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09.07.10

Red Hat Should Eliminate All of Its Patents, or At Least Attach Self-Destructive Clauses to Them

Posted in GNU/Linux, Oracle, Patents, Red Hat, SUN at 8:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time Bomb DVD

Summary: In order to prevent software patents which are owned by Red Hat from falling into the wrong hands (e.g. in an acquisition like Oracle’s), something should be done to diffuse them

Red Hat’s patents are a subject we previously wrote about in posts such as:

Over a week after those scary SAP rumours we checked to see if Red Hat has done something to ensure that its patents will self-explode if they reach the wrong hands (like Oracle getting Sun’s Java patents). “I discussed that with @webmaven a few weeks ago,” Richard Fontana (Red Hat) told me today. It does not seem like progress has been made since then. Red Hat really needs to ensure that its portfolio does not get used against the Free software community in the same sense that Sun’s portfolio is being misused right now [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13].

“Red Hat really needs to ensure that its portfolio does not get used against the Free software community in the same sense that Sun’s portfolio is being misused right now.”Does Red Hat really need patents? I had a discussion about it with Red Hat earlier today and I was left overwhelmingly unconvinced. Hugo Roy, a software freedom activist whom we mentioned in the previous post, writes that “In 1985, someone filed a patent for a brilliant invention: the “Tool”

“I haven’t looked at the patent itself,” he told me, “so I don’t know if we can really say that. But sure, the title is not credible”

Patents have become so controversial that major newspapers occasionally call for an overhaul and maybe even abolition. We saw some examples last week.

Here is a new CERN article from the New Scientist. It helps show patents versus science, not for science:

You might imagine that vast patent royalties flow into the organisation that invented the touchscreen and the World Wide Web. But the atom-smashing outfit CERN, cradle of both these technologies, doesn’t make a bean from either.

The particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, has been reluctant to patent the inventions it creates in pursuit of exotic subatomic entities. But it hopes that will soon change: last week, it struck a deal with the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to ensure that it profits better from its engineers’ innovations in fields like imaging, computing, particle detection and superconducting magnets, says international relations adviser Maurizio Bona.

If Red Hat still sidles with science and not with patents (or the USPTO which legitimises software patents), then it will take care of those potentially-destructive weapons it has in its hands/arsenal. It’s too late to do this if/when a takeover is imminent. Red Hat has just announced the hiring of a lobbyist (“Mark Bohannon to Lead Red Hat Governmental Affairs and Public Policy” as pasted here) and together with the practice of software patents, Red Hat is at risk of being called a hypocrite; it doesn’t need to be.

Red Hat is not the only GNU/Linux proponent which claims to be collecting “defensive” software patents. Red Hat is unique though. IBM and Google, for example, are somewhat different in this case because they are not in a position where they can practically be sold along with their patents (not any time soon).

Apple Sells Perception of Self Worth and Snubs Everything Which is Free

Posted in Apple, BSD, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Marketing at 7:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

L'Oreal - Apple

Summary: Apple’s marketing technique is similar to L’Oréal’s, whose famous advertising slogan is “because I’m worth it”; Apple continues to serve as a barrier to GNU/Linux adoption

The FSFE’s Hugo Roy, who was in touch with Steve Jobs regarding Ogg and patents, says that “Steve Jobs’ business secret is pricing, not design.” He has just found the following two articles:

Steve Jobs “never had any designs. He has not designed a single project”

[...]

In short, Jobs’ only contribution to the Macintosh project was to try unsuccessfully to cancel it.

 

How Apple plays the pricing game

Next time you’re sitting at an airport bar and hear two businesspeople debate whether Apple is a technology or design company, chime in: “Nope. What Steve Jobs sells is pricing.”

Pricing? You bet.

Jobs is a master of using pricing decoys, reference prices, bundling and obscurity to make you think his shiny aluminum toys are a good deal. Apple’s Sept. 1 announcement of new products was a classic

The popular iPod Touch media player has been revamped at three price points – $229, $299, and $399 – all costing more than the iPhone, which does everything the Touch can plus make phone calls.

Apple has this new thing going on and it’s called “Ping”, which GigaOM claims to be stuck inside “Walled Garden” (once again this whole exclusivity factor):

As I discuss in a post at GigaOM Pro, Ping’s lack of integration with other social networks, or even with the web itself, is now its most compelling feature, at least from a strategic perspective.

Here is the effect on GNU/Linux users:

Users have to upgrade their iTunes installation to access Ping. Something that you cannot do on Linux.

Apple probably hates Linux so much that they intentionally integrated Ping in iTunes to block Linux users. Just kidding of course.

Apple hardly ever cares about supporting free platforms like BSD and GNU/Linux. That’s just why Apple is far from a friend of “Open Source” and merely an exploiter. It also makes defective products in the same factories as all of its rivals (the branding is different and there is retaliation). But some go too far by blaming hypePod for what’s generally just the fault of any portable media player (PMP). From The Age:

Pedestrian death rise blamed on iPods

The ”iPod zombie trance” people get into when walking, driving or pedalling around listening to their mobile devices is being blamed for an increase in collisions and even deaths in Europe and the US.

The issue has been highlighted in Sydney by the death of a 46-year-old Glebe woman reportedly wearing headphones when she was knocked down and killed by an ambulance on Saturday night.

Well, that’s just like blaming particular console makers for violent games and what these games may cause. In any case, Apple has many reasons to be distrusted and ignorant customers is not one of them. It’s them who pay a premium only to feel better than fellow human beings (Apple sells them this arrogance) and exclude others.

IRC Proceedings: September 7th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Microsoft Tax in Televisions, Thanks to Ballnux

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, LG, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 6:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TV restrictions

Summary: More new televisions run Linux, but not the type which is free because Microsoft unjustifiably gets paid

THE KOREAN televisions industry is still at it. Both LG and Samsung pay Microsoft for Linux, also in their televisions. LG claims to be running “open source” right now (“Open source Plex media center to run on LG TVs”) and Samsung uses Android in HDTVs, based on this news article which says nothing about the Microsoft tax.

HDTVs are the next consumer electronic battlefield and Samsung is apparently testing out Android on its sets in order to step up their offering in response to the latest from Sony, Apple and others. Currently, Samsung is the world’s leader in HDTVs sold but there’s a shake-up looming and Samsung no doubt wants to retain its title. Android may or may not be the answer.

Many television sets of Sony runs Linux, but these do not pay Microsoft for ‘permission’ to do so. Samsung is only starting to learn about complying with Free software licences (new code release [1, 2, 3]), but it never learned about Free software being incompatible with patents, simply based on practices. Pressuring Samsung regarding GPL violations proved fruitful (they formally published code because a Techrights member pressed them), so Samsung ought to be pressured to also stop paying Microsoft for Linux (Microsoft presented no evidence to justify it). This cause and this goal can be achieved, but customers need to pressure them.

“Q: Why is it written in Mono/C#? A: Because I hate freedom.”

Posted in Humour, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gorillas at play

Summary: SparkleShare is Mono (and proud of it), Ubuntu still under threat of having Banshee spread throughout the project, putting in it code which Microsoft explicitly stated is a patent problem

Yesterday we linked to this post about a “Slick FOSS Alternative to Dropbox”. What we did not know at the time is that it’s Mono based. One reader told us: “[I] Was about to install it, so I first opened the readme file.” The text shown above (in the title) was in it, probably as just a tongue-in-cheek gesture.

Why is it that Mono proponents use humour to escape criticism? Novell’s Jeffrey Stedfast (of the Mono team) is currently linking to humourous viral marketing from Microsoft and the OMG!Mono! folks advertise/promote Banshee in the sense that they call for help testing it. Ubuntu Netbook Edition is intended to have Banshee by default [1, 2, 3] and it would be worrying if the desktop edition followed suit because it’s a lawsuit threat:

Given that Ubuntu aims to replace the default mediaplayer on the Ubuntu Netbook Edition with Banshee, Didier Roche has requested that the proud OMG army unleash their unspeakable powers of mass breakage on the newly promoted Banshee 1.7.5 package in Maverick.

Those who do not understand the legal ramifications (that would be the majority) may need the advice of others.

Links 7/9/2010: Debate About Choices in GNU/Linux, Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox is Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Gaming modchips – a cat n’ mouse game without end?

    Sony recently put libertarians offside by removing the ability to run Linux on the PS3, which would have been a key selling point for some people. If you read between the lines it was clear that Sony removed the Linux option in an effort to close loopholes for hackers, but it still didn’t sit well with people that Sony was stripping out legitimate features. Hackers set out to restore the Linux option and one can only wonder whether Sony’s actions motivated efforts to develop the wider debug mode hack.

    If the Digital Rights Management wars have taught us anything it’s that anti-piracy efforts generally penalise honest users while failing to stop the pirates getting their own way. Sony’s strike against Linux is a classic example of such an effect and appears set to haunt Sony for quite some time.

  • Migrating a Small Business To Linux

    What is the value proposition in getting a small business to make the switch to Linux?

    Not able to offer a clear answer?

    Then consider this as one possibility – control. Offering small businesses control over their own technology is something that most managers are unaware is even needed. After all, something breaks, they call whomever handles repairs, the problem is fixed.

  • Why Do We Love Linux?

    When you’re a fan of Linux, any blog post entitled “27 Good Reasons to Love Linux” is going to be impossible to resist.

    No wonder, then, that a recent post with just that title has created endless fodder for conversation in the Linux blogosphere of late.

  • LPI

  • Server

  • IBM

    • IBM Code Unfetters Virtual Workloads

      Some of the first fruits of a European Union-funded project led by IBM (IBM) are making their way into the field of cloud computing, in the form of a virtual machine migration technology.

      The technology, sprouting from the Reservoir (Resources and Services Virtualization without Barriers) program, offers a way to move a live, virtualized workload from one server to another, without the need for the two locations to share the same storage space.

    • Prices Jacked on Power Systems Tape Drives and Expansion Drawers

      And so, in announcement letter 310-236, you will find that selected peripherals used across the Power Systems product line, whether you install IBM i, AIX, or Linux on the boxes, have higher sticker prices than they did before the August 17 announcement day.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.4.37.10 + 2.4 EOL plans
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel’s Sandybridge Graphics On Linux

        Back in February we reported on the first signs of open-source support for Intel’s Sandybridge, a.k.a. their sixth-generation Intel graphics processor integrated on their upcoming CPUs that succeed the Clarkdale/Arrandale CPUs. The Sandybridge hardware still has not launched nor will it until late this year or early next year, but the open-source support has been underway for months and from time to time we see new Linux code patches related to Sandybridge.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Brazil Team Spreads the Word at FISL

        KDE is very active in South America as any readers of the blogs at Live Blue will know already. The KDE Brazil team attended this year’s FISL, one of the major free software events in South America, meeting up with some new users of KDE software and spreading the word of Konqui.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Does Linux Come in Too Many Flavors?

      This isn’t the first time that Linux has been criticized for appearing so many flavors that development effort becomes redundant. The argument doesn’t stand on its own, though. One has to include the fact that the many faces of Linux—all the choices—have constantly taken it in the direction of new opportunities. In fact, it’s highly questionable whether Linux even needs any sort of dominance on the desktop at this point to continue to foster meaningful innovation.

    • Choices Choices Choices

      So you still think that there are too many versions of Linux? Sure, we have hundreds. Has that stopped anyone? I don’t think so. People will gravitate to those most popular of distributions. Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, and Mandriva almost always get the majority share. Effectively, that means that in most people’s minds there are only six versions of Linux. Whether or not people realize that there are more is irrelevant. When you go to those distribution’s websites, most of them will present you with a quick link to there most popular version of their distribution, creating the illusion that “there is only one [insert distro name here].” You also have this overwhelmingly wonderful little thing happening in our community… it’s called freedom. As users become accustomed to their distribution of choice they seek to make it their own. This leads to many little Ubuntu derivatives with small but loyal followings. Occasionally, these derivatives become powerful (Ubuntu/Debian, SuSE/Slackware, Mandrake/Red Hat). The most notable outside the examples I just listed is Blag. Blag started as a project to create a completely free version of Fedora. Blag is notable not for its following but for the Linux-libre kernel that was developed off of some Blag software scripts.

    • Even More Linux Distros That Don’t Suck

      LegacyOS – This was formally known as TeenPup which is based on PuppyLinux. The main purpose of this distro is to ensure a smooth user experience on hardware that’s 5-10 years old. If you have an old machine laying around and are looking for a decent suite of software then look no further. Don’t plan on doing any intense processing with it but basic usage it’s great.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Mark Bohannon to Lead Red Hat Governmental Affairs and Public Policy

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Mark Bohannon will join the company as Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Global Public Policy on Oct. 1, 2010. He will lead Red Hat’s worldwide team representing the company’s interests before policy makers in government, industry consortia, and other venues regarding issues such as technology and innovation policy, open source and standards adoption, intellectual property legislation, government technology initiatives, and tax regulation.

      • NCDEX achieves 99.99% uptime by standardizing its IT Architecture on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

        Red Hat, Inc, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, announced that National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) is powering its mission-critical IT infrastructure on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, NCDEX has designed a reliable, stable, high-performance and cost-effective IT infrastructure that has delivered 99.99 percent uptime for its business applications.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora conference in Switzerland next week

          FUDCon Zurich is the second FUDCon of the year and the only one in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. As well as many Fedora and Red Hat developers from the region, a number of big US-based Fedora names are expected to attend. Jared Smith, who has been working as Fedora Project Leader since the end of June, will be there, and Fedora Engineering Manager Tom “spot” Callaway, Release Engineer Jesse Keating, ‘Fedora QA Community Monkey’ Adam Williamson and Fedora board member Máirín Duffy will also make the trip across the Atlantic.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Installer with ZFS

        Long time no see… Not much hacking in the last few months. Not much ranting either (some of you I’m sure will appreciate ;-).

        Anyway, I recently grew excited to learn that ZFS is coming to Debian. I decided to bite the bullet, patched the missing bits in GRUB and Parted, a few small changes in D-I and there’s now a modified Debian Installer with ZFS support for you to play with. Enjoy!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Sudo vulnerability
        • Security advisories for Tuesday
        • Canonical’s Attention to Detail is Starting to Show Up in Ubuntu 10.10 Big Time

          These are not all. Things yet to come include new sound theme, a new font, new wallpapers, more community contributed themes to name a few. Watch this space.

        • Well, There Is No i8xx Fix For Ubuntu 10.10

          Back in July we reported on a GEM-free UMS Intel driver coming about that was targeted for owners of vintage Intel 8xx series hardware to circumvent the stability issues and other problems they commonly have encountered since switching to Intel’s newer driver stack with kernel mode-setting and the Graphics Execution Manager. Canonical hoped to ship this UMS code-path in Ubuntu 10.10 that would then be enabled for those with these older Intel integrated graphics processors.

          This GEM-free UMS code-path was never merged though into the xf86-video-intel DDX, as it would add about 50,000 lines of code into this open-source X.Org driver and would likely receive little in the way of work and testing. Adding back this UMS code-path also didn’t solve all of the problems nor does it address the fundamental issue of KMS/GEM not working well for the old Intel chipsets.

        • Previewing and tweaking Ubuntu 10.10

          On September 1st, the Ubuntu development project issued the beta version of Ubuntu 10.10 — aka “Maverick Meerkat” — as a step toward achieving a stable release by October 10th. If a quick test of the beta by LinuxTrends is any indication, this new Ubuntu version could be the most user-friendly, full-featured desktop Linux distribution ever.

        • A Quick Look at Ubuntu 10.10

          Other than that, I haven’t really noticed all that much different from 10.04. It could be possible that there are still changes coming down the pipe at this point in development, or that the release may be focused on perfecting the previous version rather than trying to be daring as most October Ubuntu releases are. If the problems with the splash screen and installer options are fixed before release, I can easily see myself giving this a perfect score. From the looks of things, it appears that Ubuntu 10.10 is going to be outstanding.

        • “Saner Defaults” remix of Ubuntu beta released

          A beta of an unofficial remix of Ubuntu 10.04.1, the “Saner Defaults Remix”, which offers “better default choices” and a Mono-free experience, has been released. The developer also hopes that the saner configuration will be better for newcomers.

          The “Saner Defaults Remix” release replaces Evolution with Mozilla’s Thunderbird 2.0 and the Lightning calendar add-on, Nautilus file manager with the simplified nautilus-elementary and Empathy with Pidgin as it is “a more stable and mature application”. Mono applications are also swapped out with FSpot replaced by gthumb and Gnote standing in for Tomboy; the presence of Mono based applications has been controversial with some and the Saner Defaults Remix looks to avoid that issue.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 beta tips up

          Ubuntu 10.10, code-named “Maverick Meerkat”, got some notice in mid-August after Canonical slapped multi-touch features into the updated Linux OS. The final version of Maverick Meerkat is still set to appear on the brilliantly chosen release date of 10 October 2010 if the feedback from this beta release doesn’t cause any delays.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox Released

            The Linux Mint team has released Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox, the last of the official versions for this release cycle. Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox comes with all of the updates and new features in Linux Mint 9 built around the Fluxbox windows manager.

          • Linux Mint Debian (201009) released!

            Today is very important for Linux Mint. It’s one day to remember in the history of our project as we’re about to maintain a new distribution, a rolling one, which promises to be faster, more responsive and on which we’re less reliant on upstream components. Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) comes with a Debian base, which we transformed into a live media and on top of which we added a new installer. It’s rougher and in some aspects not as user-friendly as our other editions, it’s very young but it will improve continuously and rapidly, and it brings us one step closer to a situation where we’re fully in control of the system without being impacted by upstream decisions.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pocketbook launches five e-readers at IFA 2010

      FIVE E-READERS HAVE been launched by Pocketbook International at IFA 2010 that have features including text to speech, accelerometers and Linux and Android operating systems.

    • Alcatel-Lucent fleshes out Apps Enablement strategy with OpenPlug purchase
    • Alcatel-Lucent acquires OpenPlug
    • : Empower Technologies Investment in Pixon Imaging Expand Sales, Products and Technologies

      As part of the agreement, Empower will provide a license to Pixon Imaging for the right to use, OEM, and to distribute LEOs (Linux Embedded Operating System) software in their products.

    • Phones

      • WebOS 2.0 beta screenshot extravaganza

        There’s also default app selection for filetypes, which is a welcome addition we’ve enjoyed on our Android sets. Just in case all the screenshots go poof, we’ve got them in a gallery below. Let your imagination run wild, or at least in a bigger fence.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Neofonie WeTab now runs MeeGo Linux

          The Neofonie WeTab gained grabbed a lot of headlines when the company first introduced it a few months ago. And why not? The tablet is kind of everything the Apple iPad is not. It has a nice big 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel HD capacitive toushcreen display. It supports HDMI output, has 2 USB ports, and a 1.3MP camera. It also packs 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1.

        • Meego tips up on the Wetab

          GERMAN TABLET MAKER Wetab GmbH said that its tablet, the Wetab, which has been developed with the finest minds at Intel, will be the first one based on the Meego operating system.

        • VIDEO: WeTab – All systems MeeGo

          We first got word of the WeTab (previously called the WePad) back in May, where we were led to understand that the 11.6-inch tablet would be running via a Linux OS and was all set for a July launch.

          And, after a number of delays the tablet has turned up at IFA, and it is indeed running Linux.

          But it is the Linux version that is most intriguing, for the WeTab OS is based on MeeGo – Intel and Nokia’s joint OS effort.

      • Android

        • Five critical apps for Android that you want to find on iOS

          One thing Google gets is the web. With ChromeToPhone you can push links, videos, text, directions, apps directly to your phone. You won’t find this baby on iOS.

          In case it isn’t already evident, I really dislike Apple’s iOS and their new frontier of closed systems. And, the difference between open and closed is not just academic, it limits your ability to do some really cool things with your expensive new toy.

        • Android Opens Up The Operating System For Innovation

          Over the past few years, quite a few Linux-based open mobile OS platforms have emerged: Bada from Samsung, LiMO from the LiMO Foundation, Moblin from Intel, Maemo from Nokia, MeeGO from Intel & Nokia (MeeGO = Moblin + Maemo), Android from Google, and ALP from Access. But Android’s well crafted software stack with software development kits (SDKs) and Novell developer kits (NDKs), ease of programming, Google’s support, large user community, and periodic releases have made it a global, open OS for the wireless future.

        • O2 releases Android 2.1 update for Dell’s Streak

          MOBILE OPERATOR O2 has rolled out Android 2.1 for Dell Streak users in the UK.

          Dell’s 5-inch Android smartphone tablet had been using the archaic Android 1.6 operating system since its launch. Dell has announced that Android 2.2, the current version of the Linux based operating system, will be arriving for its Streak at some point this year though it would not be drawn on specifics. So you can imagine the disappointment when users today were treated to a version that was debuted nine months ago and lacks Adobe Flash support.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Free Jolicloud OS breathes new life into old Netbooks

        Got a Netbook collecting dust? Hey, it happens. Many users find that traditional operating systems, be they Linux or Windows, just don’t work well in compact, low-powered PCs. (I once tried running Vista on one. The horror, the horror.)

        Consider making a switch. Jolicloud is a new Linux-based OS that was designed expressly for Netbooks. Not sure about the “Linux” part? Don’t worry: Jolicloud has decidedly user-friendly trappings. It’s a snazzy, intuitive, well-rounded operating system; one that might just earn a permanent home on your mini PC.

    • Tablets

      • India unveils $35 laptop

        What this device can do is still not entirely clear, but we know some. It can browse the internet, do video conferencing and play media. It uses Linux for now and is solar powered so that it could be used by someone in a poor community.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What’s Next for Google Wave

    Google Wave is kind of like the Snuggie. You either immediately see its genius or can’t figure out why anyone would bother. When Google announced plans last month to shut down development of Wave and open source its code for anyone who wants it, some users were crushed while others just yawned. If you fall into the “I love Wave” camp, then you’ll be glad to know the Google Wave team has new plans for the now defunct project.

  • New Open Source Semantic Engine

    A semantic engine extracts the meaning of a document to organize it as partially structured knowledge. For example, you can submit a batch of news stories to a semantic engine and get back a tree categorisation according to the subjects they deal with.

  • Campsite a Hearty Content Management System for Journalists

    On the developer side, Campsite is built on the LAMP development stack and includes an object-oriented API so users can create their own plugins or alternative interfaces. There’s a robust developer community surrounding the app, but there are also a team of full-time developers working on the project who will quickly create additional features for a small fee.

  • Open Source: Vendors increasingly Turn to Open Source When Building Proprietary Software

    The Zenoss survey we cited in yesterday’s blog found that 98 percent of companies have Open Source software running somewhere in their companies. It turns out that even SAP is changing its mind about Open Source. SAP has long been a symbol of traditional proprietary software company. And in a previous world when things were more black and white, Open Source and proprietary software where distinctly different and opposite things. That distinction is not so clear any more. Claus von Riegen says at SAP that they’ve changed from asking, “Why open source?” to start asking “Why not?” Even Von Riegen’s title at SAP, “director of technology standards and open source”, highlights a change both in SAP strategy and thinking.

  • Open Source Microstock Agency: How Stock Photo Agency YayMicro.com was Created Using Only Open Source Technology
  • Harvest: an open-source tool for the validation and improvement of peptide identification metrics and fragmentation exploration
  • Asia not ready for key apps to go open source

    Organizations in Asia are not as ready to go open source for key business applications, experts in the region say. Over in the United Kingdom and United States, it is a different story with inclination growing, a survey has shown.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Software Bounties Work For Google, And Can Work Throughout the FLOSS Arena

      We’ve written before about the fact that both Mozilla and Google have been offering cash bounties for people who find bugs in their browsers, and it’s also worth noting that the concept of bounties is spreading out across the whole FOSS landscape. For example, Funambol has had good success with a bounty program focused on developers. Now there is new data out about actual cash being paid by Google for its Chrome-focused bug bounty effort, and it’s clear that the program makes a lot of sense for Google.

    • ‘Larry and Sergey’s HTML5 balls drained my resources’
    • Google Chrome Turns Two
    • Mozilla

      • MPL Alpha 2 released

        The MPL team is excited to announce the second Alpha draft of the next version of the Mozilla Public License.

        The text of Alpha 2 is available. We have also published a discussion document, including markup showing the changes made since Alpha 1 and an explanation of those changes.

  • SaaS

    • Skygone Cloud powers Open Source Web Mapping Suite – OpenGeo Cloud Edition

      Skygone Inc., a leader in geospatial cloud computing, today announces the launch of OpenGeo Cloud Edition; the first fully-supported, open source web-mapping software suite delivered to users via cloud computing.

    • Cloud computing: the mother of all lock-ins?

      Ingres points to open source portfolios such as Red Hat Cloud Foundations as particularly valuable because of their open APIs and interoperability.

      “Red Hat Cloud Foundations combines the Ingres, JBoss and Red Hat Enterprise Linux stack with the Deltacloud API to rapidly build applications that are portable between customers’ private clouds and the leading public cloud providers,” says Ingres.

  • Databases

    • Version 2.0 of NoSQL database Redis released

      Version 2.0 of the NoSQL database Redis database has been released with new features including virtual memory support, a hash datatype and publish/subscribe messaing. Development of Redis is assisted by VMware who sponsor Salvatore Sanfillippo and Pieter Noordhuis, lead developers of the project. Sanfillipo was hired by VMware in March.

  • Oracle

    • Major European MSP Partners Up with Oracle

      In an interesting twist, DSP Managed Services blends open source and closed source solutions. For instance, the company uses GroundWork Open Source to monitor customers’ networks, applications and databases. GroundWork, as you may recall, introduced new MSP pricing earlier this week.

    • Oracle’s Hurd for Phillips swap: What’s the customer relations impact?

      Oracle has a new customer relations front man: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd. Oracle’s move to name former Hurd as co-president is going to be interesting to watch from a customer relations perspective. Why? Hurd’s arrival coincides with the departure of Charles Phillips.

  • CMS

    • JForce Project Management Component for Joomla Challenges Mainstream Systems

      The award winning Open Source Content Management System, Joomla!, celebrates its 5th birthday today and on the same day, JForce.com has released its full-featured project management system, JForce PM, built specifically for the same CMS. JForce brings to Joomla! all the features of the popular project management tools available on the web, but incorporated directly into a user’s Joomla! installation.

      Joomla! has experienced tremendous growth throughout its 5 year life and is currently utilized on millions of websites around the globe. For example, there are currently over 5,339 extensions exist for the Joomla! CMS. With recent approval from the Joomla! Extension Directory, JForce PM is positioned to become one of the staples of any business-centered Joomla! website.

  • Education

    • Open source goes to high school

      Before heading out to film this story on the Open High School of Utah, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a lot of the same questions most people would have about an online high school: What kind of students go to high school online? How are teachers building their curriculum from open educational resources and what does it look like? How are the students interacting with their teachers and other students in an online venue?

  • Business

    • Open source business intelligence

      In this podcast, Tim talks about various tools for ETL, reporting, and analytics like Pentaho and Talend — I really enjoyed our conversation as I definitely learned a few things!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • EU survey on Free Software and standards: make your voice heard!

      The Free Software Foundation Europe is calling on European Free Software businesses to participate in a survey of business attitudes towards the acceptability of including patents in industry standards.

      This survey is a key component of a study that will play the major role in the EC’s reform of standardisation policy. It is open until September 17.

      A major theme in the survey is whether patents that cover standards should be licensed royalty-free (the W3C takes this approach), or whether they should instead be licensed under so-called “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” (FRAND).

    • GNU Guile 1.9.12 released
  • Project Releases

    • Cairo 1.10.0 available
    • uTorrent Linux Server Released, Client Coming Soon

      Earlier this year BitTorrent Inc. promised they would release a Linux client this summer, and today they are one step closer to achieving that goal. The company just released uTorrent Server for Linux, a daemonizable 32-bit binary of the uTorrent core, suited to those familiar with running programs from the command line. A full Linux client is expected to follow in the coming weeks.

    • First Alpha of uTorrent Server for Linux Released
    • CiviCRM 3.2.3 released

      You can download the release from SourceForge – select from the civicrm-stable section.
      The filenames include the 3.2.3 label: civicrm-3.2.3. Make sure you’re downloading correct version: for Drupal or Joomla.

  • Government

    • $50B Infrastructure Plan: Make it Open Source and Transparent

      This has been happening in the humanitarian and development field for the past few years. Through the Open Architecture Network, more than 3,000 projects have been uploaded to the system and range from low-income housing, health and education facilities, public-gathering points and transit nodes. Every project is held under a Creative Commons license allowing others to adapt and share innovative ideas. In less than a month, the system will launch a geo-based mobile app that will allow anyone to find local solutions or discover ones from afar. All managed by a handful of people.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Web/Standards/Consortia

    • Google shows HTML5 love with bouncing balls

      Google’s line of ‘doodle’ home page designs has taken an eye-catching twist with the debut of an interactive bouncing ball design designed to show off the greatness of HTML5.

      In Google’s search page design for the day, as the cursor is moved around the page, the Google logo disintegrates into colourful, scattering and enlarging balls, an interactive feature that demonstrates the way html5 can render visual elements that usually require individual browser plug-ins.

    • W3C Extends Speech Framework to Asian Languages
    • HTML5 May Help Web Pages Talk, Listen

      Sometime in the near future, users might not only read Web pages but hold conversations with them as well, at least if a new activity group in the W3C (World Wide Consortium) bears fruit.

      The W3C is investigating the possibility of incorporating voice recognition and speech synthesis interfaces within Web pages. A new incubator group will file a report a year from now summarizing the feasibility of adding voice and speech features into HTML, the W3C’s standard for rendering Web pages.

    • Advertisers get hands stuck inside HTML5 database cookie jar

      Even casual Internet users know that if you want to hold your privacy in check, it’s good practice to clear out your browser cookies every once in a while. Our recent coverage about “zombie” Flash cookies has shown us, however, that simply clearing your browser cookies the old fashioned way isn’t always enough. As highlighted by a study out of UC Berkeley, some companies have begun using Flash-based cookies that not only recreate themselves when deleted without the user’s knowledge, they reach into the Flash storage bin for the just-deleted user info so that they can keep tracking you and your stored history instead of starting anew.

Leftovers

  • Democracy After Citizens United

    This is the lead article of a forum on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down McCain-Feingold and what it means for our democracy.

    Over the course of this year, Boston Review has published four essays drawn from a lecture series at Harvard University. That series launched a five-year research project to understand and help to remedy the problem of “institutional corruption.”

    Institutional corruption does not refer to the knowing violation of any law or ethical rule. This is not the problem of Rod Blagojevich, or, more generally, of bad souls acting badly. It instead describes an influence, financial or otherwise, within an economy of influence, that weakens the effectiveness of an institution, especially by weakening public trust in that institution. (An “economy of influence” rather than the simpler “system of influence” to emphasize the reciprocal character of such influence, often requiring little or no direct coordination.)

    [...]

    Instead, this is “corruption” because it weakens the integrity of the institution, of Congress itself. The framers intended Congress to be “dependent upon the People alone.” But the private funding of public campaigns has bred within Congress a second, and conflicting, dependency. As with an alcoholic mother trying to care for her children, that conflicting dependency does not change the good intentions of members of Congress—they still want to serve the public interest they thought themselves elected to serve. But as with an alcoholic mother trying to care for her children, that conflicting dependency distracts members from their good intentions, directing their focus more and more toward the challenge of raising money.

  • Publishing

    • Joint Open Letter to International Publishers

      Scholarly journals and monographs are knowledge created by worldwide scientists and scholars. With the efforts of Chinese libraries and international publishers, China has introduced a large number of international full text STM journal databases in recent years, which has indeed improved the wide dissemination and sharing of knowledge, and has played an important role in the development of Chinese research and education.
      However, in recent years, the prices of international STM journals and their full text databases have continuously been increased well above the general CPI increase rate. Some went up annually at the rate of more than 10%, and a few have raised their prices even at an annual rate above 20%. This has dramatically pushed Chinese library acquisition expenses for international journals to double or even triple within no more than 10 years, causing some libraries to reduce the subscriptions. Facing the international financial crisis, many countries have kept their library budgets under strict caps or even cut library budgets, and Chinese libraries have also experienced severe pressures for rigorously controlling their subscription budgets.

    • “A completely new model for us”: The Guardian gives outsiders the power to publish for the first time

      The Guardian network comes at time when science blog networks populated by writers with particular — and highly focused — areas of expertise are proliferating. Last week, the Public Library of Science, a nonprofit publisher of open-access journals emphasizing the biological sciences, launched its own 11-blog network. PLoS Blogs joins Wired Science, Scientopia, and others. And, of course, science blogs have been in the news more than usual of late, with ScienceBlogs and the scandal that was PepsiGate. That scandal — in which PepsiCo tapped its own “experts” to contribute content to the otherwise proudly independent blog network — didn’t precipitate the Guardian’s own foray into science blog networking, which has been in the works since this spring. However, “it certainly accelerated everything,” Jha says. “I think there was soul-searching going on among the bloggers out there: ‘What do we do next? How do we do it?’ And that, in turn, gave the Guardian staff the sense that, okay, now is the time to do it.”

    • AP Begins Crediting Bloggers as News Sources

      In a letter to its members last week, Associated Press made the announcement that bloggers should be cited as a news source. This is a significant move from the AP, given that they have a history of not exactly ‘getting on’ with bloggers. Given that such a large news organisation has made a point of recognising bloggers as a viable news source, which they should have done a long time ago, it has much wider implications on how bloggers affect the news agenda and overall news industry. We’ve already seen some developments in this area, such as publishers employing bloggers on the ground, but I think this goes one further than that. The announcement has served to recognise the work that bloggers put into breaking and reporting stories. But interestingly they make a point of saying that they must credit information where it occured from a website, so you would hope that this would cover Twitter as well, given that so many stories break on here.

    • Some Newspapers, Tracking Readers Online, Shift Coverage

      Now, because of technology that can pinpoint what people online are viewing and commenting on, how much time they spend with an article and even how much money an article makes in advertising revenue, newspapers can make more scientific decisions about allocating their ever scarcer resources.

  • Schools

    • Repeat After Me: We Can’t Have Great Schools Without Great Teachers

      And when you start with that simple truth, the solutions become pretty clear. Let’s recruit our best and brightest. Develop the ones we have to become better teachers. Reward the ones who are doing a great job. Recruit and train talented principals. And after trying everything, help find another job for those teachers who aren’t cutting it.

    • Schools: The Disaster Movie

      Then Guggenheim mentioned another film he’d made—An Inconvenient Truth—and Canada snapped to attention. “I had absolutely seen it,” Canada recalls, “and I was stunned because it was so powerful that my wife told me we couldn’t burn incandescent bulbs anymore. She didn’t become a zealot; she just realized that [climate change] was serious and we have to do something.” Canada agreed to be interviewed by Guggenheim, but still had his doubts. “I honestly didn’t think you could make a movie to get people to care about the kids who are most at risk.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Congolese chimpanzees face new ‘wave of killing’ for bushmeat

      The scientists who carried out the study believe that the region, in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is home to at least 35,000 of the unusually large sub-species of chimpanzees. This is probably the largest population of chimps in Africa, but such is the hunger for chimp meat that the researchers believe the animals are facing a “major and urgent threat” and that northern DRC is now “witnessing the beginning of a massive ape decline.”

    • How the open source culture could impact climate change

      Ever wonder what you get when you leverage the power of the open source culture to combat global warming? I didn’t. Until I heard about Coalition of the Willing–an animated film about an online war against global warming in a post-Copenhagen world. This is collaboration, participation, and meritocracy coming together to tackle a world-wide issue.

    • BP oil spill robots to report on water pollution

      The news comes ahead of the release of BP’s internal report, expected to be published in the coming weeks, in which BP is widely reported to admit engineers misread pressure data, among other errors. BP has not commented.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Breaking News on EFF Location Privacy Win: Courts May Require Search Warrants for Cell Phone Location Records

      This morning, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia issued its highly anticipated ruling in a hotly contested cell phone location privacy case. EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief and participated at oral argument in the case, arguing that federal electronic privacy law gives judges the discretion to deny government requests for cell phone location data when the government fails to show probable cause that a crime has been committed.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • TalkTalk rapped for failing to talk about malware trial

      ISP TalkTalk has been reprimanded by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for failing to disclose enough about a malware system it was launching

      The ICO said the ISP should have told both it and customers about the trial.

      The system is controversial because it collects the urls of websites visited by TalkTalk customers.

    • Open the airwaves to close the bandwidth shortage

      OpenBTS provides the answer. It’s a simple, open source framework that can create a GSM cellular network at one-tenth current costs. It’s licensed under the AGPL.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EBay, Facebook, Vivendi, General Motors, Ford: Intellectual Property

      Red Hat Seeks Early Examples of ‘Fedora’ Mark Use

      Red Hat Inc. asked members of the Fedora community to gather up examples of the use of the “Fedora” mark for possible infringement actions, according to a request posted on the FedoraProject.org website.

      The legal department of the Raleigh, North Carolina-based software company is seeking to protect marks used with the Fedora, a Linux-based open-source operating system. Fedora is being created by Red Hat employees and the user community.

      Among the items sought are photos or scans of anything like CD’s, T-shirts, key rings and mouse pads, plus webpage printouts from before Jan. 30, 2007. The company is also seeking issues of the Linux magazine and other publications that may mention Fedora published before that date.

    • Copyrights

      • Police in File-Sharing Raids Across Europe, WikiLeaks Host Targeted

        Police in up to 14 countries around Europe have coordinated to carry out raids against suspected file-sharing servers this morning. Locations in The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Hungary were targeted but Sweden appears to have borne the brunt of the action. Seven locations including PRQ, which hosts WikiLeaks, have been raided.

      • Musopen Project Aims to Truly Liberate Already Free Music

        To get in on the project, head over to Kickstarter and pledge a couple of bucks. As we’ve mentioned before, Kickstarter is a great, risk-free way for people to donate money to a worthy cause. If the group reaches its goal, you’re on the hook for your donation. If it doesn’t, you won’t be asked to pony up any cash at all. With the project a mere $700 away from it’s goal, Musopen is likely to raise the funds to rent the orchestra they need to realize the dream of finally liberating music that’s already been free for years.

      • Copyright 4 Educators (ZA)
      • CC Movie
      • Copyright Criminals
      • ACTA

        • Where are ACTA’s “political corruption” provisions gone?

          In a public discourse it is common that angry crowds describe their governments as corrupt, swear on their government policies. That is not what I am talking about here. That would be emotional ranting but not actual political corruption. The case here is different, and it is a clear case. The language was largely borrowed from the so-called development agenda process at WIPO.

        • Secret Copyright Treaty Draft Leaked After Washington Talks

          Another round of negotiations, another leak: Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) published what it says is the latest draft of the secret Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) over the weekend.

Clip of the Day

Motorola Droid 2 v Droid X


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 7/9/2010: Backports and Debian, GDB 7.2 is Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Experiment: I’ve Got My Editor Using Linux

      Vincent’s computer is going to be spending a week running Linux. We decided to give him Ubuntu, for two reasons: the first is its excellent reputation for usability, and the second because of Wubi. This tool allows you can install Linux on the same hard drive as Windows—without having to repartition. It’s perfect for giving it a go without any stress, and uninstall it in Windows if you decide it’s not for you.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • FOX Desktop and some graphical apps

      Before I show you another one like that, here are a few applications that are — and some that aren’t — inter-related.

      This is qutim.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Third beta of KDE PIM Suite uses Akonadi

        With KDE PIM Beta 3, version 4.4.93, the KDE Project developers have presented a development preview version of the Kontact personal information manager, which is built on the Akonadi framework for storing data. Originally, the integration of Akonadi was already planned for KDE 4.0, but it kept getting postponed. In version 4.4 of the desktop environment, the KDE address book is the first KDE PIM Suite application to use Akonadi.

    • GTK/GNOME Desktop

      • GTK Impression – Nautilus Breadcrumbs

        Breadcrumbs give location information and links in a backward linear manner; whereas, navigation methods, such as search fields or horizontal/vertical navigation bars, serve to retrieve information for the user in a forward-seeking approach.

      • OMG! Exclusive: Interview with GNOME co-founder Federico Mena

        I am happy that the goal of “make a free desktop” is complete. I am extremely happy that GNOME has created a superb community of hackers and friends; good jobs for people, and tons of technology that people can now take for granted. Remember that back in 1997 we had basically nothing except for the operating system and compiler. You couldn’t browse your files graphically, you couldn’t log in graphically, you couldn’t listen to music, you couldn’t read mail in something that didn’t look like a hacker’s tool.

        What would I like to change? I would like the good hackers to be able to spend less time maintaining the stuff they already wrote – we need to make it easier to pass the baton to other maintainers. I would like GNOME to succeed in going past the traditional “desktop metaphor” – fortunately that is already work in progress.

  • Distributions

    • Linux and Breakfast Cereals

      I got the idea for this post from this article (Caitlyn Martin, O’Reilly Broadcast), which is a response to this op-ed piece (Graham Morrison, TechRadar).
      I find it a little ridiculous that Mr. Morrison can seriously claim to not understand Linux package management after dealing with it for 12 years. But, then again, the article seems to support this as well. Follow the jump to read more about this.

      Let’s start with his analysis of Shotwell vs. F-Spot in Fedora. As Ms. Martin sharply points out, no one is forbidding the use of F-Spot in Fedora — it’s just that now people will have to download F-Spot if they want it (where before, people had to download Shotwell if they wanted it). Furthermore, Mr. Morrison’s assessment of Fedora users’ reaction to the replacement of F-Spot with Shotwell is wholly incorrect; for one, Fedora users are likely more experienced Linux users, so they would know how to get F-Spot if they so chose, and Shotwell is certainly more advanced than Microsoft’s Image and Fax Viewer — it has features like adjusting rotational orientation, red-eye, size, and hue. among others. In addition, as Fedora developer Adam Williamson (who, as I recently found out, commented on my review of Mandriva 2010.1 — yay!) explains, the reason to replace F-Spot with Shotwell was on account of the former’s bloatedness and lack of outstanding features versus Shotwell as opposed to F-Spot using Mono.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Debian Family

      • backports.org moved to backports.debian.org
      • Backports now an official Debian repository

        Every Linux distribution has to strike a balance between being up to date and being stable, between including the latest versions of software packages and retaining better tested, more mature versions. Fedora, for example, is known for having the very latest software, whilst Debian GNU/Linux has a reputation for being a particularly stable distribution, with the software included in each new release already well cured.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter #209

          In this issue we cover:

          * Farewell Ian
          * Ubuntu 10.10 Beta (Maverick Meerkat) Released
          * Xubuntu Winning Artwork
          * New Ubuntu Lucid Proposed Kernel
          * Announcing Ubuntu App Developer Week!
          * Welcome New Members
          * Why do you use Ubuntu?
          * First Kernel Triage Summit
          * Ubuntu in Education
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * LoCo Team Banners for Approved Teams
          * LoCo Testing Team HowTo
          * Ubuntu 10.10 Installfests
          * Ubuntu Global Jam – Another Success Due to LoCo Teams Participation
          * Testing your multitouch device
          * Incredible Stories Of Free Software and Open Source
          * Why I Have Nothing Interesting to Say
          * Understanding Membership Structures in Debian and Ubuntu
          * What I do
          * How My Work Benefits Free Software
          * Multitouch testers in the Hall of Fame
          * Using the Ubuntu Stack Exchange
          * Ubuntu 10.10 Countdown
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * HCI at Canonical
          * Thinking different at Canonical
          * Building Apps for the Cloud: How KnowledgeTree Used Ubuntu for Rapid Development of Its SaaS Offering
          * GUADEC 2010 Videos
          * IBM DB2 on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
          * Canonical: Take 60 seconds with Henrik Omma
          * Embedded Linux Conference, April 2010 Videos
          * Ohio LinuxFest Proves Real FOSS Diversity
          * Featured Podcasts
          * Monthly Team Reports: August 2010
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * UWN Sneak Peek
          * And Much Much More

        • New Ubuntu font giving Maverick a miss?

          In a recent bug report opened by Alan Bell, he inquires whether the new Ubuntu font, commissioned to be designed specifically for Ubuntu by type foundry Dalton Maag will in fact land in Maverick.

        • When Things Go Well

          The Ubuntu 10.10 wallpaper selection is in the repositories and available for perusal. They are, as of the time of this writing, as follows:

          [...]

          If we ignore the Purple -6 Vomit of Inducing Horror, I would suggest that this is likely the most successful presentation I have seen in Ubuntu proper.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • mFatOS – Ubuntu On Steroids (Remastered Ubuntu)

            mFatOS has a very interesting approach to what a Linux distribution should look like: it comes with Firefox (with Elementary for Firefox by default), Chrome AND Opera 10.70 – all (well, except Opera) with some basic extensions such as AdBlock installed by default -, as well as lots of other applications such as: GIMP with single window mode support, Deadbeef, GnoMenu and Cradapio (so you can choose which one to use), Ubuntu Tweak, Nautilus Elementary, Virtualbox with USB support, Wine & PlayOnLinux, VLC, Avidemux, Audacity, Handbrake, Skype, WinFF, XBMC, Unetbootin, Bleachbit, Goldendict, Pinta, Wally and others as well as most applications which come by default in Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Use Your Android Phone to “Jailbreak” Your PlayStation 3

          How cool would it be to jailbreak an iPhone using an Android phone? Alright, I’m already getting off topic, but you can jailbreak your PlayStation 3 using an Android phone. This method follows the news that one hacker was able to find a way to jailbreak (or – with more contextual relevance – mod) your console with nothing but a USB drive. He was selling that solution for $150, but this one is completely free if you already own an Android-based handset.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenMEEG: opensource software for quasistatic bioelectromagnetics

    Interpreting and controlling bioelectromagnetic phenomena require realistic physiological models and accurate numerical solvers. A semi-realistic model often used in practise is the piecewise constant conductivity model, for which only the interfaces have to be meshed.

  • Open Innovation Awards 2010: List of Finalists
  • Open source projects under microscope

    The 13 finalists in the Demo Cup, which is organised by the Open World Forum, will be assessed on their viability. The competition is held on 1 October, when each of the finalists has eight minutes to persuade the jury of their project’s worthiness.

    The finalists are ActiveEon; Disruptive Innovations; Conecta Research; Hedera Technology; iceScrum; Jaspersoft; Mozilla; Obeo; Pentaho; O Engine; Pilot Systems; Talend and XWiki.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GDB 7.2 released!

      Release 7.2 of GDB, the GNU Debugger, is now available via anonymous FTP. GDB is a source-level debugger for Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal and many other languages. GDB can target (i.e., debug programs running on) more than a dozen different processor architectures, and GDB itself can run on most popular GNU/Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows variants.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Taking Openness to the Next Level

      The people behind the ODAI have come up with some very concrete proposals on how to apply open source’s idea to open standards. Inspired by the Open Source Definition, the group has drawn up the Open Design and Architecture Initiative (ODAI) Definition, with ten parts to it that are almost identical to the OSD. The only one that differs is that “Source Code” is replaced by “Design and Architecture Materials”. This is because the ODAI is dealing with is materials associated with the drawing up of a standard; so although they will be freely available, the final result of the standard – code, for example – may not be.

      Still, it’s a very interesting example of how the ideas behind open source and the Open Source Definition have been transposed into quite a different realm, and at a different level of the conceptual stack. It mirrors closely – and was partly inspired by – the Open Source Hardware Definition that does the same, and about which I wrote recently. That’s important because it indicates that was not just some one-off idea, but part of a larger trend to adapt key aspects of the open source world to other spheres. I’m sure will see other examples in due course.

Leftovers

  • 5 great content discovery sites which aren’t Digg

    Digg isn’t about to shut its doors, but I do get the feeling that regular, loyal Diggers are looking to take their custom elsewhere. Judging by the ‘Reddit incident’ on Monday, where Digg users revolted in favor of Reddit, it looks like a mass exodus might already have begun.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Gold & Silver Trading Biggest Scam in History Financial Armageddon Could Result

      Between silver and gold, silver gives the much stronger appearance of giving an investor a more viable short term reward. Since the DOJ and SEC started investigating JP Morgan Chase’s very likely manipulation of silver, you no longer see silver pushed down hard after it has rallied up. In fact an interesting phenomenon has taken place recently regarding silver. Silver and gold used to be joined at the hip in that both would go up and down together as a matter of course. However, silver has continued to go up regardless of when gold goes down. Even more remarkably, silver has recently continued to go up even if the stock market goes down. This shocking behavior of silver only strengthens the case that JP Morgan was manipulating the silver market. That the silver market has such staying power is not really surprising given the big picture of high deficits, a weak dollar, a weak euro. Silver stands out as a relatively safe investment perhaps the safest investment anyone with a some extra money can make. Right now its just under $20 an ounce which is a whole lot more affordable for the average person than gold at around $1250 per ounce.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ISP Hits Back At U2 Manager’s Billion Dollar Piracy Bonanza Claims

        Last month, outspoken manager of U2 Paul McGuinness penned a piece titled “How to Save The Music Industry”. Among other things, McGuinness suggested that ISPs were unlikely to help the music industry in their battle against illegal file-sharing since they are the ones benefiting from the “multi-billion dollar bonanza” it has generated. UK ISP Entanet are not happy.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Please Do What Simon Says…

          I don’t need to add much to that – I’ve already written about the horrors of ACTA ad nauseam (and it is pretty nauseous). The key point is that we are just nine signatures short of getting the necessary majority for the Written Declaration to have real power: please send a message to any of the MEPs listed on Simon’s other blog, who haven’t signed yet, and who could make all the difference…

      • Canada

        • An Explanation Of My Views On Copyright Part One
        • An Explanation Of My Views On Copyright Part Two
        • James Moore gets Cartoond

          Another member of James Moore’s party, Harold Albrecht, has taken to lying about the opposition’s plans for copyright reform. Here is my article. Albrecht is trying to shield Moore’s Bill C-32 which sells out Canada’s current copyright. More sensible alternatives exist than Moore’s bill.

        • ACTA keeps chugging along

          Canada’s Heritage Minister James Moore blocks citizens from following the Twitter feed he uses in his capacity as a federal Cabinet Minister.

          So far there are 60+ citizens who have been blocked. There are probably a great many more because Twitter users are not notified when they have been blocked.

Clip of the Day

Nokia N9 hands on


Credit: TinyOgg

How the Gates Foundation is Sometimes Starving — Not Feeding — African People

Posted in Africa, Bill Gates, Deception, Finance at 4:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gates at Harper's Magazine

Summary: An analysis of banking interests in Africa, Gates’ role in them, and their impact on the population

IN a later post about GMO we are going to address one aspect on this sensitive subject, but in this post we are going to explore the impact of Gates Foundation investments in Goldman Sachs (going back to this report from August 16th, as well as others, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]). Taken into consideration there ought to be a plethora of factors which we shall summarise at a later stage.

Gates’ investment in Goldman Sachs is a subject we wrote about two weeks ago following literally thousands of links Techrights posted about Goldman Sachs over the years, e.g. about government influence. “Feeding the hungry” is the sort of sound bite everyone loves to hear and Gates sings it to the public many times. It’s valuable PR, but what exactly happens on the surface? Today we won’t be addressing the GMO agenda; however, we will be addressing the role of financial interests in food. By giving money to Goldman Sachs, for example, the Gates Foundation is actually feeding the bankers who starve the hungry. These are investments that achieve the very opposite of what’s publicly stated, as we last discussed in the previous post (conflicts abound).

For a little bit of background (we put about a dozen links about it all in all), read articles like “The great hunger lottery – How banking speculation causes food crises” (it’s not just Goldman Sachs, but it’s probably the largest culprit). Warren Buffett too is investing in this whole thing. From several days ago in the news:

Buying Goldman stock will put you in good company

[...]

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropic foundation, bought 500,000 shares in Q2.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway famously bought $5-billion in Goldman preferred shares at the bottom of the 2008 financial meltdown, and acquired warrants for another $5-billion. Charlie Munger, Berkshire’s vice-chairman, commented that “we felt their merits outweighed their defects.”

It was just some days ago that we found out about the deadly effect of price hikes in Mozambique’s food:

The UN has called an urgent meeting on rising global food prices in an attempt to head off a repeat of the 2008 crisis that sparked riots around the world.

Seven people, including two children, were killed in Mozambique this week during three days of protests triggered by a rise in the cost of bread. There has also been anger over increasing prices in Egypt, Serbia and Pakistan, where floods destroyed a fifth of the country’s crops.

Read the article titled “Goldman Sachs makes $1 billion profit on food price speculation” and then take into account other banking connections, the World Bank for example. To suggest that solutions for third-world countries will come from banks is to assume that debt can resolve/substitute hunger and that putting people under the control of international banks is truly in their interest. Banks don’t produce food and often they create long-term liabilities.

We previously wrote about the Grameen Foundation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], which has roots in Microsoft and works with the Gates Foundation to put Western banking systems into places that are under-developed. Here is the Gates Foundation getting involved again, pushing US-based micro-payment technology that can only increase such dependence (see what was done in Haiti for example):

The Grameen Technology Center, formed nine years ago by a former executive at Microsoft, has deployed applications in Uganda that send text-message reminders for neo-natal patients in Ghana to take medication and tests. Through a partnership with Google and the local telecom service provider, Grameen is able to collect data through smart phones on how farmers are dealing with crop disease and then serve up instructions from the cell phones on how farmers can keep their crops from getting infected.

They are essentially enabling some businesses in the West. Maybe it’s good, maybe that’s bad, maybe it’s a bit of both. It’s up for the local population to make informed choices rather than foreigners deciding for these nations what’s good for them.

China finds it rather offensive on the face of it. The financial press in the West shows how the world’s wealthiest are suddenly relabeled “do-gooders” (following the money and using PR in the Financial Times), but such expansionism is frowned upon by China. They won’t let Buffett and Gates play a role as “world’s parents” and to be fair, China too is increasingly taking control and colonising poor nations, including some in Africa. Feeding the hungry is not a priority, it’s a convenient excuse for getting in while having some consent from the exploited, occupied population (use of the local press for propaganda is crucial here too).

We are at risk of going off topic here, but one of the most fascinating things in Africa is the use of patents against it by the developed world (maybe about 10% of the world’s population, depending where the line gets drawn). This helps show how notions which are taken for granted in the West are actually extremely harmful to the large majority of the world’s people. Europe and the US each account only for about 5% of the world’s people and assuming democracy amongst all living humans, there is magnanimous, abject, unjust, powerful, and hostile relationship that needs to be accounted for. It’s a moral issue.

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