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Links 15/8/2011: Dumping Mac OS X, Linux 3.1 RC2 Arrives

Posted in News Roundup at 9:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Open Source: Multitasking with X and Linux

    Another restriction is with multi-user on Microsoft. With my Linux desktop PC I have a user for work related tasks and a user for relaxation and gaming tasks. I can keep the work user logged in, switch to a Linux console using Ctrl Alt (F1-F6), login the game user, start a second X GUI session with startx startxfce4 — :1 and play a short game while “stuff” keeps running under the work user in the first X session. If I am playing a buggy 3D game that may crash X, I have no worries about my tasks in the other X session as they would be unaffected if a poorly designed 3D game took down the second session. I can do this “out of the box” on a typical Linux distribution installation. If you are from the limited Microsoft universe you have no concept to compare to this on a standard, out of the box, Microsoft desktop PC. Yes, you can switch users. But if you switch users as I do to play a game that crashes the Microsoft GUI called “Windows” it all crashes. Not just the session where the faulty program broke the GUI. It is also truly simple to switch between or among multiple sessions of X on a Linux PC. Just use Ctrl Alt F# to switch back and forth, where # is the virtual terminal number for an X session. For example, my first session is on virtual terminal 8 and my second session is on virtual terminal 9. To switch between them I use Ctrl Alt F9 and Ctrl Alt F8.

  • The Age of the Icon Is Full Upon Us

    It is pretty clear that whether you use Apple, Linux, or Windows (to be scrupulously alphabetical about it) you are going to be at least offered – and more likely stuck with – a highly iconified desktop in any current or future offering of an operating system. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re using a phone, a tablet, or a Real Computer.

  • Why I Support Free Software

    At a Linuxworld trade show I heard three people arguing about the proper way to decompose applications to work on a high-performance Linux-based supercomputer. The three people were two engineers from Hewlett Packard and an eleven year-old programmer. The interesting part was that the two engineers from HP were wrong and the young programmer was right.

  • Choosing a Desktop (#noapple)

    When it comes to operating systems, the most “free” distro out there is Debian. I run Debian on more than half of my servers. Unfortunately, native Debian is a poor choice for a desktop, especially on proprietary hardware like my iMac. While I have no doubt that I could get things to a useable state with Debian, one of my stated goals is easy of use, and from the desktop standpoint Debian ain’t it.

  • The broken dreams of a Linux system administrator

    After some studies, or perhaps a specialist course or presentation you’d like to start to implement in your company the best practice you have learnt, and perhaps start a new and better era for your IT department.

    But it seem that something always go in the wrong way or there are unexpected difficulties that make all your plans, and dreams, fails; and after some fight you usually end saying “ok that WAS the best practice and we are sure to don’t follow it”.

    This is my list of things I’ve found impossible to realize in some years of work.


    To make the things easy the best solution would be: to have 1 distribution at the same level on all servers, use only 1 application stack to deliver services (java, ruby, php).
    I can understand this can become too strict, over time new release of the distribution come out and it’s not so easy to upgrade all server, or different group can use different software.

  • Dear Windows,

    You were good to me at first, we had plenty of laughs you and I. You introduced me to a lot of people. We were good together. But then you started ditching me all the time. Only co-operating when it suited your mood, getting angry at me a lot, telling me what I was and wasn’t allowed to do. Cutting me off when I was in the middle of something, or getting rid of my stuff without permission. That’s not cool. But, I stayed with you. I felt comfortable being with you, everything was familiar, and simple. Until you wouldn’t let me in, you said I was doing something illegal when I wasn’t. You know me, we’ve been together since I bought you in the store, I’d never do something like that. But I gave up on you today, I’ve finally had it.

  • Top secret productivity recipe
  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • E17 Enlightment Rocks
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Which languages are people writing Plasmoids in?

        Python 46%
        C++ 44%
        QML 6%
        Javascript 4%

      • Wireless on Plasma Active MeeGo image

        Since MeeGo uses Connman instead of Networkmanager to handle network connections, that means there is not (yet ;) an user interface to control in right from the KDE workspaces.

        If you happen to have one of the Desktop summit Exopc with the Contour user interface that there has been installed on several devices, here are some easy steps to get the MeeGo tablet Connman ui installed and be able to connect to a wireless network.

      • Dragon Player – KDE Video player focus on simplicity

        Dragon Player is a multimedia player where the focus is on simplicity, instead of features. Dragon Player does one thing, and only one thing, which is playing multimedia files. It’s simple interface is designed not to get in your way and instead empower you to simply play multimedia files.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Did GNOME Shell Miss the Mark?

        Having played with a couple of tablets over the last week it occurred to me that these are the sort of devices the GNOME 3 Shell is said to be intended to run on, a reasonable assumption when looking at the design. However, the current breed of tablets PC’s come with their own interfaces already, and they seem rather streamlined and efficient at what they’re doing. Android tablets, HP webOS, the Blackberry Playbook and of course the iPad all have rather good interfaces in my view that are more than up to the job they’re intended for, and probably superior to the Shell because they have been designed with just that one purpose in mind.

      • Classic Gnome panel vs. Unity
  • Distributions

    • Review of Puppy Linux on an Old Server

      Puppy has become familiar to many as a Live CD option for aging PCs that sit on people’s desktops at home, maybe even at some offices. Puppy recently became more of a derivative of Ubuntu (arguably, depending on the definition of “derivative”), but its legacy and/or its strength was mostly associated with its version that I used. It contains JVM and it can also use other lightweight desktop environments.

    • Big distributions, little RAM 3
    • New Releases

      • Top Five New Releases of the week you need to watch

        Here are some just released distros that are interesting and great to work with. Monomaxos is a refreshing Greek distro for those who prefer an out-of-box Linux OS. dyne:bolic, Plop Linux, Toorox and Network Security Toolkit have just released over the past week and will make for an enriching experience.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu In The Wild: Have You Seen ‘Ubuntu’ In Public?

            When reader Fabio Bier mailed in a photo of this familiar looking emblem atop a drain/man hole cover (spotted in Seville, Spain, fact fans) it got me thinking: does the ‘Ubuntu’ logo ever crop up in urban landscapes?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • WattOS R4 – An alternative to Lubuntu

              I have always been interested in lighter weight desktops, and having a laptop I also am interested in saving power and maximizing battery life. WattOS promises both of these by offering a Lxde desktop. It’s also based off of Ubuntu 11.04, so it is up to date and has a great amount of packages.

              I do all of my testing in Virtualbox for lack of a spare machine to install to. I dedicated one gigabyte of RAM to Virtualbox for testing out WattOS. Booting from the iso image took two minutes and two seconds, which isn’t too long of a time, but I have certainly seen better. Still, it was soon up and running with the lxde desktop. The desktop has a nice silver colored panel and a wallpaper with some sort of insect clinging to a blade of grass. The icon theme is the ever popular Faenza, and the Openbox theme is the default for Lxde, which goes by the name of Onyx. The GTK theme is Clearlooks, which is simple but looks nice with pretty much any setup. The desktop is fast, and did not slow down noticeably even when I ran nearly every pre-included program, something that can’t be said about many distributions.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Setting up a new project – 4 tools you can’t miss the first time around

    Just ask them, I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to tell you about it. Adding wheels to a kitchen table, or jet packs in your blue blazer, everyone is an inventor in their own mind. Sooner or later you every person on the planet will have a desire to strike out on their own and make a go at bringing their idea to life. Whether you’re building a consultancy or rocket ships, there a few key apps that need to be rolled out on Day One. If you don’t have these ironed out from the very beginning, things tend to spiral out of control and make it hard for a project to ever get on track, much less stay there.

  • Web Browsers


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Eriks Zelenka’s diary

      Fuh, I spend half of my day today at police station because some paranoid guy called the police. We had a conversation with him and I tried to explain him what I’m doing, with no success.. The area I mapped had quite a few burglaries recently. But still they arrested me with no evidence, after I explained them what and why I’m doing. Three cars, six policeman, six hours enclosed for nothing.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks: Bulgaria, US Mulled New Refinery to Rival Neftochim

      Bulgarian and American officials discussed two years ago the construction of a new, mid-sized oil refinery to compete with Neftochim, controlled by Russia’s giant Lukoil, diplomatic cables, revealed by WikiLeaks, show.
      “The gas cut-off [in the winter of 2009] has reinvigorated Bulgarian efforts to diversify away from Russian energy sources. We are urging Bulgaria to think big,” former Ambassador Nancy McEldowney writes in a diplomatic cable, entitled “Bulgaria – digging out of the energy hole”.

    • Wikileaks Makes the World More Civilised

      Earlier on in the day, Wikileaks’ official account echoed my tweet to over a million followers, which is rare (I have posted over 50,000 tweets and never was I mentioned by Wikileaks). For whatever reason, people still associate Wikileaks with crime, even though its only connection to crime is that it helps expose crime. In this world and in this strange age of oppression, exposing crime is criminal if the criminals are very rich. If they are poor people who commit petty crimes, nobody seems to care — neither about them nor those who expose them.

    • The Evolving Media Portrait of the Wikileaker

      On May 24th PBS aired a Frontline documentary about alleged Wikileaker Bradley Manning called “WikiSecrets.” Billed as “The inside story of Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and the largest intelligence breach in U.S. history” it focused exclusively on Manning’s struggles in the military as a data analyst and closeted homosexual who’d gained access and subsequently released tens of thousands of classified government documents. Omitting Manning’s stated motives or the content of the leaks, it put forth the “angry gay man” narrative that Bradley leaked the information primarily because he was frustrated by bullying and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the military policy in place until September 20, 2011 that prohibited military personnel from disclosing or discussing homosexual relationships. As PBS told it, Manning was angry and wanted to exact vengeance on the establishment before going bonkers.

    • IQ2: Is Wikileaks a Force for Good?

      US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, a big fan of the concept of open governance, famously opined that “sunlight is the best disinfectant”. Yet even the world’s liberal democracies have claimed that sometimes they require a place in the shade, condemning WikiLeaks for publishing their confidential information.

      Are governments justified in their condemnation of WikiLeaks and merely being responsible in protecting their secrets? Could the world really survive an unbridled commitment to transparency?

      Tackling this thorny topical issue at an IQ2 Debate in Sydney were two teams featuring, on one side, a former foreign minister in Gareth Evans … and, on the other, a Wikileaks insider in the form of Icelandic investigative journalist Kristinn Hrafnsson.

    • Review the Charges Facing Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Founder
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • EPA’s Proposed Standards Would Limit Mercury, Arsenic, and Other Air Toxics from Power Plants for First Time

      The Environmental Protection Agency took a critical step toward cleaner air on March 16, 2011, by proposing its air toxics standards for coal-fired power plants. The proposed rule would limit emissions of mercury, arsenic, and other air toxics from power plants for the first trime.

      These protections were called for in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, but they haven’t been implemented, and they are long overdue. Toxic mercury, arsenic, and other pollutants have been spewing uncontrolled from power plants even though we fully know how bad they are.

    • Raw Footage From The Gulf: Beaches In Bay Jimmy “stained Black”; Grand Isle Oyster Beds Choke Under Heavy Sheen

      BP and its boosters say we dodged a bullet. They beat their chests and shout from the treetops that the 200-million-gallon spill off Louisiana’s coast didn’t break the back of the Gulf like all the “doomsdayers” said it would. They talk of safe seafood and booming Gulf tourism. They tell us the oil is gone, that it’s time to move on. In fact, according to BP, the Gulf has made such an unexpectedly fast recovery that “future loss” claims to victims of the spill should be shut down. No more damage so no more damage claims, or so argues BP’s legal team on into the night.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • David Cameron’s net-censorship proposal earns kudos from Chinese state media

      UK prime minister David Cameron (who is reported to have rioted himself and then fled police while at university) has proposed a regime of state censorship for social media to prevent people from passing on messages that incite violence. This proposal has been warmly received by Chinese state media and bureaucrats, who are glad to see that Western governments are finally coming around to their style of management.

    • Riots lead to rethink of Internet freedom [from China]

      One of the anti-riot measures recently suggested by British PM David Cameron is to prevent rioters from using Twitter and other social networking websites. Such a tactic, which was slammed as a trick resorted to only by authoritarian governments in the past, has had a great impact on world media.

  • Privacy

    • Inquisitive UIDAI wants all details about you and I

      The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Karnataka, which is all set to begin its ambitious “Aadhar” enrolment in Bangalore from August 17, has kicked up a row even before its formal launch by “surreptitiously” widening the scope of the ID card beyond the officially stated position.

      On the second day of the special enrolment for mediapersons and their families in the City — as a precursor to the launch for general public —there were heated arguments between applicants and officials, as the enrolment forms distributed by the officials did not match the forms put out by the UIDAI on its website and seemed to be far wider in its scope, seeking personal details.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Where In Trademark Law Does It Say It’s Okay To Trademark A Town Name ‘For The Good Of The Community’?

        We had recently written about how a group called the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Inc (SMRi) had received trademarks on the name of the city of Sturgis, where the famed motorcycle rally is held each August. SMRi was then using the trademark to block the sale of souvenirs from any “unauthorized provider.” This seemed absolutely ridiculous. You should not be able to trademark the name of a town under trademark law. We had thought that SMRi ran the event, but after our last story ran, we found out that it was a separate operation set up solely to “manage the intellectual property” of the event.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Notes on ACTA and Public Health

          The European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) commissioned a study on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). The INTA study highlights problematic aspects of ACTA and makes recommendations. According to the study, “unconditional consent would be an inappropriate response”, and “There does not therefore appear to be any immediate benefit from ACTA for EU citizens”. The study confirms ACTA goes beyond current EU legislation.

          With regards to access to medicines, the INTA study concludes that adding some annotations will solve the problems. There is a huge gap between the paper reality of the INTA study and the reality in the streets: people are dying because they do not have access to medicines. The INTA study aims too low, just meeting our international obligations on public health is by far not enough. We leave in place, and reinforce with ACTA, low-volume high-profit strategies. We also note some other health issues (development and availability of medical and diagnostic methods and instruments).

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A Single Comment

  1. free download angry birds said,

    May 6, 2012 at 7:52 am

    free download angry birds…

    News Roundup | Techrights – Part 33…

What Else is New

  1. Staff of the EPO Under Siege Ahead of Tomorrow's Demonstration in Munich

    The smaller demonstration in The Hague is estimated to have had about 400 participants, but the big protest will take place tomorrow in Munich and it is already being forcibly removed out of EPO buildings, allegedly for 'security reasons' because of VP4 (Željko Topić)

  2. EPO Management Lobbies for the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Uses This to Advance Software Patents in Europe

    A short notice regarding the EPO's verboten involvement in European politics and European policy-making; comparing the situation in Europe (with the EPO) to that of India, where highly discreet and notoriously intensive lobbying by foreign corporations led to the apparently-irrevocable phasing in of software patents, to the detriment of locals

  3. Confirmed: Benoît Battistelli is Crushing the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA)

    New information surfaces regarding communication between the Administrative Council (AC) and Mr. Battistelli, who wishes to crush anyone whom he views (or is merely perceived) as a threat to his totalitarian reign

  4. Patent Trolls Roundup: MPHJ, Kyle Bass, Acacia, Intellectual Ventures, Unwired Planet, Core Wireless, Vringo, and Unified Patents

    An outline of recent developments in the US and even in Europe, focused entirely on patent trolls, patent parasites, and actions against them

  5. EPO Staff is Happy, Says EPO Propaganda Still in the Making

    The Benoît Battistelli-led institution is so misguided so as to actually expect people to believe that EPO staff feels happy, despite increased awareness of staff suicides, protests, lawsuits, etc.

  6. EPO Management is Running Out of Time as More Media Remarks on Its Abuses

    The terrible policies and the atrocious behaviour of the EPO's management is gradually becoming too widespread an issue, leading to a lot more media coverage and with it public scrutiny

  7. Links 12/10/2015: Linux 4.3 RC5, Parsix GNU/Linux 8.0 Reviewed

    Links for the day

  8. Microsoft Still Rigging and Gaming Statistics by Taking Over or Registering Dead/Inactive/Parked Domains by the Millions

    Microsoft continues to game Netcraft's figures and graphs by amassing effectively dead domains, making itself (and IIS/Windows) look a lot bigger when it fact Microsoft only perishes on the Web, having long ago lost the game to GNU/Linux with Free/libre software on top of it (notably a L.A.M.P. stack)

  9. Benoît Battistelli's Group of 'Loyals' Crushes Not Only the Independent Boards But Also 'Unwanted' Directorates-General

    Having 'infiltrated' most key positions at the EPO, Benoît Battistelli now ejects everything that remains potential threat to his unquestionable total domination

  10. Many New Losses for Software Patents in the US, Courtesy of Alice Case/§101

    The United States' supposed leadership in software patenting grinds to a halt as more software patents simply die in the courtrooms and patent lawyers try hard to overcome this new debacle of theirs, usually by misleading current and prospective clients

  11. Leaked: EPO Prioritises Work for Large Foreign Corporations, Discrimination Not Accidental But Centrally Planned

    Canon, Philips, Microsoft, Qualcomm, BASF, Bayer, Samsung, Huawei, Siemens, Ericsson and Fujitsu receive V.I.P. treatment from the EPO, despite most of them not even being European

  12. Links 11/10/2015: Kate/KDevelop Sprint, Blender 2.76

    Links for the day

  13. European Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda Says TPP Will Bring Software Patents to Europe and Other Continents/Countries

    The Wikileaks "TPP Leak," says Julia Reda, suggests that, based on the patentable subject matter section, signatories must add software patents

  14. Don't Look at Linux For Sexism, Look at Microsoft (Although Microsoft Hides the Newest Lawsuits)

    A look at the broader scale of discrimination against women and how widespread a phenomenon it is inside Microsoft, the arch rival of Linux

  15. Links 10/10/2015: IBM's Linux-based LC Family, KDE Frameworks 5.15

    Links for the day

  16. Benoît Battistelli's Office Accused of Institutional Harassment Against EPO Staff in New Letter to the Administrative Council, Calling for External Investigation

    A probe by an external and independent entity is sought with the aim of looking into systematic harassment against EPO employees who simply 'dare' to point out gross violations by their managers; staff protests at EPO headquarters in the Netherlands and Germany are scheduled

  17. Responses to Software Patents in India Though Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions

    India's famous skills, which revolve around software services and software development, are under attack by new laws which strive to grant foreign corporations de facto monopolies on software, even inside India

  18. Mobile Linux (e.g. Android) Still a Victim of Software Patents, No Peace in Sight

    A look at recent developments in the fight against mobile Linux (notably Android these days) and whoever is behind the patent attacks (not always as obvious as people are led to believe)

  19. Bad News for the EPO's Judicial Independence and Due Process in Next Week's Administrative Council (AC) Meeting

    A quick update about what's expected to happen next week when the Administrative Council holds a two-day meeting

  20. More Back Doors Found in Microsoft's Entrapments (Proprietary Software)

    Security flaws and even blatantly obvious loopholes for surveillance are identified in several of Microsoft's so-called 'products', which turn users (and their data) into the real product (to be sold to private companies or shared with spies)

  21. NASA Gives Back What It Took Away in the Form of Patent Monopolies for Private Gain

    Criticism of NASA's habit of clinging onto patents when it is actually the public which pays for everything

  22. The Coup D'état of Benoît Battistelli Follows an Imperialist Model, Threatens Opposition and Dissent

    SUEPO, the staff union, and boards that are independent from the EPO are both under attack and are constantly threatened by Benoît Battistelli and his goons

  23. Links 8/10/2015: Manjaro Linux Releases, Linksys WRT1900ACS, FOSS at NHS

    Links for the day

  24. Links 8/10/2015: KDE Plasma 5.4.2 Released, Linux Drama Queens

    Links for the day

  25. EPO Staff to Disrupt Administrative Council Meeting With Public Demonstration That Raises Awareness of Abuses

    The perception of collusion between the Administrative Council (AC) and the European Patent Office (EPO) leads to staff actions demanding investigation of illegal Board of Appeal (BoA) suspension/s (among many other things)

  26. OIN Turns 10, IDG Floods the Web With Puff Pieces That 'Normalise' Software Patents

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) commissions or helps produce puff pieces in the corporate media because it has an anniversary and corporate interests to push forth (including the idea that software patents can coexist with Linux)

  27. Hypocrite Forks the Linux Kernel Because of Cultural Characteristics That He Himself is Guilty of

    Forking of Linux is misleadingly reported in the media because of a couple of very loud people, who are not even quitting their jobs

  28. Željko Topić Attacks EPO Staff for 'Daring' to Legally Challenge the EPO's Management Over Its Gross Abuses in Europe

    Benoît Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is under the false impression that yet more threats against staff of the EPO will help contain the crisis rather than further inflame it

  29. Media Reports Based on New Patents Suggest That Microsoft Continues to Attack Google and Android/Linux, Trying to Tax and Delete Android

    Reports and patent applications serve to show that Microsoft not only tries to infiltrate ("embrace") Android to put its apps there ("extend") but ultimately to delete ("extinguish") Android

  30. Commenters Provide Possible Explanations for Mr Van der Eijk Being on Unlimited Sick Leave

    Rumours are swirling around Wim Van der Eijk's absence, suggesting that he too may be a victim of Benoît Battistelli's iron fist


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