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10.31.10

Links 31/10/2010: Motorola Wins With Linux, Acer to Put Linux on Tablet (Out in November)

Posted in News Roundup at 8:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 11 Uses for an Old PC

    You’ve heard about this Linux thing, and maybe you’d like to give it a whirl. But the thought of trying to create a dual-boot system on your primary PC leaves you a little green around the gills. Now you can experiment to your heart’s content on your old box.

    Check out Ubuntu, the sexy Linux distro that geeks love to, well, love. The neat thing about Linux is all the built-in support for older hardware, so installation is usually easy. In fact, installing Ubuntu is sometimes simpler than installing Windows. And there’s a wealth of free software for Linux just waiting to be tried out.

  • Mock-up: intelligent, ambient Boot Splash

    Reader Cullum Saunders pinged us with an interesting concept for an intelligent, friendly ambient boot screen, which he demoes in the video below.

  • Desktop

    • People Who Should Not Run Linux

      1) People with money to burn. There are people who buy a new car every year, have a chateau in the south of France and do not have to save to buy a house. That’s not me, but I hear that they exist. So if you are not money conscious, then you can afford to pay Microsoft or Apple for their latest creation. In fact, you can buy their super, deluxe edition with all of the bells and whistles and probably pay someone else to install it for you. For the rest of us, there is Linux, which is free as in beer and free as in speech, meaning that it costs you nothing and you can give away the disk after you have installed it.

  • Server

    • IBM: The Mainframe Is Back, Baby

      IBM announced third-quarter 2010 net income of $3.6 billion, compared with $3.2 billion for the third quarter of 2009, an increase of 12 percent driven by significant increases in systems and technology sales and IBM services as well as a boost in growth markets.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 172 – Port 25

      This week on the show: Ubuntu switching to Unity as their default desktop, Linux breaks world speed record at London Stock Exchange, more problems at Nokia, Apple violates Launchpad trademark and more…

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Vector Linux 7.0 Alpha 3 Reviewed!

        Pros:

        * Sharp Desktop layout
        * Fast with no-lag
        * Very stable Slackware 13.0/13.1 base
        * Great for low-ram and older PC’s

        Cons:

        * Installer doesn’t allow grub to be installed to extended partition
        * Lilo installation ends in error with no manual way to fix it ala Slackware
        * Some of the Wbar apps don’t work
        * No way to install proprietary video drivers except manually
        * Limited package selection and availability

    • Debian Family

      • Latest features of dpkg-dev: debian packaging tools

        I’m attending the mini-Debconf Paris and I just gave a talk about the latest improvement of dpkg-dev—the package providing the basic tools used to build Debian packages. Latest is a bit stretched since it embraces the last 2-3 years of development.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu To Challenge… Facebook?

          At the Ubuntu Developer Summit tomorrow there will be a session on the “WeMenu” (not to be confused with the “MeMenu”) the idea behind it is to bring the real relationships you have and the very real communities around you to your desktop.

        • Unity: Some Further Clarification Points

          So, I just wanted to clarify some of the key points regarding the transition to Unity by default in Ubuntu 11.04 to make sure these facts are clearly communicated:

          * Ubuntu is not ditching/forking GNOME – Unity is a shell for GNOME, but not GNOME shell. Ubuntu is still a GNOME platform. 11.04 will ship all the components required for GNOME application authors to have their software run out of the box in Ubuntu, and we will still ship all the GNOME apps you know and love in Ubuntu 11.04. The only change is that Unity will be the default shell. Likewise, this is not a fork: we are not diverging away from GNOME, just producing a different shell in much the same way others have (e.g. Meego). It is just a different porthole looking at the awesome GNOME platform.
          * Unity is the 3D experience, Classic GNOME is the 2D interface – if your graphics hardware cannot sufficiently run Unity, Ubuntu will present the 2D experience which is the two-panel GNOME desktop we currently ship, complete with all the Ayatana improvements such as application indicators, global menu, system indicators etc.

        • Maverick Meerkat on a Mac Machine – Lots of M!

          I don’t have anything too grand to say. Compare this experience with my Windows 7 installation on the Pavilion laptop and you’ll get the general idea how simple things are. Ubuntu, as the leading Linux distro, offers a smooth and seamless experience on pretty much any hardware, including the not-so-trivial Mac. This means that should you decide to explore the brave new world of geekdom, you probably have the ultimate testbed. And this includes you, the high-income Maccers.

          Ubuntu will work well with your Wireless adapters, even install them for you offline, your Nvidia and ATI cards, your USB and FireWire devices, including the HFS filesystem. Really great. The notion of dual-boot has never been more appealing. And so it begins. One distro to rule them all. Aha!

        • A week in Orlando (Ubuntu Developer Summit – Natty Narwhal)

          Currently flying from Orlando, FL where I had an awesome Ubuntu Developer Summit I wanted to quickly share what happened this week.

        • Coming Soon!

          Here is what I have been working on for Ubuntu Forum recently. At a session at UDS this week, we discuss the forums and how to bring it up to date with the new Ubuntu branding. There will be some big changes upcoming in the forums.

        • Happy Halloween With Ubuntu Pumpkin

          We are soon going to announce the launch of Cult Of Ubuntu, a website dedicated to Ubuntu Cult.

        • 4 steps to freedom
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Because I know you’re dying to know

            So far I’m quite liking Xubuntu 10.10. My only disappointment is that Chromium, which is Google’s Chrome browser for Linux, gets progressively slower on it, so I got rid of it and have stuck with Firefox for the time being. I recently moved away from Firefox because it just felt bloated and slow. But aside from that, it’s running smoothly overall. Also, I can’t play DVDs on the laptop, even after installing the necessary extra software to allow the decoding. I think it may be a hardware issue, though; this baby isn’t as spry as it once was. Whatever the case, it’s nice to be able to play around with all this FREE SOFTWARE.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • “Mint to Xbox… come in Xbox”

      The third option that I had planned to test was a program called Fuppes, however after an hour of failed installations, errors and generally getting quite hacked off with the whole thing, I have decided that if it cant be installed that easily then it cant make the list. I apologise in advance to all who use Fuppes without a problem as most forums seem to say that it is OK. Several attempts in different directories and after installing and reinstalling the necessary packages it refused to work so I am happy to put this one down as a win for Linux over my knowledge. I have decided to console myself by watching a film via PS3 with a smug “In your face Fuppes” look on my face.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Acer preps for November tablet launch

        Adding to the impending glut of tablet-style devices crowding a market resurrected by Apple’s iPad, computer maker Acer ‘s CEO Gianfranco Lanci told Dow Jones Newswire the company is planning to introduce a family of tablet computers in November, including Android and Windows models. The tablets will sell for between $299-$699 and will be unveiled during a press conference Nov. 23, says the story.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Advocacy doesn’t work if you tell someone they’re wrong

    Generally it isn’t a good idea to offend someone you’re trying to convince. This is sounding almost too obvious, but offending someone we are trying to get to free software is a tactic we often use unconsciously. Instead of getting your point across it will likely lead the other to strengthen or adopt a contrary believe. There’s much we can learn from social psychology in advocating free software.

  • Asterisk plots the end of the phone network

    It’s called Asterisk Scalable Communications Framework, or Asterisk SCF.

  • Eating Your Own Dogfood

    One of the reasons given for the writing of Free Software is to “scratch our own itch”, to create software the way we want it to work. If you then do not use it, how can you tell that the scratching satisfied the itch?

  • Events

  • Oracle

    • Take a Deep Breath, Then Vote for Eclipse: Our View on the JCP

      There is one thing that Matt, Ian Skerrett and others have gotten exactly right: the failure to communicate effectively with the Java community is costing Oracle dearly. They have got to fix that, and soon. The problem is that Oracle has always been an enterprise software company, with PR and AR people who think that controlling the message is the path to success. Oracle as an organization has a lot of internal institutional challenges to overcome before they can learn how to communicate with a community like Java’s. It will take time and there will be mistakes along the way, but I think they will. They have to, because as we have recently observed, silence is significantly worse than delivering even bad news in a clear and honest manner.

    • Read Beyond the Headers

      Recent reports on various blogs have attributed to the ASF a number of the source files identified by Oracle as ones that they believe infringe on their copyrights. The code in question has an header that mentions Apache, and perhaps that is the source of the confusion. The code itself is using a license that is named after our foundation, is in fact the license that we ourselves use. Many others use it too, as the license was explicitly designed to allow such uses.

      Even though the code in question has an Apache license, it is not part of Harmony. PolicyNodeImpl.java is simply not a Harmony class.

    • Have Oracle just made it worse for everyone?

      I guess everybody has heard that a majority of the key developers in the OpenOffice.org community decided to set up the Document Foundation: an independent foundation to continue and manage work on the Openoffice.org codebase. If you’ve not, then I can recommend Terry Hancock’s piece as a starting point (and a good summary of why forking is vital). To recap: Oracle are not behind the move so the foundation temporarily named their product LibreOffice. It was not, we were told, a fork. Oracle were invited to the party and asked if they would consider donating the OpenOffice.org brand to the foundation. After the mess with MySQL, here was an opportunity for Oracle to vastly improve relations with the free software community and their own reputation. In short Oracle missed their chance like an English footballer taking a penalty.

  • CMS

    • Reorganising The Screencast

      In the Drupal episodes I want to cover little known modules as well as Drupal Basics. The plan there is to explain basic concepts of Drupal such as blocks, regions, where to install modules to etc. In other words, the types of things that can help people get over the initial learning hump with Drupal with some basics of what not to do.

  • Business

    • Lighting the Fuse for an Enterprise FOSS Explosion

      The FUSE family of software is now under the FuseSource name and has gained new autonomy from Progress Software with its own corporate identity.

      Part of the IONA Technologies acquisition by Progress Software in 2008, FuseSource has now become its own company, owned by Progress, but now more independent, to aggressively pursue its open source business model and to leverage the community development process strengths.

      In anticipation of the news, our discussion here targets the rapid growth, increased relevance, and new market direction for major open source middleware and integration software under the Apache license.

    • Civil Rights Concerns as DHS Formalizes Military Role in ‘Civilian Cybersecurity’

      Speaking today at the National Symposium on Homeland Security and Defense, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano announced that the National Security Agency and the US Cyber Command will be used in civilian cybersecurity matters, insisting it was perfectly appropriate to give the military this role.

  • Project Releases

    • PTS3 Iveland Development Update

      For those interested in the development activity of Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 “Iveland”, here’s an update as to the progress with a few notes.

  • Government

  • Programming

    • What Developers Think

      Nearly four out of five developers use some open source software for application development or deployment, little changed from last year. What has changed is the kind of open source software being used. Use of open source operating systems, primarily Linux distributions, jumped to 61% from 48% in 2009.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • What the Pro-MS Office video does not say

      In addition, Microsoft is also slanting information to favor adoption of its office solution. I have heard several times that .docx is an ISO standard, just like .odt. That is simply not true. Basically, ISO approved .docx if certain changes were made to the format. This format version is called ISO/IEC 29500 “strict”. The reality is that neither Office 2007 nor Office 2010 can generate the ISO standardized “strict” format and Microsoft has not committed to implement it.

      The format that the company is using today is the version known as ISO/IEC 29500 “transitional”, which ISO determined was not to be used for the creation of new documents. In other words, it can never be the default format for saving new documents as it does not have the status of an international standard and, therefore, it should not be used for electronic transmission or storage of documents.

      This distinction is significant because official documents produced by government institutions, such as schools, have to be created following a principle of interoperability, which Microsoft has admitted not to follow with its default-save .docx.

Leftovers

  • Lillian McEwen breaks her 19-year silence about Justice Clarence Thomas

    For nearly two decades, Lillian McEwen has been silent — a part of history, yet absent from it.

    When Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his explosive 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Thomas vehemently denied the allegations and his handlers cited his steady relationship with another woman in an effort to deflect Hill’s allegations.

    Lillian McEwen was that woman.

  • Law Prof: Entire Supreme Court Should Decide Recusal Due to Activist Wife

    A Northwestern University law professor notes that Justice Clarence Thomas may find himself in a controversial position when the health-care reform issue reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, most likely in 2012.

    Thomas’ wife, Virginia Thomas, is a leading opponent of health care reform legislation that passed this spring, law professor Steven Lubet notes in a Chicago Tribune opinion column. A memo briefly posted at the Liberty Central website founded by Virginia Thomas called the law unconstitutional, and it had Virginia Thomas’ signature. The memo was later taken down; the group’s chief operating officer explained that Virginia Thomas had neither seen nor signed the memo, and it should not have been posted.

  • Supreme Court bolsters protection of media’s confidential sources

    The Supreme Court of Canada has endorsed the public need to shield whistleblowers and bolstered the ability of journalists in Quebec to protect confidential sources, a significant ruling for media rights in this country.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Buy Wikileaks’ founder a beer

      Closing Wikileaks and executing Julian Assange won’t change this. Hundreds of such sites will follow it, each with its own agenda. Files will be leaked to the darknet and find their way out in unexpected ways.

      The only cure for Wikileaks is to eliminate this medium. The only cure for this light is a return to the darkness.

      David would have you think Wikileaks is a bug that must be squashed. I disagree. It’s a feature that must be protected, whatever the cost.

  • Finance

    • Kansas reaches $800K settlement with Goldman Sachs

      The office of Kansas’ securities commissioner, Marc Wilson, announced Friday that the state has reached an $800,000 settlement with Goldman, Sachs & Co.

    • Hedge Fund Fraud Alleged in Connecticut

      Hedge fund manager Stephen Hicks used his two unregistered hedge fund advisory companies to defraud investors “in three different ways,” after taking millions of dollars from them, the SEC says. The agency sued Hicks, 52, of Ridgefield, Conn., and his companies, Southridge Capital Management and Southridge Advisors.

      The three defendants defrauded customers “in three different ways,” the SEC says in its federal complaint.

    • Tribune investors sue banks that arranged financing

      A group of investors in bankrupt Tribune Co sued JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Citicorp and Bank of America, claiming the banks arranged $3.7 billion in loans in 2007 they knew the company could never repay.

      “The Lead Banks knew that this financing was barred by the terms of the Credit Agreement and it was tainted with fraud and other misconduct,” said the lawsuit, which was filed late on Friday.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • A Web Pioneer Profiles Users by Name

      In the weeks before the New Hampshire primary last month, Linda Twombly of Nashua says she was peppered with online ads for Republican Senate hopeful Jim Bender.

      It was no accident. An online tracking company called RapLeaf Inc. had correctly identified her as a conservative who is interested in Republican politics, has an interest in the Bible and contributes to political and environmental causes. Mrs. Twombly’s profile is part of RapLeaf’s rich trove of data, garnered from a variety of sources and which both political parties have tapped.

    • FTC ends probe into Google’s Wi-Fi snooping

      The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has closed an investigation into Google Street View cars snooping into open Wi-Fi networks, with the agency declining to take action.

      Google’s announcement in May that its Street View cars mistakenly collected data from open Wi-Fi networks raised FTC concerns “about the internal policies and procedures that gave rise to this data collection,” wrote David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a Wednesday letter to Google.

    • HTTPS Everywhere is in Beta!

      HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It encrypts your communications with a number of major websites.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Prosecutors Seek to Block Xbox Hacking Pioneer From Mod-Chip Trial

      Want a live tutorial on how to hack an Xbox by the guy who actually wrote the book on it?

      If so, you should plan to attend what likely will be the nation’s first federal jury trial of a defendant accused of jailbreaking Xbox 360s — installing mod chips that allow the console to run pirated or home-brew games and applications.

      Celebrity geek Andrew “Bunnie” Huang, the designer of the Chumby and author of the 2003 title Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering, has agreed to testify for a southern California man charged under the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • How LimeWire’s Shutdown May Impact Urban Sustainability
      • LimeWire Today, and What’s in Store for the Future

        During this challenging time, we are excited about the future. The injunction applies only to the LimeWire product. Our company remains open for business.

      • ACTA

        • The Proposed New Copyright Crime of “Aiding and Abetting”

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has caused concern for many reasons, such as secret negotiations and controversial provisions. Today, more than 70 law professors sent a letter to President Obama asking that he “direct the [U.S. 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.”

          Despite this beneficial attention, one clause has slipped under the radar. Article 2.14 of ACTA would require participating nations to “ensure that criminal liability for aiding and abetting is available.”

          This liability would apply to parties that assist others in engaging in “willful . . . copyright . . . piracy on a commercial scale.” Such scale includes “commercial activities for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage.” These terms are not defined in the agreement. As a result, it would appear that any activity that would give an “indirect” commercial advantage (including the downloading of a single copyrighted song) could lead to criminal liability.

Clip of the Day

MeeGo OS running on a Mobile phone


Credit: TinyOgg

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