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12.28.10

Links 28/12/2010: Putin for Russian Migration to GNU/Linux, Ex-Red Hat CEO is Suing Over Kickbacks

Posted in News Roundup at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Putin Orders Russian Move to GNU/Linux

    The fact that Putin has signed the order for this project could be critical: there have been several previous plans for moving parts of the Russian government to using free software, notably in the educational sector, but in practice they have mostly failed to materialise because there has been insufficient political weight behind them. But if Putin says: “make it so”, I suspect that a lot of people will jump pretty fast to make sure that it *is* so. And once that happens, other plans to roll out free software might well suddenly look rather more attractive.

  • 2010′s Biggest Linux Thing

    Well another year is drawing to a close, and that means it’s time to begin taking stock of all that has passed in 2010.

  • The Golden Tux awards for 2010: Linux and open source winners

    Most improved award

    Without a doubt, this award must go to the KDE desktop environment. When KDE 4.0 was released it looked like it was going bomb miserably. It was slow, buggy, and far from ready for public consumption. But 2010 saw more improvement in KDE 4 than it seemed in the whole of software. And because of that epic push towards stability and usability, KDE has finally been able to stand back up in the front lines with the likes of GNOME.

  • Why Linux Isn’t Used in Broadcast Media

    No longer are we being held down by proprietary software companies, “big media” or those who support this way of doing things. An unregulated (for the most part) Internet along with plenty of the free software available with open source friendly licensing means that anyone with something to say can express themselves and share it with the world.

  • AXE and your shell receives

    I was at a Linux Meetup a couple of months ago and I ran into another former employee of Digital Equipment Corporation (“They are everywhere, everywhere!”) named Larry Camilli. We started talking and somehow the conversation came around to a program called “AXE” (vaX Archictecture Exerciser). Larry looked at me with a strange look on his face and said “That was my program! That is what I did for Digital!” Larry went on to say that few people he met, even those who worked for Digital, knew about the AXE (or its equivalent for the MicroVAX, the “MAX”) program. I replied that I worked in an operating system group, so we often delt with new CPUs, and we knew the *AXE programs and their capabilities very well.

  • AlwaysOnPC – Office & Firefox

    This powerful app lets you control a cloud-based desktop PC running Fedora Linux with 2GB of storage, the OpenOffice Suite, Firefox, Dropbox, and many other open-source programs.

  • Desktop

    • How to buy a Dell WITHOUT windows

      I have received a quotation for the Dell Vostro V13 and here are the numbers:
      a) S$887.15 for the N-series
      b) S$1045.79 for the same machine with ‘doze.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD 2010 Catalyst Driver Year In Review

        Earlier this month we delivered our annual performance look at NVIDIA’s 2010 Linux graphics drivers and now the tables have turned to do our annual examination of the ATI/AMD Catalyst graphics drivers for the Radeon graphics processors. This was certainly an interesting year — both good and bad — for AMD with their Catalyst Linux driver.

      • A New Open-Source AMD OverDrive Utility For Linux

        AMD has allowed their Radeon GPUs to be overclocked on Linux since 2008 when using their Catalyst driver with OverDrive support. Previous to that there was Rovclock for overclocking select ATI Radeon ASICs using an open-source program along with support for tuning the video memory timings and other options, which was a program written via reverse engineering. The Catalyst Linux driver supports OverDrive manipulation of the core and memory clocks, which is enough for most enthusiasts, but if you’ve been looking for more extensive features there is a new option.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Lightweight Linux Choices For Older Computers

      The Linux winner for my desktop was arrived at in an unlikely manner. Puppy garned a slice of my hard drive because it is such an amazing little distro and such a small foot print. As much as I wanted VectorLinux on my laptop, I could not get VectorLinux to multi boot with more than Windows.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • KNOPPIX 6.4.3 Switches to Nouveau, LibreOffice

        KNOPPIX 6.4.3 has been released bringing several updated packages along with the usual bug fixes. This is also the first release to bring support for the open-source nouveau driver for Nvidia video cards. KMS is now also included in the kernel shipped with the latest KNOPPIX release.

        “The current version has been completely updated from Debian ‘Lenny’, ‘Testing’ and ‘Unstable’ and uses Linux kernel 2.6.36.1, X.Org 7.5 for supporting current computer hardware,” the release notes of KNOPPIX 6.4.3 read.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • New Personal Goal: Photobomb for Natty

          I’m on holiday for the next week, yeah! I’ve started filling some of my free time by resurrecting Photobomb (again). There have been some technical improvements to the APIs I’ve been using, and also, I’ve learned some ways to do a few things better. I’m hoping that by spending a few hours a day, I can pretty much complete Photobomb by the end of this week, and then work on getting it into Universe for Natty.

        • Ubuntu update policy change is probably a good thing

          Despite some premature reports on the net, Canonical isn’t moving to a rolling release schedule for Ubuntu. However, the organisation is open to making some changes to the way that some software packages are updated. It’s seems likely that a mechanism that supports the adding of up to date application packages outside of the normal software repository updates is probably on the cards, and I’d say that it’s about time.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • XUbuntu 10.10 – gksu fails [Solved]

            In an attempt to gain some stability and speed in my life without having a different distro on my desktop and netbook, I’ve decided to install XUbuntu on both. XUbuntu is community driven and based on XFCE, thus no need to worry about Unity vs GNOME. However after installing XUbuntu on my desktop, I came across a strange issue. When ever I attempted to sudo inside of the gui, it would fail. However, it would work at the command line level.

          • Kubuntu 11.04 alpha1 (dailybuild) with Kde 4.6rc Overview
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open*Business: 2010 in review

    2010 has been a fantastic year on the Business channel here at opensource.com.

  • A bountiful year for open source

    Code is everywhere, and it is more and more likely to be open source from the bottom to the top of the stack. Ruby, Python, Perl, JavaScript, and PHP dominate the list of top languages at GitHub. This code, in turn, runs on open source libraries that sit on Linux. Although proprietary coding tools and extensions continue to proliferate, the core is increasingly fully open source.

    This domination is pushing into other areas. Open source content management systems like web.py, phpBB, CakePHP, Lift, Drupal, Joomla, and probably hundreds of other open source CMS frameworks are packaging up most of the information you read today. It is rare to find a website that depends on just Apache to deliver the content.

  • Web Browsers

    • Browser Wars III

      Cue the new browser war. Maybe it will help fix all of the annoying problems and sloppiness you encounter when using browsers.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox is most popular browser in Armenia

        According to data of Circle.am Armenian ranking system, website visitors, who are registered on Circle.am, mostly use Firefox (41.05%) browser, as well as Chrome (27.36%). Safari rounds out the top five browsers in Armenia – 0.29%, while the share of other browsers makes – 0.25%.

  • CMS

    • New book: Drupal 7 Module Development

      Drupal 7 Module Development has been published by Packt, just in time for the release of Drupal 7. This book provides in-depth coverage of key elements of Drupal 7 and is designed for professional developers. Every chapter provides fully functional code samples illustrating the APIs and strategies discussed in the chapter. With this foundation, developers can quickly build sophisticated tools on their own by making use of the strategies and techniques exemplified in this book.

  • Education

    • Free Software in education: October – December 2010

      Here’s a little summary again of what I found noteworthy in the field of Free Software in education in the last few months of this year in no particular order:

      * After Sam Tuke informed the edu-eu mailinglist about (k)mando recently, it was quickly put into a debian paket by Georges Khaznadar from OFSET. I’m still looking for people who have actually used that software.
      * I stumbled on a blog post in kde-edu planet that describes how to report a bug. I think this touches an important point. When we encourage educational institutions to use Free Software, we should not forget to teach them how to contribute and make them part of the community.

      [...]

    • Linux in education: a genuine alternative

      The best thing about Linux training in education is that there are already people doing it. There are establishments up and down the UK that have decided to include Linux on their syllabus and make a concerted effort to provide their students with the choice.

      So if you’re a parent frustrated with the lack of options for your child, or you’re maybe a student who wants to learn Linux skills from the outset, there are places to go and people to speak to. They may be able to help you make the difference. But even if you can’t influence the training regime at your local establishment, Linux can still play a part.

      Unlike in schools, Linux and open source software isn’t badly served by professional training. It’s this kind of training that pits Linux against Microsoft’s certification, and it’s the kind that prepares IT people for the real tasks they face while dealing with Linux systems.

      The Linux Professional Institute, for example, has been dishing out qualifications for over 10 years, and its LPI certification levels have become something of a standard for Linux system administrators.

  • Project Releases

    • Cobbler 2.0.10

      I am proud to announce that I’ve released the latest version of Cobbler. This version includes several fixes. The biggest one being a fix for broken SNIPPETS on Fedora 14 due to a change in Cheetah.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The many definitions of a open standard

      One of the reasons I like the Digistan definition of “Free and Open Standard” is that this is a new term, and thus the meaning of the term has been decided by Digistan. The term “Open Standard” has become so misunderstood that it is no longer very useful when talking about standards. One end up discussing which definition is the best one and with such frame the only one gaining are the proponents of de-facto standards and proprietary solutions.

Leftovers

  • QQ coin for netizens who hunt suspects

    Police have started offering virtual online money to encourage Internet users to report clues in criminal cases.

    Police hope the hunt for suspects can be sped up by harnessing the growing population of Internet users in China.

  • Man quits job, makes living suing e-mail spammers

    From San Francisco Superior Court small claims court to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Balsam, based in San Francisco, has filed many lawsuits, including dozens before he graduated law school in 2008, against e-mail marketers he says violate anti-spamming laws.

    His many victories are mere rain drops in the ocean considering that Cisco Systems Inc. estimates that there are 200 billion spam messages circulating a day, accounting for 90 percent of all e-mail.

  • Internationalising the public interest

    The arrest and detention of Algeria’s most prominent anti-corruption campaigner last month attracted wide media attention inside the country, but it received little or no attention internationally in the English-language media.

    The reporting silence may be due to linguistic barriers: much of the relevant documentation is in French and Arabic. Perhaps reporting on Algeria’s opaque political system is not seen as newsworthy (no matter the international relevance), or maybe there is simply a lack of interest in the plight of anti-corruption activists outside the developed world.

    There is now widespread recognition that pervasive corruption is a violation of basic human rights and a severe impediment to development.

  • How Much Did It Cost AOL To Send Us Those CDs In The 90s? “A Lot!,” Says Steve Case
  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Bush officials: Obama’s terror policies echo Bush’s

      While Vice President Dick Cheney and other prominent conservatives have faulted President Barack Obama for slacking in the war on terror, two top Bush administration intelligence officials are arguing that the White House has been just as tough – if not tougher.

      “The new administration has been as aggressive, if not more aggressive, in pursing these issues because they’re real,” former National Intelligence Director and retired Navy Vice Admiral Michael McConnell said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

      “You commend them for that?” host Candy Crowley asked.

      “I do commend them for that,” McConnell said.

    • White House Terms Permanent Detention Without Trial ‘Regrettable’

      Speaking today on CNN’s State of the Union, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insisted that the administration views its own decision to hold detainees permanently without trial “regrettable.”

    • One Time Only: Scientist-on-Scientist TSA Smackdown

      I heard last night from a reader who shares the physicist’s skepticism of the TSA but challenges his explanation of the underlying science. After the jump, because they’re so long, are this second reader’s message, and then a response from the original physics professor.

    • Verdict in the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev Case
  • Cablegate

    • Spain rejects Sinde Law

      It looks like Wikileaks is making people think for once

    • Wikileaks reveals U.S. Gov’t GMO secret dealings

      Remember when countries all over the world were free to choose whether or not they adopted genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? Well, if the U.S. State Department (who is controlled by big agriculture) has its way, the whole world will be pimping GMOs before long.

      Yet another important Wikileaks revelation, this time involving the world’s food supply, has been swept under the rug by the establishment media. Thankfully Rodale News has the guts to report on the issue and bring some much needed attention to it.

    • A Holiday Statement from Bradley Manning

      “I greatly appreciate everyone’s support and well wishes during this time. I am also thankful for everything that has been done to aid in my defense. I ask that everyone takes the time to remember those who are separated from their loved ones at this time due to deployment and important missions. Specifically, I am thinking of those that I deployed with and have not seen for the last seven months, and of the staff here at the Quantico Confinement Facility who will be spending their Christmas without their family.”

  • Finance

    • Protect Whistleblowers at the Big Banks!

      Crimes committed by the big banks helped crash our economy — and WikiLeaks is saying that a whistle-blower has sent them enough evidence to take down Bank of America. So now the big banks are fighting back by trying to get the government to muzzle future whistle-blowers.

    • 2010-12-28: Operation Payback DDoS attacks on Bank of America

      On Monday, Bank of America’s web site suffered sporadic downtimes, apparently as a result of DDoS attacks–the same kind of attacks that also plagued Visa, Master Card and Paypal, each of which also recently halted its financial services to Wikileaks.

    • Infographic: New Lenses of Wealth

      The infographic summarizing our research for The Future of Money project is now complete! Thanks to Patrizia Kommerell for the design work, and Gabriel Shalom & Jay Cousins for concept work. You can check out Pati’s post and download the infographic in A1 or A4 size PDF over at emergence.cc.

    • A Merry Christmas to all Bankers

      The bankers’ trade association has written to Cambridge University asking for the MPhil thesis of one of our research students, Omar Choudary, to be taken offline. They complain it contains too much detail of our No-PIN attack on Chip-and-PIN and thus “breaches the boundary of responsible disclosure”; they also complain about Omar’s post on the subject to this blog.

      Needless to say, we’re not very impressed by this, and I made this clear in my response to the bankers. (I am embarrassed to see I accidentally left Mike Bond off the list of authors of the No-PIN vulnerability. Sorry, Mike!) There is one piece of Christmas cheer, though: the No-PIN attack no longer works against Barclays’ cards at a Barclays merchant. So at least they’ve started to fix the bug – even if it’s taken them a year. We’ll check and report on other banks later.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Tell the FCC: Block the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal

      The increased accumulation and consolidation of corporate power is a threat to our democracy. And nowhere is this more evident than in our media.

    • ENDitorial: Net neutrality – wait and see the end of the open Internet

      At the joint European Parliament and European Commission net neutrality summit in Brussels on 11 November there was a clear political message – that interference with Internet traffic is permissible as long as companies tell their consumers that it is happening.

      The Commission will “wait and see” if such interferences cause problems for the market and will consider taking action if this is the case. In a whole day of discussions, the fundamental rights aspects of the interference by private companies with citizens’ communications were only questioned by Jeremie Zimmermann from La Quadrature du Net and Jan Albrecht MEP (Greens/EFA, Germany).

    • 2010 Trend Watch Update: Net Neutrality

      We’re still looking at the actual rules, which were released publicly several days after the ratifying vote, and we’ll comment more when we’ve completed our review. But from what we’ve gleaned from FCC statements, and despite some rumors otherwise, the FCC’s current theory for jurisdiction seems to be somewhat new. On the other hand, the substantive principles laid out in the final rules appear to be largely the same as those discussed by policymakers and other stakeholders throughout the year, and which we have repeatedly warned about for their loopholes and exemptions. We’ve also warned about the Trojan horse we may find on our hands if the FCC’s authority to regulate is approved in the courts.

      We’ll be watching to see what 2011 holds; it seems likely that the new Congress will have something to say as well.

    • My new Audible books won’t load on my Android phone

      Audible now has an Android app, yeah!

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Intelligent Theft

      It is impossible to be entirely devoid of influence, it is in our nature to imitate. This is how children learn to speak, form a sense of moral responsibility, and develop their interpretations of societal norms; by copying their elders. Litigating against imitation shares the futility of attempts to outlaw sex.

      Copyright laws have never stopped copying, they’ve just distorted our culture to favour that which can be legally reproduced. For example, while Oasis did not infringe the copyright of the The Beatles, they copied just about everything that was legally copyable about them, with healthy profits. Yet if they had sampled even a brief section of any one of their songs, they would have needed to clear it and pay large royalties. I would argue with anyone who claimed the insipid dirge of Oasis was more relevant to nineties music than the inventiveness of hip-hop (a genre built on sampling), yet we have a system that levies financial penalties against the latter rather than the former.

    • Copyrights

      • New project for WikiLeaks

        Net neutrality and linking depend on each other.

        But if Hollywood and Big Music get their way, net neutrality will be dead, and the links which bind the World Wide Web will be broken.

        The entertainment cartels are using the claim that linking equals publishing to have sites closed down without any kind of due process, and with the Obama administration looking on with approval.

        The internet isn’t a new communications phenomenon: it’s a shining new communications paradigm. Some of the brightest people on the planet have created this amazing network linking music, art, different cultures, information, ideas, data.

        Now, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music; and, Disney, News Corp, Time Warner, Viacom, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures want it torn down, using file sharing as the wrecking ball.

      • Righthaven disputes fair use defense in copyright case

        Las Vegas newspaper copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC is disputing arguments that one of its lawsuits should be dismissed on fair use and other grounds.

        Righthaven, a partnership between Las Vegas attorney Steven Gibson and an affiliate of newspaper chain owner Stephens Media LLC, since March has filed at least 192 copyright infringement lawsuits against website operators.

      • Copyrighting a Wrong and Injecting Fairness into Bollywood

        A Parliamentary Standing Committee recommendation that music composers and lyricists are to get an equal share of all revenues that flow from the commercialisation of film music has stirred a hornet’s nest.

        Bollywood producers are now threatening to strike against this provision and apprehend that if this provision converts to law, they will be forced to shut down! As we debate the pros and cons of this historical provision, we need to ask ourselves a fundamental question. What is the “law” really about? Isn’t it about fairness? About justice?

        [...]

        Copyright is about creativity..indeed, it aims to foster the creativity of the content creator, and not line up the pockets of the funder/packager at the cost of the content creator. To my mind, even a 50% split seems unduly skewed in favour of someone who merely pumps in the moolah. However, the standing committee decided, in its infinite wisdom, that if film music were to be exploited in any other form other than as part of the “film”, the proceeds of such exploitation were to be split equally between the lyricist, music composer and the film producer. In other words, a 50:50 split of the profits between the content creator and the content funder/packager. Seems like more than a fair provision to me. In fact, similar provisions ought to be transposed to other contexts such as book publishing, where authors are often at the receiving end of a paltry single digit royalty sharing percentage!

      • The Top 20 DMCA Cease and Desist Senders of 2010

        DMCA takedown notices are sent in large numbers to dozens of organizations on the Internet every month. The ChillingEffects clearing house has been receiving copies of these from some of the Internet’s biggest players including Google, Yahoo, Digg and more recently Twitter. It will come as no surprise that the music and movie industries are some of the biggest complainers, but there are also some unexpected entrants.

Clip of the Day

GLENN GREENWALD vs FRAN TOWNSEND WIKILEAKS DEBATE


Credit: TinyOgg

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