Links 20/8/2010: PlayStation 3 Allegedly Hacked, MeeGo-based Nokia N9

Posted in News Roundup at 11:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • GNU/Linux Share of Minds

    A recent survey of IT decision-makers leads to the inescapable conclusion that FLOSS on the server will soon take many mission-critical roles that it has not already taken. Competitive forces will do the rest. Business is about making money and if your cost/performance is better with GNU/Linux you have the potential to compete well against others who cling to the old ways. About the only thing soon left to the monopoly will be managing its own clients. FLOSS can do everything else much better. Eventually the last barrier will fall, acceptance of that other OS on the client as the standard.

  • PlayStation 3 Security Foiled by Jailbreak USB Stick?

    Sony’s PlayStation 3 was long popular with the homebrew and tech-savvy gamer crowd, in part because Sony initially supported running Linux on the console. However, Sony removed Linux capability in a firmware update earlier this year, allegedly to staunch game and content piracy, and since then PlayStation 3 security has been garnering more than a little attention from enthusiasts and console modders eager to get back inside the console.

  • Rumor: Playstation 3 Has Been Jailbroken

    Hopefully Playstation 3 users won’t lose more functionalities (like Linux) because of this.

  • Sony PS3 gets jailbroken to run Linux

    According to PSX Scene a bunch of open source hardware hackers have released a dongle called PS Jailbreak that will turn the PS3 back into a Linux machine.

  • Poll: One in five plan to buy Apple Mac

    The remaining 7.7 percent answered ‘Linux system’.

    “I’ve been using Linux for too long. I can see no good reason to switch to Windows,” commented octal.

  • Desktop

    • Dell, Let Me Help You With the Maths

      but it took in only $2.9 billion for consumer PCs. Imagine if those PCs had shipped with GNU/Linux and they had been able to pocket another $50-$100 per PC. That would have been another $100-$200 million revenue. Compare that to a $21 million loss.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

    • The 2010 Linux Storage and Filesystem Summit, day 2

      The summit was widely seen as a successful event, and the participation of the memory management community was welcomed. So there will be a joint summit again for storage, filesystem, and memory management developers next year. It could happen as soon as early 2011; the participants would like to move the event back to the (northern) spring, and waiting for 18 months for the next gathering seemed like too long.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source 2D, 3D For ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series GPUs

        AMD continues to abide by their commitment to provide open-source support for their graphics cards and as proof of that this afternoon they have released their initial hardware acceleration code that supports the ATI Radeon HD 5000 “Evergreen” family of consumer grade graphics processors. While this Evergreen support isn’t yet finished and for the time being is targeted towards Linux developers and enthusiasts, you can now play around with your ATI Radeon HD 5000 graphics processor on an open-source driver while having 2D EXA, X-Video, and OpenGL acceleration.

        The ATI Radeon HD 5000 series family launched back in September of last year with the Radeon HD 5850 and Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards, which was followed by the launch of other GPUs like the Radeon HD 5750, Radeon HD 5770, and Radeon HD 5970. Following those product milestones, in December there was the release of some Evergreen shader documentation and by this February, there was finally Evergreen KMS support for utilizing kernel mode-setting and other basic functionality with your new ATI Radeon hardware. This initial KMS support was merged into the Linux 2.6.34 kernel, but it went without any X-Video or 2D EXA acceleration support. In April there was another AMD code drop for Evergreen and it implemented the command processor, interrupts, and graphics initialization support along with providing new microcode for these ASICs.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Choosing a Distribution of GNU/Linux


      There are many more factors than 7 that could have been tested. Updates, local services, games, etc. all may affect choices. Installing and trying things out from several distros is an option users of that other OS lack. Installing using a package manager is cool. It’s fast and you use the same tool to install the OS as the applications. Be sure to visit Distrowatch.com to help choose your distro.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Pursuing Certification For RHEL 6, Hypervisor

        Red Hat is pursuing a certification for its Linux OS and virtualization, paving the way for government agencies to use the technology to create secure, virtualized IT environments and private clouds.

      • GARM Technologies Partners with Cloud Linux Inc.

        Cloud Linux Inc., a software company dedicated to serving the needs of hosting service providers, today announced that GARM Technologies, a hosting provider, will add CloudLinux to its shared hosting infrastructure. The company says that GARM Technologies specialize in shared and VPS hosting and selected CloudLinux for its new Lightweight Virtual Environment (LVE) technology that will deliver substantial performance improvements to its hosting customers.

      • Support of Red Hat Enterprise Linux extended by 3 years

        Red Hat has added an additional 3 years to support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) via its new “Extended Life Cycle Support” (ELS). Available as a paid subscription, the added package prolongs the support of the Linux distribution for corporate customers from seven to ten years; this of particular interest to customers who are currently still using RHEL3, which was released in October 2003, as the regular support for this distribution will expire at the end of October.

      • Oppenheimer Reiterates Outperform Rating on Red Hat (RHT)

        Oppenheimer is out with a research report this morning, where it reiterates its Outperform rating on Red Hat (NYSE: RHT); it has a $40.00 price target on the stock.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Massive Changes Coming to Ubuntu 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’ Installer

          Proposed welcome screen looks pretty, readable and non-intimidating. Thats more like it. As a long time Ubuntu user, I really know how far these changes can help a newbie trying his luck in the new found Ubuntu world.

        • Ubuntu’s SPARC & IA64 Ports Have Been Killed

          A few months back we reported that the IA64 and SPARC versions of Ubuntu were in trouble and would be decommissioned if no individual(s) were to step-up and maintain these ports of Ubuntu Linux for these architectures that are much less popular and common than x86 and x86_64 hardware. Well, there still is no one backing the Intel IA64 and Sun SPARC versions of Ubuntu Linux so they are being dropped completely.

        • Canonical Teaches Ubuntu to Phone Home Every Day

          No user-specific data is sent, Phoronix notes; rather, the package reportedly transmits only the operating system version, the machine product name and a counter.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Release Schedule

          The release schedule for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system has been published on the Ubuntu wiki. The distribution will be released at the end of April 2011.

        • Reasons to switch to Ubuntu from Microsoft Windows

          It’s hard to say why features are left the same or barely upgraded, but it is most likely done to familiarize the general public with Microsoft Windows itself. Interestingly enough, it comes in many forms and with different features, and the price seems to always be somewhere in the clouds, large price to pay for something so stale.

          Perhaps one of the worst features of Microsoft Windows are the fact that users are extremely bound by computing law, even if they haven’t noticed it because of customizable features. For example, Microsoft Windows cannot match the customizing abilities of Mac and Ubuntu, and it never will.

          One should find it hard to believe that developers would even consider working with Microsoft Windows to create new applications and games if it wasn’t for its popularity. The operating system itself is extremely unstable, one rouge application could crash the whole system or at least freeze the screen.

        • Canonical discontinues Itanium and SPARC support in Ubuntu

          Ubuntu 10.10, code-named Maverick Meerkat, will not be ported to the Itanium and SPARC platforms. The Ubuntu developers were already dissatisfied with the quality of the two ports in the recent 10.04 LTS release, because the two processor platforms have been without a dedicated maintainer for some time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Unison Ultra Tiny Linux OS Now Available for Actel SmartFusion Devices

      Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) and RoweBots today announced the immediate availability of Unison, an ultra tiny Linux® compatible OS for SmartFusion™ devices. Developers now have the option for Linux-based embedded design when using SmartFusion intelligent mixed signal FPGAs. With continued broadening of its ecosystem, Actel continues to provide ease of adoption of SmartFusion devices for embedded designers.

    • ChipWrights Stacks Linux Application Development Kit with Major Enhancements for IPTV Set-Top Boxes and IP Cameras

      ChipWrights, Inc.’part of AD Group’New Linux Application Development Kit for the CW5631 System-on-Chip provides the components to develop low-cost IPTV set-top boxes and IP cameras and significantly improve time to market. The Kit’based on the OpenEmbedded build system’leverages thousands of open source packages.

    • Phones

      • Programming for Androids with App Inventor

        Other open source mobile platforms are available, including Maemo on the Nokia N900 and the LiMo platform. Palm’s WebOS is also worth keeping an eye on, which is Linux based even if closed source. That said, none of these make programming quite so easy as Google have just done for Android.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

      • Android

        • Symbian popularity drops as Android advances

          “The software giant will have a difficult time maintaining its market share above 5 [per cent] as the launching of its new Windows Phone 7 OS has been delayed to the fourth quarter and sales of Windows Mobile smartphones [are] still showing no signs of rebound.”

          We have hand it to Digitimes for showing such diplomacy. A more frank version would be that the Vole is sinking without a trace, Windows Phone 7 will be late and nobody wants its current crop of phones, but then again not everyone displays our lack of tact and sensitivity.

        • Android App Roundup: 75 of the Best Mobile Linux Downloads

          Unlike the rigidly controlled Apple App Store, the Android Marketplace is a bit freewheeling. It can be hard to tell the gold from the dross. To help you find the gems, here’s a list of 75 of the best apps the Android Marketplace has to offer.

        • Google’s Tablet to Run Android or Chrome OS?

          When Google first briefed the media last November on its plans to help spawn a new generation of Chrome OS-powered netbooks, the company said the first set of devices would be released this fall.

          Despite some analyst’s skepticism that the effort is on track, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), as recently as last week, said it expects Chrome OS netbooks to be available later this year.

        • Acer may delay tablet PC launch for another quarter to wait for Android 3.0

          Acer’s ARM/Android-based tablet PC is expected to be delayed to the first quarter of 2011, from the fourth quarter of 2010, as the company plans to wait until Google launches Android 3.0, which will feature support for larger display resolutions, according to sources from notebook players.

    • Tablets

      • Google Chrome OS tablet headed for Verizon?

        HTC is building a Chrome OS tablet for Google, set for a Verizon launch on Nov. 26, an industry report claims. Meanwhile, Pandigital released its second seven-inch Android-based e-reader tablet, with more memory than before plus a smaller, lighter design.

      • Google targeting Apple iPad with Chrome tablet?

        Google Android was always going to be the heart of many Linux-based iPad like devices. That’s not news. What is news is that Google and Verizon appear to be working together to create a Chrome operating system-based tablet.

        According to a report from the Download Squad, HTC is building the Chrome OS tablet. The device will be sold in partnership with Verizon starting on November 26th. That date is already engraved in every retailer’s heart as Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and usually the biggest shopping day of the year.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Waiting out FLOSS

    Some proprietary software businesses assume that FLOSS projects/businesses will die from lack of income. They expect they can buy up the projects and convert them to proprietary products or kill them. They don’t get FLOSS. It’s the licences that keep FLOSS free, not the price. FLOSS can be forked and escapes the trap. The current suit by Oracle to capitalize on Java or to kill it will fail both because there is no legal basis for the suit and because even if Java is killed, FLOSS can work around the problem. If Oracle wishes to become a patent troll, its days are numbered as everyone will know it is risky to do business with them. They cannot sue the world as SCOG found out.

  • Ready to be an open source contributor but don’t know where to start?

    OpenHatch is a place for developers who want to be involved in open source but don’t know where to start. You can go to the site and search for a way to contribute based on a language you know or a project you like. You can even search for “bite-size bugs,” the bugs that have been tagged by a project as being specifically good for new contributors.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: Firefox Security Bug Won’t Fool Users

        A bug in the Firefox browser that can be used to bypass an alert for obfuscated URLs is unlikely to trick users, according to Mozilla.

      • Firefox 4 beta 4 adds hardware acceleration

        Mozilla hopes to release its fourth beta of Firefox 4 on Monday, adding hardware-accelerated graphics for some Windows users but leaving it turned off by default.

        Also coming is a major user interface change called tab sets, formerly known as tab candy.

  • Databases

    • CUBRID vs. MySQL: SSD Performance Test Results

      The test confirmed that TPS levels of CUBRID and MySQL database systems increase on SSD equipped machines. During the I/O Bound workload CUBRID had 4.2 times increase in TPS, while MySQL had 2.8 fold improvement.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle’s anti-OSS stance

      The next to fall victim was the PostgreSQL database. Although not owned by Oracle, the open source database software is a competitor to MySQL, now owned by Oracle. Sun Microsystems was contributing servers for the development of PostgreSQL, but at the end of July Oracle shut these down, leaving PostgreSQL work in limbo, and raising further questions about Oracle’s commitment to open source.

    • Is Oracle building its own software stack?

      I begin to wonder if Oracle is beginning to build its own stack. What brings this to mind is the announcement by Edward Screven, chief corporate architect, that Oracle wants to give companies access to a world where data centers have become “service centers.”

      Oracle has long had many of the parts: an operating system, Unbreakable Linux, and now Solaris; a DBMS, of course; and with the acquisition of Sun, Java and all the middleware you could ever want.

    • Is Oracle Taking OpenOffice.org Closed-Source?

      I have written many articles in the past about how much I love OpenOffice.org. In fact OpenOffice is one of the applications that first gave me the confidence to switch to GNU/Linux six years ago. Today I downloaded and installed the latest stable version of OpenOffice, version 3.2.1. This is the best version of OpenOffice that I have ever used from a technical standpoint. However, there were a few things that I noticed that gave me great reason for concern. Based on what I saw, I have serious doubts as to whether OpenOffice.org will continue to be free software/open source in the distant future. Oracle seems to be allowing forces that could be seen as hostile influence, or at least interact with, the OpenOffice community. Perhaps more disturbingly, they appear to be trying to distance OpenOffice from the free software license under which it has propagated for so many years.

    • Is Oracle going after Google because Ellison is buddies with Jobs?

      I can think of all kinds of reasons why Oracle is suing Google over its use of its Java IP (intellectual property) in Android. Making money from its Java patents strikes me and most experts as the most likely reason. But, I’ve also heard suggested, time after time, that the real reason is that Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CEO is buddies with Steve Jobs, aka Mr. Apple and he wanted to help Apple fight Android.

      Could that be the case? Here’s the logic that supporters of this theory use. First, Google and Apple are competiting head-to-head in the smartphone space. The iPhone certainly has more users, but the Android phone family is quickly catching up.

  • Healthcare

    • VA sees problems in open-source development for VistA

      The Veterans Affairs Department sees advantages in using open-source software to modernize its Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) system, but it anticipates several problems if it takes that step.

      The VA issued a request for information Aug. 11 asking for industry to deal with anticipated concerns related to open-source development for VistA.

  • BSD


    • The State of Free Software

      * Free Software has come from being ignored and ridiculed to being required by everyone. The world of IT now depends on Free Software.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Launchpad programming with Linux

      Mike wrote a guide for programming MSP430 microcontrollers using the TI Launchpad under Linux. It makes use of the open source compiler MSPGCC rather than using a code-limited proprietary IDE.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Coder cooks up Java-built Flash Player

      A version of Flash is being built using Java, two years after Adobe Systems opened the player’s closed formats to external inspection.

      Programmer Joa Ebert has demonstrated a Java build of Flash executing SWF. The player is apparently called JITB, and it was recently unveiled at an event in San Francisco.

    • Venezuelan press ban on crime pictures

      The leading Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional printed the word “censored” across a white space on its front page today.


  • Connecticut AG Conducts E-Book Price Fixing Investigation
  • The Government’s License To Steal

    Almost none. This weekend, the Indianapolis Star ran a front-page article looking at where all the forfeiture money is going. I’d like to link to it, but in an apparent effort to keep the paper as irrelevant as possible, the Star has lately adopted a policy of not putting its most important pieces online. But as it turns out, Indiana attorney Paul Ogden actually beat the paper to the story by several weeks. Last month, Ogden put up a post on his blog that came to many of the same conclusions the Star published this weekend. Here’s what Ogden found:

    * Of Indiana’s 92 counties, just five have paid any forfeiture money into the school fund over the last two years. Three of those made just one payment. One county made a single payment of $84.50. Only one county could arguably be seen as complying with the law: Wayne County made 18 payments totalling $38,835.56.
    * The total amount of forfeiture money paid into the account from all 92 Indiana counties over the two-year period was just $95,509.72.
    * To put that figure into perspective, Ogden notes that attorney Christopher Gambill—the private attorney who, as I noted in my article, handles civil forfeiture cases for three Indiana counties and argued the case for Putnam County to keep Anthony Smelley’s money—made $113,145.67 in contingency fees off just a single forfeiture case.

  • Superman Lawyer Claims Warner Bros. Lawsuit Is A SLAPP

    Earlier this year, we wrote about the odd decision of Warner Bros. studio to personally sue Marc Toberoff, the lawyer who successfully represented the heirs of the creators of Superman to win back some of their copyright, by using copyright’s termination rules. Toberoff is making a career of this, and has been helping numerous other content creators start the process of reclaiming rights using the termination process — which makes him somewhat… disliked in the entertainment industry. Still, to sue him personally seemed quite extreme. As we noted at the time, the lawsuit seemed to be based on the idea that Toberoff is a jerk and a savvy business person. As we noted at the time, that doesn’t appear to be illegal.

  • OMG! My Job is Threatened

    I was horrified to read, “The days of DIY system administration are rapidly coming to a close.” All those lovely GNU tools about to be replaced by automatons. Sigh. Change is a given in IT. Fortunately my system is small enough my home-made configuration works well and it will take some effort to implement puppet or one of the other automatic systems.

  • Autotune The News Becomes A Billboard Hit

    From a cultural perspective, though, this whole story again shows how culture is changing in very interesting and powerful ways. When we talk about things like “remixing” and “mashups,” we tend to hear from a chorus of folks who brush off such things as mere copying and not worthy of being considered art in itself. But there’s a lot more to it than that. What makes culture culture is the shared experiences around that work. This song is not only musically interesting, but also calls attention to a horrible incident that happened as well. And, again, some will brush it off as being meaningless, but the power with which it has interested so many people is not something that should be ignored.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Council’s CCTV Spy car on double yellows again

      Medway Council’s CCTV spy car has once again been captured parked on double yellow lines.

      The all-seeing camera car, one of two operated by the council, was parked in a cul-de-sac outside Blockbuster’s Chatham town centre store, off Best Street, on Saturday, July 31.

    • Ex-soldier forbidden from cutting grass around mother’s grave

      Derek Evans started tending the cemetery where his mother is buried after noticing the grass needed cutting.

      The Army pensioner bought a £300 lawnmower and within a year was helping spruce up the gravesides for more than 70 grateful owners.

    • Ciggy Busters

      Gutsy students from Medway have been snatching shoppers’ cigarettes, in an effort to persuade them to kick the habit.

    • Feds: No charges in Philadelphia school laptop-spying case

      Federal prosecutors will not file charges against a school district or its employees over the use of software to remotely monitor students.

      U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger says investigators have found no evidence of criminal intent by Lower Merion School District employees who activated tracking software that took thousands of webcam and screenshot images on school-provided laptops.

    • US combat forces pull out of Iraq

      Sources say that the final section of combat troops in Iraq, the United States Army’s 4th Stryker Brigade, based at Fort Lewis, Washington, have made their way across the border between Iraq and Kuwait, formally ending combat operations within Iraq.

    • Iris Scanners Create the Most Secure City in the World. Welcome, Big Brother

      Biometrics R&D firm Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI) announced today that it is rolling out its iris scanning technology to create what it calls “the most secure city in the world.” In a partnership with Leon — one of the largest cities in Mexico, with a population of more than a million — GRI will fill the city with eye-scanners. That will help law enforcement revolutionize the way we live — not to mention marketers.

    • Facebook login page still leaks sensitive info

      Facebook’s login system continues to spill information that can be helpful to phishers, social engineers and other miscreants attempting to scam the more than 500 million active users of the social networking site.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Biotech Beets Banned

      Last week, a federal district court judge in northern California issued an injunction against planting biotech sugar beets next year. Why? He accepted the activist argument that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must issue a full environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act before permitting the improved sugar beets to be grown. An EIS is required when a federal government agency engages in actions that might be “significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.”

    • Rising temperatures reducing ability of plants to absorb carbon, study warns

      Rising temperatures in the past decade have reduced the ability of the world’s plants to soak up carbon from the atmosphere, scientists said today.

      Large-scale droughts have wiped out plants that would have otherwise absorbed an amount of carbon equivalent to Britain’s annual man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

    • Environment needs Muslim support

      In early March, just days after the Kingdom of Morocco announced plans for a landmark environmental charter called “the first commitment of its kind in Africa and the Arab world”, Mohamed Attaoui was sentenced to two years in prison in the Atlas mountains. His crime? Speaking out against illegal logging of shrinking cedar forests and corruption among the ranks of the forest service and local government officials.

    • Activists set up Climate Camp at Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters

      Hundreds of climate activists have occupied land at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s headquarters in protest at its multi-billion pound loans to the oil and mining industries, including firms involved in exploiting Canadian tar sands.

      The protesters cut through a perimeter fence on Wednesday night, erecting scores of tents and marquees on landscaped meadows a few hundred metres from the headquarters building.

    • BP oil spill: scientists find giant plume of droplets ‘missed’ by official account

      A 22-mile plume of droplets from BP’s Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico undermines claim that oil has degraded

  • Finance

    • Barclays settles ‘data stripping to beat sanctions’ case

      Barclays – which is settling criminal charges of breaking US sanctions by effecting wire transfers with Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma – was accused of stripping out identifying data in the transfers, it has emerged. The bank is awaiting court approval for the $298 million (£190 million) settlement.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • San Francisco’s Free “Organic Biosolids Compost” is Toxic Sludge, and Not Good For You!

      Independent testing commissioned by the Food Rights Network found toxic contaminants in San Francisco’s sewage sludge “compost.” In the sludge product given away free to gardeners from 2007 to March 4, 2010, are contaminants with endocrine-disruptive properties including PBDE flame retardants, nonylphenol detergent breakdown products, and the antibacterial agent triclosan. The independent tests were conducted for the Food Rights Network by Dr. Robert C. Hale of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.

    • USA Today Drinks the Tea

      USA Today’s article emphasizes the decentralized nature of the Tea Party movement, reinforcing the idea that it is solely a grassroots movement. That has been far from the case. USA Today doesn’t mention that, unlike other “grassroots movements,” the Tea Party benefits from major media sponsorship by Fox News, and receives financial backing from corporate lobbyists. The article also fails to describe the many factions of the movement and their origins, which are confusing to many: the Tea Party Patriots (arguably the least well funded and most “grassroots” faction of the movement); the for-profit Tea Party Nation (a domestic for-profit business entity that sells baubles like bejeweled tea bags for $89.95 apiece) and the Tea Party Express, which is basically a professional PR campaign sponsored by FreedomWorks, which is headed by former Republican Majority Leader-turned-lobbyist Dick Armey.

    • Big Farmers Use PR to Boost Their Image

      Documentary movies about the American food industry, like “Food Inc.,” “Fast Food Nation”, “King Corn” and “Supersize Me” for the first time gave millions of people a hard look at modern food production practices, including distasteful realities like factory farming. As a result, more people have become skeptical of modern farming practices and mindful about where their food comes from. But big farmers are starting to fight back.

    • Target Gets “Flashmobbed” for Supporting Right-Winger

      Last month, it was revealed that Target contributed 150,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of conservative, anti-gay candidate Tom Emmer. Agit-pop activists have something to say about that: “Target ain’t people so why should they be, allowed to play around with our democracy!” Watch:

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google rattles Germany

      Google Inc.’s plans to launch its “Street View” mapping service in 20 German cities by year’s end has ignited a debate in Germany over how to reconcile the country’s cherished privacy laws with the realities of the digital age.

    • Ten ways to protect your privacy online

      9) wi-fi – if you’ve got wi-fi at home, give it a good password (see above). Otherwise it allows intruders in with few barriers to overcome.

    • Julian Assange wins Sam Adams Award for Integrity

      The award is judged by a group of retired senior US military and intelligence personnel, and past winners. This year the award to Julian Assange was unanimous.

    • Michael Moore praises suspected WikiLeaks source

      Filmmaker Michael Moore is praising an Army private suspected of releasing classified war records to WikiLeaks and said he would contribute to his defense.

    • North Korea Twitter account banned in South Korea

      South Korea has blocked access to the official North Korea Twitter account, a matter of days after the secretive state started posting messages.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pirate Bay Typo Squatter Applies For US Trademark On Pirate Bay As Well

      It should be no surprise that various malicious typo squatters have targeted The Pirate Bay with fake sites that try to install malware, however Torrentfreak looked a bit deeper and found that one of the typo squatters, a company called BladeBook, appears to be trying to trademark the actual name, as well. Apparently, BladeBook’s Craig Pratka first filed for the trademark the same day that it was announced that The Pirate Bay had been sold to GGF, a deal that eventually fell apart (as did the initial trademark application).

    • Copyrights

      • The High Cost of Copyright:

        In my classes in IP law and copyright, I sometimes have difficulty conveying to students the “cost” side of the copyright regime. That is, though we often make reference to implementing the right copyright “balance” in our law, I think students (and others, for that matter) are often uncertain as to exactly what is being balanced against what. The benefits of a copyright regime are pretty obvious — if you give people a property interest in their creations, they’ll be able to work out market arrangements to receive compensation for them; knowing that in advance, they’ll create more works of art than they otherwise would absent that protection, and we’re all better off as a result. That’s easy enough to see. What’s harder to see is why that principle should ever be limited — if protection yields more creative works, why won’t more protection yield more creative works (to the benefit of all)? Why not make copyright perpetual, and copyright rights as broad and as deep as possible — won’t that get us even more creative works to enjoy? [That’s a viewpoint that many in Congress apparently share, as copyright protection has indeed gotten longer and longer and deeper and broader over the past 50 years or so — helped along, I suppose, by those stacked bundles of unmarked hundred dollar bills left in Congressional anterooms by representatives of the “copyright industries” — hey, don’t sue me, that’s just a joke).

      • Shameful Moments In American History’s Copyright Censorship

        Here is one of the nation’s most prominent television critics at the time effectively admitting that a single copyright suit prevented countless of creative comedic works from being produced at the time – a shameful fact that is surely ignored in most law school and history classes today.

      • Grooveshark Pulled From Apple App Store Amid Record Label Complaints

        After several months of battling App Store reviewers, the on-demand music service finally released its official iOS app last week. The reason for the app’s removal? According to the Grooveshark blog, Apple received a takedown notice from Universal Music Group UK.

        In February, UMG filed a lawsuit against Grooveshark over the service’s use of IP. Grooveshark has also battled — and settled — with the music label EMI.

      • Professor Says News Should Get Special 24 Hour Protections So No Aggregator Can Link To It

        We’ve seen all sorts of really bizarre and downright dangerous plans to change copyright law to favor newspapers, but a new one, posted at Henry Blodget’s Business Insider may be the most ridiculous of all. It starts off with a bunch of really bad assumptions, and then suggests special copyright protections for publications against aggregators, including that no one could repost (even fair use reposting) any content from a daily publication for 24-hours or a week for weekly publications:

        A first suggestion would be to provide newspaper and other journalistic content special protection, so that no part of any story from any daily periodical could be reposted in an online aggregator, or used online for any use other than commentary on the article, for 24 hours; similarly, no part of any story from any weekly publication could be reposted in an online aggregator or for any use purpose other than commentary, for one week.

      • Las Vegas Review-Journal Thinks Suing Sites Over Copyright Will Mean More People Link To It

        Amusingly, the article also has the Righthaven folks admitting some “kinks” that need “to be worked out,” such as the time it sued the very source for an article (apparently, this has happened more than once). In the one case that we wrote about, after that came to light, Righthaven dropped the lawsuit. I’m guessing that after some more lawyers start fighting back against Righthaven, it’s going to discover quite a few more “kinks” in its system.

      • Rocker John Mellencamp likens Internet to A-bomb

        Rocker John Mellencamp said on Tuesday that the Internet was the most dangerous invention since the atomic bomb, although new technology could paradoxically delay the inevitable demise of rock ‘n’ roll.

      • Felicia Day’s Success With The Guild Highlights The Importance Of Authenticity With A Community

        This is a key point that often gets lost in business model discussions. When we talk about different offerings, it’s amazing how much people discount the importance of authenticity as a scarcity. We see it all the time with companies who want to sponsor something, and then have tremendous level of control — losing all of the authenticity and, with it, much of the value (and, eventually, audience). It’s nice to see a situation where a company (in this case, Microsoft) properly recognized when not to get too involved.

      • Our shrinking commons

        “Federal law provides severe civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized reproduction, distribution or exhibition of copyrighted motion pictures.”

        What’s with the many movies we watch at home launching with this threat? You can’t even fast-forward past it! And what’s with day-care centers being threatened for decorating with Mickey Mouse images? And club proprietors who must caution open-mike artists against strumming published songs? Are rockers who fold in a few seconds from some popular work, and visual artists who quote commercial imagery, really thieves?

        It wasn’t always that way. Such cultural expression was, for centuries past, sharing, not theft. We’ve moved radically far in a long process of intellectual enclosure, privatizing and shutting down a vigorous cultural commons.

        Lewis Hyde, MacArthur Fellow and professor at Kenyon and Harvard, offers a brilliant and absorbing account of the development of restrictive and enduring private ownership of shared experience. “Common as Air” develops, in Hyde’s own words, “a model and defense of our ‘cultural commons,’ that vast store of unowned ideas, inventions and works of art that we have inherited from the past and that we continue to create.”

Clip of the Day

Microsoft The Embarrasing moments

Links 20/8/2010: Google Chat Now on GNU/Linux, GNOME 2.32 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Supporting Multi-Touch In Non-Multi-Touch Linux Apps

    After the release of the Ubuntu Multi-Touch stack called UTouch and the X.Org Gesture Extension, the rising question would be the support of everyday applications, as only a few applications in Ubuntu 10.10 will properly support UTouch. Standard applications which are non-multi-touch-aware only recognize events which come from the keyboard and the mouse like key-presses and mouse clicks.

  • Desktop

    • [compiz] The final piece of the puzzle
    • LLVMpipe & Compiz 0.9 Still Don’t Play Along

      LLVMpipe is an especially interesting Gallium3D driver since it allows accelerating the state trackers atop any modern CPU, but for any close to decent level of performance when using OpenGL you need a hefty multi-core CPU (here’s some LLVMpipe benchmarks just from last week) that supports the latest SSE4 instructions as well. While some OpenGL games will run with LLVMpipe and the performance of this driver that leverages the Low-Level Virtual Machine is much faster and better than Mesa’s old software rasterizer or the Gallium3D Softpipe driver, Compiz nor the GNOME Shell (and most other compositing window managers) yet work with this driver.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 163 – The Frostbite Empire

      In this special episode we interview blind Linux user Jonathan Nadeau about his company Frostbite Systems that sells blind-optimised computers, his podcast network Frostbite Media and much more…

    • Episode 0x2D:Updated Discussion

      Karen and Bradley discuss the enforcement activities of the Software Freedom Conservancy, recent conferences and medical devices.

    • Podcast 81 Mona Interview (GentooApologetin)

      Interview with longtime Gentoo user Mona, third place finisher in the recent 2010 Gentoo screenshot contest. If you would prefer to read the interview, Mona provided a transcript below.

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 15

      In this episode: Ubuntu 10.10 is going to add gesture support and 11.04 is going to be called the Natty Narwhal. Debian 6.0 has been feature frozen while Oracle sets its sights on Google. Discover how we fared with our Nethack challenge and how we filled the Open Ballot section without an Open Ballot.

  • Google

    • Google now supporting voice and video chat on Linux

      Google now supporting voice and video chat on Linux

      Google has finally updated their web based talk service to support voice and video chat on Linux.

    • Google’s App Engine now multi-tenant capable

      Further details about the release can be found in the release notes. Version 1.3.6 of the Google App Engine SDK is available to download from Google Code.

    • Chrome Web Store Slated For October Launch, Google Taking A Mere 5% Cut Of Revenue

      Gaming portal 1Up.com has detailed a presentation given by Google developer advocates Mark DeLoura and Michael Mahemoff at GDC Europe that contains new details about the Chrome Web Store — a feature first announced at Google I/O that will allow users to purchase web applications from their Chrome web browsers. During their talk, the Google employees revealed that the Web Store is going to (probably) launch in October, and they gave more details on how the web store’s payments would work.

    • Android Developers Bemoan Paid App Limits

      Android developers can distribute their software for free in 46 countries, but they can only sell apps in 13 countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.

  • Kernel Space

    • The IRMOS realtime scheduler

      In the context of the IRMOS European Project (Interactive Real-Time Applications on Service-Oriented Infrastructures), a new realtime scheduler for Linux has been developed by the Real-Time Systems Laboratory of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa. The purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of this new scheduler, describe its features and how it can be practically used, provide a few details about the implemented algorithms, and gathering feedback by the community about possible improvements.

    • Graphics Stack

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

        With the imminent release of X.Org Server 1.9, last week we delivered benchmarks of Intel’s 2D driver performance with X.Org Server 1.9. In those tests we found Intel’s UXA (UMA Acceleration Architecture) performance only changed a bit — for either better or worse — with the updated X Server, but today we are looking at the 2D EXA performance using ATI Radeon hardware using this soon-to-be-released X Server.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Ingo Malchow
      • KDE 4.5 Trades Revolution for Evolution

        By the standards of previous releases in the KDE 4 series, KDE 4.5 is tame. It has few new applications, and introduces no new technologies. Yet with its combination of small innovations and interface improvements, KDE 4.5 still manages to be a release worth installing. Although it does not try to expand the concept of the desktop, it does make KDE easier to use in dozens of small and satisfying ways.

        Released August 10, KDE 4.5 is already packaged for many major distributions, including Fedora, Mandriva, openSUSE, and Ubuntu, although in some cases you will have to look in the developmental repositories rather than the main ones. Source code is also available from the project. Those who want to try it before installing can download the latest CD from openSUSE’s KDE Four Live site.

      • The KDE 4.5 Semantic Desktop

        My last article I spoke about the new KDE Activities features Search and Launch Containment Activity (see my article “Using the KDE 4.5 Search and Launch Containment Activity“). This is the first visible sign of KDE’s use of the Nepomuk Semantic Desktop. Nepomuk is a system that uses metadata throughout the desktop to aid in file search and peer to peer collaboration. So far the project has yet to reach its full potential (as it is quite new to the desktop).

        Strigi, on the other hand, is the desktop search daemon that runs on the KDE desktop. It is these two components that help to create the KDE 4.5 Semantic Desktop (a desktop who’s data is easily shared between components). In this article I will introduce you to these two components and how you interact with them to make your KDE desktop as fluid as possible.

      • Working Upstream.

        On the website of an Austrian (no kangaroos!) newspaper, I read an interview with Canonical’s Jono Bacon. In this interview, Jono talks about the process of developing central components of the desktop inside Canonical. The process is basically that Canonical’s design department, Ayatana develops components. When they are finished, they’re offered for inclusion into GNOME, which was not a successful in all cases yet. According to Jono this is “working upstream”, explaining that in this context Ayatana is the upstream. GNOME is seen as a provider of components, building blocks for Ubuntu’s user experience.

        The definition Jono handles of upstream development is quite different from how it works for me. I can speak of personal and professional experience in this context, as I have been working quite a lot on central components of the Plasma Desktop (and Netbook as well). I have done this work both, as a voluntary contributor in my Free time (pun intended), and continue to do so in my working hours for open-slx. open-slx happens to sell and support Linux deskop operating systems.

      • Ubuntu One – The KDE Way

        Over the past couple of months I had the great opportunity of taking part in this year’s Google Summer of Code. I moved out to bring Ubuntu One to the KDE desktop and I think I was rather successful with it, now all I need to do is find someone who is willing to maintain it … ;-) Now that Google Summer of Code is over I will continue focusing my efforts on Kubuntu and general distribution development which is the reason I would very much like to find someone who is willing to maintain it.

      • How to Install KDE 4.5

        For other Linux distributions, FreeBSD, and other operating systems, you should check the official websites, wikis, announcement sections of forums, and mailing lists to see if KDE 4.5 will be included in their repositories and/or future releases.

      • The KDE 4.5 Notification Area
      • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – 2010-08-18

        This week on a very steamy episode of KDEMU we have Lydia Pintscher, GSoC and Season of KDE cat herder.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2.32 Beta 1 Is Here

        The first beta of the upcoming GNOME 2.32 has landed to give early adopters, distro builders, developers and generally curious people a taste of things to come.

        GNOME 2.32 Beta 1, technically GNOME 2.31.90, is somewhat of a new development since the next release of the popular desktop environment was supposed to be the all-powerful GNOME 3.0.

      • The GNOME Developers Put Out The First SeedKit Release

        The GNOME developers have announced their first public release (v0.1) of SeedKit, consisting of both the GNOME SeedKit Viewer and the SeedKit library. GNOME’s SeedKit is designed to blend web technologies (namely HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript) into the GNOME desktop by allowing native user-interfaces to be written in these web technologies. SeedKit leverages GTK+, WebKit, and Seed to lower the barrier to creating new user-interfaces for the GNOME desktop. SeedKit was inspired by Palm’s WebOS SDK and Mozilla’s JetPack.

  • Distributions

    • Untangle Gateway- An open source solution for blocking spam, spyware, viruses, adware and unwanted content on the network
    • Reviews

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 2 Linux Mint LXDE

        Day Two. Our weapon of choice: Linux Mint 9 LXDE.

        On the face of it Linux Mint LXDE is just a tweaked Lubuntu, but there is more to it than that.

        It features (many) more software packages on install, codecs pre-installed, and some “heavier” packages like Thunderbird.

      • Arch Linux – Minimal, Lightweight, Flexible & Easy to Use Linux Distribution

        Arch Linux is a lightweight, flexible and simple Linux Distribution which is targeted at competent GNU/Linux users. Its Development focuses on a balance of minimalism, elegance, code correctness and modernity. It provides a minimal environment upon installation, (no GUI), already compiled and optimized for i686/x86-64 architectures. We already discussed about a lot of Linux Distros and also How to create your own Linux Distribution.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 4 – Sabayon Five-Oh LXDE

        Today we give Sabayon Five-Oh a run. Three of the four distros we reviewed this week have been using LXDE as its desktop environment.

        Sabayon is the first distro we are having a look at that have not been Ubuntu based or a variant of Ubuntu.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva S.A. – Financial and Strategic Analysis Review – new company profile and analysis released

        Mandriva S.A. Mandriva is an online retailer of Linux software products. The company is engaged in the development and distribution operations of Mandriva Linux products, software applications, storage devices and drives, USB speakers, support and training applications and goodies. Mandriva’s main products are Mandriva directory server, Linbox rescue server, corporate server 4, Pulse 2 and corporate desktop. The company also
        provides online download of its software products. The company caters to corporate enterprises, government organizations, and educational and technical institutions. The company has operations across 140 countries, and offices across France, Brazil and the U.S.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Pursuing Certification For RHEL 6, Hypervisor

        Red Hat is pursuing a certification for its Linux OS and virtualization, paving the way for government agencies to use the technology to create secure, virtualized IT environments and private clouds.

        The Linux vendor has entered into an agreement with Atsec information security to certify Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 under Common Criteria at Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 4, according to a Red Hat blog post.

      • Red Hat (RHT) Price Soars Above the 50-Day Moving Average

        Red Hat shares have crossed above the 50-day moving average on lighter than usual volume. The crossing of the stock price above the moving average may signal the beginning of a bullish trend. Today, shares of RHT rose $0.86(+2.77%) to $31.88. RHT traded between the range of $31.20 – $32.08. Today’s trading activities for Red Hat stock may be a sign that the shares will continue to head higher in the foreseeable future assuming the moving average has upward slope.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Extended Life Cycle Support Launched

        Today, the Red Hat team is excited to launch Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS) for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This is an optional subscription offering that provides support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux for longer than its standard seven-year life cycle.

        With Extended Life Cycle Support customers can receive limited software maintenance and technical support services for an additional three years, extending the life cycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to a full ten years. The seven-year life cycle of a Red Hat Enterprise Linux release generally applies to major versions, so, for example, the standard life cycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 runs from October 2003, when it was released, to October 2010. For customers who purchase ELS, which is sold as an add-on to an existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, the support life cycle can be extended to October 2013.

      • Fedora

        • Droid X and Fedora.

          I’d heard really good things about the new generation Android phones, especially their playing nice with Linux hosts. So I decided it was high time I tried something new rather than simply queuing up for a new and spiffier prison cell (iPhone). Based on the reviews of service in Consumer Reports, Verizon was far and away the leader in customer satisfaction. I decided to concentrate on their offerings, and was thrilled to find the new Droid X (info: Flash site) was now shipping, albeit with a few weeks’ wait.

        • fedoracommunity.org website design progressing

          So a while back I talked a bit about the fedoracommunity.org website project that the Fedora Websites team has been working on, including the vision behind it and the work that had been done on it up to that point.

        • Fedora 14 Alpha is go!

          As John posted last night, Fedora 14 Alpha was declared ready for release next week. Although there was a one-week slip to handle the fact that our blocker list wasn’t clear, Fedora developers and testers in the community have worked hard together both to resolve the remaining issues and make sure that our Alpha would pass the release criteria. There were a number of developers who hopped in to fix things quickly to yield package builds that would clear the runway, so thanks to all of you guys.

    • Debian Family

      • Where do Debian Developers Come From?

        In a study not likely to cause controversy, Christian Perrier has published the results of his analysis of the number of Debian developers per country. He ran the analysis last year for the first time, so one can see the progress or recession in the last year. No matter where you call home, the numbers are quite interesting.

        The land that gave the world Linus Torvald also gives the world the most Debian developers per million population. Ranked number one last year as well, Finland is home to 3.92 active developers per one million souls. In second place is Switzerland with 2.83 per million. New Zealand holds a very respectable third place with 2.51 per million. The United Kingdom beats out the United States with their 1.03 developers per million to .53. In last place is the Ukraine, China, and India. Making their first showing this year is Ecuador with one new developer or .07 developers per million people. Sweden, who ranked third last year, fell to sixth this year. Ireland has gained three new developers bringing their total to nine which allows them to hold ninth place, up from 13.

      • Debian Project News – August 9th, 2010

        Welcome to this year’s ninth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * The Debian project Release Team announces an official Freeze
        * Annual Debian Developer Conference 2010 ended
        * A free (as in speech) Debian book in the making
        * Second alpha version for “Squeeze”-based Debian Live images
        * Net-installation CD images with firmware available
        * Debian Edu/Skolelinux 6.0.0 alpha0 test release
        * ZFS support in unstable on kFreeBSD ports
        * Debian-Accessibility is using Blends web sentinel
        * Debian GIS project will release Blends metapackages in “Squeeze”
        * DebiChem project will release Blends metapackages in “Squeeze”
        * DebConf11 logo contest
        * When should services started by init.d scripts be operational?
        * Different statistics about Debian
        * Building all files from source

      • Debian: Yesterday’s Distribution?

        For another thing, while some distributions are more concerned than others about ease of use, today what increasingly determines that factor is not distributions themselves so much as the desktop that is in use. Using GNOME or KDE on Debian is not so different than using GNOME or KDE on Ubuntu, despite Ubuntu’s recent usability efforts.

      • Developers with feet in Debian and Ubuntu

        This is a list of people who are in ubuntu-dev or ubuntu-core-dev AND have their key in the Debian keyring, it’s not an indicator of how active that person may or may not be. Here are the scripts they used if you’re interested in working on this sort of thing.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 206

          In This Issue

          * Ubuntu Global Jam: We Need Your Events!
          * Feature Freeze in place for Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)
          * Making Ubuntu More Accessible
          * Talking about Ubuntu Studio with Scott Lavender, Project Lead for Ubuntu Studio
          * Another Heated Discussion In the Ubuntu Community
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * LoCo News
          * Launchpad News
          * This week In Design – 13 August 2010
          * Finding The Ubuntu Font Design
          * How are your users feeling? Example from Rhythmbox
          * An Update to the Ubuntu Light Themes
          * Awesome Work Others Have Done
          * Hugs For Bugs!
          * Can We Count Users Without Uniquely Identifying Them?
          * Revving up the Ubuntu Manual Project for Maverick
          * Behind MOTU Relaunches As Behind The Circle
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Linux Foundation Makes Enterprise Open Source Boring
          * KDE’s New Releases Make a Splash
          * LinuxCon Grapples With Challenges, From Mobile To Multicore
          * Fotoxx — the Greatest Little Linux Photo Editor You’ve Never Heard Of
          * Zenoss Releases 2010 Open Source Systems Management Survey Report
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * UWN Sneak Peek
          * And Much Much More!

        • Reasons to Love Ubuntu
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Codename “Natty Narwhal” Release Schedule
        • Calling my shot

          I predict that Ubuntu 11.10 will be named “Ostentatious Ocelot”.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint Ice review

            Does Peppermint Ice, the new cloud-oriented desktop distro, have what it takes to do for desktops what Jolicloud and Google Chrome OS are doing for netbooks?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Be A Community Manager

    Some communities put a great deal of emphasis on the developers/testers group with limited time for users while others engage the users at a higher rate than developers/testers and also increase time on champions. I believe in solution B as an engaged user community significantly increases the feedback for developers and allows the project to expand into a significant force in the industry. I also believe that champions come from the user group and the more champions a community has the more successful it is.

  • Open-source cuts through intell community’s red tape

    Intelligence analysts will soon have a new idea- and decision-management tool. Called Analysis of Competing Hypotheses, the software is an open-source version of a proprietary program developed for the intelligence community.

    ACH allows analysts to start with a great deal of data and find those data points that support or undermine various hypotheses, but it is a single-user system. Matthew Burton, a Web strategy consultant and former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, has tried for three years to develop a collaborative version so that multiple analysts could study the same hypotheses simultaneously, but he has been stymied by incompatibility with proprietary software specifications and licensing issues.

  • Open Source Contributor Agreements: Some Examples

    The first part of this article explained the purpose and scope of Contributor Agreements in open source projects. This article presents an overview of some Contributor Agreements that are used in the community.

    Contributor Agreements come in all shape and forms, ranging from full-fledged Contributor License Agreements (CLA) that have to be signed to informal consent to some set of rules. This article will take a look at a number of different agreements in order to show that community norms can vary widely.

  • Performance vs Readability: the biggest dilemma

    Let’s say you want to start a FLOSS project.
    How many people did that up to now? Many.
    But there is a problem, or better, a conflict of goals.

    In one hand, you have the need of making your code fast enough. Which task is even more complex if you are using an interpreted language (for reasons out of the scope of this blog post). On the other hand (:D) there is the very important requirement of keeping your code human readable.
    Languages, in general, have several “syntax levels” basing on developer’s skills. Newbies tend to stick to what is the standard way of writing, say, a for loop, while more skilled people are able to exploit all the potential of the language by using very exotic “code constructs”. Again, I don’t want to get into any particular language here, I just want to explain the trade-off that a developer, especially a FLOSS one has to accept when writing software

  • Free Interaction Design for your FLOSS Project

    Now, I know there are tons of you out there who are ready for interaction design help and are definitely willing to work with designers, because I hear from you all the time! There’s not enough interaction designers in the FLOSS community, and I believe programs like Matt’s that engage up-and-coming designers in the FLOSS community early on will help build up our interaction designer population. They provide a wonderful mutual benefit – the design students get to work on real-life projects, not just throw-away designs that are abandoned forever at the end of the semester – and the developers involved get the design help they desire but have such a hard time finding because of the dearth of designers. Help provide these students a great experience in interacting with our community, and maybe they’ll stick around!

  • Reaching Out To Which Community?

    That non-technical user is the future of FOSS. If we don’t reach out to that person and get them using FOSS, it’s only a matter of time before Linux on the desktop is synonymous with OS/2. Yes, I acknowledge that Linux powers the Internet, and most of the search traffic and the most e-commerce and most supercomputers, etc . . . but that’s not enough. People have to know they are using Linux and FOSS and that means it has to power their desktop. In the absence of an awesome Linux desktop marketing machine (Canonical is good, but they’ve got a ways to go before they can match the awesome marketing of Microsoft, or that up and comer, Apple, it’s up to us. The community. We’ve got to speak with something resembling a unified voice, delivering a consistent, inclusive message.

  • Reducing Code Risks with Open Source
  • Ready to be an open source contributor but don’t know where to start?

    In early 2009, as the stories of many websites begin, a few college friends were considering what kind of project they might start together. In this particular case, the result was OpenHatch.

    OpenHatch is a place for developers who want to be involved in open source but don’t know where to start. You can go to the site and search for a way to contribute based on a language you know or a project you like. You can even search for “bite-size bugs,” the bugs that have been tagged by a project as being specifically good for new contributors.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4: One generation ahead of everyone else speedwise
      • Mozilla Sees You Using Chrome Alongside Firefox

        Blizzard also notes that the next major version of Firefox, 4.0, will be “a generation ahead” in terms of Javascript speed, but does it really matter if it’s so much faster than Chrome. Every iteration of benchmark tests between the two seems to show them neck-and-neck. As Blizzard notes many people are doing, I’m going to stick with both open source browsers, which, at this point, are defining browser innovation.

      • The popularity of Firefox around the world

        Although the growth of Firefox has stagnated a bit lately due to the increasing competition from rival browsers, it’s still one of the biggest success stories in the history of the Internet and has the second-largest user base of any web browser.

        Firefox has a widespread global user base, but we wanted to find out where it is most common, or another way of looking at it: how are the Firefox users distributed?

  • Oracle

    • When open source sells out.

      An open source project is generally conceived and implemented by a single person or small group. This conceiver and controller of the open source project has the most knowledge of the project. It is their vision which determines the direction of the project and they have the ultimate say in what contributions are accepted. When an open source project is sold out it is generally with their blessing and they continue working on the project under the mantle of the new owner.

    • OpenOffice by the book

      Called Open The Door, the book is not so much a manual for the office suite as it is a guide to making the most of OpenOffice.org. So while it includes advice on installing and using OpenOffice.org on Windows and Mac OS X machines, it is also focused on helping users make effective use of OpenOffice.

    • Illumos begins diverging from OpenSolaris

      According to Garret D’Amore, Illumos project leader, the recently launched derivative is beginning to diverge from OpenSolaris. D’Amore has noted in his blog that he believes the last commit to Oracle’s public repository for ON, the core of OpenSolaris, has been made. According to a leaked memo revealed earlier this week, Oracle are ceasing open development of Solaris and will discontinue OpenSolaris, migrating users to Solaris Express 11.

    • The OpenSolaris-Based Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 Released

      Last week we found out that Oracle is killing off OpenSolaris and that there will no be OpenSolaris 2010.xx release as we’ve been waiting on for months, their Solaris code-base will be developed behind closed-doors, and only after the enterprise Solaris release will there be a “Solaris Express” release intended as the replacement to OpenSolaris. Though derived from the OpenSolaris code-base there has been a few community derivative operating systems such as Nexenta, StormOS (based off of Nexenta Core Platform but shipping as a desktop OS), and BeleniX. While OpenSolaris may now be dead, Nexenta at least is still living and today they’re out with their Nexenta Core Platform 3.0 release.

    • Oracle loses another DTrace creator

      Leventhal said, in a blog posting, that at Sun he had found himself “surrounded by superlative engineers” and that he felt lucky to have worked with Cantrill and Shapiro on DTrace. Most recently, Leventhal had been working on Fishworks, Sun’s Solaris based storage system technology. Leventhal does not say what he will be doing next, only that he is “off to look for my next remarkable place and time beyond the walls of Oracle”. It is possible he could follow in Cantrill’s footsteps; within days of leaving, it was announced he had become Vice President of Engineering at Joyent, one of the companies involved in the OpenSolaris derivative Illumos which was launched at the beginning of August.

    • Oracle vs Google: Triple Damage!

    • Eben Moglen on what it takes to keep defending FOSS

      Eben Moglen’s keynote address at LinuxCon last week, “Doing What it Takes: Current Legal Issues in Defending FOSS,” called for a strategic shift in the free software movement. Moglen, the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and one of the principal drafters of the GPLv3, said the economy of sharing and the economy of ownership are not mutually hostile, but mutually reinforcing, then outlined three steps for ensuring the continued coexistence between the free software and business communities. For those who missed Moglen’s speech, here is a summary of his ideas on what it will take to ensure the health of the FOSS ecosystem.

  • Government

    • Spook developer speaks! An interview with Matthew Burton

      I’ve never seen it in action, but DHS’s Virtual USA project sounds remarkable. On top of using open source software to build it, the objective of the project is to break another government taboo: sharing information with other agencies and levels of government. Having been an intelligence analyst who relied a lot on mapping tools and was constantly frustrated by the inability to share geographic data even within your own building, it’s apparent that if Virtual USA delivers, it’s going to dramatically change how first responders work.

  • Programming

    • Vim editor learns Python 3

      More than two years since the 7.2 release, Vim creator Bram Moolenaar has announced the arrival of version 7.3 of his open source text editor. Vim, an acronym for “Vi iMproved”, was originally created for the Amiga computer as an extended version of the vi editor, with several additional features aimed at editing source code.


  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Russian Scholar Warns Of ‘Secret’ U.S. Climate Change Weapon

      As Muscovites suffer record high temperatures this summer, a Russian political scientist has claimed the United States may be using climate-change weapons to alter the temperatures and crop yields of Russia and other Central Asian countries.

      In a recent article, Andrei Areshev, deputy director of the Strategic Culture Foundation, wrote, “At the moment, climate weapons may be reaching their target capacity and may be used to provoke droughts, erase crops, and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries.”

    • Earth’s Overdraft Notice
    • Why has extreme weather failed to heat up climate debate?
    • Scientists dispute White House claim that spilled BP oil has vanished

      Earlier this month, government scientists reported that about 75% of the oil had been captured, burned off, evaporated or broken down in the Gulf.

      But University of South Florida scientists, returning from a 10-day research voyage, said they found oil on the ocean floor in the DeSoto canyon, a prime spawning ground for fish far to the east of BP’s rogue oil well. Preliminary results suggested that oil was getting into the phytoplankton, the microscopic plants at the bottom of the Gulf food chain.

  • Finance

    • The Revolving Door Between Goldman Sachs and the Obama Administration

      At a time when Congressional hearings are set to call testimony from some Goldman Sachs employees, it is vital to understand how widespread that institution’s ties are to the Obama administration. This diary shows the pervasive influence of Goldman Sachs and Goldman created institutions (like the Hamilton Project embedded in the Brookings Institution), employees and influence peddlers in the Obama administration.

    • UPDATE: The Revolving Door Between Goldman Sachs and the Obama Administration
    • Wonkbook: GM announces IPO; FinReg covers banker pay; small biz losing jobs; the tax cuts and you

      In what is due to be among the biggest stock offerings in history, GM has announced its initial public offering after being bailed out by the federal government. You’ll be hearing a lot about this as the administration tries to sell its record this fall. Meanwhile, a little-noticed provision in FinReg will allow the federal regulators to limit executive pay if they so choose; the bulk of private-sector job losses are coming from small businesses; a handy interactive graphic allows you to see how different approaches to the expiring Bush tax cuts would affect you; a handy paper will help you figure out the Fannie and Freddie debate; and a handy cover of some 90s alt-rock will start your morning right.

    • New rules on student debt shouldn’t be limited to for-profit colleges

      The Obama administration wants for-profit career colleges to better prepare students for gainful employment and to improve debt-repayment rates. The government is threatening to pull access to federal student aid for colleges that fail to show progress.

      Under the administration’s proposed rules, if a program graduated a large share of students with excessive debt compared with potential earnings in their chosen fields, it would be required to disclose this information to current and prospective students.

    • Wall Street reform gives regulators power over executive pay

      The pay decisions made by regulators will apply not only to banks but also to brokerages, credit unions, investment advisers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and other financial firms with $1 billion or more in assets.

    • SEC will discuss ‘proxy access’ rules for shareholders to nominate directors

      The SEC has considered permitting so-called proxy access since 2003, only to back away in the face of opposition from companies. Public pension funds, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers), say the change is needed to make directors more accountable to investors rather than rubber stamps for management.

    • Judge criticises US over ‘soft’ fine for Barclays BankJudge criticises US over ‘soft’ fine for Barclays Bank

      A judge has attacked the US government for striking a “sweetheart deal” with Barclays to settle criminal charges that the British bank flouted international sanctions by doing clandestine business with Iran, Cuba, Libya, Sudan and Burma.

      At a court hearing in Washington yesterday, judge Emmet Sullivan refused to rubber-stamp an agreement under which Barclays consented to pay $298m to settle charges that its staff deliberately concealed transactions with financial institutions in regimes frozen out by US foreign policy.

    • Prosecutors under fire from US judge over leniency for Barclays

      Barclays Barclays told a US court that the bank has tightened its procedures and improved staff training. Photograph Andy Rain/EPA

      A US judge reluctantly accepted a $298m (£191m) fine from Barclays today to settle criminal charges of flouting international sanctions, despite criticising federal prosecutors for using “kid gloves” by failing to throw the book at specific executives within the British bank.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net Neutrality: Threat or Menace?

      My personal take on Net Neutrality is that ISPs should treat all packets equally. I do not like the idea of being forced to host all my videos on YouTube or another huge site that can afford to make special deals with broadband providers such as Brighthouse, my local cable TV monopoly, instead of on my friend Joe’s Globaltap hosting service.

    • U.S. Representatives Urge Net Neutrality

Clip of the Day

KDE Plasma Mobile Tablet edition

Oracle in the SCO Case

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents, Samsung, SCO at 1:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amiga UNIX

Summary: Microsoft ‘Linux tax’, SCO ‘Linux tax’, Oracle ‘Java tax’, and Novell/Samsung’s role in legitimising such unjust extortion

EARLIER in the week there was a discussion about Oracle in the SCO case, but it was all lost in the storm about the legal battle versus Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. From Groklaw:

Oracle and Novell File Reservations of Rights RE SCO’s Bankruptcy Sale Plan


Oracle, as well as Novell, have both filed a Reservation of Rights objecting to SCO’s Motion in bankruptcy court to sell off all the assets, all but the litigation and whatever is on the list of excluded assets. If you recall, Oracle made an appearance in connection with an earlier SCO sales scheme, and now it says SCO needs to tell it more detailed information about the new plan and amend it, if any Oracle contracts are involved. “At this time, Oracle does not consent to any proposed assignment or transfer of use via the Sale Motion or otherwise, as proposed transfers must be in compliance with the license terms,” Oracle tells the court. It has copyrights and patents on this software, it points out. Not that it needs to mention that this week. We are aware.

Isn’t it ironic that Oracle is now ‘pulling a SCO’? Just over 3 years ago Microsoft did this thanks to its deal with Novell. Here is another update about SCO:

They maybe should have listened to Eben Moglen’s words in that same article:

“I feel like a broken record – from first to last, I’ve never had to change,” Moglen said. “SCO’s bluffing, whistling up the wind. They ruined a company that had a business and customers that cared. It was a vulgar and selfish thing that has no basis in law and no basis in fact. It’s clear to everyone that the whole thing’s a sham and a failure.”

Well, not exactly *everyone*, because five years later, the dance continues. Why?

I wonder if Mr. Cahn ever sees articles like this one from 2005. If he had been there five years ago, who would he have believed? Boies Schiller and Darl or Eben Moglen? I think we know the answer to that. But would he have been wise? Ah, that is the question.

The difference between Microsoft and SCO is, Microsoft has already managed to tax Linux without ever showing evidence to support entitlement. Samsung, for example, pays Microsoft for Linux-based products that it ships, including those many Android phones which receive positive reviews. There is this new Android tablet, but LinuxForDevices obscures the news with a discussion about Samsung’s own Android tablet, which will also be taxed by Microsoft.

A startup called Stream TV Networks is readying a seven-inch Android tablet called the eLocity A7, with preorders starting Aug. 24. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet will be unveiled in two weeks at the IFA 2010 show in Berlin, and will run Android 2.2, reports say.

4 years or so after the Microsoft/Novell deal it seems like to a certain extent Microsoft managed to complete a task it first assigned to SCO (or supported SCO in establishing). The only effective solution is to continue to avoid products from companies that pay Microsoft for Linux. This includes Novell, which continues to promote Pulse [1, 2, 3] in products like GroupWise (proprietary) while also promoting other proprietary software, occasionally wrapping things in an “open source” blanket. One example of this is “OpenSUSE” which, although a technically fine distribution (see this new video, “Perfect Server” guide, and review from Jim Lynch), is still Novell’s property. It’s a way for Novell to advance Ballnux (SLE*), which some call “Microsoft Linux”.

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