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06.10.11

Links 10/6/2011: Btrfs for Fedora 16 by Default, Kernel 3.0 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Say Goodbye to Google Search Portals for Linux, Mac and More
  • Javascript PC emulator runs Linux
  • Desktop

    • Life with the Lenovo S10-3s

      Mageia 1: This is the other distribution which installs and runs with no problems right out of the box. I obviously haven’t had much time to really work with it yet, but at least the WiFi and ClickPad both work properly right off. If this distribution weren’t so new, and I had just a little more experience with it, I would probably rate it above openSuSE on this system.

  • Server

    • On Virtualization and The Cloud: The Most Ridiculous Article I’ve Read in a Very Long Time

      Having said that, they get the award for most ridiculous, the silliest, the most off base and seriously flawed article I’ve read in a very long time. In a piece published this morning called Don’t Throw Away Your Physical Servers Just Yet, the author, Ken Hess, wrote a piece that ridicules and derides anyone who doesn’t virtualize literally all, as in every last one, of their servers.

    • Percentage Of Websites Using Microsoft IIS Down To Pre-1998 Level – But Does It Reflect The Reality?

      The percentage of websites using Microsoft IIS has decreased to such an extent that it is now at the level that it was before 1998. Within a one month period between May 2011 and June 2011, Microsoft IIS lost as many as 1.4 million host names while Apache gained 21 million host names.

      With the market share of Microsoft IIS down to around 16% only, Apache with a market share of around 65% is the only major web server software left. Other software like nginx also saw a decrease in the market share in the May-June 2011 period – but not as much as that of Microsoft IIS.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel to fully support Xen: Too little too late?

      Almost eight years since its first release, Xen has finally been accepted into the Linux kernel. But it may be too little, too late.

    • Understatement of the Year by Linus Torvalds

      Here many commentators tell me that thin clients will never fly and that desktop PCs must have that other OS but refuse to believe that my GNU/Linux terminal servers and thin clients are much less expensive and have better performance than thick clients with that other OS. In an interview, Linus Torvalds said, “A lot of people end up spending a lot of time waiting for that traditional rotational media”

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.0 (Part 1) – Networking

      A Just-in-Time compiler promises to provide fast network packet filtering. The Wi-Fi stack now supports the Wake-on-Wireless-LAN standard, and unprivileged users are allowed to “ping”. New and improved drivers enhance the kernel’s support of network components by Ralink and Realtek.

    • Linux Foundation’s t-shirt competition

      Normally, I look at serious subjects, but what the heck, Linux is turning 20 this year–although as its creator Linus Torvalds is the first to say deciding exactly when Linux turns 20 is a matter of debate–so why not tell you about the Linux Foundation’s “20th anniversary of Linux” t-shirt contest.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Keynote Interview: Thomas Thwaite

      Thomas Thwaite, designer and technologist, will be a featured keynote speaker at this summer’s Desktop Summit 2011 in Berlin.

      Thomas is perhaps best known through his Toaster Project. The Toaster Project was an attempt to build a toaster from raw, self-mined materials. The project exposed the complexity of seemingly simple and everyday technology. It leaves us to wonder how technology will change our lives in the future, and shows how we all need others to get even simple products.

      William Carlson contacted Thomas to ask him about his projects, his views on technology and what makes him tick.

    • The Grand Review of three new desktops, pt. 1: topyli stumbles upon KDE after a decade of GNOME

      In a very short while, I have had the opportunity to try three new desktops. KDE 4 (not new but completely unknown to me previously), Unity on Ubuntu Natty (not a new desktop, but a novel shell nevertheless), and GNOME 3. In the coming few days, I shall describe my experiences in a big review of each, in three parts.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • WebWorld 2011: Building the Next KDE Web

        Randa was not the only place to welcome KDE contributors at the start of June. In an altogether warmer part of the world, nine contributors with an interest in KDE’s websites gathered outside Essen in Germany at the world famous Linux Hotel (page in German).

        Attendees included members of KDE’s design, web, promotion, UserBase and sysadmin teams, bringing a healthy mix of creativity and pragmatism. We looked at technical, design and promotion issues facing the kde.org website and the UserBase (and, to a lesser extent, the other KDE wikis).

      • The Future of KDE Multimedia

        In Randa I became Lord President of KDE Multimedia with the primary agenda item of unifying what belongs together: the people behind our great multimedia applications.

      • frameworks and applications

        The words we use matter, as they often shape not only how one does think about things but also how one can think about the subject. This is because the words we use can lead to excluding some valid options and including invalid ones.

        In past releases of the KDE software compilation, right back to when we called it all just “KDE”, whenever library development needed to enter a major release cycle (e.g. 2.0, 3.0, 4.0), everything entered that “big change” phase. This included the applications, the desktop, etc. This worked pretty well when the number of applications were low and the overlap between “people who work on kdelibs” and “people who work on applications” was very high. It ceased working so well by the time we started working KDE Platform 4, however.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Developing a software giant on the ideals of open-source
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 To Use Btrfs By Default

          When it comes to adopting the newest technologies, Fedora is always at the front among the major Linux distributions. Well, Fedora might very well do it again by adopting a new file system for its next release.

          According to proposals for Fedora 16, Btrfs will be the default filesystem used in that release. The proposal has been approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. In Fedora 16, the switch from EXT4 to Btrfs will be a “simple switch” – it means that major Btrfs features such as RAID and LVM capabilities will not be forced onto users.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Two Genivi automotive IVI platforms debut

      Two in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) reference platforms based on the Genivi Alliance’s Linux-based automotive middleware standard have been announced in conjunction with this week’s Telematics Detroit 2011 show. MontaVista and Rightware Oy are collaborating on a platform that integrates Rightware’s Kanzi UI Solution with MontaVista Linux, and Renesas Electronics is readying an ARM-Cortex-based “R-Car” platform incorporating CSR’s SiRFstarIV-based GPS technology.

    • LinuxLink support offered for HD-ready Cortex-A8 SoC
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • ViewSonic toys with the Idea of MeeGo Tablets

        The newest addition to tablet companies that have possibly got MeeGo as part of their future options are ViewSonic. At Computex the hardware makers product marketing manager Derek Wright told The Inquirer that an 8in or 9in model is “not out of the question”. More and more companies seem to be going in the direction of choice and as an expansion of choice MeeGo seems to fit the bill.

      • HP Tablet TouchPad Will Be Available In July

        HP has announced that the Wi-Fi version of HP TouchPad will be available in the United States on July 1. HP is using Linux-based WebOS to power these tablet.

        TouchPad will be available in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Germany a few days later and in Canada in mid-July, with availability scheduled to follow later this year in Italy and Spain, as well as in Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Waugh partners call it quits after nine years

    Australian open source industry identities Pia and Jeff Waugh have separated after nine years together, the last six in wedlock.

    In a coordinated blog posting, the Waughs said the decision was “mutual and amicable… and we wanted everyone to know that we’re both okay”.

    Pia (nee Smith) Waugh wrote on her blog: “Though we still care for each other and will remain good friends, unfortunately we have grown significantly apart and out of love.”

  • An Open Source Solution for Master Data Management
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • ShouldMozilla Pitch This Firefox Full Screen Browser?

        Let’s face it. Whether we like it or not, there is a lot of buzz surrounding a minimalistic browser interface that aims to maximize contents pace. The result is what we commonly would describe as a “full screen browser”. Mozilla Labs posted a prototype, but we wonder whether such a browser actually makes sense.

      • Mozilla disables Firefox 5 WebGL’s cross domain textures – update 2

        Mozilla is disabling cross domain textures in Firefox 5′s WebGL implementation after a researcher demonstrated an ability to abuse the capability. A report released in May by Context Information Security on WebGL security included a proof of concept which used cross domain textures as to reconstruct a displayed image without directly accessing the image. The Khronos Group, home to the WebGL standard, responded to the issue saying that it was considering requiring opt-in to Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) or some other mechanism to prevent possible abuse.

  • SaaS

    • Avoiding a Cloud Computing Armageddon

      Nor did the hosting of data end there. After Congress resolved the copyright ownership of “orphan” works of authorship in 2012, the digitization of the world’s books was completed. Even the largest libraries began pulping all but volumes of the greatest historical significance. Budgets previously spent on bricks, mortar, shelving and physical books were now spent on acquiring access rights and the means to deliver millions of remote, digitized works to the eReaders of library patrons everywhere.

      With the costs and benefits of central hosting of information so compelling, local storage of information had become as rare as an AOL dial up account. Experts estimated that c. 85% of all of the world’s important data and software was now hosted in twenty-three gigantic data farms that collectively consumed a spectacular 9% of the global output of electricity. Together, this new system of instant, global, open access was widely and justifiably acknowledged to be one of the great achievements of the modern world.

    • Mind in the clouds

      Some of the thoughts above might be accurate. However, there are users who still have something that is very human: preferences. Yes, for the better or worse, they like their desktops to look one way or another; they cling to an office suite (more because of tradition than because of usability) and they do not trust services that charge you to buy a music file from them (especially if the seller keeps the file!). Call them recalcitrant if you may, but they prefer to stick to Yahoo Mail Classic regardless of how much longer it takes for them to attach a document to an email message.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • A plea to save OpenOffice.org from Apache

      Former Microsoft developer-turned-free-software-advocate Keith Curtis has outlined his thoughts on why it would be a bad idea to make OpenOffice.org an incubator project stewarded by the Apache Software Foundation.

      The missive, drafted to the Apache Incubator mailing list and sent as an open letter to the community at large, details a myriad of reasons why Curtis does not think Oracle’s proposal to donate the code to Apache should happen.

      Curtis sees the question of failure for an Apache OpenOffice.org incubator as not just simple failure, but one that will potentially damage the entire Open Document Format ecosystem.

    • New Objections to the Apache/OpenOffice Lash-Up Arrive
    • Oracle v. Google – Before We Talk About Damages

      At least one so-called patent expert has been quoted extensively in the past few days asserting that the damages that could be assessed against Google could be astronomical and will wipe out Android. That strikes this writer as getting the cart before the horse. First, the Oracle patents will have to be found valid, either by the court or in reexamination. To the extent the claims contained within those patents are modified and/or narrowed, the basis for the alleged infringement by Google may not survive. As I have noted in earlier articles, more than 50% of patents that are subjected to reexamination end up with their claims being denied or narrowed. So there is a strong likelihood that, at least in reexamination, the Oracle patents may not end up being what they appear to be today.

  • CMS

    • PaaS based on Drupal, Ruby on Rails announced

      Red Hat isn’t the only open source provider pursuing the Platform-as-a-Service market for developers.

      This week, Acquia and Engine Yard announced they have joined forces to create a cloud service for Drupal and Ruby on Rails. The new fully managed PaaS will incorporate Acquia’s open source web content management system based on Drupal and Engine Yard’s Ruby on Rails development platform for the cloud.

  • Education

    • An Open-Source Web-Enabled Revolution in Education

      Thanks to the financialization of the higher-education “industry,” a traditional college education has become a gigantic financial liability as its value in the “end of work” era diminishes. Even as we recognize the value of a long, arduous, costly education to train doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers and research scientists, we have to ask: what about the rest of the workforce and citizenry who make up the vast majority of the working populace? Is traditional college really working for them?

      As noted yesterday in The “End of Work” and the Coming Revolution in Education (June 7, 2011), a university degree has become a “necessary credential” for jobs within heirarchical bureaucracies such as the State (government) and Corporate America.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Zarafa announces new Community Hub and certification program

        The open source groupware vendor has also introduced a new certification program for integrations. With the program, projects can register and apply to become Zarafa Ready or Zarafa Certified, provided that they meet certain criteria. Some certified projects can also gain official (end user) support by Zarafa.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Mentor goes open-source with GNU and Eclipse IDE

      Sourcery CodeBench does just that by offering an IDE based on Eclipse, the Eclipse C/C++ development tools and compilers, and GNU tool chain, including an assembler, linker, runtime libraries, and source-level and assembly-level debuggers.

  • Project Releases

    • Samba 3.6 release soon, Samba 4 pushed to late 2011, 2012

      The final version Samba 4.0 won’t be delivered until late 2011, or 2012, yet a major update is expected soon.

      In a recent email to this blogger, Jeremy Allison, a lead developer on the project who works in Google’s open source programs office, said he is unsure of the exact date of 4.0’s release. But 3.6 is right around the corner, he notes.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Scientists develop open-source genome analyzer

      There are about a dozen genome browsers that are currently available. GenPlay has a major advantage over the others, says Dr. Bouhassira, because it “emphasizes letting biologists take control of their own data by providing continuous visual feedback together with extremely rapid browsing at every decision point during an analysis.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Stylesheets reloaded: W3C releases CSS 2.1 after 13 years

      W3C, the standards body for the web, has published the Cascading Style Sheet Specification 2.1 (CSS 2.1) as a Recommendation, making it an official standard. CSS 2.1 is a language that adds style to web content. It supersedes CSS 2, which was released 13 years ago, and collects all previously published errata of CSS 2 into one document. Most web users won’t experience any difference while visiting pages that use CSS 2.1 stylesheets as most recent browsers already implement most of the definitions.

Leftovers

  • World IPv6 day started glitch-free, but most web surfers won’t notice

    After months of preparation and anticipation, World IPv6 Day kicked off fairly quietly. More than 200 organizations around the world turned on IPv6 at 12 a.m. UTC on June 8 for the world’s first mass test of the second-generation networking standard.

  • Where is Linux on IPv6 Day?
  • Testing Ipv6 today

    IPv6 will assure the growth of the future internet and give rise to a whole generation of new smart services. Moving from IPv4 to IPv6 is therefore essential to let the internet evolve and create new apps and services. It will offer many advantages including larger address, space, support for new mobile and wireless services and built-in security.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tobacco Companies Adjusting Strategies to Remain Prominent Political Players

      Health advocacy groups have toiled during the last decade to force the tobacco industry to quit politics. And they’ve gotten close — close, but no cigar.

      After weathering legal wranglings and widespread health concerns, tobacco companies have attempted to transform their image in the eyes of Americans. Once seen as corporate giants who could use their money for political favors, the biggest tobacco companies now often approach politics more discreetly.

    • Commission says Roundup causes birth defects

      A study published yesterday by the science cooperative Earth Open Source says that the EU is ignoring evidence of the dangers of glyphosate (Roundup) herbicide, and that it should not be approved for European use. Roundup, originally developed by Monsanto, has been used in the US since the 1970s, and its US patent has expired.

  • Security

    • RSA admits SecurID tokens have been compromised
    • Banks risk hack attack after global security breach

      ANZ and government departments that are using compromised security tokens will replace them but Westpac and CBA are taking a risk that the global hacking incident won’t affect them.

      ANZ Bank said it would replace 50,000 secure identification tokens used by customers and staff following an overseas hacking incident at RSA, the company that provides the technology. The action by ANZ was initiated yesterday.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • You can be arrested for secret reasons — in America

      Cop: You’re under arrest!

      Victim: What for?

      Cop: Its a secret. I can’t tell you.

      This is America?

      That is the Patriot Act, parts of which were about to expire but were just renewed for 4 years with almost no debate.

  • Finance

    • Senators seek crackdown on “Bitcoin” currency

      Two senators are pressing federal authorities to crack down on an online black market and “untraceable” digital currency known as Bitcoins after reports that they are used to buy illegal drugs anonymously.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Koch-backed group’s fake eviction notices rile up Detroit

      Residents in a Detroit neighborhood received a scare this week when they found what appeared to be eviction notices on their doors. The flyers, however, turned out to be political pamphlets in opposition to the construction of a controversial new bridge.

      The fake eviction notices were posted by a local chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the conservative political advocacy group backed by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers who run Koch Industries and are longtime libertarians. Local political leaders and columnists are condemning the group for scaring residents — whose homes sit in the epicenter of the nation’s foreclosure crisis — while refusing to disclose which of its corporate backers are funding the flyers.

    • With Affordable Housing Under Attack, Wisconsinites Fight Back

      Protesters formed a picket line on Thursday morning in front of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Fluno Center for Executive Education chanting, “Housing for the needy, not profits for the greedy!”

      About 100 people gathered with signs and noisemakers to protest the Wisconsin Real Estate and Economic Outlook conference, headlined by Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan. The event was sponsored by several groups, including the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA). Walker received not only an endorsement from the WRA, but also more than $150,000 in WRA-related campaign contributions in the 2010 election cycle, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

    • R.I.P., Fairness Doctrine

      On June 8, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Julius Genachowski agreed to wipe the Fairness Doctrine completely off the agency’s books, even though the rule has been officially dead since 1987. House Republicans have long pushed to get the Doctrine off the rule books for good, and they’ve finally gotten their way.

      From the time it was put in place in 1949 until its demise in 1987, the Fairness Doctrine required holders of broadcast licenses to provide the public with news and public affairs programming, and present opposing viewpoints on controversial issues. Back then, the airwaves were dominated by the “big three” networks ABC, CBS and NBC — which broadcast over publicly-owned airwaves under licenses issued by the government. The idea behind the Fairness Doctrine was to keep broadcasters from monopolizing the airwaves with a biased viewpoint, and assure that those entrusted with the public airwaves broadcast a diversity of viewpoints on important issues.

  • DRM

    • Richard Stallman: Break free of e-book ‘chains’

      Richard Stallman, who bridles to see the idealistic purity of his free-software philosophy debased into the more pragmatic open-source movement, can be a prickly character. But I find myself agreeing with some of his concerns about e-books.

      In a piece titled “The Danger of E-books” (PDF), Stallman bemoans the e-book’s loss of freedoms that most of us take for granted with physical books and places the blame on corporate powers.

      “Technologies that could have empowered us are used to chain us instead,” he said. “We must reject e-books until they respect our freedom…E-books need not attack our freedom, but they will if companies

    • Future Apple iPhone May Not Let You Record and Shoot

      Apple has patented a technology which it can use in association with music labels and studios to put more chains around its users.

      According to PatentlyApple, the iPhone maker has patented a technology which uses infrared emitter to register if you are at a concert or watching a movie and it will disable the camera function so you can’t record it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Slave Labor and Intellectual Property

      Finally, it is curious that the first thing that occurs to people on first hearing the anti-IP case is plagiarism: “You mean it would be okay for someone to take an author’s work, put his own name on it, and sell it?”

      Two issues are conflated here. One can plagiarize without violating a copyright, and one can violate a copyright without plagiarizing. Under copyright law you may use brief verbatim excerpts of another’s written work without permission as long as you use quotation marks and attribute the text to the author. It’s called “fair use.” (Question for copyright fans: Isn’t even fair use a violation of an author’s rights?) If you were to use an excerpt that otherwise would qualify under the fair-use principle but without attribution, you would be guilty of plagiarism but not copyright violation. The same would be true if you quote Shakespeare without attribution. (Shakespeare wrote without benefit of copyright.)

      On the other hand, if you publish Atlas Shrugged with Ayn Rand’s name on it, you would be guilty of copyright violation but not plagiarism.

      For the sake of clear thinking, let’s keep these issues separate.

      Well, is plagiarism okay? No, it’s not! Obviously it is dishonest and dishonorable to represent someone else’s work as one’s own. But note, according to LegalZoom, “plagiarism is not a criminal or civil offense.” Nor should it be. It’s a breach of good conduct, and there is a plentitude of nonviolent, non-State ways to deal with it, especially in the Internet age.

    • Trademarks

      • Trademark Squatters 0001 – OutbackZack – Part 2

        My publication was not a defamation of character. Under Canadian Law, you cannot defame someone’s character by telling the truth. So I if were to say that Mat Swyers was a rotten American Rebel, there is no defamation. Technically all Americans are rebels, and ought to be hung, for rebelling against their legal King, George III, back in 1776. It might make Mat less than happy, but I don’t care about him.

        He claims that the name was thoroughly researched, and was not found to be used anywhere in 2004. Note that I used the word ‘claims’, because he has provided no proof, quite possibly because he has none.

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Chamber of Commerce Floats Fake $30 Billion Counterfeiting Claim

        This week the Canadian IP Council, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s IP lobby arm, issued a release placing Canadian counterfeiting costs at $30 billion per year. That figure is being used to lobby the government to enact new border measure provisions that could lead to the searching of luggage as travellers enter Canada. It is tempting to dismiss the claims on the basis that the policy rationale makes no sense – if counterfeit toothpaste is indeed “coming across the border in droves” as the Chamber claims, searching traveller luggage won’t address that issue. Moreover, it should be noted that even the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement features an exception for de minimis imports that an individual might carry as it recognizes that addressing counterfeiting concerns does not involve targeting individuals. Yet given the decision to resurrect the bogus $30 billion figure, it is important to again call attention to its origins and how it is simply a fabrication.

      • BT and Talk Talk appeal of judicial review decision

        In March the two ISPs contended that the DEA fell foul of several provisions of EU law – namely the Technical Standards Directive, Authorisation Directive, E-Commerce Directive and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive – and was a disproportionate response to the problem of online copyright infringement.

        Handing down his judgment in April, Justice Kenneth Parker dismissed the appeal on all grounds with the exception of cost-sharing, ruling that ISPs should not have to pay a portion of the costs incurred by Ofcom in implementing the new regime. You can read our round up of the hearing here.

        The ISPs now wish to take the matter to the Court of Appeal, seeking further clarity with regard to the Act’s compliance with EU law. BT stated that “the High Court’s conclusions on many of the other important and complex issues put before it were not robust enough to provide the certainty and clarity which the companies sought”.

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