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08.12.11

Links 12/8/2011: CompuLab Trim Slice With GNU/Linux; Rioters Analysed

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Does linux Need Defrag ?

    I’d actually strongly suggest not defraging … the reason behind this? Even on windows most defraggers have 2 options, 1 Defragment, 2 Compact … sometimes called something different, but the end result’s the same.

  • Linux Distros: When It Absolutely, Positively Has to Be Secure

    From a security perspective of Linux reliability, most attacks occur at the kernel level.

  • Desktop

    • CompuLab Trim Slice H mini computer – small but powerful

      If you’re interested, there is a couple of choices to pick from – the Trim Slice H Diskless that lets you include your own hard drive or SSD for $279, but if you think that you can afford to fork out $319 for the H250, then taking that route will let you enjoy Linux pre-installed on a 250GB hard drive.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • [Linus Torvalds view of Kernel 'Voodoo']

      We shouldn’t do voodoo stuff. Or rather, I’m perfectly ok if you guys all do your little wax figures of me in the privacy of your own homes – freedom of religion and all that – but please don’t do it in the kernel.

    • XtreemFS 1.3.0 release candidate arrives with new licence

      The developers of the open source distributed and replicated file system, XtreemFS, have announced, after almost a year of development, the first release candidate for version 1.3. The new version offers cross-site replication with auto-failover as its major new feature, allowing it to work in potentially unreliable cloud environments.

  • Applications

    • Stellarium – A free planetarium software for star gazing in Ubuntu

      Stellarium is an open-source planetarium program that has gained a considerable popularity together with other free and open-source astronomical programs such as Celestia and KStars. What makes Stellarium a standout among a plethora of other contenders is its balance of features and the simplicity it offers for a novice user while maintaining a high scientific accuracy

    • FreeCAD – Free 3d CAD application for Linux

      FreeCAD is an Open Source CAx RAD based on OpenCasCade, Qt and Python. It features some key concepts like macro recording, workbenches, ability to run as a server and dynamically loadable application extensions and it is designed to be platform independent.

    • LogMeIn launches VPN.net
    • An Overview of the Node Package Manager

      NPM is a package management and distribution system for Node. It has become the de-facto standard for distributing modules (packages) for use with Node. Conceptually it’s similar to tools like apt-get (Debian), rpm/yum (Redhat/Fedora), MacPorts (Mac OS X), CPAN (Perl), or PEAR (PHP). It’s purpose is publishing and distributing Node packages over the Internet using a simple command-line interface. With npm you can quickly find packages to serve specific purposes, download them, install them, and manage packages you’ve already installed. npm defines a package format for Node largely based on the CommonJS Package spec.

    • Review: RawTherapee 3.0 on Linux

      The open source raw photo editor RawTherapee released version 3.0 at the end of July, with a revamped interface and a new palette of photo tools. RawTherapee is noteworthy for several reasons, including the fact that builds are available for Mac OS X and Windows, in addition to Linux. But this release also marks the first major update to the program since it was made free software. Let’s take a look.

      In the two years since developer Gabor Horvath switched from a proprietary licensing system to the GPLv3, a small team of contributors has grown up around the RawTherapee code. Many are users of non-Linux OSes, which is good for the outreach side of promoting open source. On the RawTherapee downloads page, you can grab installers for Windows and Mac machines, as well as 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the application packaged for the Ubuntu and Gentoo distributions. A separate page lists build for other distros, including Fedora.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • A foundation for the desktop – one apple, two ideas

      The story of the free software desktop is littered with what-ifs and might-have-beens. The desktop has been ‘good enough’ for years, and can boast some considerable success stories, but has yet to make a significant breakthrough.

      On the face of it, the free software desktop should be an easy choice. The average GNU/Linux desktop costs little, looks good and performs well, and offers a real opportunity to break the upgrade cycle. Cost, security, scalability and versatility are persuasive arguments for the free desktop, but other factors have worked against the uptake of Linux at the corporate level.

      Inertia among users is usually given as the reason and users are made to take the blame, but perhaps there are simpler explanations. The desktop has been left in the hands of the Linux companies, and the Linux companies are many and small. Many have come with grand ambitions and some with high ideals, but few have stayed the course.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KMyMoney 4.6.0 adds CSV import
      • Kate Turning 10 Years Old

        We almost missed it, but 10 years ago Kate was included in KDE’s CVS repository and shipped the first time with KDE 2.2.

      • Plasma Active, the stage is yours

        Thanks a lot to Intel for passing around the ExoPC at the AppUp workshop yesterday. Its kind of nice hardware to start developing for Intel based tablets, whereas for normal use, the battery life and weight is kind of problematic. I really like the idea to be able to write nice and shiny Qt applications which run both on MeeGo and Windows and the AppUp store is really open in respect to allowing distribute open source software.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Rocks 5.4.3 Now Available
      • ConnochaetOS 0.9.0 Released to Replace DeLi Linux

        When I first saw that ConnochaetOS 0.9.0 had been released, I thought a new distribution had appeared. But alas, upon close inspection it turns out that ConnochaetOS is the predecessor of DeLi Linux. Because it seemed like years since I last heard anything about DeLi, I figured I’d take a look this new submission.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity Update Part 2: Music Lens, Indicator Changes And More

            Further to our look earlier today at the design changes that Unity 2D in Ubuntu 11.10 is sporting, here is short burst of screen shots and tid-bits on changes to Ubuntu proper.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Latest Updates Revealed The New LightDM Login Theme | Video Preview

            Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 development release comes with the default LightDM display manager login theme, but after installing recently available updates for Ubuntu 11.10 Alpha 3 Oneiric Ocelot! it has a new polished theme as we have seen earlier in this post.

          • Bad to worse? New ubuntu unity design ignites heated arguments

            The unity shell and the top panel was always a design headache for those who behind the development. The design in its current form itself was criticized by many and was one of the reasons why many people hated unity. The daily builds of the unity 2D had a new iteration of the design apparently trying to solve some of the issues associated with the desktop shell. The new design now is now causing far more criticism than the current version.

          • Get Set for Thunderbird Email, Other Changes, in Ubuntu 11.10

            The next major release of Ubuntu is imminent, and it will bring with it some significant improvements and big changes. While some users are still getting to know Natty Narwhal, version 11.04, Ubuntu 11.10, dubbed “Oneiric Ocelot,” is due on October 13th. Several alpha versions of Ocelot have appeared already, but now the new version has had a feature freeze, according to the Ubuntu wiki. Here are some of the changes you can expect in Ubuntu version 11.10.

          • Natty Narwhal netbook: The ultimate network administrator toolkit

            You can be the coolest and best-equipped network administrator on the block with Ubuntu Natty Narwhal Linux on a netbook. Netbooks are lightweight and portable, have long battery life, and bright sharp screens — and, thanks to Linux and open source, you can outfit your netbook with all the software network troubleshooting and fixit utilities you’ll ever need.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Ice Cream Sandwich Coming, Images Leaked

          arking the end of so-called fragmentation, Android Ice Cream Sandwich is getting ready for the prime-time. According to reports there are couple of screenshots of the development version of Ice Cream Sandwich making their rounds on the Internet.

          We have gather reports from different source and present you will the picture. Looking at these rumored reports, there is no doubt that iOS 5 will be left far behind and no surprises if Apple will blatantly copy some of these features.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Programming, creativity and open source

    There are people who think software development is devoid of creativity. Of course, anyone who has even a passing interest in development, or, say, has ever found him- or herself having a late night chat in a disreputable Sydney pub with a Drupal/Node.js developer, knows that this is untrue.

    It’s not just the programming process itself — breaking down a problem into its component parts and figuring out how to solve it in the most efficient (or least dangerous!) way possible — that involves creativity

  • Twitter runs open source for developer website
  • Twitter to open source streaming data analyzer
  • Open Source Phone System with Twilio OpenVBX

    OpenVBX comes packaged with Twilio Client, allowing users to make calls directly from the browser and if their status is set to available, they will be able to receive calls right in the browser.

  • Events

    • Linux marking 20 years in Vancouver

      Linux is celebrating its 20th birthday this year—and the party’s officially coming to Vancouver.

    • Session on future directions of FOSS held

      The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) held a consultation session on ‘Future directions of FOSS in India’ at Technopark here on Tuesday in order to establish future directions for the use and promotion of free and open source software in the country.
      The consultation session is first of a series of similar sessions.

  • SaaS

    • Nebula Cloud Project Gets Buzz, But Will Proprietary Players Taint It?

      In case you’ve missed it, Nebula, a new startup from former NASA CTO Chris Kemp, which is focused on open source technology for large private cloud deployments, is generating a lot of hubbub. Nebula is billed as a way for many companies and organizations to leverage the kind of muscle in the cloud that Google and Facebook do, at a fraction of the cost. Simon Phipps has noted that at OSCON, luminaries such as Bill Joy and Al Gore waxed rhapsodic in a video about Nebula. Here is more on what Nebula is all about, including some concerns about whether proprietary players might taint its open source focus.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK Digital Future to Fail Without Government Focus

      The Government needs to invest in training developers in open source platforms if the country is to stand a chance of competing with its American and European counterparts in digital development.

      Open source software is extremely valuable for web companies in the UK but many are experiencing skills shortages that are stalling their growth.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Willow Garage Announces Availability of New PR2 Robot for $200,000

        The combination of PR2 and the open source Robot Operating System (ROS) means that researchers benefit from immediate time to innovation. Right out of the box, the PR2 and ROS provide a complete, integrated hardware and software platform for research and development in the personal robotics field.

Leftovers

  • Solving Microsoft’s hard problem

    Microsoft has a problem to solve. On the one hand, open source is not going away – its distributed, modular and iterative approach clearly has many advantages compared to traditional top-down development techniques when it comes to writing and maintaining complex code. On the other hand, Microsoft has spent over a decade propagating variegated FUD against it (although it’s true that it has adopted a more accommodating stance in recent years, what with the release of odd bits of code under open source licences, and various attempts to snuggle up to some open source projects).

    Still, Microsoft’s basic stance remains the same: free software is OK for certain, limited situations, but for serious, enterprise-y stuff you need honest-to-goodness closed source. Given that, how can it begin to tap into the power of open source for its major projects without seeming to admit it got it all wrong, and that open source is actually a better approach?

  • Rupert Murdoch endorses Carey as next in line

    Rupert Murdoch acknowledged publicly for the first time that his son James is not the preferred choice to succeed him as News Corp. CEO, at least in the near-term.

  • Generation F*cked

    The UN’s first ever report on the state of childhood in the industrialized West made unpleasant reading for many of the world’s richest nations. But none found it quite so hard to swallow as the Brits, who, old jokes about English cooking aside, discovered that they were eating their own young.

    According to the Unicef report, which measured 40 indicators of quality of life – including the strength of relationships with friends and family, educational achievements and personal aspirations, and exposure to drinking, drug taking and other risky behavior – British children have the most miserable upbringing in the developed world. American children come next, second from the bottom.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Aggression during G20 rally ‘perpetrated by police,’ judge rules

      A Toronto judge has ruled that “adrenalized” police officers acted as aggressors at a peaceful political rally that led to dozens of arrests during last year’s G20 summit.

      “The only organized or collective physical aggression at that location that evening was perpetrated by police each time they advanced on demonstrators,” Justice Melvyn Green ruled on Thursday. He was referring to a demonstration at Queen St. and Spadina Ave. on Saturday, June 26, 2010.

    • The Patriot Act and the End of the Rule of Law

      Since 9/11, we are living in a political state where personal privacy, free flow of information and freedom of association have been diminished as a result of the Patriot Act, which weakens the rights of individuals while increasing the military and police power of the state and federal governments. The executive branch has undermined the rule of law by eroding rights established in the Constitution. One example is the Bush administration’s use of offshore torture and rendition. Another is the failure to ask Congress for a Declaration of War before invading Iraq and other aggressive military expeditions. Another is the selected assassination of leaders like Osama Bin Laden.

    • London’s Rioters Are Thatcher’s Grandchildren: Pankaj Mishra

      I am often asked, when in the U.S. or Europe, whether I feel frightened while traveling through such obviously dangerous places as Afghanistan and Kashmir.
      It’s hard for me to explain, and so I never confess, that I feel more insecure on the streets of Tower Hamlets, a London borough just south of Tottenham and Hackney, the epicenters of London’s riots.
      Tower Hamlets, where I often go to work in a friend’s apartment, has among the highest rates of poverty, unemployment, overcrowding and crime in Britain. But it is not a ghetto. Segregation is more insidious, and inequality has shrewd disguises, in what is also one of London’s most diverse boroughs.

    • The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom

      I cannot accept that this is the case. Indeed, I believe that the criminality in our streets cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society. The last two decades have seen a terrifying decline in standards among the British governing elite. It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat. An almost universal culture of selfishness and greed has grown up.

    • Riot-smashed comic-shop window in Birmingham makes for inadvertent summation of England’s Current Situation

      Joe from Forbidden Planet sez, “A couple of our comics stores in Manchester and Birmingham got damaged during the awful riots this week (what sort of numpty attacks their local comics store?!) – luckily they didn’t get into the stores, it was just the frontage took some bruises and staff are all fine. One of our colleagues at our much loved Nostalgia & Comics store in Birmingham, David, sent us this photo which just seemed to sum things up rather nicely.”

    • The Debt Crisis and the War Economy: Pentagon Purchases $23 Billion Worth Of Global Hawk Drones

      With $14 trillion in the hole and a slew of wars seemingly no one wants America to be in, what better way for the United States to spend their money by putting $23 billion into spy planes?

    • Attacking the messenger: how the CIA tried to undermine drone study

      The US Central Intelligence Agency and unnamed ‘US officials’ are attempting to undermine the Bureau’s investigation into US drone strikes in Pakistan, it was revealed today. The attack is two-pronged.

    • Police monitor beaten in back of police van

      Independent police monitor punched and kicked to the head and legs in back of police van, while monitoring policing of disturbances. The Network for Police Monitoring will make a complaint to the Metropolitan police after one of its volunteers was arrested and beaten by police while monitoring the policing of disturbances in Enfield on the night of Sunday 7th August. Along with two others, Taherali Gulamhussein was stopped and searched by police under section 60 powers, which gives them the right to search for weapons.

    • China Gleefully Uses UK Desire For Censorship To Validate Its Own Censorship

      We’ve talked repeatedly of the blatant hypocrisy of many Western nations talking about the importance of internet freedom and condemning China (and others) for their internet censorship… while still wanting to censor at home. As we’ve warned, such efforts only give repressive regimes who censor the “cover” they need to continue. And, of course, with UK politicians looking to censor the internet to try to stop the riots, China has quickly used this as validation for its Great Firewall censorship:

  • Cablegate/Leaks

    • This week in WikiLeaks Press: 1-7 August
    • Thomas Drake; ‘Yes’ Would do it Again
    • Executive Order Responding to WikiLeaks Due Shortly

      The Obama Administration is putting the finishing touches on a new executive order that is intended to improve the security of classified information in government computer networks as part of the government’s response to WikiLeaks.

      The order is supposed to reduce the feasibility and the likelihood of the sort of unauthorized releases of classified U.S. government information that have been published by WikiLeaks in the past year.

    • Under the long arm of Indonesian intelligence

      IT WOULD seem an unremarkable venture – a group of American tourists visiting a cultural centre in the Papuan town of Abepura. But to one observer the event (lasting, as he later reported, precisely 35 minutes) was laden with potential significance.

      The man in the shadows as the visitors watched a traditional dance was an informant for Indonesia’s elite special forces unit, Kopassus. In a subsequent report, he noted that, while the visit had been ”safe and smooth”, there was no room for complacency. It was a point heartily endorsed by his Kopassus contact, Second Lieutenant Muhammad Zainollah, who alluded, in a report to his own commander, to the risk of foreign tourists ”influencing conditions of Papuan society”.

      ”Politically, there needs to be a deeper detection of the existence hidden behind it all,” he warned, ”because of the possibility of a process of deception … such as meetings with pro-independence groups.”

    • Realigning the Public Perceptions of Anonymous and Wikileaks.

      Proponents of Wikileaks identify Julian Assange as an international hero and liken him to the Founding Fathers of the United States. Critics cast Wikileaks as a nefarious syndicate deserving the label of foreign terrorist organization. Some go even further by demanding Julian Assange be given the death penalty or summary execution. In either case, the situation and stakes are clear. We are living in the age of the information revolution. The invention of the personal computer and internet connected us all. It also produced participatory democracy—on an unprecedented scale—that caught the international power elite completely off guard. Now we observe these power brokers frantically scrambling to return the naïveté of the public back to the levels prior to globalization in the wake of this technological empowerment.

      This should not come as a surprise. Authority figures rarely want to cede power to others. Nevertheless business leaders, government officials, and IGOs need to realize that there is no turning back. The technology is here to stay. The only question remaining is: where do we go from here? The consensus from these entities seems to be to target Wikileaks in order to cut the head off the proverbial snake. However, those who propose this measure fail to comprehend the size and scope of this lofty idea.

      The cyber security giant H.B. Gary realized this when it started testing the waters in defense of Bank of America. In anticipation of a presumably embarrassing document dump by Wikileaks, Bank of America retained H.B. Gary Federal—by recommendation of the U.S. Department of Justice—as a security consultant. Everything seemed okay and out of the public eye until the CEO of H.B. Gary, Aaron Barr, began antagonizing the internet activist group known as Anonymous, which operates in tandem with Wikileaks’ transparency efforts worldwide as a guard dog. In both private correspondences and public statements, Barr boasted of having information that would cripple the infrastructure of the group and render them ineffective.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Shell fights spill near North Sea oil platform

      Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has said it is working to stop a leak at one of its North Sea oil platforms.

      The leak was found near the Gannett Alpha platform, 180 km (113 miles) from Aberdeen, Scotland.

      The company would not say how much oil may have been spilt so far, though it said it had “stemmed the leak significantly”.

  • Finance

    • Italy turns on the ‘parasites on society’ in tax clampdown

      Italy has launched a hard-hitting television campaign against the country’s endemic tax evasion as Silvio Berlusconi’s government tries frantically to reassure Europe and the markets that it can reduce its massive public debt and avoid a Greek-style meltdown.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Civil Rights

    • 8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance

      Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination.

    • London Is the Surveillance Society’s Biggest

      london fullness.jpgFor several years now, the British media have been telling us that theirs is a surveillance society. “It could be the 4 million closed-circuit television cameras, or maybe the spy drones hovering overhead, but one way or another Britons know they are being watched. All the time. Everywhere,” Luke Baker wrote in a representative Reuters article published in 2007, going on to note that “Britain is now the most intensely monitored country in the world, according to surveillance experts, with 4.2 million CCTV cameras installed, equivalent to one for every 14 people.”

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