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10.30.10

Links 29/10/2010: ‘The Year of the Linux Desktop’ Again, China Has Biggest Computer (Runs GNU/Linux), Wine 1.3.6, Sub-notebooks Around

Posted in News Roundup at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Enterprise Linux Weekly Snapshot

    Following a New York Times story (subscription required) from a couple months ago, Russia announced this week it would reduce its dependence on Windows and work toward a national Linux-based operating system. As Katherine Noyes points out on NetworkWorld, we’ll have to wait to see how this unfolds given that this isn’t the first time Russia has said this. Noyes’ story includes some good information on what businesses can learn from this.

  • Readers’ Choice Awards 2010

    Welcome to the 2010 Linux Journal Readers’ Choice Awards. We love doing these awards because we get to interact with you, our readers, more than usual. This year, more than 12,000 of you generously took time to participate and share your perspectives on what tools are helping you work and play. We always are fascinated by your preferences and how your usage patterns change over time. This year, we have more categories than ever, so let’s get right to the results. Here, ladies and gentlemen, Linux geeks of all kinds, are the winners of your 2010 Linux Journal Readers’ Choice Awards.

  • Russian Teacher Fired For Complaining About Having To Use Microsoft Software

    In response to this high profile case, many Russian schools started to switch to Linux, and in response to that, Russia apparently declared that all schools should switch to Linux-based software by 2008.

    However, apparently that didn’t actually happen. Glyn Moody points us to the news that another Russian school teacher has been fired for complaining that his school still used Microsoft software. Even though the 2007 order required schools to switch to Linux, apparently a training system the government is making the school use requires Microsoft Office. So the teacher filed a complaint, pointing out the contradiction in orders… and for his efforts he was fired.

  • 2011: The Year of the Linux Desktop

    With penetration of Android will come mobile developers and with them will come a large application suite. Those applications will automatically run on an Android desktop.

    [...]

    It is for this reason that I think it’s too early to write off Linux on the Desktop.

  • Desktop Linux, Where the Fun Begins

    Linux is my sandbox. It is where I go to play. It is also where many people go to be productive. Desktop Linux has many millions of users. You probably have not heard much about it because of the way that it is developed and promoted.

  • Linux Can Be Complicated … Or Not!

    On the desktop, you can run over 300 distributions or varieties of Linux.

  • Linux/Unix Horror Stories for Halloween

    For this Halloween season, I decided to post a few old but entertaining and somewhat educational Linux/Unix horror stories that were compiled by Anatoly Ivasyuk. Actually, Anatoly has created an entire page filled with Unix-related horror stories and I just picked a few interesting entries to share with you all. Don’t worry, I will provide you the link to the complete horror stories page right after my choices. Enjoy!

  • Linux Halloween Pumpkin Carving Kit

    It’s Halloween and nothing scares proprietary companies more than the cute little Linux Tux. Our Editor set out to a mission to carve a Linux Penguin on our pumpkin and scare some non-free companies. Here is the step by step creation. The process has not been patented, you are free to copy, modify and distribute it, as long as you maintain the attribution.

  • Tech That Tried to Kill Us! How Hollywood Puts the Horror in Horrible

    Yes. We actually watched these movies. We suffered through them for you. We tracked them down in video stores and on Netflix, and sorted through piles of rubbish and even the Youtubes. We watched them all, and this is what we have gleaned: technology, guys, is scary. It causes addiction, it connects us with weirdos, and it is responsible, we suppose, for Emmerich-style mass destruction. Yet, Hollywood seems to be most fascinated with that last bit — and when it comes to attempting to scare the bejeezus out of its horror-loving public, current tech trends are unfortunately ripe for the picking.

  • The Linux credit card — with Tux on the front and everything

    I couldn’t make this up if I tried: The Linux Foundation is offering a platinum rewards Visa credit card. There is no annual fee, a low introductory APR — in fact, it’s a normal credit card with Tux on the front.

  • Server

    • China has the top supercomputer in the world, but it still runs Linux

      If you want a really, really fast computer, there are all kind of ways to build the hardware architecture, but one thing that almost all of them have in common is that they run Linux. The top spot now appears to belong to the Tianhe-1A , which means “Milky Way,” at a research center at the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in Tianjin, China.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab launches in India; Available from Nov 10 [Update]

      Samsung today launched its much anticipated Android 2.2 tablet Galaxy Tab in India. Samsung Galaxy Tab will be available in India from November 10, right right after Diwali festivities, but if you are too excited, you can pre-book one now. It is available for pre-order on Samsung website as well as on Flipkart and Future Bazaar.

    • Samsung GT-P1010 WiFi-only Galaxy Tab clears FCC

      The WiFi-only version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab has shown up in the FCC’s testing database, complete with the model number GT-P1010. The Froyo slate differs from its GT-P1000 sibling by omitting the 3G chipset and instead relying on WiFi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 for its connectivity; otherwise it has the same 7-inch 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, the 3-megapixel rear camera and front-facing 1.3-megapixel webcam.

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernel updates

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has released three stable kernel updates: 2.6.27.55, 2.6.32.25, and 2.6.35.8. Users of these kernel series “must upgrade”. Also there will be only one more update for the 2.6.35 series, “so you should be using .36 instead.”

    • Linux Kernel Now Supports TILE Architecture

      The integration of the TILE architecture in the Linux kernel enables many open source projects to support Tilera natively and start optimizing their code for many-core. It also allows Tilera customers across embedded and cloud markets to run their Linux applications on Tilera’s technology without software change.

    • LF destroyed CELF
    • The end of the road for Linux kernel 2.4

      Kernel 2.4 was revolutionary because it was the first kernel release that was truly embraced by enterprise users for use in their operations. Linux had had support for SMP (symmetric multiprocessing – another term for multiple CPUs) since 2.0, but the improvements in 2.4 driven by the newly involved big players (such as IBM) brought improved scalability, stability and new features that finally pushed it over the edge as a serious contender to proprietary UNIX systems of old.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Patches So Nouveau Users Can Try Out Wayland

        Chia-I Wu, the open-source developer who previously worked to bring Mesa to Android devices and worked on the new EGL state tracker, is now working for LunarG and has just published a patch-set that enables the Nouveau graphics driver to run the Wayland Display Server.

      • Wayland Becomes A FreeDesktop.org Project

        Just earlier today we reported that Wayland is becoming compatible with Nouveau so that users of this open-source NVIDIA driver can begin using this alternative, lightweight display server that leverages the latest Linux graphics technologies. About the only caveat right now is the needed Nouveau page-flipping support, which is here for some hardware but not in the mainline Linux kernel yet and the page-flipping hook-up for the newer NVIDIA GPUs is coming soon. Kristian Høgsberg, the creator of Wayland, also made another announcement today.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Pardus 2011 Beta with new Package Manager

      Pardus have its own package management system: PiSi (For more information about pisi you can checkout development page). Package-manager uses its backend. As you may remember from my previous posts, we are using an infrastructrure for managing operations called Çomar. Package-manager calls Çomar where it can check that if the user have necessary priveleges to use PiSi by using PolicyKit (which calls PolicyKitKde on KDE). You may see that this operation resembles KAuth. One can ask why we are using this method, instead of KAuth. Well, the simple answer is that this infrastructure is nearly 4 years old. :-)

    • Reviews

      • Spotlight on Linux: Arch Linux 2010.05

        It attracts a lot of users because of its ability to give the user a feeling of ownership without an excessive amount of time and effort.

      • Quick Look: Tiny Core Linux 3.2

        Tiny Core Linux 3.2 is truly the polar opposite of Ultimate Edition 2.8; it provides the absolute minimum necessary to get you going and from there it’s really up to you to decide what you want to do with it. You’ll need to have a clear understanding of exactly what you want to use it for before it has the possibility of creating real value for you. So it’s definitely helpful if you know in advance what you want to get out of it before you attempt an install.

        I suggest that intermediate and advanced Linux users use Tiny Core Linux 3.2. Beginners can certainly give it a whirl in a virtual machine, but the install might prove to be a bit overwhelming to those who are completely new to Linux.

        Click to the next page to view the full image gallery (9 screenshots) of Tiny Core Linux 3.2 screenshots.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian totally flies (rant on the general state of Linux and my laptop included)

        As I’ve written more times than most any of you would probably care to read, the six or so months during which I ran Debian Lenny as my main desktop were some of the smoothest months I’ve experienced in my FOSS-running life. That’s because Debian releases are conservatively built and never change. Security updates are pretty much it; the kernel stays the same, with patches backported into the same version and then pushed to users via apt/Aptitude. I’m sure the occasional critical bug-fix comes through as well, but often a broken piece of a stable Debian release stays broken (e.g. the Ted RTF word processor in Etch, thankfully fixed in Lenny).

        But if your particular Debian setup (system and applications) is running well, you’re good for at least two and maybe even three years if you don’t want or need newer versions of your applications. I have yet to explore Debian Backports or pinning apps to Testing or Unstable. I might need to do that to get a 2.11/2.12 version of gThumb (I could also just install a .deb package with dpkg or gDebi).

      • Squeezing Linux Mint Debian Edition

        Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is awesome! Based on Debian Testing it is a rolling distro. That means if you are running LMDE you will always have an up-to-date system running, and as the saying and experiences go, Debian testing base is more stable than the so called final/stable releases of most other distros. But if you are a stability freak like me, you can make your Linux Mint Debian stable by pointing the apt sources.lst to squeeze. This ways you won’t have to install point updates of applications every now and then. You will always have the most stable and workable system for quite a long period, till squeeze becomes obsolete. Here is how I did it.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Mock-up of Unity with widgets

          Widgets on the desktop; some people can be quite snooty about them but there is a reason they are available by default on two of the most popular Operating Systems.

        • Ubuntu Software Center ratings and reviews to come by Christmas

          As if it were a Christmas gift to all ubuntu users, it has been announced at the UDS that a development version of Ubuntu Software Center with ‘Ratings and Reviews’ feature will arrive by Christmas.

        • Ubuntu Cloud Community needs You

          “I’m interested in Ubuntu and the cloud, how do I get involved” is a question I got a few times already. I thought it would be a good idea to answer this as a blog post. I believe one of the very first things you’d want to do, is to make sure you’re on the main communication channels, talking to the community, asking questions, seeing other questions being answered, trying to answer some yourself, sharing opinions and generally “connecting” with the rest of the community. That is a great first step. So I’ll highlight the main communication venues for the Ubuntu cloud community, as well as way to get kick-started.

        • Day 5 – Community Day (Live from UDS)

          Translators, educators, school children and students all have a natural home in Ubuntu too, I believe, and Edubuntu and a bunch of other efforts will continue to try and reach out to them.

          There are many many, more, I don’t doubt.

          A further benefit of reaching out to groups who tend to be more mixed in gender and background than the Linux community is that it brings that diversity into the Ubuntu community. It will be interesting to watch these efforts develop.

          But back to UDS. It’s been a great week.

        • Ubuntu Developer Summit Natty, Tuesday and Wednesday
        • Cutting through the noise about Unity

          Tonight I will concentrate on answering your questions about Unity on Ask Ubuntu. Questions will be answered based on the number of votes they receive and ones that I can answer.

          Unity developers will be advising me best on how to answer your questions and we can continue to develop the answers based on feedback. If you’ve already asked then we’ll keep working on our answers to be better.

        • Is Canonical Off its Rocker with its Unity Decision?

          Ask many Linux users about the concept of “fragmentation,” and they’ll pooh-pooh the very concept. They’ll argue that the beauty of open source is the rich array of software flavors that open platform components give rise to. Canonical is a business, though, and at a certain point it has to evaluate whether a “rich array” of desktop interface flavors is necessarily in Ubuntu’s best interests. Yes, Unity is new, and will have to go through bug testing and other challenges, but it is also a standardized desktop that Canonical can command control of.

        • Using Unity – Day 2

          One thing that I have noticed with Unity so far, is that heavy usage seems to have a greater impact on the performance of Unity than with Gnome or KDE.

        • Using Unity – Day 3

          RAM wise Unity is awesome, but the spikes in CPU usage tends to kill the interface, and often you need to wait for ten or more seconds between clicking a launcher and actual response. But there is hope…

        • Using Unity – Day 4 Custom Unity Launcher Colors and Patterns

          This day is starting early. We are going to a family get together in a few hours (why is the end of the year always to crazy!?) and I want to get something readable for you guys who are following this series before I am Internetless for a few hours.

          I have something interesting for you folks – a custom unity launcher…

          SUCCESS!!!

        • It’s my Linux. I will distribute it how I want to.

          So what if Ubuntu does not have the user interface you want. You don’t have to use it. You can change it. You can do anything you want with it. You can even release your own distribution based on Ubuntu with your changes. Waaaiiit a minute….hasn’t that already happened? Something Minty I believe?

          If this Unity is more popular than Gnome then it will succeed. If not, well then back to the Gnome board. If the Ubuntu distributions users like what Canonical will do then Ubuntu will be more popular than ever before. If not then some other distribution will.

        • Ubuntu Unity Widgets Concept
        • Ubuntu’s “risky step” of standardizing on Unity instead of GNOME

          But while the decision may be in keeping with the times, it’s still every bit the ‘risky step’ that Mark Shuttleworth described it as when he made the announcement earlier this week.

        • Unity Clouding Up The Desktop

          It is an interesting viewpoint from Mr. Des Ligneris. I don’t see the Unity plans as a blessing though. There is no point in turning a full fledged desktop machine into a “Mobile Internet Device”. Their use cases do not overlap. While a desktop is certainly capable of performing MID tasks, it is not the intended operating area of a desktop machine.

        • Compiz based Unity will be available to test ‘ASAP’

          Ubuntu’s Jorge Castro has confirmed that Maverick users will be able to test the newly announced Compiz port of Unity via a PPA ‘as soon as possible’.

        • Do Artists Use Ubuntu?

          To celebrate the 500th member of the Ubuntu DeviantArt group. I’ve put together some stats for Operating System Use based on self stated use on profile pages:

          Windows 7/Vista/XP – 410,000 (76.9%)
          Mac – 87,700 (16.3%)
          Ubuntu – 20,300 (3.7%)
          Linux – 16,000 (3%)
          Total: 533,300

        • Opinion: Who’s afraid of the Maverick Meerkat?

          You may have heard this before, but the latest release of Ubuntu – Maverick Meerkat – shows that Linux is ready for the prime time. The reason? The unifying nature of the web.

        • 6 Fun Ways To Explore Ubuntu 10.10 [Linux]

          Learning a new operating system can be difficult, but is also really fun. If you’ve recently installed Ubuntu 10.10 on your computer and want to explore what this operating system is capable of, don’t panic: you’ll enjoy it.

        • Nautilus Terminal
        • 5 Things to Do First with Ubuntu

          It has often been said that the vibrant community of users and developers surrounding each distribution is Linux’s “killer app,” and I think in many ways that is true. Ubuntu is no exception. Not only is there free documentation and live support chat for help with the distribution, but there are also Web forums, mailing lists and a Launchpad-based Q&A system, among other resources.

          Even before you have any specific questions, it’s a good idea to begin to explore this community so that you know what’s out there when you need it. The resources available far outshine what any proprietary vendor’s 800-number could ever provide.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook review

          After reviewing Ubuntu 10.10 and Kubuntu 10.10, the next logical Ubuntu edition to review I think should be the Ubuntu Netbook Edition, or UNE. As the name implies, UNE is the edition of Ubuntu optimized for small screens, such as you will find on netbooks and tablet computers.

        • Canonical – Ubuntu 10.10 review

          Released at ten past ten on the 10th October 2010 (all the tens – get it?), Ubuntu 10.10 is the latest version of the popular Linux distro to hit the streets. If you were expecting a slew of new features and functionality, however, disappointment beckons. New features there are, but the expected headliners didn’t quite make it. Indeed, Ubuntu 10.10, or Maverick Meerkat as it’s known, is more about polishing the big changes of the last release, Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), than adding much that’s new.

        • [Full Circle Magazine] It’s number 42!

          See, 42 really is the answer to everything. We’ve got issue #42 out for all of our readers and it’s packed with all the goodness you’ve come to expect from a FCM issue. This month, we’ve got an exciting new feature called Linux Lab. Take a look!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why consolidation will boost use of open-source systems

    Most IT managers are well aware of the LAMP stack, which includes the Linux operating system, an Apache Web server, a MySQL database and a dynamic programming language such as Perl, PHP or Python. But other open-source system groups are growing rapidly. Some obvious examples are the JBoss Application Server with a JAX-WS Web services stack, the Zope object-oriented Web application server — written in Python — and the Plone open-source content management system that works with Zope.

  • Events

    • [NL:] Open Source

      Are you interested in Open Source? At the exhibition, you will find several companies and parties who have specialized in or work with Open Source software and/or applications. Not only in the field of data security, but also storage. The seminar programme also contains sessions specifically dealing with Open Source.

    • Call for participation Med-e-Tel FLOSS-HC track (6-8 April 2011, Luxembourg)

      We also want to especially encourage open source software companies to provide some insights in their open source based business model, offered services and products.

    • Guest Post: Apache Software Foundation on Servers, Innovation and the Cloud

      The ApacheCon conference–dedicated to all of the influential Apache-backed platforms and applications, ranging from Hadoop to Cassandra–is coming up Nov. 1st through 5th in Atlanta, Georgia, and we’ve been doing a series of guest posts in conjunction with it. Members of the Apache Software Foundation have weighed in on the foundation’s approach to open source projects, and now, Sally Khudairi, a VP at the foundation, has written a guest post focused on servers, innovation and the cloud. Here it is.

    • An Uncommon Conference on the Commons

      As you can see from the list of participants, yours truly will also be attending. Apparently, there will be a live video stream of some of the sessions: not sure whether mine will be one of them. If it is, you can see me spouting my common commons nonsense around 11am CEST, 10am GMT.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Women & Mozilla Survey Results

        WoMoz internal survey results and conclusions are now available. The blog post says that the main purpose of the survey was to “… detect areas of improvement related to gender issues in Mozilla and FLOSS communities,” but also notes that finding women who are active contributors to Mozilla was a challenge. Only 18 of the 30 women contacted responded to the survey. From these responses, the survey team concluded that many of the women have experience with the Ubuntu project, so reaching out to Ubuntu Women might help attract more contributors. Some of the women who are contributing to Mozilla are doing so as a result of being contacted from somebody already involved with the Mozilla project. Also, “lack of time” seems to hold women back from contributing to Mozilla.

      • Rainbow Firefox Add-in Brings Advanced Video, Audio to the Browser

        As noted on Slashdot, which also has an interesting discussion from readers about Rainbow, support for live streaming and WebM are planned as additions.

  • Oracle

    • More API copyright nonsense

      # Boggled at Oracle’s amended complaint against Google. Havn’t investigated the verbatim code copying claims in detail – which are of course fair game for copyright enforcement – but what interests me -far- more are the API copyright claims:
      # As I wrote before, I believe that Java has rather weak patent protection, not being particularly innovative or novel really – rather a collection of existing techniques packed together into one (useful) package. With a load of design artefacts in the API that can be claimed as in some sense ‘novel’ though of little intrinsic technical merit. I wrote a long screed on the background to this: Why Oracle’s Java Copyrights Might Matter in August. As I also wrote before: I am not a Lawyer, and have no very deep understanding of the Java situation.

    • Oracle vs. LibreOffice

      My first question would be, why is the majority of council members stacked with Oracle employees in the first place? It is a community council, not the project steering board, it should represent the mostly volunteer community, which has certainly different interests than the a for profit corporation. Hence, the people with a conflict of interest all along have never stepped down in the first place.

    • Copyright Assignments & the Document Foundation

      I would like to discuss a bit the position of the Document Foundationwith respect to copyright assignments. I understand there have been questions here and there about this topic, and it’s perhaps necessary to explain our position.

    • Oracle copying SCO playbook for Google fight

      The problem is that most of the people who are looking at the “line by line” example don’t actually understand code. SCO did this, through the same legal team (Boies Schiller) with its claims that Linux had direct copied code from UnixWare. That was debunked pretty quickly. The only thing missing here is Larry Ellison running around issuing open letters or ranting about Google to anyone who will listen. Never let it be said that Ellison isn’t classier than Darl McBride.

    • POOF! Go Oracle’s Claims Against Android

      Within hours Groklaw has an update that shows the “example” is from OpenJDK and was released under the GPL. Further, the “example” is not a copy but a derived work. This is like SCOG v World in fast motion.

    • Oracle Gets Specific — Files Amended Complaint – Updated 3Xs: And More, More, More

      Oracle Gets Specific — Files Amended Complaint – Updated 3Xs: And More, More, More

    • Into the sunset

      After four years working with the MySQL team, under three different companies, it’s time for me to pursue a new career.

  • CMS

    • DIASPORA* October Update

      Diaspora is getting better every day. Here are some of the features we’ve added over the last month:

      * Public messages are can now be posted to Twitter and Facebook
      * Friends can now be in multiple aspects
      * Re-sharing of status messages to aspects other than the one originally posted to
      * An invite system for inviting your friends not hip to Diaspora yet
      * Email notifications on new friend request and acceptance
      * Account data is exportable
      * A more friendly “getting started” experience

  • Education

    • Open education resources: Moving from sharing to adopting

      What is anything but inevitable is the adoption of any of these open educational resources. As a thought experiment, pick your favorite institution you believe is committed to open education. Have they ever adopted an open education resource produced at another institution for in-class use? If they have an open courseware collection, can you find a single third-party OER in the collection? If even the institutions that claim to be committed to open educational resources aren’t reusing them, who will?

  • Healthcare

    • Open source needs an attack of the heart

      Last Friday, I had a heart attack. As I was rushed to the hospital by the superb ambulance crews and through the operating theatre and onwards to the recovery room by the skilled surgeons, one thing stuck in my mind; how badly open source, and software development in general, has let down health care professionals, who I watched handle bundles of notes and forms which contained the crucial patient care information.

      [..]

      It’s not just a software problem though; we need to come up with new ways of rapidly capturing the health care professionals thoughts and information, ones which are as fast as handwriting, with devices which aren’t going to act as a vector for infection. To create those devices and the software, we, as an open source and IT community, need to create the framework and intelligence pool so that we can approach the severely time constrained doctors, nurses and other professionals, and find out what they need and how we can build it.

    • Implementing FreeMED in Guatemala

      Through the efforts of the FreeMED Software Foundation, many generous donors and help from the Pop-Wuj Spanish Language School, we were able to install an advanced electronic medical record, somewhat customized, for the a clinic in Quezeltenagno, Guatemala.

  • Funding

    • Elspeth Revere of the MacArthur Foundation

      MacArthur is one of the nation’s largest independent foundations. The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.

      With assets over $5 billion, MacArthur will award approximately $230 million in grants this year. Through the support it provides, the Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, strengthens institutions, helps improve public policy, and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 2010 Summit Presentations Now Online

      For those interested in compilers, particularly GCC, or are interested in some technical slides to look over this weekend, the presentations from the 2010 GNU Compiler Collection Summit are now available online.

      Some of the potential papers/slides that may be of interest are on GRAPHITE-OpenCL to generate OpenCL code from parallel loops, optimizing real-world applications with GCC LTO, real-time debugging with GDB trace-points, improving GCC’s auto-vectorization, the Google Go front-end to GCC, enabling more optimizations in GCC Graphite, GNU Tools for ARM, and the issues of supporting GCC on Microsoft Windows.

    • How to upload a video to YouTube and ensure it is viewable in WebM

      We’ve just posted a recipe to follow for converting your videos to the new free WebM format, using VLC.

  • Project Releases

    • monotone 0.99 released

      We, the monotone developers, are very proud to release version 0.99 of our distributed version control system.

  • Government

    • Open Source for Amercia Honors Open Source Advocates

      Award winners were announced during the Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) 2010, in Portland, Oregon today. Winners include:

      Open Source Deployment in Government: honors a U.S. government agency or body that has shown commitment to the use of open sourcee, through policy and/or adoption. The 2010 winner is Whitehouse.gov and the Executive Office for their deployment of Drupal open source content management system in October 2009.

    • ES: Andalusia: ‘Open source has helped save millions of Euro’

      On Twitter, Eduardo Romero, involved in the city of Zaragoza’s move to an open source desktop, was one of those who quoted the Secretary General: “Free software is in the heart of policy and strategies of Andalusia.”

    • DE: Resource centre helps public administrations implement open source

      Germany’s Competence Centre for Open Source Software’ (Ccoss), part of the country’s Federal Office for Information Technology, helps public authorities implement open source. The Ccoss website was renewed this summer and unveiled at the Linux Tag conference, which took place in Berlin last June.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Sharing and the Creative Economy

      Sharing and the Creative Economy: Culture in the Internet Age builds upon “Internet & Creation : how to recognize non-market exchanges over the internet while funding creation” published in French in October 2008 by InLibroVeritas. See the French page for details on Internet & Création. Sharing and the Creative Economy has now found a publisher, and we are proceeding with finalizing the manuscript as soon as possible. The book is likely to be out in early 2011.

    • Open Services Innovation: An Open Your World Forum webcast with Henry Chesbrough and Gary Hamel

      Open means different things to different people. To some, open source and open innovation mean free access and a requirement to return enhancements back to a broader community. But businesses ask: where’s the competitive advantage? How can the two paradigms co-exist, for mutual benefit?

    • Open Data

      • Government not closing the loop on open data

        This week I attended a panel session on open data and mobile government. In simple terms, open data is about governments making public data available in a way that lets clever people do useful things with it, such as an iPhone app that tells you when your bus will arrive.

        A good panel had been pulled together. Chaired by Daniel Appelquist of Vodafone R&D and Mobile Monday London, it comprised David Mann from the DirectGov innovation team, Phil Archer of Talis, and Kenton Price of Little Fluffy Toys (makers of a Boris Bikes app). Broadly speaking they represented the owners, providers and developers

      • Open data in public private partnerships: how citizens can become true watchdogs

        Though anecdotal in many ways, Where’s My Villo?’s experiment shows that open- data allowing citizens to monitor the performance of a service of which they are the final users should be required in all public-private partnership contracts. Down the line, this may even play an ex-ante role by discouraging companies who intend to deliver frivolous services from chasing public-private contracts, as well as allowing citizens to demand better service ex-post.

  • Programming

    • ASCII crimps program development, coder says

      Programming languages are unnecessarily difficult to work with because they rely on the artificial constraint of using only ASCII characters, a noted programmer argues in the November issue of the flagship publication of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM).

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Plugfest — Brussels

      Some good demos of new ODF-supporting software, including LetterGen, OFS Collaboration Suite, ODT2EPub and odt2braille.

Leftovers

  • China’s Internet Imperils Corrupt Officials, but Not Regime

    The Chinese Internet has been abuzz over a hit-and-run incident involving the young son of a high-level security official in Hebei Province, outside Beijing.

    The episode shows how quickly outrage over abuses by privileged Chinese officials can come to a boil, as well as the power of Internet-fueled popular pressure in today’s China.

    Still, many experts caution that while the Internet has become an outlet for anger against local officials, it is not a significant threat to the Chinese Communist Party’s grip on power.

    What sparked the uproar was not only the hit-and-run itself, but the young man’s lack of remorse and high-handed attitude. “Go ahead and sue me, I’m Li Gang’s son,” he reportedly said, just after the accident.

  • Carbon trading project a world first

    A WORLD-FIRST trial of a personal carbon trading scheme that will also target obesity, is to be conducted by Southern Cross University on Norfolk Island.

    The three-year project will involve giving everyone on the island a card loaded with carbon units, according to the man leading it, Garry Egger.

  • Humans could form wireless nodes for high speed networks

    Now, this is a weird one. A team of Irish engineers says it could be possible to minimise the need for mobile base stations by getting phone users to act as base stations themselves.

  • Jade Goody website ‘troll’ from Manchester jailed

    An “internet troll” who posted obscene messages on Facebook sites set up in memory of dead people has been jailed.

    Colm Coss, of Ardwick, Manchester, posted on a memorial page for Big Brother star Jade Goody and a tribute site to John Paul Massey, a Liverpool boy mauled to death by a dog.

  • Twenty-First Century Stoic — Insult Pacifism
  • Save the world: Answer the FEMA challenge

    FEMA exists to help after a disaster. And when disasters strike, over and over again, we see communities working together to help within themselves and to help each other. But FEMA is hoping that people who are willing to help after a disaster are also willing to help before one. Those are the ideas they’re looking for. You might have an emergency kit if you live in a hurricane- or earthquake-prone area. But what else could we proactively do to help each other and ourselves on a larger scale before the need arises?

  • Head-stomping Rand Paul volunteer demands an apology from lady whose head he stomped.

    He wants an apology.

    Tim Profitt — the former Rand Paul volunteer who stomped on the head of a MoveOn activist — told told local CBS station WKYT that he wants an apology from the woman he stomped and that she started the whole thing.

    “I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Profitt said. “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.”..

    Profitt also blamed the incident on his back pain.

  • Comparing leadership cultures and creating change

    The topic of the panel was “Cultural Leadership: Forging a Shared Kernel While Preserving Individual Differences.” In other words, how can leaders inspire today’s workforces across geographical and cultural boundaries and through times of uncertainty.

  • Hu Xingdou: Wen Jiabao, Hero of the Chinese People

    China’s Premier Wen Jiabao really has been on a roll in the past 8 months, seemingly mentioning the need for political reform and the importance of universal values like human rights, freedom and democracy on every possible occasion, starting with his prominently featured article about his former mentor Hu Yaobang in March.

  • Web Linking Gets Deeper with New Standard for Link Relations

    What does that mean? “Web linking is the most fundamental web building block,” says Yahoo! standards wonk Eran Hammer-Lahav. “Typed links – links with a clear semantic meaning – existed on the web since the very beginning, but for the most part lacked any generally acceptable definition… Agreeing on what a link type means across formats is critical for a semantically rich web, in which links are used to provide a richer user experience, as well as better search and automation features.”

  • Science

    • Toolmaking technique 55,000 years older than we thought

      Pressure flaking is a retouching technique that was used by prehistoric toolmakers to shape stone tips. They pressed the narrow end of a tool close to the edge of a piece they were working on to create rectangular, parallel marks; these are considered the hallmark of pressure flaking. This technique allowed them to more finely control the final shape and thinness of the tool edge than direct percussion could, and yielded sharp, thin, V-shaped tips with straight edges. The earliest evidence for pressure flaking came from the Upper Paleolithic Solutrean industry of Western Europe, and dates from around 20,000 years ago.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Biodiversity talks: Ministers in Nagoya adopt new strategy

      Environment ministers from almost 200 nations agreed late tonight to adopt a new United Nations strategy that aims to stem the worst loss of life on earth since the demise of the dinosaurs.

      With a typhoon looming outside and cheering inside the Nagoya conference hall, the Japanese chair of the UN biodiversity talks gavelled into effect the Aichi Targets, set to at least halve the loss of natural habitats and expand nature reserves to 17% of the world’s land area by 2020 up from less than 10% today.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Hire at Bank of Canada Followed Guidelines, Flaherty Says

      Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the country’s central bank followed conflict of interest guidelines when it hired an adviser from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

      Bloc Quebecois lawmaker Daniel Paille and Thomas Mulcair of the New Democratic Party both asked about the hiring of Timothy Hodgson for an 18-month term. Flaherty said in response that the bank makes its own staffing decisions and that Hodgson has “severed” his ties to the private sector.

    • U.S. asks to seal courtroom to guard Goldman secrets

      Prosecutors asked a federal judge to seal the courtroom for part of the upcoming criminal trial of a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc computer programer, an effort to protect the secrecy of the bank’s high-frequency trading platform.

    • Who’s In Charge Here? Not The G20

      Most accounts of the ministerial meeting last weekend of the Group of 20 — 19 nations plus the European Union that represent the world’s wealthiest economies —implied that it continued to perform sterling service – heading off currency wars, keeping explicit protectionism under control and deftly managing the process of reforming governance at the International Monetary Fund.

      Post-financial crisis, middle-income countries continue to rise in economic importance, and the recent shift in global leadership from the Group of 7 (the United States, Canada, Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Japan) to the G-20 is commonly supposed to accommodate the growing claims of “emerging markets” on the world stage.

    • Administration to get freer with trade

      U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has been a genial caretaker for an Obama administration trade agenda mostly aimed at placating labor unions and their Democratic allies by erecting barriers to imports.

      With the public more opposed to free trade than ever, and Democrats running hard against it this fall, the White House has shown no interest in the issue. Completed trade deals with other countries haven’t been sent to Congress, leaving U.S. allies hanging. Obama hasn’t even sought congressional authority for new agreements, a foreign policy tool presidents have cherished for 30 years.

    • Who wants to watch ‘Bank Bailout 2′?

      Life has been so dull since the nation’s major banks had their last existential crisis a year or so ago. Right now, it’s like watching a beloved rerun.

      We know how the story is most likely to end. The banks will lose billions. It will take a decade or so to drain the swamps — also known as the balance sheets of institutions like the Bank of America and Citigroup — of overvalued and underperforming assets. In the meantime, however, the government will probably jump in and save the banks from themselves once again.

    • The Post Election GOP War on Financial Reform

      Here’s the crucial thing to remember about financial reform: the status quo previous to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act financial reform bill was entirely favorable to Wall Street and the largest banks.

      [...]

      They have already signaled to Wall Street that, starting the morning of November 3rd, 2010, the GOP will be the party that fights sensible Wall Street reform and returns us to the world of 2009, the world most favorable to Wall Street.

    • Tim Fernholz on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the CFPB
    • Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease

      This is the lowest level for weekly claims and the 4-week average since July, however the 4-week moving average has been moving sideways at an elevated level for almost a year – and that suggests a weak job market.

    • Foreclosure activity up across most US metro areas

      The foreclosure crisis intensified across a majority of large U.S. metropolitan areas this summer, with Chicago and Seattle – cities outside of the states that have shouldered the worst of the housing downturn – seeing a sharp increase in foreclosure warnings.

    • Foreclosure Error May Bring Home Break-In by Bank: Ann Woolner

      For all the scandalous news about systemically sloppy foreclosure documentation, bankers are trying to reassure the public that no undeserved evictions resulted.

      “At the end of the day, the underlying substance was accurate,” JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon told reporters on a conference call this week. “There’s almost no chance that we’ve made a mistake”

      That misses a key point, which I’ll get to shortly.

    • America By The Numbers

      Every 34th wage earner in America in 2008 went all of 2009 without earning a single dollar, new data from the Social Security Administration show.

      Total wages, median wages, and average wages all declined, but at the very top, salaries grew more than fivefold.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Johann Hari: Protest works. Just look at the proof

      There is a ripple of rage spreading across Britain. It is clearer every day that the people of this country have been colossally scammed. The bankers who crashed the economy are richer and fatter than ever, on our cash. The Prime Minister who promised us before the election “we’re not talking about swingeing cuts” just imposed the worst cuts since the 1920s, condemning another million people to the dole queue. Yet the rage is matched by a flailing sense of impotence. We are furious, but we feel there is nothing we can do. There’s a mood that we have been stitched up by forces more powerful and devious than us, and all we can do is sit back and be shafted.

    • UK.gov plans net censor service

      The minister responsible for internet regulation is planning a new mediation service to encourage ISPs and websites to censor material in response to public complaints.

      Ed Vaizey said internet users could use the service to ask for material that is “inaccurate” or infringes their privacy to be removed. It would offer a low cost alternative to court action, he suggested, and be modelled on Nominet’s mediation service for domain disputes.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • CRTC Renegs – UBB is Coming Soon

      This means Usage Based Billing could begin implementation as early as January 2011. This will be a truly rude awakening for the many Canadians who are unaware that this is coming. Imaging getting an Internet bill for double what you are used to paying for monthly access. Just at the time Canadians are digging their way out of the seasonal spending chasm.

    • Overturn the CRTC Ruling
    • Internet usage: How do you preferred to be billed?
    • VLC developer takes a stand against DRM enforcement in Apple’s App Store

      Rémi Denis-Courmont is one of the primary developers of the VLC media player, which is free software and distributed under the GPL. Earlier this week, he wrote to Apple to complain that his work was being distributed through their App Store, under terms that contradict the GPL’s conditions and prohibit users from sharing the program.

    • From information overload to Dark Ages 2.0?

      Open standards for file formats ensure portability of the content artifact (often with relevant metadata or context) across authoring or viewing applications. The emergence of the PDF/A standard, for example, as an ISO-managed specification outside the corporate control of a sole vendor happened because of the reluctance of many public sector agencies to accept a proprietary format and risk losing the opportunity to preserve essential content for the long term.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Eye for an eye – RIAA & Limewire no score draw? & what LOIC users should consider.

        Limewire is probably more popular with the casual downloader who has maybe had use of the Limewire client for a number a years. Its certainly a simple application to use. The problem with Limewire seemed to me that the average user was not tech savvy and so Limewire became a haven for malware and all other sorts of nastiness. Its not a p2p Client I would have ever considered using nor would I have recommended it to anyone else.

        For me the loss (in respect of the “service”) is no loss. On 26th October 2010 when Judge Wood served an injunction on Limewire, I saw no loss (from a contributory point of view) but what was worrying were the implications it could have for other p2p services in the future.

        Whatever your views on copyright infringement, the technology behind it is not designed to infringe anything. As a user in a BT swarm for example, the sensible position is to give responsibility of any alleged infringement to the users engaging in it not a provider of a tracker or service where users frequent. If we look at this in the real world, it would be like holding a bus driver responsible for a robbery on his vehicle, a landlord responsible for their tenants behavior whilst renting his/her property. The idea that Limewire can be held responsible is to me as inconceivable as any of the above examples I have given.

      • RUSHKOFF: Why I Left My Publisher in Order to Publish a Book

        I’m getting more questions about my latest book than about any other I’ve written. And this is before the book is even out—before anyone has even read the galleys.

        That’s because the questions aren’t about what I wrote, but about how I ended up publishing it: with an independent publisher, for very little money, and through a distribution model that makes it available on only one website. Could I be doing this of sound mind and my own volition? Why would a bestselling author, capable of garnering a six-figure advance on a book, forgo the money, the media, and the mojo associated with a big publishing house?

      • Former Movie Piracy Scene Member Speaks Out

        To many people the movie piracy Scene is something mythical or at least hard to comprehend. Who are these people who are the source for the majority of the pirated movies online? In a rare conversation, TorrentFreak had the chance to pick the brain of a former member of one of the world’s largest movie piracy groups, who speaks out about pride, ego, money and the changes that the Scene has gone through in recent years.

      • Reminder: Despite What You May Have Heard, Happy Birthday Should Be In The Public Domain
      • The ‘Dancing Baby’ Lawsuit Will Shape Future of Fair Use

        When a Universal Music Group employee sent a routine notice to a San Francisco Bay Area mother back in 2007 ordering her to take down a grainy YouTube video of her son dancing, there’s no way he could have known what he was about to stir up.

      • Governments demonstrating leadership in openness with Creative Commons

        Governmental bodies around the world are adopting Creative Commons licenses and signaling to their constituencies that these works can be shared in simple, interoperable ways. Just this week, the current Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva released his official photostream under CC BY, while also posting a CC BY-licensed announcement to run for re-election on SoundCloud.

      • ACTA

        • Over 75 Law Profs Call for Halt of ACTA

          Dear President Obama,

          As academics dedicated to promoting robust public debate on the laws and public policies affecting the Internet, intellectual property, global innovation policy and the worldwide trade in knowledge goods and services, we write to express our grave concern that your Administration is negotiating a far-reaching international intellectual property agreement behind a shroud of secrecy, with little opportunity for public input, and with active participation by special interests who stand to gain from restrictive new international rules that may harm the public interest.

        • Memo to World: Stop ACTA Now!

          Funny, even though consensus couldn’t be reached, the ACTA countries have each taken the agreement back to their respective governments to try and get it signed. They have all agreed that there will be no further rounds of negotiation.

          Apparently though, changes can still be made to the text. Since I am a citizen, not a diplomat, I have to wonder if this means that each country can sign a version of ACTA that they are comfortable with, respective of the wants and needs of the others? If so, it would detract from the point of having one universal treaty.

        • Challenges to ACTA Mount: The week in Review

          In the midst of increasing controversy on the extent to which ACTA would alter current or proposed changes to U.S. law, over 75 law professors sent a sharply worded letter to President Obama asking him to “direct the USTR [US Trade Representative] to halt its public endorsement of ACTA and subject the text to a meaningful participation process that can influence the shape of the agreement going forward.” The letter comes as U.S. government officials having been informing public interest advocates that this is last week of consideration of the text, even while reports are increasing that the text as written conflicts with current and proposed US intellectual property law.

        • How ACTA Turns Limited Secondary Liability In Copyright Into Broad Criminal Aiding & Abetting

          However, some are noticing that it’s actually even worse than that. While I already disagree with the court’s interpretation of various forms of secondary liability, at least they’ve included some safeguards in terms of what standards need to be met before secondary liability might apply by looking at things like whether or not there are substantial non-infringing uses and whether or not there’s intent or knowledge. Unfortunately, it looks like ACTA partly seeks to wipe these out by changing these more nuanced standards into a simple “aiding and abetting” standard, which could lead to criminal infringement claims. As we’ve already noted, ACTA has already broadened the definition of “commercial scale” in order to increase criminal liability for infringement, but law professor Michael Carrier’s analysis suggests the “aiding and abetting” language also greatly broadens the liability for secondary liability as well

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