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Links 10/9/2011: Apple Loses to Linux in Europe, MeeGo Not for Sale

Posted in News Roundup at 11:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Intel Still MeeGos, Apple Loses Again, Yahoo Presents ‘The Charlie Sheen Show’
  • Applications, Riding High on Linux

    Whether it is a big enterprise company in manufacturing sector or a company in the utilities or power sector, Linux has surely moved inside various systems and has become more than a cult. Over the past few years, Linux adoption rates in the enterprise have increased considerably.

  • Why I Ubuntu

    When I think of empowering, I don’t tend to dwell on the modern first world. They don’t especially need empowerment. I’m thinking of the less-franchised or even our own sci-fi future, when our relationship with technology becomes even more important. Do you think Geordi would run code on the Enterprise for which he doesn’t have source access?

    Also note that this is not a moral argument; I don’t especially consider Open Source a moral directive for these purposes. Users won’t flock to us because Ubuntu is open source, but rather because Ubuntu delights them.

    I understand why people work on splinter efforts or other projects, but for me, I think the work that Canonical does with pre-installs, enterprise support, for-purchase apps, Ubuntu One, and user testing is an invaluable addition to the main Ubuntu project. These are how we reach new users.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel comment: The obstacle course of cooperation

      Broadcom has spent a year working on its open source driver for WLAN/Wi-Fi hardware to fulfill the quality demands of the kernel developers, but now they may not even want it any more.

      When it presented Brcm80211 a year ago, Broadcom became the last major manufacturer of WLAN chips for notebooks to get into developing open source drivers for its own WLAN components. The company was praised for this step, and Brcm80211 became a part of the kernel after only a few weeks. But the code landed in the staging area because it did not fulfil the quality demands of kernel developers. The firm then spent part of the past 12 months fulfilling these requirements; now, we have the Brcmsmac and Brcmfmac drivers.

    • Graphics Stack

      • GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap In Software

        Last week I mentioned that Chrome/Chromium OS developers at Google implemented GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap support for software drivers. This is the GLX extension commonly needed by Compiz and other compositing window managers. This work has been merged into Git, so is there new “desktop bling” chewing up your CPU?

  • Applications

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Chumby preps IPTV set-top that uses Android devices as remote

      Chumby is readying a Linux-based IPTV set-top-box that can be remotely controlled by a Wi-Fi connected Android device. Soon to be offered as an open development platform, NeTV is equipped with an 800MHz Marvell processor, and it will include both a Webkit browser that can overlay content on video and a personalized news crawler.

    • Intel Not Selling MeeGo, Says Manager

      Responding to this week’s rumors that Samsung might be looking to acquire MeeGo, the Linux-based mobile operating system introduced by Intel and Nokia, Intel’s Systems Software Division manager Doug Fisher stated that the company remains “committed” to the OS, though he followed that by saying that he could “only comment on what’s happening today.”

    • Blackmagic Design Announces DaVinci Resolve for Linux Price Reduction
    • Phones

      • Android

        • New Android App Smozzy Lets You Surf The Web Without A Data Plan

          Smozzy is a new Android application that lets you search the Web on your mobile phone without a data plan. The app works only in the U.S., only on T-Mobile phones and requires that you have a messaging plan (unless you want to be charged). Despite these restrictions, the app itself is pure genius – it cleverly uses SMS and MMS to send requests and receive the content. And to the end user, the app appears to work just like your own Android phone’s browser, only a bit slower.

        • Huawei and Kyocera Android phones break pricing barrier

          Huawei is launching a 3.8-inch Impulse 4G smartphone on AT&T, offering Android 2.2, 4G service, and a five-megapixel camera for a record-breaking $30 plus contract. Meanwhile, Kyocera teamed with Sprint to announce a three-inch, Kyocera Milano smartphone with Android 2.3 and a 3.2-inch camera for $50 plus contract.

        • Samsung Beats Apple In Europe, Android Leads The Market

          Samsung has beaten Apple in the West European market. The company now holds 22% market share as compared to 21% market share of Apple. The company shipped 4.8 million units in second quarter of 2011, as compared of 4.6 million smartphones shipped by Apple. HTC stands tall at #3 spot with 3.1 million units shipped. HTC now holds 14% market share in the market.

          According to a report by IDC,”All European countries are seeing increasing smartphone adoption, as consumers go for Android-based devices and the iPhone from Apple.”

        • Netflix Updated, Now Runs On All Android Tablets And Smartphones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Lightworks Open Source Initiative Adds New Features, Membership Program

    The Open Source initiative surrounding the Lightworks nonlinear editing system—which was used to cut such recent films as The King’s Speech, edited by Tariq Anwar; and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, edited by Jill Bilcock–has continued to progress.

  • Lightworks Open Source Editing Evolves, for a Fee
  • Sacrificing gratis for libre

    That’s where libre comes in. Everyone has the right to use, modify and redistribute the software. If you are a developer, you can fix bugs that the manufacturer doesn’t have time for, add new features and more. If you aren’t, you can reap the rewards of other people’s changes or hire a developer to make the changes for you.

  • Events

    • “Informatica la Castel” Free Software Summer School, 2011 edition, Romania

      At the end of August, I was pleased to participate at “Informatica la Castel” (“Informatics at the Castle”) Free Software Summer School, 2011 edition.

      This annual event – already a tradition among Romanian computer geeks – is kindly hosted by Universitatea de Vest “Vasile Goldiș” (“Vasile Goldiș” West University) and ARLUG, the Arad Linux User Group. It’s like a pleasant summer camp, at the 1724 Cernovici Castle (position), in the beautiful landscape of Macea village – about 20 km away from the city of Arad, Romania and near the Hungarian border.

    • GandhiCon 4.x

      Searches for the word “linux” have been trending downward since early 2004, according to Google. Searches in mid-2011 are about a quarter of what they were in early 2004. On the other hand, searches for “android” more than doubled those for “linux” by mid-2011. So, what should we make of that?

    • OLPC Community Summit 2011 in San Francisco Oct 21-23
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla asks all CAs to carry out security audits

        Following the attack on Dutch certification authority (CA) DigiNotar, Mozilla has sent a warning email to all CAs with root certificates in Firefox and Thunderbird. Kathleen Wilson, responsible for certificate management at Mozilla, is asking CAs to undertake a security audit of their public key infrastructure (PKI) and to forward the results to Mozilla by 16 September.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Draw — my new favorite application

      I had to generate a report today, one that included a bunch of PDF documents, and I finally figured out how to import PDFs into LibreOffice (with the help of LO’s PDF Import extension, which still appears to have Oracle’s fingerprints all over it, by the way).

      Call it counter-intuitive (or less than intuitive), but once you bring a PDF into LibreOffice, you edit it in LibreOffice Draw.


  • Licensing

    • FSF’s Star Turn in the Android FUDathon, Part 4

      “Strike while the iron is hot” — and the usual suspects have made Android licensing a hot issue. However, the title of the FSF article, “Android GPLv2 termination worries — one more reason to upgrade to GPLv3,” gives the game away. This is about politics, not licensing. About pushing a specific agenda. About promoting the GPLv3 license at the expense of the GPLv2, Linux, Android and reality.

      It’s natural that there will be people and organizations engaging in bit of opportunistic profile-raising when they see an opportunity. Sometimes, as with the FSF GPLv2 FUD, they overreach and need to be called on it. And sometimes they really put their foot in it, as the Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin did when he recently labeled businesses that don’t contribute back code as “idiots.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Season on Dutch Cultural Innovation

      In a memorandum titled “More than Quality” the Dutch Arts Minister Halbe Zijlstra has announced savage cuts to the country’s arts budget. Among media arts & technology organizations to lose their structural funding are such long-term friends and partners of ours as STEIM, Waag Society, V2, Submarine Channel, and Mediamatic.

      This means that pretty much the entire field of internationally focused and future-oriented innovation, education, and development, which has distinguished the Netherlands for many decades, is to be demolished practically overnight.

  • Programming


  • Netflix’s Webkit-based UI for TV devices
  • Science

    • Monsanto Denies Superinsect Science

      As the summer growing season draws to a close, 2011 is emerging as the year of the superinsect—the year pests officially developed resistance to Monsanto’s genetically engineered (ostensibly) bug-killing corn.

      While the revelation has given rise to alarming headlines, neither Monsanto nor the EPA, which regulates pesticides and pesticide-infused crops, can credibly claim surprise. Scientists have been warning that the EPA’s rules for planting the crop were too lax to prevent resistance since before the agency approved the crop in 2003. And in 2008, research funded by Monsanto itself showed that resistance was an obvious danger.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks cable: US lobbied vs breastfeeding in the Philippines

      The US embassy lobbied against a breastfeeding campaign in the Philippines and blocked revisions in the Philippine Milk Code’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRRs), according to a US diplomatic cable released by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

    • AP review finds no threatened WikiLeaks sources

      Federica Ferrari Bravo’s story of meeting American diplomats in Rome seven years ago hardly reads like a James Bond spy novel or a Cold War tale of a brave informant sharing secrets to help the United States.

      So it came as a something of a surprise to her to hear that in one of the 250,000-odd State Department cables released by WikiLeaks, she was deemed a source so sensitive U.S. officials were advised not to repeat her name.

    • WikiLeaks US Cables Point to BIN Role in Munir Murder

      Recently leaked US diplomatic cables about the murder of human rights campaigner Munir Said Thalib could help authorities uncover the truth and implicate the real perpetrators, activists said on Friday.

      “The cables convinced us further that top-level officials of the State Intelligence Agency [BIN] were involved in the murder,” said Al Araf, program director of human rights group Imparsial.

      “Then-Chief of National Police Sutanto allegedly knew about the BIN involvement but he was lacking evidence to implicate its officials. Now, after the cables were made public, we encourage Sutanto to testify in the court.”

    • CableGate 2 and the Records Continuum

      The records continuum model was developed by Monash University’s Frank Upward in the mid 1990s as a way of expressing the many recordkeeping processes that occur in society and the contingencies inherent in them. It explains the way in which records are made, organised, shared and used in a variety of times, places and contexts under the influence of changing legal, political and practical constraints. It has been written on extensively, and there are some references included below, so I do not propose to expand on it in detail here.

    • The Julian Assange affect echoes in the Valley

      When the Australian national Julian Assange took upon himself to make public a barrage of the US diplomatic cables—he never probably thought what an upturn it will make in a far off place like Kashmir – a tinderbox zone, bitterly contested between India and Pakistan.

    • Wikileaks:How Kutigi Rejected Obasanjo’s Bribe

      In yet another bombshell in what appears to be an inexhaustible arsenal of dark secrets, internet whistleblower WikiLeaks has disclosed how former President Olusegun Obasanjo offered Justice Ibrahim Kutigi $1.6m bribe to compromise the judiciary and drop a suit by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

    • Wikileaks – France Armed Cameroon to Fight Over Bakassi

      he then Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen Theophilus Y. Danjuma told the former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Howard Franklin Jeter that the Nigeria’s acquisition of military hardware at the heat of its dispute with Cameron over the oil-rich Bakassi peninsula were in response to the arming of Cameroon by France, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cables posted by Wikileaks.

    • Activists call on AGO to use Wikileaks cables as new evidence

      Activists from various human rights NGOs urged Attorney General Basrief Arief to challenge a Supreme Court ruling that acquitted the alleged mastermind of the murder of rights activist Munir Said Thalib by using US diplomatic cables recently leaked by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

      The cables, which linked the murder to the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), should have been presented as new evidence to prosecute former BIN deputy chairman Muchdi Purwoprandjono, Choirul Anam from the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (Kasum) told a press conference on Friday.

    • Wikileaks: Gray Companies Enabled Sudan Atrocities

      In 2003, the Government of Sudan summoned Sudanese business leaders and solicited financial assistance from them for its violent campaigns in Darfur, according to a cable published by Wikileaks. At the meeting, officials from Khartoum acknowledged that its operations against rebels in Darfur “would lead to civilian deaths,” and that its response to the Darfur uprising “may require some bombing[,] and civilians would be killed.” From 2003 through 2008, Khartoum regularly sought support from the Sudanese business community for its Darfur operations.

    • Makoni party funded by UK: WikiLeaks

      SIMBA Makoni’s 2008 presidential bid was in part funded by the UK government, leaked United States diplomatic cables reveal.

      The former Finance Minister quit Zanu PF to run as an independent, the result of growing disenchantment within the party over President Robert Mugabe’s reluctance to give up power.

    • Grifters of ‘Al Saud, Inc.’: How Saudi royals get their wealth

      A secret, 1996 cable — sent from the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and released by Wikileaks — offers a detailed account of the mechanisms of wealth distribution and waste within Saudi Arabia’s royal family. Despite the considerable riches doled out to “thousands” of Saudi princes and princesses, the cable observes that Saudi royals “seem more adept at squandering than accumulating wealth.” (The embassy notes that the country has more commoner billionaires than royal billionaires.) As reported in the cable, corruption also abounds largely unchecked.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Civil Rights

    • 9/11: The day we lost our privacy and power

      Investigative reporter Duncan Campbell reflects how 9/11 has torpedoed resistance to intrusion and undermined privacy rights born of earlier struggles. It may, irreversibility, have changed the way we think.

      9/11 was a savage nightmare that took too long to happen for some in the West.

      For 12 fallow years, from the fall of the Wall to the fall of the Towers, there was a brief golden period in which no great common enemy menaced all unseen beyond the distant horizon. There was no simple spectre of fear on which to construct, fund and operate surveillance platforms, or reason to tap data funnels into society’s communications and transport arteries.

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