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11.08.10

Links 8/11/2010: Compiz in Wayland, Telstra Claimed Violating GPL

Posted in News Roundup at 4:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux has the best eye-candy!

    No more 2D dekstop computing. Compiz has some very cool effects that you will enjoy and there are many more to come in the future. Check out our screen shots below on how great Linux looks. If you want a desktop operating system just like ours all you have to do is download one of the distributions of GNU/Linux and customize it anyway you want. The only limitation is your own imagination and creativity.

  • Linux, virtualized. The hard way. Twice.

    Every so often, I’ll consider finding some new and creative way to install Gentoo, my Linux distribution of choice. And sometimes, I’ll do it in such a way that it actually doesn’t blow up in my face. I’ve been trying to convince Shane to give it a try, but he hasn’t got an extra machine he can clean out and turn into a test platform. What he did have, though, was an instalation of VMWare and lots of free time on his hands. So it was high past time to shove an OS inside an OS.

  • Helios

    • It Doesn’t Take a Zealot…
    • Getting Linux Into The Right Hands…

      And as a brief aside…that raging argument about Linux not being a drop-in replacement for any other desktop OS?

      Let it die here.

      It’s worked for our kids, and it works for the majority of people who use it. You can nitpick the small details all you want. The fact remains that our kids have been able to successfully use Linux as their Desktop from elementary school up through graduate school.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Last Week in Amarok
      • How simon learned to talk

        Furthermore the best (open) German voices I could find where HTS voices developed with and for the OpenMARY framework. They should theoretically also work with festival so they could be used with Jovie as well if someone wrote a festival configuration set for it. OpenMARY is cross plattform and provides very high quality synthesis but is a very big and heavy Java dependency which needs a lot of resources and is quite slow – even on current hardware (synthesizing a paragraph of text takes around 10 seconds on a Nettop).

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Canonical and Codethink at Bostom GNOME Summit

        Yesterday Cody Russell and I held a session about getting a gesture API into GTK 3.x. There were a great many questions about the uTouch framework, how we’re handling multi-touch in the absence of MT support in X (coming in XInput 2.1), and what sort of dependencies would be needed (none! if GEIS is present on the system, gesture support will be added at build-time). At the end of the session, there was a consensus for Cody to present his plans to the GTK developers list and then to start getting branches reviewed for merge. We’re hoping to make it for GTK 3.2.

    • Xfce

      • Xfce 4.8pre1 Released

        The Xfce development team is proud to announce the first preview release for Xfce 4.8. Together with this preview release, the Xfce project announces the feature freeze for the final 4.8 release which is set to be pushed out to the world on January 16th, 2011.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distros You Should Try

      Most Linux distros today, come with a trial CD that you can test drive on your system without ever installing Linux in your hard drive.

      Here’s a list of Linux distros that is worth a try.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu no longer ships debian/changelog since Natty?

        Since a few days, I have started to notice that the “Debian” changelog that normally ships with packages no longer appears with a number of recent package updates. Is this intentional?

      • 25 Ubuntu tips for beginners
      • Making room on the Debian Edu/Sqeeze DVD

        Prioritising packages for the Debian Edu / Skolelinux DVD, which is supposed provide a school with all the services and user applications needed on the pupils computer network has always been hard. Even schools without Internet connections should be able to get Debian Edu working using this DVD.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Can Mark Shuttleworth Be The Steve Jobs Of Ubuntu?

          What Apple has done with BSD, Mark has done with Debian and GNU/Linux. He has packaged the amazing Debian as a much loved consumer operating system called Ubuntu.

          Under his leadership, Ubuntu has created a unique position among the three most popular operating systems in the world. If I put these three (Ubuntu, Windows and Mac) operating systems side by side, I find Ubuntu, as a standalone OS, to have a clear edge over the other two. No, it’s not a biased opinion if one looks deeper into the technical aspects verifying this fact (we will get into that later).

        • Compiz in a strange new land

          Mark Shuttleworth recently proposed an idea that a lot of people have been pondering for a while. The idea is simple: the linux desktop needs a new windowing system. While I don’t have enough expertise to make a fair judgement as to whether it’s time to move away from X11 and to something like wayland , I certainly think the idea is interesting. Why not? We have nothing to lose by at least sticking our toes in the water so to speak, and I certainly wouldn’t mind a challenge. So yesterday I took the plunge and compiled wayland for myself, just to try it out.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Review – 2×2, quad monitor

          Finally got 2×2 to work after installing NVidia unsupported (yes, unsupported, comments not needed) drivers. Here is the kicker. When I placed my mouse cursor in the near center, that is center of the 2×2 screens. The mouse would start bouncing around and I would loose all control. Best guess I could make was the different instances of the window manager were not handing off control of mouse correctly. Anyhow, this required a forced shutdown.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Adventures in Kubuntu: Day one

            I intend to keep using Kubuntu for a while, to give it a fair shot and see if I can adapt to it. Last time I made a change like this, it was from Windows XP to Ubuntu, and it was for a similar reason – because I had heard what was coming with Vista and I wanted to be prepared in case I had to switch. That was a much tougher learning curve, and it yielded excellent benefits. I think I can benefit from this too, now that I have an incentive to stick with it and not go scurrying back to Gnome as soon as something unfamiliar breaks my customary ways of doing things. Maybe it’s time to shake it up a little. I might like it, if I give it a chance.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Fusion Garage’s JooJoo exclaims – We’re Still Alive

        JooJoo seems to be crawling back to its feet with its latest developments relating to app support and the incorporation of Android; however it must be noted that the company must do more to capture the market like providing complete Android flexibility to its users, run promotional campaigns, etc. There is the declaration from Rathakrishnan that the new JooJoos will be sold in retail and by mobile operators, maybe even subsidized. So good times could just be awaiting the first ever tablet maker.

      • Archos 70 Tablet with Android 2.2 Available Now

        Following the release of their Archos 43 internet tablet yesterday, Archos has just dropped the new 7-inch model in their store. The 8GB Archos 70 tablet runs Android 2.2 and retails for a reasonable $279.99. The tablet a has resolution of 800×480, features a 1GHz processor, TV output, WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth, and USB support.

Free Software/Open Source

  • IBM at Events

    • ApacheCon keynote presentation
    • The MIT Systems Thinking Conference

      I recently participated in MIT’s 2010 Systems Thinking Conference for Contemporary Challenges. This annual conference is sponsored by Systems Design and Management (SDM) – an interdisciplinary program between MIT’s School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management. The SDM program aims to provide mid-career professionals with a systems perspective that will help them address and solve large-scale, global, complex challenges. Most of the students in the classes I have taught at MIT are enrolled in SDM.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Being more explicit about “open cloud computing”

      I just had a chance to read David Linthicum’s article in InfoWorld called “What does ‘open’ really mean in cloud computing?”. In the piece, David argues that open needs to be more than a marketing term.

  • Licensing

    • Telstra violating open source licence, claims developer

      The telco launched the products this year and has already achieved a degree of success with the T-Hub integrated telephone and T-Box media centre products, selling a total of around 100,000 units combined by the end of September. The T-Touch Tab is one of a wave of tablets based on Google’s Android operating system to hit Australia over the past several months.

      However, in an extensive blog post published yesterday, Angus Gratton — who appears to be an open source software developer and a technician at the Australian National University’s Department of Nuclear Physics — pointed out that all three products were based on the Linux operating system, which has substantial portions licensed under the GNU General Public License.

      Gratton also posted a link to his claim to the GPL violations mailing list, which aims to track and rectify problems where companies are using the licence.

      The GPL violations site interprets the GPL as requiring that companies who distribute products based on GPL-licenced software must make source code to the software available to customers — for example, include a zip file of relevant files on a documentation CD. In addition, a copy of the GPL licence should be included with licence documentation.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Nissan to surround its cars with safety shields

      In addition to pioneering the world’s first mass-marketed all-electric vehicle — the Leaf — Nissan has been busy developing advanced safety systems that reduce the risk of accidents by wrapping a virtual safety bubble around the car.

      Nissan announced in 1995 that it planned to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in its cars by half within two decades, by introducing a variety of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies into its vehicles. The advanced safety technology involves a combination of intelligent transportation systems, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, and proactive feedback to both the driver and the vehicle.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • David Nutt: I am not a prohibitionist

      Since pointing out this week that alcohol is more harmful than any other drug, I have been painted as an alcohol prohibitionist or, conversely, as someone who wants to legalise all drugs. Neither is true, and this misrepresentation is testament to how sterile this debate has become. We must get beyond this.

      My interest has always been to develop a rational scale of drug harm to enable policymakers to get to grips with a significant social problem, irrespective of legal status. If alcohol was discovered today it would be controlled as an illegal drug alongside similar sedatives such as GHB and GBL. Certainly it is far more dangerous than any other legally available substance. Of course, many people are social drinkers, apparently unharmed by this pleasure. But if only 10% of the 40 million UK drinkers are significantly harmed, this total is still 10 times that of the next most harmful drug, heroin. Many social drinkers also imbibe at well above the safe levels, their health silently damaged.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Does Britain really need the military?

      Six months ago I proposed in the Guardian that if Britain was short of money it should cut defence. I did not mean reduce defence, or trim defence. I meant cut it altogether. We are desperately short of money and absolutely no one is threatening to attack us now or in the foreseeable, indeed conceivable, future. Besides, as we have seen this past week, other ways of ensuring security make more pressing claims on us. We just do not need an army, navy or air force. So why are we paying £45bn for them?

    • WikiLeaks founder urges US to investigate alleged abuse by its troops

      The founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has called on the US to investigate alleged abuses by its troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying it has a “proud tradition” of self-scrutiny.

    • Iraq War Logs throw new light on the Nick Berg mystery

      When Berg was, following the federal court intervention, reluctantly released from US detention, he made his way back to the Al-Fanar hotel in Baghdad. When asked about his experience he unconvincingly laughed it off as a misunderstanding. He refused a free flight out of Baghdad pressed on him by the US Consulate and was last seen alive on 10 April 2004.

    • CIA lawyer: U.S. law does not forbid rendition

      Daniel Pines, an assistant general counsel at the CIA, has asserted in a law journal that the abduction of terrorism suspects abroad is legal under U.S. law, even when the suspect is turned over to countries notorious for torture.

      “There are virtually no legal restrictions on these types of operations,” Pines asserts in the current edition of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.

    • Limit jury trials says victims’ champion

      The right to trial by jury in many cases involving lesser offences should be stopped in England and Wales as it is slowing down the prosecution of more serious crimes, the Victims’ Commissioner said on Wednesday.

    • Check-in security and common sense

      Faced with demands to take off his shoes, the former Chancellor explained that as a result of surgery he has had to his legs, he is unable to bend down and therefore needs to sit on a chair to remove his footwear. After much grumbling, a chair was provided with what Lord Lawson’s son Dominic describes as “spectacular gracelessness”.

      Following, this a more senior security officer demanded Lawson hand over his passport. He refused. Following this, the officer ‘phoned ahead to the airline’s passenger gate and ordered EasyJet to deny the peer access to the fight for “not having passed through security”.

    • Body scanner “humiliation”

      She tells us that she was subjected to a humiliating experience at Stansted. She has had both her hips replaced and when going security she was taken off to a room and made to undress to show her operation scars to prove that she had had the surgery claimed.

    • Passenger: they made me strip. Stansted Airport: yeah, that’s what we do.

      I challenged the airport about it. Here’s the airport’s response. You’ll see that they try to have their cake and eat it – on the one hand saying that they don’t require pasengers to strip to show scars and, on the other, in saying you have to go to a private room for a further seach, they basically say, yes, we do that.

    • Airports making money from terror checks

      This week, this blog carried news of an unpleasant case of an elderly lady made to undress and expose scars from a recent hip replacement in order to pass through security at Stansted Airport. We also blogged about Lord Lawson’s treatment at the hands of the check-in gestapo.

    • Pilots boycott full-body scanners over health fears

      THE world’s largest pilot’s association has boycotted full-body scanners over health risks but passengers wishing to avoid the devices may instead be faced with “invasive” pat-down searches.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Channel 4′s convenient green fictions

      Environmentalism is not just about replacing one set of technologies with another. Technological change is important, but it will protect the biosphere only if we also tackle issues such as economic growth, consumerism and corporate power. These are the challenges the green movement asks us to address. These are the issues the film ignores.

    • UN report warns of threat to human progress from climate change

      In its annual flagship report on the state of the world, the UN said unsustainable patterns of consumption and production posed the biggest challenge to the anti-poverty drive.

    • Pollution particles can change the weather

      How cloudy is it today? Is it going to rain? The answer might depend on how much pollution is wafting around in the air above you. Two recent studies published in the journal Science show how particles pumped out of power stations and car exhausts alter weather. The first study, by Antony Clarke and Vladimir Kapustin from the University of Hawaii, analysed pollution levels over different areas of the Pacific ocean over the last 11 years. In the more polluted regions (such as parts of the north Pacific) there were more than 10 times as many particles on which cloud water could condense than there were in pristine regions (such as above Tasmania).

  • Finance

    • How to Restore the American Dream

      Fareed Zakaria recently published a very good cover story in Time Magazine – How to Restore the American Dream – which was also the basis for a special edition of his CNN program Fareed Zakaria GPS. Dr. Zakaria is a renowned journalist an author, and an astute observer of the vast economic and political changes taking place around the world. Last June I heard him give an excellent talk at an IBM conference in Shanghai.

      The basic premise of the Time article and CNN special is that while the forces of technology and globalization helped lead America to the forefront of the world stage, they are now hollowing out America’s middles class. The American Dream, – the possibility that anyone can get ahead and achieve success and prosperity through talent and hard work, – may well be disappearing.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Upcoming Report on Election 2010 & the Corporate Agenda

      With the flood of opinions about the meaning of the 2010 election results and the hundreds of millions spent by front groups and special interests, I’ll be taking a deeper look at the results, spending reports and other research in the coming days.

    • Tea Party Front Group Hits in State Ledge Elections. Again.

      Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group founded by billionaire David Koch (the subject of a recent New Yorker exposé on the corporate bankroll behind the Tea Party movement nationally) is working in the background against Democrats at the state level in Washington.

    • A Win in Spin for the Corporate-Backed Tea Party

      In the weeks before the 2010 mid-term elections, the Tea Party and its activities dominated the media, but there was a decided lack of discussion about exactly what the Tea Party is. Major media seemed sold on the idea that the Tea Party is one big homogenous, spontaneous grassroots uprising, but this was not the case. Apart from a single, exhaustive article in the August 30, 2010 edition of The New Yorker (aptly titled “Covert Operations,”) that linked the wealthy billionaire Koch Brothers’ and their corporate interests to the Tea Party, few media outlets discussed which factions of the movement were truly grassroots, which were corporate-backed, and to what extent corporations supported the “movement.”

    • http://www.prwatch.org/node/9583
    • The Worst PR Year for McDonalds

      First, a weird photo of thick, pink, gooey sludge appeared on the Internet that was purported to be the raw material that chicken nuggets are made of. Then, in April, New York photographer Sally Davies purchased a Happy Meal, set the burger and fries on a plate in her apartment and photographed them every day for six months as an art project, only to discover that the Happy Meal looked exactly the same six months later — no mold, no decomposition, nothing. Her “Happy Meal Project” started garnering attention from the media and time lapse video of it appeared on YouTube.

    • Happy Meal Project Rounds Out 2010 As The Worst Public Relations Year For McDonald’s Ever

      The newest installment in the recent obsession/revulsion with fast food is the “Happy Meal Project.” A New York photographer, Sally Davies, set an uncovered McDonald’s Happy Meal burger and fries on a shelf in her apartment for six months. Although you may be picturing maggots and mealworms, the reality is far worse. Did the burger ooze toxic mold? Sprout little meat mushrooms? Reanimate, zombie-style? Even more chilling than any of these gross-out scenarios is this: Nothing happened.

      The time-lapse tells the story: The food remains completely intact and unchanged, albeit getting a little hard, with no indication of any kind of decomposition, which is probably more or less exactly the same process it goes through in your stomach. This is just one of many reports of food from McDonald’s lasting far longer than it should: This nutritionist has kept a burger since 1996 that, when compared to a burger from 2008, looks more or less identical to its younger sibling.

    • Maverick Senator Russ Feingold Felled by Corporate Dollars

      Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, co-author of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, was felled last night by corporate television ad dollars allowed to flood in by a Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC giving corporations the status of individuals

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Who are India’s real traitors?

      The writer Arundhati Roy, once a national heroine for being the first Indian to win the Booker prize, today finds herself a reviled figure. The demonisation of Roy has taken just over a decade, and many will tell you it’s her own fault. She just won’t stop opening her mouth and saying uncomfortable things.

      Roy’s latest sin was to express her doubts about India’s right to rule Kashmir. It’s a rule enforced by 700,000 soldiers and, by all accounts, most ordinary Kashmiris want them gone. They are calling for azaadi, the freedom to determine their own future via the plebiscite called for in UN resolution 47, which since 1948 India has ignored.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Zealand P2P proposal: guilty until proven innocent

        Say you have a DSL connection at home. Should you be liable for big fines over infringements committed using your connection… even if you had nothing to do with them? And should rightsholder complaints carry the assumption of accuracy? New Zealand politicians say yes.

        New Zealand is taking its second attempt at clamping down on illicit peer-to-peer file-swapping. The first time around, in 2009, the country’s legislators had to scrap their Internet disconnection plans after a public outcry over its “Guilt upon accusation” approach. But their second attempt is already stirring up the same complaints.

      • How Annie got shot

        Yet Petty does not intend to acquire a Leibovitz. Not one of the 10 “master sets” of 157 of her prints that have been offered privately at an asking price of more than $3m per set; not even a single photo. “No,” he says firmly. “I nearly bought her portrait of the Queen but then I decided against it. She is obviously well-regarded but it is a distinctively American taste, her style of photography.”

        It is only one collector’s view but it is a straw in a wind that has been blowing fiercely against Leibovitz, who is struggling to repair her finances, having built up multi-million-dollar debts amid a tangle of personal, professional and property troubles. The woes of one of the world’s highest-paid photographers have mesmerised the media and the art world.

      • Ministry of Sound abandon file sharing dragnet

        In the fallout following the accidental leaking of sensitive data concerning thousands of UK internet users by ACS:Law, ISPs including BT woke up to the problems with simply acceding to rightsholders’ demands that they hand over alleged infringer details in bulk.

      • What does Cameron’s copyright announcement mean?

        David Cameron has admitted that UK copyright law is out of date, and needs to be fit for the Internet age. Specifically, he noted that companies like Google in the United States benefit from “fair use” copyright provisions. Roughly speaking, this which allow people do what they like with copyright works, so long as this doesn’t doesn’t stop the copyright owner from making sales. This is open ended. So scanning a book you have bought, indexing content, or changing a CD to an MP3 at home, can be “fair use”.

        People who like the US system say that this allows greater flexibility as the law evolves to fit new, legitimate uses of copyright works.

      • Copyright reform is on the EU Commission’s agenda

        Commissioner Neelie Kroes today announced that the EU Commission wants to reform EU copyright.

      • [Neelie Kroes] Fixing Copyright Offers A World Of Digital Opportunities

Clip of the Day

Lubuntu 10.10 short Demo


Credit: TinyOgg

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    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope


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