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Links 2/9/2011: 11.10 ‘Oneiric Ocelot’ Beta, Cablegate is Out in Full

Posted in News Roundup at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel.org hacked, but Linux kernel safe thanks to git

      Attackers compromised several servers at kernel.org using an off-the-shelf Trojan that appears to have entered via a compromised user credential. However, the source code for the Linux kernel does not appear to have been altered, thanks to its “git” distributed revision control system, say kernel maintainers.

    • Network emulator tool for Linux

      I have finally decided to blog about my netem tool that I wrote a couple of months ago.
      First, the introductions, netem is a kernel component for controlling QoS, rate control and various network properties that allows you to emulate a network by modifying the kernel’s IP stack’s queue disciplines. You can read more about it here : http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/networking/netem

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Provides RandR Patch For Border Property

        Following a proposal earlier this summer by NVIDIA to extend the RandR protocol, they have now produced a patch for the X.Org Server that adds border property support to the RandR (Resize and Rotate) extension.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)/Qt

      • Tablet Fun and Games

        I’ve had a little time to play with my ExoPC tablet kindly provided by Intel, and after a brief look at the MeeGo/Intel tablet UX decided that Plasma Active was the way to go (sorry Intel!). The MeeGo UX is far from complete and the lack of applications made the tablet next to useless for anything besides basic web-surfing. Plasma Active, on the other hand, is a full openSuse and KDE install and so has many apps to play with. Plasma Active itself is remarkably usable already and has some nice features that actually work the way I expect a tablet to function. It’s amazing how far the Active team has come in such a short time and that’s a tribute to both the Plasma architecture that Aaron put in place and the flexibility of our Platform/Frameworks. If only Intel had approaced KDE first…

      • First Plasma Active experience

        So before meeting: Charge tablet & fetch needed documents.
        Possible issues: Everything was on a my imap server. Minutes was a plain text file, Agenda was a docx file, treasures report was a xls spreadsheet, and the various other papers were pdf files.

        For fetching, I’ve heard a lot about Kontact Touch and everything using Akonadi. Besides me not being fully able to properly enter my password in the first 10 tries, and a sometimes flaky internet connection, everything here was a breeze.

      • Finding Files And Folders With KFind
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to leave Centennial Campus

        Red Hat, known as the world’s leading provider of open source technology solutions, announced last week they will move their headquarters from their current location on Varsity Drive to the Progress Energy Building in downtown Raleigh.

        The company will occupy part of the space that is expected to be created with the merger of Progress Energy and Charlotte-based Duke Energy.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Why a $25 PC? Because it’s the price of a textbook

      There is growing interest surrounding the Raspberry Pi Foundation and their promise of a PC that will cost just $25. We’ve seen how the OLPC has struggled to deliver a $100 laptop for developing countries, and yet Raspberry Pi is confident in delivering the $25 PC by November this year.

      Although we know a bit about the PC, there’s still a lot of information missing, but further details are starting to appear as Raspberry Pi develops the machine further and talks to more people about it. Eben Upton, director of the foundation, recently gave a talk at Bletchley Park regarding Educating Programmers, which focused on the thinking behind the $25 PC. You can watch it below.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • The Android/GPL situation

          There was another upsurge in discussion of Android GPL issues last month, triggered by couple of posts by Edward Naughton, followed by another by Florian Mueller. The central thrust is that section 4 of GPLv2 terminates your license on violation, and you need the copyright holders to grant you a new one. If they don’t then you don’t get to distribute any more copies of the code, even if you’ve now come into compliance. TLDR; most Android vendors are no longer permitted to distribute Linux.

        • Android/Linux Arrives on Most Smart Phones in USA

          A survey of smart phone subscribers over 13 up to July 11 has some interesting numbers. It gives total numbers of smart phones, growth rate of smart phones and shares. If I express the shares as millions of smart phones I can calculate the growth rate of the installed base by platform. Android/Linux is growing at nearly twice the rate of iOS and pulling far ahead. The numbers of new Android/Linux subscriptions can almost account for all the increase in smart phones, indicating that many who already own a smart phone will replace it. Presumably Android/Linux is replacing phones and arriving on new phones while everyone else is replacing and being cast off. The others includes Phoney7 which is not only losing share but numbers of units in service. At this rate Android/linux will have a majority by the end of 2011.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Lenovo, ViewSonic join seven-inch tablet pile-on

        Lenovo has unveiled a seven-inch IdeaPad A1 tablet running Android 2.3, due to ship for just $200 with 8GB of storage memory. Meanwhile, ViewSonic unveiled two more seven-inch Android tablets — a seven-inch, Nvidia Tegra 2-based Android 3.2 tablet called the ViewPad 7x and a lower-end tablet called the ViewPad 7e — plus a V350 dual-SIM Android 2.2 phone.

      • 25,000 Children Are about to Learn Sugar!

        Good news today! I read in the news that the Ministry of Education in my country is about to provide 25,000 laptops for several elementary schools in two years. These laptops are the XO-1 models by the project OLPC (One Laptop Per Child).

      • Android/Linux Tablets Are Alive and Well

        I should not have to write about this again but stories are popping up all over the web that Android/Linux tablets are not selling well against iPad and that iPad is pulling away. Nothing could be further from the truth:

        * Amazon.com shows 8 Android tablets selling with greater popularity than iPad. Those 8 all have 4 stars just like the iPad. Between the iPad 16 gB and the 32gB there are three more Android/Linux tablets.
        * iSuppli, which fawns over iPad, draws a chart showing iPad losing its majority to Android/Linux in 2012.
        * Even The Register gets in on the act.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • China questioned Australia’s rights record: cables

      A confidential cable posted on whistleblowing website WikiLeaks says Chinese officials “sought answers” on how the Australian Government had been handling human rights issues.

      The cable is believed to have come from the US embassy in Canberra in 2009.

      It reports on Australian talks with Chinese officials who visited the country earlier that year as part of the Australia-China Human Rights Dialogue.

    • Interactive timeline: WikiLeaks cables on the Philippines

      Whistleblower group Wikileaks announced on its website Friday that it has posted online all 251,287 diplomatic cables in its possession.

      The new memos include hundreds of previously unpublished secret and confidential cables on the Philippines.

    • Wikileaks cable: UN peacekeepers in Ivory Coast traded food for sex with underage girls
    • Cablebomb!

      After a long day of painful acrimony dealing with the incorrigible ‘old media’ at the Guardian and after weighing the pros and cons of the issue through an online forum and poll, WikiLeaks released a 60 GB torrent of the complete Cablegate files just before midnight New York Time.

    • Govt inquiry into Wikileaks revelations

      The Government is examining thousands of diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks to find out if any “Australian interests’’ have been compromised, after confirming they contain the name of an ASIO officer.

  • Finance

    • Homelessness could spread to middle class, Crisis study warns

      Crisis says that with no sign of economic recovery in sight, there are already signs that homelessness is returning to British streets. In London, rough sleeping, the most visible form of homelessness, rose by 8% last year. Strikingly, more than half of the capital’s 3,600 rough sleepers are now not British citizens: most are migrants from eastern Europe who cannot find work and, unable to get benefits or return home, are left to fend for themselves on the streets.

  • Censorship

    • ‘New laws not needed’ to block / censor Twitter et al

      One of the unanswered questions arising from the August riots is whether the government needs new powers to block the use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media which were used to organise the disturbances.

      Prime Minister David Cameron suggested, in the immediate aftermath of the rioting, that blocking the use of social networking communications was a policy option that was to be urgently discussed with telecommunications operators (and then implemented as a priority).

      So when the Home Office says (as it has done) that no new powers are needed, then it follows that either no new powers are needed (ie, the government already has the power to block social networking communications) or the politicians have quietly gone off the idea (and have decided not to say so).

  • Privacy

    • Pakistan to ban encryption software

      Millions of internet users in Pakistan will be unable to send emails and messages without fear of government snooping after authorities banned the use of encryption software.

      A legal notice sent to all internet providers (ISPs) by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, seen by the Guardian, orders the ISPs to inform authorities if any of their customers are using virtual private networks (VPNs) to browse the web.

  • Civil Rights

    • Interview with Arundhati Roy

      The UID is a corporate scam which funnels billions of dollars into the IT sector. To me, it is one of the most serious transgressions that is on the cards. It is nothing more than an administrative tool in the hands of a police state. But coming back to censorship: since the US government has pissed on its Holy Cow (Free Speech – or whatever little was left of it) with its vituperative reaction to Wikileaks, now everybody will jump on the bandwagon. (Just like every country had its own version of the ‘war on terror’ to settle scores.) Having said this, India is certainly not the worst place in the world on the Free Speech issue: the anarchy of different kinds of media, the fact that it’s such an unmanageable country and, though institutions of democracy have been eroded, there is a militant spirit of democracy among the people… it will be hard to shut us all up. Impossible, I’d say.

    • Obama Fundraising Email Author Arrested Outside White House

      If you received fundraising emails from Barack Obama or campaign manager David Plouffe in 2008, it probably comes as no surprise that Obama and Plouffe didn’t write all of them. They began with “Friend –” and included links to credit-card donation forms. The campaign regularly blasted them out to millions of people.

      Elijah Zarlin, the author of many of these emails as part of Obama’s new-media campaign team, was arrested today outside the White House during a protest of the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed oil conduit from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast. Zarlin was one of Obama’s primary fundraising-email-writers, according to Zarlin and Stephen Geer, a new-media staffer on Obama’s campaign payroll.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Delicate matter of incompatibility with fundamental rights

          A new study on ACTA, commissioned by the Greens/EFA, concludes that ACTA is incompatible with fundamental European human rights instruments and -standards. [1] We believe the Parliament should ask the European Court of Justice an opinion on this delicate issue. Only the Court can decisively resolve the uncertainties.

          A second Greens/EFA study concludes ACTA increases the risks and consequences of wrongful searches, seizures, lawsuits and other enforcement actions against legitimate suppliers of generic medicines. [2]

          Furthermore, according to our own analysis, green innovation will partly inherit the issues in the software field. ACTA will hamper both green innovation and diffusion of green technology. [3]

          Apart from compatibility with the European Convention on Human Rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, general principles of Union law, the Treaties, current Union laws and existing international obligations, there are more issues to address.

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