came to this conclusion before Christmas 2009, but didn’t publish anything at the time, because I had no conclusive proof that it wasn’t a trade agreement. It’s obvious that something was being negotiated, but what?
The situation reminded me of the World War 2 Allied deception plans that were put in place to fool the Germans into thinking that the invasion of Europe would be anywhere other than Normandy.
So if ACTA is a deception plan, what is it hiding?
The main points I got from her recording were:
1. ACTA would not require any changes to IP laws. Note that this is impossible if the Treaty actually had anything to do with IP, but he was adamant on this point.
2. He kept mentioning Prince William. He seemed to thing that Prince William would become King of the United States, as well as England, Canada, Australia, and Mexico.
3. He was under the impression that no one would accept Prince Charles as King, due to his marriage to a divorced woman, an exceptionally archaic viewpoint as far as I am concerned.
4. He then confirmed that ACTA would require changes to laws. When she questioned him on this, as he had said earlier that it wouldn’t require changes, he said ‘I said it wouldn’t require changes to IP laws, I didn’t say it wouldn’t require changes to other laws’.
5. He then proceeded to mumble about how paranoid the Americans were, and how wrong they were about the ‘New World Order.’
For a while now, we’ve been discussing how the pricing on ebooks doesn’t make much sense, and almost certainly needs to fall. Like many industries, the book business could learn a lot from other businesses that have realized that drastically lowering the price on digital goods can massively increase sales, and better maximize profits. But, instead, book publishers seem to be pushing in the opposite direction, and trying to push the price of digital books up. We recently wrote about a NY Times article that suggested consumers might revolt if the publishers keep moving in this direction, which is actually supported by reports of how consumers are reacting to publishers’ anti-consumer activities with regards to ebooks.
Christian Einfeldt’s DTP presentation in Berlin 2004 08 (2004)
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