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08.14.10

IRC Proceedings: August 14th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

#techrights log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 14/8/2010: GNOME Foundation’s New Rules, X.Org Server 1.9 Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 3:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

    • Qualcomm’s Take on Open Mobile Platforms

      Chandhok: The Linux kernel is the central key element of the common baseline package we would like to see emerge in mobile Linux. This engineer will help QuIC make important upstream contributions to the Linux kernel that, ideally, would be part of this common package. At a minimum, we expect this individual to help make valuable upstream kernel contributions that make it into the main distributions on offer today, or coming in subsequent years.



    • There’s more to FOSS than the Linux Foundation

      As a Canadian, I’m always irked by airy statements by Americans that they won World War II. Yes, the Americans entry into the war was decisive, but their side was not called the Allies for nothing, and many other countries contributed to the victory or at least kept the fight alive in the years before the United Stated joined in. With all respect, I feel much the same way about the recent interview on Wired.com with Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation/

      Published to coincide with this week’s LinuxCon in Boston, the interview begins by describing Zemlin as “part legal guardian, part keeper of the flame. The non-profit foundation he runs is charged with promoting the growth of Linux, drafting new industry standards for its use, and defending it against legal challenges.”

      To be clear, let me emphasize that these are not Zemlin’s words. Nor, do the words in any way reflect the attitudes expressed by Zemlin or any of the Linux Foundation staff with whom I have had dealings over the years. Zemlin in particular, has always seemed to combine helpfulness and enthusiasm with far less ego than you might expect from someone with his level of responsibility.

      Nor would I deny for a moment that the Linux Foundation has done a reasonable job of representing the corporate face of open source and the Linux kernel. Not only does the Foundation seem to be a genuinely neutral meeting ground, but its support for major developers like Linus Torvalds, Till Kamppeter, and Theodore Ts’o benefits everyone in free and open source software (FOSS).

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel’s 2D Performance With X.Org Server 1.9

        X.Org Server 1.9 is set to be released as soon as next week, has already been pulled into Ubuntu 10.10, and is part of the X.Org 7.6 katamari. While X.Org Server 1.9 does not bring many exciting end-user changes like previously releases that introduced RandR 1.2, Multi-Pointer X / X Input 2.0, and other new technologies, there are plenty of bug fixes and other minor improvements throughout the X Server. In this article, we are looking at how the Intel DDX driver performance changes when upgrading from X.Org Server 1.8.2 to the latest X.Org Server 1.9 development code.

      • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.8.99.906

        A bunch of bug fixes for this (final?) release candidate.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Kiosk in KDE 4

        I’ve been working on my BS thesis with the name “Parental mode in KDE”. The name can be a bit misleading, because I was mainly working on some kdelibs internals (integration of KAuth into Kiosk) and the Kiosk Admin Tool application.

        The first part of the work uncovered some nasty things in PolicyKit and ended with a simple outcome: using KAuth/PolicyKit as a back-end for Kiosk is too problematic and would require rewriting a good part of PolicyKit to make it work at all. For example: unlike Kiosk, PolicyKit doesn’t have support for profiles that could be assigned to users and groups, is much slower compared to KConfig/Kiosk, and in the PolicyKit1 incarnation isn’t stable enough for heavy use. See freedesktop bugs 29394 and 29069 for some details. Only positive outcome up to now is that Dario Freddi fixed some problems I found in KAuth. I wanted to do it but he was faster ;-)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Foundation sets out new rules for copyright assignment

        The Foundation, with assistance from its Advisory Board, Bradley Kuhn and Michael Meeks, has now published the new policy. Although future decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, by both the Release Team and the Foundation’s board, the requirements of the new policy and the Foundation’s guidelines, aim to ensure that only sufficiently free code is included in GNOME.

      • Elementary, Ambiance, Sonar – Most Beautiful GNOME Shell Themes Ever!

        We saw the quiet evolution of GNOME Shell aka the next generation GNOME desktop environment. Now lets do some GNOME Shell theming. Hope you guys are familiar with Elementary and Ambiance GTK themes. Now they have these stunning GNOME Shell variants which are absolutely beautiful. First of all you need to download these themes.

      • Web services need to be Free

        Web services, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Gmail or other services could be a risk to users freedom if people aren’t careful. Peters suggested that users need to make sure that their data is portable so they can move their data if need be.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Tales From the Front: in Search of APT-GET UNDO

        I tell you (from my text editor) that a broken X-server is every bit as traumatic as the old “blue screens of death” were, and it doesn’t help when one realizes that searching for help usually reveals nothing but a few snide insults and a comment that when you start needing to downgrade packages, you’re only a step away from needing to reinstall your system.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat: A Preview

          These represent only the most noticeable of the changes planned for Ubuntu 10.10; there are certainly others already out there, and yet more may appear before the final development freezes are reached later this month. We’ll continue to follow Maverick as it nears its final release date of October 10.

        • Finding the Ubuntu font design

          Between ourselves and the Canonical team we chose version T3 from the remaining three designs as a basis for further development.

        • Free Software on the reservations

          When speaking of upstream providers, downstream sellers, and end users, this is an analogous representation of what a project like Ubuntu already does in terms of it’s upstream and downstream relationships, when paralleled into economics. Equally important, free software allows cooperative expertise rather than forcing rivalrous knowledge. Since one cannot derive exclusive benefit at the expense of another, there is much greater incentive for people working on similar problems to do so together, even when the outcome is in free software that will then be commercially sold. This might be thought of both as a market of both abundance and mutual interdependency, and such markets are the only kind I have seen that can self-sustain without abuse.

          With no market barriers to participation, and with the possibility for near zero cost in distribution, much of the cost of commercially starting in free software are entirely infrastructure and equipment costs. Given the cooperative nature of free software, this too could lend itself to shared or cooperative costs. Individual nations could even minimally invest in setting up small community development centers where equipment and infrastructure are particularly scarce. We had looked at starting something very much like this in Lakotah.

          Free software certainly will not solve all the problems of the captive nations alone. However, it certainly can even in a small way help contribute to the establishment of sustainable economic development as well as a means to enable individual and communal economic sovereignty even in the present world, and hence to do so without having to compromise core social and cultural principles in the process.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged box PC braces for global warming

      Kontron announced a fanless industrial box computer that runs on an Intel Atom N270 and can withstand temperatures of between five and 140 deg. F (-15 to 60 deg. C). The Kontron Embedded Box PC CB 752 is equipped with dual gigabit Ethernet ports and six USB 2.0 ports, plus serial, optional CAN bus, and Mini PCIe connectivity, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Palm enabling webOS apps to interact with Universal Search, dock mode?

        When our own esteemed Paul Miller cracked the mystery that allows the Motorola Droid to behave differently when docked than when in the hand, it took a little of the magic out the switch. However, that doesn’t diminish from its utility, and it’s a feature that could be coming to webOS.

      • Android

        • Introducing the Dell Blaze
        • Augen Switches to AndAppStore on Tablet No Longer Available at Kmart

          Augen, maker of the GenTouch78, the well known “$150 Kmart tablet,” has been under fire from Google for distributing the Android Market and other Google apps without permission. Since Augen and Google were not able to come to an licensing arrangement for the proprietary apps (no surprise since Google has not yet licensed the apps for any tablet without telephony capabilities), Augen has decided to use a 3rd party app store on the devices. AndAppStore, created by Funky Android Ltd., has been around for a couple of years and aims to provide an efficient connection between users and developers. Al Sutton, director of Funky Android, said they “are always willing to help OEMs and hardware distributors by providing them with a royalty and contract free alternative to Google’s Android Market, and we are happy to have been able to assist Augen in resolving this issue.” Augen has made AndAppStore available as a download from their support site, and any Android user can download and install the AndAppStore client directly from Funky Android.

Leftovers

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • UK Movie Cammer Faces Jail Sentence

        A man has been charged with fraud and copyright offenses after being accused of camcording several Hollywood flicks, including the Jennifer Aniston movie The Bounty Hunter. Unlike other countries around the world, recording a movie in a theater is not specifically illegal in the UK so considering the serious nature of the charges, why is this man facing a potential jail sentence?

Clip of the Day

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish


Caricature: Law Suit Larry

Posted in Humour, Oracle at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Leisure Suit Larry Ellison

Signs That .NET is Suffering, Not Java

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Java, Oracle, Patents at 11:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft ripoff logo

Summary: .NET, which was sued by Salesforce for patent violations (and can also be sued by Oracle), is losing its direction and teams are cut too

SEVERAL DAYS ago we wrote about Microsoft’s IronRuby and IronPython going down the drain [1, 2, 3]. This can be viewed as a further sign that the vision of .NET never quite materialised.

To quote the headline from IBTimes (The International Business Times), “Microsoft may back off of .NET languages” [via]

Though Microsoft had initially made a commitment to creating versions of dynamic languages that are customized for .NET, recent reports make it clear that the company may be stepping back from this plan.
Microsoft

The Microsoft logo hangs from a window during the grand opening of Microsoft’s first retail store in Scottsdale, Arizona October 22, 2009.

Much early speculation on this change in focus comes from Jim Schementi, previously the program manager in charge of Microsoft’s implementation of the Ruby software known as IronRuby. Schmenti reports on his blog that the team dedicated to working on IronRuby has decreased to one employee.

According to Schementi, his departure from the company came as Microsoft began to display a “serious lack of commitment” to any .NETized dymanic languages, including IronRuby.

Dana Blankenhorn wrote about this too. He says that “Microsoft has not invented here syndrome,” but let’s remember that .NET was not invented at Microsoft, either. It’s a ripoff of Java.

The story of how Microsoft killed its chances in mobile telephony by strangling Danger, a company it had bought only a few years ago, turns out to be a symptom of a much larger problem.

Not Invented Here Syndrome (NIHS).

Further evidence is emerging in the demise of its “Iron” projects, IronRuby and IronPython.

[...]

Sure, projects like this could go to Codeplex, but they should have been there long ago. Had the move been made say, in 2009, with Microsoft employees like Schementi as commiters, a serious team from several companies might be in place now. As it is, the move looks like a code dump.

Many people say that Java is in trouble because of Oracle’s aggression [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], but it’s easy to forget that Python, Perl, PHP, Ruby on Rails and other such frameworks are some of the fastest-growing at least as phenomena or paradigms. It’s not as though the only substitute for Java is .NET, which has already been sued for patent violations (by Salesforce).

Software Patents Crisis

Posted in Apple, FSF, GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents, Videos at 11:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look back at Professor Moglen’s words about Java and last week’s talk about software patents; a Microsoft-fueled agitator attacks Apple, Cisco and other Microsoft rivals using patents

TECHRIGHTS has covered software patents for several years, correctly foreseeing them as a major barrier to Free software adoption. A few days ago in LinuxCon Eben Moglen made the case for abolishing software patents, but there were signs of defeatism in his transcripts (no signs of video/audio yet). Moglen did not know at the time that Java too was about to be slapped by Oracle. Here is what he said about Java several years ago.


Direct link

Here is one last bit of overage which we found about Moglen’s talk (there are more in the previous post).

Eben Moglen, director-counsel and chairman at the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), has long stood at the forefront of the free software revolution. At LinuxCon this week, Moglen delivered a keynote address in which he lauded the movement’s many successes, ending with the capacity crowd giving him a standing ovation.

“At the beginning of this conspiracy of ours, we wanted to make it happen that freedom would go inside of everything, and then we could turn it on,” Moglen said. “We are making freedom useful to people.”

Based on this news, another patent troll/parasite which Microsoft paid to settle is attacking rivals of Microsoft (see background on VirnetX [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14] and compare to Eolas [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] or Uniloc [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], which did exactly the same thing):

After being awarded $200m in a patent-infringement case that it brought against Microsoft, VirnetX has now gone after Apple, Cisco Systems, and others.

In a brief statement announcing the lawsuit, VirnetX accused Apple, Cisco, NEC, and the self-described “leading global enterprise communications provider” Aastra of violating five of its patents, each related to a greater or lesser extent to VPN.

We have come across comments on these cases (e.g. VirnetX, Eolas, Uniloc) which say Microsoft paid them to essentially attack Microsoft rivals (we don’t subscribe to this theory though). Groklaw opines that Microsoft paid Acacia by settling a dispute just as SCO was paid directly by Microsoft (for UNIX). Here is Groklaw’s latest take on SCO:

SCO Group’s Chapter 11 Trustee, Edward Cahn, has now filed the monthly operating reports for June, as well as bills for Ocean Park Advisors for June and July. And take note: there’s no hearing in bankruptcy court on Monday. Once again, it’s called off.

The new SCO in town seems to be Oracle and we have just prepared some graphics for it (click to zoom, feel free to share):

SCOracle logo

Here is some more coverage about that case, which we wrote about four times yesterday [1, 2, 3, 4].

  • Oracle v Google: Why?

    As for predictions, I’ll make only one: whoever wins will also lose. Because this suit is going to negatively impact – probably substantially – Java adoption. The enterprise technology landscape is more fragmented by the day, as it transitions from .NET or Java othodoxy to multi-language heterogeneity. Oracle’s suit will accelerate this process as it introduces for the first time legal uncertainty around the Java platform. Apple and Microsoft will be thrilled by this development, and scores of competitive languages and platforms are likely to see improved traction as a result of Java defections.

  • Oracle Sues Google Over Android: What’s Up with That?

    Clearly, Java was one of the Sun crown jewels, so the question is, what to do with it? Since Sun would presumably be quite happy to license the patents to Google, that suggests that the motivation is monetary rather than strategic. It’s less clear to me what the strategic value would be to Oracle to prevent Google for incorporating Java into Android, or to impede the marketplace generally from relying on Java.

    The problem for Oracle is that the Java elements that Google used were “clean room” versions of Java developed by a third party. But while clean room versions may not violate Oracles’ copyrights, creating a clean room version may have little or not impact on avoiding patent infringement. Interestingly enough, Oracle is alleging copyright infringement as well as patent infringement. But while Google may be able to rewrite the elements to beat the copyright allegations going forward, it will still be liable for damages, if Sun wins, for the copies of Android that are already in circulation.

  • Why Oracle, not Sun, sued Google over Java

    “When your stock price is at $3 or $4, your war chest is not big enough to go up against an opponent like Google,” the source said.

    In addition, Sun didn’t want a repeat of the extremely distracting lawsuit against Microsoft. Gosling was trapped for months in Washington, D.C., dealing with the suit, rather than with Java engineering, and his colleagues threw him a big party upon his return to his preferred vocation.

    Oracle, though, evidently isn’t so deterred. It possesses the financial strength to pursue the claim against Google, despite likely counterclaims that will increase the expense of the lawsuit.

    But Google’s a big, influential, and growing company, too, and Oracle now has a new enemy in Silicon Valley among at least some of its employees. One is Tim Bray, an Android evangelist at Google who previously was Sun’s director of Web technology.

  • Oracle’s Java lawsuit undermines its open source credibility

    It raises very serious questions about the company’s stewardship of other open source technology that it obtained during the acquisition of Sun. The resulting uncertainty will likely not be conducive to retaining the customers and mindshare that Sun had built around certain open source products. It will also likely have a serious chilling affect on community involvement and third-party contributions. It’s important to recognize that the impact of this lawsuit will be felt far beyond the scope of Java and will also influence perceptions of other key open source projects obtained by Oracle, such as the MySQL database system.

  • Google Rebuts Oracle Lawsuit, Invokes Open-Source Defense

    Google’s response to the lawsuit doesn’t come as a surprise; any concession even insinuating that it did anything wrong could cost the company millions in either a judgment or a settlement. It’s likely Google will argue that it’s not committing patent infringement because Java is an open-source software; Google mentioned open-source standards not once, but three times in its statement. Sun released most of Java’s code as open-source software in 2006.

The patent system is seriously messed up, as this new post from TechDirt helps show:

Bas Grasmayer points us to the claim that the Austrian town of Frauenkirchen has apparently tried to patent the fact that it represents the geographical midpoint of Europe…

Patenting must have boundaries. Otherwise there’s a crisis. And that’s what we have right now.

“Oracle Corporation opposes the patentability of software. The Company believes that existing copyright law and available trade secret protections, as opposed to patent law, are better suited to protecting computer software developments.”

Oracle Corporation (years ago)

Links 14/8/2010: ASUS Linux-based Tablet for $300, OpenSolaris Phased Out

Posted in News Roundup at 10:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Distributed Computing’s Broadening Scope

      Yet, even this is not totally new, as various projects have invited volunteers to share their computer resources for years. Some of these projects have been open-source-based, others have been highly proprietary, while a few have supported both. Motivations for these projects range from how to accomplish a task when you have almost no money to support it, to having money, but machines with the power you need are just not available.

  • IBM

    • Linux Is On Parity With AIX Unix

      “Linux is on parity with AIX,” Healy told InternetNews.com in response to a question about how IBM is positioning AIX against Linux. “Linux enables choice. I think that’s one of the basic tenants of the faith.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux KVM Eyes ‘World Domination’

      Kernel-based Virtual Machine, or KVM, is a growing Linux technology for virtualization. Speaking at LinuxCon this week, Red Hat Senior Engineer Chris Wright noted that the open source project is on track to meet some very lofty goals.

      “We’re on track for total world domination,” Wright told the capacity crowd.

      He might be joking, but KVM is certainly on a tear. The project has amassed a number of big-name contributors, like IBM, Novell and Intel. Red Hat itself jumped into KVM in earnest with its $107 million purchase of Qumranet in 2008, thereby setting the stage to distance itself from Xen, the rival open source technology it had previously used.

    • LinuxCon grapples with challenges, from mobile to multicore

      This week’s LinuxCon show featured some lively discussions over the fate of the fast-growing open source operating system, says eWEEK. Hosted by the Linux Foundation (LF), the event explored cloud computing, social networking, Android integration, GPL licensing, Linux kernel challenges such as multicore processing and code complexity, and MeeGo, among other issues.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME: More open source web services, hosting services needed

        Stormy Peters, executive director of the GNOME Foundation, said the open source community has fallen behind Google and other proprietary web services developers and must write more Affero GPL-based web services, integrate them better with the Linux desktop and offer hosting services for open source web services such as Gobby.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Readers sound off on Dell Ubuntu support, Adobe Reader updates

          Not everyone is as happy with Dell as Tom is. In response to my post “Where are Dell’s Ubuntu PCs?” there was quite a debate over the relative merits and evils of companies that will or will not offer some systems with Ubuntu preinstalled.

          Some Gripe Line readers expressed fears of a collusion with Microsoft to scuttle Ubuntu; others suggested that software should never be preinstalled on computers at all; and a third camp decried Ubuntu as a “toy” operating system.

          Gripe Line reader Alex offered a unique solution to Dell’s Ubuntu conundrum: “We want Ubuntu options on all of their machines!”

        • The New Ubuntu 10.10 Installer Is Live

          Today we had the pleasure of playing a little with the new Ubuntu installer, present in the latest daily build of the upcoming Maverick Meerkat (Ubuntu 10.10) operating system, due for release in October 10th, 2010. The installer is completely revamped and accessible by Linux beginners.

        • Snag a copy of “The Incredible Guide to NEW Ubuntu (Karmic Koala)”
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Puppy Linux 5.1: Now Ubuntu Lucid Lynx package compatible

            The latest release of Puppy Linux, version 5.1, is codenamed “Lucid Puppy” as it is now binary compatible with the packages available for Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx. The announcement and release notes say that because of this compatibility the time now taken to produce “packages that are tested and configured for Lucid Puppy is extremely short”. Lucid Puppy can now be downloaded (direct download) as a 130MB Live CD ISO file. Work on Puppy Linux 5.1 has focussed on improving the “lean and fast” distributions user interface, with friendlier dialogues and enhanced graphics, along with upgrading the many packages and tools of the distribution.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Will HTC ‘Glacier’ Trigger Fastphone Wars?

          The next big Android phone could be really fast. How fast? Well, faster than any other smartphone yet built. Rumored to be coming from HTC — and going by the puzzling name “Glacier” — the smartphone could come with a dual-core processor and possibly a hefty battery to power it.

        • Speak Commands with Google’s Voice Actions for Android App

          Google executives outlined 12 new “Voice Actions for Android,” including phone calls, reminder e-mails, direction search, and music search. (Searching for generic links, a traditional function of Android, is number 13.) The app is called “Voice Search,” requires Android 2.2, and is available in the Android Market now, Google executives said.

        • Sony Planning PSP Phone, Android 3.0 Gaming Platform?

          Scooping speculators, Engadget claims it can exclusively reveal Sony Ericsson’s plans to introduce a brand new gaming handheld. What’s more, the handheld will run “Gingerbread,” the codename for Android 3.0, Google’s mobile Linux/GNU platform rumored to be deploying already this October.

        • Open Source Rockbox audio software could be headed to Android

          Rockbox is an open source project offering software that can replace the default firmware on a number of portable media players including Apple iPod models as well as some media players from Archos, iRiver, Cowan, Toshiba, SanDisk, and Olympus. Now it looks like some developers are working on retooling Rockbox so that it can run as an application rather than a complete software environment in its own right — and the goal is to get a Rockbox app up and running on Google Android.

        • What’s the Real Reason Behind the Popularity of Android Phones?

          Strength in numbers – One possibility is that the FOSS community finally has a smartphone they can stand behind, since the iPhone doesn’t prove to be very popular with those who don’t want to support Apple products or philosophy. The sheer number of people in the open source community who pounced on a phone with the a platform that’s near and dear to their hearts may be enough to drive sales numbers through the roof.

    • Tablets

      • Asus to Release Eee Tablet With Linux in October for $300

        Asustek Computer plans to launch its long awaited Eee Tablet with an 8-inch LCD touchscreen in October for around US$300, though prices vary by market.

        [...]

        Asustek says the device will run for 10 hours before needing a recharge. It has 2GB of internal memory for storage and a MicroSD card slot to add more capacity.

      • Axon Haptic Tablet Lets You Install Any OS

        The Axon Haptic is a tabula rasa of a tablet. It comes as an empty, OS-less shell, waiting for you to install your choice of operating-system. The hardware of this ten-inch tablet is designed to work with almost any OS, from various Linux flavors through Windows to OS X. Yes, this little baby is hackintosh-ready.

      • Linux Getting Tablet Love From ASUS and Axon Logic Hopefully More To Come

        In all this commotion in the tablet community Linux has take a backseat. Until today when ASUS and Axon Logic released information on their respective tablet’s that showed Linux as an option for consumers. ASUS showed they will be releasing the ASUS Eee Tablet(pictured above) in October for $300 in a Linux model. Axon Logic a relatively unknown also released their plans for a tablet that will not only be able to run Windows and OSX but it will also run Linux, their tablet the Axon Haptic and it’s set to cost about $800.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Worlds first 20 minute voice call from a Free Software GSM stack on a phone

    As Dieter Spaar has pointed out in a mailing list post on the OsmocomBB developer list, he has managed to get a first alpha version of TCH (Traffic Channel) code released, supporting the FR and EFR GSM codecs.

  • AMD quickly updates ATI Stream SDK to OpenCL 1.1

    In addition to support for OpenCL 1.1 and the embrace of Ubuntu and RHEL among it supported platforms, ATI Stream SDK v2.2 expands Linux and Windows compiler support and includes a host of other upgrades, which you can peruse here.

  • Enterprise: Yeah, We’re Cool With Open Source
  • Making Hadoop Accessible via Open Source BI
  • City of Denver Dives Into the World of Open-Source

    The city and county of Denver, Co. is taking a big dive into the world of open-source – another sign of a global trend by government organizations to adopt open practices to benefit its citizenry and to better improve often archaic technology infrastructures.

  • IT executives and developers on open source collision course

    The survey results also found that IT executives were much more pragmatic about increasing open source usage and that software developers — who tend to favor open source usage — are increasingly important to product selection decisions. Thus, there’s a potential for a collision between the business’ mentality of “use what’s most appropriate,” and developers’ mentality of “we want open source everywhere possible.”

  • Open-source pitches developers against IT management

    Even as adoption of open-source platforms usage across organizations increases, the potential for collision of developer and IT executives’ interests intensifies, Infoworld reported.

    A recent report drawn from five Forrester, Eclipse Foundation and “Dr. Dobbs” surveys over the past two years showed that nearly 80 percent of organizations are using open source software in IT development projects.

  • eZuce announces open source UC solution

    Positioning itself as a start-up, eZuce has launched a software-based, open source unified communications solution targeting enterprises with 200 to 10,000 users. Industry veterans and creators of SIPfoundry, Dr. Martin Steinmann and Jerry Stabile, are company co-founders.

  • Open source givers and takers

    Second, “how many companies plan to contribute” isn’t the right metric. One of the things I’ve learned from my involvement in industry is that the most successful and effective groups are small. The right metric is “are there enough contributors to move the project forward?” For the key projects (like Apache), clearly the answer is “yes.” “Enough” is much more important than “how many.” The last thing we need are projects that slow to a crawl because of the bloated development-by-committee that characterizes many corporate environments. In the late ’80s, I worked for a startup that developed (among other things) a FORTRAN compiler. We sent our 10-person compiler group up to DEC for a meeting, where they found out that DEC’s FORTRAN compiler group had 2,000 people. DEC couldn’t understand how we got anything done. More to the point, our guys couldn’t understand how DEC got anything done.

  • Flexibility Drives Open Source Adoption

    One of the myths about open source software is that IT organizations adopt it because it’s free. But it turns out that while cost is definitely a factor – especially in these tough economic times – the bigger issue is flexibility.

    There’s a lot of administrative overhead associated with testing and deploying proprietary software in the enterprise. In contrast, open source software can generally be downloaded and tested by virtually any member of the IT staff without a whole lot of interaction with vendor salespeople and internal purchasing departments.

  • Events

    • Big Picture Seminar Canberra: Richard Stallman

      Richard Stallman will speak about the Free Software Movement, which campaigns for freedom so that computer users can cooperate to control their own computing activities. The Free Software Movement developed the GNU operating system, often erroneously referred to as Linux, specifically to establish these freedoms.

    • Open Source Technologies: Highlights from Linuxcon 2010

      This week in Boston, the Linux Foundation held the second annual Linuxcon, a gathering of the developers, administrators, users and executives that call Linux home. All told, the conference touched on nearly every corner of computing—an indication of how broadly Linux has spread. Check out these highlights from the conference.

    • Free and open source software camp for students at IIT Guwahati

      A three-day camp on free and open source software called “FOSSilize” is going to be held at IIT Guwahati campus on September 3-5. The goal of the event is to increase the awareness, integration and adoption of free and open source software (FOSS) tools among the students. The emphasis is on building the capacity of the students to use FOSS. The event will bring together students from both the technical and non-technical colleges in the region. The aim is to use this event – and subsequent activities – as an opportunity to broaden expertise, forge new ideas and connections, and encourage the creative use of FOSS within the different projects and initiatives in the region.

  • SaaS

    • The Nexus Between Open Source and the Cloud
    • Value of cloud computing

      Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, will host briefing sessions in New Zealand based on cutting through market hype to reveal the true value of cloud computing for businesses.

      The free, half day business seminars are sponsored by IBM and will address why cloud computing is one of the most significant shifts in information technology to occur in decades, as well as why it offers local organisations a very real opportunity to thrive in the current economic climate. The sessions will also unveil how open source tools and services can unlock the potential for cloud computing, as well as covering:

  • Databases

    • Ingres CEO unfazed by Oracle’s MySQL play

      When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems it also bought MySQL AB, the company behind the open source MySQL database, which Ingres CEO, Roger Burkhardt, says was hardly intentional and resulted in the company staving off a “future competitor”.

      “MySQL is not a competitor to an enterprise-class database,” Burkhardt said. “It’s a lightweight Web-oriented, easy to develop for offering.”

  • Oracle

    • The Future of OpenSolaris

      The clouds of uncertainty over OpenSolaris under Oracle have parted, but while what we see behind them was perhaps expected, it is certainly still disappointing. I’ve included the original sources below, but here are the key sentences (emphasis added) from the internal Oracle memo regarding OpenSolaris:

      * We will distribute updates to approved CDDL or other open source-licensed code following full releases of our enterprise Solaris operating system. In this manner, new technology innovations will show up in our releases before anywhere else. We will no longer distribute source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating system in real-time while it is developed, on a nightly basis.

    • Friday the 13th, Part II: Oracle Officially Ends OpenSolaris

      Well, Oracle seems determined to make this a memorable Friday the 13th. Just as the open source community reels from the impact of an Oracle lawsuit against Google for alleged Java patent infringements, it has now been revealed that Oracle has internally killed OpenSolaris.

      In an apparent internal memo addressed to Oracle Solaris engineers, Oracle outlined plans to effectively end the OpenSolaris project.

    • Oracle vs. Google over Java in Android is only the start.

      I don’t think Oracle suing Google over the use of Java in Android has much to do with Android at all. I think it has everything to do with Oracle monetizing Java anyway it can. That spells big trouble for any company or developer who uses Java but hasn’t obeyed the letter of Java’s intellectual property laws. I’m looking at you, Red Hat/JBoss; Apache/Jakarta; and members of the JCP (Java Community Process). Get ready. Legal trouble is coming your way.

      I am not a lawyer, but I don’t think you need to be one to figure out why Oracle is doing this. Java and all its associated technologies are very valuable. Sun was never able to squeeze much money out of Java’s IP (intellectual property). Sun preferred to make its money by building programs around Java.

    • Java Update: Download for Windows, Linux and Apple
    • Android Lawsuit Is Really Just Oracle Flirting With Google

      When Google joined the Open Invention Network and pledged to protect Linux in August 2007, six months after Oracle had done the same, Jerry Rosenthal, then-CEO of Open Invention, told CMP TechWeb that no patent holder has ever sued Linux developers or a Linux distributor and that none likely ever will.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • State of Open Source Software in Finnish Schools: some good news, something crucial still missing

      To be honest, for a couple of years now I have been pretty skeptical about the future of Free and Open Source software in Finnish schools and education sector in general.

      In Finland we have a lot of open source expertise and know-how. We have developers. I also assume that majority of the (liberally) higher educated people in Finland, at least know what is “Open Source” and “Linux”. This should be a great foundation to get open source software to all public schools (and public institutions).

      [...]

      Another good news is that there are several projects raising awareness on Free and Open Source software for schools. There are blogs and newsletters, webinars and get-together events. The outreaching and educational activities seems to be today professionally carried out and well organized. Still, I would claim that the information provided on the topic is far too technical and as such irrelevant for most of the decisions makers. The people making decisions on the educational technology are not really interested in the LTSP (Linux Terminal Server Project). They want solutions. It looks that we are still missing credible providers of solutions.

  • Healthcare

  • Funding

    • Data-visualization duo turns down Knight funding over open source

      The reason: Viegas and Wattenberg didn’t like the open-source component of the News Challenge grant agreement, which requires that winners share all work done under the grant under a copyleft license that maximizes openness. “The licensing requirements weren’t right for us, or the project, really,” Viegas explained. (Their pitch was for a data visualization tool for news organizations; they declined to go into more detail than that.)

      [...]

      Winners can accept a grant and bind themselves to the GNU General Public License, which makes the code reusable or alterable by anyone else. Alternately, for-profits can choose to structure the winnings as a zero-percent interest loan that must be repaid. A version of the project would still need to be released under the GPL.

    • Virgin America CIO Lauds Open Source Savings

      Virgin America is one of the U.S’s newest airlines and its IT infrastructure is mostly open source. That’s the message coming from Ravi Simhambhatla, VA’s CIO who delivered a keynote at LinuxCon titled “Selling the Value of Open Source When Cost is Not the Driver.”

    • Open source software a frequent flier on Virgin America

      While Ravi Simhambhatla told LinuxCon attendees that his IT staff has saved millions of dollars by going with FOSS, he emphasized it’s the fact that the software works so well that has made it a relatively easy sell to higher ups. He touted the company’s open source systems having 100% uptime with just one open source software systems admin.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Academic Navel Gazing Continues

      The researchers found that the sensor messages can be sniffed and decoded from up to 40 meters (120 feet) from a passing vehicle with a basic low-noise amplifier and the openly available GNU radio platform (a GNU radio is comprised of hardware and software and can be used for intercepting radio signals).

  • Project Releases

    • [Caml 3.12.0 Out]

      The most recent version of Objective Caml is 3.12.0. It was released on 2010-08-02.

    • WeeChat 0.3.3

      WeeChat 0.3.3 was released on 2010-08-07: many new features and bugs fixed (see ChangeLog for detail).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Mapping Georgia From Scratch

      The map from Open Maps, which will be completed by the end of this month, will be an open-source map — meaning anyone can contribute to it, edit it and tweak it to their needs: It’s Wikipedia-meets-cartography, developing world-style.

    • GardenBot: An Automated, Open-Source Garden Monitoring System

      Some commenters may have scoffed when Mike posted about high-tech green farming using soil sensors, but with over-taxed aquifers causing reduced yields worldwide, more intelligent monitoring and usage of water resources should be a top priority. But soil monitoring isn’t just for professionals anymore. In fact, one hobbyist is working on an open-source garden monitoring system that might, if there is enough demand, allow for fully automated garden watering based on precise soil conditions. I, for one, am interested.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Navigating the murky waters of the new media: Five lessons from PepsiGate

    In the wake of the mass exodus at ScienceBlogs, the old network lives on. A sizable chunk of core members has left, while other popular bloggers remain. Many former contributors banded together to form a new, independent science blog network—with an ethics code to their liking—at Scientopia. And PepsiCo still has its Food Frontiers blog in a dusty corner of the Web, where the requisite PR and legal teams carefully look over the R&D scientists’ posts.

  • Can hyperlinks be libellous, or are they just mere footnotes?

    Defamation law can often be found dawdling behind technology, but a barely noticed judgement on hyperlinking may have moved things on a step or two.

    A question that remains to be resolved is whether a link to a web page that contains defamatory statements about someone is actionable. The high court’s decision in the recent Spectator case looks at the hyperlinking question from another angle. Can the web pages a publisher links to inform the meaning of an article?

  • Judge dismisses Churchill High School’s “choir gate”

    An incident known as “choir gate” is back in the news today. Churchill County Judge William Rogers has ruled against music teacher Kathleen Archey; saying that an article written about her by a high school student truthfully communicated information to the public, and that nothing written by the student was false, defamatory or negligent.

  • Science

    • NASA team launches huge study into what causes hurricanes

      What makes a tropical depression turn into a hurricane?

      It’s a question that has puzzled hurricane chasers and scientists alike for years.

      But now Ed Zipser, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Utah, is hoping that research he and a team of scientists are doing this month will unlock the key to this mystery.

      The quest to understand the inner workings of tropical storms or depressions and figure out what turns them into full-blown hurricanes is like the quest for the “holy grail” for atmospheric scientists, Zipser said.

  • Health

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • J.C. Penney cuts outlook on consumer weakness

      J.C. Penney Co. cut its profit outlook for the rest of the year, a sign of jitters that Americans, still stinging from the recession and worried about jobs, aren’t going to spend more any time soon.

    • German Economy Grows at a Fast Pace

      Germany’s economy surged ahead in the second quarter, growing 2.2 percent — the fastest pace for at least two decades and beating market forecasts — as a global recovery fed demand for its exports.

      The first-quarter growth figure for Europe’s biggest economy also was revised upward Friday to 0.5 percent — more than double the initial reading of 0.2 percent.

      ”The recovery of the German economy, which lost momentum at the turn of 2009/2010, is really back on track,” the Federal Statistical Office said as it released the preliminary second-quarter figures.

    • Paralysis at the Fed

      Ten years ago, one of America’s leading economists delivered a stinging critique of the Bank of Japan, Japan’s equivalent of the Federal Reserve, titled “Japanese Monetary Policy: A Case of Self-Induced Paralysis?” With only a few changes in wording, the critique applies to the Fed today.

    • Record-low mortgage rates make refinancing (or re-refinancing) look tempting

      This week rates fell to levels that many people in the mortgage business thought they would never see. Freddie Mac reported on Thursday that the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan was 4.44 percent, with 0.7 of a point in prepaid interest. [One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.] Loans fixed for 15 years also hit a record low, 3.92 percent, with 0.6 of a point, on average.

    • Wonkbook: Worst jobless claims since Feb; Warren profile; Obama signs border bill

      Jobless claims are up yet again this week. Worst week since February, in fact. Obama is signing a $600 million border enforcement bill today (can you guess how many senators it took to pass it?); broadband deployment is slowing; Daniel Indiviglio explains Treasury’s $3 billion program to help unemployed homeowners; and Brady Dennis profiles Elizabeth Warren. Oh, and some Arcade Fire for you.

    • Elizabeth Warren, likely to head new consumer agency, provokes strong feelings

      Somewhere along the line, Elizabeth Warren became a symbol.

      She’s either the plain-spoken, supremely smart crusader for middle-class families that her supporters adore, or she’s the power-hungry headline seeker her critics loathe, a fiery zealot disguised in professorial glasses and pastel cardigans.

    • Obama’s housing reform panel angers affordable-housing advocates

      The criticism by affordable-housing advocates was notable because the Obama administration has so far paid much more attention to their concerns than previous administrations have. Advocates, for instance, had credited the administration with listening to community groups that argued that the government must do more to embrace rental housing for those who cannot afford to buy a home.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Stallman slams filter as ‘human rights attack’

      Labor’s controversial mandatory internet filter project is an attack on human rights, and Australians should beware of the project and other tyrannical government policies, free software luminary Richard Stallman has said in an interview ahead of a visit to Australia in October.

      Stallman is best known for his creation during the early 1980′s of the GNU Project, which combined with Linus Torvalds’ kernel programming efforts in the early 1990′s to form what we today refer to as the GNU/Linux operating system.

      Stallman also founded the associated Free Software Foundation in the mid-1980′s and is the original author of a bunch of popular software projects — such as the Emacs text editor (although it does far more than that) and the GNU Compiler Collection.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • An open letter to my longtime friend Google

      You keep talking about turning this great place into an “open Internet.” But it already is an open Internet. One that really must stay that way. Net neutrality isn’t important because I don’t want to pay extra for Hulu, premium cable channel style. (Which I don’t.) No–it’s important because openness of the Internet is absolutely, fundamentally critical to the future of collaborative innovation. And I don’t mean this “public Internet” you keep mentioning. I mean just plain Internet. It’s all public. Open to all of our friends–even the ones we don’t really like.

    • Net Neutrality Protest planned tomorrow at Google HQ

      Despite a recent press event and a long blog post aimed at explaining that Google is still pro Net-Neutrality, Google did not convince. A number of folks aren’t buying it and believe that Google is turning its back on net neutrality and “not neutrality” has become the word play du jour. Those who are angry towards Google’s joint proposal with Verizon point out that Google basically is “OK” with the idea that wireless network won’t have to abide by the same standards of net neutrality than the landlines.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Ruling Imagination: Law and Creativity

        In short, artists are using the new means of production and distribution to control the creation, marketing, and sale of their work. It’s the inevitable outcome of what I described last January at Critical Mass regarding the future of books — the loss by the publishing, recording, and entertainment industries of control over the means of production and distribution of their products. As I wrote then, “[t]he entire publishing industry as we’ve known it is a walking corpse. You can almost imagine it as a zombie — composed of parts of Sarah Palin, Oprah, Dan Brown, and Tiger Woods — lumbering down Manhattan’s avenues.”

      • Why Waiting Until A New Business Model Is Proven Doesn’t Work

        This is, of course, the typical Innovator’s Dilemma, but it helps explain why so few companies are able to survive the innovator’s dilemma. Even if they know about it, they think they can wait. They think that they shouldn’t invest heavily in those new technologies and new markets until there’s a clear path to profitability, or a clear plan for how it “replaces” what’s already there. The problem is that by the time they have the answers to those questions, it’s too late.

      • KDDI Promotes Brand New Products And Collects User-Generated Parody Songs

        Japan’s second largest mobile operator KDDI’s au introduced several new lineups for their design-oriented feature phone series last month, and they have been running a promotion campaign collecting user-generated parody songs via Twitter.

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