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Links 24/10/2010: Fedora is Fast, Compiz 0.9.2

Posted in News Roundup at 9:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • The proliferation of open source software

    Infrastructure and Communications Minister Austin Gatt launched what he called a Vision document yesterday, addressing open source software in government. “We would like to receive feedback from the public and private sectors, as well as citizens on this document which is up for consultation,” he said.

    The government’s position with respect to open source software is different from the position adopted for open standards, where they required that government procures ICT solutions that comply with open standards.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • A response to microsoft’s a few perspectives on openoffice.org

      Of course there will always be the spin doctors at Microsoft that are able to make people think that they emanate some sort of heavenly glow. But most techies actually know better then that. If you don’t believe me just notice that in the you tube video they had to turn comments off. Also notice that the video has 236 likes and 2,439 dislikes. Hmm that’s what we call backlash people because guess what opensource and Free Software people pay attention. We are not just going to stand by in idle while you just harass us and defame our community. Even if our only defense is to post nasty comments and to dislike your you tube video a million times.

    • Wind of Change

      this e-mail is to inform you that I hereby, effective immediately, fully step back from all my roles and duties within the OpenOffice.org project, including those as marketing project lead and German marketing contact.

    • Christoph Noack: Resignation from the Community Council
  • CMS

    • Drupal 7.0 Beta 2 released

      Our last Drupal 7 beta version was released about a month ago. Today, we’re proud to announce the release of the second (and possibly final!) beta version of Drupal 7.x for your further testing and feedback. The first alpha announcement provided a comprehensive list of improvements made since Drupal 6.x, so in this announcement we’ll concentrate on how you can help ensure that Drupal 7 is released as soon as possible and is as rock solid as the previous Drupal releases that you’ve grown to love!

    • Contributing to Open Source 101 with Diaspora

      The Ruby and Rails ecosystems are built on open source, and on contributions to projects from people like you. Contributing back to the projects you use is good for your resume, your network, and is ultimately what keeps us employed!

      But figuring out where to start can be daunting, so at this meetup we’ll take you through the complete process. We’ll start with finding a project you’re interested in, then walk you through the mechanics of making changes and contributing them back. By the end of the workshop you’ll be an official open source contributor.

      We’ll be using Diaspora, an open-source alternative to facebook, as our project. Several of the Diaspora core team will be around to assist, and to merge your changes back in to the main codebase…as you watch. It’ll definitely be better than Cats.


    • Google’s Go Has Been Called To Go Into GCC 4.6

      Last year one of the many projects introduced by Google was the Go programming language. Do you remember? It’s reached a state of being a production-ready language, at least within Google’s confines, but this project hasn’t received as much attention and interest by the Linux and open-source communities as some of their other work such as VP8 and their new container format. It’s possible that this could change once the Go programming language is accessible to more developers, which may very well come with GCC 4.6.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • If you care about public sector information in Europe – speak up now!

        The European Public Sector Information (PSI) Directive is intended to make it easier for everyone to find and reuse information produced by public bodies. The European Commission’s recognition of the value of PSI dates back to at least the late 1990s, well before the more recent wave of interest in open government data. The EC is currently asking for feedback on what could be done to improve the Directive, so if you care about PSI in Europe now is your chance to have your say!

      • Transparency must extend to Britain’s “public, private” state

        The spending review, announced this week, promises £81 billion worth of cuts over the next four years. Whilst services face the deepest cutbacks in generations, billions of pounds a year will still need to be found to finance our PFi commitments. Amidst all the talk from government ministers of “efficiency” savings, there has been almost no mention of PFI and its legacy on the public purse.

    • Open Hardware

      • Hackvision, an open-source video game system

        MAKE subscriber James wrote in to share the Hackvision, an open-source video game system based around the Arduino platform. The joypad-shaped circuit board plugs directly into your TV, and provides everything you need to get hacking on your own games. The whole project is open source, and all the source code/schematics/board designs are available at the project website.

  • Programming

    • Perl and Parrot Spread Open Source Love

      The Perl Foundation and the Parrot Foundation took part in Google Summer of Code this year, and as the organization administrator, I am very proud of and humbled by all the students and mentors that I worked with. I am constantly reminded that there are very intelligent developers who are very young, and the Perl and Parrot Foundations are very lucky to attract them and have them in our communities. I firmly believe that the passing Google Summer of Code 2010 projects have had a large positive impact on our codebases and many people will benefit from them for years to come.


  • Science

    • Discovery of taste receptors in the lungs could help people with asthma breathe easier

      This is a slide of lung taste receptors through a microscope. Red bands are receptors, blue dots are nuclei. Credit: University of Maryland School of Medicine

      Taste receptors in the lungs? Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have discovered that bitter taste receptors are not just located in the mouth but also in human lungs. What they learned about the role of the receptors could revolutionize the treatment of asthma and other obstructive lung diseases.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Georgia at a crossroads: after the post-war

      When Russian troops gradually withdrew from Georgia’s towns and villages in September 2008 following the short war between Georgia and Russia the previous month over the enclave of South Ossetia, attention turned to the potential consequences of the war for the career of Georgia’s unpredictable president Mikheil Saakashvili. Many analysts believed that after what proved to be a humiliating military conflict was over, the Georgia’s people would turn against Saakashvili and drive him from power.

    • China blocks UN report on the use of Chinese arms in Darfur

      The Chinese government has attempted to block a United Nations report which claims that Chinese bullets were used in attacks on UN peacekeepers in Darfur. A spokesman from the Chinese foreign ministry, Ma Zhaoxu, said the report was “based on unconfirmed information and made irresponsible accusations.” The report, researched and written by the UN’s panel of experts on Sudan was discussed in the UN committee that monitors sanctions on Sudan on Wednesday.

    • Accused G20 ringleader arrested again

      Alex Hundert, an accused G20 violence ringleader, has been arrested — again.

      This is the third time the 30-year-old activist has been arrested in the past five months. The Crown has been appealing to have his bail revoked.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Ministers plan huge sell-off of Britain’s forests

      Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, is expected to announce plans within days to dispose of about half of the 748,000 hectares of woodland overseen by the Forestry Commission by 2020.

      The controversial decision will pave the way for a huge expansion in the number of Center Parcs-style holiday villages, golf courses, adventure sites and commercial logging operations throughout Britain as land is sold to private companies.

    • Forests sell-off plan by government is ‘asset-stripping our natural heritage’

      Many of England’s best-loved forests and woodlands may be sold to large landowners, housing developers and international power companies in what could be the UK’s greatest change of land ownership since the second world war.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright Infringement Is Not Theft

        Theft implies loss; and for loss to occur (whatever the circumstances) there has to be a change in stasis from “having” something to “not having” it. Copying something creates an identical duplicate of something, it does not change the stasis of the original. So let’s work through possible angles to explain “loss”.

        Lost stock? “Copyright infringement is stealing, it’s no different from leaving a store with a physical piece of stock that you haven’t paid for.” Wrong, if you have 10 items of stock and 2 are shoplifted, you’re left with 8 items of stock. This is theft. You’ve lost stock. Instead of being able to sell 10 items, you can now only sell 8. That stock cost you £X per item, you’ve lost £X x 2.

      • Memo: re P2P

        The dramatic appearance of the WikiLeaks Iraq war log documents is about far more than the catastrophic (for the US military) release online of classified material.

        It underscores the new reality that the Powers That Used To Be have lost their ability to tightly control the spread of news and information.

      • It’s All (Hopefully) Coming Back To Me Now

        Now comes news that the family of late country singer Keith Whitley is doing the same. The suit filed by Whitley’s widow and children against Sony Music Entertainment alleges that SME failed to pay certain bonus royalties when Whitley’s album reached various sales thresholds. The suit also claims that SME failed to pay the increased royalty rate for downloads that allegedly should have been considered licensed transactions.

      • The music industry’s new business model

        Something strange has happened to pop music since I began reviewing it in the late 1990s. In the past, how you listened to music played second fiddle to what it sounded like. Only finger-sniffing audiophiles cared whether you listened to Nirvana’s Nevermind in 1991 on vinyl, cassette or CD. To everyone else the point was the album itself.

        No longer. Nowadays the format of music, the way it’s sold or listened to, overshadows everything else. MP3 players, internet streaming services, MySpace, mobile phones: music is everywhere. Good news for listeners but perplexing for record companies, who are seeing revenues from recorded music dry up as the old ways of doing business crumble.

      • Business Spectator and Creative Commons

        We’re proud and pleased to let you know that from today, February 16th, 2010, we’re rolling out Creative Commons licenses on some of our proprietary content.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Slackware 13.1 Installation

Credit: TinyOgg

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