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IRC Proceedings: May 19th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Novell’s Neighbour LANDesk is Up for Sale, More on Novell’s Defeat in Kuwait, Novell’s Payments to Microsoft and Reliance on Google

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers at 6:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What if…

Summary: A quick roundup of Novell news from this week, ranging from bad news to neutral news

NOVELL is making many headlines this week, partly because it might be sold [1, 2] (another obvious factor being Brainshare). Here is some of the news we have not covered yet.

First of all, LANDesk is up for sale, just like Novell.

The company began in 1985 in Provo as the networking of computers — connecting them all together — was taking off, thanks largely to Novell’s software.

Secondly, Novell’s SUSE being dumped in Kuwait [1, 2, 3] (not to worry, they stay with GNU/Linux, but only Red Hat’s) is still an event that receives press coverage [1, 2].

By using a 12 gigawatt power generation grid, MEW serves Over 800,000 consumers. The migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux happened in order to address the Kuwait’s need for increased power capacity.

Novell must be jealous. All this news coverage gave observers the impression that Red Hat is evidently better than SUSE — enough to be worth switching distributions.

Thirdly, Cliff Saran’s FUD blog covers Pulse, which most of the press has neglected by now. There is no news about it from Novell.

This could be the start of a trend…BT’s internal project and the Novell Pulse application are two examples of web 2.0 UIs for the enterprise.

There is too much competition in this area, so Novell is just riding Google’s Wave. It’s hardly a recipe for success.

Down in New Zealand, Novell is being wooed by a local company (last year we learned that “the New Zealand arm of the [Novell] business will soon be sold to internal staff”) and there are interesting numbers at the end:

Trans-Tasman consulting and professional services company Directory Concepts hopes to secure a franchise to represent Novell in New Zealand.

Directory Concepts was established in Australia in 1999 and it was officially incorporated locally last August.


The vendor incorporated its local operation in 1996. Its revenue has fallen from $8.4 million for the year ended October 2005 to $1.6 million for the year ended October 2008, according to filings with the Companies Office website last July. In 2005 Novell’s local operation posted an after-tax profit of $1.04 million, but recorded a $134,938 after tax loss in the 2008 financial year, according to these records.

Internationally, Novell recently rejected a bid by hedge fund Elliott Associates to take the company private.

It’s not over yet. We consider it quite likely that Microsoft will bid to buy Novell, from which it’s already generating income (SUSE patent tax). How much income is being generated for Microsoft by Novell? Our reader Wayne wonders about that but he applies logic to the Microsoft vs HTC/Android case:

So why would HTC pay Microsoft? They wouldn’t. What I suspect happened (and we’ll never know the truth because there’s a non-disclosure agreement in place) is that Microsoft paid HTC a large sum of money, and then HTC agreed to pay a small sum of money per phone sold. Just for the argument, assume that Microsoft paid HTC $25,000,000.00 for access to HTC’s patents, and HTC is to pay Microsoft $0.001 per phone sold…

As we showed over a week ago, Xandros pays Microsoft $50 for copies of Xandros (with so-called 'protection') and ‘Microsoft Enderle’ estimates that HTC pays Microsoft dozens of dollars for each Linux phone sold. People should not buy Android phones from HTC anymore. To buy them is to accept Microsoft’s racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

The Amnesty UK Advertisement Which the Financial Times Refused to Publish

Posted in Africa at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BP glass

Amnesty UK has asked people to pass on this ad using their sites/blogs.

Novell is Promoting Vista 7 (DRM Trap) and Fog Computing (SaaS), Could Still be Bought by Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED, Vista 7, Windows at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell continues to promote just about anything but Free software; as Novell expects bids, Microsoft remains a possibility

Last week we showed that Grant Ho from Novell was very excited about Microsoft's products. Novell takes its Vista 7 promotion to the press and it’s Grant Ho again, this time in IDG where he writes:

There is no doubt Windows 7 is turning the heads of many companies. In fact, more than 19% percent of the global IT workforce is expected to be using Windows 7 by the end of 2010.

“Novell demos fast app deployment on Windows 7,” says another news report.

Novell has demonstrated how it can help IT managers migrate XP to Windows 7.

Novell recommends that users assess the Windows 7 opportunities in their business, migrate quickly, then manage and optimise the operating environment.

That’s right. Novell recommends that users assess Vista 7. Novell employees, some of whom move to Microsoft or become Microsoft MVPs, do a lot of lip service to Microsoft these days. Are they expecting Microsoft to buy Novell or something? Novell is pretty much the only company that labels its GNU/Linux distribution “Service Pack X” (just like Microsoft) and Professor Eben Moglen opined that Microsoft would call its GNU/Linux distribution “Novell”. Would Microsoft consider selling SLE* SP1 directly*? Microsoft has been named by an analyst as a potential buyer of Novell.

“Novell employees, some of whom move to Microsoft or become Microsoft MVPs, do a lot of lip service to Microsoft these days.”Earlier this year, Moglen explained why “cloud computing” is just smoke or fog (we at Techrights refer to it as “Fog Computing”). Richard Stallman also wrote about the subject this year, warning that Fog Computing is just proprietary software and even worse because there is no user access even to the binaries.

At Novell BrainShare 2010 in Amsterdam Novell is promoting a lot of Fog Computing this week. To give examples from this week’s news alone (and it’s only Wednesday!):

i. Novell BrainShare 2010 Amsterdam: Enhanced Workload Management & Space-Cake

After a five-year absence, Novell is staging its BrainShare EMEA conference in Amsterdam starting today. This week’s 103 technical sessions were completely sold out in terms of attendance and by the look of things most attendees made it to the keynote this morning despite Amsterdam’s other enticing attractions.

ii. Novell Identity Manager 4 Unifies Identity and Access Management for Physical, Virtual and Cloud Environments

iii. Novell unveils Identity Manager 4

iv. Vodacom Business and Novell Partner to Securely Manage and Optimize Cloud Services

v. Novell and Vodacom hook up in African cloud

vi. Atos Origin and Novell expand global partnership on Cloud services

vii. Novell Scales Identity Management Heights

viii. Novell unveils cloud-focused identity tool

Novell Inc. is continuing its effort to be a significant cloud computing player with the official beta launch of its Identity Manager 4 suite. The platform aims to give both IT administrators and business managers the ability to manage identity and access controls across physical, virtual and hybrid private/public cloud IT shops.

ix. Cloud-based Identity Management Gets A Boost (also in here)

x. Cloud service users face confusing legal landscape

xi. OASIS Members Form Committee to Advance Identity Standards for Cloud Computing (about identity and “cloud”, scroll down to Novell)

Everything Novell is talking about this week is “cloud”. No kidding. There used to be a time when Novell promoted “open source” and “Linux”; now it’s promoting “cloud”, Vista 7, Mono, Moonlight, and patent "peace of mind" (SUSE). That’s quite a portfolio for Microsoft to grab.
* There is a new release right now about Service Pack 1 for SLE* 11. Here is the press release [1, 2], some more hype with accompanying press releases from other companies/products like LINBIT and Ingres [1, 2], and also news coverage [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Novell Might be Sold This Month

Posted in Finance, Novell at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell is looking for buyers and takeover bids may be imminent

WE are only days away from this Web site’s 10,000th blog post and we are also days away from Novell’s latest results, which would make or break the company.

An immoral hedge fund tried buying Novell just days after the company’s previous results came out, having previously bought the minimum stake that’s required from any company/shareholder in this position. We wrote about how the hedge fund had prepared the bid for Novell in the earlier posts among the following bunch:

Reuters says that Novell is up for sale and several days ago we noticed that Paulson’s Paulson & Co (a hedge fund) bought a lot of Novell shares.

# New 25 million share stake in Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL)

This was also covered here:

Paulson has also bought 4 million shares in Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD), 3.67 million shares of Dex One Corp. (DEXO), 3.30 million shares in Devon Energy Corp. (DVN), 6 million shares in Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO), 40 million shares of MGM Mirage (MGM), 11.37 million shares in Mylan, Inc. (MYL), 25 million shares in Novell Inc. (NOVL) during the March quarter.

Later on this was mentioned very briefly [1, 2] and then we found an article from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), whose headline says “Bids for Novell Expected This Week”:

Novell Inc., which has put itself on the block, plans to accept bids from potential acquirers this week, people familiar with the matter say, kicking off a process that will likely result in a sale of the software company.

This article was co-written by Ben Worthen, a longtime Microsoft booster whom we named some years ago for his ardent, one-sided positions. Novell’s stock is very active right now (people buy and sell in preparation for the results) and the New York Times stated shortly after the WSJ that “Novell Set to Consider Takeover Bids From Suitors”

Novell’s shares rose on Wednesday on hopes that a deal for the company might be near.

So Novell is not so passive anymore. It seems to be open for bidding. “Novell Set For Higher Buyout Price,” says one investments site.

Novell Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL) is trading higher today on hopes that a higher buyout offer will be heading its way. There is at least some caution despite the notion that the company is and has been a niche play that would be an interesting fit for many companies, but almost all indicators signal that a higher price may be headed the way of Novell.

The Register cites the Wall Street Journal and New York Times when it claims that “Novell seeks rich suitors”

It looks like Novell has formally put itself up for sale after rejecting the entreaties of a hedge fund two months ago.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal and confirmed by a separate report from the New York Times, Novell had asked for suitors looking to eat the company to put in initial bids by the end of this week. The Journal report says that Novell’s board would then play The Dating Game, selecting some of the bidders and asking them to give their final offers at some future date.

Last week we argued that Novell had struck no major deals or contracts, so its results won’t be amazing enough to convince shareholders that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It seems highly likely that Novell will be sold soon. What would happen to SUSE, the SCO case, and UNIX ownership if Novell got sold (as a whole or in pieces)?

From Novell to Microsoft to Daemonising Microsoft Critics and GNU/Linux Communities

Posted in AppArmor, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BSoD for Novell

Summary: Microsoft employee Crispin Cowen is using his history to opportunistically gain credibility in his irrational public attacks on GNU/Linux communities

Crispin Cowen is one whom we mentioned before as he promoted Microsoft at the expense of GNU/Linux after he had moved from Novell to Microsoft [1, 2, 3]. How much of a role did the paycheck play? There is coverage from Australia today and it’s not flattering to GNU/Linux. Cowen, now a Microsoft employee (for quite some time) is throwing some myths at the AusCERT 2010 crowd (it is not an event for people who support software freedom). To give one introduction:

Dr Crispin Cowen, who for many years was a vocal Linux security guru and Microsoft critic, recently started working for the Redmond-based software giant. His talk on the first day of AusCERT 2010 was titled “Stranger in a strange land: Reflections of a Linux guy in Microsoft Windows”.

Cowen is of course attacking several straw men. We’re used to it because it’s a shameless debating tactic.

It is very typical for Microsoft employees to mischaracterise the criticism of Microsoft, not speaking about the real issues, such as bribery, collusion, and racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. How can any sane person defend it?

“It is very typical for Microsoft employees to mischaracterise the criticism of Microsoft, not speaking about the real issues, such as bribery, collusion, and racketeering.”We wrote refutations of the same points before, in response to Microsoft employees who tried to suggest that Microsoft was disliked because “it’s big” or because of its logo (and other petty, imaginary ‘problems’).

These tactics whereby all/most criticism of Microsoft is mischaracterised makes sense to those who use these tactics. It makes them feel good about their decision (and choice) to work for Microsoft when they put things in terms that portray critics as deluded and irrational. These are not victims of circumstance (unlike cases where race or gender get involved as these are immutable). They actually chose to work for Microsoft, knowing damn well what Microsoft had done, or maybe fooling themselves about what Microsoft had done before getting convicted three times. There is a difference between Microsoft’s products and Microsoft the company.

To give one example of Cowen’s disinformation:

“Linux communities are shockingly hostile to women and newbies, attack failures to conform to norms and God help you if you top post,” Cowan said. “Everyone is a butt-head.

It’s always pleasant to see Microsoft employees referring to people as “butt-head[s]” and claiming that GNU/Linux communities — not Microsoft — are the bad guys. Remember what Microsoft’s evangelists teach in their notorious indoctrination sessions: “we are the good guys!” (by “we” they mean Microsoft employees).

Microsoft employees are sometimes intolerant, homophobic, xenophobic, and like everywhere that involves software (general issue among geeks), there is an uneven proportion of females. Microsoft is attacking straw men and daemonising GNU/Linux communities. Well, what else is new?

EU: NoSoftwarePatents and FFII Respond to Google’s VP8 Announcement

Posted in Apple, Europe, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 2:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Camcorder in hands

Summary: Initial announcement, interpretation, and comments about the good news from Google

WITH Microsoft and Apple opposing Theora, while Google insinuated that it would support Free software, the following announcement from Google was inevitable and expected. VP8 is being liberated and regardless of the consequences (for Theora, for example), it is good news which is welcomed by opposers of software patents. Techrights too would like to thank Google (more detailed coverage coming soon).

For background, see:

Florian Müller has just mailed us some quick comments regarding Google’s WebM codec initiative and patents. He writes:

As the founder of the European NoSoftwarePatents campaign and author of the FOSS Patents blog http://fosspatents.blogspot.com (covering open source patent topics), I have some quick comment for you concerning Google’s unveiling of the WebM “open web media project” http://www.webmproject.org, which was announced today:

“Google says it holds certain patents on the VP8 video codec that is part of WebM but there’s no assurance that Google’s patents are the only patents required. What about patents that third parties could assert? While it appears to be a nice gesture if a major player releases software on open source terms, it’s imperative to perform a well-documented patent clearance.”

“Developers should be provided with detailed explanations why Google believes that no one adopting WebM will have to fear allegations of patent infringement. Otherwise those developers might be exposed to a considerable risk. It wouldn’t be possible to check on millions of different patents but at the very least I think Google should look at the patents held by the MPEG LA pool as well as patents held by some well-known ‘trolls’ and explain why those aren’t infringed. Programmers have a right to get that information so they can make an informed decision for themselves whether to take that risk or not.

“It’s not unreasonable to ask Google to perform a well-documented patent clearance because they certainly have the resources in place while most open source developers don’t.”

“The situation surrounding Android shows that Google might opt to stand on the sidelines if those adopting its open source technologies — such as HTC — are sued by patent holders. I can’t find any promise on the WebM website that Google would come to the aid of third parties adopting the technology, so Google should at least help everyone to assess the risk.”

“We all know Steve Jobs’ recent email in which he said a patent pool was being assembled to go after open source codecs. So the patent question is really a critical one.”

I have previously called for this kind of patent clearance, in connection with the open source Theora codec as well as with VP8, on my blog, such as in this post:


About an hour ago, the FFII also released the following statement.

FFII welcomes Google’s move to open VP8 video format

Berlin, May 19th 2010 — Today Google announced it would make the VP8 codec open source and royalty-free as part of their WebM project. The codec is on par with other video codecs for high video quality and can be used in the emerging HTML5 web standard for playing video content natively in a web browser. HTML5, the VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio codec are open standards and thus require no royalty-bearing patents license.

“The web is based on open standards, a patent-unencumbered world, allowing developers to create applications without patent toll gates”, explains FFII board member Stephan Uhlmann. “We are happy to see Google use its market force to keep the web open.”

“In the Web openness always prevails.”
      –André Rebentisch
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) had called on the company behind the video site Youtube to support a patent free video codec for the upcoming HTML5 technology. The video codec VP8 was acquired by Google together with On2 technologies.

HTML5 will be the next generation of the world wide web, but the standard has been delayed by a clash over streaming video patent licensing conditions. In a controversial move Microsoft and Apple indicated they would support the H.264 video codec only, which is encumbered by more than 1000 patents.

“Support for the VP8 video codec by their popular web browsers Internet Explorer and Safari is only a matter of time”, says FFII board member André Rebentisch. “In the Web openness always prevails”.


FFII call to support open video fromats in HTML5

The WebM project: high-quality, open video format for the web


FFII Open Standards Working Group


Permanent link to this press release:


FFII Office Berlin
Malmöer Str. 6
D-10439 Berlin
Fon: +49-30-41722597
Fax Service: +49-721-509663769
Email: office (at) ffii.org

About FFII

The FFII is a not-for-profit association registered in twenty European countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.

Links 19/5/2010: Fedora 13 is Near, Linux Mint 9 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kitchen appliance seller goes Asterisk for UC roll-out

    The company selected a Digium Switchvox IP-PABX for the project which replaced an ageing Samsung OfficeServ 500. The Switchvox appliance runs the open source Asterisk software on Linux.

  • Still no Mac, Linux support for ATO’s e-tax

    The 2010 version of the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) online tax return software will support Windows 7, but not Mac or Linux operating systems.

    Since the e-tax software was introduced in 1999, it has been compatible only with Microsoft’s operating systems.

  • What price can you put on a user community?

    One advantage of the Cell was its ability to run Linux without dramatic changes to the code base: the standard Linux kernel now supports the Cell as one it its architectures.

    The Cell’s ability to run Linux combined with Sony providing the “Install Other OS” feature with its PS3 software gave birth to a niche community of PS3 users – the Linux user community.

    I remember at the last Linux.conf.au to be held in Sydney (January 2007), a few IBMers proudly had a PS3 running Linux on display.

    Unlike the Xbox and Wii, the PS3 and its Linux option was seen as “geeky” and “more than just a game console”. And it wasn’t long before mainstream Linux distributors (Fedora comes to mind) started providing full Linux-based OS options for the PC – graphical interface and full-on “desktop” apps.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 97
  • StrandVision Offers Preconfigured Linux Point-of-Display Digital Signage Player

    When using the StrandVision Linux Player, users simply connect the large format display to the VGA or HDMI output on the player, connect the unit to the Internet and enter their username and password. The Linux player automatically finds and logs onto the StrandVision service in the Cloud and after initializing the system, begins the signage playback.

  • Michigan Career Training School Launches Certified Nurse Aide & Linux Systems Administrator Programs

    Career Quest, an established career training school in Michigan, announces the launch of two new programs at their Lansing, Mich. facility. Starting this session, Career Quest will offer a Certified Nurse Aide program as well as a Linux Systems Administration training program.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

    • A Close Look at Samsung’s Wave

      There is a certain degree of interest and anticipation for this latest touch screen smart phone from the Korean based phone manufacturer, Samsung. The Wave smart phone presents two new major innovations from Samsung; the new open source, Linux based Bada operating system (which will be the first OS that Samsung has developed) as well as the new super AMOLED touch screen technology -has been confirmed to also appear in various upcoming devices from Samsung.

    • HTC

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • TestPlant updates eggPlant for Linux

      The new release also features a new TypeText recording feature that allows you to automatically capture most keyboard input, including modifier keys, by just typing. New SenseTalk features expand eggPlant’s text handling and provide more options for value comparisons. Improved Control over helper suites and enhancements to the case and bug submission panel allows version 10.2 of this universal GUI test tool to bring with it key features that reduce the learning and deployment curve of the tool thus significantly helping QA engineers who are new to automation.

    • Spotify Still Missing Two Essential Features

      This means that if you have a Linux desktop computer, you’re out of the picture (ed : we know that Spotify works under Wine but they have yet to announce any Native clients).

    • Proprietary

      • Wine 1.2 Planned For Release In June

        Wine 1.0 was released in June of 2008 after this free software project had already been in development since 1993. Over the past two years since that release we have continued to receive bi-weekly development snapshots, but no major stable releases have yet arrived. Fortunately, it looks like that soon may change with the release of Wine 1.2 as soon as next month.

      • Download Wine 1.0.1 / 1.1.44 Free For Linux
      • Google Chrome 6 Is Here

        As expected, the latest dev channel release is now labeled Google Chrome 6. The Google Chrome 6.0.401.1 dev release is just a regular update, fixing several bugs on all supported platforms, Windows, Mac and Linux. No new features have been added since the previous dev channel release, Google Chrome 5.0.396.0. The update fixes some issues with how Chrome handles the shortened addresses displayed in the Omnibox.

      • Google begins Chrome 6 development
      • HDS improves network performance monitor

        IT Operations Analyzer is aimed at mid-sized companies, is an agent-less heterogeneous application with root-cause analysis capabilities that watches Windows, Red Hat Linux networks, and, with v 2.0, SUSE Linux and Sun Solaris-connected servers, switches and storage devices.

      • Eclipse and Embedded Linux Support Added to MathWorks Code Generation Tools

        MathWorks today announced that its Target Support Package and Embedded IDE Link products now support the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) and Embedded Linux through the GNU compiler tool chain. As a result, engineers can automate project creation in Eclipse and deploy real-time embedded systems on Linux using automatically generated code from MATLAB and Simulink models. These capabilities enable engineers using Model-Based Design to rapidly implement and verify algorithms on processors that can run Embedded Linux, such as ARM, Freescale, and Intel.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Playing Popular Windows Games in Linux Becomes Easier

        One of the reasons why Linux can never catch up to Windows is its inability to play mainstream, popular games. Linux is powerful, safe, and secure. But Windows PCs are preferred specially by the gaming crowd. I’ve been a user of Linux, and I know that Linux has plenty of games. What these people usually mean is that it doesn’t have their favorite Windows games – but now, that’s changing.

        For years now, it has been possible to play selected popular Windows games on Linux via Wine. But one can never run these games natively, unless a proper port to Linux is available.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Slackware 13.1 RC1 Is Here

        With the release of the Slackware 13.1 Release Candidate 1, the latest update to the oldest supported Linux distro in existence is now very close. Slackware 13.1 RC1 comes less than a couple of weeks since the first beta launch and is mostly a bug-fixing release, though it comes with some updated packages as well.

      • Toorox 05.2010 Comes with KDE SC 4.4.3

        Toorox 05.2010 has been released, the latest update to the Gentoo-based, LiveCD distro. It brings an updated Linux kernel and the latest KDE SC 4.4.3, as well as other changes and bug fixes. All remaining legacy KDE3 packages have been removed, but other than that, there’ aren’t any new features. 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Toorox 05.2010 are being made available.

    • Fedora

      • The five best things coming in Fedora 13 Linux

        When Fedora 13, Goddard, is released on May 25, it’s not going to be your usual Fedora Linux release. In the past, Fedora has been seen as a great Linux distribution for Linux experts. Paul W. Frields, the Fedora Project leader, told me though that this release is more new-user-friendly and that is no longer just for experienced Linux users. Based on my early look at this Red Hat community Linux distribution, I agree.

        You will be able to see it for yourself soon. After several delays, Frields has no doubt that this time, the Fedora final will be available for download soon. Frields explained to me that the delays were because Fedora has adopted much more “detailed and fleshed-out release criteria. In the past, we would release releases when it felt right. Now, we have criteria that make the process both more transparent to the community and provide strong release guidelines.”

      • QA: Fedora Project Lead Paul Frields on the “Grown Up” Distro

        Henry Kingman today shares with the Linux.com community his exclusive interview with Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields. Frields goes into detail on the upcoming Fedora 13 release, his decision to transition out of the Project Leader position and how many contributors to Fedora are being paid by Red Hat, among many other topics. Grab a cup of coffee for this in-depth discussion.

      • Download Fedora 12 Free
      • Linpus Linux Powered eMachines Hit Indian Market

        eMachines is bringing the most aggressive mobile computing solution that exists in the market today. It enables to make the dream of owning a laptop a reality for the average Indian consumer. This Notebook from eMachines, is one of the most economical Core i3 based laptops available in the market today. eMachines730, with its dual tone refreshing design, is the best option in terms of price-performance ratio, as it offers the most competitive prices in the market for the specifications incorporated.

    • Linux Mint

      • Linux Mint 9 ‘Isadora’

        Based on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, Linux 2.6.32, Gnome 2.30 and Xorg 7.4, Linux Mint 9 “Isadora” features a lot of improvements and the latest software from the Open Source World.

        Featured improvements in this release: 30,000 applications catalogued and reviewable both online and in the new software manager, brand new incremental backup tool for both data and software selection, menu transparency and editable items, USB and Windows installers, 3 years support, look & feel improvements.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Fit-PC2i Turbo

      Other hardware configurations are the Fit-PC2i, which has 1GB of RAM and no on-board flash and comes either diskless (£299), with Ubuntu Linux (£340) or with Windows XP Professional (£379).

    • Viewsonic VMP74 1080p media player

      Review For most of this century, I’ve evangelised home movie set-ups that put a lightweight, probably Linux-based player in the living room, leaving your multimedia libraries on a server at the other end of your network.

    • Cavium Unveils Processors, Receive Support from MontaVista Software

      MontaVista CGE carrier grade Linux is widely used in telecom, networking and wireless applications and is said to be the only Linux to meet CGL 4.0, LSB 3.0 and IPv6 specifications and provide virtual routing and forwarding capabilities. With MontaVista’s support for Cavium processors the CGE Linux can run on OCTEON II processors and offer a combination of value, performance, and reliability in data center, mobile internet and borderless enterprise market segments.

    • Datalight Shares Reliable Method for Bootstrapping Linux from NAND

      Today Datalight unveiled a new whitepaper describing details of the company’s process for booting an embedded Linux system directly from NAND flash.

    • Use Linux to water your lawn

      So you bought the EasyBloom to take precise soil moisture readings. You have a spreadsheet plotting plant growth over time. But you’re still schelpping out to water the lawn like all your Luddite neighbors. Where’s your sense of pride? You’re a geek! You should be using technology to make your life better. Here, we’ll help get you started with this Instructable on using Linux to water your lawn!

    • User guide to software for avionics systems


      Linux is now an option many project managers for aerospace and defence applications and companies such as Honeywell have already deployed in space-borne systems.

      For deployments where security is a concern, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has developed a Security-Enhanced Linux (SE-Linux), a set of Linux security features that provide a variety of security policies, including US Department of Defense–style mandatory access control through the use of Linux Security Modules (LSMs) for the open source Linux kernel.

      SE-Linux is not a Linux distribution but a set of security modifications (patches) that can be applied to any Linux or UNIX operating system.

      Traditionally, Linux scheduling and interrupt performance, although quite adequate for enterprise and desktop systems, was not very deterministic and had a wide variance over changing system conditions in embedded environments. This made Linux unsuitable for use in traditional embedded systems that demand microsecond response times.

      But two advances have changed this situation: a modification of the Linux core, named PREEMPT_RT, and a fast, deterministic scheduler inside the Linux system, named Real-Time Core for Linux.

    • Mentor Graphics and NetLogic Microsystems Establish Strategic Multi-Core Collaboration for Embedded Linux

      NetLogic Microsystems will provide the Mentor-developed Linux solution to multi-core developers to enable them to create innovative applications for high-performance multi-core processors targeted at next-generation enterprise, telecom and data center networks.

    • NAS

      • Two-bay NAS offers AES encryption

        Synology America announced a two-bay, Linux-based networked-attached storage (NAS) device for the SMB market, integrating a 256-bit AES hardware encryption engine. The DiskStation DS210+ can hold up to 4TB of internal storage, consumes 30 Watts, and includes the new Synology DiskStation Manager 2.3 software, with improved RAID setup and security features.

      • Synology unveils speedier DS210+ NAS server
    • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Got Apps? Get accelerated.

        In a move aimed at bringing more applications to the Intel AppUp Center Beta program, Intel announced the launch of Accelerator 2010 as part of its Intel Atom Developer Program Million Dollar Development Fund. The AppUp Center is a repository for applications designed specifically for Intel Atom-processor based netbooks, and Accelerator 2010 will be used to fund companies interested in developing new and inventive ways to use netbooks.

      • Acer Denies Chrome OS Netbook Coming at Computex

        Acer has officially denied rumors that said it would show its first netbooks running Chrome OS at the upcoming Computex show in Taipei next month. The denial comes a few days after Acer spokespeople earlier declined to comment on the rumors, which first appeared on the tech business blog VentureBeat.


        Google is also working on a netbook version of the Android operating system as well, and Acer has committed to an Android netbook, so it had been unclear how the PC maker would have differentiated between an Android netbook and Chrome OS netbook. For Google’s part, at least, the search leader’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, has said that eventually, Google plans to converge Android and Chrome OS into a single platform for netbooks.

      • No Chrome OS netbook from Acer at Computex
      • In Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition Firefox can be replaced with Google Chrome

        We have already reported on the leading companies Canonical formulation of a new operating system Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition. This software platform, in accordance with its name, is intended for use in compact notebooks with small display and energy-efficient processors, known as netbooks.

      • Linkbook a good beginning

        Millions of Africans will experience the Internet – do a search, get e-mail, see YouTube or just browse a website – for the first time on their cellphones.

    • Tablets

      • Dell CEO confirms Streak Android tablet for Europe next month

        During his keynote speech yesterday at the the Citrix Synergy conference, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell confirmed that the company’s Streak Android-based tablet, formerly known as the Mini 5 tablet, will be available in Europe next month from mobile phone carrier Telefonica O2, which offers service in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Mr Dell also added that it would be available from the GSM carrier AT&T in the US “later this summer”.

      • Ipad Operating Function

        The huge problem is that there is no multithreading technology. This means that your $600+ tablet computer can only run one application at a time just like your iPhone. For some who like multitasking while using a computer this is a big let down. Even the cheapest sub $300 netbooks running Linux can handle multiple applications at one time and that hardware is quite a bit less powerful than what the iPad has. One can expect though since this is the first version.

      • What Slate Makers Need To Do To Succeed

        At CES2010 the “Year of the Tablet” was ushered right as the new year was beginning. There were promises of Tablet/Slates promised in just about every flavor you could imagine. All of this with this news that Apple was going to release its iPad lurking just around the corner.

      • Kno to Unveil its Dual Screen Linux Tablet in June

        Boy you just can’t have enough of Tablet news for a day. This time, we won’t be talking about an iPad Tablet for a change. A startup tablet designer named Kakai has announced that it will be unveiling its dual screen tablet on 2nd June at the D8 conference.

    • WebOS

Free Software/Open Source

  • Maddog Editorial: Reusable Code and What It Means to Your Company

    Companies have, in the past, assumed that all the code written by their programmers had widespread value to their customers and protected it all under the mantle of closed source, releasing the code as “open source” only when there was a strong business case to make it “open.” Often the proof of open source value was very arduous, and therefore not often pursued. Perhaps it is time to reverse the practice and make every piece of code open source, unless there is a demonstrated business reason to keep it closed. Then more programmers can stop re-inventing the wheel.

  • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • Get to know FB in 2 minutes – now available in 18 languages

      The introductory paper “Get to know Firebird in 2 minutes” is now available in 18 different languages! Thanks for all the translators who contributed.

    • PostgreSQL developers fix vulnerabilities

      PostgreSQL 7 and 8 users are advised to update their installations as the development team has released new versions which fix a vulnerability classed as moderately severe in PL/perl and PL/tcl. CVE-2010-1169, CVE-2010-1447 and CVE-2010-1170 reports detail the vulnerabilities involved. The changes include the removal of the Safe.pm module, which acted as a kind of sandbox for Perl programs. Instead, PostgreSQL code now includes a hard-wired list of permissible Perl operators. According to the release notes, one side effect of this is that stored procedures written in Perl now compile more quickly.

  • CMS

    • Joomla 1.6 Beta Ships

      The Joomla Project has announced the release of the beta of version 1.6 of the open-source Joomla content management system.

  • Programming

    • What’s New in Python 2.7

      This article explains the new features in Python 2.7. The final release of 2.7 is currently scheduled for July 2010; the detailed schedule is described in PEP 373.


  • Environment

    • Five-Day Volcanic Ash Charts

      These charts indicate the forecast position of the volcanic ash cloud at 1200 GMT each day for the next five days for the altitudes indicated. It must be stressed that the five day charts are based on observed volcanic activity at the time of issue and should be regarded as indicative only.

  • Finance

    • German trading curbs hit markets hard

      World markets dropped sharply Wednesday after Germany’s new curbs on traders – a unilateral and unexpected attempt to reduce volatility in financial markets – unsettled investors.

      The euro, meanwhile, recovered from four-year lows against the dollar – reached in the aftermath of the ban – as experts suggest European central banks are considering intervening in the markets to slow the currency’s drop. The European Central Bank declined to comment.

    • EU Commission urges joint action on short-selling

      EU countries should act jointly to regulate so-called naked short-selling of shares and investments to reduce volatilty in financial markets, the European Commission said Wednesday.

    • Katie Bar The Door

      Those 10,000 US cities, and all the counties and states they find themselves in, are -all but a precious few- at the end of their financial rope. All but a few have voted in ridiculously rosy budgets, and now they see their revenues tank. Some will install sneaky speed traps to increase revenues, others will try to raise property taxes on homes plunging in value. All will fail to restore a sound budget. Millions of government workers will be laid off nationwide, which all by itself guarantees further declines in revenue. Which will lead to more lay-offs, all of which will lead to further drops in real estate prices, which lowers tax revenues etc. You have to admit one thing: it’s not a terribly hard storyline to follow. It couldn’t be easier if you had seen this film before.


      The US Treasury announces a $1.6 billion loss on a loan to Chrysler, GM announces an $865 million creative accounting profit because it wants investors (who’ll be sure taxpayers’ dough will support them all), and Obama announces a commission that will investigate how the Gulf of Mexico became one huge dead zone.

    • An Interview With Joseph Stiglitz — Regulation and the Euro Zone

      Joseph Stiglitz: The problem on Wall Street is that we had bought into the idea that money is everything, and that the metric of whether you are doing well for the economy is how much money you were making for yourself. To me there were two very serious moral failings. One is that so much energy went into exploiting the poorest Americans; selling them houses they knew were beyond their ability to pay, with mortgages that were exploitive. There were people who called themselves mortgage brokers supposedly looking for the best mortgage, but in fact were looking for the worst mortgage. The whole hosts of mortgages that are designed to maximize fees basically rob the poorest people of all their life savings. The irony was that the financial markets were hoisted on their own petard, as I point out in my book. That is to me, one of the most serious moral failings on the part of the financial markets. The second is while Bernie Madoff represented a pyramid scheme engaging in illegal activity, much of what the financial markets were doing was perhaps legal, but clearly unethical, or borderline. That the financial markets did not seem to see much distinction is a severe criticism. A good example is what Goldman Sachs did; how they sold products that they knew were bad, so bad that they were actually selling them short, betting on the fact that they would lose money. The whole debate in their mind is whether what they did was legal or not. The unanimity that it was immoral that they did not disclose to the buyers that they thought these were so crappy that they were going to lose money on them and the fact that they see nothing wrong with that suggests that they live in a parallel universe, a different world, a different moral compass than the rest of society.

    • Workers asked to return bonuses after 16 years

      About 180 county employees in suburban Atlanta are being asked to return thousands of dollars the county says they were overpaid 16 years ago.

    • Unhinged: When Concrete Reality No Longer Matters to the Market (and What to Do About It)

      A recent government suit alleges that Goldman Sachs colluded with a billionaire short seller, John Paulson, to defraud investors and “construct a package of mortgage linked derivatives designed to blow up” so Paulson could make a fortune.

    • Goldman’s Trading Advice To Clients Has Been HORRIBLE This Year

      Goldman isn’t taking directional bets on Chinese stocks on the zloty. And it can’t tell its clients to become a bank, borrow from the Fed and lend long.

    • Clients Worried About Goldman’s Dueling Goals

      As the housing crisis mounted in early 2007, Goldman Sachs was busy selling risky, mortgage-related securities issued by its longtime client, Washington Mutual, a major bank based in Seattle.

    • Senate Republicans Call Reform Bill a ‘Takeover’ of the Banking Industry

      Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday unleashed a barrage of criticism at the far-reaching financial regulatory legislation being debated on the Senate floor, indicating that many of the party’s leaders were prepared to vote against the bill.

    • Financial regulation bill gets last-minute amendment from Sen. Chris Dodd

      Dodd offered a clever Washington solution aimed to appease both friends and foes of the provision. His amendment preserves the tough language — but it postpones any action for two years so it can be studied. And it assigns that study to a new council of regulators, headed by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, whose members have serious reservations about such a dramatic measure and may very well kill it in the end.

    • Finally, The Republicans Come Out To Fight. Where Is The President?

      This is a defining issue for the president. Either he takes up the Volcker Rule – proposed by his administration, to great fanfare (and some skepticism) in January. Or he rolls over – admitting that Wall Street has won.

    • SEC proposes rules to prevent another ‘flash crash’

      Twelve days after the stock market took a historic plunge that raised fears of another financial crisis, federal officials are still struggling to understand what went wrong even as they offer proposals for how to avoid another “flash crash.”

    • Treasury announces Wells Fargo warrant auction

      The government says it will auction 110.3 million warrants it received from Wells Fargo & Co. as part of its effort to recoup the costs of the $700 billion financial bailout.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • George Donnelly freed from federal captivity

      Libertarians responded fast and forcefully to the illegal abuse of Donnelly. Not only were his actions clearly within his human and Constitutional rights but a Department of Homeland Security document makes it clear that taking photos on federal property is not illegal.

    • Thailand protests: army prepares to storm redshirts’ camp

      On the fourth day of bloodshed the Thai government orders all women and children to leave the protesters’ camp before a final army offensive


      Thailand’s worsening political conflict faces a new deadline, with the government ordering all women and children to leave the redshirts’ camp in central Bangkok by 3pm tomorrow before a final offensive to forcibly remove anybody remaining.

      Bloodshed continued for a fourth day, with 31 people killed since Thursday in battles between anti-government protesters and soldiers.

    • “Murdered” Chinese man reappears after 10 years

      A Chinese man who was supposedly hacked to death in a fight has reappeared in his hometown after 10 years, state media said, raising questions about police torture to extract a confession from the alleged killer.

    • Noam Chomsky barred by Israelis from lecturing in Palestinian West Bank

      Chomsky said he was disappointed and surprised to have been turned back from the Allenby bridge across the Jordan river, which is understood to be the first time he has been refused entry by the Israelis. He had been due to give a series of lectures on domestic and foreign policy at Birzeit University and the Institute for Palestine Studies in Ramallah, in the West Bank.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect: Planetary Landers (2/11/2002)

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