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02.03.11

Links 3/2/2011: PCLinuxOS Magazine Issue for February 2011, CentOS 6 Interview

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Conversion Tales From the Land of Linux

      “I’ve converted my wife to Linux,” asserted Eric Mesa among the 100 or so comments that soon appeared on the topic. “Installed Ubuntu on her computer. She is OK with Linux 90% of the time. But that 10% of the time when she isn’t — she hates it.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Finding the Fastest Filesystem, 2011 Edition

      In my previous report about journaling filesystem benchmarking using dbench, I observed that a properly-tuned system using XFS, with the deadline I/O scheduler, beat both Linux’s ext3 and IBM’s JFS. A lot has changed in the three years since I posted that report, so it’s time to do a new round of tests. Many bug fixes, improved kernel lock management, and two new filesystem (btrfs and ext4) bring some new configurations to test.

  • Applications

    • The Five Best Open Source Calendar Servers for Linux

      Finding Linux-based calendar clients, like Evolution or Mozilla Lightning, is easy — but what about the server-side software? You’ll find some great calendar servers for Linux, if you know where to look. From light-weight to heavy duty, Cosmo to Darwin, we’ve picked five of the best open source calendar servers for Linux for you to try.

      Calendaring software has come a long way on the client side in recent years; the Linux desktop has a healthy selection of apps to choose from, including Evolution, Mozilla Lightning, and KOrganizer. But, at the same time, much of their usefulness really stems from the popularity of the server-side calendar sharing protocols, iCalendar and CalDAV. Niche sites like Remember The Milk and big online service providers like Yahoo and Google have made shared calendars common place. Anyone can publish a calendar feed, confident that everyone on the Web can subscribe to it on the OS and device of their choosing and stay up-to-date.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • February 2011 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine Released

        In the February 2011 issue:
        * e17: System Panel, Part 2
        * e17 Accessories: ePDF & ePhoto
        * Short Story: WWW Collapse
        * Scribus, Part 2: Starting The Project
        * SSH: An Easier-Than-You-Thought Tutorial
        * Calibre: A High Caliber Ebook Tool
        * DVB Streaming In PCLinuxOS
        * Computer Languages A to Z: Vala & Visual Basic
        * Firefox Add-ons: FireFTP
        * Customize Your LXDE Right Click Menu
        * Game Zone: DOD:S & Steam Tips For Dual Booters
        * WindowMaker On PCLinuxOS: Introduction
        * PCLinuxOS Artists Win First, Second Place
        * And much more!

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS 6: interview with Karanbir Singh

        Q: Could you summarize the most important new features we have to expect in CentOS 6?

        A: There are quite a few interesting things coming up. A newer base kernel with some enhancements in performance and management tools, a newer virtualisation layer, newer ruby and python stacks with lots of developer oriented features and packages. Overall more modern and much improved desktop experience etc. Stay tuned for the release!”

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu and Me, Happy Together.

          All right, this is what I started to write about in the first place. I really enjoyed using Ubuntu on my server. I sat up in the living room SSHed or VNCed into the server, exploring stuff, installing new programs, finding out what I could do. It was great, but VNC is VNC. I set up VirtualBox on my PC and ran it from there as well. After a couple of weeks of doing both, I decided to make the jump to a full dual boot Ubuntu system. That’s what I did over this past weekend. It went very smoothly.

        • Exclusive Interview With Ubuntu Rock Star Jono Bacon

          Swapnil: How and when did you start using GNU/Linux? Which was your first OS?
          Jono: I got started using Slackware 96 when my brother introduced me to it. This then transitioned into me using Red Hat, then Mandrake, then Debian, and finally Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • DreamPlug: Tiny Linux Computer That Looks Like A Power Plug

      Wouldn’t you want a teeny tiny computer with no video card? Well if you do, then you can be very happy because the DreamPlug will start shipping later this month. The DreamPlug is a small computer that almost looks like a power plug.

    • Tiny x86 module runs Linux

      Datasound Laboratories (DSL) announced a compact “embedded controller” based on a 300MHz DM&P Vortex86SX CPU. The Icop VSX-6117 is just 3.14 x 1.96 inches, uses only 320mA at 5V, includes 128MB of soldered-on DDR2 memory and 2GB of flash storage, has a 10/100 Ethernet port, and includes EIDE and x-ISA expansion, according to the company.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu Netbook review

        I was using Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my EeePC at last year’s FOSDEM, dual-booting with Mac OS X. Since Ubuntu 10.04 it’s been renamed Ubuntu Netbook Edition, so time for a reinstall and new road test.

        [...]

        The great thing about a swiss army knife is that it has every tool you could possibly need. The problem with a swiss army knife is it has every tool you could possibly need. So, on to the next netbook distribution.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source game counterfeited in Mac App Store

    The developers at game software house Wolfire have found that the Lugaru HD game, which they open sourced last May, has appeared in what they describe as a counterfeit version on the Mac App Store. The developers have noted the appearance of a £1.19 game named Lugaru on the Mac App Store where Wolfire sells Lugaru HD for £5.99.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Yet another delay hangs over release of Firefox 4

        Mozilla is bracing itself for yet more beta releases and possibly another delay of its Firefox 4 browser.

        The open-source web tool outfit pushed out a 10th test build of Firefox 4 last week. It has now confirmed that two more betas will definitely follow before a Release Candidate version of the browser lands.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle writes new OpenJDK rules

      Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group at Oracle has announced on his blog that he, with the assistance of John Duimovich and Jason Gartner of IBM, Mike Milinkovich of Eclipse, Prof. Doug Lea of SUNY Oswego, and Adam Messinger of Oracle, has been drafting a set of OpenJDK community rules, or bye-laws, by which the community will operate. He says the draft document will soon be published for public comment.

Leftovers

  • FiveFingers Blocks Right Finger — Just Asking For Middle One

    Klein’s analysis is dead on. I just went and checked myself. First, this a really stupid programming decision — blocking all right-clicks on a website for all sorts of legitimate purposes (such as opening in a new tab, as I frequently do) seems like tremendous overkill. But, more importantly, as Klein points out, all this does is serve to piss people off while doing absolutely nothing to stop the action they think they’re trying to stop. Finally, making a statement about the public domain, just because someone right-clicked is also extreme. None of it makes sense, and all it really serves to do is piss off legitimate users.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks cables: planned US missile shield blind to nuclear weapons

      A 2007 briefing by General Patrick O’Reilly, director of the US Missile Defence Agency, disclosed that the radar system would be unable to detect long-range missiles in the launch phase because it could only see in a straight line, not over the horizon.

      By the time the radar “saw” the missile, it would be too late to launch an interceptor in time to stop it striking its target.

      The Czech radar system was the lynch-pin of George Bush’s “son of star wars” missile defence plans, ostensibly intended to intercept missiles launched from North Korea and Iran.

    • WikiLeaks cables: British firms made millions from trading with Iranians

      America put enormous pressure on the British government to block deals for aircraft and ships that it feared would be used to transport nuclear materials.

      One of the companies causing most concern was the London-based Balli Group, of which Lord Lamont, the former chancellor, is a non-executive director.

  • Civil Rights

    • Consultations begin on new media ethics code

      New guidelines on the duties and responsibilities of old and new media providers are being prepared by the Council of Europe.

      The recommendations would provide “practical guidance” on how Council of Europe standards, developed for traditional forms of mass communication, could apply to new media outlets.

      Governments, faced by a rapidly changing media landscape, will be encouraged to sign up to these recommendations, Jan Kleijssen, the Director of Standard Setting, told a 27 January UNESCO conference on media ethics and self regulation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • What is a fair price for Internet service?

      For the last month Digital Home has been lit up with readers from across Canada who are venting their anger over the ever increasing cost of Internet service and new charges for usage-based billing (commonly called UBB).

      Clearly, no one wants to pay more for internet service, but at some point the price of just about everything goes up. So recently I decided to investigate whether the spate of price increases were justified and fair.

      [...]

      The fact that Bell is able to sell 40 GB of data to wholesalers for $4.25 and still make a profit demonstrates that the true cost of data transfer is well below the 10.5 cents per gigabyte they are charging wholesalers. One TPIA provider agreed the 3 cents per gigabyte figure is probably close to the true cost.

      So why are Internet service providers charging consumers $1 or more per gigabyte of data used beyond their respective data caps? That’s a good question.

      Bell will charge you an additional $2 per gigabyte to a maximum of $60 a month up to 300GB. After 300 GB, you’ll pay a $1 a gigabyte. Shaw is charging $2.00 per GB on its popular high-speed package while Rogers is charging a whopping $5 per gigabyte on its Ultra Lite plan and $2 per GB on its popular 10 Megabits per second service.

    • Usage-based Internet billing: a global comparison

      Only two out of 30 countries surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) offer their citizens no Internet subscriptions with unlimited downloads.

      Canada is one of them.

      The other is Australia, but that is beside the point. The point, rather, is simply to broaden the context of the usage-based billing (UBB) debate beyond just the Canadian market; to consider just how common it is for every Internet service provider (ISP) in a given country to impose limits on the amount of data their customers can consume each much.

    • CRTC must reverse internet usage ruling: Clement
    • Verizon To Throttle Heavy Users To Maintain Network Quality

      Essentially, if you download a lot, your speed will be cut at various peak times. They’re calling it VZOptimization, a delightfully Orwellian term.

  • DRM

    • PS3 Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 slapped with strict DRM

      Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 has no sort of online play at all. None. There is co-op, but only offline. There is no reason for you to be online if you’re playing the game. Unless you want the stupid thing to work, of course. Capcom requires your PlayStation 3 to be online to play Bionic Commando Rearmed 2, the same requirement that everyone hated in Final Fight—a game that at least had online play.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Movie-industry study: Unauthorized video sharing shrinks if viewers have legal options

        The study in question was commissioned by NBC Universal (though that company, as of Saturday a Comcast-controlled operation, makes no mention of it on its site) and conducted by Envisional, a research firm based in Cambridge, England. Envisional surveyed a variety of file-sharing sites and services, from BitTorrent to Usenet streams, and came up with some numbers that can’t make anybody in Hollywood happy.

      • BitTorrent Lawsuits: The Red-Light Cameras of the Internet

        The 1993 sci-fi action movie Demolition Man depicted a future without violence or disorder. They achieved this, in part, by using technology to automate penalties for rule-breaking.

        In one memorable scene, Sylvester Stallone’s character discovers that every time he uses profanity, a nearby machine automatically issues a citation. When he needs paper, he casually leans toward the machine and lets loose a string of salty expletives until he’s got a neat stack of tickets.

      • Where have all the music pirates gone?

        The percentage obviously depends on just where you place your cutoff. The Pirate Bay’s overall top 100, for instance, has 10 recent albums in its list (the rest is almost exclusively video content). Still, the disparity in the numbers are eye-popping; pirates want movies more than music, and by a significant margin.

      • Subscription Porn Site SLAPPed Down After Suing RedTube For Undermining Its Business Model

        We’ve joked in the past about how many of the complaints we see from companies about new, more innovative competitors, is that they somehow represent “felony interference of a business model.” Some companies, it seems, like to believe that if they have a successful business model, any new competitor that changes the market around must be doing so illegally. Eric Goldman points us to just such a lawsuit in California, where the proprietor of a subscription based porn website sued RedTube, one of many, many porn-focused free streaming video sites, and many of RedTube’s advertisers, arguing unfair competition. Basically, the argument was that by setting up a website and offering these porn videos for free, while making money on the advertising, RedTube was effectively “dumping” its product on the market below cost in order to harm the market and make money elsewhere.

      • Feds Blitz Sports Piracy Websites Ahead Of Super Bowl XLV

        Look out, Pittsburgh Steal-ers: The domains of at least five websites notorious for carrying illegal feeds of live sporting events were seized by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement just days before the Super Bowl, the biggest TV event of the year in the United States.

      • Senator: domain name seizures “alarmingly unprecedented”

        Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has 10 tough questions for the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), all of which can be more easily summed up in a single, blunter question: what the hell are you guys doing over there?

        Wyden’s displeasure is over ICE’s Operation In Our Sites, the controversial program that began seizing Internet domain names last year, and just grabbed several more sports-related domains this week. The seizures are all signed off on by a federal judge, but the affected parties get no warning and no chance to first challenge the claim that they are running illegal businesses. In fact, in yesterday’s takedown, ICE grabbed the domain Rojadirecta.org, a site that links to live sports on the Web and has twice been declared legal by Spanish courts.

      • ACTA

        • WikiLeaks Cables Shine Light on ACTA History

          La Quadrature du Net obtained exclusive access to the WikiLeaks US diplomatic cables regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Although they only give a partial account of the history of this secretly-negotiated agreement, these cables shed an interesting light on the coming into being of ACTA. They show the prime role of the US in the advent of this extremist imposition of violent sanctions against citizens and their fundamental rights. The cables expose the stakes and debates surrounding the participation of developing countries, as well as the evolution of the position of European Union during the negotiations.

Clip of the Day

28th Jan. 2011 – Storyful – Kasr Al Nile Bridge clashes Egypt Egyptian Clashes Police Cairo Mubarak


Credit: TinyOgg

Apple E-Book Censorship, Anti-competitive Behaviour, and Newly-Launched Probe at the Office of Fair Trading

Posted in Antitrust, Apple at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Get start

Summary: Apple shakes its iron fist even after Jobs’ departure from the company

Report: Apple clamping down on App Store content

Supposed change in Apple policy has e-book fans worried about their apps

The Kindle app—and other e-book apps like it—may disappear from the App Store if the latest buzz about Apple’s policies turns out to be true. According to a report in the New York Times, Apple has rejected Sony’s e-reader app because of a policy change at Apple. Under the new policy, apps can no longer access content purchased outside the App Store.

Apple Rejects Sony Reader App Over In-App Purchases. Kindle Next?

Apple has rejected the Sony Reader iPhone app from the App Store, telling Sony that it “can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.” In the report, from the New York Times, Sony’s digital reading boss Steve Haber says that all future in-app purchases will have to be made in-app, and go through Apple.

For new apps this is no big deal, but there is one big exception to this rule currently trading freely outside its iOS apps: Amazon’s Kindle. Kindle books can only be bought from the Amazon site (or from actual Kindle hardware), but they are then sent over-the-air to iPads and iPhones.

E-book readers chew through more books, still enjoy paper copies

“UK Regulator To Launch Probe Into E-Book Pricing

The Office of Fair Trading is to launch a probe into the pricing of digital books in the UK, investigating a number of complaints that publishers and online retailers could be breaching antitrust law.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the probe follows a similar move by U.S authorities six months ago – with the rise in digital readers like the Kindle and the iPad, book publishers and retailers have battled to effectively price electronic books, in attempt to safeguard their revenue stream and sales in bricks and mortar stores.

When Microsoft MVPs Throw in the Towel and Bash Microsoft

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft MVP as Peon

Summary: David Woods, a Microsoft MVP, drops his “MVP” title and starts ranting about Microsoft’s “failed technology”

Microsoft is rapidly becoming something embarrassing to be associated with. Not only is Microsoft a convicted monopoly abuser but it is also lifting other people’s products, claiming these products to be its own. Microsoft has totally given up on business ethics and yesterday we wrote about the latest exit of a high-profile Microsoft executive following the Bingoogle search scandal. My co-host Tim chose the headline ‘“Google: Search So Good, Even Bing Uses It.” Microsoft caught in cookie jar AGAIN?’

Previously, Tim also helped unmask pseudonyms (and Microsoft gifts to them — a sort of kickback) who had mocked GNU/Linux all around the Web. Several of them, including a female name, turned out to be Microsoft MVP Andre Da Costa. How scummy is that? Also see posts such as:

Welcome to the world of Microsoft TEs and MVPs — the world of secretive paid-for “evangelists” for the company. Microsoft is still rewarding individuals who help make Microsoft executives richer, but David Woods, a Microsoft MVP, has had enough and yesterday he announced dropping his MVP:

I have decided to drop out of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional Program. I have decided this for many reasons. Mainly I feel the program has no value to me and that MVPs are of no value to MS.

Experts

MS states how they have these “experts” in the community and that are involved in the products. While I have met some really smart MVPs I have also met some that are so out to lunch on things yet MS still considers them experts. To me this completely devalues the MVP program. I am definitely no exception to this. I am a MVP in developer security yet I don’t consider myself to be an expert. Interested yes. Expert no.

The way you get in is by contributing to the community. I had done lots of this and it was really nice to get recognized for it. Once you are in you are supposed to be this expert that provides feedback to the products that MS is building. Now this is where the program breaks down.

Products

Firstly most products you never hear about until it is too late. I hear about more MS technology from the mainstream media than I do from the MVP program. As a MVP who is supposed to be like an insider I thought that they would be looking to us for feedback on these technologies. But they don’t. They will take it after the product is released though but by then there are usually too many issues with the technology to be overcome.

While some products are great there are a big few that still irritate me:

TFS is garbage if you have used anything else. I should never have to struggle to get things under source control as much as I have with this product. I should never have to struggle for days/weeks to install it. I should never have so much trouble configuring it or applying checkin policies. If any MVP worth their salt was asked about this then MS should know this.

MSBuild is another failed technology to me. It does not come close to the power of Nant so if I am going to pay the XML tax I will pay it with Nant. I will say that it is nice that proj files are msbuild files yet whenever I have had to customize my builds with MSBuild I want to hurt myself. At first I thought it was the learning curve but to me the product just does not meet my needs. Again if an MVP that uses a build technology was asked then MS would have known about this.

Mr. Woods will hopefully take this a step further and become a most valuable Free software contributor. Helping Microsoft is nothing to be proud of, especially when the company merely exploits the free time and goodwill of the likes of David Woods.

The “MVP” award is a sham. It’s a self-serving title that Microsoft gives for a large number of people to become unpaid staff working on miserable failures (understaffed projects that need technical support).

Analyst Wants Microsoft’s Elop (Now Nokia CEO) to Shoot Down Linux Programmes

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clay pigeon shooting

Summary: Adnaan Ahmad from Berenberg Bank stands in the way of MeeGo as he advises Nokia to become a servant of Microsoft

Nokia had lobbied against Ogg before it got some more sanity and became one of the biggest contributors to Linux (the kernel, but also to other packages like Qt). Nokia came to the conclusion that Linux was the future of mobile, but by the time it reached this realisation, Google had already beaten Nokia to it and hit the jackpot with Android. Nevertheless, Intel and Nokia carry on undeterred with Maemo/Moblin/MeeGo (Maemo is still actively promoted by Nokia) and there is a MeeGo Summit planned to take place in Finland.

We have deep concerns about Nokia’s appointment of a CEO from Microsoft and we wrote about the issue in posts that include:

A writer whom we consider to be a jerk (because of his rudeness, not to mention many pro-MAFIAA and anti-FOSS articles since 2006 at the least) echoes the message of Berenberg Bank’s Adnaan Ahmad and uses the headline “Marry Microsoft, analyst tells Nokia”:

Microsoft was Elop’s previous employer, of course. Leaving aside the exclusive Microsoft partnership, which has its merits but risks looking like a “Coalition of the Losers”, the rest of it isn’t bad advice.

It remains to be seen what Elop meant by joining an “ecosystem”. Or rather, whose “ecosystem” was he referring to? If pressure is kept by pointing out his conflict of interest, it may help paralyse him in the sense that it may keep him away from Microsoft.

Microsoft Puts Patent Traps Inside Free Software, Sometimes Without Permission

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Patents at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pitcher plants

Summary: Microsoft pushes MPEG-LA patent bait into Chrome, which helps spread codecs that GNU/Linux will struggle with on the Web

THIS post is not about Mono or Moonlight as this time it’s about codecs (part of Moonlight). Over the past year we have given several examples where Microsoft pushed proprietary and/or patents-encumbered software into Free software counterparts such as Mozilla Firefox. Well, this time Microsoft has another Web browser to ‘infect’ and it is called Chrome (Apple is already fully in agreement with Microsoft on this subject).

“For several years Microsoft has been trying to ‘educate’ Open Source and explain to its developers that they need to embrace software patents.”For several years Microsoft has been trying to ‘educate’ Open Source and explain to its developers that they need to embrace software patents. It is hardly shocking coming from the company of fake ‘open source’ (Microsoft stack required, i.e. proprietary, as well as software patents-endorsing licences). Roberto Galoppini did a quick interview with Microsoft staff that pushes this sort of agenda and the president of the FFII emphasised that by “interoperability” (not standards) “Microsoft means paying patent royalties” (or patent tax). He showed this new Microsoft spin about “interoperability” (usually means patents in shims) in the context of codecs. The widely cited article about it came from Fox Technica spinner Peter Bright, who had upset a lot of people for lying about WebM. Unsurprisingly, this Microsoft booster is now pushing patent traps into Free software along with Microsoft, whereas The H, for example, highlights the problems with what Microsoft is doing here (so does Apple).

Microsoft releases H.264 plug-in for Google Chrome on Windows

[...]

On the other hand, the WebM / VP8 video format is an open, royalty-free media file format for the web that was introduced by Google in May of 2010 as part of its WebM Project. The format does not require a plug-in and allows users to stream high-quality content over the internet, while also having a small footprint. In addition to Google and the FSF, other WebM supporters include Mozilla, the organisation behind the Firefox web browser, and Opera – Microsoft and Apple both support H.264.

This issue was discussed here before, in several different posts in fact [1, 2]. We have accumulated some good posts about it, like this one from Carlo Daffara, which Simon Phipps recommends by adding: “The arguments made against WebM video by H.264 advocates turn out to be at best wildly exaggerated and at worst baseless slander, according to this excellent (and data-backed) article by Carlo Daffara. It’s not about “sticking it to Apple” – it’s about genuinely escaping the insidious cartel that’s been created around H.264.”

“Microsoft actively promotes patent traps so that later it (or another company) can extort and even sue the competitor out of the market.”Glyn Moody “just loves smell of proprietary standards in the morning,” he jokingly said in Identi.ca as he linked here. Similarly, on the same day he criticised more patent propaganda from the MSBBC.

Why is it that Microsoft’s circles are so keen on spreading patents everywhere? Might it be because those patents are inherently incompatible with software freedom? Microsoft actively promotes patent traps so that later it (or another company) can extort and even sue the competitor out of the market.

Links 3/2/2011: Enea Joins Linux Foundation, GNOME 3 in Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why Linux is a perfect fit for charities and non-profits

    I have a friend who works for an art therapy institute that is run by the city I live in. That foundation has taken donations for quite some time, is (obviously) not for profit, and all of their computers are Linux computers. Why? It doesn’t hurt that their sole IT staff member is a big Linux fan (and understands how the FOSS operating system can help the organization in more ways than just budgetary). But after chatting with this friend for a while about his job, I understand very clearly how Linux and open source can really benefit charities and non-profit organizations.

  • 10 Windows annoyances (that Linux doesn’t have)

    3: Mysterious slowdowns
    Quick: Think about the last time your Windows computer mysteriously slowed down. What eventually was the cause? Fragmentation? Virus? Malware? Operating system hogging too much resource? Or were you ever even able to discern the problem? With Linux, those slowdowns (especially of the mysterious types) are next to nil. This is especially true on a Linux server.

  • Linux with badram Saves the Day!

    So, if you are looking at some misbehaving RAM in your own PC consider using the badram patch before you toss out otherwise good RAM. Of course if you are not using Linux I suppose you will just have to throw out that flakey RAM and buy new RAM … or you can send it to me. :)

  • Server

    • New York City getting data centers under one roof

      New York City is working with IBM to migrate more than a dozen city agencies into a consolidated and modern data center environment, in an effort to provide a unified shared set of services to a broad range of city entities, according to NYC officials.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Enea Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Enea is its newest member.

      Enea is a leading supplier of highly reliable operating systems and multicore software technology. A longtime supplier of Linux software and consulting services, the company expects to expand its efforts by providing both stand-alone Linux development environments and integrated, heterogeneous solutions blending Linux, realtime operating systems (RTOS) and hypervisor technology to support multi-core processors that are pushing the limits on performance in the areas of telecom, mobile, medical and automotive, among others.

    • Graphics Stack

      • New Version Of VIA DRM TTM/GEM Patches

        Thanks to James Simmons, an independent developer in the open-source community, last month a patch was published that adds TTM/GEM memory management support to the VIA DRM Linux kernel driver. This was after VIA basically admitted defeat for their Linux / open-source strategy. Over the weekend the second version of this TTM/GEM patch was published by James.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.6 Review: It’s Full Of Awesomeness

        In general Plasma feels snappy and fast. Even on my desktop computer, I used to notice a slight lag in effects such as the shelf widget icon highlighting. Those are now lightning fast. The same applies to just about every other plasma and KWin effect.

      • Disillusioned by the Community

        If you truly want to know what KDE 4.6 is like, you need to go with a KDE specific distribution like Mandriva and ride that cutting edge.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Is GNOME 3 going to melt your laptop?

        In GNOME 3.0, we’re defaulting to suspending the computer when the user shuts the lid, and not providing any preferences combobox to change this. This is what the UI designers for GNOME 3.0 want, and is probably a step in the right direction. We really can’t keep working around bugs in the kernel with extra UI controls.

      • GNOME3 Power Settings

        Richard Hughes recently posted about the recent GNOME3 Power Settings design that got a lot of people (myself included) hot and bothered. As I said in my comment, I think that a lot of people prefer that their laptop stay on when the lid is closed. There are clearly other who, like myself, would prefer to maintain the normal behaviour when an external monitor is plugged in.

        [...]

        While Nirbheek’s version looks decidedly prettier, I think the meaning of the icons is not absolutely obvious. This might be solvable by some explanatory text above and mouse-overs.

      • Will I be prevented to close my laptop lid with GNOME 3?

        I tried to comment on Richard’s post but for some reason my comment is still awaiting moderation 1h later while 4 new ones have been posted so I’ll comment here too.

      • Fedora GNOME 3 Test Day #1 coming tomorrow
      • Slingshot: A New Launcher Created By The Elementary Team

        Besides Slingshot, the video above might also be revealing the Elementary OS look – an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that will be released in March. The video is not that great but for now I couldn’t get Slingshot to work myself.

      • The emerging Elementary experience

        Today saw ‘Slingshot’ – a new application launcher project headed up by the elementary team – leak in to the wild. But just what is it and what does it form part of?

  • Distributions

    • Freedom or Ease of Use? A Note on Torvalds’ Strange Remarks

      I’ve just stumbled upon a disappointing interview with Linus Torvalds which left me utterly confused about Mr. Torvalds views on GNU/Linux distributions. He is certainly a prominent figure and I always look up to him but I think he is much misunderstood about the goal of distros and especially about the role of Debian.

      [...]

      I’m pretty much still a GNU/Linux newbie(5-months of experience at the outside); yet when I’m tying to choose a distro I look for those that are more about freedom and choice rather than prettier interfaces. If Mr. Torvalds want to praise a particular distro I think there are much better ways to make his point rather than making controversial remarks about respectable distros.

    • Why I Use Gentoo: Development Environment

      Since Gentoo is a source-based distribution, packages are compiled directly on the user’s computer.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A Technology Preview Of Mandriva 2011

        Mandriva 2011 migrates over to using RPM5, utilizes systemd, now supports NetworkManager, provides KDE 4.6.0, and has other key improvements. Some of the main packages include Firefox 4.0, X.Org Server 1.9, the Linux 2.6.37 kernel, and Clementine 0.6.

    • Debian Family

      • No Debian for the Clueless

        At any rate, Debian is not for newbies who don’t have someone to hold their hand.

      • A down-under talk on the role of Debian, A.D. 2011

        I’m back from LCA 2011, which I’ve attended to share some thoughts about the role that Debian plays in the Free Software ecosystem, 18 years after its inception (yes, we are that old^Welder).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Shortcuts, let’s document them…
        • Ubuntu Weekly Q&A Sessions Announced

          According to the Ubuntu wiki pages there will be a weekly question and answer series to be lead by manager of the community leaders and Canonical managers.

        • Nelson Continues Importing Ubuntu to openSUSE

          Nelson Marques began by importing Ubuntu Indicator Applets to openSUSE, he said, to make openSUSE more familiar to his fellow countrymen that are more accustomed to Ubuntu. Well, that soon led to Unity. Now he’s importing Synapse.

        • Bugs in Ubuntu Pre-releases

          Every time there’s an Ubuntu release or pre-release is tested, it is logged on the Ubuntu QA team ISO tracker.

        • Interview with Silvia Bindelli

          SB: My first contact with the Ubuntu Community was through the Ubuntu-Women Group, in late 2007. I joined it since I was so happy with this Operating System I was willing to give my contribution to spread its use. I knew the percentage of women using it was really low, and I thought this is mainly due to a certain “ignorance”: it’s hard to use a software you don’t know, or you have a lot of prejudices about. Joining this group I was willing to give my contribution to promote Ubuntu, starting from women. Far later, through this group I got in touch with Flavia Weisghizzi, the first (and still the only!) Italian female Ubuntu member. She introduced me to the Italian Loco Team, which I belong to since December 2010.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint OS – Uninspiring

            Peppermint OS is a Ubuntu, or rather, Lubuntu derivate, focused on cloud computing. The distribution is supposed to be very lightweight, running the simple yet should-be elegant Openbox desktop, which you’ve encountered in my Crunchbang review, while providing users with the wonders and marvels of the cloud.

            [...]

            Overall, there’s nothing wrong with Peppermint. It’s a decent distro, within the self-set limitations. That said, it does not escape the lethal trap of boredom. Peppermint is not exciting. It does not make you gasp or growl with pleasure.

            Then, you will be annoyed by its repertoire of programs. Not only does it not suit everyone, it contains several programs broken by geographical design. There’s also the tricky question of whether you want your stuff in the cloud. The programs are not really useful for daily use, unless you’re only into music and streaming video and chatting to your imaginary friends. Throw in an archaic theme, and you get a bland, uninspiring desktop.

            If you’re looking for cloud stuff, try gOS or maybe Jolicloud. If you’re looking for lightweight alternatives, you may want to check Crunchbang or Vector Linux. As it is, Peppermint needs a serious overhaul to become fresh and useful, especially considering its mission statement. That would be all for today.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Stream Music To Your Android Device Using MPD And MPDroid

          MPDroid is a really cool Android application (MPD client) that not only lets you control MPD remotely, but also lets you stream music to your Android device. Here’s how to set it up.

        • Google releases Android 3.0 SDK preview, Honeycomb details revealed

          Today Google released a non-final preview of the Android 3.0 SDK to allow developers to test their applications with the upcoming tablet OS, inherit the new “Holographic” theme, and work on providing alternative layouts for extra large screens. The Android Developers Blog notes that applications developed with the Android 3.0 Platform Preview cannot be published on Android Market, but they will be releasing a final SDK in the coming weeks.

        • Honeycomb is here: Google unveils Android 3.0, new Web-based Market

          Google held a special event this morning to launch Android 3.0, codenamed Honeycomb. The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system introduces a new user interface for tablet devices and brings a number of other compelling features such as pervasive hardware accelerated rendering and stronger support for multicore processors.

        • New Merchandising and Billing Features on Android Market

          Following on last week’s announcement of the Android 3.0 Preview SDK, I’d like to share some more good news with you about three important new features on Android Market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Selenium Joins the Software Freedom Conservancy

    Today, the Software Freedom Conservancy welcomes Selenium as its newest member. Selenium joins twenty-five other Conservancy members, who receive the benefit of aggregated non-profit status available to all Conservancy member projects.

  • VideoLAN project celebrates 10 years of open source

    The VideoLAN project has announced that it is celebrating its tenth anniversary of open source as 1 February marks the tenth anniversary of the organisation’s switch to the GPL license. To celebrate, the developers will be posting ten days of “surprises, ideas and stories” to the 10 years of open source events page – the first day provides a history of the VideoLAN project.

  • Quora’s Technology Examined

    # Components Of Quora
    # What’s Cooking Under That Hood?

    * The Search-Box
    * Webnode2 And LiveNode
    * Amazon Web Services
    o Ubuntu Linux
    o Static Content
    * HAProxy Load-Balancing
    * Nginx
    * Pylons And Paste
    * Python
    * Thrift
    * Tornado
    * Long Polling (Comet)
    * MySQL
    * Memcached
    * Git

  • Top 10 free open source tools for network admins

    Routing issues, slow network applications, DNS resolution problems — a network administrator has to deal with a host of network nuisances on a daily basis. How do you survive when you’re constantly under the gun to fix the problems? Like any other professional, you need a solid set of tools.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice: Meet the New Office, (Almost) Same as the Old Office

      What’s the difference between OpenOffice and the new LibreOffice? Not much. What I found was a small list of improvements and embellishments. I expect this list will grow and the LibreOffice project grows. Like OpenOffice, LibreOffice suite is not perfect. Some functions seem to slow performance a bit. But I can say the same things about OpenOffice, which I have used for years.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Government

    • Open Source Procurement: Copyrights

      As I wrote last month concerning indemnity, I constantly encounter both governments and companies claiming they have policies permitting or even favouring open source software. Yet there’s still a huge amount of proprietary software being procured by them.

      A policy alone is not enough. To implement it, legacy procurement rules have to be changed, especially in government. While these rules may provide both protection and value for procurement of products and services the enterprise has seen before, they typically discriminate against new approaches. Legacy procurement rules stifle innovation.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • GreenXchange, a commons for the global commons, turns one

      You might already know about GreenXchange. It’s a specialized sort of commons specifically for innovations (or yet to be applied innovations) for environmental sustainability. For now, that means an on-line space to post patents and supporting materials under one of three pledges.

      Where many are familiar with Creative Commons providing the legal structures and tools to help people transparently promise to others restrictions or non-restrictions on using content like text or visuals, GreenXchange facilitates the sharing of patents by businesses and other holders in a similar, tailored way. And, in fact, Creative Commons is a partner.

    • Telling the open source story – Part 2

      A: The original work with Wikipedia was undertaken as a partnership between my studio and Sea Change Strategies and Fenton Communication. We were asked to assist with the 2009 fundraising campaign.

      I was drawn to Wikipedia because I believe it’s the best example of the Internet’s amazing potential–people cooperating to share knowledge and build something for all of us to share. Wikipedia is an amazing tool, but maybe even more powerful as an idea.

    • [BPR01] Dumbo Gets Mad – Elephants At The Door LP

      We’re thrilled and proud to announce the debut LP by Dumbo Gets Mad and our first physical release!

    • Open Data

      • Open Shakespeare Annotation Sprint

        This weekend we’re holding the first Open Shakespeare Annotation Sprint — participate and help change criticism forever! We’ll be getting together online and in-person to collaborate on critically annotating a complete Shakespeare play with all our work being open.

    • Open Access/Content

      • DOIs are not copyright! What about Bibliographic Data?

        I do not need to waste any more time on it. I can do something else with my time. I do not need to live in fear of the lawyer’s letter. We can add DOIs into OpenBibliography!

        By contrast I spend much of my time in wasted attempts to get clear factual answers from publishers. I’ve been waiting for 4 years from one on data. I’ve been in intense discussion with another about text-mining of data for 18 months. They’ve now relayed it to their legal team. I wait with expectation.

Leftovers

  • Outplacement cowboys screw the recently unemployed

    The WSJ reports on the slipshod cowboys who’ve rushed in to fill the demand for “outplacement firms” who are meant to help laid-off employees find a better job. Some of these firms assign their “coaches” 15 clients per day, send out amateurish, typo-laden job applications on behalf of job-seekers (without their knowledge, signing their names to the cover letters, no less), and generally make a piss-poor hash out of their charges’ future employment prospects. Laid-off workers are wising up and asking their former employers for cash instead of “counselling.”

  • No more IPv4 addresses

    The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) assigned two of the remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses – each containing 16.7 million addresses – to the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) on Tuesday, as predicted.

  • How IPv6 will work as IPv4 wanes

    As I write, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (Iana) has just allocated the IPv4 prefixes 39/8 and 106/8 to the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Registry (Apnic). Ordinarily, another couple of blocks of IPv4 address space disappearing off the shelf isn’t headline news. This time, it’s different.

  • Supreme Court welcomes tweeters

    The UK Supreme Court has released guidance on the use of “live text-based communications” from the court. Put simply, tweeting will be allowed in most instances.

    The UK’s highest court of appeal has sensibly said that since its cases do not involve interaction with witnesses or jurors, subject to limited exceptions “any member of a legal team or member of the public is free to use text-based communications from court, providing (i) these are silent; and (ii) there is no disruption to the proceedings in court“.

    The guidance also emphasises that WiFi is available throughout the building, just to make broadcasting those live text-based communications that bit easier.

  • Science

    • Cosmos At Least 250x Bigger Than Visible Universe, Say Cosmologists

      When we look out into the Universe, the stuff we can see must be close enough for light to have reached us since the Universe began. The universe is about 14 billion years old, so at first glance it’s easy to think that we cannot see things more than 14 billion light years away.

      That’s not quite right, however. Because the Universe is expanding, the most distant visible things are much further away than that. In fact, the photons in the cosmic microwave background have travelled a cool 45 billion light years to get here. That makes the visible universe some 90 billion light years across.

    • Data Shows Disastrous GPS Jamming from FCC-Approved Broadcaster

      Representatives of the GPS industry presented to members of the Federal Communications Commission clear, strong laboratory evidence of interference with the GPS signal by a proposed new broadcaster on January 19 of this year. The teleconference and subsequent written results of the testing apparently did not dissuade FCC International Bureau Chief Mindel De La Torre from authorizing Lightsquared to proceed with ancillary terrestrial component operations, installing up to 40,000 high-power transmitters close to the GPS frequency, across the United States.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Massive Health: Raised Money, Spending On New Hires

      This blog post is by my cofounder Sutha Kamal, who is Massive Health’s fearless CEO. He is by the smarter of the two of us. He has previously sat on the other side of the VC table and most recently was the acting-CTO for Fjord, which is the mobile design firm responsible for making the a lot of the mobile experiences you have every day as good as they are. As a side note, the best gift I’ve ever received is having the funds we raised for Massive hit our bank account on the day I turned 27.

  • Security

    • UK Hacker Faces Jail After Stealing Virtual Poker Chips

      A computer hacker from the UK has admitted stealing $12 milion worth of poker chips from social gaming site Zynga. Ashley Mitchell of Paignton transferred 400 billion virtual chips into his account and sold them on the black market at a rate of £430 per billion – which meant he stood to make around £184,000, having already made £53,000 when he was arrested.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Egypt unrest: Barack Obama urges power transition now

      US President Barack Obama has said an orderly political transition “must begin now” in Egypt and lead to free and fair elections.

      His statement followed the announcement by Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak that he would not stand for re-election.

    • Bill would require all S.D. citizens to buy a gun

      Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

      The bill, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2012, would give people six months to acquire a firearm after turning 21. The provision does not apply to people who are barred from owning a firearm.

    • Google executive, Wael Ghonim, vanishes in Cairo; family desperate after Twitter account goes silent
    • Egypt: Connected to revolution

      Instead, Egypt may simply have reached a tipping point. Its citizens, having witnessed the events in Tunisia, came to realize they were no longer atomized and uncoordinated in the face of a police state. They could self-organize, connect with one another, share stories and videos, organize meetings and protests. In short, they could tell their own narratives to one another, outside the government’s control.

      These stories can be powerful.

      In Egypt, a video of an unknown protester being shot and carried away has generated a significant viewership. In Iran, the video of Neda Agha-Soltan dying from a gunshot wound transformed her into a symbol. In Tunisia, videos of protestors being shot also helped mobilize the public.

      [...]

      The events in Egypt are a testament to the opportunity of the times we live in. Connectivity is changing our world, making us more powerful individually and collectively. But ultimately, if we wish to champion freedom and openness abroad — to serve as the best possible example for countries like Egypt — we must be prepared to do so at home.

    • Mandatory Name Tags Remain For Toronto Coppers

      Apparently the Toronto Police Association had appealed the rule forcing police officers to wear name tags while working, and now has lost the appeal. The Toronto Police Association is the union that represents police officers working for the Toronto Police Services.

    • Awakening Freedom’s Allies: Thoughts on Egypt, Youth Bulges and Economic Growth

      There has been much concern recently that some observers have overstated the role of the Internet in promoting freedom and democracy around the world. Evgeny Morozov rightly points out that “Tweets don’t overthrow governments; people do,” noting that social networking sites can be both helpful and harmful to activists operating from inside authoritarian regimes. Morozov points out that secret police increasingly gather incriminating evidence by scanning the photos and videos uploaded to Flickr and YouTube by protesters and their Western sympathizers. “They might even serve as an early warning system for authoritarian rulers,” he says.

    • The View From Tahrir

      In my area of Tahrir, the thugs were armed with machetes, straight razors, clubs and stones. And they all had the same chants, the same slogans and the same hostility to journalists. They clearly had been organized and briefed. So the idea that this is some spontaneous outpouring of pro-Mubarak supporters, both in Cairo and in Alexandria, who happen to end up clashing with other side — that is preposterous. It’s difficult to know what is happening, and I’m only one observer, but to me these seem to be organized thugs sent in to crack heads, chase out journalists, intimidate the pro-democracy forces and perhaps create a pretext for an even harsher crackdown.

      I have no idea whether this tactic will work. But the idea that President Mubarak should make the case that he is necessary for Egypt’s stability by unleashing violence and chaos on his nation’s youth — it’s a sad and shameful end to his career. And I hope that the international community will firmly denounce this kind of brutality apparently organized by the government.

    • As an Israeli, I want the Egyptians to win

      I want our neighbors, the people of Egypt, to show us how it’s done. I want you to show us the last thing we expected to see. Because it is only when we see our best consensus assessments proven dead wrong, when the wholly unanticipated stuns us, when the inconceivable turns overnight into the inevitable, that change comes to this place.

      [...]

      Israelis were not always slow learners. It may be difficult to imagine this now, with a government here whose only actions, apart from the normal commerce of corruption, are taken in the service of inaction.

      The race to concoct laws to legitimize repression and inequality, the deep kowtowing to buy off the settlers and the ultra-Orthodox – all of it is fundamentally aimed at cementing in office an unpopular, unwieldy government whose only campaign platform, at this point, is that any alternative would be worse.

    • Blocking Internet cost Egypt at least $90M, says OECD

      The Egyptian government’s five-day block of Internet services cost the national economy at least US$90 million, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said Thursday.

      The Paris-based organization said telecommunications and Internet services account for between 3 percent and 4 percent of Egypt’s GDP, so the daily loss amounted to around US$18 million.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • 11 percent of American homes are vacant — UPDATED
    • The Rise of the New Global Elite

      This widening gap between the rich and non-rich has been evident for years. In a 2005 report to investors, for instance, three analysts at Citigroup advised that “the World is dividing into two blocs—the Plutonomy and the rest”:

      In a plutonomy there is no such animal as “the U.S. consumer” or “the UK consumer”, or indeed the “Russian consumer”. There are rich consumers, few in number, but disproportionate in the gigantic slice of income and consumption they take. There are the rest, the “non-rich”, the multitudinous many, but only accounting for surprisingly small bites of the national pie.

      Before the recession, it was relatively easy to ignore this concentration of wealth among an elite few. The wondrous inventions of the modern economy—Google, Amazon, the iPhone—broadly improved the lives of middle-class consumers, even as they made a tiny subset of entrepreneurs hugely wealthy. And the less-wondrous inventions—particularly the explosion of subprime credit—helped mask the rise of income inequality for many of those whose earnings were stagnant.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Killing the Internet Not Just a Problem in Egypt

      It’s very much an American concern, in that a US-based company seems to be the maker of the Internet off-switch. As Tim Karr of Free Press notes, the US company Narus was founded in 1997 by Israeli security experts. Based in Sunnyvale California, Narus has devised what business fans call a “social media sleuth.”

    • Kill The Internet ‘Kill Switch’

      Censorship: Virtually the first thing an authoritative Egyptian government did to quell dissent was to shut down its Internet. So why are we debating a bill to give our government the same power?

      In George Orwell’s classic “1984,” the control of information and its flow was critical to Big Brother’s maintaining his grip on the people and manipulating their passions. Authoritarian governments and dictators worldwide know that lesson well.

      The ability to see how others live and to exchange ideas is a catalyst to dissent and unrest. The ability to choke off that flow is a necessity for authoritarian governments. The Internet and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have helped fuel democratic movements from our own Tea Party to the Iranian dissidents.

    • UPDATED: Egypt lifts blockade on Internet service

      (Update 2, 9:36 a.m.: I’m reading some reports indicating that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, the original targets of the Egyptian government, are still being blocked.)

    • Egypt, Net Neutrality, and the Ethics of Internet Suicide

      Governments like this don’t explain how they do these things, so it’s unclear exactly how this might have happened. Sending Egyptian police around to manually smash everyone’s routers wouldn’t have been practical. Nor would the government have the ability to simply shut down all addresses with an .eg domain, which they do not own. But the government does own the country’s two major ISPs. In all likelihood, reports GigaOM’s Bobby Johnson, officials closed down the major routers which direct traffic over the border, shutting the country out from the world, and switched off routers at individual ISPs to prevent access for most users inside.

    • I’m being sued by Benihana

      I’ve personally been threatened with lawsuits a number of times before, I know another popular blog recently got threatened with a lawsuit from a restaurant as well and I am sure there must be other bloggers who at one point in time have also been threatened. If blogs were recognized like newspapers or magazines we would all be protected from lawsuits like this but at the moment we aren’t. I find this unfair and if I end up losing this case what will it mean to all the other bloggers? Should bloggers be afraid to say anything negative about a company? Should all our posts just be happy happy joy joy?

    • Letter to Secretary Clinton One Year After Historic Internet Speech

      One year ago, in a groundbreaking speech, you declared the “freedom to connect” to be a Fifth Freedom, as important to human liberty as the Four Freedoms Franklin D. Roosevelt championed 70 years ago this month. The Internet will be what we make of it, you said, and you challenged governments and companies alike to ensure that a person’ s access to information and opinion does not depend on where she lives. At the time of your speech, Google was skirmishing with Chinese authorities over its ability to offer its search services uncensored. They were not the only company experiencing government-initiated interruptions of service. Turkey had blocked YouTube on and off since 2007. Iran had blocked Twitter just before its June 2009 presidential elections. And now Egypt has taken the extreme step of cutting off all Internet and telecommunications access in the country in the midst of pro-democracy protests against the Mubarak government.

      As you rightly pointed out, “[t]his issue is about more than claiming the moral high ground. It really comes down to the trust between firms and their customers. Consumers everywhere want to have confidence that the Internet companies they rely on will provide comprehensive search results and act as responsible stewards of their own personal information. Firms that earn that confidence of those countries and basically provide that kind of service will prosper in the global marketplace.” You challenged companies-particularly American companies-to lead the way: “censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company from anywhere. And … American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB (Canada)

    • Clement Confirms Plans to Overturn UBB Decision

      Industry Minister Tony Clement has confirmed that the government intends to overturn the CRTC’s usage based billing decision.

    • CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it

      The Harper government will overturn the CRTC’s decision that effectively ends “unlimited use” Internet plans if the regulator doesn’t rescind the decision itself.

    • The Cost of Bandwidth: Canada versus the World

      Usage based bUsage based billing (UBB) was recently introduced as “an economic Internet traffic management practice (ITMP) whose purpose is to manage Internet traffic on an incumbent carrier’s facilities.” (CRTC 2011-44) illing (UBB) was recently introduced as “an economic Internet traffic management practice (ITMP) whose purpose is to manage Internet traffic on an incumbent carrier’s facilities.” (CRTC 2011-44)

    • Grandfathered UBB

      If there is a legitimate reason to increase the cost, we should all have to pay it.

      But there isn’t.

      Since I’ve been writing the Stop Usage Based Billing blog I have yet to hear a single reasonable justification for imposition of UBB.

      In fact, I have learned that usage costs almost nothing. Less than a penny a GIGABYTE. The same gigabyte of bandwidth that will now cost some Canadians DOLLARS.
      The real cost of the Internet is in the Infrastructure. Canadians have been paying very high rates for mediocre service. For a long time. We have already more than paid for state of the art infrastructure with plenty of profit left over, but it has not been implemented by Canada’s Internet Carriers.

    • Metered Bandwidth Isn’t About Stopping The Bandwidth Hogs; It’s About Preserving Old Media Business Models

      For years, we’ve spoken about why metered broadband stifles innovation, by adding serious additional mental transaction costs and limits to anything you do online. If you look at the history of various online services, you know that AOL didn’t really catch on until it went to a flat-rate plan from an older metered (by time) plan.

      [...]

      Not only does it stifle basic innovation, but it also protects the legacy media/entertainment industry and their business models.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Another copyright troll throws in the towel
      • Copyright Troll Gives Up in Porn-Downloading Case

        Mick Haig Productions dropped the case just 48 hours after EFF and PC demanded that it withdraw subpoenas Mick Haig’s lawyer apparently issued while the question of whether the court should allow the subpoenas at all was still under consideration by the court.

      • The Awkwardness Of Cutting Out The Middleman

        We’ve talked in the past about the idea of musicians doing “house concerts” or in-home shows (all the way back to 2003), highlighting how folks like Jill Sobule successfully offered up the opportunity for fans to pay $5,000 to have her perform at their home. She had a handful of fans take her up on this offer and said they went great.

      • NBC Universal Study Shows That It’s Hollywood’s Own Damn Fault So Much Content Is ‘Pirated’

        All week people have been submitting variations on the news that a study commissioned by NBC Universal, and promoted by the MPAA, shows that 24% of web traffic involves “piracy.” If you look through the actual methodology, done by research firm Envisional, there are all sorts of problems with it, including the fact that they seem to bootstrap these findings based on research done by others. Another problem is that the source Envisional used, the PublicBT tracker, does not include many of the legal BitTorrent uses, meaning that they may have significantly undercounted legal usage.

        [...]

        So, the real lesson of this study is that the large amount of unauthorized access in movies online is the MPAA and NBC Universal’s own damn fault for failing to adapt and to offer legitimate services to the market when they want it. Thanks for sharing that information with the world…

      • Will Homeland Security Domain Seizures Lead To Exodus From US Controlled Domains?

        With Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group now seizing domain names of perfectly legitimate foreign companies, one of the “defenses” of this action is that what those sites do may violate US laws (the lack of an actual court deciding this is conveniently overlooked, but we’ll let that slide for now) and thus since the domains are managed by US-based registrars, it’s technically property in the US, and thus open to seizure.

      • ICO drops BT, ACS Law probe

        The Information Commissioner’s Office has ended an investigation against BT for handing over customer information to file-sharing-chaser law firm ACS:Law, which then leaked online.

        ACS:Law’s speciality is sending letters to suspected file-sharers threatening them with expensive legal action unless they send the law firm money for supposed copyright infringement.

      • Will the Music Industry Ever Learn From Its Mistakes?

        EMI’s sad story shows that it’s suffering the same problems as the wider music business: It went into the networked era as a huge and well-known brand with a roster of big name artists and ownership of incredible catalogue of recordings. It was home to acts like the Beatles and Coldplay, and was the owner of iconic brands like Parlophone and Virgin. Yet despite its natural advantages it had built up over the years, it fell to pieces in the face of changing consumer behavior and aggressive new distribution models enabled by the Internet. Outpaced, outgunned and outmaneuvered, it has now handed its success over to the likes of Apple and its future to a bank that’s trying to hawk it to the highest bidder.

      • EMI: under new management

        As anyone who’s bothering to follow the death throes of Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music probably already knows, Britain’s EMI now has a new owner.

        And no, it isn’t Canada’s Edgard Bronfman jr.

        Not yet, anyway.

        “Guy Hands mistook his banker for a friend”, said p2pnet late last year, quoting a Telegraph headline to the then “latest installment in the EMI is Up Shit Creek drama”.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

Clip of the Day

Wikimedia – nice people


Credit: TinyOgg

“The Goal of Likewise Was to Go Into Mac/Linux Enterprises and Convert Their Directory Servers into MS ActiveDirectory”

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Samba at 2:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Likewise as Microsoft

Summary: An explanation of what Likewise is really doing (serving Microsoft)

A reader has left this comment which says:

I interviewed with likewise last March for a SysAdmin/Support position (and I have the emails to prove it), helping customers with Linux and Mac Likewise installs. During the interview with Jessie DeCarlos I started asking excited questions about deploying RedHat Directory Servers to replace ActiveDirectory which would push more Linux desktops into the enterprise, thinking this was Likewises goal. I was stopped cold by Jessie and told the hard facts of Likewise which were the opposite. According to Jessie, the goal of Likewise was to go into Mac/Linux enterprises and convert their directory servers into MS ActiveDirectory while allowing them to keep their Mac/Linux desktops. When I pressed further about Likewise being a open source company I was told that a.) its open core not open source b.) the goal is to push MS server software as the executive and sales team is all ex-MS and still very good friends with Redmond.

And to seal the deal of my disgust with these trolls, I was told the compensation package included lots of bonuses, for…….wait for it…….converting Mac/Linux directory servers over to MS ActiveDirectory. I feel violated just telling the story.

One last bit, I had installed Likewise before the interview (when I was naive and thought they were pushing open source not the opposite) on my Ubuntu test box and tried to get it working on a MS domain. Ehhhh, nope, didnt work. On top of that, I uninstalled and then found Likewise changes your local user password and wont let the local user change it by removing the permissions. Crap software being pimped as ‘open source’ and its a total shame.

See our Wiki page about Likewise because there is a lot more about this sham company which tries to ‘openwash’ its public image.

IRC Proceedings: February 2nd, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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