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12.01.10

Links 1/12/2010: Red Hat Buys Makara, Replacement for GNOME-Do (Mono) Noted

Posted in News Roundup at 5:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Top 5 Linux-esque Geek mods
  • 5 Operating Systems Making News This Week

    5 Operating Systems Making News This Week
    A response from Microsoft was that “Attempting to unlock a device could void the warranty, disable phone functionality, interrupt access to Windows Phone 7 services or render the phone permanently unusable.” That sounds worrying, but the Chevronwp7 team moved quickly to reassure potential Windows Phone 7 jailbreakers that Microsoft’s claims are “patently false as we use the same exact procedure the official Phone Registration tool uses.”

  • Desktop

    • Dual Booting Means Something Else in Uruguay

      I came across an article which mentioned Uruguay was distributing dual-booting PCs to students. I was concerned that that other OS would be distributed deliberately to students but no, its XO-Sugar and GNOME dual booting.

    • Dell’s new Vostro V130 – Ultra-Thin Ubuntu Laptop

      Dell have unveiled a new update to their ‘small business’ Vostro laptop line – the super-thin Vostro V130.

      Available pre-installed with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the Vostro V130 builds on its predesscor the V13, maintaining the slim profile, light weight and full-bodied performance that a netbook is unable to offer.

    • Ubuntu Light’ available to download from Dell

      We haven’t heard much about Ubuntu Light – the simplified ‘instant on’ version of Ubuntu intended for use on dual-boot laptops preinstalled on Windows – since it was announced back at UDS-M in Brussels last May.

    • On Dell PCs, Ubuntu Plus Windows Could Be A Winning Combo

      Of course, Linux-based, lightweight instant-on operating systems–such as Splashtop–have shipped on Windows systems before, and we’ve written about how dual-OS systems have a bright future, including dual-OS tablets. But anytime Dell ships a secondary OS–or an option for a free one–alongside Windows, it’s worth noting due to the sheer distribution volume that Dell has. The folks at Canonical should actively pursue this type of relationship with Dell.

    • Lean & Mean Dell Vostro V130 For Ubuntu Users
    • How to Buy a Computer Preloaded With Ubuntu

      1. System76

      Specializing in Ubuntu-powered laptops, desktops and servers, Colorado-based System76 is particularly notable because its success has just recently prompted it to start serving the United Kingdom as well. With a commitment to the ideals of open source software, System76 aims to help make it easy for consumers, businesses, schools and governments to make the transition to the world of open source software through world-class hardware, software and support. System76 ships to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

      2. ZaReason

      California-based ZaReason will install a variety of free and open source operating systems on its laptops, desktops and servers, including not just Ubuntu but several of its derivatives along with Debian and Fedora. International shipping is available.

  • Server

    • Leveraging Linux for Supercomputing

      High-performance computing (HPC) applications such as numerical simulation — whether for forecasting, mechanical and structure simulation, or computational chemistry — require a large number of CPUs for processing. To meet these needs, customers must buy a large-scale system that enables parallel processing so that the simulation can be completed in the shortest possible time. Such solutions are available in two forms: scale-up and scale-out.

      Traditionally, scale-up customers have had no choice but to purchase high-cost, proprietary shared-memory symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) systems for HPC needs with proprietary operating systems such as AIX, Solaris, HPUX and others. These SMP systems require significant investment in system-level architecture by computer manufacturers.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

    • Who Would Use The Google Chrome Operating System?

      The bottom line is this – if you use a browser today for the majority of the time you are on your computer, then you are already a great fit for the Google Chrome OS. And if you use an Office Suite for the bulk of your work, then you’re also a potential candidate for the OS. But if you work on your computer without a connection then you need to embrace the full OS and the apps that go with it. Because without a pipe to the outside world the Google Chrome OS is just an empty browser – no fun at all.

    • Google has a problem retaining great engineers? Bullcrap.

      Once again, there’s been another story about how Google is having trouble retaining talent. Despite all Eric Schmidt’s attempts to tell folks that Google’s regretted attrition rate has not changed in seven years, this story just doesn’t want to seem to die. (And those stories about Google paying $3.5 million and $7 million to keep an engineer from defecting to Facebook? As far as I know, total bull. I bet it’s something made up by some Facebook recruiter who needed to explain how she let a live prospect get away. :-)

  • Ballnux

    • Continuum phone’s secondary display isn’t much use, says review

      Since January 2010, there have been two major OS builds — Android 2.1 and Android 2.2 — with Android 2.3 on the way soon. Google’s last count had more than 60 handsets running on Android. After this holiday season, that number must be more than 70.

    • T-Mobile G2 security walls come tumbling down, now completely hackable

      This news won’t be as historic as the Berlin Wall tumbling down but for T-Mobile G2 owners, it’s certainly historic. For those unaware, T-Mobile and HTC decided to make the G2′s hardware near impenetrable.

      If one tried to customize the device, it would reboot itself and return to its stock settings. While T-Mobile claimed they did it to prevent devices from bricking, most people have seen it as a major headache.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.37-rc4

      As suspected, spending most of the week in Japan made some kernel developers break out in gleeful shouts of “let’s send Linus patches when he is jet-lagged, and see if we can confuse him even more than usual”. As a result -rc4 has about twice the commits that -rc3 had.

      Why am I not surprised?

    • More Interesting Benchmarks Are On The Way
    • Linux kernel shows growing mobile influence

      An increasing number of contributions to the open-source Linux kernel are coming from mobile and embedded equipment vendors, according to an annual report about to be released by the Linux Foundation.

    • Holiday Cheers and Credit Card Fears

      Specifically, companies need to address firewalls (PCI-DSS Requirement 1), encrypt transmission of data when sent over public networks (PCI-DSS Requirement 4), and perform regular audits (PCI-DSS Requirement 11).

      All of these are easy to do on Linux. Linux’s native firewall tools (iptables) are well-suited to setting up the kind of configurations you need to be PCI compliant. But, of course, there are plenty of software and hardware solutions available as well.

    • Linux kernel: 13 million lines, over 5 patches per hour
    • Big Business backs Linux

      To be specific, the Linux Foundation found that “over 70% of all [Linux] kernel development is demonstrably done by developers who are being paid for their work.”

    • Linus on branching…

      A few months ago, Linus Torvalds shared some interesting thoughts and concerns regarding the Git branching patterns being used in Kernel development.

      Since learning what Torvalds has to say is always enlightening, I wanted to delve into the points he mentioned, because they align pretty closely with the techniques we recommend with Plastic SCM. Obviously, the points apply to Git, Plastic SCM, and any other SCM with good branching support, too.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.37 (Part 1) – Graphics

      The Nouveau driver now supports power management and can address the GeForce 320M, and the code for Intel graphics cores now supports the video units on Sandy Bridge processors, which are due to be released shortly. A number of changes to the Radeon KMS driver should improve its performance.

    • Paid developers power the Linux kernel

      The Linux Foundation is releasing its “Who Writes Linux” analysis, illustrating who crafts the code, the pace of its evolution, and which companies are behind the kernel’s development.

    • Wireless firms playing bigger role in Linux

      With the success of Google’s free Linux-based Android platform, Linux has become a key force in the smartphone software market. Google aims to copy its success in desktop search to the fast-emerging mobile Internet space.

      All top smartphone makers, excluding Nokia and Apple, use Android in their flagship phones.

      Earlier this year Intel and Nokia, the world’s largest smartphone maker by volumes, merged their mobile Linux versions into MeeGo, which has reached consumers through one small tablet manufacturer. But the bigger rollout from Nokia itself is expected next year.

    • Graphics Stack

      • [ubuntu-x] Xserver 1.9 / 1.10 decision

        At UDS we decided to defer deciding between Xserver 1.9 and 1.10 for Natty until the close of the 1.10 merge window, to gauge how dangerous 1.10 is likely to be.

        The merge window closes tomorrow, and there doesn’t seem to be anything particularly flammable. There’s lots of cleanup, the new input stuff that we’ll be getting anyway, and some extra GLX infrastructure which drivers may want to hook into.

      • The Vega State Tracker Gets Cleaned, OpenVG 1.1

        Chia-I Wu, the developer who previously worked on the EGL state tracker, brought Mesa to Android netbooks, and allowed Nouveau to work on Wayland (and now is doing work for LunarG), has some improvements to the Vega state tracker. Namely he has cleaned up this Gallium3D state tracker for Mesa and additionally has a branch containing OpenVG 1.1 support.

        The Vega state tracker implements OpenVG support on the Gallium3D driver architecture but up to this point it’s only implemented the Khronos OpenVG 1.0 specification. With thousands of new lines of code added to the cleaned-up Vega, OpenVG 1.1 is now ready. The new features include mask layer support, text support, and a new color transformation stage.

      • NVIDIA Quietly Uploads New Linux Driver

        This NVIDIA graphics driver is marked as the 260.19.26 beta, but they have yet to officially announce this new release or even provide a change-log.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Kwin + desktop switching – the solution

        I am starting to suspect that I am the only person on the face of the Earth who actually uses this functionality. The metacity patch was rejected, the mutter patch seems to have gone to limbo (not a single developer bothered to reply to the feature request with patch over the last few months), and now it won’t enter kwin too. However, from the experience, the kde developer’s feedback was the best one, and it actually gave me some ideas on how to do this functionality without changing a single line of code within kwin.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distribution: Lightweight Portable Security

      The Lightweight Portable Security distribution was created by the Software Protection Initiative under the direction of the Air Force Research Laboratory and the US Department Of Defense. The idea behind it is that government workers can use a CDROM or USB stick to boot into a tamper proof, pristine desktop when using insecure computers such as those available in hotels or a worker’s own home. The environment that it offers should be largely resistant to Internet-borne security threats such as viruses and spyware, particularly when launched from read-only media such as a CDROM. The LPS system does not mount the hard drive of the host machine, so leaves no trace of the user’s activities behind.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia under the snow

        Finally, first alpha ISOs should be ready in January 2011. The first ISO has been delayed a bit as we want to be sure of starting with clean and rock solid basis.

      • A Mepis User Rooting for Mageia…WHY NOT?

        Today I read something very good: Mageia Alpha 1 will be ready for January, 2011!!!

        At this point some users of other distros may be thinking “so what? My distro is much better anyway!”

    • Red Hat Family

      • 30 Nov 2010: Vulnerability and threat mitigation features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (Updated)

        Two years ago I published a table of Vulnerability and threat mitigation features in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora. Now that we’ve released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, it’s time to update the table. Thanks to Eugene Teo for collating this information.

        Between releases there are lots of changes made to improve security and we’ve not listed everything; just a high-level overview of the things we think are most interesting that help mitigate security risk. We could go into much more detail, breaking out the number of daemons covered by the SELinux default policy, the number of binaries compiled PIE, and so on.

      • Red Hat acquires Makara

        Enterprise open-source software vendor Red Hat has acquired cloud software provider Makara, Red Hat announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      • Red Hat At $1 Billion

        Based on the run rates of the current quarter, Red Hat will likely reach $1 billion in annual revenue in 2011. Only a handful of companies, probably less than 20 software firms, have ever hit this milestone. Red Hat will be the first open source-focused company to break the billion dollar barrier. Certainly Richard Stallman did not envision this when he created the paradigm of Free Software. Such an event may be more in tune with what Eric Raymond, Tim O’Reilly, and others had in mind when they reframed Free Software as Open Source.

      • Red Hat Accelerates PaaS Strategy with Acquisition of Makara
      • Great Minds Think Alike: How Makara and Red Hat will Open Up the Cloud

        With today’s announcement that Red Hat has acquired Makara, I am thrilled finally to be able to write about why we were excited about this opportunity from the very first time we began discussions with Red Hat.

      • Fedora

        • Usability Fedora vs Windows

          Procedure to get the device running on Fedora (first time usage):

          * Plug in the device on any USB port
          * Enter the PIN in the pop-up
          * Enjoy mobile Internet connection

        • Omega (Dalmation) Release

          Omega is a completely free and open source Linux based operating system and a Fedora remix suitable for desktop and laptop users. It is a installable Live image (1.2 GB) for regular PC (i686 and x86_64 architecture) systems. It has all the features of Fedora and number of additional software including multimedia players and codecs by default. Omega plays any multimedia content (including MP3) or commercial DVD’s out of the box.

          * Simple and effective GNOME Desktop Environment. Other choices available in the repository
          * Plays MP3 and all your multimedia content out of the box.
          * Openoffice.org office suite
          * Extra utilities and games.
          * Xine, Mplayer, vlc and more!
          * Includes the latest updates

        • Fedora 15 — Wallpaper Submissions Open

          With Fedora 14 out of the door we are working on the artwork for Fedora 15 Lovelock. Our first step, as usual, is gathering general artwork concepts. Do you have an idea how could Lovelock wallpaper look like? Feel free to submit concept art on our wiki! The theme is lovelock, let you fantasy run wild.

        • F15 Artwork Supplemental Wallpapers Submissions
        • Red Hat Buys Makara, Adds PaaS to Its Cloud Mix

          Until Makara, Red Hat hasn’t had a cloud offering designed entirely with the cloud in mind, so its presence as a cloud vendor is now a lot stronger. And, until now, no major software vendor has presented this degree of choice in its cloud strategy – something customers regularly cite as important. Will cloud computing be the area where Red Hat finally takes a market leadership position instead of acting as a thorn in the side of Microsoft and VMware?

        • Election Results for FAmSCo, FESCo, and Fedora Board seats
        • Fedora Project announces election results

          The four open FESCo seats were filled by Christoph Wickert, Adam Jackson, Matthew Garreett and Marcela Mašláňová. All seven FAmSCo seats were up for re-election in this cycle. Out of the twelve candidates, Neville A. Cross, Larry Cafiero, Rahul Sundaram, Gerard Braad, Igor Soares, Pierros Papadeas and Caius Chance were all voted to the committee.

    • Debian Family

      • Training Session on Python Packaging

        As part of the Training Sessions initiative organized by the Debian Women project, this week a lesson about Python packaging will be held. The lesson, which is aimed at an intermediate audience, will focus specifically modules and applications packaging and will be held by Piotr Ożarowski who is member of Python Applications Packaging Team and Debian Python Modules Team.

      • DebConf 11 to take place July 24-30, 2011
      • This Week in Debian Episode 10
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The State Of Unity In Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1

          The first alpha release of Ubuntu 11.04 is set to arrive this Thursday and one of the most prominent changes to be found in Canonical’s April 2011 Linux distribution update is the Unity desktop by default rather than GNOME2 or the GNOME 3.0 Shell on the desktop — up to this point Ubuntu’s Unity had just been used on the Ubuntu Netbook Edition. For those that have yet to try out the latest Ubuntu “Natty Narwhal” packages in preparation for this first alpha release, you are probably curious how far along is this new Unity desktop. Well, fortunately, Canonical’s Rick Spencer who is the Director of Ubuntu Engineering has provided a Unity update.

        • Small but mighty improvements to managing files from the web
        • 10 Alternatives to Default Applications in Ubuntu 10.10

          All the alternative applications and runners-up were chosen to blend well in the GNOME environment, which means all of them (except for Thunderbird) are GTK-based.

        • Screenshots: Desktop Unity in Natty

          Desktop Unity became the default Desktop Environment in Ubuntu 11.04 recently. Though its quite a bit buggy, it does look good!

        • Ubuntu’s Unity interface: What to expect

          Recently, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu shocked the Ubuntu Linux world when he announced that the next release of the popular Linux, Ubuntu 11.04, would use Unity instead of GNOME as its default desktop interface.

          Why move from pure GNOME to Unity? As Shuttleworth explained to the Ubuntu developers, “Lots of people are already committed to Unity — the community, desktop users, developers, and platform and hardware vendors.” In particular, he noted, “Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) favor Unity. They’re happy to ship it.”

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Welcome aboard Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers

            Happy Thanksgiving. Please be forewarned at time of posting Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers it is not fully mirrored so expect slower download speeds. Typically it takes 5 hrs or more to mirror across all 31 servers & sorry for the redundant screenshots.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Secure NFC platform supports Android, Linux

      French near field communications (NFC) chip manufacturer Inside Contactless announced an Android- and Linux-ready NFC system-in-package for short-range wireless transactions.

    • Linux e-reader ships with 2450-dpi pen input

      Asus launched its Linux-based Asus Eee Note EA800 (previously Eee Tablet) e-reader, available now available in Taiwan for about $230 and due in the U.S. in 1Q 2011, according to various reports. The Eee Note has an eight-inch, 1024 x 768 monochrome display with Wacom touchscreen technology, permitting 2450 dots per inch (dpi) pen input.

      Asus announced the Eee Note EA800 in June under the name Eee Tablet. In August — while announcing an Android-based Eee Pad EP101TC tablet, said to be due in March 2011 — the company revealed that the Eee Tablet might undergo a name change to Eee Note, and would start selling in October for about $300.

    • Refrigerator features Linux touchscreen computer
    • Panasonic Jungle “doing something very different”

      Announced last month, Jungle will run MMOs and online games on a customised Linux platform.

    • Phones

      • Who Builds Linux? These Days, More and More Mobile Devs

        Typically — and understandably — many Linux committers have come from enterprise-focused IT companies. And those companies, including Oracle, Intel and IBM, still rank high on the list of Linux supporters.

        However, this year, the Linux kernel is also seeing a lot of support from companies (and developers embedded at companies) in the mobile page, including TI, Analog Devices, Qualcomm, Nokia and others.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo conference: Intel’s and Nokia’s visions of MeeGo

          We are just at the beginning of a massive change in the way we use computers, and traditional desktops and laptops will be giving way to more and more internet-connected devices—that’s the vision presented in two keynotes at the first ever MeeGo conference. But in order for that vision to come about, there needs to be an open environment, where both [Aviva Stadium] hardware and software developers can create new devices and applications, without the innovation being controlled—often stifled—by a single vendor’s wishes. Doug Fisher, Intel’s VP of the Software and Services Group, and Nokia’s Alberto Torres, Executive VP for MeeGo Computers, took different approaches to delivering that message, but their talks were promoting the same theme.

      • Android

        • Winamp for Android beta with SHOUTcast integration and improved UI released

          For the most part, the SHOUTcast experience hasn’t changed much since I looked at an alpha build a couple of weeks ago. It’s a bit prettier, and it’s now a lot easier to Favorite a station. Most importantly, SHOUTcast integration just works — you search by genre, or keyword, and start listening to music within seconds.

    • Tablets

      • iPad alternatives: the ultimate Android tablet round-up

        Archos 101 Internet Tablet

        [...]

        Another Android 2.2 device, which is good, especially at this price point. More expensive tablets have opted for Android 1.6 instead, so Archos deserves credit for going the extra Android mile as slate slash touch computing is more enjoyable, if not perfect, with the later OS version.

      • Archos releases Android 2.2 update for its Archos 101 Internet Tablet

        This’ll take you by surprise. The recently-released Archos 101 Internet Tablet, which Archos promised would receive an official update to Android 2.2 soon after launch, has indeed received it’s “FroYo” update. Very soon after launch. Well done, Archos.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Life after Google Summer of Code

    My name is Oscar Castañeda, I am a student from Guatemala currently doing a master’s in Computer Science at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in The Netherlands. For the 2010 Google Summer of Code I completed a project with the Google Open Source Programs Office as my mentoring organization and professor Michel van Eeten (TUDelft) and Nitin Bhide (Founder SVNPlot) as my project mentors.

  • Lightworks Video Editor Open Sourced

    Lightworks, a professional non-linear video editor, is now available as open source. Their website hasn’t been fully updated yet, so I can’t say under exactly *which* license is has been released. Lightworks is Windows-only at the moment.

  • 2010′s 5 biggest Linux and open-source stories

    For a while there, Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, was focusing on the server and the cloud. Ubuntu would love to give RHEL some competition, but the backers of this popular Linux distribution have also refocused on the desktop with the introduction of Unity as its primary desktop interface.

    I’m excited by this development. I think Unity, which will also be Ubuntu’s gateway into smartphones and tablets, will make a great way for users who don’t know Linux to finally start using Linux. Unity may never be my favorite interface, but I’m an old guy who remembers the first interface wars as being between the Bourne shell and the C shell, not this new-fangled GNOME vs. KDE stuff. For people who don’t care about Linux internals and never will, Unity may be just the desktop they need.

  • 3 Open Source Design Apps: The Pro, the Novice and the Trainee

    The advantages of open source software really become evident when it comes to using design applications. This category of software is one that not everyone needs — that is, unless you need software to help you create illustrations for Web design or print publication projects.

  • Events

    • Public administrations and open source software

      A conference on the use of free and open source software in Europe’s public administration, is organised by Fundeceyt, a foundation for the development of science and technology in the Spanish region of Extremadura, on December 1 and 2.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Add-ons Manager Test Day
      • AskUbuntu firefox Add-on
      • Mozilla exec tells Microsoft, Google and Apple to ‘stop being evil’

        A representative of Firefox web browser developer Mozilla, has criticised computing giants for ‘unwanted plug-ins’ installed by the companies into the Firefox browser.

        “Why do they think this is okay?” asks Asa Dotzler, famously outspoken Mozilla director of Community Development in a blog entry referring to the practice of installing plug-ins to Firefox when installing software from Apple, Microsoft, Google and ‘others’.

      • Welcome to Browser War III, Brought To You By Open Source

        The shots are really flying in Browser War III, the mother of all browser wars. In this version of the browser war, open source is playing the part of the arms dealer, giving all of the combatants the ammunition to fight. The latest combatant is Flock, which today announced its long anticipated v.3.5. With this release Flock is offering a “socially aware” browser that is built on the open source Chromium platform. Prior to this Flock was built on top of the open source Mozilla.

        With this release Flock is making no bones about who it considers its primary competition, RockMelt. I wrote about my early impressions of RockMelt a week or two back. I was not all that impressed then and in using it since, am still not. I find the window that pops up when searching all but useless. I almost always just click to open search in a tab. I never initiate a chat with all of the people on the right edge and go to the facebook, twitter and the other pages themselves, rather than use the left edge pop ups. The latest update has an endless stream of little pop ups telling me every new tweet and facebook post that my friends put up. With well over 500 on both facebook and twitter, you can imagine how annoying this could be. I have now shut that down. But I digress.

      • Flock Social Browser Declares War on RockMelt With Version 3.5

        Flock, the self-described “social web browser,” is responding to the launch of RockMelt with the release of Flock 3.5, which boasts greater speed and added functionality.

        The browser touts social integration, primarily through a sidebar that lets users update their FacebookFacebookFacebook, TwitterTwitterTwitter and LinkedInLinkedInLinkedIn statuses. It also has a multitude of link-sharing features, the ability to group friends across multiple services and a “Social Search” feature that displays what a user’s friends are saying about a specific query.

      • Firefox 4 beta 8 slated for Dec 7

        Firefox 4 Beta 8 is now slated for availability on December 7.

        Beta 8 was tentatively scheduled for release Nov 30th but the team continues to fix blockers, nail down security holes and synchronization issues.

        The open source browser team plans at least two more beta releases before making available a release candidate. Firefox 4 is not expected to be available until the first quarter of 2011.

  • Blender

    • Create an Underwater Scene
    • Blender: No Maya. No RAM.

      To achieve that figure of USD 46.6 billion and USD 32 billion, India needs tens of thousands of Blender-driven start-ups and professionals. Everyone can blend. Engineering students can enlist for Google Summer of Code or similar projects to further develop Blender’s features.

  • Databases

    • CUBRID 3.1 Beta: New Data Types. New Functions

      We are proud to announce the beta release for CUBRID 3.1! Even thought this is beta, it is very close to production level. Starting from CUBRID 3.x release we changed our Release Model. Now on for every release we will have one beta, then the production version. We decided so because the pace of new features introduction or performance enhancements in CUBRID is relatively high. So we want users to test out the new features during the beta releases, and report issues if found. However, each beta release will undergo the same quality assurance test environment as the next stable version will do. So, practically, beta is a stable release with a beta label. This is to ensure that once the stable version is out, the release is really stable. This is about the new CUBRID Release Model.

    • CUBRID vs. MySQL vs. PostgreSQL Release Period Comparison
    • MySQL vs. PostgreSQL, Part 1: Table Organization

      I’m going to be starting an occasional series of blog postings comparing MySQL’s architecture to PostgreSQL’s architecture. Regular readers of this blog will already be aware that I know PostgreSQL far better than MySQL, having last used MySQL a very long time ago when both products were far less mature than they are today. So, my discussion of how PostgreSQL works will be based on first-hand knowledge, but discussion of how MySQL works will be based on research and – insofar as I’m can make it happen – discussion with people who know it better than I do. (Note: If you’re a person who knows MySQL better than I do and would like to help me avoid making stupid mistakes, drop me an email.)

    • Back Up a MySQL Database Using PHP and Cron Job
  • Oracle

    • Who’s driving this thing?

      The Monday morning prior to the planned switchover to GitHub, Oracle Senior VP of Tools and Middleware Ted Farrell sent a message to the users list expressing concerns he had regarding the migration of the Hudson codebase from Java.net to GitHub:

      Oracle’s goal is to grow the community and make hudson stronger. You all might not be aware of this, but the actual hudson user base is very large. Much bigger than what you see on the mailing lists or in the forums. The unfortunate part of that is how many of these users do not contribute to the core, and do not participate in these discussions. They want to do that, but don’t feel like they can be heard. We want them to be heard. We need to make the hudson community a place that will welcome all the hudson users and encourage its growth and longevity. We will be announcing some changes in the upcoming weeks that we believe will foster that.

      For now, however, we are going to stay on the java.net infrastructure. We believe it is important for hudson to stay connected with the rest of the the java community, as well as take advantage of some of the cool changes we will have coming to java.net. Moving to GIT can be done while staying on java.net. It is not a requirement to move to github.

      Because it is open source, we can’t stop anybody from forking it. We do however own the trademark to the name so you cannot use the name outside of the core community. We acquired that as part of Sun. We hope that everyone working on hudson today will do as they claim to want, and work with us to make hudson stronger.

  • CMS

    • Windows Live Spaces Doubles WordPress.com Signups

      Two months ago, we announced together with our friends at Windows Live that bloggers on the Windows Live Spaces service were being offered the opportunity to move their existing blogs over here to WordPress.com to join the best blogging community on the planet.

      Since then, we’ve seen an explosion in the number of sites joining WordPress.com every day. With the addition of Windows Live Spaces sites moving to WordPress.com, Windows Live users who are new to blogging coming here, and word-of-mouth from our current and very passionate users, the number of people joining WordPress.com has doubled to over 900,000 per month (up from around 400,000 per month before the migration). We’re thrilled to see this explosion and to be introducing so many people to publishing with WordPress. With the recent releases of many new features and several new themes, and more of each on the way, it’s a great time to be on WordPress.com.

    • Garmin using Drupal

      Garmin, the satellite navigation company, is using Drupal for their Danish site: http://garmin.dk.

  • Education

    • Startl $25,000 Prize for Open Educational Resources – Deadline December 10, 2010

      In partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Graduate School of Education at University of Pennsylvania, Startl will announce the winner this spring during the Milken PennGSE Education Business Plan Competition. The Startl Prize for Open Educational Resources awards the best business plan that leverages openly licensed content to change the paradigm around the production, delivery, sharing, and experience of learning. The intention is to catalyze models that increase access to and dramatically lower the cost of learning. Startl is seeking to inspire entrepreneurs to think creatively about how to incorporate open principles into their core business strategy.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GRUB2 gfxmenu theming guide

      BURG. That fancy themeable bootloader we chant about at least once a month, ever growing in popularity and continuing to rack up new themes by the week.

      It’s easily one of the most popular ‘hacks’ for the more-experienced user to apply.

    • The Emacs 30 Day Challenge

      As you may already know, emacs is more than a (cross-platform) text editor. Some say that it is like a whole operating system (and some devil worshippers say that it lacks a good text editor…). For the next 30 days (starting December 1, 2010) I’ll check it as well as I can. I will work just with emacs.

  • Government

    • Norwegian Regions and Municipalities Have Gone Open Source

      Norway is becoming a real open source country. With all nineteen county administrations using some form of open source — from operating systems, to content management systems, to the Open Office package, open source has certainly hit the Norwegian market.

      Open source has been in a fairly mature state for a while now, providing enterprises with the ability to deal with even the most critical tasks. So it’s not surprising that the Norwegian government has chosen open software.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Crowdsource Is Not Open Source

      I’ve heard a few conversations in the last week treating open source interchangeably with crowdsourcing. Despite sounding the same they are very different, and the key difference is the ownership of the outcome.

    • archive.org Art History 2

      More art catalogues and price lists available for download on archive.org.

    • Open Data

      • Interested in open government data in Europe?

        As you may know the OKF is working on an EU funded project called LOD2. Part of the project aims to bring together openly licensed, machine-readable datasets from local, regional and national public bodies throughout Europe. It will also provide free/open source tools and services for those interested in reusing open government data.

    • Open Hardware

      • Using the Canon Hack Development Kit

        Such thoughts motivated an anonymous programmer going by the online name VitalyB to reverse engineer the firmware for Canon’s PowerShot series of digital point-and-shoot cameras. With hacker-level control, he could do things the engineers at Canon had never thought of. In 2007, he made public the fruits of his labor: the Canon Hack Development Kit, or CHDK, which Andrei Gratchev, a programmer working for eASIC Corp., of Santa Clara, Calif., and other developers have since broadened. Now you can find a version for just about any one of the Canon PowerShot series.

Leftovers

  • Google, Groupon and calling Technology Bubbles

    This morning we learn that Google is apparently going to pay $6 billion for an online coupon company, Groupon (or is it $5.3bn – there is a $0.7bn earnout, not clear if its part of the $5.3bn or not). In the Real World, these are basically shoe-leather sweatware businesses and typically trade at about 1x revenue or thereabouts, but this is a 10x price at least (Groupon “self reports” monthly revenues of $50m, and I’m betting that it’s not being conservative).

  • MySpace Is for Sale; Could Google Buy?

    Who would buy MySpace? When News Corp. bought the social network for $580 million five years ago, it was on top; now MySpace trails Facebook and isn’t trying to catch up. And News Corp is finally talking about selling.

    In an interview with Reuters, News Corp. COO Chase Carey said Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate was open to selling MySpace or taking on a new partner. Carey couched the possibility of a sale as just one of many options, but his comment followed months of rumors about MySpace going on the block. Chase also said that the timing for a sale has improved greatly now that MySpace is done with its relaunch, which positioned the site as a multimedia hub rather than a direct Facebook competitor.

  • Father of British computing Sir Maurice Wilkes dies
  • BitTorrent Based DNS To Counter US Domain Seizures

    The domain seizures by the United States authorities in recent days and upcoming legislation that could make similar takeovers even easier in the future, have inspired a group of enthusiasts to come up with a new, decentralized and BitTorrent-powered DNS system. This system will exchange DNS information through peer-to-peer transfers and will work with a new .p2p domain extension.

  • The 2010 ABA Journal Blawg 100
  • ICAN’T

    • Peter Sunde Seconds The Idea Of An Alternative Root DNS

      In October, after the COICA bill was postponed (until now, essentially), I suggested that as long as the internet was bound by a DNS system centralized enough to be gripped at will by the United States government, it was in fact too centralized. An alternative to traditional DNS, currently presided over by ICANN, seems the only option if the current level of freedom of information on the internet is to be maintained.

    • Olympians threaten ICANN with lawsuit

      The International Olympic Committee is threatening to sue the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers if they don’t receive protection for IOC trademarks in ICANN’s upcoming revisions to its generic top-level domains (gTLD) guidelines.

    • Alternative Roots

      We’ll assume that if you found ICANN Wiki, you likely understand what a domain name and DNS is and have an understanding of what root servers are.

      For those who would desire a quick refresher, DNS is a hierarchical system designed to, among other things, allow us humans to use text strings to access content or services by converting those strings as shorthand for the IP addresses (instead of having to learn or memorize numbers) on the global information network. (Grossly oversimplified)

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UN rates Dominica #1 in Caribbean healthcare

      The World Health Organization (WHO) has carried out the first ever analysis of the world’s health systems, rating Dominica no. 1 in Caribbean healthcare.

      The WHO used five performance indicators to measure health systems in 191 member states, finding that France provides the best overall healthcare followed by Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan.

    • Factory Farms Decreasing in Number, But Increasing in Size: 20 Percent Growth in 5 Years

      Despite small but significant signs that the country wants to move in a different direction, factory farms across the country are growing at an unprecedented rate—not in number, but in size.

  • Security

    • Savannah.gnu.org compromised
    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Cryptographers crack system for verifying digital images

      Cryptographers have cracked software used to verify that images taken with Canon cameras haven’t been altered.

      Russian password-cracking company ElcomSoft said on Tuesday that it’s able to extract the original signing key from the Canon Original Data Security Kit and use it to validate fake photos. Canon has billed the service as a way to verify the originality of an image and to confirm that global positioning coordinates, data, time, and other metadata hasn’t been changed.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Gary McKinnon needs coalition to stand up to US bullying

      WikiLeaks cable shows the US rebuffed a sensible solution in the case of the harmless computer hacker

    • Wikileaks – Pride and Prejudice

      While the newest wave of documents leaks out through media, I thought I would look more at the last batch. A torrent took only a few minutes to bring in the goods and I left the torrent run to give back some bandwidth. The previous “war logs”, redacted heavily, are

      * as CSV spreadsheet
      * as SQL

      If you are not familiar with MySQL, I will give a summary of what is required to use the SQL version. The spreadsheet is huge and needs lots of space. For the SQL version, you need a server or PC running MySQL or other SQL database.

    • Iranian nuclear scientist killed in bomb attack
    • Wikileaks moves to Amazon’s cloud to evade massive DDoS

      Controversial information disclosure site Wikileaks reportedly faced an intense distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack this morning. The site was temporarily disrupted by the onslaught, but is functioning again after migrating its services to Amazon’s cloud.

      Wikileaks recently published thousands of confidential diplomatic cables that were sent between the US State Department and embassies around the world. The leaked documents shed light on US intelligence gathering efforts and reveal sensitive information pertaining to US foreign relations. The disclosure of the cables has proved embarrassing for the US and a number of other governments.

    • While TSA Looks At You Naked, Child Finds Loaded Gun Magazine Left On Southwest Plane

      Another day, another series of bizarre TSA-related stories. While the TSA still won’t provide any evidence that its efforts have actually made air travel any safer and continues to defend its security efforts as necessary, CNN is reporting that a child on a Southwest flight found a loaded gun magazine in a seatback pocket, which was kicked to the floor as the child climbed over the seats. Apparently, a law enforcement official (not an air marshal) who was allowed to take the clip on the plane, left it in the seat.

    • TSA uproar moves to Capitol Hill

      The briefing came as a new Washington Post poll shows that half the American public opposes the controversial enhanced pat-downs, the paper reported Monday. The poll also showed that almost two thirds of Americans – down from 80 percent earlier this month according to another poll the administration has widely cited to defend the policy — support the use of digital scanning machines at airports

    • Getting your “baggage” handled by the TSA? Yeah, there’s a badge for that
    • TSA’s Failure Based On The Myth Of Perfect Security

      Along those lines, the Unqualified Offerings blog (via Julian Sanchez) does a nice job explaining how the incentives line up to create this ridiculous situation. Basically, he notes that a terrorist attack on an airplane will happen. Some day. No matter what we do to try to prevent it.

    • Just Because ‘National Opt-Out Day’ Didn’t Do Much, Does It Mean People Don’t Care About TSA Searches?
    • Torture Tort Terror

      Obama uses national security as a cover for violating people’s rights.

    • Menstruating woman subjected to TSA grope because panty-liner obscured her vulva on pornoscanner

      A self-described “rule follower” went through an airport pornoscanner wearing a panty-liner (she was menstruating). Because the hygienic item obscured the screener’s view of her vagina vulva, she was made to endure a humiliating fondling, “so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assaults.”

    • US says leaks are a crime, threatens prosecution

      Striking back, the Obama administration branded the WikiLeaks release of more than a quarter-million sensitive files an attack on the United States Monday and raised the prospect of criminal prosecutions in connection with the exposure. The Pentagon detailed new security safeguards, including restraints on small computer flash drives, to make it harder for any one person to copy and reveal so many secrets.

    • China: “Hang the Slaves of the West”

      Most of the listed “Slaves of the West” are political liberals and human right activists. On the screen capture below you can see profile pictures of human rights lawyer, Teng Biao, citizen right activist Xu Zhiyong, political science scholar Qin Hui, prominent writer Yu Jie, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

    • WikiLeaks cables: US spurned Gary McKinnon plea from Gordon Brown
    • A few questions about the WikiLeaks release

      Once again, WikiLeaks has thrown governments and journalists into a maelstrom of fear, uncertainty and doubt. It’ll be weeks, if not longer, before we know the full scope of the diplomatic cables, but a few things are already clear enough.

      What we know is being covered relentlessly here and across the Web. It’s what we don’t know that I’d like to note. So, here are some questions, many of which prompted by tweets and commentary elsewhere, for the major players in this drama.

    • US lawyers look at criminal law in WikiLeaks probe

      A senior defense official says lawyers from across government agencies are studying whether it might be possible to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act.

    • Harper advisor calls for assassination of Wikileaks director
    • In defence of WikiLeaks

      In this morning’s post, my worldly co-blogger characterises the content of the tens of thousands classified diplomatic cables as mere “gossip”, and maintains “that grabbing as many diplomatic cables as you can get your hands on and making them public is not a socially worthy activity”. I strongly disagree.

      Greg Mitchell’s catalogue of reactions to the leaked cables is a trove of substantive information. For example, drawing on the documents made available by WikiLeaks, the ACLU reports that the Bush administration “pressured Germany not to prosecute CIA officers responsible for the kidnapping, extraordinary rendition and torture of German national Khaled El-Masri”, a terrorism suspect dumped in Albania once the CIA determined it had nabbed a nobody. I consider kidnapping and torture serious crimes, and I think it’s interesting indeed if the United States government applied pressure to foreign governments to ensure complicity in the cover-up of it agents’ abuses. In any case, I don’t consider this gossip.

    • WikiLeaks row: China wants Korean reunification, officials confirm

      China supports the “independent and peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula in the long term” and cannot afford to give the North Korean regime the impression it has a blank cheque to act any way it wants, Chinese officials based in Europe said today.

    • WikiLeaks US embassy cables: live updates
    • Prince Andrew Not Solely Despicable

      The problem with the wikileaks method of releasing the documents through mainstream media outlets, is that they are then interpreted for the public by a lazy and incompetent group of “Journalists” whose arses have grown plump on the rewards of retailing spoonfed propaganda.

      So the mainstream missed the underlying stories and context, simply because they are too lazy and stupid to know the facts. The Prince Andrew story is a typical example. The Guardian reports that the US Ambassador disapprovingly notes his jolly (and stupid) remarks about corruption:

      “In an astonishing display of candour in a public hotel where the brunch was taking place, all of the businessmen then chorused that nothing gets done in Kyrgyzstan if President [Kurmanbek] Bakiyev’s son Maxim does not get ‘his cut’.

    • Hillary Clinton questions Cristina Kirchner’s mental health
    • US embassy cables culprit should be executed, says Mike Huckabee

      The Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has called for whoever leaked the 250,000 US diplomatic cables to be executed.

  • Big Brother Watch Report – The Cost of CCTV: £314 million

    The authorities that spent the most on CCTV during the 2007 to 2010 period are:

    1. Birmingham (£10,476,874.00)
    2. Sandwell (£5,355,744.00)
    3. Leeds (£3,839,675.00)
    4. City of Edinburgh (£3,600,560.00)
    5. Hounslow (£3,573,186.45)
    6. Lambeth (£3,431,301.00)
    7. Manchester (£3,347,310.00)
    8. Enfield (£3,141,295.00)
    9. Barnet (£3,119,020.00)
    10. Barking and Dagenham (£3,090,000.00)

  • Homeland Security’s Domain Name Seizure May Stretch The Law Past The Breaking Point

    We had a bunch of questions concerning the legality of Homeland Security’s seizure of domain names via its Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) group. The whole thing seemed of extremely dubious legality. And it appears we’re not the only ones to think so.

  • Interpol issues arrest notice for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

    The international police organization Interpol has issued a Red Notice for the arrest of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, in connection with a sex crime investigation in Sweden.

    A Red Notice is a kind of international wanted poster seeking the provisional arrest of a fugitive, with an eye towards extradition to the nation that issued the underlying arrest warrant. Interpol transmits the notices to its 188 member countries, including Britain, where Assange is believed to be located. Interpol has no authority to compel a subject’s arrest. It issued 5,020 Red Notices last year for a variety of crimes.

  • Koreas’ sea border area seen as a recipe for war

    The view from this South Korean island takes in the undulating hills of North Korea just seven miles (11.25 kilometers) away and the seafood-rich waters all around — a region of such economic and strategic importance to both countries that one expert calls it a recipe for war.

    Violence often erupts in this slice of sea claimed by both countries. Boats routinely jostle for position during crab-catching season, and three deadly naval clashes since 1999 have taken a few dozen lives.

  • The moral standards of WikiLeaks critics

    Do you have that principle down? If “a single foreign national is rounded up and put in jail” because of the WikiLeaks disclosure — even a “single one” — then the entire WikiLeaks enterprise is proven to be a “disaster” and “Assange is a criminal” who “should be in jail.” That’s quite a rigorous moral standard. So let’s apply it elsewhere:

    What about the most destructive “anarchic exercise in ‘freedom’” the planet has known for at least a generation: the “human disaster” known as the attack on Iraq, which Klein supported? That didn’t result in the imprisonment of “a single foreign national,” but rather the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent human beings, the displacement of millions more, and the destruction of a country of 26 million people. Are those who supported that “anarchic exercise in ‘freedom’” — or at least those responsible for its execution — also “criminals who should be in jail”?

    How about the multiple journalists and other human beings whom the U.S. Government imprisoned (and continues to imprison) for years without charges — and tortured — including many whom the Government knew were completely innocent, while Klein assured the world that wasn’t happening? How about those responsible for the war in Afghanistan (which Klein supports) with its checkpoint shootings of an “amazing number” of innocent Afghans and civilian slaughtering air strikes, or the use of cluster bombs in Yemen, or the civilian killing drones in Pakistan? Are those responsible for the sky-high corpses of innocent people from these actions also “criminals who should be in jail”?

  • Wikileaks – News and Background

    The Wikileaks phenomenon — the existence of an organization devoted to obtaining and publicly releasing large troves of information the U.S. government would prefer to keep secret — illustrates just how broken our secrecy classification system is. While the Obama administration has made some modest improvements to the rules governing classification of government information, both it and the Bush administration have overclassified and kept secret information that should be subject to public scrutiny and debate. As a result, the American public has had to depend on leaks to the news media and whistleblowers to know what the government is up to.

  • Wikileaks: view of man behind Pentagon Papers leak
  • WikiLeaks Site Kicked Off Amazon’s Servers

    Sen. Joe Leiberman says the move by Amazon.com Inc. comes after congressional staffers called the company Tuesday to inquire about its relationship with WikiLeaks.

    The site, which just released a trove of sensitive U.S. State Department documents, took up residence on Amazon’s self-service Web servers after a rash of Internet-based attacks started Sunday against its Swedish host, Bahnhof.

  • Scary Times (#TSA, #Wikileaks, DNS)

    Let me start out with a disclosure and disclaimer: I am an employee of an agency that is part of the Department of Homeland Security (home of the “rainbow of doom”). I do not speak for them. They do not speak for me. It is fairly typical for management and employees to have differing opinions on the issues that affect them, whether those differences are of degree and emphasis or deep philosophical differences.

    [...]

    Unless Americans of all stripes wake up and replace the current Democrat / Republican duopoly with a good-sized number of competitive parties, including those that are committed to curtailing these privacy violations, our nation will become more like those seventy to one hundred years ago in Europe. Seeing what the result was, I personally wish to avoid that.

  • TSA harasses mother about breast milk

    TSA agents in Phoenix insisted on x-raying a mother’s breast milk, causing her to miss her flight.

  • TSA scans uniformed pilots, but airside caterers bypass all screening

    Salon’s Patrick “Ask the Pilot” Smith describes the farcical state of airport security, in which uniformed pilots are prohibited from carrying a butter-knife, but airside catering and maintenance crews pass freely in and out of the “sterile” side of the airport without any screening…

  • WikiLeaks cable reveals secret pledge to protect US at Iraq inquiry

    The British government promised to protect America’s interests during the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, according to a secret cable sent from the US embassy in London.

    Jon Day, the Ministry of Defence’s director general for security policy, told US under-secretary of state Ellen Tauscher that the UK had “put measures in place to protect your interests during the UK inquiry into the causes of the Iraq war”.

    The admission came in the cable sent on 22 September 2009, which recorded a series of high-level meetings between Tauscher and UK defence officials and diplomats, which involved the then foreign secretary, David Miliband.

  • TSA male agents target female travellers (w/poll)

    Up to now, TSA has been saying that only men will do the “enhanced pat downs” on men, and only women will do them on women. They are lying. Rape survivor Celeste was flying out of O’Hare when TSA did this to her

    Since Celeste didn’t agree to go through the scanner, the enhanced pat down began. “He started at one leg and then ran his hand up to my crotch. He cupped and patted my crotch with his palm. Other flyers were watching this happen to me. At that point I closed my eyes and started praying to the Goddess for strength. He also cupped and then squeezed my breasts. That wasn’t the worst part. He touched my face, he touched my hair, stroking me. That’s when I started crying. It was so intimate, so horrible. I feel like I was being raped. There’s no way I can fly again. I can’t do it.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change scientists warn of 4C global temperature rise

      A hellish vision of a world warmed by 4C within a lifetime has been set out by an international team of scientists, who say the agonisingly slow progress of the global climate change talks that restart in Mexico today makes the so-called safe limit of 2C impossible to keep. A 4C rise in the planet’s temperature would see severe droughts across the world and millions of migrants seeking refuge as their food supplies collapse.

    • A climate journey: From the peaks of the Andes to the Amazon’s oilfields

      Last month I went on an extraordinary, epic journey through the Andes mountains of Peru and Ecuador. The aim was to record the stories of the largely hidden people on the frontline of climate change, and see how communities and governments are trying to adapt.

      I began at 16,000ft on the snows of Mount Cayambe in Ecuador where the glaciers are in full retreat, and ended in the oilfields of the Amazon. In between, I came across water conflicts, deserts growing, rivers shrinking, extreme temperatures and diseases spreading, individuals who have seen the snows disappear in their lifetimes and are fearful for their future, and governments seriously worried that they will soon be unable to feed or provide water and power for their populations.

    • Climate change will cost a billion people their homes, says report

      Devastating changes to sea levels, rainfall, water supplies, weather systems and crop yields are increasingly likely before the end of the century, scientists will warn tomorrow.

      A special report, to be released at the start of climate negotiations in Cancún, Mexico, will reveal that up to a billion people face losing their homes in the next 90 years because of failures to agree curbs on carbon emissions.

    • Chilling Photos Show London After Global Warming
    • BP Sued in Ecuadorian Court For Violating Rights of Nature

      A coalition of environmentalists have filed a groundbreaking lawsuit in Ecuador against the oil giant BP for violating Ecuador’s constitution which recognizes “the rights of Nature” across the globe. Plaintiffs include Nnimmo Bassey, the president of Friends of the Earth International and the Indian scientist Vandana Shiva.

  • Finance

    • Ireland bailout: From €1,100 a week to living on the streets of Dublin

      Living in a tent inside an empty underground car park Malcolm Quigley’s fall from full time worker and home owner to destitution personifies the plight of those who have lost out in Ireland’s economic crash.

      The 38-year-old tries to maintain his dignity despite having to shelter beneath an apartment block in south-west Dublin surrounded by discarded rotting food, drink bottles and the detritus of tin foil and used needles from heroin addicts who also use the place to shoot up.

    • A Client Is Not a Counterparty

      Jesse Eisinger put up an interesting piece yesterday at DealBook, reporting on a series of transactions conducted by Goldman Sachs in 2008 and 2010. He uses it to illustrate what he and many other people seem to view as an insoluble dilemma: how to distinguish between market-making by investment banks and proprietary trading. The distinction is an important one, as Mr. Eisinger explains, because the so-called Volcker Rule in the new Dodd-Frank financial regulation regime severely limits investment banks’ proprietary trading and investment activities.

      [...]

      The first clue comes from the fact that €1.2 billion of the corporate loans underlying the securities in question “came from Goldman’s own balance sheet.” This means one of two things: either Goldman purchased these corporate loans from the original lenders (or secondary market holders) for its own account, or it loaned the money itself to those corporations.

  • PR/Lobbying

    • For the Holidays, an Atheism Billboard

      Among the many advertisements lining I-495 in New Jersey en route to the Lincoln Tunnel is a new one promoting atheism for the holidays rather than another gift.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • U.S. Government Seizes 82 Websites: A Glimpse at the Draconian Future of Copyright Enforcement?

      Over the past few days, the U.S. Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and nine U.S. Attorneys’ Offices seized 82 domain names of websites they claim were engaged in the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and illegal copyrighted works.

    • Chinese activist held over Tiananmen picture

      A Beijing activist was detained on a charge of inciting subversion after posting a photo online of China’s 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations, which the military eventually crushed, killing hundreds of people.

      It is the first time Bai Dongping, 47, has been arrested, although he was taken out of Beijing “on holiday” by police or told to stay inside his home during high-profile events such as the Olympics, his wife, Yang Dan, said today. Bai was taken away on Saturday, Yang said, and Beijing police called her the following day to tell her why.

    • Beyond the Check-In, the Era of Persistent Location Beckons

      Check-ins have given consumers a glimpse of the power of location and the deals they unlock. But there’s another world awaiting as mobile users learn to appreciate the era of “persistent location,” in which a user’s location is passively used to deliver relevant information. That’s the term used by Xtify CEO Josh Rochlin, whose company has built a geo-messaging platform that allows companies and brands to target their customers with location-specific messages.

    • Location, Location, Location: Three Recent Court Controversies on Cell Phone & GPS Tracking (and a Congressional Hearing, Too)

      Welcome to the 21st century, where we all carry tracking devices in our pockets and where one morning you might find an FBI-installed GPS tracking device on your car. In this age of location-based-everything, the legal question of whether or not the government has to get a search warrant based on probable cause before secretly tracking you becomes all the more important. Three recent court developments from across the country — and a Congressional hearing — put a fine point on this key privacy controversy for the mobile era.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Comcast demands fees for Web movie viewing, Level 3 says

      Comcast has demanded that broadband backbone provider Level 3 Communications pay it a recurring fee for delivering video traffic to Comcast customers, Level 3 said Monday.

    • Comcast Comments on Level 3
    • Forget Net Neutrality; Comcast Might Break the Web

      The fight that erupted today between Level 3 and Comcast involves an esoteric agreement between two of the Internet’s big players colliding with a series of equally arcane policy arguments, but at its core this fight is about money. Yet what began as a commercial dispute may end up fundamentally changing how the web works and who pays for it.

    • What The Comcast/Level 3 Fracas Is Really About: Money

      The headlines are pretty rough: Comcast hates Netflix! Net neutrality is dying! Communist forces from Russia and Cuba are attack a small town in Colorado and a ragtag band of high school students band together to fight them (although, arguably, this may have nothing to do with Comcast/Level 3)! But what’s really going on here?

    • Amazon charges Kindle users for free Project Gutenberg e-books

      Kindle readers, take note: You may have been paying for books you could legally download for free–in nearly identical editions–elsewhere.

      The titles in question aren’t just public-domain books that have long been freely available at such sites as Project Gutenberg. They appear to be the exact Gutenberg files, save only for minor formatting adjustments and the removal of that volunteer-run site’s license information.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Don’t Blame ‘Piracy’ For Your Own Failures To Engage

      Can’t compete with free? Then you can’t compete period. Because if all you have to offer is what others can manage to offer for free, then you don’t actually have anything to offer to start with. Thing is, you DO have something to offer… you just don’t seem to want to offer it. Oh, and that last part, about there being no connection between fans and creators? That’s YOUR job, not the fans’. You have to make that connection. We’re not mindless moths, fluttering about the heat of your light, desperate to slam our bodies against the fixture. You connect with us, since you’re doing the selling, not the other way around….

    • Copyrights

      • Nevada court hits copyright troll with Fair Use surprise

        A Nevada judge has given copyright troll Righthaven until mid-December to explain why one of the law firm’s targets wasn’t exercising its right to Fair Use when it republished a newspaper article on its website.

        “The court hereby orders the plaintiff to show cause why this case should not be dismissed under the 17 U.S.C. § 107 Fair Use exception,” US District Judge James C. Mahan of Nevada told Righthaven on November 15. Mahan also issued a “show cause” hearing on the suit for December 15.

      • PC Mag Responds To Legacy Recording Industry’s ‘Complaint’ Letter

        Not a particularly surprising response, but kudos to PC Mag for sticking to its principles, and not feeling bullied by these industry folks.

      • Greg Bear doesn’t want Poul Anderson’s classic stories going in the public domain

        We’ve been sort of excited to see Project Gutenberg putting up so many classic science fiction stories that have gone into the public domain. But at least one writer isn’t thrilled about it — Greg Bear has been involved in a battle with Project Gutenberg over whether stories by Poul Anderson and other authors are in the public domain just because the magazines which published them originally failed to renew the copyright on the stories.

      • The economic impact of consumer copyright exceptions: A literature review
      • Disney head thought Jack Sparrow ruined Pirates of the Caribbean, says Johnny Depp

        Disney bosses were initially dismayed by Johnny Depp’s character in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the actor has revealed. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Depp recalls the perplexed horror in which studio executives held Captain Jack Sparrow, the pirate loosely based upon Keith Richards.

      • Indoctrinated by copyright

        How do you stop people enjoying their natural liberty to communicate? How do you prevent them telling each other’s stories, singing each other’s songs, engaging in free cultural intercourse?

        How do you end the war against file-sharing? How do you stop immortal corporations persecuting and predating upon the populace?

      • P2P settlement lawyers lied, committed fraud says new lawsuit

        Sending settlement letters to accused Internet movie pirates has become big business in the US this year, but a new class action lawsuit seeks to put the brakes on one of the main “settlement fraud and extortion” outfits: the law firm of Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver.

        Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver (DGW) is a Virginia law firm that set up shop last year as the “US Copyright Group,” and it has sued the people behind 16,000 IP addresses for sharing indie films on file-sharing networks. Those accused are given the chance to settle for $1,500 or $2,500 before being sued by name, though to date no such named lawsuits have been filed.

      • The Age of Music Piracy Is Officially Over

        Mark down the date: The age of stealing music via the Internet is officially over. It’s time for everybody to go legit. The reason: We won. And all you audiophiles and copyfighters, you know who fixed our problems? The record labels and online stores we loved to hate.

Clip of the Day

TSA invades House Party


Credit: TinyOgg

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  4. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  5. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  6. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  7. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  8. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  12. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  13. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  14. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  15. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  16. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  17. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  18. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  19. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  20. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  21. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  22. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  23. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  24. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  25. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  26. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  27. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  28. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  30. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software


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