IRC Proceedings: September 25th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 25/9/2010: The 5 Dollar KDE Challenge, Etc.

Posted in News Roundup at 11:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How do you copy 60m files?

    So the best way to move 60 million files from one Windows server to another turns out to be: use Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Making a Difference; Selling a Difference

      Some will argue that the desktop no longer matters or if it does, it won’t for long. They will tell you that the age of mobile technology is here, that Web apps do it all, and that since Linux, in its Android persona, is on its way to ruling the mobile roost, that we should all sit back happily and congratulate ourselves on finally achieving Linux World Domination.

      They are wrong.

      Sure, mobile devices are cool. But for the foreseeable future, the desktop will continue to be the place where the real work gets done. It’s the place where large scale productivity applications will continue to dominate. It’s still where you’re going to do your accounting, write letters, create cool graphics, edit video, and so on. Try to imagine creating a complex marketing presentation on your iPhone just for fun. See if you can find many businesses out there that have plans in the next 5 years to dump all their desktop systems in favor of everyone typing on their smartphone touchpads. Uh huh. The desktop matters as much as it ever did and there’s a damn good chance that it’s never going away, at least not anytime soon. Barring some truly revolutionary *ahem* paradigm shift in the way we interface with computers, of course. That revolutionary shift hasn’t happened. Not yet anyhow.

  • Ballnux

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Linux’s new Gnome desktop to take on KDE and Windows

      The next major release of Gnome promises to re-define the Linux desktop the way KDE has. Ashton Mills previews the new shell for Ubuntu’s default desktop.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The 5 Dollar KDE Challenge

        Anyways this is not meant to be a review of Choqok, cool as it is, but to allow me to make a point: We are lucky to have many great applications in KDE. Everything from financial apps to great media players to CD/DVD authoring tools to a full-fledged office suite. Great games. And on and on it goes. Not to mention to gorgeous KDE Workspaces we luckily get to look at every day. And let’s not forget all the work and costs associated with running the KDE e.V. as it supports and funds so many KDE activities. And it’s all free! And while we’re at it let’s not forget the individual distributions out there that put it all together for us. And the bloggers and all of the people who donate their time in order to promote and support KDE in many ways every day.

      • The future of KDE

        MeeGo is less than a year old. KDE, by contrast, has 14 years of experience in building the Linux desktop. Even with the backing of the world’s largest mobile phone and processor vendors, it takes a bold man to turn up at Akademy, KDE’s annual global conference, and announce that MeeGo is “redefining the Linux desktop landscape”.

      • Linux finally matches Windows’ eye candy with the KDE desktop

        KDE is an interesting beast: up to version 3.0 it competed with Gnome for the mind share of Linux desktop users. KDE 3.0 was an excellent alternative, often favoured by the power users for its emphasis on configurability and flexibility.

        For version 4.0, the KDE team took the drastic action of re-inventing and re-building KDE almost from the ground up. This included re-designing the desktop paradigm and breaking functionality into core components that include Plasma (desktop display and effects), Phonon (multimedia backend) and Solid (hardware abstraction layer).

  • Distributions

    • Linux: Paradox of choice

      Are hundreds of different Linux versions a good or a bad thing for open source?

      Every so often every Linux advocate is subjected, yet again, to the question: “Are there too many Linux distributions?”

      The answer is both simple (“no”), while at the same time being a lot more complicated than that.

    • New Releases

      • Momonga 7
      • SystemRescueCd 1.6.0
      • Absolute 13.1.5 released

        Security updates including mozilla-nss package, (and Firefox, Seamonkey and Thunderbird on CD2.) Icewm menu fixes and re-arrangement and AbiWord is back in base install with gtk printing preview by epdfview (so no more abiWords crashes… right?) Also several package updates including OpenOffice, Imagemagick, Inkscape, Chromium Browser, and new default sound mixer – alsamixer-qt4. New script in menu to change screen locker mode and updated find-installed script.

      • Tiny Core 3.1
      • Parted Magic 5.5
      • Kongoni 1.12.3 (Cicero) released!

        This is the final and stable release of Kongoni 1.12.3 (Cicero). With this release most issues and problems should be solved, also most packages where cleaned-up, updated to the latest version. Kernel upgraded to version, improved the stability and speed, re-build with support for more hardware devices, cleaned-up the kernel configuration, set Rekonq browser as the default web browser, Gnash upgraded to verison 0.8.8, KDE upgraded to version 4.5.1, removed Ktorrent and replaced it with qBittorrent, which should be much more faster and lightweight.

      • PelicanHPC 2.2
    • Red Hat Family

      • Amid Oracle Threats, Red Hat Remains In Growth Mode

        Oracle is making some lofty claims about its Linux strategy, but entrenched rival Red Hat continues to gain momentum with its three-pronged open source strategy: Linux, virtualization and middleware. Here’s the update, which includes Red Hat’s first $1 million-plus private cloud deal.

        After the markets closed today, Red Hat said its Q2 2011 total revenue was $219.8 million, up 20% from the year ago quarter. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $186.2 million, up 19% year-over-year. Although net income fell to $23.7 million (down about $5.2 million), Red Hat’s earnings still beat Wall Street’s expectations.

      • What’s Next for Java at Oracle?

        The future of Java under Oracle’s leadership is one that includes continued innovation across multiple deployment areas including servers, desktops and mobile devices. That’s the message delivered by Thomas Kurian, executive vice president, Oracle Product Development during a JavaOne keynote address detailing the road ahead for Java.

        New graphics, performance and enhanced programming capabilities are all on Oracle’s roadmap for Java development. Oracle took over the stewardship of Java as part of its acquisition of Sun which closed earlier this year.

    • Debian Family

      • aptosid 2010-02

        I recently reviewed Linux Mint Debian, a very user-friendly version of Linux Mint based on Debian. This time I looked at another distro based on Debian, called aptosid.

        Aptosid, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is actually made by the same developers that created the popular distro Sidux. There was apparently some conflict and controversy within the Sidux e.V association that resulted in Sidux morphing into Aptosid.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Apple’s multi-touch Magic Trackpad tested in Ubuntu 10.10

          Today I got my hands on Apple’s new cool peripheral that everyone is talking about, the Magic Trackpad. When it was first released, a lot of people said that this was the beginning of the end of the humble and trusty mouse. I’m not entirely convinced that the magic trackpad spells the end, but this idea of bringing laptop multitouch to the desktop is certainly is an interesting concept.

        • Tale of two Ubuntus

          The console version of Ubuntu 10.04, as I expected, wouldn’t even start. My experiences earlier this year foretold that a machine with a meager 32Mb of memory wouldn’t get past the grub menu.

        • Ubuntu Netbook Edition Review

          I got a very good conditioned asus eeepc 701 and the first distro of choice after chatting on freenode channel #eeepc was ubuntu netbook edition or une for short (10.04 Lucid).

        • Can Ubuntu Linux Attract More Hardware Partners?

          This is the second year Canonical is hosting the Ubuntu Hardware Summit. The event, located in Taipei, Taiwan, arrives roughly five months after Canonical shipped Ubuntu 10.04, a long term support (LTS) release designed for servers, desktops, mobile devices and private clouds. As an LTS release, Ubuntu 10.04 potentially provides customers and partners with long-term peace of mind on the support front.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • More than Twenty Cities Rally for Bradley Manning

      From September 16-19, supporters of Bradley Manning held public rallies and vigils for the accused WikiLeaks whistleblower, currently imprisoned in Quantico. Events were held in twenty-one cities in the United States, Canada and Australia in response to a call for action sent by the Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist.

    • “Welcome Home, War!”: Pennsylvania and the Marcellus Shale

      Activists, concerned citizens, and democrats (written purposely with a lower “d”), watch out. As George Orwell stated in his ominous book 1984, “Big Brother is watching you.” One need to look no further than the creepy and covert Orwellian events that were recently unearthed in Pennsylvania as Exhibit A for a reflection of the current horrifying environment that exists for those who choose to speak out against governmental and corporate injustices and in this instance, against fracking in the Marcellus Shale.

  • Finance

    • Millennium Development Goals- Another Awesome Joke on the Poor!

      it is being received.

      I would not go into the economics of why this ‘project’ is a joke. This piece originally tweeted by William Esterly really brings the point home. Forget about aid and all the other philanthropic overtures. Take away the subsidies that have killed the farming businesses of hundreds of thousands of petty farmers in all poor countries, let there be a little fairness in trading between the haves and have-not countries.

    • SPIN METER: Largest tax increase ever? Not quite

      The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts in January has sparked a partisan bickering match this election season, and much of the rhetoric from both Democrats and Republicans is misleading. Here’s a look at three prominent arguments, sorting the spin from the facts:


      THE SPIN:

      Republicans warn that America faces the largest tax increase ever if Congress doesn’t extend the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, which are due to expire in January.

      “Democrats in Washington are now plotting the largest tax increase in history,” says the website for Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, makes a similar claim in a press release, and so does Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the Republican Study Committee.


      THE FACTS:

      Few members of Congress want to let all the tax cuts expire. Republicans want to extend all the tax cuts, and President Barack Obama — along with Democratic leaders in Congress — want to extend them for individuals making less than $200,000 and married couples making less than $250,000.

    • Spinning the Tax Cuts

      A 1942 tax increase accounted for over 71 percent of federal revenues. By contrast, the currently-proposed potential tax increase would raise revenues less than ten percent. Republicans also argue that the dollar amount of next year’s potential increase would be the largest ever, even accounting for inflation.

    • Already Elizabeth Warren Deserves a Promotion

      She appears to be happy about all this, but it leaves us here at BanksterUSA unsatisfied. This is a temporary appointment. What is she? A Kelly Girl? We are sick of temporary jobs. We prefer permanent things like a title, a salary, benefits, five years guaranteed, and most importantly, power.

    • Tell Larry Summers, “Don’t Delay!”

      A Resume Only Wall Street Could Love

      Summers has a long resume that makes him an ideal candidate for a job on the Street. For years, he promoted the concept of “a post-industrial age” where manufacturing takes a back seat. An expression he was fond of repeating was, “Financial markets do not just oil the wheels of economic growth. They are the wheels.” And has he worked very hard his entire career to grease those wheels.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • In Wake of Ballot Initiatives, Questions About the National Organization for Marriage’s Funding

      Add to that list a donation of a whopping $1.4 million in 2009 to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a nonprofit group dedicated to fighting same-sex marriage through the ballot initiative system in California, Maine and other states. While NOM hasn’t yet made public its 2009 fundraising numbers, the amount of charitable contributions it received in 2008 totaled approximately $2.9 million.

    • Netflix apologizes for using actors to meet press at Canadian launch

      Problem is, many of those in the crowd were actors who were paid to be there. Many of the “extras” on hand were interviewed by journalists, who didn’t realize they weren’t real consumers interested in the product.

    • Ad Campaign Aims to Change Americans’ Image of Mormons

      The Mormon Church has launched a television ad campaign in nine test markets. The ads contain no Bible verses or doctrinal discussions … just everyday folks talking about their everyday lives. And, oh, by the way … they practice a faith that nearly half of Americans know little to nothing about.

    • Mormons Use PR Campaign to Boost Their Image

      The Utah-based Mormon church is running a television ad campaign to try and address stereotypes about their adherents. The TV ads show regular people doing regular things, and then saying they are Mormon. The ads attempt to influence how people think of the religion, and drive traffic to the church’s official web site, Mormon.org.

    • Journalists Flee Utah Newspaper Overtaken by PR

      Journalists working for Utah’s oldest continuously-published daily newspaper, the Deseret News, are leaving the paper in a dispute over the new direction in the paper’s journalism. The problem started when the paper published a front-page story written entirely by Michael Purdy, the head of the LDS Church’s public relations department.

    • Open Container: D-News Exodus

      The Mormon Media Observer, Joel Campbell, leaves the Deseret News because of ethical conflicts. Senior political reporter Lee Davidson is also leaving.

      Joel Campbell (pictured) is moving to the Salt Lake Tribune, effective immediately, because he does not consider the bold, new direction of the paper as journalism. Campbell also said he is not alone, and that there are some other reporters leaving the Deseret News for the same reasons.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Remotely wiping mobile phones

      As Nathan Hamblen reports on his blog, remote wipe is currently being misused by Exchange administrators to punish users who access their corporate email from unapproved devices. In many, perhaps most, cases, those unapproved devices are the personal property of a user who is just trying to get their work done. One can understand administrators wanting to impose draconian access rules, and even to enforce them, but punishing users by deleting their photos, applications, and other personal data seems just a tad beyond the pale.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • A Big Week For Broadband

      But the Internet is not just for developed countries – it should be for everyone, and that’s why I am getting involved in the United Nations Broadband Commission.

      Finally, I am quite inspired by this video (also above) – this is a case of broadband by the people, for the people you might say. I really recommend you watch it. As the women explaining the process says: “if we can you do it, anyone can do it.” That is exactly the spirit we all need in the coming years – our digital future belongs to people willing to get invovled in building it!

    • Gallo report adopted: A stab in the back of citizens’ freedoms

      The European Parliament has just adopted the Gallo report on copyright enforcement by 328 to 245 votes. This very repressive text is one more step in the entertainment industries’ crusade against their own public. The Members of the Parliament have failed to recognize that the measures called for in this non-legislative text profoundly undermine fundamental freedoms1. For the next steps, citizens must remain on their guard and should continue to inform their elected representatives about the lies of the industry, and the importance of the Internet for the future of our societies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Kafkaesque Question Of Who Owns Kafka’s Papers

        Law professor Peter Friedman has an interesting discussion on his blog about who owns Franz Kafka’s papers, based on a recent New York Times piece about a big legal fight over the matter. Yes, Kafka died back in 1924. Apparently, when he died, he left a note to his friend Max Brod, ordering him to burn all of Kafka’s papers (“diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others’), sketches and so on.”) Much to the benefit of modern literature, Brod totally ignored this request, and published a series of posthumous Kafka works, including some of his most famous and respected works, such as “The Trial.”

      • Kafka’s Last Trial

        The National Library’s argument is complicated by Brod’s so-called gift letter of 1952. The most crucial and enigmatic document in the case, it appears to give all of the Kafka papers outright, during Brod’s lifetime, to Esther Hoffe. The sisters presented the court with a two-page photocopy of this letter. The National Library, however, produced a photocopy of a four-page version of the letter, of which the two missing middle pages appear to clarify the limitations of Brod’s gift. When the court ordered a forensic examination, the sisters were unable to produce the original letter.

        Last year, the court decided to grant the National Library’s request that the papers in the sisters’ possession be inventoried: some evidence suggests that the vaults contain further documentation clarifying Brod’s intentions for the papers. The sisters appealed the decision, maintaining that the state has no right to search private property for documents whose existence can’t be proven beforehand. The hearing I attended was to determine the outcome of their appeal.

      • ACS:Law Anti-Piracy Law Firm Torn Apart By Leaked Emails

        Earlier this week, anti-piracy lawyers ACS:Law had their website taken down by a 4chan DDoS attack. Adding insult to injury, owner Andrew Crossley was harassed at home in the middle of the night by prank phone calls. Now, through a fault with his website, hundreds of megabytes of private emails have been exposed to the public and uploaded to The Pirate Bay. To those hoping that this is a MediaDefender-type fiasco all over again, trust us – it is.


        Financial problems? Interesting. Many tens of thousands of people who received letters from ACS:Law are also experiencing the same problem, having already paid up several hundred pounds each to make non-existent lawsuits go away.

        “We’re still sorting through it. There’s a lot of stuff here to go through. But, basically, we were told we were less important than a 10 minute late train, or a queue for coffee by Andrew,” the attackers’ spokesman told us, adding:

        “Payback is a bitch, isn’t it Andrew?”


        – ACS:Law and USCG (of Hurt Locker fame) appear to be cooperating
        – Crossley boasts that his retained lawyer “literally wrote the SRA rules!”
        – Crossley accuses Which? of ‘defamation’ and articles designed to “demean” and “denigrate”
        – Crossley gives veiled warnings to Which? that he could sue them for libel
        – Internal documents reveal intentions to take down Slyck.com

      • ACS:Law (Gay) Porn Letters Target Pensioners, Married Men

        Last night, the private emails of anti-piracy law firm ACS:Law were spilled onto the Internet. Today, as we continue to dig through the mountain of information, we take a look at some of the human victims of this scheme. From poor people pleading for clemency, to bewildered old age pensioners accused of sharing adult movies, to married men who have been confronted with allegations of sharing gay porn, the cost is significant.

      • Forget digital tunes; analog music on the upswing

        Seventy-two years ago last week, the 33-1/3 long-playing vinyl record was invented. And while most music fans have moved on to streaming Bluetooth audio, MP3s and other digital music formats, LP sales are higher today than at any time in recent history.

      • Sharing is legitimate

        For centuries, people were free to transmit to others cultural works such as books or records as they wished. This was codified under two separate mechanisms: the first sale doctrine and the recognition that acts in the private sphere were none of the business of right holders3. It was accepted that such a transmission of works between individuals is at the root of a shared culture, and in the end benefits authors and other contributors.

        With the development of information technology, digitization and the Internet, the scale and scope of sharing was immensely extended. Its usefulness did not disappear in the process. Actually, sharing has now acquired another function: it counterbalances to a certain degree the ability of centralized media to concentrate attention on a limited number of works for the purpose of maximizing per title profits. In the digital era, in the absence of large scale sharing providing an alternative non-market distribution channel, access to culture would be severely impoverished.

Clip of the Day

Paolo Carlini – “The new C++ Standard and library (C++0x)”

Credit: TinyOgg

Robocopyright ACTA (as Ogg)

Posted in Humour, Intellectual Monopoly, Videos at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New video from La Quadrature du Net

Links 25/9/2010: GNU/Linux in British Government, Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • GCHQ spooks top UK Linux installations

    The largest installation of Linux desktops in any British Government site is at GCHQ, the high-tech spy-station in Cheltenham, according to industry sources.

    Whispers in the courtly corridors around Westminster, the seat of British government, have it that British intelligence uses Linux because it is secure, good at number crunching, and doesn’t cost much to deploy.


    Another relatively big British Linux site is the Met Office, which monitors the weather. Number crunchers prefer Linux, say open source advocates, and that is why the UK’s private sector has been slow to catch onto it: the bleeding-edge Web 2.0 businesses that install enough Linux machines to actually support a supply-side industry simply don’t exist in the UK.

    Take Ubuntu, the blend of Linux touted by Canonical, that rare of rare beasts: a company that not only makes money out of Linux but is based in the UK. The largest known private sector installation of Ubuntu, across a respectable 21,000 machines, is in California. The site is Google, though that’s hush-hush as well.

    Things are, however, about to change. And for three reasons. The Liberal Democrats, traditionally the political party for people who wear socks and sandals – the natural Linux party – have taken power as one half of the British coalition Government. The other reason is that there is emerging across the board a generation of politicians who simply “get it”, as they say in the open source trade.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 166 – Narwhals in Your Head

      The Linux Outlaws are back with a new site, a new server, awesome music, a recap of the most important Linux and F/OSS topics of the last few weeks and a load of your feedback.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Running An Encrypted LVM In Ubuntu 10.10
    • Tracking Weekly Enterprise Linux News & Trends

      In an effort to capture notable enterprise Linux news and trends, The Linux Foundation will be surfacing some of the important milestones and announcements for enterprise Linux each week. We hope this is useful to our members and to the Linux.com community and we welcome your feedback and additions to these highlights in the comments section.

    • Graphics Stack

      • CUDA support in OpenCV announced at GTC

        At the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, NVIDIA announced that the Open Source Computer Vision (OpenCV) library, which includes image processing algorithms, will, from the start of next year, be able to utilise the computing power of NVIDIA GPUs by making use of CUDA GPU acceleration.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Amarok Insider – Issue 15
      • David Faure

        Can you tell us what you do for KDE?
        KDE developer since 1998, maintainer of Konqueror and large portions of the KDE libraries. In addition to development (mostly bugfixing, occasionally new features), I review many patches from others, and help people with specific development questions on IRC. As such a long-time contributor to KDE, people often come to me with questions about why things in kdelibs were done in a certain way, so despite my usually bad memory, I end up playing the role of the “memory of the project” a little bit :) Old-timer joke: Radej’s beer wasn’t cold while he wrote kmenubar…

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Beta Testers On GNOME 2.30, Making Progress

        Lots of things keeping me busy, but making excellent progress on building a new server to run 64bit OpenSuse 11.3 and GNOME 2.30. Now that gdm is working with XDMCP, I was able to get the logins working. Halfline (thanks!) once again helped me with turning off the animations that were displaying when the authentication screen appears and also then as it goes away and the users wallpaper appears. This type of animation is too slow over remote display, and caused you to have to wait while the screen blinked multiple times. I’m sure it looks great on a local video card, but not suitable for here and not needed in a business/work environment.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Trisquel 4.0 LTS Is Based on Ubuntu 10.04

        Rubén Rodríguez has announced the release Trisquel 4.0 LTS, an Ubuntu-based derivative which uses only free software. The major goal of Trisquel is to have a pure, 100 percent free distro based on the popular Ubuntu.

      • Trisquel 4.0 LTS “Taranis” strikes!

        As our special way to celebrate Software Freedom Day, we are pleased to announce that Trisquel 4.0 LTS, codename “Taranis” -the Celtic god of thunder- is ready for download. It is our second Long Term Support release, and it is a sweet one! It comes in the usual GNOME flavor and with a light LXDE based environment in the shape of the new “Mini” edition. Netinstall images are also available for servers and custom installations. Soon we will also add an international DVD with a big translation set -the standard images contain complete support for English and Spanish- and educational and professional oriented environments as well.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS vs. Ubuntu – or – Linux XXX vs. Linux YYY

        This blog post was actually written as a comment to my previous post about PCLinuxOS, in answer to a question posted in the comments there. It quickly exceeded the length limit for comments here, so I have moved it to its own blog posting. I hope that is considered a fair move, because the subject matter can actually be extended from the original question of PCLinuxOS compared to Ubuntu, to the more general question of comparing two different Linux distributions.

      • Mandriva and Mageia: two open roads

        Then, suddenly, the fog of gloom that had been encircling the whole Mandriva/Mageia business vanished. To be honest, I was getting worried about what distro to use if Mandriva plummeted when I first heard the news about the company’s financial woes. This apparently unsubstantiated worry cannot be understood unless one has suffered enough with Windows and happens to find a Linux distro that resembles his or her “ideal OS”. That was my case with Mandriva.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • No, we are not infringing any licenses

          Nobody on the Ubuntu One team commented on any of his blog posts either. Ampache seems like a nice piece of software and even some people on the Ubuntu One team use it.

        • LC Brazil: Consumers, experts, or admins?

          Jane Silber is the (relatively) new CEO at Canonical; she went to Brazil to deliver a keynote on the “consumerization of IT” and, in particular, its implications on open source. What she was really there to talk about, of course, was the interesting stuff that is being done with the Ubuntu distribution. Linux serves the needs of expert users very well, but, according to Jane, the future of Linux is very much in the hands of “consumers,” so we need to shift our focus toward that user base. There are a number of things being done in the Ubuntu context to make that happen.

        • Faenza icon set gets a PPA

          Quick heads up to something I forgot to mention before – the very slick Faenza icon set now has a PPA, making it easy to stay up-to-date with the latest additions to the square-y icon set.

        • Ubuntu shows off new facial recognition interface technology

          This all-seeing eye future of interface seems to have stuck in the minds of the guys over at Canonical, who are demonstrating a Ubuntu prototype that uses facial recognition in coordination with other sensors to allow users to interact with PCs in new and intuitive ways.

        • Ubuntu Prototype Uses Facial Recognition to Interact With UI
        • Top Ubuntu (Linux) applications
        • Ubuntu 10.10: a meaningless release
        • Goodbye Ubuntu 9.04

          Dear Ubuntu 9.04 users, the time has come to say goodbye to the Jaunty Jackalope release of the popular Ubuntu operating system. One month from today, on October 23rd, it reaches end of life.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Moving To Open-Source Software

      With the typical cost of software accounting for 40% to 60% of an SoC, semiconductor OEMs are under more pressure than ever to meet margins. As a result, they are drawing on their ecosystem partners to provide a more complete foundation including hardware, software, FPGA prototypes, verification IP and virtual models, as well as an increasing demand for open source software support for their SoCs.

    • ARM and Trident link up on Cortex-A9 STB design

      Other forms of Linux are supported as well, with the help of the not-for profit firm Linaro, which is chartered to develop standardized open source software and tools for ARM Cortex processors. Linaro is said to be focusing on “the lower software layers” of the platform, providing “the best tools and Linux development experience on ARM, quickening the time to market for Linux,” say the partners.

    • Linux networking software adds management interfaces

      IP Infusion and Tail-f Systems say they’ll jointly develop packet-based, carrier-grade management solutions combining the former’s Linux-based, carrier-grade ZebOS middleware with the latter’s ConfD configuration software — supporting CLI, web, SNMP, and Netconf management interfaces. Meanwhile, IP Infusion says that ZebOS is acting as the control and management plane software for Centec Networks’ new Carrier Ethernet CTC6048 processor.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Hack Delivers a Linux Tablet for Under $200

        Hackers have created a sub $200 Linux-based tablet device, all thanks to a little tinkering with an Internet Media Display.

        The device used to create this basic tablet was the Insignia Infocast — a simple $170 Chumby-powered Linux media device that was originally designed to share pictures and display information from the Web.

      • First MeeGo tablet ships

        Neofonie-owned WeTab GmbH has shipped what appears to be the first MeeGo-based tablet, the 11.6-inch, Intel Atom N450-based WeTab, which is also said to be compatible with Android. Meanwhile, a super-light NFS N-Pad tablet prototype has popped up running Android on an Intel Atom N6xx (“Moorestown”) processor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • My Top 5 Favorite Free Software Programs

    Happy Software Freedom day!

    In celebration of it, I’ll list the top 5 free software programs I use.

    * GNU Emacs Very powerful text editor. I do most of my tasks in it, specially using and developing Identica-mode. I recommend it a lot for other tasks other than programming in any language, like organizing your todos and schedule in org-mode.
    * KDE SC My desktop environment. A very customizable and very nice looking desktop manger. If you like customization and good looks, you’ll like it.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • How and Why Chrome Is Overtaking Firefox Among Power Users

      Firefox has long been the go-to web browser among power users for its impressive feature set, extensibility, and openness. But Google’s nimble, light, also extensible and open browser, Chrome, has won over Firefox’s core user base.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Plans Firefox Home for Symbian

        Software company Mozilla is considering the release of a Symbian version of Firefox Home, thus making its solutions available on yet another mobile operating system out there, in addition to Android, iOS, Maemo or Windows Mobile.

        Mozilla developer Ragavan Srinivasan was the one to break the news on the matter, via a recent tweet calling for developers interested in the area to give a sign.

      • A photo tour of the Mozilla offices in Mountain View, California
      • Firefox 4.0 Removes The Statusbar But Adds A New Add-on Bar; New Stand-Alone Profile Manager On The Way

        Just when I though Firefox 4 is finally coming together, the latest Firefox 4 nightly brings a so called “Add-on bar” which is just like the old statusbar which Mozilla has been trying to deprecate with the recent changes (links and progress bar in the location bar), only bigger.

      • Firefox for Android Is Growing Up Fast

        This most recent nightly build of Firefox for Android fixes most of the performance issues. Wired.com still doesn’t fare too well (probably our fault), but surfing the rest of the web is much more pleasant in the new Fennec. Scrolling and the pinch-zoom gesture are about as fast as Android’s stock WebKit browser. Page rendering is a touch slower in Fennec than in the Android browser, but we can expect that to improve.

        As with the previous releases, Fennec syncs up with your other versions of Firefox, so your history, Awesomebar searches, auto-fill form data and passwords will be the same as you move from desktop to mobile and back again throughout your day. Another cool feature is the unique side-to-side swipe action, which brings up menus for things like tabs, bookmarks and settings. It minimizes the browser chrome and leaves more screen real estate for web pages.

        Since taking a screenshot on the Nexus One is still a total chore, I shot this video of Fennec in action. Sorry about my massive thumbs.

      • Mozilla Seabird phone is full of good ideas

        If you want a phone today that will impress your friends and give you bags of functionality to play with, then there’s an iPhone or one of the many Android handsets from HTC. But in the future, I hope we have the option of using the Mozilla Seabird phone.

        The video above is for a concept phone created by Mozilla community member Billy May. It was Billy’s concept when Mozilla asked for ideas for an Open Web Concept Phone early last year. But he kept working on it to produce a phone that incorporates a number of new features that make a lot of sense and that no other phone currently has.

      • Mozilla Seabird agitates for better mobile phones

        Mozilla doesn’t plan to build a mobile phone, but it’s hoping a new labs project called the Seabird unveiled yesterday will spur others to improving the ever more important devices.


  • Project Releases

    • Oracle unveils open-source database MySQL 5.5 release candidate

      Oracle has unveiled MySQL 5.5 release candidate, an open-source database, which is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), with enhancements in performance and scalability, availability and usability.

    • Codec 2
    • Ghostscript 9.0 supports ICC profiles
    • Ruby-in-Ruby Rubinius 1.1 released

      The BSD licensed release 1.1 is the first feature since May’s release of 1.0, and includes performance improvements, better Ruby compatibility and bug fixes. The new features include, JIT block in-lining and a new GIL (Global Interpreter Lock) algorithm for better performance and reliability, support for dbm, sdbm and gdbm extensions and bad extension detection. A full list of new features and fixes is available in the 1.1 announcement.Ruby-in-Ruby Rubinius 1.1 released

    • PacketFence NAC 1.9.1 released

      The GPL licensed PacketFence 1.9.1 is considered ready for production use and is available for downloading from the PacketFence web site as source or RPMs for RHEL5. Installation, Administration and Developers guides are all available to download as PDF files.

  • Government

    • Get going already! On the dire state of Free Software and Open Standards in the UK’s public sector

      According to Mark Taylor of Sirius IT, 80% of government IT spending in the UK goes to only five companies. The comparable figures in the US are ca. 50%, and 20% in the Netherlands. This means that the UK’s market for IT services is enormously centralised, with very little competition. Or, as one speaker put it: “Proprietary software companies just love doing business here in the UK, because the margins are great.”

      The new government may just shake things up a bit, though mostly inadvertently so. To combat Britain’s massive deficit, government organisations are facing brutal budget cuts of about 30%, so everyone is currently scrambling to identify possible savings.

      While this might lead some IT departments to think about using more Free Software, the big stumbling block is the lack of an Open Standards policy. Without it, anyone attempting a desktop migration will continue to be affected by the lock-in of that blights the public sector.

    • It’s time to turn on the ‘freedom’

      With software that creates federated web services, where data is not put on centralised servers but in dispersed virtual servers or even pocket servers, and the ‘Freedom Box’ that allows lay users to run their own servers, the ‘Free Software’ movement is on the right track. Dismissing those who decree the Free Software movement irrelevant, Moglen explains that the Free Software or GNU/Linux empowered ‘clients’ against their masters by providing technically superlative alternatives to proprietary software. “We put the freedom in everything. Now is the time to build on this platform for free software to achieve social results. It’s time to turn on the freedom.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Versus Individual Rights In Networked Culture

      It is true that the modes for executing and building a system are just as important as the systems goals, but should we consider the extensions of such a system beyond the Wikipedia community itself, for if this information often guides assumptions in everyday vernacular, how does the populist approach of Wikipedia subvert individual knowledge?

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Hardware: What’s It All About?

        Open hardware is rapidly evolving from a curiosity to a sound business practice. As Phillip Torrone says, “Hardware seems to be in the same state software was in the 1980s; lots of commercial developers, very few open source developers (or like the 1970s when only a few had computers at all). We’d like to see the world of hardware when there are millions of developers.” Now is an excellent time to dive in.

      • Bug Labs Open Source Hardware on Verizon’s ODI

        Other developers that spoke with RWH indicated the major attraction of the “open” approach is the ability to gain access to hardware without the fear of certification woes by trying to build in 3G (or 4G). A common thread to this discussion was a desire to see if adding in sensors of various kinds was possible or how it might react in different types of network scenarios that were 3G networks or having a mix of Ethernet, WiFi, and 3G in an easily transported form factor.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open APIs bring business opportunities

      It’s been argued that developers are increasingly becoming kingmakers in the software industry. The impact of this can be seen particularly in the middleware market, where software vendors have reconsidered pricing and source code availability in an effort to attract developers to their platforms. But vendors are by no means alone in courting developer interest. Luckily, enterprises seeking to attract developers to their platforms can learn valuable lessons from the software industry.


  • Pixel Qi touts power-saving display for seven-inch tablets

    Pixel Qi claims it will begin sampling a seven-inch transflective LCD for tablet devices by the end of this year, and deliver the display in quantity during the first half of 2011. First touted more than a year ago, the company’s screens will offer both color and monochrome e-paper modes, and are said to require up to 80 percent less power of an ordinary display.

  • Marvell’s tri-core ARM chip has near-PS3-level graphics

    Yesterday, Marvell announced a whopper of a processor—the ARMADA 628. While most of the coverage so far has focused on the three A9-class processor cores, the craziest feature of this chip is its on-die GPU. The 628′s GPU can push 200 million triangles per second (MT/s); for some perspective, compare the Playstation 3′s GPU at 250MT/s This GPU, plus the three Sheeva PJ4 cores, means that you can put console-caliber gaming performance—1080p graphics and all—in a handheld.

  • Study: Data Loss Affects Nearly One-Third of Enterprises

    Nearly one-third of organizations with more than 1,000 employees were affected by data loss events in the past 12 months, according to a study recently released by cloud-focused security firm Proofpoint.

  • VideoEgg acquires Movable Type blogging software

    Video advertising expert VideoEgg has purchased Six Apart, creator of the Movable Type blogging tool, for an undisclosed sum. VideoEgg comments on the acquisition on its web site, saying “The Six Apart team adds a ton of new skills and technology that will enable us to serve advertisers and publishers much more effectively”. The merged companies will now operate under the name SAY Media.

  • Science

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Guest Post from Yves Smith: Goldman Sachs’ Glass Ceiling Remains Intact

      Three women filed a sex discrimination suit against Goldman seeking class action status. It has gotten some attention in the press and on the Web for not the best reasons, namely, the complaint recounts in some detail how one of the plaintiffs, Christina Chen-Oster, a convertible bonds sales rep, had had a colleague force himself on her after a business-related group outing to a strip club. When she reported it some time after the fact (the perp had asked her to keep it secret), she was increasingly ostracized and marginalized.

    • Another Ill-Informed Front Page Washington Post Editorial on Social Security

      The Washington Post ran another front page editorial calling for cuts to Social Security. The context was a discussion of the Republicans’ “Pledge to America.” The editorial complained that the plan did not include any concrete ways to deal with Social Security.

    • The GOP’s ‘Pledge to America’: a closer look at the details

      Why they are proposing it: In two words, the tea party. Throughout last year, GOP lawmakers heard activists at town hall meetings asking repeatedly if they had read the entire health-care bill (which ran nearly 2,000 pages) and how Congress had the authority to pass it.

    • Anthony Weiner confronts Goldline

      Weiner grew red-faced while slamming Scott Carter, executive vice president of Goldline International, for inaccurately portraying the value of the gold coins the company sells to its customers, many of whom hear about the company from its ads on Fox News and conservative talk radio shows. Several of the ads include the show hosts themselves explaining why buying from Goldline is a good investment.

    • Dems try to deflect voter anger toward Wall Street

      Then she started bashing Wall Street and saying her opponent is in the pockets of bankers who want to repeal financial regulations.

      Now, less than a month before ballots are distributed in Washington’s vote-by-mail election, Murray is apparently benefiting from some old-fashioned class warfare. She has gone from essentially being tied with challenger Dino Rossi to leading in the latest round of polls, proving that the 2010 Democratic campaign theme of linking the GOP to Wall Street greed can resonate with voters.

    • Volcker: Financial System Still at Risk

      Real Time Economics reports that former Fed Chair Paul Volcker ditched his prepared remarks at a Federal Reserve of Chicago event yesterday. In its stead, he opened fire on all of the corruption in banking and Wall Street.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Thailand activist arrested after #IAL2010 needs your support!

      Chiranuch Premchaiporn, Prachatai director was arrested at Bangkok International Suvarnabhumi Airport.
      A Journalist and anti-censorship believer (@Jiew on twitter) was returning from the Conference “Internet at Liberty 2010: The Promise and Peril of Free Expression” held in Budapest.

      She leads an important news source for Thailand, a country with a growing record on internet censorship, as reported by OpenNet, human rights violations and actions against freedom of expression. Threatened voices has followed and mapped many arrests of Thailand digital activists, including Chiranuch’s previous arrest on 2009-2010.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Verizon CEO confirms plans for tiered data pricing

      We told you so. The Wall Street Journal has updated its recent article detailing disclosures from Verizon Wireless chief Ivan Seidenberg, and the latest news is as bad as it is predictable: VZW plans to consign unlimited data plans to the annals of history over the next four to six months, to be replaced by tiered, consumption-based pricing

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pushing the limits of imitations in Switzerland

      Now it seems that Migros may have overstepped some boundary. As the Tagesanzeiger reports (in German), the new line of ice cream “Jane & Mary”, a clear imitation of “Ben & Jerry”, will be modified once the current stock is sold. Brand holder Unilever must have made some legal threat that had some impact, but how is unclear. Migros does not need Unilever, being quite self-reliant, and there have been more blatant imitations in the past.

    • Speeding medical orogress: better coordination or less IP?
    • Copyrights

      • Introducing Nathan Yergler

        I’m Chief Technology Officer at Creative Commons (CC). My responsibilities include managing the team that builds the technical infrastructure behind Creative Commons legal tools. I’m also responsible for looking at ways Creative Commons technology can be applied, and how our experience and expertise with linked open data can be leveraged. Open educational resources are a core application of Creative Commons licenses, as they depend upon license interoperability to scale.

      • ACS:Law Email Database Leaked onto The Pirate Bay

        There appears to have been a serious data security breach on ACS:Law’s website today, as the website’s root directory was temporarily exposed for several hours. One of the files may have been a backup file of the website, which possibly included the firm’s email correspondence of solicitor Andrew Crossley.

        ACS:Law’s website was initially brought down a well organized Denial of Service (DoS) attack that also targeted the MPAA, RIAA, BPI, Aiplex, and Davenport Lyons websites. The ISP hosting ACS:Law’s website did the smart thing and suspended the account, preventing any further access to the site. However for some reason, the site became responsive again this morning, but not pointing to the typical ACS:Law website. Instead it pointed to ACS:Law’s root directory – and possibly a treasure trove of information. How the site became activated is unknown, but could present an cataclysmic data breach, as a torrent file claiming to be the internal email database of ACS:Law and solicitor Andrew Crossley has been posted to The Pirate Bay.

      • CRIA Goes To Washington

        As always, none of this is to say that Canada should not engage in copyright reform. It should. And as I note in the Toronto Star piece, I think there is much to like in Bill C-32 and if we can find a compromise on the digital lock issue, I believe it is a bill worth supporting. That said, Canada needs to reform its laws based facts and the national interest, not lobbying trips designed to embarrass the country into changing its laws.

      • An Email From a Reader

        It seems to be a suggestion that the ability to claim for copyright infringement should be available, not just to the author, but anybody who might find it useful as a tool for censorship.

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