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02.20.11

Links 20/2/2011: Munich’s Migration to GNU/Linux Goes Well, Android 3.0 Clues

Posted in News Roundup at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Alcatel-Lucent Expands IP Address and DNS Management

    The VitalQIP 1200 is built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and is also available as a software appliance.

  • Desktop

    • Munich Continues to Migrate to GNU/Linux

      So, they are all using FLOSS apps and about half the departments are using GNU/Linux. Slowly but surely, the promised migration is happening. The migration project has been extended to 2013 with no additional funds required.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Adds New Stars to Android Galaxy

      Lots of mobile manufacturers are finding a comfortable home with Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) open source mobile platform, but as the world’s second most prolific maker of phones, Samsung’s devotion is especially noteworthy.

    • I am Disappoint: No Love for Froyo on Galaxy S

      Based on an anonymous post on the XDA Developer Forums, the reason behind the lack of a Froyo update for Samsung Galaxy S phones in the US appears to be because Samsung is greedy.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE India Community to Organize Its First Conference in Bangalore

        Indian KDE Community is organizing its maiden conference – conf.kde.in in Bangalore on 9th, 10th and 11th March followed by a two day code sprint on 12th and 13th.

        conf.kde.in will provide a platform for Qt and KDE contributors and enthusiasts to meet up, share their knowledge, contribute, learn, play, have fun and create limitless possibilities.

      • When KDE 4′s Activities Finally Made Sense

        Here’s what happens with me. I have 4 virtual desktops, as you saw above. They are named main, chatting, coding, and web. Main holds Kontact and Amarok. Chatting has Kopete, Choqok, and Konversation. Coding either has Blender, Inkscape and Dolphn or Kate and Konsole. Web holds my web browser. So when I start up my computer, I need to start all these up. I could leave them all open when I logout and let KDE save that as a session. But that means KDE is sluggish to start up as it starts up all those programs. And if all I want is to listen to some music, I have to wait an unreasonable amount of time. What activities will allow me to do is associate those programs with an activity and whenever I start up the activity, those programs will automatically load. So on a day I’m not working on INM (http://www.notmadcomic.com), I don’t load the Blender activity. Same goes with coding. But when I *do* want to work on a new comic strip, I just load up the Blender activity and it will auto-load blender, Dolphin (to the right subfolder), and inkscape. When I’m done, I just close the activity.

        Whether this turns out to be awesome in practice depends on how annoying it is to switch activities vs how annoying it is to switch virtual desktops. Virtual desktops work well enough for me that the benefits aren’t worth it if it becomes more annoying to get to what I want to do. I can’t try it just yet – as I write this (it will be published about a week later) Fedora doesn’t have KDE 4.6, but I’m definitely excited about trying this new workflow.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • 4G base-station on a chip runs Linux

        Freescale Semiconductor announced a Linux-ready system-on-chip family for femtocell and picocell 4G base stations. The QorIQ Qonverge SoCs combine a Power-PC core for the PSC9130/31 femtocell version — or dual cores for the PSC9132 picocell model — as well as one or two Freescale StarCore DSP cores, a Maple baseband accelerator, and other accelerators that create a scalable “base station-on-chip.”

      • Phones

        • Android

          • Google Music Service Tied To Android 3.0: Report

            Is the long-rumored Google music service imminent? It appears that way, according to statements made by Motorola Mobilitiy CEO Sanjay Jha.

            Jha told reporters at Mobile World Congress that the tablet-optimized Android OS, Honeycomb, will include a Google music tie-in. Motorola’s Android tablet Xoom is expected to launch this spring and will be the first to ship with Android 3.0, dubbed Honeycomb.

      • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • FOSDEM 2011 slide & latest updates

      I’ve just uploaded the slide for my talk during FOSDEM 2011 here. It was very nice to be able to talk about our somewhat ambitious plan to bring LibreOffice Calc to the next level. Also, I regret that I haven’t been able to blog about what’s been going on lately; lots of time spent on writing, reviewing code, fixing bugs and integrating patches, and sadly little time is left on writing blogs.

  • Education

    • Few students make time to study computer science

      Elizabeth Jackson is different from other 17-year-olds.

      “Most kids are like, ‘Ooh, a computer! I can go on Facebook,’ ” the Ligonier Valley junior said. “They don’t think, ‘What a cool piece of technology!’”

      Jackson, on the other hand, has long been interested in how technology works.

      “I always liked pulling things apart, taking apart remote controls,” she said.

      Today, she is studying mechatronics, a combination of mechanical and electronic engineering, at the Eastern Westmoreland Career and Technology Center in Derry Township. The class is centered around building and programming robots, and students graduate with knowledge of computer hardware, software and programming languages.

      [...]

      “It’s not only important for a student to learn to write a letter in Microsoft Word,” Sudol-DeLyser said, explaining that every student should learn about basic computer security, media production and simple programming, and interested students should be encouraged to study computer science in depth.

  • Business

  • Licensing

    • Kinect – Licensing implications of open hardware projects

      I’ve been looking with great interest OpenKinect, an open source project that in its own words is an “open community of people interested in making use of the amazing Xbox Kinect hardware with our PCs and other devices. We are working on free, open source libraries that will enable the Kinect to be used with Windows, Linux, and Mac.” The Kinect is indeed a revolution in human-computer interface, much like the Wii was a revolution in how people interact with video-games. I have been tempted to get an Xbox just to try out the wonderful hardware.

      OpenKinect is trying to use this amazing hardware to create interfaces for other applications. As soon as I heard about this, my lawyerly sixth sense started flashing warning signs. Is Microsoft on-board with this? Is there a licence? Are the OpenKinect developers opening themselves to future lawsuits and licensing fee claims from Redmond’s finest Men in Black?

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Google-backed Moon robot teams confirmed

      The final line-up of teams competing for the $30 million (£18.5m) robotic Moon-explorer prize has been confirmed.

      The prize will go to the builders of the first robot to send back video as it travels over 500 metres of the Moon’s surface.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Diet Coke sponsors ‘heart health’ initiative as if aspartame were good for you

      The Coca Cola Company recently announced the launch of its fourth annual Diet Coke “Women’s Heart Health” campaign to “raise awareness and funds for women’s heart health education and research.” Similar to what Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Mike’s Hard Lemonade did with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer campaign last year, Diet Coke is this year pretending to advance the cause of improving women’s heart health via a chemical-laden soft drink that is literally destroying the health of millions.

    • This is what “pro-life” means?

      House Republicans just cut off funds for abortions — and breast exams, cervical cancer screenings and STD testing

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Algeria, Libya, Yemen and Bahrain: 2011-2-19

      The situation in Libya has heated up. The government of Libya has brought in African mercenaries who are ruthless. The death-toll mounts. In Bahrain, the army and police have withdrawn from the Pearl Roundabout, allowing protestors to reoccupy that area. Let us hope this is not a strategic move to create a free firing zone. Let us hope it is a move towards actual dialogue. In Yemen violence continues.

    • Major Jolloud

      Long before I became involved with technology I worked as a reporter in the Middle East. My work there introduced me to many important characters of that era. Some of them, like Yassar Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Organization and King Hussein of Jordan, are long gone from the scene. I effectively predated Mubarak, and in those days Bahrain was mainly known as the only place on the Gulf where drivers were polite and you could legally buy a drink. But one constant that remains is Colonel Qaddafi of Libya, though he’s not what this column is about. It’s about Major Jolloud, Qaddafi’s right-hand man.

      [...]

      So now we have Libyan troops killing Libyan citizens in both protests and funeral processions. This is completely consistent with Major Jolloud. And it will continue until the government falls or all the protest leaders are dead. Not until the protests end — until the leaders are dead. That’s Major Jolloud’s way and the people of Libya probably know that by now.

    • Bahrain must reform now, Clinton says

      The wave of unrest spreading across the Middle East and North Africa is testing the underpinnings of US policy, which for decades has seen Washington side with rulers who kept a lid on dissent but provided relative geopolitical stability.

    • Update: Libya death toll tops 173, says Human Rights Watch

      Update: Death toll now at least 173, rights group says

    • Chinese police snuff out planned Arab-inspired protests

      Police dispersed scores of people who gathered in central Beijing on Sunday after calls spread online across China urging pro-democracy gatherings inspired by protest rallies across the Middle East.

    • North Korea digging tunnels for likely nuclear test: report

      North Korea is digging tunnels at a site where it has launched two nuclear tests, suggesting it is preparing a third, the South’s Yonhap news agency said on Sunday, a development which would trigger concern across the region.

    • As army withdraws from Bahrain’s Pearl Square, protesters return

      Thousands of jubilant Bahrainis returned on Saturday to Manama’s Pearl Square, the focal point of bloody anti-regime demonstrations, after police and troops withdrew in an apparently conciliatory move.

    • WATCH: 75,000+ protesters converge on Madison, Wisconsin
    • American who sparked diplomatic crisis over Lahore shooting was CIA spy

      The American who shot dead two men on a Lahore street, triggering a diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and the United States, is a CIA agent who was on assignment at the time of the incident.

      Raymond Davis has been the subject of widespread speculation since he opened fire with a semi-automatic Glock pistol on the two men who had pulled up alongside his car at a red light on 25 January.

  • Cablegate

    • The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog—Special Weekend Edition!

      Finally! A WikiLeaks / football (soccer, to you) link! Sports Illustrated writer says he wants to run for president of FIFA, and finds maybe he is not joking. Among the weapons in his “Arsenal” (so to speak): “I would love to do a WikiLeaks on FIFA,” Wahl said. “If I’m president I’ll release all of the internal documents to the public, I’ll start an internal investigation to see if this organization really is corrupt. I think the international Olympic committee went through something like this and they have a much cleaner reputation now.”

      WikiLeaks just released hundreds of new Bahrainian cables. From one of new cables on Bahrain: Head of Bahrain intelligence agency “valued contact” of US embassy.

      Important piece on librarians and WikiLeaks. No, really, don’t miss it.

      Special one-day sale on my Age of Wikileaks book, just $10.95 in print and $4.99 e-book.

      In spirit of what I’ve been doing for awhile, Ryan Gallagher puts together long list of WikiLeaks revelations and how they’ve been covered.

      As Libya revolt grows, a collection of WikiLeaks cables on LIbya, well beyond the infamous “nurse.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Activist faces up to 10 years in prison for peacefully challenging big oil

      This is the story of an ordinary citizen (Tim DeChristopher) taking creative peaceful direct action to disrupt, as he put it, a “fraud against the American people and a threat to (his) future.”

      In December 2008, the Bush administration granted the oil and gas industry one last unethical auction in Utah, scurrying to lease out parcels of pristine red rock public lands for drilling and exploration.

      Exercising his inherent right to protest, Tim who was then a local college student, walked in the building, registered as bidder 70 and went up against Big Oil and friends. He soon outbid them—winning 14 parcels in a row and racking up over $1.7 million worth of land! When asked to step aside by security, Tim made it very clear that he was there to stop the auction and was promptly escorted out.

    • Speak out against ill-advised natural gas drilling regulations for Delaware River Basin

      Last December, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) released draft regulations governing natural gas drilling in the basin. The Delaware River watershed supplies drinking water to approximately 15 million people and gets its water from four states: New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. New York City’s unfiltered drinking water supply – which supplies safe water to more than 9 million New Yorkers – is fed by the Delaware River system.

  • Finance

    • Deep Green: Debt, Human Rights and Nature

      In January, the bankers and corporate executives at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, presented a plan to create $100 trillion US dollars (about €700 billion or ¥7 trillion) in new international debt.

      During the last decade, world debt nearly doubled from $57 trillion to $109 trillion. Banks created ‘toxic assets’, ‘mortgage derivatives’ and ‘default swaps’ without substantial collateral to back them up. These schemes made bankers very rich, but helped collapse the world financial system 18 months ago. Public taxpayers have since bailed these bankers out with about $11 trillion in new debt. Now the financiers want more.

      As some economies slightly recovered, energy prices rose to trigger inflation, slowing real recovery. Thus, the WEF bankers published ‘More Credit, Fewer Crises’, proposing that the world double its debt once again to $210 trillion by 2020. This debt would be over three times the entire world annual economy.

    • NEW DETAILS: How Goldman Sachs Killed AIG
    • Goldman CEO gets salary boost, $12.6 million shares

      Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) tripled Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein’s base salary and awarded him $12.6 million (7.9 million pounds) of stock, even after the bank’s net income plunged last year.

    • Simon Johnson With Eliot Spitzer: “The Banks Went Crazy; Nobody Stopped Them; J.P. Morgan Is The New GSE”

      Who are the government sponsored enterprises today? Which entities are too big to fail, in the eyes of lawmakers and regulators, and therefore are receiving implicit, no-cost government guarantees?

      The answer is our largest bank holding companies such as JPMorgan, the second-biggest U.S. bank in terms of assets behind Bank of America Corp. This point is made in the latest quarterly report from Neil Barofsky, the special inspector-general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Stephen Harper’s worst enemy

      What happens when the smartest man in the room (by his own estimation) proves too clever by half? What happens when a one-man band puts on a third-rate show? What happens when a “brilliant strategist” is so full of uncontrollable resentment and meanness that he keeps getting himself in trouble by interfering where he has no business?

  • Privacy

    • ‘Kill Switch’ Internet bill alarms privacy experts

      Just as the Egyptian government recently forced the Internet to go dark, U.S. officials could flip the switch if the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset legislation becomes law, say its critics.

      Proponents of the bill, which is expected to be reintroduced in the current session of Congress, dismiss the detractors as ill-informed — even naive.

      The ominously nicknamed Kill Switch bill is sure to be a flashpoint of discussion at the RSA Conference, the nation’s largest gathering of computer-security experts that takes place here this week.

      The bill — crafted by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; and Tom Carper, D-Del. — aims to defend the economic infrastructure from a cyberterrorist attack. But it has free-speech advocates and privacy experts howling over the prospect of a government agency quelling the communication of hundreds of millions of people.

    • Your Life Torn Open, essay 1: Sharing is a trap

      The author of The Cult Of The Amateur argues that if we lose our privacy we sacrifice a fundamental part of our humanity.

  • Civil Rights

    • A call to arms!

      Last week, joyful images of Damian Green standing next to the remnants of our multi-million pound ID card database were met with applause from those of us who pride personal freedom and resent an over-powering state. This is a state that, in its wisdom, has deemed it within its rights (and amazingly even its responsibility on occasions) to hold data on every single British citizen, information that delved into the most personal aspects of the individual.

    • Airport face-scanning robots switched off

      Facial recognition scaAirport face-scanning robots switched offnners at Manchester Airport have been switched off after an incident in which the robot guard let a couple through the gate even though they had swapped passports.

      An immigration officer stopped the couple after they got through the barrier.

    • EU bottoms up committee slates body scanners

      An obscure EU Committee has slammed the introduction of body scanners, raising concerns over the health and human rights risks of the technology.

      The European Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion on scanner technology, which sets out concerns over the scanners’ ability to improve security “which, coupled with the considerable cost of the scanners, remains the key issue”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

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