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Links 23/5/2011: Fedora 15 Release Hours Away

Posted in News Roundup at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Professional Writers and Microsoft Windows

    In my opinion no ‘professional’ writer uses Windows.


    That sort of thing doesn’t happen to computers which run Linux or OS X. By cutting Windows out of the loop, you cut your system problems down drastically. You can still have hardware issues (ask me about the time I poured chicken soup on the keyboard of my laptop), but with a good backup regime (you are backing up your data aren’t you) you limit your problems.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Introduction to Linux Desktop Environment

      When I install a Linux distribution to a new user sometimes I ask: “Which desktop environment would you like to use ?” and after looking at their puzzled face I realize that for Windows user this is an unfamiliar term. Usually they answer, I would like icons, or put that photo as wallpaper…or nothing at all.


      So, this is a small overview of some of the most famous Desktop Environment of Linux…

    • Trimming the fat with Fluxbox

      One of the oft touted reasons to use openSUSE is the stellar support and packaging for a wide-variety of desktop environments, normally leading people to think of the four mainstays of the Linux desktop: GNOME, KDE, LXDE, XFCE. While the amount attention focused on the “big four” is certainly the lion’s share, there is still a lot of attention paid towards less popular window managers and desktop environments like Enlightenment, Openbox, Window Maker or Fluxbox.

    • Why Is The Monterey Bay Aquarium Greenwashing Sewage Sludge?
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Nepomuk

        I vividly remember how everybody, including me, hated this new KDE-4 stuff a few years ago. On top of the list: semantic desktop features like nepomuk. After the KDE-4.6 upgrade I gave it a new try and I must say I’m quite impressed. I have a folder with downloaded pdfs that I read or plan to read (or just downloaded).

      • Zeitgeist’s journey in the land of KDE
      • Active widget explorer

        Just a quickie, after the new Activity configuration dialog, in order to have more continuity of the style, the widget explorer, to add Plasma widgets has been refreshed, in its graphical style as in its behaviour:

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Elementary music player ‘Beatbox’ adds PPA

        If you’ve been dying to get your hands on a development version of the elementary projects’ new music player ‘BeatBox‘ then you’re in luck! Beatbox now has its own development PPA for intrepid testers to try it out from.

      • Take Control Of Gnome 3 With GNOME Shell Extensions

        Have you used the Gnome Shell 3, yet? If not, you can try Gnome Shell 3 with Fedora 15 Beta or openSuse with Gnome Shell 3. And if you are use the Gnome Shell 3, you might want to get better control over this space age desktop environment.

        Giovanni Campagna has announced the release of Gnome shell Extension 3.0.2. GNOME Shell Extensions is a collection of extensions providing additional and optional functionality to GNOME Shell.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian on Thinkpad Edge 11″

        This has been several months since I didn’t use much my laptop, an Asus S5N: it was crippled by a short battery life and was hit by several bugs, most of them targeting the i855GME graphic chipset thanks to the use of GEM and KMS in the latest Xorg. I did not want to invest too much in a laptop and I have found a rebate from Lenovo for Thinkpad Edge series. Voilà, I have a Thinkpad Edge 11”.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Patches – gifts, or pooled resource?

            During UDS recently, Mark Shuttleworth talked about contributor agreements during his keynote. Mark compared contributing a patch to a project while refusing to sign a CLA, to giving someone a plant for their garden, while attaching the condition that they couldn’t sell the house without your permission.

            This got me thinking. Is a patch really like a gift?

            If you’re contributing a one line patch to a big corpus of code, there’s a good argument that this is insufficient to grant you any kind of authority in the project.

          • Science Behind The Controversial Design Decisions Of Ubuntu Unity

            Getting into the minds of the developers and designers help us understand the reasons why certain things end up the way they are and why certain decisions were made. Let’s try to reverse engineer the thought process that eventually led to these decisions.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Software Going Mainstream in Enterprises: Survey

    Businesses are becoming more confident about deploying open-source technology within the enterprise, instead of relegating it to the fringes or for experimental projects, according to a recent survey.

    A significant majority of surveyed respondents, or 95 percent, said their organizations are using open-source technology to avoid vendor lock-in, according to the Future of Open Source Survey released May 16. In previous years, the chief reason driving open-source adoption was lowered software costs.

    “Multiple factors are driving the increased adoption of open-source software, including freedom from vendor lock-in, greater flexibility and lower cost,” said Matt Aslett, senior analyst of enterprise software at The 451 Group.

  • Web Browsers

  • BSD

    • FreeSBIE: Is Devil Live or Dead?

      This blog is about Linux. I try different Operating systems based on Linux and share my opinion, whether it is good or not.
      But is the Linux the only operating system in the world? Surely not! Shall I tell you few words about other systems? Why not?
      I see your mouse pointer now rolling towards “close” icon on your window. You most likely think that this my post is about Windows or Mac. Stop, wait a moment. Of course not!
      This my post is about BSD. BSD stands for “Berkeley Software Distribution”. This is open source operating system developed by University of California in Berkeley. It is UNIX-based, which makes it relative to Linux. By the way, BSD is also “parent” for Mac OS X.


      I had previous experience with another “dead” project: BerliOS. That system did not start at all.

  • Public Services/Government

    • International alarm rings over UK ICT policy

      International standards bodies have raised an alarm over the UK’s game-changing techno-economic policy, breaking with protocol to fire warning shots at the Cabinet Office and calling for a reversal of the open source commitments it made the backbone of its ICT Strategy.

      The policy has pitted competition honchos, invigorated by the reforming tide of networked ICT, against trade policy wonks, who preside over a system of international standardisation that encompasses intellectual property law, an immense bureaucracy of engineers, and age-old trade flows.

      Back home it already threatens a rift between Cabinet Office and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills which usually sets standards policy. The British Standards Organisation, operating under BIS mandate, has taken the unprecedented step of warning government to scrap the offending policy or risk breaching its international obligations.


  • Snow Leopard Font Update Requires Reboot

    When you find out that it wants to reboot when you intended to get some work done, that’s a damned annoyance. Being me, I then check to find out exactly why. Because that’s what I do after all, and my Linux boxes NEVER reboot.

  • Microsoft to give students an Xbox if they purchase an expensive laptop. This indicates they are having problems selling both Windows 7 and Xbox.
  • An explosion at the Foxconn plant that makes spyPad 2 killed two people and injured 16 others. Youtube movie of fire.
  • Science

    • The Manhattan Project Considered as a Fluke

      The Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb during World War II is the exemplar of modern Big Science. Numerous mostly unsuccessful modern scientific megaprojects have been promoted and justified by invoking the successful example of the Manhattan Project. Even sixty-six years after the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Manhattan Project continues to have a powerful influence on public policy, the practice of science and engineering, and public consciousness. This article argues that the Manhattan Project was atypical of technological breakthroughs, major inventions and discoveries, and atypical of the successful use of mathematics in breakthroughs. To achieve successful breakthroughs — life extension, cures for cancer, cheaper energy sources — and reduce the costs of these attempts, other models should be followed.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • New Report Warns of Harmful Effects of Cell Phone Useage

      The Communicators take a look at a new study that found brain chemistry becomes altered after 50 minutes of cell phone usage. The discussion features several perspectives from the medical field, academics and advocates on the implications of the study.

      Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, describes the research process conducted by National Institutes of Health scientists and the Energy Department’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. However, the study did not make conclusions about long-term effects of the altered brain activity.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Deutsche Bank Goes After Whistleblower’s Son

      In July 2008, Florida lawyer Lynn Szymoniak received foreclosure papers on her home. Szymoniak had encountered financial difficulties after spending several years caring for her ailing mother while simultaneously fighting her own health problems, and failed to re-negotiate her adjustable-rate mortgage with her lender.


      But big banks didn’t appreciate having their dirty laundry aired in front of a national audience. Deutsche Bank, which had a case pending against Szymoniak since June 2008, has now come after her graduate student son, suing him for foreclosure at his mother’s Palm Beach Gardens residence even though he hasn’t lived there in seven years.

    • US banks are presenting ridiculous arguments to remain available as tax evasion opportunities.

      the United States is a major tax haven for affluent Latin Americans even as the IRS fights to stop American taxpayers from hiding money in Swiss banks and other offshore destinations. … [bankers claim that reporting interest will cause] Kidnappings in Latin America. Bank failures in Florida. Millions of jobs lost across the United States.

    • Pension funds investing in food commodities are driving up the price of food, world-wide.
    • Brad Hintz Says Goldman Sachs `Failed’ Public Relations

      Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., talks about Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s public relations and strategy. He speaks with Mark Crumpton on Bloomberg Television’s “Bottom Line.”

    • Uh-oh. Will Goldman kill the dollar too?

      If you aren’t that cynical, call it a simple case of coincidence. Investment bank Goldman Sachs predicted in mid-April that oil and other commodities could soon plunge.

    • Goldman May Get U.S. Subpoenas: Report

      expects to receive subpoenas soon from U.S. prosecutors seeking more information about the firm’s mortgage-related business, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

    • Ocwen in lead to buy Goldman’s Litton-sources

      Ocwen Financial Corp (OCN.N: Quote) is in the lead in an auction to buy Goldman Sachs Group’s (GS.N: Quote) mortgage servicing unit, Litton Loan Servicing, sources familiar with the situation said this week.

    • Prosecutors Can Get Goldman

      Goldman Sachs (GS) may seem invincible, but a few attorneys believe federal prosecutors have a good shot of winning a case against the securities giant.

    • Goldman Credit Swaps Rise to Highest Level Since December on Senate Probe

      Credit-default swaps on New York-based Goldman Sachs increased 6.7 basis points to 141.9 basis points, according to data provider CMA. The contracts have risen 30.6 basis points since a U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’s report last month said the firm misled clients about its bets on mortgage-related investments. The panel’s findings were referred to the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    • Goldman Sachs Expects Federal Subpoenas On Mortgage Business

      Goldman Sachs executives expect federal prosecutors to demand to see internal documents, as the government ramps up its investigation into the way the firm handled mortgage products, the Wall Street Journal reports.

      The subpoenas would come in response to the lengthy report on the financial crisis released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations last month, the WSJ notes, citing sources. The report, which was referred to the Justice Department, alleges that Goldman executives deceived clients in order to profit at their expense, and then misled Congress when asked to explain their behavior.

    • Prosecutors Faulted for Credit-Crunch Inaction

      In November 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder vowed before television cameras to prosecute those responsible for the market collapse a year earlier, saying the U.S. would be “relentless” in pursuing corporate criminals.

      In the 18 months since, no senior Wall Street executive has been criminally charged, and some lawmakers are questioning whether the U.S. Justice Department has been aggressive enough after declining to bring cases against officials at American International Group Inc. (AIG) and Countrywide Financial Corp.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Domain seizures: it’s good to talk

      Nominet have produced some useful figures about requests. The numbers involved are 2650 locks or suspensions so far. The requests are largely about counterfeit goods sites (83%), phishing (9.6%), drugs (6.3%) and fraud (0.8%). Complaints are put back to law enforcement who reexamine their request. Only 9 reinstatements have been made.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Against Monopoly

      A paper Peter J. Huckfeldt and Christopher R. Knittel examining generic entry. Not a great advertisement for patents:

      We study the effects of generic entry on prices and utilization using both event study models that exploit the differential timing of generic entry across drug molecules and cast studies. Our analysis examines drugs treating hypertension, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression using price and utilization data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. We find that utilization of drug molecules starts decreasing in the two years prior to generic entry and continues to decrease in the years following generic entry, despite decreases in prices offered by generic versions of a drug. This decrease coincides with the market entry and increased utilization of branded reformulations of a drug going off patent. [...]

    • Kimberly-Clark Must Face Monopoly Claim

      “Huggies” manufacturer Kimberly-Clark Worldwide must answer an allegation that it knowingly used invalid patents to monopolize the market for disposable baby diapers.

      In March 2009, the company sued First Quality Baby Products, a “private label” diaper-seller producing Wal-Mart- and Walgreen’s-branded diapers, claiming First Quality’s products infringed on Kimberly-Clark’s patents.

    • Trademarks

      • Apple Defends App Store Trademark, Argues “Windows” Trademark is Illegal

        When Apple trademarked the term “App Store” nobody thought much of it. Smartphone applications at the time were a niche market either highly targeted at small groups of professionals, or were tools used by handset makers/carriers to sell their devices. In months Apple transformed the mobile applications industry into a huge market that lured personal computer developers into the world of ultra-mobile computing. All of a sudden, the term “App Store” was a household name.

      • What the app store future means for developers and users

        App-store-like centralized software repositories have existed for nearly a decade. In 2002, Linspire’s Michael Robertson created the Click-n-Run software repository GUI, and since then Linux has sported such utilities such as Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) and Advanced Package Tool (APT), mainstays for network-based OS and application installation. Later, stores such as Handango sprung up to sell downloadable apps for the once rapidly growing pocket PC market.

      • Update: eco-labs.org has the money to fight to use their domain

        ORG is very encouraged that EcoLabs will now be able to get the advice they need, and defend themselves. The rights of small groups depend on their ability to fight, which requires both money and knowledge. Most importantly, other groups need to see these claims contested so they understand that they too can stand up to spurious claims

    • Copyrights

      • Judge has “serious questions” about Righthaven, halts all Colorado cases

        Righthaven, the Las Vegas company that brings infringement lawsuits on behalf of newspapers like the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Denver Post, has sued 57 people (including an Ars Technica writer) in Colorado over a Post photo of an airport security patdown. Its tactics have been hugely controversial, since it sends no warning before filing suit, demands that it be given control over the infringing site’s domain name, and threatens people with massive statutory damages unless they settle for a few thousand dollars. And Righthaven might not even control the copyrights over which it is suing.

      • EU Commission Sticks to Flawed Copyright Repression

        Tomorrow, the EU Commission will release its “intellectual property rights strategy”. Unsurprisingly, leaks show that the Commission will call for preventing copyright infringements on the Internet “at the source”, by forcing Internet companies such as hosters and access providers to obey the entertainment industries. In practice, turning these actors into a copyright police comes down to establishing a censorship regime, paving the way for dangerous breaches of fundamental rights.

      • The Proposed Georgia State Model replaces DMCA fair use for schools with a surveillance state where all copy machines and computers are laced with spyware to enforce fees and block copy for all but an absurdly small fraction of any work.
      • US Bill criminalizes copyright infringement for videos – those convicted get five years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

Clip of the Day

she takes a photo every day: 4.5 years

Credit: TinyOgg

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