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01.11.11

Links 11/1/2011: To Russia With Linux Love, London Stock Exchange Move to GNU/Linux is Complete

Posted in News Roundup at 5:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Russian Linux: The Push Continues

    We’ve talked about the concept of national Linux distributions before, and the Russians are a nation that has engaged in previous attempts to standardize on Linux. Recently, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, made an announcement of a renewed effort towards open source adoption on a massive, despite the previous failures.

    Armchair pundits have had to make do with translated versions of the report and of the announcement, but what seems clear is that under the new plan Russian institutions will undergo a transition to open source software between 2011 and 2015.

  • To Russia With Love

    A few days ago the Russian government announced that they were going to transition the government to using Free Software by 2015, starting as early as mid-2011.

    In reality, this transition started much earlier. It was in 1997 that I first went to Moscow and attended a Unix Expo, helping to staff the Digital Equipment Corporation booth and giving two talks, one on Digital Unix and one on Alpha Linux. There amidst two-story trade show exhibits were little stands selling distributions of Slackware, Yggdrasil and even “white box” Linux workstations. Copies of the Linux Journal adorned shelves in the exhibit hall.

  • Linux.conf.au on track despite floods

    Linux.conf.au 2011, set for 24 January through to 29 January, is to be held at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) situated on the banks of the Brisbane River.

    Shaun Nykvist, director of Linux.conf.au, told ZDNet Australia today that the buildings intended for use at the conference are well above the level of the Brisbane River.

  • Desktop

    • The Long Slog Toward Advancement Of Linux

      We’ve reached a point where the expectations — and the stakes — are higher now than they’ve ever been. And bad interfaces, are, well, bad. It’s often unpleasant to watch as someone makes the sausage, but in this case it can go a ways toward explaining how this technology is developing.

  • Server

    • London Stock Exchange delayed Linux system finally launches on 14 February

      The London Stock Exchange’s delayed Linux-based trading system has finally been given a go-live date of 14 February, for the exchange’s main cash markets.

      The LSE also confirmed speculation that it had to work on greatly increasing the Millennium Exchange system’s capacity in order to cope with high volume trading.

  • Kernel Space

    • GoAhead Software joins the Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation has announced that GoAhead Software has become its newest member. Based in Bellevue, Washington, GoAhead Software is a global commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions specialist targeting network equipment manufacturers. Discussing the announcement, GoAhead Sales and Marketing Senior VP Bill Yaman said, “Linux has become the primary operating system in the telecommunications market. An increasing number of our customers use it in their network equipment and systems.”

    • The DRM Brings Some Fun To The Linux 2.6.38 Kernel

      David Airlie has just called upon Linus to pull in his DRM tree for the Linux 2.6.38 kernel. With this being the first 2.6.38 DRM pull request and with the merge window still open, this code brings in a fair amount of exciting work.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Some Good & Bad News For The Nouveau Driver

        With our big AMD Linux GPU / driver comparison we found its open-source Gallium3D driver to be noticeably faster than the classic Mesa DRI driver across an array of Radeon hardware from multiple generations. However, the official Catalyst driver was multiple times faster (roughly 5.18x faster) than the Gallium3D driver, not to mention its lack of proper support for OpenGL 3/4, VA-API/VDPAU/XvBA video playback, and many other features only found within the proprietary Catalyst driver. Now though it is time to see how the Gallium3D Nouveau performance compares to that of NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux driver across different GeForce graphics cards.

      • An overview of graphic card manufacturers and how well they work with Ubuntu

        We’ve been getting some requests recently about what is the best make of graphics card to buy for use with Ubuntu, and although we aren’t a benchmarking site, and so can’t recommend specific models, what we can do is give people a brief overview of the current state of graphics drivers (both open and closed) from the different manufacturers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Patrick Spendrin

        Last week KDE 4.5.4 was released for Windows. It was a late Christmas present from the KDE on Windows team and we were immediately interested in learning more about the project. In the first interview of the “Platforms” series, Pau Garcia i Quiles talks with Patrick Spendrin, the current release manager of KDE on Windows and asks, well, everything.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Sounds in The Board

        So far, voice recording in GNOME has been an obscure feature because the sound recorder app is not easily accessible and it doesn’t provide a convenient way to organize and access your voice memos. The Board makes it extremely simple to record voice memos. No need to care about saving files or anything. You can easily label your tapes for later reference. Just add a sound element and start recording!

  • Distributions

    • LucidWorks Enterprise

      I’ve spent several days playing with LucidWorks Enterprise and I have to say I am impressed with what I have seen thus far. The system requirements are low, the system is flexible and fast and there are lots of example scripts for developers who wish to expand on the functionality. The documentation is well put together, the admin GUI is easy to use and the end-user interface is familiar. Aside from stepping out of the GUI to change the admin password, I found the whole experience to be smooth and friendly. LWE is built from open source components and, in my opinion, offers an excellent solution for organizations who need to keep track of large numbers of documents in a wide range of formats. If you have any interest in search technology, I recommend you give it a try.

    • Sabayon Forensics Face Lift

      I’m glad to see their is interest in the project and I’m constantly working with it and testing it to make sure things are working. I see I need to switch slocate out for mlocate since slocate went bye bye from portage. I suspect it will from Sabayon soon also. The KDE version is something I need to get back to. I was able to create and test a KDE version, but there are issues with KDE and the menus getting updated. Some of the programs were missing from the menu. Of course they worked from konsole, but that’s kinda lame. I need to try it again with the latest KDE version and see if it is better. The problem is, I am swamped. Life is very stressful for me at the moment as I try to get to the surface for a fresh breath of air. My full time job is in the toilet and I need to make the right decision as what to do with that. I just wish things didn’t have to revolve around the mighty dollar, which isn’t even mighty at all in reality.

    • Reviews

      • Arch Linux is More Awesome Than I Previously Thought

        To conclude, I wish I could suggest Arch Linux to Linux newcomers instead of these ‘buntu, mint stuff. It’s a quite easy to learn and use. You just should not be afraid to use command line. The process of installing and configuring all parts of your operating system might be a bit time-consuming yet it’s a very rewarding and valuable experience. Just give it a go!

      • Quick Thoughts on Puppy Linux and Puppy 5.2

        I also want to add that Puppy 5.1.1 and 5.2 uses some of Ubuntu’s binaries. This in some way makes it easier and more compatible to make .pet packages out of Ubuntu’s packages (.deb). If I have this wrong please correct me!

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to keep headquarters in Triangle, add jobs

        Gov. Bev Perdue is expected to announce Monday that Red Hat will keep its corporate headquarters in the Research Triangle area and add jobs, sources tell WRAL and WRAL.com.

      • 2011 Sees Red Hat’s Push for Better Cloud Deployment, Management

        As 2011 begins, Red Hat Inc. is mapping out details for how its acquisition of Makara will fuel the next generation of open source options for cloud computing. Makera, a provider of deployment and management solutions for cloud-based apps, will simplify app deployment and management, according to Red Hat execs.

        Makara’s technologies will accelerate the build-out of Red Hat’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution as part of its Cloud Foundations portfolio. Makara provides tools to deploy, manage, monitor and scale applications on both private or public clouds. Red Hat will integrate Makara’s tools and Cloud Application Platform with JBoss Enterprise Middleware.

      • Mickos and Eucalyptus lock arms with Red Hat

        Marten Mickos – the former MySQL boss who now runs build-your-own-cloud startup Eucalyptus Systems – has hitched his new wagon to Red Hat. In more ways than one.

        Last month, Mickos and company announced a pact with Red Hat that will see Eucalyptus embrace the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) hypervisor as well as the Red Hat’s deltacloud project, an open source effort to provide a common API for all “infrastructure clouds”. Eucalyptus Systems is the commercial outfit that sprung up around the open source Eucalyptus platform, a means of building infrastructure clouds behind the corporate firewall.

      • Homegrown Red Hat to keep headquarters in NC

        Red Hat has decided to keep its trademark fedora hanging in North Carolina.

        The Linux software developer announced Monday it would keep its corporate headquarters in Wake County and create 540 new jobs over the next decade as it expands current operations and targets new technology.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora ARM on the Toshiba AC100 Smart Book

          I finally sat down on the weekend to try and get some OS other than Android running on the Toshiba AC100 I bought off ebay on a whim. The AC100 doesn’t look that different to your average 10.1 inch netbook except its extremely thin and and light and on the inside it has a Nvidia Tegra 2 SoC based on the dual core ARM Cortex A9. My initial plan was to get Ubuntu running on due to the instructions about doing that to be found on the net. After doing some reading and while part way through the process I decided that I would try Paul Whalen’s Fedora 13 ARM rootfs instead as the process of creating a linux rootfs is similar across all distributions! There’s still quite a way to go.

        • Why Kororaa is (now) derived from Fedora

          You might be wondering why I chose to derive Kororaa from Fedora.

    • Debian Family

      • Boot Issues Plague SimplyMepis 11 Development

        All during this SimplyMEPIS 11 development cycle boot problems have stopped many users from testing. Unfortunately, and probably the root of problem, is that this occurs for only some of the users with little hardware in common. To compound the issue, the boot issues haven’t been caused by the same reason to the same people each release either. With so much variation, it can be very difficult to nail down corrections.

      • Ubuntu Developer Manager Quitting To Join Google

        Scott James Remnant, the Ubuntu Developer Manager is quitting Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu to join Google. Remnant is known for authoring the new Upstart initialization system and the popular Planet weblog aggregation system. In addition to his work on Ubuntu, Scott served as a long-time Debian developer where he maintained libtool, the dpkg package management system, and several other important packages. Scott resigned from Debian in 2006.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Quickly Tutorial for Natty: DIY Media Player

          I started working on a chapter for the Ubuntu Developers’ Manual. The chapter will be on how to use media in your apps. That chapter will cover:

          * Playing a system sound
          * Showing an picture
          * Playing a sound file
          * Playing a video
          * Playing from a web cam
          * Composing media

        • Developer Interviews: Ahmed Kamal
        • Nexus S Boots Ubuntu

          There’s no doubt at this point that the Nexus S from Samsung, which out of the box runs Android’s latest version of Android (2.3), is a versatile device. We’ve already seen the handset boot up MeeGo, and now the developer is at it again. This time, though, we’ve got Ubuntu loading up on the device. The XDA developer forum member, stroughtonsmith — or Steven Troughton-Smith– has gone through the same method of bringing MeeGo to the device, but focusing his attention on Ubuntu this time around.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Edubuntu Linux Ubuntu education 10.04 32Bit review Lucid Lynx Screencast

            Screencast tutorial style examination Edubuntu Linux 32Bit 10.04 DVD Lucid Lynx is an operating system of education that is part of the official Ubuntu Linux derivative. It is Ubuntu, the most popular system Debian Linux-based operating an excellent choice for computing needs of children, students, parents, teachers, and schools. I show you all the features of this software free of awesome computing. original video production by www.OSGUI.com Tech Show.

          • Linux Mint 10 Reviewed – Part #1

            I must admit that it has been just about 12 months since I had last tested a Linux distribution. During my past experiences, I normally uninstalled whatever distribution I tried, because I either had issues getting a wireless connection or was unable to print to my HP laser Jet via a print server. Either of these is a deal breaker for me. I also spent way too much time trying to configure either the wireless connection or printer and basically just gave up. I won’t bore you with the installation details, since you have one of three choices. You can install as a standalone OS, dual-boot [this was what I opted to do} , or run as a Live CD.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 14″ Nufront Newton with the Dual Core Cortex A9 [Video]
    • 10″ Nufront Newton with the Dual Core Cortex A9 [Video]
    • Kinect-Like Open-Source Devices For the PC

      Additionally, “[Tamir Berliner] said the company was making the source code for the PrimeSensor available to give developers the freedom to play around with it. “It will all be open source so you can take it and port it to any device,” he said.

    • D-Link Boxee Box review – is Internet TV finally a reality?

      The promise of a hardware companion for the popular open source media centre Boxee has interested us since its original announcement. Let’s see how the final product stacks up against expectations…

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Nexus S Gets MeeGo Install [PLUS How-To Included]

          Pros, this is a heads up. If you’re into the whole installing of one OS on a competing brand’s hardware, this news is for you. It seems that some folks including XDA Developers Forum member stroughtonsmith (aka our friend Steven Troughton-Smith,) and a crack team of other smarties have booted MeeGo unto their Nexus S phones from a rootfs image on their internal memory.

        • Install MeeGo on Nexus S [How to]
      • Android

        • Its the Motorola’s Atrix 4G vs iPhone 4

          Motorola has managed to come up with a very good concept. Its essentially a very powerful phone, which can be converted into a PC or a netbook. This will provide a serious competition to the iPhone4 and also provide a single device which can double up as a PC or a netbook.

        • Android Update Latest – Edition 427

          Rejoice newer myTouch users! Months after original myTouch owners had their Froyo delivered, T-Mobile has just announced that the myTouch 1.2 (3.5mm headphone jack version) and the myTouch Fender LE are the next in line for the tasty treat. MyTouch Slide users still have to wait a little bit longer, though, due to two specific issues.

        • Trend Micro shows Android SMS blocking app

          Android is a long way from being overrun with security threats but that hasn’t stopped Trend Micro getting its retaliation in early with a new security app for the platform.

          Trend’s Mobile Security for Android features a number of layers of security, mobile users might or might not deem necessary for the modest $3.99 (£2.50) fee.

        • CES 2011: Hulu For Android Announced At The Samsung Press Event

          Last summer, Hulu announced the “Plus” subscription service bringing premium content to mobile devices such as the iPhone 4 and iPad. Unfortunately, the millions of Android users, which just passed the total number of iPhone U.S. subscribers according to comScore, were left out in the cold. At the Samsung CES 2011 Press Conference, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar brought some good news announcing that Hulu Plus was heading to Android phones.

    • Tablets

      • Motorola Xoom tablet available for pre-order from Handtec

        The Xoom is listed as “due in soon,” with the obvious caveat that we don’t know what Handtec’s concept of soon is. As previously reported the information that we received from Motorola indicated a February launch with a tentative circle around Valentine’s Day. Assuming that launch date holds we’ll probably be seeing more of the usual suspects putting up pre-order pages soon enough so unless you are particularly anxious to be first in line or have a special place in your heart for Handtec you should be safe to wait.

      • On GPL Compliance, Android Tablets Get an ‘F’

        There seems to be no stopping the current avalanche of Android tablets — just look through the CES announcements for a not-so-small sampling — and that’s undoubtedly a good thing for Linux.

        A shadow was recently cast upon that otherwise sunny landscape, however, in the form of a report examining said tablets’ GPL compliance.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Interviewing Glyn Moody: why we should worry about our own digital Freedom.

    I think there are two major classes of threat to freedom: one that has been present for many years now, and the other that is relatively new.

    The first is from intellectual monopolies – copyright and patents – or rather, attempts to preserve their power in a world of digital abundance. That’s not possible, of course, which is why we have Draconian legislation like the DMCA, and the increasingly-insane fines awarded against people for sharing copyright material online.

    [...]

    The other threat has been accelerated by Wikileaks, but was not caused by it: the introduction of online censorship by nations that have traditionally prided themselves on their support for free speech. In some ways this is even more dangerous than ACTA, since the latter is bound to fail. However, governments are very adept at dressing up repressive measures as “necessary” to protect someone from something – us from “terror”, or children from paedophiles etc.

    But of course the powers that they arrogate to themselves never stop there: they are gradually used and abused for a far wider range of cases. Unless people fight back now against these moves – which, incidentally, mean that the West loses what little moral leverage it has when criticising countries like China – I think that things could get very bad here.

  • Open source’s commodity conundrum

    Matt Asay’s recent article in The Register If you open source an old market, are you doomed to fail? highlights the need for open source specialist vendors to innovate, as well as commoditize.

    This is an issue that has been discussed regularly by CAOS practice – most recently in our Control and Community report into open source software-related business strategies.

  • The Web is the biggest open source success of all

    The open source movement is a popular one, and it’s certainly made its mark on the software landscape. But where has it made its biggest mark? What is the most successful open source endeavor of all time?

    Actually, when you see it as a whole, isn’t the Web the biggest open source success of them all?

    [...]

    Most of the programming and scripting languages used on the Web, like PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby, are open source projects.

  • Top 20 Open Source Applications to Cut Business Costs

    In this economy, employees who can save their employers money are highly regarded and will potentially be in line for advancement. Using open source technology is one great way to help your company cut down on costs across the board.

    In this article, I’ll share twenty great open source applications that can help save your employer some money.

  • The limits of evangelism

    The most receptive audience, I usually find, are activists. The idea that you should take control of your computing seems a natural extension of beliefs to people who already believe that you should take control of your government by getting involved, or of your environment by recycling and encouraging green technology solutions.

    Yet, even here, difficulties arise. For the most part, activists are not technically oriented, and are as accepting of proprietary lock-in as anyone else. The idea that they should apply the beliefs that they operate by in the rest of their lives to their computing is new to most of them. Here and there, you may find a Green Party that has a pro-FOSS policy, or a Pirate Party whose ideas may echo those found in FOSS, but such groups are rarely in any position to promote — let alone enforce — FOSS ideas.

  • Design simplicity is an important element of open source security

    Open source software offers a great many potential security benefits. Few, if any, of them offer any guarantees, but the potential is often realized as a strong probability of greater security. The power of dilettantism, also known as the principle of “many eyes”, is of particular interest when considering the complexity of your software design.

  • Team Creates Open Source Data-Scraping Toolkit for Journalists

    When online investigative journal ProPublica wanted to figure out just how much doctors are being paid by pharmaceutical companies to promote their drugs, reporters Dan Nguyen, Charles Ornstein, and Tracy Weber naturally turned to the internet for research. They quickly realized that, though the data exists on the Web, fashioning it into a comprehensive and useable format was nothing short of headache-inducing. Rather than give up, the journalists created their own data-scraping software using open source tools.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Help us test the new Developer Tools

        Developer Tools is the area of the site that deals with submission and management of hosted add-ons, and is among the most complicated parts of AMO. Our rewrite brings these tools into our new codebase, which should result in faster performance and better cache invalidation, a common annoyance over the years.

      • Firefox is Now the Most Popular Browser in Europe!

        In line with the predictions we had here before, IE has not only fallen below 50% market share for the first time ever, it has now become the second most popular browser in Europe. Firefox has taken the lead and is now the most popular browser in the whole of Europe. Is that what you call as the great circle of life?

      • Youtube Music Player For Firefox

        One of the best options on today’s Internet to listen to a song, any song for that matter, is to search for that song on Youtube. Chance is there is at least one video with that song on the video portal. Some web users use Youtube more or less exclusively to listen to music.

        The Firefox add-on Youtube Music Player tries to make this more comfortable to those users by offering them comfortable features such as playlists and an external player.

        The extension supports multiple playlists which can be played, created and edited directly in the browser. Several controls are added to the browser which some users may not like.

  • SaaS

    • The New Linux: OpenStack aims for the heavens

      Whereas Rackspace offers public compute and storage services, NASA is building its own private cloud, known as Nebula. This was originally built atop Eucalyptus, another open-source platform. But according to NASA chief technology officer Chris Kemp, Eucalyptus didn’t scale as well as NASA hoped, and it wasn’t as open as the agency would have liked.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Inside Track: Oracle has Kicked Lustre to the Curb

      Companies usually wind down the week before Christmas, so you don’t usually see them make a lot of strategic moves or announcements. And so it was with some marked astonishment that I received an anonymous tip that Oracle ceased development of Lustre right before the holidays. Not out of a job quite yet, Lustre engineers have reportedly been encouraged to apply for other positions within the company.

  • CMS

    • U.S. House of Representatives using Drupal

      The House worked with a number of Drupal experts for this project, including Acquia, Phase2 Technology and Ingalls Information Security. The team developed, validated, and delivered the Drupal 7 platform that will be used by both individual House Member sites and Committee sites. Here are some examples of recently deployed sites (a complete list can be found at http://house.gov/house/news.shtml): http://sewell.house.gov, http://hanabusa.house.gov/, http://womack.house.gov/.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • When open-source projects go commercial

        So, the question is: Are commercial open-source software and Free and Open Source Software at odds with each other, or is the relationship more symbiotic?

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 8.2-RC1 Available for Download

      The RC1 release brings with a number of enhancements, improvements, and bug fixes in response to previous 8.2 testing snapshots. Here are the changelog as shown in the website:

      * Updated to FreeBSD 8.2-RC1
      * Fixed issue detecting the proper video card driver
      * Fixed some crashes when adding new users / groups
      * Added /sbin/nologin as a shell choice in the user manager
      * Let created users have a homedir of /nonexistant via the GUI
      * Fix customizing desktop languages when using a () in the description

  • Project Releases

    • Joomla Reorganized, Modernized

      This new version of Joomla, version 1.6, has been in development for about three years, said Ryan Ozimek, president of Open Source Matters, a not-for-profit organization providing legal and financial support to the Joomla project. The project has about 80 volunteer programmers, including 10 who manage the code-base.

    • XBMC 10.0 Goes to 11

      The XBMC project released version 10.0 of its integrated media center software just before the holidays, and if you haven’t test-driven it in a while, do yourself a favor and grab the new build now.

  • Licensing

    • New Blocking Activity from Iran

      Over the past 48 hours it seems the Great Persian Firewall is updating to attempt to block a number of circumvention tools, including Tor. Iranians and their diaspora have been reporting to us that Tor, Hot Spot Shield, UltraSurf, and Freegate are all experiencing connectivity problems from inside Iran to the outside world.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source film making with Todd Harris

      Canadian documentary filmmaker Todd Harris gets up close and personal with the communities he films. He is especially attracted to stories that involve an underdog fighting for justice against government and corporate interests, where he can cover a side of the conflict that is usually untouched by mainstream media. Until a few years ago, he restricted himself to issues that were particular to Canada. Now he plans to extend his research into the international realm.

      I first noticed Todd two years ago at the infamous Dump Site 41 protest in the Georgian Bay area of Ontario, Canada, as he casually surfed the crowd, sometimes talking, sometimes filming. But it wasn’t until his film aired at Georgian College one blustery night in December 2010 that I realized who he was.

    • FCC Launches Open Internet Apps Challenge

      The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has launched an Open Internet apps challenge, inviting the public to produce research and create apps that empower consumers to monitor and protect Internet openness.

    • Open Data

      • A Cosy Cabinet Office Cover-Up

        For schmoozing between 2004 and 2006, “departments should cite the cost threshold” (an exemption from disclosure if it would take more than 3.5 days to find the information). Since departments are required by the civil service code to keep registers of hospitality and the Cabinet Office could not foresee departments’ time costs, this was always a deceitful and arguably illegal ploy.

        It duly hit a snag when an official in the Department for Work and Pensions reported an official in his bosses’ private office having “collected this [information] from hospitality logs where they exist without exceeding the disspropriate (sic) cost limit. I therefore cannot see how we can cite this exemption,” even though, said the official, “I am sure that [redacted name] would not want to break ranks.” All other departments simply said what the Cabinet Office had told them to, almost certainly untruthfully.

        There then seem to have been attempts to persuade officials in the DWP to relent and tell a porkie, a frustrated internal Cabinet Office email reporting the DWP official as “adamant that he won’t say disproportionate cost as he’s looked into it”. A Yes Minister-style compromise was eventually agreed: the response to Private Eye would simply ignore the excuse – but not provide the information anyway.

      • OpenStreetMap State of the Map 2011: call for papers

        The OpenStreetMap (OSM) Project’s next State Of The Map conference will take place from 9 to 11 September 2011, in Denver, Colorado. Founded in August of 2004 by Steve Coast, OpenStreetMap is an open source project that is building free online maps, not based on any copyright or licensed map data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • State of Washington to Offer Online Materials as Texts

        It’s a question that students, and a growing number of their professors, are asking: Why require students to buy expensive textbooks every year, when the Internet is awash in information, much of it free? After all, the words of Plato have not changed in the past 2,000 years, nor has basic algebra.

  • Programming

    • TIOBE language index: Python is the programming language of 2010

      Of the languages listed in the TIOBE index, Python was the fastest growing programming language of 2010. The scripting language was therefore crowned language of the year in the January edition of the index of popular programming languages. Objective-C, used to develop iPhone and iPad apps, had long been the favourite to take the award, but its popularity appears to have dwindled a little in recent months. Its growth rate of 1.6% was only enough for the runner-up spot behind Python (+1.81%).

Leftovers

  • FDA eyes regulation of wireless networks at clinics, hospitals

    As more hospitals and clinics plug patient monitoring equipment and other devices into traditional data networks, the closer the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes to regulating the networks as medical devices.

    Currently, most hospitals and clinics manage medical devices on discrete networks to better ensure the safety and security of those systems. But there is a trend toward consolidation, particularly onto wireless networks, for easier management.

  • We’re about to find out if companies mean what’s in their mission statements

    Manonamission.blogspot.com is a great collection of corporate mission statements. I recently used its search function to find examples of companies that prominently and publicly state something close to “people are our most important asset.” Here’s a partial list: Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Land O’ Lakes, Danaher, Archer Daniels Midland, Valero, Performance Food Group, Norfolk Southern, and Border’s Group. And here’s a group of companies that similarly value “empowerment:” Caremark, Sara Lee, Heinz, Dow Chemical, GE, and Alcoa.

  • A young 21st century socialist speaks out

    Why does a comfortably middle-class youth in Australia, such as myself, profess his political views to be socialist in orientation? Surely, many would think, for what reason would I advocate for such a radical position? It’s simple, really. Socialism is a political representation of my value system as it currently exists.

  • Vision: Research Shows People Are Often Selfless — Government Should Cultivate the Giving Instinct

    Most of our thinking about how to influence human behavior — how to get people to pay taxes, to obey laws, to not steal from each other — rests on the model of homo economicus.

  • Breastfeeding mom gets apology from clothing store

    Children’s clothing store Orchestra has apologized to a 36-year-old mother who was recently told to stop breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter at its Montreal location.

    In a letter dated Jan. 7, the president of the company’s Canadian arm, Jean-Claude Yana, apologizes for the actions of a “new” employee who told Shannon Smith and another nursing mother, “you can’t breastfeed in the store.” After protesting, Ms. Smith said she left feeling upset and uncomfortable.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Tombstone Politics

      If it turns out that a poisonous variant of free speech is partially to blame for the shootings in Tucson, we will most certainly be struck by the fact that Gabrielle Giffords was seen last week in Congress, reading part of the Constitution that allows an American citizen to say just about anything.

      But as Rep. Giffords herself also pointed out, in March when she was a target because of her vote on health care reform, free speech does have a cost.

      “We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” said Giffords. “Crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences.”

      Giffords had already felt a blunt edge of opponents’ rage — a window in her Tucson office was shattered after she voted to expand health care for other Americans.

    • #Anonymous: Here to help you with YOUR Revolution [not an endorsement, just for information]
    • Stand for freedom. Stand with Anonymous
    • ‘Political Radicalization in US Unworthy of a Democratic State’

      The shootings over the weekend of a US congresswoman and 19 others in Arizona prompts German commentators to urge the Americans to tone down the rhetoric and take a step back. Some say Europeans, too, could learn a lesson from the violence in Tucson.

    • ID cards were EVEN WORSE than we thought – and the Home Office hid the evidence

      In a story covered very well in a witty post by our friends over at TechEye, it has emerged that the Home Office hid the parlous state of its Identity Card Scheme from the public – it withheld publication of a report by the project’s oversight board in the run up to the 2010 general election (when, you’ll remember, some sort of card remained Labour policy).

      Disgracefully, the Home Office only slipped out the final report of the Independent Scheme Advisory Panel (ISAP) this week, more than a year after it was written, after the scheme had finally bitten the dust under the Coalition.

    • Royal car attack: Report suggests new policing approach

      Police should look beyond the available intelligence and take a broader view of potential threats, a report into an attack on a car carrying the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall has said.

    • When the Messiah comes, Israel will deport him

      When the Messiah comes, the first sign will be a gag order. A coded report on a high-profile news website will be made to disappear. It will reappear on a blog from Seattle, and then in The Guardian.

      The government will put off responding, eventually issuing a statement ascribed to sources in Jerusalem and reading “We have no knowledge of this.” The Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson’s Unit, quoting an unnamed senior military official, states that there is no evidence that a Messiah of any kind has come. It will later soften the denial, saying it is checking the report and directing reporters to the Defense Ministry, which turfs them to the Prime Minister’s Office, which cannot be reached for comment.

  • Cablegate

    • Operation Mahatma

      This has never happened before, never been heard before and never been told before. People across the oceans are complaining that they are consistently having a common dream. In their dreams they see an around 90 year’s old person who identifies himself as Mahatma Gandhi and ask the people to convey his message to President Barack Obama. He says that Barack Obama who calls himself a follower of Mahatma Gandhi needs to be told that his actions against whistleblowers specially in the case of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, Wikileaks and participation in wars across the globe do not go along with the basic philosophy of truth, non-violence and freedom for which Mahatma Gandhi sacrificed his live. Mahatma also briefs people a message that he wants to be delivered to the President. When people argue how they would contact the President, he replies as “just pass the message, just pass the torch to the next deserving person and the torch would definitely reach where darkness exists”. Mahatma also said that he wanted the message to be delivered before January 30th (i.e. his death anniversary) People say they are disturbed by this consistent dream they are having and have decided to come together to serve this common cause. We have decided to pass the torch as fast as we can so that it reaches the destination as soon as possible. Mahatma also asked us to be non violent, democratic and peaceful in our endeavor.

    • Defending Manning and Assange

      I have no doubt at all, if I put out the same documents now, they would call me a terrorist, because that’s the bad thing now.

    • WikiLeaks Won’t Publish Bank Documents Immediately, Tribune Says

      Assange said he might base himself in Switzerland or Australia, and that WikiLeaks has been losing more than 600,000 Swiss francs ($622,000) a week since releasing a collection of diplomatic cables, the newspaper said. He also said he hasn’t made a request for political asylum in Switzerland, and declined to say if he would, according to the Tribune.

    • Capital’s war against WikiLeaks

      Can the leak phenonomen sustain the continued assault by the corporate sector to prevail in the first ever cyber-war?

    • Guardian Books to publish: WIKILEAKS: Inside Julian Assange’s war on secrecy

      Guardian Books today confirmed the publication next month of WIKILEAKS: Inside Julian Assange’s war on secrecy.

      With rights having already been sold in eight territories*, WIKILEAKS: Inside Julian Assange’s war on secrecy, is the first in-depth account of the WikiLeaks phenomenon. From the website’s launch in 2006, to the latest developments in this epoch-defining drama, it exposes the real story behind the headlines, a compelling and revelatory account that brings the reader right up to the present time.

      The authors, top Guardian journalists led by David Leigh, Investigations Editor, and Luke Harding, Moscow correspondent, have been at the heart of the Guardian’s coverage of the biggest leak of secret information in history. Working alongside the Guardian’s New York correspondent, Ed Pilkington, they have had unprecedented access to all the major players, from diplomats and politicians to the former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg and Julian Assange himself.

    • Swiss banker who helped WikiLeaks faces trial

      Elmer’s release of files from the Swiss-based bank Julius Baer’s offshore operations in the Cayman Islands prompted a U.S. judge to temporarily shut down WikiLeaks in 2008. The order was lifted following complaints from free speech groups and media organizations.

    • Uncomfortable Lessons from the Reaction to WikiLeaks, Huffington Post

      Amid the sound and fury of the reaction to WikiLeaks, something is missing. Whether hostile or supportive, politicians and commentators on all sides have managed to miss the real point. The contents of the leaked cables should demand a deep reflection on our foreign policy. That this has not happened tells a sorry story about our very democracy.

      On the right, and indeed center, the reaction has been hysteria. Politicians have lined up to decry the threat to US national security and even American lives, without offering a shred of evidence to confirm this claim.

    • Twitter’s Response to WikiLeaks Subpoena Should Be the Industry Standard

      Twitter introduced a new feature last month without telling anyone about it, and the rest of the tech world should take note and come up with their own version of it.

      Twitter beta-tested a spine.

    • WRT killjulianassange.com, killassange.com and godaddy

      [UPDATE 2011-01-11 11:44 CET: Seems the domain julianassangemustdie.com has been deleted by its owner. See Godaddy WHOIS entry]
      [UPDATE 2011-01-11 11:33 CET: Seems killjulianassange is down ATM. Could be simple change though.]
      [UPDATE: I send an updated mail with the doamin julianassangemustdie.com added and clarified some aspects. New version reproduced here, old version archived in this same post.

      I have just sent this mail to abuse@godaddy.com and urge you to do the same…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Australian toxic waste export stopped just in time

      Greenpeace and a broad swath of civil society groups in Australia and Europe have successfully prevented solvents and explosives maker Orica from sailing tonnes of extremely harmful chemical waste from Australia to Denmark for incineration. In response to massive public pressure, the Danish Government announced on December 23, 2010 that they wouldn’t accept the shipment after all – just 24 hours before it was due to be loaded with the toxic waste in Australia.

    • Big fish, little appetite

      More sarcasm came over coffee in the form of a photograph splashed over many a frontpage the world over: the giant bluefin on a cart in Tokyo. The headlines said it was such a remarkable feat, a business coup at almost US$400,000 for a 342kg endangered bluefin tuna.

    • Peak Coal: the Olduvai perspective

      Peak Coal. Some folks have begun eagerly researching this topic and writing about its timing, now that talk of Peak Oil is all around. The different outlooks on how and when the peak will occur are disparate, ranging from next year to a time many decades in the future. This post tries to view this debate in a different, wider perspective, and deals with the following issues:

      * Applying the Hubbert Method to Coal;
      * Looking at Ultimate Reserves for Coal;
      * Coal and its place in the Olduvai picture;
      * Implications for stakeholders;

    • www.againstinternetsurveillance.org

      Thank you for visiting www.againstinternetsurveillance.org. I created this website because I value my own privacy and believe that every internet user in the world is entitled to their own privacy also. I am an American citizen and it is my opinion that the overwhelming majority of internet users are having their civil rights violated by private companies every day. On this website I have information that will A) broaden knowledge of internet surveillance that takes place each and every day, right under your noses, and B) help you, the internet user and citizen, browse the internet safely and effectively. Honestly, it really does not take a lot to accomplish both of these things and it is my hope that with this website I can spread the word and create a world of more informed citizens who are able to browse the internet safely and effectively.

  • Finance

    • Explaining the Fed – as a Cartoon
    • Obama Appoints Ultimate Wall Street Insiders to Top Posts … Again

      Obama is replacing his chief economic adviser – Larry Summers – with Gene Sperling.

      Sperling is currently a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and is now being appointed as Obama’s chief economic adviser. He’s been there before: Sperling will hold the exact same post he held under Bill Clinton – National Economic Adviser to Clinton and director of the National Economic Council.

      In that post, Sperling was principal negotiator with Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers in finalizing the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act Financial Modernization Bill which repealed Glass-Steagal.

    • Goldman’s Shady Facebook Deal

      Former Goldman Sachs managing director Nomi Prins says Goldman’s $500 million Facebook deal is every bit as risky for investors as the subprime debt deals that blew up the economy.

      Facebook and Goldman Sachs unleashed a tech investing mania this week compared far and wide with the euphoric 1990s dot-com run-up. By arranging a $500 million private investment, at a staggering $50 billion valuation, Goldman at once delayed a Facebook public offering (now expected in 2012), prompted a likely LinkedIn IPO, and thrilled its clients, who clamored for a piece of Mark Zuckerberg’s behemoth.

    • South Africa’s entry into BRIC to reshape world economy

      After a year of hard work, South Africa has formally joined with the four major emerging powers that form the BRIC cooperation mechanism. South African media said it is an important milestone, signifying South Africa is becoming a major emerging economy in the world.

      The prime motivation for South Africa’s entry into BRIC — short for Brazil, Russia, India and China — is to create conditions for the country’s economic development. Before the outbreak of the international financial crisis, South Africa had experienced the fastest economic growth since 1994, with the economy growing at a rate of more than 5 percent for three consecutive years. But the financial crisis drastically slowed economic growth and pushed unemployment higher.

    • Why reducing employment rights won’t boost employment

      Today’s Telegraph reports that David Cameron hopes relaxed employment laws will help to boost the private sector and encourage firms to take on thousands of new workers.

      The theory appears to be that if it’s easier to sack and mistreat workers then employers will be more likely to create jobs.

      But, as last year’s comprehensive TUC research (undertaken by Landman Economics) showed, this assumption is false.

      Macro and micro evidence from across the globe shows that there is no significant relationship between employment levels and employment protection legislation and that countries with very different levels of regulation have equal levels of success in generating employment.

    • Pressure Mounts for Portugal Bailout

      Germany and France want to push Portugal to seek a bailout from the EU’s rescue fund in order to stop the debt crisis from spreading to countries like Spain and Belgium, according to reports from SPIEGEL and Reuters. Portugal on Sunday denied any such pressure, but the euro is falling on fears of contagion.

    • Wall Street Desperately Trying to Kill Law That Could Curb Obscene CEO Pay

      Now those lobbyists are pushing hard to undo their mistake — and progressives, led by AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka, are pushing back.

      The winner won’t be clear until later this year when the Securities and Exchange Commission, the federal watchdog agency over Wall Street, releases the final regulations that will enforce the Dodd-Frank legislation.

    • Goldman Sachs Subprime Mortgage Meltdown and Financial Crisis

      Goldman Sachs Subprime Mortgage Meltdown and Financial Crisis The investigation, being conducted with the Securities and Exchange Commission, comes as Wall Street and major banks around the world are attracting scrutiny from regulators who are looking at transactions that occurred in the run-up to the subprime mortgage meltdown and financial crisis. The source said the investigation includes mortgage-bond deals, that it is in an early stage, and that it might not necessarily lead to criminal charges against all of the firms.

    • Is Goldman Sachs subversive?

      The last few months I’ve been busy trying to ignore the minutia of the daily media and look at the big picture. I was listening to this interview with 4 conservatives talking about how the economy works and questioning whether these politicians and policy makers are actually subversives (!).

      Imagine my surprise when our good friends Goldman Sachs is mentioned by Mike Norman who says that Goldman understands that “government deficits add to savings”(around 24 minutes into the interview).

    • Goldman Sachs to Fine-Tune Its Practices

      Goldman Sachs, after a nine-month review of its business practices, has concluded its operations need only a fine-tuning, not a complete overhaul.

      The Wall Street investment bank, which has been criticized for putting its own interests ahead of those of clients, plans to detail new rules on disclosure and financial reporting on Tuesday, as suggested by the study. The rules are aimed at bolstering internal controls, improving transparency and burnishing its reputation.

    • $2.6 Billion to Cover Bad Loans: It’s a Start

      BANK investors cheered the announcement last week that Bank of America would pay $2.6 billion to buy back mortgages it had improperly sold during the housing bubble to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the beleaguered mortgage finance giants. It seemed a sweet deal for the bank, whose Countrywide Home Loans unit had peddled tens of billions of dollars in risky loans to the taxpayer-owned companies.

    • Pentagon Must ‘Buy American,’ Barring Chinese Solar Panels

      The military authorization law signed by President Obama on Friday contains a little-noticed “Buy American” provision for the Defense Department purchases of solar panels — a provision that is likely to dismay Chinese officials as President Hu Jintao prepares to visit the United States next week.

    • 7 Public Pension Plans Challenge Foreclosure Processes

      A coalition of seven major public pension systems called on the boards of directors of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Citigroup (NYSE: C), JP Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) to immediately undertake independent examinations of the banks’ mortgage and foreclosure practices.

      Led by New York City Comptroller John C. Liu on behalf of the five NYC Pension Funds, the coalition also includes the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, the Illinois State Board of Investment, the Illinois State Universities Retirement System, the New York State Common Retirement Fund, the North Carolina Retirement Systems, and the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund.

    • Mortgage modifications daunting for homeowners

      Laverl “Nick” Nicholson used to look out of his kitchen window at the weeping willows that mark the burial place of two of his daughters. Then a debilitating car wreck left him unable to pay the $220,000 he owed on his northwestern Montana home.

      He tried for a year and a half to lower his mortgage payments through a loan modification, but the government-insured loan that he took out three years ago came with restrictions. The best the bank could offer him was a reduction of $124 per month, leaving Nicholson with a $1,585 payment that he still couldn’t afford.

    • Farewell Sheriff Volcker

      Earlier this week, I had a few choice comments in Colin Barr’s Fortune column about Volcker’s retirement…

    • Profits are Booming. Why Aren’t Jobs?

      To gaze upon the world of American corporations is to see a sunny place of terrific profits and princely bonuses. American businesses reported that third-quarter profits in 2010 rose at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion, the steepest annual surge since officials began tracking such matters 60 years ago. It was the seventh consecutive quarter in which corporate profits climbed.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Stop web blocking

      At the beginning of February 2011, the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament will hold its first crucial vote on whether mandatory EU-wide web blocking should be introduced – time is running out.

    • WebUpd8 Can Be Accessed From Turkey Again

      About a month ago, custom domain Blogger blogs have been blocked in Turkey by mandate of the Turkish Government and since WebUpd8 is hosted on Blogger, it couldn’t be accessed from Turkey.

    • Net Censorship Comes Before the EU Parliament

      Last Spring, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, presented a proposal for a directive to combat child exploitation. Unfortunately, this very important and sensitive matter is used to introduce dangerous provisions regarding Internet blocking, which could pave the way for a wider censorship of the Internet in Europe. The EU Parliament must absolutely reject this Trojan horse and uphold the fundamental rights of EU citizens.

    • Consumers “have to accept US snooping” on web services

      A lawyer has played down the significance of the Twitter data mining sparked by the US’s clampdown on WikiLeaks, saying that anyone using sites hosted in the United States had to accept that their data could be made available to authorities.

      The US security forces have come under fire after it emerged that officials had subpoenaed Twitter demanding it released information from five accounts in connection with its WikiLeaks probe – including the account details of an Icelandic MP and a Dutch computer programmer.

      The move has sparked outrage among civil liberty campaigners, and the Icelandic government has called for an explanation of the situation, but the basic concept of sovereign states accessing data hosted on their territory is well documented.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • The Netflix Effect: Results From A Revealing Study in Canada

      Credit Suisse media analyst Spencer Wang and team just released the results of their video-streaming study dubbed “Project Canada,” conducted to assess the affect of broadband consumption based pricing (CBP) on Internet-delivered video from an “over-the-top” non-cable or telco service (e.g., Netflix). The U.S. does not have consumption-based pricing, in which you pay more as you use more, but it has been rolled out widely in Canada since 2008. The investment bank wanted to see what the affect of this pricing is on broadband usage and the TV bill. It tested Netflix Canada streaming service for one month over Rogers cable system.

    • Book piracy: Less DRM, more data

      As digital book publishing continues to expand at a rapid pace to meet reader demands, piracy rears its head at the forefront of many a discussion in publisher circles. Many publishers respond to the perceived threat with strict digital rights management (DRM) software. But is this the best solution? And does it even provide protection from piracy?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Record Labels To Pay For Copyright Infringement

        Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., EMI Music Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. have agreed to pay songwriters and music publishers $47.5 million in damages for copyright infringement and overdue royalties to settle a class action lawsuit. ‘The 2008 class action alleges that the record companies “exploited” music owners by reproducing and selling in excess of 300,000 song titles without securing licenses from the copyright owners and/or without paying the associated royalty payments. The record companies knowingly did so and kept a so-called “pending list” of unlicensed reproductions, setting aside $50 million for the issue, if it ever arose, court filings suggest.

      • Canadian Recording Industry To Pay $45 Million To Settle Class Action Over Copyright Infringement

        The four major record labels that comprise the Canadian Recording Industry Association – EMI Music Canada Inc., Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. – have agreed to pay $45 million to settle one of the largest copyright class action lawsuits in Canadian history. The settlement comes after years of fruitless efforts to get the industry to pay for works it used without permission.

      • EMI, Music Labels Rejected by High Court in Appeal of Song-Pricing Lawsuit

        The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the country’s four largest music labels, refusing to block a suit accusing them of conspiring to fix Internet song prices.

        Units of Sony Corp., Vivendi SA, Warner Music Group Corp. and EMI Group Ltd. argued unsuccessfully that the allegations in the consumer complaint aren’t sufficient to suggest the companies engaged in misconduct. A federal appeals court in New York said the allegations were enough for the case to go forward, and the Supreme Court today left that ruling intact.

        The suit centers on MusicNet and pressplay, two services the music companies started in 2001 to sell songs online. The complaint alleges the services charged unreasonably high rates – - a combined $240 per year in subscription fees — and imposed unwarranted restrictions, barring customers from transferring songs to iPods and other portable digital music players.

      • Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0009 – Pending List Action Settled

        The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scale copyright infringement, or in other ways have been ripping off artists.

      • More Music Sold Than Ever Before, Despite Piracy

        Last week the BPI released their overview of 2010 sales volumes in the UK. As always, their press release was filled with claims that piracy is ruining their industry and most mainstream media was quick to republish this propaganda. However, we can use the very same data to show that more music is being sold than ever before, and argue that piracy is likely to have had very little impact.

      • Supreme Court won’t review music download antitrust case

        The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a ruling that reinstated an antitrust lawsuit alleging major record labels conspired to fix prices and terms under which music would be sold over the Internet.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • TalkTalk told govt has no plans to scrap DEA

          The coalition is not looking to repeal the controversial act.

          The government has again said it has no plans to repeal the Digital Economy Act (DEA), despite complaints from BT and TalkTalk.

          These two broadband providers have been granted the right to a judicial review of the piece of legislation, with each insisting it infringes the basic rights and freedoms of internet users in the way it seeks to clamp down on illegal filesharing.

        • Spinners, scaremongers and songsters

          The maximalist lobby has now shifted its attention internationally. Pushing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was its global summer project, and the Open Rights Group’s latest FOI requests show the BPI pushing the new UK government to lobby the European Union on its behalf.

          The UK is still waiting to see what will be done with the Digital Economy Act. The Lib Dems have called for its repeal; BT and TalkTalk have won the right to a judicial review of the Act; Ofcom is struggling to ready a legitimate and fair ‘Initial Obligations Code’ through which the Digital Economy Act is expected to be enforced.

          This Act, as ever, remains infuriatingly unpredictable. Stay tuned.

Clip of the Day

gNewSense 2.3 deltah i386 GNU Libre version of Ubuntu Linux Review Tutorial


Credit: TinyOgg

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