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Links 6/9/2011: Linux on GitHub, Baidu Forks Android

Posted in News Roundup at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Linux development temporarily moves to GitHub

      Linus Torvalds has published the fifth release candidate of Linux 3.1. As the main server for kernel.org is not completely back up and running after the break-in that was made public last week, Torvalds uploaded the git repository with the mainline Linux sources to GitHub.

    • Linus Torvalds puts Linux 3.1-RC5 on Github after kernel.org breach
    • LinuxCon: x86 platform drivers

      With his characteristically dry British humor, Matthew Garrett outlined the current situation with x86 platform drivers at LinuxCon. These drivers are needed to handle various “extra” hardware devices, like special keys, backlight control, extended battery information, fans, and so on. There are a wide range of control mechanisms that hardware vendors use for these devices, and, even when the controller hardware is the same, different vendors will choose different mechanisms to talk to the devices. It is a complicated situation that seems to require humor—and perhaps alcohol—to master.

    • Roccat Linux Support Keeps Coming

      Last year I talked about how there were open-source Linux drivers for Roccat gaming mice. Not only was there open-source support available, but it was living in the mainline Linux kernel. This great Linux support comes from an experienced developer working with Roccat to improve their Linux support. This developer, Stefan Achatz, has written the kernel drivers plus open-source user-space utilities.


      Linux drivers (open or closed-source) for gaming peripherals like these mice and keyboards with various extra functionality is rather rare.

    • Linux 3.1-rc5
    • Panasonic’s Full HD LCD Home Theater Projector For Linux Users
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Chronicles of Desktop Deaths Foretold

      Consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack has a desktop, a laptop, an HTC Desire Z cellphone and a work-provided Galaxy Tab. “Care to guess which one I use the most?” he asked. “It’s the desktop. My desktop has more power than the rest of my devices put together, the keyboard is at the proper typing height, and the monitors are on an ergonomic stand to keep my neck from being

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Reminder: Ubuntu App Developer Week Starts Today
          • Menu Discoverability In Ubuntu 11.10

            OK, with that out of the way I just wanted to talk about menus a little. Recently we released Ubuntu 11.10 Beta 1 and there was the requisite review on OMG! Ubuntu! and the conversation rather unsurprisingly descended into a debate about the menus and window controls in Ubuntu 11.10.

          • Online with Oneiric

            WHEN I read that the first beta version of the new Ubuntu release (11.10 a.k.a. Oneiric Ocelot) was available for downloading, I knew it was time to break out my trusty Acer AspireOne netbook again. For the last couple of Ubuntu releases, this notebook—with a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB memory, 40GB hard drive—has been my test machine for some of the radical changes that my favorite Linux distribution was introducing.

            Mostly, I’m referring to the Unity interface that Ubuntu introduced in 11.04, which I felt clearly lacked some of the easy customization that the Gnome 2.x desktop afforded. I also felt the first version of Unity was still too rough around the edges, and wouldn’t let me do what I needed to do quickly. So, on my production machine (a desktop PC), I run 11.04—but still use the classic Gnome shell in place of Unity.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • 15 Must Have Android Games

          Android is growing at a stupendous rate and so is Android Market. Number is applications in Android Market is nearing 300,000 now and the rate of growth is only increasing. Trying to pick the very best of Android games from that enormous list is tough. I will try to give it my best shot anyway. Here are the games I enjoy playing in my Android 2.3.3 powered Galaxy S2.

        • Versatile Android device, the KT SpiderPad

          One of the most interesting devices showcased on the IFA this year is the KT SpiderPad. The main device is an Android smartphone. What makes this smartphone desirable are the accessories, which transforms it into a very powerfull setup.

        • Android Market Share Soars, Grabs Apple iOS Market Share in UK
        • Android: Another fork in the code by Baidu

          Critics of Google’s Android mobile OS have always been vocal about the f-word– fragmentation. From its inception Android has fallen victim to Google’s soft stance to Android versions and it has been common to see at least three or four versions in the market at any given time.

          Last week details emerged about Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Tablet that will run a totally different OS using the Android kernel but little else. Then China’s Baidu announced it will produce its own mobile OS using at its core, you guessed it, Android. There will soon be more versions and derivatives of Android than you can shake a smartphone at.

        • Google: nearly one third of Android devices running Gingerbread

          The latest figures released by Google show that version 2.3.x of Android, known as “Gingerbread”, is now being actively used on nearly one third of all devices running the open source mobile operating system. According to the Platform Versions device dashboard on the Android Developer portal, Android 2.3.x accounts for 31.3 per cent of the total number of devices in use, an increase of 7 percentage points compared to just one month ago.

Free Software/Open Source


  • The VAR Guy: Does Sold Mean Sold Out?

    een sold. More specifically, The VAR Guy’s publisher, Nine Lives Media, which also publishes the web sites MSPmentor and Talkin’ Cloud, has been sold to Penton Media, a huge business-to-business media company. At last count, according to Wikipedia, Penton “publishes and produces 113 magazines, 96 trade shows, 145 websites and has over six million subscribers across 17 different market segments.” Their target markets run the alphabetic gamut from Agriculture to Wealth Management. Nine Lives will become part of Penton’s “Technology Group.”

    If you’re thinking this won’t be good for FOSS, you’re probably right.

    Obviously, this “VAR Guy” is a house writer, like some of the in-house hacks that churned out serial novels for U.S. publishers like Grosset & Dunlap back in the 30s and 40s. He has no name. He has no face. He exists as a person only in the way that corporations, according to the Supreme Court, are people. This means that if the new bosses don’t like the content of the blogs churned out by the present “VAR Guy,” they can replace him with “VAR Guy” number two, and if that doesn’t work out with number three….

    I’m sure you get my drift.

  • Surviving Fixed-Everything IT Projects

    Using fixed-price contracts for a contract may seem to limit risk, but it mostly costs more and produces less satisfactory results.

  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Bollywood got funds from gangsters, politicians: WikiLeaks

      A leaked US diplomatic cable has said that Bollywood welcomed funding from gangsters and politicians, known in India as “black money.”

      While there is no direct reference of Dawood Ibrahim which allegedly financed a number of movies, the cable said that in recent decades, the Bollywood film industry has been associated with the notorious Mumbai underworld, at the nexus of gangsters, money, and politics.

    • Julian Assange Statement on Chief Minister Mayawati

      Mayawati has betrayed rational thought. The question is, has she also betrayed the Dalit?

      There is no question that the documents are official papers from the US embassy. These papers have been proven the world over–including by the aggressive persecution of our people by Washington. The allegations within them are made by US diplomats in their private communications back to Hillary Clinton. If Chief Minister Mayawati has a problem with the contents of these communications she needs to take it up with Hillary.

      I ask that Mayawati admit her error and apologise.

    • Send me jet, I’ll bring you sandals: Assange to Mayawati

      This morning, at a press conference, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister said that the WikiLeaks cables that refer to her appear to be inauthentic. The fact that Mr Assange posted them on his website, she said, shows that he is either mentally ill or is being used by her political opponents. “He has gone mad,” she said. “If there is no room to treat him elsewhere, let him come to Agra…we will find him some space at the mental asylum there.”

    • Fallouts of wikileaks: Gabby, Ephson banter over bribery
    • $/etc/init.d/globaleaks start; We have Lift Off!

      We are very excited to announce the innaugural release of Globaleaks. Accompanying the release is a hands on demonstration of Globaleaks showcasing both the technical aspects and our methodology. While functional, at this time the demo is a working development version, or alpha version and not yet ready for deployment.

    • Wikileaks says Kenya trained Somalia fighters
    • Only eight Iraqi Jews in Baghdad in 2009: cable

      Baghdad’s Jewish community numbered just eight people in late 2009, having fallen from 20 in 2003 due to deaths from old age and sectarian violence, and emigration, a leaked US diplomatic cable says.

  • Civil Rights

  • 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.

      • Geist: Canada pressed on copyright law, cables show

        Parliament is set to resume in several weeks with the reintroduction of a copyright reform bill by Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Christian Paradis 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.

        That bill garnered some praise for striking a balance on difficult issues such as fair dealing, damages, and the liability of Internet providers. However, its approach to digital locks — which are used to control access to DVDs, CDs, and electronic books — was roundly criticized by consumer, education, and technology groups since it effectively ensured that inclusion of a digital lock trumps consumer and fair dealing rights. The bill’s digital lock rules largely mirrored those found in the United States.

        The Canadian approach is difficult to understand if viewed solely from a policy or legal perspective. As a policy matter, concerns over digital locks was the top issue raised during the 2009 copyright consultation as well as in the hundreds of submissions to the Bill C-32 legislative committee. From a legal perspective, countries such as Switzerland and New Zealand have adopted a far more balanced approach, demonstrating that protection for digital locks need not eviscerate consumer rights.

        The rationale appears to lie not in law or policy, but in politics. While U.S. pressure on Canadian copyright is nothing new, secret U.S. government cables demonstrate not only a massive behind-the-scenes lobbying effort to promote U.S.-style laws in Canada, but also a shocking willingness by senior Canadian officials to cave to the pressure.

        In fact, newly released cables reveal that former industry minister Maxime Bernier raised the possibility of leaking the copyright bill to U.S. officials before tabling it in the House of Commons and a former policy official with industry ministers Jim Prentice and Tony Clement encouraged the U.S. to pressure Canada by elevating it on a piracy watch list.

      • Did Conservatives sell out Canada to U.S. copyright interests?

        Documents released through Wiki Leaks are painting an alarming picture of Conservative collusion with U.S interests to force through U.S. style copyright legislation.

        New Democrat Digital Affairs Critic Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay) says the leaks raise serious questions about the role played by former Industry Ministers Maxime Bernier and Tony Clement.

      • MPAA’s Bogus ‘Piracy’ Numbers Mean It Thinks Downloaders Would Buy 200 More DVDs Per Year

        Over the years we’ve had plenty of fun with the MPAA’s bogus use of stats when it comes to “piracy” claims. They’re really laughable, and it would actually be kind of funny… if policy makers and the press didn’t actually believe those numbers and pass bad legislation based on them. Even the one time that the MPAA admitted its piracy stats were totally wrong, it was too late to stop a law that was passed on the basis of those bogus numbers.

      • ACTA

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