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08.12.10

IRC Proceedings: August 12th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

#techrights log

Enter the IRC channels now

In the Words of the Daughter of Microsoft’s PR Spammer Pam Edstrom

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Windows at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“After sixteen months spent seeding the trade press, it was time to think of the end users. For this, Waggener Edstrom leaked exclusive Windows 95 puff stories to all of the important newspapers and publications. The PR firm fed the New York Times a story with a marketing twist, the Wall Street Journal received a more technical angle, and People magazine got an exclusive revealing that NBC’s Friends sitcom stars Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry would be doing a twenty-five-minute video, educating people on the wonders of Windows 95.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by Pam’s own daughter
(see
this wiki page for evidence that
the same tactics carry on)

To wit:

“[A]fter analysing a five-day working week in the media, across 10 hard-copy papers, ACIJ and Crikey found that nearly 55% of stories analysed were driven by some form of public relations. The Daily Telegraph came out on top of the league ladder with 70% of stories analysed triggered by public relations. The Sydney Morning Herald gets the wooden spoon with (only) 42% PR-driven stories for that week.”

“Over half your news is spin”

Amazon EC2 Has Just Become Even More Infected With Microsoft ‘Patent Tax’ on Linux (Ballnux Added)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Servers, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, VMware at 4:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Ballmer on patents

Summary: Amazon creates a new type of relationship with Novell and the Microsoft executives-dominated VMware expands its relationship with Novell

SEVERAL months ago we called for a boycott against Amazon because, to use Glyn Moody’s words (headline), Amazon “sold Linux down the river” and decided to pay Microsoft for it (Amazon has other offences against software freedom, but this was the straw which broke this camel’s back).

As a recap, Microsoft will be paid for Amazon’s RHEL servers through Amazon (finding a trick to get past Red Hat’s refusal to sign outrageous patent deals) and also for Linux inside the Kindle. It is worth adding that it all happened after Amazon had hired several important executives from Microsoft, so this sellout was natural.

“Whether one chooses SUSE or any other operating system from Amazon (including RHEL and Windows), Microsoft will be paid.”According to this press release, Amazon is now adding Ballnux (SLES), which is already being taxed by Microsoft at Novell’s level. This was mentioned earlier, but the press release seems newer. It says that “Customers and independent software vendors (ISVs) of all sizes will have the ability to run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11 on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) paying only for the hours they use.”

Whether one chooses SUSE or any other operating system from Amazon (including RHEL and Windows), Microsoft will be paid. It’s an injustice that needs to be addressed by refusing to do business with the Microsoft executives-filled Amazon. There are competitors to Amazon and they do not pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux.

Speaking of companies which hired several important executives from Microsoft, there is also VMware, whose deal with Novell (SUSE) is now being extended.

The dedicated Novell division at Workgroup has announced that VMware and Novell have expanded their strategic partnership with an original equipment manufacture (OEM) agreement through which VMware will distribute and support the SUSE Linux enterprise Server operating systems.

We wrote about VMware's relationship with Novell last month. These two companies only reinforce a ‘patent tax’ on GNU/Linux. Besides, VMware makes proprietary software and several of its competitors do not. It is worth remembering (and telling peers) which companies to avoid in order to make GNU/Linux stronger, as opposed to Microsoft’s own property.

Microsoft Continues to Distort the Word ‘Open’ and Harm SVG Using Proprietary VML

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents, Samba at 3:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SVG logoSummary: The latest propaganda from the ‘Microsoft press’, Microsoft’s distortion of formats using VML, and the continued threat of proprietary Samba substitutes masquerading as ‘open’

Microsoft’s Paoli, who played a role in distorting the nature of Microsoft Office formats (portraying them as “open”), has been busy recently ‘openwashing’ Microsoft’s Fog Computing effort. Paoli’s latest spin on ‘open’ is a subject we tackled here before [1, 2, 3], so we won’t be going into the rebuttals again.

Roughly two weeks later it’s time for the 'Microsoft press' to recite those very same talking points.

Microsoft believes that customers own their data in the cloud, Paoli said. To support data portability in Windows Azure, Microsoft advocates the Open Data Protocol (OData).

This whole spin around OData is also loved by Microsoft’s MVP Mr. de Icaza, who uses Mono to ‘openwash’ .NET. One of his colleagues is already creating patent traps using Mono (a project called Banshee) and there are equally scary derivatives. Novell is by all means part of this problem. Novell Inc. — and its VP de Icaza in particular — also promoted OOXML.

One reader has told us that Microsoft’s “VML is back” and it is using OOXML as a carrier, further demonstrating Microsoft’s SVG snub [1, 2] (expected all along).

The Strict compliance level disallows some of the really MS Word early versions-flavoured features. For example, the Strict compliance level specifies that all drawings in an OOXML document are specified as DrawingML shapes, not as VML (Vector Markup Language).

Microsoft never changed. Having corrupted standards bodies all across the world it continues to ensure that only Microsoft Office will be able to handle people’s personal files. Frank Ohlhorst has this new article advising people to buy proprietary software (disguised as “open” using the ‘open’ core trick) from former Microsoft employees [1, 2] (people should use Samba instead) to integrate networks the Microsoft way rather than the standard way. How long will it take for everyone to understand that “open” at Microsoft is a sham (usually Windows-only) and that falling into Microsoft protocols and formats is a technical nightmare?

“Microsoft’s case wasn’t helped when two books, Undocumented Windows and Undocumented DOS, written by Andrew Schulman, appeared on the shelves. The books charged Microsoft with building secret interfaces into its operating systems, giving its own applications developers an advantage over its competitors by making Microsoft’s own applications run better than anyone else’s.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

Rob Tiller and A.J. Venter Explain Why Software Patents Are Bad, Apple Clarifies Patenting Other People’s Software Ideas

Posted in Apple, Patents, Red Hat at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We’ve always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

Steve Jobs, Apple

Summary: Latest evidence of software patents disdain and patent news about Yahoo, Apple, and Palm

In today’s earlier post about patents we showed a lawyer, Professor Eben Moglen, opposing software patents. Rob Tiller from Red Hat is a similar case of someone who protests against software patents this week, despite him being a legalese type and not a developer. From his short article:

There’s abundant evidence, though, that software patents serve this objective poorly. For example, as Bessen and Meurer explain in their book Patent Failure, the cost from litigation based on patents in some industries, including software, is several times the profits from patents. This means that for the software industry as a whole, patent costs exceed their benefits. This fact is still not common knowledge, but it is slowly sinking in, as patent litigation continues to grow.

Patent lawsuits (even meritless ones) can cost millions of dollars to defend. This reality creates an economic opportunity for non-practicing entities (a/k/a patent trolls) whose only purpose is to threaten and bring patent lawsuits. The large costs of defenses drive many defendants to settle by paying patent aggressors substantial sums taht are still less than the cost of defense. Such settlements may make business sense, but they divert resources that could be used for more productive purposes, like innovation.

There is another new piece from South Africa — one which compares software patents to monopolies on numbers. Here is part of a long explanation:

So there you have it – not only is every program a number – they are all simple integer numbers that can be counted, and all the great skill and artifice of the programmer is really just a much more efficient way of finding the number we want – rather than counting through them all and checking if it is the one we want (which could take centuries to be honest).

You cannot ask for a more simple piece of proof that a program is in fact a number – that software is discovered rather than invented. The fact that we have very effective methods of discovering them does not change this and doesn’t change that you should not be able to patent numbers.

I still highly recommend reading the article I linked – especially if you are a lawyer or activist involved in the software patent field as it explains the underlying theories very clearly. Effectively it tells you how it came to BE that these numbers are useful, and how we derive their particular useful meaning from them. That process of derivation is what computer hardware does, and a better tool to do that with is patentable (which is why you should indeed be able to get patents on computer hardware), but go in with this basic understanding. That every computer program really is just a number, that those numbers can be reached by simple counting – I’ve proven this to you here, and all of computer programming – as wonderful and delicious and artistic a field of endeavor as it is – is really in the end – just a faster way to count to a number that we like.
This does not reduce from programming any of it’s artifice, if anything it adds to the merit of the field because the processes by which we count are complex and fantastic and beautiful and we are always looking at ways to count even more effectively so we invent new programming languages and ideas like agile programming to help us do it even better – but in the end, the results is just a number that anybody could have counted to – and that is NOT an invention you can patent.

The company once known as “Yahoo” (now a shell of Microsoft with troubling history as “de facto pyramid scheme,” according to a fascinating new piece from this prominent former employee) has just beaten a parasite and won a case involving software patents:

ITS A PATENT WIN for Yahoo this week as the web portal opens the champers after winning the Bright Response patent case.

Bright Response sued Google and Yahoo for nicking its ’947 patent, which covers the invention of an automatic message interpretation and routing system.

Further to the FutureTap story [1, 2] (Apple potentially threatening a company that produced an application for its platform), there’s “damage control” from Apple:

Apple Confirms They’re Not Trying To Kill Third-Party Apps With Patents

Reading over the comments on our post (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) about the Apple patent diagram fiasco last week, you would have thought Apple was the most evil company in the world. Many believed that Apple was attempting to patent ideas that third-party developers came up with. Essentially, the thought was that Apple was trying to steal from their own developer community — and were doing so that blatantly. I mean, people actually believed that.

As we noted at the time, this was not likely the case. Instead, Apple was probably just using diagrams of existing third-party apps for examples of other things they were actually trying to patent. Lo and behold, today comes word from the third-party developer at the center of all of this confirming this to be the case.

Why did Apple patent that if there is prior art and there is no interest in offence? Apple has, after all, decided to attack Linux-based phones using software patents. Apple sued over Android and it has already intimidated Palm (over WebOS) using patents. It turns out that Palm (HP) is now patenting what may have remained from Foleo.

That’s where Palm’s freshly-filed patent for “Compact removable voice handset for an integrated portable computer system/mobile phone” comes in. It takes the ill-fated Folio concept to a whole new level by turning the pre-netbook into a dock for the phone that acts as an input device, larger screen, and other magical things. The patent notes that while the connection is decidedly physical, the phone and computer could also communicate wirelessly.

It will be interesting to see what Palm does now that Hurd is out and Microsoft is in (in the form of a Vice President responsible for software). In any case, under HP’s wing, Palm needn’t fear Apple’s patent artillery anymore. Apple is a patent aggressor whose patents are very often imitations of other companies. Earlier today we found this suggestion that governments should ban the Apple hypePhone. Linux on the contrary should be preferred for the ability to inspect code. As the author puts it:

Android on the other hand is secure by design as it is based on the most advanced kernel’s in the world — the Linux kernel. This is the reason most mission critical businesses now use Linux.

Unlike Android which is open source, the closed source nature of Apple technologies like iTunes makes it impossible for end users to know what is happening to their information and data.

As we showed days ago, Apple is also negligent when it come to patching its operating systems, all of which are proprietary.

Microsoft Does Not Necessarily Break Insecurity Record

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Help

Summary: Microsoft claims to have just addressed 34 vulnerabilities, but Microsoft also admitted that it secretly patches vulnerabilities without ever disclosing them

THE mainstream media enthusiastically repeats claims from Microsoft itself, rather than rely on an independent audit of Microsoft’s code before and after patching. We keep finding headlines like “Record Patch Tuesday yields critical Windows, IE fixes” or “Microsoft Issues Biggest Security Patch Yet”, but Microsoft has already admitted lying about the numbers.

The massive patch is the largest since October, 2009, when Microsoft issued 13 security bulletins covering 34 vulnerabilities.

This neglects the fact about Microsoft’s silent patching, not to mention lateness as we illustrated yesterday. To recap, a Microsoft manager has admitted that Microsoft has is fixing flaws without ever disclosing it (we have also seen evidence of this for years) and some critical flaws are hidden rather than addressed by Microsoft.

Eben Moglen: “We Will Not Between Now and 2020 [Face] a Copyright Crisis But the Patent Crisis is Not Going Away.”

Posted in FSF, Patents at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Eben Moglen portrait

Summary: Here are just some among many takes on a talk about software patents and the Bilski case, courtesy of Professor Eben Moglen

Paula Rooney: Moglen: Bilski decision set back patent reform for more than a decade

Moglen said companies and individuals are now comfortable with open source licenses and doing hundreds of billions of dollars of commerce but the industry won’t be able to eradicate trollers for at least 10 years.

“We will not between now and 2020 [face] a copyright crisis but the patent crisis is not going away. We learned this from the United States Supreme Court,” Moglen said during his keynote. “What we know is that in the U.S., clarity on the relationship of patents to software is not coming any time soon and if there’s no clarity in the U.S., there’s no clarity in the world anytime soon.”

Ryan Paul: OSS and software patents: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em

At the Linux Foundation’s annual LinuxCon event this week, Columbia University law professor and Software Freedom Law Center founder Eben Moglen explained that the prospects for software patent reform are bleak and that the time has come for the free software community to start finding ways to solve its patent problems by using the patent system itself.

The rapid proliferation of broad patents that cover software methods has turned the technology industry into a litigation minefield. It’s difficult for a startup to develop a new product without treading on patents held by incumbent industry giants. Software patents are especially problematic for open source software because patent licensing is largely incompatible with the principles of unrestricted redistribution that are inherent to open source software licenses.

Brian Proffitt: Moglen Targets Patents, Compliance and Innovation as Key Challenges for Free Software

The patent crisis is not going to go away,” Moglen stressed. This summer’s Bilski ruling from the US Supreme Court confirmed as much for Moglen, who related to the audience that before the decision was handed down, he feared that the Court would hand down a ruling to the effect of: “You can’t patent this, and here are five incoherent reasons why… and that’s exactly what happened.”

Moglen is concerned that without clarity from the US regarding patents, there will be not international clarity, and patents will remain a constant threat.

“We going to have to deal with this slowly and carefully,” Moglen reiterated, using such patent defense organizations such as the Open Invention Network as one potent method of defense against patents.

It won’t be easy: “The patent system is built for secrecy, obscurity, complexity… and troublemaking.” Nonetheless, the challenge will remain for some time.

Links 12/8/2010: MontaVista Meld Update, ‘$35 Tablet’ Demo

Posted in News Roundup at 1:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Jean Staten Healy: IBM’s Worldwide Linux Strategy

    In October of 2000, IBM CEO Louis Gerstner announced that the company would investing $1 billion in Linux development. This announcement came off the heels of two substantial developments in the industry. Google, unknown at the time, appeared with Linux servers in 1998, and Dell announced they would begin pre-installing Linux on select servers in 1999. A few years later in 2004, Big Blue made a formal declaration of sorts in a series of television commercials that culminated with a commercial that aired during Super Bowl XXXVIII, announcing their commitment to a partnership with the Linux community. While intended as a signal to their competitors and the market at large, the message had an unexpected effect on an unexpected audience. It was a celebration heard round the world. The underground community that was beginning to evolve around the Linux operating system had received a shot of notoriety in the arm. The global community of corporate giants had just validated the movement with this one very public endorsement. Then, just as quickly as it had happened, there was silence.

  • Server

    • Moving HPC Closer to The Desktop

      I’ll get back to my coverage of R real soon, but I wanted to continue my thoughts on Cloud HPC. In addition, one of the reasons I need to postpone this article again is my small personal Limulus cluster had to be been taken apart, measured, checked, and reassembled. I use this cluster to try things (like R) and develop software. I am working with a sheet metal fabricator on the next (and final) revision of case modifications. I also installed a new kernel that caused some USB issues. I resolved the issue by using a different cable, but the old kernel still works fine with both cables, go figure. Without USB I cannot control the power to the nodes (unless I rewire some things), so it was slow going for a while. In any case, I had more thoughts about Cloud HPC as well.

  • Google

    • Chrome 6 enters beta, provides more speed and features

      After quite a lot of Dev channel releases, the first Chrome 6 build to have a beta tag (v6.0.472.33) has been made available to the general public for testing and, why not, regular use. The Chrome 6 beta is up to 64% faster than the latest Chrome 5 release and it comes with added features too.

  • Kernel Space

    • Top challenges for Linux kernel team outlined at LinuxCon

      Linux Foundation fellow and new Google hire Ted Ts’o — who is said to be the first Linux kernel developer in North America – said the kernel is as robust these days as any other Unix kernel or any OS kernel out there.

      Yet he sees scalability as one significant challenge for the Linux kernel (all kernels, really) with the “advent of very large numbers of CPUs on a chip. “We thought scalability was largely solved two years ago,” but multicore processing will impose more stringest demands going forward, he said, pointing out that low end laptops will boast 16 to 32 cores in no time.

    • Qualcomm Pushes For Less Linux Fragmentation

      Linux is broadly available on mobile devices, but competing implementations could lead to problems down the road for developers and confusion for customers, according to a Qualcomm executive.

      “There is some fragmentation and that’s a challenge. There is no mobile equivalent of x86,” said Rob Chandhok, president of the Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC), a division of chip and mobile phone technology provider Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM). “There is a plethora of different configurations for different handsets.

    • Announcing the LinuxCon Just for Fun Poll Winners!

      Today we’re announcing the results of our LinuxCon 2010 Just for Fun Poll. A couple of weeks ago we asked you, the Linux.com community, to vote for your picks in a variety of categories that complemented the focus of LinuxCon: development, IT operations and business. And, we threw some in “just for fun,” too. The multiple choice responses were determined by our Linux.com writers and appeared to be just about the right, since none of our write-ins received as many votes as the existing choices.

    • Btrfs, EXT4 & ZFS On A Solid-State Drive

      With the benchmarks recently looking at the performance of ZFS on FreeBSD versus EXT4/Btrfs on Linux having generated much interest and a very long discussion, this morning we are back with more benchmarks when running ZFS on FreeBSD/PC-BSD 8.1 and Btrfs and EXT4 on an Ubuntu Linux 10.10 snapshot with the most recent kernel, but this time the disk benchmarking is being done atop a high-performance solid-state drive courtesy of OCZ Technology and the CPU is an Intel Core i7. The drive being tested across these three leading file-systems is the OCZ Vertex 2 that promises maximum reads up to 285MB/s, maximum writes up to 275MB/s, and sustained writes up to 250MB/s.

    • Graphics Stack

      • [RFC] Multitouch protocol specification v1

        Below is the first public draft of the multitouch protocol specification, part of the future X Input Extension version 2.1. Earlier versions of this draft have been sent around in private and I’d like to thank Chase Douglas, Carlos Garnacho, Rafi Rubin, Henrik Rydberg, and Daniel Stone for their feedback during this cycle.

      • NVIDIA Puts Out More X Sync Object Patches

        Back in June there were patches published by NVIDIA for X Synchronization Fences after it was in planning since before last year’s X Developers’ Summit.

      • ATI Radeon R600 Mesa Classic Driver Can Do OpenGL 2.1

        As many people have been quick to report out today in the forums, on Phoronix IRC, and via email, the ATI R600 Mesa DRI driver for the Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 series graphics cards now properly advertises OpenGL 2.1 / GL Shading Language 1.20 support.

      • Nouveau In Linux 2.6.36 Has NVIDIA Fermi Mode-Setting

        What is most interesting about this second Direct Rendering Manager pull request for the Linux 2.6.36 kernel is what’s brought on the side of the Nouveau driver: kernel mode-setting support for the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 400 “Fermi” series. While the GeForce GTX 470/480 graphics cards were launched back in March and greeted by support within NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux driver, up to this point there has been no open-source support.

      • AMD Gets Back To Working On The Geode Linux Driver

        Martin-Éric Racine has just announced the release candidate of the X.Org Geode 2.11.9 driver in preparations for the X.Org 7.6 Katamari. The AMD Geode driver is not to be confused with the AMD/ATI Radeon drivers for Linux, but rather this is the driver Geode GX and Geode LX embedded SoC such as what’s used by the One-Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. When announcing this driver, Martin-Éric has shared that AMD engineers are back to actually contributing work towards this driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Aldacom Offers GPS/Linux PC/GPRS Breadboard

      Aldacom GmbH, of Neu-Isenburg, Germany, recently announced the debut of the AldaLogic C10/3, a breadboard containing an embedded Linux PC on a surface measuring 104 x 63 millimeters.

    • MontaVista Software Launches Meld 2.0 Next Generation Community for Developers of Embedded Linux Devices

      MontaVista(R) Software, LLC, a leader in embedded Linux(R) commercialization, today announced the launch of Meld 2.0, the next generation of the embedded Linux community sponsored by MontaVista. Meld is an active community for all developers of embedded Linux devices. The next-generation Meld introduces a new look and feel to the community along with a new URL, meld.org, making it easier for users to connect and share information on embedded Linux design challenges.

    • MontaVista revamps Linux community website

      MontaVista Software has announced the launch of the latest release of its Meld online embedded Linux community.

    • Phones

      • Chrome OS vs WebOS

        Earlier on last week we examined the startling similarities between Google’s Chrome OS and Jolicloud. Of-course Chrome OS hasn’t even been released yet, but I felt it more than fitting to compare the two operating systems by virtue of the purpose that they either serve or will attempt to serve in the future.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nokia N900 Giving A Good Run For Its Money To Blackberries

          It is the one smartphone device that is sure to give you the computer like experience and that too it work on the ultra fast Linux based software. The Nokia N900, for all practical purposes is a next generation phone device only.

        • A new OS hits version 1.0

          I have another Linux-based OS, Ubuntu, installed that uses its own bootloader. Jolicloud showed up as a second option in the Windows bootloader after that. When I chose it, it completed installation and setup of a user account — pretty standard for any Linux-based OS. It got weird when it demanded that, before anything else, I connect to the Internet. It takes this cloud computing thing pretty seriously! Fortunately, it recognized my wireless network hardware and connected to my home router once I gave it the proper credentials.

      • Android

        • Motorola’s pumped-up Droid 2 ships Thursday

          The Droid 2 — successor to the Motorola Droid phone that helped amp up adoption of Android-based phones — will be available from Verizon Wireless for online pre-order Wednesday, and available in Verizon stores Thursday. The phone costs $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and signing a two-year contract.

        • Vodafone backs down in Android row

          Phone giant Vodafone has backed down in a row with customers over software updates for Google Android phones.

          Last week, many customers who own HTC Desire smartphones were prompted to download a software update which they believed was an upgrade to Android.

          Instead it installed irremovable Vodafone-branded apps and bookmarks, including links to dating sites.

        • Top 10 Android Tablets: Dell Streak Pricing, Sale Date Set

          Google’s open source mobile platform Android just surpassed Apple’s iOS in the smartphone operating system market in terms of sales for the second quarter, and the next big battleground looks to be the tablet market — where Android-based mobile devices will come up against Apple’s impressive iPad.

          Right now the only readily available Android tablet is the Archos 7 Home Tablet, a low cost 7-inch, touchscreen device with no accelerometer and an outdated resistive touchscreen that lacks the ability to download and run mobile apps from the Android Market.

        • Dell Streak will launch this week in U.S.

          Dell announced that it will take pre-orders for its Dell Streak Android tablet on Thursday, with sales beginning the next day. Selling for $300 with a new two-year AT&T contract, and $550 without, the Dell Streak is as much a large phone as it is a tablet, offering voice telephony as well as a five-inch, WVGA display.

        • Android 3 plans ahead

          Most Android users are only now upgrading to version 2.2 of Google’s mobile phone operating system but with version 3.0 expected in October, it’s worth taking a look at what to expect.

          Google’s Android continues to go from strength to strength and is now regularly compared to Apple’s iPhone as the real competitor to that platform. And although already very capable the next version of Android, 3.0, promises to be significantly better.

        • Launching Android Apps
    • Tablets

      • Early take on India’s $35 tablet: ‘Fairly impressive’

        Remember that $35 tablet out of India we told you about last month? If you want to see the much-talked-about prototype in moving color, a gadget show on Indian television just featured an exclusive hands-on that could help dissipate some of the skepticism about the device.

        “Everybody actually said, ‘It cannot happen, a $35 tablet,’ and not only does it exist, it works and it works brilliantly,” said Rajiv Makhni, co-host of the show “Gadget Guru,” who took the computer through its paces with show cohort Vikram Chandra and then talked all aspects of the gadget with Kapil Sibal, the country’s Minister for Human Resource Development and the same guy who officially unveiled the super-cheap touch-screen device. Aimed at the country’s students, it’s being called India’s answer to Nicholas Negroponte’s famed OLPC laptop.

      • India’s $35 Tablet is No Vaporware
      • Media unveils Indian laptop @ Rs 1500
      • $35 laptop in India a reality
      • India’s $35 Tablet is No Vaporware

        If you thought the Indian HRD ministry’s attempt at making that $35 (Rs. 1,500) laptop is pure government fantasy and the usual pep talk we see from the Indian government, be ready to be surprised. Not only does the tablet exist in a prototype form, it actually works pretty well – and how!

      • $35 Tablet makes an appearance on Indian TV (video)

        The Gadget Gurus, the Subcontinent’s answer to The Engadget Show, got a special hands-on with that $35 Tablet PC the world’s been buzzing about — delivered by none other than India’s Human Resource Development Minister, Kapil Sibal himself. While constantly referring to “the $35 laptop” (we guess you could hold it in your lap) Mr. Sibal gave us the following info: it sports 2GB RAM, WiFI and 3G, microSD storage, and it runs the Android OS. Additionally, it rocks video out and a webcam — in short,

      • HP preps Android e-reader as WebOS tablet pushes to 2011

        Hewlett-Packard (HP) is preparing a “Zeen” Android e-reader that interfaces with a new HP printer, says an industry report. Meanwhile, HP has postponed its WebOS-based “Hurricane” tablet to 1Q 2011, and the company — beleaguered by the recent resignation of CEO Mark Hurd — lost the lead designer of the WebOS-based Palm Pre, say reports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Linux compliance program a response to surging open-source use

    The Open Compliance Program announced by the Linux Foundation on Tuesday is a response to the surging growth in the use of open-source technologies within enterprises, and by makers of consumer electronic and mobile devices, analysts say.

    Much of the program appears to be directed at addressing what many analysts said is continuing confusion among makers of embedded devices about open-source licensing requirements. But enterprises can benefit from the program as well, they added.

    The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit group that is focused on fostering Linux growth, announced a set of open-source tools, training materials and a self-assessment checklist designed to help companies comply with open-source license requirements.

  • Zenoss Releases 2010 Open Source Systems Management Survey Report

    Reveals flexibility, not cost, drives open source systems management adoption

  • Events

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Charges Into Desktop Virtualization With VDI 3.2

      Oracle is expanding the role it seeks to play in enterprise virtualization by augmenting a former Sun Microsystems approach to desktop virtualization, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, now in release 3.2.

      Oracle VDI 3.2 is a comprehensive approach, starting with a virtualized host, standardized desktop images that run on a server and provide services to end users, which includes delivery of high performance multimedia, such as video and graphics. In addition, it includes a management console, explained Wim Coekaerts, senior VP of Linux and Virtualization Engineering. “This is the first major release of VDI branded with the Oracle look and feel. Oracle is thoroughly committed to the desktop virtualization space,” Coekaerts said in an interview.

    • Oracle launches new version of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

      Oracle has launched Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2, which provides a complete management, hosting and access offerings for virtualised desktops hosted in the datacenter.

  • Project Releases

    • My first post, introducing iX.

      To start with I’d like to thank Martin from #iphonelinux for not only setting up our wordpress blog but also for sponsoring the domain. The purpose of this blog is to document the progress of building iX prior to it’s release.

    • opentaps 1.5M1 Released

      There are also some other important enhancements, including a more extensible domains directory for the domains driven architecture, new configuration entities, and configurable security for opentaps that I wrote about in my last quarterly update. Finally, this version includes the full set of new Chinese translations for opentaps.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Are citizens ready for Open Data and Government?

        Data is raw input to economic initiatives just like money or labour, in the sense that it can have the same or greater economic value. Opening public data may be enough to foster many economic activities, because that’s all the single, very few entrepreneurs or activists who already wanted those data need. When it comes to transparency in government or relations between citizens and politicians, open data work in practice only if many, many people actually study and process them. But today much, much less people are already prepared to accept and use raw data than blog posts, TV debates or other kinds of inputs. This is a point that has been recently raised by others:

        * The Literacy Challenge of Open Data: “We need a data-literate citizenry, not just a small elite of hackers and policy wonks”
        * From Gov 1.0 to Gov 2.0: a change in users, too: study demonstrates that current (Italian) Web 2.0 users are not interested in eGovernment”

Leftovers

  • Department for Communities paid for massages, chauffeurs and trip to Blackpool pleasure beach

    The breakdown revealed that the government offices for the regions ran up bills of more than £100,000 on market research and polling last year.

    The department also spent more than £1,600 on massages for staff and £539 on an awayday trip to Blackpool pleasure beach.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Unprecedented warming in Lake Tanganyika and its impact on humanity

      Lake Tanganyika, in East Africa, is the second largest lake in the world (by volume). The lake supports a prodigious sardine fishery which provides a major source of animal protein for the region as well as employment for around 1 million people. Direct observations over past 90 years find that Lake Tanganyika has warmed significantly. At the same time, there’s been a drop in primary productivity in the lake impacting sardine populations. To further explore this matter, geologists took lake cores to determine the lake’s surface temperature back to 500 AD (Tierney 2010). They found that warming in the last century is unprecedented over the last 1500 years.

    • Is climate change burning Russia?

      Russia has sweltered under an intense heatwave since mid-July, recording its highest ever temperatures. The heat has caused widespread drought, ruined crops and encouraged wildfires that have blanketed Moscow in smog and now threaten key nuclear sites. According to the head of Moscow’s health department, the city’s daily death rate has doubled – up to 700 from the usual average of 360 to 380.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Prior Restraint Lives: Newspaper Blocked From Publishing Photo of Murder Suspect

      We’re not sure what’s more alarming: that a local California judge has barred the Los Angeles Times from publishing lawfully obtained photos of a murder defendant, or that an appeals court has just decided not to immediately reverse this clear exercise of prior restraint.

      Prior restraint smacks at the heart of the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has never tolerated it, even in the 1971 “Pentagon Papers” case. Then, the justices refused to block The New York Times from publishing sensitive documents concerning the nation’s involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.

    • Social networking: The good, the bad & the ugly
    • GUADEC: Danny O’Brien on privacy, encryption, and the desktop

      Journalist and digital rights activist Danny O’Brien came to GUADEC to try to educate GNOME hackers about the threats facing journalists, their computers, and their online communication from governments and organized crime. But free software can help, so he wanted to outline the features that he thinks could be added to desktops to help secure them and protect the privacy of all users, not just journalists. Part of his job as internet advocacy coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is to talk to internet developers and “persuade them to think about how journalists in repressive regimes are affected” by the choices those developers make.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Music Festival Producer Pre-Sues Bootleggers

        Ah, pre-crime. THREsq has a worrisome story of a couple of recent lawsuits by concert producers pre-suing potential bootleggers claiming trademark infringement. Yes, they’re claiming trademark infringement for something that hasn’t happened yet, and simply listing out hundreds of John Doe and Jane Does who can later be filled in. As a part of this, they’re getting law enforcement involved by using the lawsuit to ask the court to order US Marshalls, local and state police and even off-duty officers to go ahead and seize and impound the bootlegged material.

      • How Many Times Will Content Industries Claim The Sky Is Falling Before People Stop Believing Them?

        There isn’t necessarily anything new in the paper. Many of you probably know all of these stories, and they’ve been discussed at length over the years in posts and comments here on Techdirt. However, it’s nice to put a bunch of them together in a single document just to highlight the same pattern over and over again:

        1. New technology
        2. Legacy industry freaks out saying the world is ending
        3. Industry flocks to DC & the courts to demand fixing
        4. Turns out that the new technology actually increases the market

      • Is the Sky Falling on the Content Industries?

        Content owners claim they are doomed, because in the digital environment, they can’t compete with free. But they’ve made such claims before. This short essay traces the history of content owner claims that new technologies will destroy their business over the last two centuries. None have come to pass. It is likely the sky isn’t falling this time either. I suggest some ways content may continue to thrive in the digital environment.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Diputados 2008


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