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06.19.11

Links 19/6/2011: GNOME 3.1.2 and Apache Traffic Server 3.0.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Going Linux: Jun 20
    • Linux Outlaws 213 – Mister Spliffy

      The UN says three strikes laws violate Human Rights, Fedora wants a Code of Conduct, IBM and Oracle screw LibreOffice, Skype is reverse-engineered, Microsoft screws with their developers and Apple invents cloud computing.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Plethora Of Linux Power Tests Are On The Way

      Nailing down the Linux kernel power regressions (see Linux Has Major Power Regression and Another Major Linux Power Regression Spotted) has made a big step forward this weekend. Not only to fix up these major kernel power regressions that are hitting many mobile Linux users, but to look further into the state of Linux power management is now possible and to closely analyze other areas of the Linux stack to find other areas for improvement.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.1.2 Released

        Many GNOME packages have been updated for this 3.1.2 milestone. Some of the notable updates for this GNOME 3.2 development snapshot include a new Clutter release where COGL has been moved out-of-tree, Empathy has a new log viewer and supports CSS variants in Adium themes, a new experimental call channel handler for Empathy, improved SVG decoding with Eye of GNOME, GDM improvements, GNOME Shell enhancements, and much more. There’s also GTK+3 tool-kit improvements.

      • It’s all in the small things
      • Top 5 Gnome Shell Themes For You To Install [Linux]

        Even since before Gnome Shell‘s official release, people have been hard at work creating some interesting themes for the new desktop environment. Changing themes in Gnome Shell isn’t hard thanks to some nice configuration tools you can install. With plenty of people sporting the new desktop environment in Linux thanks to releases such as Fedora 15, which has Gnome Shell by default, applying themes is quickly becoming a more desired action.

  • Distributions

    • What is your favorite Linux distribution for use on the desktop?
    • Live CDs—My Wonder Wall

      A Live CD is a convenient and easy approach for users to try out an operating system and run pre-configured software, or do virtually everything that you can with an installed system. It’s a bootable CD-ROM disk that loads an operating system without the need to permanently install it on a storage device like a hard drive.

      The origin of the Live CD was not a CD at all, but a bootable floppy disk. Usually, hardware manufacturers and anti-virus developers produced bootable floppy disks for various operating systems, to perform certain administrative tasks that were not possible with the OS already running. For example, anti-virus software needed users to boot their system in a known safe condition, so that any virus infections on the machine would not interfere with virus-testing activity. Hardware manufacturers distributed bootable floppy disks to allow the system user to test the hardware products without OS intervention, and to be sure that the firmware was working correctly.

    • How to Remaster Ubuntu to Get a Customised Distribution

      We selected Ubuntu as our base system, for its manageability, and also because most of our users are new to GNU/Linux. To re-build the distribution we used Remastersys, a useful software that packs your existing system into a ‘live’ disk image. Let’s look at how we did this.

      To create a custom GNU/Linux distro, you need to install and customise the base distro first; so we installed a fresh copy of Ubuntu onto a system that was going to be our ‘build’ machine. Next, we applied all our customisation to the system, installed the software we needed, and applied customisations to the desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 1.0 review

        Mageia is a Linux distribution forked from Mandriva Linux by former contributors and members of Mandriva, As expected, there was a flurry of activities between the announcement of the fork of the distribution (on September 18, 2010) and the first official (stable) release (June 1, 2011). Teams had to be put together, servers and hosting and the required development environments set up, etc.

        In the end, what we have is a community-driven and community-sponsored distribution in contrast to its parent distribution, which is controlled by a commercial entity. This article is a review of this new distribution and also marks its listing in the Desktop/Server Category on this website.

        [...]

        Out of the gate, Mageia packs all the features one would expect from an excellent distribution, and that is due, of course, to its being a fork of Mandriva.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Rumours of MeeGo’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

        Hmmm… the official Maemo/MeeGo Twitter account just tweeted, “Rumours of my Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated.” Their previous tweet was from last December! Something is definitely up. This looks like another hint of a MeeGo announcement at the upcoming June 21st Nokia Connection event in Singapore.

      • Android

        • Google’s YouTube policy for Android users is copyright extremism

          The news that Android users who have jailbroken their phones will be denied access to the new commercial YouTube pay-per-view service is as neat an example of copyright extremism as you could hope for.

          Android, of course, is Google’s wildly popular alternative to Apple’s iOS (the operating system found on iPhones and iPads). Android is free and open – it costs nothing to copy, it can be legally modified and those modifications can be legally distributed. Android products come in varying degrees of lockdown; flagship devices such as the Samsung Nexus S are easy to set up to run competing, unofficial flavours of Android (such as CyanogenMod, which adds lots of useful features and controls to your phone that are missing from the stock Android version). Other phones use various kinds of hardware and software locks that try to get in the way of installing your own OS, and while Google doesn’t prohibit this behaviour from its vendors, it also doesn’t encourage it – until now.

        • 15 Best Android Apps for Travelers Among You

          Google is activating some 400,000 new Android devices every single day now(source) and Android is already the fastest growing and most popular smartphone OS in many parts of the world. In tune with its rising popularity, Android’s applications base is also showing stupendous growth. We have already featured a bunch of must have open source Android applications and now here is a collection of Android apps dedicated to travelers among you.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The Nook Nails It

        By now, most everyone in your circle of friends has played with a Kindle and an iPad. Fewer have picked up a Nook. But I’d urge you to give this dark horse a shot.

        I’ve been testing the newest black and white version of Barnes & Noble’s e-reader, and, well, you can color me impressed.

        The freshly-updated Nook is smaller and lighter than Amazon’s Kindle, and on those qualities alone it stands a excellent chance of capturing some more market share in the e-ink device game. But the new Nook also embraces social media sharing (and does it well enough), eliminates all buttons save a “Home” key (where’d they get that idea?) and ambidextrous page-turners, and introduces a responsive e-ink touchscreen that controls an intuitive interface.

      • The OLPC Australia program in action

Free Software/Open Source

  • Wireless networking without paying The Man, man

    To drive that hardware Qi will provide a 6LoWPAN driver for the Nanonote or Linux box, but has also managed to connect it to a Linux Zigbee stack. Zigbee is free for non-commercial use, but that makes it incompatible with the GPL so the hardware isn’t named as being Zigbee compatible.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • PVS-Studio vs Chromium

        From the programming viewpoint, Chromium is a solution consisting of 473 projects. The general size of the source C/C++ code is about 460 Mbytes and the number of lines is difficult to count.

        [...]

        Chromium had become the most quality and large project I have studied during testing of PVS-Studio. While handling the Chromium project it was not actually clear to us what was checking what: we have found and fixed several errors in PVS-Studio related to C++ file analysis and support of a specific project’s structure.

    • Mozilla

      • 9 Possible Features of Firefox 5 that may Kill your Chrome Cravings

        Firefox 4 was another milestone for the Mozilla team. Of course, with the growing popularity of Chrome, Firefox’s admiration seems to have taken a downward trend. However, the record-holding browser isn’t going to back down. In its next version, that is Firefox 5, the veteran browser promises to bring along features that will put Firefox at par with Google Chrome.

        Here are 9 such features that will make you reconsider if you’re planning to switch to Chrome. Or, if you’re a Chrome user already, who knows, you might as well go turn back to the fox.

      • JavaScript decoder lets MP3s play in Firefox without Flash

        The introduction of HTML5 and super-fast JavaScript engines to the latest web browsers has brought with it a wealth of new functionality. The focus seems to have been put on the ability to play video in a browser without Flash, or making games. But a project born out of a Music Hackday in Berlin is just as exciting.

  • SaaS

    • Getting your ownCloud

      To get the latest from git, set up a LAMP server (sqlite works just as well as mysql). There are 2 options for getting the latest git: In the root of your web directory run: git clone git://anongit.kde.org/owncloud.git. If you use this method and want to help out we have instructions on our wiki on how to modify that slightly for a development setup (keeping your own files out of git and under your user while letting git update the system files). The other option for getting owncloud itself is to download the latest, automatically created snapshot from git: Snapshots are here. These snapshots are created on the fly so whenever you download it you’ll get the most up-to-date version possible at that moment.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • First TDF Advisory Board members demonstrate wide corporate support for LibreOffice

      The Document Foundation today announced the first members of its Advisory Board: Google, SUSE, Red Hat, Freies Office Deutschland e.V., Software in the Public Interest, and the Free Software Foundation. The new appointees will serve for an initial term of one year.

      The body represents The Document Foundation’s sponsors, with each sponsor having the right to one representative. They will provide the future Board of Directors with advice, guidance and proposals, and will consult regularly on the further development of the Foundation and its associated projects.

    • LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org: Missing the Big Picture

      In the Calligra Suite, we have a good separation between the so called Office Engine and the user interface. This engine has the responsibility to load, store, and save the contents of the document. It also renders the document on a canvas that can then be shown in an application for viewing or editing. The separation between the load/store/save parts and the rendering parts are not very strong, but it can nevertheless be seen.

  • Project Releases

    • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache Traffic Server v3.0.0

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced Apache Traffic Server v3.0.0.
      Apache Traffic Server is a Cloud Computing “edge” service, able to handle requests in and out of the Cloud, both by serving static content (images, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files), and routing requests for dynamic content to a Web server (such as the Apache HTTP Server).

  • Public Services/Government

Leftovers

  • Excited About the Cloud? Get Ready for Capped Data Plans

    The tech world seems to move in spurts and spasms, and right now we’re in the middle of the “cloud” wave.

    Personally, I find the term “in the cloud” pretentious and annoying. Don’t they just mean “online?” Yes, I realize that computer professionals are referring to something much more specific — “data and application software stored on remote servers,” for example — but the world’s marketers and P.R. people seem to think that “the cloud” just means “online.” (“Now you can buy your toiletries in the cloud!!”)

  • Facebook juror jailed for eight months

    The first juror to be prosecuted for contempt of court for using the internet has been sentenced to eight months in jail.

    Joanne Fraill, 40, admitted at London’s high court using Facebook to exchange messages with Jamie Sewart, 34, a defendant already acquitted in a multimillion-pound drug trial in Manchester last year.

    Fraill, from Blackley, Manchester, also admitted conducting an internet search into Sewart’s boyfriend, Gary Knox, a co-defendant, while the jury was still deliberating.

  • Appeals judges berate spammer for “ridiculous,” “incompetent” litigation

    Oral arguments in US appellate courts tend to be staid affairs, with judges asking probing questions and attorneys politely sparring over the finer points of legal doctrine. So Joseph Kish, attorney for alleged serial spamming firm e360, must have known he was in trouble when Judge Richard A. Posner interrupted him seconds into his opening statement to berate both Kish and his client.

    “I have never seen such an incompetent presentation of a damages case,” Posner said. “It’s not only incompetent, it’s grotesque. You’ve got damages jumping around from $11 million to $130 million to $122 million to $33 million. In fact, the damages are probably zero.”

  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Oliver Stone – Legendary American Film Director and Screenwriter “Comments on Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning”

      Oliver Stone, the legendary and controversial American film director and screenwriter, recently shared his thoughts on Wikileaks, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning while speaking to students and faculty at Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

      In a series of rarely viewed YouTube videos brought to our attention by Blogger Maria Technosux, viewers will hear Stone (JFK, Natural Born Killers, Platoon) comment on an array of topics including global politics, war and freedom of speech. However in this post Wikileaks-Movie.com brings your attention to Oliver Stone’s comments on Wikileaks, Julian Assange & Bradley Manning. And while we have transcribed only these comments in this post, we encourage you to view each of these videos in their entirety.

  • Finance

    • We Don’t Need “Too Big To Fail” Institutions

      I’ve been traveling a lot in recent weeks and had the pleasure of meeting policymakers in a number of countries. Perhaps the most interesting of those meetings occurred in a small workshop attended by a couple of policymakers who had worked with Timothy Geithner to bail-out Wall Street. Let me just say that these were intelligent guys with their hearts in the right places. While they probably did not think they were doing “God’s work” (as the Vampire Blood Sucking Squid put it), they certainly did think they were operating in the public interest.

    • Misdirection in Goldman Sachs’s Housing Short

      Goldman Sachs appears to be trying to clear its name.

      The compelling Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report on the financial crisis is wrong, the bank says. Goldman Sachs didn’t have a Big Short against the housing market.

      But the size of Goldman’s short is irrelevant.

      No one disputes that, by 2007, the firm had pivoted to reduce its exposure from mortgages and mortgage securities and had begun shorting the market on some scale. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t we want banks to reduce their risk when they see trouble ahead, as Goldman did in the mortgage markets?

      Nor should shorting itself be seen as a bad thing. Putting money behind a bet that a stock (or bond or commodity or derivative) is overpriced is necessary for the efficient functioning of capital markets. Short-sellers can keep prices from getting out of whack and help deflate bubbles.

    • CFTC Delays Swaps Regulation By Another 6 Months To Comply With Wall Street Demands

      One year after the passage of Dodd-Frank’s provisions on swap regulation absolutely nothing has been implemented.

    • Officials predict prolonged high food prices

      High food prices are likely to rise even further over the next decade, putting the poor at an increasing risk of malnutrition and hunger, a world food report warned Friday.

      The joint report of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said the risk of price volatility that has hurt farmers across the globe remains high. The OECD leader came out to back France’s demand for increased transparency and more regulation and public information in the farm commodities markets as a key measure to stabilize prices.

    • Wonkbook: Dealmaking time on the deficit?

      The Biden group is readying itself for the final sprint towards a debt deal. “Now we’re getting down to the real hard stuff,” Biden told reporters. “I’ll trade you my bicycle for your golf clubs.” The hope is to get to $4 trillion in deficit reduction eventually, and at least $2 trillion in the deal to raise the debt ceiling. But perhaps the strongest sign that they’re likely to succeed isn’t coming from inside the room, but from outside of it.

  • Censorship

    • Suit Alleges Students’ Facebook Post Defamed Lawyer’s Daughter

      Houston lawyer Jason M. Medley, as next friend to his daughter, has filed a libel suit on her behalf against three middle-school students who allegedly posted a video on the social networking site Facebook.

      Medley says the intention in filing the June 14 suit was not for publicity or to “get on a pedestal and make some kind of an example” of cyber-bullying. “It is my goal to protect my daughter, not to make greater publicity over an event that was harmful to her,” Medley says.

    • U.S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors

      The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.

    • U.S. Hopes “Internet in a Suitcase” Will Offset Internet Censorship

      The U.S. government has created what it is calling an “Internet in a suitcase” to cheat the switches on the filtering regimes of repressive countries. A kit of hardware, the suitcase creates a “shadow Internet” within a country that allows users to communicate with each other and the outside world despite electronic censorship.

      The suitcase was funded by a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of State, according to the New York Times.

  • DRM

    • Told you so

      If you thought that I was being ridiculous in saying that big corporations might want to do something as ridiculous as restrict your ability to use a camera, I give you Exhibit A, which has made the news this week:

      Earlier this month, Apple applied to patent a system that could switch off a smartphone’s camera if it senses the user is trying to record a live event.

      It’s nice to see that even creators are speaking against this concept. Every now and then, the big media companies like to trot out one of the well-known artists to say that piracy is a huge problem and DRM is vitally important.

    • Google Says Yes, You Can Doodle In Our E-Books

      I realize its anathema to some, but one of the things I miss most about the transition from print to digital books is the ability to write on the pages. Oh sure, I can justify my notes and marginalia as being full of intelligent insights. But I think it all stems back from a love of coloring books and from adding my own creative and colorful commentary to printed pages. There’s also a lot of pleasure in that sort of mark-up: coloring in pictures, doodling in the margins, scribbling on pages.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Nude Nuns Mass BitTorrent Lawsuit is Terminated

        A Utah investment company late Friday dropped its copyright-infringement lawsuit against 5,865 BitTorrent users who allegedly downloaded the movie Nude Nuns with Big Guns between January and March of this year.

        Incentive Capital, which is embroiled in litigation with another company called Camelot Distribution over who actually owns the B-rated flick, notified the Los Angeles federal judge presiding over the copyright action that it was dropping the case. (.pdf) An identical Nude Nuns lawsuit brought by Camelot Distribution, a California company, was voluntarily dismissed three weeks ago.

      • Head of UN copyright agency says fair use is a “negative agenda,” wants to get rid of discussions on rights for blind people and go back to giving privileges to giant companies

        In this (non-embeddable, natch) video interview from the World Copyright Summit on June 8, Francis Gurry, the Director General of WIPO, the UN agency that creates and oversees global copyright policy, laments the current state of WIPO, saying that the copyright agenda there:

        “… tends to be a negative one. It tends to be looking at the exceptions, the limitations, and the other ways of not having intellectual property. I’m very keen to see us coming back with a positive agenda for intellectual property.”

        Translation: our job isn’t to figure out how to balance out freedom of speech and access with exclusive rights for authors and investors; more copyright is always good. And the subtext is, “All those public interest groups that have got us looking at rights for blind and disabled people, exemptions for poor countries, rights for educators and archivists, and Creative Commons-style ‘some rights reserved’ issues are distracting us from the real business of WIPO: maximizing copyright’s benefit for a handful of corporate giants.”

      • US, NZ, Sweden, others condemn “three strikes” Internet laws

        Earlier this month we covered a UN report that argued that “three strikes” laws that deprive alleged copyright infringers of Internet access violate human rights. The report was delivered by an independent UN investigator, and so didn’t represent the view of any UN member governments.

        Michael Geist notes that on Friday, Sweden made remarks at the UN Human Rights Council that endorsed many of the report’s findings, including the criticism of “three strikes” rules. The statement was signed by 40 other nations, including the United States and Canada. The United Kingdom and France, two nations that have enacted “three strikes” regimes, did not sign the statement.

        “All users should have greatest possible access to Internet-based content, applications and services,” the statement said, adding that “cutting off users from access to the Internet is generally not a proportionate sanction.” It also called network neutrality and Internet openness “important objectives.”

      • Judge: Righthaven Has No Standing To File Lawsuits—Case Dismissed

        The saga of controversial copyright-enforcement company Righthaven may be slowly drawing to a close. A judge has dismissed its lawsuit against the Democratic Underground website, saying that the contract Righthaven struck with Stephens Media, owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, doesn’t give it the right to sue anyone. Righthaven has been “disingenuous, if not outright deceitful” in how it described its business dealings with Stephens Media, the judge wrote. It’s a loss that endangers many of the more than 200 copyright lawsuits the Righthaven has filed in the past year.

        In his order, U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt accepted in full the argument put forward by Democratic Underground’s lawyers that it’s simply not allowed under copyright law for Stephens Media to transfer only the right to sue, while keeping the many other rights that come with a copyright grant. Righthaven and its owner, Steve Gibson, tried to make the argument that Stephens Media really only had a license to use the material, and that Righthaven did indeed own the entire copyright. But that argument has now fallen apart with this order.

      • Nevada Judge Threatens Sanctions for Copyright Troll

        A Las Vegas federal judge threatened to sanction copyright troll Righthaven, calling its litigation efforts Tuesday “disingenuous, if not outright deceitful.”

        The blistering decision also places into doubt the litigation factory’s year-old business model, which is also under a Colorado federal judge’s microscope.

        U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt of Nevada ordered Righthaven to explain why Hunt should not sanction it for trying to “manufacture standing.” Standing is a legal concept that has enabled Righthaven to bring 200-plus lawsuits on behalf of the copyrights owned by news agency Stephens Media of Las Vegas.

      • Judge furious at “inexcusable” P2P lawyering, nukes subpoenas

        There are three quick steps to angering a federal judge: first, launch the country’s largest file-sharing lawsuit against 23,322 anonymous defendants, even though most of them don’t live where you filed the suit. Second, request “expedited discovery” in the case, allowing you to quickly secure the subpoenas necessary to go to Internet access providers and turn those 23,322 IP addresses into real names. Third, don’t even bother to serve the subpoenas you just told the court were so essential to your case.

        Federal Judge Robert Wilkins of Washington, DC this week blasted the conduct of Dunlap, Grubb, and Weaver, the attorneys behind the lawsuit, calling it “inexcusable.” Dunlap, Grubb, and Weaver helped kickstart the current frenzy of P2P lawsuits last year after filing cases under the name “US Copyright Group.” The 23,322-person case, their largest to date, involves the film The Expendables.

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 19, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Gravatar

    Putting M$ products into the military’s network, or even any DoD network, is akin to sabotage. The perpetrators can be handled like any other saboteurs.

    There is a very clear paper trail leading to those responsible for knowingly deploying M$ cruft inside these important branches of government, so finding the guilty parties should be relatively straight forward.

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