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09.23.10

Links 23/9/2010: Red Hat Inc. Climbs, FCC Adopts Drupal

Posted in News Roundup at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache hits millionth commit milestone

    A change to Apache Software Foundation’s SOLR, a sub-project of Apache Lucene, which added “full parameter substitution for function queries” became the millionth commit made to the Apache Software Foundation’s repository.

  • A Brief History: 35 Years of Open Source Software

    In this resources series I will focus on some great resources I have found doing research for my new startup StackFu.

  • 5 Tips for Aspiring Web App Developers

    So, you’re not content with just using the social web; you want to be part of building it, too.

    As a budding or beginning web app developer, you’ve got a difficult but rewarding path ahead of you. You have to master (or at least attempt to master) the intricacies of OOP and scripting languages, learn to build web apps the hard way (practice, practice, practice), and network your way into a few job opportunities. You must also decide whether you’d like to work as a solo/consultant/freelancer, a startup employee or founder, or a rank-and-file developer at an established company.

    [...]

    By far the most oft-repeated words of advice we heard from masters of the web dev trade were these: Put in some time on open-source projects. The hands-on experience will challenge you, educate you and help you build your body of work.

    Aside from code for code’s sake, open source projects are a good way to meet other devs and do some networking. You’ll have the opportunity to work with people who are much more skilled and experienced than you are yet; take full advantage of this situation and be a sponge.

    SourceForge and GitHub and good places to start looking for open source projects that appeal to you; also, as you follow various blogs around the web and see what projects might need a few extra hands. Sites like Code for America and organizations such as the Mozilla Foundation are always looking for good developers with free time.

    Finally, when working on open source apps, not only will you get great practice and be able to learn from some really excellent engineers; you’ll also be giving back to the community. As some would say, creating and sharing free and open-source software is one of the best things you can do to help your neighbors as a developer.

  • Events

  • Oracle

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • Why exercise won’t make you thin

      Got a few pounds to lose? Cancel the gym membership. An increasing body of research reveals that exercise does next to nothing for you when it comes to losing weight. A result for couch potatoes, yes, but also one that could have serious implications for the government’s long-term health strategy

  • Business

    • StatusNet Launches Cloud Service Premium Plans

      StatusNet Inc. today released premium features for its StatusNet Cloud service. The 30,000 networks currently running on the company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform may upgrade today to get additional features and further control.

  • Project Releases

    • SOGo 1.3.2 Final released

      The Inverse Team [External] is pleased to announce the immediate availability of SOGo 1.3.2. This is a minor release of SOGo which focuses on small new features and improved stability over previous versions.

  • Government

    • Secure WebOS Application Delivery Environment

      webinos is an EU-funded project aiming to deliver a platform for web applications across mobile, PC, home media (TV) and in-car devices.

    • IT: Italian regional administrations republishing proprietary software as open source

      The administration of the region of Basilicata in southern Italy, on behalf of all the Italian Regions, will republish as open source ‘Piattaforma Experience’ (Experience Platform), software to help monitor hydraulic and geohydrological risks. The software will most likely be published using the European Union’s open source licence (European Union Public Licence, EUPL).

    • Government pleas for open source business cases

      Open Source has the full support of one member of the Government’s IT management, but he has asked for more business cases to show how it can save the Coalition cash.

      Bill McCluggage, deputy chief information officer (CIO) for the Government, used his keynote at today’s 360 IT event at Earls Court to outline future plans for Government IT, and one of his first ports of call was open source.

      “We do operate in an environment where open source is used but it is only a minority,” he claimed, admitting our European counterparts were more advanced when it comes to adoption.

      “Our view there is… we can go heavily into specifying open standards… opening the way for open source to get in.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • A Buzz between Rural Cooperation and the Online Swarm

      This article introduces and explores connections between rural traditions and contemporary projects of voluntary cooperation within emergent online network practices. The key examples are mainly from Finland, the Baltic Sea region, and USA. Reflections are made on the emergence of such connections during a trans-disciplinary seminar organised by the author. The main body of the essay mixes social and network culture history, including rural village community support, known as “talkoot” in the Finnish language, its establishment within cooperative development during the 20th century, and the information communications and technology society of contemporary Finland. Discussions of collaborative web platforms such as wikis, the BitTorrent protocol, and “crowd-sourcing” open up questions considering their relation to older cultural traditions. The paper concludes with contemporary examples of where traditions of rural cooperation have conceptually assisted several Finnish entrepreneurial and activist projects. Throughout the paper “the swarm” is identified as a concept worth exploring further to illustrate where the expansive potential of network culture meets concentrated local action.

    • GROUND LAB Part 2: Open source and the manufacturing shift

      The second major contextual situation that has influenced our company is the shift of manufacturing out of the US. With this shift, the US market is starting to lack the influence of American middle class spending habits. The general consuming structures of Fordism will apply less and less to the US market and therefore the R&D, design, and arts industries will also either move their nexuses to China or drastically change shape. This is because what the “creative class” is making product for is the language of the US consumer, and the current product language will be less and less profitable as the buying power of the people who speak the language decreases as the world’s consumer market shifts.

    • Open Data

      • Making OpenCharities even better… more features, more data, more charities

        We’ll also add some simple functionality to show payments from local councils that’s being published in the local council spending data. The information’s already in the database (and is actually shown on the OpenlyLocal page for the charity); I just haven’t got around to displaying it on OpenCharities yet. Expect that to appear in the next day or so.

Leftovers

  • Friended for $100 Million

    Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old founder and chief executive of Facebook Inc., plans to announce a donation of up to $100 million to the Newark schools this week, in a bold bid to improve one of the country’s worst performing public school systems.

  • A Digital Media Primer for Geeks

    This first video from Xiph.Org presents the technical foundations of modern digital media via a half-hour firehose of information. One community member called it “a Uni lecture I never got but really wanted.”

    The program offers a brief history of digital media, a quick summary of the sampling theorem, and myriad details of low level audio and video characterization and formatting. It’s intended for budding geeks looking to get into video coding, as well as the technically curious who want to know more about the media they wrangle for work or play.

  • Cognitive Slaves

    The companies that have created the most new value in the last decade, are Internet companies like Facebook, Google, etc. They’ve created hundreds of billions in value. Good for them, but bad for us.

    Why? IF these companies represent the most valuable new industry of the early 21st Century, where are the jobs that will provide prosperity for millions today, and potentially tens of millions in the future? They don’t exist. These companies create few real jobs.

  • China rethinks its controversial one-child policy

    China’s one-child policy, probably the most audacious exercise in social engineering the world has ever seen, could be up for review, as Beijing policymakers worry about the effects of a population ageing fast, with insufficient numbers of youngsters to support them.

    There is speculation that a gradual rollback of the policy – first imposed 31 years ago – will start next year with pilot schemes in the five provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Zhejiang and Jiangsu.

  • Science

    • My bright idea: humans found a nicer way to evolve

      Most popular accounts of evolution stress the innate selfishness of the process. Species change because individuals are driven by a blind urge to thrive at the expense of others, it is claimed. Frans de Waal begs to differ.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • “New Order, Same Abuses”: Amnesty Condemns Iraq for Holding 30,000 Prisoners Without Trial

      Amnesty International is condemning Iraq for holding an estimated 30,000 prisoners without trial, including 10,000 prisoners who were recently transferred from US custody.

    • A Tea Party Foreign Policy

      As one who is opposed to centralization, I am wary of attempts to turn a grassroots movement against big government like the Tea Party into an adjunct of the Republican Party. I find it even more worrisome when I see those who willingly participated in the most egregious excesses of the most recent Republican Congress push their way into leadership roles of this movement without batting an eye — or changing their policies!

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Why the single currency’s fallen off the Lib Dems’ agenda

      In the days before they were gung ho about the need for spending cuts, the Liberal Democrats used to be equally gung ho about the need for Britain to join the single currency. Indeed, Danny Alexander, the Treasury minister wielding the spending axe, was the spin doctor for Britain in Europe, the pressure group dedicated to seeing that the pound was scrapped.

      To be fair, Alexander was not alone. All the other Lib Dem big guns – Nick Clegg, Chris Huhne, Vince Cable – were as insistent then that failure to join monetary union would be an error of historic proportions, as they are insistent now that there is no alternative to austerity.

    • IMF poised to send permanent officials to Greece

      The International Monetary Fund is to dispatch permanent officials to Athens, amid mounting speculation that the emergency aid programme currently propping up debt-stricken Greece will have to be prolonged.

      Although widely praised for implementing the toughest austerity measures in post-war history, the Greek government also faces growing criticism over the pace of reforms agreed in return for a €110bn (£90bn) EU and IMF-sponsored rescue package in May.

    • UN: Number of hungry people declines

      FAO director-general Jacques Diouf attends a press conference in Rome, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010. The estimated number of chronically hungry people in the world dipped considerably below the 1 billion mark, thanks in part to a drop in food prices from the spikes that sparked rioting just a few years ago, U.N. agencies said Tuesday. They cautioned that the estimate, the first drop in 15 years, is no cause for celebration since there are still an estimated 925 million undernourished people on the planet. A report by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that there are 98 million fewer than in 2009, when the estimate just topped the 1 billion figure.

    • OECD predicts America will escape double-dip recession

      The United States will experience a slow, jobless recovery from its deepest and longest downturn since the 1930s but will avoid a double-dip recession, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said today.

      In its annual health check of the world’s biggest economy, the Paris-based OECD said that it expected activity to expand by 2.6% in both 2010 and 2011 without having a marked impact on the country’s near double-digit jobless rate.

    • Lauderdale man’s home sold out from under him in foreclosure mistake

      fl-wrongful-foreclosure-0922-20100921

      When Jason Grodensky bought his modest Fort Lauderdale home in December, he paid cash. But seven months later, he was surprised to learn that Bank of America had foreclosed on the house, even though Grodensky did not have a mortgage.

      Grodensky knew nothing about the foreclosure until July, when he learned that the title to his home had been transferred to a government-backed lender. “I feel like I’m hanging in the wind and I’m scared to death,” said Grodensky. “How did some attorney put through a foreclosure illegally?”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Iraq: Stop Blocking Demonstrations

      Iraqi authorities should stop blocking peaceful demonstrations and arresting and intimidating organizers, Human Rights Watch said today. Iraqi security forces should also respect the right of free assembly and use only the minimum necessary force when violence occurs at a protest.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Gallo report: European Parliament U-turns on users rights

      The European Parliament has reneged on its previous position to protect users rights against 3-strikes/graduated response for copyright enforcement with a vote endorsing the Gallo report.

      To make matters worse, the French media has exposed how the European Parliament was informed by rights-holder lobbying which included the name of at least one dead person.

    • Stallman calls for end to ‘war on sharing’

      Stallman called digital rights management (DRM) technologies “malware” that could monitor usage and said they were “explicitly designed to do things to the detriment of users”.

      Using software-as-a-service (SaaS) was the same as using non-free software, he said, because users did not have access to the source code or executable file.

      “SaaS means that instead of doing your computing in your own computer, you do it by sending the relevant data to someone else’s computer,” he said.

    • Stallman calls for an end to file sharing war

      Open sauce guru Richard Stallman has called for everyone to get off file sharing’s case and has come up with some weirdie beardie advice as to how the entertainment industry can make money without charging anyone.

      According to IT News, Stallman claimed that artists and musicians were “not entitled to” compensation from listeners, but governments could introduce a tax to support their work.

      Stallman seems to think that Governments have piles of dosh to give away to rock stars. Arts are usually the first to get the chop in government restructuring as “more important things” such as education, health and science usually get the dough.

    • Stallman: End The File Sharing War

      Richard Stallman, an American freedom activist who founded the Free Software Foundation and pioneered the concept of copyleft has thrashed anti piracy outfits and said it’s time to give file sharers a break and put the problem to bed.

      Stallman, who has long been involved with openness and is the main author of the most widely, used software license (GNU General Public License), hit out at anti piracy outfits and called for an end to the file sharing war. He even came up with some advice on how he thinks the problem could be solved for all involved.

    • Copyrights

      • A Big Win for the Internet

        Today a federal court in Madrid dismissed charges of copyright infringement against YouTube. This decision is a clear victory for the Internet and the rules that govern it. Spanish broadcaster Telecinco had claimed that YouTube should be liable when users upload copyright-infringing material.

        The court rejected Telecinco’s claim, noting that YouTube offers content owners tools to remove copyright infringing content and this means that it is the responsibility of the copyright owner – not YouTube – to identify and tell YouTube when infringing content is on its website. This decision reaffirms European law which recognizes that content owners (not service providers like YouTube) are in the best position to know whether a specific work is authorised to be on an Internet hosting service and states that websites like YouTube have a responsibility to take down unauthorised material only when they are notified by the owner.

      • Brighton tries to use copyright to censor Councillor

        A friend of mine, Councillor Jason Kitcat, who is also involved in ORG, is being disciplined for posting clips of Brighton & Hove Council meetings to Youtube.

        The clips are said to be a “political” use of “Council resources”.

        Their documents say Jason attempted to “hold the administration politically to account” by trying “to highlight what the he believed were the administration’s deficiencies”, while using “the council’s intellectual property” and website. Rather than concluding he was doing his job, they say Jason should face being suspended from his post.

        [...]

        Unfortunately, in this case Brighton & Hove are simply asserting that the copyright ‘belongs’ to them and therefore falls under their right to regulate Councillor’s use of council property: and in doing so are attempting to create a dangerous precedent.

        If Jason is held to have abused council “property”, Councillors will be intimidated from using information to tell residents what is going on. The same information, in words, is reported in minutes and placed in “political” leaflets. Will Brighton Councillors stop such reporting, as the same copyright subsists in Council minutes?

        Brighton is full of tech-savvy voters, and many people who are strong believers in human rights and dignity. Will they stand up for freedom of speech and protest against their Council’s attempt to place limits on the rights of their elected representatives? I certainly hope so.

      • Canadian Recording Industry Demands 45% Of Revenue; Then Blames ‘Pirates’ For No Streaming Music Services

        Ah, the recording industry. We’ve already discussed how ridiculously complex it is for a music startup to obtain the licenses it needs. Combine that with the ridiculously high rates demanded by the record labels and the fact that they demand licensing for things that shouldn’t need additional licenses, and you understand why it’s so difficult for music startups to survive, and why the market is so fragmented.

        You hear it all the time. Spotify isn’t available in the US. Pandora isn’t available outside the US. And so on. Name the startup and there are serious restrictions on it. Things in Canada are pretty bad, where they basically don’t have any of these music services, and it’s because the Canadian recording industry is apparently demanding absolutely, positively insane fees — such as 45% of gross revenue. Yes, gross revenues. If you know anything about the finances of these kinds of businesses, that’s laughable. As Pandora’s Tim Westergren notes, Canadian radio stations pay approximately 2.1% of gross revenue to the recording industry.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA and democracy

          The ZeroPaid article ACTA Still Hasn’t Been Seen by Any UK MPs makes the excellent point that ACTA negotiations are ongoing, continuing on their fast track with the intent of being concluded by the end of October prior to the American US election.

          [...]

          The main European ACTA site, La Quadrature du Net, along with the openACTA: Stop ACTA Now site from Mexico have been working tirelessly to keep citizens informed. We have been fortunate that in spite of powerful disincentives, there has been a steady stream of leaks from within the ACTA negotiations, so the secret treaty is not as secret as they would have liked.

        • Answer to mail from MEP SKa Keller:

          Dear Sirs

          Thank you for your message.

          We understand the Greens/EFA Group’s interest in the transparency very well.

          The Government of Japan also recognizes the importance of the transparency in ACTA negotiations and decided to arrange a lunch meeting with the public on September 24 as you know.

          However, it is with regret that we cannot arrange the meeting during the week of September 27 due to purely practical organizational reasons.

          We regret that we could not inform you earlier of lunch meeting as you pointed out. As we just settled the program of ACTA negotiations in Tokyo this week with the negotiating parties, we cannot inform our lunch meeting to public beforehand. Please kindly understand our situation.

          ACTA negotiating parties share the intention to promote transparency and we are to discuss any ways to promote the transparency of ACTA negotiations.

          Best regards

          武田修寛

          外務省経済局知的財産室

          Yoshihiro Takeda

          Ministry of Foreign Affairs

          Intellectual Property Affairs Division

Clip of the Day

Split videos into parts using FFmpeg


Credit: TinyOgg

New Richard Stallman Interview About Software Patents

Posted in FSF, Interview, Patents, Videos at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: ITNews has just published an interview where Richard Stallman speaks about software patents

YESTERDAY night we showed that ITNews unfairly accused Dr. Stallman of “crashing” an event (as in “Stallman crashes European Patent session”). Liz Tay has just posted a more polite article/headline which contains evidence of what the so-called ‘crashing’ was (in video form) and also the following interview with Stallman.


Thanks to ITNews for making the effort producing an Ogg version. Here is the remainder of their videos.

Techrights attempts to make everything available as Ogg and often it’s a compromise in the sense that there are interesting videos that cannot be shared.

Links 23/9/2010: Qt News, OpenShot Video Editor 1.2.2, Mandriva Not Dead

Posted in News Roundup at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Beginning [of LPI]

    As I said at the beginning of this blog entry, the members of Linux International were fully behind the creation of LPI in 1998. It was even suggested that LPI become a branch of Linux International, but I felt that this would be a bad idea. It would be better, I felt, to have a separate organization focused solely on certification, but I did volunteer my time, effort and experience to help move LPI along.
    Then one day in late 1999 the fledgling LPI had a slight problem, one that I am proud to say I helped to rectify. In order to verify that the exams were psychometrically accurate, fair and worthy of the LPI brand, LPI had to have a certain number of the exams performed and graded. But without the brand, there was nothing to induce a candidate to pay the money to take the exam. No inducement, no exams taken. No exams taken, no way to prove the validity of the exams. This was the classic “chicken and egg” problem.

  • Server

    • Linux thunderstorm in the clouds

      CloudLinux, as well as Canonical and its Ubuntu Linux, highlight the head start Red Hat, and to some extent its enterprise Linux counterpart Novell, have given other companies ready and willing to serve up Linux in the cloud. These vendors, many of which base their own offerings on CentOS, also highlight the ongoing presence of community Linux in cloud computing, a topic we’ve covered as well.

  • Ballnux

    • Virgin Mobile Announces Its First Android Smartphone, Samsung Intercept

      Virgin Mobile officials announce on the carrier’s Facebook webpage that they have plans to add Samsung Intercept to their offering in the coming weeks. While the announcement doesn’t specify the exact release date, Virgin Mobile subscribers should be thrilled as this is the first Android smartphone coming from the carrier.

  • Kernel Space

    • Native ZFS for Linu
    • Graphics Stack

      • Is Linux Power Management Getting Better Or Worse?

        From these battery power consumption results from the past five Fedora releases using three different notebooks, it does not appear that the power performance is vastly improving — or at least just not in the past two years for the selection of hardware we used. The Lenovo ThinkPad R52 tended to go through the least amount of power when running Fedora 14 Alpha, but the notebooks with newer Intel hardware did worse so we will have to wait and see how the final release performs. Coming up next we will be looking at the battery power consumption rate as we test each major Linux kernel release and that testing will be on a greater selection of hardware (netbooks including) as we look for any definitive changes in the power consumption rate of Linux. We will also be trying out Intel’s historical MeeGo/Moblin releases to see how its performance-per-Watt has changed with their intended Atom hardware configurations.

  • Applications

    • OpenShot 1.2.2 (Video Editor) Released With 3D Animated Titles, DVD Export

      OpenShot is a non-linear video editor for Linux (GNOME) with an amazing set of features: you can resize, trim or cut video, it comes with video transitions with real-time previews, image overlays, title templates, video encoding, digital zooming, audio mixing and editing, digital video effects and well, most of the features you can think of.

    • OpenShot Video Editor 1.2.2 Released with New Effects, 3D Titles and Netbook Optimizations
    • Hotot: A New Lightweight Twitter Client For Linux

      Hotot is a new lightweight Twitter client for Linux which although still in Alpha, it already looks very interesting! It doesn’t come with many features by default for now (other than the basic features you would expect to find in a Twitter client, including search), but it’s extensible through add-ons.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Wine Devs Have Mixed Feelings Over Direct3D In Gallium3D

        This state tracker does not use any Microsoft code, as confirmed by its developer. However, some are still uncertain about the legal status of Direct3D on Linux (along with the *BSDs and elsewhere that Gallium3D is compatible) and whether Microsoft could end up providing legal challenges to its adoption.

        Corbin Simpson even wanted to pull this Gallium3D state tracker out of Mesa, but VMware’s Jose Fonseca is in opposition to it being dropped and is calling for more discussion (mailing list). In another message, Jose mentions the D3D1x state tracker could be split into run-time and client driver components where the Wine developers (or ReactOS) could then re-code the run-time if they are concerned about the one living in Mesa.

        The debate over this fascinating Direct3D 10/11 state tracker is ongoing. Meanwhile, Luca has committed Wine DLLs that use this state tracker so that in fact Wine can now hook into Gallium3D for this Microsoft Direct3D acceleration on the GPU (or on the CPU if using LLVMpipe). See this Git commit.

    • Games

      • Take Part In Multiplayer War Games With Free FPS AssaultCube

        AssaultCube is available for Windows, Linux or Mac. The moment I installed and launched AssaultCube, I knew that I was in for a treat. Type in your nickname, set the screen resolution and you’re off and running. You’ll see yourself and your teammates in the map at the upper left of the screen. Obviously, you won’t see your opponents – you have to hunt them down!

  • Desktop Environments

    • Whose LXDE Is It Anyway?

      So what makes LXDE? On the one hand, its modularity allows for better customization and easier implementation of its tools in other DEs. This comes at a price, however, and that price is an identity as a unified DE.

    • Qt/K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Qt gets faster, adds touch UI stack

        Nokia’s Qt Software subsidiary released version 4.7 of its Qt cross-platform application and UI framework, touted for offering much faster performance. The Linux-compatible Qt 4.7 adds two building blocks of an upcoming high-level animation- and touch-enabled UI stack called Qt Quick: a Javascript-based QML language and a “Qt Declarative” C++ module.

      • Nokia Releases Qt 4.7 with Qt Quick
      • KDE will soon run even faster! (QT 4.7 released)

        Nokia announced yesterday the release of QT 4.7, which comes with very interesting new features, the most notable of which is probably speed.

      • Qt 4.7.0 in openSUSE; KDE updates

        With the release of Qt 4.7.0 it’s time to use it to build KDE packages destined for openSUSE 11.4. This means that Qt 4.7 will shortly land in KDE:Distro:Factory repositories. In a couple of months’ time it will be followed by betas of the KDE 4.6 releases. If you are using KDF just because it’s the latest KDE release, consider replacing it with KDE:Release:45 now, which will remain 4.5 and Qt 4.6 based.

      • Nokia releases Qt 4.7 with terrific new mobile UI framework

        Nokia has announced the official release of Qt 4.7, a new version of the company’s open source development toolkit. The update introduces an impressive new framework called “Qt Quick” that accelerates the development of mobile user interfaces that work across multiple platforms and form factors.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Top 6 Gnome Shell Themes Ever!

        If you are a regular reader of our blog, you probably need no introduction to GNOME Shell and its capabilities. We had a complete review of GNOME Shell before, and we were quite happy with the way it was evolving. GNOME Shell, even though it is still in its early stages of development, was an absolute delight to use.

      • Why Gnome? Why.

        I have a love/hate relationship with gnome. I use it, I develop for it and at the same time I dislike the way the gnome project produces functional libraires.

      • Making a Difference; Selling a Difference

        A few days ago, Mark Shuttleworth took some time to address critics who scoff at Canonical’s contributions to GNOME and the Linux kernel itself by sharing his thoughts on the subject in his personal blog. The post, titled “Reflections on Ubuntu, Canonical and the march to free software adoption”, reflecting on Canonical and Ubuntu’s contributions to the world of free and open source software. There are a couple of interesting stories, some obvious rationalization, some genuine insights, and more than a few nods to the various forces that come together to create a Linux distribution.

      • Quick access to Zeitgeist’s Activity Journal

        Seif is proposing that the Activity Journal could pop out at lightning speed when the mouse hits a side of the desktop, in this case, the left side. He also wants people to notice how quickly the journal appears.

      • GTK Impression – Stealth Menus

        A core design element of the Impression themes is dark desktop and menu panels which displays well with the Ubuntu default wallpaper. A specific design element of the menu is the decision on how to “prelight” each menu item. The Impression themes use a prelight tint which is subtle to reduce strobing.

  • Distributions

    • Security

      • Is the Web heading toward redirect hell?

        Google is doing it. Facebook is doing it. Yahoo is doing it. Microsoft is doing it. And soon Twitter will be doing it.

        We’re talking about the apparent need of every web service out there to add intermediate steps to sample what we click on before they send us on to our real destination. This has been going on for a long time and is slowly starting to build into something of a redirect hell on the Web.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Reassures the Community That It’s Alive and Well

        A few days ago, former Mandriva employees as well as community members banded together to announce the Mageia project, from the Mandriva sources which, they say, will ensure the project’s survival.

        Mandriva has now come out to clarify the project’s future and has said that Mandriva will continue to be supported and developed on the desktop in both free and paid flavours.

      • Mandriva: We’re not dead

        In a reaction to the founding of the Mageia project and to a question posed on the Cooker mailing list, the French Linux distributor Mandriva has commented on its current situation and future plans. The company says the Mandriva distribution is far from dead and will continue to be consistently maintained. The next release of the Mandriva Community Edition is reportedly planned for the beginning of 2011.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s second quarter strong: Best billings growth in two years

        Red Hat continues to report strong quarterly results as the company plans to ramp up its cloud management capabilities.

        The company on Wednesday reported earnings of $23.7 million, or 12 cents a share, on revenue of $219.8 million, up 20 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 19 cents a share.

      • Red Hat profit falls, beats Street view

        Red Hat’s shares rose 1.4 percent in extended trading to $37.25 after closing at $36.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.

      • Red Hat: The 1st billion-dollar open-source company?

        A few months back Glyn Moody, noted open-source journalist, asked the question, “Why No Billion-Dollar Open Source Companies?” Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat’s CEO answered, “Red Hat could get to $5 billion in due course, but that this entailed ‘replacing $50 billion of revenue’ currently enjoyed by other computer companies. Guess what? Red Hat is on its way.

        In its latest quarter, Red Hat’s total revenue was $219.8 million, an increase of 20% from the year ago quarter. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Subscription revenue for the quarter was $186.2 million, up 19% year-over-year. I guess Oracle’s attempt to snatch Red Hat’s business away with a re-branded RHEL really hasn’t worked.

      • Red Hat still kicking despite intense competition

        Red Hat is still a strong presence in the Linux distribution market as its latest financial results prove, declares a senior company executive who noted that the company’s success comes despite targeted maneuvers by its competitors, specifically, Oracle.

        Alex Pinchev, executive vice president and president of global sales, services and field marketing for Red Hat, told ZDNet Asia in an interview Thursday that the software company has increased its share of the Linux distribution market from 80 percent four years ago to 87 percent today. This growth comes despite of competition from companies such as Oracle and Novell, he said.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Beta Declared GOLD

          At the Fedora 14 Beta Go/No-Go meeting today, the Fedora 14 Beta was declared GOLD and ready for release on September 28, 2010.

    • Debian Family

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenIndiana Picks up Where OpenSolaris Left off

    For those disappointed by Oracle’s decision to discontinue supporting a free version of its Solaris Unix-like operating system, a new alternative emerged to take its place. OpenIndiana is part of the Illumos Foundation. OpenIndiana will be built on the last available version of OpenSolaris and will contain bits of Solaris 11. OpenIndiana is the new OpenSolaris.

    OpenIndiana is said to be compatible with Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express and should be an easy drop-in replacement for those systems. Initially OpenIndiana will contain some closed-source code since the current code-base is not fully open. These bits will eventually be replaced by fully Open Source code.

  • Why Open Source Is Free

    In Software Market 3.0, it’s not so much that the Freedom of the software leads to the freeness of the software – although, if you have the resources in-house, you never need pay anyone outside (that’s a big “if” by the way). In Software Market 3.0, everything is available at no charge to somebody because of the need for developer freedom, so it’s tempting to think it’s all available to everyone at no charge – but it’s not.

  • Events

    • lca2011 Announces Second Keynote Speaker

      Our second confirmed keynote speaker for lca2011 is the original author of Sendmail, co-founder and Chief Scientist of Sendmail, Inc., and co-author of Sendmail, published by O’Reilly and Associates. He has presented numerous papers on email and programming and while at U.C. Berkeley, he was the chief programmer on the INGRES relational database management project. He then led the Mammoth project to provide large-scale research software and hardware infrastructure. He has also designed database user and application interfaces at Britton Lee (later Sharebase) and has contributed to the Ring Array Processor project for neural-network-based speech recognition at the International Computer Science Institute.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • An Early Look At Firefox 4

        Among all new browsers, Mozilla may have found the best compromise to bridge the old and the new. Users can easily switch between the new naked interface and the old legacy interface. The new reduced menu that hides below the orange Firefox / Minefield button feels lighter and more organized.

        Also new is a major update of the Gecko layout engine, which hits version 2.0 and delivers rendering improvements. Mozilla has not released a lot of information about its Mozilla 2.0 platform so far, but we will be updating our coverage as soon as more information becomes available.

      • Firefox 4 beta 7 dev going slow, RC1 not due until late October

        Firefox 4 Beta 6 was released on September 14. Beta 7, which is currently under development, is slated for release sometime in the second half of September and the first release candidate is expected to be delivered in the second half of October.

  • Oracle

    • Ellison & the GPL Part I

      You would think a firm that fancies itself a Linux development company would have some respect for the GPL. With most companies, you’d be right. But not with Oracle. It becomes more obvious with each passing day that Larry Ellison has absolutely no respect for the GPL. The FOSS community would do well to consider Ellison to be the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing and act according – for “FOSS-friendly” Oracle might pose more of a threat than Microsoft ever did.

      Ellison seems to be making the GPL his play toy, shamelessly looking for holes in the license to exploit to his own advantage. Several years back, to show his displeasure at Red Hat for potentially moving into his territory when they acquired JBoss, he boldly announced the release of Unbreakable Linux, which was really Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) rebranded as an Oracle product (which he was perfectly free to do under the terms of the GPL).

    • Ellison & the GPL Part II
    • Proceed With Caution to Oracle’s Proprietary Linux Kernel

      The new kernel is faster than RHEL 5, the company says–though that’s not too surprising, given that the current RHEL is based on an older version of the Linux kernel. The next version, RHEL 6–due later this year–will presumably be similarly updated, with all the speed and other benefits that brings.

      What’s more concerning, I think, is the way Oracle is trying to introduce vendor lock-in in an area that’s supposed to be defined by openness.

      The company has already been showing its true feelings about openness lately. First, it sued Google over Android’s use of Java, then it pulled the plug on OpenSolaris, the open version of Sun’s Solaris operating system. One can only worry for OpenOffice.org.

    • What Oracle has not learned about open source

      But not everyone has made the adjustment. The Bells haven’t. Tech lobbyists like the Progress and Freedom Foundation haven’t, talking of “property” as sacrosanct even when it leads to monopolies that frustrate change, growth, and competition.

      Oracle most definitely hasn’t, and this is a big problem given their control over what many still consider the crown jewels of open source — Java and Open Office.

      Oracle’s ambitions were on display all week in San Francisco, along with its proprietary attitude, best summed up by the adage “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is none of your business.”

      There is nothing “socialist” about sharing infrastructure. America’s growth is based on it. From canals to railroads, from ports to freeways, from convention centers to the Internet, shared infrastructure has lowered costs for America’s businesses throughout our history, and made our economy the envy of the world.

    • Proceed With Caution to Oracle’s Proprietary Linux Kernel

      After years of using Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the basis for its own “Unbreakable Linux” distribution, Oracle this week announced that it has created its own version of the Linux kernel that’s optimized for use with its other enterprise offerings.

    • Oracle Announces JDK Roadmap for Advancing Java SE

      Oracle is announcing its plans for advancing the Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) and optimizing it for new application models and hardware, including extended support for scripting languages, increased developer productivity and lower operational costs.

      The announced roadmap for the OpenJDK accelerates the availability of Java SE with two releases, one in 2011 and one in 2012. These OpenJDK releases will continue to serve as the basis for the Oracle Java Development Kit (JDK) 7 and JDK 8.

  • Government

    • UK Gov IT chief backs open source, small business

      The UK government’s deputy Chief Information Officer has outlined plans to hand public sector IT contracts over to small businesses and suppliers of open-source and cloud-based solutions in an attempt to balance the books.

      Speaking at the 360IT conference in London on Wednesday, Bill McCluggage also promised greater transparency over IT procurement, with tenders and contracts published online.

      “It is quite an interesting time, with some 120 days since the new government,” he told delegates. “The new administration’s policy is to promote small business procurement so that 25 per cent of government contracts should be awarded to SMEs.”

      “We want to move away from large system integrators,” he added.

      McCluggage said IT projects across all departments were being reassessed ion a bid to cut the bill for central government IT, which currently stands at more than £7 billion – nearly half of the £16.9 billion spent nationally on public sector IT services.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Can academia “release early, release often?”

      A few months ago, opensource.com ran a story on a textbook for college students learning programming (Can Professors Teach Open Source?, Greg DeKoenigsberg, Apr 6 2010). The textbook, “Practical Open Source Software Exploration,” was created the open source way on the Teaching Open Source wiki. (Read Greg’s article for more on what we mean by creating the textbook “the open source way”.)

      Although the textbook was written with students in mind, it turns out that professors are pretty important when it comes to teaching, too.

      Late July, I sat in on a conversation between primary authors of the textbook on my team at Red Hat and Timothy Budd, associate professor at Oregon State University’s School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Budd used “Practical Open Source Software Exploration” in an introduction to free and open source software course in the spring 2010 semester. He reported that the book has potential, but that there are a few major things to get fixed.

    • Open Data

      • MapQuest debuts four new OpenStreetMap enhanced mapping sites in Europe

        Today, the company announced the beta launch of four new European mapping sites built on OpenStreetMap data, in France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

        The AOL company says all four sites will utilize the new MapQuest brand and UI and will have data from OSM, allowing users to improve areas like streets in their neighborhoods, bike paths, parks and hiking trails. Each site will be a stand-alone offering that lives alongside the existing MapQuest sites – which are based on commercially available map data – in the four countries.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Budapest: 2 talks at the OpenOffice.org Conference 2010

      At the worldwide OpenOffice.org Conference 2010 in Budapest I have participated giving two talks: the main one was about ODF Scripting, which is about how to generate office texts, presentations and spreadsheets automatically. The other (very short) talk was about ODF-next, that is what should be in my opinion the evolution of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) for office documents.

Leftovers

  • My geekiest strip ever.
  • DJ Chris Moyles plays down BBC pay tirade

    Radio One DJ Chris Moyles has played down an on-air tirade about not being paid, in his first show since he made the comments.

    Moyles said he was “not embarrassed, just very bemused” by the furore surrounding his “rant” on Wednesday.

    “Yesterday was a ridiculous day,” he said as his show began at 0630 BST. “Hopefully, this will go away.”

  • Finance

    • Recession Over in June 2009

      The National Bureau of Economic Research, the arbiter of the start and end dates of a recession, determined that the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009.

    • 12 Reasons a Healthy Startup Ecosystem Matters to Founders (And One Big Reason It Doesn’t)

      If you have a startup in a city outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, ecosystem is a word you hear pretty frequently. And Montreal is no exception. I’ve been part of Montreal’s startup scene since I moved here from the Bay Area in 2002. I’ve been active in local events and projects since our first BarCamp in 2006. And I’ve taken an amateur’s interests in other cities’ efforts to kickstart their own startup virtuous cycle – New York, Portland, Vancouver and others.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Where We Are, Where We’re Going

      On Thursday, the House Committee on Administration will take a vote on the Fair Elections Now Act — the bill that we, along with many others, have been pushing for the past two years. The Committee will pass the bill. With a bit of luck, and a lot more pressure, the managers of the bill believe it could have the votes to pass the House as well. If they’re right, and if the Speaker allows the bill to come to the floor, then for the first time in a generation, the House will have ratified fundamental and effective campaign finance reform.

      This optimism will surprise many of you. As I’ve travelled to talk about this issue, the overwhelming attitude of people who want better from our government is that our government is incapable of giving us better. The House ratifying Fair Elections would be the first, and best evidence, this skepticism might be wrong. It would also be a testament to the extraordinary work of organizations like Public Campaign and Common Cause (especially the campaign director, David Donnelly), as well as many others, including MoveOn, the Coffee Party, You Street (as in “not K Street”) and many of you. This victory would give American voters an idea worth fighting for. It would be a critical victory, at least if we can gather the final few votes needed in the House. (You can help in that by using our Whip Tool).

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Tools to visualize access to information

      When Google’s services are blocked or filtered, we can’t serve our users effectively. That’s why we act every day to maximize free expression and access to information. To promote transparency around this flow of information, we’ve built an interactive online Transparency Report with tools that allow people to see where governments are demanding that we remove content and where Google services are being blocked. We believe that this kind of transparency can be a deterrent to censorship.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Third Time’s The Charm?

      After signing its intention to conform its copyright act to World Intellectual Property Organization standards 11 years ago, the Canadian government has introduced Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act, to fulfill that mandate.

      But after the failure of two previous attempts — Bill C-60 and Bill C-61 both died on the vine due to unexpected election calls — some are warning the same fate could befall the CMA, especially since federal conservatives remain in charge and could be toppled by the opposition at any time.

    • Stevie Wonder calls for International Action to Enhance Accessibility for Visually Impaired Persons

      Stevie Wonder launched his “Declaration of freedom for people with disabilities” which he said was “a call to action, a plan to empower the independence of people with disabilities by providing them with the tools to learn and grow.” In addressing ministers and policy-makers from WIPO’s 184 member states, he said, “through your legislative efforts, incentives can be created to advance the blind and visually disabled towards the promise of a better life.”

    • Gallo report: European Parliament U-turns on users rights
    • Copyrights

      • Senior Judge Warns of End To File-Sharing Cash Demands

        A senior judge has given the clearest indications so far that patience could be running out with “pay up or else” letters currently being sent out in their thousands to alleged file-sharers. At a hearing to authorize yet more, the judge called the schemes “a huge sledgehammer to crack a nut” adding that once the Digital Economy Act is in force, further applications may not be successful.

      • Google Asking For Help In Making Sure Public Domain Books Are Recognized As Public Domain

        Perhaps in response to this, apparently Google is now asking people in their forums to identify books within Google Books that are in the public domain, so that Google can investigate and see if they should be opened up as public domain books (found via Glyn Moody).

      • Copyright As Presently Defined Is Unconstitutional

        The context is a discussion over whether it should be legal for users to strip off TUR (technological usage restrictions), also known as DRM, when the validation servers for their legally-purchased content (that is, music, video, and software) are shut down. Should Windows XP stop working when Microsoft shuts down its Genuine Disadvantage servers? Should people who bought “protected” music lose when Wal-Mart or Microsoft or Apple decide to shut down their authorization servers?

        [...]

        Now, we must understand that copyright and patents do not exist to enrich media and technology companies, but only to benefit society as a whole. The RIAA, the MPAA, and the BSA consist mostly of large and rich corporations. They are large and rich, I surmise, because misinterpretation of a simple clause of the Constitution into a near-perpetual right to compensation has enabled corporations and “stars” to get very high returns for their efforts. The bad thing about those ultra-high returns is the belief that they are entitled to them, which was the reason behind technological usage restrictions in the first place.

      • Supreme Court could take its first RIAA file-sharing case

        The US Supreme Court is weighing in on the first RIAA file sharing case to reach its docket, requesting that the music labels’ litigation arm respond to a case testing the so-called “innocent infringer” defense to copyright infringement.

        The case pending before the justices concerns a federal appeals court’s February decision ordering a university student to pay the Recording Industry Association of America $27,750—or $750 a track—for file-sharing 37 songs when she was a high school cheerleader. The appeals court decision reversed a Texas federal judge who, after concluding the youngster was an innocent infringer, ordered defendant Whitney Harper to pay $7,400—or $200 per song. That’s an amount well below the standard $750 fine required under the Copyright act.

      • The Canadian Music Industry on C-32: A House Divided

        Musician Carole Pope has an op-ed in the Globe and Mail today calling on the government to reform Bill C-32 by extending the private copying to MP3 players. That approach was derided by both Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement as the iTax last spring and Clement tweeted a response today. Regardless of your view on the levy, the op-ed highlights just how divided the music industry in Canada is on Bill C-32. While sites like the CRIA-backed Balanced Copyright for Canada seek to project an image of strong support for the bill, the reality is that the Canadian music industry is deeply divided on many aspects of the proposed legislation. In fact, in recent weeks it has turned increasingly critical, touting the need to pass the bill, but simultaneously offering mounting criticism of its provisions.

      • How Canada’s new copyright law threatens to make culture criminals of us all

        Industry Minister Tony Clement’s iPod contains 10,452 songs, he told reporters on May 26, most of them transferred from CDs he bought. It’s a widespread practice generally known as “format shifting,” and in Canada, it’s illegal.

      • Copyright and Football: A Guest Post

        The theory behind copyright is simple – if we allow anyone to copy a good new idea, then no one will come up with the next one. The theory makes perfect sense – in theory. In previous posts, however, we have described how fashion designers, chefs, comedians and pornographers all continue to create, even though others are free to copy their fashion designs, recipes, jokes, and . . . images. In this post, we’ll take a look at something different: football.

      • Censorship of the Internet Takes Center Stage in “Online Infringement” Bill

        enator Patrick Leahy yesterday introduced the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA). This flawed bill would allow the Attorney General and the Department of Justice to break the Internet one domain at a time — by requiring domain registrars/registries, ISPs, DNS providers, and others to block Internet users from reaching certain websites. The bill would also create two Internet blacklists. The first is a list of all the websites hit with a censorship court order from the Attorney General. The second, more worrying, blacklist is a list of domain names that the Department of Justice determines — without judicial review — are “dedicated to infringing activities.” The bill only requires blocking for domains in the first list, but strongly suggests that domains on the second list should be blocked as well by providing legal immunity for Internet intermediaries and DNS operators who decide to block domains on the second blacklist as well. (It’s easy to predict that there will be tremendous pressure for Internet intermediaries of all stripes to block these “deemed infringing” sites on the second blacklist.)

      • Everything is a Remix
      • Leaked Report Admits That Hadopi First Strike Accusations Won’t Be Reviewed For Accuracy

        Read that bold part carefully. What this is saying is that despite the fact that you can be kicked off the internet based solely on accusations, not convictions, and despite all of the problems with false accusations and the fact that an IP address alone does not accurately identify an individual, and despite the fact that the massive number of notices being sent out mean that there will surely be false positives, the only people reviewing these notices to make sure they’re accurate will be employed by the agent hired by the copyright holders themselves. Due process? It’s dead.

      • Mulve – The Nightmare-Scenario Music Downloading Tool

        As pressure on file-sharing continues to mount, many people are searching for ‘safer’ methods to acquire music. Today we bring news of an application that seems to be almost too good to be true. With a huge database of songs, Mulve delivers music to users’ desktops at amazing speeds at the touch of a button with zero uploading, meaning that “getting caught” is no longer a concern. Question is, how long will it last?

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Still Hasn’t Been Seen by Any UK MPs

          Country’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) confirms that no democratic institution in the UK has yet seen a draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

          More news of the frighteningly secretive nature of the ongoing Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations has appeared with the confirmation by the UK’s Intellectual Property Office that no text of the treaty has yet been shared with any MP or the country’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

          What this means, as has been the case in other countries where the ACTA is being debated, is that to date no democratic institution in the UK has seen a copy of the ACTA draft.

        • Latest ACTA Negotiation Kicks Off By Making It Difficult For Consumer Rights Groups To Attend

          While it’s not clear that it’s done much, at least at the last few ACTA negotiation meetings, time has been set aside for various “civil society groups” to meet with the negotiators and ask some questions. Apparently, the ACTA negotiators would rather not do that anymore. Sean Flynn has detailed just how difficult the negotiators made it for such groups to attend the latest meeting in Tokyo. Everyone knew that the meeting was happening in Tokyo, but the rumors were that it started next week.

Clip of the Day

Nokia N900 user Interface


Credit: TinyOgg

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