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Links 15/9/2010: Linux Mint Coverage, Best Buy Uses Drupal

Posted in News Roundup at 7:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Your Startup Should Be Involved in Open Source

    Oftentimes, when you hear the arguments for “Why open source?”, they are aimed at convincing companies to use open source software. But the other piece of the argument is, of course, an argument for why your company should build open source – why it should develop its technology in a community-driven, open sourced way.

    Along those lines, Peter Friese, head of mobile development at Itemis recently wrote an article arguing “Why Your Next App Should Be Open Sourced.”

  • Open source, helping the children of the future.

    Fortunately open source software has reached the point where it has become mainstream. Companies are buying other companies purely for their open source components. Other open source programs are extremely popular and grabberments, educational institutions and more businesses than ever before are seriously considering or using open source software. However, you may be thinking, what does this have to do with our children?

  • The Arc of the Moral Universe is Long…
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • What’s next for Firefox on Linux?

        Growth over the last year has been static, and things are about to get worse. A competing open source browser has been able to go from zero to 7% market share, and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.

  • Oracle

    • OpenSolaris spork ready for download

      It is not quite ready for primetime, but with the announcement of OpenIndiana, a so-called spork of Oracle’s OpenSolaris Unix distribution, the server world is getting a familiar, re-opened, and community-developed operating system aimed specifically at data center workloads.

      Alasdair Lumsden owns a hosting company in London called EveryCity Managed Hosting, and his customers are deployed on Solaris 10, which was made freely available with security patches when it was announced nearly six years ago by Sun Microsystems. The company has 50 servers supporting 250 Solaris containers – not exactly a hyperscale customer by some standards – but Lumsden has been an enthusiastic supporter of the OpenSolaris project and did his part in the community as he built a business running Solaris on x64 servers.

    • Is Oracle poised to effectively end open source software?

      The preferable approach, and the safest approach, to protecting innovation in the field of software development from the chilling effects of patent claims will always be to eliminate the dangerous practice of software patents altogether. It is important to oppose software patents at every turn, and for those of us in the United States to try to get the USPTO to stop issuing patents for software, if you care about healthy innovation in the software industry in general and open source software in particular.

  • CMS

    • Best Buy using Drupal

      Best Buy, one of the biggest retailers of consumer electronics in the United States is using Drupal for their mobile magazine website: http://www.bestbuymobile.com/. Best Buy earns 50 billion USD in revenues and has over 180,000 employees. Needless to say, this is a big enterprise adopting Drupal.

    • Deleted Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Accounts!

      I kept my account on identi.ca, the open source version of Twitter. When there are Open Source solutions for the broader problem of social networking, I’ll install them.

  • Education/Libraries

    • Will Librarians Leave Facebook for Diaspora?

      Librarians uncomfortable with the erosion of privacy on Facebook can now turn to a new social network called Diaspora, a personal Web server that stores shared information securely.


  • Government

    • Australian e-tax software unjust: Stallman

      E-tax is software provided by the Australian Taxation Office to conduct tax returns online. The office has been under fire for a number of years for not making a version of the software function on Linux or Apple Mac systems.

      However, this wasn’t the reason Stallman called the product “unjust”. His reasoning for this term was that it is not “free” software.

      Stallman feels strongly about freedom and wanted to be very clear on the distinction between free software and open source.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • The Most Powerful Colors in the World
  • Science

    • South Africa Develops Nanotech ‘Tea Bag’ To Filter Water for Pennies (video)

      Provide people cheap access to clean water and you could save billions of lives. South Africa may use tea bags to do just that. Researchers at Stellenbosch University’s Water Institute have developed a new water filtration system that uses activated carbon and nanofibers to quickly filter out pathogens. The carbon and nanofibers are placed in common tea bags and then fitted into a bottle. Fill the bottle with dubious water, install a filter, and drink. It’s that easy. According to SciDev Net, the ultimate price for these ‘tea bag’ nanfiber filters will be around half a cent (USD) each and be able to handle around 1 L before being replaced. A super cheap, portable, easy to use system to purify water? Sounds amazing. Watch developer (and SU dean) Eugene Cloete describe the project in the video below. You know a scientist believes in a product when he’s willing to test it on himself in front of a camera.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Privacy and Safety Questions Loom Over Federal Program to Track Preschoolers

      The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are calling for answers to critical privacy and safety questions that loom over a controversial federal program to track preschoolers with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips at George Miller III Head Start program in Richmond, California.

      In an open letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Department, ACLU-NC and EFF are asking officials to disclose what technical and security measures are used by the system to safeguard the privacy and safety of preschoolers, as well as what data is collected, how long it is retained, and who has access to the information. The letter also calls on officials to publicly address why and how the government decided to track Head Start students, and if the government plans to expand such tracking.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Cor blimey! British ISPs must fund P2P copyright crackdown

          For months now, the brightest minds in the UK—well, the brightest minds in the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, anyway—have been pondering a thorny question: who should pay for all the warning letters that will soon be winging their way by e-mail and post to (suspected) P2P users? Today, we learned the answer (PDF): rightsholders will pick up 75 percent of the tab, but ISPs will pay the rest.

          Under the Digital Economy Act, passed earlier this year, the UK gave its courts the power to order complete blocks on websites, required ISPs to start sending P2P warning letters from copyright holders, and opened the door to throttling and Internet disconnection for repeat infringement at some future date.

Clip of the Day

Vlmc demo #2

Credit: TinyOgg

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  6. Monumental Effort to Highlight Decline in Quality of European Patents (a Quarter of Examiners Sign Petition in Spite of Fear), Yet Barely Any Press Coverage

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  7. Careful Not to Conflate UPC Critics With AfD or Anti-EU Elements

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  10. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Create a Patent Bubble in India

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    The staff of the EPO increasingly recognises the grave dangers of low-quality patents -- an issue we've written about (also in relation to the EPO) for many years

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  13. The EPO Under Battistelli Has Become Like China Under Xi and CPC

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    Having already targeted union leaders and staff representatives, the EPO may soon be going after those whom they passionately represented and the staff union (SUEPO) wants the Administrative Council to be aware

  21. Battistelli Likes to Describe His Critics as 'Nazis', Team UPC Will Attempt the Same Thing Against UPC Critics

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