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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • 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


  • 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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  1. Public Protests by European Patent Office (EPO) Staff Weaken the EPO's Attacks on the Media

    Where things stand when it comes to the EPO's standoff against publications and why it's advisable for EPO staff to stage standoffs against their high-level management, which is behind a covert crackdown on independent media (while greasing up corporate media)

  2. Why the European Patent Office Cannot Really Sue and Why It's All -- More Likely Than Not -- Just SLAPP

    Legal analysis by various people explains why the EPO's attack dogs are all bark but no bite when it comes to threats against publishers

  3. How the EPO Twisted Defamation Law in a Failed Bid to Silence Techrights

    Using external legal firms (not the EPO's own lawyers), the EPO has been trying -- and failing -- to silence prominent critics

  4. East Texas and Its Cautionary Tale: Software Patents Lead to Patent Trolls

    Lessons from US media, which focuses on the dire situation in Texas courts, and how these relate to the practice of granting patents on software (the patent trolls' favourite weapon)

  5. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  6. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  7. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  8. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  9. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  10. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  11. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  12. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  13. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  14. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  15. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  16. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  17. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  18. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  19. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  20. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  21. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  26. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  27. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  28. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  29. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  30. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)


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