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Links 29/5/2010: KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1, Zenwalk Linux 6.4, Thunderbird 3.1 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux System and Network Administration Bootcamp W/Free Laptop!

    Rapid growth of Linux into corporate and government IT environments is fueling the need for Linux certified professionals. CIOs and managers are eager to have Linux experts in their organizations. A training or certification provides a tangible mechanism for their hiring evaluation, as well as a means to market the prowess of organizations.

  • Linux Journal Insider – July 2010
  • QOTD: Should Sony be Sued for Removing Linux?

    Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding Sony’s decision to remove Linux support from the PS3. Those inclined to sue over the removal of Other OS support say they purchased their PS3 because they could install Linux on it.

  • Desktop

    • Lindsay Lohan prohibited from installing Linux on court-ordered alcohol monitoring gadget

      A Los Angeles judge this week ordered Lindsay Lohan to wear an alcohol-detection ankle bracelet at all times, after the actress was convicted for driving under the influence. Last night, Ms. Lohan tweeted that she wished to bedazzle her Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor (SCRAM). The device isn’t pretty. Neither is alcoholism.

      Snip from the Los Angeles Times:

      “Can CHANEL please help me out by getting me some stickers to put on my scram bracelet so that I can at least wear a chic dress?! maybe!? x,” Lohan wrote.

      But the maker of the ankle bracelet warns that anything that affects the alcohol-monitoring device could be considered a violation and could trigger its tampering mechanism. So adorning the lightweight monitor with sequins or stickers could be fraught with problems for the fashionable actress.

      Guess that means you can’t install Ubuntu on it, either. Bummer.

    • What Happens When My Linux Breaks Down?

      This post is a summary of a conversation I had the other day with an acquaintance of mine. It started out with him asking me what I do for a living and ended up with me having to choke back tears of laughter. I hope you have the same reaction although I realize that it might be one of those, “You had to be there” moments.

    • My dad is a Linux user

      Yesterday, I installed Linux Mint on my dad’s laptop. With the exception of a couple of bits of poorly supported hardware, the installation went without a hitch. I think my dad was genuinely pleased with his new Linux installation and he commented that it was definitely faster than the old Windows XP installation, he added that he thought it looked fairly easy to use too.

    • More FUD about GNU/Linux Popularity

      These are just more trash statistics telling the world or at least anyone who wants to listen that GNU/Linux is not relevant. Real statistics with pedigree showed that GNU/Linux surpassed MacOS share back in 2003 and has not looked back.

    • Chickens Come Home to Roost

      This also indicates that those who tried GNU/Linux are happy enough to keep using it and they do not value the need for support from Novell highly and more continue to ask for GNU/Linux. GNU/Linux is simple, modular and reliable.

    • A Roomful of Meth-Addicted Monkeys

      During a quiet period my colleague and I happened to find ourselves comparing notes on our company-supplied laptops: Dell Latitude E6500s. My colleague, let’s call him Diglio, runs Windows 7 on his, and I am running Kubuntu 10.04. We were just sitting ourselves down in an empty conference room to take advantage of the CMU wireless to check our email.

      Diglio opened his laptop, which had been suspended, and nothing happened. Well, sort of. The fan came on, but not the screen. Nothing he could do would turn the screen on, he had to reboot.

      Watching that I said, “That happens to me sometimes too. I thought it was the Linux power management tools that were screwing up. Do you sometimes close the lid to suspend, stick the laptop back in your case only to find a very hot laptop a bit later when you realize that it didn’t suspend properly as well?”


  • HPC

    • Technical Computing

      89% of the top 500 high performance clusters run GNU/Linux and 1% run that other OS. That will not change any time soon.

    • SGI Introduces New Software Products to Enhance Manageability, Scale and Performance of SGI Hardware

      SGI ProPack 7 is the latest version of SGI’s suite of tools and libraries that enable industry-leading application performance on standard Linux(R) distributions. SGI software products are designed and built on open standards supporting Linux distributions from Red Hat(R) and Novell(R). SGI also integrates and certifies leading third-party software tools to provide best-in-class open software stacks for customers’ most demanding workloads.

  • Audiocasts

    • CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.05.28

      Topics for this podcast:

      *Licensing buzzes with Google, OSI, virtualization and the cloud
      *Open source barometer Black Duck sees growth in mobile, healthcare, government
      *New life for LinuxCare shows renewed vigor for Linux in clouds
      *Apache Hadoop support old and new with IBM, Datameer

    • FLOSS Weekly 121: Freenode

      History of IRC, the Peer-Directed Project Center, freenode and more.

      Guest: Jonathan Simpson

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Hatchet Job

      The testing Phoronix does may have some use but it is not a reflection on Linux in general just the filesystems and hardware that Phoronix uses that are quite narrow. The code in question is just a tiny percentage of Linux.

    • Linux Foundation Releases LinuxCon 2010 Schedule

      * Wim Coekaerts (Senior Vice President, Linux and Virtualization Engineering, at Oracle): Coekaerts will take a technical look at Linux at Oracle.
      * Rob Chandhok (President of Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.): Chandok will discuss the challenges in open source and mobile today.
      * Markus Rex (Senior Vice President and General Manager of Open Platform Solutions at Novell): Rex will speak about the changing nature of IT workloads on Linux.
      * Intel & Nokia: A joint keynote titled, “Freedom to Innovate: Can MeeGo’s Openness Change the Mobile Industry?”

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI Catalyst 10.5 Comes with Support for SLED/SLES 11 SP1

        The latest ATI graphics drivers are here to satisfy the needs of the Linux gamers out there. ATI Catalyst 10.5 comes with preliminary support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 11 Service Pack 1. It also fixes quite a lot of Linux-specific issues and bugs. Other than that, it’s just a regular evolutionary update, nothing to write home about.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1 released

        The KDE Project developers have released a first beta for version 4.5 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC), a development preview of the next major release for the popular Linux and Unix desktop. According to the developers, the beta is aimed at “testers and those that would like to have an early look at what’s coming to their desktops and netbooks this summer”. The final version of KDE 4.5 is scheduled to be released in August, 2010.

      • First beta of KDE 4.5 SC released

        Good news for fans of KDE, the first beta of KDE SC 4.5 is now available for download. KDE has a history of introducing some of the most innovative features in each release. In KDE 4.4 we got tabbing support at the window manager level, making it possible for people to combine any two arbitrary windows from different applications, into one tabbed window.

      • KDE SC 4.5 Beta 1 Released
      • First Beta of KDE SC 4.5 Arrives

        Highlights of KDE SC 4.5.0 Beta 1:

        · Revamped notification area;
        · Added KWin-Tiling effect, which automatically places windows next to each other;
        · WebKit web browser engine can now be used in Konqueror;
        · Improved overall stability of the software components in KDE SC 4.5;
        · Many other amazing, new features!

      • Lancelot and KMail in 4.5

        Every once in a while I write a post related to relations between lancelot and kmail or kopete.

      • Panel icon sizes in KDE SC 4.5

        There were a lot of complaints when we decided to limit the size of icons placed on panels in plasma to 32×32 pixels.

        The reasoning behind limiting the size were requests from users who use vertical panels – vertical panels are usually made wider then standard panels, and icons would grow to 300×300 pixels taking up most of the space on the panel.

      • New In KDE Partition Manager 1.1 (I): Mount Management

        One of the most requested features after KDE Partition Manager’s initial release has been that users asked for a way to modify mount points from within the application. This came as a bit of a surprise to me because I would not have seen this feature to be in the immediate scope of a partition managing application. But, the user is king after all, and thus this will indeed be possible in KDE Partition Manager 1.1.

      • Trinity and the Challenges of Continuing KDE 3

        This morning, while having my usual Cafe Latte (albeit this time in Berlin instead of at home sweet home in Nijmegen), I read about the Trinity project, which is an effort to revive KDE 3. I think this project nicely shows the advantages of Free Software. While the vast majority of KDE contributors agrees that KDE 3 is a dead end, technologically, these two guys (according to the somewhat sparse information on the website) are trying to continue to support and feature development on KDE3. Now I see a couple of real challenges for this project:

        * Maintainance – KDE 3 is a large codebase. You need a good amount of people with domain knowledge of many different areas to effectively maintain a project like KDE. I see some of the first roadmap tasks for Trinity are updating the build system to deal with all the updated developer tools (e.g. newer autotools versions).

  • Distributions

    • Measuring the popularity of distros – Part 3 Torrents

      Continuing on with the theme of measuring the popularity of Linux distros, today we’ll go for another method. Linux Tracker is a website that provides a bit torrent tracker for various Linux distros and related projects.

      Another way of measuring popularity is to look at the number of seeders and leechers a torrent has (the number of people uploading/downloading the torrent at that moment) and the number of downloads it has had.

      While the only takes a smaller fraction of the downloads, as most people prefer to use HTTP downloads. These will also cater to the slightly more technically aware, as downloading via bit torrent is not quite as simple as downloading via HTTP. Another issue is that it is possible (and encouraged) for one person to be seeding multiple torrents at once, so someone could be seeding every single Ubuntu torrent on the site, even though it is only 1 user. Conversely someone could have downloaded the disc straight and then not seeded it at all. Projects with lots of DVDs/CDs (such as Ubuntu and Debian) will have more seeders together than a project with only 1 or 2 CDs.

    • Zenwalk

      • Zenwalk Linux 6.4 Is Finally Here

        Jean-Philippe Guillemin proudly announced last evening, May 27th, the immediate availability of the Zenwalk Linux 6.4 operating system. The new release is powered by Linux kernel, with the BFS scheduler, and the new XFCE 4.6.2 desktop environment. Cutting-edge packages and overall performance improvements are also present in this new release of the lightweight Zenwalk Linux distribution.

      • Zenwalk 6.4 is ready !

        Zenwalk 6.4 provides many enhancements at system and application levels, while confirming the maturity and features stability of Zenwalk. The brand new kernel is featuring the new BFS scheduler, designed for the best desktop interactivity on multi-core CPUs while taking the most of lower spec machines. You’ll notice better responsiveness of graphical applications, better realtime performance of sound applications (very low latency), and efficiency of niced commands (compilation tasks can really be niced in a way they don’t disturb other applications). Like its predecessor, Zenwalk 6.4 features EXT4 as main filesystem, and latest versions of most applications and desktop environments.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • [Full Circle Magazine] Issue 37

        This month:

        * Command and Conquer.
        * How-To : Program in Python – Part 11, Adding Screenlets, and Streaming Media.
        * Review – Lubuntu.
        * MOTU Interview – Stefan Lesicnik.
        * Top 5 – Tiling Window Managers.
        * plus: Ubuntu Women, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and all the usual goodness!

      • Variants

        • mintInstall 7.1.5: speed improvements

          A new version of the Software Manager is available in the repository. You can use the Update Manager to upgrade to it.

          The Software Manager was rewritten from scratch in Linux Mint 9. It’s a very complex application, and it can be improved in many ways. Today we tackled the time it takes for the application to start. Basically it needs to process some 30,000 packages, a growing number of comments (we’re receiving about 200 comments per day at the moment) and match all that in categories and do some other fancy processing… Because of all this, it’s far from being immediate.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-Based Pandora Ships with 600 MHz ARM

      Although Pandora is promoted as “the most powerful gaming handheld,” the specs lean more towards an ultra-portable, pocket-sized PC. This portable rig can surf the Internet thanks to a built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g wireless adapter, allow users to compose email using its 43-button QWERTY keyboard, and perhaps even export high-quality video to a TV thanks to its S-Video output jack. The Pandora sports a battery with a 10+ hour duration.

    • Nokia

      • Nokia refutes N900 poor sales claims

        According to an earlier Reuters report based on Gartner figures, Nokia only managed to sell less than 100,000 top-of-the-range N900 smartphones in its first five months on the market.

        However, Nokia has since told The INQUIRER that the original figure quoted by Reuters was incorrect, and that it actually sold more than 100,000 Nokia N900s in the first five weeks.

      • Intel and Nokia release MeeGo v1.0
      • Meego releases a netbook edition

        Meego is facing stiff competition from Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems, Canonical’s Ubuntu Netbook Remix and Microsoft’s Windows 7 Starter Edition. Like Canonical’s and Google’s products, Meego is based on the open source Linux kernel.

    • Android

      • IT Infrastructure: Android, Chrome Power Open-Source Google TV Platform

        More than 4 billion TV users exist in the world. Americans watch an average of five hours of TV per day.

      • Is Android the Closest Thing to a Linux Phone There is Ever Going to Be?

        Instead of Android being the best that Linux will ever get on a portable device, it’s actually the first step into having open systems on mobile platforms. As Android gets into the netbook and tablet market, it will only get better for Linux users. People will learn to trust these open platforms and find out that these work out just as well as other types of platforms. The flexibility felt with these will be superior to other platforms that are more closed and controlled where users can’t make personal choices.

      • What Makes Android Tick

        “The open operating system offered by Google doesn’t necessarily translate to openness for users,” Hazelton said. “In some cases when you lock down a smartphone, it’s almost like running around the Internet on AOL. It’s just like going back to the ‘walled garden’ on feature phones.”

        The idea of openness may have gotten away from Google with regard to Android, he said. Initially, the goal for Android was to create a mobile platform that would spotlight Google’s features — maps, search, cloud-based applications. The Nexus One is Google’s attempt to create just that phone, even though the versions of Android phones sold by other handset makers may not live up to the Googleplex’s ideal for a smartphone.

      • Motorola Droid 2 found in Verizon system, keyboard makes an online cameo? (update: specs)

        While we’ve got no way to confirm at the moment, here’s some proverbial food for thought. A friendly reader last night published in our comment thread for the two rumored Verizon-bound Motorola devices with the above picture (subtitles added by us), claiming the bottom image is the Droid 2′s upgraded QWERTY keyboard. The story goes that his friend had one but no other information is currently available — the font on the keys is identical, and the mic icon on the bottom left is distinctively Android. If it’s legit, we gotta say we’re hopeful; the keys look to have a more protruding center à la the CLIQ, which should make typing on the little guy much easier than before. And if it’s not the Droid successor, well, it’s still something we haven’t seen. Could this be the updated QWERTY-fied Android solution we’ve been waiting for? Time will tell.

      • Motorola is ‘all in’ on Android

        There is always the option of building your own brand of Linux but Android has most of the advantages of this and much more.

      • Motorola CEO plans to keep focus on smart phones
      • Motorola Android Tablet May Come This Year

        CEO Sanjay Jha tells investors Motorola is concentrating on the convergence of mobility and the home and ‘nearly all’ of his focus is on Android.

    • Tablets

      • One Laptop Per Child Set to Offer $100 Tablets, Android Likely to be on First Offerings

        While VIA is helping to produce a line of devices that come in at the $100-$150 range, Marvell’s teaming up with the organization to keep their tablets at a maximum price of $99.99 to help less-fortunate children and families get computing devices that will help them with their education and everyday life.

      • One Laptop Per Child Focuses on Sub-$100 Tablet PC for Education
      • Realease 10-inch tablet runs on Linux

        Realease (no, that is not a typo) has rolled out a new 10″ tablet device which runs on the Linux operating system, with a choice of Freescale i.MX37 (ARM11) and i.MX51 (ARM Cortex A8) processors within.

      • Shogo Tablet Lets You Get Your Open-Source Geek On

        The folks over at ARMDevices have posted an exclusive look (via YouTube video – see below) at the Realease Shogo tablet. Sporting a 10.1 inch capacitive touchscreen, the Shogo comes built with a Freescale i.MX37 (ARM11) or i.MX51 (ARM Cortex A8) processor inside and is completely open with Linux as the OS.

      • Android Successful in Becoming Tough Competition for iPad

        In the high-stakes competition to grasp Apple Inc.’s hit iPad, the Android operating system that Google Inc. made popular in cellphones is promising to be a front-runner.

        Tablet-style computers, a declining hardware category until the iPad began generating buzz previously this year, which are anticipated to be a huge topic at next week’s Computex trade show, which is a major topic of discussion for product announcements by creators of personal computers.

      • Lenovo tablets, smartbooks delayed for Android

        A pair of the most-anticipated mobile computers from this year’s CES show were Lenovo’s U1 Hybrid and Skylight smartbook. Both ran a custom widget-based Linux OS (sometimes also called Skylight), and were powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. But since then, both devices seem to have fallen off the map, and now we think we know why. Both systems are getting a software overhaul, jumping to the Android platform in search of better performance and more usability.

      • Lenovo Delays U1 Hybrid, Skylight for Android
      • Lenovo switching to Google Android for their Tablet PCs?

        Switching to Google Android would benefit Lenovo in the long run. They would not have to spend too many resources on developing the core OS for their products. Android would also provide a massive support for third party apps that are available from the official market operated by Google.

      • Lenovo kills off the U1, switches internal OS out for Android in future devices
      • Lenovo moves Skylight, U1 to Android as iPad has free rein

        Lenovo settled questions around its ultra-mobile PCs on Friday by planing a switch in OS for the Skylight smartbook and the IdeaPad U1 detachable tablet. The two will drop Lenovo’s in-house Linux OS for Android in what’s treated as a reaction to “market conditions and user feedback.” Future plans now involve creating an entire ecosystem of Android devices that would include devices like the LePhone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Makes a Difference

    New Pentaho sponsored report from Mark Madsen conducts price comparison of commercial open source and top five proprietary vendors

  • Open Source: Shift from Skepticism to Enthusiasm

    Two years ago many companies were skeptical of Open Source, but after living two years through tough times during a recession, many companies have a better handle on what Open Source is all about and are enthusiastically embracing its potential. And the new mind shift among customers is forcing many vendors to change. They’re changing the way that they sell. And they’re changing the way that they develop with and support their software purchases.

  • Google Vs. Apple: An Open And Closed Case

    In theory, open source should win hands down. The open environment allows a cooperative ecosystem to evolve, guaranteeing a rate of innovation simply not possible in closed system. But I think it depends on where we are in the maturity of the market. Open source allows for more innovation, but it’s also an open invitation for more things to go wrong. This can be deadly as you try to push along market adoption.

  • Mozilla

    • 10 years @ Mozilla

      Today marks 10 years of continuous full-time employment working on Mozilla.

      I still can’t believe I get to work with so many amazing people. It’s pretty much the best job ever.

      Thank you to all the Mozillians that have made this such a wonderful decade.

    • Mozilla releases Thunderbird 3.1 RC1

      The Mozilla developers have issued a first release candidate for version 3.1 of their open source Thunderbird email and news client, code named “Lanikai”. According to the developers, the development preview is considered to be stable, addressing 57 bugs from the previous beta, and is “intended for developers and members of our testing community to use for early evaluation and feedback.”

    • Thunderbird ‘Lanikai’ almost ready for daylight

      The numerous bug-fixes include preventing specific, popular add-ons such as Gmail Conversation View from crashing the e-mail client, saving drafts when written in offline mode, and several critical stability fixes.

      According to Mozilla’s calendar, Lanikai remains on schedule for a June 1st release barring bugs discovered in the release candidate. The full change log for the release candidate can be read here.

    • Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1 RC 1 Released

      The email client release is considered stable by the developers but it still aims largely at developers and testers and not general users who are asked to wait until the final version of Thunderbird 3.1 is released before they migrate to the new client.

    • Thunderbird 3.1 RC1 available for download
    • Download Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1 Release Candidate 1
    • Thunderbird 3.1 Release Candidate 1 is Here
    • Firefox 64-bit builds coming for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
    • Firefox 3.6.4 release candidate available for download and testing
    • screw you, firefox tab complete!

      For some reason that is completely unfathomable to me, the URL that’s shown as hilighted in firefox’s URL window can get out of sync with options that show up in the drop down menu of possible alternatives, yet firefox gives preference to the drop down menu when you hit the TAB key to complete.

    • Opera pokes fun at Chrome speed-test video

      Opera, ever scrappy in its effort to promote its browser over larger rivals, is poking fun at Google’s recent video boasting about the speed of its Chrome browser.

      “The Opera browser is much faster than a potato,” concludes Opera’s low-budget video, which features herring-obsessed caricatured Scandinavians rolling the tubers into a pot of water at the same time Opera loads a Web page.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • New: OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 Release Candidate 2 (build OOO320m18) available

      OpenOffice.org 3.2.1 Release Candidate 2 is not yet available from the usual download website but on many mirrors. So, just download from your favorite mirror next to you. Please note that currently a few Windows builds are not yet ready, these files need a bit more time to be available.

    • The GlassFish Project Heats Up

      Although Oracle will continue to support the GlassFish 2 customers through its commercial support, plans are for the team to focus on the Version 3 roadmap.

  • CMS

  • Education

  • Healthcare

    • Open-sourcing VistA could revolutionize healthcare records

      Given the collaborative roots of VistA and all the third-party development that’s been done on top of it, in use in hospitals all over the nation, it makes sense to make this a full-fledged open source project, engaging the best coders and developers out there to build the best system for our veterans. And with the federal government moving toward electronic record-keeping for all healthcare, this gold standard could be applied across the board.

  • Business

    • Analyst Report Shows How to Save up to 90% on Your Next BI Project

      How much does BI software and ongoing support actually cost? The report pulled real numbers from public sources and direct from the vendors revealing and comparing BI software and support costs for Pentaho, IBM (Cognos), MicroStrategy, Oracle and SAP (Business Objects).

    • Open Source Channel Alliance: Open to MSPs?

      The Open Source Channel Alliance will potentially reach roughly 15,000 Synnex resellers — many of whom are managed service providers targeting mid-market customers.

    • Gluster CEO talks open source clustered NAS storage

      Ben Golub is new to the storage industry, having served previously as CEO of Plaxo (now part of Comcast) and in the upper management of VeriSign (which recently sold a security division to Symantec Corp.) before taking over as CEO of Gluster earlier this month. Golub and other executives from the open source clustered NAS software vendor recently sat down with SearchStorage.com to discuss the state of the enterprise data storage industry, building an open source business model, and what’s coming in new releases of their product.

  • Project Releases

    • Terracotta Releases Ehcache 2.1

      Terracotta has upgraded the distributed caching open source code it acquired last year, Ehcache 2.1, for the fourth time in 10 months. The pace of upgrades reflects how making use of pooled server memories governed by a distributed cache has become a hot method for scaling up Web applications.

    • Editshare Announces Beta Programme

      A technology leader in cross-platform collaborative editing and shared media storage, has announced the Lightworks Open Source Beta Programme.

    • Open vSwitch releases 1.0.0 open source, multilayer virtual switch

      When we talk about server virtualization, we often mention the resources behind the technology, such as the memory, CPU, and disk. We do so because at least one of these resources will ultimately become the bottleneck somewhere down the road on our path to consolidation. But what about the network? Remember the network — that thing that everyone used to point the finger at and assign blame to when something went wrong in the data center?

  • Government/Licensing

    • Administrations in Spain and Portugal heckled over licence violations

      The Spanish Police, Spanish Mint and Portugal’s Agency for Administrative Modernisation have been heckled by developers of OpenSC, open source software for smart cards. The developers found that the public administrations use their software libraries, but have not made available this open source code, one of the terms of their licence.

      The Portuguese Agency for Administrative Modernisation corrected the error last week, the open source developers report.

      According to one of them, Martin Paljak, the Portuguese agency had overlooked the emails sent by OpenSC at first. “A few weeks ago we tried again, and then they replied and began fixing the mistake.”

    • IT: Bolzano facing protests over licence deal forced by vendor lock-in

      The decision on Tuesday by the administration of the Bolzano region to renew the proprietary software licences for it’s servers, will be challenged by Associazione per il Software Libero (Assoli), an advocacy group on free and open source. The group says the region should have investigated alternatives and should have issued a call for tender.

      The Bolzano administration on 25 May decided to spend 2.2 million Euro to renew proprietary licences for the next three years. In its decision, the administration admits it is forced to renew the licence contract: “There are no alternatives for the development of the IT system. Changing these essential and central servers would be irresponsible. The administration fails the resources and expertise for such a change.”

  • Open Hardware

  • VP8

    • Mozilla and Opera call for Google open codec in HTML5 spec

      One week after Google open sourced its $124.6m VP8 video codec, Mozilla and Opera have called for its inclusion in the still-gestating HTML5 specification.

    • Google’s New Open Source Video Standard May Never Be Free

      Google has the resources to fight any industry consortium in court, and it might just get the chance, as the company has declared that it will make all of YouTube available in VP8. But, as John Paczkowski pointed out, unless it’s ready to indemnify everyone else who uses the standard against future licensing or legal fees, its claim that VP8 is not only open source but free to use may prove meaningless.


  • Judge convicts Ark. mom in Facebook flap with son

    An Arkansas woman who locked her son out of his Facebook account and posted her own items there was convicted Thursday of misdemeanor harassment and ordered not to have contact with the teenager.

    Clark County District Judge Randy Hill ordered Denise New, of Arkadelphia, to pay a $435 fine and complete anger-management and parenting classes. He said he would consider allowing her to see her 17-year-old son, Lane New, who lives with his grandmother, if Denise New takes the two courses.

  • Security/Aggression

    • I might sue over scrapped ID card, says Blunkett

      Former home secretary David Blunkett said today he was considering suing the Government for the £30 cost of his ID card, after it was announced that holders of the documents will not be compensated when they are abolished.

    • Man aged 33 is refused a bottle of wine in Tesco… because he had no ID

      In any other situation, Jason Wilde might have been flattered to be thought of as a decade younger.

    • Tate makes surveillance an art form

      A new show called Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera opens at Tate Modern this week. It features images made surreptitiously or without the explicit permission of the subject. It is the history of spying with a lens in just over 250 photographs.

    • Pentagon: Let Us Secure Your Network or Face the ‘Wild Wild West’ Internet Alone

      Companies that operate critical infrastructures and do not voluntarily allow the federal government to install monitoring software on their networks to detect possible cyberattacks would face the “wild” internet on their own and place us all at risk, a top Pentagon official seemed to say Wednesday.

      Defense Deputy Secretary William Lynn III, speaking at the Strategic Command Cyber Symposium in Nebraska, said we need to think imaginatively about how to use the National Security Agency’s Einstein monitoring systems on critical private-sector networks — such as those in the financial, utility and communication industries — in order to protect us.

  • Finance

    • Disney employee arrested for insider trading

      After completing an elaborate sting operation, the FBI arrested a Disney employee and her boyfriend Wednesday for trying to sell corporate secrets to hedge fund managers and other Wall Street traders.

      The FBI and other federal regulators said the plot was dependent on the ability of Bonnie Hoxie to covertly exploit her position as an assistant to Zenia Mucha, Disney’s head of corporate communications.

    • House Backs Tax Increase for Venture Capital

      The House of Representatives passed a bill today that would raise the taxes that venture capitalists and other investment managers pay on carried interest — their share of the profits from a successful start-up investment.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Blizzard: DRM a ‘losing battle’

      Fighting PC game piracy with restrictive copy protection is “a losing battle”, Blizzard has said.

      In recent months some publishers have begun using digital rights management (DRM) that requires players have an active internet connection at all times.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • DMCA Notice Wipes 35 Tetris Clones Off Android Market

      A cease and desist order sent to Google on behalf of The Tetris Company LLC has resulted in 35 Tetris clones being pulled from the Android Market. The developer behind FallingBlocks was among the first to feel the fallout as they took to Slashdot to air their complaint.

    • Tourism Australia campaign ‘ripping off artists’

      Artists are being ripped off by copyright rules applied by the federal government’s latest tourism campaign, arts groups claim.

      Tourism Australia has been sourcing images and photographs from the public free of charge for use in its latest Nothing Like Australia campaign.

      The government agency has previously sourced artwork from commissioned and library-stock photographs, generating income for the copyright holders.

    • Copyrights

      • Ofcom and it’s Code of Practice

        One thing though this news must be good news for FACT, because P2P tech threatens to take away the pirate DVD market stall if the new “code of practice” makes it “too hot” for P2P users then I would expect those not frightened to take the risk will be raking in profit as they sell the copied titles on the street. So for FACT the revitalised industry of pirate DVD sales will make the work flood in….happy times ahead Im sure.

        I get fed up with saying it, copyright infringement can be greatly reduced. This is not the way to do it. But who cares if it doesn’t work? You are paying for the experiment….theres always next year.

      • ABA Journal Highlights How The Music Industry Is Thriving And How Copyright Might Not Be That Important

        Michael Scott points us to one of the best summaries I’ve seen of the state of the music business today — published in the ABA Journal. It’s an incredibly balanced piece, that really does carefully present both sides of the story on a variety of issues, and presents actual evidence, which suggests the RIAA is blowing smoke on a lot of its claims. The piece kicks off by highlighting that the music industry appears to be thriving, and then noting that it’s not the same as the recording industry, which has been struggling.

      • ‘Hurt Locker’ producer files massive antipiracy lawsuit

        It’s official. “Hurt Locker” producer Voltage Pictures has declared war on 5,000 unidentified people who allegedly pirated the Oscar-winning film. The lawsuit was filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

      • Class action lawsuit launched on behalf of Canadian lawyers against Thomson Reuters

        A proposed class action was commenced yesterday, May 25, 2010, against Thomson Reuters Corporation and Thomson Reuters Canada Limited on behalf of a class of Canadian lawyers and law firms. The Statement of Claim (which has not been proven in Court) alleges that Thomson Reuters breaches copyright by making available original lawyer created legal documents for fee or subscription without permission from, or compensation to, the authors of the documents.

      • Supreme Court Rules Pirate Bay Must Stay Blocked

        More than 2 years ago the IFPI and other copyright groups brought action against Danish ISP Telenor demanding that it should block its subscribers from accessing The Pirate Bay. Following a hearing which began a week ago, the Supreme Court in Denmark has just ruled that The Pirate Bay must continue to be blocked, upholding previous rulings by lower courts.

      • In Aussie Gyms, It’s the Same Old Song—but Who’s That Singing?

        One evening this week, fitness instructor Michael Montgomery tried to spur four dozen exercisers through a frenetic routine of lunges and jumping jacks by applying a tried-and-true prod—a Britney Spears tune.

        “Gimme gimme more, gimme more, gimme gimme more,” rang the lyrics of the 2007 song, which is called “Gimme More.”

        The words, however, weren’t sung by Ms. Spears, but by an almost-but-not-quite soundalike cover artist identified as Mandy Brewer.

      • Supreme Court Gets RIAA Copyright Case

        A case testing the meaning of the so-called “innocent infringer’s” defense to the Copyright Act’s minimum $750-per-music-track fine has landed at the U.S. Supreme Court.

        The case the justices were asked to review Wednesday concerns a federal appeals court’s February decision ordering a university student to pay the Recording Industry Association of America $27,750 ($750 a track) for file sharing 37 songs when she was a high school cheerleader. That decision reversed a Texas federal judge who had ordered defendant Whitney Harper to pay $7,400 ($200 per song).

      • Piracy… Again

        The internet was created to share and distribute data. It’s the whole reason the world wide web exists.

        Of course some of that data is going to be copyright-protected work. If it can be digitized, it can, and will, be shared.

        What continues to amaze me is how freaked-out authors are by this. The thought that someone is sharing their work–without paying for it–seems to evoke the same reaction as having someone hack your bank account and drain your life savings.


        And yet, I’m not worried. I’m currently selling 220 ebooks per day, and that rate shows no signs of slowing down.

        So everyone needs to take a big, collective breath, let it out slow, and stop worrying about illegal file sharing. Here are some reasons why.

        1. Copyright is unenforceable in a digital world. Period. Exclamation point. At no time in history has any individual, company, or industry been able to stop file sharing. No country or law has been able to stop it. No technology has been able to stop it. Which brings us to…

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – PSA – Microgravity (1/22/2004)

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