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08.08.11

Links 8/8/2011: Many New Games, Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 11:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Opinion: Is economic collapse good for Linux?

    Thus, though we may face economic hardships not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, we can at least look forward to a Linux Renaissance.

  • Asus Support – Excellent and Linux Friendly

    I’d heard stories from fellow Linux users about companies not honoring hardware warranties, unless Windows was reinstalled on the system. It’s wrong, but it does happen. I called up the Asus support line and after jumping through a countless number of automated menus I arrived at someone who could help me. After being walked through a few id-10-t checks the person on the phone agreed with me that the unit needed to be sent to a repair center. It didn’t matter that the system was running Linux, it was a clear hardware issue.

  • Linux, Linux, everywhere!

    Not long ago, I started to realize that Linux is already creeping up on me from all sides. People who have never heard of Linux were raving about it. They were showing me their latest gadgets and telling me how cool they were. After several months of random people going on about their gadgets I did realize that Linux is everywhere and it came upon us from an unusual source. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about Android which is based on the Linux kernel. A lot of people purchasing their latest phones do not know what Linux is or that Android is based on the Linux kernel. However, they are definitely happy with their latest hardware and the many features Android has. Moreover, Android phones are selling in large quantities and are surpassing Blackberry and iPhone sales. This is amazing and the trend seems to be continuing with excellent and solid phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S2 is a gorgeous phone and it is even better than the iPhone 4. Apple will definitely have to come up with many cool new features for the iPhone 5 to be able to compete with the Android Smartphones.

  • Evolution of the Operating System

    UPDATE SJVN has an article out with a similar theme.

    “In the long run, the question isn’t going to be “Which desktop operating system is going to be the winner?” No, it’s going to be, “Which mobile operating system will be the winner.””

    I don’t quite agree with that. I see a very diverse ecosystem in the future with many systems working together. There will be a need for “desktop” systems for a long while:

    * huge screens just are not mobile…
    * there are heavy tasks that just work better with storage and computing power close together…
    * thin clients can work with large displays and still be cool, quiet and unobtrusive…
    * desktop systems and notebooks can shrink quite a bit if we get rid of huge hard drives, power supplies, and CD drives. I expect a lot of the mobile tech will invade the desktop/notebook space…

    see Is XP finally dying or is it the PCs it’s been running on?

  • Linux Australia sorts out finances, keeps membership free

    Australia’s peak body for Linux and open source software, Linux Australia, will change its constitution and financial year arrangement this month and has committed to offering free memberships for anyone interested in the organisation’s programs and events.

    Linux Australia is an incorporated organisation in the state of NSW and operates as a non-profit, not a charity.

  • Windows is Dying… and so are Macintosh and Linux

    Writing in ZDnet.com, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has an interesting article. Well, it was interesting to me, and I suspect anyone else interested in the future of computing will enjoy reading it also. Vaughan-Nichols points out that the number of Windows XP computers has now slipped to slightly under 50% of all installed personal computers. Windows Vista remains steady at 10% and Windows 7 has edged up slightly to about 28% of the market. The small remaining percentages comprise Macintosh OS X plus a tiny handful of people who use Linux.

  • Indemnification assurance for community edition open source

    Bristol-based LinuxIT is launching an indemnification programme to underwrite community-based open source software. The company claims to be able to provide organisations with a “guarantee and assurance at zero risk”, no less.

    This arguably somewhat questionable claim is achieved by LinuxIT’s process of “verifying open source software” by running it through an accreditation process.

    The programme which is backed by an as yet unnamed “leading” global insurance-based financial services provider and a LinuxIT Service Level Agreement (SLA), which the company says enables LinuxIT to fix or replace software that does not work as expected. Cover to the value of £5m is provided.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux on the Server Side Helps ‘Desktop Linux’

      The myths about “desktop Linux” are mostly associated and tied to “easy of use”. Many people, mostly ones with next to zero experience when it comes to GNU/Linux, have blindly decided that the slow growth of GNOME and KDE is due to an inherent problem other than marketing. But perceptions are changing when people discover that they are surrounded by GNU/Linux, even if their own client machine does not run a Free/libre operating system.

    • Linux Netbook Review: ZaReason Teo Pro Netbook

      The Teo Pro is yet another netbook running Ubuntu Linux and equipped with the venerable Atom N450. In fact, spec wise the Teo Pro is almost identical to the Terra HD except that the Teo Pro has a 10.1 inch 1024×600 LCD and one less USB port. Everything else in the loaner they sent me is equivalent to the Terra HD. As shipped, my loaner had a Atom N450, Intel NM10 Chipset, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, Intel HD Audio, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1.3 Megapixel Webcam, 10/100 Ethernet, 2 GB of ram and a 40 GB SSD. The default configuration opts for a 320 GB 5400 RPM hard disk and 1 GB Ram. The SSD makes this netbook a little faster than my normal netbook since it has a set of spinning platters.

    • KVM Virtualization: Ready for the Desktop?

      There are almost more virtualization tools out there today than even Wikipedia can count. KVM, however, stands out among them as perhaps the only free, non-commercial and open source hypervisor designed for enterprise-grade performance. And it’s come far in its (comparatively) short life — so far, in fact, that it may be time to consider it as a virtualization solution for the desktop as well as the server.

      KVM, which stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine and has nothing to do with KVM switches, is a somewhat younger project than most of its major competitors including VMware’s hypervisors, VirtualBox and Xen. It’s also different from many other virtualization tools because it focuses on deep integration with the kernel itself, theoretically providing performance advantages over hypervisors that exist mainly in userspace.

    • 5 great uses for your old Windows computer

      Linux tester. Many Linux users start with an older machine to avoid the shame of buyer’s remorse (or, well, installer’s remorse, anyway). Linux isn’t a resource hog, so even decrepit old machines can usually handle it with grace and style. If you’re curious, it’s incredibly simple to install Ubuntu, and much easier than you would think to actually make a complete transition from Windows.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • A Look at the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard 3.0

      It was big news when the 3.0 kernel was released at the end of July, but as luck would have it, another fundamental piece of your average distribution is about to bump its own version number up to 3.0 as well: the filesystem hierarchy standard (FHS). If you’re not sure exactly what that means or why you should care, don’t worry. It’s the distros that implement the FHS — when it goes well, all you know is that your system runs smoothly. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing important hidden away in this new release.

    • Linux Creator Linus Torvalds and Other Hackers Don Penguin Suits, Tuxedos at Formal Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Linux
    • The First Shot Towards GStreamer 1.0

      Back in June I mentioned the plans for GStreamer 1.0 and that work is now beginning to materialize. GStreamer 0.11 has just been officially released as the first development snapshot for what will turn into the notable GStreamer 1.0 release.

    • Intel Sandy Bridge Speeds Up On Linux 3.1 Kernel

      Last week the DRM pull went in for the Linux 3.1 kernel. For the Intel DRM graphics driver in the Linux kernel there is frame-buffer compression clean-ups, high color support, ring frequency scaling, shared LLC support, and hang-check module disabling. Compared to the Linux 3.0 kernel, the driver improvements significantly boost the open-source graphics performance for Intel Sandy Bridge hardware.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Multiple X Servers For One Graphics Card, Again

        One of the long sought after features of X.Org and the Linux graphics stack has been the ability to run multiple X Servers from a single graphics card. While this wouldn’t be used by many, there are still many interested in seeing this feature request become a reality.

      • A Handful Of Patches Arrive For Wayland
      • NVIDIA 280 Linux Driver Series Becomes Official
      • A Modular Rendering System For ioquake3 Engine

        The ioquake3 game engine, the open-source project built around id Software’s Quake 3 engine release and is used by a number of multi-platform games, has its rendering system now modularized.

        The ioquake3 project has long had asspirations to move to a modular rendering system (see this Wiki page from last uear) in order to modernize this Quake 3 engine adaptation while maintaining compatibility with original Quake 3 content. In particular, developers are interested in modernizing the graphics and content capabilities.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • OpenBox 3.5.0 Window Manager Released

      OpenBox, the window manager originally derived from Blackbox and is used by the LXDE desktop environment and other niche configurations, has just reached its version 3.5 milestone release.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • new Plasma Active repos
      • Shadow and no Oxygen
      • Amarok 2.4.3 “Berlin”

        As you may remember, the last beta release was 2.4.2 beta 1. After that, we did roll a 2.4.2 (final) tarball, but because of some issues which were fixed right after the tag we decided to make another tarball and call it 2.4.3.

      • Kde 4.7 Released And In The Wild

        If you are a 4.6 user who has just upgraded, don’t expect to be aware of major changes the first time you reboot. Some of the core applications have been updated, but most of the work has gone into improving the underlying frameworks. The applications themselves have been shifted to a greater reliance on Akonadi, the PIM storage framework and NEPOMUK, the semantic information database.

        Kontact is the KDE PIM suite that includes email, contacts and appointments. Again, don’t expect to see many apparent differences when using the applications as most of the changes take the form of a switch to Anakondi for data storage. The mail component, Kmail is an example of this as it has been rechristened Kmail 2, although it looks almost identical to the previous version.

      • Modular KDE 4.7.0 arrives for Slackware

        The 4.7.0 release comes in the form of many more tarballs than usual. I needed to find time to re-write the KDE.SlackBuild we use to compile all of the KDE-related packages, and the holiday period was the first time I found some time to think and work on the script. I took the modular X.Org script and modeled the new KDE.SlackBuild after that. The advantage with the new script is that new source tarballs can easily be incorporated into the build framework now, and the new package that would be created from that source takes only a few extra lines of configuration to be added. Unfortunately, writing and testing took a while, and you had to wait for a complete set of packages a little longer.

      • Continuous Integration for KWin
      • New Pup is Born, Dolphin 2.0

        Dolphin, that underappreciated file manager shipped with KDE, has had a hard time. Many users didn’t want it in the first place. Many were upset that it replaced Konqueror as the default file manager. Some have real complaints and will never be happy with it. But those who use Dolphin might be happy with some of the newest changes coming in KDE 4.8.

        Peter Penz today blogged about his latest work on Dolphin and the major improvement he discussed was the “view-engine” for the view mode. Dolphin currently uses Qt’s Interview Framework which might be slow, unstable, and a pain for developers to work with. For these reasons Penz said he will be switching to Itemviews-NG which is said to make things “simpler, faster, and easier to use.”

      • Phonon VLC 0.4.1 – The Rise of Legacy Media

        This thrilling new release of the VLC backend for Phonon features vastly improved subtitle loading, support for it, s3m and xm, as well as greater stability in case of a broken libvlc installation.

      • Try KDE 4.7.0 now
      • Improvements in KOrganizer 4.7
      • KDE 4.7 – You didn’t think you would get off that easily, would you?
      • wetabirific

        Last week, I received a WeTab, hansomely provided into my care by the folks at OpenSLX so that I can track Plasma Active development on that device. Getting it set up was quite straight forward, particularly as the one I received already had firmware that supported booting from external media. Perfect. After a few small glitches related to the release of Plasma Workspaces 4.7, which caused some of the repositories to move around for us, I got the thing up and running. There are still some rough edges, and I’m hoping Sebastian and I can huddle together during the upcoming Berlin Desktop Summit to file some of them off as he probably currently has more experience with the WeTab and Plasma Active than anyone else.

        One result of having the WeTab in my hands is that I’ve been able to start collecting a list of tasks that need attention between now and the 1.0 release of Contour. It’s also giving me great hands-on opportunities with Plasma Active on a device of this form factor.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Visual Identity manual
      • Can GNOME 3 Become the Next Big Open Source UI Contender?

        To my surprise, GNOME Shell in its latest iteration actually worked relatively well. Not only was it stable — more stable, in fact, than the normal Ubuntu 11.04 interface, which has been crashing my Intel Sandy Bridge graphics driver periodically for reasons I’m still trying to track down — but it was also actually usable, a far cry from the last (beta) version of the interface I’d tested.

  • Distributions

    • FOSS, Linux, Distros and Life

      Distros. Fool me once, shame on you. My dear wife and I have come to the realization that distros are willing to throw their users to the curb for any or no reason. Those of you who drive the distro development need to pay more attention to your users. In fact, that is the only thing you should be looking at. I or we shall use what works. Make it hard to set up or hard to install missing whatevers and we will just download and try the other guy’s distro. If we have a distro we like and the community within that distro is rude or unfriendly, well I guess we know where we do not belong. Some of the communities that are distro-specific have become exclusionary to the extreme. They will not play with others. I live in a town of 12,000 or so people. We have 13 different churches, all Christian, and 14 AA groups. So maybe I am wrong, being divisive may be the way of the future? Group hug?

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCD & Parted Magic update to Linux 3.0

        The developers of the SystemRescueCd and the Parted Magic multi-platform partitioning tool have released new versions of their Linux distributions. Both of the updates are based on the latest 3.0 release of the Linux kernel and offer a number of changes and package updates, such as Firefox 5 and version 0.9.0 of the GNOME Partition Editor (GParted).

        Version 6.4 of Parted Magic has some “major improvements” on systems with Radeon and Mobile4 graphics cards. Other changes include updating Clonezilla to version 1.2.9-19. The developers also note that SMP support was removed from the i486 kernel, and an option to use the NV driver has been added to the failsafe menu due to issues with the Nouveau X.org driver.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Japanese in PCLinuxOS? Of course!

        After having installed PCLinuxOS 2011.6, I must say that I am very pleased with it. Differently from Mandriva 2010.2, I can see videos and listen to MP3 files out of the box and I don’t need to fiddle with the system to mount the partitions where my other Linux distributions are. It seems that everything works as expected. Great!

        But I still had one concern. Although I’m not a power user, for my work, I require a feature that is not very common: a Japanese input method editor. That’s one major area (of the many) where Windows 7 fails miserably; you are expected to pay more to obtain a Japanese-capable system, which is a rip off because regular XP did include a Japanese IME. Oh, well, we are familiar with the “Less-is-more” philosophy underlying Windows…Too bad it doesn’t apply to your pocket ;-)

      • Mageia 1

        It’s unfortunate that as venerable a distro as Mandriva ran into some corporate trouble. However, I’ve always been the type that believes you should make lemonade out of lemons and so apparently are the Mageia developers. They have taken a bad situation and turned it into something very positive indeed! Mageia is off to a very good start and I look forward to seeing more releases of this fine distro.

        I particularly like how community-oriented Mageia is; the Mageia developers have made it very easy for users to participate and help develop this distro. That’s a great approach and I think it will reap a lot of dividends for Mageia as the years go by and this distro matures.

      • Time for some news

        As most of you who are following either my twitter or facebook has already noticed, I am working at Intel now, within the Intel Linux Graphics group.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Review: CentOS 6.0

        So what’s the deal? CentOS is outwardly identical to Scientific Linux except for four things: branding, lack of boot splash, lack of multimedia codecs included out-of-the-box, and lack of compositing/desktop effects out-of-the-box.

      • Red Hat completes 10 years of Linux Kernel Leadership

        This milestone presents a good opportunity to reflect on what has been an exciting and vibrant period of time

        The recent numbering change in the Linux kernel brings to a close a 10 year history of the prior kernel series. This milestone presents a good opportunity to reflect on what has been an exciting and vibrant period of time – over 10 million lines of code have been added to the Linux kernel. This is a great testament to the power of community. Over time, the contribution levels among companies has fluctuated, however, Red Hat has consistently been among the top employer contributors. The fine folks at LWN in cooperation with several developers have long maintained statistics and reported results.

      • Red Hat Extends Open Source Summer Teaching Program to the Academic Year

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the expansion of its Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) 2011 that took place in late July in Raleigh, NC. Now in it third year, POSSE is a higher education faculty program that immerses professors in the culture, tools and practices of open source communities. Due to the overwhelming success of this year’s summer weekend workshop, several POSSE activities are scheduled throughout the 2011-2012 North American school year.

      • Fedora

        • Governance and scarcity.

          Recall the friction a year or two ago regarding how to advertise different spins of Fedora on the website, and whether or not the layout would recommend a default spin, or promote one spin as a first-among-equals. Real estate on the front page of fedoraproject.org is a scarce resource, which leads to lots of people debating the most efficient way to allocate it.

    • Debian Family

      • Debconf

        I’m very excited about the recent progress on expo.debian.net (a mentors.debian.net replacement), which could help streamline our sponsorship process.

      • Recent improvements with Debian GNU/kFreeBSD

        Debian GNU/kFreeBSD was first released with Squeeze in last february. The “technology preview” label indicated, among other things, that it had a number of limitations when compared with what users would expect: missing features, incomplete functionality, etc.

      • Derivatives

        • Aptosid 2011-02: is it any good?

          Aptosid is Debian-based Linux distribution aiming desktops of users wishing to live on cutting edge of technology. It is based on Debian Sid, which is unstable branch. Sid is kind of sandbox where developers can test their ideas before they are moved to Testing and eventually to Stable releases. It means that while Debian as whole is considered by many as rock-solid system, Sid should never be considered as such. And this is a platform for Aptosid.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Software Centre’s New Look

            Few people would argue that the Ubuntu Software Cenre in its current forms needs a makeover. Thankfully it is getting one, although whether or not it will be ready in time for Oneiric’s release in October is a whole different debate.

          • Interview with Em
          • Many Ubuntu Users Still Hate The Unity Desktop

            Two weeks ago on Phoronix it was asked what do you dislike or hate about Ubuntu? This was following a discussion on the Ubuntu development list about Ubuntu developer applicants being asked about what they like the least about Ubuntu. The overwhelming response among Phoronix readers was clear: they still really hate the Unity desktop.

          • Getting to know Ubuntu Software Center

            For all of Ubuntu’s ease of use (and, yes, I do find it easy to use), installing software can be a pain. There are so many ways to do the deed: manually installing software, using apt-get, compiling, using .deb packages. And, of course, my (least) favourite: Synaptic Package Manager).

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 226
          • Canonical Sees Seven Opportunities for Ubuntu Partners

            Seeking to promote Ubuntu to resellers and distributors, Canonical is making a surprise appearance this week at CompTIA Breakaway in Washington, D.C. Here, Canonical is outlining seven potential profit opportunities for partners that back Ubuntu, a Linux distribution that has mobile, desktop, server and cloud computing capabilities. Equally important, Canonical is promoting Landscape — a remote management tool — for VARs and MSPs.

          • New game titles in the Ubuntu Software Center

            We’ve recently added a few titles to the Ubuntu Software Center and have been hard at work on getting more diverse applications landed there. BEEP! by Big Fat Alien and Heileen from Hanako Games have recently landed in the Software Center.

          • Ubuntu IVI Remix receives GENIVI Alliance Compliance Approval
          • Unity Facebook App Adds Muti-photo Uploads and Easier Installation
          • What’s Not To Like About Ubuntu?

            Phoronix recently ran a survey, asking users to tell them what they dislike (or hate) about Ubuntu. The results are interesting, but seem to me to be completely predictable to everyone except Canonical themselves. What do users hate the most? Unity, of course. A couple of others hit some of my pet peeves as well – such as the “Not Invented Here” syndrome, which causes Ubuntu to put massive amounts of effort into re-inventing things (often inferior), and their general slowness in updating packages. That slowness extends beyond the inherent delay because they try to make major package updates in conjunction with their own 6-month release cycle, to situations where they really fall significantly behind an upstream package release even after they have made their own 6-month release.

          • The Road to Alpha 3

            All the changes in this week’s desktop team report have landed for the Alpha 3 release of Oneiric that will be out sometime today.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 – behind the scenes with Oneiric Ocelot

            Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 (otherwise known as Oneiric Ocelot) is available today. The sub-cycle between Alpha 2 and 3 has been quite intensive with a number of things taking place, says Dave Walker, Ubuntu Server’s technical lead…

          • Canonical Expands Partnerships with Game Developers
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Arios and gNatty – two interesting remaster of Ubuntu

              Maybe you are disappointed by Unity and looking for something new? But you would not like to go away from the known Ubuntu environment?

              Of course, Ubuntu like any Linux distribution, you can customize the look and the behaviour in the way you want. Depending on the knowledge you have, it will be more or less successfully. Or if you do not have time to adjust, try some of the already finished remaster . You may find some that you will like.
              Arios and gNatty are two remaster of Ubuntu using Ubuntu 11.04 as a basis for the operating system.
              Arios is configured to be an usable distribution, while gNatty it’s just an interesting concept that still needs a lot of work.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Why the Tablet Craze?

        I made a post last year titled “The Year of the Tablet Computer”. It is now over half way through 2011 and it seems the touch screen craze is far from over. Apple has released the second iteration of their iPad, we are up to our ears in Android tablets from various hardware makers and a Meego tablet or two might still exist before the year is up. I’ve played with the iPad a bit, I’ve used more than a few different Android tablets (I even own one for purposes of developing Bodhi for ARM) and I must say I’m confused what all the hype is about.

      • Tablet for toddlers runs Android 2.3

        A start-up called Vinci is taking pre-orders at Amazon.com for a seven-inch Android 2.3 tablet designed as an educational tool for toddlers. The safety-compliant Vinci Tab is equipped with a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 4GB or 8GB of flash, a seven-inch, 800 x 480 touchscreen, a three-megapixel camera, a wrap-around handle, and a variety of early-learning apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Helps eBay Process $2000 Per Second

    The online auction house eBay continuously executes $2,000 worth of transactions a second and, to do so, requires a highly reliable transaction processing environment. EBay recently revealed that a key element of its transaction software is the WSO2 open source enterprise service bus (ESB).

  • Netatalk returns to open source

    NetAFP, the Netatalk developers, have announced that they are to resume open development of Netatalk and have updated the project’s git repository with the latest source. In early July, NetAFP, the Netatalk developers, announced they were only making the source code for Netatalk 2.2.0 available to paying customers. The timing of the move was well chosen as, within weeks of that, Apple released its latest version of Mac OS X, Lion, which uses AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) 3.3. The latest version of AFP mandates support for Replay Cache functionality and this feature is also required by Lion’s Time Machine.

  • Free Software for Little People: Interview

    Right, so I said I would follow up on the last post on this topic by asking a few questions to the comic’s creators, and I have! I dropped them an e-mail, Effy even tranSL:ated the first message for me, sent a few questions and these are their answers. I hope you find it interesting, I’m sure the team behind the comic will be pleased to hear any thoughts or further questions you have in the comments below.

    The interview was collaborately answered by: Iris Fernandez and Franco Iacomella (scrip authors); Emmanuel Cerino and Ivan Zigaran (artists).

  • Events

    • OSCON 2011: Open Source has moved from “disruption to default”

      Portland Oregon is (apparently) famous for rain, rose gardens and (now) OSCON, the open source conference now in its 13th year.

      Staged under the banner of O’Reilly technical publishing, this event’s ex-post “content” is now all online, so rather than preview the event, I am going to point to a couple of links now fully live.

    • Back from OSCon
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • The Subverted GPL

      Just look at how the GPL has been subverted by the client-server model. You are never technically in possession of the software – only the output – so it is apparently exempt from any distribution clauses your license may have. BSD, GPL, doesn’t matter – you can’t get the code. The only one that apparently solves this issue is the AGPL and nobody ever seems to use it. The valued ‘freedoms’ are almost entirely gone with the client-server approach. Want the code to the modifications I have made on this site? Tough. As an end user you still have no rights to the code nor the modifications made. Yet there seems to be little to no attention made to this fact despite the large focus on ‘freedom’. Surely putting two computers in a box with a VNC setup is enough to defeat the GPL entirely given these circumstances? It’s certainly massively against the spirit of the thing but is this ever even discussed? Or is it just GPL, praise, praise, when the actual license is irrelevant?

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Developer Glimpse Proves Balance

      Florian Effenberger recently posted statistics of the number of developers contributing to the LibreOffice project. Several months ago, Cedric Bosdonnat offered data on the number of contribution and contributors from the various sources. While Effenberger’s post provides much less detail, it still provides a glimpse into the composition of the growing community.

  • CMS

    • New features for the Mollom module for Drupal

      We have just released new versions of the Mollom module for Drupal 6 and Drupal 7.

    • State of Drupal 2011 survey

      The last time I organized a State of Drupal survey was in 2008. The results of the 2008 survey were instrumental in shaping Drupal 7 as well as directing the work of the Drupal Association on drupal.org.

      Now three years later, I created a new survey. The results of this survey will guide thousands of people in the Drupal community over the next two years.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.0 Goes Into Beta

      It seems that finally hitting the FTP mirrors are the ISO images for the first FreeBSD 9.0 beta. This is the first dramatic update to the FreeBSD operating system in nearly two years since the FreeBSD 8.0 release. FreeBSD 9.0 is officially expected to be released in September.

    • PC-BSD Goes Into 9.0 Beta With New Features

      Following the news yesterday that FreeBSD 9.0 Beta 1 is now available, the PC-BSD crew has spun their first 9.0 beta release. Beyond incorporating the updates from FreeBSD 9.0, the PC-BSD 9.0 release is set to carry other desktop-friendly advancements on top.

      Among the PC-BSD 9.0 Beta 1 features are support for multiple window managers, support for meta-pkgs, an improved PBI system, a new AppCafe, an updated installer, network setup GUI improvements, a new system-update utility, a new backup utility, and a new PC-BSD control panel.

    • Memory File System in FreeBSD
  • Public Services/Government

    • EU-law on re-use of public sector data may include source code

      Public administrations in the EU facing resistance to their publishing of software as open source, are likePublic administrations in the EU facing resistance to their publishing of software as open source, are likely supported by a European Law, the ‘Directive on the re-use of public sector information’. The PSI-directive, part of member states’ national laws since 2005, obliges public administrations to avoid discrimination between market players, when making information available for re-use. Making source code available as open source is one way to avoid favouritism. ly supported by a European Law, the ‘Directive on the re-use of public sector information’. The PSI-directive, part of member states’ national laws since 2005, obliges public administrations to avoid discrimination between market players, when making information available for re-use. Making source code available as open source is one way to avoid favouritism.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Space Exploration Gets Open Sourced

        Last week, O’Reilly’s OSCON 2011 dished out a couple of courses of open source for space exploration, with NASA discussing its General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT) and Ariel Waldman plugging the concept of “Hacking Space Exploration.” NASA is also bragging about the launch of its open government blog at open.nasa.gov.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Privacy

    • In Defense of Internet Anonymity — Again

      A second flashpoint is the anti-pseudonym policy of the new social networking site Google+. Part of the problem is that Google appears to have been caught by surprise on the issue, and has applied its terms of service inconsistently, banning some users of pseudonyms from all Google services, and restricting others to read only access. There are even rumors that Google is preventing its employees from speaking on the matter, and that a massive internal debate is happening inside Google.

      But equally important is the fact that Google+ is applying the policy so strictly that even long established pseudonyms are rejected, as well as any names that are judged by Google employees to be false. Even the common practice among Chinese and other nationals of assuming an unofficial English name seems to have been rejected by Google in some instances.

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  2. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  3. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  4. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  5. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  6. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

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  7. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

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  8. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

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  9. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  10. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  11. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  12. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  13. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  14. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  15. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  16. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  17. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  18. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

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  19. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  20. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  21. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

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  22. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

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  24. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  25. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  26. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  28. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  29. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs



  30. Black Duck's Latest Self-Promotional Propaganda (for Proprietary Software) Still Fools Journalists

    Under the traditionally misleading title "Future of Open Source" Black Duck expresses its desire for proprietary software sales, salivating over fearful managers who may get bamboozled into buying the patents-'protected' Black Duck 'product'


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