EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.13.11

Links – WebODF, Murdoch’s Legacy and some Patent Anti-Trust

Posted in Site News at 10:26 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Security

    • Why Hackers Find Many U.S. Companies Easy to Hack

      workers at big corporations are poorly trained in security, which makes it “ridiculously easy” for hackers to trick them and reveal key information to plan cyber attacks against them. … contestants successfully persuaded another employee to pass on information about the configuration of her PC. With the help of that information, a hacker can easily decide what would be the suitable malware to carry out the attack.

      This analysis blames users instead of the Microsoft monoculture present in most big companies. It’s true that corporate training is dismal, because Microsoft claims their software requiring no training, but the problem does not exist outside of Windows. With at least half of all Windows computers compromised, criminals already have their foot in the door of every company that uses Windows. The usual drive by web attacks and chain emails have done the job. The other pointed techniques can work, obviously, but would not outside a full Microsoft stack of buggy mail clients and browsers on top of Windows. The “suitable malware” is mostly for Windows.

    • Passwords by xkcd
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Goldman’s new money machine: warehouses

      A string of warehouses in Detroit, most of them operated by Goldman, has stockpiled more than a million tonnes of the industrial metal aluminium, about a quarter of global reported inventories.

    • Central Planning and The Fall of the US Empire

      an extreme concentration of wealth at the center of our market economy has led to a form of central planning. The concentration of wealth is now in so few hands and is so extreme in degree, that the combined liquid financial power of all of those not in this small group is inconsequential to determining the direction of the economy. As a result, we now have the equivalent of centralized planning in global marketplaces. A few thousand extremely wealthy people making decisions on the allocation of our collective wealth. The result was inevitable: gross misallocation across all facets of the private economy.

  • Anti-Trust

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • More of the Rupert Murdoch legacy.

      Viet Dinh, the guy who wrote the Patriot Act … That’s what News Corporation calls an “independent director”—the godfather of the CEO’s grandchild. … Michael Wolff writes about News Corp.’s “Mob-like structure.” It’s all about the organization. It’s an organization all about doing what Rupert wants you to do … the New York Post and Fox News maintain enemy lists. Almost anyone who has directly crossed these organizations, or who has made trouble for their parent company, will have felt the sting here. That sting involves regular taunting and, often, lies

    • More Murdoch

      Among the areas that the FBI is said to be looking at in its investigation of News Corp. are charges that one of its subsidiaries, News America Marketing, illegally hacked the computer system of a competitor, Floorgraphics, and then, using the information it had gleaned, tried to extort it into selling out to News Corp.; allegations that relationships the New York Post has maintained with New York City police officers may have involved exchanges of favors and possibly money for information; and accusations that Fox chief Roger Ailes sought to have an executive in the company, the book publisher Judith Regan, lie to investigators about details of her relationship with New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik in order to protect the political interests of Rudy Giuliani, then a presidential prospect.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Geeks Without Borders to the Rescue

      The Wi-Fi technology that GEEKS is pursuing is mesh networking technology. Specifically, open80211s (o11s), which implements the AMPE (Authenticated Mesh Peering Exchange) enabling multiple authenticated nodes to encrypt traffic between themselves. Mesh networks are essentially widely distributed wireless networks based on many repeaters throught a specific location.

      These measures would be good everywhere because they route around network censorship.

    • A few stories search engine hijacking through ISP provide DNS.

      12. One is from International Computer Science Institute the other from Microsoft and from the Polytechnic Institute of NYU but also has input from Google and EFF.

      But according to the EFF, “As of August 2011, all major ISPs involved have stopped proxying Google, but they still proxy Yahoo and Bing.” … “What feedback you do receive typically will come from a small group of highly technical users,” says Paxfire. “Even that feedback tends to fall away after just a few weeks—as they get used to the new behavior.”

      My ISP did this through DPI and redirected my typos to Bing even though I was using my own DNS, so the privacy issue and advertising swap out issues are not taken care of though the seach engine “hijack” may be better hidden. TOR and such are the only real solutions to the problem and NO, I’m not used to it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Software is Just Math. Really.

      there’s nothing remotely fuzzy about the distinction between physical objects and software. … You can simulate a nozzle with a computer program, but loading fluid dynamics equations into your laptop won’t turn it into a nozzle. To create a nozzle, you need physical substances like steel and plastic. Hence, a nozzle isn’t math, and it’s eligible for patent protection. A web browser, spreadsheet, or video game is just math, and therefore it’s not (at least according to the Supreme Court’s precedents) eligible for patent protection.-

    • All Your BASH are belong to Us.

      This is an awful story of confused copyright, trade secrets and bad faith. Employees spinning off their own company, TeamHPC, had ALL of their personal digital media confiscated by police to find, “Linux Software” belonging to the parent companies, Atipa Technologies and Microtech Computers. The FBI and local police kept it all for three years. There are nasty accusations of non payments, rolodex theft, etc. Now Microtech is claiming that bash scripts distributed with HPC clusters are trade secrets. The article lacks details about script ownership, licensing and NDAs but makes it look like Microtech is trying to claim ownership of “open source” scripts and has spent years harassing their former employees by abusing the legal system for anti-competitive purposes.

      … expecting a Bash script to protect a trade secret is like listing the recipe for Coca-cola on soft drink cans as part of the ingredients and expecting it not to be copied.

      Predictably, Microtech is a proud Microsoft Partner. This case could not undermine software freedom in general but people should shy away from Microsoft when it comes to gnu/linux service.

    • More details start to emerge in the Apple blocking of Samsung Galaxy Tab into the EU. Microsoft Florian managed to plant his hyperbole at the Guardian which echoed elsewhere PJ asks in her notes:

      Is it a “win” if you show up by yourself and the defendant doesn’t know it’s even happening?

      Apple should be ashamed of themselves to claim Android is a “slavish” copy of iPad’s look and feel. The interface concepts were developed by Palm and Handspring, particularly the Treo smartphone in the late 90s. People in doubt of Apple’s relative place in the world can compare screenshots of Opie to the clunky iPods that Apple mostly borrowed from PortalPlayer and rolled out in late 2001 or OSX itself at the time.

    • At least disco was already dead

      remember when Apple sued Microsoft for copying the “look and feel” of Macs via use of the “desktop metaphor” Apple claimed to own — even though it had been invented at Xerox PARC? Sort of sounds like the multi-touch interface, which had been around in a basic sense since the 1980s and was shown in full force by Jeff Han of NYU at a TED talk almost a year before Jobs announced the iPhone. Check the video below:

    • Repters start to ask the right questions about Apple’s patent attack

      Apple Inc’s increasingly effective patent war against rivals like Samsung Electronics may mask its real target: arch-foe Google Inc.

    • Trademarks

      • For Apple, No Tactic Is Too Sneaky When It Comes to Defending the iPad

        it turns out that this isn’t a story of Apple protecting some hard-won patented innovations. Instead, the company is trying to block competitors based on a trademarked design — basically, a tablet shape. And it’s filing for these preliminary injunctions without giving the other parties any warning that would let them defend their position in court. … According to Mueller, Apple brought action in Düsseldorf district court, which apparently has a reputation similar to that of the Eastern District of Texas in terms of favoring plaintiffs. … this was a court appearance in which only Apple showed up because Samsung didn’t even know about it [and did not have to be notified].

        All the news comes from Microsoft Florian, so it should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Is it trademark, patents or both?

    • Copyrights

      • What monopolies are all about.

        Once upon a time, in France there was a king and many splendid fabrics,

        Some patterns were more popular than others, and to get some additional revenue to the crown’s tax coffers, the King sold a monopoly on these patterns to selected members of the nobility … but the peasants and commoners could produce these patterns themselves. … Towards the end, the penalty [for making popular fabric] was death by public torture, drawn out over several days.

        This article uses the propaganda term piracy, but the violence was all committed by copyright owners.

Links 13/8/2011: Ubuntu’s New Login Manager, Unity UI

Posted in News Roundup at 11:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Has a New Login Manager

            The brand-new display manager, LightDM, has been introduced by Canonical in the current development release of the Ubuntu 11.10 operating system.

            With last night’s updates, the current development release of the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system got a brand new and slick login manager, called LightDM.

          • [Screenshots and Video] New Improved Unity Interface Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

            Unity Interface has just received a massive overhaul and the dash looks better than ever. Applications and Files Lenses on the launcher have been removed and are now integrated into the dash only. A new Music Lens has also been introduced for quickly searching and browsing your favorite artists.

            The Ubuntu Button on top left corner has been removed and a new big Ubuntu orb on the launcher now activates the main dash menu. Active blur option for the dash is turned on by default now giving it a really sleek and polished look. Application title, window controls and app menu on top panel now show all the way to the left.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • U.K.’s broken social contract blamed for riots

    The spark that lit riots in Britain last week is rooted in the government’s radical alteration of the social contract with its citizens, says a Toronto psychiatrist who was born and raised in the U.K.
    People at the lower margins of society feel abandoned and powerless to the point where they lash out in fear, says Dr. Kwame McKenzie.

    British society is undergoing a psychological realignment along American lines rather than traditional European values, where there is a straightforward social contract between the individual and the state, he says.

  • On the rap sheet: ‘looter’ who pocketed £1, and a suspect caught with an empty box

    Steven Keith, 43, of Longsight, Manchester was remanded to jail accused of stealing items worth £1 after allegedly burgling M1 News.

    He was said to be among rioters who tore through central Manchester on Tuesday night. He was charged with burglary and a judge at Manchester magistrates’ court remanded him in custody until next week.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • What Kind Of Gm Plants Are On The Market Internationally?

      The expansion of genetic engineering into the food industry has resulted in the growing of GM plants over the past decade or so. Genetically modified food is not only limited to a specific country because several countries worldwide have already adapted this agricultural technology. In fact, there are now a variety of plants that are grown using genetic engineering techniques.

    • Welcome to the Age of GMO Industry Self-Regulation

      As I reported last week, the USDA’s recent surprise decision not to regulate genetically modified bluegrass poked yet more holes in an already-porous regime for overseeing GM crops—essentially to the point of regulatory collapse.

      There were a few important strands I wasn’t able to wrestle into the story. The main one is an odd letter that USDA secretary Tom Vilksack sent Scotts Miracle-Gro as an addendum to the agency’s response to Scott’s GM bluegrass petition. Vilsack’s letter, dated July 1, acknowledges concerns that GM bluegrass will contaminate non-GM bluegrass—that is, that the Roundup Ready gene will move through wind-blown pollen and work its way into non-modified varieties. This is the process known as “gene flow,” and it has already been well-established for GM corn and other modified crops.

    • 93 percent of unborn babies contaminated with GMO toxins, study finds
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Torture in the US Prison System: The Endless Punishment of Leonard Peltier

      In June 2006, the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America’s Prisons released “Confronting Confinement,” a 126-page report summarizing its 12-month inquiry into the prison systems. The commission follows up the analysis based on its findings with a list of recommendations. Topping the list of needed improvements is better enforcement of inmates’ right to proper health care and limitations on solitary confinement. Five years after the report’s release and despite its detailed and well-researched studies, inmate abuse continues. More recently, news reports from California’s Pelican Bay Prison amplified the need for change, but after the three-week inmate hunger strike ended, the torture of solitary confinement continues nationwide.

    • ‘I feel like I’ve saved a life’: the women clearing Lebanon of cluster bombs

      Only up close does it become clear that some of the bulky figures in armoured vests scouring the fields of southern Lebanon for unexploded cluster bombs are wearing hijabs under their protective helmets.

      Once local teachers, nurses and housewives, this group of women are now fully trained to search for mines and make up the only all-female clearance team in Lebanon, combing the undergrowth inch by inch for the remnants of one of the most indiscriminate weapons of modern warfare.

    • NY judge won’t order Gitmo psychology probe

      New York judge has declined to force an investigation into whether an Army psychologist developed abusive interrogation techniques for Guantánamo Bay detainees and should be stripped of his license.
      The move halted what advocates have called the first court case amid a push to shed light on psychologists’ role in terror suspects’ interrogations.

    • Camila Batmanghelidjh: Caring costs – but so do riots

      My own view is that the police in this country do an impressive job and unjustly carry the consequences of a much wider social dysfunction. Before you take a breath of sarcasm thinking “here she goes, excusing the criminals with some sob story”, I want to begin by stating two things. First, violence and looting can never be justified. Second, for those of us working at street level, we’re not surprised by these events.

      Twitter and Facebook have kept the perverse momentum going, transmitting invitations such as: “Bare shops are gonna get smashed up. So come, get some (free stuff!!!!) F… the feds we will send them back with OUR riot! Dead the ends and colour war for now. So If you see a brother… SALUTE! If you see a fed… SHOOT!”

    • These riots reflect a society run on greed and looting
    • US official: 85% of USAID to Egypt since 25 January went to US organizations

      About 85 percent of USAID’s funds to Egypt since 25 January has gone to US organizations, including the National Democratic Institute and the International Republic Institute, a US official told the Christian Science Monitor.

      The official, whose name the newspaper did not mention, said the money was directed to training programs on practicing politics, and to bolster political parties’ ability to participate effectively in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

After Icahn Entryism, Motorola Too Considers Strategy of Extorting Linux Phone Makers

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 10:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Motorola phone

Summary: A blogger alleges that Motorola’s Q2 earnings conference drops hints regarding Android extortion, just weeks after Carl Icahn and fellow hawks ‘stole’ the company’s board

Nokia entryism is easy to see because the new CEO of Nokia came from Microsoft and soon thereafter handed over the company to Microsoft's agenda, more or less neglecting Linux in the process (according to the latest news, the MeeGo phone won’t come to the US or even Germany). But what has been going on in Motorola is trickier to show because Microsoft sued Motorola (while Motorola said it would continue working with Microsoft).

Several weeks ago in IRC, one of our readers said that Icahn had approached Motorola and took control of part of the company, naming patents too. For those who did not notice what Icahn did in order to hand Yahoo! over to Microsoft, read our previous posts about this subject.

Carl Icahn

Earlier today, Slashdot appeared in several circles with a rather surprising headline. “Motorola To Collect Royalties For Android” it says, but the evidence defending this remains limited. The description/summary is weaker than the headline as it merely says that “It looks like Motorola wants to join in on the Android patent licensing fun enjoyed by Microsoft and others.” Given information we previously gave regrading what Icahn the bully had been doing behind the scenes inside Motorola, there’s no surprise there. Just like Yahoo! was brought to its knees by this shark, Motorola too is being pressured by Icahn to use its parents (this was in the news last month). But the headline from Slashdot is still baffling; It’s up for debate whether it is FUD.

The original report making the claim about Motorola is a tad weak. It is showing HP and Nokia in there too (the picture suggesting an attack on Android). Did we miss something? There is also a problem with the argument. It says that Motorola “is rapidly loosing it’s market share and significance in Android market,” which is very arguably true.

“Just like Yahoo! was brought to its knees by this shark, Motorola too is being pressured by Icahn to use its parents (this was in the news last month).”The following part seems more reasonable. The writer says: “Or is Sanjay just hinting Larry here: “You better buy us. Soon. You were ready to pay 4B+ for 6K Nortel patents, and we are worth 6.4B today.”"

This is the followup post which we have more of a problem with. It says: “Amidst this Android patent insecurity, Motorola recently started touting the strength of its IP portfolio. Nothing surprising here. Motorola is one of the oldest players, with one of the strongest patent portfolios in the industry. Heck, they invented the mobile phone and have been at it for decades. If other mobile industry players decide to go after Motorola’s Android devices, Moto has a lot of patents to retaliate with.

“However, things made a turn for the worse few weeks ago. During its Q2 earnings conference call Motorola hinted that it is ready to join Android patent racket, and start demanding licensing fees for its IP from other Android manufacturers.”

The Q2 earnings conference is probably not official enough to merit the headline in Slashdot. In fact, unless there is more proof of a liaison around patents against Android, it may be safe to remain observant, also in th face of shameless Microsoft boosters like Florian the lobbyist and Eric Savitz the pretend "journalist", who smears of Google at the moment, trying to portray Google as a looter that “steals” because of its patents stance — an issue we last mentioned yesterday when we covered the opinion of Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth, who alleged that patents are misunderstood, misused, outdated, as one site now paraphrases it. To quote: “Patents are archaic, misunderstood and of little or no help to the entrepreneur, according to Mark Shuttleworth, who leads the Ubuntu Foundation, which is behind the open source operating system. In an interview with TechCentral, Shuttleworth was asked about the escalating patent battle in the mobile industry and he provided some choice quotes.”

Shuttleworth is correct and so is Google. There is a cartel being set up against both of them. Ubuntu is already taxed by the MPEG cartel, which is backed by Apple and Microsoft. Does anyone still deny the importance/priority of eliminating software patents?

Bill Gates Uses Influence Over Washington Post, GOOD and Other Publications He ‘Sponsors’ to Privatise Education, Promote His Patent Monopolies

Posted in Bill Gates, Marketing, Patents at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gates Foundation logo

Summary: Catching up with the mischiefs of Microsoft’s co-founder, who back in February had another PR blitz for self-promotion and selfish benefit disguised as “philanthropy”

WE are gradually catching up with old Gates Foundation news, handling the queue chronologically and starting where we last left off. For the uninitiated, Gates loves polio for PR reasons, even though the problem was mostly eliminated a long time ago and some of Gates’ existing investments actually cause polio, as we explained in previous years [1, 2, 3].

By controlling the corporate media just like he controls education (or strives to control it as it’s still an ongoing campaign), the facts might require proper research and sceptical analysis. We already published dozens of posts demonstrating very clearly that Gates is distorting the press with a budget of approximately a million dollars per day dedicated just to “advocacy” (i.e. media/press/PR). Our friends at Gates Keepers have found that “[t]wo newspapers of record present critical analysis of the Gates Foundation ‘megabucks against polio’ hype.” Quoting the remark preceding the examples (from the corporate press, not just some arbitrary blogs):

Two ‘newspapers of record’ have chosen to counter the flash and hype surrounding the Gates Foundation throwing money at polio eradication in order to present more balanced views. Journalists at The New York Times and Financial Times have done their homework.

It is still the minority of reports. A lot of journalists play safe by just getting along with Gates’ well-funded PR machine. Education too is becoming an area where antagonising Gates can get one dismissed. “Bill Gates (briefly) talks school reform with The [Washington] Post,” says this headline from the paper which may have expelled Melinda Gates after a scandal. The following story sounds familiar as we previously covered cases where Gates uses "health" as a Trojan horse to enter newspapers and then lobby them regarding entirely different subjects (there was a more recent example where he visited the New York Times for this purpose). Read the following:

Bill Gates dropped by The Post on Wednesday morning, mainly to plug his foundation’s campaign to eradicate polio, but we managed to squeeze in a few questions on education reform. The bottom line remains, unsurprisingly, unchanged: He’s a fan of measuring teacher effectiveness and a foe of teacher tenure.

Gates met with several writers and editors in The Post’s ninth-floor boardroom. On education, he was responding to questions from editorial writer Jo-Ann Armao, myself and editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

(By the way, Melinda F. Gates, wife of the Microsoft founder, is no longer on The Post Co. board of directors. Warren E. Buffett, a major donor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, serves on The Post board but plans to step down in spring.)

He neglects to say the reason. We covered that some months ago. It appeared like Melinda had (mis)used the paper to attack a potential rival. The Gates family does that a lot. Just watch what their lobbying operation does in order to take education away from public hands:

Joanne Barkan, writing in Dissent, argues that three big nonprofit foundations (the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation), working together, exert a “decisive influence” on public-school education.

To give another example from around the same time, we already mentioned “GOOD” being sponsored by Gates (how ironic for the name). Watch how “GOOD” is now being used to attack Gates’ competition:

Ann Marie Gardner has written an angry article in GOOD. It includes ad hominem attacks on Horton and others who don’t agree with Gardner and Bill Gates. Is this a GOOD idea? GOOD is funded by the Gates Foundation.

“The chief of malaria for the World Health Organization has complained that the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping out the world health agency’s policy-making function,” wrote the New York Times in 2008. See the trend here? Someone is monopolising. And even Al Jazeera stoops low enough and kneels for Gates:

Gates has been everywhere this week talking about eradicating polio. Here he talks about this plan on Al Jazeera English. It is very clear that the money is in one big pot right now, so who is going to leap for it? With so much power (re: $$$$), Gates is in the unique position to drive global health

More polio propaganda, going back to around February of this year.

In the coming weeks we hope to catch up with a pile of news we have missed. Microsoft may be going down fast (or becoming a patent troll like Bill’s friend, Nathan Myhrvold), but Bill will stay here for a long time to come, continuing to leech and exploit society with his patent monopolies, always ensuring that he bribes the press sufficiently so that it plays along (blind praise or at least self-censorship).

SUSE and Xamarin: Helping Microsoft Tax GNU/Linux (Google Should Secede From the Funding)

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: SUSE the Attachmate-run company — just like Mono company Xamarin — is a liability to GNU/Linux and support of both should be questioned for the negative consequences associated with patents and dependence on Microsoft

CONSIDERING all the distributions people can choose to support, we are unable to understand why some folks choose to help Xamarin (still occupied with proprietary stuff) and SUSE, which recently hooked up with Xamarin and then with Microsoft (through a patent deal). SUSE has begun allocating slots for presentation where volunteers provide the content and SUSE reaps the benefits. Yes, that is right. SUSE, which helps Microsoft tax GNU/Linux, looks for free labour (e.g. people to help build the site, create artworks and graphics, and promote the distribution). Some people even prepare for benchmarks, which is a laborious process if a framework does not already exist. Quoting this one new example:

The sources for the benchmark are now on gitorious, and the Wiki entry describes its usage. It’s currently somewhat tailored to SLE11SP1, so you might run into minor issues when running it on a different OS version. And of course, it’s not very polished yet .

It makes no sense to support SUSE at this stage. It helps Microsoft. Google used to allocate some funds to SUSE projects, but should it still do this now that it is under patent attacks from Microsoft? Attacks which were legitimised by Novell and the deal it recently signed with SUSE? There is apparently Google-funded code in SUSE (Marcus’ definitely is [1, 2], as well as others’). There is no doubt that some people feel like part of the (Open)SUSE community, but the project is no longer the same. It is not even managed by the same people. Volunteers would be better off helping distributions not under Microsoft’s control and Google would be better off allocating funds to those distributions too.

“Volunteers would be better off helping distributions not under Microsoft’s control and Google would be better off allocating funds to those distributions too.”The only good thing that Novell still does is that it fights SCO in court, albeit for its own interests that may leave UNIX in the hands of Attachment, potentially to be passed on to hostile hands. Pamela Jones does not expect SCO to last for much longer. She writes:

This is the SCO carcass, and the buzzards are picking the bones.

It isn’t every day, though, that you hear a lawyer tell a court that it would be unquestionably illegal to approve a proposed deal, but that happened that day. And yet the judge approved it anyway.

To borrow Groklaw’s words, Novell too is a “carcass, and the buzzards are picking the bones.” SUSE does not deserve anyone’s support anymore, except Microsoft.

“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”

LinuxToday Managing Editor

Links 13/8/2011: Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, MySQL Conference 2012

Posted in News Roundup at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Did Linux dominate at Black Hat?

    Linux users comprised 35 percent of the total.

  • Installing Linux on a 386 laptop
  • Windows for Linux users, Part 1

    I’m making a best effort to turn my Windows XP box at work into a usable system. I’m tired of lugging the laptop to the office, and I have neither desk space nor a network connection for it. I’ve run CCleaner and Defraggler. I used the freeware version of Revo Uninstaller to clear out a lot of applications I no longer needed and couldn’t otherwise get rid of.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Top 5 MPlayer Skins for your Ubuntu Desktop

      We have recently started bringing out more eyecandy stuff as we really think that Linux has to shed its “old command only interface for geeks” image to make it appealing to more people and as you know there is strength in numbers. Yeah we know Ubuntu has changed that a lot!! but hey allow us to speed up the process. Here is our take on some of the most appealing themes to juice up your Mplayer experience.

    • MPlayer2 Is Still Alive & Kicking

      Back in March I reported on the MPlayer2 fork of the popular MPlayer multi-media application. MPlayer2 came as a result of one of the MPlayer developers being denounced from the group and from there the developer and others took to implementing their own desired features and functionality from a fork of the open-source code-base. But how’s the MPlayer2 project now doing?

    • Top 5 Music Notation Apps

      LilyPond is one of the best-known open-source sheet-music notation programs in the world. Created by two Dutch musicians (Han-Wen Nienhuys and Jan Nieuwenhuizen), LilyPond utilizes a powerful yet simple scripting language that includes support for notes, chords, lyrics, orchestral parts, and much more. You can also add the
      composer and lyricist, majors/minors, clefs, and much more. You can then export everything to LaTeX, HTML, or (with a plugin) OpenOffice.org.

      To install LilyPond, use the lilypond package in the universe repository.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Linux makes musical friends with the Apple iPhone

            Linux and Apple’s iPhones, iPods, and iPads usually get along about as well as cats and dogs. Oh sure, you can root a jailbroken iPhone to boot Linux, but that’s just a stunt. And, if you don’t mind living dangerously, you can use the popular Linux music application Banshee to manage your music collection on iPhones or iPods. Generally speaking, though, when you try to bring Linux and Apple devices together, the fur flies. Until now. Today, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux introduced an iPhone streaming music app that lets you stream music from the Ubuntu One cloud to iPhones and iPod.

          • [Screenshots and Video] New Improved Unity Interface Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

            Unity Interface has just received a massive overhaul and the dash looks better than ever. Applications and Files Lenses on the launcher have been removed and are now integrated into the dash only. A new Music Lens has also been introduced for quickly searching and browsing your favorite artists.

            The Ubuntu Button on top left corner has been removed and a new big Ubuntu orb on the launcher now activates the main dash menu. Active blur option for the dash is turned on by default now giving it a really sleek and polished look. Application title, window controls and app menu on top panel now show all the way to the left.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ultimate Edition 3.0 “Gamers” Released

              On one of the slowest news days of the year came the welcomed announcement of Ultimate Edition 3.0 “Gamers.” The Ultimate Edition, once dubbed Ubuntu Ultimate, is based or derived from Lubuntu, but the “Gamers” Edition takes it to another level by offering an environment suitable for gaming as well as dozens of pre-installed games and emulators.

              Since the Gamers Edition is built on the “Lite” version, regular software is somewhat less than one might find on the full version, but it certainly seems like Ultimate Lite brings more than most other’s full. You’ll find applications such as Firefox, Sylpheed, Amarok, Brasero, Pidgin, and VLC. This sits on Linux 2.6.38-8, Xorg X Server 1.10.1, and GCC 4.4.5 is installable. The list of games is quite extensive, but suffice to say that just about every cool game you can think of that’s freely available for Linux is included. Wine, Winetricks, and PlayOnLinux are also thrown in for good measure.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ screens revealed

          Two tech blogs have obtained information and images regarding Google’s upcoming “Ice Cream Sandwich” version of Android, apparently from a common source. The release will feature a new, blue-themed user interface, a revised launcher for applications and widgets, and a panorama mode for cameras, among other new features mentioned by Android Police and RootzWiki.

        • Is there really room for a third mobile OS?

          I wrote before that I thought there was no room for four mobile OSs. I felt one between Windows and BlackBerry was not going to make it. Considering Nokia is behind Windows, and the strength of Microsoft, I was betting on Windows to be #3.

          Now I am wondering if there will ever be a #3. I mean, one with significant market share. The way this graph looks, knowing that a Nokia with Windows is not going to be here in Q3 (therefore, this graph is going to look even worse for Q3), considering that the bottom of the market could be taken eventually by BADA, one would conclude there will be two mega players (iOS and Android) and there will just be crumbs for the rest (e.g. below 10%).

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Acer releases seven-inch Android 3.2 tablet for $330

        Acer announced a seven-inch tablet that runs Android 3.2 (“Honeycomb”) on a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. The $330 Iconia Tab A100 offers 1024 x 600-pixel resolution, 8GB or 16GB of flash storage, dual cameras, plus a microSD slot as well as micro-HDMI and micro-USB ports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Guest Post: How eBay Leveraged Open Source to Streamline Transaction Processing
  • Event Controversy

  • Percona Live MySQL Conference & Expo Planned for April 10-12, 2012
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Netscape Must Be Spinning In Its Grave

        Remember the browser wars when M$ crushed Netscape by all means fair and foul because the Netscape web browser brought us Javascript which M$ saw as a threat to the monopoly?

        Google is beta-testing a native client that can run C in Chrome. This means web applications will be able to run on the client natively, several times faster than Javascript…

        This changes everything:

        * better-performing web applications,
        * a new API, totally familiar to millions of developers,
        * less need for native applications on the client,
        * less need for that other OS if applications essentially can be ported to whatever OS is under the browser as long as the C-code will run on the hardware, and
        * possible new ways for malware to operate…

    • Mozilla

      • Number Of Firefox Users Selecting ‘Do Not Track’ Has Quadrupled

        How do you dramatically increase the number of people using a privacy feature in just a few months? Apparently, just by putting it somewhere they can find it. A new study shows that more than 6 percent of users of the newest version of Firefox are now selecting the “Do Not Track” privacy option, probably because it’s much easier to find than on the previous version.

        Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser, was the first browser company to install a “Do Not Track” option in its software. Just a few months ago, the company’s privacy chief said that of the 160 million people using Firefox, the rate of Do Not Track (DNT) users was between 1 and 2 percent.

      • Firefox 6 Next Tuesday?

        If they’re aren’t a new batch of bugs discovered between this weekend and Tuesday, the 16th of August, Firefox fans and users alike can expect a new version of the browser to be available.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Jaspersoft Offers New BI Knowledge Center for Open Source Community

      Jaspersoft, maker of the world’s most widely used business intelligence (BI) software, today announced Self-Service Express, a new subscription service available to open source community members that want premium, professional-grade BI documentation and knowledge base articles. Requested by over 80 percent of the JasperForge community in a 2011 annual survey, Self-Service Express provides access to Jaspersoft’s entire commercial customer portal and will make tens of thousands of Jaspersoft community members more productive as they create reports and dashboards and do analysis using Jaspersoft open source BI products.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Resources for learning GNU Octave

      flattr this!

      GNU Octave is a high-level interpreted language, primarily intended for numerical computations. That is exactly how it is described on its official web site http://www.octave.org. Unofficially it is also described as a “MatLab clone” although it only aspires to be compatible with MatLab. It is also free software.

  • Licensing

    • Westinghouse Sanctioned in Case Over Open Source

      Open-source software developers convinced a federal judge to impose sanctions on Westinghouse Digital LLC, which was found to have violated an injunction against using free programming code for commercial gain.

      In 1999, programmer Erik Andersen developed software and contributed it to an open-source computer program known as BusyBox. Open-source software can be freely distributed, as long as it is not sold commercially.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Florida Governor Scott Reduces Choice and Competition in Health Care

      As he was gearing up to run for governor of Florida, Republican Rick Scott emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of what he and others began referring to as “Obamacare.”

      Scott created, chaired and bankrolled a group called Conservatives for Patients Rights that spent millions of dollars on TV commercials attacking health care reform, especially a proposal calling for the federal government to create a public health insurance option to compete with private insurers.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Privatised police arrive on the street

      Aradical change in the way we police Britain has sneaked in below the radar over the past 18 months. In a series of Home Office initiatives designed to add manpower with particular skills or knowledge to the regular police force, six new groups of privately sponsored police have been introduced into the Met and are being deployed in a number of the provincial forces.

    • Britain’s prime minister only makes things worse

      To many looking from the outside, the recent unrest in Britain may have come as something of a surprise. Recent months have seen repeated protests, occupations, strikes and huge trade union marches, but street protests with seemingly no rhyme or reason were surely out of the question. With unfortunate timing, one British commentator, Nick Cohen, wrote a piece earlier this month titled “No riots here. Just quiet, ever-deeper misery,” arguing that “the wider public remains resigned rather than enraged; indifferent rather than incandescent.” The student protests of November and December last year were limited outbursts, no more, many agreed; the establishment consensus was that most people would grumpily carry on even in the face of huge cuts to public services, massive unemployment and more severe austerity measures to come.

    • Study: CIA drones strikes have killed 168 children

      Based on international and Pakistani news reports and research on the ground, the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has issued a new study on civilians killed by American drones, concluding that at least 385 civilians have been killed in the past seven years, including at least 168 children.

  • Finance

    • SEC Probes Goldman Over Libya Deals

      The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday on the filing, which was made late Tuesday. Goldman said in the filing that a probe of the company’s “compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act” was among the string of investigations and regulatory reviews it faced in the past quarter.

    • The Top 1%
    • Job Creation and Entrepreneurship

      Economists generally agree that our persistent high unemployment rate, – the longest such period since the Great Depression, – is primarily caused by a fundamental reshaping of the economy. The US economy is undergoing structural changes driven to a large extent, by advances in information technologies, which have led to a resurgence in US labor productivity as well as to an increasingly integrated global economy.
      Companies are able to do their present work with fewer people, as a result of advances in IT-based productivity. Moreover, many of these companies are truly global, doing business all over the world. They are cutting jobs in the US and other countries where demand is weak, while adding jobs in the booming emerging markets. Furthermore, they are optimizing their supply chains and shifting work around the world to cut costs. This is a what you would expect the private sector to do given our current global market environment.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Britain’s High-Tech Riots

      Social media and other emerging internet technologies have played key roles in Great Britain’s devastating riots, reportedly sparked by the August 4 fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, a man alleged to have had ties to London gangs, while he was in the custody of Scotland Yard. As it has in other recent uprisings, Twitter played a role in the coordination of England’s riots, but the preferred tool of Britain’s young looters and arsonists was Research in Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry Messenger instant messaging service (BBM). Thirty seven percent of UK teens use BBM, a free service that makes it particularly easy to send messages to groups. BBM’s proprietary encryption also makes messages more private and difficult to trace, another characteristic that made the service popular among perpetrators of England’s extensive chaos, arson and looting. Some point to BBM as the primary planning tool for vandals. Some have even called it the London rioter’s best weapon.

      RIM issued a statement pledging to cooperate with law enforcement and regulatory officials working to squelch the riots and seek justice their aftermath, but the company hasn’t said directly whether it plans to turn over chat logs or other identifying information about its subscribers to law enforcement. RIM’s pledge of cooperation, though, was enough to trigger a group of hackers who call themselves “Teampoison” to post an online threat to RIM warning the company not to cooperate with police. Teampoison claims to have access to RIM’s databases and said if the company turned private information over to police, they would make the names, addresses and phone numbers of RIM’s employees available to rioters. It is unclear whether RIM can un-encrypt messages sent over its BBM messaging system, but the company can shut down the entire service. David Lammy, a member of Parliament from Tottenham, where the worst of the riots started, is urging RIM to do just that. Police are also uploading photos, taken by London’s some 1.5 million closed circuit TV cameras, onto Flickr and asking the public to identify anyone they may recognize. A Google Group even formed in the days following the riots called “London Riots Facial Recognition;” the group’s subscribers are trying to find a way to apply facial recognition technology to identify looters in photos posted on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.

    • For all you need to know about Rupert Murdoch, look at his lawyers

      Americans are extremely interested in Rupert Murdoch’s unfolding scandal in the UK. As I wrote a few weeks ago, it has striking parallels with Watergate, an observation I offer based on personal knowledge and experience. (I am sure I speak for many Americans when I shout out a thank you to the Guardian, whose journalism on the Murdoch story is every bit as good, and in many instances better, than the legendary work of the Washington Post during Watergate.) Many Americans wonder if this scandal will leap the Atlantic or remain “contained” in Britain. Because of Watergate, I have some familiarity with containment – when it works and when it does not.

  • DRM

    • High-calibre ebook management

      One of the delights of free software are the applications that do everything I can ever imagine in their general category. Sometimes I may long for leaner or simpler apps, but I know, for example, that K3B will give me everything I need for burning DVDs, or digiKam for managing and editing photos. Now, as I start getting into ebooks, I’m looking at calibre as potentially another of these ultimate apps, destined to be to ebooks what Amarok is to digital music.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Monsanto – the black stain on the biotech industry

      The Monsanto company does not have a Facebook page. They are well aware that if they did, it would just become a wall of constant protest. There’s good reason for the resentment, too: a long, complicated history including everything from poisoning public waterways to manufacturing Agent Orange, bovine growth hormones, and DDT pesticides. They’ve become the black stain on the biotech industry to anyone with a CSA subscription and a reusable bag.

    • Of Patent Cartels and a Rising Africa

      It’s nigh impossible for any company starting life to navigate the patent offices to ascertain what belongs to who. In the meantime, we have these giants applying for as many patents as they can, some so vague as to mean almost nothing. The aim, to rake in licensing fees from competitors. Will the cartel kill creativity with time? Can a rising African tech scene navigate the almost treacherous sea of patent wolves? I guess only time will determine that.

    • Copyrights

IRC Proceedings: August 12th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts