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10.06.10

Links 6/10/2010: Skype for Android, KDE 4.5.2, LLVM 2.8 Are available

Posted in News Roundup at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Lenovo set to ship over 1 million Ubuntu PCs in China in 2010

      As we approach the release of Ubuntu 10.10, Jon Melamut vice president of sales and product management at Canonical has released this bomb shell: Lenovo is shipping over 1 million Ubuntu PCs in China in 2010. This may seem like a small number but just six months ago Canonical claimed to have just twelve million users worldwide. In 2008, the total number was 8 million. This new number comes from a single manufacturer: Lenovo. The total number of Ubuntu PCs shipping worldwide from others including Dell is unknown.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau With Mesa 7.9 Is Better, But Still Slow

        Not only have we been busy testing Mesa 7.9 with the Intel and ATI/AMD drivers along with the Gallium3D drivers (including LLVMpipe), but the Nouveau driver that continues to be developed by the open-source community for NVIDIA GPUs received a fresh round of tests too. Our first published benchmarks of the Nouveau Gallium3D driver were back in February when it was nearing a decent state in terms of supported features and stability. Its DRM also finally entered the mainline Linux kernel earlier this year thereby allowing many Linux distributions to now use the Nouveau KMS driver even though not many have yet adopted the Gallium3D driver for OpenGL acceleration. We delivered updated Gallium3D benchmarks in June with the latest Mesa code at that point, but since then there was the integration of a new GLSL compiler into Mesa and many Nouveau changes, so here are our most recent OpenGL benchmarks from this open-source NVIDIA driver.

      • Is this the end of the line for ATI Mobility Radeon 4200 HD video in Linux?
  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Skype now available for Android phones

        You’ve been asking us for it – and now it’s here. Skype is now available on a wide range of Android phones, so you can save money and stay in touch when you’re out and about. Visit skype.com/m on your phone to download, or read on to find out what’s inside.

    • Games

      • A Gaming Mouse Vendor That Has Linux Drivers

        While Razer and Logitech manufacturer some terrific mice for computer gamers along with other gaming peripherals, they unfortunately do not provide any official Linux support. There have been community projects like Lomoco for supporting Logitech’s extra mouse features under Linux and RazerTool for supporting some Razer mice, but without any full-featured support from the vendor. The smaller gaming peripheral vendors like Mionix are also no better at providing Linux support, but there is now at least one new vendor supporting such efforts.

  • Desktop Environments

    • The 2011 Desktop Summit Is At Berlin’s Humboldt

      Back in July we reported that there would be a 2011 Desktop Summit, a joint conference between the GNOME and KDE developers via combining their GUADEC and Akademy events, respectively, to one location at one time. There was a 2009 Desktop Summit held in the same fashion, but up until now all we knew is that there would be a 2011 Desktop Summit in Berlin during August, but the details were yet to be announced. Now we have the details for this open-source event.

    • Welcome to the second Desktop Summit
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Community Ships October Updates Versioned 4.5.2

        Today, KDE has released a series of updates to the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, the KDE Applications and the KDE Platform. This update is the second in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.5 series. 4.5.2 brings bugfixes and translation updates on top of KDE SC 4.5 series and is a recommended update for everyone running 4.5.1 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. KDE SC 4 is already translated into more than 55 languages, with more to come.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Why I choose CentOS

        For those of you who know me or read this little blog of mine know I am a CentOS user and it is by choice. Now I am often asked why I use CentOS, most people say its too old, or doesn’t keep up with the trends. Some people just ask why I use a enterprise distro. Well I thought I would put my thoughts out there on why I use CentOS and some of my experiences so far with it.

        I often hear people say that CentOS is too old, well its setup for stability and security, not the latest trends or bleeding edge software. While some may see this as a downside I see it as a very positive upside. I for one am a very busy person, with seven kids and a wife, I often times have alot on my plate and never enough time to do everything. So the fact that CentOS is stable and rock solid is a gigantic plus for me as I don’t have to worry about running updates on my machine. They have been tested and proven to work before they are released. So I know when I update, things are not going to be broken. You cannot go a week without seeing a blog post by someone saying they updated said distro and X stopped working or some other application turned out to be broken or some other such thing. I really cannot afford to be tinkering around fixing things everytime a new round of updates come out. Like I said I am very busy and when I get a chance to sit here I want to work on my projects not google all night for fixes to things that someone else has broken. It always puts a smile on my face to come home and walk in my office and my machines are purring away just waiting for me to get to work.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Newest Google Android Cell Phone Contains Unexpected ‘Feature’ — A Malicious Root Kit.

          Yesterday, some T-Mobile stores began selling its newest mobile device, the G2, an Android-based smart phone originally slated for an October 6 release while AT&T is slated to release it later in the year. This device truly is representative of the next generation of mobile devices. The hardware capabilities surpass the abilities of most available netbook computers, including the ability to play High Definition video seamlessly. Unfortunately, the G2 also comes with built-in hardware that restricts what software a device owner might wish to install.

    • Tablets

      • Hacked iPad Runs Google Chrome OS

        The iPad has been hacked numerous times to run pieces of code never meant for the device, such as Flash or even Windows 95, but so far, the hacks were limited in term of added capabilities. A coder who downloaded the Chrome OS source code on the chromiumos.org website managed to tweak the source of the Google operating system to work on an iPad, and compiled it. The result? A Chrome OS powered iPad, a hack that most engineers in Cupertino must be cringing about.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Numbers @ The Document Foundation

    One full week has gone by since the announcement of The Document Foundation, and we would like to share some numbers with the people who have decided to follow us since the first day.

    The beta of LibreOffice has been downloaded over 80.000 times. The infrastructure has expanded dramatically from 25 to 45 working mirrors in 25 countries (in every continent), including islands in the Pacific Ocean. This number is close to half the mirrors achieved by OpenOffice.org during ten years of history of the project.

  • Strong support for the first week of The Document Foundation (official PR)

    One full week has gone by since the announcement of The Document Foundation, and we would like to share some numbers with the people who have decided to follow us since the first day.

    The beta of LibreOffice has been downloaded over 80.000 times. The infrastructure has expanded dramatically from 25 to 45 working mirrors in 25 countries (in every continent), including islands in the Pacific Ocean. This number is close to half the mirrors achieved by OpenOffice.org during ten years of history of the project.

  • Blind Inventors Develop Free Software to Enable the Blind to Use Computers

    For many blind people, computers are inaccessible. It can cost upwards of $1000 to purchase “screen reader” software, but two blind computer programmers have solved this problem.

    [...]

    To date, there have been over 50,000 downloads. With the number of blind and low vision Australians expected to double to 600,000 in ten years’ time (according to Vision Australia), NVDA has the potential to impact a significant number of lives.

  • LLVM 2.8 Released With Feature-Complete Clang C++

    Chris Lattner has just announced the release of version 2.8 of LLVM, the Low-Level Virtual Machine. LLVM 2.8 is only being released about six months after the release of LLVM 2.7, but it boasts many notable changes, including the Clang compiler offering feature-complete C++ support against the ISO C++ 1998 and 2003 standards.

  • LLVM 2.8 is available
  • Five questions about open innovation, open source, and NASA with Molly Dix of RTI

    A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet Molly Dix and Jeff Cope, who run the Open Innovation Advisory Services group at RTI. For those not familiar with RTI, it is one of the world’s preeminent research institutes, founded by a group of scientists in 1958 and now employing almost 3000 people helping businesses and governments in more than 40 countries around the world.

  • Mathematica and Free Software

    Mathematica is at version 7 at the time of writing, seemingly on the verge of version 8, and there is yet to be any release of source code. As an aside, while Maple does not give the source code to its kernel, it does give some source code for functions that were written in Maple itself, sans any comments or documentation.

    [...]

    Wolfram taking legal action for the announcement and description of a mathematical proof: a note.

  • Events

    • The World of the Open World Forum

      Last week I went along to the Open World Forum in Paris. By that, I don’t mean to imply I just bowled along there on the off-chance it might be a groovy place to be. I went there because I had been asked to chair a round-table discussion on the subject of “Open Democracy”, about which more anon (disclosure: the conference organisers paid the majority of my travel and hotel costs as a result).

      [...]

      Alongside these relatively short talks, there were some more substantial tracks, including one that I attended called “Open BRIC – Digital leadership: shaping the future.” As well as representatives from the traditional BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – there was also someone from Tunisia.

      [...]

      I was more aware of what had been happening in the other BRIC countries. As you might expect, both Brazil and India emerged as real hotspots of free software, but China remains as inscrutable as ever (to me at least – anyone know of any good sites about free software there?). The Chinese representative on the panel outlined a number of impressive initiatives, but it was still hard to gauge the importance of open source in his country, and how widely it is used.

    • FOSS.IN/2010: Call for Participation

      FOSS.IN is a 10 year old series of annual events that focuses on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) development and contribution, especially from India. From a “small, regional event”, it has grown to a large, well attended international conference, whose participants often represent a “Who is Who” of the FOSS world. You can find out more about the event at http://foss.in.

  • Government

    • The French faith in open source

      “We just shipped a study for the European Union on the future of software in Europe. Each year the EU gives help to the Information Technology (IT) community – 1.2 billion Euros just last year. (About $1.6 billion.)

      Why? “Software and IT is becoming more of the added value on everything you build. It was 20% of the value of the airplane, now it’s 30%. It’s 20% of the value in an auto.” It’s an immense cost that needs to be shared, he said, even with American competitors. “Airbus has put all their Java into Eclipse. They are encouraging Boeing to join their community.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Announcing the Crowdsortium

      Welcome to the crowds crowd…the Crowdsortium. Within each business we face new challanges as growth and evolution occur. This is where the Crowdsortium comes in. As a group we take what we know best, crowdsourcing, and use this to ask questions, create solutions and form the best practices.

    • Sharing: Crossing the Digital-Analogue Divide

      As those of us deeply immersed in the cultures of openness and sharing know, engaging in these activities is almost literally effortless: it takes probably a few seconds to share a link, a thought or a picture. It might take a few minutes for a blog post, and a few hours for Wikipedia article, but the barriers are still low.

      And the rewards are high. Even simple “thank yous” from complete strangers (on Twitter or identi.ca, say) are immensely gratifying. Indeed, I’d be willing to bet that there are some serious hormonal consequences of getting this kind of feedback. For they are sufficiently pleasant that you tend to carry on sharing, and probably more intensely, in part to get that special buzz they engender.

    • Open Data

      • ‘Open Development’ Signals New Direction for World Bank Group

        Six months ago, the World Bank Group was widely praised for opening its vault of development data for all to use. As leaders gather for the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings this week, the Bank is deepening its commitment to an ‘open development’ agenda that is swiftly moving the institution in a new direction.

      • How Governments misunderstand the risks of Open Data

        The fact is, most governments already have the necessary policy infrastructure for managing the overwhelming majority of risks concerning open data. Your government likely has provisions dealing with privacy – if applied to open data this should address these concerns. Your government likely has provisions for dealing with confidential and security related issues – if applied to open data this should address these concerns. Finally, your government(s) likely has a legal system that outlines what is, and is not legal – when it comes to the use of open data, this legal system is in effect.

    • Open Access/Content

      • PLoS Biology Launches New Education Series

        Educators, like researchers, face enormous pressure to keep up with the rapid pace of scientific discovery. But educators must also find compelling ways to communicate the latest scientific findings to their students.

        To help biology teachers find – and share – the best teaching tools, resources, and methods, PLoS Biology is launching a new series of articles on education. The Education Series combines open education – which freely shares teaching methods, initiatives, and materials – with open access publishing to present innovative approaches to teaching critical concepts, developments, and methods in biology. It will cover fundamental areas of biology, from evolution and ecology to cell biology and biochemistry, and take full advantage of Web-based open-access research and multimedia tools to create an interactive, dynamic resource to further understanding of fundamental questions in biology and of current methods to investigate them.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Ingredients

      I think you will enjoy this graphic. Click for a larger view. This is a chart of all of the standards that ODF 1.2 refers to, what we standards geeks call “normative references”. A normative reference takes definitions and requirements from one standard and uses it, by reference, in another. It is a form of reuse, reusing the domain analysis, specification and review work that went into creating the other standard. Each reference is color coded and grouped by the organization that owns the referenced standard, W3C, IETF, ISO, etc., and placed on a time line according to when that standard was published

Leftovers

  • Advertisers Bailing On Murdoch’s Paywalls As The Company Won’t Reveal How Many People See Ads

    A few weeks back, we pointed to reports suggesting that Rupert Murdoch’s paywall experiments with The Times and Sunday Times in London were a disaster, as nearly everyone — readers, journalists, advertisers and publicists — were bailing on the publications.

  • The Difference Between Ideas And Execution — And What’s Missing From ‘The Social Network’

    [A]s Lessig notes, in the movie, a totally different portrait is painted. One where execution is meaningless, and only ideas and lawyers seem to matter:

    In Sorkin’s world–which is to say Hollywood, where lawyers attempt to control every last scrap of culture–this framing makes sense. But as I watched this film, as a law professor, and someone who has tried as best I can to understand the new world now living in Silicon Valley, the only people that I felt embarrassed for were the lawyers. The total and absolute absurdity of the world where the engines of a federal lawsuit get cranked up to adjudicate the hurt feelings (because “our idea was stolen!”) of entitled Harvard undergraduates is completely missed by Sorkin. We can’t know enough from the film to know whether there was actually any substantial legal claim here. Sorkin has been upfront about the fact that there are fabrications aplenty lacing the story. But from the story as told, we certainly know enough to know that any legal system that would allow these kids to extort $65 million from the most successful business this century should be ashamed of itself. Did Zuckerberg breach his contract? Maybe, for which the damages are more like $650, not $65 million. Did he steal a trade secret? Absolutely not. Did he steal any other “property”? Absolutely not–the code for Facebook was his, and the “idea” of a social network is not a patent. It wasn’t justice that gave the twins $65 million; it was the fear of a random and inefficient system of law. That system is a tax on innovation and creativity. That tax is the real villain here, not the innovator it burdened.

  • Online Communities 2
  • Science

    • Oliver Sacks: Why I’m a resident alien

      FOR his 76th birthday, Oliver Sacks received an ounce of osmium, the densest natural element in the periodic table. “I like density, and it’s the only really blue metal, it’s rather beautiful,” he says. The year before he got a “nice rod of rhenium” and the year before that it was a piece of tungsten.

      You may have worked out that the gifts were chosen because the place they occupy in the periodic table corresponded to his age. Sacks’s office in downtown Manhattan, New York, is littered with samples of elements. “I like to have some of my metals around me all the time,” he says. It is an impressive collection, though perhaps a little unexpected for a man who is famous for his amazing collection of case histories in neurology.

  • Security

    • The .ly domain space to be considered unsafe

      The domain was seized by the Libyan domain registry for reasons which seemed to be kept obscure until we escalated the issue. We eventually discovered that the domain has been seized because the content of our website, in their opinion, fell outside of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.

    • Trouble In Clever Domain Land: Bit.ly And Others Risk Losing Theirs Swift.ly

      Bit.ly, HootSuite (with its Ow.ly service), Ad.ly and perhaps even Smel.ly could well be at risk of having their domain names sudden.ly taken away by the Libyan government.

      Ben Metcalfe blogs that his domain name vb.ly was recently seized by NIC.ly (the domain registry and controlling body for the Libyan domain space) because the content of his website, at least in their opinion, was in violation of Libyan Islamic/Sharia Law.

    • Putting Unique Codes on Objects to Detect Counterfeiting

      To defeat the system, the counterfeiter has to copy the bar codes. If the stores selling to customers are in on the scam, it can be the same code. If not, there have to be sufficient different bar codes that the store doesn’t detect duplications. Presumably, numbers that are known to have been copied are added to the database, so the counterfeiters need to keep updating their codes. And presumably the codes are cryptographically hard to predict, so the only way to keep updating them is to look at legitimate products.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Hungary man-made disaster puts Danube countries on alert

      A ruptured reservoir of sludge near an alumina plant in Hungary is threatening the Danube, the largest river in the EU. The government of Hungary has declared the state of emergency, while Danube countries remain on alert. EurActiv’s network reports.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read

      Back in 1983, approximately 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the United States. Today, ownership of the news media has been concentrated in the hands of just six incredibly powerful media corporations. These corporate behemoths control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day. They own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites. Sadly, most Americans don’t even stop to think about who is feeding them the endless hours of news and entertainment that they constantly ingest. Most Americans don’t really seem to care about who owns the media. But they should. The truth is that each of us is deeply influenced by the messages that are constantly being pounded into our heads by the mainstream media. The average American watches 153 hours of television a month. In fact, most Americans begin to feel physically uncomfortable if they go too long without watching or listening to something. Sadly, most Americans have become absolutely addicted to news and entertainment and the ownership of all that news and entertainment that we crave is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands each year.

    • Weatherseal Ignore TPS Memberships

      I did register a complaint with the TPS, I have also called Weatherseal to demand they remove me from a list I should never have been on. They claim to have done so, but time will tell. My thinking is that if you have enough proof that a call actually took place, they have very little choice but to honour it. This is why I am listing the details of the call here.

      Who: Jack McDonald

      Where: 08458 638308

      When: Wed 6th Oct 2010 @ 13:57

      Within around 30mins of that call, my complaint was registered with the TPS, and I’d phoned Weatherseal on 0800 041 041 to get my number removed. I did notice that the top result in Google for “weatherseal scotland” was a blog called “The Shit Companies Blog”. Considering the reason I was looking for Weatherseal’s information this amused me. I also noticed various companies listings didn’t have contact information for Weatherseal, thankfully Yell.com did.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Council of Europe Commits To Network Neutrality On The Internet

      A Declaration on network neutrality has ben adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers which underlines its commitment to network neutrality on the Internet and insists that any exceptions to this principle would need to be justified by overriding public interest.

      Users should have the greatest possible access to Internet-based content, applications and services of their choice, whether or not they are offered free of charge, using suitable devices of their choice, the Committee says. It also declares that a competitive and dynamic environment may encourage innovation, increasing network availability and performance, and lowering costs, and can promote the free circulation of a wide range of content and services on the Internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The October 2, 2010 version of the ACTA text
    • Mexican Senate Unanimously Votes To Remove Mexico From ACTA Negotations

      While the resolution claims that it needs to ratify any such agreements, I don’t know if that’s the case. In the US, for example, the administration will avoid needing Senate approval (which it needs for treaties) by designating it as an “executive agreement” instead of a “treaty.” Of course, if you talk to legal scholars, they point out that the only real difference is that an executive agreement doesn’t need to be approved by the Senate. I have no idea if Mexico has a similar setup. Also, this is just a “non-binding resolution,” so may not mean much in the long run. However, it is nice to see that some actual politicians are equally disturbed over how the ACTA negotiations took place and the fact that some final agreement is just being dumped on politicians at the last minute.

    • ACTA Ultra-Lite: The U.S. Cave on the Internet Chapter Complete

      One of the biggest stories over the three year negotiation of ACTA has been the willingness of the U.S. to cave on the Internet provisions. When it first proposed the chapter, the U.S. was seeking new intermediary liability requirements with three strikes and you’re out used as an example of an appropriate policy as well as language that attempted to create a global DMCA. The draft released today is a far cry from that proposal with the intermediary liability provisions largely removed and the DMCA digital lock provisions much closer to the WIPO Internet treaty model. In its place, is a chapter that is best viewed as ACTA Ultra-Lite. For Canadians, this is crucial since it now leaves an ACTA that is far more flexible than even Bill C-32. In fact, the Canadian copyright bill now exceeds the requirements under ACTA and could be amended in a manner that will allow for greater balance on digital locks and still be ACTA compliant.

    • Copyrights

Clip of the Day

Jan Nieuwenhuizen – “An Introduction to Lilypond”


Credit: TinyOgg

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