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

05.04.10

Links 4/5/2010: Opera EULA Tweaked for GNU/Linux, PlayOnLinux 3.7.6, KDE 4.5 Teaser, and Fedora 14 Names

Posted in News Roundup at 3:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Another successful Company built around Linux

    I can remember when many opponents of Linux would claim that open source technology is not business friendly that the opportunities to profit are too limited. There are few people saying that these days even amongst the opponents. Many companies have profited from building services around Linux and many companies have risen through building products and services around Linux.

    The PTR Group is one of these companies. They have been around for 10 years now. They have enjoyed rapid growth with steady double digit annual growth percentages. They provide training to the two main distributors of embedded Linux products. They have been involved in getting Linux

  • Virtual Linux: Platform and OS Linux Virtualization

    Virtual Linux is accomplished through many techniques, ranging from emulation to platform to OS virtualization. Indeed, Linux is a unique operating system in its breadth of virtualization solutions that are available. In this article, we’ll explore the various ways that virtualization is achieved and then review the various solutions provided through virtual Linux.

    When we talk about virtualization solutions, we tend to talk about specific products offered by specific companies. But when we talk about virtualization solutions with Linux, we instead talk about a rich and diverse open source ecosystem.

  • wearable linux computer, makes you feel like cap’n crunch

    This is the 1D/2D scanner imager available as an extension to the wearable w200 rugged Linux computer. Finally the Linux equivalent of the cap’n crunch secret decoder ring.

  • Desktop

    • Gamers Mad at Sony for Yanking PS3′s Linux Compatibility

      A group of Linux users has filed suit against Sony, upset about the company yanking Linux capability from its PlayStation 3 (PS3) game console.

      When PS3 made its debut in 2006, it gave users the option to run a so-called alternate operating system, something that couldn’t be said of Nintendo Wii or Xbox. The “Install Other OS” feature was popular among gamers who used Linux, the Unix operating system that is free to download.

  • Server

    • Inside NASA’s world-class supercomputer center

      That place is the advanced supercomputing facility at the Ames Research Center here, the home of Pleiades, NASA’s flagship computer, a monster of a machine that, with a current rating of 973 teraflops–or 973 trillion floating point operations per second–is today ranked the sixth-most powerful supercomputer on Earth.

  • Audiocasts

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernels 2.6.32.12 and 2.6.33.3

      The 2.6.32.12 and 2.6.33.3 stable kernel updates are out.

    • Linux 2.6.34-rc6 Kernel Released

      The complete change-log for the Linux 2.6.34-rc6 kernel can be read at Kernel.org.

    • Linux Versus E. coli

      Both Linux and E. coli are organized into hierarchies. But their hierarchies have different shapes. E. coli’s genome is dominated by workhorses. Middle-managers and master regulators make up less than 5% of the total number of genes. In Linux, by contrast, over 80% of the functions are in the upper echelons. Each workhorse in Linux is controlled to many middle managers. In E. coli, on the other hand, each workhorse gene is typically controlled either by a few genes or just one. And so in E. coli it’s the higher levels where genes have the most links, not the workhorses.

    • Graphics Stack

      • LLVMpipe: OpenGL With Gallium3D on Your CPU

        The software rasterizer used in Mesa that allows for software acceleration of OpenGL on the CPU without any assistance from the graphics processor has largely been useless. Even with a modern-day, multi-core processor, the performance of Mesa’s software rasterizer has been abysmal. The performance of Mesa classic DRI drivers have traditionally been poor anyways compared to the high-performance, proprietary NVIDIA/ATI graphics drivers, but when dealing with just the software rasterizer there really aren’t any games or applications that run well. Fortunately, software acceleration on Gallium3D is very much a different story thanks to LLVM.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • Fedora

      • Post-Goddard.

        Voting is now open for the Fedora 14 release name. Naming the next release is yet another way that our community is involved in making the future of Fedora. If you’re a member of any group in Fedora (beyond completing the CLA), you can vote on this ballot.

      • Fedora 14 Might Be Called Fytnargin

        As was reported last month, with development on Fedora 13 winding down for a release in two weeks, planning for Fedora 14 has got underway. One of the first steps taken by the Fedora and Red Hat communities is coming up with a new codename for the next release, for which they have been reaching out to the community for in recent times.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • European embedded Linux show seeks presentation ideas

      The Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) announced a call for papers for the next Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE), scheduled for Oct. 27-28 in Cambridge, UK. CELF is looking for a variety of technical presentations focused on the use of embedded Linux in consumer electronics products.

    • Phones

      • webOS update coming soon, PDK apps likely to land

        Well, what have we here? A friendly tipster, who just so happens to be a registered Palm developer, has sent us the latest informational email from the recently-swallowed outfit, and while the tone here may be gentle, the implications are certainly serious. According to the memo, a new webOS update is “coming soon,” and developers are being alerted that they’ll need to be prepared to test their apps when it hits.

      • Nokia

        • Comparing Maemo & Ubuntu

          While I’ve occasionally been critical of Ubuntu as a project, it is a distribution with very open processes, for the most part.

          I’d like to compare the experience of a casual Ubuntu user, an engaged Ubuntu user, an Ubuntu developer, and an upstream application developer to the equivalent MeeGo or Maemo experiences.

          The casual Ubuntu user gets regular stable updates on a predictable schedule, with long-term supported versions less frequently, but still on a predictable schedule. Stability, releases, this user doesn’t want to know what happens behind the scene, he wants to get software when it’s “done”.

        • MeeGo Presentations from the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit

          The MeeGo project was featured in two keynotes and an all day session during the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. It was a great opportunity for me to meet more of the people who are contributing to MeeGo in person, and I was very happy with the MeeGo content at the event. In addition to great presentations, we had a lot of audience engagement, questions and discussion, which is critical during this early period for the project.

      • Android

        • Multitasking the Android Way

          Android is fairly unique in the ways it allows multiple applications to run at the same time. Developers coming from a different platform may find the way it operates surprising. Understanding its behavior is important for designing applications that will work well and integrate seamlessly with the rest of the Android platform. This article covers the reasons for Android’s multitasking design, its impact on how applications work, and how you can best take advantage of Android’s unique features.

          [...]

          So far, we have a way for applications to implicitly do work in the background, as long as the process doesn’t get killed by Android as part of its regular memory management. This is fine for things like loading web pages in the background, but what about features with harder requirements? Background music playback, data synchronization, location tracking, alarm clocks, etc.

        • Adobe Giving Free Android Handsets To Employees?

          BGR is reporting that Adobe will be giving away free Android handsets to their employees. While this has not been confirmed yet, it is believed that Adobe will give their employees a phone running Android 2.2 with Flash so that they become comfortable developing with Flash on the Android platform.

        • TMO Announces MyTouch 3G Slide!

          So, it sports Android 2.1, comes in three colors, has Swype installed, and has a pretty nifty screen. What’s missing from this press release though? How about a processor speed?

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC laptops for East Africa and Palestinian children

        According to the BBC, approximately 30 million laptops are expected to be delivered to East Africa by 2015 and 500,000 units in the Middle East.

      • Joojoo 3G tablet will appear within 3 months

        TABLET UPSTART Fusion Garage plans to offer a 3G enabled version of its tablet, the Joojoo, within three months according to the firm’s CEO, Chandra Rathakrishanan.

      • We have an early Linux tablet video

        FUSION GARAGE has announced the availability of its Joojoo tablet in the UK, and The INQUIRER went along to the launch for a walk-through of the Linux handheld device and obtained an exclusive demonstation video.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Musings of an open source peddler
  • When can’t MATLAB add up?

    Update: Just had an email from someone who points out that Octave (Free MATLAB Clone) can handle 64bit integers just fine

    octave:1> a=int64(10);
    octave:2> b=int64(20);
    octave:3> a+b
    ans = 30
    octave:4>

  • Oracle

    • Thanks for Suggesting Better Default Settings

      Many thanks go out to everyone who added one of the 90+ suggestions for the Better Defaults collection. Impress is currently in focus for Project Renaissance, so any suggestions relevant to Impress (presentation application) have now been taken to be evaluated by the iTeam. Those entries are therefore now in italics.

  • CMS

    • State of Drupal presentation (April 2010)

      Two weeks ago at DrupalCon San Francisco I gave my traditional state of Drupal presentation. A total of 6000 people watched my keynote live; 3000 were present at DrupalCon, and another 3000 watched the live video stream. Nonetheless, a lot of people asked me for my slides. So in good tradition, you can download a copy of my slides (PDF, 48 MB) or you can watch a video recording of my keynote on archive.org.

  • Government

    • Even the ‘worst’ open government plans include open source

      An independent group released its rankings for U.S. government agencies’ open government plans and said Treasury, Defense, Management and Budget, Energy and Justice had the weakest plans of the lot.

      NASA came out smelling like a rose, with the strongest-ranked open government plan, followed by the EPA and HUD, according to the rankings by OpenTheGovernment.org.

      [...]

      Some agencies have said they plan to revisit their plans based on the group’s evaluation, so OpenTheGovernment.org will re-evaluate them in June. It’ll be interesting to see how the use of open source continues to evolve in open government.

    • The spy who came in from the code

      If you were going to pick an adjective to describe the Central Intelligence Agency, “open” wouldn’t immediately spring to mind. But according to Carmen Medina, who recently retired from the CIA and will speak at Gov 2.0 Expo, openness is just what the agency needs.

  • Licensing

    • Is an open license enough?

      Recently I have been trialling a new web based account/billing software. It is not a very mature project, but the features listed and performance so far have me believing that this is potentially a good solution. Also it is written in a language I am comfortable with (PHP), and it has an open license (GNU AGPL). Hence I may be able to contribute.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Happy Birthday ODF!

      On the Saturday 1st of May 2005, ODF 1.0 became an ISO standard. So as Rob Weir and the ODF Alliance already did, let me wish as well a happy birthday to OpenDocument Format. By this I would like to celebrate the fact that after 5 years, ODF is alive, kicking and growing its market share at a nice rate. But I would also like to thank everyone behind ODF, the engineers, the OASIS consortium, the volunteers, the implementers, and the users. Without you ODF could not exist, and as ODF 1.2 is almost out of the door it’s good to see how much the ODF ecosystem has grown and is growing.

Leftovers

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – EOM – Angle Activity (1/1/2000)


IRC Proceedings: May 3rd, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We’ve just had to catch up with the logs. Sorry for this flood of IRC postings.

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

IRC Proceedings: May 2nd, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

IRC Proceedings: May 1st, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

IRC Proceedings: April 30th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

IRC Proceedings: April 29th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Patents Roundup: Red Hat on Patent Trolls; Apple Antitrust; Microsoft Attacks Theora, Which is Needed to Save Our Video Culture

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 2:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ogg versus MPEG

Summary: Ogg Theora is being smeared and demoted by Microsoft and its boosters while H.264 is pushed hard, even by Apple which now faces an antitrust inquiry for anti-competitiveness

A FEW days ago we summarised the Acacia hoopla by stating that it’s all over:

There is a somewhat belated announcement from Novell and Red Hat’s Rob Tiller wrote about it too. He is confident despite the fact that Red Hat does not always win against patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

We learned many things from this experience, but I’ll note just three here. We now know for certain that those in the business of bringing software patent lawsuits are not invincible, even in the supposedly patent-friendly jurisdiction of the Eastern District of Texas. We know that Texas juries are willing to reject bogus infringement claims and invalidate bad software patents. And we know that attacks on open source based on FUD will not stand up when subjected to the light of truth.

One blogger from Dr. Dobbs says that there is growth in “Theora FUD” at the moment (also to do with patent claims).

A blogger named Hugo Roy posted a piece called An Open Letter to Steve Jobs in which he picked on Steve a bit about the openness of H.264. A few valid points were made, but most interestingly, Hugo then posted an email response he says came from Steve himself, which included the following inflammatory quote:

A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other “open source” codecs now. Unfortunately, just because something is open source, it doesn’t mean or guarantee that it doesn’t infringe on others patents.

If this is true, it is bad news for Theora indeed. Can the Mozilla foundation afford to hang a giant “Kick Me” sign on the next version of Firefox? Can they afford to litigate against even a single patent lawsuit, much less this consortium Steve is quoted as knowing of?

Apple’s many abuses as of late (going after bloggers, blocking third-party developers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], veiled threat against Ogg, etc.) do add up. The FTC has just launched an antitrust inquiry, which is not as bad as that may sound.

According to the New York Post, The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are negotiating which of them will launch an inquiry into a clause in the iPhone OS 4 SDK that bans the porting of software originally written for Adobe’s Flash, Sun’s Java or Microsoft’s Silverlight/Mono to the iPhone OS.

The FTC is usually quite toothless and the FCC nearly went after Apple once before (right after Microsoft connections were formed inside the FCC). Apple also has an edgy history with European antitrust, mostly over the music business. What the FTC really needs to crack down on is AstroTurfing, including some from Microsoft [1, 2, 3]. The FTC promised that it would address the problem — one that we covered in old posts such as:

The FTC or the DOJ may also want to investigate Microsoft for racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Microsoft has resorted to outright extortion against its #1 competition, which is GNU/Linux. As Penguin Pete put it:

Funny how it’s always Linux which Microsoft is alleging is infringing on Microsoft’s patent portfolio, isn’t it? Not FreeBSD, not OpenBSD, not NetBSD, not Solaris (open or closed), not Plan Nine From Bell Labs, not ReactOS, not Minix, not GNU-HURD, not any of the flavors of proprietary Unix.

This whole extortion may also end when the Bilski case is once again concluded, assuming that it also kills software patents. Patent trolls/lawyers and monopolies will fight tooth and nail for software patents. Justice Sonia Sotomayor is not helping, either.

Sonia Sotomayor, or Justice Sotomayor is the newest, and maybe the most worrying judge on the US Supreme Court.

Sotomayor was previously married to Kevin Noonan,[1] a patent lawyer who is very pro-patent.

SJVN wrote about the subject, starting with a sound bite that berates lawyers:

First, we kill all the patent lawyers

Actually, I don’t think we should kill all the patent lawyers. Some of my best friends are patent attorneys — no, really. But I’d happily stick a knife into the American patent system.

In the beginning, the U.S. patent system was meant to encourage inventors and innovation. Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said, “The Patent System added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.” That was then. This is now.

Today, unless the Supreme Court does the right thing and tosses out business practice and, by implication, software patents with the proper decision in the Bilski case, we’re stuck with a system designed to wreck anyone who actually tries to implement his own ideas.

You see, with many software patents there is no specific language, no hard code, but only descriptions of general processes that can be implemented in multiple ways. Now, you might think you could avoid patent trouble by looking up the appropriate patents and not using them. Good luck with that.

[...]

This is why Microsoft, despite being the loser in some whopping patent lawsuits, such as the $200 million-plus it owes i4i for violating its patents and the $1.5 billion it once owed Alcatel-Lucent, is happy to threaten other companies, especially those that use Linux or open-source software, such as Amazon and TomTom into licensing agreements.

That last example about Alcatel-Lucent includes reasons to embrace Theora, but Microsoft is strongly against Theora, as we recently explained and showed in:

Microsoft continues to justify ignoring Theora. They are using their familiar FUD to justify using something that they are covered for or paid for. As always, their friend Bott joins the attack on Theora (a pile of the usual Microsoft propaganda via ZDNet’s Bott/Foley). It’s extremely disingenuous and The Source explains why:

Oof. ZDNet’s Ed Bott attacks the FSF hard in “Ogg versus the world: don’t fall for open-source FUD“.

One issue

Mr. Bott calls out some of the points made on the PlayOgg FAQ as being “FUD”, “outright lies”, “technically absurd”, “factually dead wrong”, and maybe even downright anti-kittens-with-funny-captions-underneath.

Let’s look at one of his examples (we’ll only take the first one, but the entire article is chock-full of fallacious fun).

[...]

People like Mr. Bott who carry water for organizations like Microsoft are going to resort to hypocrisy, hair-splitting and strawman-bashing tactics.

For example, Mr. Bott seems quite content to quote the CEO of the MPEG-LA asserting that “no one in the market should be under the misimpression that other codecs such as Theora are patent free” in the very article where he is taking the FSF to task for FUD.

The MPEG-LA CEO is a patent troll. The Source concludes with: “So, be aware of that mindset when you write. There will always be someone out there ready to take a cheap shot or play integrity-free games with the point you are trying to make. You can’t stop them – because they aren’t after the truth – but you don’t have to give up free points on the goal either.”

“[P]atent trolls aren’t a pathology of [software patents], but a natural consequence of the system. Not a bug, a feature.”
      –Carlo Piana
Carlo Piana (Samba lawyer) explains that “Fighting trolls is [is not] getting rid of [software patents]. Getting rid of [software patents] is a way to defeat trolls, though.” He also shrewdly points out that “patent trolls aren’t a pathology of [software patents], but a natural consequence of the system. Not a bug, a feature.”

MPEG-LA is essentially a pool and an example of a troll/bully because of the way it coerces from the outside. As some other sources warn a lot these days, MPEG-LA is a huge risk to our culture because a lot of our videos got trapped in MPEG-LA’s so-called ‘property’ (MPEG-LA members are the ones to loot everyone and MPEG-LA is just their ‘front group’, a la MPAA/RIAA). We really need a codec like Theora and it should be defended from the self-serving members of MPEG-LA.

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts