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Links 24/5/2010: ASUS + Expressgate/Linux, Xfce 4.6.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Choice: Linux or Red Dead Redemption?

    When Firmware 3.21 launched, many people thought it was a joke (partially due to its 1st April release date). In fact, it was nothing of the sort. It removed Other OS support, already omitted from the PlayStation 3 Slim, and led to some three separate lawsuits as people claimed that Sony was taking away advertised features. It also managed to bring down the United States Airforce, which was using PS3s with Linux for processing power (fine, it didn’t, but how awesome would that be?)

  • Linux is going mainstream

    The truth is that Linux is well on it’s way to being a mainstream operating system. The bad news is that this will not happen the way many of us envisioned.

  • Business

    • Who said Linux couldn’t make you money?

      But someone has done it, and done it well. That someone? The Linux Box. The “Box” was established in 1999 in order to provide regional, national, and international customers with support for open source technologies. On top of that, they commit 20% of their budget back into open source software development (to projects like OpenAFS, Moodle, Drupal, dotProject, Jobby, Squid, and more). Located in Ann Arbor Michigan, The Linux Box works closely with the community and has built its business around close collaboration with customers.

    • Show me the money…

      Every day I come to work, I get excited about the possibilities of the power of participation: to solve complex problems, to share knowledge, to bring people together. Opensource.com has been a great vehicle for me to learn and participate in a dialog about the power of open source principles–-especially when applied beyond software.

      I believe together we can solve many of the most complex problems our world faces. I also believe strongly that we, as a society, will never fully realize the full potential of the power of participation unless and until we find vehicles for individuals and institutions (both public and private) to directly profit from it.


      Red Hat is an example: our mission is to be the catalyst in communities. Our community/enterprise model clearly works, but we need to find more business models to encourage others to play catalytic roles and foster their own communities of participation.

    • How to Sell Linux
  • Desktop

    • How to Configure an Ubuntu Linux Computer for Less Than $200

      Does your family need an extra PC? Educator, Mac expert, and Linux enthusiast Phil Shapiro explains in this YouTube video how, for less than the price of some operating systems, you can configure a useful, virus-free computer with a 23-inch LCD monitor ($150 refurbished) and a Wi-Fi wireless adapter ($15). This project is easy to do and should take about an hour.

    • Your old computer, born again

      Netbooks such as the original Acer Aspire One and the Dell Mini don’t use the latest iteration of the Intel Atom processor (called Pineview) and come with 1GB of RAM or less. (Companies such as Lenovo now offer 2GB and 3GB versions of their netbooks.) Older netbooks usually run Windows XP, which some see as outdated.

      One easy way to make your netbook run faster is to use a new operating system called Jolicloud.

      To use Jolicloud, you’ll need a 1GB USB key. Click the download link at Jolicloud.com and download the ISO file for Jolicloud and use Jolicloud’s USB Creator to create the key. Boot up your netbook, watching carefully for the key to press so you can access the netbook’s BIOS. Now, look for an option to boot from a USB key, enable it and save the BIOS. Jolicloud will walk you through the basic installation.

    • Church of Linux

      Another advantage of bringing spinoffs back to their parent distribution is the increased development power. Why have 10 people working on each of 10 distributions when you could have 25 people working on each of 4 distributions, each of which have a couple of specialised setups available.

    • The View from Mudsock Heights: Linux Has Come Far — In One Case, Maybe Too Far

      The free software movement, which in many respects means the Linux operating system, is a puzzle to those accustomed to paying for things. Software is expensive stuff — how good can the stuff be if it doesn’t cost anything?

      Actually, very, very good.


      Then, in July 1998, the desktop problem started to be solved. That’s when KDE 1.0 was released. I downloaded, compiled, and installed it that very first day, and it blew me away. Linux was now easy to use, sort of. KDE (which stood for the “KDE Desktop Environment,” in that self-referential Linux way) could do things in version 1.0 more than a decade ago that only the latest Windows can do.

    • Washing the windows myths. Device support.

      There is a common mantra which windows advocates like to chant. I guess it has a calming influence for them as they navigate the labyrinth of installing new hardware on their machines. The mantra goes like this, windows has better device support. This mantra, while boosting the superiority complex of windows advocates, is simply a myth.

      It is said that myths generally have a germ of truth in them and I have to agree. Many years ago windows did have superior device support. That has all changed now. In fact the situation has reversed. Linux now has superior device support when compared to windows and arguably any other operating system. The reason for this is due to the differences between the way windows and Linux look at hardware device drivers.


      The proof is in the pudding. Do this experiment, if you dare. If you have not already lost your windows drivers disks, put them away under lock and key. Format your hard drive and install windows from scratch, without installing any other drivers. How much of your hardware works? Now do the same for Linux. You will find that more of your hardware works with a standard install of just about any modern Linux distribution. Including printers, webcams, scanners and other peripherals.

  • Asus

    • Asus has NOT abandoned Linux

      We came across this article written by Steven Nichols, Computer World, who believes Linux is dead on netbooks. Well, guess what Asus Asia has been selling the Asus Eee 1201T with Express Gate which is actually a customized Linux OS. This allows them to sell this AMD NEO-powered machine under $380 because Linux does not cost a penny. It comes with AMD NEO processor, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 12.1-inch 1366×768 pixel display and a very spacious chiclet keyboard.

    • Lost Sheep

      First ASUS unleashes netbooks with GNU/Linux. Then they push that other OS. Now they are selling good netbooks with no OS but Expressgate. What’s with that?

      Surely M$ does not approve. Is this another sign that M$ is losing its grip on OEMs?

  • Server

    • Linux trading system to save London Stock Exchange £10m a year

      The London Stock Exchange has said its new open source-based trading system will save it at least £10 million annually, as well as driving new business.

      Millennium Exchange, a Linux and Sun Solaris Unix-based platform, which uses Oracle databases, is being rolled out across all of the LSE’s electronic trading systems, replacing the slower TradElect platform, which is Microsoft .Net based. TradElect had suffered a series of high-profile outages and will be replaced by Millennium Exchange in stages from September.

    • When the Administrator walks…

      Each situation is different but here are some general recommendations. First, make sure you have a LiveCD of your favourite distribution. Fedora, Ubuntu, even Knoppix have a number of tools already baked in that you will find you will need. If possible, write your LiveCD out to a USB stick and add additional packages so they are there when you need them and you will not have to rely on an external connection to the Internet.

  • Audiocasts

    • Linux Outlaws 150 – Linux Cloudlaws

      This time on Linux Outlaws: HP buys Palm, Steam coming to Linux, Humble Indy Bundle goes open source, more PS3 firmware fallout, Red Hat & Novell win important lawsuit, Mandriva in trouble, UDS news and lots of Microsoft and Apple bashing as usual…

    • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – 2010-05-21

      This week on KDEMU we introduce Mike Arthur one of the co-hosts of KDEMU, we talk about KDE on Mac OSX, his plans for rend-a-child and his love for David Faure!

    • Episode 141: The Fourth Colour (Microsode 1)

      This is the first Microsode of Meet the GIMP. This are short(er) videos that are produced ahead of publication and cover one topic – and no chit chat about my life, the site, the forum and so on.

    • Full Circle Podcast #7: Two Tin Cans and a Length of String

      News: Ubuntu Developers Summit, Ubuntu Light, Unity.

      Guest Spot: We go through the Ubuntu bug-reporting process with Alan Pope.

      Games: Ed, Dave and Alan are all agreed about the Humble Indie Bundle and Dave looks at Wormux.

      Interview: Part II of the Ubuntu Manual Project – tools

      Keynote: Part I of Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote from UDS

  • Ballnux

  • Benchmarks

  • Graphics Stack

    • NVIDIA 256 Beta Linux Driver Released

      NVIDIA has rolled out its first beta in the expected 256.xx driver series for Linux, Windows, and other supported platforms. Last month we asked what you wanted from the NVIDIA 256.xx driver and while many of the respondents didn’t get their greatest wishes answered, the 256.25 beta driver does offer quite a bit of changes over the previous-generation proprietary NVIDIA driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Status of Gentoo on MacBook Pro (5,3)

      So, as you can see, besides pommed, a fan script, and the webcam, there’s really very little tweaking required. Everything more or less works.

    • Slackware Linux 13.1 screenshots

      If you’ve grown tired of all the hand-holding utilities in Ubuntu or Fedora, then look no further than Slackware — a distribution that shuns the now-standard GUI configuration and system utilities in favour of the venerable command line.

    • Reviews

      • First look at NimbleX 2010 (Beta)

        NimbleX NimbleX, based on Slackware Linux, is a project which attempts to provide a small, yet fully functional, desktop operating system for people on the go. Specifically, NimbleX provides a modern KDE desktop on a live CD or Flash drive. The project also provides a tool called Custom NimbleX, which allows the user to customize their ISO image prior to downloading it. Before taking NimbleX for a test drive, I had a chance to talk with Bogdan Radulescu, creator of the distribution.

    • Debian Family

      • More flexible firmware handling in debian-installer

        After a long break from debian-installer development, I finally found time today to return to the project. Having to spend less time working dependency based boot in debian, as it is almost complete now, definitely helped freeing some time.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

          Overall I think 10.04 is another great step forward to Ubnutu and Linux in general to get into the hands and homes of the average user. Kudos to the Ubuntu team for a great OS distro, keep up the great work guys!

        • More Ubuntu 10.04

          The software bundled with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx is much the same as the past few versions – Firefox, OpenOffice, Rhythmbox (think iTunes), and F-Spot (for digital cameras) – so you needn’t scour around for the essentials. GIMP (Photoshop-like image editor, but without CMYK support) is not in by default any more but easily added.

          When you do need to install something else, a new Ubuntu Software Centre offers a cheerful interface, for a large repository of free apps.

        • Fawning Over Ubuntu 10.04

          I can’t say enough good things about this Ubuntu distro, I highly recommend you upgrade if you use older Ubuntu distros or if you’re a PC user who’s itching for a change from Windows, download the ISO and give it a whirl without even installing it. Yes, Ubuntu Live CD will let you test drive the distro without even installing it. Again, well done Ubuntu crew, keep up the work and thanks for a beautiful and functional OS!

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 194

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 194 for the week May 16th – May 22nd, 2010. In this issue we cover Ubuntu Mentioned on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Audio from UDS Sessions Now Available, Taking a Long Term View of the Release, Next Americas Regional Membership Board Meeting Announced, Why Launchpad Rocks, Kubuntu Maverick All Planned Out at UDS, Ubuntu Stats, Ubuntu Uruguay Approved Team, Ubuntu-my (Malaysia) Workshop Monash University, Ubuntu-my (Malaysia) Lucid Release Party, Ubuntu Catalan LoCo Team Release Party, Ubuntu Brazil Release Party Pictures, Ubuntini Recipe Released, LoCo Items for Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Debian and Ubuntu, Archive / Permissions Reorg confusion, Ubuntu Maverick UDS Group Photo made with the Hugin Panorama Creator, Melissa Draper: UW World Play Day 2010 Competition: The Movie, In The Press, In the Blogosphere, In Other News, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, and much much more!

        • Puppy

          • Puppy Linux 5.0 “Lucid Puppy” Released

            My initial fears, that the move over to Ubuntu packages would have a serious negative impact on performance and resource usage, seem to have been unfounded. As ever, Puppy booted into a useful and responsive desktop on a test setup with 256MB of RAM. It remains my go to distribution for a certain type of project.

          • REVIEW: Puppy Arcade 8 (LiveCD 105mb)

            Yet another great release for Puppy Arcade. I like the idea of having a poll for the browser, which means that not only do you get a smaller .iso download, but you don’t have to waste your time downloading a browser which you are going to replace anyway. The size of the download is another massive plus and will have you enjoying emulation in no time at all. It’s quite amusing to think that the whole distro is downloaded in 105mb which is less than many PSX games themselves!

        • Kubuntu

          • Kubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 review

            The installation is dead simple, just like Ubuntu. If you have installed any Linux OS lately, you should not have any problem installing Kubuntu Netbook Edition. I installed it using UnetBootin which allows one to make a bootable USB drive.

            Out of the box, everything worked, from Ethernet to Wireless LAN – everything! This is great as most of the netbook users do not like wandering over Ubuntu/Kubuntu forums trying everything to work. Even the function keys worked.

          • Video: Kubuntu with KDE 4.3 Overview. Linux Rocks!

            Today whilst browsing Youtube for KDE-related videos (hey, some of us do it!) I can across this little gem of a video from self-described novice user ms55555. It highlights Kubuntu 10.04′s beauty in style. Some gems to look out for…

        • Variants

          • Lubuntu 10.04

            Lubuntu is a faster, more lightweight and energy saving variant of Ubuntu using LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. The Lubuntu team aims to earn official endorsement from Canonical. Please join us.


            I was pleasantly surprised and quite liked the Netbook mode, which give us a different from the traditional desktop as an alternative. I also like the way to manage start-up login, where it allows us to start with the default LXDE desktop or with Lubuntu Netbook mode.

          • Community Counts: Another Advantage to Linux Mint

            A few months back I listed five reasons I thought Linux Mint is a better choice than Ubuntu for a Linux distro. Today I would like to add another reason to that list. With the recent releases of Ubuntu 10.04 and Linux Mint 9 we see something that I feel really makes Linux Mint out shine Ubuntu (yet again)…


            Now what is the big deal about a distro making improvements to itself in a new release? It is the fact that the creators took to heart what their users where telling them when making this improvement. For some of you this may not be a big deal, but personally I enjoy using a distro where my opinion counts.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora’s Linux Based Gaming Handheld Now Shipping – Open Source Gaming Goes Portable

      In what can only be considered a major victory for the open source gaming scene the fabled Pandora handheld is finally shipping. After almost two years of sneak peeks and disappointing setbacks the first batch of units are finally being massed produced and sent out to paying customers. The end product is the polar opposite of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP in just about every respect. Rather than trying to make a closed down platform filled with proprietary technologies, the hardware and software architectures are completely open and just begging to be exploited.

    • BYO Linux router to the NBN

      They can both be part of the home router you connect to it, according to ISP iPrimus. Customers will be free to use whatever router they like, such as a Linux-based Tomato router (firmware that you install into a readily available router such as the Linksys WRT54G).

      There had been concerns among the enthusiast community that the government would mandate a particular router be used at customer premises so that the network could be administratively controlled remotely.

      However, customers will have complete freedom to use their own homebrew Linux routers to connect their premises to the National Broadband Network instead of using a standard router from the likes of Netcomm or Netgear, internet service provider Primus revealed last week.

    • BYO Linux router to the NBN
    • Toyota’s Robot Violinist Wows Crowd At Shanghai Expo 2010 (Video)
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Will the ‘$100 laptop’ project ever be considered a success?

        “The creation of the netbook market is largely, and appropriately, credited to OLPC,” says Ed McNierney, Chief Technical Officer of OLPC. “We wouldn’t have $300 netbooks in the consumer market if that push from OLPC hadn’t happened.

      • Installing Linux On ARM-Based Netbooks?

        For example, the Augen E-Go. It is a widely touted theory that it is impossible to install Linux on one of these notebooks, replacing the commonly installed Windows CE operating system. The sub-$100 netbooks carry decent specs, including 533MHz ARM processor; 128MB DDR RAM; and a 2GB Flash drive, as well as most expected netbook components (USB, Wi-Fi, etc.). I find it hard to believe that a computer with these specs is impossible to hack and install Linux to, but Google searches have been largely unsuccessful in finding proper information. Do any Slashdot readers have experience in installing ARM Linux distros to these cheap netbooks like this? If so, what distros do they recommend?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source film recommendation engine from Filmaster.com

    Filmaster.com, a social network for film lovers, has recently presented a new movie recommendations engine. The algorithm that generates recommendations is open source and has been released under AGPLv3 license.

  • Quality

    • Open source innovation on the cutting edge

      Open source doesn’t innovate — so goes the old saw. Proprietary software vendors, including Microsoft, would have you believe the open source movement has produced nothing but knockoffs of existing products and cast-off code that couldn’t cut it in the free market.

    • 7 open source innovations on the cutting edge

      Think open source doesn’t innovate? Think again. Here are seven projects that are exploring exciting new directions in computing — for free

    • License Equals Software Quality?

      But does closed source software simply work better? One could make the case that because of the commercial nature of closed source, i.e., finished projects make money, that closed source software is ready to work faster–though I don’t think you could make that a blanket statement. Like open source software, a feature added to proprietary software has to be decided upon, only now the feature has to pass another bar to get included: it has to be profitable. Which means, even if it’s the Coolest Feature Ever, if may not get included because the proprietary vendor may not want to make the investment.

      This is why, ultimately, I think the whole open vs. closed software quality argument is moot. Each of the approaches has strengths and weaknesses the other approach doesn’t, which balances out the notion that any software will be higher or lower quality because of its license. Developers code software poorly or well based on their own strengths.

      There are other facets of the open vs. closed debate, a debate that I believe open source ultimately wins. Just don’t make software quality part of the argument. It’s a moot point.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • a better web is winning

      There are more than half a billion people using these four amazing and modern browsers right now.

  • SaaS

    • Open APIs key in cloud computing

      It is the data formats and the walled gardens that sit within the cloud environments that will become the biggest challenge to customers looking to avoid vendor lock-in. And it affects home users as much as it does enterprise customers and governments – it’s hard enough as an individual to close a Facebook account, imagine trying to move that data to another service?

  • Oracle

    • How Could the NetBeans Team Make Money from the NetBeans Platform?

      With the snowballing interest in NetBeans Platform usage (here’s a nice list of +-150 screenshots and counting), is there a place, somewhere/somehow, where Sun/Oracle/NetBeans could make actual money from the NetBeans Platform? (And would the amount of money be an “interesting” amount?)

  • BSD

  • Government

    • FR: Chamber of Commerce selects open source for craftsmen

      A DVD with a selection of free and open source software applications tailored to very small businesses (VSBs), was published by the Chamber of Commerce for Crafts and Trades of the French Somme Department, earlier this year.

      “Our goal is to assist VSBs in their use of office productivity tools and business applications”, writes Alain Bethfort, president of the organisation, in his introduction.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Ninth worker death at Taiwan iPhone firm Foxconn

    A ninth employee has jumped to his death at Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, China’s state media reports.

    Xinhua said 21-year-old Nan Gang leapt from a four-storey factory in China’s Shenzhen in the early hours.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • “It’s BP’s Rules – Not Ours.”
    • Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP

      In the days after the immensity of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico became clear, some Nature Conservancy supporters took to the organization’s Web site to vent their anger.
      This Story

      Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP
      Salazar slams BP for missing deadlines
      Gulf slick is invading fragile coastal bays
      BP agreed in 2004 to parts changes on drilling rig, letter says
      Oil spill cleanup, containment efforts, hearings in wake of gulf disaster

      View All Items in This Story
      View Only Top Items in This Story

      “The first thing I did was sell my shares in BP, not wanting anything to do with a company that is so careless,” wrote one. Another added: “I would like to force all the BP executives, the secretaries and the shareholders out to the shore to mop up oil and wash the birds.” Reagan De Leon of Hawaii called for a boycott of “everything BP has their hands in.”

    • Another Chance to Stop the Gulf Leak

      BP is preparing to launch a procedure as early as Sunday to clog the flow of oil and gas from the month-old Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the proposed “top kill” method is untested at the 5,000-foot depth of the spill, and could easily join the growing list of fixes thwarted by the spill’s punishingly remote environment. It is also the most invasive maneuver attempted to date, and could rupture the leaking well and actually accelerate the flow of crude.

    • BP prepares complex ‘top kill’ bid to plug well

      Government and BP officials are hopeful after extensive preparations, but are not guaranteeing that a complex attempt early this week to cap an uncontrolled underwater oil spill from a well in the Gulf of Mexico will be successful.

      The so-called “top kill” procedure that oil major BP is tentatively scheduled to attempt on Tuesday involves plugging up the well by pumping thick “drilling mud” and cement into it. While it has been attempted on above ground wells, it has never been tried at the depths involved with this spill, nearly 5,000 feet below the surface.

      In an e-mail to staff late Friday, BP CEO Tony Hayward said success of the procedure could not be taken for granted, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Finance

    • New financial rules might not prevent next crisis

      The most sweeping changes to financial rules since the Great Depression might not prevent another crisis.

    • Rules Grow, Banks Stay Same Size

      The financial legislation passed by the Senate last week, largely built to specifications that the administration provided last summer, vastly increases the scope and sophistication of federal regulation. It grants more resources and more authority to those charged with overseeing the industry. It is hoped that this will produce better results.

      The bill does not, as some liberal Democrats and populist Republicans had advocated, require the breakup of conglomerated behemoths. It does not prohibit some of the most speculative genres of Wall Street trading. It does not reduce the vast menagerie of financial companies that compete with banks.

    • Commentary: Maryland foreclosure-prevention law adds bite to federal efforts
    • Tax credit and low mortgage rates boost home sales

      Homebuyers rushed to take advantage of government incentives and low mortgage rates in April, giving the housing market its biggest boost in five months.

    • As Reform Takes Shape, Some Relief on Wall St.

      The financial reform legislation making its way through Congress has Wall Street executives privately relieved that the bill does not do more to fundamentally change how the industry does business.

    • Cuts to Child Care Subsidy Thwart More Job Seekers

      Despite a substantial increase in federal support for subsidized child care, which has enabled some states to stave off cuts, others have trimmed support, and most have failed to keep pace with rising demand, according to poverty experts and federal officials.

    • Government Spending and Economic Expansions

      With everyone waiting until the other guy moves first, there isn’t much of a foundation set down for future growth. But if the government steps in and acts when nobody else is willing to do so, it could create that more stable environment the private sector needs in order to get off the ground.

    • Ask Goldman Sachs to Give it Back!

      To be fair, sometimes they had the money to pay off one another without government bailouts, but not often. That’s because they were largely betting with money they never had. AIG is the perfect example. Their executives made hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses from the early wins in these bets, but then stuck the taxpayers with a $182 billion bill when they lost.

    • So much for the little guy

      The Obama administration’s tough statements about Wall Street misdeeds mask a strange fact: For an administration that talks so much about helping the little guy, it is astonishing how many of President Barack Obama’s “reforms” work to the advantage of powerful corporate interests at the expense of small employers and independent entrepreneurs.

      Two recent examples are the new burdens that Obamacare places on small business and the way the administration’s proposed financial reform legislation works to the advantage of the largest financial institutions at the expense of smaller competitors.

    • Poll: Economists more upbeat despite deficit woes

      Economists forecast the pace of U.S. growth to pick up in the year ahead as consumers and businesses alike accelerate spending, according to a new survey.

    • Bank Brawl Continues: Now It’s Lincoln vs. Obama

      Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a financial reform bill that was far stronger that what had been proposed by the Obama administration and passed by the House. Now it’s time to hold President Obama’s feet to the fire to ensure the strongest possible bill.

    • ‘100% Protected’ Isn’t as Safe as It Sounds

      For an investor in one of these notes to earn the return of the index as well as get the principal back, the index cannot fall 25.5 percent or more from its level at the date of issuance. Neither can it rise more than 27.5 percent above that level. If the index exceeds those levels during the holding period, the investors receive only their principal back.

    • Case Said to Conclude Against Head of A.I.G. Unit

      Federal prosecutors investigating the events leading up to the collapse of the American International Group in 2008 will not bring charges against Joseph Cassano, the chief executive of the unit that insured mortgage-related securities with calamitous results, according to two people briefed on the matter.

    • Financial Overhaul Bill Poses Big Test for Lobbyists

      Last Wednesday, Representative David Scott, Democrat of Georgia, mingled with insurance and financial executives and other supporters at a lunchtime fund-raiser in his honor at a chic Washington wine bar before rushing out to cast a House vote.

    • A Guide to Complaints That Get Results
    • What is the point of innovative financial instruments ?

      I remain very ignorant about banking and real world finance. Some time ago, a commenter noted that while at first I said I was winging it I seemed much more confident and asked if I had learned a lot or if I was winging it louder. I am winging it louder.

      I don’t know what innovative financial instruments have been invented. I tend to assume that the purpose of some is tax avoidance. For all I know, some are used to share risk, and might actually be socially useful.

    • Dems play old-school hardball

      To finish the Wall Street reform bill, Democrats are resurrecting a casualty of Washington’s hyperpartisan culture: the House-Senate conference committee, in which lawmakers from both parties will hash out differences between the two chambers’ bills.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Copyrights

    • Lady Gaga Says No Problem If People Download Her Music; The Money Is In Touring

      Like Mariah Carey, it looks like Lady Gaga has realized that this concept of Connect with Fans and giving them a Reason to Buy works at the superstar level just as much as it does down at the indie artist level. The specifics of implementing a business model around the concept are very, very different — but the core concept remains the same. Treat your fans right, learn to leverage what’s infinite to make something scare more valuable, and then sell the scarcity.

    • Eircom to cut broadband over illegal downloads

      EIRCOM WILL from today begin a process that will lead to cutting off the broadband service of customers found to be repeatedly sharing music online illegally.

      Ireland is the first country in the world where a system of “graduated response” is being put in place. Under the pilot scheme, Eircom customers who illegally share copyrighted music will get three warnings before having their broadband service cut off for a year.

    • How local TV could go the way of newspapers

      Once it becomes as easy and satisfying to view a YouTube video on your 50-inch television as it is to watch “Two and a Half Men,” audiences will fragment to the point that local broadcasters will not be able to attract large quantities of viewers for a particular program at a finite point in time.

    • ISP Must Hand Over Identity Of OpenBitTorrent Operator

      An ISP must hand over the identity of the operator behind a major BitTorrent tracker, a court in Sweden ruled today. OpenBitTorrent, probably the world’s largest public tracker, is currently hosted by Portlane. The ISP must now reveal the identity of its customer to Hollywood movie companies or face a hefty fine.

    • Federal Court Issues Permanent Injunction For Isohunt

      The injunction theoretically leaves the door open for the site to deploy a strict filtering system, but its terms are so broad that Isohunt has little choice but to shut down or at the very least block all US visitors. … The verdict states that they have to cease ‘hosting, indexing, linking to, or otherwise providing access to any (torrent) or similar files’ that can be used to download the studios’ movies and TV shows. Studios have to supply Isohunt with a list of titles of works they own, and Isohunt has to start blocking those torrents within 24 hours.

    • Want to buy a Linux company?
    • After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all

      The great American writer left instructions not to publish his autobiography until 100 years after his death, which is now

    • Separating Fact from Fiction: My Fair Copyright Proposals

      So yet again in an effort to separate fact from fiction, here is my submission to the copyright consultation from last summer. It doesn’t call for everything to be free, it calls for WIPO implementation, and it emphasizes that updating the law means accounting for both creator and consumer needs.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FoF – RLVs (1/5/2003)

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  1. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)

  2. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub

  3. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day

  4. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022

  5. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."

  6. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  7. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)

  8. Peak Code — Part I: Before the Wars

    Article/series by Dr. Andy Farnell: "in the period between 1960 and 2060 people had mistaken what they called "The Internet" for a communications system, when it had in fact been an Ideal and a Battleground all along - the site of the 100 years info-war."

  9. Links 21/1/2022: RISC-V Development Board and Rust 1.58.1

    Links for the day

  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 20, 2022

  11. Gemini Lets You Control the Presentation Layer to Suit Your Own Needs

    In Gemini (or the Web as seen through Gemini clients such as Kristall) the user comes first; it's not sites/capsules that tell the user how pages are presented/rendered, as they decide only on structural/semantic aspects

  12. The Future of Techrights

    Futures are difficult to predict, but our general vision for the years ahead revolves around more community involvement and less (none or decreased) reliance on third parties, especially monopolistic corporations, mostly because they oppress the population via the network and via electronic devices

  13. [Meme] UPC for CJEU

    When you do illegal things and knowingly break the law to get started with a “legal” system you know it’ll end up in tears… or the CJEU

  14. Links 20/1/2022: 'Pluton' Pushback and Red Hat Satellite 6.10.2

    Links for the day

  15. The Web is a Corporate Misinformation/Disinformation Platform, Biased Against Communities, Facts, and Science

    Misinformation/disinformation in so-called 'news' sites is a pandemic which spreads; in the process, the founder of GNU/Linux gets defamed and GNU/Linux itself is described as the problem, not the solution to the actual problems

  16. Links 20/1/2022: McKinsey Openwashing and Stable Kernels

    Links for the day

  17. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 19, 2022

  18. Links 20/1/2022: Linuxfx 11.1 WxDesktop 11.0.3 and FreeIPMI 1.6.9 Released

    Links for the day

  19. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day

  20. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day

  21. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication

  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022

  23. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day

  24. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).

  25. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...

  26. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)

  27. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk

  28. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day

  29. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day

  30. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022

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