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08.20.10

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

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 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!
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • 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.

Leftovers

  • 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


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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Gravatar

    When oil “breaks down” in the Gulf or any other body of water, it causes much more harm than when just floating around on the surface. Once it can break down enough dissolve in the water you have a lot of poisonous water instead of a few drops of oil.

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