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Links 4/9/2011: Plasma Active Beta, AriOS 3.0.1, Zorin OS 5.1 Core

Posted in News Roundup at 10:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Archives Hacked, SCO Dies Again, More HP Changes & More
  • Desktop

    • Linux And Dead Badgers – People Want to Know!

      I was pretty certain that Badgers, regardless of their origin were just part of my past. Yesterday I realized that I was wrong. But what connection could there be between Linux and Badgers? I have to admit that I am just a beginner in the Linux world. It took me almost a year to install Linux on a fruit. Apple G4’s are just mean and evil when it comes to playing with their FNA (Fruit Normal Application). This is akin to my Supermarket telling me the approved ways to use parsley!

      I knew I had the beast beat when after 10 million ‘fruitless’ attempts it responded with an tech type message that translated into ‘Piss off, I don’t do Linux’. Before it could grep its chron, I had it one the ropes and it was game over.

      Installing Linux in a dead Badger makes my efforts pale into insignificance. Badgers do not come with CD Drives, and they tend to be a little lacking in RAM. There are issues with the processor as well. Intel and AMD have not explored the world of multi core, hyper threading Badger brains.

    • The Passing of an Era

      A few days later, I saw a couple of articles with headlines that read: “The PC is dead, claims IBM chief tech officer on 30th anniversary of home computer launch,” and “IBM Inventor: PC is dead.”

      At the time I had not read Mark’s blog, as I was busy getting ready to give a keynote presentation the following week at LinuxCon in Vancouver. I made a mental note to check what Mark had actually written after I returned from Vancouver.

      I gave my presentation on August 18 in the morning, right around the time that HP announced that it was considering spinning off its PC business. Later that day, during an interview about Linux and related subjects, a reporter asked me in passing what I thought about the earlier stories that the PC was dead, which were given further prominence given HP’s announcement that morning.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma Active entering beta

        We also wanted to start working with the newest QtQuick technologies without disturbing the Desktop or Netbook interfaces with our experimentation. It all came together at the right time and Plasma Active was born.

      • more on Active strategy

        We do all of our design and development in the open. We have the plasma-mobile repository that holds things specific to the Active shell. The rest of our code can be found in the kdelibs, kde-runtime, kde-workspace and kdeplasma-addons repositories.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Google Chrome OS Ready for Prime Time

        How fast things change in this world now a days, you can’t sleep a day without, being left behind. Just a few weeks ago I wrote about Chrome OS “I still do not see too much uses for it”, I was saying that mainly because, you needed to be “connected” in order to use it.

  • Distributions

    • ALT Linux Sisyphus

      I hope ALT Linux team will add more packages to sisyphus because at times I find some packages lacking in it and I am sure that ALT Linux will live longer life under shadows as compared to its shinning in bright days lights counterpart distributions from west with a powerful arsenal like “Sisyphus” .

    • New Releases

      • AriOS 3.0.1
      • Zorin OS 5.1 Core release

        We have released the first updated version of our latest Zorin OS 5 release series. This release uses the GNOME 2.X Classic environment instead of Ubuntu’s Unity shell. Zorin OS 5.1 features a whole host of updates to Zorin OS 5 including an updated Linux Kernel, security updates, upgraded programs and aesthetic changes.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Son of Solaris raids Linux for KVM hypervisor

        In the summer of 2008, Google flipped the switch on its App Engine, letting outside developers build applications atop its state-of-the-art online infrastructure – and it soon got a lecture from Jason Hoffman.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Personal cloud-server gizmo goes mobile

      Cloud Engines is now accepting preorders for a new version of its Pogoplug personal cloud-server gadget, targeting users of Android and iOS mobile devices. Although dubbed “Pogoplug Mobile,” the compact new model remains powered by an AC wall-wart and communicates via wired Ethernet.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Does Adobe Still Need to Wake Up to Open Source?

    The open letter makes a number of very good points, although the availability of alternatives to Adobe’s leading applications doesn’t mean that everyone will adopt alternatives. Part of the reason Flash is so ubiquitous online is simply because it is ubiquitous online. It’s supported by every application you would expect to support it, and supported in standardized, compatible ways.

  • Appsfire Announces Open Source UDID Replacement For iOS: OpenUDID
  • The Cost of Going it Alone

    I’m going to talk about the costs associated with modifying and maintaining free software “out of tree” – that is, when you don’t work with the developers of the software to have your changes integrated. But I’m also going to talk about the costs of working with upstream projects. It can be easy for us to forget that working upstream takes time and money – and we ignore that to our peril. It’s in our interests as free software developers to make it as cost-effective as possible for people to work with us.

    Hopefully, if you’re a commercial developer, you’ll come away from this article with a better idea of when it’s worthwhile to work upstream, and when it isn’t. And if you’re a community developer, perhaps this will give you some ideas about how to make it easier for people to work with you.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome Web browser kicks rump, takes names

        If you look beyond the U.S., Chrome is already well on its way. Statcounter had Chrome exceeding 20% of the worldwide Internet browser market in June. Statcounter’s numbers already places Chrome ahead of Firefox in some areas of the world.

  • SaaS

    • Best Practices for Selecting Apache Hadoop Hardware
    • Aeolus–A New Open Source Multi-cloud Management Solution

      Aeolus is an open source project intended to provide solutions for managing packs of virtual machines across various private and public clouds. The project has been started by Red Hat, but they do not want to own the project, inviting other companies to join forces with them in creating an open cloud management solution.

      Aeolus is very similar to what RightScale does, who provides a cloud management console and an unified API that works across Cloud.com, Eucalyptus, and Rackspace, while support for EC2 is to be added in the near future. Aeolus currently runs on a 64-bit machine with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 or Fedora 14 installed, and can be used to administer virtual images deployed on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Rackspace Cloud Hosting, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), VMware vSphere and/or Eucalyptus.

  • Licensing

    • The entrepreneur’s dilemma: Justifying contributor agreements in open source

      At the start of the summer, you may recall Project Harmony causing a certain amount of controversy on the subject of contributor agreements in open source communities. My position on them was and is that they are a rarely needed and exceptional tool that should be avoided unless essential, because of their negative effects on the dynamics of open source communities.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • WikiHouse: An open source home design and build kit

      A London based design and strategy firm wants to make designing and building your own home more possible and affordable. 00:/, the designers, have created an open source house design and construction kit named WikiHouse. WikiHouse will be open to anyone and everyone via a Creative Commons license.

    • Open Hardware

      • Personal cloud-server gizmo goes mobile

        As I mentioned in my previous column, my son and I want to explore robotics as a hobby and a learning experience. We don’t have an unlimited budget, so I wanted to do some estimating of what it would cost to do it using different technology standards. In the first part, I explored Lego Mindstorms, but the open-hardware (and free software) Arduino system has been getting better and better. So I want to consider that possibility in this column and make a comparison to see which is a better option for us.

        Arduino is much newer, having only come into its own in the last few years. But it’s also a fully open-hardware (or Open Source Hardware — meaning that the plans are free for anyone to use to make Arduino components), and indeed, there are multiple Arduino suppliers to choose from. Software host environments for communicating with and programming Arduino controllers are available as free software packages in various well-established programming languages. The whole Arduino culture is very free and open.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Files Note Close C.I.A. Ties to Qaddafi Spy Unit

      Documents found at the abandoned office of Libya’s former spymaster appear to provide new details of the close relations the Central Intelligence Agency shared with the Libyan intelligence service — most notably suggesting that the Americans sent terrorism suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country’s reputation for torture.

    • Libya: Gaddafi regime’s US-UK spy links revealed

      The papers suggest the CIA abducted several suspected militants from 2002 to 2004 and handed them to Tripoli.

    • Secret Files Reveal Former UK-Libya Links

      Secret files have been found by Human Rights Watch which show the close intelligence relationship between the UK, US and Libya.

    • French political establishment tries to bury the Oslo neo-fascist massacre

      The political establishment in France is trying to hide the significance of the massacre of 77 people in Oslo by neo-fascist Anders Breivik, in order to conceal the great dangers posed by the promotion of right-wing conceptions and parties by the French and European ruling elite as a whole.

    • MI5 former chief decries ‘war on terror’
    • Rebel military chief says he was tortured by CIA

      The overthrow of Gaddafi has brought together strange allies, but few stranger than Abdulhakim Belhaj, the military commander of all rebel military forces in Tripoli, and Nato. An Islamist whom Gaddafi tried to have the US list as a terrorist, Mr Belhaj says he was tortured by CIA agents after being arrested in the Far East in 2004 and later handed over by them to Colonel Gaddafi for further torture and imprisonment in Libya.

  • Cablegate

    • Indonesian Police Used FPI as ‘Attack Dog,’ Leaked US Cable Alleges

      Unredacted US diplomatic cables published by antisecrecy Web site WikiLeaks on Friday allege collusion between Indonesian security forces and the radical Islamic Defenders Front.

      Though the claims are not new, the leaked cables go into far greater detail than before and name the sources providing the US Embassy in Jakarta with information on a number of recent controversies, each of which has the potential to embarrass the Indonesian government.

    • The Effect of WikiLeaks in the Stadium of Democracy

      Americans love sports. They love watching football and baseball games. I live in the SF Bay Area and I depend on BART rail transit almost everywhere I go. Even though I have no interest in sports and don’t know much about them, I know when the games are on as I experience immediate changes in the familiar scenery of my commute.

      Whenever there is a game the station is transformed into a kind of zoo, or maybe like a shopping mall. The train is packed with people wearing uniforms and Giants hats. They are filled with excitement, finding kindred spirits sharing cheers for their team.


      A little known organization called WikiLeaks suddenly emerged into the stadium and grabbed the teams and the audience’s attention. The WikiLeaks founder, a white-haired mysterious dude managed to enter the field and interrupted the game. He is no Goldman Sachs, no Obama-like charismatic politician, no Uncle Tom for the Ivy League elite. He was not a powerful manufactured celebrity groomed for consumption (Heck, he was even homeless!).

    • US Consul was told corruption was an “inalienable” part of India (Wikileaks)

      In this age of super-charged discussions and rallies against corruption, it is perhaps instructive to look back five years when scams were not the stuff of daily news.

      Hearing the innovative ways in which people rationalized corruption, the then US Consul for Chennai David Hopper wondered if Indians really objected to it at a deep level at all.

      In a cable written in 2007 after the collapse of an over-bridge in Hyderabad, Hopper listed the various ways in which people “explained” corruption and wondered “Does anyone care?”

      Hopper was, of course, talking about the Andhra Pradesh state administration under YSR Reddy which, like the Central administration at present, was rolling out a number of multi-billion populist welfare measures aimed at the poor.

    • WikiLeaks: ‘Reached understanding with Musharraf on Kashmir,’ PM told US delegation

      A US diplomatic cable leaked by whistleblower website WikiLeaks quotes Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as saying that in 2006, he had reached an “understanding” on Kashmir with then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

      The cable claims Dr Manmohan Singh told an American delegation in April 2008 that “We had reached an understanding in back-channels, in which Musharraf had agreed to a non-territorial solution to Kashmir that included freedom of movement and trade.”

    • Extrajudicial killings in the Philippines: What we can learn from Wikileaks

      From 2004-2010, the Philippines witnessed one of the worst waves of human rights violations in its history. Hundreds of activists were killed or abducted. Hundreds more were arrested and faced with trumped-up charges. The magnitude of the abuses caught the attention of the international community. The issue also further isolated the regime of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The main suspects in the killings and disappearances were state security forces.

    • Wikileaks cable shows American perception of Canada’s political scene
    • Polish CIA prison: US and Poland had been trying to “put story to rest”

      This is what the cable says:
      “[FM] Meller’s staff expects that the renditions and “CIA prisons” issue will continue to dog the Polish government, despite our and the Poles’ best efforts to put this story to rest. In response to sustained media pressure, PM Marcinkiewicz announced December 10 that his government will order an internal probe “to close the issue.” Meller anticipates being asked about renditions by the Polish press while in Washington, and the MFA has asked that we remain in close contact to coordinate our public stance.”

    • Secret files: US officials aided Gaddafi

      Al Jazeera news producer Jamal Elshayyal recently gained access to the Tripoli headquarter of Libya’s intelligence agency. Among the documents scattered throughout the demolished building were secret files indicating that influential Americans advised Muammar Gaddafi since the beginning of the Libyan uprising. Here is his account of the discovery:

    • Facts and myths in the WikiLeaks/Guardian saga

      As usual, many of those running around righteously condemning WikiLeaks for the potential, prospective, unintentional harm to innocents caused by this leak will have nothing to say about these actual, deliberate acts of wanton slaughter by the U.S. The accidental release of these unredacted cables will receive far more attention and more outrage than the extreme, deliberate wrongdoing these cables expose. That’s because many of those condemning WikiLeaks care nothing about harm to civilians as long as it’s done by the U.S. government and military; indeed, such acts are endemic to the American wars they routinely cheer on. What they actually hate is transparency and exposure of wrongdoing by their government; “risk to civilians” is just the pretext for attacking those, such as WikiLeaks, who bring that about.

      That said, and as many well-intentioned transparency supporters correctly point out, WikiLeaks deserves some of the blame for what happened here; any group that devotes itself to enabling leaks has the responsibility to safeguard what it receives and to do everything possible to avoid harm to innocent people. Regardless of who is at fault — more on that in a minute — WikiLeaks, due to insufficient security measures, failed to fulfill that duty here. There’s just no getting around that (although ultimate responsibility for safeguarding the identity of America’s diplomatic sources rests with the U.S. Government, which is at least as guilty as WikiLeaks in failing to exerise due care to safeguard these cables; if this information is really so sensitive and one wants to blame someone for inadequate security measures, start with the U.S. Government, which gave full access to these documents to hundreds of thousands of people around the world, at least).

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Sells Litton Mortgage Unit, With 2 Reprimands From Regulators

      On Thursday, Goldman Sachs gained the government’s blessing to sell off its mortgage unit, but not without a couple of reprimands.

      The investment bank, which had been trying for months to exit the retail mortgage business that has been a source of prolonged headaches for other institutions, agreed to forgive a few million dollars in homeowners’ debt, and said it would refrain from an illegal practice known as robo-signing — or approving foreclosure documents without reading them. Goldman also got a stern talking-to from the Federal Reserve, which imposed no monetary penalties at this time.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Justice Prosser Will Recuse in Campaign Disclosure Case

      Embattled Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser has unexpectedly announced he will recuse himself from an upcoming case involving a Tea Party challenge to proposed election disclosure rules. Prosser was asked to step down on conflict-of-interest grounds because his campaign attorney, James Troupis, is also the attorney for the Tea Party groups; for weeks, Prosser had insisted on his impartiality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Wikileaks Docs Show Ex-Minister Bernier Offered To Leak Copyright Bill to U.S.

        Copyright, U.S. lobbying, and the stunning backroom Canadian response gets front page news treatment today as the Toronto Star runs my story on new revelations on copyright from the U.S. cables released by Wikileaks. The cables reveal that former Industry Minister Maxime Bernier raised the possibility of leaking the copyright bill to U.S. officials before it was to be tabled it in the House of Commons, former Industry Minister Tony Clement’s director of policy Zoe Addington encouraged the U.S. to pressure Canada by elevating it on a piracy watch list, Privy Council Office official Ailish Johnson disclosed the content of ministerial mandate letters, and former RCMP national coordinator for intellectual property crime Andris Zarins advised the U.S. that the government was working on a separate intellectual property enforcement bill.

        The disclosures are particularly relevant since Parliament is set to resume in several weeks with the reintroduction of a copyright reform bill slated to be one of the government’s top priorities. The bill is expected to mirror Bill C-32, the previous copyright package that died with the election in the spring.

      • Leaks show U.S. swayed Canada on copyright bill

        Secret U.S. government cables show a stunning willingness by senior Canadian officials to appease American demands for a U.S.-style copyright law here.

        The documents describe Canadian officials as encouraging American lobbying efforts. They also cite cabinet minister Maxime Bernier raising the possibility of showing U.S. officials a draft bill before tabling it in Parliament.

      • Copyright Wars Volumes 1 & 2

14,000 Pages, Many Cables Coming

Posted in Cablegate, Site News at 9:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Another milestone (14,000 blog posts) for the site and great things ahead

TECHRIGHTS recently started covering Cablegate cables. These assure that we will have some interesting stories for months or years to come. We are trying to get the truth out there. That’s why Boycott Novell and Techrights have posted 14,000 blog posts by now (excluding much more in wiki, IRC, and audio). Not enough people paid attention to the elephant in the room and PR agents tended to manage to spin stories. We needed to counter this and sometimes we succeeded. Boycott Novell, for example, has outlived its purpose.

According to Osama K. from TinyOgg, “‘Linux’ is mentioned 40 times in Wikileaks’ Cablegate.” We are going to cover those. The fight for freedom never ends.

Volunteers for Microsoft Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE at 9:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

NindowsSummary: Status update about people who help SUSE and Mono, not even for a salary

THE OPENSUSE project keeps going under the leadership of people like Andreas Jaeger with his Factory updates and Jos whom he instructs to help organise the community (volunteers) by attending conferences, blogging, etc. He has just returned from the Desktop Summit. It’s about networking.

Those who have kept track of OpenSUSE over the years will know that there has been a considerable decline. It also seems like several key members left silently or at least quietly. We just don’t hear anything from there or about them anymore. Given the recent SUSE-Microsoft deal, it is not likely that the project will manage to recruit many new members, either.

SUSE now depends on some funding from Microsoft, which is funny because Google et al. too spent money on this project (e.g. GSoC and SaX). From the latter link:

3. Tried porting to openSUSE 11.3 ( Testers Required)

They are looking for volunteers to do their SUSE testing. This is what would essentially help Microsoft sell SLE* at the expense of free GNU/Linux distributions. Why would anyone want to do that?

One volunteer has just written about adding the patent liability which is Banshee to OpenSUSE:

A few days ago the Banshee developers have released another unstable release of Banshee, 2.1…3. I’ve submitted this version already to the Banshee:Unstable repositories and to GNOME:Apps for update in openSUSE Factory.

Well, the truth is, as Ryan keeps reminding us, Banshee is hardly being developed anymore (it is like Mono in that sense) and its lead developer just blogs about cooking, not development. He left Novell some months ago.

Given that some SUSE staff is leaving, Mono is virtually unheard of anymore, and OpenSUSE too is fading, why would anyone choose to join as a volunteer? There are communities like Fedora or Debian that are more deserving of outside contributors.

Apple Tries Claiming That It Owns Android

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, SCO at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Darl McBrideDarl McBride for CEO at Apple?

Summary: Apple adopts SCO-like tactics against Linux and rebuttals are posted to show Apple’s nerve

NOT so long before Android was born, Rubin had escaped Microsoft's destructive hand (Rubin is like the Torvalds of Android) and Apple is currently trying to spin what Android really is, pretty much in the same way SCO tried to spin what Linux was, claiming fraudulently (without evidence) that Linux had been derived from its (actually Novell’s) UNIX. As a little reminder, the SCO case seems to be just about over:

Legal experts at Groklaw said that, technically, SCO can ask the US Supreme Court to hear a further appeal, but the specialists expect that such a motion would most likely be rejected without a hearing by the US Supreme Court.

Those who keep an eye on an anti-Android lobbyists will notice a new pattern of FUD. Apple is trying to claim that Android started or was conceived at Apple and the best rebuttal we’ve found so far can be found here. It says:

Apple which lost its case against Android in Europe seems to be getting desperate. Anti-Android propaganda machine now wants the press to believe that Android started at Apple. Why? Just because Andy Rubin, Android creator, once worked at Apple.

The claim is laughable as Andy was a low-level engineer at Apple between 1989-1992, with seemingly no access to the core projects. That was the time when Apple did not even have a clear future, let alone having any concept of the iPhone or the iPad.

It’s sounds more ludicrous because even if there is remotest of the remote possibility that Apple was even thinking of any such device in 1989 it would be extremely secretive about it and someone as low as Andy would never have access to it.

Big companies don’t work the way these propagandists want us to think. Do you think ever engineer at Microsoft gets access to the entire code of Windows 7? No. They get to see only one or two unrelated parts of it. It’s like working at Boeing and all you get to see is a nut. You can’t get inspiration of 747 from a nut, or can you?

Just like SCO, Apple is losing to Linux, so we expect to see many lies being spread. We sure need to counter those. Muktware does a decent job.

IRC Proceedings: September 2nd, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




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