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Links 28/7/2010: eBox Platform 1.5, $150 Linux-powered Tablet

Posted in News Roundup at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Linux-based hybrid video server supports 40 channels

      Exacq Technologies is shipping a line of Linux-based hybrid video surveillance appliances with Intel Atom processors. The ExacqVision EL-S systems offer eight or 16 analog inputs and up to 24 IP inputs, allowing creation of systems with up to 40 channels overall, says the company.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Catalyst 10.7 For Linux Has Eyefinity Support

        As was widely anticipated, today AMD is rolling out their Catalyst 10.7 graphics driver for Windows and Linux platforms. On the Windows side, their Catalyst 10.7 rolls out support for OpenGL ES 2.0. ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 series graphics cards (along with the FirePro hardware) running Windows can now take advantage of OpenGL ES 2.0 support with HTML5 for in-browser graphics rendering. However, that support hasn’t yet made its way to the Catalyst Linux driver, but there are other changes packed away in this month’s update.

      • Kristian Shows Off GTK+ 3.0 On Wayland

        Earlier this month the Wayland TODO list was updated — a month after it received some summer love — and now we some new information from the founder of the Wayland Display Server, Kristian Høgsberg.

      • Latest ATI Video Driver Has Support for Ubuntu 10.04

        Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) proudly announced a few minutes ago, July 26th, another improved version of its ATI Catalyst Linux display driver, available for both x86 and x86_64 architectures. ATI Catalyst 10.7 introduces final and stable support for the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system, early support for the newly released openSUSE 11.3 distribution, and official support for the ATI Eyefinity technology.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Forking KDE 3: Trinity KDE’s Timothy Pearson

        Pearson tried other desktops, “but nothing really satisfied my needs. This left me with one choice: to maintain KDE 3.5.” That, in turn, forced Pearson into crash courses in assembling Debian packages and C++ applications development with the help of others in the Kubuntu community. Over the past two years, he has been maintaining KDE 3.5, and adding new features to the code base.

      • Exporting and publishing

        It is fair to say that digiKam is a clear winner in this respect. Aperture exports to far few services, but does so in a very nice way. Aperture keeps track of what you have exported as long as you export it to one of the services mentioned before. Think about it: will you really never log in to your Flickr account? Even if you are managing plenty of albums? And are you never willing to change anything straight there? I doubt it and I rate the way Aperture manages your export as nice to have! Therefore, digiKam is the clear winner here: you are free to choose whatever service you like and digiKam will manage your exports without problems!

      • Reviewed: KOffice 2.2

        This version of KOffice is much improved, but whether this is enough now, with the growth of online office options, is debatable. KDE’s social strategy means that in the future, adding cloud options – whether that’s working with Google Docs, MS Live Office or whatever Facebook comes up with – shouldn’t be too problematic. With the input of Nokia, which is now supporting the project as part of its mobile strategy, the developers seem to be intent on consolidating what’s available rather than adding superfluous fluff and online storage is likely to be a big part of that.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • eBox Platform 1.5 Is Based on Ubuntu 10.04

        eBox Platform 1.5 has been released. The latest version makes the switch to Ubuntu 10.04 and comes with several new features and components. Despite not being labeled as such, eBox Platform 1.5 is a beta of sorts and is only intended for testing purposes. Eventually, it will become eBox Platform 2.0, once all of the bugs have been squashed. Otherwise, all of the planned features have been implemented and there will be no additions moving forward.

      • What? Already? Yep, it’s Kiara 15!
    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu, the Cloud and the Future — Neil Levine

          After the cloud summit last week at OSCON, I sat down with Neil Levine of Canonical to see what was in store for Ubuntu cloud-wise (Canonical is a partner of ours in our cloud ISV program). Neil is the VP of Canonical’s corporate services division which handles their cloud and server products.

        • Ubuntu’s Advantages Over Windows and Mac

          Yet Ubuntu, provides a different approach one where there’s one comprehensive software updating system. Ubuntu has a centralized repository of applications system. The only third-party applications that slide into the main repository are the ones that comply and pass the tests given by Canonical, the company that produces Ubuntu. If they pass and prove to work with the OS, they are in. This allows Ubuntu’s main repository to always have the very latest version of Google or Opera, for example. So the one it does have will usually install easily, work smoothly, and remain updated automatically.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Mobile Tools: Android Vs. iPhone for Small Business

          Choosing a good mobile smartphone is crucial for many small businesses. The right smartphone can make all the difference between being productive on the road and being ineffective away from the office. Small business owners looking to choose a mobile smartphone for themselves, or their workers, should think strongly about passing up the iPhone for an Android.

        • Would open source have prevented Apple bruising?

          It does appear the iPhone4 may have gone out the door too fast and without the usual carrier testing, and this may be evidence of the pressures Apple is feeling regarding speed of development given Android’s traction in applications and market share.

    • Tablets

      • In Search Of… Android Tablets

        There’s also the issue of key shortages in important component parts — 10″, 7″ and 5″ LCD and OLED touchscreen displays produced by the major Korean, Chinese and Japanese manufacturers are all being eaten up. And Apple is apparently one of the biggest consumers of the existing pipeline. If the demand for iPad screens is becoming difficult to meet, then surely Android Tablets from the major consumer electronics OEMs are going to have manufacturing procurement issues as well.

      • Kmart touts $150 Android tablet

        Kmart has begun touting a seven-inch “Gentouch78″ Android 2.1 tablet for $150, as well as a Linux-based seven-inch color e-reader called “TheBook eReader,” both from Augen. Meanwhile, TheStreet quotes analyst Ashok Kumar as saying Motorola will release a 10-inch tablet this November running Android 3.0.

      • Seven-inch Android 2.1 tablet targets Indian market

        Indian retailer Infibeam.com is readying two seven-inch tablet computers to be sold in India, one running Android 2.1, and one running Windows CE 6.0. Both known as the “Phi,” the devices have different CPUs and dimensions, but both offer 800 x 480 pixel resistive touchscreens and up to five hours of battery life, the company says.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Deacon: Musings on Starting an Open-Source Project

    I’ve been using open-source software since the late-nineties – I can still remember the intrigued excitement I felt when my friend Seth first told me about a free system called “Linux”, and showed me the LRP box humming along in his attic. In April, nearly two college degrees, countless thousands of lines of code, and over a decade later, I felt that same excitement when I decided to launch my own open-source project. “Deacon” (short for Droid+Beacon) was on its way to becoming a library for Android developers who wished to add push-notification capability to their Android applications. The Deacon library would avoid requiring the use of any third-party server for push delivery, affording complete autonomy for app developers – and embodying the spirit of freedom and choice that the Android platform represents.

  • Sony Pictures Imageworks: SIGGRAPH 2010

    Imageworks adds to its Open Source initiative, announced at Siggraph09, with the release of its sixth program, OpenColorIO, which provides a framework for sharing color transformations across computer graphics workflows. Imageworks has also scheduled a press conference with Industrial Light & Magic on Tuesday morning to announce another important Open Source development.

  • Lockheed Martin Launches Eureka Streams™ Open Source Project for Enterprise Social Networking
  • Will Adobe See the Light (of Day)?

    The content management company Day Software may not be the world’s most famous outfit making money from open source – perhaps a function of the fact that it is located in Basel, hardly known as a hotbed of hackers – but it’s certainly an important one, particularly in the Apache part of the open source ecosystem.

    That’s partly because Day’s Chief Scientist, Roy Fielding, was co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation, author of the Apache Software licence, and creator of the Apache web server.


    Two things concern me here. The first is the emphasis on integrating proprietary technologies like AIR and Flash with Day’s products. The second, more worrying, is the total absence of any mention of Day’s open source work. Does this mean that Adobe is taking over Day in order to turn its products into purely proprietary offerings? Will it simply abandon Day’s work in supporting Apache projects?

  • SaaS

    • Apache Hadoop project gains momentum

      Hadoop is a top-level Apache project that provides a Java software framework for storing, managing, processing and analysing the massive datasets produced by enterprise web and cloud computing applications.

  • Databases

  • Business

    • One Year and 120,000 Downloads Later: Kaltura Launches Version 2.0 of Its On-Prem Community Edition Open Source Video Platform
    • Semi-Open Source

      • What you can do to help get rid of open core

        As a general rule, it is important to realize that the managers who run open core companies don’t work in the same universe as the average open source blogger (like myself) does. For instance, that SugarCRM get’s criticism for being closed source on Slashdot is of course helpful, but let’s face it: has anyone ever changed their business strategy based on some rants on Slashdot? Ok, so MySQL actually had to backtrack on its plans to further close source backup modules, because Sun (in its desperation, more than anything else) was sensitive to such criticism, but MySQL’s managers themselves would not have cared, they were used to being bashed by a small group of PostgreSQL fanboys anyway each time MySQL was mentioned on the site.

        And that’s what you have to remember when talking about open core. The business managers practicing open core will not care to educate themselves about values of the open source community, Open Source Definition, Building a vibrant community or any of the things we in the open source community have learned to value. To them, such arguments are just one word against another, indistinguishable from the teenager who has to mention “PostgreSQL” as a reflex every time someone mentions “MySQL”. Who’s to say what’s right or wrong, there are so many opinions…?

      • OpenGamma and Open Core Components
      • Open Core, Natural Feature Divisions, and OpenGamma
      • The basis of OSS business models: property and efficiency

        There are two possible sources for the value: a property (something that can be transferred) and efficiency (something that is inherent in what the company do, and how they do it). With Open Source, usually “property” is non-exclusive (with the exception of Open Core, where part of the code is not open at all). Other examples of property are trademarks, patents, licenses… anything that may be transferred to another entity through a contract or legal transaction.

      • Open Source Business Models (for Compiere)

        The basic question: How do you want to make money?

        After open sourcing your product, your income options are reduced. Here are the usual options:
        Service based

        * Consulting
        * Support, Maintanance
        * Hosting

        Product based

        * Product add-on / extensions
        * Sponsored develipment
        * Legal (commercial license, hold harmless agreement)

  • Licensing

    • The issue of license proliferation »

      When I was on the ICANN board, we were dealing with the issue of Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), an initiative to allow non-latin characters in domain names. Technically, it was difficult and even more difficult was the consensus process to decide exactly how to do it. Many communities like the Chinese and Arabic regions were anxious to get started and were getting very frustrated with the ICANN process around IDNs. At times, it seemed like the Arab Internet and the Chinese Internet were ready to either fork away and make their own Internet to solve the problem or were ready to introduce local technical “hacks” to deal with the issue which would have broken many applications that depended the standard behavior of the Domain Name System.


      Copy-left licenses such as the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Public License require derivative works be licensed under the same license. This feature – and to many coders this is a feature, not a bug – however, makes it challenging to combine code from projects with different licenses because of the requirement on how derivatives must be licensed. These islands of code looked a lot like a forked Internet, existing IM networks and email before the Internet connected them together.

    • Lawsuit Averted As WordPress and Thesis Settle Differences Over Themes And The GPL

      Free (libre) and open source software is one of the best examples of an alternative to restrictive copyright, but even within these communities there can be heated debates about licensing. The WordPress community just witnessed such a debate between the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, and the developer of a popular premium WordPress theme, Chris Pearson, over whether or not themes are subject to the GPL (WordPress’ license). The GPL applies to derivative works of a program—requiring that they, too, must be licensed freely—but Pearson maintained quite publicly that he wasn’t subject to it and could use a proprietary license for his theme. This caused tension between him and Mullenweg, until last week, when Pearson gave in and switched to a split GPL license.


      This kind of disagreement also highlights the fact that free software licenses (like the GPL) and the free culture licenses they’ve inspired (like some of those offered by Creative Commons) are ultimately hacks on a restrictive copyright system; they’re merely tactics to reverse the negative effects of overly restrictive copyright, but not at all the ideal scenario. For example, we’ve seen concerns over how Creative Commons licenses act as a contractual layer on top of copyright, and non-commercial restrictions can also be a source of tension. Sometimes these disputes help a community to better develop its position on copyright and licensing, but other times, they’re a sign that these licenses are still just a hack on a less than ideal system.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • PP4_0.1: Repositories for Scientific Data

        I shall be blunt. The only place where Scientific Data should be stored is in domain-specific repositories.

      • Court secrecy: The courts are open but justice is a closed book

        The courts’ refusal to allow people to tape-record benefit a few private companies whom the court approves in cosy deals. These people have exclusive right to tape record or listen to official recordings. The cost to the individual of hiring them is about £150– 250 per hour of typing and even before the transcription process begins, you must sign a form stating you will pay whatever amount the company decides. You could be out tens of thousand of pounds and there’s no way to challenge the bill as only the company is allowed access to the raw tapes.

  • Programming


  • Immigration pushes EU population above 500 million

    Overall, population increased in 19 EU countries and declined in eight, with the highest rates of growth in Luxembourg, Sweden, Slovenia and Belgium. Lithuania, Latvia and Bulgaria saw the largest overall reductions in population.

  • Science

    • Kepler Scientist: ‘Galaxy is Rich in Earth-Like Planets’

      In a recent presentation, Kepler co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov preempted the official announcement that the exoplanet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope has discovered about 140 candidate worlds orbiting other stars that are “like Earth.”

    • If the Earth Stood Still

      The following is not a futuristic scenario. It is not science fiction. It is a demonstration of the capabilities of GIS to model the results of an extremely unlikely, yet intellectually fascinating query: What would happen if the earth stopped spinning? ArcGIS was used to perform complex raster analysis and volumetric computations and generate maps that visualize these results.

    • The Titanic in 3-D

      A team of scientists will launch an expedition to the Titanic next month to assess the deteriorating condition of the world’s most famous shipwreck and create a detailed three-dimensional map that will “virtually raise the Titanic” for the public.

    • Panasonic launches 3D camcorder for budding James Camerons

      Not enough 3D content available on your fancy new 3D TV? Then make your own. Panasonic has become the first major manufacturer to launch a consumer videocamera that can record in 3D.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Chatroulette collecting IP addresses, screenshots

      The founder of online video chat-room sensation ‘Chatroulette’ has revealed the company has been storing the IP addresses and even taking screenshots of users engaged in inappropriate conduct whilst connected to the service.

    • Privacy Lawsuit Targets Net Giants Over ‘Zombie’ Cookies

      A wide swath of the net’s top websites, including MTV, ESPN, MySpace, Hulu, ABC, NBC and Scribd, were sued in federal court Friday on the grounds they violated federal computer intrusion law by secretly using storage in Adobe’s Flash player to re-create cookies deleted by users.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Are Investment Ticker Symbols Covered By Trademark Law?

      Here’s an interesting trademark law dispute that hits on something I never would have considered before: can there be trademark protection in a ticker symbol? My first reaction, honestly, was that the whole concept is silly. A ticker symbol is unique, and anyone buying a particular product should simply know what they’re investing in, and that includes entering the correct ticker.

    • Copyrights

      • For An Industry Being Destroyed By ‘File Sharing,’ Film Industry Keeps Reporting Record Numbers

        The movie industry keeps sending very, very mixed messages. It keeps insisting that its business is being decimated by file sharing, but then keeps putting out reports bragging how well it’s doing. Reader ethorad points us to a page put up by the UK Film Council about the movie business in the UK, where it makes a pretty compelling case that the movie business is thriving, despite all the reports of doom and gloom. Some key highlights:

        * The core UK film industry has grown 50% over the last 10 years
        * UK box office takings at record levels, with growth of over 60% over 10 years
        * They have had a 500% return on their investments in film

      • So What DMCA Exemption Requests Got Rejected?

        Many of the rejections were basically over situations where the Copyright Office said there was no real evidence of an actual problem, so nothing to worry about. Still, just the fact that many of these situations had to be proposed and were rejected shows how ridiculous copyright law is today. The fact that we have to go begging to the Copyright Office every three years for simple exemptions like this, which can (and often are) rejected, is not how modern society should work. Technology is changing how people can and do interact with content. This whole process (even the fact that it only happens every three years) has the whole thing backwards. We shouldn’t have to ask for permission to use technology to do what it allows.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

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