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07.05.11

OpenSUSE: Quiet, Not Dead

Posted in Novell, OpenSUSE at 11:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News and commentary about the OpenSUSE project, including videos

OPENSUSE is still around and it is being reviewed now. Found in TinyOgg the other day was this clip:


One reader, Brandon, challenged my claims about OpenSUSE, so I made quick video to explain my position. “Thoughts on OpenSUSE” I called it and it is a personal perspective on the OpenSUSE project before and after Attachmate and Novell takeovers

YouTube: Thoughts on OpenSUSE – Part 1

Or as Ogg:


YouTube: Thoughts on OpenSUSE – Part 2

Or as Ogg:


So anyway, what’s up with OpenSUSE this week? We write about the project at least once a week and this time around we see some developments around openSUSE in Greece, OBS [1, 2], and GSoC-related work [1, 2]. In other OpenSUSE news, there is not much but the occasional mention in relation to particular applications that people can run on OpenSUSE (there are also HOWTOs, e.g. [1, 2]). Following the vote on strategy which we wrote about before, we await the results of the overhaul:

The vote on the openSUSE strategy is closing on 30th of june. So official openSUSE members have the opportunity for ONE more day to express their opinion.

This has hardly received any attention outside OpenSUSE circles, so I stand by my original claims that OpenSUSE is a bit obscure by now.

Empire Collapses: Senior Vice President of Microsoft Quits, Microsoft Axes Another Product

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 12:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New York

Summary: The continued demise of Microsoft is highlighted by links from a Techrights reader

THANKS to a reader who constantly keeps us up to date (I generally don’t keep good track of Microsoft anymore), we are constantly made aware of Microsoft’s unstoppable demise (as a producing company).

The departure of many executives is now expanded with the departure of this man, as covered by a pro-Microsoft site:

AllThingsDigital.com reports that Hank Vigil, currently the senior vice president of the Strategy and Partnership division at Microsoft, will still be a strategic adviser to the company even as he leaves to “focus on investing in and advising for early-stage start-up companies”. His departure was revealed via an internal company memo.

Vigil has had a number of positions and jobs at Microsoft during his career at the company. He’s done marketing for Microsoft’s Office software suite and helped once led the company’s Digital Television Group division. In that job he lead the team that acquired WebTV in the 1990s which was an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to merge the Internet with TVs via a set top box. More recently Vigil helped to make strategic agreements with a number of outside companies including “Facebook, Nokia, France Telecom, Vodafone, NBC Universal Inc., News Corp., Time Warner and Viacom Inc” according to his official Microsoft online bio.

Microsoft is desperate for new cash cows and patents are just one attempt at it.

Microsoft is betraying partners with its online Office, pretending this is the future after apparently using former Microsoft staff to bash Google's paradigm (while trying to catch up). Microsoft’s Office is going down gradually (ODF, the Web, and other factors cause this), Windows profits are declining, and along with that Microsoft’s grip on the Web is loosening. Now that many devices do not run Windows, there is more diversity out there. Yes, people do not actually choose Microsoft, they sometimes are willing to just put up with Microsoft. As Pogson puts it, this too is basis for antitrust action.

This is strong evidence that M[icrosoft] has colluded with OEMs and retailers over a long period of time to exclude competition in operating systems on personal computers.

The hypothesis that Microsoft should be prosecuted for using back room deal with OEMs is worth exploring in a separate post though. The FSF pushed in this direction when the EU Commission got too obsessed with the browser and paid almost no attention to the fact that customers are usually forced to pay the Windows tax. The FFII and AFUL recently challenged this.

One source claims that Chrome has now conquered 20% market share (mostly at the expense of Microsoft) and the general consensus is that Internet Explorer is the browser to avoid. As one pundit puts it now:

12 reasons not to use Internet Explorer, ever

Despite being mainly a Windows user, Internet Explorer is dead to me. Has been for ages.

Aesthetics and speed have nothing to do with it. I split my time between Firefox and Chrome for the following Defensive Computing reasons.

1. You are safer by avoiding software that bad guys target. Mac users benefited from this for years. Windows users can lower their attack surface (be less vulnerable) by avoiding popular software. Internet Explorer is popular, so bad guys exploit known problems with the browser. No thanks.

2. Microsoft fixes bugs in Internet Explorer on a fixed schedule. But, bugs are not discovered on a schedule which means IE users remain vulnerable to know bugs until the next scheduled bug fix roll-out. Neither Firefox or Chrome, my preferred browsers, are locked into a schedule.

[...]

As interest in IE declines it is possible to Microsoft will just embrace another rendering engine or try to grab a competitor, maybe even Opera whose head has just left. “Latest product discontinued,” tells us a reader about another one among Microsoft’s dead products. Hohm is dead:

Citing low adoption rates, Microsoft has discontinued the beta of its Hohm home energy monitoring service, the company announced Thursday.

“The feedback from customers and partners has remained encouraging throughout Microsoft Hohm’s beta period. However, due to the slow overall market adoption of the service, we are instead focusing our efforts on products and solutions more capable of supporting long-standing growth within this evolving market,” Microsoft stated.

Existing users will be able to enjoy the service until May 31, 2012.

News of the discontinuation comes only a week after Google announced that it would be retiring its own home energy monitoring service, Google PowerMeter. Like Microsoft, Google cited low adoption rates for the discontinuation.

Microsoft was never entirely clear about its intent in this area. More vapourware, some greenwashing, and that’s about it. Other than patent lawsuits and extortions (settlements), what has Microsoft produced recently?

Patents Providing Protectionism, Not Beneficial Protection

Posted in America, Asia, Patents at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More patents, decreased liberty

Statue of liberty

Summary: In these special days in which independence is celebrated, we emphasise the relevance of patent monopolies when it comes to the small and oppressed

LONG weekend in the States (Independence Day) cannot provide an escape from bad laws, which continue to make citizens of the US dependent on corporations with monopolies at the USPTO (respected by the government but less so by voters, who are constantly bombarded by brainwash about patent ‘protection’ and promises of “innovation”). TechCrunch deserves some credit for being sceptical of software patents, despite being based in the US and now being owned by America Online. In this new article it has the following to say about patents, spoiling a lot of the previous opinion pieces by implying a correlation between patents and innovation where patents have mostly been used for trade barriers from the West (keeping the East back and away from Western knowledge). It says:

The central question of our time is whether this will be China’s century or India’s. (Assuming that the notion of nation-states survives, which seems likely, there aren’t really any other contenders; China and India contain nearly half of humanity, and both are well on their way to economic superpower.) I admit that right now it might not seem much of a contest. China is more populous, already a decade ahead of India in terms of economic development, growing faster, and—measured by patents—far more innovative. In China, achievements are accomplished at the behest of the government; in India, things somehow manage to get done despite the government.

China has mostly ignored some copyrights from the West, at least when it comes to enforcement. This is changing. Also, as we started explaining some years ago, the attitude towards patents over there is changing and China can conceivably threaten the West with its homegrown patents one day. It is all just a matter of whose patents these are and the whole game is just a matter of mutually-assured destruction. A large country like China, where the number of Internet users already exceeds that of the States, building a mountain of patents might make sense. It helps eliminate the USPTO deterrence , just like the USSR in the days of the Cold War. For small countries — just like small companies — patents make no sense because they can easily be crushed by the large companies/countries.

Understandably, in the small nation of New Zealand, there is a strong fight from NZ business to repel and turn away software patents. NZOSS (our heroes) makes a statement to rebut the propaganda from companies like Intel and Microsoft: [via Glyn Moody]

The Ministry of Economic Development has published the submissions in relation to the draft guidelines on for the Examination of Patent Applications Involving Computer Programs discussion document. The call for submissions was clear that this was not an opportunity to revisit the decision to exclude software patents, saying “”In releasing the draft guidelines for comment, it is not intended to re-open the debate regarding the patentability of computer programs, or whether an amendment should be made to clause 15(3A). This consultation exercise is intended to ensure that IPONZ gives proper effect to the provisions of the legislation, taking into account of the intentions of the Commerce Select Committee, in a manner that is likely to find support from a New Zealand court.”

There were in excess of thirty submissions, primarily by the legal community, including patent lawyers and legal societies. There were also a few manufacturers and international business lobby groups. While the majority of these submissions were critical of the proposed exclusion of software what was notable by it’s absence was a single submission by a New Zealand owned commercial software development company.

By far the largest number of submissions were received from patent lawyers who may see the exclusion hurt their practises. An exclusion of software patents would in a single stroke eliminate the risk of patent infringement for New Zealand software development companies. It is understandable that those earning a living from patent litigation would be opposed. While it may be understandable it is not desirable to follow a path leading to increased litigation like experienced in the United States.

Here is a new article which puts this problem in perspective by stating:

The wireless industry has experienced a wave of legal patent battles in recent years as long-established incumbents try to protect their position against newcomers.

Sadly, this article quotes a lobbyist as though he is an independent voice without clients. It’s tilted against Linux to an extent because companies other than Google are also affected. In this case, Microsoft for example wants to use patents to extort Android because Windows Phone 7 gets no more than 1 in a hundred sales, which is laughable (in its home country, too). To quote:

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has managed to get just one per cent of the US smartphone market in the quarter ended May 2011 with its Windows Phone 7 (WP7) operating system.

Nielsen has published its US smartphone sales figures that show Apple’s IOS continues to grow, Google’s Android, albeit having an overall market share lead, remaining stagnant, and Microsoft’s WP7 operating system managing just one per cent of handset sales. Microsoft’s dead Windows Mobile operating system still has nine per cent market share, however that is unlikely to comfort Microsoft as it wants consumers to move to WP7.

Nowadays, Microsoft is busy trying to tax those who do sell phones. How can software patents be defended in light of this? It takes a paid lobbyist to defend this.

ES: Office 365: El nuevo Microsoft “Cloud” Probablemente Venga Con Espionaje Adentro

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites at 7:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Por El Centro Legal Por La Libertad de Software | 29 de junio 2011

(ODF | PDF | Original en softwarefreedom.org)

El Microsoft tan exageradamente promovido reemplazo de sus $ 20 billones por año [http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/28/technology/business-computing/28soft.html] de negocios de Microsoft Office basado en la “nube”, viene con nuevas características como la de tiempo real multi-usuario de colaboración, la mensajería instantánea, video conferencia, reuniones en línea y mucho más [http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/plans/small-business/im-online-meetings.aspx]. Lo que Microsoft no te dice en su comunicado de prensa es que cuando usted, su negocio o sus amigos, se inscribe en ella, usted podría estar recibiendo una característica que no se anuncia así: ESPIONAJE GRATIS.

Una solicitud de patentes [http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20110153809&OS=20110153809&RS=20110153809] publicada por la USPTO (Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos) el jueves pasado revela que Microsoft ha estado investigando, ya desde antes de diciembre de 2009, la forma de redirigir las llamadas VoIP para interceptar/redirigir a los dispositivos a los agentes de la ley. El método descrito por la solicitud de patente es tortuoso, subvertir los protocolos de enrutamiento para que los paquetes enviados por cualquier persona marcados por una solicitud de control se dirigirán a través de un agente de grabación. La solicitud describe los “sistemas de juego, los protocolos de mensajería instantánea que transmiten las aplicaciones de audio. Skype y aplicaciones como Skype, de reuniones, software de video conferencia, y similares”, así como tecnologías que pueden utilizar estos métodos. En otras palabras, Microsoft tiene razones para creer que su método de intercepción se puede aplicar a la recién adquirida Skype (recientemente desplegada en el Congreso [http://blogs.skype.com/en/2011/06/skype_is_in_da_house.html]), Xbox 360, y las características de video conferencia en la Oficina 365.

La publicación de la presente solicitud, junto con el anuncio del nuevo servicio de Microsoft destaca la necesidad de adopción de soluciones de software libre y de código abierto. Cuando las mismas empresas hacen las herramientas que necesitamos para mantenernos conectados están investigando las formas de espiar a sus clientes, ¿por qué deberíamos confiar en ellos y por qué no habríamos que buscar algo mejor? En SFLC que utilizar un servidor Asterisk [http://www.asterisk.org/] y el softphone Twinkle [http://mfnboer.home.xs4all.nl/twinkle/index.html] para proporcionar una comunicación libre, voz encriptada en cualquier lugar donde cualquiera de nosotros tenga una conexión de red. Nuestro sistema de software libre proporciona comunicaciones seguras y nos ahorra dinero. Cada pequeña empresa, así como todos los grandes van a tener grandes ganancias mediante el uso de VoIP, pero no habrá ganancias empresariales por la pérdida de su privacidad. Microsoft está ofreciendo “comunicaciones unificadas” con unificado espionaje probablemente construido dentro de su software. El Software Libre trabaja para su negocio, no para la gente que piensa que su negocio es negocio de ellos.

A no ser que sea indicado de otra manera, todo contenido es licenciado bajo el CC-BY-SA 3.0.[http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/legalcode]

Traducción hecha por Eduardo Landaveri, Administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

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

Links 5/7/2011: GNU/Linux Thrives in Germany, Brazil; More Android Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Apple Unlikely to dethrone HP as leading portable PC vendor

      I have great respect for Digitimes. They have their finger on the pulse of IT, particularly in China, but they are out to lunch with the story that Apple will overtake HP in personal computing even if tablets are considered in the mix. Digitimes’ story assumes that Apple will continue with a huge share of tablets. That will fall apart because Android/Linux is being pushed by more than a dozen players large and small, each with some variation on the basic OS developed by Google. What this will mean is that consumers will be faced with many choices. While Apple has a large and growing following, the world is much bigger than Apple and consumers, particularly in the hot emerging markets will love small cheap Android/Linux tablets and smart phones.

    • Thoughts On Linux

      All in all I am very impressed and I would recommend Linux Mint to anyone who want to save money and not buy the Windows alternative. It is fairly lightweight, responsive and easy to run and configure. 9 out of 10 in my eyes.

    • On Linux on desktops..

      Here in Brazil, Linux usage is gaining more and more adoption for the past decade, and it is quite common to find Linux-based computers in supermarkets, computer shops, and so on. Of course, they are not that widely available as their Windows counterparts, but still, it is hard to find any computer store which wouldn’t have at least some computers running a Linux-based OS, and it is usually enough to do a web search on any Internet shop to find several compatible models which come with Linux pre-installed. Be it Mandriva, Ubuntu, or any other distribution – they all have the common open-source foundation and all the benefits of free software. And yes, they are ready for desktop and casual users to use!

      It is great to know that the Open-Source movement is gaining more and more spread world-wide. I truly believe that it has the power to change the world, and I am really happy to know that it does it.

    • Mac OS X Power Consumption vs. Ubuntu 11.04, Windows 7
    • Nothing But Chromebook For A Week

      Then I grabbed the mini-VGA to VGA adapter, a 24 inch HP monitor, and got it plugged in. Now I have a Chromebook workstation that makes me sing.

    • Hope and Change Inside My Computer – Part III

      I mentioned that my computer does not freeze. It darn well shouldn’t. It has a 64 bit dual core quad processor with 4 gigs of RAM. Windows 7 infuriated me just as much as Windows XP did with it’s intermittent stalls for no obvious reason. To be fair, a few Linux distros had momentary freezes with a slight darkening of the screen but after a bit of research, I turned Compiz off and it stopped doing it. Personally, I don’t see the point as I didn’t find it useful, just wobbly and shiny.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The Kernel Graphics Interface (KGI) Is Effectively Dead

      While the FreeBSD Foundation is now paying for Linux kernel mode-setting and GEM/TTM memory management to be ported to BSD — and they are making some progress — this isn’t the first attempt at moving major parts of the graphics stack into the kernel. Pre-dating Linux KMS/DRM is the KGI Project, which still is technically around, but it’s pretty much dead in terms of new development and any hope of the Kernel Graphics Interface reaching its goals.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Introduces 280 Linux Driver Series

        Now that NVIDIA has officially released the 275.xx Linux driver, they’re onto the 280.xx driver series. Just in time for the US holiday weekend they have released the NVIDIA 280.04 binary Linux driver beta.

        While the 280.04 beta driver marks the introduction of a new series, the official change-log is shockingly small. All that’s officially mentioned for being fixed-up in the 280.04 beta is incremental bug-fixes and preliminary support for the X.Org X Server ABI 11. This is the video ABI that’s being used by X.Org Server 1.11 RC1. It’s good to see NVIDIA still at the top of their game in supporting new kernel and X.Org releases, while AMD continues to lag behind with their Catalyst driver. It will still be several months before AMD Catalyst is expected to support X.Org Server 1.11.

      • Cedar Trail Coming Soon To Open GMA500 Driver

        While Intel’s OSTC (Portland) team is busy at work on Intel Ivy Bridge Linux graphics support for this next-generation hardware due out by year’s end, the same team doesn’t play with Intel’s Poulsbo or other graphics IP that isn’t an in-house Intel creation and part of their open-source driver. It seems, however, that Alan Cox is personally working on early “Cedar Trail” support for the open-source GMA500 driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/Login Managers

    • Light Desktop Environment for Fedora 15 (LXDE or XFCE)

      If you believe that you are not yet ready for Gnome 3 or if your hardware can’t handle the heavy desktop environments then you can always enjoy Fedora 15 Lovelock with your old hardware using light desktop shells like LXDE or XFCE.

    • 5 of the best lightweight window managers for Linux

      If you do a lot of work on a Linux computer, continuously switching between many windows, the right window manager can make you much faster and more productive than an extra 2GB of RAM.

    • LXDM: the wannabe Login Manager

      I love the idea behind LXDM: provide a lightweight, NOT freakingly bloated (in terms of dependencies, == doesn’t pull in half GNOME) Login Manager.
      If it only worked properly. Until yesterday night at least.

      Besides we all know that LXDM (the LXDE Login Manager) is in its early stage of development (kudos to its devs), it doesn’t mean that XDG specifications don’t deserve proper attention, and implementation.

      Until yesterday, in Sabayon land, LXDM wasn’t able to load Desktop Environments correctly, for this reason (lxdm.c): the lxdm_do_login() is in charge of reading user configuration ($HOME/.dmrc or whatever) and fork() the DE loader away.

    • Stability Adventures Part 1 – Adding unit tests to compiz

      As part of the Quality Assurance commitment I am making for compiz, one of the biggest parts of this is unit and regression testing. Previously, compiz has had no such infrastructure for doing so and this has allowed for subtle regressions to be introduced into earlier revisions and then not become noticable until much later ones, making the regression very difficult to track down. One of the more annoying ones is one I have just finished debugging at 3:45AM, bug 804683, where due to the way that clock_gettime () works, it can return time values which are less than what it previously would have returned a few nanoseconds ago. Luckily, I have a fix for this. However, it was difficult to find and a lot of time was wasted debugging one of the problems that came out of it (wallpaper plugin auto-cycling not being called accurately).

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Newlooks – a classic touch for GNOME 3

        The design of the default GNOME 3 theme Adwaita has been optimized for the GNOME Shell where it really shines but it’s not really meant to be used in the Fallback Mode.

      • Top 10 Dazzling GTK Themes

        Gnome shell may have started its bull run but the good old Gtk themes still don’t fail to pack a punch. Have a look at our choice of Gtk 3 themes sourced from the Mecca of all Gnome themes – gnome-look.org

      • Why Gnome 3′s Fallback mode sucks

        Ask every Gnome user. Every Gnome release, developers take away features, while giving us a proverbial carrot, but Gnome 3? They decided to just give us a stick.

        For starters, the GDM, The screen where you log in? There used to be a way to select your keyboard language and other settings. That’s gone in 3.0. (Psst, some people use áccénts on their passwords but I guess Gnome isn’t designed for people)

      • gnome-shell one week in

        Well its almost a week since I upgraded to Fedora 15 and started using gnome-shell. The good news is I’m still using it and generally really like it, although admittedly there’s quite a few bugs, and quite a few regressions that I really dislike. Fortunately a lot of those are fixed in the short tern with a few extensions and gnome-tweak-tools. I’ve also filed quite a few bugs, updated others where I felt I could add useful information, or just added myself onto the bug for easier tracking. There’s a lot of fixes that are being worked on for gnome 3.2 and I appreciate that the gnome team is working hard to balance their vision and design with a workable desktop.

  • Distributions

    • Lightweight Portable Security 1.2.1

      After playing with Lightweight Portable Security for a few days, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed.

    • Porteus 1.0: On the Trail of SLAX

      ISO image of Porteus 1.0 is quite small, well below 300Mb. Of course, it can be burned to CD and ran from there. And also you can put Porteus onto USB drive and run from there. I wanted to use second option. Documentation says that I need to copy files from iso-image when it is mounted as loop device or via archive manager. Then script has to change Master Boot Record on the drive.

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 154

        · Announced Distro: PCLinuxOS KDE 2011.6
        · Announced Distro: Vinux 3.2
        · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 11 LXDE RC
        · Announced Distro: Mandriva 2011 RC1

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 6

        The Sabayon developers have done a good job at making Gentoo accessible for less technical users. However, this distro is in need of some software management improvements as I noted in the problems section. The Entropy Store needs to be a bit more aesthetically pleasing and it could also use a name change.

        Overall though my experience with Sabayon was pretty positive and there’s not a whole lot to dislike about it. It’s a solid desktop distro that should get the job done for most people.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Executive offers peek under the Red Hat

        I was the first Massachusetts employee – early 2001. At the time we were a completely retail, boxed product. We decided that there was a need to bring Linux to the [business] enterprise, to make Linux enterprise-class. I did a job fair up here. I had 1,500 people show up, 400 of which had some kind of kernel expertise. I did job fairs in other parts of the country, and I would get one or two.

      • Fedora

        • Installed Fedora 15

          Despite all the efforts to make Fedora 15 easier and more user friendly, making power users kind of unhappy by removing functionality and features, it doesn’t look ready yet (please, remove more features! :D).

        • Fedora and laptops – only a brief look …

          When installing Fedora , we can send hardware profile to Fedora Team.

        • Fedora in Public Libraries

          Our local Linux Users Group in my home town of Osijek has started workshops called knowledge exchange in partnership with our public library. So first step was to install Fusion Linux Fedora Remix on their PCs.

          Are there other examples with Fedora being rolled out in public libraries or in some other public institutions? I would be really interested with their experiences.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Now Powered by Simply MEPIS 11

          Firstly, sorry about the lack of posts recently. I kind of function on a post-when-I’m-not-doing-anything-else schedule. Recently, doing anything else has involved, at least computer wise, breaking yet another Ubuntu based installation. This time it was Netrunner, which is a shame as it looked quite nice from what I saw. It was probably my fault. Anyway, I have never actually given KDE a fair shot. I like GTK a bit more, particularly because it is used in more than one environment. Netrunner’s implementation showed me that KDE 4 could actually be quite simple to use and of course, nice to look at.

          So I wanted to keep trying out KDE, but also to escape an Ubuntu base and the instability it brings (at least in my experience, yours may very well be different). This left me with many options. Fedora, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, OpenSuse, Sabayon, Calculate and Salix all offer KDE desktops, among others. MEPIS, Chakra and Pardus are also great devoted KDE distributions. Still, I wanted stability without losing the package variety I am accustomed to from Ubuntu so I opted for the only Debian stable based distro out of those, MEPIS 11.

          [...]

          Having used MEPIS for a few days now I can officially say that it is as stable, nice looking, and easy to use as it is said to be.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 10.000 Ubuntu-PCs: “Segen und Fluch”
          • Unified Messaging Menu / MeMenu On The Way [Mockup]

            According to a recent update to the Ubuntu Wiki Messaging Menu page, the MeMenu will be integrated into the Messaging Menu. Further more, the MeMenu Ubuntu wiki page now says it’s obsolete and will be replaced “by an IM status section in the messaging menu”, which makes it pretty clear that the MeMenu and Messaging Menu unification is about to happen.

          • Inner City Boston Ubuntu Hour 2
          • Ubuntu: how to deal with (or not) Unity
          • Why Unity Will Become The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened To Ubuntu

            It has been two full months since Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” was released with the new Unity user interface. With Unity, Canonical has taken a very drastic step and cut down on a lot of customizability that many power users would want. Understandably, many proclaimed that Unity is the best thing that Canonical has ever done. There was even an article claiming that Ubuntu is on a decline due to Unity.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule Changed, Alpha 2 Delayed

            The release schedule for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system has been modified last week by Canonical. The second Alpha version was supposed to arrive for testing last Thursday, June 30th, but it was rescheduled for July 7th.

          • Ubuntu wants to become its own brand

            Recently I’ve found that I have a problem with Ubuntu, but it’s not a simple one to explain.

            You don’t expect a distribution at the top of the popularity charts to risk its user base and its wider community standing by making big changes in a single release, yet this is exactly what Canonical has done with Ubuntu 11.04.

          • Inside Natty Narwahl: the all-new Ubuntu

            The latest version of Ubuntu, codenamed Natty Narwhal, isn’t just another release of the iconic distribution. We take a comprehensive look at the new interface.

            [...]

            Natty is nice. It boots fast, is slick to use, and Unity is the visual upgrade Ubuntu badly needs to compete in this age of Mac OS X and Windows 7. It’s also bold enough to go out on its own limb and not emulate either competing OSs (though it does clearly borrow from Mac OS X). And this is a good thing, because we need fresh ideas every now and then to see if there’s a better way of doing things.

          • Ubuntu Slaps Its Users In The Face

            Second, everyone talks about this bad relationship Ubuntu has with Gnome. This I personally find amusing. If Ubuntu has upset Gnome, and the Gnome foundation so much, why do they accept financial support for them? Canonical sits on the Gnome Advisory Board because they support (donate money to) Gnome. This position allows them to help ‘guide’ the Directors of the Gnome Foundation in the overall direction of Gnome and the Gnome Foundation. Doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of bad feelings there, or neither of the two would be together is my guess.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux for ARM Alpha 1

              If you have used Bodhi before then you may be aware that one of the profiles we offer by default is one that is optimized for touch screen devices.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • HP in Discussions to License WebOS Software, CEO Apotheker Says

        Hewlett-Packard, which makes and sells its own phones and tablets that run the WebOS operating system, rose 1.3 percent to a three-week high of $35.55 in New York trading yesterday.

      • Android

        • Samsung, Google, Canonical: Please Make Honeycomb Work With Ubuntu

          Android and Ubuntu are cousins, they share the same blood stream and DNA code. However, there seems to be some problem between the two brothers (or sisters). Honeycomb uses MTP as the file transfer protocol instead of Mass Storage Device (non-Android OS such as iOS for iPad are even worse as you can’t do anything without risky iTunes.)

          While we can mount and see folders on Honeycomb tablets, we can’t see content inside those folders or take back-up of images or files that we downloaded.

        • China v USA: Who Loves Freedom More?

          Well, it turns out they both love that other OS more than freedom but at least in China, Android and Linux get equal time.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Really Small Cheap Computers

        At 7 inches I found tablets as cheap as $86 CDN. So it’s not the latest and greatest – 4 hours battery life, 800MHz ARM11, Android 2.1, 256MB RAM and resistive touch screen.

      • Tablet operating systems compared

        Each comes with a set of pros and cons and will almost certainly influence your tablet buying decision, so here’s our guide to every major system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An Update on the IFOSS Law Review and Announcing the IFOSS Law Book

    We have written before about the International Free and Open Source Law Review, but it’s worth getting an update as to what was in the last issue. I also want to make you aware of the latest publication coming out of the community of lawyers interested in free and open source software, the IFOSS Law Book.

  • Getting secure with Mantra: An open source penetration testing kit

    Mantra is an open source, browser-based framework for penetration testing and security assessments. It’s based on Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser, so it’s cross-platform, and it’s part of the Open Web Application Security Project — OWASP. Techworld Australia recently caught up with project leader Abhi M. Balakrishnan to talk about Mantra and its goals

  • Events

    • Proposition of Cross-Distro Mini-Conf for Linux.conf.au 2012

      Time has come again to think to our friends down under ! Since I was there in 2007 for a MondoRescue conference I think this is really a place to be in the FLOSS ecosystem when possible; Too bad it’s so far away from France :-( Travel costs are not light either.

    • Debian at several conferences

      The Debian Project is pleased to announce that it will be present at several events in the coming weeks, ranging from developer-oriented conferences to workshops for users and wannabe developers. As usual, upcoming events are also listed on our website.

      From June 27 to July 3, during Campus Party 2011 in Bogotá, Colombia, Debian Colombia invites all to join the special event “Lleva un paquetico en tu corazón (Keep a Little Package in Your Heart)” during which attendees will work on bugs and will create Debian packages. It will also be possible to participate via IRC by joining the channel debian-co on irc.debian.org. Further information (in Spanish) is available on the wiki page.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Automake and cmake revisited

      One reason I had for awhile considered cmake so strongly in GNU Telephony is that I choose to experiment with using Qt to build applications, and at the time I thought it rather difficult to build QT applications under autconf/automake. A week ago I revisited this question on my own, and found I was actually wrong about this.

  • Project Releases

    • Gawk 4.0 Is A Major New Release

      Besides releasing libgcrypt 1.5 this week, another GNU project has been updated. Gawk 4.0.0 has been officially released as a major update to this popular free software utility. Gawk 4.0.0 presents several new end-user features along with revamped internals.

    • A New Version Of Libvirt Brings Many Changes
    • Minitunes 1.0 has been released

      Minitunes 1.0 has been released, The new release added a new search box that allow you to search music in your collection , added drag’n’drop, which let us to add songs or entire albums simply by dragging them within the application, adding new translations. Fixed some bugs found in previous versions to improve stability. and more.

  • Public Services/Government

    • AGIMO finalises new open source guide

      Includes procurement guidelines and open source software policy.

      The Federal Government has issued version 2.0 of its Guide to Open Source Software, after seeking public comments on a draft guide in March.

      The new, 67-page document (pdf) replaced a guide that was issued by former special minister of state Eric Abetz in April 2005.

      Australian Government CIO Ann Steward said on Friday that she was “very pleased with the response” to the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)’s call for comments on the draft.

  • Programming

    • Quick Update

      Hey all i am sorry for the last post i have many posts drafted to be posted within the next 2-3 weeks where i am going to discuss my project GccPy as there has been alot happening with it recently, i am working on a paper which shows everything about it so far but i want to have some posts demonstrating the basic principles of compilers and in deed creating an Ahead of Time version of Python on top of GCC and how this actually works. I personally find it a pretty cool topic but first i will am just in a bit of rant mood and its about whats happened since my last blog post:

      Well anyway i’m currently in an awkward position i feel i may leave university but i will see because its simply causing me so much problems in my day to day life, I’ve got onto Google summer of code 2011 yet again to work on Gccpy with Ian lance Taylor but i may focus a little more on working on the Gcc middle-end to make some of my work a little easier. But the problem i am having at the moment with university is i actually failed all my modules last semester which may sound awful. Esp the one in compiler development i am writing a complaint about this at the moment due to the fact i actually took my own time to create a compiler specificity for this language they developed which works i cant emphasize this enough it actually works and demonstrates an IR properly designed and works well and doesn’t segv if you put in a syntax/grammar error i didnt even have to do this for the module.

    • No need to worry as open source contributions decline

      As open source usage has entered the mainstream, are users contributing less time and money to open source projects, thereby putting the future of the project at risk? One CEO of a leading open-source-based company thinks so.

    • GNU Awk gets major tune up in version 4.0.0

      The GNU Awk developers have announced version 4.0.0 of Gawk, aka GNU Awk, the GNU Project’s free software implementation of AWK, the data-driven scripting language for extracting data and creating reports. Gawk 4.0.0 is the result of two years’ work in which the developers made a number of major changes.

      For example, they have added BEGINFILE/ENDFILE allowing Gawk programs to execute rules when they begin or end processing a file and support for indirect function calls and “arrays of arrays” (including an isarray function). There is a new –sandbox option which disables the system() call and redirects input/output and extensions, allowing for “scripts from questionable sources” to be run with minimal access to the system.

    • Introducing Multithreading to Mature Desktop Applications

Leftovers

  • L’Affaire DSK: Presumption of Innocence Lost

    When Dominique Strauss-Kahn first mulled over the idea of running for president of France, he professed concern that his vulnerabilities in the coming election would be the trifecta of “money, women, his being Jewish.” In the week since a housekeeper at New York’s Sofitel Hotel alleged that he assaulted and attempted to rape her, all three of those elements have converged to render any thought of a political future for Strauss-Kahn entirely beside the point.

  • Finance

    • Here’s The Legal Complaint WikiLeaks Is Threatening To File Against Visa, MasterCard

      More than six months have passed since Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and others cut WikiLeaks’ purse strings. And if that blockade lasts six more days, the secret-spilling group plans to take its financial fight to the courtroom.

    • LEGAL ACTION BY WIKILEAKS AND DATACELL AGAINST VISA AND MASTERCARD

      WikiLeaks and Datacell (a service provider assisting WikiLeaks) are to sue Visa & MasterCard for engaging in an unlawful, U.S. influenced, financial blockade.

      On June 9th a the law firms Bender von Haller Dragested in Denmark and Reykjavik Law Firm in Iceland acting on behalf of DataCell and WikiLeaks told the companies that if the blockade is not removed they will be litigated in Denmark and a request for prosecution will be filed with the EU Commission. Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe, and Teller (a Danish company licensed to process transactions on behalf of the card companies) are the subjects of the complaint.

      It was pointed out to these companies that their coordinated action on December 7th last year to block all credit card transactions to WikiLeaks and DataCell constituted a serious violation of the Competition Rules of the EU (Article 101(1) and 102). Furthermore, that the actions of these companies have violated Danish merchant laws when they terminated the payment services and by refused to reinstate them.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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