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Links 15/10/2010: Wine 1.3.5 Out, Ubuntu 11.04 is Developed

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Lenovo ThinkPad W510 Notebook

    Since July we have been testing a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook under Linux and have already published a variety of Linux benchmarks. This Lenovo notebook boasts an Intel Core i7 720QM CPU, 4GB of system memory, a 320GB SATA HDD, and NVIDIA Quadro FX880M graphics. In this review we are taking a closer look at the ThinkPad W510 notebook and have more Ubuntu Linux benchmarks comparing its performance to the ZaReason Verix and an older ThinkPad T61.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4: The KDE SC in Kubuntu and Fedora

        Although not one of my main desktop environments any longer, I have been keeping track of KDE development now and then and feel it has improved a great deal. Ever since the 4.4 releases it actually seems stable and light enough to use and while not all features and functions present in KDE 3.5 may have been replicated (at least Kwikdisk and Kdiskfree are back), the 4.4 series has marked the point where KDE has finally become usable again. I have to admit, it looks good too. I actually enjoy booting into the new KDE.

  • Distributions

    • 6 Linux Distros That Changed Everything

      Linux is all around us. From phones to firewalls, from Macs to PCs, it’s getting hard to find electronics that don’t run Linux. Over the years, there have been many distributions (normally called distros) of Linux. Some are full-featured, others are very small, some are general purpose, and others are designed for specific tasks. Love it or hate it, Linux is here to stay.

      Below is a list of 6 distros that were milestones for Linux adoption. Enjoy.

    • Following the Fragmentation Era, Linux Needs a Federated Front

      Federated marketing of Linux, federated support of it, and more organized community-driven resources for Linux platforms are the next steps. It’s not so easy to get these kinds of federated initiatives going, though, especially as myths about Linux continue. Perhaps the impetus for more progress in this area will come from smart entrepeneurs who see that Linux is fragmenting less, succeeding more outside of the desktop, and represents a free, malleable platform opportunity to leverage.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Mark Shuttleworth talks Project Harmony, Unity, Windicators and more

          If you have done some homework, you might already who Mark Shuttleworth aka SABDFL is.

          As the founder of Ubuntu ,it becomes necessary to interact with the community, however Mark is busy man so it is only limited to an 1 hour IRC session after release.

        • Test Drupal 7 beta for 54 min free thanks to Canonical

          This week two exciting things happened in the open source world. Drupal 7 beta was released for testing and Ubuntu 10.10 was delivered. It just so happens that the timing couldn’t have been better, because Canonical debuted a new feature that lets you test Ubuntu Server Edition in the cloud free for one hour.

        • Better Than Ever Ubuntu 10.10

          Looking for an alternative operating system besides Windows or Mac OS? There’s always Ubuntu Linux. The latest version of Ubuntu called Ubuntu 10.10 or the Maverick Meerkat was unveiled on Sunday in time for the 10/10/10 date. Checking out the updated Ubuntu version will definitely be worth your while since it has several exciting new features.

          Ubuntu 10.10 has several editions, one of them is Ubuntu Netbook Edition which has an improved user interface called Unity that enables netbook users to open their frequently-used applications. Also, it helps make the screen more organized. In addition, Ubuntu 10.10 has the Software Center that provides convenient access to numerous open-source and free apps.

        • Natty Narwhal open for development

          Natty Narwhal is now open for development. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the natty-changes ML, please do so at [1].

        • Ubunchu Chapter 7 in English Released

          Hey there! I’ve just finished the finally editing and correcting for Chapter 7 of Ubunchu. The long awaiting Installfest chapter.

        • This week in design – 15 October 2010

          For a kick off Andrea, a community member who has worked with us on the enhancements to the theme in the new release, has been hard at work thinking about the future of the Murrine theme engine. This engine is the beating heart of our gorgeous default themes and before we’ve even really started on Natty he’s upgraded it to work with the latest version of GTK. As we’re not sure what’s going into the next release just yet we can’t say for certain if all this work will make it in but what we can say is that if you’re a brave and heardy soul you can head over to his blog and get it for yourself.

        • Development Begins On Ubuntu 11.04

          Not even a week has passed since the release of Ubuntu 10.10, but developers are now free to start committing package changes for the next release, Ubuntu 11.04, which is codenamed Natty Narwhal. Matthias Klose has announced that the Ubuntu Natty repository is now open for business.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Ubuntu Privacy Remix 10.04r1 Comes with TrueCrypt 6.3a

            Ubuntu Privacy Remix 10.04r1 has been released, the first stable version of the Ubuntu-based distro. Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) is a specialized Linux distribution for handling highly sensitive data. The latest release comes with several updated packages as well as some custom software.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Palm Hires Ex-Nokia Meego Chief Ari Jaaski

          After a very large number of Palm employees headed to Nokia to work on Meego, perhaps its only fitting that somebody from Nokia heads to Palm. So reports John Paczkowski of All Things D, who writes that that Nokia’s head of the Meego division, Ari Jaaski, will move to the bay area and become the new Senior Vice President of webOS for Palm / HP.

          Paczkowski also notes that Palm is pulling in Victoria Coleman from Samsung R&D to oversee platform and app development as well as a few execs from within HP to run product marketing, sales organization, and product management.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Schools Combine Netbooks, Open Source

        The marriage of low-cost netbooks and open-source technologies to create 1-to-1 computing programs is a relatively new development. Open-source technologies, which evolve when individuals voluntarily contribute their creativity and knowledge to online networks of innovation, were once thought to be too free-wheeling and untested for schools. But that is now changing as schools look for more creative and cost-effective ways to use technology.

      • ‘Ubuntu Netbook’ Linux Adds Multitouch, Looks Tablet Friendly

        As flavors of Linux go, Ubuntu has been pretty popular over the years. The open source operating system can be installed on a wide range of computer hardware, and there’s even a version called Ubuntu Netbook that’s specially made to optimize the relatively tight 1024×600 screen resolution found on many of today’s netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Does “Free as in Speech” or “Free as in Beer” Really Mean?

    In a nutshell, it translates to “zero price” (gratis) versus “with few or no restrictions” (libre).

  • Events

    • Guest Post: The Apache Software Foundation’s Open Source Approach

      ApacheCon, one of the biggest open source conferences of the year, is coming up in Atlanta November 1st through 5th, sponsored by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Of course, from Hadoop to the web server, Apache software platforms have become enormously influential. Ross Gardler, VP of Community at the foundation, provided OStatic with a guest post–one of a series we’ll be doing in conjunction with ApacheCon–on how the Apache Software Foundation approaches open source. Here it is.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • last few days of survey

        If you’re a Thunderbird contributor and you haven’t already done so, please help us understand how we can make the Thunderbird community and contribution process more enjoyable and rewarding by taking a short, 7-question survey at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/376585/Thunderbird-Participation-Survey by this Sunday.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Proof That Microsoft Is Worried About Office’s Competition
    • Microsoft’s fear of an OpenOffice

      Of course, it’s possible that Microsoft sees something the wider market doesn’t yet see: momentum building for Office defections. The Register’s Kelly Fiveash suggests: “By declaring such a threat, it would seem that Microsoft just admitted that it’s worried about losing market share in an area where it has been unshakeable for years.”

      If true, it would seem that the last thing Microsoft would want to do would be to dignify its competition with a formal campaign. Remember its “Get the Facts” campaign against Linux? That one worked wonders for Linux, putting the upstart operating system on the radar screen of a huge swath of CIOs who probably hadn’t given Linux much thought up until that point.

    • Microsoft video proves that Microsoft Office is like cocaine and has dealers inside schools

      When it first appeared, I simply ignored the video. After seeing all the buzz around it and reading two articles that explain some of its weaknesss (1), I gave up and watched it. The first view proved the objections made in those articles, but also made me uneasy. I could feel that there was something more serious, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So I watched the video again, and a flash of understanding came.

      What Microsoft published is not really a video about office productivity. A good part of that video is about drug addiction and nothing more. It says “we already fell addicted to this specific drug, it feels good and we see no way out. So you should take it too”. This is what I was feeling. Several of those quotes really sound like statements from people who tried to free themselves of cocaine or some other equally destructive substance and failed, simply because they misunderstood their situation or didn’t really care to succeed.

  • CMS

    • Matt Mullenweg

      “I am lucky enough to be able to code, and only have a limited time on this earth, so I want as much of my work as possible to benefit humanity. Having my output be freely available under the GPL is one of the best ways to make the world just a little bit better and more open with every line I write.

      Also, as an anecdote, every good thing that has happened in my life was because I gave something away first, be it time, money, or code. I see no reason to change that now. It’s just good karma.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Pentaho Brings Business Intelligence to Hadoop

        Open source business intelligence company Pentaho unveiled BI and data integration tools for Hadoop this week, but they aren’t available to users of the free community edition of Pentaho.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why We’ve Learnt to Love the Labs

      This more public kind of lab has been spreading, albeit slowly: we have Mozilla Labs, Apache Labs, Eclipse Labs, the just-announced LinkedIn Labs, as well as the rumoured Facebook Labs and Twitter Labs. I predict we will see many more; indeed, I fully expect every self-respecting software company to set one up.

    • Beautiful technology: The Open Source Satellite Initiative

      His background is electrical engineering and computer science–he completed his Master’s at ICU Engineering in Korea. He works on things like satellites and sophisticated machines designed to avert war.

    • What’s the Return on Investment for Open?

      And actually, that’s the real story here. The quantifiable contribution ratio — 3-to-1, 2-to-1, 4-to-1, whatever — might vary based on a lot of factors. The true “RoI of open” usually shows itself before a given piece of code makes it into the project. Many times one of us, the CollabNet-salaried developers, would post a proposal for a feature design, or even post a concrete implementation, and the non-CollabNet community would find bugs and potential improvements in it. They would also contribute new features themselves, in some cases quite major ones

    • In praise of cheap science

      The era of ‘big science’ in the United States began in the 1930s. Nobody exemplified this spirit more than Ernest Lawrence at the University of California, Berkeley whose cyclotrons smashed subatomic particles together to reveal nature’s deepest secrets. Lawrence was one of the first true scientist-entrepreneurs. He paid his way through college selling all kinds of things as a door-to-door salesman. He brought the same persuasive power a decade later to sell his ideas about particle accelerators to wealthy businessmen and philanthropists. Sparks flying off his big machines, his ‘boys’ frantically running around to fix miscellaneous leaks and shorts, Lawrence would proudly display his Nobel Prize winning invention to millionaires as if it were his own child. The philanthropists’ funding paid off in at least one practical respect; it was Lawrence’s modified cyclotrons that produced the uranium used in the Hiroshima bomb.

    • Open Licenses vs Public Licenses

      It’s critical to distinguish “open licenses” from “public licenses” when discussing IP licensing, especially online — mostly because Creative Commons is so popular and as a result has muddied the waters a bit.

    • Open Data

      • Nobel news blackout lifted: The Party Strikes Back

        Stand by for a major announcement: The Cabinet Office is about to publish the organogram of Whitehall.

      • Departmental structure charts

        As part of its ongoing drive to make Government more accountable and more transparent than ever before, the Cabinet Office is publishing new details about civil servants working at the heart of government.

      • Principles for Open Bibliographic Data

        While first attempts were mainly directed towards libraries and other public institutions we decided to broaden the principle’s scope by amalgamating it with Peter Murray-Rust’s draft publisher guidelines. The results can be seen below. We ask anyone to review these principles, discuss the text and suggest improvements.


  • Heise vs. the music industry – German appeal court rejects link ban

    Since 2005, Heise has been involved in a protracted legal dispute with the music industry. In late 2008, the Higher Regional Court in Munich upheld a ban on Heise placing a specific link. Judges at the German Appeals Court have now found in favour of Heise Zeitschriften Verlag (publisher of heise online and The H’s parent company).

  • The Times of London’s impenetrable but straightforward paywall

    The order to adopt the paywall came directly from Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp, which owns the Times’ parent company News International. Murdoch has been extremely vocal about the importance of implementing paid online content both for financial and principled reasons since spring 2009. But Whitwell explained that the thinking at the paper has suggested for some time that this could be the right move to take.

  • Two mice and two pointers

    So, please, can somebody do this. Is a simple hack, but I am not a programmer. Nowadays to have two mice attached to the computer is easy. Just connect them to two usb ports, but them they will share the same pointer. That would be no good. The idea is to have a pointer for each mouse. Then will mouse typing speed will soar!

  • Joan Siefert Rose on the insanity of entrepreneurship

    Joan Siefert Rose is the president of CED, a 25-year-old organization with 5,500 active members who promote and work to accelerate the entrepreneurial culture in North Carolina and the Research Triangle area in particular. She gave a talk at today’s TEDx Raleigh event outlining the six symptoms of what she called the “Insanity of Entrepreneurship.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Rinderpest virus has been wiped out, scientists say

      Scientists working for the UN say that they have eradicated a virus which can be deadly to cattle.

      If confirmed, rinderpest would become only the second viral disease – after smallpox – to have been eliminated by humans.

    • Eat less meat, save the planet? Livestock nears sustainability limit

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that agriculture accounts for 10-12 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This figure does not include land conversion effects; taking those into account, the number jumps to almost thirty percent, and livestock production accounts for the bulk of these emissions. Rearing livestock also uses a great deal of nitrogen-based fertilizer, which goes into the animals’ feedstock.

      A new analysis of the carbon and nitrogen cycles suggests that livestock production is on a path to unsustainability, and that it will push us beyond Earth’s safe operating limits by the middle of the century.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Twitterphobia and the mainstream media

      IMHO, the experiment was a brilliant success. It highlighted the amazing range of things that the police service is called upon to do, and made that point more forcefully than any official speech by a senior officer or Home Secretary could do.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Confounding Fathers

      Glenn Beck’s view of American history stems from the paranoid politics of the fifties.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Nobel news blackout lifted: The Party Strikes Back

      On October 14th, the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda Department relaxed their total news blackout around Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. Major online news portals, including Netease and Sina, seem to have been instructed to prominently position a pair of Xinhua Daily articles that respond to the Nobel announcement.

      The two articles, physically positioned high up on the news portal websites, are titled “From the Dalai Lama to Liu Xiaobo: What the Nobel Peace Prize Tells Us” and “Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo was an Especially Big Mistake.”

      Following days of media blackout, the strong push behind the two articles suggests that the Party’s propaganda apparatus is finally gearing up to ‘lead public opinion,’ a media control strategy used by the Party since 2005. Before 2005, the Party typically responded to negative events by suppressing all related news stories. Over the last five years, however, the Party’s more common reaction to politically sensitive news has been to temporarily block all reports, craft an official version of events, and order media outlets to publish only the official version.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • As Negotiators Launch Talks On Biodiversity, Industry Requests IP Protection

      This week, global attention will be focussed on hopes to find solutions to give the world a better chance to reduce the loss of biodiversity and reach agreement on an international instrument ensuring benefits are being shared. Intellectual Property Watch will be in Nagoya, Japan to report on the negotiations.

      The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) will take place in Nagoya from 18-29 October. Two intense weeks during which member states of the convention will have to agree on the next 2011-2020 strategic plan for the CBD, and finalise a binding international instrument on access and benefit sharing (ABS) of the commercial benefits derived from biological resources, and the prevention of biopiracy.

    • Copyrights

      • Google Music in China… the way it should be everywhere.
      • Public outrage mounts over plan to nab pirated DVD buyers

        Public outrage is mounting over the proposal by the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry to penalise those who buy pirated DVDs and VCDs.

        Accountant Ahmad Huzaimi Ghazi, 27, said it was unfair to take legal action on people who buy such DVDs, when original DVDs were too expensive.

      • Album price ‘should drop to £1′

        The price of music albums should be slashed to around £1, a former major record label boss has suggested.

        Rob Dickins, who ran Warner Music in the UK for 15 years, said “radically” lowering prices would help beat piracy and lead to an exponential sales rise.

      • Former UK Record Boss Proposes $1.60 Album to Fight P2P

        Rob Dickens, former head of Warner Music in the UK, proposes a “micro-economy” in which album sale prices are “radically” reduced, and in which the resulting increase in sales volume more than makes up for the drop in prices.

      • India to align copyright norms with global standards

        ‘The Copyright Amendment Bill 2010 contains better provisions to deal with technology issues by extending protection of copyright material in India over digital networks related to literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, films and sound recordings,’ said Amit Khare, joint secretary in the ministry of Human Resource Development, Friday.

      • MPAA Copy-Protected DRM Site Hacked By Anonymous

        A site run by the MPAA has become the most recent victim of cyber attacks being carried out by Anonymous. CopyProtected.com, a site used to inform on copy protection and DRM on DVD and Blu-ray movie discs, now displays a missive from the anarchic group . After a few seconds it redirects visitors to the homepage of The Pirate Bay.

      • The Impossible Job Of Being The Copyright Czar

        The administration’s “IP czar” (more technically, the “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator”), Victoria Espinel, recently gave a talk at the Future of Music Coalition event in Washington DC, and while I had seen various reports about her speech, and had a few submissions asking me to comment, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Espinel basically said the same things she’s been saying all along. Her job is to “protect the creativity of US citizens.” And, to her credit, she doesn’t just define that as big companies. While reports of her pressuring ISPs, payment processors and registrars to voluntarily block or disable accounts of infringers is… troubling, she is always careful to try to “balance” things. This was evident in the IP Strategic Plan she released a few months back. While it makes some suggestions that clearly makes industry interests happy, at the same time, it tosses some breadcrumbs to those concerned about how over-aggressive IP laws can actually hinder quite a lot of creativity.

      • The “Imbecile” and “Moron” Responds: On the Freedoms of Remix Creators

        “Remix,” in the sense the competition intended, means a creative work that builds upon the creative work of others. That doesn’t mean simply grabbing or using the work of others. It means using the work of others in a way that is transformative, or critical. The rules of the competition expressly required that every entry “recombine[] and modif[y] existing digital works to create a new transformative work.” The recombined or modified work must, the rules specified, be either original with the remixer, in the public domain, or “created under the protection of fair use.” Every entry that I reviewed had a strong, almost certain argument that it satisfied the requirements of “fair use.”

      • ACTA/Hadopi

        • Hadopi? Not Even Scared!

          The Minister of Culture and the Hadopi itself have been prompt to announce the launch of the Hadopi’s operations: here we are, no later than the end of the summer, the Hadopi would ready to send its first mail to Internet users who have been caught in Trident Media Gard’s nets, the private society empowered by rights holders representatives3 to scan file sharing on peer-to-peer networks. However, analysis of enacted laws and decrees calls for more caution on this potential threat. The Hadopi might be unable to impose penalties, but it could be that the Hadopi should not even be authorized to send any warning without prior judicial ruling.

Clip of the Day

iOS4 Error Code 3014

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 15/10/2010: Ubuntu Unity uTouch, Motorola’s Linux-based Phone Proliferate

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Did you ever tried Google Search Engine for Linux users?

    Google offers a good search tool targeted for Linux users.

  • Linux Foundation sets record for stating bleeding obvious

    Until this morning, I was convinced that the late Benjamin Disraeli had it down pat when he said that there are three forms of deception – lies, damn lies and statistics.

  • Server

    • Smart Clusters: Intelligence Is As Intelligence Does

      The following topic scares me for two reasons. First, maybe I read too many sci-fi novels about Artificial Intelligence (AI) going wrong (or right, we’ll get to that in bit). Second, most HPC people are pragmatic individuals who deal with numbers and results that have a firm mathematical underpinning. Talking about AI as an HPC application is not quite a mainstream discussion.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Book Excerpt: Linux Kernel Development, 3rd Edition.

      In this chapter, we introduce some of the basics of the Linux kernel: where to get its source, how to compile it, and how to install the new kernel. We then go over the differences between the kernel and user-space programs and common programming constructs used in the kernel. Although the kernel certainly is unique in many ways, at the end of the day it is little different from any other large software project.

    • LinSched Advances For Testing The Linux Scheduler

      While we are close to seeing the Linux 2.6.36 kernel, this week LinSched for the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released. LinSched is a simulator that allows testing the Linux kernel scheduler in user-space for modifying and observing its scheduling behavior.

      LinSched is not a new tool, but it comes from the academia world (University of North Carolina) and has since seen adoption by new developers looking to understand the kernel scheduler and is also used by corporations like Google. This new release of LinSched is based upon the Linux 2.6.35 kernel and now supports several additional features of the kernel.

  • Applications

    • Command Line Little Helper: CLI Companion
    • Introducing: Recipe Manager

      Three years ago, Daniel Taylor (of Arista fame) made a small application designed to store and manage your favourite recipes. It was simple, lightweight, elegant. He called it Recipe Manager (got a better, unique name, anyone?) and released a “technology preview” along with the file format spec onto this website.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • HTML5: Up and Running
      • Inside MySQL Character Sets & Settings

        Character sets are ways of storing string or text data in a database. Since the world’s languages use different character sets for their writing systems, a database must support many different types of character sets to store information in those languages. For Western European languages, for example, there are alphabets with many overlapping characters, but in addition some require accents, different currency characters, and so on. For Asian languages with many more characters, a multi-byte character set is required since one byte is not large enough to store all the characters that can be represented in that language.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Using digiKam with MySQL

        By default, digiKam uses SQLite as its back-end for storing important metadata and thumbnails. But the photo management application also provides support for the popular MySQL database engine, and it comes with a database migration tool that can help you to move your data from SQLite to MySQL. Of course, you might wonder why you’d want to switch to MySQL when SQLite already does a good job of managing the data? Using MySQL as digiKam’s database back-end allows you to store the data on a remote server. This way, you can use multiple digiKam installations (e.g., on your notebook and desktop machine) to access and manage your photo collections. You can also use MySQL tools to back up and analyze digiKam’s data.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+ Continues To Become More X11-Agnostic

        As good news for those of you interested in GTK+ applications on Mac OS X and other operating systems, or to even run such applications within a Wayland Display Server on Linux rather than an X Server, this tool-kit used by GNOME continues to become more X11-agnostic and easier to port.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Spotlight Feature: Keeping Secure with OpenSCAP

          Back by popular demand, we’ll again be posting a series of blogs leading up to the Fedora 14 “Laughlin” release, which highlight some of the cool new features planned in the latest Fedora distribution. Up first is a feature that boosts security in Fedora 14: OpenSCAP.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Unity uTouch demo

          One of the more exciting aspects of Ubuntu 10.10 is undoubtedly the Unity shell in Ubuntu Netbook Edition and the uTouch touch screen capabilities bundled with it. In his latest blog entry Canonical’s Gerry Carr unveils this new user experience in a cool video demonstration that shouldn’t be missed…

          “One of the coolest things though is one that will be experienced by the fewest people at this point – touch. Unity is fully touch-enabled – those big icons are screaming out to have a digit poked at them,” explains Carr. “But as ever, the boys in the lab, or in this case Duncan McGregor‘s multi-touch team have gone a step further and created a multi-touch ‘gesture’ library. This allows finger combinations to do groovy things like expand and reduce windows, pull up multiple windows in one workspace, and call up the ‘dash’ automatically. These are in 10.10. In 11.04 we will see a lot more.”

        • The Perfect Desktop – Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

          This tutorial shows how you can set up an Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • we’re getting fast

        Firefox’s JavaScript engine, Spidermonkey (including the Tracemonkey and Jaegermonkey JITs) is now faster than Webkit’s JSCore on both Sunspider and V8. Great work, team!

  • Oracle

    • Why Is Microsoft So Scared of OpenOffice?

      Microsoft and its supporters have a long history of applying all kinds of FUD to any discussion of free and open source software. Whether it’s Linux or other free alternatives to Microsoft’s high-priced products, it seems no conversation can take place without the inevitable insinuations about higher total cost of ownership, lack of support, and other baseless fearmongering.

    • What does IBM joining OpenJDK mean for Java?

      This week IBM announced it would be supporting Oracle’s OpenJDK. At first glance it seems like “Great!”

      Isn’t it good that two big supporters of Java are getting behind a single open source project?

      Well, in my personal opinion, no. It is bad. Bad for Java. I’ll try to explain why.

      The first point is that IBM are not just saying they will support OpenJDK. They are also saying that are pulling effort out of Apache Harmony. Apache Harmony is a project to build an Open Source JVM under the Apache license, rather than the GPL which is the license under which OpenJDK is available.

  • Business

  • BSD


    • FSF initiates “Respects your Freedom” hardware endorsement

      The Free Software Foundation has announced the initial criteria of the “Respects Your Freedom” hardware endorsement programme. Under the programme, the FSF will endorse products that comply with its conditions, which include; using only free software in all parts of the product, ensuring the software can be built using only free software tools and allowing user installation of modified software. The non-profit organisation is seeking to get feedback on these criteria and hopes to use the process to raise the interest of hardware manufacturers.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Net Positive: A Conversation with Clay Shirky

      The Internet has brought about a sea change in the way societies organize and operate. Few scholars anticipated the trend sooner, or articulated it with greater force and optimism, than Clay Shirky. In his 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations, Shirky described how new social structures were being created spontaneously as a result of the Web’s astounding ability to enable people to coordinate—instantly and across distances—not only with other individuals, but with the masses. Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, develops his ideas further. He sees a revolution in the way people are beginning to pool their free time. “Cognitive Surplus,” he says, “is essentially answering the question, What is Wikipedia made of? What is Linux made of? What is YouTube made of? It is made of the coordinated contributions of the world’s connected citizenry.”


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Antidepressant reboxetine no better than a placebo, study finds

      An antidepressant prescribed in the UK over the last 13 years is ineffective and potentially harmful, according to a damning study published today.

      The drug, reboxetine, which is known in the UK under the trade name Edronax, works no better than a placebo, or dummy pill, say scientists in the British Medical Journal, who accuse the manufacturer, Pfizer, of failing to disclose the results of trials which show its inadequacies.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Western lifestyles plundering tropics at record rate, WWF report shows

      The Earth’s population is using the equivalent of 1.5 planets’ worth of natural resources, but the long-term decline of animal life appears to have been halted, a WWF report shows.

      The latest Living Planet report, published today by the conservation group, also reveals the extent to which modern Western lifestyles are plundering natural resources from the tropics at record levels.

    • Deepwater drilling: risks and consequences

      What if officers of corporations in the oil, coal or auto industry were to face arrest and possible prosecution, when their actions in the US – as in Hungary – result in deaths? Might that change the calculation of acceptable risk?

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

Clip of the Day

Java Swing GUI Demo

Credit: TinyOgg

Novell Persists With Non-Free Software Focus

Posted in Site News at 8:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: A weekly glance at what Novell has been doing and how it gets characterised by the news

NOVELL is not sold yet and its stock has been keeping steady. Articles about the stock this week (from old to recent) are [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and the company also got mentioned in some partners’ press releases [1, 2].

One of Novell’s more recent partners is Amazon, which signed a Linux patent deal with Microsoft after it had hired many executives from there. Both Novell and Amazon put Microsoft patent tax on GNU/Linux and they still celebrate a Fog Computing alliance:

In US cents per hour for the European market, SUSE is pitching in at 12.5 cents for a default implementation. This is a half of a cent more expensive than Windows. Amazon’s Linux at 9.5 cents is somewhat cheaper but Red Hat Linux, at 21 cents, appears much more expensive, especially when you add its $19 per month per customer surcharge.

The confusing issue is that Red Hat controls its distribution and its charge includes support. Support from AWS for basic Linux is the same as it charges for Windows. This is a monthly charge of $100 for Silver level and $400 for Gold. Support for Novell is charged by Novell at the equivalent of around $230.

There is a growing mass of evidence that Novell has decided to aim for Fog Computing, including some new articles that make that explicit, more recently in the Middle East [1, 2].

Another side of Novell, mail and collaboration, is purely proprietary. GroupWise support is still mentioned in some places and GWAVACon is coming despite Novell’s unknown future.

Here is a new press release about GroupWise support and here is a defection:

County offices, including the sheriff’s department, changed policy on how long emails should be kept in fall 2009, when the county switched its email service from Novell to Microsoft, the county coordinator said.

Here are some new security issue and an old story of data loss resurfacing in the news:

In 2003, only three days after DiGioia moved from New York to Florida to start his Altamonte Springs IT job, the city’s network engineer walked up to him and said, “We’ve just lost everything. All the Novell servers, the Novell clusters, the backup, the SAN. Everything’s gone,” he recalls.

A little something about ZENworks:

LiveTime is pre-integrated with Novell ZENworks Configuration Management (ZCM) 10 and 11, ZENworks Desktop Management 6.5 or later, ZENworks Asset Management 6.5 or later, as well as eDirectory and closed loop email management with Groupwise 6, 7, and 8. This comprehensive integration allows customers to leverage their existing infrastructure for immediate ROI and improved customer service. In addition, LiveTime integrates with Novell’s Identity Manager 4 and runs on all editions of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

The PR blog of Novell is still just marketing proprietary software roughly 90% of the time. One example of that was triple-posted by Michele Hudnall just a few days ago [1, 2, 3] and Novell’s marketing chief John Dragoon calls or compares marketing to business, still relying on the widely-held misconception that marketing actually produces something. It only changes how people think or feel. Novell is good at that.

Microsoft Uses GNU/Linux for DNS, But Still Stuck at Beginners’ Level

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In Ballmer’s naively managerial mind-set, if Wood said it would take two months, then in reality it could be done in one—if only people would get fired up.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

Summary: Microsoft DNS servers are said to be attacking other servers and Microsoft ignores the problem for weeks; Microsoft partners are accused of using DNS to harm and defame critics too; the MSBBC provides some more perception management by giving Microsoft a platform

It’s happening again. Microsoft reveals to the world that even Microsoft can’t help using GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. It’s just too awesome to avoid!

Unfortunately for Microsoft, it clearly lacks the skills to operate Free software. There’s no in-house talent and internal operations are moreover outsourced/off-shored to Infosys where wages are lower. So anyway, what’s it all about? Microsoft uses Linux for DNS and avoids its own ‘solutions’. We have already given many links on security flaws in Microsoft's DNS implementation and Windows zombies with resultant DNS downtimes. Microsoft is now trying Linux and it allegedly misconfigured the servers, which obviously get hijacked as a result. [via]

For the past three weeks, internet addresses belonging to Microsoft have been used to route traffic to more than 1,000 fraudulent websites maintained by a notorious group of Russian criminals, publicly accessible internet data indicates.

The 1,025 unique websites — which include seizemed.com, yourrulers.com, and crashcoursecomputing.com — push Viagra, Human Growth Hormone, and other pharmaceuticals though the Canadian Health&Care Mall. They use one of two IP addresses belonging to Microsoft to host their official domain name system servers, search results from Microsoft’s own servers show. The authoritative name servers have been hosted on the Microsoft addresses since at least September 22, according to Ronald F. Guilmette, a researcher who first uncovered the hijacking.

Two days ago it was confirmed:

According to network security researcher Ronald F. Guilmette, the Microsoft IP addresses had been used to host the websites’ authoritative name servers since at least September 22. El Reg ran the data he supplied by experts in DNS and botnet take-downs, and most said it likely indicated that one or more machines on Microsoft’s network had been infected with malware.

About 24 hours after The Reg article ran, security reporter Brian Krebs reported that one of the two Microsoft IPs had been used to coordinate a massive denial-of-service attack against his website, KrebsOnSecurity.com. Shortly after the attacks began on September 23, researchers were able to pinpoint the Microsoft IP and within hours they notified Microsoft of the compromised IPs, the site reported.

Remarkably, the machines weren’t unplugged from Microsoft’s network until Tuesday, almost three weeks later, shortly after The Register article was published. Also notable, according to Krebs, the machines that were compromised were running Linux.

“It’s not very clear why Microsoft failed to properly investigate the report at the time and allowed the abuse to continue on its network for another three weeks,” say other sources and Brian Krebs probably has the most detailed analysis:

The attack on my Web site happened on Sept. 23, roughly 24 hours after I published a story about a criminal online service that brazenly sold stolen credit card numbers for less than $2 each (see: I’ll Take Two MasterCards and a Visa, Please). That story got picked up by BoingBoing, Gizmodo, NPR and a variety of other sites, public attention that no doubt played a part in the near-immediate suspension of that criminal Web site.

At first, it wasn’t clear what was behind the attack, which at one point caused a flood of traffic averaging 2.3 gigabits of junk data per second (see graph above). Not long after the attack ended, I heard from Raymond Dijkxhoorn and Jeff Chan, co-founders of SURBL, which maintains a list of Web sites that have appeared in spam. Chan sent me a message saying he had tracked the attack back to several Internet addresses, including at least one that appeared to be located on Microsoft’s network —

Damage control came later:

Update, 7:34 p.m. ET: Christopher Budd, Microsoft’s response manager for trustworthy computing, sent this statement via email: “Microsoft became aware of reports on Tuesday, October 12, 2010, of a device on the Microsoft network that was possibly compromised and facilitating spam attacks. Upon hearing these reports, we immediately launched an investigation. We have completed our investigation and found that two misconfigured network hardware devices in a testing lab were compromised due to human error. Those devices have been removed and we can confirm that no customer data was compromised and no production systems were affected. We are taking steps to better ensure that testing lab hardware devices that are Internet accessible are configured with proper security controls.”

This exercise in damage control meets Pogson who writes that Microsoft “has been outed running GNU/Linux on some unsecured testing machines. The machines were being used to route surfers to spam sites.” He then asks:

All kinds of questions arise:

* What was M$ doing with DNS servers running GNU/Linux open to the web?
* Why were they unsecured?
* Why did they take weeks and media coverage to get them taken off-line when a target of a DDOS attack organized by those servers reported to M$ promptly weeks ago?
* If they were in a testing lab, why weren’t they being tested???
The Register article was published. Also notable, according to Krebs, the machines that were compromised were running Linux.

Damage control fail. Sorry, Microsoft.

Speaking of DNS, G-WAN alleges that Microsoft “is (illegally) Hijacking 16 of our Domain Names”. We have not worked to verify this, but it’s worth looking into.

This whole thing is becoming a PR disaster for Microsoft because it shows that the company uses Linux for its internal operations (whilst also attacking companies which use Linux), does not use it properly, and to make matters worse, it does not care if it harms other people’s systems because of its misconfigured Linux boxes. And by the way, it’s definitely a human problem, not a Linux problem, according to IDG:

Microsoft blamed human error after two computers on its network were hacked and then misused by spammers to promote questionable online pharmaceutical websites.

What a multi-dimensional PR disaster. Can the MSBBC rescue Microsoft’s reputation? It sure can try.

The MSBBC has just published this rubbish ‘article’ where rather than say that about one in two Windows PCs is compromised decided to go to Microsoft for material, again (Windows zombies are just "sick" PCs, according to the MSBBC which quotes Microsoft's Charney).

Watch them using Microsoft-supplied/given numbers to talk about Windows and thus only deceive the public while pretending to inform:

The US leads the world in numbers of Windows PCs that are part of botnets, reveals a report.

More than 2.2 million US PCs were found to be part of botnets, networks of hijacked home computers, in the first six months of 2010, it said.

Says Microsoft. It’s always orders of magnitude off target.

This article is so poor that it ends up making Microsoft look like a saviour rather than the party to blame for botnets. Technology propaganda continues to arrive from the MSBBC, which is occupied by former Microsoft UK executives. No surprise there, ever, but that’s okay because it’s so predictable.

With Patent Quality This Low, Who Needs Any?

Posted in Apple, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bar signTime to raise the bar of patents, not lower it

Summary: Another new batch of embarrassingly-trivial patents (the bar is set too low), Twitter’s reluctance to have anything to do with patents, and news from Europe and Apple

“Breaking: Amazon 1-click invention is patentable subject matter, says Justice Phelan of the Cdn. Fed. Ct. Reasons,” claims Yuri Chumak who points to this new decision [PDF]

They can’t be serious, can they? One-click shopping is a patentable “innovation” now? Someone, somewhere, please revisit the charter of the USPTO. This is becoming somewhat of a farce of international proportions. And it gets worse. Rollover image is now a patent too, according to this report.

“Dear website owner, congratulations on your excellent site, which includes features covered by our registered patent, #5,251,294. As the description indicates, many of the components on your pages, particularly your menus, rollover images, and shortcuts, are detailed in our claim. We would be delighted to lease these to you at a reasonable royalty rate of $80,000. Please call our offices at your convenience to arrange a payment schedule.”

Nuts, right? We wish. Meet the Webvention Company, which appears to exist largely for the purpose of collecting money from companies whose online sites include commonly used features that can be construed as part of patent 5,251,294.

It’s not a joke. It’s an actual patent granted by the USPTO and Microsoft’s Traul Allen has similar patents which he sues everyone with. Then there’s the infamous JPEG on a page patent covered in [1, 2]. It’s tied to Niro, the father of patent trolling [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. The exact nickname of the patent is “The JPEG-on-a-website patent”.

Just how far is the USPTO willing to go? There are more software patents being announced with great pride this week. What does that really contribute to technology? Have we learned nothing about the harms of monopoly? Just consider the harms of Microsoft bundling and its effects on progress in computing. As one blogger has just put it:

This is a nice phrase to startle computer sellers in most stores. Why is it that most computers come with Windows preloaded? To satisfy the users?? I guess that the price reductions on Windows licenses for OEMs –and price increases if they dare to sell equipment without Windows preloaded–have nothing to do with it. Nor does Microsoft’s interest in fair competition and fair play.

So…if Windows comes with the computer, does that mean that Windows is part of the computer?

Clearly not. Microsoft licenses mean that the software is neither part of the computer nor yours. For the vendors, the licenses mean they have the permission to install it. What is yours is the permission to use it in your system. Do you own a copy of Windows? No, you don’t. All of them belong to Microsoft, but they give you the privilege of using it–for a *small* price, of course! This resembles communism so much if you ask me. The differences are the entity that owns the goods and how people are granted the permission to use them. And still some say that Open Source equals communism??!!

Going back to the subject of patenting, BNET says that Twitter — despite its near-monopoly in its area — is not interested in patents:

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams predicted yesterday that the social media company will hit a billion users in time. It seems like wishful thinking if you look at the company’s traffic trend lines, but there’s no question that Twitter is big in social media. That’s why I find its patent strategy curious. Check US Patent Office records week after week and you begin to notice that Twitter doesn’t appear to ever file an application, let alone receive a granted patent.

Contrast that with Facebook, whose Microsoft-loving management has begun hoarding software patents [1, 2, 3, 4].

Over in Europe it’s an entirely different story. Patent trolling is very scarce there, it hardly exists in fact (patent trolls utilise software patents, which are broad and impact a wide range of companies). The Geneva-based WIPO has been kind enough to give Free software proponents a room in the discussion over patent law and the nearby reporters from IP Watch covered the proceedings: [via]

Patents aren’t what they used to be at the World Intellectual Property Organization. Discussions to come up with a work plan at the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) this week and in recent meetings point to the possibility of a sea change in thinking over what matters about intellectual property policy and law.

This article also speaks about royalty-free standards:

“Seeing as royalty-free standards can be implemented by anyone, where exactly do you see a barrier to trade in that?” added Karsten Gerloff, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe. The FSFE position on patents and standards is here.

The FSFE and the FFII have both been effective at exposing attempts to push software patents into Europe. Microsoft and its front groups try to do this via pseudo-standards and protocols/APIs (F/RAND), aided by corruptible or innocently misguided politicians. Apple does not appear to have real presence among the lobbying groups, but its actions too are a deterrent to innovation in the EU. Yesterday we wrote about the so-called 'anti-sexting' patent from Apple. A more professional name for it is “text message filtering” and it still brings memories from last month’s censorship of SMS transmission by a large US carrier (done without user consent). Apple apologists may say:

Apple’s invention, which may or may not ever find its way into an actual product, aims to stem the scourge of offensive texting.

Last month we saw such software being used not by actual customers but by the babysitting carrier. One day it may be just “offensive texting” (or “terrorism” and “child porn”) and as time goes by, political dissent, just as an hypothetical example, can be automatically intercepted too. See this video which we posted earlier today.

Hugo Roy, the FSFE member who famously got in touch with Steve Jobs, shares news about another new patent from Apple. This article says: “A batch of approved patent applications from Apple issued by the U.S. Patent Office this week include descriptions of significant multi-touch innovations, such as pinch-to-zoom and knob controls.”

Keep it classy, Apple. If Apple gets sued more often, maybe then it will stop amassing software monopolies.

Links 15/10/2010: Fusion Fedora 14, MeeGo 1.1 for ARM

Posted in News Roundup at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Five problems Linux still needs to overcome

    Greg Kroah-Hartman’s, a Linux kernel developer and a Novell engineer, Linux Driver Project (LDP), has been creating Linux drivers for years for anything that any vendor brought to the project that needed one made for it for years now. Kroah-Hartman and his crew of open-source developers charge nothing to create Linux hardware drivers. Despite that, a handful of companies still won’t release Linux drives. Other companies, like Wi-Fi chip vendor Broadcom, that have been slow to release Linux drivers has recently taken to making them. So what’s the real problem?

    I think there are several problems hiding under the ‘drivers’ issues. First, even now some hardware doesn’t have any Linux drivers, or, more commonly, the drivers aren’t that good. That’s true of Windows as well, but people seem to give Windows a pass for this kind of thing.

  • Aruba Revs Its Wireless Gear with ArubaOS 6.0 release

    ArubaOS is the underlying network operating system that powers Aruba’s wireless access points and controllers, and is built on top of a Linux base. With ArubaOS 6.0, new spectrum analysis, security and quality of service capabilities are being baked in. The new ArubaOS comes as Aruba is growing its market footprint following a partnership deal with Dell.

  • Linux users to get AUSkey access before Christmas

    The key replaces the need to separately log into online government services with a username and password, and is integrated into commercial software to provide businesses with a point of access to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) portals, its electronic commerce interface, and the Australian Business Register.

  • Desktop

    • Christmas? It’s Still 90 Degrees Here..

      But for us with with The HeliOS Project, it’s one of the most satisfying times of the year…haranguing advertising notwithstanding.

      Last year, between November 1st and December 25th, we built and gave away 41 computers. Three of them I delivered and set up on Christmas Day.


      We’ve blown through the machines gathered at this year’s Linux Against Poverty event, planned and hosted by Lynn Bender. Having such an all-encompassing event twice in one year is just too much to ask of anyone…it takes months to plan and over 50 people to execute.

  • Server

    • Linux Foundation highlights growth, but what versions?

      The Linux Foundation survey also highlights continued gains for Linux at the expense of Unix, with 19.8% of respondents indicating a decrease in their use of the OS (compared with 18% decreasing use of Windows and only 1.8% decreasing use of Linux). Those planning on increased use were 76% for Linux, 41% for Windows and 19.5% for Unix. We also wonder whether Oracle’s end of support for OpenSolaris will perpetuate Unix-Linux migration?

  • Google

    • Google Testing Chrome OS Release Candidates. Official Release 1 Month Away?

      At their official unveiling event 11 months ago, Google promised that Chrome OS would be ready to by the end of this year — before the holiday season. It looks like they will be able to keep that promise, as bug comments on their Google Code site for the project indicate that the OS has already hit “RC” status — also known as “Release Candidate”.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Solid-state storage devices and the block layer

      Over the last few years, it has become clear that one of the most pressing scalability problems faced by Linux is being driven by solid-state storage devices (SSDs). The rapid increase in performance offered by these devices cannot help but reveal any bottlenecks in the Linux filesystem and block layers. What has been less clear, at times, is what we are going to do about this problem. In his LinuxCon Japan talk, block maintainer Jens Axboe described some of the work that has been done to improve block layer scalability and offered a view of where things might go in the future.

    • Aava Mobile Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Aava Mobile has become its newest member. It will participate in the MeeGo project with specific emphasis around x86-based devices and the mobile user interface.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Solid Sprint Enhances Key KDE Platform Technologies

        Solid is the part of the KDE Platform that handles interaction with hardware, making it easy for application developers to deal with things like network availability by abstracting underlying libraries within a familiar KDE-style API. As such it is an essential component across all kinds of KDE software. It is getting clear that Solid is becoming a well defined team within KDE and everybody is exited about the idea of attracting more developers interested in hardware support to the desktop, mobile devices, netbooks, media center and beyond. There are now quite a few developers working on Solid so it was a good time to get them all together for a sprint in Madrid, Spain.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fusion Fedora 14 Remix beta Debuts

          Fusion Linux is a completely free and open source based Linux operating system, it is also a Fedora Remix. It is a installable Live DVD/USB image that includes multimedia functionality out of the box with added desktop tweaks for better usability and additional software.

        • First Look – Fusion Fedora 14 beta Gnome – Review



          * Very stable for a beta
          * Easy and safety-concious installer rivals or exceeds Ubuntu’s Ubiquity
          * Extra software via the RPM Fusion repositories and others
          * Nice Chrome web browser didn’t crash at all, as it does in some distro’s
          * Fast and no noticeable slowdowns or freezing under load
          * Great detection of video on both my testbed PC’s
          * Stylish and easy-to-use Desktop and menu
          * Rivals or maybe exceeds some aspects of Ubuntu though still beta


          * Somewhat large install, maybe release a Netbook or single CD version (probably already happening
          * Will it support nVidia proprietary graphic’s drivers, including Legacy?

        • Fedora 13: Fixing sound and video for the Lenovo G555

          In order for the “standard” fix to work for sound, I needed 2.6.34 and the full ALSA version 1.0.23 to go with it. Unfortunately, I had to get the missing ALSA bits — meaning the ALSA-driver — from another repo, as they’re not in Fedora 13′s official repository (and seemingly not needed to have working ALSA for reasons that continue to elude).

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity and uTouch

          One of the most exciting things about the Ubuntu 10.10 release has been the delivery of the Unity ‘shell’ in Ubuntu Netbook Edition. For the uninitiated, this delivers a very different user experience to that in the main desktop edition. For a start the icons of the most popular applications are permanently featured on the left-hand side of the screen. This borrows more from the smartphone interfaces but is adapted for use on, in this case, netbooks. So there remains a workspace where users still have sufficient room to watch video, edit photos, create documents, play games, read the web, write emails – all of the usual tasks we use a computer for, day to day.

        • Maverick Upgrade *sigh*

          I’m fairly conservative when it comes to upgrading Ubuntu, every upgrade fails in some way on this System76 laptop. One week after the release of 10.10 and after asking lots of people if they had any problems. I decided to upgrade.

          I shouldn’t have bothered.

        • Installing Ubuntu 10.10
        • 50+ Beautiful Hand-picked Ubuntu Wallpapers

          Ubuntu is a computer operating system originally based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source software with additional proprietary software available.It is named after the Southern African philosophy of Ubuntu (“humanity towards others”). Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. Web statistics suggest that Ubuntu’s share of Linux desktop usage is about 50 percent, and upward trending usage as a web server.

        • Ubuntu – The Flagship Linux Desktop Distro

          The year after Ubuntu’s first release the amount of searches of “Ubuntu” versus searches for “Linux” was 13 to 1

        • 10 Reasons to Install Ubuntu 10.10

          It’s been a few days since I installed Ubuntu 10.10 and my initial good impressions have not only been confirmed, but exceeded. In my PREVIEW and REVIEW articles I covered some concepts and features that I considered innovative, surprising or simply welcome. Today I want to present 10 reasons why this release is totally worth it installing.

        • Spice up Ubuntu 10.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock

          Ubuntu 10.10, the latest edition of the popular Linux distribution, which was just reviewed here, ships with the same blank desktop that has come to identify the Ubuntu desktop. But you do not have to live with it. You can spice it up with a very simple and elegant application. You can go from the default desktop shown below, to a more sexy desktop.

        • Open Source Technologies: Ubuntu 10.10 Cozies Up to Android, iPhone and the Cloud

          The October 2010 release of Ubuntu Linux brings the usual slate of free and open-source software updates, alongside unique new capabilities around cloud services integration. The distribution’s Ubuntu One personal cloud service adds interoperability with Android and iOS-based mobile devices, as well as new support for Windows.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 builds on app store, cloud service strengths
        • Askubuntu Support Site Has Good Pedigree

          All in all, it’s great to see this kind of crowdsourced support for Ubuntu, and given the fact that lack of support is so often cited by IT administrators and users as a shortcoming with open source software, it could make a difference for the new version of Ubuntu. Check it out.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $250 ARM9 computer supports PoE, sips two Watts

      The Linux-based Gateway Express 2 (GWX2) Embedded Computer incorporates Techsol’s ARM9-based SA2410 Medallion module, and offers up to 64MB of SDRAM, a microSD slot, an Ethernet port, and four USB ports, says the company.

    • Phones

      • The biggest mistake Palm has made with WebOS

        Palm’s WebOS (a Linux variant) based phones have been out for a while but I haven’t had the need to consider them until recently (in the form of my Treo 650 broken down).

        My Treo 650 was a real workhorse, containing hundreds of contacts, thousands of calendar entries (I use the calendar actively and like to keep entries for a very long time for reference), lots of todos and memos. As a long time Linux/Ubuntu user, I have synchronized and backed up my Treo with JPilot, which is an excellent Linux application. In the past, I have used several Palm devices and I was always able to migrate my complete PIM database with ease between the old device and the new one.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo 1.1 for ARM handsets gets closer

          The MeeGo project says MeeGo 1.1 will be available soon for the Nokia N900 smartphone, which will be able to boot into either the MeeGo or Maemo flavors of Linux. Meanwhile, Aava Mobile, which is porting MeeGo to its Intel Atom N6xx based Aava Mobile smartphone reference design, joined MeeGo’s overseer, the Linux Foundation.

        • Nokia Prepares to Give Developers a Look at High-End System

          As previously reported, Nokia has high hopes for the MeeGo operating system, which merges Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo Linux-based operating systems, to lead its next-generation mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.


          In the blog post, titled “MeeGo calling – on N900,” Mr. Hakulinen said that after months of work the team is in its last phase of development for MeeGo version 1.1, which will give smartphone application developers something tangible to work with. Mr. Hakulinen also said they’re close on an update that will allow users to run both the current N900 operating system, Maemo, and MeeGo on the device.

      • Android

        • LEGO Launches Robot-Controlling Android App

          Semi-autonomous robots are already available in a number of forms: the most notable being iRobot’s Roomba and Scooba line of single-purpose devices. And the new MINDdroid app isn’t going to replace such commercially available robots. But for now, my son and I can look into using a smartphone to remotely control the robot arm we built a few months back.

        • Opera Mobile for Android Coming Soon
        • HTC Releases Source For T-Mobile G2

          Is it that time already? Like clockwork, HTC has released the source code for the G2 – only this time, it doesn’t appear that they’re being very vocal about it. Instead, a few G2 enthusiasts in the #G2ROOT channel on Freenode have managed to find it while digging through HTC’s site.

        • Google: We’re on Track to Make $1 Billion this Year from Android

          Google held a financial earnings conference call earlier today and threw out some interesting mobile-related stats to prove that their desktop search strategy isn’t the only thing poised to earn them some big bucks. According to Google’s Jonathan Rosenberg, if you take all of last quarter’s earnings and extrapolate the trends over the next year, they could be looking at over $1 billion in revenue. It’s a far cry from the $10 billion goal they’ve set before, but it’s a good first step.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • Java wars: IBM joins OpenJDK as Oracle shuns Apache Harmony

      Prior to acquiring Sun, Oracle was one of several companies that sided with Harmony and called for the test suite to be made available under suitable terms, as stipulated by the JCP policy. Oracle reversed its position, however, after completing its acquisition of Sun. Like Sun, Oracle intends to exercise its control over the test suite licensing in a manner that will drive open source Java adopters towards OpenJDK, the implementation that it controls.

    • Will Oracle and IBM Help Java Move Forward?

      As concerns over Oracle’s allegedly territorial behavior toward Java continue to spread, with its lawsuit aimed at Google regarding parts of the Java code used in the Android mobile OS fueling the wall of worry, Oracle’s agreement to cooperate with IBM on advancing Java is drawing mixed interpretations. Are two of the biggest software titans necessarily going to proceed with the kind of open goals and focus on open standards that Sun Microsystems did?

    • Microsoft Launches FUD VS OpenOffice.org

      Were did all these quotes come from? None other than twelve Microsoft cases studies (You can find a full list/links to these on ArsTechnica). When watching the video you will also notice clever advertising tricks such as a brown colored background whenever they are speaking about OpenOffice and a pleasant blue colored background whenever Microsoft Office is mentioned. This video is nothing other than pure FUD, plain and simple. If Microsoft really does love open source they have a strange way of showing it.

    • http://ostatic.com/blog/will-oracle-and-ibm-help-java-move-forward

      And, this is hardly the first time that Microsoft has shown its poker hand regarding the OpenOffice suite. Jonathan Schwartz, who was Sun Microsystems CEO and had deep involvement in the progress of OpenOffice, started a blog after he left Sun called “What I Couldn’t Say,” which contains very interesting items from his tenure as Sun CEO. In this post from the blog, he notes the details of a meeting that he had with Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates years ago:

      “As we sat down in our Menlo Park conference room, Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, ‘Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.’”

      It’s clearer now, more than ever, that Microsoft takes the OpenOffice suite seriously as competition. Let’s hope Oracle and the OfficeLibre community do right by the suite.

    • Microsoft Starts A FUD Campaign Against OpenOffice.org

      Here is the Microsoft video…

    • Key binding compatibility options

      As I posted on the libreoffice development list, I’m currently working on adding a new option page in the Options dialog, to provide a quick way to switch key bindings between LibreOffice’s default and OpenOffice.org’s for Calc. For the most part, the default key bindings are identical between LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org as far as Calc’s concerned, but there are some differences, which are enough to annoy those users who are accustomed to the old key bindings from OOo Calc.

  • CMS

    • WordPress and Drupal: Convergence?

      Obviously, as a once-upon-a-time core developer for the project, and as someone who continues to work in that community, I am pretty familiar with WordPress. There’s hardly a day that goes by that I’m not hip-deep in WordPress code and news. I’ve watched its evolution over these past 7+ years as it has moved from a simple blogging system towards becoming a more full-featured CMS.


      WordPress started with good usability, but a limited architecture and feature set. Drupal started with a strong architecture, but a very developer-centric user experience. But WordPress has been steadily improving its architecture. And Drupal has been working on its UI. They had different origins, and they have taken different paths, but they are both evolving towards CMS Nirvana. And we users get to ride along.


    • Respects Your Freedom

      Even if consumers have been brain-washed to feel it is OK for manufacturers of hardware and software to restrict their use of IT for commercial advantage, those who are aware should tell them there are alternatives and we should promote alternatives on all levels. Some day the freedom to use a PC free of arbitrary restrictions will be one of the considerations when purchasing PCs and peripherals and the monopoly will be truly broken. That day is coming soon.


  • The latter-day ‘scarlet letter’ of sex work

    In the waning days of the last millennium, I worked as a stripper to pay for university. It requires no courage to admit this now, but had I written it a few years ago, when I taught high school, I would have been fired on the spot. My continued presence in the classroom would’ve set a bad example for the innocent teenagers in my charge, because we can’t let “The Children” think sex-industry workers could ever be decent people or anything.

  • Italy to combat prostitution by cutting trees

    Environmental organisations today expressed outrage over a plan by local authorities in the Abruzzo region of central Italy to combat prostitution with deforestation.

    For decades, local law enforcement and politicians have struggled to police the Bonifica del Tronto road, a haven for the sex trade that runs inland for more than 10 miles from the Adriatic coast alongside the river Tronto. Over the years, cameras have been installed, raids mounted, 24-hour patrols implemented and the mayors of towns near the road have signed bylaws imposing fines on prostitutes’ clients. All to no avail.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Where’s Da Bread?

      If you like cramming Lucky Charms and Wonder Bread into your piehole, you’re probably white. But you’re also probably somebody who should go to this Action Center to End World Hunger deal tonight at 6. Harper’s contributing editor and Vice contributing contributor Fred Kaufman will be there to outline how those dastardly diablos on Wall Street are responsible for starving millions of people and why you may not be able to afford to be such a fat piece of shit for much longer.

      Fred’s cover story for Harper’s June issue, “The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It,” picks apart the relationship between Goldman Sachs and the 2008 food crisis that increased the number of hungry people in the world by a good 250 million. It can be a tough read if you’re not familiar with hedging, selling short, demand shock, perpetually selling long on wheat futures, or any of the weird, made-up bullshit that constitutes finance, but the story should be a wakeup call for those of us who take cheap food for granted, aka probably 99.999999% of us.


      Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has been served with a lawsuit over claims its HomeAgain® pet microchip induced cancer in a cat. Animal rights attorney Steven Wise seeks “reasonable compensatory damages” for a malignant tumor “likely” induced by a HomeAgain® ID chip implanted in his client’s cat, Bulkin

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change could lead to Arctic conflict, warns senior Nato commander

      One of Nato’s most senior commanders has warned that global warming and a race for resources could lead to conflict in the Arctic.

      The comments, by Admiral James G Stavridis, supreme allied commander for Europe, come as Nato countries convene on Wednesday for groundbreaking talks on environmental security in the Arctic Ocean.

      The discussions, in the format of a “workshop”, with joint Russian leadership, are an attempt to create dialogue with Moscow aimed at averting a second cold war.

    • Brussels plans strict new controls for offshore oil drilling

      The European commission is to reveal plans for tougher controls on offshore oil and gas drilling tomorrow. It would force national governments to abide by rules set in Brussels and extend liability for oil companies in the event of a disaster, The Guardian has learned.

  • Finance

    • French protesters join forces in last-ditch attempt to derail pension reform

      French workers, students and schoolchildren today joined forces in a last-ditch day of strike action and street protests aimed at derailing Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reform.

    • New wave of French strikes raises spectre of May 1968 protests

      The battle between President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French unions over pension reforms enters a crucial phase today with a new wave of strikes and protests across the country.

    • US bankers set for record pay and bonuses for second year

      US bankers are set for record compensation for a second consecutive year, shattering both the illusion of pay-reform and the expectation that bank bonuses would be tempered while the US economy remains weak.

      With third-quarter figures from JP Morgan expected to begin a bumper profit reporting season today, a study of more than three dozen banks, hedge funds, money-management and securities firms estimates they will pay $144bn (£90bn) in salary and benefits this year, a 4% increase on 2009.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • RepubliCorp

      The Cabal of Multinational Corporations is pleased to formally announce RepubliCorpTM, a new combined entity following our complete merger with the Republican Party.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Schneier: invasions of privacy a “byproduction of the IT society”
    • The Coalition and Civil Liberties

      It was surprising and disappointing to watch as the Labour government – which gave us the Freedom of Information Act – became the most authoritarian British regime in modern times. As we at Big Brother Watch pointed out in our manifesto before the election, the arrival of a new government offered an opportunity to undo some of that work – and indeed, both parties in the Coalition pledged before the election to reverse the rise of our surveillance state, and reaffirmed that intention in the Coalition agreement.

    • Guest Post by Yasin Akgun: Facebook’s Privacy Problem

      There are only two reasons that Facebook is allowed to get away with their overzealous demands over your personal information. They can get away with it because people will simply obey and because there are no national or international laws governing who has a right to demand what personal information you hold and who does not hold these privileged rights. Both issues lie with one group of people, the members of the public. We have the power to do something about it, whether or not we choose to exercise this fast diminishing power is another matter.

    • Bolivian newspapers stage protest

      Several Bolivian newspapers protested last week against a proposed law that would allow the government to shut down media outlets it deems guilty of racism. They carried front pages bearing a single slogan: “There is no democracy without freedom of expression.”

    • The Values of Everything

      Progressive causes are failing: here’s how they could be turned around

    • Liu Xiaobo’s wife under house arrest

      The wife of Liu Xiaobo, this year’s winner of the Nobel peace prize has been placed under house arrest as part of a crackdown by the Chinese authorities aimed at stifling celebration following the award.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Council of Europe Agrees That Net neutrality is Key to Freedom of Expression

      On September 29th, 2010, the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe (CoE) adopted a declaration on network neutrality1. The declaration is overall a very good news for the protection of freedom of expression and communication in Europe. It is one more indication that governments are finally realizing the importance of the Internet’s core architectural principles for the future of rights and freedoms in our democracies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda

        Copyright has long been viewed as one of the government’s most difficult policy issues. It attracts passionate views from a wide range of stakeholders, including creators, consumers, businesses, and educators and it is the source of significant political pressure from the United States. The latest chapter in the Canadian copyright saga unfolded in June 2010 as Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage James Moore tabled Bill C-32, copyright reform legislation billed as providing both balance and a much-needed modernization of the law. The introduction marked the culmination of months of public discussion and internal government debate.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

uTouch on Unity

Credit: TinyOgg

‘Trusted’ Computing in the Big Brother State

Posted in Security, Videos at 3:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Video explaining the impact of surveillance and the connection to software lock-down

Credit: TinyOgg

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