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10.27.10

IRC Proceedings: October 27th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 27/10/2010: Many Developers Choose GNU/Linux Desktops, Russia Moves to GNU/Linux Desktops

Posted in News Roundup at 7:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • RedMonk Analytics: What Operating Systems are Developers Using?

    Windows is the easy winner, but Linux is as clearly second to Mac’s third. The primary takeaway for most is that Linux traction is strong amongst Eclipse users. The obvious next question is whether this trend holds amongst a wider development community or whether it’s a more localized Eclipse phenomenon. My hypothesis was that it was the latter; that we would instead see different trends amongst, for example, web developer communities. To test this, I decided to take an unscientific look at the raw data that powers RedMonk Analytics, but filtering it by subject to isolate individual community trends.

  • Russia developing alternative OS to Windows

    The Russian government has decided it is going to develop its own operating system as an alternative to using Microsoft Windows.

    Rather than opting for an existing Linux distribution instead, Russia will invest $4.9 million creating its own OS based on Linux for use across all government departments.

    A meeting is planned in December where vice-prime minister Sergei Ivanov will discuss the details and plan of action for the development. The key aims are to remove the dependence on Windows and allow for better security, while at the same time not becoming just another Linux distribution.

  • Russia to create ‘Windows rival’

    The Russian state plans to revamp its computer services with a Windows rival to reduce its dependence on US giant Microsoft and better monitor computer security, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

    Moscow will earmark 150 million rubles (3.5 million euros, 4.9 million dollars) to develop a national software system based on the Linux operating system, Russian deputy Ilia Ponomarev told AFP, confirming an earlier report in the Vedomosti daily.

  • Kernel Space/Linux Foundation

    • Linux Foundation and Consumer Electronics Linux Forum to Merge

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, and the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF), a nonprofit organization and international open source software development community focused on embedded Linux, today announced they will merge organizations, resulting in the CE Linux Forum becoming a technical workgroup at The Linux Foundation. As part of this merge, The Linux Foundation will expand its technical programs in the embedded computing space.

      The use of Linux in embedded products has skyrocketed in recent years, with Linux now being used in consumer electronic devices of all kinds. CELF and The Linux Foundation believe that by combining resources they can more efficiently enable the adoption of Linux in the Consumer Electronics (CE) industry. Given the broad overlap in members between The Linux Foundation and CELF, the similarity in the goals of both organizations, and the large increase of embedded participants coming to Linux in recent years, this aligning of resources will strengthen each organization and ultimately help the organizations’ members achieve their missions: growing the embedded Linux market.

    • CELF is joining the Linux Foundation
    • Yocto Project aims to standardize embedded Linux builds

      While announcing its merger with the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum (CELF) today, the Linux Foundation launched an open source build system project called the Yocto Project. Based on the Poky Linux build system, the CELF- and Intel-driven Yocto Project aims to provide open source tools to help companies make custom, Linux-based embedded systems for ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and x86 architectures.

    • While Apple Debates Open vs Integrated, We Want the Best of Both Worlds

      Embedded systems aren’t just the fastest growing market for Linux; they are one of the fastest growing sectors of computing. And in that segment, Linux growth continues to eclipse all other platforms.

      Today, Linux-based systems are powering products and software that are household names: Android, Palm WebOS, Tivo, Sony, and more. But the majority of Linux use in this space is in traditional embedded systems such as machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, aerospace and defense, and networking, for example. These products typically consist of “roll your own” Linux comprised of upstream components such as the kernel, X, and glibc that run on top of a specific hardware product. Companies and developers in these markets, in particular, are able to leverage free software and build systems quickly and affordably. And while market-share clearly proves this system is working, at The Linux Foundation we have recognized there are even more places where the industry can collaborate to control costs and speed time to market.

    • Linux Embeds Itself Even Deeper

      Because anyone can take Linux and use it as they wish without needing to ask permission (provided they comply with the licence), it ends up being used in lots of places that we rarely hear about. This contrasts with proprietary operating systems, which only get used if they are licensed directly, which means that the licensor always knows exactly what is going on – and can issue yet another boring press release accordingly.

      This contrast between much-trumpeted proprietary activity and near-invisible open goings-on is probably most acute in the world of embedded devices. Most people aren’t even aware that there is an operating system being used in many of their more “intelligent” consumer electronics devices, let alone that it is likely to be a variant of Linux.

    • The Main DRM Pull Request For The Linux 2.6.37 Kernel

      David Airlie has just called upon Linus Torvalds to pull in his DRM kernel tree for the Linux 2.6.37 kernel merge window. We have talked about many of these features before that are now entering the mainline Linux kernel code-base as new capabilities of the open-source Linux graphics stack, but here’s the list of what made the cut for Linux 2.6.37 and details on some of the features we have yet to discuss.

  • Applications

    • 4 useful graphic and non-graphic linux apps for text and color

      Last weekend I hat some nice chats as well at Ubuntu Release Party in Berlin, as well as something like a talk circle. Out of those I like to share some application tipps with you:

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • You Can Finally Install Evernote (4) In Linux, Under Wine

        Evernote 4 has been released yesterday and the new version brings a completely redesigned user interface and a re-write of the code to C++.

      • Adobe To Use TransGaming’s SwiftShader; Remember Cedega?

        TransGaming, the company behind the Cedega program for running Windows games on Linux (as an alternative to using Wine or CodeWeaver’s CrossOver Games) and Cider as the Mac equivalent, has just announced that Adobe is now licensing its SwiftShader Technology for the Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR.

        SwiftShader is TransGaming’s pure software 3D renderer that supports features like vertex/pixel shaders, floating point rendering, and other DirectX 9.0 / OpenGL ES 2.0 level features. Adobe is hooking up with TransGaming so that developers targeting Flash and AIR can utilize 3D APIs (such as Direct3D and OpenGL) and those users that are without any 3D hardware/driver support will fall-back to SwiftShader for the software rendering in future versions of the Flash Player and AIR run-time. This is basically a proprietary CPU-based software renderer that Adobe is licensing from TransGaming.

    • Games

      • Excellent Youtube Channel Covering Linux Gaming Videos

        Linux Gaming by Jake Ward is an awesome Youtube Channel that covers lots of native Linux as well as Windows games that runs perfectly under Wine. The channel neatly categorises all the videos in simple playlists for easy access like native Linux games, free games, Windows games, must have games etc.

        Every video on the channel is accompanied by a brief description about the game and download links if the game is free or any demo is available. One of the cool features about the channel is if you want to see some Linux game in action, just suggest it on the channel and a video on it will be up.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • What’s next in GNOME’s future?

        Canonical will be shipping Unity as the default desktop for Ubuntu 11.04. It’ll still be GNOME technologies underneath, GNOME applications will run on it and it’s still optimized for GNOME, but it won’t be the GNOME shell. Not the traditional GNOME shell that we all know and love nor the new GNOME Shell coming out in GNOME 3.0.

      • Orta GTK Theme: A Stylish Theme Based On Elementary

        Inspired (and actually heavily based on…) by the Elementary theme, Orta comes with some slick new elements to give your desktop a more polished look. The most interesting elements are the scrollbar – which even though look a lot like in Elementary, seem more polished -, the Nautilus Elementary breadcrumbs, buttons and the Gedit tabs.

  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic review

      Parted Magic is a compact and lightweight distribution of Linux to help you manage your disk. It is a live distribution that can run off a CD/DVD or a USB drive. It comes packed with several useful disk and partition management tools such as GParted and Clonezilla. Unlike a number of live distributions of Linux out there, Parted Magic has a pretty specialised approach to things.

    • Red Hat Family

      • IGEL Adds VDI Clients for Open-Source SPICE and VMware View 4.5 to its Linux Thin Client Range

        German thin client manufacturer, IGEL Technology, today became the first company in its sector to integrate the open-source software client SPICE into its Linux operating system for its Universal Desktop thin client range. With the SPICE client, IGEL customers who already use Linux at their server level can now provision high-performance virtual desktops with different guest systems. For instance, SPICE can be deployed within the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops solution in order to virtualize Microsoft Windows 7 Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Fedora

        • Spending the afternoon in Fedora 13
        • Fedora 14 with Live USB Creator and persistent storage for a dry run of the distribution

          Right now I’m testing a recent daily build of Fedora 14 via the Fedora Live USB Creator with persistent storage. Theoretically this should allow me to modify the live Fedora image on the USB and test how the release runs on my hardware with whatever fixes need to be applied in order to make things actually work.

          At this point that means the fglrx driver direct from ATI/AMD, which I’m installing right now, and the creation/modification of /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf to allow for speaker muting when headphones are plugged in.

        • WE WANT YOU!! to help out with Fedora Elections.

          The Fedora Project is gearing up for our twice-annual elections process, for an election period in late November. During this election, we’ll be voting on positions in the following groups:

          * Fedora Board
          * Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo)
          * Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee (FAmSCo)

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • PointnClick guide to running Ubuntu in the cloud

          It doesn’t get any easier than this, so let’s hit it

        • Canonical Will Not Abandon Java, Says Mark Shuttleworth

          The founder of Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth, has announced at UDS that despite the recent decision of Steve Jobs and Apple to move away from the Java environment, Canonical will continue to consider Java a first grade development platform.

        • New UbuntuForums.org Design On The Way

          The Ubuntu website and basically all the official Ubuntu related websites have been upgraded to use the new Ubuntu branding, except for Ubuntuforums.

          But that’s about to change. Mike Basinger create a blueprint @ Launchpad regarding this matter which has already been accepted, so it looks like we’ll be getting a new Ubuntuforums design soon (I’m not sure when).

        • What is Ubuntu?

          Video produced designed to be looped telling people in a fun way what Ubuntu is.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Edubuntu WebLive now features Edubuntu 11.04 daily builds

            Yesterday during the Edubuntu plenary at the Ubuntu Developer Summit I announced that you can now try the latest development release from WebLive.

          • Lubuntu Screencast: Abiword Wordprocessing

            In this Screencast I show you the default wordprocessing application under Lubuntu 10.10 called Abiword.
            Abiword has some special features which allow you to work collaboratively on a document or search the web for translating passages of your text.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Playstation Phone Gets One Step Closer to Reality

          Engadget claims the phone will be most likely be running Android 3.0 but also mentions Gingerbread which we’ve been hearing is actually Android 2.3.

        • The PlayStation Phone? Images, hardware specs surface

          Are we moving closer to the official announcement of a PlayStation Phone? Engadget is running images of a device it claims to be the mythical hardware, with a few interesting details. The phone allegedly sports a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and the screen is “in the range” of 3.7 to 4.1 inches.

        • PlayStation Phone ‘is most definitely real’

          Images of the PlayStation Phone which emerged today are “most definitely real”, despite the spreading reports of it being fake.

          So says Engadget, who asserts that the images and spec information it reports have come from “multiple trusted sources”.

          “The PlayStation Phone in the photos we ran last night, and the device reported on back in August is most definitely real,” says the site, reminding us of an incredibly similar mock up it released in August.

        • PayPal Announces Android Market Payment Support, Quickly Pulls It

          Well, well, well. An eagle-eyed reader tells us PayPal posted a short announcement yesterday on its corporate blog, only to pull it mere seconds later. As you can tell from the URL, PayPal was poised to announce support for “all three major mobile platforms” (also see retweets of the blog post).

        • Is Android Open?

          Steve Jobs raised the question last week “Is Android Open?”. What was particularly funny was that he was using the word “open” in a sense that most people don’t use or hear these days. That’s why it was so funny to see Andy Rubin’s response, because they were talking about fundamentally different things. What a lot of people have forgotten is that the word “open” was seriously redefined in 1998 by the people who coined “open source.”

          Before open source “open” meant compatibility. “Open computing” was a selling point of the workstation market that said “if you compile your [usually C] code on a DEC workstation, you can send it to your friend who uses a Sun workstation, it will work. Fantastic! Buy our hardware!” Modern Macintosh computers are the descendants, not of Mac OS 9, but of NeXT computers, which were Steve Jobs’ workstation computers.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Apache, KDE

    To get from commit 1 to commit 1,000,000 took the ASF roughly 14-and-a-half years and the effort of 2506 contributors in the VCS. For KDE it was roughly 10-and-a-half years and the effort of 2154 contributors in the VCS.

  • ForgeRock: Announcing OpenIDM

    You’ll recall that we started ForgeRock near the start of 2010 to provide continuity for customers of Sun’s enterprise identity middleware products and from that to establish a new ISV creating an identity-oriented application platform, all as open source software. So far we have rehosted OpenSSO in the OpenAM project, and rehosted OpenDS in the OpenDJ project. Demand has been strong and we’ve established a diverse international customer base already, after only 9 months.

  • ForgeRock Community Participation Agreement (FCPA) version 1.0
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • First Look at Firefox Mobile 4

        Mozilla has publicized beta releases of the desktop version of Firefox 4 since July, but mobile users can test out the next major update to the mobile browser as well. Firefox 4 for Mobile is officially at beta 1, with builds available for devices running Android and Nokia’s Maemo operating system.

        [...]

        After all, it is all well and good that Android itself is an open source operating system, but the application marketplace and the OEM pre-installed app list is still dominated by proprietary software. Maemo is soon to be replaced in mass-market devices by MeeGo, and although its netbook builds run the usual stack of Linux applications, the handheld products may not. We might not see Emacs and XChat on our phones any time soon, but it’s reassuring to see a high-quality, extensible open source browser made available. I just wonder if we will ever see it preinstalled.

      • Mozilla delays Firefox 4 until ‘early 2011′

        Mozilla has pushed back the planned release of Firefox to sometime in “early 2011.” Previously, the open source outfit had said its latest desktop browser would be officially released next month.

  • Oracle

    • [Olivier Hallot leaves OOo]

      So by closing this important chapter, and with the feeling that I had my mission accomplished within the OpenOffice.org community, I must now to communicate that I am resigning from the roles I took in OpenOffice.org project in the last 9 years, namely in the Community Council as well as the translation lead for Brazilian Portuguese. My duties in the BrOffice community remains unchanged.

      Congratulations for the amazing new 3.3 release and farewell.

    • IBM releases Lotus Symphony 3 office suite

      IBM has announced the arrival of version 3 of its free Lotus Symphony office suite. The productivity tool suite consists of three applications, Documents, Spreadsheets and Presentations, and is based on the 3.x branch of OpenOffice.org.

  • CMS

    • In Praise of Open Source Diversity

      What’s really great here is that the leader of one CMS projects comments directly on the blog post of another CMS leader. That’s what you’d hope from open projects working in the same space, but it’s still good to see. I also think it is rather healthy to hear that the two leaders differ here. As I mentioned at the start of this post, choice is central to free software, and that’s not just a matter of software: it also refers to people’s views. Just as proprietary monocultures bring with them great vulnerability, so open source diversity of this kind is a very real strength.

  • Government

    • FR: ‘Marseille’s desktop plans conflict with procurement rules’

      Plans developed by the IT department of the French city of Marseille to replace its three desktops operating systems by a single proprietary operating system, are breaking procurement rules, alleges April, an association on free software and Libertis, a association of IT service companies specialising in this type of software.

      In a call for tender, a public administration can request the use of open source, April and Libertis write in their statement published on 19 October. “However, to select one particular brand is strictly prohibited by the Procurement Code.”

      In its statement, the two associations protest the end to Marseille’s plans to move to an open source desktop operating system: “The chief technology officer (CTO) has abruptly stopped the switch to Linux and is imposing his personal choices. We denounce his illegal and authoritarian choices that go against the interests of the city and the taxpayers of Marseille.”

    • Why You Should Respond to the e-Commerce Consultation
    • PT: ‘Gvt must stop breaking procurement rules and move to open source’

      The Portuguese Association for Free Software (Ansol) is urging the government to stop buying proprietary software licences without a public tender, and to switch to free and open source software.

      The advocacy group uncovered that five public administrations in 2009 spent more than 120 million Euro in total on proprietary software licences for operating systems and office applications, without properly following procurement rules. “It is illegal, and in these times of crises, such volumes are unjustifiable.”

    • Speaker Guest Editorial | Linux: Reducing Costs in Government Application

      As we prepare for GOSCON this year, there are a number of key topics that come to mind. When one thinks about “Government” today, undoubtedly we hear discussions around cuts in government services; the need to raise taxes; stopping or reducing deficit spending and the general trend of doing more with less. This is not just at the Federal level, it is also a focus at the state and local government levels, too. In 2007, for the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population—3.3 billion people—lived in cities. By 2050, city dwellers are expected to make up 70% of Earth’s total population, or 6.4 billion people. So isn’t it critical for us to start to understand just how technology fits into this ever-growing clamor for improved government services at reduced costs to the taxpayer?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why We Hack: The Benefits of Disobedience

      Sometimes disobedience is necessary and good when rules fail us, and it’s at the core of why we hack. Hacking is a means of expressing dissatisfaction, confounding the mechanism, and ultimately doing better. Here’s why it’s so important.

    • Rethinking Wikipedia contributions rates

      About a year ago news stories began to surface that wikipedia was losing more contributors that it was gaining. These stories were based on the research of Felipe Ortega who had downloaded and analyzed millions the data of contributors.

      This is a question of importance to all of us. Crowdsourcing has been a powerful and disruptive force socially and economically in the short history of the web. Organizations like Wikipedia and Mozilla (at the large end of the scale) and millions of much smaller examples have destroyed old business models, spawned new industries and redefined the idea about how we can work together. Understand how the communities grow and evolve is of paramount importance.

  • Programming

    • Geek&Poke Looks Behind The Scenes Of Coders
    • 7 programming languages on the rise

      Programmers looking for work in enterprise shops would be foolish not to learn the languages that underlie this paradigm, yet a surprising number of niche languages are fast beginning to thrive in the enterprise. Look beyond the mainstays, and you’ll find several languages that are beginning to provide solutions to increasingly common problems, as well as old-guard niche languages that continue to occupy redoubts. All offer capabilities compelling enough to justify learning a new way to juggle brackets, braces, and other punctuation marks.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 web video flashes past Flash

      HTML5 now commands a majority of web-based video support, but its rise is being fueled by mobile devices. Adobe Flash still holds the lead in desktop content.

      This news comes from a new survey of HTML5-video penetration conducted by MeFeedia, the self-described “largest independent video site on the web with partnerships so big they make us nervous.” The company’s content partners include Hulu, CBS, and ABC, and they carry content from such sites as YouTube, Vimeo, and others.

Leftovers

  • Book review: The Return of the Public by Dan Hind

    It is becoming a cliché to say that we live in a time of crisis. Whether it’s catastrophic climate change, financial meltdown or collapse of trust in our political representatives, disaster is already upon us and the state seems powerless to construct a meaningful response.

    According to Dan Hind’s new book, underlying our inability to tackle these crises is yet another crisis – a crisis of publicity. In his view, the make up of the ‘public’ – “the informed autonomous body capable of initiating policy and driving legislative changes” – now excludes the vast majority of people. Instead, the state bends itself to an elite public dominated by those who control (though not own) the vast capital flows of major corporations and the financial markets which connect them.

  • Oct. 27, 1994: Web Gives Birth to Banner Ads

    1994: Wired.com, then known as HotWired, invents the web banner ad. Go ahead, blame us.

  • Girl turns her boring old minivan into the Ninja Turtles van

    Minivans aren’t the most exciting vehicles to drive around. But the Ninja Turtles’ van? Now that’s how you get around in style. So when 23-year-old Brittney Schneck came into possession of a ’94 Dodge Caravan, she decided to upgrade it to something a bit more gnarly.

  • MAFIA BOSS ‘WAS PLAYING GODFATHER XBOX GAME’

    Top Mafia boss Gerlandino Messina was playing an Xbox game based on the popular Godfather movies before being arrested last weekend, police said Wednesday.

  • Research finds that databases are unreliable

    ACCORDING TO RESEARCH by Informatica Corp, databases are not doing the job they were intended to do.

    Informatica, which sells enterprise integration software, has published its research into how well databases are used and integrated, and warned that many are “falling short of ideals”.

  • Nearly half of top UK firms do not use software escrow

    Almost half of the 350 most valuable listed companies in the UK do not have software escrow agreements in place to give them access to technology if a supplier goes bust, according to an escrow services company.

  • Will the New MySpace Suck Less?

    Do you have some “Generation Y” teens or pre-teens lazing about your home? Because the terminally ill old social network down by the river, MySpace, would like to show them racy videos all day in his redesigned internet van. Exciting.

  • Jobs turned down Bungie… at first: how Microsoft burned Apple

    Tuncer Deniz worked at Bungie as a producer from 1996 to 1998 and served as the project lead on Myth 2, but he stayed in contact with top Bungie execs. After recently hearing the story of how Steve Jobs got angry when Bungie went to Microsoft in 2000, Deniz decided to tell us what had happened as he heard it. Turns out that Steve Jobs was angry for a very simple reason: he had wanted to purchase Bungie himself… after first turning the company down.

  • Google’s big buy

    Google appears close to buying the trophy 111 Eighth Ave. building, one of the largest buildings in Manhattan, The Post has learned.

  • Science

    • Giant crater may have been extinction trigger

      One of the largest meteorite impacts in the world has been discovered in the Australian outback – an impact so powerful it may have been the trigger for a major extinction event.

      The meteorite struck Australia around 300 million years ago and produced a ‘shock zone’ – the area of land deformed by the strike – at least 80 km wide.

    • FPGA manufacturer claims to beat Moore’s Law

      CHIP DESIGNER Xilinx has announced that it can beat Moore’s Law by introducing stacked silicon interconnects.

      The announcement debuts devices that allow for higher bandwidth, capacity and reduction in power by having multiple field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) in a single package. The firm is saying that by using 3D packaging and through-silicon vias on its 28nm 7 series FPGAs, it can “overcome the boundaries of Moore’s Law and offer electronics manufacturers unparalleled power, bandwidth and density optimization”.

    • Three Gorges dam finally operating at full capacity

      The water level at the Three Gorges dam, aka the largest hydropower plant in the world, reached its maximum yesterday, spurring electricity output to full capacity for the first time since it began operations in 2008. Dam officials have been holding back water since September in order to let it rise to its peak height of 175m Tuesday morning.

    • Chip giants investigate more power efficient chip design

      IBM and other chip makers look beyond CMOS to design a more energy efficient processor

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • It’s the Occupation, Stupid

      In the decade since 9/11, the United States has conquered and occupied two large Muslim countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), compelled a huge Muslim army to root out a terrorist sanctuary (Pakistan), deployed thousands of Special Forces troops to numerous Muslim countries (Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, etc.), imprisoned hundreds of Muslims without recourse, and waged a massive war of ideas involving Muslim clerics to denounce violence and new institutions to bring Western norms to Muslim countries. Yet Americans still seem strangely mystified as to why some Muslims might be angry about this situation.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The clamour for African coal

      Tete, in Mozambique, sits above one of the world’s largest reserves of high-quality coal. Money is pouring in and the mood is upbeat, writes Richard Lapper, but getting the product to market won’t be easy.

  • Finance

    • Belgium in Crisis: Potato Prices Rise

      Investors world-wide are braced for rising commodity prices: The cost of sugar is set to surpass the 30-year high recorded earlier this year, while breakfast cereal manufacturers will increase prices to reflect the soaring market value of corn. But for Belgium, the worst is yet to come: The potato market is “firm” and Belgian fries may be set to rise in price.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Armed with new treaty, Europe amplifies objections to U.S. data-sharing demands

      The Obama administration has encountered mounting resistance in Europe to its demands for broad sharing of airline passenger data and other personal information designed to spot would-be terrorists before they strike.

      Europe’s objections, based on privacy considerations, worry U.S. counterterrorism officials because computer scrutiny of passenger lists has become an increasingly important tool in the struggle to prevent terrorists from entering the United States or traveling to and from their havens. The would-be Times Square bomber was hauled off a Dubai-bound airliner in May, a senior U.S. counterterrorism official said, after his name on the manifest produced a ding in Department of Homeland Security computers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • DRM Is Toxic To Culture

      Digital Restriction Methods (DRM) aren’t just a nuisance that treats all customers as if they had stolen what they actually paid for. They also threaten our future cultural heritage.

    • British Library explores research technologies of the future

      Working with hardware partner HP and software partner Microsoft, the library is showcasing a range of research tools, including a prototype of Sony’s RayModeler 360-degree Autostereoscopic Display that uses gesture control to view static and moving 3D images and video.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • How Trademark Law Has Turned From A Consumer Protection Law, Into A Weapon To Hinder Competition

      Trademark lawyer Ron Coleman, who runs the excellent Likelihood of Confusion blog, has now written a paper that highlights his concerns about where trademark law has been trending recently, and comparing it to the excesses of copyright law these days.

    • Copyrights

      • Consultation Lays Bare Divide Over Future of Canadian Book Industry

        Those cultural policies are part of a major government consultation that comes amid signals that Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore may be open to relaxing those policies as online sellers and electronic books shake up the marketplace. Last spring, the government approved the establishment of a physical distribution facility for Amazon.ca, a move opposed by the Canadian Booksellers Association. The approval came with strings attached – Amazon promised new investments in Canada, increased availability of French language content, and higher visibility of Canadian books – but the precedent was clearly established.

      • Torrent Site Launches VPN to Counter France’s Anti-Piracy Law

        With the introduction of its three-strikes law, France has positioned itself at the forefront of the ‘war on piracy’. Under the new Hadopi legislation, alleged copyright infringers will be hunted down systematically, but not if it’s up to France’s largest torrent site. In a counter-move the Smartorrent team recently launched a VPN service, and nearly 2500 users of the site have already signed up for an account.

      • 5 Ways To Download Torrents Anonymously

        With anti-piracy outfits and dubious law-firms policing BitTorrent swarms at an increasing rate, many Bittorrent users are looking for ways to hide their identities from the outside world. To accommodate this demand we’ll give an overview of 5 widely used privacy services.

      • New EU Music Copyright Rules for 2011

        This new copyright proposal forms part of the European Commission’s general overhaul – officially a relaunch – of the Single European Market. The announcement was made at a press conference in Brussels today, and encompasses 50 proposals to be put in place by 2012.

        The Commission’s big new idea is to acknowledge that citizens, as well as business, have a stake in the Single Market. The relaunch was therefore held jointly by Michel Barnier, Commissioner for the Internal Market, and Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Fundamental Rights.

      • The music industry’s new business model

        An interesting story from Financial Times is the result of an interview with Brian Message, a former accountant (i.e. lion-tamer in training) who is one of Radiohead’s three managers. Thom Yorke of Radiohead, according to the article, has predicted the demise of the major labels within months. Good. I don’t think he’s inflating things at all.

        [...]

        I hope that Brian Message and Thom Yorke are right: what is about to happen to the a-holes running the major labels is not just “DIY record labels.” The music industry is cannibalizing itself and all that will be left will be small businesses that actually care about music. That will be the only way to get music: buy it from the artists themselves.

      • Ton Roosendaal, Sintel Producer and head of Blender Institute

        Sintel is the Blender Institute’s third “open movie”. Could you describe what “open movie” means to the Blender Institute?

        Oh… many things. First, I love to work with artists, which goes much easier than working with developers! And making short animation films with teams is an amazing and very rewarding activity. With this large creative community of Blender artists, the financial model enables it even; not many short film makers have this opportunity.

        But the practical incentive to do this is because it’s a great development model for Blender. Putting artists together on a major challenge is the ultimate way to drive software like Blender forward. That way we can also ensure it fits ambitious targets weeding out the ‘would be cool features’ for the ‘must need’ ones. And it’s quite easier to design usability with small diverse teams, than have it done online via feedback mechanisms, which easily becomes confusing with the noise of hundreds of different opinions.

      • ACTA

        • Corruption perception index and # MINUTES

          La nota de hoy sin duda es la publicación por parte de Transparencia Internacional (TI) de su lista anual del índice de corrupción por país. The letter of today is undoubtedly the publication by Transparency International (TI) in its annual corruption index by country. Para transparencia internacional, la corrupción puede ser definida como el abuso del poder para beneficio privado. For Transparency International, corruption can be defined as the abuse of power for private gain. El indice es la percepción que se tiene de la corrupción en el sector público y para ser medido se requiere como mínimo de tres fuentes. The index is the perception that there is corruption in the public sector is required to be measured at least three sources.

          Prometo hacer un análisis más amplio, pero de entrada me metí a ver cómo le había ido a los países negociadores de ACTA respecto del año pasado, esto fue lo que encontré: I promise to do further analysis, but the input I got to see how he had gone to the ACTA negotiating countries from last year, this is what I found…

Clip of the Day

The Digital Prism Screencast – MintMenu (more here)


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 27/10/2010: Red Hat CEO on Growth, Fedora 14 Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 9:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The $100.00 (USD) Coolest Linux Workspace Contest Winner

    The month-long voting is over so it is about time to announce the winner of our $100.00 (USD) coolest Linux workspace contest. The people have spoken, and from our five finalists only one has emerged victorious.

  • Less is More

    • Old hardware a handicap? Au contraire!

      Whoa, waitaminute. A 1.7Ghz machine with a healthy 256Mb will be a handicap to learning Linux? A handicap? Even when armed with lightweight applications?

      [...]

      But I can also say that I learned a lot more about Linux from a wildly unpredictable 100Mhz machine, and even more from a rancid little K6-2, than I ever did from a dual core Thinkpad. I enjoy having it, but I don’t count it among my educational treasures.

    • More reasons to learn from old computers

      I’m still a bit wired over the post from a day or two ago, insisting that a 1.7Ghz machine with a healthy amount of RAM and a decent-sized hard drive would be a detriment to anyone learning Linux.

      More and more that strikes me as completely counterintuitive, and for plenty of reasons. I already explained that an older machine is a challenge, whereas a newer machine is a luxury.

      But honestly, when someone wants to learn Linux, or at least try it out, I don’t recommend they go buy a new computer. I suggest they find a 4- or 5-year-old laptop, and learn the ropes that way.

      And aside from three reasons to buy old machines instead of new ones — power demands, noise levels and Linux compatibility — there are other good reasons to use an old computer to learn about penguins.

    • Minimalist Distros are the Way to Go (Not Ubuntu)

      Ubuntu, the most user-friendly of the Linux distributions; Ubuntu, the harbinger of the day of the Linux desktop to the world; Ubuntu, the crowned king of all distributions; Ubuntu — the Operating System that has now killed my desktop for the third consecutive upgrade in a row. This is ridiculous. I have been an Ubuntu user and supporter since the seventh grade, when I first started using Linux, but this is just too much. I know I’ve denounced Ubuntu and then reconsidered at least once in the past, but this is different, this is intolerable.

      My final unfortunate experience with Ubuntu began last week. I had just run the upgrade to the new release, version 10.10. When turning the computer on in the morning, I had expected to be greeted by my customary desktop with maybe a new theme at the most. However, I was welcomed by a bleak login prompt on tty1 — the command line. The new upgrade had ruined my configuration so that the X server would no longer start the graphical display. Fail. Ubuntu has ruined my desktop three times in the last two years, not coincidentally in the wake of each six-month release. That makes its record of stability in my experience worse than both Gentoo and Arch, each of which are supposed to be horribly difficult to use.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab review

      Overall though, the Galaxy Tab is the best non-Apple tablet to date, and it plays well against Apple’s impressive iPad. As the Android OS and app developers catch up with the new form factor, the gap is certain to narrow further.

  • Kernel Space

    • What is the Linux Kernel and What Does It Do?

      With over 13 million lines of code, the Linux kernel is one of the largest open source projects in the world, but what is a kernel and what is it used for?

    • The kernel column #93 by Jon Masters

      Linux averages 5.5 changes per hour, every hour of every day, and is perhaps one of the most active software projects in human history. Jon Masters charts these changes every month in quite possibly the best technical column in human history…

    • What’s The Fastest Linux Filesystem On Cheap Flash Media?

      Flash drives and SD Cards are getting bigger, faster and cheaper. They’re not just for sucking down snaps from your pocket camera any more: they’re backup storage, portable homedirs, netbook expansion … you name it.

      Most arrive with a VFAT filesystem, and usually stay that way. But for a lot of applications, this is not ideal. Curious if the filesystem made any difference, we did what Feynman would have done: tested some.

      For once, testing gave a pretty clear answer. So what is the fastest filesystem linux folks can use on their flash media?

      Ext4.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KSnapshot gains free-region capture

        From time to time I need to take a screenshot of some application or a part of my desktop. The obvious solution in KDE is KSnapshot, which is perfect if you want a rectangularly-shaped picture.

      • becoming a cog

        One more example is how the Git services for the KDE community keep improving, from Git integration in KDevelop to the rapidly maturing infrastructure the sysamdin team have been tooling up for us for some time now. projects.kde.org continues to get better and better and Tom is doing an awesome job of keeping everyone informed about that process.
        V

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Fun facts

        Percentage of gnome-shell code written by Red Hat by lines [:] 91%

  • Distributions

    • 3 Nice Live Linux CDs to Try

      1. Mepis

      [...]

      2. Kubuntu

      [...]

      3. PCLinuxOS

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO: Growth demands more space

        “In all honesty, we’re out of space,” Whitehurst said following a Harvard Alumni Association panel discussion Tuesday night that brought four area CEOs to Cisco’s campus. “We’ve rented all they have around us.”

      • Marico reduces costs and increases performance with Red Hat Solutions

        Red Hat announced that leading Indian FMCG major, Marico, is powering its SAP-based mission-critical ERP system on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • 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.

        • Fedora 14 preview

          You may have noticed that Fedora 14 makes its release next week. Curious to see what was going to be in the new version, and on a suggestion from pyxie, I grabbed a copy and installed it on my USB flash drive.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Attention Mark Shuttleworth: Don’t forget most important feature for Ubuntu 11.04

          That “feature” is marketing. Let me explain.

        • 10 things I would like to see in the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 release

          It amazes me how quickly Canonical releases Ubuntu. Every six weeks, like clockwork, a new release is out in the wild. And every new release brings with it a host of improvements, squashes bugs, and introduces new features. But there are some features and improvements I have yet to see. So I thought I would take this opportunity to spell out a few things I’d like to see come along for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal).

        • Ubuntu Needs Unity To Fight Mac, Windows
        • Unity on the Desktop

          Firstly, it’s good to mention that it’s actually “Unity as the default desktop if your graphics card and drivers support it”. We’ve learnt a harsh lesson this cycle about where Unity works well, where it should work but doesn’t and finally where we just can’t expect it to work.

          Therefore, it is going to be a primary focus this cycle to enable Unity on as many chipsets as possible. We will be much more lenient about what OpenGL features are required (allowing runtime fallbacks through detection and through quirks files for those chipsets that lie about their capabilities).

        • A bright new future for Compiz

          So, I was expecting this to be announced at Mark’s keynote this morning, but it looks like good ol’ Jono Bacon beat me to it :) Nevertheless, I won’t let him steal my thunder.

        • Compiz Brings New Eye Candy to You and Ubuntu

          A mere four months since the 0.9.0 release, which was the first release in quite a while, Compiz developers brought out version 0.9.2. Sam Spilsbury, developer of Compiz, announced this release on the Compiz mailing list as well as his personal blog on Sunday, October 24.

          This release brought a few new features and lots of stability and performance fixes. Splisbury says it should be ready for general usage.

        • Zeitgeist’s bright future in Unity

          This post will be about Unity stuff I am interested (and maybe start working on), I am not a designer but I can give it a bit of a kick off by implementing zeitgeist-powered backends.

        • Ubuntu getting a new icon theme

          Whilst the big news in Mark Shuttleworth’s opening address at the Ubuntu Developer Summit was regarding Unity he also touched upon the creation of a new Ubuntu icon theme – one that will be in keeping with the Ambiance and Radiance GTK themes.

        • Ubuntu Unity Sucks

          It started harmless. I saw a message about a new release being available (10.10 instead of 10.4). I’m used to smooth updates in Linux, so I clicked the upgrade button without further thinking.

          All went smooth indeed. About 2 hours later my netbook was ready to reboot. After doing so I was greeted with a new wallpaper behind the login screen. So far so good. I logged in and…

          ..was surprised. What was that? Not the UI I was used to and which was the main cause to install UNE in the first place.

        • General Disillusionment with Ubuntu

          I’m not going to say anything about Unity for myself because I haven’t tried it (and it will likely not happen). What I will say is that it isn’t surprising to me that more and more distributions today are switching from an Ubuntu base to a Debian base, because Debian is entirely community-driven and is usually more stable. That’s why my Fresh OS respins are based off of Linux Mint “Debian”, that’s why #! moved to a Debian base, and that’s why Manhattan OS (which was based on Ubuntu not too long ago) moved to a Debian testing base (along with rebranding itself to Jupiter OS). Folks, expect to see a lot more of these types of base shifts happening in the near future, as Ubuntu starts to really chart its own course.

        • Unity and the Community

          As Susan wrote earlier, Mark Shuttleworth made the announcement of Unity’s promotion to the big time at the Ubuntu Developer Summit. Much of the early criticisms of this move are from developers who claim that Canonical is more interested in pushing the Ubuntu brand than working together with the community.

        • A modest proposal re. Unity

          Having slept on it since writing my initial reactions yesterday I now have a proposal for Canonical & GNOME, which I hope the people concerned will consider.

          Yesterday, I said “the best possible outcome I can see is that one of the two projects will become an obvious choice within a year or so”. So my proposal is this: let’s have a bake-off, Unity vs GNOME Shell, under the big tent of the GNOME project.

        • Install and use Ubuntu Unity before it’s released
        • Is Unity the Right Interface for Desktop Ubuntu?

          Canonical shook the Linux world yesterday when it announced that the next version of Ubuntu — “Natty Narwhal,” or version 11.04 — will no longer use the GNOME interface by default. Instead, Natty will feature Unity, the multitouch and 3D-enabled interface that made its debut earlier this month in the distribution’s netbook edition of Maverick Meerkat, or Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Has Ubuntu exceeded the Ben & Jerry’s hippie threshold?

          Is this the end of Canonical and Ubuntu’s Free Software ideals? Hardly. But the company has come to the realization that in order for Linux to have a chance on the desktop, it has to make some hard choices and compromise. It can’t sit and wait for the GNOME Foundation to twiddle its thumbs and lag behind in desktop innovation from Windows, Mac OS, or even KDE.

        • More Ubuntu tweaks

          Ubuntu Tweak (now on Version 0.5.7) has evolved quite a bit since the early days, adding more functionality along the way.

        • The United Colours of Ubuntu
        • Ubuntu 10.10 (“Maverick Meerkat”) Netbook Edition

          The biggest mistake you can make with Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition is to directly equate it with the new Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop Edition of the same distro.

        • Meet Ian Booth

          Ian: I only recently started working on Launchpad. I work on the “Code” team, reporting to Tim Penhey.

          We deliver functionality associated with managing and importing branches, merge proposals, code reviews; Bazaar-Launchpad integration; the XML-RPC and web services API etc.

          Personally, I’ve also done some work on improving the menu rendering performance and other infrastructure type things.

        • UDS-N Day 1

          The idea of Ubuntu Developer Summit if you’re not sure what it’s all about just yet is “Getting face time together is really important” it helps us to get to know one another, puts the faces to the names/nicks which will help folks become more productive for the coming cycle.
          There track have been re organised to get more cross-pollination:

          * Application Developers

          * Package Selection and System Defaults

          * Performance

          * Multimedia

          * ununtu the project

          * hardware compatibility

          * cloud infrastructure

        • UDS Narwhal – Tuesday
        • What’s Next for Ubuntu?

          At the Natty UDS currently underway in Florida, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has provided a new desktop direction with a move to the Unity shell, instead of the GNOME Shell. Moving beyond just the user interface, Shuttleworth has also shared some insight into where he sees Ubuntu headed in the next five years.

        • How relevant is Ubuntu?

          Even Microsoft knows the desktop is dying. It’s not going to disappear, any more than the TV is going to disappear. But the excitement in technology lies elsewhere, and it’s not coming back. (Might as well wait for the Fugees to get back together.)

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10 Review

            Linux Mint 10 is a good release that builds upon great features from both Ubuntu 10.10 and Linux Mint 9. The new features are not an example of aggressive development, but still provide enough enhancements to justify an upgrade/installation. In fact, I would still recommend Linux Mint 10 to those Mint users who can’t be bothered to upgrade, if only to enjoy the latest Ubuntu, Kernel and GNOME updates and features.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Linux Netbook Review: ZaReason Terra HD Netbook

        It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed a laptop from ZaReason, the UltraLap SR. Now I’m reviewing something a bit smaller — the ZaReason Terra HD.

        [...]

        What I liked: Nice big screen for a Netbook; great looks and construction for something in a Netbook class machine

      • Nicholas Negroponte

        Nicholas Negroponte wants to give laptop computers to children in third-world countries so they can communicate with the rest of the world. (05:21)

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 (More) Free and Open Source CRM Software

    5 (More) Free and Open Source CRM Software: We have already featured here several free and open-source CRM software but due to popular demand, we will showcase five more CRM tools. As I’ve already explained before, CRM software is used for effectively managing a company’s interactions with clients and possible customers by organizing, automating, and synchronizing business processes.

  • Be Open To Open Source

    Looking at the evolving scenario, it will become imperative for solutions providers to have an open source play. Many solutions providers we spoke to said that the lack of skill sets and non-availability of applications have been the key reasons for not providing open source solutions.

    This partner perception was probably correct a couple of years ago. Today, the availability of open source professionals has considerably improved, and the overall open source ecosystem has matured. Vendors such as Red Hat have built a portfolio of end-to-end offerings, including virtualization.

  • 50 Awesome Open Source Apps You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

    Experts estimate that the number of open source apps available doubles every fourteen months. Sourceforge alone has more than 260,000 projects, and with so many open source apps now available from so many different repositories, it can be hard to keep up.

    For this list, we’ve highlighted some newer open source tools you might have missed. We also included some gems from obscure categories, like Mandelbulbs, gene sequencing, and knitting, to name just a few. Other open source tools on the list are good projects that are overshadowed by older, better-known projects, and at least one is an old favorite that has a new name.

  • Open-Source Software in the Enterprise

    The topic of open-source software has been steeped in debate since the development and licensing took root in the 1980s and picked up steam with the proliferation of the Internet in the decade that followed.

  • Annual awards source of pride

    It’s time for the annual New Zealand Open Source Awards, and the 31 finalists show an extraordinary range of innovation and collaboration.

    Among the three nominations for best open source project are: SilverStripe, a New Zealand-made content management system that has been downloaded more than 325,000 times globally in less than four years; Kete, a digital library project, and R, a programming language and software environment that has become the lingua franca for statistical computing and graphics.

  • Events

    • Open Source Think Tank Paris: Summary

      We had a great time in Paris at our Third Open Source Think Tank this year! We had over 120 attendees, primarily from Europe http://thinktankeu.olliancegroup.com/index.php.

      The two case studies were very different and illuminated the range of the open source market: Airbus and the Danish Government. The Airbus discussion was particularly fascinating as they described a product development cycle of twenty years with a product life cycle of forty years. Software has become critical to their planes, but given these time periods, proprietary software has significant disadvantages: (1) most proprietary software companies are likely to be acquired or go out of business during such a long period and (2) even if the proprietary software company still exists, the technology will be dated and the company may be reluctant to invest in maintaining it. An open source approach overcomes many of these problems.

    • GPL compliance workshop on December 2nd in Taipei, Taiwan

      The OSSF at Academia Sinica in Taiwan has kindly organized a full-day GPL compliance workshop on December 2nd in Taipei, Taiwan.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org Council members resign – Update

      During an Internat Relay Chat (IRC) meeting of the council on the 14th of October, Louis Suárez-Potts, Community manager of OpenOffice.org for Oracle, called for members of The Document Foundation to resign from the OpenOffice.org Council. Christoph Noack, former OpenOffice.org Product Development Representative, and Florian Effenberger, former OpenOffice.org marketing project lead and German marketing contact, have responded with formal resignation emails.

    • New: OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 2 (build OOO330m12) available

      OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 2 is now available on the download website.

    • OpenOffice.org and the Unnecessary Ultimatum

      Last week, the OpenOffice.org Community Council requested the resignation of members who supported The Document Foundation, the recent fork of the OpenOffice.org project. This week, the results are revealed: resignations of key people, and a growing tendency to choose sides in the community. And the tragedy is that none of this angst seems necessary.

      The request follows the recent creation of The Document Foundation (TDF), to provide an independent governing body for the development of the OpenOffice.org (OOo) code, and the announcement of LibreOffice, The Document Foundation’s fork of the OpenOffice.org code.

  • CMS

    • The commercialization of a volunteer-driven Open Source project

      Within the Drupal project, we don’t have a paid staff to advance the core software. However, many of the developers who contribute to critical parts of the Drupal code base make their living by building complex Drupal websites. Some Drupal developers are paid by customers to contribute their expertise to the Drupal project or are employed by companies ‘sponsoring’ Drupal development. Tens of thousands of developers are working with Drupal today, and many of them contribute back to the project. Albeit different, neither Joomla or Drupal are exclusively a volunteer run project, and that is one of the reasons we’ve grown so big. Ditto for WordPress that gets a lot of help from Automattic.

    • A Tour of the Redesigned Drupal.org

      Last month Drupal.org had over 2 million unique visitors, many of them coming to the home page to learn about and evaluate Drupal. The home page was designed with these visitors in mind. Our UX research revealed that Drupal.org is primarily a searching site, so the home page features a large search box with optional search filters. The rest of the home page focuses on the needs of Drupal evaluators, including a section showcasing the newest and best Drupal sites.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Master’s In Free Software and Free Standards

      The Free Technology Academy (FTA) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced today their partnership in the FTA’s Associate Partner Network. The Network aims to expand the availability of professional educational courses and materials covering the concepts and applications of Free Software and free standards (http://ftacademy.org/standards).

      The FTA consists of an advanced virtual campus with course modules which can be followed entirely on-line. The learning materials are all published under a free license and can be accessed by anyone, but learners enrolled in the FTA will be guided by professional teaching staff from one of the three participating universities. The FTA aims to enable IT professionals, students, teachers and decision makers to undertake accredited professional education modules in free software studies.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Top 10 tech tricks we’re sick of seeing in movies

      Think how awesome it was the first time you saw a lightsaber in action. Or how your mind was officially shredded when Neo mastered the Matrix. Technology in movies is cool. When artfully filmed, gadgets, gizmos, robots, and computers can captivate and amaze audiences.

      But for every thrilling example of cool-ass tech, Hollywood seems to produce a tired, dated cliche. There’s the obligatory no-cell-phone-service scene in horror flicks. There are robots with ATTITUDE in science fiction. There are impossible user interfaces in action films. The list goes on and on.

  • Security

    • UK should not put up with US airport security – BA chairman

      Britain should stop “kowtowing” to US demands over airport security, the chairman of British Airways, Martin Broughton, said yesterday, adding that American airports did not implement some checks on their own internal flights.

      He suggested the practice of forcing passengers on US-bound flights to take off their shoes and to have their laptops checked separately in security lines should be dropped, during a conference of UK airport operators in London.

  • Finance

    • Shrinking Bank Revenue Signals Worst Decade of Growth

      Shrinking revenue at U.S. banks, led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc., may continue to fall as the industry heads into what could be its slowest period of growth since the Great Depression.

      After the six largest U.S. banks posted record revenue in 2009, combined net revenue fell by an average of 8 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier and 16.3 percent over the last two quarters, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue so far this year is down by 4.1 percent, driven by declines in everything from trading at Goldman Sachs to home lending at Bank of America Corp. New laws restricting account and credit-card fees, as well as derivatives and capital rules, are also squeezing lenders.

    • Double whammy hits big local real-estate portfolio

      When investment-banking giant Goldman Sachs bought 11 Seattle and Eastside office buildings and complexes in 2007 — overnight becoming one of the market’s largest landlords — there wasn’t much talk of risk.

    • Homeowners Protest HAMP: ‘It’s Just A Scam And The Banks Are Getting Everything’

      Judy Stratton said she and her husband Harry have tried since January 2009 to modify the mortgage on their home in Stayton, Ore. after a drop-off in demand for Harry’s floor maintenance services. In August, Stratton said, they received a rejection letter from their bank saying they did not qualify for help per the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Nook Deletes All Your Files, Barnes & Nobles Shrugs

      If you own a Nook, you better make sure you regularly update its software, otherwise you might lose all your files that are not B&N books. That’s what happened to Michael, and customer service told him that it can happen if the device hasn’t been updated recently. The updates are too much for it to handle so it has to spontaneously jettison all foreign objects! Or something like that.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trade deal would include increased protection for brand-name drugs

      Canada’s pharmaceutical industry and the European Union have been quietly lobbying for changes that could give brand-name drugs several years more patent protection here — and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to Canadian medication costs annually.

    • Copyrights

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

        The legislation was passed on April 22, 2009 and came into force on July 24, 2009. By the end of July 2010, there has been no suspension against an individual user or a web site by the order of the Minister. However, the Copyright Commission has recommended ISPs to suspend accounts of copyright infringing users in thirty-one cases, and all of the individual users have been disconnected to the corresponding ISPs for less than one month.

      • Predicting the fate of Bill C-32 is like predicting the next election, says Geist

        Michael Geist isn’t shy about engaging in a “copyfight.”

        The very title of his new book alludes to his last public fight—waged on Twitter, blogs, and in the news media—with Heritage Minister James Moore.

Clip of the Day

The Digital Prism Screencast – MintUpload


Credit: TinyOgg

Urban Dictionary Defines Mobbyists

Posted in Microsoft, Site News at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Christine O'Donell

Summary: Tactics which show us that monopolistic technology companies like Microsoft are rotten to the core just like oil giants that sponsor a denial of man-made or man-accelerated global heating

The term “mobbyist” is defined by urbandictionary.com as: “lemmings, typically uneducated, who try to influence public policy on behalf of a special interest by acting as shit disturbers at town halls or other public events. Mobbyists appear to represent grassroots concerns but in reality are astroturf foot soldiers.”

The convenient thing about this term is that it sounds like a fusion of the words “Microsoft” and “lobbyist”. Mobbyists can be compared to extremists used by corporate interests of the far right. To name the example from urbandictionary.com, “The town hall on healthcare was disrupted by a small fringe group when mobbyists arrived on a bus from teabagger headquarters and kept screaming “SOCIALIST!” everytime Congressman Smith attempted to answer a question.”

“It’s one thing for an individual to criticise a massive corporation, but another thing for massive corporations to attempt it against mere individuals.”We started using the word mobbyists after the FFII had used it and our previous post hopefully shed light on some of the intimidation that comes from mobbyists even if Techrights rarely talks about it. Challenging a large and unethical corporation like Microsoft is impossible without some sort of retaliation (we’ve heard that the same applies to IBM), as many people learned the hard way.

If your character, Web site, other works or company has been vilified by Microsoft or by mobbyists, we kindly ask you to let us know because we are building an index of examples. People who are targeted by Microsoft love to discover that they are not alone and there is always the possibility of class action lawsuits. It’s one thing for an individual to criticise a massive corporation, but another thing for massive corporations to attempt it against mere individuals. Amorphous companies have no rights, individuals do.

“I have lost my sleep and peace of mind for last two months over these distasteful activities by Microsoft.”

Professor Deepak Phatak

PS – the picture at the top is of Christine O’Donell, one of the Tea Party symbols who said outrageous things like:

1. “American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains.”

2. “God may choose to heal someone from cancer, yet that person still has a great deal of medical bills. The outstanding bills do not determine whether or not the patient has been healed by God.”

3. “I dabbled into witchcraft. I never joined a coven.” / “One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar.”

4. “We took the Bible and prayer out of public schools. Now we’re having weekly shootings. We had the 60s sexual revolution, and now people are dying of AIDS.”

Mobbyist Florian Müller is Advertising Microsoft Windows, Throwing FUD at Linux

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Partying like it’s the Tea Party

Windows Phone 7 Series

Summary: One of the Microsoft Mobbyists, Mr. Müller, is provoking Techrights for suggesting the connection between Gemalto’s anti-Android lawsuit and Microsoft, then proceeds to promoting Vista Phone 7 [sic]

IT IS ALWAYS interesting to analyse the reaction of mobbyists to Microsoft’s attacks on Linux or just generally to attacks on Linux. They celebrate the latest lawsuit against Google, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung. It is a lawsuit from Microsoft's partner Gemalto (Gemalto also works with Linux, as we showed in [1, 2]) and there ought to be some assessment of the motives. Here is the LWN discussion, which this time for a change was not disrupted by .NET developer Florian Müller. He typically emits a lot of FUD there and it’s a problem because he is somewhat of a ‘fraud’ pretending to be a FOSS advocate while he’s actually the very opposite of that. The same goes for his stance on software patents. He seems to playing a role in Microsoft’s attack on Linux, which is why he is blocked and heavily criticised by a lot of people in the FOSS world (and ironically he puts “FOSS” in his user account, where he continues spreading FUD against FOSS).

“WP7 would be better deal then”
      –Microsoft Müller
Müller is hardly fooling anyone anymore, which is why we no longer write about him (except this time because his sheep clothing got shaved and he keeps vilifying us). He is boosting Windows (Vista Phone 7 [sic]) using patent FUD against Linux right now. Where is the evidence? Well, he posted it in Twitter rather impulsively perhaps because he deleted this shortly later (maybe regrets, it was not reposted). Consider one tweet (broken link) where he said: “Microsoft reportedly collects patent royalties from Taiwanese manufacturers using Android http://bit.ly/c6Mh5P WP7 would be better deal then”

This tweet was also deleted:

IDG report on Microsoft allegedly collecting royalties on Android from Taiwanese manufacturers

We can only venture to guess that he tries not to speak too much like a Micros~1 lobbyi^H^H^Hampaigner for his clients. Here are later tweets that say:

Paying $10-15 per Android device just for Microsoft patents (not *everyone’s* patents) makes WP7 at $15 a bargain.

And this from Müller:

Google celebrates 100,000 Android apps but right now would rather have 10,000 patents in diverse fields for cross-licensing.

Google should quit patenting software (which it never used offensively). Google — unlike Microsoft — has not lobbied in favour of software patents, but the mobbyist is trying to paint Google as the problem, just like Glenn Beck would wish to portray President Obama as the cause of the financial crisis (which he merely inherited and must cope with). He never criticises Microsoft; what’s more, he is linking to his new friend Dana Blankenhorn, whom he has been feeding talking points for several months now. Blankenhorn says that “Microsoft strategy against Android comes together” and while it’s true that this is what Microsoft does against Linux and Android (nothing new), the mobbyists only promote it rather than do something about it like attempting to prevent it. That’s where sites like Groklaw, for example, are very different. Groklaw is against software patents, but Müller is attacking Groklaw. The FSF is against software patents, but Müller is insulting the FSF. The FFII is against software patents, but Müller has been attacking the FFII. And the list goes on…

“The FSF is against software patents, but Müller is insulting the FSF. The FFII is against software patents, but Müller has been attacking the FFII.”Funnily enough, the only people Müller seems to be getting along with these days are other mobbyists, corporate Microsoft ‘journalists’ like Ed Bought, and Microsoft folks like Miguel de Icaza (whom Müller admires because he is a .NET developer who uses Vista 7 exclusively). For those with decent Google-Fu, Müller seems to be blogging all about it, excusing Microsoft of course and telling fellow mobbyists something like: “Someone claims they’re a Microsoft Gold Partner or something like that. But no reason to believe they’re anything but independent”

That “Someone” is apparently yours truly and Müller is taking shots at me with silly humour like: “Maybe #boycottboy finds evidence that they buy their toilet paper from the same supplier and calls this a new form of entryism.”

Notice the use of words like “toilet paper”. Real classy mobbyists. And that’s part of an ongoing conversation with a stalker whose main existence on the Web (with this pseudonym) is attacks on Techrights. S/he is not alone and it’s possibly just another sockpuppet account of someone else, saying things which would otherwise get the real name (person) in trouble. They are like some kind of a mob and some of them try to intimidate me (e.g. threats of contacting employer again, veiled insinuations of lawsuits). These are the same old tactics.

We’ll end this post with more FUD from Müller: “I have to admit I hadn’t heard of Gemalto before its patent suit against Android. But the combination of *all* those suits is massive.”

Coming from the same person who says that the fight against software patents is lost (he wants people who fight against them to surrender), the above is to be taken as exaggeration if not sensationalism. Mobbyists love drama. That’s why people should only rarely feed them (ignore and ideally block, even when they provoke, as Müller just did with his “toilet paper” remarks for example).

Eye on Security: Malicious Windows Updates, Microsoft Windows ‘Zombie Tax’…

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not a gate

Summary: Security news of interest, mostly about Microsoft but also unsolicited mail

When is a security update not a security update? – When you’re a Windows user!

Can potentially? It’s yet another piece of “ware” that Windows users need to look out for, yet another thought of suspicion when a legitimate security update is offered, it’s yet another concern for people to keep in mind when they are using their PC and trying to be productive. I’d say regardless of if a user gets it or not, this WILL cause harm, even if it’s just more paranoia and distrust that a Windows user has when being online.

As I Linux user as I say I don’t have concerns such as this…

Microsoft’s Internet access control plan deserves a chance (rather absurd take on Microsoft’s Charney lobby [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12])

Microsoft’s plan isn’t new; in fact, it was featured in Trustworthy Computing chief Scott Charney’s RSA Conference keynote back in March. In a nutshell, Microsoft believes the only way to prevent consumer PCs from continually falling prey to malware is with broader, more aggressive Internet access control measures to inspect and clean infected computers before granting them unfettered access to the Internet.

1 in 10 Websites Spews Spam

The spam research firm revealed spam created by websites has risen by 110 percent since October last year. Furthermore, one in five websites automatically opt-in consumers when it comes to sharing their details with third-parties, despite the fact its breaches e-mail marketing best practice.

Ray Ozzie’s Departure Possibly Related to Decline of PCs and Microsoft’s Inability to Adapt to Mobility

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Windows at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Busted screen

Summary: How Microsoft grows irrelevant and Apple grows more dangerous to software freedom as the world moves towards devices

THE news about Ray Ozzie’s departure [1, 2] was not surprising (we predicted it months ago) but it was massive. He was seen by some people as Steve Ballmer’s heir, to to speak, his likely successor at Microsoft. Little was said by Ozzie himself about his departure, but we now have his ‘goodbye Microsoft’ letter and a ‘doomsday’ memo which IDG says “warns Microsoft of post-PC days”:

Departing Microsoft executive Ray Ozzie’s just-published memo is a “doomsday-ish” missive that calls on the company to push further into the cloud or perish, an industry analyst said today.

Microsoft is facing intense competition from Linux (not a company) and from Apple, amongst other companies.

“In years to come it is possible that Apple will be a greater threat to Linux than Microsoft is.”As we showed earlier this month, Microsoft hardly appears in the media compared to some other companies, mostly ones whose infrastructure is GNU/Linux based. A decade ago Bill Gates said: “Our most potent Operating System competitor is Linux and the phenomena around Open Source and free software.”

He was right. His words were sent to colleagues only (at least at the time), not the press.

In years to come it is possible that Apple will be a greater threat to Linux than Microsoft is. When it comes to handhelds and other devices, for example, Apple is already more scary than Microsoft, based on this news:

Nintendo More Scared of Apple Than of Microsoft

Which company is the greater threat to Nintendo’s gaming business–Apple or Microsoft? According to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, it’s Apple–at least in the short term. “Do I think that in the near term [Apple] can hurt us more than Microsoft?” Fils-Aime said to Forbes. “Absolutely.”

And it appears Apple already is. According to some statistics trotted out at its annual September music event, Apple’s developed quite a hold on the portable gaming market. The company claims a 50 percent share of the portable gaming market and says the iPod touch is the No. 1 mobile gaming device worldwide, outselling the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP combined. And that hold will only strengthen with the recent launch of Apple’s Game Center–a new interactive gaming service included in iPhone OS 4–and the proliferation of cheap and increasingly more sophisticated games for the platform (seen Epic Citadel, yet?).

Apple — like Microsoft — is already suing Linux/Android and it is piling up software patents. It is also possible that Apple and Microsoft coordinate these actions, but that’s mere speculation without evidence. Here is one of Apple’s latest patents:

A reissued patent for Apple (AAPL), just made public today, covers a way of employing profiles of users’ interests to help rank the relevance of search results. The language of the claims is broad enough in scope as to potentially cover what such companies as Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), and even Facebook do. If unchallenged, it could provide Apple with a significant bargaining chip in business negotiations with many other companies.

Apple is a patent aggressor. There is no reason to just label the above “permanently defensive”.

One might say that Apple earned a place at the table because its products are great, but we at Techrights believe a major part of it is just marketing and appeal to the niche of people with a lot of money to spare. Technically, Apple continues to be a disaster sometimes, with basic bugs like this new one:

iPhone 4 lock screen bypass discovered

A security flaw has been found in Apple’s latest iPhone which allows strangers to bypass the handset’s passcode-protected lock screen with a few button presses.

Most users set up a password to prevent others from accessing the phone’s contents, but a Brazilian man posted a video of himself on the internet showing a quick way of getting around it. He taps the “emergency call” button, then enters three # signs, taps the green call button and immediately presses the button on the top of the phone that locks the screen.

Well, it’s apparently so “easy to use” that anyone can use it, even an intruder. There is a good reason why many experts rank Linux higher than Apple for security. In any event, despite huge investments in marketing, Microsoft remains irrelevant in this space.

“I’d put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1.”

Steve Ballmer, 2001

IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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