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05.22.10

OpenSUSE Needs an Independent Equivalent (Like PCLinuxOS for Mandriva) to Ensure Takeover of Novell Leaves it Safe

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peace of mind

Summary: Surviving Novell’s ordeals based on the lessons supplied by PCLinuxOS and MariaDB

EARLIER this year we suggested once again that OpenSUSE should become an independent project not subjected to Novell’s rule.

Novell’s sale appears to be imminent (Novell-oriented sites do take note), so now is a good time for OpenSUSE community members and developers who are paid by Novell to look for contingencies. Would Novell’s new owner/suitor be interested in investing in OpenSUSE? We are not talking about SLE*, which is predominantly closed through restrictions imposed by Novell (we named them before).

Andrew Wafaa from the OpenSUSE community continues his long series about this community [1, 2], ending his ramble as follows:

So getting back on track(ish) how many of you guys and gals use SLE professionally? It could be either SLES or SLED. If you do use a SLE product do you partake in the openSUSE community professionally or is it purely part of your undying love for the Geeko? If you don’t is there a particular reason why not, anything blocking you joining in, or do you just choose not to? If you do participate as part of your job, what issues do you encounter, what could be improved etc?

We reckon that not many people in OpenSUSE would buy SLE* because they already know what they are doing and they can use OpenSUSE as a server operating system (with short-term support).

“Novell is still creating its own kernel, which one reader of ours suspects is hard for competitors to access (for licensing reasons).”We have already mentioned SP1 of SLE* 11, just the other day in fact (here is the press release and copies). Based on this report, Novell is still creating its own kernel, which one reader of ours suspects is hard for competitors to access (for licensing reasons).

The VAR Guy is uploading promotional Novell videos about this latest service pack as he has a special relationship with Novell and some Novell partners synchronise their announcements so as to increase Novell’s “SP1″ hype (Novell and its allies are still uploading videos).

LINBIT and Novell offer Enterprise clients a stable base for their businesses by delivering well-tested, enterprise-grade Open Source solution stacks. SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 contains a complete and stable cluster stack, based on Pacemaker, which is now better than ever.

Watch what’s new in SP1: [also published here]

Novell has introduced a significant update for its Suse Linux Enteprise 11 software, Service Pack 1, which includes the integration of components for Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor.

Microsoft support, eh? Proprietary software.

SUSE is still prominent in Europe, especially in Germany where it comes from:

BMW is using the Xen para virtualisation tool in SuSE Linux Enterprise Server to run test and development production systems. The company has deployed Xen to replace its ageing PA-Risc, Sun Sparc and IBM Power 4/5 Unix server hardware with industry-standard PC servers.

Fortunately, if Novell collapses and SUSE goes under, BMW can do what the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity & Water did [1, 2, 3, 4]. It can move quite swiftly to another GNU/Linux distribution. If OpenSUSE makes a Novell-independent fork/branch available, that might help SUSE stay relevant in this game of Free software evolution (where any weak player perishes sooner or later).

No, ASUS Did Not Abandon Netbook Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows, Xandros at 5:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Circuit

Summary: It’s “better with Windows” and “ASUS recommends Windows 7″ when Microsoft pays for such text to be shown, but the reality is very different

IN an overly dramatic new headline, SJVN asks, “Has ASUS abandoned netbook Linux?”

The answer is no because ASUS is back to Linux, sometimes in the form of Android. We gave several examples in recent months. Regarding abandonment of Xandros for sub-notebooks, the following posts show Microsoft’s role in it.

To SJVN’s credit, he does mention Microsoft’s role but he also writes:

I’m sure that the real reason is Microsoft has pressured Asus into abandoning Linux. On ASUS’ site, you’ll now see the slogan “ASUS recommends Windows 7″ proudly shown.

ASUS is being paid to put that text in there. It doesn’t mean that it’s sincere. It is a fake endorsement which Microsoft pays many OEMs for.

In summary, Microsoft escaped antitrust fines for its misconduct in sub-notebooks, but it is losing the bigger race anyway, especially now that Linux replaces Vista 7 on the Slate [1, 2] and Courier dies [1, 2] due to intense competition. Almost every electronic reader is powered by Linux. When Microsoft thought it scored well in a single round (by cheating) it saw its profit sinking at alarming rates and the future looks bright for GNU/Linux.

Microsoft, Freedom, Choice, and Other Terminology Games

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Direct link

Summary: How assimilation and deception are being used by Microsoft to make both sides of the competition look similar, even inseparable

MICROSOFT IS still using gratis versus libre. Sam Dean has typed up a follow-up to his good post about Linux and software freedom in robotics and now he mentions Microsoft’s response to it, which is essentially dumping and advertising. Microsoft also misuses the word “free”, whose “zero-cost” definition only comes around 7th in an English dictionary. “Free” is more like a statement of independence, which is exactly the opposite of what proprietary software gives. Similarly, Microsoft distorts the word "choice" (see the video at the top for a demonstration of the false premises).

“”Free” is more like a statement of independence, which is exactly the opposite of what proprietary software gives.”Over at NetworkWorld (IDG), where "Open Source" does not mean what we commonly know as "Open Source", the Microsoft-boosting DotNetNuke (also holding a leading role in CodePlex) gets named “Winner and Still Champ” (the author neglects to warn that DotNetNuke is a Trojan horse for proprietary software from Microsoft) and in another IDG Web site we find Bill Gates' old FUD in the form of wrong classifications, where “Free” is seen as the opposite of “Commercial” rather than complementary to it. This old pattern of deception won’t be phased out any time soon.

Complaints aside (many complaints are being made about proprietary software by Microsoft clients), here is YiChun Chen, a moderator from Microsoft who was publicly recomending Firefox. The post is from January but a reader brought it to our attention this afternoon.

Thank you for your post.

Could you please try the following tricks:

- Try another default browser – like Firefox

[...]

Best regards,
Yichun Chen

But according to Microsoft, Firefox is not “commercial” and is even akin to communism. Is Microsoft recommending “communism”? Or is it just playing with words to serve its agenda as it sees fit?

“Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols anyone can implement is communism; it was set up by that famous communist agent, the US Department of Defense.”

Richard Stallman

Gartner Hypnosis: Pretending Android and Linux Are Totally Separate

Posted in Apple, Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Novell, Windows at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tux in money
Should Linux too bribe Gartner to say nice things?

Summary: Gartner has found artistic new ways to argue that Linux in declining while it is in fact gaining at tremendous rates

STATISTICS can be gathered and presented to show just about anything. It depends on what is shown, how data gets classified, what population is inquired, and a variety of other factors. To quote figures from a few days ago, Google claims to be activating 100,000 Android/Linux devices every day. Good for Linux, right?

The Gartner Group’s history of hatred for Linux is understandable. Free software does not pay Gartner’s bills and Gartner’s business model is the selling of data and reports, which clients are ordering with a clear agenda in mind — an agenda that Gartner needs to respect if it is to be paid. They can lie without exactly lying by choosing improper methods and data.

For those who want to know more about the Gartner Group, we have a Wiki page dedicated to it. We sometimes call it the “Gangster Group” because it colludes with clients, whereas free software supporters typically value trust more than they value quick cash.

“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model… But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Earlier in the week we found Novell bragging that, having paid the infamous “analyst tax”, it is now seen by Gartner as worthy of recommendation. Gartner has already been sued over its practices when it comes to the Magic Quadrant, but Novell takes pride in it.

Novell today announced it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the Leaders Quadrant of the 2010 Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)*.

The Gartner Security Information and Event Management Magic Quadrant was created based on research conducted by analysts Mark Nicolett and Kelly M. Kavanagh. According to the report, “The SIEM market is defined by the customer’s need to analyze security event data in real time for internal and external threat management, and to collect, store, analyze and report on log data for regulatory compliance and forensics.”

Novell brags about it in its PR blog too. It’s the same superficial coverage one ought to expect from PR people; they got their money’s worth.

It brings us to the item which actually concerns us the most. What’s wrong with the following new headline?

“Gartner: Android leapfrogs Linux and Windows Mobile”

That’s right, Gartner has decided that Android and Linux are completely separate. We’ll come to its pathetic excuse later on, but first we present some responses from Linux Today readers. Just quoting in serial order we have:

“What junk reporting by Gartner (again) is this? Android runs on Linux. Typical reporting by an organisation who are in MS’ back pocket.”
      –Linux Today reader
“I wonder why they have separated Android and Linux. Since Android is Linux with a particular software stack. I mean to be consistent wouldn’t they have to divide Symbian up among different software stacks available for it? I suppose I should just realize it is Gartner and just ignore them.” –Source

“What junk reporting by Gartner (again) is this? Android runs on Linux. Typical reporting by an organisation who are in MS’ back pocket.” –Source

“Whenever I read something about Android in the paper press until now, it was always being referred to as ‘the mobile/ smartphone operating system developed by Google’. Unsurprisingly, Gartner continues this fine tradition. I also wouldn’t be surprised if this continues along the lines of Miguel de Icaza’s weird ‘Miguel de Icaza & friends’-propaganda, who also claims to have invented/ developed “the Linux desktop system” based on some derelict parts of something he found laying somewhere on the Internet which “didn’t work”.” –Source

These are just the first three comments. It carries on as there are a lot more comments here. The deception from Gartner reached some other news sites and one site presented Gartner’s excuse:

Android’s gain is Microsoft’s pain, as Windows Mobile dropped from 10.2 percent to 6.8 percent. Also taking it on the chin is the “Linux” category, down from 7 percent to 3.7 percent. Android is based on Linux, so it’s a case of splitting hairs.

But generic Linux is different in that Android is seen as a full-blown ecosystem and not just an OS, and that is what is driving the most successful platforms, said Gartner. “As seen with the iPad and Web books based on Google’s Android platform, mobile OS ecosystems are developing and will move beyond smartphones to continue to deliver consumer value and a rich user experience,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner in a statement.

Let’s be clear here. No phone can run just Linux. None. Linux is a kernel or a platform, it is not an operating system. Who would create or tolerate some self-serving illusions with a poor classification that belittles Linux, as it doesn’t hire Gartner? They use the word “ecosystem”, which GNU recommends avoiding. As the site explains it: “It is a mistake to describe the free software community, or any human community, as an “ecosystem,” because that word implies the absence of ethical judgment.

“The term “ecosystem” implicitly suggests an attitude of nonjudgmental observation: don’t ask how what should happen, just study and explain what does happen. In an ecosystem, some organisms consume other organisms. We do not ask whether it is fair for an owl to eat a mouse or for a mouse to eat a plant, we only observe that they do so. Species’ populations grow or shrink according to the conditions; this is neither right nor wrong, merely an ecological phenomenon.

“By contrast, beings that adopt an ethical stance towards their surroundings can decide to preserve things that, on their own, might vanish—such as civil society, democracy, human rights, peace, public health, clean air and water, endangered species, traditional arts…and computer users’ freedom.”

Gartner: an ecosystem lacking integrity and ethics. “Making money” is not necessarily “doing good” and Gartner works for clients and shareholders (Bill Gates is among them), not for academic or scientific reasons.

Novell is Promoting Vista 7 — Again

Posted in Meeting, Microsoft, Novell, Vista 7, Windows at 3:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: Three new examples of Novell’s marketing staff praising and helping to sell Microsoft’s sequel to Windows Vista

SEVERAL days ago we showed that Novell had produced some Vista 7 advertising, mostly led by Grant Ho. It’s not a one-time error and Novell keeps doing that in its PR blog and sometimes in the press. Here is yet another guest post by Grant Ho, who promotes Vista 7. Here is a third new example of Vista 7 promotion from Novell’s marketing staff.

The demo showed the migration of a Windows XP desktop to Windows 7 in mere minutes. The reality of the process was discussed during an in-depth session on Thursday, May 20.

These posts need to be read (especially the first two) in order to understand what Novell is doing here. Has Novell conveniently forgotten to compete in the operating systems space?

By Pushing Mono Into Android, Novell Puts Microsoft Before Freedom

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Oracle, Windows at 3:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono headphones

Summary: Windows is promoted at the expense of Free software and Linux because Novell’s Mono endeavours are increased and get a new name: “MonoDroid”

FOR ALMOST TWO years we have shown Novell trying to popularise C# inside Android [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Android does not need Mono, it already has Java.

Java is an Oracle product, whereas Mono is an asset of Novell, which will probably be sold or go private later this year. Mono is not a property of the Free software community and Novell uses it to sell a variety of proprietary software products. Novell is now introducing MonoDroid, which is probably just another piece of proprietary software which also requires Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Visual Studio (also proprietary, for sure).

Here is what Novell’s PR blog says:

Google’s Android continues to generate headlines for rapid growth in the smartphone market. MonoTouch already supports one of the industry’s most popular smartphones, the Apple iPhone. Now we’re working on support for Android with a beta product named MonoDroid.

What this blog does not say is what’s over at the blog of Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza, namely:

We are currently leaning towards using VS2008/2010 for Windows during the beta and later MonoDevelop on Linux/Mac.

Novell is still developing MonoDevelop, which helps Windows and Visual Studio (see explanations in [1, 2, 3]).

“Why does Novell keep helping Microsoft, even at the expense of neutral programming for Linux phones?”The above is problematic because Mono is again being used to market and even require proprietary software from a convicted monopolist with associated software patents and an ongoing campaign of patent lawsuits (latest example is Salesforce, which complained about Microsoft’s racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]).

Why does Novell keep helping Microsoft, even at the expense of neutral programming for Linux phones? Interestingly enough, there still exists an apparent divide between OpenSUSE and the Mono/Moonlight team.

Over at the OpenSUSE Web site, the OpenSUSE GNOME team does not mention Mono and the strategy meeting — like most meetings — does not involve the Microsoft fanfare from Novell at Massachusetts. The “M” words (Microsoft, Mono, Moonlight) rarely come up in Germany.

Why does Novell put Mono and Moonlight before OpenSUSE and Linux development? With countdown and downtime and even burnout reported, Novell ought to set its priorities straight. By encouraging C# development (on Windows/Visual Studio) Novell is not helping OpenSUSE’s cause, which does extend to other distributions and can usually be commended. Whose side is Novell really on?

Links 22/5/2010: Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC, Android 2.3 Talks

Posted in News Roundup at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Herd of Print Linux Magazines

    Linux Journal

    Linux Journal is the grandaddy of them all, founded in 1994 by Phil Hughes. Now it is published by Belltown Media, owner Carlie Fairchild, who acquired Linux Journal in 2006. Over the years Linux Journal has been home to regular writers like Marcel Gagne and his “Cooking With Linux” column, which was the most controversial LJ feature. Why? Not because he used bad language, or flamed anyone, but because of his Chez Marcel and French-waiter-serving-wine schtick. It was both a regular Reader’s Choice winner, and the recipient of the most hate mail.

    LJ has always covered a wide range of topics, such kernel programming, system and network administration, security, desktop, multimedia, games, and industry news.

    Linux Pro Magazine

    Linux Pro Magazine is called Linux Magazine outside of the US and Canada; in the US there is another Linux Magazine. There is no relation between the two except a confusing similarity of names. Linux Pro Magazine covers all the usual topics, plus extensive Linux conference coverage. Their Event Calendar is comprehensive, and they provide live and archived videos of many conferences. Linux Pro Magazine is distributed in several countries and languages, such as Poland, Spain, Germany, and Brazil.

    There is a new sister publication to Linux Pro, Ubuntu User. Ubuntu User features good tech articles, and informative pieces from Ubuntu insiders such as Jono Bacon and Amber Graner.

    Linux Magazine

    This is the Not-Linux Pro Magazine, just plain old Linux Magazine. They no longer have a print edition, which ceased publication in 2008. I’m mentioning them here to (hopefully) clear up the confusion between the two Linux Magazines. It’s an excellent publication even if they don’t sell nice glossy printed pages anymore.

    Linux Format

    Linux Format is based in the UK.

  • Infrastructures
  • Desktop

    • Sheldon Cooper: Ubuntu User

      Well, if you are a Linux fan and you have not noticed, Sheldon Cooper, the self-proclaimed genius and truest nerd on The Big Bang Theory has been seen using Ubuntu.

    • A capitalist fan of commie software

      It’s a good question, I suppose. A tree-hugging leftwinger from a proud union family with an inexplicable taste for expensive Scotch single malts asked to know why, if I’m such a capitalist, I am so vocal about liking free and open source software.

      My desktop operating system has been Linux ever since 2003, when I formatted my Windows box in a fit of pique that had been brewing since sometime before Windows 3.1 was released. I tried a few variants, but quickly settled on the local distribution, Ubuntu, masterfully named and competently compiled by a famous rich kid from Durbanville in the Western Cape.

    • Linux users cry fail over ATO AUSKey compatibility

      The Australian Taxation Office is pushing the AUSkey public key infrastructure (PKI) for secure data exchange when submitting tax returns, but Linux users say they have again been left out in the cold.

      [...]

      In the case of tax returns, people can continue to use an ATO digital certificate until it expires – or it is cancelled – and then they will be forced to use an AUSkey. AUSkeys do not expire provided they are used at least once every year.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanei: Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor
    • New version of Linux OS includes Ceph file system developed at UCSC

      Although Ceph is still in development, it just received a big vote of confidence from Linus Torvalds, who included Ceph in the latest version of the Linux kernel (Linux 2.6.34). Brandt’s graduate student Sage Weil did much of the development work on Ceph for his Ph.D. thesis, and he has continued working on it since earning his degree in 2007.

      “Having Ceph in the Linux kernel makes it much easier for people to use, so a lot more people will be testing it now and contributing to the project,” Weil said.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • digiKam Photo Manager To Get Face Recognition

        Linux users really love Google Picasa even though it’s not a native Linux application (unpack the .deb and you’ll notice some wine.exe and other such files). Reading the comments from our “best linux photo manager / organizer” post, it seems face recognition is the feature that attracts people the most to Picasa.

        Well, it seems Google Picasa will have a serious native Linux competitor, as digiKam will be getting face detection and recognition – Aditya Bhatt made this his GSoC project and his “libface” (which will be used by digiKam) sounds amazing already…

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • A new distribution designed which communicates computers so that they can work in parallel

      This is how the first version of ABC GNU/Linux arose, which was in trial phase by April 2009. It involved a free software based distribution (Ubuntu), live as well as installable, capable of automatically configuring a cluster of up to 254 computers. Mr Castaños gives an example as to how it works: “100 PCs are purchased and my DVD is inserted into one of these and booted, either from the DVD or installed in the hard disc itself. This computer and the rest of the machines are connected together by a switch (a device that acts like a router). When the rest of the machines are booted and, using a BIOS (basic in/out system), as when specifying which device is to be booted, they are told what to do by means of the network card. All are booted from the DVD itself -or the hard disc if installed -, registered, and connections are created between them”. Any user who knows how to programme can do this; it is not necessary to know how to administer systems.

    • Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0 Beta

      Trisquel is a fully free as in speech GNU/Linux operating system. It is based on Ubuntu, but includes only free software.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC released

        Building on the previous beta releases, the RC is based on the 2.6.33.4 Linux kernel and features the latest GNOME 2.30.1 and KDE 4.4.3 desktops. A number of changes have been implemented in the Nautilus file manager in anticipation of the GNOME 3.0 release with the GNOME Shell. Built-in desktop applications include version 3.2 of OpenOffice.org, Firefox 3.6.3, the Chromium web browser and version 1.92 of the Transmission BitTorrent client. Other changes include use of the Nouveau driver for NVIDIA graphics hardware and improvements to the Mandriva tools, such as data encryption, parental control and network profiles.

      • Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC1 Is Ready for
    • Red Hat Family

      • Close to the 200 Day – Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) traded at $28.26 close to its 200 day moving average currently set at $27.94. Red Hat’s price action is just above this key support level, and it will certainly raise traders attention, as a possible trading opportunity.

      • Fedora

        • Of hall monitors and slippery slopes

          For the current problem thread, at least, the real underlying issues have yet to be completely addressed. As Fedora moves toward implementing the new packaging rules, which may slow down the usual Fedora update stream, the decline in users and contributors that Kofler envisions may occur. The opposite could happen as well. Only time will tell.

        • Oh My Goddard! An Early Look at Fedora 13

          Also innovative in this release is automatic printer installation. Rather than have every printer driver under the sun installed by default, Fedora will instead detect when a printer is plugged in and automatically install the correct system drivers. Now that’s plug ‘n print! Color management will makes its mark in this release, which will allow users to adjust the color profiles on their system and adjust accordingly. This means you can match the colour of a recently scanned picture and ensure images will print correctly. This is a feature often touted on the Mac platform, and something which is sorely needed for graphical work on Linux.

    • Ubuntu

      • First details of developments in Ubuntu 10.10

        It seems possible Btrfs could replace Ext4 as the default file system in Ubuntu version 10.10, code name “Maverick Meerkat”. Developers attending last week’s Ubuntu Collaboration Summit in Brussels discussed testing Btrfs as the default file system in an alpha version of Ubuntu 10.10. Ubuntu Developer Manager Scott James Remnant assessed the likelihood of switching to Btrfs as “a one in five chance”.

      • Privacy Vs Openness; Public Interest Vs Corporate Interest

        Ubuntu

        In Ubuntu you have a product that is built by the community for the community. While Canonical is a business which underwrites a fair amount of Ubuntu’s development, by and large decisions on functionality, aesthetics and the direction of the software are all discussed and debated in the open, by anyone who wishes to participate. There is very much a democratic ethos to the software, which extends far beyond the operating system itself — people feel as though they have a real voice in the evolution of Ubuntu. Other examples of this model include Kaltura and WordPress.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Test Drive

        I’ve been a fan of Linux for several years now. But for the past year or so, I haven’t really done much with it. Sure, I’ve had a Wubi installation running inside of Windows that I boot up occasionally, but for daily use I finally succumbed to my wife’s insistence that she simply preferred Windows. It’s not that she dislikes Linux or Ubuntu, it’s just that she is a user, not a geek. I don’t mind fighting my computer every once in a while to get it to work. She can’t stand it. Lucky for me, Windows XP had a little meltdown a few weeks back, and has been barely functional since then. I spent my requisite two or three evenings to fix it, but with no luck. Tired of fighting Windows, I decide it’s time to try Ubuntu again.

      • Ubuntu 10.4 offers many new options

        Ubuntu’s latest 10.4 release offers many new and improved features that are worth upgrading for, according to TechRepublic blogger Jack Wallen.

      • Things to do with an old computer – Feature

        The Ubuntu operating system (http://www.ubuntu.com/GetUbuntu/download) is the hands-down favourite among those who want to get their first exposure to Linux- based computing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HP Wants to Bring webOS to Printers

      When HP discussed expanding webOS, this probably isn’t what Palm had in mind.

    • Google TV Platform introduced

      At the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco (USA), several leading industry players announced the development of Google TV – an open platform that merges the web and TV. It will be based on the Linux based Android platform and runs the Google Chrome web browser.

    • Mentor, NetLogic join hands for embedded Linux
    • Phones

      • O2 offers double Palm salute

        O2 is set to bring two Palm phones into its range at the end of the month.

        The Palm Pre Plus and its smaller sibling the Palm Pixi Plus will be on sale at O2 come May 28th.

      • HTC Leo (HD2) Hacked To Boot Into Linux Kernel; Android Coming Soon

        HD2 is the Windows Mobile phone that appeals WinMo, Android and iPhone lovers alike. The point that clicks is its hardware. No one likes Windows Mobile 6.5 but you have to stick to it unless it gets a Windows Phone 7 or… you know, an Android hack!

        So here’s a good news. XDA folks have been working hard to hack HTC Leo aka HTC HD2. They have a success. They have successfully booted HD2 into a Linux kernel. Though many drivers are missing (many are working too) yet but it easily displays 720p HD movies. You can’t however listen to the sound yet. Drivers and patches are expected soon.

      • LiMo

      • Nokia

        • Yahoo is expected to announce a Nokia deal

          PROJECT NIKE is allegedly the name of a joint programme between Yahoo and Nokia that will be annouced at a press conference in New York on Monday 24 May.

          The initiative is named after either the running shoe manufacturer or the Greek goddess of victory, one assumes. Various media report that the press conference will hear that Yahoo will provide applications for Nokia phones.

          [...]

          If Yahoo will provide applications for Nokia then there might be an open source element to it, since Nokia announced in April that it will use Symbian’s open source S^3 OS in its smartphones.

      • Android

        • Android 2.2: An Introduction

          Codenamed “Froyo,” for frozen yogurt, Android 2.2 includes more than 20 new features geared to enterprises, said Google’s Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering. Among these is integration with the Microsoft Exchange messaging system, with such capabilities as account auto-discovery and linkage with the Exchange global address book. Calendar synchronization is offered as well.

        • Google unveils Froyo Android update

          Google said that the Android 2.2 software update, code-named Froyo, would be available to download on to Android-based handsets “soon”. It brings a host of new features running the Google-backed, open source operating system, including device tethering, so that laptop users can piggyback off the phone’s 3G data connection to surf the web, and full Adobe Flash support in the browser.

        • Android Gingerbread features : Version 2.3 announced

          The Android operating systems are based on Linux kernels so with ever advancement of a kernel release, the Android gets one step ahead. The Froyo, featured as Android Operating System version 2.2 is based on Linux kernel version 2.6.32 which is expected to be released shortly for commercial use. The next version of Android operating system, Gingerbread will be featured upon Linux Kernel version 2.6.33 or 2.6.34 on no longer than end of this year.

        • Next Android Update ‘Gingerbread’ Later This Year
        • iPhone vs Android? Still wondering?

          2. So far, Google hasn’t tried to censor Android applications the way Apple have been censoring their app store. I’m an adult and I really resent being told what kind of applications I can run on my phone. If someone told me what apps I could run on my computer, I’d have some choice words for them too. Applications censored have included gay content and political satire.

          3. Android is available on a wide range of devices. I had a choice between products by Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and Motorola. There are phones with hardware qwerty keyboards, although most are touchscreen phones. Also, the hardware is, in many ways, better. You can remove the battery from all of them, they have room to expand the memory using Micro SD cards (the industry standard) and use the micro-USB charging socket, which means cheaper and more readily available accessories for your device. You can also get a new battery — or a second battery, even, in case you’re ever caught out.

        • Google TV is ‘un-Sony-like’

          Sony embracing an open platform like Google TV for its home electronics business is a pretty big change for the company.

          And Sony’s Chairman and CEO tends to agree. “It seems very un-Sony-like,” Sir Howard Stringer allowed at a press conference Thursday afternoon following the introduction of Sony Internet TV, the first TV with the Google TV platform. Sony’s TV will run Android OS and use Google search to allow users to browse and watch programming from the Web and from a channel service provider.

        • Google I/O 2010: Day of the Droids

          Google has lined up support from Sony, Logitech, and Intel for the Google TV initiative. That’s a start, but not nearly enough for this thing to take off. There is a lot of skepticism that anyone can pull this off, and many will wait and see before committing. It may take a while (read: years), but this one has a lot of potential. After all there are over 4 billion TV watchers out there – an audience that dwarfs even the mobile phone market. The first hardware will be on sale in time for this year’s holiday season.

        • Photos: Google I/O pitches future of web dev
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Tech.view: On the internet in a trice

        But even Google cannot claim to have the can-do consistency of Canonical. The Ubuntu developer has delivered a major new version of its flagship product like clockwork every six months. In the six years the company has been in business, it has made Ubuntu (and its many derivatives) the most popular version of Linux in techdom—and done more than any other Linux distributor to force the free operating system out of the workplace and into peoples’ homes.

        [...]

        Mr Shuttleworth is adamant that Ubuntu Light—with its rapid start-up and touch-screen capabilities—is not only for netbooks, tablets and other portable small fry. It will work just as well, he insists, on large desktop computers. That may be true. But the Unity interface seems to have been designed largely for the squat, ten-inch format of netbook screens today.

    • Tablets

      • Android tablet powered by NVIDIA and ARM A9

        At this year’s Google I/O developer conference, a new prototype tablet running Google’s open source Android mobile operating system was on display. The Foxconn-manufactured tablet is based on NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 platform and features an 8.9 inch WSVGA display (1024×600), a 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based processor and 1 GB of RAM – likely making the device more than capable of 1080p video playback.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • LinuxWochen Vienna 2010

      From Thursday to Saturday there was an event in Vienna held as a part of longer Austrian tour called LinuxWochen. This opportunity could not have been missed by openSUSE, so we formed a team consisting of me, Michal and Sirko.

      All three days were packed with more than 70 talks and workshops.

    • Linuxwochen Vienna

      In Germany mostly the Linux events are on universitys. The LinuxTag for example started at the university of Kaiserslautern. And in Vienna the event took place in different places in the city most city halls or other public places. This year was the event in the old city hall from the 17th century.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox FUD not lagging

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my issues with Firefox too, It still uses far too much memory and is still far too slow on startup. However, with the current Firefox 4 development plan, which is very aggressive, I just don’t see how Firefox is lagging behind anyone. Releases continue to come at a steady pace, new technologies continue to be debuted and the road ahead for Firefox continues to move forward.

    • Firefox, Chrome, Safari have finally killed Internet Explorer

      What this means, is that “we did it”. Most web applications are based on AJAX, and work on any browser. No bank will ever release an Internet Banking system that will only work on IE. Nobody can really afford to make a browser that behaves oddly, so that a web site will look “broken” on any other browser. The web will remain a well documented, free platform on which more and more people will develop. The Australian Tax Office is going to have to come up with a much better piece of software to pay your taxes online.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Top 10 Enterprise Database Systems to Consider

      How far back does your knowledge of databases go — late-1980s, mid-1990s, five years ago? If so, you might not recognize some of the old timers in this list. You’ll also do a double take if you didn’t know many of them have their roots in the mid-to-late 1970s. It would be hard to argue that the database market is not mature.

  • Security

    • Security: FOSS/CSS Updates – Are They Worth Anything?

      It appears from my experience that the majority of non-technical end-users who end up with infected systems fall into the first category. The second category is a smaller group that have just been lucky to not yet have an infected PC. These two categories of users are almost all Microsoft operating system users. The latter two categories are the small group of users that are more technical and/or security conscious. The more security conscious but non-technical are usually those who have had to deal with a prior PC infection. The latter two categories rarely or never see an infection. The Open Source community of Linux users is generally more technical at this point and thus more likely to take updates seriously.

    • Metasploit 3.4 Takes Aim at Java Apps

      The Metasploit open source vulnerability testing framework is out this week with a new release boosting its exploit count and adding new Java, brute force and exploit automation technologies.

    • Over 4,500 logins uploaded to open source content site

      Chris Boyd, malware researcher at Sunbelt Software, claimed that as Scribd allows users to share written content online, converting PowerPoint, PDFs and Word documents into web documents that can be viewed through sites such as Facebook and other social networking services, it was inevitable that a scammer would decide to use such a service for foul means.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Intel Core 2, Core i7 Optimizations For GCC 4.6

      CodeSourcery, a company that works on GCC for various companies like with Texas Instruments for bringing the GNU Toolchain to new CPUs and also offers their own software development environment, has shared their intentions to provide a new set of GCC optimizations for Intel’s Core 2 and Core i7 processors.

    • PyPy: the other new compiler project

      We have recently seen a lot of attention paid to projects like LLVM. Even though the GNU Compiler Collection is developing at a rapid pace, there are people in the community who are interested in seeing different approaches taken, preferably with a newer code base. LLVM is not where all the action is, though. For the last few years (since 2003, actually), a relatively stealthy project called PyPy has been trying to shake up the compiler landscape in its own way.

    • If You Want Freedom, Don’t Use Proprietary Software [VIDEO]

      Like many heroes of the digital era, Richard Stallman is largely unsung by the general populace. Yet when it comes to user privacy and technological freedom, he’s probably one of the most committed individuals in the world.

      By freedom, he means four things:

      1. The software should be freely accessible.
      2. The software should be free to modify.
      3. The software should be free to share with others.
      4. The software should be free to change and redistribute copies of the changed software.

  • Government

    • Securing Open Source App Development

      Application developers for the state have used open source software for years, but now it has guidelines on its proper use. But how will the new policy be enforced in a state bureaucracy known for its decentralization?

      Mark Weatherford, Chief Information Security Officer, State of California

      Application developers for the state of California, like those working for other governments, have been using open source software for years. But it wasn’t till this year than the state adopted standards governing how its employees and contractors should use open source software.

  • UK

    • Government coalition document prioritises open data and open source software

      The Conservative and LibDem coalition document has some pointers on the new government’s approach to IT, with a section dedicated to IT-related policies.

      The focus is on open source software and the publication of government data and the coalition also says steps will be taken to “open up government procurement and reduce costs”.

    • Coalition gov’t plan outlines ICT contract split

      The deal, published on Thursday, includes several elements of the Conservative IT manifesto, with pledges on widening access to procurement and on open-source software.

    • Government vows to open up IT contracts

      Further measures to widen procurement access will include creating “a level playing field for open source software”, and breaking up large ICT projects into “smaller components”.

  • Guardian

  • Openness

  • Open Hardware

    • From Knock-Offs To ‘Make-Offs’

      The NYC Resistor hackerspace gave birth to Makerbot Industries, a company that produces a 3-D printer kit called MakerBot that sells for under $1,000. Featured on the cover of Make Magazine (Volume #21), Bre Pettis and his team used open-source software, the Arduino microcontroller and digital fabrication techniques to create a low-cost competitor to high-end 3-D printers that sell at $20,000 and above.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • LongTailVideo Releases The First Flexible Open-Source HTML5 Video Player

      Last week, LongTailVideo announced that they have created and released the open source JW Player in a new HTML 5 version (Beta) that features PNG skinning, Javascript API, fallback to flash and more. Perhaps this could become the new standard for sites looking to implement an open source HTML 5 video player solution.

Leftovers

  • Mobile IT Case Study: Migrating from Outlook, BlackBerry OS to Google Apps, Android

    But cost was not the only reason I switched to Google.

    As a small business we have the opportunity to be nimbler than the large competitors we face every day. Having excellent communication tools and well organized data is a competitive advantage for us — as is the ability to have shared-anytime-anywhere access to our assets. And as I evaluated our options, I considered Google Apps to be a practical and unifying move that could be done quickly with limited cost outlay.

  • The Price of that Tech Gear Is … Wrong!

    So folks, here’s my advice. Keep it simple. Better yet, make a free version available for a limited time or a limited number of users or PCs or whatever. And if you can’t put your prices online where your customers can see them, then you shouldn’t be in business.

  • The Oxymoronic Citizen Journalism

    Let’s fire a few missiles at politically correct ideas such as “Digital media makes all of us journalists”, “citizens will soon displace professional reporters”, and so on.

    That’s nonsense (I have more explicit words in mind). Does it means public input in news should be kept at bay? Certainly not. Quite the contrary, actually. Newsrooms have a challenge on their hands, they need to get better at handling such input.

  • Finance

    • The best financial reform? Let the bankers fail

      The trouble with Wall Street isn’t that too many bankers get rich in the booms. The trouble, rather, is that too few get poor — really, suitably poor — in the busts. To the titans of finance go the upside. To we, the people, nowadays, goes the downside. How much better it would be if the bankers took the losses just as they do the profits.

    • The Unbelievably Rampant Corruption On Wall Street

      In order for a financial system to be able to function properly, it is absolutely essential that the general population has faith in it. After all, who is going to want to invest in the stock market or entrust their money to big financial institutions if there is not at least the perception of honesty and fairness in the financial marketplace? For decades, the American people did have faith in Wall Street. But now that faith is being shattered by a string of recent revelations. It seems as though the rampant corruption on Wall Street is seeping up almost everywhere now. In fact, some of the things that have come out recently have been absolutely jaw-dropping.

    • Media ignores Goldman Sachs’ ties to Corexit dispersant

      In a recent New York Times’ article “Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup”, journalist Paula Quinlan questions why BP is using the 100 % toxic, 54 percent effective dispersant Corexit to clean up the oil when twelve other dispersants proved more effective in EPA testing.

    • US pre-open: Economic worries persist

      Persisting worries about the economy are expected to cause another drop on Wall Street when the markets open on Friday.

      The Dow closed 376 points lower in the previous session after Wall Street took an absolute hammering as worries over bank reform, the eurozone and sliding commodity prices.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole

      Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent.

    • Proposed Louisiana Law Would Ban Any Online Speech Intended to “Embarrass, or Cause Emotional Distress” to an Under-17-Year-Old

      The bill (HB1259) — which passed the state House of Representatives by a 78–16 vote , and has cleared the state Senate Committee on Judiciary C — would make it a misdemeanor to transmit any Internet communication or other computer communication “with the intent to coerce, abuse, torment, intimidate, harass, embarrass, or cause emotional distress to a person under the age of seventeen.” This applies without regard to whether the message is communicated to the person, to some other individuals, or to the public at large.

    • School Spy Program Used on Students Contains Hacker-Friendly Security Hole

      A controversial remote administration program that a Pennsylvania school district installed on student-issued laptops contains a security hole that put the students at risk of being spied on by people outside the school, according to a security firm that examined the software.

    • Portland attorney Mark Ginsberg fights red-light camera ticket — and wins

      Mark Ginsberg was certain he didn’t blast through a light next to Portland City Hall on Feb. 2. So he was surprised when a photo red-light camera flashed as he drove by.

      Days later, he received a $287 citation in the mail. The ticket included several photos, including one clearly showing him in the middle of the intersection. The word “red” was digitally stamped at the top of the photo, along with a jumble of letters and numbers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Woman claims ‘Avatar’ lifted from ‘Warrior’ novel

      On Monday, Kelly Van filed a lawsuit in California district court against Cameron, Fox and producers of the blockbuster film, claiming it infringes the copyright on her 2003 book “Sheila the Warrior: The Damned.”

    • Court Allows Copyright Infringement Free For All On File Hosting Sites

      Right now, it appears that courts are willing to let file-hosting sites like Rapidshare, Hotfile, and Megaupload live in the void in the law between Grokster, Limewire, and Napster. Recently, Judge Huff of the Southern District of California denied Perfect 10′s request for a TRO against Rapidshare holding that P10 could not prove a likelihood of success on the merits. A couple of notes from the decision:

      1. Judge Huff finds that Rapidshare is not violating the 106(3) distribution right because their activity is distinguishable from Hotaling and Napster. Judge Huff reasons that because Rapidshare does not index its files, it is not making the files available in the same way that Hotaling and Napster were.

    • Copyrights

      • US Court Refuses Injunction Against RapidShare As Perfect 10 Gets Legal Theories Rejected Yet Again

        Amusingly, the ruling came out just a day before a bunch of US politicians tagged Rapidshare as one of the worst copyright offenders out there, and suggested sanctions should be made against Germany for not stopping Rapidshare. Funny, then, that a US court also doesn’t seem to think Rapidshare is breaking copyright law…

      • FP Tech Desk: U.S. judge slams Canada’s Isohunt over copyright infringement allegations

        As Canadian politicians in Ottawa prepare to launch new copyright legislation next week, Canada’s most notorious file sharing Website is facing increasing legal pressure from legal authorities in the United States.

        On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles issued a permanent enjoinment against Gary Fung, the Richmond, B.C. owner of Isohunt, one of the largest BitTorrent search engines on the Internet.

      • Did Warner Bros. pirate antipiracy technology?

        Warner Bros. has been sued for stealing an antipiracy technology patent.

      • Newzbin has been shut down

        The outfit lost a court case brought against it by the Music Publishers Association (MPA), which wanted it shut down because it helped people find copyrighted material. Newzbin owes the MPA £230,000 just in interim costs before the judge awards damages. Apparently it also owes a software development house over £500k.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – DITNS – IMAGE Satellite (1/4/2003)


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