07.24.11

TechBytes Episode 56: GNU/Linux Versus Mac OS X

Posted in TechBytes at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TechBytes

Direct download as Ogg (1:55:44, 25.7 MB) | High-quality MP3 (42.2 MB) | Low-quality MP3 (13.2 MB)

Summary: Michael Glasser, Tim, and Roy have a discussion about GNU/Linux and Mac OS X

TODAY’s show touches on a few bits of news but mostly focuses on comparisons between Apple’s operating systems and Linux-based operating systems. The guest in this episode is the Prescott Computer Guy, Michael Glasser, who advocates Apple products. Update: the show notes are now out.

Except for the theme song at the end, the show includes the self-named track by Takashi Kamide and “When You Are Near” by Warren Hood. We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

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Links 24/7/2011: News Leftovers

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 19 ways to do your bit for open source

    It’s undoubtedly good to give back to a community you take so much from.

    And in doing so, you can also help improve the software that you use every day, both for your benefit and for everyone else.

    Here are 19 ways you can help open source projects.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla jumps to deal with Google Toolbar demise

        The toolbar offers a variety of services, including a search box, a way to use bookmarks stored on a server, and a measurement of a Web site’s PageRank–a score Google gives that measures its influence in Google search results. But Google has chosen to do in the Firefox version.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice Gets IBM Boost

      It’s curious how the recent OpenOffice saga has been downplayed by much of the media covering technology, but it seems pretty important to me. OpenOffice and LibreOffice are the two primary office suites available today that are both free and complete. There are others, too, but OpenOffice is the dominant suite, and LibreOffice is a fork of the OpenOffice code.

      The fork, which is a common phenomenon in open-source projects, was expected by many to supersede OpenOffice, but two things happened. First Oracle, who owned OpenOffice as part of the Sun takeover, wasn’t interested in maintaining what is essentially a labor of love, so it gave the whole thing to the Apache Foundation. Then this week IBM decided it wanted OpenOffice to stick around, so it handed over its entire Lotus Symphony Suite to the group and told them to use whatever they wanted.

    • Contest winner Ksplice wins big with Oracle buy

      Barely three years old, Cambridge startup Ksplice Inc. was bought by database giant Oracle Corp. for an undisclosed amount.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Fellowship interview with Bernhard Reiter

      Bernhard is founder and Executive Director of Intevation GmbH, a company with exclusively Free Software products and services since 1999. He played a crucial role in the establishment of FSFE as one of its founders, and architect of the original German team. Beside that he participated in setting up three important Free Software organisations: FreeGIS.org, FFII, and FossGIS.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Free Technology Academy needs your help!

      Since the first pilot in 2009, the FTA programme [5] has expanded from 3 to 13 course modules, including subjects such as “The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards”, “GNU/Linux systems”, “Economic Aspects of Free Software”, “Software Architecture” and many others. According to the spirit of the Free Software movement, all FTA learning materials [6] are released under copyleft licenses.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • FTC chairman backs national data security standard

      Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said there should be a national data breach notification standard Thursday but declined to take a position on the SAFE Data Act that passed a House subcommittee Wednesday.

      Currently, 47 states have laws that require companies to notify consumers if their private data is breached, but there is no national standard.

      “You don’t want a crazy quilt patchwork of statutes even if most of them, or the vast majority of them, are reasonable,” Leibowitz said at a forum on privacy at the Brookings Institution on Thursday.

Leftovers

  • Civil Rights

    • Eric S Raymond: Thoughts On No-Anonymity Policy Of Google+

      Google is clearly making some execution mistakes in implementing this policy, such as deleting the accounts of people with single-word legal names that merely look like handles. I agree these mistakes need correction and that Google needs to have a more responsive appeals process, but I think over-focusing on mistakes and edge cases obscures the most interesting question: is Google right? Will a no-handles policy produce a social network with higher value to more users than a network with handles?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Usage Based Billing Hearing Concludes: Has the CRTC Come to Competition Too Late?

      The CRTC’s usage based billing oral hearing concluded yesterday with a final decision expected some time in the fall. This long post focuses on the shift in CRTC thinking on the state of broadband competition in Canada but wonders whether it comes too late to make a difference. For many years, the CRTC has steadfastly maintained that the Canadian ISP market is competitive. For example, in the net neutrality decision from October 2009 it stated:

      Consistent with the current regulatory approach, under which the Commission has granted forbearance for retail Internet services, primary ISPs may continue to apply ITMPs to retail Internet services as they consider appropriate, with no requirement for prior Commission approval. This approach remains valid due in part to the large number of existing ISPs. A change in the approach would amount to interference with market forces and would result in inefficient regulation, which is contrary to the Policy Direction.

  • Copyrights

    • Access Copyright: It’s “Virtually Impossible” to Opt-Out Of Tariff

      Over the past few weeks, a growing number of Canadian universities have announced plans to opt-out of the Access Copyright interim tariff effective September 1, 2011 (the University of Calgary’s Gauntlet has an excellent article on the issue). Those universities join many others that opted-out from the start of the year. While many universities are moving on to alternative licensing approaches, the universities and Access Copyright continue to battle over the prospect of transactional (or pay-per-use) licensing which the universities want and Access Copyright refuses to grant. The AUCC filed its response on the issue earlier this week, which included some notable correspondence between Access Copyright and academic publishers.

    • ACTA

      • European Parliament ACTA study

        Act on ACTA refers to a European Parliament Trade Committee commissioned study on ACTA (pdf). The study highlights problematic aspects of ACTA and makes recommendations (see below). According to the study, “unconditional consent would be an inappropriate response”, and “There does not therefore appear to be any immediate benefit from ACTA for EU citizens”. The study confirms ACTA goes beyond current EU legislation. It recommends asking the European Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA.

IRC Proceedings: July 24th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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IRC Proceedings: July 23rd, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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ES: El Cartel de Patentes de los EE.UU. Reconocido, Impugnado ante los tribunales, las Patentes de Software Mueren Gradualmente

Posted in America, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 3:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: El cartel [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartel] formando en contra de Linux y otros nuevos actores perturbadores está siendo notado y muchas más patentes de software están muriendo en los EE.UU.

“Buen punto de partida para evitar que las cosas del diablo”, nos dice un lector que se enteró de la caída de las patentes de software, al menos la manera como son percibidas. Para aquellos que no han seguido las noticias en este sector, Charles de The Guardian escribió un artículo muy influyente que ayudó a cambiar la actitud del público hacia las patentes de software (más sobre esto más adelante cuando la situación empeora en los EE.UU. [1[http://www.hardwarezone.com/tech-news/view/194982], 2[http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/36677/Mobile-developers-shunning-US-market-in-fear-of-lawsuits]]). Se trata de los daños de las patentes de software a la economía de los EE.UU.. Lodsys ataques adicionales (ahora en contra de Best Buy y Adidas[http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20070645-264/lodsys-patent-attack-now-targets-best-buy-adidas/]) más motivan a este sentimiento y “Las Patentes de Software: La Muerte del Sueño Americano[http://www.muktware.com/hacksheet/1909]” es un título que se explica por sí mismo.

“Los desarrolladores remueven sus aplicaciones de las tiendas de EE.UU., por temor a demandas por patentes[http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/07/18/developers-remove-apps-from-us-store-fearing-patent-lawsuits/]“, dice otro titular e incluso la terminología se ha vuelto loca cuando el grupo de O’Reilly dice que “La propiedad intelectual se ha vuelto loca[http://radar.oreilly.com/2011/07/intellectual-property-patent-trolls.html]“. Se trata de las patentes:

Las patentes y los derechos de autor en los EE.UU. se derivan de la Constitución, y es para un propósito específico: “Promover el progreso de la ciencia y las artes útiles” (artículo I, sección 8). Si los desarrolladores de aplicaciones están siendo expulsados del mercado de los EE.UU. por el control de las patentes, la ley de patentes no está cumpliendo con su objetivo constitucional, de hecho, se está obligando a “la ciencia y las artes útiles” tengán lugar en otra parte. Ese es un problema que debe abordarse, sobre todo en un momento en la industria del software es una de las pocas áreas prósperas de la economía de los EE.UU., y cuando nuevas empresas (y en mi libro, que incluye a los desarrolladores independientes) en coche la mayor parte de las posibilidades de empleo crecimiento de la economía.

No veo ningún alivio proveniente del sistema de patentes tal como existe actualmente. La gran pregunta es si el software debe ser patentable en absoluto. Como Nat Torkington (@mosquito) ha informado, el Parlamento de Nueva Zelanda tiene un proyecto de ley de que prohibirá de las patentes de software, a pesar de la presión de los gigantes del software en los EE.UU. y en otros lugares. Sin embargo, en este punto, cambios significativos en EE.UU. la ley de patentes pertenecen al reino de la agradable fantasía. Por mucho que me gustaría ver que suceda, no me puedo imaginar el Congreso de pie a una avalancha de grupos de presión pagado por algunas de las corporaciones más grandes en los EE.UU.

Sin duda, se hace evidente que los EE.UU. se está perjudicando a sí mismo por estar de acuerdo con leyes tan absurdas.

“El mercado de las patentes de software no está muerto. En efecto, como se muestra en transacciones recientes, incluyendo la principesca suma ($ 4,5 millones) la oferta de la cartera de Nortel por parte de Microsoft, Apple, y otros, es actuando de manera muy saludable. Pero podría ser viniendo abajo con algo serio. “Manténgase en sintonía”, escribe Rob Tiller en relación con otras noticias [http://opensource.com/law/11/7/bilskis-growing-and-smacking-down-some-bad-software-patents]. Para citar a:

Cuando la Corte Suprema se negó a hablar de las patentes de software en el caso Bilski, hubo llanto y crujir de dientes en el mundo del software libre. La nueva prueba de Bilski de la materia patentable parecía en un principio como el status quo de la patentabilidad del software. Pero, siendo el tipo de persona que intenta proteger a las nubes un rayo de luz posible, señaló la posibilidad de que los tribunales y la Junta de Apelaciones e Interferencias de Patentes sería leer la prueba de invalidar algunas patentes de software. Luego note que había una serie de decisiones tempranas encontrando software unpatentable.

Esta tendencia continúa en la dirección correcta. Un nuevo estudio del primer año completo de las decisiones de aplicación de software Bilski confirma que la dirección de la jurisprudencia es hacia la búsqueda de que el software no es materia patentable. El estudio realizado por Robert Greene estrellas y Michelle K. Holoubek se titula El lado práctico de la § 101: Un año después de Bilski: ¿Cómo se toma la decisión de ser interpretado por el BPAI, Juzgados de Distrito y de Circuito Federal. [PDF] que contiene un breve resumen de las decisiones 182 de la BPAI, 6 decisiones corte del distrito federal, y 3 del Circuito Federal. La mayoría de los software y el distrito judicial BPAI preocupación las decisiones. Y muchas de esas decisiones software se aplican Bilski al ver que el tema es demasiado abstracto para ser patentado.

Ya hemos cubierto que las patentes de software pierden la vida por fallos Bilski (a varios niveles), incluso hace años [http://techrights.org/2009/07/11/in-re-bilski-vs-software-patent/]. Es bueno saber que esto está todavía en curso. Desde Tiller mencionó el cártel formado en torno a la cartera de Nortel vale la pena tomar nota de lo que el profesor Webbink tenía que decir:

Hace dos semanas, preguntamos por qué la venta de patentes de Nortel con Microsoft, Apple, y otros no estaba recibiendo el escrutinio de la Comisión Federal de Comercio y/o el Departamento de Justicia (véase, Nortel Venta de Patentes – ¿Por qué no lo tiene el esscrutinio de la FTC/DOJ) . Bueno, no tenemos que hacer esa pregunta nunca más. Y la preocupación del gobierno no es sólo en los EE.UU., Canadá también está investigando la venta.

Como hemos señalado este mes, los canadienses [http://techrights.org/2011/07/07/christian-paradis-on-nortel-sale/] y los reguladores de EE.UU. [http://techrights.org/2011/07/07/christian-paradis-on-nortel-sale/] analizaron la oferta y los informes acerca de que sea aprobado [http://techrights.org/2011/07/15/liaising-vs-all-software-patents_es/] no es del todo buena. Tal vez la oposición a la oferta proviene de múltiples niveles. Los reguladores están todavía al acecho [http://www.mobiledia.com/news/97774.html]. “Tiene que haber informado al Federal CIO que debe haber investigaciones en el sistema de patentes y deben ser informados acerca de los problemas de las empresas que está demandando sobre las patentes y las patentes de software tan pronto como sea posible debe ser detenido y este tipo puede ayudar”, dice una persona. Un saliente CIO Federal por su parte advierte de “un cartel de TI[http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9218466/Outgoing_federal_CIO_warns_of_an_IT_cartel_?taxonomyId=13]“, sobre la base de este artículo en relación con un problema similar:

En un amplio debate del viernes con asesores científico del presidente Barack Obama, Vivek Kundra CIO Federal advirtió de los peligros del acceso de datos abierta y se quejó de “un cartel de TI” de los vendedores.

También cree que los EE.UU. puede operar con un solo pocos centros de datos.

Kundra, quien deja su puesto de trabajo a mediados de agosto, ofrece una visión caleidoscópica de sus preocupaciones sobre los programas federales de TI en una comparecencia ante el Presidente del Consejo de Asesores en Ciencia y Tecnología.

En particular, Kundra está preocupado por el “efecto de mosaico,” la consecuencia involuntaria de gobierno el intercambio de datos, donde los conjuntos de datos se combinan en forma de capas que pueden eliminar la privacidad y plantean amenazas a la seguridad.

¿Por qué no ir primero tras los cárteles de patentes? Estos sin duda existen. ¿Y por qué el gobernantes, mientras que esta en él gobierno, parece que no puede perseguir a Microsoft por su evasión de impuestos? Incluso el gobierno indio ha hecho algo al respecto y un lector nos dio algunos enlaces sobre el tema [1[http://www.taxindiaonline.com/RC2/inside2.php3?filename=bnews_detail.php3&newsid=7095], 2[http://www.nishithdesai.com/New_Hotline/Tax/TAX%20HOTLINE_Nov1210.htm]], y agregó: “¿Cómo se evita Microsoft India a través de los impuestos” Gracemac “: Tribunal goo.gl/upsbD y lo toma nota de que: goo.gl/NRn3t ”

Hemos escrito sobre la evasión de impuestos por Microsoft muchas veces antes[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Microsoft_-_Tax].

Echa un vistazo a este nuevo artículo[http://kluwercopyrightblog.com/2011/07/12/an-american-perspective-on-the-sas-v-wpl-case/], que dice: Los idiomas son la programación, la funcionalidad del programa, y las interfaces de los datos objeto de protección merecen el derecho de autor o no? Estas preguntas fueron muy polémicos en los Estados Unidos durante la década de 1980 a mediados de 1990. Los demandantes en varios casos, argumentarón que debido a que estos eran parte de la “estructura, secuencia y la organización” (SSO) de los programas, deben estar dentro del alcance de la protección de los derechos de autor otorga a los programas como “obras literarias.” La UE está ahora frente a estos mismas preguntas en el caso de SAS Institute v. Mundo de Programación Ltd., que está pendiente ante el Tribunal de Justicia Europeo (TJE). ”

Gracias a Carlo Piana [http://twitter.com/carlopiana/status/92953248205516800] por detectar esto y señalando: “Pensar que #swpats son una pesadilla? Si SAS/World Progr. se vuelve peor, tendremos SWpats sin a pre-examen. http://ur1.ca/4qarq ACT NOW: RT “!

La amenaza no sólo se va, ¿verdad? Pero poco a poco vamos ganando esta lucha. Más sobre este tema en el próximo post …

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 24/7/2011: Acer Puts Linux on ARM Notebook, Apple Copies Linux-based OS

Posted in News Roundup at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The open internet and its enemies

    I believe that if we want an open society based around principles of equality of opportunity, social justice and free expression, we need to build it on technologies which are themselves ‘open’, and that this is the only way to encourage a diverse online culture that allows all voices to be heard.

    But even if you agree with me, deciding what we mean by ‘open’ is far from straightforward:

    Does it mean an internet built around the end-to-end principle, where any connected computer can exchange data with any other computer and the network itself is unaware of the ‘meaning’ of the bits exchanged?

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

Leftovers

Reader’s Picks

07.23.11

IRC Proceedings: July 22nd, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 23/7/2011: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 is Out; Linux Distribution From DoD

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Pinoy IT activist Manny Amador found dead

    Passionate Linux advocate and local IT pioneer Manny Amador was found dead by authorities on Friday in his rented house in Cebu where he had relocated to work for open-source firm InfoWeapons.

  • Software Wars are updated now in git
  • Stats for browsers and operating systems accessing sutor.com

    Linux 12.82%

  • Google’s Problems with Android Apps, Webmaster Tools and Oracle – RMS Says Don’t Go There
  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux by the numbers

      The latest version of the Linux kernel, Linux 3.0, was pushed out last night, marking the end of the 2.6 kernel series.

      As most people in the know understand, this does not represent a big sea change, since the new version numbering was really just a way to discontinue the 2.6 numbering, which would have been 2.6.40 for the kernel today, had not Linus Torvalds announced in late May that the time had come for a new numbering scheme.

    • Don’t Panic! It’s only Linux 3.0

      There have also been improvements with how the kernel works with the still experimental Btrfs (B-tree file system) and the now standard ext4 file system. This, in turn, should lead to faster and, in the case of Btrfs, more reliable, file systems.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Desktop Summit Announcements

      In case you missed them, there have been a couple of exciting announcements around the Desktop Summit in Berlin, Germany.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • public transport plasmoid looking for your input

        I really like the ability to quickly see route information with times and associated alerts for my home station, and with multiple instances of the Plasmoid I can keep track of several stations quite easily at a glance. The journey features are also indispensible.

        Using it with Contour, which is getting support for random Plasmoids in addition to the Nepomuk-derived resources that are associated with an activity, is going to be very, very nice for someone like me who travels a fair amount: I’ll end up with one Activity on my tablet per trip with all my files, contacts and even transit information agregated in one place that I can switch to with a simple thumb swipe. Oh, yeah!

      • ++performance

        Plasma uses a lot of files from disk, particularly when using QML and scripted Plasmoids, but also whenever something requests an image from the theme. The Package class is responsible for the former functionality and the Theme class for the latter. We already cache the results of the Theme rendering, but not the results of looking around on disk for the requested image. There is essentially no caching at all for Package: every request for a file sends it looking on disk for it.

      • KDE Plasma Desktop Introduction
      • KDE Commit-Digest for 17th July 2011
      • Improving KDE’s Plasma Performance

        Due to KDE’s Plasma extensive use of the hard disk for Plasmoids and other activities, and thinking about KDE’s performance on mobile device, Aaron Seigo has been working to make the library consume less memory. He has achieved at least partial success in this effort.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Setting up GNOME 3 on Arch Linux

        It must have been my curiosity that drove me to exploring Arch Linux a few weeks ago. Its coming on a Linux Format DVD and a few kind words about its being a cutting edge distribution were enough to set me installing it into a VirtualBox virtual machine for a spot of investigation. In spite of warnings to the contrary, I took the path of least resistance with the installation even though I did look among the packages to see if I could select a desktop environment to be added as well. Not finding anything like GNOME in there, I left everything as defaulted and ended up with a command line interface as I suspected. The next job was to use the pacman command to add the extras that were needed to set in place a fully functioning desktop.

  • Distributions

    • A Linux Distro From the US Department of Defense
    • Lightweight Portable Security (LPS)-A Linux disto from the US Department of Defense
    • Preview: What’s Coming Up In VectorLinux 7?

      A while ago I received an invitation to view a video presentation giving 10 good reasons to review VectorLinux, and it’s true that I cannot recall to have read a review of it in years. This venerable distribution has been around for a long time but has also garnered some controversy around offering a paid for Deluxe version, introducing a paid for members club, and has been accused of not making source code freely available and thereby infringing on the GPL. It seems the club did not take off as I cannot find any mention of it anymore on the web site.

      All that aside, VectorLinux 5.0.1 was my distribution of choice when returning to Linux in 2005, and a nice experience it was. Basically what I had been looking for was something like Mandrake Linux back in the late 90′s but based on Slackware, and Vector did just fit the bill.

      It had and probably still has a very enthusiastic, helpful and polite community, and the forums were a great resource. I still remember the names and the fact that all these people are still actively involved as you can see in the credits during installation speaks volumes.

    • Not Your Average Linux Distribution: DOD’s Flavor

      The Department of Defense (DOD) has released a unique Linux distribution designed to be a secure option for people, such as telecommuters, who need remote access to internal government and corporate networks from potentially insecure desktops.

      Created by a collaboration between the DOD and the Air Force Research Laboratory, Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) can be booted from a CD or flash drive onto nearly any Intel-based PC or Mac, according to information posted on the project’s website.

    • Arch Linux: I stand corrected

      In my last article, ArchBang: A small review I was a bit unfair to the distro. I did not want to see these distros (ArchBang and Arch Linux) for what they really are and I consider that to be very wrong. Therefore, I bring you a few thoughts on Arch Linux after playing around with it for about 2-3 days.

      Arch is not your average, over-dressed, underpowered and over-popular Linux… as I so wrongly tried to see at as. Arch has the ability… no, gives you the power…

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Apple Lion? No – Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 instead

        In a week peppered with massive exposure for Apple’s new OS X release Lion, open source converts will hopefully be more interested to read that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 is now here.

        Key “extra toppings” in this iteration centre on features that enhance the flexibility, security and stability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 environments.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 Updates Linux Security
      • Red Hat updates Enterprise Linux 5.7

        Red Hat has updated Enterprise Linux 5.7, which now includes several features from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

        The operating system processors supports deployments on Intel, AMD, POWER and IBM System z architectures.

        Red Hat also offers a security framework based on the OpenSCAP Security Content Automation Protocol, including a library and set of utilities, giving a standardised approach to validating Red Hat Enterprise Linux security.

      • Ouch! Oracle Drops Support For Red Hat, Suse Linux

        Oracle is dropping support for the leading open source operating systems — Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Suse Linux. The company made this announcement post its acquisition of Ksplice, the creator of innovative zero downtime update technology for Linux.

      • The changes in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7

        The main improvements to the latest release of RHEL series 5 are optimised virtualisation with KVM and Xen, as well as new and revised drivers. Slowly but surely, the series is nearing the end of the first and most active phase its lifecycle.

      • Fedora

        • Font Rendering in Fedora

          Shortly said, it’s not very impressive. But what are the options we have? Can we improve it? Well, there are some font settings that are available. See e.g. this blogpost about making fedora fonts look Ubuntu-like. Although I personally see that as making things worse, there are people who think otherwise. What I decided to do was to skim through most of the hinting options we have and decide for myself what looks best. And of course, provide my readers with some images so that they could decide for themselves.

        • Fedora 15 Shutdown
    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Market adds multiple-APK support to battle fragmentation

          Android Market now lets developers mount multiple Android Package (APK) files optimized for different devices and releases, instead of selling the optimized versions separately, says Google. Meanwhile, security firm Dasient reports that eight percent of Android apps are transmitting personal user data to unauthorized computers, and some Android malware is specializing in “drive-by downloads,” leaving users unaware of what’s being installed.

        • Toshiba tablet’s loaded with ports, but too hefty for eWEEK reviewer

          Toshiba’s Thrive is a decent, if unspectacular, entry to the trundling Android “Honeycomb” tablet market, according to this eWEEK review. However, the availability of multiple ports will please enterprise users, who might also like the removable battery better than did author Clint Boulton.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source Vs proprietary: the war goes on!

    Torry Harris Business Solutions (P) Ltd., (THBS) is one among them who are actively embracing open source solutions and contributing to open source community.

    “Being a player in the software services space, Torry Harris considers the open source software as a key enabler to cost-effective software solutions,” says Karthik T S, head of CoE SOA, Cloud and OSS, Torry Harris Business Solutions (P) Ltd. in an interaction with CIOL.

  • Indian open source community, biggest in the World

    The technology industry in India has developed significantly in the last few years and India has evolved relatively well to the idea of open source software and adoption rates are remarkably good.

    With many companies embracing for open-source technologies, the role of open source in IT has been changed in many companies.

  • Before you get locked into Lync, consider open source options
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 6.0 arrives in Beta Channel

        Mozilla has announced the release of version 6.0 of Thunderbird – its open source news and email client – into the Beta Channel. While a final release date for Thunderbird 6.0 has yet to be confirmed, a production version will likely follow shortly after Firefox 6.0, which is scheduled for 16 August.

      • Google Toolbar drops support for Firefox. Why now?

        Google has decided to drop support for Firefox for the Google Toolbar.

        No, that’s not a bad thing at all. The toolbar is a relic of any older era. An era when Firefox Sync didn’t exist, an era when the awesomebar wasn’t truly aweseome.

        Apparently however, Mozilla is seeing the Google Toolbar issue as being a potential barrier to adoption for Firefox 5.

  • SaaS

    • Is open source in the cloud still open source?

      Open source platform as a service (PaaS) platforms are one of the most exciting topics in the software industry nowadays. Following the $212M acquisition of Heroku by Salesforce.com, we’ve seen how in a matter of months, platforms like dotCloud of VMWare’s Cloud Foundry have emerged with complete PaaS suites based on popular open source technologies.

      The value proposition behind this type of PaaS offer is very simple. These platforms will enable the foundation to host, manage, provision and scale solutions based on some of the most renowned open source technologies such as Ruby on Rails, Hadoop, MySQL among dozens of others.

    • Open source and the IT company, a lucrative proposition

      As my colleague Derrick Harris suggests, the open-source cloud-computing project OpenStack has come a long way in just a year. But it’s only one of a growing number of open-source projects challenging expensive and proprietary incumbents across the IT industry. From storage to networking, open-source projects are emerging that offer viable alternatives.

    • Rackspace’s cloud going all OpenStack
    • WS02 Brings Middleware to the Cloud

      Middleware servers used to be locked down to on-premise deployments, but that has now changed in the modern world of the cloud and Platform-as-a-Service.

      Middleware servers used to be locked down to on-premise deployments, but that has now changed in the modern world of the cloud and Platform-as-a-Service.

  • Databases

    • EnterpriseDB Announces the Postgres Enterprise Manager BETA!

      EnterpriseDB is proud to introduce Postgres Enterprise Manager, the first enterprise-wide architected management tool for database professionals who are looking to efficiently manage and monitor Postgres servers throughout their organizations.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Test-Driving VirtualBox 4.1 on Linux: Bumpy but Pretty Good

      Oracle released VirtualBox 4.1 on July 19 with a slew of improvements ranging from usability improvements to rasing the ceiling for RAM to 1TB for 64-bit hosts. With 4.1, we decided to take VirtualBox out for a spin and see how it handles.

      I’ve been using desktop virtualization since the early days, when VMware was a scrappy little company shipping a nearly unheard-of product — a desktop virtualization tool that would let you run Windows in VM in Linux. No more dual-booting for those folks who had to have access to Microsoft Word or QuickBooks but wanted to enjoy Linux as their desktop of choice.

  • CMS

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Zenoss Community Alliance (ZCA)

      The community has created the Zenoss Community Alliance (ZCA) which is a group of senior community members who are working to evolve Zenoss core and the community to better serve the needs of the community and the entire Zenoss ecosystem. To this end, the board of ZCA has provided the following agenda…

    • Jaspersoft may be looking to acquire with its $11M funding

      Business intelligence software maker, Jaspersoft, announced yesterday that it raised $11 million dollars in funding. The round was lead by existing investors Red Hat and SAP Ventures in addition to including newcomer Quest Software.

      Jaspersoft caters to the enterprise with business intelligence products. It aims to centralize the way data is secured, delivered and analyzed.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • nginx-1.0.5

      2011-07-19

      nginx-1.0.5 stable version, nginx-0.8.55 and nginx-0.7.69 legacy stable versions have been released.

    • Imixs open source BPM, workflow engine reaches 3.0

      And in May, BonitaSoft upgraded its open source BPM suite which is also developed in Java and available under the GPL.

    • The Evolution of Asterisk (or: How We Arrived at Asterisk 10)

      We are fast approaching the seven-year anniversary of the release of Asterisk 1.0.0, which occurred at the first AstriCon in September, 2004. If you look back a little further, there were various “0.x” releases made as early as December of 1999… my, how time has flown!

      We’ve had quite a few ‘major’ releases of Asterisk since then, including 1.2, 1.4, and most recently, 1.8. Each of these releases has included significant changes, and sometimes architecture-improving changes. Each of them has also included substantial new functionality for Asterisk users. Along the way, we’ve been asked by many people in the community when we are going to start working on (or release) “Asterisk 2.0.” Typically, we’ve responded by saying that will not happen until we can really justify such a significant change in the version number. Many open source projects have gone through similar progressions, and quite a number of them have in fact undergone complete (or nearly complete) rewrites resulting in new ‘major’ versions.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • ActiveState Advances New Cloud Platform, Stackato, to Beta With New Features

      PostgreSQL, Python 3 and Additional Core Services Added, Opens Testing Group Further

    • Google Summer of Code 2011: midterms and statistics

      Google has published “a few more interesting statistics” from this year’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) event; in May, a statistical breakdown of accepted students was published. According to a post by Stephanie Taylor on the Google Open Source Blog, 202 (18.1%) of this year’s 1,115 student participants took part in last year’s programme. Of those students, 35 were also part of the 2009 programme, meaning that 3.1% are three year students.

    • Gearing up for Java 7

      The last four Java Specification Requests (JSRs) required for Java 7 have received the blessing of the Java Community Process (JCP). JSR 292, support for dynamically typed languages, JSR 334, small enhancements to Java language and JSR 203, more new I/O APIs (NIO.2), all passed with unanimous support in the final approval ballot. The only note of dissent was from Google in the final approval vote for JSR 336, the umbrella JSR which incorporates all the JSRs required for Java 7.

    • European Space Agency Summer of Code
  • Standards/Consortia

    • DOJ Delays Web Accessibility Regulations

      Earlier this month the United States Department of Justice admitted what many of us have suspected: we will not be seeing web accessibility regulations in the United States for commercial and public entities any time soon. Some time in 2013 at the earliest.

      In July, 2010, the Department issued what is called an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making indicating that it was planning to issue regulations about web accessibility. The step after an “Advanced Notice” is a “Notice of Proposed Rule Making” (NPRM). After that is the rule itself. In its semi-annual regulatory agenda for Spring 2011, however, the DOJ called the NPRM for Web Accessibility a “Long Term Item” not expected until December, 2012. That’s well over a year from now. And it is close to two years after the public comment period on the Advanced Notice closed, and almost two and one half years after the DOJ announced the possible regulations in July, 2010.

    • TinyOgg finally comes to an end

      But now, it seems that what we are doing is obsolete. In May 2010, Google set free the WebM format which was quickly adopted by major web browsers in addition to the largest online video provider, YouTube. 99% of what people watch on YouTube is now available in WebM and thus playable without Flash or any other unfree technologies. (Well, in addition to the fact that I have not posted any entry in many months, which meant that there was no itch anymore!)

      Now is the time to move on to other projects (or to college life, who knows? :) ). By July 15th, TinyOgg entries URLs will be automatically redirected to the original video page and I will run the service for at least eighteen months more.

Leftovers

  • Government shutting down hundreds of data centers

    The U.S. government is aiming to pull the plug on hundreds of unneeded data centers over the next few years in an attempt to save taxpayers some hard-earned cash.

  • No apologies for Microsoft Windows

    Recently I’ve had some discussion with colleagues about Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux in comparison to each other. Generally, I’ve found that most people agree that Mac OS X is more stable than Windows, and those that are familiar with Linux feel that it too is more stable than Windows. But after that being said, they come back with an apology for Microsoft stating that they (Microsoft) have to get Windows to run on fragmented hardware, whereas Apple standardizes the hardware and can therefore provide a more stable operating system for it, because there aren’t nearly as many variations in hardware configurations.

  • Cablegate

    • Petition defends David Hicks from censorship attempt

      Julian Assange, John Pilger and Noam Chomsky have added their names to a new online petition in support of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks.

      They join scores of other signatories, including Greens MP Adam Bandt, human rights lawyer Julian Burnside, Liberty Victoria President Spencer Zifcak and Overland Journal editor Jeff Sparrow. Overland released the online petition on July 21.

    • Framing The Narrative: Murdoch v. Assange

      In Murdoch’s empire, talking points from above dictate the news delivered to the masses. Yet Rupert’s writers need only scan the front pages to discern how best to please their boss and get prominently featured. It’s a culture of corruption, as countless recent articles have documented, designed to maximise profits and political power.

      But the media landscape is changing. Why should we ordinary citizens of the world keep paying for news, when we can get it online for free? But then, if media organisations are not making a profit, how can they afford to keep supplying news for free? This remains the great unresolved Catch-22 of the C21st Fourth Estate.

      News Corporation is planning more firewalls to protect media content, despite the previous failure of such models at organisations like the New York Times. The UK Independent newspaper is now running an online survey asking readers to tell them how the paper can deal with the shifting media paradigm. The Economist prominently features an on-going debate on the subject.

      Meanwhile, I suspect The Guardian’s apparent anti-WikiLeaks crusade may be motivated by a desire to “own the space” that WikiLeaks has staked out (namely, the safest place to publish leaks in this new globalized, digital world). Yes, all the big media organisations are scared, even Murdoch’s dreaded nemeses at The Guardian.

    • Wikileaks report reveals corruption in Lithuanian newspapers
    • Library of Congress: We didn’t call WikiLeaks ‘extremist’

      The Library of Congress says it was not responsible for categorizing a WikiLeaks-related book as “extremist” and that it has decided to removed that label.

  • Finance

    • Consumer Bureau Launches in Shark-Infested Waters

      According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wall Street and the financial services lobby spent an eye-popping $1,400,000,000 between 2008 and 2010 to kill financial reform. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a whole unit dedicated to killing it. This year, the those same forces spent $156 million on lobbying in the first quarter. The big banks are fighting the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill with a stable of willing Congressmen and an army of lobbyists fanned out across a dozen federal agencies where Dodd-Frank rulemaking is underway.

    • Debt debate reverberates in state governments

      Virginia’s governor is livid that his famously tight-fisted state could face higher borrowing costs to build roads and schools. Maryland has put off a $718 million bond sale for three days because of the current financial uncertainty. And California plans to borrow about $5 billion from private investors next week to ensure it can cover day-to-day operating expenses should the federal government default on its debt.

    • House votes to check new consumer agency

      The House greeted the official opening Thursday of the new agency to protect consumers from financial abuse by voting to change its structure and reach.

      Republican sponsors said they were trying to make the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau more transparent and accountable. Democrats said Republicans wanted to cripple the agency before it gets on its feet.

    • Morgan Stanley Posts Loss That Hints at Recovery

      At Morgan Stanley, even a loss can be a win.

      Although the financial firm reported a second-quarter loss of $558 million on Thursday, three crucial divisions posted significant gains, a promising sign that the turnaround plan Morgan Stanley embarked on after the financial crisis was taking hold.

    • On Its First Day, Consumer Bureau Finds Support

      The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau formally opened for business on Thursday, much to the consternation of Congressional Republicans.

      But as conservative lawmakers step up their attacks on the new regulator, aiming to undermine its structure and authority, champions of the bureau are pushing back.

    • 4 more Credit Suisse bankers charged in tax case

      Federal prosecutors in Virginia have charged four more bankers with Zurich-based Credit Suisse Group with conspiracy in what they say was a long-running scheme to help U.S. taxpayers hide as much as $4 billion in assets.

      Prosecutors originally charged four people in the scheme in February, so the charges announced Thursday bring the total number of people charged up to eight. Charging documents filed in the case do not specify what bank the group worked for, but The Associated Press previously reported its identity.

    • Why aren’t Obama’s numbers lower?
    • Harry Reid: Cut, cap may be among ‘worst legislation’ in history

      Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate will vote Friday on the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, a bill backed by conservatives that he called “weak and senseless” and “perhaps some of the worst legislation in the history of this country.”

      The Senate had been expected to vote Saturday on the House-passed bill, which has little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled upper chamber. But Reid expedited the vote so the Senate can quickly move to a backup plan he and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are hatching to raise the debt ceiling and avert a financial default by the Aug. 2 deadline, a Democratic aide said.

    • Economy’s spring slump could last through summer

      The economy could lapse even further if Congress and the Obama administration fail to reach an agreement on raising the nation’s borrowing limit in the coming week.

    • Goldman wins dismissal of Timberwolf CDO lawsuit

      NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc won the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing it of causing an investor to become insolvent by fraudulently misleading it about risky debt it expected would tumble in value.

      In a decision made public on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones in Manhattan said the plaintiff, Basis Yield Alpha Fund, failed to sufficiently show that its investment in the Timberwolf 2007-1 collateralized debt obligation was a “domestic” transaction, entitling it to sue in a U.S. court.

    • Goldman Model Championed by Blankfein Planted Seeds of Distress

      The window shades were lowered to block out the sunlight soaking lower Manhattan on a Friday afternoon in June as 14 students in Eric H. Kessler’s executive MBA class gathered in a conference room to present their analyses of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s leadership.

      The firm’s management shows “resistance to change” and is “doing business in a bubble,” one of the three student teams explained in a PowerPoint presentation. Another recommended creating an “ethics role” within Goldman Sachs’s securities division. Kessler, who teaches management at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, peppered the students with questions. Could cohesive culture be a weakness as well as a strength?

    • 15 Reasons You Don’t Want To Work At Goldman Sachs

      There are plenty of good reasons to work at Goldman Sachs; we’ve written about them before.

      But inspired the bank’s miserable earnings report this morning, we realized that the negatives are piling up considerably.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Exposed: The Koch Connection

      Hundreds of ALEC’s model bills and resolutions bear traces of Koch DNA: raw ideas that were once at the fringes but that have been carved into “mainstream” policy through the wealth and will of Charles and David Koch. Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding.

    • The Murdochs must stop spinning and resign

      In 2004, I created Outfoxed to expose Rupert Murdoch’s war on journalism. Focusing on Fox News, we examined how NewsCorp has long blurred the line between corporate interests and journalistic integrity. The film presented an in-depth look at the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know. Those dangers were shown to include ethic-less journalism, as well as the role of public relations spin in replacing the honest presentation of facts.

      On Tuesday, as Rupert and James Murdoch appeared before parliament, this theme was repeated. Their testimony was less about true and honest answers and more about the script of a public relations firm, and an attempt to spin the public debate on issues of corporate disgrace.

      If their testimonies presented any information at all, it would be how much the Murdochs want to promote the spin of willful ignorance. For two incredibly involved businessmen, their testimonies would lead you to believe that they have long had absolutely no idea about what happens within their company.

    • Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News ran ‘black ops’ department, former executive claims

      Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News television channel had a “black ops” department that may have illegally hacked private telephone records, a former executive for the station has alleged.

  • Censorship

    • Website blocking minutes released under FOI

      109 MPs have now signed Julian Huppert MP’s EDM 1913, which called for the Government to reconsider policies such as website blocking, in light of the recent UN Special Rapporteur Report that was expressly critical of blocking on freedom of expression grounds. More recently, the Organisation for Security an Cooperation in Europe released a report that reached similar conclusions about disconnection and website blocking jeopardising rights to freedom of expression. Over 8,600 people have written to their MPs about this issue.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Government still wants to hack your phone

      While politicians are convinced that Murdoch’s press has over-stepped the mark by routine hacking of citizen’s phones, let’s remember that plans for mass, pervasive hacking of our phones and emails is still sat waiting for revival by the Home Office.

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