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04.24.10

Links 24/4/2010: Dell and ASUS Go With Android

Posted in News Roundup at 8:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Linux Client at Work

    He had been listening to Clark Howard, and Clark had mentioned Linux on his show. This peaked the man’s interest. His thought was “if I can run my computer without Microsoft’s products, that’s what I want to do.” I then had the pleasure of telling him that I am both the Linux and Macintosh departments of the business. I proceeded to tell the man what the differences are and he became even more thrilled. No viruses? Really? No cost, really? Over 10,000 programs free for download? Oh boy! So, I pulled out the Mandriva 2010 disc, and went to town. In one hour, he was ready to go. He has told many people about the system, and the phone doesn’t seem to stop ringing. Awesome for me, and for my boss. Their revenues saw a slight rise, and I now have some reasonable job security. How cool is that?

  • Linux Consulting: Seeing the Bigger Picture

    Recently we had a Linux consulting opportunity to install and configure a Postfix mail server for a small company. The company wanted “secure” email for their users. One aspect of the request was to create an encrypted login and communication from the client to the mail server for IMAP using Squirrelmail and providing secure connections to the local client Thunderbird or Outlook. This process is straightforward however there is an issue with the word “secure”.

  • Freedom movement

    With over 1,200 students participating, the conference exhibited the language of free software while not losing sight of the purely technical aspects of GNU/Linux. Coding sessions, handled by experts in GNU/Linux-based programming, exposed students to the free software culture that thrives in the Linux User Groups – popularly called Lugs, these form the basic units of the free software movement – in academic institutions and among software professionals across the country.

  • Audiocasts

    • Linux Outlaws 147 – Where’s the ‘kin Phone?

      This week on Linux Outlaws: Ash clouds, new DPL elected, Google doing good things for Linux and open source, Apache attacked, Microsoft’s new phone and Fab is annyoing everyone with hockey talk again…

  • Kernel Space

    • Software SSD Cache Implementation For Linux?

      With the bottom dropping out of the magnetic disk market and SSD prices still over $3/GB, I want to know if there is a way to to get the best of both worlds. Ideally, a caching algorithm would store frequently used sectors, or sectors used during boot or application launches (hot sectors), to the SSD.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.34 (Part 2) – File Systems

      Version 2.6.34 of the Linux kernel will be the first to support the Ceph and LogFS file systems. A number of changes to the Btrfs and XFS code promise improved performance. The kernel should now be better at working with drives with 4 KB logical sectors.

      On Tuesday morning, Linus Torvalds released the fifth pre-release version of Linux 2.6.34. One feature highlighted in Torvalds’ release e-mail was a fix for a problem in the ACPI subsystem which had afflicted several testers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Kaudiocreator Returns in KDE4

        Thanks to Apachelogger, the KaudioCreator package is now available at https://edge.launchpad.net/~kubuntu-ppa/+archive/beta. This is the BEST cd-ripper I’ve ever used, and I hope the wonderfulness came across to KDE4.

      • Finally! The first Gluon alpha released! :D

        For those who don’t want to worry about the reasonings behind Gluon and such, you can go straight to the download page and grab yourself a copy, and start playing around :-)

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Linux Distro Review: PCLinuxOS 2010

        Overall, the PCLinuxOS 2010 KDE and Gnome versions are a very good choice, but I would not call them ‘radically simple’. It’s bloated with too many programs I will never use. New users should definitely avoid the KDE version and opt first for Gnome.

        My thanks go to PCLinuxOS for allowing us all the opportunity to make our own decision about their software. I am thankful to the Linux community at large for supplying such a wealth of distributions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The future of open source is in the middle

        Open-source software is likely to remain in certain niches, former Red Hat VP Erik Troan says, but open source is increasingly becoming a necessary foundation.

        [...]

        What people are really paying for in open source is editing, said Troan, channeling his grandfather, who was a newspaper editor for decades. They’re relying on other people to pick out the bits of code and pieces of software that do what they need to get done once they’re put together.

      • Red Hat (and KVM) are still RHEL-evant

        I started to read with a bipartisan mindset about “Xen and Theory of RHEL-evance” posted in the Citrix community blog by Simon Crosby. What appears to be a great title at first seems to be mostly FUD on why KVM is doomed for failure especially in the enterprise marketplace and Red Hat will drown with it. It did not have enough facts, just FUD most of the time. I would to counter his so called “facts” here as its been a long time anyway since I last updated my blog.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora elections coming up

          Per Paul’s announcement on Elections, Fedora will be holding Elections for FESCo and the Fedora Board starting with nominations opening tomorrow.

          I am going to throw my hat back in the ring for FESCo again. I hope folks will consider voting for me.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze Bug Count

        Wow! the 900 developers and friends of Debian GNU/Linux are really eating up the bugs. They are down below 700 bugs now and they are not yet at package-freeze. If they keep this up, they will release this year.

      • Ubuntu

        • Frugal Tech Show: Matt Zimmerman, CTO of Canonical (Ubuntu Linux)
        • Ubuntu Shipit Opens Again: Get Free Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx CD
        • Ubuntu Lucid in final stretch

          Ubuntu’s Lucid Lynx release is one step away from final release.

          Lucid Lynx, otherwise known as Ubuntu 10.04, is now in the final stretch.

          Yesterday the Ubuntu Developers announced the Release Candidate, the penultimate release before its final April 29 release.

          The desktop version of the release includes cloud computing updates, Music Store improvements and tighter social networking integration. Changes to the server version of the release are mostly focused on improving its cloud computing capabilities.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Release Candidate Is Out [See What's New]
        • Ubuntu wants Adobe, even if Apple doesn’t

          I recently suggested that, given Apple and Adobe’s growing war over iPad and iPhone applications, it would make sense for Adobe to move not only its end-user applications, but its Creative Suite development stack, to Linux. While I don’t know if Adobe is considering it, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, would welcome Adobe.

          Canonical marketing manager Gerry Carr told me that “in a recent survey we did of the Ubuntu User base where we got 32,000 plus responses, Adobe Photoshop as a potential application for Ubuntu got a 3.52 rating out of 5 being the second most popular potential app after Skype.”

        • Open Source Communities: Canonical, Ubuntu and Jono Bacon

          Recently I read that Ubuntu devs are were debating about desktop color scheme, and someone was arguing that in the meantime Fedora devs are debating about update policy. I’d like to get your opinion about what is important at Ubuntu, and why.

          Jono, what are key issues at Ubuntu nowadays?

          Ubuntu as project invests it’s time and effort in a wide and diverse range of area including documentation, translations, development, testing, advocacy and more. In each of these areas we have sought to build a strong a vibrant community to help volunteers be productive and have fun at the same time.

          One particular focus we have been growing has been in the area of design. We are keen to apply the same ethos to the design community as the rest of the community: rewarding good work with great reputation, and looking to our top contributors to help guide and contribute to Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu Discards System Tray

          Ubuntu, the open source operating system, is ditching the system tray, the bar at the bottom of most browsers that is supposed to act as a notification area. The rationale for the change, according to Matthew Paul Thomas, an Ubuntu contributor, was “its ineffectiveness at notifying people of things, and its inconsistent behavior.”

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Overview

          For those running XP, not impressed with either buying a new OS for a couple of hundred or buying a new PC, Ubuntu is an option. But you will want to make sure you buy a book like Ubuntu for non-Geeks before taking the plunge. This will save you a lot of confusion as this is NOT Windows.

        • 5 Recommended things to do before upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
        • Ubuntu Power Users Community

          The benefit of this kind of community is that it would provide a home for those people who desire more configurability of Ubuntu beyond it’s default installation, and provide a fantastic way of supporting this community of users.

        • Canonical open sources Launchpad and Ubuntu Single Sign On code

          More details about the Canonical Identity Provider can be found on the project’s Launchpad page (login required). Canonical Identity Provider code is released under version 3 of the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPLv3).

        • Server

        • Variants

          • Xubuntu Lucid

            So just for giggles I got the newest version of Seamonkey and installed it. Hey! The mail client is almost exactly like Thunderbird 2.0, and the browser, omygoodness – it’s faster than Firefox! Heheh. I got a bonus! I’m a happy boy again, and my inner geek can just find something else to go do with himself. I dunno, go watch Star Trek or something. I got a life to live, and an operating system that fits the bill.

          • Upcoming Artwork for Linux Mint 9

            Clement Lefebvre proudly announced two days ago (April 21st) the plans for the artwork of the upcoming Linux Mint 9 operating system. Dubbed Isadora, Linux Mint 9 will be based on the unreleased Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system and will include some new and beautiful artwork. The most important thing to mention is the fact that the window buttons in the title bar will remain on the right side!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • browse the web with your android powered e-reader

        This is what I was looking for, an E-reader with a E-ink screen so it’s easy on the eyes, but also a full color 3.5” touchscreen LCD screen ideal for web browsing. The 6” EPD screen displays like a printed page and text is adjustable for easy extended reading.

      • Dell Android Mobile Device Trio: Thunder, Flash, Smoke Smartphones

        Dell’s first attempt at an Android smartphone never made it out of the gate, according to one analyst, after the phones failed to impress the wireless carriers. But the second time may prove the charm as Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) has some stylish new Android phones in the works.

      • Dell preps bevy of Android devices

        Dell is planning to release a bevy of ARM-based mobile devices, according to what Engadget says are leaked company documents.

      • Automatic App Updating Coming in Android 2.2

        One Android feature that our readers have been asking for is the ability to update all applications and games to the latest release. It’s not uncommon for the average user to see 15 or more notifications a day indicating new versions of downloaded apps.

      • Flash and Air Developers Finding it Easy to Port to Android.

        Androidpolice.com is reporting that with the recent huge push from Adobe, application and game developers are having a breeze of a time porting over their Air and Flash apps to Android. Most of the feedback of the process has been positive from devs, some even saying that their apps are porting over in 10 minutes!

      • Will Google Go After Flash Developers Next?

        For all I know Google has been going around secretly working to bring some Adobe applications to Android. Whether that involves giving away free phones or not is hard to say. I’d like to think that some of these developers would love nothing more than a chance to stand on stage at Google I/O and demonstrate their apps and games to the thousands in attendance.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC in Paraguay educates both little kids and teenagers

        Stop: How do the hackfest meetings work?

        Bernie: The participants have different software programming skills and the teaching method is very informal. Right now I have about ten students from 12 to 50 years old, and only two of them speak english. As you can imagine we have some problem to communicate with each other, but everybody’s enthusiasm overcomes the limits of my uncertain spanish. The best students right now are Benedicto one of the Scratcheros, who’s only 12 years old, and two older guys, Kenny Meyer and Gabriel. Kenny already knows well Python and Linux and also fixed a bug in one of our programs. Gabriel is very serious and motivated, wants to learn about everything and could help us with reporting bugs from the field.

        Stop: It looks like the OLPC in Paraguay isn’t helping just the younger children. The project can also offer an excellent opportunity to older boys and girls to use ICT to do something useful for their peers (sometimes it also happens in Italy, as Stop! readers know from our JumPC and ITIS Linux stories). Congratulations to Bernie and we wish to him and all his teen hackers success!

    • Tablets

      • Asustek Eee Pad to hit channel in July

        To compete against Apple’s iPad, Asustek has strengthened the Eee Pad’s industrial design and has cooperated with Google to adopt its Android platform. Asustek will also add features that iPad currently does not support such as USB, integrated webcam, and Adobe Flash, Shih noted.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Become a lord of the diamond with NetStats Baseball

    You may never get to manage in the major leagues, but with NetStats Baseball, you can get an idea of what it’s like. NetStats is a simulation of Major League Baseball that uses statistics from players and games from 1901 through 2009 as input to gameplay. You can play a game between any two MLB teams from those years, create your own teams from real-life players across various years, play a whole season game by game, or watch AI managers play an entire season in seconds.

  • Datacenter Barometer: Cfengine Revs Up Configuration Management

    What I found interesting about Cfengine is that Burgess originally started Cfengine as a scientific research project, and even though he founded a commercial company in 2008 to develop and support commercial extensions for Cfengine, that same level of academic rigor still pervades through the project. Burgess still does research on systems management, and has developed the Promise Theory, “model of voluntary cooperation between individual, autonomous actors or agents who publish their intentions to one another in the form of promises,” from his work on Cfengine.

  • Neufbox4 and OpenWrt [French ISP SFR releases source code of its OpenWrt based DSL router]

    The Neufbox4 is a BRCM63xx based DSL router the french ISP SFR (www.sfr.fr) provides to its customers, and more than 3 million units are currently in use. The device is developed by Efixo (www.efixo.net) and the OpenWrt based sources are available through a subversion repository and documentation is placed in a Trac wiki (http://dev.efixo.net).

  • Metasploit Goes Commercial in New Express Edition

    The Metasploit Framework is an open source vulnerability testing framework and is currently at version 3.3. Rapid7, the lead vendor supporting Metasploit, is now aiming to make Metasploit easier to use and manage — and that’s where Metasploit Express, set for release in May, fits in.

  • Mozilla

    • High performance Theora codec for Firefox on OMAP3 previewed

      On his blog, Matthew Gregan reports that there has been some success in shifting the major part of the processing load caused by decoding Theora videos into the DSP (Digital Signal Processor) core of Texas Instruments’ OMAP 3 processor. This family of processors is used in the Motorola Droid, Nokia N900 and Palm Pre smartphones as well as the Beagle Board. Gregan is employed by Mozilla and is currently working on improving video and audio support in Firefox. It is not currently known when the development work previewed will be incorporated into a future release of Mozilla’s mobile browser.

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Status Report January-March, 2010
    • FreeBSD/CLANG compiler ready for testing

      Currently FreeBSD uses GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) as its system compiler. Since the GCC project has moved to the GPLv3 license, the FreeBSD Project is forced to use version 4.2.1 or earlier.

    • Clang, Chromium, ZFS Improve On FreeBSD

      Daniel Gerzo with the FreeBSD project has issued a status report concerning work going on within FreeBSD and related projects for the first quarter of this year. Catching our interest in particular were the updates surrounding LLVM/Clang as the compiler for FreeBSD’s base, the Chromium web browser porting efforts to FreeBSD, and ZFS file-system enhancements.

    • BSDTalk interview with Dru Lavigne

      Dru and Will talk about her new book, The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD, and also about the new BSD Professional Certification exam.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Reasons Why You Don’t Contribute To Open-Source Software

      GCC on the other hand tends to have a higher standard with regard to code quality and documentation with requiring patches comply with the GNU style.

    • Freedom, the Marathon, Open Source Software and Beer

      So too do both facets of the word “free” apply to the open source world. GNU.org maintains a definition of free software that begins by taking the distinction on directly as follows: Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer.

    • Free vs open: What’s the difference?

      The phrase ‘Free Software’ is used by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in its older meaning: it’s software that comes with no restrictions for you to modify it and distribute it.

      The FSF defines these freedoms as: the freedom to run the program for any purpose, commercial or otherwise; the freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do something else the freedom to redistribute copies; the freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements.

      That much makes sense: we share our software and everyone benefits. But it does confuse many people because you are quite within your rights to sell that software if you want it – Free Software can have a non-free price tag.

  • Releases

    • VLC media player version 1.0.6 release – vulnerabilities removed, stability improved

      Version 1.0.6 (part of the ‘Goldeneye’ branch) of the free media player and streamer – VLC media player – eliminates nine security vulnerabilities and offers increased stability. The vulnerabilities were discovered by the developers while working on the code for the upcoming version 1.1.0 and include heap overflows in the audio decoders for DTS, MPEG and A/52, and memory access errors in the AVI, ASF and Matroska demultiplexers.

  • Europe

    • How the UK government can follow Obama’s open source revolution

      The Obama White House is releasing custom open source code that it developed itself back to the Drupal community.

      The White House said that by releasing some of its code it will get the benefit of more people reviewing and improving it.

    • EU: open standards and interoperable systems for e-government

      EU governments should use open standards and interoperable systems to deliver electronic government services, EU ministers and the European Commission agreed earlier this week. They also stated they would promote the reuse of public sector information.

      The ministers declared to “embed innovation and cost effectiveness into eGovernment through the systematic promotion of open standards and interoperable systems, development of EU wide e-authentication schemes and proactive development of e-invoicing, e-procurement and pre-commercial procurement.”

    • Cenatic: ‘Using open source is key for e-government’

      Using open source is a key element for delivering electronic government services, argues Cenatic, Spain’s national competence centre on open source. In a paper published on 5 April, the centre lists nine other reasons why public administrations should be using open source.

      According to Cenatic, open source software conforms to European rules and recommendations in interoperability. “The European Union and the Spanish Government have decided that the use of open source software is a key element for the development of e-government and open government.”

    • Final version of Procurement and Open Source Software Guideline published

      The final version of the Procurement and Open Source Software Guideline has been published on OSOR.eu. The study, commissioned by the European Commission as part of the “Dissemination of good practice in Open Source Software (GPOSS)” measure under the IDABC programme, gives guidelines for public administration on how and why publicly acquire open source software.

  • Licensing

    • Cherry-Picking Open Source Licenses

      The widespread creation and reuse of open source software by commercial companies has introduced a whole new level of complexity to the legal challenges related to software licenses. Companies distributing open source software must draft or choose an appropriate license for their original code and they must understand and comply with the license obligations imposed on them with the use of third-party code, including open source. Deciding what open source license to distribute software is a key element in building an ecosystem of users, partners, supporters, and advocates.

      [...]

      Whether an author or business model demands restrictive or permissive licensing terms, there is likely to be an OSI-approved license that supports the goals of the individual or organization. So you may not need to create your own license or pay an attorney to create one for you. Authors need to weigh their objectives against the various types and popularity of licenses. Users need to understand the license obligations of open source software they are considering, evaluate them for their particular use case, and be sure they can abide by them. There is an abundance of open source available. It’s a valuable and powerful resource that many companies employ to improve the efficiency and speed of their development process.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Urban Forest Map: Wikipedia + Google maps, but for Trees

      Since everything’s open source, if someone else has a good idea of something to do with all this tree-info, they’re free to go ahead and build their project. “The data, the software source code, and the website html/css code are licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL)”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Best of HTML5

      Until recently web-based video relied on Flash, Adobe’s rich media language. But HTML could put an end to that with its own native video tag. In HTML 5 it is not only as easy to embed a video in a website as it has been to embed an image – using just one tag – but it also opens the way for a host of additional features. Using the HTML5 video tag developers can embed videos without third-party codes and manipulate the videos in real-time. A demonstration of HTML5′s video capabilities can be found here.

    • Invasion of the .docs

      The biggest worry in the transition was my wife’s school-work. She’s working on some degrees right now, and she has to write an awful lot of papers. She also has to read a lot of .doc files. As a former Ubuntu user, she also had some old ODF files lying around.

Leftovers

  • Poison pen reviews were mine, confesses historian Orlando Figes

    After Amazon notices rubbishing peers’ work were spotted, esteemed Russianist initially denied all connection, then said his wife had written them. He has now conceded the ‘foolish errors’ were his own

  • Is Google Appifying Email a Good Thing?

    It’s Google’s Internet, we just use it. Well, maybe not, but some days it seems that way. Google’s gone from searching the Internet to being a big chunk of it. The latest moves from Mountain View include adding OAuth and contextual gadgets to email. Good on the surface for Google users, but what do they mean for everybody else?

  • Security/Aggression

    • Local computer security expert investigates police practices

      Eric Rachner sits in the back of a police car the night he was arrested for obstructing an officer. This image is taken from video footage recorded by a camera inside the vehicle — footage that Seattle police long maintained had been erased.

    • NSA’s boot camp for cyberdefense

      If you’re the kind of person who worries about the security of computer networks, you should know that the National Security Agency is worrying about it too.

      Since Tuesday, the NSA has been conducting its 10th annual Cyber Defense Exercise, a competition that pits students from a series of military academies against each other–and against the competition’s leaders at NSA–in a bid to see who has the best cyberdefense skills. The idea? To “build and defend computer networks against simulated intrusions by the National Security Agency/Central Security Services Red Team.”

  • Environment

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Cox Discontinues Usenet, Starting In June

      Existential Wombat was one of several readers to note that Cox Communcations customers have been put on notice that their Usenet access will soon dry up, unless they want to pay a monthly surcharge for it.

    • Facebook: Privacy Enemy Number One?

      Facebook’s notable announcements this week range from a holistic vision of a seamless, semantically-enabled Web of human relationships, to a simple “Like” button, which will soon be omnipresent on the Internet. The moves are ambitious, giving even fast-moving rivals like Twitter reason to worry. Still, the simple fact that gets lost in the rush towards ubiquitous social connectivity is that Facebook users still don’t know what they are sharing, with whom, or why it matters. In short: Facebook remains a privacy minefield.

    • Burma’s hip-hop resistance spreads message of freedom

      Thxa Soe’s music gives country’s youth a focus for dissatisfaction with the junta despite strict censorship

    • Chinese artist’s work removed from Paris gallery in censorship row

      A British curator has accused France’s most prestigious art school of “unambiguous censorship” after a work satirising one of Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign slogans was taken down hours after going on display.

      Clare Carolin, a senior tutor at the Royal College of Art in London, who was working on the ill-fated project at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, condemned the decision to remove the work, which was deemed “too explosive”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Nina Paley: My Decision To Turn Down Netflix Due To DRM

      Sita Sings the Blues has a few Endorsed DVD distributors. In addition to QuestionCopyright.org and myself, there’s FilmKaravan, a distribution collective that handles “downstream” deals with VistaIndia and IndiePix. Their distributions are on amazon.com (I get a much smaller percentage from those than from my DVDs, but they reach a much wider market) and Netflix.

      [...]

      In the last few years DRM has grown increasingly pervasive, with little-to-no press coverage. Consumers passively accept it, as proven by Apple’s new “everything-DRM” device, the iPad.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • India’s copyright proposals are un-American (and that’s bad)

        India’s copyright office website is “best viewed in 1024 x 768 true colors, Internet Explorer version 6.0 or above.”

        That might sound a bit dated, but it has nothing on the country’s copyright law, which was last overhauled completely in 1957. Although it was updated five times in the 1980s and 1990s, the law does not comply with numerous international treaties such as the WIPO Internet Treaties of 1996.

        On April 19, another major set of Copyright Act amendments (PDF) was introduced with the explicit goal of bringing India into compliance “with the provisions of the two WIPO Internet Treaties, to the extent considered necessary and desirable.” (Note that final clause; we’ll return to it in a bit.)

        [...]

        The US has these laws in place already, and these provisions are also being pushed as part of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which hopes to bring the wonder of $1.92 million statutory judgments against individual file-sharers to the rest of the world.

    • ACTA and Digital Economy Bill

      • ✍ Explaining Freedom

        I looked through all the major party manifestos and found almost no mention of:

        * the Digital Economy Act and its consequences for WiFi availability and internet filtering,
        * the consequences of widespread data triangulation precipitated by surveillance,
        * the need for open data formats and not just “open data”,
        * the reasons why the publication of the ACTA draft doesn’t clear up many concerns despite the people behind it claiming there are no problems.

Clip of the Day

Glaciers Spur Alaskan Earthquakes (8/3/2004)


IRC Proceedings: April 24th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Copying is Not Theft (Ogg Video)

Posted in Videos at 4:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Simple reminder of how copyright works; pass it on


Novell News Summary – Part III: Last News Summary; SCO Updates and BrainShare Amsterdam

Posted in Java, Mail, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, SCO, Servers, Virtualisation, Xen at 1:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s proprietary software as seen in the eyes of the past week’s news

THIS is the last “Novell News Summary”; the delivery format is about to change for the first time in years. Today we’ll address several areas in turn.

Pulse

Pulse enjoyed some video promotion in Brainshare 2010 — promotion that has just been uploaded again because it’s a nice video (someone has also uploaded old Novell adverts [1, 2, 3]). Pulse has pretty much been forgotten about, perhaps except for this one sentence in an article about Wave.

Novell are working on Pulse, a collaboration tool that used to be separate, but after we announced Wave they started working to allow compatibility across product boundaries.

Novell is betting on piggybacking Google. It’s absent from the mainstream media for the time being.

SCO

Novell’s victory against SCO was covered in Linux News Log a few weeks late. The hearing about SCO's Java patent took place some days ago; here is what Groklaw wrote in advance:

The SCO bankruptcy hearing on the sale of the Java patent will be on April 20. That’s this proposed sale to Liberty Lane for $100,000, and that’s an LLC affiliated with Allied Security Trust, the anti-patent-trolls company, if you’ve dropped a stitch and can’t keep up as SCO’s assets get sold off bit by bit. If anyone else has bid, other than Liberty Lane, then there would be an auction on the 19th, but SCO told the court they don’t expect that to happen.

This Java patent was not a done deal yet. Here is another update from Groklaw which talks about the patent being sold.

Bankruptcy court gets more and more weird. Today’s scheduled hearing in SCO’s bankruptcy was cancelled at the last minute. No one told the U.S. Trustee’s Office, I gather, since our reporter showed up and so did that office’s representative. Meanwhile, the order approving the sale of the patent was approved and signed by the judge.

Groklaw then explains “What the Judge Still Has to Decide in SCO v. Novell”

We know that the jury in SCO v. Novell decided that SCO didn’t get the copyrights in 1995 under the APA or by Amendment 2 or any fusion thereof. That killed SCO’s slander of title claim as well. But that isn’t the end. There were some issues the parties agreed before the trial which would be decided by Judge Ted Stewart. That has yet to happen.

The most important remaining issue is SCO’s claim for specific performance. SCO’s alternative claim, should it fail to win on the copyright issue, was that even if it were decided that it doesn’t get the copyrights to date, under the APA Novell is obligated to turn them over now. I’ve seen some comments wondering if there will be another trial of these issues left for the judge to decide. The answer is no, I don’t think so. It was all tried together. The jury rendered its verdict, and next comes the judge’s. I don’t know of any time frame.

The following day and the day after that:

Novell has filed its Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in SCO v. Novell, one of the two documents that the judge has been waiting for prior to reaching his decision on the issues he was to decide after the jury reached its verdict on copyright ownership…

It seems like it never ends. Novell’s stock is still steady ahead of what seems like a takeover. This could certainly disrupt the case against SCO.

Old Products

iPrint adds some drivers and Netware continues to receive support from Arkeia [1, 2]. This was mentioned before; Netware has no real future, but it still has many users.

Virtualisation

Red Hat has just officially dumped Xen (based on a beta of RHEL), but Novell keeps closer to Citrix, as expected.

While The Planet uses KVM running on Ubuntu, IBM adopted the Red Hat-branded version of KVM. Red Hat and KVM seem to have won another endorsement from Novell, which said it will support KVM in version 11 of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

But Novell still supports Xen, of course, and Citrix CTO Simon Crosby writes in his blog that Novell’s support of KVM is to be expected because KVM comes with the mainline Linux kernel.

Here is a lame new video about IWM, which is just a load of jargon and marketing hype for the movement of processes or VMs between servers.

Mail

Novell’s GroupWise is going nowhere special and here is a new rant about Novell Web Access:

• I almost feel bad stating the obvious, but it needs to be said: Let’s switch to Gmail already. In four years, I’ve heard nothing but disdain for Novell Web Access’ micro-sized inboxes and, as one former student and computer whiz told me, “a user interface that’s so counter-intuitive it’s not even funny.” USGA already passed a resolution advocating the switch, and could potentially engage a massive segment of disgruntled students with the proper outreach. Rally the troops, Tony Catalano, and make this one happen. We’re behind you.

GWAVA continues to develop for GroupWise, based on this new press release.

GWAVA is pleased to announce the release of version 1.8 of Retain for GroupWise®. Retain archives GroupWise messages in a secure and accessible format so that restoration is simple. By archiving older messages, data integrity is still maintained while storage costs are significantly decreased. Archiving with Retain protects organizations from costly litigation or liability issues.

GroupWise is mentioned very briefly in a few other new pages [1, 2] and also in this announcement from SKyPRO (mirrored here).

SKyPRO is releasing a public beta version of GWTalk, their Soft Phone Client developed specifically for the Novell GroupWise user communities.

GWTalk is a free soft phone client that integrates with Novell GroupWise. GWTalk connects all users to the GWTalk Network allowing them to make calls and IM each other for free.

SKyPRO was involved with Novell last year [1, 2, 3].

Here is something about the blunder which we mentioned earlier in the week:

Human error is being blamed for the action as the author used the auto-complete function in Novell’s email software to include the journalist’s address, along with those of five Gwent Police officials in the ‘CC’ field of the message.

This is also a security hazard.

Security

A promotional piece from the Indian press presents the words of Naresh Shah, the director of Novell India Development Center. He speaks about fluffy notions such as “cloud computing”.

IWM strategy combines identity and security, systems management, and OS technology to manage workloads more securely and efficiently across physical, virtual and cloud computing environments. Novell places its IWM products into four different categories: build, where it has SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, SUSE Studio, SUSE Appliance Toolkit and ZENworks configuration management; secure, where we find Identity and Access Manager, governance and login; manage, consisting of Novell’s acquired PlateSpin management software and more ZENworks; and measure, where it has Novell myCMDBTM and business-service measurement and management tools.

Novell has made very little out of PlateSpin. In fact, PlateSpin executives fled Novell.

People

Former Novell executives are reaching some other companies, with new examples that include:

1. Storage Startup Fusion-io Continues Rapid Pace

Many of those new-wave storage products are called SSDs, for solid-state drives, and are designed to fit in the same slots in the front of servers that house conventional drives. Fusion-io takes a different approach, offering devices that fit inside servers in slots that are typically used for graphics chips. “We get much higher performance,” says David Bradford, the onetime general counsel for software company Novell who was named Fusion-io’s CEO last year.

2. ContentWatch Names SageCreek’s Warner As CEO

According to ContentWatch, Warner replaces Jack Sunderlage, who is leaving the firm after a transition period. Warner was previously VP of Global Sales for Alianza, and also served at Altiris/Symantec and Novell.

3. Liz Carter: The serious businesswoman who would capsize a certain Georgia Democrat

Carter understands it all too well, having risen to a leadership position with Novell at the age of 22, having run her own consulting business for the past decade, and having had to face tough budget and spending decisions on more than one occasion.

Partners

Pan Communications, which we mentioned last week, mentions its relationship with Novell and Novell is also mentioned in coverage and press releases of other companies [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. With the exception of SUSE Studio partners, Novell does not connect with many companies anymore.

Marketing/PR

Novell’s latest marketing message has no real meaning. There are no real announcements to make, either. So Novell just brags about a CRN award in its PR blog and even issues a press release about it [1, 2, 3]. These prizes are easy to just buy and they have little significance, except for on paper. It’s even less reliable (more corruptible) than an analyst’s “recommendation” — any analyst with whom one can sign a contract in exchange for influence. It’s not hard to find press coverage that mostly quotes Novell on the subject. It’s all marketing from channel chiefs who are also CMOs.

A new poster called “Dister” writes/talks about BrainShare and shares videos that we mentioned last week. Other BrainShare videos are being spread, including those preceding the keynote talks [1, 2] (we have already seen these older ones because they were uploaded before). Novell’s PR team then prepares people for BrainShare Amsterdam. It’s coming soon and it will go beyond Utah.

Red brick, blue sky
Utah building

Eruaran’s Candidate Designs

Posted in Site News at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The following graphics are designs sent to us by a contributor, Eruaran

Techrights grid

Techrights design

Techrights cool text

Techrights lucid

Techrights in colour

Techrights in green

Techrights dusty

Techrights black and green

Thoughts welcome.

Novell News Summary – Part II: Novell and IBM in Studio

Posted in IBM, LG, Linspire, Novell, Samsung, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Broken screen

Summary: IBM and Novell grow a little closer; Verizon and SpagoBI make use of SUSE as well; other Ballnux distributions have little to say

SUSE (SLES/SLED)

MOST of the SUSE news this week relates to IBM and/or Studio, starting with this article about IBM’s Power7.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE 11.0 Discontinued Soon; Farewell, OpenSUSE Summaries

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 10:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yacht harbour

Summary: People leave and come to OpenSUSE, which has no news of great significance to tell this week

THIS WEEK will be the last week that we post news summaries regarding Novell simply because there’s too little significant news about Novell. In recent months we occasionally posted such summaries just once in a fortnight because the amount of news was not sufficient to merit a post. Novell may be sold within weeks or months, so we do expect less — not more — news about Novell products.

This first summary is all about OpenSUSE, which is a shadow of its former self. The “People of OpenSUSE” series used to come on a weekly basis, but its key maintainer has moved on. This series is back, perhaps momentarily. This time it’s about Andrew Wafaa and there are signs that new people still join the project sometimes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Some Minor Visual Changes

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 9:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techrights

Summary: New graphics for the most part, affecting different parts of Techrights

THE site is changing its focus somewhat and its new description was partly a suggestion from Richard Stallman. it says: “Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom”.

Here is a screenshot of our old header.

Ballmer chats

Old search header:

Search for Novell

This becomes:

Search

We also have a new favicon which is very simple. The old favicon (over 3 years old and obnoxious to many because it’s animated) is the following thing: Animated Boycott Novell.

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