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09.06.11

Links 6/9/2011: Android 3.2 Previews, wdiff 1.0.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Understanding open source technologies, the ethical way

    The recent times have seen many big companies and even US government face brunt of invasions by hackers from other countries, creating a huge impact on world politics.

    With this trend several hackers offer help in repairing vulnerabilities in such systems. They in turn demand payments for the same, which is not ethical, because their work does not comply with pure assurance that an ethical hacker always guarantees.

    Thus for us ethical hackers, this unethical wayposes a threat to our image, which is yet to be repaired in the minds of governments and people in general.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • NSA proposes Accumulo NoSQL database to Apache

      Built on top of Apache’s Hadoop, Zookeeper and Thrift projects, Accumulo is a distributed key/value store based on the design of Google’s BigTable. Developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Accumulo project has now been proposed to the Apache Software Foundation for consideration and incubation as a new Apache project. Accumulo’s big difference is that it has fine-grained label-based access control, which could allow different users to access a record but only see the fields they are allowed to see; the NSA developers believe such a database could work in “government, health care, and other industries where privacy is a concern”.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Another Crack in Oracle’s Case Against Google
    • Oracle v. Google – Google Knocks Another (Minor) Chip Out of Oracle

      Two weeks ago Google won the right to file a motion for summary judgment on Oracle’s affirmative defense of assignor estoppel. As we explained at that time, Oracle was arguing that, since Google now employs some of the named inventors in the patents Oracle is asserting against Google, Google should be precluded from challenging the validity of those patents.

      Oracle has now decided to throw in the towel on that defense by agreeing to stipulate to its dismissal with prejudice, i.e., they cannot reassert this defense again in this case. 387 [PDF] This is not that big a deal. There was almost no chance that Oracle was going to be successful with the assignor estoppel defense (their attempt to apply it in this case went far beyond anything any court has allowed). Nevertheless, it knocks one more issue off the table. Note that the dismissal with prejudice on this defense is not final until the judge enters the order, but given the parties have agreed to the stipulation, that is a mere formality.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • wdiff 1.0.0 released

      So what has changed? As user noticeable changes we have updated translations for Updated Dutch, French, Danish and Slovenian as well as a completely new translation file for Ukrainian thanks to Yuri Chornoivan. The code will now give more useful results in case the diff program either cannot be executed or fails for some reason.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Can Whitehall open up to open source?

      What’s Whitehall’s attitude to software procurement? A cynic might sum it up as “nobody ever got sacked for buying Microsoft”.

      The current government has vowed to change the civil service mindset that has always preferred to spend money with the biggest firms and has been conservative about open source software.

      The Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has vowed to create a level playing field for open source as part of a drive to cut costs.

      Now a BBC Freedom of Information (FOI) request has given us a glimpse of how big the challenge will be.

    • Government a closed shop for open source

      Amid promises from the current Government to give greater opportunities to open-source providers, the BBC made a flurry of Freedom of Information Act requests aimed at discovering the use of non-proprietary software in Whitehall.

      The figures from each department are hardly conclusive and vary in detail, but point to a situation in which conservatism rules the day, with civil-service buyers reluctant to look past low-risk, high-cost packages from big-name suppliers.

    • Indian Government Takes the Open Source Route

      The draft ‘Policy On Device Drivers For Procurement Of Hardware For e-Governance’ states that the, “Government of India (GOI) endeavours to provide e-governance services, which are technology-neutral, cost-effective, interoperable and vendor-neutral. The GOI Policy on open standards is a step towards meeting this objective in the development of e-governance applications.” The policy will be applicable in all new e-governance projects, as well as in existing ones.

    • Department for Transport Embraces Open Source Platform and Cloud-Based Hosting in Latest Kainos Project

      The Department for Transport (www.dft.gov.uk/) has become the latest central Government organisation to extend its relationship with Causeway, the application management services arm of Kainos, with a new contract to support the Department’s web activities and migration to a cloud-based open source platform.

Leftovers

  • Armageddon of IT

    The “innocent” third parties for this change could either ship their products in virtual machines paying the “tax” or they could port their software to GNU/Linux. Either way would cost ISVs some money but all the software makers owe the manufacturers of all that lovely hardware a lot, I figure. They should be glad to contribute to software freedom. End users might need some retraining but the OEMs could easily host training sites to prepare users. There could be lots of opportunity for smaller ISVs to compete against the big guys if they can get software working on GNU/Linux sooner than the big guys.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Nurses to Obama: Heal America, Tax Wall Street!

      As President Obama gets ready for his big jobs speech Thursday, America’s nurses have a message for him. “Heal America, Tax Wall Street!” the signs read as nurses rallied in front of 61 Congressional offices this week. The nurses are proposing a bold alternative to the “cut, cut, cut” rhetoric emanating from Washington, D.C.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Pray for Goldman Sachs

      Because no amount of money ultimately protects you against the collapse of a nation, against raging compatriots in the streets too desperate to care anymore. Look at Rome, Greece, Rwanda, Russia (twice recently — the Czars, then the Commies). Take a look at Gaddafi, Hussein and all the other leaders in the Middle East who have been feasting off their people.

    • WHo Do You THiNK BuiLT AMeRiCa?

      Watch the news this Labor Day. You will have the unique opportunity to hear and see politicians, robbers, thieves and human strip miners tell you about how they have the best interests of “working” American men and women at heart.

  • Civil Rights

    • Facebook Complains About German Sites Changing Functionality Of ‘Like’ Button To Comply With Law

      Who’s more powerful when it comes to determining how social voting functionality works in Germany? The government or Facebook? You may recall a few weeks ago there were reports of a German official effectively banning the Facebook “like” button on third party sites as a privacy violation. While it doesn’t say it’s officially in response to this, the German news site Heise implemented a neat little workaround, in which you have to first click on the icon to “activate” it, and then you can click the “like” (Google translation of the original German). Under this system, the “like” button isn’t loaded until a user clicks on it, thus there’s no issue of Facebook automatically tracking folks via the button.

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