IRC Proceedings: October 25th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 25/10/2010: Mac OS X Lion Allegedly Copies GNU/Linux, Clang Builds Linux 2.6.36

Posted in News Roundup at 6:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Mac OS X Lion Features Are Ubuntu Rip-Off

    Let’s look at Mac OS X Lion’s first “innovation” they introduced: multitouch gestures. This is curious because while Mac trackpads and “magical” mice support multitouch, not much work had been done with multitouch at the OS level. With Lion, Apple’s introducing system-wide gestures that command both applications and the OS. But wait, where have we seen this before? That’s right, Ubuntu.

  • Kernel Space

    • Clang builds a working 2.6.36 Kernel

      Clang can now compile a functional Linux Kernel (version 2.6.36, SMP).

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel, Radeon DRM Get Precise VBlank Timestamps

        Mario Kleiner has published patches over the weekend that introduce precise vblank time-stamping support within the Linux kernel’s DRM core and has implemented this support already within the Radeon and Intel kernel drivers too. The precise vblank timestamps and counting is needed by the DRI2 sync and swap extensions and in particular to conform with the OML_sync_control extension.

      • Holy Crap! You Can Use XvMC With ATI Gallium3D!

        It was just over the weekend that we reported XvMC and VDPAU may come to the ATI R600 Gallium3D driver that would allow those with Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000/5000 series graphics cards (what’s supported by R600g) to enjoy accelerated video playback using GPU shaders beyond just the limited X-Video extension. This work was being done by Christian König and today he has one hell of a surprise: it’s to the point that today you can try out the code and it should work for XvMC! Yes, that’s the case, I just read the email twice and am now scurrying to test out the appropriate ATI DDX and Gallium3D driver.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • There’s Little Love For Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop

        The announcement of Ubuntu dropping the GNOME shell in favor of their own Unity interface that came during Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote to kick off their Ubuntu 11.04 development summit has not been welcomed by many Linux users.

        Of the three pages of comments (and it continues to grow) within our forums, there isn’t anyone that’s actually happy to see Unity coming to the Ubuntu Desktop rather than the GNOME 3.0 Shell. Many users have already tried the current Unity desktop used by Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition and there’s just lots of complaints.

      • Ubuntu moves away from GNOME
      • Ubuntu to move to Unity as default desktop for 11.04

        First things first: what Canonical is doing here is not new, by any means. Novell developed the slab on their own, based on their user testing and to their own design, before proposing it for inclusion in GNOME once it was released in Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop. Nokia have developed custom user interfaces on top of the standard Linux desktop shell for the past 5 years, built with GNOME technologies, and have actively participated in the development of core components through the GNOME project – they are now developing a custom interface based on Qt, for smartphones, using the same standard desktop stack. OpenMoko did the same thing with the Freerunner. Intel built a custom shell for netbooks in the Moblin project, which is now the netbook interface for MeeGo. OLPC built a custom designed user interface for educational computing devices. GNOME allows and enables this kind of work, because of the great platform and infrastructure we have provided over the years to all Linux software developers.

        In such illustrious company, forgive me if I think that Canonical’s management has seriously underestimated the difficulty of the task in front of them.

      • Ubuntu changes its desktop from GNOME to Unity

        Unity is Ubuntu’s new netbook interface. While based on GNOME, it is own take on what an interface should look and act like. Shuttleworth explained that Canonical was doing this because “users want Unity as their primary desktop.”

      • Shuttleworth: Unity shell will be default desktop in Ubuntu 11.04
      • Zeitgeist wants you
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15: Lovelock, Pushcart, Sturgis, Asturias?

          Earlier this month the Fedora community began proposing names for Fedora 15 with the proposals ranging from names like Malmstrom to Fortaleza and Gutzwiller. The list, however, has now been narrowed down to five potential candidates for the Fedora 15 codename.

          The potential names for Fedora 15 include Asturias, Lovelock, Pushcart, Sturgis, and perhaps the most normal name is Blarney. Personally I’d pick Blarney or Pushcart.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • UDS Natty 11.04 – Mark Shuttleworth keynote – Part 1

          Mark Shuttleworth delivers the keynote speech kicking off the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida. Note: This is an ‘unofficial’ rip of the video stream from the event which cut part way through.

        • Day 1 – Report from Ubuntu Developer Summit

          And so it begins. For anyone unfamiliar with the Ubuntu Developer Summit, it’s a biannual get together for the great minds of the wider Ubuntu community to figure out what’s going to happen in the next release. It’s pretty unique; almost all of the sessions are entirely open and broadcast online for remote participation.

          My day began, like everyone else’s, with the keynote by Mark Shuttleworth.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nokia N900 PR 1.3 Firmware Now Available

          Simply grab the vanilla version for PR 1.3 for your region and get flashing using this guide. If you are on a Mac, this is the guide to follow. The new firmware brings bug fixes, stability improvements and support for Nokia’s Ovi Suite.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • PGDay Europe 2010 schedule announced

      I’m pleased to be able to say that the schedule for this year’s PGDay Europe conference in Stuttgart, Germany on the 6th – 8th December 2010 is now available.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • No base station required: peer-to-peer WiFi Direct is go

      The Wi-Fi Alliance on Monday announced that its direct peer-to-peer networking version of WiFi, called WiFi Direct, is now available on several new WiFi devices. The Alliance is also announcing that it has begun the process of certifying devices for WiFi Direct compatibility.

    • Open Data

      • To Save Students Money, Colleges May Force a Switch to E-Textbooks

        You’ve heard it before: Digital technologies blew up the music industry’s moneymaking model, and the textbook business is next.

        For years observers have predicted a coming wave of e-textbooks. But so far it just hasn’t happened. One explanation for the delay is that while music fans were eager to try a new, more portable form of entertainment, students tend to be more conservative when choosing required materials for their studies. For a real disruption in the textbook market, students may have to be forced to change.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 Audio and Video: What you Must Know

      In promotion of what I consider to be the best HTML5 book currently available on the market, Remy Sharp and Bruce Lawson agreed to donate a chapter of Introducing HTML5 to our readers, which details the ins and outs of working with HTML5 video and audio.


  • Interface Message Processor (IMP) – The First Internet Router

    Steve Jurvetson shot this photo of a Interface Message Processor (IMP) made by BBN, which was as used as a router by APRANET to create one of the first nodes Internet in 1969. It is part of an upcoming exhibition at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • End of the Exmoor Emperor: sadness after giant red stag shot dead

      After 12 summers, the sun has finally set on the Exmoor Emperor, the magnificent red stag whose epic proportions were his making – and also, it seems, his downfall.

    • Prehistoric creatures discovered in huge Indian amber haul

      Hundreds of prehistoric insects and other creatures have been discovered in a large haul of amber excavated from a coalmine in western India. An international team of fossil hunters recovered 150kg of the dirty brown resin from Cambay Shale in Gujarat province, making it one of the largest amber collections on record. The tiny animals became entombed in the fossilised tree resin some 52m years ago, before the Indian subcontinent crunched into Asia to produce the Himalayan mountain range.

    • Days left to stop mass extinction

      A third of all animals and plants on earth face extinction — endangered blue whales, coral reefs, and a vast array of other species. The wave of human-driven extinction has reached a rate not seen since the fall of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • NHS ‘suspended whistle-blowers’ in London

      Three senior NHS staff in London claim they have been suspended for whistle-blowing after raising concerns about the hospitals they work in, but have been given other reasons for keeping them off work.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Jailbreaking Your iPhone? Legal! Jailbreaking Your Xbox? 3 Years In Jail!

      Bunnie Huang is no stranger to absolutely ridiculous legal claims concerning trying to hack an Xbox. After doing so, he had trouble publishing a book on the subject, over fears that telling people how to modify a piece of electronics they had legally purchased might somehow violate copyright law (anyone else see a problem with that?). Now, techflaws.org points us to the news that Huang is scheduled to testify on behalf of a guy facing jailtime for modifying Xboxes. But US officials are trying to bar his testimony, claiming it’s “not legally relevant.” Technically, they’re probably right. But, from a common sense standpoint, Huang is trying to make a bunch of important points.

    • Mark Cuban: It’s Okay For Broadcasters To Block Access Based On Browsers, Because They’re Making Billions

      Like many tech sites, we recently wrote about the fact that the various TV networks were discriminating based on the browser, blocking access to Google TV’s browser, because they don’t want people to watch the shows they’re already giving away for free online on their TV (even though it’s easy enough to just hook up a computer to a TV and watch via your preferred browser of choice). Marshall Kirkpatrick pointed us to the fact that Mark Cuban decided to respond to Newteevee’s article on the subject, in which the author of the original article reasonably pointed out that this was a braindead strategy by the networks, who were shooting themselves in the foot.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Universal Claiming Dancing Baby Video Not An Obvious Case Of Fair Use

        The latest part of the case is that both sides have filed for summary judgment, with Lenz arguing that the takedown violated the law, since Universal did not believe in good faith that the video was infringing (as required by the law). Universal’s motion, on the other hand, makes the argument that the 29-second video is not an obvious case of fair use. It still argues that there’s no requirement to check for fair use first, but says that even if it’s supposed to, this video was not obviously fair use.

      • Mom Asks Court to Declare Universal Violated Law in “Dancing Baby” Case

        Back in 2007, Stephanie Lenz posted a video to YouTube of her children dancing and running around in her kitchen. Stephanie wanted to share the moment with her family and friends. But they weren’t the only ones watching: a few months later, Universal Music Corp. had the video removed from YouTube, claiming that the video infringed its copyright.

      • Secret Anti-Piracy Negotiations, 3 Strikes, And a Taxpayer Funded Campaign

        As authorities, rightsholders and ISPs in Denmark negotiate behind an agreed press blackout over the possible introduction of a 3 strikes-style file-sharing regime, the government is set to commit tax payers’ money to the overall plan. The Ministry of Culture says it will help fund a public anti-piracy campaign and will match any financial contributions made by the entertainment industries and ISPs.

      • Porn pros hope to squelch online piracy by 2012

        The film and music businesses couldn’t stop file-sharing, but the porn industry has a plan to drive piracy into the shadows in 15 months or less. Can DogFart, Lords of Porn, and Naughty Bank succeed where others have failed?

      • ACTA

        • KEI’s ACTA timeline
        • Urgent EP written question: Is ACTA voluntary? Only binding for countries of South?

          Article 1.2 in the proposed ACTA agreement states:

          “Each Party shall be free to determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of this Agreement within its own legal system and practice.”

          At recent meetings in Washington the US Trade representative has told other US agencies, NGOs and US legislators that ACTA is not binding and that its Article 1. 2 allows for a general flexibility for any element that might contradict ACTA in US law.

Clip of the Day

Iraq War Logs Every Death Mapped – From Wikileaks and Guardian MIRROR

Credit: TinyOgg

Windows Profit Declines Sharply Because of Competition From GNU/Linux

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Old building

Summary: Slowly but surely, Free software breaks Windows and other Microsoft platforms by lowering their market value and thus hurting Microsoft’s cashflow

ONE of our sceptical readers has raised an important matter in IRC yesterday. By looking back at some numbers he claims to have found more proof that Vista 7 does not succeed in the marketplace, contrary to these ludicrous claims that “Windows 7 might be a massive commercial success” (utter BS from Engadget, no offence intended). We’ll get to the pertinent details in a moment, not before pointing out that our informant from Sweden, Mikko, claims based on this article that “[S]ilverlight on the web is dead [...] Ballmer states that Silverlight is now pretty much strictly a client, non-cross platform thing, while explicitly stating that when it comes to doing something universal, “the world’s gone HTML5″.” So, we were right about Silverlight all along [1, 2, 3, 4], but that’s a separate story.

Mikko says he “thinks that there’s only bad journalism on Engadget” and we too wrote about the subject. Microsoft even gave this publication an expensive new laptop with Vista 7 (pre-beta) preinstalled so that it can praise Vista 7 before anyone else gets to see it. It’s an exercise of PR.

Windows undoubtedly has a margins problem. Mainstream publications that we cited recently say it clearly as it’s not hard to see. And looking at the source our reader cites, there is this MSFT analysis (Q1 of 2010) and one particular image that says it all. It’s all big minuses for Microsoft’s cash cows too.

Our reader responded by saying: “Record numbers of sales but 52% decline in income? Wow!

“If Microsoft’s sales have been flat of declining, it is no wonder they have gone from virtual dominance to 68% of all units today. 68% is a Vista 7 channel stuffing number, and the actual number is probably greater than that. That is, more than 32% of desktop computers are shipped without Windows…”

As we have shown before, Windows profits declined over the years. Profit fell by more than half based on the above, but income aside, revenue is down 39% too for Windows. That’s pretty shocking unless there’s a snag to be taken into account.

Our reader summarised by saying that “you can’t see the reports, sadly but the SEC will serve them to you… I was more interested in finding the number of licenses Microsoft has sold as a fraction of world PC shipments. Both are slippery numbers, with IDC providing most of the published PC shipment figures to Microsoft boosters and few hits on license numbers.” GNU/Linux is one cause of the stated declines. Microsoft is forced to lower prices to remain competitive. This may help explain the FUD attacks we’ve been seeing recently. One talking point is about GNU/Linux being “fragmented”, which is basically a negative word for “diverse”. “”Fragmented” is a proprietary spectacles view,” explained Groklaw some days ago in relation to Android, and “[p]eople say that about GNU/Linux too. But what they miss is this: you can do whatever you want. That is a wonderful feeling, and it leads to superfast development, not to mention a lot of fun.”

GNOME and Mono Meet Through Zeitgeist

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Mono at 3:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Development and architecture in GNOME to make Mono pluggable via Zeitgeist

NOVELL’S PROJECT, Mono, still wants to be inside GNOME Zeitgeist and it is still a threat, as we’ve been seeing recently and warned about even a year ago. Now we find some new updates about Mono bindings in Zeitgeist:

The great Manish Sinha has blogged about the development of Zeitgeist-Sharp bindings. Since I am too lazy/busy and preparing some new stuff for UDS, I just posted his whole blog post.

These bindings do not imply that Zeitgeist will depend on Mono. However, it never helps to have Mono bindings because of the way applications evolve and plugins which people may choose to use/develop with them.

As an aside, the latest Banshee endorsements neglect to point out that Microsoft's MCP makes it explicitly uncovered for patent matters (maybe the whole of Mono is not covered, either).

Links 25/10/2010: Canonical Splits From GNOME Shell, LibreOffice Gains Momentum

Posted in News Roundup at 2:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Tux and the Sixth Sense: I See Dead Linux!

    My colleagues who went to the talk also want to migrate to Linux and Open Office! Didn’t they see the beautiful video Microsoft produced explaining why you shouldn’t? Or how the grades of students are affected negatively if they use Open Office instead of MS Office for their assignments?

  • Numbers and the Death of Desktop Linux

    We are talking about DESKTOP LINUX, remember? What does that mean? Well, that is pretty self-explanatory: it means desktop computers that RUN Linux. We are not talking about sales figures here. We are talking about desktop computers. Sales figures are sales figures; desktop computers are desktop computers. These are different concepts as the realities they embody.

  • Tales from a Windows-free life

    I completely stopped using Windows around 2002, and I’ve really enjoyed it, very, very much :)

    Since then I’ve been distro-hopping (swapping different Linux-versions, more commonly known as “distributions”, or “distros”) through everything from Slackware Linux to Ubuntu. It’s been a rocky and unstable ride to be quite honest, but it’s been an awesome learning-experience.

    I can’t even begin to count all the problems concerning re-installation of Windows on both my hands. Yes, that’s BOTH hands! I really, REALLY hate re-installing Windows. And if you’re a super-user like me, who likes to play around with your computer-systems, you’ve done a re-install a couple of dozen times (or maybe even more).

  • Server

    • LSE makes world record trade speed on Linux

      If the third test is successful, the LSE will open on Linux on 1 November, otherwise it will postpone the launch for a fortnight.

      David Lester, CEO of Turquoise, said that alongside the 126 microsecond average latency, 99% of orders would be processed within 210 microseconds, and only 0.1% will take longer than 400 microseconds.

    • Linux dictionary tools

      The dictionary is a tool that any writer or student should have on their computer. And Linux users are not immune from this need. But if you look through the possibilities of Linux dictionary tools you find quite a large amount available. Which of these tools are the best or easiest to use?

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Gets Zaphod Mode Support

        It was just last week that page-flipping and sync-to-vblank support came to the Nouveau driver and now this open-source NVIDIA driver has initial support for Zaphod mode. While the Nouveau kernel mode-setting code has supported RandR 1.2 for quite a while with multi-monitor support, Red Hat’s Ben Skeggs has made an initial pass at providing Zaphod mode.

        According to Ben’s Git commit this less than 100 line patch should provide Zaphod mode capabilities for at least simple configurations. Zaphod mode is an older, alternate way for configuring dual-head mode support under Linux (rather than just configuring the displays with RandR) and is supported by some drivers. Setting up Nouveau’s Zaphod mode requires using the ZaphodHeads option (similar to the other supportive drivers) within the xorg.conf for specifying the RandR outputs that should be used for a particular driver instance.

      • X.Org Server 1.9.1 Released By Apple’s Huddleston

        As we mentioned earlier, Apple’s Jeremy Huddleston took over release management of the X.Org Server 1.9 series now that it’s stable and will only receive bug-fixes from this point on. Meanwhile, Keith Packard and the gang of X.Org developers are focusing on X.Org Server 1.10 to have that ready by early next year. Jeremy Huddleston on this Saturday night has just made his first point release, X.Org Server 1.9.1.

        This release though is not exactly a surprise considering there’s been release candidates for a few weeks and it was expected to make its debut in October so that it can be released as part of the X.Org 7.6 Katamari, but all has been quiet on that front, so it may be delayed or has just been held up until xorg-server 1.9.1.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Managing Offline Routing Maps in Marble

        Unlike tile-based maps used as layers in map themes, offline routing maps consist of large chunks of data that enable the calculation of routes in a certain area. For all of the offline routers supported by Marble, these maps are created by a router specific conversion tool: Put an osm map file in, get a router map file out. When copied to the right place, Marble uses them for offline routing. This task can only be accomplishing by users with detailed technical knowledge and quite some motivation to read the documentation and follow all steps. Clearly nothing I’d expect from the average user.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Canonical Ubuntu splits from GNOME over design issues

        Canonical is changing the default interface on the next release of Ubuntu from GNOME to Unity, a new open source project that focuses on simplified interface and three dimensional displays.

        Canonical made the switch for the next release of its Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution, because of increasingly divergent views of how a desktop interface should look and operate, according to Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth.

      • First GNOME 3.0 development release arrives

        The GNOME development team have issued the first development version of GNOME 3.0, the next major release of the popular open source desktop for GNU / Linux and Unix. Version 3 of GNOME was originally scheduled for release towards the end of last month, however, in July of this year the release date was moved back by six months to April of 2011 because the GNOME release team felt the code was not sufficiently mature.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) EVP, CFO Charles E Jr Peters sells 5,688 Shares

        Red Hat Inc. has a market cap of $7.4 billion; its shares were traded at around $39.15 with a P/E ratio of 71.1 and P/S ratio of 10. Red Hat Inc. had an annual average earning growth of 22.7% over the past 5 years.

      • VeriSign Inc. Attracting Bullish Investors; VRSN, MSFT, RHT

        VRSN competes in the Application Software industry with Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) [Chart - Analysis - News]—the largest firm in the industry group—and Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) [Chart - Analysis - News], who have returned 3.88% and 1.47% during the past month, respectively. VRSN is likely to be sensitive to its competitors so future weakness in the Application Software industry could be an early warning sign that things might be turning around.

      • Red Hat Broke Resistance
      • Fedora

        • Approved, Now I’m a Fedora Ambassador =)

          I’ve been approved as a Fedora Ambassador for the North America region. I’d like to thank my mentor Larry Cafiero and the people in the #fedora-ambassadors irc channel on Freenode. My goals in this position are to spread the good word about the Fedora Project. I’ll be attending various Fedora events, I’ll be setting up my own events and I’ll likely do some talks regarding key features in the latest release of Fedora which will soon be Fedora 14. I am also investigating the process of setting up a Fedora and Free Software based netcast. It’s something I’ve started to get interest in ever since I saw a book on it at Value Village this weekend.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 to ship Unity as default desktop?

          A blueprint suggesting a that a variant of the Unity netbook interface should be used on the desktop edition for Natty Narwhal has been approved by Mark Shuttleworth for discussion at the Ubuntu Developer Summit this week.

        • UDS-N: Planning for the Ubuntu 11.04 Cycle Begins Today

          What’s on tap for this week in the world of Ubuntu? It’s the Ubuntu Developer Summit for the Ubuntu 11.04, Natty Narwhal cycle, otherwise known as UDS-N.

          Just as UDS website states, “Be there and make a difference”, I’ll be blogging, denting, tweeting, facebooking and more from the sessions this week. I am looking forward to seeing what we, as users of Ubuntu, can expect for our desktops, servers, ARM devices, and more from Ubuntu 11.04.

          There is also community sessions where I’ll find out what projects are happening in and around the community where you can contribute and let you know about those as well.

        • Linux Virtualization Performance Of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Through Ubuntu 10.10

          Earlier this month we delivered Ubuntu 10.10 benchmarks from some different hardware comparing the performance of this “Maverick Meerkat” release to that of Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04.1 LTS. The results were interesting, but since then we have had the time to complete additional tests. In this benchmarking roundabout, we decided to see how the performance of every release from Ubuntu 8.04 LTS through the new Ubuntu Linux release performs when tested in a virtualized environment using Linux’s KVM virtualization. Here are the virtualized guest results for Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS, 8.10, 9.04, 9.10, 10.04.1 LTS, and 10.10.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 will use Unity as the default desktop

          In his keynote address at the Ubuntu Developer Summit Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Ubuntu 11.04 will use a new desktop version of Unity for the default desktop environment.

          ‘Desktop Unity’ will be installed as the default desktop for users whose hardware support it. Improved work on the hardware front will ensure as many users are able to benefit from the unified interface as possible.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 to ship Unity

          …we have already started porting !Unity from mutter to Compiz and the initial work is much faster…

        • ‘Sponsor an app’ model coming to Ubuntu Software Centre in 11.04

          Helping to fund your favourite open-source applications will become much easier in Ubuntu 11.04.

          A new method will be introduced to the Ubuntu Software Store to allow users to ‘sponsor a package’ for any amount they so wish via the in-place UbuntuOne payment structure.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Desktop To Get Rid Of GNOME’s Shell

          While GNOME 3.0 is expected to roll out in March and will boast the brand new GNOME Shell interface with the Mutter compositing window manager, this will not appear by default in the Ubuntu desktop. Certainly not in Ubuntu 11.04 and it doesn’t look like it will be used at all in the future by default (granted, you’ll be able to install the shell from a package repository). It’s just been announced that beginning with Ubuntu 11.04, the desktop spin will begin using the Unity shell that Canonical originally developed for netbooks.

        • LibreOffice 3.3.0 in Ubuntu

          LibreOffice is a productivity suite that is compatible with other major office suites, and available on a variety of platforms. LibreOffice is a fork of the famous project OpenOffice project which is now under Oracle. It is free software and servers all your basic needs. It is the result of immense efforts by The Document Foundation aimed at making an Office suite or desktops that servers all your needs for free.

        • Unity Confirmed As The Default Desktop Interface For Ubuntu 11.04, New Icon Theme Should Be Ready By 12.04

          Unity is the current Ubuntu Netbook Edition interface and has received a lot of criticism since UNE 10.10 came out such as not being finished, poor performance and the lack of customization.

        • Unity To Use Compiz instead of Mutter

          If you though Compiz was left in the dark once Gnome Shell comes out, think again.

        • Sticking With Ubuntu 10.04 LTS OR Switching To Ubuntu 10.10

          No doubt that Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was a really good distribution and still it’s LTS ” Long Term Support ” release, Desktop releases will be supported for 3 years and server releases supported for 5 years, but with Ubuntu 10.10 won’t be supported when the next release comes out 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

        • CloudSigma Launches Ubuntu 10.10 Cloud Servers

          CloudSigma AG, a leading European provider of cloud servers is pleased to announce the launch of a new range of pre-installed Ubuntu 10.10 servers in its cloud. CloudSigma customers can now enjoy the new features of Ubuntu’s new ‘Maverick Meerkat’ release in the form of instantly deployable high performing cloud servers.

        • Troubleshoot: Ubuntu 10.10 Folder Opens With Media Player

          The latest version of Ubuntu known as Maverick Meerckat or 10.10 has a minor bug which might be bothering you as well. When you try to open a folder via Places, instead of opening it as a folder, it opens it with some media player, Rhythmbox or VLC, etc.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’ officially released

          The tenth day of the tenth month in the tenth year of this century has been the day for revolutionary day in mobile technology.

          Ubuntu Linux hit the market on this day with a 10.10 revision that is using a new Unity desktop interface, which is expected to make the congested net book screens more organized. This software purchase will make the Ubuntu platform as an app with a free 2 GB Drop box-like cloud storage that automatically synchronizes the files and folders, while streaming music to android and other devices like iPhones.

        • Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat Pokes Its Head Out

          Version 10.10 of Ubuntu, also known as “Maverick Meerkat,” has arrived. The Linux operating system comes in three different versions: one of desktops and laptops, one for servers and one with a special Unity interface designed specifically for netbooks. For version 10.10, Canonical has put a great deal of focus on the OS’s cloud offerings.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Small Wonder: Belkin’s Connect N150 Wifi Router is Linux-Friendly

      Yesterday, I stopped by my local Walmart to buy a wireless router for my network. I wanted something small with good performance, a good price, and compatible with GNU/Linux. As I searched the computer electronics aisle, I saw wireless routers ranging from over $100 all the way down to about $60. However, $60 was more than I wanted to spend. I didn’t need anything fancy, just something that would allow me to get on the Internet with my IBM T40 laptop and my Dell netbook. I didn’t need IEEE 802.11n, 802.11g is fast enough for my network needs. I looked down and I saw the little white and yellow box containing the Belkin Connect N150. It seemed like a nice looking device, which made me quite happy. I was even happier when I saw the price: $29.95!

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • My Client Base- An Open Source Invoicing App for Your Business

    MyClientBase is an open source invoice and client management application that was built with simplicity and ease of use in mind. Running on your webserver, it comes with the following features among others

    * Multi Lingual
    * Customisable invoicing
    * Modular, extend functionality with contributed modules
    * Support for multi tax rate

  • SaaS

    • How is OpenStack Stacking Up?

      You may have noticed there’s a fair bit of interest in this cloud computing thing. You’ve probably also come across various articles suggesting this is the end of free software – and the world – as we know it, since cloud-based platforms render operating systems on servers and desktops largely moot.

    • Well, There’s No Radeon HD 6000 Open-Source Surprise

      We said there won’t be Radeon HD 6000 support ready for the Linux 2.6.37 kernel (the kernel release that’s beginning its development cycle right now) and that we’re unlikely to see any kernel mode-setting support ready before the Linux 2.6.38 kernel even if things go well. A Gallium3D driver is likely to come (not a classic Mesa driver) at some point after the DRM code has landed. Basically, if we’re lucky by the time major Linux distributions start rolling out in 2011 (i.e. Ubuntu 11.04, Fedora 15) we may see some form of open-source support for these new AMD Radeon graphics processors. However, at least a few users we’re wondering if AMD had some magical or surprise open-source drop to do for the Radeon HD 6800 series. Unfortunately, they do not. While there is no code or documentation to provide, in the days since the Radeon HD 6850/6870 launch we have learned at least a few more details about the forthcoming support.

  • Oracle

    • Links: Parting Words, Public Statements

      It’s autumn, the leaves are falling and the nights are drawing in. The season for endings is upon us.

    • G’Day and Goodbye

      And now, a different and exciting job awaits. My last day here is Oct 25, ending a brief and busy four years at Sun and then Oracle.

    • 5 Myths About OpenOffice.org / LibreOffice

      Most free software accumulates myths. Most people only know about it second hand (if at all), but few are slowed by the fact that they don’t know what they are talking abo

    • LibreOffice Contributions stats

      We had a really important amount of new contributions, but people tends to prefer figures to see it. I used the git repositories logs and gitdm to get the data and produce some graphs showing the intense activity around LibreOffice. The gitdm configuration and scripts to extract the data can be found in my personal git repos on freedesktop.org. The first graph is showing the number of contributors increasing each week. There are a few interesting points to note:

      * The number of new contributors grew quickly. The graph don’t show it, but there are now more than 60 new contributors.
      * The contributors counted in this graph are either developers or people working on localization.
      * Oracle is contributing: LibreOffice merges OpenOffice.org changes.

    • Finally! SVG Coming to OpenOffice.org

      It has been a long time but SVG import is coming to OpenOffice.org. This improves the scalability of graphics and makes it easier to use tools like InkScape to produce graphics for OpenOffice.org. This issue has been on the bug file since 2001… Some people have more patience than I.

    • Competition is Good

      Want to know how I spent yesterday? I spent many hours on a single XP machine that had lost its anti-malware. The download of anti-virus libraries took all day because they kept aborting. I installed OpenOffice.org 3.2.1, Google Chrome browser as well as the fool anti-virus.

    • IBM office suite Lotus Symphony 3 released (updated with .64bit .deb)

      The latest version of IBM’s OpenOffice.org based office suite ‘Lotus Symphony’ has been released.

      Lotus Symphony 3 boasts many new and enhanced features; benefits from the OpenOffice 3 codebase and introduces new sidebars for .

    • First Stable Release Of Libre Office In Late November

      With the formation of the Document Foundation (TDF), we saw the arrival of another office suite based on OpenOffice — it’s called Libre Office. Recently there was some conflict between TDF and OpenOffice.org/Oracle teams. We approached TDF to understand the current situation and the future of Libre Office. Here is an interview with Italo Vignoli of The Document Foundation.


    • Fellowship interview with Leena Simon

      Leena Simon is studying philosophy at Potsdam University and is currently completing a dissertation on problems with the concept of “intellectual property”. She also works with FoeBuD, and was involved in the organisation of this year’s “Freedom Not Fear” demonstrations which took place throughout Europe. We sat down to discuss the dangers of state surveillance, the importance of the politicisation of software, and how organisations like FoeBud and The Pirate Party, as well as the Free Software movement, must be careful not to succumb to dogmatism. For more, check out leena.de.

    • Soft option

      The last 27 years have witnessed the rise of a different kind of software built in a different manner. This is the Free Software movement, started in September 1983 by Richard Stallman, who was working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States, at that time. He started the GNU project to develop software that would free users from the restrictive licences imposed by software companies. He also prepared the GNU General Public Licence, or GPL, a “copy-left” licence currently in its third version, under which such software can be distributed so that the freedoms are always preserved. He was soon joined by many people, and today there are possibly tens of thousands of people contributing to various pieces of software that are distributed under free licences. The freedom to share it freely makes it available at virtually no cost, while the freedom to study and modify the software ensures that the human readable source code is available for anyone who wants it. And bugs are quickly discovered and fixed.

  • Licensing

    • License compliance is not a problem for open source users


      License compliance is a major and costly issue for proprietary software, but the license involved in that case is an End User License Agreement (EULA), not a source license delivering extensive liberties. When we compare like-for-like, we discover open source software has no such issues. End-users do not need to have a license management server, do not need to hold audits, do not need to fear BSA raids. Open source is so much easier!

      But it’s easy to forget that. The New York Times recently featured the activities of the GPL enforcement community. While there’s a part of me that’s pleased there are people doing this, I’m concerned that their well-intentioned actions – and those elsewhere, such as the Linux Foundation’s compliance programme – are the focus of public understanding about open source software. Of the many attributes of software freedom that could move to front-of-mind, it strikes me that the minimal license compliance burdens for open source software are actually a comparative strength and having them presented as a feature applies a “frame” that serves only the detractors of software freedom.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C Announces MathML 3, New Standards for Math on the Web

      W3C has announced the third version of its standards for the inclusion of mathematical expressions in Web pages. MathML (Mathematical Markup Language) is aimed to make math on the Web more accessible and more international. While the basic markup remains the same, this version brings to it some improvements for assistive technology, as well as for formulas in languages that are written from right to left.


  • Murdoch Wakes Up From Dream Of Leading News Industry’s Digital Aggregation

    The publisher may be right in the middle of introducing fees for its own online newspapers, but it is putting on ice Rupert Murdoch’s grander ambition of creating a pay-for digital news service comprising content from the entire UK news industry. At the same time, sources familiar with the company’s plans say similar efforts in the U.S. have been put on a slower track, but not being canceled.

  • Skype Demands Mobile App Nimbuzz Remove Support, Effective October 31st

    Nimbuzz, a popular mobile communication service provider, has been asked by Skype to remove support for all Skype services, effective October 31st.

    The startup will be announcing the news to its 30 million or so registered users later today.

  • Connect Any Wi-Fi Device to Any Other Wi-Fi Device with Wi-Fi Direct

    The Wi-Fi Alliance is about to drop a wireless connectivity bombshell called Wi-Fi Direct that will enable device-to-device connections using current Wi-Fi standards. The Wi-Fi Alliance will begin certifying Wi-Fi Direct devices today.

  • Amazon to Allow Book Lending on the Kindle

    One of the oldest customs of book lovers and libraries — lending out favorite titles to friends and patrons — is finally getting recognized in the electronic age, at least in one electronic book reader: Amazon has announced that it plans to allow users of its Kindle book reader to “lend” electronic books to other Kindle users, based on the publisher’s discretion.

  • Science

    • The MetraSCAN 3D Scanner

      Creaform just announced a brand new ultra-high-end handheld 3D scanner, the MetraSCAN. This totally amazing 2Kg device can scan 3D objects up to 10m in size to an astounding resolution of only 0.05mm, at a rate of 36,000 measurements per second!

  • Security

    • iPhone Jailbreak Tool Sets Stage for Mobile Malware
    • Linux bug bestows attackers with ‘superuser’ powers
    • Firesheep

      Firesheep is free, open source, and is available now for Mac OS X and Windows. Linux support is on the way.

      Websites have a responsibility to protect the people who depend on their services. They’ve been ignoring this responsibility for too long, and it’s time for everyone to demand a more secure web. My hope is that Firesheep will help the users win.

    • A frightening bug

      Just a quick note to let everyone know that Glibc is dangerous. This bug can be exploited to gain root privileges. This means that, basically, everything in the GNU tool chain is potentially a vector for entry. Hopefully a patch will be forthcoming, after which you can expect a million recompiles the world over.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Was the WikiLeaks Founder Right to Walk From This Interview? [VIDEO]

      Frustrated at the direction the media’s narrative has taken, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walked out of an interview with CNN’s Atika Schubert.

      She inquired about the rape allegations made against him in Sweden but he threatened several times to walk when she brought the subject up. When she didn’t drop it completely, he removed his mic and walked away.

      The reporter drew some frustrated comments from Assange when she suggested that the rape accusations — which Assange believe were fabricated by the Pentagon or another enemy — affect WikiLeaks. “I’m not going to talk about that in relation to this … this interview is about something else.

    • Wikileaks documents: New info on Iraq war

      Over the weekend, Wikileaks struck again. That’s the Web site that continues to get its hands on some sensitive documents and releases the information.

    • NYT v. the world: WikiLeaks coverage

      To supplement my post yesterday about The New York Times’ government-subservient coverage of the WikiLeaked documents regarding the war that newspaper played such a vital role in enabling, consider — beyond the NYT’s sleazy, sideshow-smears against Julian Assange — the vast disparity between how newspapers around the world and The New York Times reported on a key revelation from these documents: namely, that the U.S. systematically and pursuant to official policy ignored widespread detainee abuse and torture by Iraqi police and military (up to and including murders).

    • Five bombshells from WikiLeaks’ Iraq war documents

      In the largest document leak in US history, WikiLeaks has released more than 400,000 secret US documents about the Iraq war. As with the second-largest leak in US history – the 92,000 Afghan war documents released in July – much of the substance of the leaks has been reported already, but details are new.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tea Party climate change deniers funded by BP and other major polluters

      BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama’s energy agenda, the Guardian has learned.

      An analysis of campaign finance by Climate Action Network Europe (Cane) found nearly 80% of campaign donations from a number of major European firms were directed towards senators who blocked action on climate change. These included incumbents who have been embraced by the Tea Party such as Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, and the notorious climate change denier James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma.

    • BP sells Gulf of Mexico oil field assets to Marubeni

      BP has said it will sell its interests in four Gulf of Mexico oil fields to Japan’s Marubeni as part of its moves to pay for the oil spill there.

      The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to raise $650m (£413m).

      BP is in the process of selling assets worth up to $30bn to meet clean-up and compensation costs.

      Last week, the company announced it would sell business interests in Vietnam and Venezuela for $1.8bn.

  • Finance

    • Foreclosures: A Paperwork Fiasco

      After months of horror stories, it seemed that the real estate mess could not get any worse. But now, the nation is in the middle of yet another foreclosure crisis.

    • Think this economy is bad? Wait for 2012.

      We’re barely two years past the banking crisis, still weathering the mortgage crisis and nervously watching Europe struggle with its sovereign debt crisis. Yet every economic seer has a favorite prediction about what part of the economy the next crisis will come from: Municipal bonds? Hedge funds? Derivatives? The federal debt?

    • G-20 powers agree to Geithner currency and trade plan

      Finance ministers from the world’s major nations agreed to a U.S.-brokered plan for easing tensions over exchange rates and world trade patterns, saying that a “fragile and uneven” economic recovery was at risk if top powers pursued conflicting policies or used the value of their currencies to gain an edge for their exports.

    • The Worst Economist in the World

      A thought: it has occurred to me that we could use an economics equivalent of Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” award. KO does not, of course, mean that the person he goes after on any given night really is the worst person in the world; he just uses the title to highlight some especially awful action or statement.

    • Obama: Consumers lose if financial law repealed

      President Barack Obama says consumers would lose if Republicans regain power in Congress and try to roll back his hard-won Wall Street overhaul.

    • Banks make moves to deal with fallout of regulatory changes

      As the banking community wades through the murky waters of regulatory changes, Washington area institutions are forging ahead with strategies to offset compliance costs, falling fee income and tepid loan demand.

    • The Subprime Debacle: Act 2, Part 2
    • Big Problem for Banks: Due Process

      Earlier this week, Bank of America, the nation’s largest consumer bank, reported its third-quarter earnings. It was a very good quarter; putting aside an accounting charge — a very large, $10.4 billion accounting charge, admittedly — the bank reported $3.1 billion in profits. It was the third consecutive quarter that Bank of America had earned more than $3 billion.

    • Health insurers help GOP after dalliance with Dems

      Health insurers flirted with Democrats, supported them with money and got what they wanted: a federal mandate that most Americans carry health care coverage. Now they’re backing Republicans, hoping a GOP Congress will mean friendlier regulations.

      They may get more than they’re wishing for.

    • Europe gives up IMF seats to emerging powers, China

      The G20 sealed an accord branded as “historic” on Saturday (24 October) to reform the International Monetary Fund, in a grand bargain that will see Europe give up two seats on the Fund’s Executive Board in return for greater responsibility from emerging economies on currency valuations.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Time to reboot our push for global Internet freedom

      Last Tuesday 215,646 Internet users in Iran evaded their regime to visit sites such as Facebook, Twitter and RadioFarda.com, the U.S.-funded Persian-language news service. In Syria, 14,886 people freely surfed; in Vietnam, 10,612; in Saudi Arabia, 14,691; in China, 18,000.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Facebook Sues Faceporn, Cites Copyright Infringement

      Facebook has filed another lawsuit, this time against Faceporn.com, an x-rated social-networking site. Facebook filed suit on Oct. 15 in the U.S. District Court in Northern California, claiming that Faceporn copied Facebook to build its site and is in violation of copyright.

      Faceporn calls itself “the number one socializing porn and sex network,” but its site has been down since Wednesday according a Tweet.

    • Copyrights

      • Facts and Figures on Copyright Three-Strike Rule in Korea

        Unlike the suspension by the Minister’s order, a suspension by the Copyright Commission’ recommendation can be made without requiring that the unauthorized reproduction or transmission takes place at least three times.

      • Anonymous takes FACT down …

        You wouldn’t shoot a policeman, steal his helmet, go to the toilet in it and then send it to his grieving widow?

        Would you?

        That’s what the IT Crowd ask in a FACT parody.

        The IT Crowd is a British Channel 4 sitcom “Set in the London offices of the fictional corporation Reynholm Industries”, says the Wikipedia.

      • ACTA

        • KEI Letter to the European Parliament regarding ACTA, October 25, 2010

          Negotiations on ACTA were formally announced on October 23, 2007. Now, three years later, the European Parliament is being asked to endorse an agreement that was officially published in near final form on October 6, 2010.[1] This letter addresses our concerns about the current text, and asks the Parliament to consider actions that would address its shortcomings.

          Overall, and in many important areas, the October 2010 version of the ACTA text is a significant improvement over the only other public version, the one published on April 16, 2010. In the October 2010 text, a number of important safeguards have been added in areas such as privacy, public health, and in clarifying the objectives and purposes of the agreement. The border measures and the Internet provisions have been significantly improved by removing patents from the border measures, narrowing the scope and more carefully addressing the importance of safeguards and balance in the text. We also note improvements in the civil litigation provisions on injunctions. This said, there are outstanding issues that are important, and which may undermine the credibility, usefulness and durability of the agreement.

        • ACTA, Democracy & Access to Medicines

          Briefing Note for Members of the European Parliament by HAI, TACD, MSF and Oxfam

          Negotiations are not the end of the road – ACTA is a blank cheque for the future

          In a move that would circumvent open debate and due scrutiny, the agreement proposes an annual meeting of signatories where amendments to the Treaty can be negotiated. Even some of the most contentious issues that have been removed during the negotiations could, within a year, be back in the text once ACTA is out of the public spotlight. Any future changes to ACTA must be subject to public scrutiny by all stakeholders and must receive parliamentary approval. (ACTA, Art. 6.4: Amendments, Arts. 5.1.2. 5.1.4)

Clip of the Day

The Digital Prism Screencast: MintUpdate (also see: An Identi.ca Group For The Screencast)

Credit: TinyOgg

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