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TechBytes Episode 49: Linux – To Boldly Go…

Posted in TechBytes at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Direct download as Ogg (1:14:46, 15.9 MB) | High-quality MP3 (27.4 MB) | Low-quality MP3 (8.6 MB)

Summary: Tim and Roy talk about FOSS VOIP, several new GNU/Linux distributions, Nokia, and more

TODAY’S show starts by talking about news from Google and ends with some reviews of recently-released operating systems. Tim has the show notes in his site.

Today’s closing track is “Somebody Like Me” by Erica Nicole, taken from SXSW 2010 (get the torrents legally here). We have many more in the pipeline for future shows.

We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):


Ogg Theora
(There is also an MP3 version)

Our past shows:

November 2010

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 1: Brandon from Fedora TechBytes Episode 1: Apple, Microsoft, Bundling, and Fedora 14 (With Special Guest Brandon Lozza) 1/11/2010
Episode 2: No guests TechBytes Episode 2: Ubuntu’s One Way, Silverlight Goes Dark, and GNU Octave Discovered 7/11/2010
Episode 3: No guests TechBytes Episode 3: Games, Wayland, Xfce, Restrictive Application Stores, and Office Suites 8/11/2010
Episode 4: No guests TechBytes Episode 4: Fedora 14 Impressions, MPAA et al. Payday, and Emma Lee’s Magic 9/11/2010
Episode 5: No guests TechBytes Episode 5: Windows Loses to Linux in Phones, GNU/Linux Desktop Market Share Estimations, and Much More 12/11/2010
Episode 6: No guests TechBytes Episode 6: KINect a Cheapo Gadget, Sharing Perceptually Criminalised, Fedora and Fusion 14 in Review 13/11/2010
Episode 7: No guests TechBytes Episode 7: FUD From The Economist, New Releases, and Linux Eureka Moment at Netflix 14/11/2010
Episode 8: Gordon Sinclair on Linux Mint TechBytes Episode 8: Linux Mint Special With Gordon Sinclair (ThistleWeb) 15/11/2010
Episode 9: Gordon Sinclair returns TechBytes Episode 9: The Potentially Permanent Return of ThistleWeb 17/11/2010
Episode 10: Special show format TechBytes Episode 10: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux 19/11/2010
Episode 11: Part 2 of special show TechBytes Episode 11: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux – Part II 21/11/2010
Episode 12: Novell special TechBytes Episode 12: Novell Sold for Microsoft Gains 23/11/2010
Episode 13: No guests TechBytes Episode 13: Copyfight, Wikileaks, and Other Chat 28/11/2010
Episode 14: Patents special TechBytes Episode 14: Software Patents in Phones, Android, and in General 29/11/2010
Episode 15: No guests TechBytes Episode 15: Google Chrome OS, Windows Refund, and Side Topics Like Wikileaks 30/11/2010

December 2010

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 16: No guests TechBytes Episode 16: Bribes for Reviews, GNU/Linux News, and Wikileaks Opinions 3/12/2010
Episode 17: No guests TechBytes Episode 17: Chrome OS Imminent, Wikileaks Spreads to Mirrors, ‘Open’ Microsoft 5/12/2010
Episode 18: No guests TechBytes Episode 18: Chrome OS, Sharing, Freedom, and Wikileaks 11/12/2010
Episode 19: No guests TechBytes Episode 19: GNU/Linux Market Share on Desktop at 4%, Microsoft Declining, and ChromeOS is Coming 16/12/2010
Episode 20: No guests TechBytes Episode 20: GNU/Linux Gamers Pay More for Games, Other Discussions 18/12/2010
Episode 21: No guests TechBytes Episode 21: Copyright Abuses, Agitators and Trolls, Starting a New Site 20/12/2010
Episode 22: No special guests TechBytes Episode 22: Freedom Debate and Picks of the Year 27/12/2010

January 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 23: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 23: Failuresfest and 2011 Predictions 2/1/2011
Episode 24: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 24: Android, Microsoft’s President Departure, and Privacy 10/1/2011
Episode 25: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 25: Mono, Ubuntu, Android, and More 14/1/2011
Episode 26: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 26: £98 GNU/Linux Computer, Stuxnet’s Government Roots, and More 18/1/2011
Episode 27: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 27: Linux Phones, Pardus, Trusting One’s Government-funded Distribution, and Much More 22/1/2011
Episode 28: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 28: The Weekend After Microsoft’s Results and LCA 30/1/2011
Episode 29: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 29: KDE, Other Desktop Environments, and Programming 31/1/2011

February 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 30: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 30: Microsoft at FOSDEM, Debian Release, and Anonymous 7/2/2011
Episode 31: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 31: Nokiasoft and Computer Games 13/2/2011
Episode 32: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 32: Desktop Environments, Computer Games, Android and Ubuntu as the ‘New Linux’, Copyright Mentality 22/2/2011

March 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 33: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 33: Patent ‘Thieves’ and News That Deceives 6/3/2011
Episode 34: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 34: Done on a Dongle 13/3/2011
Episode 35: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 35: You Can’t Please Some People 19/3/2011

April 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 36: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 36: “Come to Take Me Away” 3/4/2011
Episode 37: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 37: Escaping the Soaps 4/4/2011
Episode 38: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 38: Thanks for Reaching Out 11/4/2011
Episode 39: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 39: Groklaw wins, Microsoft me too’s and trolls fail 13/4/2011
Episode 40: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 40: Video Begins at 40 17/4/2011
Episode 41: Tim, Gordon, Rusty, and Roy TechBytes Episode 41: Going Rusty 24/4/2011
Episode 42: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 42: Bandwidth, Android and Patents, Games, and Computer Nostalgia 29/4/2011

May 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 43: Tim, Jono Bacon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 43: At Home With Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager 4/5/2011
Episode 44: Rusty, Gordon, Tim, Roy, and Brandon Lozza TechBytes Episode 44: The Four Horsemen Reunited; Fedora Ambassador Interview 7/5/2011
Episode 45: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 45: Skype, Facebook, and Weekly Musings 14/5/2011
Episode 46: Rusty, Gordon, Tim, and Roy TechBytes Episode 46: GNU/Linux in Germany, Android’s Openness, and More 15/5/2011
Episode 47: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 47: Unity With the Wife 21/5/2011
Episode 48: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 48: Will The Real Steve Ballmer Please Step Down? 27/5/2011

Microsoft’s Fight Against Innovation

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 2:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BarcodeSummary: Realisation that Microsoft not only impedes development in software but also development in hardware, mostly for anti-competitive reasons (but spun as the opposite)

DEVICES which run Linux (sometimes Android) are likely to be hobbled by Microsoft’s dirty schemes in which it pays hardware companies to impose artificial limitations. It helps show just to what degree Microsoft is against innovation; its dogmatic approach makes the products which everyone uses a lot worse and a lot more expensive. We coverred this throughout the week, but there is newer information now. According to this report, having failed in the hardware market itself, Microsoft is trying to gain influence over hardware makers (although it mostly fails because now they have other options to go to, notably Linux). To quote part of this report:

Microsoft wants to influence PC manufacturers over such details as the aspect ratio they choose for displays, where buttons and radio antennas are located, and even the width of the bezel, or rim, around the edge of the screen.

As we pointed out before, we are seeing Microsoft do just what it did a couple of years back when GNU/Linux was growing on sub-notebooks. Microsoft’s Windows profits declined after that. Be prepared Microsoft to spin and lie about it — pretending that the problem was GNU/Linux or Android itself and that Microsoft is doing this to offer “better experience” or something along those lines. Who is that a “better experience” for? Microsoft shareholders?

IBM Brings OIN-Like Mentality to Europe

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, OIN, Patents at 1:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What Europe needs is not what the United States needs

IBM Electronic Data Processing Machine

Summary: News suggesting that IBM is majorly among those who brought Peer to Patent to Europe

IBM is a company which we have ambivalent feelings about. On the one hand, IBM helps the Free software phenomenon (embracing it rather than attacking it), but on the other hand, IBM is still a proprietary software company at its core and therefore it advocates for policies which conflict with a Free software mentality/doctrine. It is no secret that IBM prefers to keep software patents and its strategy for defending Free software in the process mostly covers software that IBM depends on. OIN and RPX, for example, do nothing but legitimise the system while also trying to reform it in some ways (lawsuits deterrence), especially in ways that are beneficial to IBM and its allies. On the surface, this may seem fine. OIN makes the current broken system a little less lethal. However, it does distract from much better and more permanent solutions to the problem at hand. Notably, the OIN does nearly nothing to highlight the fundamental problems with software patents. A glance at its backers shows why.

Recently we wrote about an initiative whose impact is largely similar. The problem is, this initiative now goes further into Australia and the United Kingdom which might, in turn, help validate some patents there. To quote the FFII’s president::

IBM to validate its software patents through the Peer2Patent in the UK:

The peer-to-patent approach is in some ways making matters worse. It takes patents that may already be dubious and then it reaches out for others to either dismiss or reinforce them. Here is what a pro-patents publication writes about this subject:

The first 20 patent applications in the UK IPO’s peer-to-patent pilot have been posted online

Now it is time for volunteers to garden or groom them for the likes of IBM, eh? Well, citing this report, the FFII’s president points out that:

Patent applications granted after using the Peer To Patent website review will be potentially stronger

We explained our views on the subject many times before. Support the FFII, not the Peer To Patent approach. The solution to the patent problem depends on the vested interests; to IBM, “bad” patents are the problem. To Microsoft, “anti-Microsoft” patents are the problem. For the vast majority of people, all software patents (maybe patents in general, depending on the area/country) are a problem.

Tim O’Reilly (US): “We Need Some Serious Reform on Software Patents.”

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 1:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tim O'Reilly
Photo by Robert Scoble, former Microsoft AstroTurfer (“Evangelist”)

Summary: Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly fame (the publisher) joins the tongue lashing against software patents; Techrights commends him.

Tim O’Reilly has had a mixed bag when it comes to techrights, in which he commented before. We appreciate the work he did bringing Open Source to the public’s awareness as the books his company publishes definitely help adoption of Free/Open Source software (we have an interview about that coming). The main Issue that we have had with O’Reilly is that he is inclusive to the point where even hostile intrusions (notably by Microsoft) get tolerated and funding from Microsoft is allowed to have impact [1, 2, 3, 4]. Another issue with the company and not the person is its recent deal with Microsoft and also some neglect of “Openness” at the code level, not to mention standards. APIs are not really “openness”, they are an invitation to become dependent on someone else.

At any rate, we wish not to berate O’Reilly. Rather, we strive to highlight areas where there is room for debate and hopefully better understanding. We agree with Tim on many of the points he makes, including his important denunciation of software patents in this tweet where he says “I’m with @fredwilson: Enough is enough http://bit.ly/kfXXMV We need some serious reform on software patents.” Some people who work for O’Reilly, notably Andy, are actually pro-software patents. Maybe that will change.

Yes, software patents are now being fought against also by Tim (we don’t say O’Reilly as that would cause confusion w.r.t. the company/person), who is very influential in the United States. Fred Wilson himself is very pleased with the attention he got for speaking out against software patents the other day:

Clearly this is a hot topic. It’s got me hot and it’s got a few others hot too. That’s a good thing. It’s clear that we need to do more to fix the software patents mess and the reaction to yesterday’s post is a strong signal to me on that front.

We can second that as Techrights grew very fast since it started covering software patents in 2006. Now more than ever we see software patents doing a lot of harm everywhere in the news, so proprietary software developers — not just Free software developers — speak out against these. Let’s keep up the fight. The SCOTUS cannot betray the people for too long.

Links 3/6/2011: Google Censors Emulators After Pressure, More OpenOffice.org Analysis

Posted in News Roundup at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • What computer users should know, but don’t.

    1. Know your operating system. Knowing what operating system and version you have is a great help for when you have problems and need outside help. It also helps for when you wish to install programs so you can choose the correct one for your operating system.

  • Linux’s ‘Killer Feature’: Impossible to Choose Just One

    Well, June has arrived for another year, and that means the dog days of summer can’t be far behind.

    Scorching temperatures have already begun to beat down upon parts of the Linux blogosphere, in fact, which may be why there’s nary a barstool to be found down at the seedy but well air-conditioned Punchy Penguin Saloon, where Linux Girl plans to stay until, oh, say, October or so.

    There’s been plenty to discuss in recent days, of course, what with Computex going on and all the excitement over Oracle’s (Nasdaq: ORCL) OpenOffice move, but many bloggers have preferred to keep their spirits up with a spirited debate instead.

  • Five Things Every Windows User Should Know

    PC users owe it to themselves to consider their options, and those options include a broad array of Linux distributions tailored to virtually every need.

  • Desktop

    • Asus to ship Ubuntu netbooks

      Asus has started selling its Eee PC netbooks preloaded with Ubuntu 10.10.

      Asus will initially sell the 1001PXD, 1011PX and 1015PX, with more models added through the year.

      The original Asus Eee PC 701 – which kickstarted the netbook craze in 2007 – ran on a version of Xandros Linux, prompting speculation that Linux was on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough. It was quickly superseded by Windows XP, however, with tales of high return rates of Linux-based netbooks.

    • ChromeOS huge niche market…???

      The Traditional Desktop computer, on the other hand is a Jack of all trades, a multipurpose, powerhouse tool. With the conventional computer you have flexibility and power. Once again that is not what the Chrome OS is meant to give.

      So, being that the mobile netbook/tablet market and the traditional desktop market are not compatible with the new ChromeOS Operating System and the devices optimized for it. What can we use it for? Where, in the vast operating system lanscape, we can find its niche market?

      In the medium to large Desktop monitors… I think! With the ChromeOS installed there, we only need to add a keyboard with a touch pad and/or a mouse to have a working, comfortable, Internet access device. Simple to setup, simple to use, and optimized to do what 95 percent of the traditional Desktop Users do with their computers. Surf the net for work and fun.

    • We review the System76 Serval Pro: Is it the best Ubuntu laptop ever?

      Independent Ubuntu computer manufacturer System76 refreshed their popular 15.6″ Serval Professional line earlier this year, upgrading the laptop with an impressively fast second gen Intel Sandy Bridge i7 quad core processor, powerful Nvidia graphics, a lovely 1080p display and lots of options for optical drives and storage.

  • Server

    • That Other OS Fails

      Netcraft has produced their monthly rating of reliability of hosting companies. Out of 41 listed, only 5 run that other OS while 24 run GNU/Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Hardware and “3.0″ difficulties

      The two-figure version numbers are still creating quite a bit of hassle that the developers are working hard to overcome. Inaccurate work by hardware manufacturers causes problems with rebooting and with the handling of UEFI hardware. The maintenance of kernel series 2.6.38 is soon to be discontinued.

      Only hours after the first release candidate of Linux 3.0 was issued, the developers released the first patches to improve the way the kernel handles version numbers which consist of two, instead of three, numbers. Changes include a workaround which allows the version of the depmod program that was current until recently to cope with Linux 3.0. At the same time, a patch to fix the cause of the depmod problems was incorporated in version 3.13 of the module-init-tools, which were also released shortly after Linux 3.0-rc1. Several developers have suggested that, due to these and similar problems, Torvalds should consider using version number 3.0.0 instead of 3.0; however, the alpha male of Linux kernel development has so far not commented on this.

    • The early days of Linux – join us as we celebrate 100 issues of Linux User & 20 years of Linux

      2011 is a year of milestones. Not only is it the year that sees Linux User magazine turn 100, but it’s also a year that Linux celebrates it’s 20th birthday. What better way to commemorate these auspicious occasions than with a walk down memory lane courtesy of past Linux User editor, Richard Hillesley?

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • Skype protocol reverse engineered, source available for download

        Hello, I’am Efim Bushmanov a freelance researcher and here is my project files on skype research.

        While “Wall Street Journal” makes politics and skype today’s trend, i want to publish my research on this. My aim is to make skype open source. And find friends who can spend many hours for completely reverse it.

      • Researcher reverse-engineers Skype, makes code available publicly

        Just weeks after Microsoft announced it had acquired Skype for $8.5 billion, a Russian researcher has announced that he has successfully been able to reverse engineer the official Skype desktop implementation in an attempt to make the service open source.

      • Skype Reverse Engineered

        Good news for Free Software and open protocols: There has been a sucessful attempt to reverse engineer Skype (Magent URI). Nice timing, shortly after Microsoft’s acquisition Skype could finally be broken. :) He is also including modified Skype executables allowing debugging etc., which is usually prevented by really elaborated anti-features (encryption, kills itself if there is a debugger etc.). The sample code is able to send a message via Skype, awesome!

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to triple-boot Fedora 15, Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows 7
      • Gimp 2.6 Cookbook

        I’ve been using graphic photo manipulation software programs for nearly 20 years. After using several, I’ve come to the conclusion that all of them are quite similar in features, bells, and whistles. The main difference comes in how they carry out the task at hand. That is to say, the menus, tool bars, and commands are laid out differently from program to program. So, migrating from one program to another isn’t difficult, it’s just that you need to learn (or relearn) the “moves” and menus in order to get the application to respond to your input.

    • Games

      • 12 Paid Games for Linux Totally Worth the Price

        Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game based on group control. It combines the strategic challenge of a classical RTS with the sheer fun of Tower Defence genre. OilRush was expected to be available by 2010 itself, but it didn’t happen. OilRush RTS game for Linux is now available for pre order and you can expect a release very soon. Price: $19.95

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Reflections on Permanently Moving From KDE3 to KDE4: 2 Years Later
      • Efficiently Working With Text Files in KDE (or GNU/Linux in General)

        The bottom line is, if you work a lot with text, consider working with raw text and a powerful editor. Putting the whole thing through an HTML-based piece of software like WordPress or even LaTeX-powered software/front ends like LyX is always possible to do at the end. But the real power is in words; the lighter and faster, the better. To improve access to files and information of interest, divide the text editors/sessions into separate desktops. This reduces movement between desktops and enables focus on particular activities, leaving distractions aside. If you have to open the file manager a lot, then perhaps a better workflow is being missed. Shortcuts too can help.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 LXDE review

          Final Thoughts: The last time I used an LXDE-based distribution, LXDE was considered a geeks-only desktop environment. Since then, it seems to have developed into a nearly fully-featured desktop environment. It is usable by all, but not yet at the level of a KDE desktop. The main problem with Fedora Spins is that they do not seem to have received the same level of development attention as the main edition. But if you are looking for an alternative distribution to a GNOME 3-based distribution, and have the time to tweak and customize a lightweight distribution to fit your needs, this LXDE spin might be what you are looking for.

        • Fedora 15 impressions

          Last week, Fedora 15 was officially released. I installed a copy on my laptop, and quickly got back to work. The install process was the fastest I’ve seen for any Linux distro – about 15 minutes to install the complete operating system from the LiveCD installer.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • [Screenshots and Video] First Alpha of Ubuntu 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’ Brings Some Gnome 3 Magic
          • Ubuntu Certification: DELL PowerEdge Servers

            Over the last few months we have crossed the barrier of over 100 server models certified across all Ubuntu releases currently in maintenance. Last monthly alone we add 30 new servers to the certification list.

            We have been working with DELL to certify a large portion of their PowerEdgeline via what we call component equivalency.

          • The new ‘Celebrate Ubuntu’ YouTube channel

            A new official Ubuntu YouTube channel has popped up stuffed with short promotional videos.

            Called ‘Celebrate Ubuntu’, the channel was set up by Canonicals’ Iain Farrell as a result of discussions held at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in May. Those discussions centred around the idea of creating a ‘community toolkit’ that, as Iain explains on his blog, ‘…would allow anyone excited enough to show off and celebrate their use and love of Ubuntu.’

          • Family Farm game in Ubuntu

            We added Family Farm to the Software Center last week and I took a few hours (of non-work time!) to have a look at it. Summary is that it’s a fun simulation game for the whole family where your job is to build up your farm.

          • “For crying out loud Amber, it’s just a stupid newsletter”
          • Canonical Launches Ubuntu-Ready Hardware Certification

            Most VARs in the open source channel are happy just to get free code contributions from their users. Canonical, however, has taken community engagements one step further with the announcement of a user-driven hardware-certification program. Will it work? Here are some thoughts.

            Most software vendors can probably think of more than a few things they’d rather do than test hardware to make sure it works well with their products. Hardware certification demands many tedious hours, not to mention the acquisition of lots of hardware. Nonetheless, for companies like Canonical, whose main product is the Ubuntu operating system, hardware certification is a must-have to appeal seriously to users who want to be sure the Linux-based OS will be compatible with their computers.

          • Looking For Awesome LoCo Team Blog Feeds
          • Cool Projects That Need Your Help
          • Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Kubuntu/Lubuntu Power Tests

            With the extensive Linux power consumption tests that I’ve been carrying out to solve some nasty Linux kernel power regressions and find other areas for optimization, one of the requests that has come in frequently is to compare the power consumption of the KDE, GNOME, Unity, Xfce, and LXDE desktops. After the article earlier this week to look at how the desktop environments / compositing window managers affect OpenGL performance, I carried out a quick desktop power test. In this article are battery power consumption results for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu.

          • Ubuntu Power User Branding Winner

            Last week the PowerUser community ran a poll to decide the new logo/branding for our community and the submission by Thorsten Wilms was selected as the winner. Many thanks to Thorsten and all the other people who submitted artwork, they were all fantastic.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Linux Mint 11 “Katya” GNOME

              Linux Mint is currently my favorite Linux distribution of all and is the one I use almost exclusively on a regular basis. Since the release of Linux Mint 9 LTS “Isadora”, I have made it a point to review new releases of Linux Mint. Six months ago, I previewed Linux Mint 10 “Julia” GNOME RC. Since then, I have also reviewed two versions of Debian-based Linux Mint. However, due to Ubuntu’s fixed 6-month release schedule, I haven’t been able to check out the latest version of Ubuntu-based Linux Mint until now.

              Regular readers of this blog know Linux Mint needs no further introduction. The only things to consider while reading this are that Linux Mint also has a Debian-based version that is going strong, while Ubuntu’s state of transition (what with Unity, Wayland, et cetera) could pose difficulties for Ubuntu-based Linux Mint in the future.

            • Bodhi Linux: The Power of E17 Profiles

              One of the many features the Enlightenment desktop has that sets it apart from other desktop environments/window managers is the profiles. Those that have used Bodhi Linux or have compiled Enlightenment from source should already have some idea of what profiles are.

              Profiles are a powerful tool, they control the layout of your enlightenment desktop. I’ve found those coming from other desktops (such as KDE or Gnome) often confuse the idea of profiles with theme. Themes control the colors of your desktop and the appearance of your gadgets.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google pulls emulators from the Android Market

          The open nature of the Android Market is becoming diminished as Google realizes it needs to take a more active role in its policing it.

          Over the weekend developer Yong Zhang, known on the Android Market as yongzh saw his Android developer account revoked and all the apps he offers removed from the Market. The apps he was offering were all emulators for popular older systems including the NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, Atari, Game Gear, and Game Boy. But Google has seen fit to remove all of them ( including Nesoid, Snesoid, Gensoid, N64oid, Ataroid, Gearoid, and Gameoid).

        • MIPS: More than 90% of Android apps can run on any processor architecture

          Android has been a hot topic at Computex Taipei this year, with various players discussing the pros and cons of developing apps for the respective hardware platforms such as ARM or x86. However when it comes to the MIPS platform, CEO and president of MIPS, Sandeep Vij pointed out that in terms of the application universe, well over 90% of the apps that are available in the Android marketplace work on MIPS.

Free Software/Open Source

  • W3af Open Source App Vulnerability Testing Hits 1.0

    The open source w3af project released a 1.0 stable version this week after five release candidates and months of development. W3af enables developers and security researchers to audit, discover and test Web applications for vulnerabilities.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Arguments Over the Future of OpenOffice.org

      Don’t expect Oracle’s donation of the code of OpenOffice.org to The Apache Software Foundation to settle anything about the troubled office suite. If the situation does improve, it will be small thanks to Oracle.

      According to Oracle, the donation is proof that “Oracle continues to demonstrate its commitment to the developer and open source communities. Donating OpenOffice.org to Apache gives this popular consumer software a mature, open, and well established infrastructure to continue well into the future.”

      However, from the way that the donation was done, and the situation it leaves the project in, it looks very much like a last spiteful gesture toward the rival Document Foundation, the project that develops LibreOffice, the OpenOffice.org fork. The result is a future that leaves the future as troubled as the present. At the very least, to some observers it appears to show a disdain for the community that borders on arrogance.

    • The big winner from Apache OpenOffice.org

      IBM is still making Lotus Symphony. Remember Symphony? (Don’t worry, it slips my mind occasionally, too.) But IBM is still pushing this OpenOffice.org-based suite as a business desktop application, and Big Blue will be much happier keeping OpenOffice.org with the Apache Software Foundation than The Document Foundation.

      Why? Because when, not if, the OpenOffice.org proposal is approved by the Apache Software Foundation, the OpenOffice.org will be licensed under the Apache Software License (ASL) v2. This means IBM and any other Apache OpenOffice.org project member can innovate the heck out the source code and not be obligated to give back to the mainline OpenOffice.org code, since the ASL is a non-copyleft license. IBM and other OpenOffice.org contributors will also be able to re-license OpenOffice.org code under any license they want, including a proprietary license, should they wish. It also keeps a major Open Document Format project ensconced within IBM-friendly governance.

    • Michael Meeks’ Take

      It seems that IBM and the ASF are encouraging individuals from the LibreOffice world to sign on as ‘Initial Committers’ to their new project.

    • Why OpenOffice Going To Apache Foundation Makes No Sense At All

      Why The Document Foundation is a better choice than the Apache Foundation

      Another point to consider is the developers who will be taking care of OpenOffice. With OpenOffice in the hands of the Apache Foundation, they have to get a new team of developers to take on the development of the project. I am not saying that the Apache Foundation is not capable of doing that. But, for a completely new team to take over a project the size of OpenOffice can be very tough. In fact, that was what happened to Oracle after almost all of the previous developers left. But, The Document Foundation has most of the previous OpenOffice developers. After forking OpenOffice, they are developing one of the best office suite around – LibreOffice.

    • IBM Announces New Open Software Development

      IBM has announced its supporting role in the new OpenOffice.org code base submitted to The Apache Software Foundation Incubator. This is all part of an effort for the company to continue its long-standing commitment to open source. The firm will contribute staff resources to collaborate with the Apache community during the project’s incubation period to further the Open Document Format standard.

    • Oracle proposals may open Java Community Process

      The Java Community Process may get a welcome and much-needed breath of fresh air if a new proposal from Oracle is approved.

      The proposal, entitled JCP.next JSR 1, which is actually Java Specification Request 348, would see a reorganization of the existing Java Community Process to make the JCP a more open environment in which developers can work.

      According to the JCP Program Office, JCP.next JSR 1 (JJ1) “will focus on changes to the JCP Process Document in the following areas: transparency, participation, agility and governance. The Process Document describes the formal procedures used in the JCP program.”

      JSRs, by the way, are defined as “actual descriptions of proposed and final specifications for the Java platform.”

    • Apache president Jim Jagielski talks about OpenOffice.org next steps

      The ASF is best known for project like the ubiquitous Apache HTTP server — but Apache is home to dozens of projects. Still, doesn’t OpenOffice.org seem just a bit out of place here? Jagielski says no. “Although Apache is mostly known for server-side code (either complete servers, middle-ware, libraries, etc…) we do have some client-side and userland projects. Apache OFBiz is likely the best example.” In fact, Jagielski says what is “typical” for Apache is “building (or even “re-building”) communities around those codebases.”

    • What Oracle’s Open Source Retreat Means
    • Why Oracle’s donation of OpenOffice disappoints
  • Public Services/Government

    • EU goes global for procurement standards

      On Wednesday, the Commission laid out its strategy for reforming the way EU public institutions deal with standards. Open-source advocates welcomed the strategy, saying it would promote competition, reduce lock-in and lead to faster standard development.


      Taylor added that Oasis would not have had to cede control of the OpenDocument Format (ODF) standard to ISO in 2008, if the European Commission had not mandated this as a condition for accepting the standard. “Under this new arrangement there’s potentially no need to go to ISO,” he said. “Hopefully what we will get is faster standards to market without adding levels of bureaucracy.”

  • Licensing


  • Inventing Unix
  • My Thoughts

  • Cablegate

    • Julian Assange wins Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism

      iLeaks founder Julian Assange has been awarded the Martha Gellhorn prize for Journalism.

      The prize is awarded annually to a journalist whose work has “penetrated the established version of events and told and unpalatable truth that exposes establishment propaganda, or ‘official drivel’, as Martha Gellhorn called it.”

      Gellhorn, who died in 1998, was a well-known war correspondent and author.

  • Finance

    • S.E.C. Case Stands Out Because It Stands Alone

      Hundreds of employees worked closely in teams, devising mortgage-based securities — billions of dollars’ worth — that were examined by lawyers, approved by management, then sold to investors like hedge funds, commercial banks and insurance companies.

      At one trading desk sat Fabrice Tourre, a midlevel 28-year-old Frenchman who was little known not just outside Goldman but even inside the firm. That changed three years later, in 2010, when he achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the only individual at Goldman and across Wall Street sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for helping to sell a mortgage-securities investment, in one of the hundreds of mortgage deals created during the bubble years.

    • Geithner and Goldman, Thick as Thieves

      What was Timothy Geithner thinking back in 2008 when, as president of the New York Fed, he decided to give Goldman Sachs a $30 billion interest-free loan as part of an $80 billion secret float to favored banks? The sordid details of that program were finally made public this week in response to a court order for a Freedom of Information Act release, thanks to a Bloomberg News lawsuit. Sorry, my bad: It wasn’t an interest-free loan; make that .01 percent that Goldman paid to borrow taxpayer money when ordinary folks who missed a few credit card payments in order to finance their mortgages were being slapped with interest rates of more than 25 percent.

      One wonders if Barack Obama was fully aware of Geithner’s deceitful performance at the New York Fed when he appointed him treasury secretary in the incoming administration. The president was probably ignorant of this particular giveaway, as were key members of Congress. “I wasn’t aware of this program until now,” Barney Frank, D-Mass., who at the time chaired the House Financial Services Committee, admitted in referring to Geithner’s “single-tranche open-market operations” program. And there was no language in the Dodd-Frank law supposedly reining in the banks that compelled the Fed to reveal the existence of this program.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Real Legacy of the Hargreaves Report?

        Of course, on its own the report can’t achieve much in these three areas. But by raising these issues in a public way it has effectively put down markers. It means that when writing about the area of copyright and its enforcement, we can point back to statements about the need for evidence-based policies, and the fact that practically all the studies trotted out by the content industries are worthless, or that the economic damage of piracy is by no means a given.

      • Cabinet Minister Mandate Letters for The Digital Era

        James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage: Together with Paradis, you will be working on the fourth attempt at Canadian copyright reform. Bill C-32 provides the starting point, but we need to establish a stronger link between copyright and innovation by instituting greater flexibility on digital locks and fair dealing.

        The next four years also offers the chance to create a true national digital library as the foundation of a digital cultural policy. Canada has only digitized 13 per cent of its documentary text and less than one per cent of its video, audio, and photographs. You should assume a leadership position by actively working with provincial and local groups to develop a world-class national digital library that makes Canadian culture available from coast to coast and around the world by July 2015.

      • ACTA

        • Gröna gruppen mobiliserar inför ACTA-omröstning Green Group mobilizes for ACTA vote

          The Green Group (Greens / EFA) in the European Parliament are working hard to ensure that the European Parliament does not give its consent to the ACTA treaty. På ett möte i dag antogs att gruppen kommer att driva kravet på att alla av unionens förhandlingsdokument skall offentliggöras, i enlighet med den förfrågan som EDRi (European Digital Rights) framförde till utskottet för Internationell handel (INTA) den 11.e maj i år. At a meeting today was that the group will drive the requirement that all the Union’s negotiating document to be published in accordance with the request that EDRi (European Digital Rights) expressed to the Committee on International Trade (INTA) on 11th May this year. Vidare kommer man fortsätta driva kravet på att skicka ACTA-avtalet till European Court of Justice (ECJ) och kommer att försöka få upp sin resolution på dagordningen vid nästa plenarsammanträde. Moreover it will continue to drive the requirement to send ACTA treaty to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and will try to bring up his resolution on the agenda at the next session.

Clip of the Day

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wireless Games Contorller Demo)

Credit: TinyOgg

ES: SCOTUS Ayuda a los Monopolistas, No a Los Ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos (nuevo)

Posted in America, Patents at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Supreme Court US, 2009

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: La Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos (SCOTUS) muestra su compromiso con otros dudosos departamentos/ramas del gobierno de los Estados Unidos (USPTO) en lugar de justicia para el pueblo.

SCOTUS dá otro golpe a los desarrolladores de software (como antes[http://techrights.org/2010/06/29/scotus-bilski-analysis/]) por apoyar lo irazonable y exigir que los codificadores esencialmente estudien cientos de miles de patentes antes de escribir una sola línea de código. Ars Technica dice que, según SCOTUS, “‘ceguera voluntaria’ para infracción de patentes no aceptable[http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/06/scotus-willful-blindness-to-patent-infringement-not-ok.ars]“:

En una decisión desequilibrada 8-1, la Corte Suprema el martes sostuvo que “ceguera voluntaria” a la existencia de una patente no te salvará de los cargos de inducir a otras empresas para violar la patente en cuestión. El caso ha atraído el interés de la industria del software ya que una sentencia de primera instancia había elegido un estándar más laxo, “indiferencia deliberada”, que una coalición de empresas de software advirtió sería malo para la innovación. La Corte Suprema estuvo de acuerdo con el tribunal de primera instancia que el acusado era responsable aquí, pero lo hizo con una regla más estrecha que tiene menos posibilidades de atrapar a los infractores inadvertidos en el futuro.

Recuerde que la “justicia” es relativa y también puede ser pronunciado “como nosotros” (los ricos, los poderosos que utilizan el sistema legal para protegerse de la población). Esta magnitud de amiguismo puede hacer fácilmente los desarrolladores europeos de software digan que la USPTO y SCOTUS (quienes defiende la misma línea, ser parte de la misma institución) “¡Metánsela donde no les llegue el sol!” “Innovamos en paz”, aconsejó Knuth al sistema europeo[http://techrights.org/2009/05/20/knuth-tells-europe-no-sw-pats/] cuando instó contra las patentes de software. Knuth está exactamente respaldaldo a Google, que sufre mucho de los ataques de patentes de Microsoft (y el impuesto de patente).

Translation produced by Eduardo Landaveri, the esteemed administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

ES: La Necesidad de IBM de Explicar Patentes de Office Suite (y cómo Bill Gates Atacó A la Interoperabilidad con Lotus, El Uso de Patentes en Contra de OpenOffice.org)

Posted in Bill Gates, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Patents at 3:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: Un repaso a cómo Microsoft distorsiona el mercado de suites de oficina y una propuesta sincera para IBM para sacar a luz los problemas reales, no los detalles de menor importancia.

EL “DESPIADADO[http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/153351/20110527/microsoft-apple-bill-gates-david-einhorn-steve-ballmer-stand-down-fire-fired-question-ceo.htm]” Bill Gates está hoy en día comprando periódicos para llamarse a sí mismo otra cosa[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Gates_Foundation_Critique] y distraer la atención de su lado malo, la reescritura de la historia en la medida suficiente para que la gente se olvide de su tóxico legado al mundo que lo sufre hasta la fecha. Se llama lavado de reputación. Hoy nos gustaría volver atrás y mostrarles el verdadero Bill Gates. A finales de este mes, esperamos obtener una mano de otro editor que pueden ayudarnos a mostrar algunos de los delitos actuales de Gates (pero que va a ser dejado de lado por ahora, ya que no es en parte del tema).

“En otra ocasión, Gates mostró no sólo su odio de las normas y la interoperabilidad, sino también su amor por las patentes.”Así que ayer escribimos acerca de cómo IBM se convierte en un jugador clave en ODF[http://techrights.org/2011/06/01/ibm-takes-odf-to-another-level/]. IBM y Microsoft son rivales tanto como Apple y Microsoft son rivales. De hecho colaboran en algunas áreas en las que es beneficioso para ambas empresas (no necesariamente a las externalidades). Microsoft, que está a cargo de sociópatas, tiene una historia bastante de copiar y también de arruinar a Lotus. Hemos demostrado esto usando las exposiciones del tribunal de Comes vs. Microsoft[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Comes_vs_Microsoft]. Un informante de Techrights nos acaba de recordar que, en Comes vs Microsoft, “PXE 3078 ha Lotus trabajo para la interoperabilidad y los Microsoft trabajando en contra de ella.” Cubrimos esto hace varios años. Bill Gates dijo que la administración de los formatos de Office 2000 a los competidores parece una locura[http://techrights.org/2007/04/13/office-formats-disclosure/] y este tipo de observación se produjo más tarde también[http://techrights.org/2009/08/17/bill-gates-vs-open-file-formats/]. En otra ocasión, Gates mostró no sólo su odio de las normas y la interoperabilidad, sino también su amor por las patentes. En varias ocasiones trató de utilizar las patentes de software en contra de OpenOffice.org[http://techrights.org/2009/02/10/bill-gates-patents-vs-free-office/], recurriendo incluso al chantaje de patentes contra Sun[http://techrights.org/2010/03/10/bill-gates-racketeering-revealed/]. Una gran cantidad de publicaciones hablan de las noticias de OpenOffice.org en el contexto que exceptúa y excluye las patentes (ver ejemplos en la parte inferior de este post). Esto es un error. Para dar sólo un ejemplo de una interpretación típica[http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/open-source-insider/2011/06/ibm-to-contribute-to-openofficeorg.html] de este anuncio[http://www.newsjunkyjournal.com/ibm-nyse-ibm-announces-support-of-new-openoffice-org-project/2511304/]:

Continuando con lo que describe como su “compromiso de larga plazo con el Código Abierto,” IBM ha confirmado esta semana que ahora tendrá un papel activo en la base de código nuevo OpenOffice.org presentado a la Incubadora de Apache Software Foundation.

IBM y de código abierto que usted dice? En caso de que sea excepcional?

Esto no cuenta toda la historia. Recuerde lo que escribimos acerca de la licencia de Apache hace unas semanas[http://techrights.org/2011/05/19/openlogic-on-licensing/] (lo que condujo a FUD[http://techrights.org/2011/05/19/openlogic-on-licensing/]). Recuerde a quienes le gusta este tipo de licencia, que los proponentes Microsoft halagan muchas veces (y ahora Microsoft da dinero a la ASF -Apache Software Foundation- también). Como dijimos ayer, mucho se ha escrito acerca de la noticia y deseamos no aburrir con la repetición. Pero, vamos a decir que Microsoft se opone con vehemencia a la interoperabilidad (el problema está en el centro, entre ellos Bill Gates), por lo que debemos defender ODF, incluso si esto significa tolerar IBM. Pero IBM no deben ser tratado como nuestro amigo (ni debe la Fundación Documento, que tiene algunos residuos de Novell). Después de muchas observaciones que se están realizando en nuestros canales de IRC, hemos llegado a la conclusión de que algunos de nosotros aceptamos. Es posible que IBM, que intercambia materia de licencias (las patentes de software) con Microsoft, ahora puede tomar su versión propietaria de OpenOffice.org (Lotus Symphony) y además extenderla legalmente sin contribuir de nuevo sus cambios. Eso es lo que una licencia de Apache hará en el supuesto de que el paso de los derechos de autor a las obras de Apache como IBM espera. Todo esto muestra los peligros de los acuerdos de cesión de derechos (¡presta atención, Canonical!) y si la LGPLv3 (Licencia Pública General Menor v3) se abandona como Bradley de la FSF (Fundación de Software Libre) sospecha [3], entonces será posible para IBM haga Simphony las única protegida de patentes de derivada de OpenOffice.org (indemnización por ejemplo). Los grandes vendedores están en juegos malos para aumentar su propio poder y ODF se acuña en algún punto intermedio. IBM podría haber unido sus manos con LibreOffice y su organización de cubierta. No lo ha hecho todavía. Hubo incluso sarcásticos comentarios de IBM. Una persona que pidió ser más relevantes al vicepresidente de IBM en este área afirmó que ésta no ha aprobado su comentario, aunque después de un debate y un e-mail de este vicepresidente nos enteramos de que estaba demasiado ocupado (que probablemente sea cierto y no una excusa/idea de último momento). De todos modos, IBM tiene que aclarar dos cosas ahora: 1) se sumarán LibreOffice? 2) ¿Cúal es su posición en el tema de la licencias o derechos de autor y las patentes? IBM es una empresa en general silenciosa después de sus complicaciones en defensa de la competencia, por lo que tiene problemas de comunicación[http://techrights.org/2011/06/01/ibm-pr-fails/] (incluso cuando se comunica está tratando de ocultar la comunicación).


1. Declaración Acerca del Movimiento de Oracle para Donar OpenOffice.org a la Fundación Apache[http://blog.documentfoundation.org/2011/06/01/statement-about-oracles-move-to-donate-openoffice-org-assets-to-the-apache-foundation/]

La Fundación Documento acogería con satisfacción la reunificación de la OpenOffice.org y el proyecto LibreOffice en una sola comunidad de iguales en la raíz de la salida de Oracle. El paso de Oracle ha tomado hoy fue sin duda tomadas de buena fe, pero no parece alcanzar directamente este objetivo. La comunidad Apache, que respetamos enormemente, tiene expectativas muy diferentes y las normas – miembro de concesión de licencias, y mucho más – a los proyectos existentes OpenOffice.org y LibreOffice. Lamentamos la oportunidad perdida, pero estamos comprometidos a trabajar con todos los miembros activos de la comunidad para diseñar el mejor futuro posible para LibreOffice y OpenOffice.org.

2. Oracle Entrega OpenOffice a Apache[http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/oracle-gives-openoffice-to-apache/9035]

Kevin IBM Cavanaugh, vicepresidente de soluciones de colaboración., Que presionó para Oracle para deshacerce de OpenOffice después que se hizo claro que Oracle no iria a a poner mucho más recursos en en OpenOffice, dijo en un comunicado, “IBM da la bienvenida a la contribución de Oracle de OpenOffice software a la Apache Software Foundation. Esperamos poder colaborar con otros miembros de la comunidad para avanzar en la tecnología a partir de nuestro firme apoyo del proceso de incubación de OpenOffice en Apache. ”

3. ¿Recurre a Copyleft para competir con un Substituto?[http://ebb.org/bkuhn/blog/2011/06/01/open-office.html]

Me molestó hoy a leer que Oracle intentará relicenciar todo el código de OpenOffice bajo la licencia Apache 2.0 y OpenOffice pase a la Apache Software Foundation.

He escrito recientemente acerca de cómo entre las licencias permisivas, mi favorito es sin duda la licencia Apache 2.0. Sin embargo, creo que uno debe pasar de una licencia copyleft a una permisiva uno sólo en circunstancias excepcionales y con el mayor cuidado.

Obviamente, en este caso, me opongo a relicenciar de Oracle de OpenOffice.org bajo licencia Apache 2.0. Probablemente es obvio por qué me siento así, pero voy a explicar, sin embargo, por si acaso. Voy a pasar por alto sobre todo los motivos para hacerlo, que creo que son obvias: Oracle (e IBM, que se citan en apoyo de este movimiento) por sus propias razones no les gusta el “fork” de la Fundación Documento (LibreOffice) de OpenOffice.org. Se trata de un último esfuerzo por parte de IBM y Oracle para frustrar el progreso de LibreOffice, que ha sido reportado como muy exitosa y muchas distribuciones han comenzado a adoptar LibreOffice. (Incluso los no-software de sitios sitios como Metafilter en que los usuarios discuten el cambio a LibreOffice.)

4. Oracle propone OpenOffice.org para Apache Incubator[http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/oracle-proposes-openofficeorg-apache-incubato]

5. El Problema de Llevar Armonía a la Asignación de Derechos de Autor[http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/news/the-issue-of-bringing-harmony-to-copyright-assignment/]

Hay una clase completamente diferente de CAA en el que el desarrollador da a una compañía pleno derecho a su código, sin embargo. Sun (y más tarde Oracle) exigierón esto de las contribuciones a OpenOffice.org. Ellos lo necesitan para poder incorporar las aportaciones en las diferentes versiones que no son libres de OpenOffice como StarOffice o la Lotus Suite de IBM. Así pues, en esencia, tiene que darles el derecho de vender versiones no libres de su código o no puedes contribuir. En lo que a mí respecta, ¡este no es un buen uso de las CAA!

6. Oracle da a OpenOffice a la Fundación Apache – debemos preocuparnos?[http://blogs.dailynews.com/click/2011/06/oracle-gives-openoffice-to-the.html]

Creo que Oracle pensaba lo mismo. No hicieron caso de OpenOffice y sus colaboradores después de comprar Sun. Claro que primero mató a OpenSolaris. Era sólo cuestión de tiempo antes de que OpenOffice fuese deshechada.

Translation produced by Eduardo Landaveri, the esteemed administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

IRC Proceedings: June 2nd, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




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