EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.19.10

Links 19/3/2010: Google’s TV Project, OpenOffice.org Turning 10, OSBC

Posted in News Roundup at 8:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Quality over time in Munich

    LiMux has a long-term agenda

    Yes, LiMux has a long-term agenda. We could have switched to linux clients in just a few months, giving the order to all 21 IT units to set up a linux client until end of 2008. No further specifications, no standardization and no consolidation. I’m pretty sure they would have done this excellent and then I would have published great news in 2007 or 2008 “LiMux done, Munich completely on free software”. But if we would have done this we would have ignored this big opportunity for Munich’s IT as a whole. Quality over time! Not related to free software, but neccessary for cleaning up our IT.
    We never ever will be happy slaves again

    I won’t excuse me for being clever and adjusting the way to achieve better goals. Digital sustainability is a long-term effort and not only a matter of Linux vs Windows. It’s not a matter for or against Microsoft. There are many vendors trying to lock you in. We learned it and do our homework. We never ever will be happy slaves again. You, too?

  • LiMux project management, “We were naïve”

    Since the end of last year, test runs have, says Schießl, shown that the Linux client can be fully integrated into these heterogeneous environments. According to Schießl, the pilot projects have been successfully concluded. A total of 3,000 computers are running open source software, twice as many as planned under the new initiative. Converting all computers to the Open Document Format (ODF) standard has overcome dependency on a single office software suite. The team is now getting down to the optimisation phase, aimed at improving efficiency and supporting “digital sustainability”. Schießl is confident that the remainder of the migration will proceed in a similarly smooth and rapid fashion.

  • Audiocasts

  • Desktop

    • Crazy Linux Fans Are Messing up Departmental Store Computers

      I had not heard of that term until I was surprised to see, it even made to a Wikipedia entry! From what I could figure out, PCjacking is an art of messing up with departmental store computers by quietly installing Linux on them to promote Linux. This of-course is an unauthorized install.

  • Server

    • Rethinking Failsafes for Critical Linux Systems

      Yes! The configurations of Linux and server applications are often customized during the installation as well as ongoing maintenance and general troubleshooting. Even servers with very similar functions are often configured differently. A primary goal to protecting a critical Linux server is being able to repair or replace the system and get it back into production quickly.

      The best-documented changes can quickly become outdated and often cause errors if not found until the damage has been done. Having a process that will automatically protect the unique configuration information will allow those changes to be applied to a standby or replacement server for rapid recovery.

  • Kernel Space

    • ATI Radeon KMS vs. UMS Performance With Ubuntu 10.04

      Through the Phoronix Test Suite we ran the World of Padman, OpenArena, Tremulous, Urban Terror, and VDrift tests. On the next two pages are the results.

    • AMD RS780/SB700 CoreBoot Support Released

      This free software BIOS implementation should now work on these newer AMD-based motherboards and are just the most recent of a growing list of supported chipsets by CoreBoot. AMD had promised this support many months ago but finally they cleared the legal requirements to push this code out to the general public.

    • Bam! Phoromatic 1.0 Unleashed & Ubuntu Joins The Party

      Phoromatic has been a huge success, but today we are announcing that Phoromatic has reached a 1.0 status and additionally we are providing the Ubuntu Linux community with a new performance tracker in collaboration with Canonical.

    • Graphics Stack

      • With KMS, Now Run Two X Servers Off One GPU

        Over the past several weeks there have been a number of new Linux graphics features introduced by David Airlie, a Red Hat employee and long-time X.Org contributer. Last month David began on a project rampage by bringing hybrid graphics to Linux via code he called “vga_switcheroo” to switch between ATI/NVIDIA/Intel GPUs without rebooting the system (though restarting the X.Org Server is needed at this time) that that code has now made its way into the mainline Linux kernel.

  • Applications

    • Shaving megabytes: cplay and mcplay

      A few months ago I mentioned mcplay as an alternative to the time-honored but unfortunately departed cplay. mcplay is intended to be a close mimic to the dead program, written in C as opposed to Python. At the time I made no real distinction between the two, since my concern was mostly with function, but as yasen mentioned, I should have.

    • 5 of the Best Free Linux Medical Practice Management Software

      Medical Practice Management Software (MPMS) is a type of software that is designed to supervise and support the day-to-day operations of a medical practice. This category of software typically offers functionality such as data entry, scheduling appointments, billing, reporting, records management, the generation of reports, accounting, and capturing patient demographics.

    • Audio

      • Linux Arpeggiators, Part 2

        I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief introduction to arpeggiators for Linux. The programs I’ve profiled are valuable additions to the creative Linux musician’s audio armory, you can’t beat the prices, and they are all great fun to explore. For now, I leave you to those explorations, and I’ll return soon with reports on the Behringer BCF2000 and FCB1010 MIDI control devices.

      • What’s been going on with Ardour?

        There hasn’t been much news posted here for a while, so I thought it was appropriate to update subscribers and other supporters of my work on Ardour on what has been going on. Development efforts have ben split (about 60:40) between Ardour 3.0 and continuing work on the 2.X series, both to fix bugs and to support the continuing improvement of Mixbus.

    • Proprietary

      • 10 Windows applications that should be ported to Linux

        I can’t tell you how many emails, phone calls, IMs, and Facebook messages I’ve gotten that asked when or if an application would be ported from Windows to Linux. Or how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I would use Linux, if X were ported to it!” So I decided to put these wishes to good use and list the top applications that should be ported to Linux. Some could be possible. Some are not (for whatever reason), which is a shame because the “not possible” tends to keep people from adopting Linux.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • How Nexuiz did not become proprietary or: “Silly names in Games”

        Some company will use LordHavoc’s DarkPlaces engine (DPE) to publish a game on some game console(s). The development team includes “a number of Nexuiz developers, and previous Quake1 community developers”. Nexuiz is a (or rather “the”) FOSS FPS that uses DPE.

        As far as I can tell, no assets of Nexuiz will be used. On the other hand, the soundtrack playing on the console-DPE-game homepage sounds like a remix of a Nexuiz track. I will just assume that the composer agreed to this and that the same might happen to other high-quality Nexuiz content and that it will all be legal. Lee Vermeulen (Nexuiz’ lead developer) is no license-n00b after all. Also, the console game will be using Nexuiz’ gameplay, which I assume means “game modes”, “movement/physics” and “weapon functions/balancing”.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME and KDE to co-locate 2011 Desktop Summit

      Following the success of last year’s Gran Canaria Desktop Summit (GCDS), Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, former Community Manager at Novell, has announced that the GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. boards have decided to once again co-locate their flagship conferences, Akademy and GUADEC, in 2011. In addition to simply co-locating the events, as they did in 2009, GNOME Foundation board Member Vincent Untz says that he hopes that the projects can “actually plan a combined schedule in 2011 so that KDE and GNOME contributors have every opportunity to work with and learn from each other.”

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Testing the Gnome 3 Release Candidate

        Although there’s no official word on when Gnome 3 will become the default desktop environment in Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth suggested last summer that the October 2010 release, or Ubuntu 10.10, would be a likely target.

        Given my experience with the new Gnome, I’m not convinced that’s a good idea, unless a lot changes on Gnome’s end between now and the fall. But I’ll save my criticism for another post. Below, I’ll focus on what Gnome 2.30/3 actually does, and how it’s so different from its predecessors.

      • Mutter 2.29.1 Brings Dependence On Clutter 1.2

        Mutter, the new window manager designed for GNOME 3.0 integration to replace Metacity 2, has experienced a new development release. Mutter reached version 2.29.0 last month and it integrated the most recent Metacity changes (up to v2.26), improved appearance of scaled down windows using mipmap emulation, new signals and properties, and many other changes. Metacity 2.29.1 that’s been released today doesn’t bring as many changes to the table.

  • Distributions

    • Three favorite distros currently in testing: SimplyMEPIS, antiX, PCLinuxOS

      SimplyMEPIS and antiX, two of the products in the MEPIS family, have been through several iterations of their Beta testing cycle, and now each of them has also released three release candidates (RC), and they are very cloe to release. Each of them has a Version 8.5 RC 3 now available for testing. These can be upgraded to final form by simply using Debian upgrade packaging techniques.

    • Debian Family

      • ROSE Blog Interviews: Margarita Manterola, Debian Developer

        Debian Developer Margarita Manterola recently threw her hat into the ring to be the next Debian Project Leader. Surprisingly, she was the first woman ever to do so.

        Join me in congratulating her for nominating herself and wishing her Good Luck!

        Q: Who are you?

        A: My name is Margarita Manterola. I’m a 30-year-old Software Developer from Argentina. I develop mostly in Python, but also in other languages, such as C or PHP. I teach programming at my local university. I’ve been married for five years to Maximiliano Curia, who is a System Administrator and a Debian Developer, like me.

      • Ubuntu

        • Tim O’Reilly: ‘Whole Web’ is the OS of the future

          Open-source developers and businesses are focused on the wrong opportunity, according to industry luminary Tim O’Reilly. The future isn’t programming for Linux or MySQL. The future is programming for the “whole Web.”

        • Difference Between Ubuntu and Linux

          Linux systems can be installed in various computer hardware, such as smartphones, laptops, PDA, and so forth. The use of Linux is very prevalent in servers. It is even reported that in 2008, at least 60 percent of web servers worldwide was run on Linux operating systems.

        • Testing The Power Management Of Ubuntu 10.04

          We tested out this new package with a notebook and netbook to see how it changes the power game for Ubuntu 10.04 along with whether it’s much of an improvement over the current Ubuntu 9.10 release.

        • Bye Ubuntu, it could have been fun .. but it wasn’t

          Ubuntu is supposed to be a meritocracy where an elite group of people make decisions based on technical ability. Where is this technical ability that they speak of though? How this process seems to really work is that Mark says “make it so” and his drones say “yes master”. That’s not a meritocracy, not at all.

        • OMG BUTTONS ON THE LEFT!!!

          The kicker, of course, is something I see way too often in Ubuntu land: people that don’t like it are simply called “trolls” and told to shut up. Often it’s shut up and leave.

          What the hell? How exactly are you supposed to get feedback and determine if you have a great success with your user interface if you don’t listen to the users?

        • Variants

          • Kubuntu is not Ubuntu

            So since Canonical does currently not exploit all business potential coming from Kubuntu, the community will probably be responsible for quite some time to come.

            This ultimately means that the community will apply the rules and judgment of which they think it is the best available. Since the community is mostly consisting of people contributing in their spare time human time resource is rather limited and thus one must choose the battles carefully. In consequence this means that some things simply cannot be done. Like say Ubuntu One integration, of course it would be nice to have, but currently there are much more important things to work on. Same goes for porting Software Center. Finally it also means that the community gets to decide how much branding gets committed, and currently the opinion is to stick with KDE’s. Not only is their artwork of incredibly high quality, but also are they the biggest contributors to the Kubuntu desktop, so they deserve most credit.

            On that last note I would also like to note that Kubuntu’s target was to make the best KDE distribution, not the best Ubuntu flavor, thus deriving from KDE’s artwork and color scheme would not only be in conflict with the fact that Kubuntu’s color palette is almost identical, but also with what Kubuntu is trying to achieve.

            In short: Kubuntu is not Ubuntu. Occasionally blogs and news stories and bug reports assume Canonical is responsible for things they are not. In general, me and the other Kubuntu developers are responsible for Kubuntu, please keep this in mind when moaning or praising us.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Marvell promises $100 tablet for students

      Marvell announced its intent to deliver a $100, Android-ready tablet computer built around a 1GHz Armada 600 series processor. Aimed at students, the “Moby” will offer WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, an FM receiver, and Adobe Flash compatibility, the company says.

    • Google’s TV Project

      • Google and Linux are coming to your TV

        In what may have been Google’s worst kept secret in years, Google, along with its partners, Intel, Logitech and Sony, is on its way to delivering the Web to your television. What will they be using to do this? Why, they’ll be using Google’s Android Linux, of course.

        Android is an embedded Linux that Google has already been deploying in phones like its own Nexus One and Motorola’s Devour and Droid. But Android has always been more than just a smartphone operating system; it’s also been used in netbooks and other devices. So taking it to a TV set-top box was an easy move for Google and its hardware friends.

      • News analysis: Google, partners have clout to make smart TV a reality

        With Google said to be working with Intel and Sony to develop a way to bring the best of the Internet to television, industry analysts wonder if the time for a smart TV has finally arrived.

      • Get Ready For Google TV, It’s Linux Too!

        Google has reportedly joined hands with Intel, Sony and Logitech to create Google TV. What is Google TV and why Google is suddenly interested in a new medium: TV?

      • Googleocracy
      • YouTube’s Bandwidth Bill Is Zero. Welcome to the New Net

        YouTube may pay less to be online than you do, a new report on internet connectivity suggests, calling into question a recent analysis arguing Google’s popular video service is bleeding money and demonstrating how the internet has continued to morph to fit user’s behavior.

    • Nokia

      • Nokia asks the Internet to help design a phone

        Nokia is tapping into the collective wisdom of mobile technology enthusiasts on the Internet as it designs a new smartphone concept device. The handset maker has launched a new project called Design by Community which aims to collect feedback about preferred device characteristics from visitors to the Nokia Conversations blog.

    • Tablets

      • Linux alternatives for the iPad – and the future of netbooks, tablets and smartbooks

        Apart from Apple, some other companies are bringing some interesting tablets. In contrary to the iTab, those other tablets do run Linux. Some are already available, such as the TouchBook from Always Innovating (AI), and some have supposedly better screens, like the Notion Ink Adam tablet. From the info available from Sola’s blog on the Notion Ink tablet, from the Wikipedia-info on the iPad and AI Touchbook and from the website of the AI touchbook I made a feature table so you can compare features. Apart from that, let’s take a look at the future: What technologies are coming to this market?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Building a better Firewall Builder

    Back in 1999, Vadim Kurland realized he needed a better way to configure a Linux firewall than the then-typical process of issuing cryptic commands or editing a text-based configuration file full of esoteric settings. Fortunately, he had lots of experience with commercial firewalls that he was able to apply to the problem. The result was Firewall Builder, a firewall configuration and management tool that lets administrators build firewall policies using a GUI, then push the configuration to firewall machines. It supports the open source firewall platforms iptables, pf, ipfw, and ipfilter, as well as Cisco ASA (PIX) and IOS access lists, and makes all these very different firewalls appear the same to the administrator.

  • SpringSource Launches TomcatExpert.com

    SpringSource says they’re expecting the site to be the single go-to-one-stop place for all your Apache Tomcat needs, be it troubleshooting to application server deployment. And that’s kind of a big deal, because, as the press release needs to remind you — Apache Tomact is the “world’s most widely used Java application server…” and “SpringSource employees” are credited with 95% of bux fixes to Apache Tomcat in the last two years. Plus, a good handful of Tomcat problem incidents are noted and fixed by SpringSource before they reach the community. SpringSource says it’s resulted in a 97% renewal rate for Tomcat support. Sounds pretty impressive.

  • The Tortoise And The Hare

    THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE

    The philosophy of Open Source reminds me of a story from ‘Panchtantra’: the tortoise and the hare.

    The tortoise and the hare were friends. One day, they decided to race against each other. The hare obviously took the lead; he thought of relaxing and went off to sleep. The tortoise, walking slowly but steadily, overtook the hare and won the race. The moral is,

    ‘Slow but steady wins the race’.

    In recent time, some new chapters have been added to this story.

    The hare was perturbed by the defeat. He asked the tortoise to race again. This time he did not take rest and won the race easily. The moral is,

    ‘It is better to be fast and reliable’.

    But, this is not the end of the story.

  • Mozilla

    • getting faster at getting faster

      Two things of note:

      1. The update offer of Firefox 3.6 to users of Firefox 3 and Firefox 3.5 is the first time we’ve ever done an offer to a .0 release to our user base. We’ve always waited until the .1 release or later. We did this because we were able to measure improvements over 3.5 in terms of performance, reliability and add-ons compatiblity.

  • Oracle

    • Ten Years of OpenOffice.org

      This year (2010) marks the 10th anniversary of a lot of things: Tuvalu’s entry into the United Nations, Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, and the debut of Windows ME, for example. But much more importantly, 2010 marks OpenOffice.org’s tenth year of existence. To celebrate, here’s a look–literally, because there are a lot of screenshots–at how OOo has evolved throughout the decade.

  • OSBC

    • OSBC focus turns to best practices for open-source adoption

      Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and Linux for IBM, gave a keynote address in which he enumerated the criteria by which open-source projects should be evaluated. His talk highlighted the problems that can arise when organizations choose the wrong open-source project around which to standardize. He also advocated the creation of a company-wide open-source governance plan.

    • 2010 Open Source Business Conference – Day One

      I am currently in San Francisco attending the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC). While the conference has been around for awhile, I have never had a desire to attend before since people have told me it is more like the Open Core Business Conference. Also, it was founded my Matt Asay who nurses a strong dislike for OpenNMS (for proof just check out his negative article on us and our BOSSIE last year which is based on quotes that don’t seem to exist in the original article).

      We have a standing rule at the OpenNMS Group that we will pay the expenses for any employee who gets a paper accepted at a conference, so I dutifully submitted two talks. The first was my ever evolving “So You Think You Want to Start and Open Source Business?” presentation, but since I was pretty certain that would be shot down, I also suggested another presentation where two of our “Ultra” support customers, Rackspace and New Edge, could talk about how they use the OpenNMS management application platform in their business.

      Both were shot down.

    • OSBC 2010 – Age of open source enablement

      My talk at OSBC centers on the cost savings benefits of open source software and how this drove adoption amid difficult economic conditions. There was also discussion at the conference of the impact of an improving economy. While I don’t believe IT budgets will get fattened up with improving economic conditions, I do believe that this could put more emphasis on some of the other benefits of open source software. Again, we found cost savings was the main driver for customers considering open source. However, after adoption, the top benefit changes to flexibility. In addition, while factors such as vendor lock-in appear to subside after adoption, open source benefits such as reliability and performance grow in significance. I believe this is indicative of where the market, customers and vendors are headed as they contemplate the benefits and rewards of open source. I also believe these ‘other’ non-cost factors all contribute to enabling IT individuals and teams based on open source.

    • The New Open Source Business Model Still Relies on Closed Source

      Over the last couple of years a number of different open source business strategies have evolved. According to the 451 Group, it’s an evolution that includes the broader adoption and usage of open source overall by both open source and proprietary software vendors.

  • Releases

    • Introducing the ANGLE Project

      We’re happy to announce a new open source project called Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine, or ANGLE for short. The goal of ANGLE is to layer WebGL’s subset of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API over DirectX 9.0c API calls. We’re open-sourcing ANGLE under the BSD license as an early work-in-progress, but when complete, it will enable browsers like Google Chrome to run WebGL content on Windows computers without having to rely on OpenGL drivers.

  • Government

    • Open Source Gets Political

      As an election looms in the UK, copyright, intellectual property and Open Source, are making an appearance on the political stage, both at home and internationally.

      The government has been forced to make a number of significant changes to Lord Mandelson’s much-criticised Digital Economy Bill. In response to a petition, the Prime Minister has dropped Mandelson’s plans for a controversial ‘three strikes’ rule forcing ISPs to permanently disconnect those repeatedly accused of illegal file sharing by copyright holders.

      Amongst a long list of grievances with the proposed bill, critics had pointed out the potential human rights implications of cutting-off households, particularly school children, from the Internet, based on the behaviour of one individual using a shared connection. However, in a statement on the Number 10 website, the government did not rule out forcing ISPs to enforce bandwidth restrictions, download limits and temporary account suspensions onto customers accused of breeching copyright.

      [...]

      Meanwhile, Shaddow Chancellor George Osborne has reiterated previous pledges to “create a level playing field for open source IT in government procurement”. The Tories’ new manifesto also promises to publish more information on all government contracts and tendering opportunities, as well as spending by QUANGOs and Local Government, in a bid to “open up government procurement to more SMEs.”

    • Web inventor calls for government data transparency

      Countries should be judged on their willingness to open up public data to their citizens, the inventor of the world wide web has told the BBC.

  • Openness

    • U.S. systemic savings from a full shift to OA: $3.4 billion

      King argues for an open access system via article processing fees, fully paid by the federal government. It is noteworthy that King’s estimate is that this would cost, in a worst-case scenario, an increase of less than 1% of what the U.S. federal government spends on research grants right now. King acknowledges the unlikelihood of this scenario. Average cost-per-article of $1,500 and $2,500 U.S. scenarios are employed; the additional cost for 100% funding of articles would be $427 million (at $1,500 per article) or $712 million (at $2,500 per article). King estimates that academic and special libraries could, together, save an estimate $4.1 billion per year.

    • ONS Solubility Book: Edition 3 with Notebook Archive

      We’ve been trying for some time to find a way to conveniently take a snapshot of our Open Notebooks and all associated raw data files. This could serve as a way to back up all of our work as well as provide a means of finding out the state of knowledge for a project at a given moment in time. There is also a tremendous benefit to confidently using the best of free hosted Web2.0 services out there (e.g. GoogleDocs and Wikispaces) without being concerned with changes in policies or access down the road.

    • On Open Data, Open Source, UK Libel Law and Evidence-based Sustainability

      As is often the case, someone asks for a written answer to a question, but then fails to use the material. The great thing about blogs is that they make it very easy to make sure such content isn’t wasted. So here are some thoughts on the GreenMonk mission and sustainability more broadly.

      We set up Greenmonk with the explicit intention of lobbying for open data and open source for better environmental outcomes.

      [...]

      In the UK, libel law is regularly abused to shut down dissenting voices. Its not just randy footballers that try and abuse the law. Pushing back against the status quo are organisations such as Sense About Science, which is backing the National Petition for Libel Law Reform.

    • An Approach to Open Access Author Payment

      There have been hundreds of articles in recent years exhorting the strengths and warning of the weaknesses of Open Access through author payment. This article discusses a few of the favorable and unfavorable issues and proposes an approach that takes advantage of the favorable aspects and overcomes some of the unfavorable ones. It requires extensive government support, which may or may not be feasible, but the approach is presented here nevertheless. Some evidence is given for the potential savings that would be achieved by scientists, publishers and libraries in the US.

    • No Panaceas! A Q&A with Elinor Ostrom

      Ostrom’s seminal book, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, was published in 1990. But her research on common property goes back to the early 1960s, when she wrote her dissertation on groundwater in California. In 1973 she and her husband, Vincent Ostrom, founded the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. In the intervening years, the Workshop has produced hundreds of studies of the conditions in which communities self-organize to solve common problems. Ostrom currently serves as professor of political science at Indiana University and senior research director of the Workshop.

      Fran Korten: When you first learned that you had won the Nobel Prize in Economics, were you surprised?

      Elinor Ostrom: Yes. It was quite surprising. I was both happy and relieved.

      Fran: Why relieved?

      Elinor: Well, relieved in that I was doing a bunch of research through the years that many people thought was very radical and people didn’t like. As a person who does interdisciplinary work, I didn’t fit anywhere. I was relieved that, after all these years of struggle, someone really thought it did add up. That’s very nice.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Wikipedia plans to offer open source video

      STANDARDS ADVOCATE the Open Video Alliance has got behind a campaign to enrich Wikipedia articles with video.

      Wikipedia walks a lonely path in supporting Theora, an open format which is in contention to be incorporated into HTML5′s video tag. This goes against the popular Flash encoded video ‘standard’ used by sites such as Youtube.

    • Let’s get video on Wikipedia

      The Open Video Alliance and the Participatory Culture Foundation have launched a new campaign to encourage people to upload videos to Wikipedia, the free collaborative online encyclopedia.

    • Why add video to Wikipedia?
    • What is HTML5 Video?
    • Open Video Alliance launches Wikipedia video campaign

      The OVA’s members include open video platform company Kaltura, Yale’s Information Society Project, Mozilla, and the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF). To get the party started, the PCF is making available a new software tool for Windows and Mac OS X that can convert videos into the open Ogg Theora format. The OVA has rolled out a new website with simple instructions that describe how users can download the software and start participating in the campaign.

    • Will Open Source Video Finally Kill Adobe Flash? Steve Jobs May Be Sorry What He Wished For

      All the buzz is that HTML5 will signal the death knell for Adobe Flash. Many would say good riddance, especially Apple’s Steve Jobs, whose steadfast refusal to support the technology has left many iPhone users with a crippled web browsing experience (including this blogger). But Jobs should be careful of what he wishes for. The eventual winner of the HTML5 video standards debate could be an open source standard. This will leave Jobs and his black box, closed system henchman in Cupertino in a bind.

    • W3C to Microsoft – follow the process

      In a posting on W3C blog, Ian Jacobs, Head of W3C Communications, has taken up Microsoft’s offer and invited the company to create an “Incubator Group” for the specification. Incubator groups do not produce standards, but the W3C community can decide later on whether or not to move the API onto the W3C Recommendation Track.

      Jacobs says that “Incubator Groups can smooth the transition from ‘good idea’ to ‘widely deployed standard available Royalty-Free’”. He also pointed out that the invitation was “not just for Microsoft” and that the W3C is interested in data access APIs adding “If you’re working on an API and it has ‘data’ in the name, I encourage you to build community support in a W3C Incubator Group.”

Leftovers

  • Canon First in Line for Its Own Top-Level Domain, .canon

    Canon announced Wednesday it intends to be the first company to say goodbye to .com and buy its own top-level domain, taking advantage of ICANN’s decision to broadly widen the number of top-level names. If — or rather when — this starts happening, web address conventions may never be the same.

  • Is There a Google News Blacklist?

    My relationship with Google News has always run hot and cold. No make that cold and tepid. From the very beginning of Google News as an experiment back in 2001, they refused to index my work, which they said was my fault, not theirs (“they” being an algorithm attached to an e-mail box, of course). But new evidence has recently come to light suggesting to me that Google News has an actual blacklist.

  • Science

    • [LHC] 19 Mar, New record beam energy

      Commissioning of the LHC continues at a very encouraging rate. In the past few days the protection systems have been qualified such that the beams could be safely accelerated to higher energies. In the early hours of this morning, around 5:30am Geneva time, both beams were successfully ramped to 3.5 TeV, 3 times higher than ever before! Even more encouraging, the beams were extremely stable during this period and had a very long lifetime.

  • Security

    • Exclusive: Next-generation super ID card on the cards for 2012

      According to Hosein, if the upgrades do take place, early adopters will have a hard time swallowing the fact they had paid £30 for a card that had gone out of date in three years or less.

    • Confidential report on Summary Care Records finds database is inaccurate

      The Summary Care Records database – which is central to the government’s plans to create health records for 50 million people – contains inaccuracies and omissions that make it difficult for doctors to trust it as a single source of truth, according to a confidential draft report.

      The findings by researchers at University College London, are likely to reinforce the concerns of the British Medical Association which has called for a halt to the “rushed” rollout of the “imperfect” Summary Care Record scheme.

    • Senators push Obama for biometric national ID card

      Two U.S. senators met with President Obama on Thursday to push for a national ID card with biometric information such as a fingerprint, hand scan, or iris scan that all employers would be required to verify.

    • Don’t be fooled. The ID card has not gone away

      If you are over 60 and want a bus pass – Pensioners could be forced to carry identity cards to qualify for free bus travel

      If you are poor and bank at RBS and Lloyds – Meg Hillier said companies might offer to buy the £30 cards for people who wouldn’t pay for them otherwise

      Or if you are just poor – Home Office minister Meg Hillier argues ID cards can provide the foundation for fairer access to services and opportunities

      If you work at an airport – All staff who work ‘airside’ are eligible to get a free card as part of the regional roll-out of the ID cards scheme

    • Town Council hit for CCTV debt

      A surprise demand to settle an outstanding debt for surveillance cameras in Monmouth could land Monmouth Town Council in the county court, reports Desmond Pugh.

    • CCTV bungle causes more delays

      Halstead’s long-awaited CCTV system faces fresh delays.

      Although the four cameras have been installed in the town, they have been fitted with the wrong type of cable boxes.

    • Dismantling of Saudi-CIA Web site illustrates need for clearer cyberwar policies

      By early 2008, top U.S. military officials had become convinced that extremists planning attacks on American forces in Iraq were making use of a Web site set up by the Saudi government and the CIA to uncover terrorist plots in the kingdom.

      “We knew we were going to be forced to shut this thing down,” recalled one former civilian official, describing tense internal discussions in which military commanders argued that the site was putting Americans at risk. “CIA resented that,” the former official said.

    • Peter Watts found guilty

      Early terse reports are that the jury has returned a guilty verdict for Dr Peter Watts, a science fiction writer who was beaten at the US-Canada border when he got out of his car to ask why it was being searched, then charged with assault. Peter faces up to two years in prison. I’ve emailed him for comment and I hope that he’s appealing.

    • Georgia Supreme Court Says It’s Okay To Put Non-Sex Offenders On The Registered Sex Offender List

      The question of registered sex offenders lists is a tricky one — because for those people who really do commit sexually-driven crimes against minors, it’s hard to be even remotely sympathetic to any complaints they have about the punishment they receive. The problem is that so many things are considered sexual offenses these days that many people are put on the list, and must live with it for life, for something that most people may consider a youthful indiscretion, rather than something that automatically should brand them to neighbors as a possible child molester. Things such as kids having sex with each other after only one of the two teens has reached the “legal” limit or even urinating in public can sometimes be classified as a sexual offense.

    • The Seventh And Ninth Circuits Split On What Constitutes “Without Authorization” Within The Meaning Of The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act
  • Environment

    • Climate Action: Burning Forests to Avoid Megafires

      Prescribed burns in the forests of the western U.S. will prevent larger wildfires and significantly cut the nation’s carbon footprint, according to a new study.

    • Caught Red-Handed: How Nestlé’s Use of Palm Oil is Having a Devastating Impact on Rainforest, The Climate and Orang-utans

      Nestlé is using palm oil from destroyed Indonesian rainforests and peatlands, in products like Kit Kat, pushing already endangered orang-utans to the brink of extinction and accelerating climate change.

    • How to make a snake

      When these regions are compared in animals like turtles and people and chickens, the genomes reveal signs of purifying selection — that is, mutations here tend to be unsuccessful, and lead to death, failure to propagate, etc., other horrible fates that mean tinkering here is largely unfavorable to fecundity (which makes sense: who wants a mutation expressed in their groinal bits?). In the squamates, the evidence in the genome does not witness to intense selection for their particular arrangement, but instead, of relaxed selection — they are generally more tolerant of variations in the Hox gene complex in this area. What was found in those enlarged intergenic regions is a greater invasion of degenerate DNA sequences: lots of additional retrotransposons, like LINES and SINES, which are all junk DNA.

    • Need a break? So does the rainforest

      Nestlé, maker of Kit Kat, uses palm oil from companies that are trashing Indonesian rainforests, threatening the livelihoods of local people and pushing orang-utans towards extinction.

    • Bye bye, bluefin: bid for trade ban fails

      An unprecedented effort to use world trade rules to save a species from rampant overfishing has failed. A proposal to ban international trade in bluefin tuna under the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was defeated today at a meeting of the 175 nations that belong to the treaty in Doha, Qatar.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • End government pre-snoop on stats

      The ability of politicians to spin official statistics to support their own point of view is likely to be severely curtailed – at least if UK Statistics Authority has its way.

      While the Reg finds it hard to believe that any government minister would be tempted in this way, the good folk over at the Statistics Authority would appear to be a little more cynical.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • A Saint Patrick’s Day special: Further Thoughts on Manuscripts, Marginalia, Mashups and Reading as Writing

      I wrote a post the other day about Digital Manuscripts, Reading as Writing, and the danger of of “digital rights management” (DRM). The New York Times today provided a lovely follow up in the shape of an article – Turning Green With Literacy – about the Irish role in saving the book after the Roman Empire collapsed.

      [...]

      DRM is designed to prevent playfulness. But the smartest people in publishing realise that the future will be ludic – George Walkley, who runs digital strategy at Hachette recently told me of the importance of making publishing more “ludic” or game-like.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • YouTube Motions Highlight How Entertainment Industry Lawsuits May Have Slowed Useful Platforms

      Now, some will scoff and claims that Grokster was never going to turn into what YouTube is today, but you’re saying that with the gift of hindsight. A large part of Viacom’s motion tries to suggest that the two companies actually were quite similar — but even Viacom is now admitting that YouTube’s business model was able to mature and adapt. Considering that we still don’t have music discovery, promotion and distribution tools as convenient as Napster was back in the day, this can be seen as a real shame. These lawsuits killed off a useful path of exploration for legitimate business models, and that’s not only shameful but a waste of innovative effort. It’s only through the random quirk of a slow court that YouTube may avoid suffering the same fate.

    • Indie Artists Discuss Dealing With File Sharing

      Then there’s an interview of Dan Bull, known around these parts for his musically brilliant open letters to Lily Allen and Peter Mandelson. In the interview, he discusses his views on the music business and things like file sharing. He notes that he’s mainly “against… enforcing backwards laws in order to cling onto an obsolete business model.”

    • The Little Band of White That Forced a Design Copyright Fight

      This writer is worn out and he wasn’t even at South by Southwest this weekend. So in the interest of keeping things light, here’s something to put into the strange copyright battles file. Dixie Consumer Products and Huhtamaki Americas Inc. have just finished up in federal court over a suit filed by Dixie who said their competitor had copied their cup design.

    • Apparently The Word ‘Piracy’ No Longer Sufficiently Derogatory For Entertainment Industry

      Ok. Pick your jaw up off the floor. First, this is stunning in that it’s been the entertainment industry itself that pushed and popularized the term “piracy” for copyright infringement. They did so very deliberately in an attempt to demonize the act of infringement, presenting it as something much worse. That some have since taken that term and embraced it hardly changes that initial fact. Second, she’s wrong about the fact that they’re “talking about a criminal act.” Yes, in some cases copyright infringement may be a criminal act, but in most cases the use of “piracy” these days refers to civil issues between two parties and not criminal acts at all.

    • Is Copyright the Buggy Whip of the Digital Age?

      Then in another panel session, Mr. Griffin, the founder of OneHouse, whose company is developing a new model of music and entertainment delivery, probably made the most impassioned argument that content must flow freely (double entendre intended) given its capacity to improve the human condition. He likened the current copyright model to an “old vine we cling to,” unsuited for today’s digital world. His solution is to pay content creators based on an “actuarial” model where groups can share revenue collectively.

      What was most inspiring is that these people were openly saying what I was thinking — the current system is ill-suited to the current realities. The answer lies in innovating new ways to compensate content creators such as new compensation structures or new engagement methods that can be monetized. In their personal experiences and outlooks, these content producers effectively laid down the gauntlet to the legal industry — innovate or we may all die.

      Maybe that’s why Jim Griffin used this quote as a rallying call: “Copyright law … is not an engine of free expression, but a yoke of innovation.” Maybe that’s why the conference is themed: “The Collision of Ideas.”

    • The 94 Percent Solution

      Newspapers are folding, magazines are fading, ad pages are down and angst is up in the serial publishing business as it struggles through a global technological transition and may not survive. But what will be our next New York Times, our new Field & Stream, our improved Playboy? That’s what the big guns of publishing are fighting about with their Kindles and iPads. But I think they may have it all wrong and my friend Anina, the fashion model/girl geek may have it all right.

    • DIY icon Albini addresses music industry issues

      The scene at Hailey’s Club on Friday afternoon played like a rumpled, foul-mouthed version of Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton. Denton musician Scott Porter had notes at the ready for his interview with Chicago-based punk rock musician and recording engineer Steve Albini. The near-capacity crowd in the bar filed in from Mulberry Street.

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • Why the ICC Report Makes Me Ick

        I have restrained myself from writing much about the ICC’s “Building a Digital Economy” report, because I knew it would make me too cross. Fortunately, someone who is rather calmer me than me has done a better job than I would with some careful, rigorous analysis.

      • About that Internet piracy study…

        Yesterday, Richard Wray wrote up a piece in the Guardian on a study which has been backed by the TUC and claims that by 2015, losses from piracy will reach £218bn and put 1.2 million jobs in peril.

        [...]

        What the BPI does publish (repeatedly on its site) is the figure of “some 7.3 million people engaged in unlawful filesharing”, according to Jupiter Research. Assuming these two figures — the number of people sharing and the amount of infringement taking place — are supposed to be consistent with one another, this leaves us with a few problems.

        That 7.3m figure was investigated by BBC Radio 4’s “More or Less” programme, and the results were written up by Ars Technica.

        [...]

        The bottom line here is that the 7.3m figure is essentially meaningless; it’s based on a survey of just over a thousand households and then multiplied up in the same way that the BASCAP report does in its predictions. If — and there’s potentially some wiggle-room here — this (still publicised today) 7.3m figure is related to the 1.1bn “infringements” figure, then it renders the UK music part of the BASCAP report as worthless as an educated guess by a journalist. If this is the quality of the data across the board, then the entire report has little merit at all from a analytics perspective.

      • Is the music industry trying to write the digital economy bill?

        Two weeks is a lifetime in politics – especially in the political life of the backwards digital economy bill, Labour’s gift to the incumbent entertainment industries that government is bent on ramming into law before the election.

        In my last column, I bore the bizarre news that the LibDem front-bench Lords had introduced an amendment to the bill that would create a Great Firewall of Britain. This would be a national censorwall to which the record industry could add its least favourite sites, rendering them invisible to Britons (except for those with the nous of a 13-year-old evading her school’s censorware). Over the following days, the story got weirder: the LibDem amendment got amended, to add a figleaf of due process to the untenable proposal.

        And then it got weirder still: a leaked memo from the BPI (the UK record industry lobby) showed that the “LibDem amendment” had in fact been written – with minor variances – by the BPI. And the BPI continued to leak: someone sent me the weekly internal status update prepared by Richard Mollet, BPI Director of Public Affairs for the core group of plotters behind the bill (someone should teach Mr Mollet about BCC).

      • New ACTA leak: It’s a screwjob for the world’s poor countries

        Translation for non-wonks: Historically, developing countries have asked the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization for “technical assistance” with their copyright laws. This has usually amounted to “Create copyright laws that will make it easier for rich countries to get richer,” but in the past several of years, WIPO has found itself with a large cadre of public interest activists and now, WIPO is working on a treaty on its “Development Agenda” to figure out a copyright system that serves humanitarian goals, too (for example, by making it legal for archivists and educators to work together to translated and adapt works that have different copyright rules in different countries).

        We’ve all known that ACTA is a way of writing copyright treaties without having to let poor countries and human rights advocates into the room. We’ve suspected that poor countries — who aren’t invited to the negotiations — will be strong-armed into signing onto the treate afterwards.

      • UK IP Minister Lammy Backs EU Release Of ACTA Text

        David Lammy, United Kingdom Minister for Intellectual Property, today said the UK supports the European Union’s position that the text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) should be made public.

      • Does ACTA = EU-wide copyright enforcement for the ‘Net?

        The European Commission has now admitted in writing what the ACTA negotiations will mean for the Internet. In Europe, it will mean a ‘harmonised’ enforcement

      • Now let’s visualise how the digital economy bill has changed..

        A simple programming tool is helpful in understanding what’s changed – but we really need some proper internet-enabled means of viewing bills, as MySociety points out

      • More ACTA Leaks: Would Create Special Organization To Manage Worldwide Copyright Laws

        The more of ACTA that leaks, the worse it seems. KEI has the details on another portion of ACTA that had not leaked yet, which focuses on setting up new institutions that would manage ACTA after it was implemented. Basically, it would be an ongoing organization tasked with continuing to update ACTA’s rules — sort of a parallel organization to WIPO, which already exists, but which has recently committed the mortal sin of actually listening to consumer rights groups.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey 03 (2004)


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

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    March 19, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Gravatar

    that ubuntu button reordering thing is fantastic. and i thought i got worked up over little nothings .. jesus.

    the new layout looks a bit crap but the old layout is a bit crap too, so big deal. it’s one of the first things i have to fix after a new login setup because i don’t like the microsoft windows 95 design that these guys are so vehemently defending (oh the delicious irony).

    ‘voting’ for everything is a bit of a disaster, votes are too easily rigged or manipulated by interested parties. Ubuntu like linux is no meritocracy either.

What Else is New


  1. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism<



  2. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  3. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  4. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  5. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  6. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  7. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  8. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  9. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  10. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  11. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  12. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  13. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  14. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  15. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  16. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  17. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  18. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  19. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  20. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  21. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools



  22. Bill Gates Investments Harm the World, Not Improve the World, Based on New Exclusive Piece of Investigative Journalism at The Nation

    The Gates Foundation's profiteering efforts and lack of ethics outlined in a new report that many sites around the Web find fascinating and mostly irrefutable



  23. Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

    Links for the day



  24. Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

    Torvalds' latest talk which got media attention earlier this month



  25. Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

    Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition



  26. Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over



  27. New Lies About Microsoft 'Privacy' and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From 'Former' Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

    More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft



  28. Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

    Links for the day



  29. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  30. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts