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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Links for the day

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

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

  7. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

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

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

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

  9. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  10. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  11. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  12. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  13. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  14. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  15. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  16. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  17. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  18. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  19. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

    The EPO's bogus 'journal of record, which Team Battistelli likes to cite in order to bolster its warped version of events at the EPO while maintaining a close secret relationship with the publisher, keeps censoring its own reporters (spiked paragraphs, silently self-censored or censored after publications)

  20. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

    Comment found online accuses the Administrative Council of pressuring, by threats, Directorate-General 3 to dismiss a judge who is silently accused (with selective 'leaks' to the media, reportedly orchestrated by EPO managers) but not even proven guilty

  21. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

    Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO's Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

  22. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part IV

    Some more background information about Elodie Bergot and Gilles Requena, who are married whilst also sharing positions of power at the EPO (and also strong connections/ties with the EPO's President, Mr. Battistelli); Rumours afloat at the EPO -- some with ever-increasing circulation too -- are worth noting

  23. Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann's Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

    Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

  24. German Press Says Broken EPO Lets President Severely Punish Staff Not Even Guilty of Any Wrongdoing

    Juve publishes an article which attempts to be 'balanced' (meaning it believes everything that EPO officials say) but at the same time reveals unacceptable practices that go in inside the EPO

  25. German Media Reveals That Out-of-Control EPO Management is Even Threatening and Abusing Lawyers Now

    The EPO's longstanding fight against justice escalates to an unprecedented war on lawyers themselves; “After this latest move,” says a German newspaper, “even lawyers are starting to feel threatened by the Office.”

  26. Washington Post Only Entertains Debate About Patent Trolls (But Not Patent Scope) Whilst US Lawyers Trick the System to Patent Software

    The Bezos-owned Washington Post continues to help those who wish to eliminate patent trolls (which bother Amazon amongst other large conglomerates) but remains void of any coverage about patent scope, including software patents that patent lawyers work so hard to defend

  27. It Pays (Off) to 'Bribe' the Media: Watch How Les Échos Covers EPO Matters and Self-Censors

    French newspaper Les Échos is self-censoring yet again and it is framing the EPO scandals as the fault of employees, not the fault of abusive managers who are working with Les Échos as a so-called 'media partner' (the EPO management is French-dominated)

  28. 'Leaked' PDF Shows How EPO Management Tried to Crush Judge Who 'Dared' to Criticise EPO Management

    The EPO's management continues to chill potential critics and is now making an example of a board's judge, despite having no such authority over him

  29. Links 21/11/2015: Community Appreciation Day, Jolla's Problems

    Links for the day

  30. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part III

    A look at how the EPO's management (Željko Topić in particular) defended the unprecedented promotion of Ms Bergot (wife of the president's close assistant), even in the face of outcry from EPO staffwarning


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