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02.27.11

Links 27/2/2011: X Server 1.10, Last Firefox 4 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 2:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Dissecting the New SGI’s Plan for Profitability

      In fact, Barrenechea told me about half of SGI’s business comes still comes from the public sector, including the Department of Energy laboratories, intelligence agencies and NSF-funded universities. “It’s a great market for us,” he noted, adding that SGI systems for these types of customers, as well as for large enterprise customers, typically pack between 50 and 100 teraflops per cabinet. SGI Altix systems accounted for 22 of the 500 fastest computers in the world according to November’s Top500 list, and, going forward, SGI also expects to be “squarely in the middle” of the race to exascale computers. The Obama administration is proposing $126 million for exascale research in its congressional budget.

    • Turning Cell Phones into Urban Supercomputers

      The possibilities are endless. “Consider what could be done with an API for addressing clusters of mobile sensors,” he writes.

      The idea reminds me of Open Sailing’s SwarmOS, which aims to help individuals make decisions based on the collective intelligence reported by “swarms” of users with mobile phones. Adding sensors to that mix is a powerful notion.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Bend to the will of the universe: freesweep

      There are powerful forces at work in nature. There are things about life I just don’t understand or comprehend, and one of them is the appeal of Minesweeper.

    • Games

      • The Humble Indie Bundle Reviewed – Part 1

        World of Goo, Lugaru and Overture alone each justify the Bundle purchase. As it is, you get these, as well as several other games. Now, Aquaria, Gish and Samorost2 are less fully featured, but still very decent titles. Personally, my taste leans away from them, but you will still find them quite lovely. Moreover, the games all ran well on Linux, with very simple and quick installations, no errors, no problems.

        Overall, the first Humble Bundle is a package of good fun and action. It’s definitely worth its money, whatever you may have decided to invest. In fact, if you’ve paid any less than the total sum of their standard prices, you’ve made yourself one hell of a bargain. Next week, we’ll review the second half, with five more games. For the time being, have fun.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Squeeze, Debian, and the FSF

        Historically, the relationships among Debian and the FSF have gone through mixed fortune (and that’s quite an euphemism). On the one hand, Debian is committed to 100% Free Software, is an open project explicitly inspired by “the spirit of GNU”, has been sponsored by FSF in its infancy, and properly calls itself “GNU/Linux” (or even “GNU/kFreeBSD”). On the other hand, Debian is the project who considers the GNU FDL license to be only conditionally free and which is not considered to be an entirely Free system according to FSF.
        So much for the history corner.

        [...]

        Furthermore, I’m more and more convinced that Debian nowadays enjoys a rather privileged position among Free Software vendors.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • What do you see when you think of Natty?

          The greater artwork community reached out to Ubuntu and answered the question above with their illustrations.

          Words of inspiration included metaphors like “Entertaining, Simple, Carefree, Steady, Handy, and Quick”.

        • Unity Keyboard Shortcuts List
        • Ubuntu 11.04 – My Experience So Far

          I’m sure people are probably fed up of reading these by now. I know there’s several threads on this topic over on the Ubuntu Forums, for example. Nonetheless, what I have experienced so far is this (don’t worry, it’s short):

          Crashing. Lots of it, mainly compiz it seems. Yes, I know we’re only on Alpha 2 and yes, I expect alpha releases (of anything) to contain bugs. But still, I don’t even have to have done anything for compiz to crash! Admittedly, it could be my video driver (I have an Nvidia 9800GT) that’s the cause, I just don’t know.

        • Full Circle #46 out NOW!
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Quickie Conference Report: Day One – SCALE 9x

      Yesterday marked the opening of the Southern California Linux Expo, otherwise known as SCALE. SCALE’s venue this year is the Los Angeles Airport Hilton, just a stone’s throw from LAX Airport. SCALE opened strong with lots of technical content, much of it about the “DevOps” movement and how you can bring its benefits to your place of business.

  • Web Browsers

  • Business

    • Portland software developers ratchet up their open source ambitions

      The Reed College alum was 29 when he created an open source software tool called Puppet for managing data centers and other big computer networks. His project took off, winning adoption from a community of like-minded enthusiasts who deployed it at Twitter, Google, the New York Stock Exchange and many other organizations.

  • BSD

    • Dru Lavigne: Confessions of a community manager

      Dru Lavigne has been contributing to BSD since late 90s and is now the community manager for PC-BSD. At SCALE9x, which continues in LA through this weekend, she spoke about being a community manager and how to decide whether your project is ready to have one.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Internet Archive Partners With 150 Libraries to Launch an E-Book Lending Program

      The Internet Archive, in conjunction with 150 libraries, has rolled out a new 80,000 e-book lending collection today on OpenLibrary.org. This means that library patrons with an OpenLibrary account can check out any of these e-books.

      The hope is that this effort will help libraries make the move to digital book lending. “As readers go digital, so are our libraries,” says Brewster Kahle, founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive.

Leftovers

  • YouTube Video Satirizes Court Tech Project

    The YouTube cartoon starts with a cartoon judge who looks a bit like Betty Boop and a thuggish looking man in a track suit who says, “Just put the money in the bag.” What follows is a satire of the IT system for California’s courts now predicted to cost $3 billion. While the cartoon has been viewed only 700 times, it is likely the cognoscenti who are watching, those who are in a position to influence the fate of the oft-maligned system.

    The title to the vignette suggests why it’s viewership is likely to stay small: “Case Mismanagement: A Chat about CCMS.”

    “I need $150 million,” says the thug.

    “Why?” the judge questions.

    “For my case management system.”

  • Law Profs Urge Ethics Rules for Supreme Court Justices

    More than 100 law professors have signed on to a letter released today that proposes congressional hearings and legislation aimed at fashioning “mandatory and enforceable” ethics rules for Supreme Court justices for the first time. The effort, coordinated by the liberal Alliance for Justice, was triggered by “recent media reports,” the letter said, apparently referring to stories of meetings and other potential conflicts of interest involving Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas among others.

  • Executives at Alibaba resign amid fraud investigation

    Alibaba.com Ltd., China’s largest e-commerce website, announced the resignation of two of its most senior leaders Monday after an internal investigation found more than 2,000 fraudulent virtual storefronts had been set up with the help of company salespeople.

    In a company statement, Alibaba.com said Chief Executive David Wei and Chief Operating Officer Elvis Lee were not involved in the scams but wanted to shoulder responsibility for the “systemic break-down” in Alibaba.com’s “culture of integrity.”

  • Google’s war on content farms begins with algorithm update

    Google took a big step Thursday night towards dealing with the issue of content farms clogging results, changing its algorithms to weed out low-quality sites. The company said the changes would “noticeably impact” 11.8 percent of all queries, and could affect the rankings for a large number of websites, the company warned.

  • Can dreams predict the future?

    Psychiatrist John Barker visited the village the day after the landslide. Barker had a longstanding interest in the paranormal and wondered whether the extreme nature of events in Aberfan might have caused large numbers of people to experience a premonition about the tragedy. To find out, Barker arranged for a newspaper to ask any readers who thought they had foreseen the Aberfan disaster to get in touch. He received 60 letters from across England and Wales, with over half of the respondents claiming that their apparent premonition had come to them during a dream.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • US man gets 25 years for South Park threats

      A US man was Thursday sentenced to 25 years in prison on terror charges, including threatening the creators of the animated series “South Park” for portraying the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.

      Zachary Adam Chesser, 21, who grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, had pleaded guilty in October to providing material support to a terror group and inciting violence against the South Park creators.

    • Tunisia, Egypt, Libya…. Why Eritrea won’t be next

      Internet penetration is also pretty low. Only about 4% of the Eritrean population has access to the internet. (In places like Egypt and Tunisia it’s much higher – between 20 and 35%.) So there’s no need for Isaias to close down Twitter or Facebook – but he could if he wanted to, because he controls the monopoly telecoms provider.

    • Tribes’ support ‘legitimises’ uprising

      In Libya, several tribal chiefs have lent support to the anti-government movement. France24.com spoke to Hasni Abidi, director of the Study and Research Centre for the Arab and Mediterranean World in Geneva, about the role of tribes in the events.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Scientists Are Cleared of Misuse of Data

      An inquiry by a federal watchdog agency found no evidence that scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration manipulated climate data to buttress the evidence in support of global warming, officials said on Thursday.

      [...]

      Climate change skeptics contended that the correspondence showed that scientists were manipulating or withholding information to advance the theory that the earth is warming as a result of human activity.

      In a report dated Feb. 18 and circulated by the Obama administration on Thursday, the inspector general said, “We did not find any evidence that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data.”

    • Coral reefs report warns of mass loss threat

      Three-quarters of the world’s coral reefs are at risk from overfishing, pollution and climate change, according to a report.

      By 2050 virtually all of the world’s coral reefs – from the waters of the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean to Australia – will be in danger, the report warns. The consequences – especially for countries such as the Philippines or Haiti which depend on the reefs for food – will be severe.

    • China’s weather forecasters reluctant to confirm rumours of rain

      Word has it that China’s weather forecasters expect rain in the next few days, but they are too skittish to make an official prediction. That is understandable, given the stakes. Gripped by its worst drought for 60 years, the world’s biggest wheat producer is desperate for a downpour to avoid a crop failure that would have an impact on food prices around the world.

      The challenge is evident from the burst of recent reports in the Chinese media about food, water and the environment.

    • Dead Baby Dolphins and Oil Wash in on the Gulf Coast

      In the Gulf, the temperature is rising. The magical spring season should soon bring warm waters teeming with life back to the region’s marshy bayous and sandy shores.

  • Finance

    • Big bankruptcies, big legal fees

      It’s been a good time to be a bankruptcy lawyer. Though it’s been almost three years since the economy began its meltdown, several massive bankruptcies are continuing to generate big fees for attorneys.

      Take, for instance, the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy, which — as widely reported by major news outlets — crossed the $1 billion fee threshold several months ago. Lawyers are earning more in the Lehman bankruptcy because the largest-ever Chapter 11 case involves restructuring $639 billion in assets and $613 billion in debt.

    • Irving Picard hits Securities and Exchange Commission’s top lawyer with Bernie Madoff lawsuit

      The family of the top lawyer at the Securities and Exchange Commission invested with Bernie Madoff and earned more than $1.5 million in ill-gained profits, according to trustee Irving Picard, who has named the lawyer, David M. Becker, as a defendant in a clawback lawsuit, a Daily News investigation has found.

      The apparent conflict of interest raises significant questions about the watchdog commission’s failure to stop Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, despite repeated red flags and investigations into his operations.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • David Koch and Scott Walker really click.

      First, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker spent the day denying he’d ever heard of billionaire David Koch.

      Really. A man who gives your political campaign almost $50,000 and you don’t know who he is?

      Har-har-hardy-har-har.

      Believe it or not, Walker has presidential aspirations but the prank revealed him to be less a leader than a dog willing to don the leash of his masters. In other words, a good Republican.

    • The need to protect the internet from ‘astroturfing’ grows ever more urgent

      The tobacco industry does it, the US Air Force clearly wants to … astroturfing – the use of sophisticated software to drown out real people on web forums – is on the rise. How do we stop it?

  • Censorship

    • Iran forces ‘raid Karroubi homes, arrest son’

      Iranian security forces swept through the homes of opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi and his family, arresting one of his sons and confiscating several documents, his website reported on Tuesday.

      A top judiciary official meanwhile warned that those who back the opposition movement will not be tolerated and will be considered as “anti-revolutionary.”

  • Privacy

    • Google’s Snowmobile Hits Swiss Slopes as Street View Faces Legal Challenge

      A Google Inc. camera-equipped snowmobile is setting out to chart Swiss ski slopes on the internet even as the company’s Street View service faces a court challenge over privacy concerns.

    • Patients’ privacy threatened in NHS shake-up confidentiality under threat, say doctors

      The association says new legislation will give the Government, quangos and local authorities the power to access sensitive medical details without the patient’s permission. It fears that the change will lead to patients withholding information from doctors. The doctor’s union raised its concerns in a letter to Simon Burns, the health minister, on Monday. It is calling for the legislation to be redrafted so that proper safeguards are in place.

      Dr Vivienne Nathanson, the head of science and ethics at the BMA, said: “If this legislation is enacted then doctors will not be able to guarantee patient confidentiality. It would undermine the bond of trust between doctors and their patients and could have appalling consequences.

  • Civil Rights

    • Airport scanners useless

      So, not only are these body scanners overly intrusive and potentially dangerous – they also don’t actually do anything to enhance the safety of airline passengers.

    • Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP’s War on Women
    • Ga. Law Could Give Death Penalty for Miscarriages

      It’s only February, but this year has been a tough one for women’s health and reproductive rights. There’s a new bill on the block that may have reached the apex (I hope) of woman-hating craziness. Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin—who last year proposed making rape and domestic violence “victims” into “accusers”—has introduced a 10-page bill that would criminalize miscarriages and make abortion in Georgia completely illegal.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • How To Remain Connected If Your Internet Gets Shut Off

      Turn to FidoNet, a networking system that can be used for communication between bulletin board systems. Mail and files can be exchanged via modems using a proprietary protocol. You must meet the technical requirements to join FidoNet.

      Check out Daihinia, an app that extends the range of a network of devices that aren’t connected to the larger internet but are connected to each other. Adding a chat client, like Pidgin, to this allows activists to talk to one another.

      Look into how you might be able to harness other chat clients as well. On a Mac you can use the “Rendezvous” feature in iChat to communicate with anyone on the network. In Windows use a third party app like Trillian, and Linux has a bunch of 3rd party apps you can use – note that this does require some technical knowledge, which is why it is all the more important to prepare in advance.

      Packet radio is a radio communications protocol that lets you create long distance wireless networks between devices like ham radios – if you look into this option before hand, you might be able to create a network using radios.

      Get involved with OPENMESH, a new project launched by investor Shervin Pishevar. So far, the forum is working as a place for engineers to offer solutions for building a mesh network in Egypt.

    • Congress zeroes in on FCC’s Net neutrality rules

      The new Republican members of both the House and Senate wasted no time following up on promises to undo the Federal Communications Commission’s December vote to apply new “Net neutrality” rules to some broadband Internet access providers.

  • DRM

    • SCEE Sues Graf_Chokolo For 1 Million Euros And He is Still Hacking

      I received a legal notice from SCEE lawyers requesting me to remove the coolstuff links that graf_chokolo has distributed on grafchokolo.com as well as the links at this blog. What i found interesting in the legal notice is that the lawyers are suing graf_chokolo for 1 million euros. That is quite a number, but graf_chokolo doesn’t seem to care.

      He still want to hack the PS3, where he said he cannot sleep knowing that he cannot touch the hypervisor of the PS3. Man, i never see someone like graf, he is an extraordinary genius hacker that Sony wasting it by making a lawsuit against him.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Intellectual Property’s Great Fallacy

      Intellectual property law has long been justified on the belief that external incentives are necessary to get people to produce artistic works and technological innovations that are easily copied. This Essay argues that this foundational premise of the economic theory of intellectual property is wrong. Using recent advances in behavioral economics, psychology, and business-management studies, it is now possible to show that there are natural and intrinsic motivations that will cause technology and the arts to flourish even in the absence of externally supplied rewards, such as copyrights and patents.

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Appellate briefs filed in SONY v Tenenbaum

        SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, where the RIAA appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, despite being awarded $2250 for each download, for a total of $67,500, and where Tenenbaum cross appealed on the ground that the $67,500 was excessive, in view of the actual damages being less than a dollar per download, the parties have filed their respective appellate briefs.

      • Over 40,000 Does Dismissed In Copyright Troll Cases

        These have been some eventful weeks in the world of copyright trolling. Thousands of unnamed “John Does” in P2P file sharing lawsuits filed in California, Washington DC, Texas, and West Virginia have been severed, effectively dismissing over 40,000 defendants. The plaintiffs in these cases must now re-file against almost all of the Does individually rather than suing them en mass. These rulings may have a significant impact on the copyright trolls’ business model, which relies on being able to sue thousands of Does at once with a minimum of administrative expense. The cost of filing suit against each Doe may prove prohibitively expensive to plaintiffs’ attorneys who are primarily interested in extracting quick, low-hassle settlements.

      • STUDIO SHAME! Even Harry Potter Pic Loses Money Because Of Warner Bros’ Phony Baloney Net Profit Accounting

        And yet Warner Bros isn’t doing anything differently here than is done by every other studio. Clearly, nothing has changed since Art Buchwald successfully sued Paramount over the 1988 hit Coming to America when the subject of net participation was scrutinized, and a judge called studio accounting methods “unconscionable”.

Clip of the Day

Grep and Regex – BASH – Linux


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