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07.16.11

Links 16/7/2011: PCLinuxOS Reviews, Kororaa 15 Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report – Operating Systems
  • Windows Got Me Lost, Linux Came To Rescue On The Roads Of Brussels

    Not again Microsoft. Incidents like these were one of the reasons why I threw your crappy products out of my door and migrated to GNU/Linux.

    Well, now I did not know where was I. After two stops, the bus came to a halt. It was not the NATO stop. The driver said something in French, which meant that’s the last stop. I told him that I wanted to go to NATO. He said bus won’t go there. The message was supposed to flash on the display, but Microsoft Windows screwed it. My appointment was at 12 and it was already 11.50. I was 3 Km away from the NATO HQ.

  • Graphics Stack and Compiz

    • NVIDIA 275.19 Linux Driver Published

      While NVIDIA is already in the middle of working on the 280 driver series and there’s been a public beta of that, this Friday morning NVIDIA has released a new 275.xx stable release. While this release is still tagged in the 275 series, it does contain a few worthwhile fixes and new hardware enablement.

    • Maximized windows which must be larger than the screen size

      There’s been an odd case that I’ve not seen one window manager be able to handle correctly. It’s the case where you are required to resize a window to be smaller than than it’s defined minimum size, because you are tiling it, semi-maximizing it or maximizing it. Basically attempting to fit a big object into a small space because the user requested it.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • The Dark Side of Distrohopping

      As fun as distrohopping is, it’s not all wine and roses. There’s a dark side to never being able to stay with one distro and that’s what I’ll talk about in this column.

    • New Releases

      • Introducing Linvo GNU/Linux

        A new distribution flew onto my radar today and thought it might be interesting to take a quick look. Linvo is Bulgarian hailed distribution based on Slackware featuring the GNOME 2.32 desktop. Yesterday, developers released Linvo 2010.12.6.

        I say new because it’s new to me and the Distrowatch database, although its version numbers go back to 2009.0. News posts on the Website start March 13, 2009 with what appears to be the first release on March 28, 2009.

      • Kongoni GNU/Linux 2011 (Firefly) released.

        I’m very happy to announce the stable release of Kongoni 2011 (codename Firefly). Most bugs and glitches have been removed and we can say now that Kongoni is ready for the stable release.

        Some extensive work has went into the Live CD and initrd. We have moved to initramfs for the Live CD, udev is used now and there is no limitation in space when creating the initramfs as we dropped dd and mkfs.ext2 in favor of cpio. This also should make the Live CD a bit faster and much more reliable.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2011.6 KDE review

        PCLinuxOS has all the tools it needs to be one of the best Linux or BSD desktop distributions, but for some reason, they always manage to miss the mark. It is understandable that for a community distribution, the community decides it wants, but at some point, the developer(s) should take a stand and educate the less knowledgeable member if the community why certain ideas should not be implemented. Comments posted by some of its members here should give you an indication of what I am trying to convey.

      • PCLinuxOS 2011.07 MiniMe KDE Released
    • Gentoo Family

      • Pardus 2011.1: Turkish Delight

        I have written in my previous review that Pardus is OS which deserves very close attention.

      • Gentoaster – Week 7 progress report

        This week has been excellent in terms of progress. The Gearman worker/client is now complete, and can be used to queue builds. I’ve tested this setup on a few different machines and it seems pretty solid as long as you configure the paths correctly. Also, as part of this, builds will now isolate all their activity into a single directory. It’s not chrooted as such, like I said in my previous progress report, because the use of binaries from the host is required. I’m not entirely sure chrooting makes any sense after giving it some more thought, because they’d still be root and they could break back out of the chroot anyway. However, all input to this tool is heavily sanitised before it reaches Gearman, so the potential threats should be dealt with before they even reach the build tool.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Up Close & Personal with Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst

        BY going through some famous books about magic, James Whitehurst hopes to find a spell that can create an even closer bond between him and his nine-year-old twins, Jack and Emma. He finished reading the whole Harry Potter series last year in the hope that he could share more with his son and daughter, whom he says are so fascinated with the fantasy tales of the boy wizard.

        You see, while Whitehurst is passionate about his job, nothing is more important to him than his family. “Family always comes first,” the president and chief executive officer of Red Hat Inc, the world’s leading provider of Linux and open-source solutions for the Internet, tells StarBizWeek.

      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 15 (Squirt) Beta released

          The first beta release of Kororaa 15 (codename “Squirt”) has hit the mirrors, and is available for download, in 32 and 64 bit with KDE 4.6 and GNOME 3.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Toshiba Thrive: Boxy, but it’s good.

          That’s what I thought when I heard Toshiba was introducing its own tablet, another “me too” in the Android space, the Thrive.

          I mean, we’ve already got the Motorola XOOM, the Acer Iconia A500, the Asus Transformer, and now the ultra-sexy and thin Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which is generally regarded as the front-runner out of all of these devices and the only one of this group that currently presents any real challenge to Apple’s iPad 2.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Kogan Agora PRO review

        The Kogan Agora PRO is a lightweight budget laptop with 11.6in screen and Ubuntu 11.04 operating system.

      • 12.1-inch netbook runs Ubuntu on dual-core Atom

        Asus released a netbook that comes with an unusually large 12.1-inch screen and — at least in some markets — Ubuntu Linux. The Eee PC 1215P includes a dual-core Atom N570 processor, 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, up to 2GB of RAM and 320GB of hard disk storage, six hours’ battery life, and optional Bluetooth, the company says.

      • ASUS Preinstalls GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Grab Bag of Unsung Open Source Gems
  • Project Harmony, Open Hardware License and Open Hardware Repository

    First, Project Harmony has released version 1.0 of its contributor agreement templates. Version 1.0 includes a rather nifty Agreement Selector tool that generates both individual and entity agreements for your project. Project Harmony does not come down on the side of license-in versus assignment-in; its primary benefit is to assure standardization of language regardless of approach. Check it out.

  • How I learned to stop Architecture and love Free Software

    When I was finishing high school I was destined to continue my academic life studying Architecture. I took special art classes to get prepared to study one of the fine arts I always loved, and so I did, I entered the architectural school at my hometown in the Canary Islands.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • The safest web browser?

      Surely not a difficult question to answer? Just look at the statistics for security vulnerabilities- especially those that were exploited by malware “in the wild” before a patch was issued and how long those vulnerabilities remained unpatched.

    • Browser Wars: Usage stats for June 2011
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Webian Shell Takes On Google Chrome OS

        Anyone who was around during the original browser wars between Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Netscape might remember the ill-fated ‘webtops’ that both Microsoft and Netscape attempted to create. In both cases, each company tried to build a kind of operating system shell that centered around the Web browser as the main or only interface.

        These early webtops were both horrible failures that basically set the whole idea of browser-as-operating system back 10 years. But maybe they were just way ahead of their time. Because now, two of the browser leaders are once again pushing browser-only interfaces.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice: Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride

      If yesterday’s announcement by IBM is any indication, the answer is “not likely,” despite the fact that Big Blue’s latest commitment to OpenOffice, on its surface, sounds like good news. The reason? It’s too little, and too late. Here’s why.

      First, let’s start with the announcement. As reported in various venues (e.g., ComputerWorld, The Register and Heise Online), IBM will be donating the standalone source code for its ODF-compliant Lotus Symphony office suite to the Apache Foundation. As you’ll recall, Oracle became the owner of OpenOffice after acquiring Sun Microsystems. After issuing various mixed signals, Oracle officially decommitted to supporting OpenOffice, and contributed the code in early June (but not the trademark) to the Apache Foundation, where it can now be downloaded under version 2.0 of the permissive Apache License.

    • Google’s Java Jam

      Oracle’s lawsuit against Google is “a test case really for whether or not Oracle will be able to monetize Java in the mobile space,” according to IDC’s Al Hilwa. Developers use Java for the attractive tool that they know and love at the top end of the technology. But whether at the bottom end of the technology it breaks any of the rules with the way the Dalvik engine works is what is being tested.

    • OpenOffice.org in Apache: The Next Step

      A few weeks ago, I wrote about what submitting OOo to Apache meant for the various parties involved. In particular, I said “IBM can continue to develop Symphony, with a licence it’s happy with.”

  • Programming

IRC Proceedings: July 15th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: July 14th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: July 13th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

ES: Google- -

Posted in Google at 4:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: Google+ y Facebook deben evitarse por ser trampas de software propietario con peligro subestimado.

GOOGLE PLUS ha estado haciendo spam a la gente con el fin de ganar suscriptores. Además, se ha mentido a la opinión pública con el fin de crear una ilusión de escasez (Invita) y en muchos aspectos sigue siendo similar a Facebook. Ambos son propietarios y que se ejecutan en una pila LAMP. Basta con decir que la principal ventaja que vemos en que Google+ es que aumenta la competencia y recuerda a la gente que acaba de mover de un tirón más de una bandera booleana para indicar uno de los cientos de millones de personas es un “amigo” sólo se aplica a uno de los muchas (posiblemente muchos) bases de datos.

Techrights no suele ocuparse de las ciencias sociales y las prostitutas de atención a que acuden a Facebook a pesar de sus muchos abusos.

Hemos estado más interesados en las malas prácticas de negocio de Facebbook, que incluyen ASTROTURFING, LOCK-IN, AGRESION DE PATENTES, VIOLACIONES DE PRIVACIDAD, la CENSURA, y muchas más[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Facebook].

No hace mucho tiempo que escribimos sobre como Facebook insulta a el Software Libre. Lo estamos viendo de nuevo[http://www.networkworld.com/community/facebook-bans-another-export-tool]:

Después de unos pocos días de la operación, Facebook ya ha cerrado la puerta para la herramienta de Open-Xchange de exportación OX.IO. De acuerdo con Facebook, la aplicación es una violación de sus términos de servicio – pero la compañía dice que “no estamos violando nada.”

Así que aquí está la primicia: La semana pasada, Open-Xchange (una empresa que ofrece un correo electrónico de Exchange compatible y suite de colaboración) lanzó OX.IO. El nuevo servicio se supone que debe ayudar a los usuarios consolidar los datos de contacto, y trabajó con Facebook, pero también trabaja con GMail, GMX.de, LinkedIn, Yahoo, SugarCRM, y algunos otros.

Recordemos lo que Facebook hizo a productos relacionados con KDE[http://techrights.org/2011/06/28/privacy-risk-at-microsoft/]. La forma en que acaba de bloquear el software por razones de competencia proporciona un vistaso a el peligro de confiar en las plataformas de terceras partes, incluyendo Google. No fue hace mucho tiempo que Google retiró las API que implícitamente se comprometió a apoyar.

Como escribimos hace algunos meses, Techrights la única “red social” está dispuesta a asumir es Identi.ca[http://techrights.org/2010/10/28/identica-and-techrights/] (cuentas de nombre aquí[http://techrights.org/twitter-and-identica/]).

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.

National Security Compromised by Microsoft Windows

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fortress

Summary: Documents relating to ballistic missile defense and star wars leaked to crackers owing to Windows, allegedly

AN anonymous poster found this blog item (“DoD: 24,000 files swiped in March from military contractor systems”) which suggests that “Because they use Windooze about 24.000 (!) classified documents got stolen by foreign state-backed hackers. The documents included information on, among other things, JSF and the ballistic missile defense.

“If they’d used Linux this probably wouldn’t have happened. Congress needs to legislate a government ban on using Windows, as it’s unreliable and insecure BY DESIGN.”

Techrights wrote about the subject of Windows compromising many lives. It did so many times before, so to avoid repetition we’ll cite one of the earliest such posts and quote Jim Allchin of Microsoft as saying: “It is no exaggeration to say that the national security is also implicated by the efforts of hackers to break into computing networks. Computers, including many running Windows operating systems, are used throughout the United States Department of Defense and by the armed forces of the United States in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

Yes, well done, Microsoft.

In other news, this time referring to Hotmail:

Did Microsoft Just Admit Hotmail Is the Most Hijacked Service?

[...]

Dick Craddock, Group Program Manager, Hotmail, writes in a company blog, “We released this feature a few weeks ago. Initially, it only let you report Hotmail accounts that were compromised. But it worked really well – we got thousands of reports of compromised accounts.”

Those “thousands of reports of compromised accounts” apparently “worked really well”. Priceless. As we pointed out some years ago, Hotmail is a top source of SPAM. Security there is an absolute joke and no wonder companies choose Google over Microsoft for such services.

As Microsoft continues its steady decline (as discussed in last night's show) it will be remembered as the company which did not take security seriously. The costs of getting cracked were simply passed to the customer.

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

ES: Microsoft Patrocinó al Troll de Patentes Más Grande del Mundo (Vienen Más demandas), Paul/Troll Allen Pierde Caso

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 4:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: ¿Cómo los peces gordos de Microsoft llegan a convertirse en trolls de patentes y atacan a la industria (incluyendo Linux), a veces en vano?

Uno de nuestros lectores ha encontrado y enviado evidencia que sugiere que el compadre de Bill Gates (a quien Gates financia) está demandando a más empresas[http://paidcontent.org/article/419-new-intellectual-ventures-suit-seeks-payment-from-chipmakers/], no dejando ninguna duda acerca de su condición del troll de patentes más grande del mundo[http://techrights.org/2008/09/18/patent-troll-by-proxy/], no sólo el ex director de tecnología de Microsoft. Se trata de operaciones como la suya, que ayudan a mostrar lo brutal y corrupto el sistema de patentes se ha convertido. El -Nathan Myhrvold- presiona a políticos, sin embargo, para mantener el sistema quebrado, en la condición actual, para enriquecerse a sí mismo y a su compadre Bill. Es posible que incluso las patentes de Torvalds están siendo utilizados por este troll de patentes y Groklaw añade: “. Tal vez sea hora de Silicon Valley para darse cuenta de que las patentes son el problema” El mismo lector también se encuentra este enlace[http://www.patentdocs.org/2011/05/napp-annual-meeting.html] sobre “La Asociación Nacional de Abogados de Patentes (ANPP), “que es un eufemismo para referirse a los trolls de patentes. Tenemos más de estas historias en los diarios enlaces de ayer[http://techrights.org/2011/07/13/pardus-linux-2011-1/].

Mientras que sobre el tema de los trolls de patentes de Microsoft (Microsoft con vínculos financieros), ¿Qué acerca de Interval[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Interval] pertenecienta al co-fundador de Microsoft? Parece que va hacia abajo para Paul Allen[http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2011071315075465]:

Allen versus el Mundo – RECONSIDERACIÓN NEGADA! Interval Abajo en Llamas

[...]

Cuando vez a un juez es que crítica a un partido y usa palabras más adelante en el orden como “sutilezas”, es una señal de que el juez está perdiendo la paciencia.

Así que esta acción es ahora oficialmente (incluso después de reconsideración) se quedó en espera del resultado de la reexaminaciones.

Los trolls de patentes todavía cuestan mucho en términos de honorarios de abogados, incluso si pierden, y el de la Gente Contra el Monopolio siente la necesidad[http://www.againstmonopoly.org/index.php?perm=72958000000000456] de poner fin a esto, incluyendo las patentes de métodos comerciales[http://www.againstmonopoly.org/index.php?perm=72958000000000452], que como hemos demostrado recientemente que algunos de los mayores grupos de presión (los banqueros, no sólo los trolls de patentes financiado por Microsoft) hacer lo que sea para empeorar las cosas[http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/07/05/bringing-sense-to-business-method-patents/]. Se escribió acerca de esto últimamente[http://techrights.org/2011/06/20/algorithms-and-methods-as-monopoly/].

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.

USPTO Drives American Software Developers Away to Other Countries

Posted in Patents at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Heart-shaped birds

Summary: Programmers fly away to other continents, far away from patent trolls and a system which harbours them

IT SHOULD be in the interests of US citizens to topple the USPTO, which serves nothing but monopolists, trolls, and patents lawyers these days. It is doing unbelievable harm to an already-suffering economy and according to this new report from The Guardian, it is true that software developers are moving to countries in Europe or distant places like New Zealand. They do not wish to be sued. Quoting the article:

App developers are withdrawing their products for sale from the US versions of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market for fear of being sued by companies which own software patents – just as a Mumbai-based company has made a wide-ranging claim against Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo and a number of other companies over Twitter-style feeds, for which it claims it has applied for a patent.

Software patent owners in the US have latched onto potential revenue streams to be earned from independent developers by suing over perceived infringements of their intellectual property – which can be expensive for developers to defend even if they are successful.

Now developers in Europe are retreating from the US to avoid the expense and concern such “patent trolls” are causing.

Well, here in the UK software patents and patent trolls are almost unheard of and those who are seeking software patents in the UK often just file for a patent overseas, in the USPTO that corresponds to one of the largest target markets.

The article above makes reference to this lawsuit on which CNET makes the following claims:

More than 30 companies, including the likes of Microsoft, Apple, and IBM have been targeted by India-based Kootol Software for allegedly violating technology covered in a patent application.

So far the list of targeted companies includes Amazon, AOL, Apple, Bebo, Bharti Airtel, ExactTarget, Facebook, Ford Motor, Foursquare, Google, IBM, The Iconfactory, LinkedIn, Microsoft, MySpace, Ning, Nokia, Peek, PopBox, Quora, Research In Motion, Salesforce, Seesmic, Siemens, Sina.com, StatusNet, TwitPic, Twitter, Ubermedia, Webaroo Technology, Yahoo, and Yammer.

Brad Feld, the US-based VC and co-founder of the Foundry Group, has been saying or at least implying that software patents may reduce incentive to invest in companies. In his new column he states that:

More specifically, I think that if the government completely left the software / Internet industry alone and software patents were abolished, the software / Internet industry would have even more vibrant competition.

Just watch what software patents are doing to Android these days. Google hires lawyers rather than developers and according to this update from Groklaw, software patents are also reducing productivity of managers, not just programmers:

So Oracle has asked the court’s permission [PDF] to depose Larry Page of Google along with three other Google employees. Exciting news?! Not really. In fact, if anything this strikes me as a bit of tit-for-tat. Google requested Larry Ellison’s deposition so Oracle is going to do the same with Page.

This is because of software patents. What is the US system doing to itself with this ludicrous patent office? Things are bad enough as they are. Software patents are a total distraction.

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