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Links 27/8/2011: Free Software in India, a Lot of Cablegate Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • A Brief History of My Life on Linux: Part II

      Two distributions I found myself playing with time and time again were Ubuntu and Mepis. Ubuntu was still a fledgling at the version Breezy Badger, so I restricted it to a separate partition from Mepis. Mepis quickly became my main squeeze in the place of Mandriva. It came on a Live CD (which many distributions had yet to do at this time period), came with handy tools for repairing botched installations (which happened a lot with all my tinkering and learning), was easy to use, and was blazingly fast. Best of all though the community welcomed me with open arms and never in the entire time I spent there made me feel like a “stupid noob”.

  • Server

    • BICTU readying for eTRACS deployment, holds Linux Training

      Linux systems have long been used as server operating systems, and have risen to prominence in that area. They have become increasingly popular in the last decade due to pricing, compared to other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. In fact, the ten fastest supercomputers in the world run on Linux.

      The development of Linux has been one of the most prominent examples of free and open source software collaboration; typically all the underlying source code can be used, freely modified, and redistributed, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone under an appropriate license.

  • Kernel Space

    • Samsung Puts Out New Open-Source ARM DRM Driver

      Samsung has published the code to a new open-source DRM driver for its EXYNOS4210 System-On-a-Chip. The EXYNOS4210 has impressive 3D graphics capabilities, uses the dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, and is used in various smart-phones. The Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the smart-phones using the Exynos 4210 SoC. Samsung is hoping to push this DRM driver into the mainline Linux kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Digikam : premier photo management on GNU/Linux

        In Fedora Linux 14, the default photo manager and digital camera application is Shotwell. I tried using it, I really tried, but I ended up giving up because it was not easy to use in my opinion. In fact, I also tried to run one of my relatives through it on his desktop which also runs Fedora 14, and I concluded it just wasn’t worth fighting. For one, Shotwell seems to want to keep all information about photos and their data in its own database. That’s fine, but it makes it non-intuitive when you want to move photos into folders and sort them in ways that are different than Shotwell sorts them (which by default is to create one folder per year, month, and day). When simply moving photos to subfolders, Shotwell loses the thumbnails and doesn’t know where the photos are moved to. Also, Shotwell has its own Trash folder which makes it confusing when trying to clean up photos. While Shotwell’s features could be an advantage to some, in this case it did not work out so well.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME3 and AMD – in a nearby future…

        A long time has gone since I posted the (in)famous bug regarding graphical corruption on GNOME3 seen only by ATI users who use the proprietary case. After long hours of frustration I’ve decided to jump into Intel chipsets which work very nicelly out of the box and leave ATI behind, but new developments suggest that ATI/AMD has fixed the bug and it’s under internal testing, so it seems that within one or two releases this bug will be fixed.

  • Distributions

    • AppSet: a refreshingly nice package manager for Arch Linux in the times of app stores

      I’m a rather outspoken user of Arch Linux after having used and tried many other distributions (MandrakeSoft/Mandriva, Suse, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, SLAX, Chakra and even a few others) and I think I got to like the rolling release concept quite a lot. The rolling release concept essentially takes away the notion of milestone release for a Linux distribution and replaces it by incremental and almost continuous updates. Which means that everyday I can update my system and it’s thus almost always running the most recent stable software versions. Note that the upgrade is my choice only, I could stop doing this for 3 weeks instance and that would be fine. Using Arch Linux does not only mean embracing the rolling release distribution model. It also means being ready to install your system from the command line (granted, you only do that once in theory) which can be tedious but not reall difficult. Another “side effect” of using Arch Linux is that the distribution’s package management is done entirely through the command line and with the help of the excellent package manager pacman. Pacman is however not a graphical package manager, or rather, it does not come with a default, out of the box graphical front-end. Several of them do exist but it does not seem to be in the culture of Arch Linux to use one on a regular basis. Enter AppSet. AppSet is a very nice graphical package manager written in Qt; it even got me use KDE again on par with Gnome. AppSet does not only run on Arch Linux, it also supports Chakra (a very close fork of Arch Linux) and works in theory with any other packaging system.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 12 Things New in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric[Screenshot Tour]

            Ubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot is marching ahead. Through our detailed reviews of Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 releases, we followed Ubuntu 11.10 in its each and every developmental phase so far. A lot of things have changed since the third alpha release and as we had promised, here is a preview of latest round of changes in Ubuntu 11.10 and a quick screenshot tour.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • ENT: Bodhi easy to install, operate – Online with Bob Vaillancourt

              There is a new Linux distribution making the rounds and it is pretty impressive for a number of reasons.

              The first is the minimal requirements it has and the second is the clean look and feel of this distribution.

              It is called Bodhi Linux and is available at bodhilinux.com.

              Among its many features is that this distribution will run on just about any piece of hardware. It has reportedly been successfully installed on a 386 machine from decades ago. In fact, the stated minimum requirements for this free operating system are a 386 processor, with 1.5 gigabytes of hard drive space and only 128 megabytes of ram.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Most phones shipped in 2015 will be smartphones

        Most phones shipped in 2015 will be smartphones
        ANALYST OUTFIT IHS Isuppli claims that smartphones will make up the majority of mobile phone sales by 2015.

      • Android

        • HTC Flyer and Motorola Xoom prices are slashed

          TWO IPAD RIVALS, the HTC Flyer and Motorola Xoom tablets have had their prices slashed by several retailers.

          Although the tablets haven’t seen the same deep price cuts as HP’s Touchpad, which was reduced to around $100 last week and is now sold out, the Flyer can be picked up for £150 less at Carphone Warehouse.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Is this what Amazon’s tablet will look like?

        It remains to be seen if it’ll materialize and cannibalize Amazon’s own bestselling Kindle e-reader, or if those two devices will remain separate draws for buyers (as a recent Nielsen survey suggests). Msnbc.com’s own Wilson Rothman thinks that when it does appear, it’s going to give the iPad a run for its top spot, mostly because of its might as a retailer. It’s a major factor that Kravitz agrees with: “Not only does Amazon have the name and reach to get an attractive piece of hardware into millions of hands at a competitive price, but they also have the content and retail inventories to sweeten the pot with all sorts of tie-ins.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Your Zorp remains strong
  • ICE FOSS 11 inaugurated

    He said that world class open source digital resources are developed and used in the education sector in India.

  • ICFOSS to prepare roadmap on future of FOSS in India

    As part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in India, the Technopark, Trivandrum based International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) recently held a consultation on ‘Future Directions of FOSS in India’ at Technopark, to establish future directions for use and promotion of FOSS in India.

    The consultation session is first of a series of similar sessions that build on Kerala’s early lead in FOSS initiatives and serving to consolidate and leverage the lead with international initiatives. The participants of the consultation, representing a cross-section of stakeholders from the Government, technology organizations, institutions of Higher Education, NGOs, and the FOSS community, outlined their vision for the future of FOSS in their respective domains, highlighting gaps and limitations to be resolved, and making suggestions on the way ahead.

  • Lemma a Free Open Source Twitter Client For the PlayBook

    If you are not satisfied or want more options for PlayBook twitter clients here is a new one called Lemma. The application is free and offers quite a few options. The creators also said they created the app as a proof of concept to show the PlayBook potential. They promise to release the source code so that the BlackBerry development community can keep improving the app. So far the app has received good reviews from PlayBook users.

  • Computer and internet briefs

    The site, which is run by the US-based company Geeknet, lists Open Source software broken down in various categories such as ‘Audio & Video’ or ‘Graphics’. All told, there are more than 300,000 programs available for download on the site, which also includes short summaries about the applications and the developers. The site also allows programmers the chance to manage their projects.

  • Web Browsers

  • Project Releases


  • An Introduction to Giganews’ & Golden Frog’s VyprVPN!
  • Steve Jobs: a reality check

    Hard-core journalists appear to have put all their scepticism aside and wallowed in trying to outdo each other in superlatives.

    The emotional tributes give Jobs the credit for anything and everything that Apple has ever done, especially its achievements in the noughties.

    The reality is a bit different. And if one strikes a sour note, there are no apologies – this is not a reality TV show where selective reality is played out. No, this is life and the warts and sores are as real as the plastic and the botox.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Wikileaks: Kenya still paying ghost Anglo leasing Companies

      Kenya continues to lose millions of shillings in corrupt payments to Anglo Leasing companies, according to a new cable by online whistleblower, WikiLeaks.

    • US Top Diplomat Monitored Internet in Cuba

      Chief of Mission of the US Interest Section in Havana, Jonathan Farrar, monitored the Internet for possible subversive actions, according to a cable released by Wikileaks and reproduced by Cuban websites on Saturday.
      Farrar’s monitoring of the Internet along with his wife occurred in August 2008, when he addressed a memorandum to the US State Department described as sensitive, without reporting any obstacle from Cuban authorities.

    • Full Commission Of Inquiry Report Released

      More than two years after it was completed, Sir Robin Auld’s complete Commission of Inquiry Report 2008-09 of alleged corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands government has been made public.

      “I believe that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands deserve to see the entirety of the final report,” His Excellency the Gov. Gordon Wetherell said Aug. 19 in one of his last actions before leaving office and the country Aug. 22.

    • Armenian police forced homosexuals to reveal gay public figures – US Embassy
  • Finance

    • Factbox: Goldman faces myriad legal challenges

      Conventional wisdom in legal circles has long held that Goldman Sachs (GS.N) might escape further large fines or criminal charges for its role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis after reaching a $550 million settlement with securities regulators in July 2010.

      But news that Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and other senior executives have hired their own lawyers — separate from the army of attorneys already retained by the company — was a powerful reminder for markets that Goldman is still the subject of myriad investigations.

    • Nurses Take the Message “Heal America Tax Wall Street” to 60 Congressional Offices

      Across the country on September 1, nurses will converge on local congressional offices to demand a tax on Wall Street financial speculation, a move they say is a step towards healing the nation, trimming the deficit, and preserving social programs.

      National Nurses United (NNU) is planning a day of action in over 60 congressional offices in 21 states. In Wisconsin, the group is sponsoring a soup kitchen outside of Rep. Paul Ryan’s Janesville office “to provide residents with the sustenance they are not getting from Paul Ryan,” says NNU spokesman Charles Idelson.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Paul Ryan’s Office Locks the Door on Unemployed Constituents
    • Since 9/11, Koch Industries has fought against tougher government rules on chemical plants
    • Toxic Koch: Keeping Americans at Risk of a Poison Gas Disaster

      In 2010 Koch Industries and the billionaire brothers who run it were exposed as a major funder of front groups spreading denial of climate change science and a key backer of efforts to roll back environmental, labor, and health protections at the state and federal levels. Through enormous campaign contributions, an army of lobbyists, and funding of think tanks and front groups, David and Charles Koch push their agenda of a world in which their company can operate without regard for the risks they pose to communities, workers, and the environment. This report, Toxic Koch: Keeping Americans at risk of a Poison Gas Disaster, examines how Koch Industries has quietly played a key role in blocking yet another effort to protect workers and vulnerable communities; comprehensive chemical security legislation.

    • The Lewis Powell Memo: Corporate Blueprint to Dominate Democracy

      Forty years ago today, on August 23, 1971, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr., an attorney from Richmond, Virginia, drafted a confidential memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that describes a strategy for the corporate takeover of the dominant public institutions of American society.

      Powell and his friend Eugene Sydnor, then-chairman of the Chamber’s education committee, believed the Chamber had to transform itself from a passive business group into a powerful political force capable of taking on what Powell described as a major ongoing “attack on the American free enterprise system.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why Michael Robertson of Mp3Tunes deserves our gratitude

        To recap the decision in the Mp3Tunes case, EMI sued the company for what it said were a number of copyright-infringing features of the service — including that users could “sideload” songs to their online lockers, by transferring them directly from online sources such as Amazon, and that the service “de-duplicated” songs stored on its servers, so users who shared a specific song would simply access one copy instead of having to store two separate copies. As with many similar music-sharing lawsuits, EMI also argued that the simple act of copying a song to a cloud service was an infringement of copyright.

      • Hey, Music Industry. You’re suing the wrong people

        You’d never know this by watching the Recording Industry Association of America, the music industry’s trade organization, which has spent over a decade launching lawsuits against individuals and groups within the United States. And although the RIAA decided to drop its strategy of mass lawsuits back in 2008, it continues to collude with the MPAA to hound ISPs into spying on their users in an effort to fight piracy.

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