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Links 23/6/2011: Red Hat’s Record Financial Performance, Scientific Linux 5.6 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • PS3 Hacker Resigned to Prison Sentence after Money Dries Up

    PS3 Hacker Resigned to Prison Sentence after Money Dries UpAmerican hacker George Hotz got all the headlines for his exploits trying to bring Linux back to the PS3, but he was only one of many working towards the same goal. And while Hotz today walks free, not everybody is so lucky.

  • Windows Newlines Will Kill Your Linux Scripts

    What’s going on is that you really do have a fatal error in your code, and it’s an error that you can’t see. In fact, it’s invisible. The error is that you have uploaded a file that you created on a Windows machine.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.0-rc4

      Some filesystem fixes (btrfs, cifs, afs, xfs, nfsd).

    • Linux 3, LibreOffice and Firefox Advance as Adobe Falls Behind
    • Will Linus Like Your Video?
    • The Linux Kernel Power Problems On Older Desktop Hardware

      As mentioned last week, a plethora of Linux power tests are on the way now that we have found an AC power meter with USB interface that works under Linux and we’ve been able to integrate nicely into the Phoronix Test Suite and its sensor monitoring framework. In this article is one of the first tests that have been completed using this power-measuring device as we monitored the Linux kernel power consumption for an old Intel Pentium 4 and ATI Radeon 9200 system for the past several kernel releases. Even this very old desktop system looks to be affected by the kernel power problems.

    • XFS Is Becoming Leaner While Btrfs & EXT4 Gain Weight

      Red Hat’s Eric Sandeen has written an interesting blog post concerning the size of popular Linux file-systems and their kernel modules. It turns out that the XFS file-system is losing lines of code, while maintaining the same feature-set and robustness, but the EXT4 and Btrfs file-systems continue to have a net increase in lines of code.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Harnessing GP-GPU Power The Easy Way

        The remarkable computation power of General Purpose Graphical Processing Units (GP-GPUs) has led them to steadily gain traction in High Performance Computing (HPC). But creating GP-GPU programs can require new programming methods that often introduce additional work and code revisions, or even re-writes, and frequently become an obstacle to the adoption of GP-GPU technology.

      • Intel Continues Work On Ivy Bridge Linux Graphics Support

        Intel’s current-generation “Sandy Bridge” processors continue to sell incredibly well and perform phenomenally relative to AMD’s current offerings and Intel’s previous-generation hardware. Under Linux, the Sandy Bridge support is now excellent if pulling in the latest components (namely the Linux kernel, xf86-video-intel, and Mesa) and only continues to be improved over time with advancements like their new driver acceleration architecture. By year’s end, Intel is expected to launch their “Ivy Bridge” processors as the successor to Sandy Bridge. Intel is already preparing the Ivy Bridge Linux support code.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Keynote Interview: Claire Rowland

      Claire Rowland, user experience guru, will be a featured keynote speaker at this summer’s Desktop Summit 2011 in Berlin.

      Claire is Head of Research for Fjord London, an international digital service design agency and has worked extensively in user experience research and design. Recently her focus has been on a shift in user experience from the desktop toward services delivered through multiple platforms of widely differing form factors and the cloud. Her research and recommendations relate to what this shift means for what users expect from their devices, and what effective design, across platforms and the cloud, looks like. It also addresses what users increasingly care about the most, and what this might mean for Operating System design.

    • Meet Claire Rowland, Desktop Summit Keynote Speaker
    • Xfce Design SIG launches

      I’m looking forward to working with Xfce directly and more closely after working years with Xubuntu. It’s both easier for us and assures that all Xfce users can enjoy the improvements, not just those who use Xubuntu.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • The 2011 Linux Distro Scorecard

      You can find hundreds of Linux distributions, depending on what your needs are. For this scorecard, we’re focusing on desktop distributions that are fairly popular, well-supported, and have a reliable release history, and strong community. In last year’s scorecard, we started with seven distros — this year, we’ve narrowed the field to six distributions:

      * Debian
      * Fedora
      * Linux Mint
      * openSUSE
      * Slackware
      * Ubuntu

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Setting for a Break Out?

        New York, June 22nd (TradersHuddle.com) – Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) closed the trading session at $43.75 near its 50 day and 200 day moving averages currently set at $44.64 and $43.31 respectively. Red Hat’s price action is above the 200 day moving average but below its 50 day moving average, signaling a possible break out.

      • Red Hat to Host Cloud Technology Update Webcast on June 23
      • Amazon EC2 now runs Red Hat Linux

        EC2 has many different operating systems available, including Windows Server and several different Linux versions including SUSE, Oracle and OpenSolaris. (On the horizon are support for Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu and Gentoo.)

      • Oracle support of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in question

        A recent Oracle Support note has some Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) customers wondering about Oracle’s future support of Red Hat. But one expert says it’s more a statement of Oracle’s plans for its own database storage management features.

        The note, released this spring and updated earlier this month, has to do with ASMLib, a support library for the Automatic Storage Management (ASM) feature of Oracle Database. According to the note, the support library “allows an Oracle Database using ASM more efficient and capable access to the disk groups it is using.”

      • Scientific Linux 5.6 released

        The developers of Scientific Linux (SL) have released version 5.6 of their Linux distribution. As with the project’s previous versions, this one is a free remodeling of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with the same version number – SL 5.6 therefore also includes all of the improvements that Red Hat added to RHEL 5.6.

        In the release email, the developers emphasise the Atom Shine graphical theme as being one of the main innovations, followed by a list of packages that the SL developers have included which are not in RHEL 5.6. Versions of SL prior to 6.0 contain a lot of such packages; in SL 6.0, the developers added only a few additional packages, referring users instead to repositories such as ATrpms, EPEL and RPMforge for additional software.

      • 3 Hot Stocks Lighting Up Trading Screens After-Hours

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) shares have spiked 4.07% after closing bell today with a the report of a fiscal first-quarter profit of $32.5 million, or 17 cents a share, up from $24 million and 12 cents a share from the same period last year.

      • Red Hat Inc. Offers Potential Plays for Both Bulls and Bears
      • Red Hat Reports First Quarter Results

        Total revenue for the quarter was $264.7 million, an increase of 27% from the year ago quarter. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $225.5 million, up 26% year-over-year.

      • The Linux Week in Review June 22, 2011

        Red Hat Corporation is a great Linux company: the first company to earn a billion dollars on free software.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Unity Report – Carving away the Stone
          • Linux vs. Windows: Should Your Office Make the Switch?

            The surprise, for me, was that I could get the majority of my work done on an old, “slow” PC that I’d written off as useless. That’s definitely one of Linux’s charms: it has very modest system requirements.

            I also found it very comforting to work without the threat of malware, which is more or less non-existent in Linux. (Of course, there’s always phishing, which is OS-agnostic.)

            For my work situation (which, again, is largely Web-based), Ubuntu made a fine substitute for Windows. In fact, I’m still using it, even though my HP has been repaired and returned. I can’t abandon Windows altogether just yet, but that day may come.

            Something else to keep in mind: every time you buy a new PC, you’re paying upwards of $100 just for the Windows license. If you buy 10 machines, opting for Linux could save you $1,000. (The trick is finding a vendor that offers the option. I know Dell does.) Ubuntu, like all Linux distributions, is free.

            And pretty awesome. If you haven’t tried it, you owe it to yourself to do so. Hit the Download page and check out the “Try it from a CD or USB stick” option.

          • Firefox 5 Officially Available on Ubuntu 11.04
          • Firefox 5.0 Update Arrives in Official Ubuntu Repositories
          • Ubuntu Pushes Firefox 5 Through Update
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Is There Anyone NOT Making Tablets This Fall?

        * Google,
        * HTC,
        * LG,
        * TI,
        * Toshiba,
        * Dell,
        * HP,
        * Apple,
        * Archos,
        * Amazon,
        * Acer
        * Sharp,
        * Asus,
        * Lenovo, and
        * millions of “white box” tablets.

        Even the few who are producing tablets running that other OS are producing Android/Linux versions. B

Free Software/Open Source

  • Should you give a rats ring about Open or Closed Source?
  • Web Browsers

    • 85% of Firefox users use add-ons; Chrome users, just 33%

      At long last, Mozilla has managed to calculate how many Firefox users have at least one add-on installed: 85%. It gets better, though: the average Firefox user has no less than 5 add-ons installed — but considering over 2.5 billion add-ons have been downloaded in the last 5 years, that’s not all that surprising. In total, 580 million add-ons are used every day by the Firefox user base.

    • 85% Of Firefox Users Install Add-ons

      We all know that add-ons are one of the best things about Firefox and Firefox users love their add-ons. However there was never any clear data on the add-ons installed untill Firefox 4. In Firefox 4, a new feature was introduces which allows Mozilla to keep track of an aggregate of add-on usage in Firefox.

    • HTML5 in Sugar

      It seems like now is the time to revisit the notion of integ­rat­ing HTML5 into Sugar itself. I feel that this can achieve a far more power­ful out­come than just swap­ping Browse with Surf. The primary weak­nesses of HTML5, its imma­tur­ity and dearth of good devel­op­ment tools, are being addressed. Microsoft and Adobe are con­tinue to move towards HTML5, which can only be a good thing.

    • Chrome

      • [Quick Tip] Try out the redesigned New Tab interface in Chrome

        Google has been trying out a redesign of Chrome’s famous New Tab page. The new interface is more organized than the previous one as it cleverly categorizes apps and bookmarks into separate screens. The user can slide between the screens by simply grabbing and pushing the mouse in the required direction. Here’s how to enable it on your browser.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Launches Firefox 5 Browser: 10 Things You Should Know About It
      • Firefox does silent major version update!?
      • Firefox 5 goes live. But is it any better than Firefox 4?
      • Mozilla retires Firefox 4 from security support

        Unnoticed in the Tuesday release of Firefox 5 was Mozilla’s decision to retire Firefox 4, the browser it shipped just three months ago.

        As part of Tuesday’s Firefox 5 release, Mozilla spelled out vulnerabilities it had patched in that edition and in 2010′s Firefox 3.6, but it made no mention of any bugs fixed in Firefox 4.

      • Do We Really Need a New Browser Every Six Weeks?

        I am a software geek and I love new software. As a businessperson, I also want to be as productive as possible when using my software. New software can cause things to stop working and become a productivity killer.

        Today I got news about a new version of Firefox. It is my browser of choice and I couldn’t stop myself from installing it. Of course this version comes only a few weeks after the last version was released. The explanation for the quick update cycle was to keep up with the update cycle of Google Chrome. After reading the explanation, it got me to thinking if rapid updates were truly a good thing?

        We definitely need browser updates on a regular basis to patch security issues. Yet those updates don’t have to come as a new version with new features (and new problems).

      • Is Google’s App Engine Too Restrictive, Given Increasing Open Competition?

        If you demand total extension compatibility it may be worth waiting a few days for incremental fixes to appear for Firefox 5. However, it appears to be much faster than other versions and other browsers, and mostly reliable upon release. That’s yet another reason to expect heated market share competition between Firefox and Google Chrome throughout this year.

      • Firefox 5 Should have been Firefox 4.02!

        Mozilla has officially released Firefox 5, only 3 months after the releases of Firefox 4 following the rapid release strategy of Google Chrome. The idea behind is to bring about changes in the browser as soon as possible and keep the browser up-to-date by creating different development channels.

      • The Speed of Firefox 5.0

        I’m a Google Chromium (right now version 12.0.742.91) user because of the speed. I found previous versions of Firefox to be just a little too slow. Especially when starting the browser. Through the grapevine I heard people discussing the better speeds of Firefox 5.0, which was released this week. This makes me re-consider using Firefox as my default browser. I took a look at the speed and several of the new features. Here are the results.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle’s Android claims slashed by US patent authorities

      Oracle’s broad legal front against Google has been whittled back further, this time by the US patent and trademark authorities, according to Groklaw.

      The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected 17 of 21 claims associated with one of the patents in Java that Oracle asserted Google had violated with Android. The patent in question is number 6192476, one of six Oracle says Google has stepped on.

    • Google Replaces Oracle As The World’s Largest Open Source Company

      The leading open source projects were forked and Oracle distanced itself from them. OpenOffice is dead (only to be scavenged by IBM), OpenSolaris is gone, Hudson is gone, Java has become a ‘closed’ technology owned by Oracle/IBM. Java developers may never forgive Oracle for the way it took a U-Turn from its own stand on Java. Now, MySQL is the only major open source project which is being run by Oracle – forks are already in place in case Oracle pulls plugs off MySQL.

  • CMS

  • Business


    • German court case could imperil GPL licensing

      In a case that could threaten open source GPL licensing in Germany, a Berlin court yesterday began hearing a lawsuit from German DSL router vendor AVM against web-filtering software firm Cybits. AVM charges that by modifying Linux kernel code in router firmware, Cybits is infringing on copyright, while Cybits’ defense claims GPL licensing permits it to alter the code.

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.58

      The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.58. This is the second stable release of the Blender 2.5 series, representing the culmination of many years of redesign, development and stabilizing work.

      We name this version “Stable” not only because it’s mostly feature complete, but especially thanks to the 1000s of fixes and feature updates we did since the 2.5 beta versions were published.

    • Mozilla releases SeaMonkey 2.2 Beta 1
    • Tornado Web Server 2.0 released

      The Tornado project developers have announced the release of version 2.0 of their open source web server. The Python-based, non-blocking web server framework was first released as open source in September 2009 by Facebook, following its acquisition of FriendFeed.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Can the U.S. ‘win the future’ without open data?

        “Winning the Future through Open Innovation,” is a progress report recently released by Aneesh Chopra, US Chief Technology Officer, to the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) on the Administration’s Open Government Initiative.The report highlights a number of programs at different agencies that represent a wide variety of open innovation techniques, from opening datasets and APIs to creating incentives for competition or testing and certifying open standards.

        Less than a week after the report’s release, the Administration launched the Campaign to Cut Waste through the newly-formed Government Accountability and Transparency Board (GATB), an 11-member group which will review and cut about 50% of Federal websites to reduce spending and prevent duplication of efforts.

    • Open Hardware

      • Tilera throws gauntlet at Intel’s feet

        Upstart mega-multicore chip maker Tilera has not yet started sampling its future Tile-Gx 3000 series of server processors, and companies have already locked in orders for the chips.

        That is how eagerly hyperscale data center operators are anticipating some alternative to power-hungry Xeon processors from Intel and Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HU: Government planning to use vendor-independent document format

      The Hungarian government wants to use the Open Document Format, a vendor independent format for electronic documents, as a default for its documents. Zsolt Nyitrai, Minister of State for ICT, earlier this month explained to the parliament that legislation to use ODF by default is being prepared.

      The ODF plans were announced on 1 June, during a conference in the Hungarian Parliament “The Parliament of Information Society”.


  • F.B.I. Seizes Web Servers, Knocking Sites Offline

    The F.B.I. seized Web servers in a raid on a data center early Tuesday, causing several Web sites, including those run by the New York publisher Curbed Network, to go offline.

    The raid happened at 1:15 a.m. at a hosting facility in Reston, Va., used by DigitalOne, which is based in Switzerland, the company said. The F.B.I. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the raid.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Apple, Google, Microsoft seek gargantuan tax break

      Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and a host of US megacorps are lobbying hard for a massive tax break – and they’re gaining powerful friends in business, government, and labor in support of that effort.

    • “This Is The Most GUTLESS Institution!” Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur
    • Guest Post: Goldman’s Disinformation Campaign: Drilling Down Into The Documents

      In other words, the answer shall remain secret. Only those deemed worthy by Goldman may see its data, which purportedly refutes the Levin report. The rest of us are kept in the dark. We cannot challenge Goldman’s claims, because we cannot see what they see. They know what they are talking about; we do not. Instead, we must rely on Andrew Ross Sorkin, Holman Jenkins, Dick Bove, and others to reveal the truth.

    • Wall Street Gets Eyed in Metal Squeeze

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other owners of large metals warehouses are being scrutinized by the London Metal Exchange after being accused by users like Coca-Cola Co. of restricting the amount of metal they release to customers, inflating prices.

      The board of the LME met on Thursday to discuss complaints from aluminum users and market traders, who say operators of warehouses, which also include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Glencore International PLC, should be forced to allow the metal out more quickly to meet demand.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Weiner doll creates ‘mad rush’ at Oxford company

      While former U.S. Rep. Anthony’s Weiner’s scandalous “sexting” has had a slew of negative consequences for him, it has meant big business for a local company that started making an action figure in his likeness.

      There has been a “mad rush” of interest in the latest offering from HeroBuilders.com, a company at 198 Goodhill Road known for controversial figures it makes and sells online, President Emil Vicale said Monday.

    • Rick Scott cares! He really does care!

      For a guy who claims not read newspapers — or care what the polls say or the public thinks — Rick Scott sure is putting a lot of effort into trying to score some good publicity.

      In fact, if regular old rank-and-file Floridians won’t write nice things about him in letters to the editor, Scott has decided to write the words for them.

    • Brave New Films Exposes the Koch Echo Chamber

      Over and over, cable TV and Sunday news show pundits have been telling us that Social Security is going bankrupt, and we have to raise the retirement age or the economy will collapse. These two axioms have practically become common knowledge. The only problem is, there isn’t a shred of evidence that either statement is accurate.

      So how did it happen that these erroneous statements have become mainstream American group-think? It’s the result of a sophisticated corporate echo chamber propaganda strategy funded primarily by the Koch brothers for the purpose of turning business-friendly, fringe right-wing ideas into mainstream policy arguments. The echo chamber strategy is very real, and has been perfected by corporate interests over the last several decades. It involves carefully selecting and fine-tuning a message that resonates with the populace, and then arranging to get that message repeated over and over through a variety of credible media sources.

  • Censorship

    • Rights holders’ proposed voluntary website blocking scheme

      From these links you can access what looks like the proposals for a voluntary website blocking scheme, apparently put forward by the Rightsholder Group engaged in Minister Ed Vaizey’s roundtable discussions with ISPs and others.

      The documents, sent to James Firth’s blog, set out a dangerous voluntary scheme that would involve ‘expedited court procedures’ and a ‘balance’ between evidence and speed of action. Definitions of what content is to be judged blockable is scarce. References to exactly how such blocking would work, and the consequences, are non-existent. The case for blocking is left unmade, with no analysis about the effects of such measures. There is cursory reference to the rule of law and proper oversight. The proposal, if it is the genuine proposal, adds up to a dangerous revocation of the rule of law where lobby groups would decide what you are allowed to see and read.

    • Secret website blocking proposals presented to Ed Vaizey

      It is unacceptable for trade groups and government to conduct policy in this way. Censorship proposals must be made and discussed in public. Many of us will oppose any censorship that impacts directly and widely on free expression. Governments would be wise to assess the strength of our arguments, rather than waiting for trade bodies to find their narrow, commercial arguments unravel once their proposals reach the light of day.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Is Internet Access A Human Right?: The Implications for the Rules of Access

      Given the critical role it plays in communication, culture, and commerce, most people now recognize the importance of Internet access. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes a new report for the United Nations Human Rights Council takes Internet access a step further, however, characterizing it as a human right.

    • Dutch Lawmakers Adopt Net Neutrality Law

      The Netherlands on Wednesday became the first country in Europe, and only the second in the world, to enshrine the concept of network neutrality into national law by banning its mobile telephone operators from blocking or charging consumers extra for using Internet-based communications services like Skype or WhatsApp, a free text service.

    • Netherlands launches internet freedom legislation

      A broad majority in the Dutch parliament voted for crucial legislative proposals to safeguard an open and secure internet in The Netherlands. The Netherlands is the first country in Europe to introduce a net neutrality law. In addition, provisions were launched protecting users against disconnection and wiretapping by providers. Digital rights movement Bits of Freedom calls upon other countries to follow the Dutch example.

      The net neutrality proposal (Dutch) prohibits internetproviders from interfering with the traffic of their users. Dutch telecom incumbent KPN recently received world-wide media-attention because it planned to charge Internet users for the use of innovative and competitive services such as Internet telephony. The legislative proposal aims to prevent this, while still allowing for measures in case of congestion and for network security, as long as these measures serve the interests of the internet user. A small technical error in the amendment was introduced last minute and will in all likelihood be corrected next week.

    • A great moment for the free flow of information
    • Dutch Require Consumer Consent to Put Cookies on PC
  • DRM

    • Exclusive: Top ISPs poised to adopt graduated response to piracy

      After years of negotiations, a group of bandwidth providers that includes AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are closer than ever to striking a deal with media and entertainment companies that would call for them to establish new and tougher punishments for customers who refuse to stop using their networks to pirate films, music and other intellectual property, multiple sources told CNET.

      The sources cautioned that a final agreement has yet to be signed and that the partnership could still unravel but added that at this point a deal is within reach and is on track to be unveiled sometime next month.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Mexican Congress Says No To ACTA

          Earlier, we mentioned that a bill from the Mexican Congress opposing ACTA was going to the full Congress today, and apparently the bill was approved. Now, the question is whether or not the Mexican executive branch will try to ignore the will of Congress on this issue and sign ACTA anyway.

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    Links for the day

  27. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  28. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  29. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  30. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention


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