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09.11.11

Links 11/9/2011: Xonotic 0.5, Plasma Active

Posted in News Roundup at 9:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Xonotic 0.5 Release

        Today we can bring you some great news, a brand new release of Xonotic! It has been quite a while since the 0.1 preview version, but we have made immense progress over the last few months. In this blog post we’ll be showing off the latest improvements and tell you about the changes we made from the feedback we had after the initial release.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma Active: Crunching towards One

        Plasma Active aims at creating a desirable user experience for a spectrum of devices, based on a fully Free software stack, developed in the open. The first release is planned for October. In the following article, you can read about the latest status and recent improvements made.

      • Back from the Desktop Summit 2011 in Berlin

        Perhaps I am the last one writing about the wonderful Desktop Summit in Berlin some days ago. Nevertheless I want to summarize my personal highlights.

        The Desktop Summit was awesome. I had the pleasure to meet people (old and new friends from all over the world), discuss complicated stuff face-to-face and of cause: have a lot of fun together.

        In a combined cross desktop marketing BoF we discussed some ideas how we (GNOME and KDE) could join forces to get bigger media coverage (e.g. TV, radio or big newspapers). One intresting first step is by paying attention on our messages. It occured that the message was: “… is THE Linux Desktop Environment” or “A is better than B”.

      • Google Summer of Code & Season of KDE

        How awesome are the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) and Season of KDE (SoK) programs? According to Daniel Moctezuma, “All the work done by students in GSoC/SoK will have an impact in Free Software and the world.” Daniel is one of the 2011 GSoC students. Lydia Pintscher is the main administrator of these programs for KDE. She made the following report.

        [...]

        It makes me proud that KDE as a community is able and willing to teach newcomers to Free Software on such a large scale, while delivering high-quality results in terms of code produced and students mentored.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Intel SNA With Unity, Unity 2D & GNOME Shell

        After the benchmarks a few days back of Intel Sandy Bridge Acceleration On Non-SNB Hardware, Chris Wilson of Intel who has been responsible for much of the “Sandy Bridge New Acceleration” work requested more tests, but this time to see the effect that the compositing window manager has on this new acceleration architecture. As a result, here is some quick tests of Intel’s Sandy Bridge graphics under the Unity, Unity 2D, and GNOME Shell desktops.

  • Distributions

    • Lucid Puppy 5.2.8 review – More goodness

      Praising an operating system over and over is a sure sign of fanboyism, which is punishable by flogging in some countries, or at the very least, leads to ostracization in the higher social circles. But it is truly difficult to find fault with the Puppy Linux, release after release. And while I tested Lucid Puppy not that long ago, I had an urge for more great stuff, so I redid my testing with the latest release, version 5.2.8.

    • New Releases

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Update brings PAN/NAP to Motorola defy

          After my summer vacation, I finally did the official update on my defy, which brought the thing to Android 2.2.2.

        • It’s an Android future, with or without Google

          Making its public debut with the release of the HTC Dream/G1, Google’s Android mobile operating system has provided the search giant with a massively successful mobile ecosystem that, whilst doesn’t directly generate revenues through licensing, it provides smartphone manufacturers with a free, powerful and customisable software platform – generating millions of dollars in sales – and also helps possibly the world’s biggest advertising company dominate another advertising vertical.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tablet Sales Jump Forecast

        Moskowitz did acknowledge the possibility that the Amazon tablet could be a major player, though cited concerns about the Android OS as a weak spot.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice API documentation available

      The new documentation covers the complete LibreOffice 3.4 API, has reference documentation for the Java UNO Runtime and C++ UNO runtime systems, and an overview of the UNO development tools.

Leftovers

  • Windows 7 driver signing conundrum

    Personally I think the whole driver model for Windows is a huge mess, especially when problems come up like this,

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • TSA Agent Threatens Woman With Defamation, Demands $500k For Calling Intrusive Search ‘Rape’

      After investigating whether or not she could file sexual assault charges, and being told that this was probably a non-starter, she instead wrote about the experience, and named the TSA agent who she dealt with: Thedala Magee. Alkon felt that if people can’t stop these kinds of searches, they should at least be able to name the TSA agents who are doing them.

    • Libya: 19 Suffocated in Gaddafi Detention

      The discovery on September 8, 2011, of 18 bodies buried in western Libya corroborates reports of the death by suffocation of detainees held by Gaddafi forces in June in the town of al-Khoms, Human Rights Watch said today. Another victim died a few days later, so was not buried with the other 18.

    • Mall of America visitors unknowingly end up in counterterrorism reports

      As he shopped for a children’s watch inside the sprawling Mall of America, two security guards approached and began questioning him. Although he was not accused of wrongdoing, the guards filed a confidential report about Kleinerman that was forwarded to local police.

      The reason: Guards thought he might pose a threat because they believed he had been looking at them in a suspicious way.

  • Cablegate

    • Reef safeguard cut back

      THE federal government has secretly wound back a critical environmental protection for the Great Barrier Reef against shipping accidents in order to avoid a diplomatic stoush with the US and Singapore.

    • Leaks reveal it’s past time to speak for West Papua

      The leaked documents also reveal the penetration of Indonesian surveillance on Papuans: everyone from teachers to taxi drivers is on the Kopassus payroll. I have first-hand experience of it. In 2002 I worked with advocate John Rumbiak (now in exile in the US) at Elsham, a Papuan human rights organisation. As an Australian exchange student at an Indonesian university, I had entry where journalists were denied – but it did not spare me from surveillance or intimidation.

    • Tales from Mexico’s drug wars, WikiLeaks style

      Mexico’s offensive against the drug cartels that plague the nation has been fraught with controversy. Over the past four and a half years, tens of thousands have been killed, including many civilians, and the violence continues unabated.

      The drug war is made up of hundreds of incidents and decisions, both public and behind-the-scenes, that the media dutifully reports, unless, as in the case of some Mexican media, there is self-censorship out of fear.

    • Justice Department Reports Drug Seizures Do Little to Stop Cartels

      The government’s long-running war on drugs is having little impact, according to documents just released. The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) of the Justice Department reports demand for drugs is rising and the demand is being supplied by major transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) or cartels, which adapt to government “counterdrug efforts” modifying interrelationships, altering drug production levels and adjusting trafficking routes and methods.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Banks: Too Big To Blame For Subprime?

      Goldman Sachs has historically been one of the more bullish investment houses on Wall Street, but the firm has recently taken a dark macro view. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sept. 1 that Goldman issued a 54-page report sent to their institutional clients on August 16th arguing that as much as $1 trillion in capital may be needed to shore up European banks; that small businesses in the U.S., a past driver of job production, are still languishing; and that China’s growth may not be sustainable.

    • Is Goldman Sachs Doomed?

      No Franchise lasts forever. In the 1990′s, the Chicago Bulls were considered the best basketball team ever. Today, the same sentiments do not exist. When the junk bond market was red hot in the 1980′s, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette was the premier investment bank on Wall Street. Before DLJ, the big dog was Drexel Burnham Lambert.

      [...]

      If history truly repeats itself, Goldman Sachs may one day be considered as a second-rate bank, or may even become defunct.

    • $4 Gas: Brought to You by Wall Street

      It was the summer of 2008, and the entire country was outraged over $4 gas. It seemed like everyone had bought into the idea that the solution to high gas prices was more drilling for oil: Sarah Palin and other prominent Republicans had taken up the “Drill, baby, drill” refrain. Democrats in Congress, so afraid of consumer backlash, let the 27-year-old moratorium on new drilling in the outer continental shelf quietly expire. But what most people didn’t realize at the time was the role that big financial players like Goldman Sachs—not simple supply and demand—played in pushing gas prices sky-high.

  • Civil Rights

    • Is it Legal to Photograph or Videotape Police?

      The ACLU, photographers’ groups, and others have been complaining about such incidents for years — and we have been consistently winning in court. Recently, an appeals court ruled, on behalf of an ACLU client, that Americans have a First Amendment right to videotape the police making an arrest in a public park.

    • Clothing brands agree to look into mass faintings in Cambodia

      Cambodia is home to some 300 factories where clothing for export is manufactured. They supply major global brands such as Gap, H&M, Wal-Mart and Puma.

IRC Proceedings: September 11th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Cablegate: Investigation Launched Against Initiator of Kurdish GNU/Linux Distribution

Posted in Asia, Cablegate, Europe, GNU/Linux at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: Abdullah Demirbas, who is named for his role in making a Kurdish GNU/Linux distribution, is being badly treated by the authorities

“Diyarbakir Chief Prosecutor’s Office initiated an investigation against Abdullah Demirbas,” says the following Cablegate cable, “who launched efforts to create software in Kurdish that would be used on the computer systems of the municipality. The software was promoted by Mr. Demirbas and Mr.Rainer Haider, its creator who is a U.S. national, a while ago in the Sur district. The software was named as ‘Ubuntu’ which meant “help, support” in one of the local languages of South Africa.”

According to an article from April 2010, “Abdullah Demirbaş, Mayor of the Kurdish capital of Diyarbakir-Sur was arrested in late December 2009 by the Turkish police. He was arrested on baseless allegations” and he was “suffering from the disease vein thrombosis (DVT)…”

While we don’t know the full nature of the story, we mentioned him a couple of years ago in relation to GNU/Linux in Turkey. The cable is basically an accumulation of many short reports from 2006. As he was able to launch a GNU/Linux distribution years later, we assume that he was out of jail and probably innocent. A political prisoner perhaps? He is a town mayor according to Wikipedia.


VZCZCXRO1330
RR RUEHDA
DE RUEHDA #0250/01 3331322
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291322Z NOV 06
FM AMCONSUL ADANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4369
INFO RUEUITH/AFOSI DET 521 ANKARA TU
RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 0915
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL 0791
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEILB/NCTC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/AFOSI DET 522 INCIRLIK AB TU
RUETIAA/DIRNSA FT MEADE MD
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 0971

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ADANA 000250 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PINS [National Security], PGOV [Internal Governmental Affairs], PHUM [Human Rights], TU [Turkey] 
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR NOVEMBER 29, 2006 
 
 
This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for November 29, 
2006.  Please note that Turkish press reports often contain 
errors or exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch for 
the accuracy of the reports summarized here. 
 
POLITICAL 
 
RADIKAL / EVRENSEL / ZAMAN / HURRIYET:  Diyarbakir Chief 
Prosecutor's Office initiated an investigation against Abdullah 
Demirbas, Sur District Mayor in Diyarbakir, who launched efforts 
to create software in Kurdish that would be used on the computer 
systems of the municipality.   The software was promoted by Mr. 
Demirbas and Mr.Rainer Haider, its creator who is a U.S. 
national, a while ago in the Sur district.  The software was 
named as 'Ubuntu' which meant "help, support" in one of the 
local languages of South Africa. 
 
EVRENSEL:       Regarding the incident about two villagers fired 
upon by security officers in Hakkari's Yuksekova district (see 
press summary for November 27), the Hakkari Governor's Office 
dismissed the allegations that the office initially announced 
immediately after the incident that the two persons were PKK 
terrorists.  The Governor's office claimed that some media was 
misinforming the public about it, and the office allegedly only 
stated that "two persons did not obey security officers' halt 
warning and entered into clash with the security personnel." 
 
EVRENSEL:       Author Orhan Miroglu, who is a member of party 
assembly of DTP, said that the government should express more 
reasonable grounds for not establishing dialogue with the DTP. 
According to Miroglu, Turkey is in need of facing the reality of 
the PKK. 
 
EVRENSEL:       According to some secret documents made public on a 
television program called "Reports Mainz" broadcast on Germany's 
ARD TV station, people detained unlawfully in Europe were being 
transferred to Afghanistan and Guantanamo Prison via Incirlik 
Air Base in Adana. 
 
CRIME / LAW ENFORCEMENT 
 
ZAMAN:  Two people, who were feigning as a decent family 
with a baby, were caught with nine kilograms of heroin as they 
were traveling in their private car in Diyarbakir.  The heroin 
was reportedly purchased in Hakkari and traffickers were aiming 
to trade it in the western provinces. 
 
ECONOMY 
 
BOLGE / EVRENSEL / ZAMAN:       Because of the decrease in demand 
in the internal market for citrus fruit, farmers were reportedly 
experiencing difficulty in selling their produce at reasonable 
prices.  Turkish Army recently pledged to citrus fruit farmers 
in Mersin that the army would start serving at least two times 
in a week citrus fruit to the soldiers in their meals. 
 
SABAH (GUNEY):  During a seminar called "Cooperation between 
Turkey and the U.K." held at the chamber, Mehmet Aslan, 
Chairperson of Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce, requested from 
Nick Braid, new ambassador of the U.K. to Ankara, that the U.K. 
should eliminate the difficulties experienced in issuing visas 
to Turkish industrialists. 
 
ZAMAN:  A group of businessman in Hatay's Dortyol district 
made a cultural and business trip to Northern Iraq.  The group 
paid visits to cultural sites, to schools, and to a hospital 
opened by Turkish doctors, at Arbil, Kirkuk and Suleymaniyah 
provinces. 
 
CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT 
 
HURRIYET (CUKUROVA):    The gala night of Turkey's likely Oscar 
nominee in 2007, "Dondurmam Gaymak", which won two awards at the 
4th Queens Film Festival in the United States, has been held in 
Mersin. 
 
HURRIYET (CUKUROVA) / BOLGE / EKSPRES / ZAMAN:  Two new rectors, 
Professor Suha Aydin and Professor Serafettin Canda, have been 
appointed to Mersin University in Mersin and Mustafa Kemal 
University in Hatay respectively.  The rector of the Sutcu Imam 
University in Kahramanmaras has been reappointed to his former 
rector's position at the same university. 
 
BOLGE / EKSPRES / SABAH (GUNEY):        The Press Office of the 
 
ADANA 00000250  002 OF 002 
 
 
Adana Municipality released a statement saying that air 
pollution observed in quarters located around the D-400 highway 
and in the southern part of Adana is decreasing the quality of 
life for people.  However, the northern parts, which were 
selected as new settlement areas of the province by Mayor Aytac 
Durak in terms of good urban planning, were experiencing no 
decrease in the quality of air, according to the office. 
Experts are reportedly warning people not to go out especially 
during evenings in those parts. 
 
ZAMAN / EVRENSEL / HURRIYET:    A 44-year-old prosecutor, who was 
appointed to Kars's Ardahan district two months ago, reportedly 
committed suicide yesterday morning with his gun.  The 
prosecutor reportedly conducted an operation against fuel-oil 
smuggling in 2002 in Van's Saray district, and jandarma teams 
detained four officials of the Ministry of Environment under 
that operation then.  One year before that operation, 
unidentified person(s) opened fire on the prosecutor's car and 
wounded two privates who were escorting the prosecutor. 
 
BOLGE / EKSPRES / EVRENSEL:      Unrest broke out between students 
and police when police allegedly did not allow students to enter 
an Adana high school.  The students were not able to afford the 
3 YTL requested by school administration in exchange for a 
school identity card.  When the tension subsided, the students 
were allowed in the school. 
 
BOLGE:  Mersin Municipality announced its donation of fifty 
wheel chairs to 50 handicapped persons. 
 
ZAMAN / BOLGE:  Turkish Red Crescent sent 4500 tons of flour 
to the Palestinian authority via the port of Mersin as 
humanitarian aid.  A ceremony was held at the port as the vessel 
set off for its destination. 
GREEN


We will have some more cables to share on Tuesday (I am away in London all day tomorrow).

Cablegate: Gates Foundation Sends Team to Install ‘Free’ Software in the Health Ministry

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates at 10:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

“There’s free software and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

Summary: Cable in Cablegate mischaracterises the role of the Bill Gates lobby (calling proprietary software “free software”)

THE Gates Foundation is more like a lobbying group and, according to this Cablegate cable, it is allowed to control health systems through software, too. “He spoke of assistance from the Gates Foundation,” says this cable, “in developing the province’s e-government capacity, including a team that was arriving to install free software in the health ministry for the management of medication supplies.” Is it anything like those Microsoft applications that Gates puts inside libraries before leaving those libraries stranded? And schools too? We have addressed this subject in posts such as:

Here is the full cable.



VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0609/01 1282137
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 072137Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0985
 
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000609 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON PREL OEXC OTRA SCUL SENV AR
 
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S VISIT TO LA PLATA: A UNIVERSITY TOWN AND HOME 
TO BUENOS AIRES GOVERNOR DANIEL SCIOLI 
 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
¶1. (U) The Ambassador reaffirmed the USG commitment to strengthening 
bilateral ties with Argentina and discussed investment, drugs, and 
local issues during an April 30 meeting with Buenos Aires Governor 
Daniel Scioli and series of meetings in the provincial capital.  The 
Ambassador visited a parish school serving disadvantaged children; 
met with La Plata municipal leaders and officials from the 
Universidad Nacional de La Plata and the Universidad Catolica de La 
Plata; opened the U.S. Embassy sponsored photo exhibit "Landmarks of 
New York"; and visited the La Plata Natural History Museum during 
his first official trip to the capital of Buenos Aires Province.  La 
Plata's universities are the second largest employer after 
government and have an influencial role in local policy making.  END 
SUMMARY. 
 
GOVERNOR DANIEL SCIOLI 
---------------------- 
 
¶2. (SBU) Scioli said he was looking to develop agreements with other 
countries' states and provinces facing similar challenges in 
generating jobs, protecting the environment, improving education. 
The Ambassador agreed that international relations were no longer 
the exclusive domain of national governments but increasingly 
involved a growing range of subnational actors.  The Ambassador 
mentioned several state trade delegations coming soon to Argentina, 
including missions from Alabama, Florida, and Texas. 
 
¶3. (SBU) Scioli expressed great interest in the U.S. elections and 
said he had attended Democrat and Republican conventions.  As on 
previous occasions, Scioli stressed to us his admiration and 
sympathy for the U.S., claiming these feelings dated back to his 
first job as a Frigidaire salesman.  He noted that business and 
sports had taken him frequently to the U.S., and once he entered 
politics he continued looking to the U.S. for inspiration. 
 
¶4. (SBU) Scioli, preoccupied throughout the lunch by the previous 
day's disappearance of human rights activist Juan Puthod (who 
reappeared several hours after the lunch ended), said he was struck 
on a recent visit to Miami by Mayor Manny Diaz's presentation on 
inroads they had made against crime, and he was particularly 
impressed by the importance that Police Chief John Timoney gave to 
rebuilding the trust and confidence of citizens to gain their 
cooperation and participation in stopping crime.  The Ambassador 
noted that Baltimore had also made dramatic strides in curbing 
violent crime and offered embassy assistance to identify best 
practices and lessons learned there. 
 
¶5. (SBU) Scioli's brother Jose Antonio, the Secretary General for 
the provincial government, summoned some statistics to show the 
Ambassador what the Scioli administration's law enforcement had 
accomplished in the first four months of government with tips 
provided by citizens calling in to a new, well-advertised hotline. 
They had recovered 15,000 stolen vehicles, confiscated over 5,000 
unregistered weapons, seized 159 kg of cocaine and 1,612 kg of 
marijuana, leading to 7,864 arrests. 
 
¶6. (SBU) Scioli noted his strong interest in improving highway 
safety.  He believed strongly in the utility of imposing heavier 
sanctions on infractions, greater enforcement, and new legislation 
to enhance vehicle registration and facilitate infrastructure 
improvements.  The Ambassador noted California's positive results 
from higher fines as well as broader use of radar by highway 
patrols.  The Ambassador also offered embassy assistance in seeking 
statistics and best practices from the National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. Department of 
Transportation. 
 
¶7. (SBU) Scioli said investment promotion was high on his agenda, 
even though his province already produced 40% of Argentina's GDP. 
His government had recently enacted new incentives to attract 
investment, and he was looking for public-private partnerships in 
strategic areas such as the ports.  The Ambassador pointed out that 
AES and other energy generators and distributors were balking at 
additional investment until tariffs were adjusted.  Scioli said he 
was impressed by the diversity of U.S. investments in Buenos Aires 
province, and he was pleased by recent news of R.C. Johnson & Son's 
intention to invest $65 million in an aerosol production plant in 
Buenos Aires.  He spoke of assistance from the Gates Foundation, 
agreed in Miami recently, in developing the province's e-government 
capacity, including a team that was arriving to install free 
software in the health ministry for the management of medication 
supplies.  Scioli expressed interest in attracting foreign 
investment to develop tourist infrastructure.  He also asked for 
assistance in identifying U.S. companies that could help the 
province tackle its growing garbage problem, particularly with waste 
treatment and incineration. 
 
SCHOOL VISIT & BOOK DONATION 
---------------------------- 
 
 
¶8. (U) The Ambassador was warmly welcomed by students wearing 
colonial period costumes and a cannon salute on his visit to Colegio 
San Vicente de Paul School, a private Catholic school serving 
disadvantaged children in La Plata.  The Ambassador met with dozens 
of school children, visited a woodworking and metal workshop, and 
made a book donation to the school's library.  The school complex 
has five schools, including a kindergarden, primary, secondary and 
technical schools and together has 2,500 students, most of whom are 
poor children from the neighboring community.  The school also 
provides free meals to over 1,000 children daily through its 
"comedor" or kitchen meals program. 
 
LA PLATA - A UNIVERSITY TOWN WITH A GREAT MUSEUM 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
¶9. (SBU) The Ambassador met with two university leaders and visited 
the La Plata Natural History Museum where he discussed expanding 
exchange opportunities between the United States and Argentina, 
intellectual property and scientific advances.  University Nacional 
de La Plata's (UNLP) Vice Rector Raul Anibal Perdomo and UNLP's 
Museum of Natural History Director Dr. Silvia Ametrano hosted the 
Ambassador and gave a brief private tour of the university's museum 
which is currently closed for repairs.  The UNLP is a leading 
educational institution and currently has over 75,000 students 
(Note: Current Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner 
and former President Nestor Kirchner are former alumni at this 
liberal institution, the third largest in Argentina.  The meeting 
was held in the museum instead of the main campus).  Both Perdomo 
and Ametrano noted that UNLP has strong scientist-to-scientist 
exchange programs with museums and other institutions worldwide, 
including the Smithsonian, but specifically requested the Embassy's 
assistance in securing intellectual property rights training for its 
museum staff.  Ametrano noted that the museum needs help in 
registering its collection, exhibits and replicas, and has sought 
UNESCO assistance in this endeavor.  The museum's varied collections 
are vast, and include one of the largest collections of dinosaur 
reproductions in the world. 
 
¶10. (U) Next to UNLP, the Universidad Catolica de La Plata (UCALP) 
is La Plata's second largest university and the Ambassador met with 
UCALP Rector Rafeal Breide Obeid to discuss the university's 
curriculum, the U.S. Speaker Program, and cultural exchanges.  The 
Ambassador also answered questions about the state of 
Argentine-American relations, anti-American perceptions in Argentina 
and U.S. foreign policy with students from UCALP's Institute of 
Argentine-North American studies (CESPAN).  CESPAN was created in 
November 2006 to reach out to post-graduate students in an attempt 
to provide them with information about U.S-Argentine relations and 
to develop deeper social ties with academic and cultural 
institutions.  The students were critical of U.S. foreign policy but 
were well aware of the ambassador's and Mission's programs to change 
the negative perceptions of Argentines about the United States 
through outreach, community engagement, and increasing the number of 
exchanges between the two countries. 
 
ART EXHIBIT & MEETING WITH LA PLATA MAYOR 
----------------------------------------- 
 
¶11. (U) The Ambassador opened an Embassy-sponsored photo exhibit 
titled "Landmarks of New York" in the Darda Rocha Cultural Center 
which was attended by many of the city's dignitaries, including 
mayor Pablo Bruera.  A lawyer by training, Bruera was previously a 
Provincial legislator before being elected mayor of La Plata in Fall 
¶2007.  In his meeting with the Ambassador, Bruera stated that the 
city is having tremendous difficulties in disposing of provincial 
garbage due to the closure of several garbage dumps but noted that 
he recently returned from Boston where he met with city officials 
and visited a U.S. recycling plant.  Bruere had participated in a 
several week program for young leaders at Harvard's JFK School.  He 
also mentioned that the city's problems included a lack of public 
transportation and security for its citizens, but he was optimistic 
that the city's garbage woes could be resolved without giving 
specific details.  The Ambassador closed the meeting by stressing 
the importance of increasing cooperation through cultural exchanges 
and offer

We also wrote about Argentina early this morning. Separately, we showed how Gates was milking Argentina for patent money. Just PR and profit, that’s what it’s all about. Attack on the competition (Free/libre software) is a bonus. They wish to pretend to donate (to make more sales) and Apple intends to try that one too. Apple could really use some PR after its militant behaviour, which has just come under police investigation and had Conan O’Brien make a lot fun.

“Samsung spends 6.5% of sales on R&D. Apple spends 2.2%,” points out this analyst, but Apple keeps trying to block this Linux-based competition from Korea.

Cablegate: “Google Adopted Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu Software as its In-house Operating System.”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Ubuntu at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: Goobuntu received a mention in diplomatic cables

IN A CABLE from Cablegate we found the claim that “Google adopted Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu software as its in-house operating system.” The cable is generally about the South African economy and wildlife, but that last bit from 2009 is relevant to us.

It is worth noting that Google claims to have almost dumped Windows entirely, even from all desktops. Here is the cable in its entirety.



VZCZCXRO8120
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHSA #1009/01 1391453
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 191453Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8520
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
INFO RUEHTN/AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN 6863
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 0975
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 9212
Hide header
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 PRETORIA 001009 
 
DEPT FOR OES/PCI, OES/ENV, AND AF/S 
DEPT PASS EPA/OIA, 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958:  N/A 
TAGS: SENV [Environmental Affairs], SOCI [Social Conditions], ETRD [Foreign
Trade], SF [South Africa], 
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICAN ENVIRONMENT, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY MONTHLY 
BRIEFINGS, MAY 2009 
 
PRETORIA 00001009  001.2 OF 004 
 
 
¶1. (U) Summary:  This is the South African Environment, Science and 
Technology Monthly Briefings Newsletter, May 2009, Volume 4, Number 
5, prepared by the U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa. 
 
Topics of the newsletter: 
 
-- Scientists Develop New Carbon Emission Reduction Process 
 
-- South Africa and Uganda Sign S&T Bilateral Agreement 
 
-- South Africa Frogs Facing Extinction 
 
-- Lion Park Forced Out by Development 
 
-- Rare Orchid May Become Extinct 
 
-- Environmental Group Calls for Investigation of Gauteng 
   MEC for Conservation 
 
 
-- Municipal Health Service Sees Deterioration in Water Quality 
 
-- Poor Water Quality Limits Business Growth 
 
-- SANParks Opposes Mining Project at Mapungubwe 
 
-- Monthly Factoid 
 
----------------------------- 
Scientists Develop New Carbon 
Emission Reduction Process 
----------------------------- 
 
¶2. (U) Wits University Centre of Material and Process Synthesis 
professors David Glasser, Diane Hildebrandt, Brendon Hausberger and 
Bilal Patel, and Rutgers professor Benjamin Glasser have made a 
breakthrough discovery that reduces carbon dioxide emissions from 
the source and that can be applied to a range of processes.  David 
Glasser said that their research developed new techniques for 
analyzing what causes emissions, and how to design processes to 
reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  He added that once these processes 
are understood, it is "relatively simple to eliminate unnecessary 
emissions and minimize the contributions from other sources." 
 
 
¶3. (U) Glasser cited as an example a plant making liquid fuel from 
coal.  He said with their process the plant can reduce its overall 
CO2 emissions by using CO2 and hydrogen as intermediaries.  He noted 
that the plant achieves higher emission reductions using CO2 and 
hydrogen, even though this appears to be an inferior method. 
Glasser added that there is a pilot plant running in China and a 
demonstration plant in Australia, which incorporate these ideas. 
Glasser said the technique can be applied to a number of different 
processes, giving it a substantial impact on combustion processes. 
The center at Wits has 40 post graduate students and about 20 full 
time employees who are funded by industry. 
 
---------------------------- 
South Africa and Uganda Sign 
S & T Bilateral Agreement 
---------------------------- 
 
¶4. (U) South Africa and Uganda signed a bilateral Science and 
Technology Agreement on April; 16, 2009.  The two countries will 
jointly identify scientific and technological priorities and 
consolidate resources.  South Africa and Uganda have been 
negotiating the agreement since 2006.  Areas of cooperation include 
bioscience, indigenous knowledge systems, environment and climate 
change, energy research, innovation management capacity, information 
technology, and human capital development.  Uganda and South Africa 
will continue their current joint efforts under the Group on Earth 
Observation project.  Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi 
Mangena said that, over the past decade, South Africa's science has 
been greatly enriched by collaborations with African counterparts. 
 
 
------------------------------------ 
South Africa Frogs Facing Extinction 
------------------------------------ 
 
¶5. (U) North-West University African Amphibian Conservation Research 
Group Director Dr Louis du Preez warned that the South African frog 
populations are rapidly decreasing.  Du Preez, who is also the Head 
Qpopulations are rapidly decreasing.  Du Preez, who is also the Head 
of the Green Trust Threatened South Africa Frog Project, is chairing 
an effort to produce the first-ever conservation action plan for 
South Africa's twenty-one threatened frog species.  Du Perez noted 
 
PRETORIA 00001009  002.2 OF 004 
 
 
that the rapid decline in frogs is cause for alarm because frogs are 
the thermometers of environmental health.  He noted that frogs are 
exposed to the complete range of air, water and land pollutants 
since they live in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. 
Several South Africa frogs are restricted to small geographical 
areas and the loss of their habitat has a devastating effect on 
population numbers.  The habitat of the Ghost Frog in the Elandsberg 
Mountains, for example, has become a pine plantation.  Pine needles 
acidify the water in the stream areas where the frog lives.  Du 
Perez and two doctoral students recently discovered the first Ghost 
Frog seen in years in the Elandsberg Mountain. 
 
¶6. (U) Du Perez says the Elandsberg forestry companies are 
collaborating with the Green Trust to conserve this frog, hiring a 
fulltime ecologist and bringing in expensive equipment to 'pluck' 
trees from the stream area where the frog lives."  Another 
endangered frog is Rose's ghost frog, a rare species found only on 
Table Mountain, where it lives in streams and moist, forested 
gorges.  It is under threat from invasive plants, increasing numbers 
of visitors and the high number of fires.  The construction of more 
water holding areas has taken away water from the streams where the 
frogs' eggs and tadpoles develop.  The Western Cape NGO 'Friends of 
the Western Leopard Toad' is helping to conserve this threatened 
species, which lives and breeds in the urban environment of the 
Tokai/Muizenberg/Fishhoek.  Western Leopards are frequently killed 
by cars speeding on the roads.  The Friends have erected toad 
crossings that say:  "Caution! Western Leopard Toads." 
 
----------------------------------- 
Lion Park Forced Out by Development 
----------------------------------- 
 
 
¶7. (U) Lions have ranged freely throughout Johannesburg's Lion Park 
for forty-one years, but a high-density development is forcing the 
Park to relocate.  The new development will include 1528 residence 
on various sized plots.  Current residents question whether the 
rural area's infrastructure will be able to handle this increased 
capacity.  Local resident Nicci Wright, an engineer, said that the 
area is a wetland fed by natural springs, and that the proposed 
sewage system locates its pump at the lowest point in the area.  She 
said when she questioned the effectiveness of this location she was 
told that Randburg Water would handle all maintenance.  Wright said 
she knows of three pumps handled by Randburg that are currently out 
of order and pumping raw sewage into the Klein Jukskei and 
Hartebeespoort Dam.  Developer Golder Associates Africa's 
representative said that an extensive EIA was completed and all 
environmental issues were addressed with sufficient mitigation 
efforts.  Lion Park Acting Manager advised that the staff and 
animals would move after the FIFA World Cup in 2010 when their 
contract officially expires.  He noted that the Lion Park is no 
longer in the rural areas as it used to be, and that "we are in the 
middle of the suburbs now.  It's not very nice." 
 
------------------------------ 
Rare Orchid May Become Extinct 
------------------------------ 
 
¶8. (U) The only known population of a rare wild orchid is threatened 
by development plans near the Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng. 
Conservationists say the orchid could become extinct.  Black Eagle 
Project spokesman Arthur Alberston added that endangered or 
QProject spokesman Arthur Alberston added that endangered or 
threatened animals such as caracal, jackals and leopards move 
through the area and the development would interrupt their transit 
paths.  The application for this high-density residential and 
business unit project is pending with the Gauteng Department of 
Agriculture, Conservation and Environment (GDACE).  Albertson says 
the project violates several national and provincial regulations and 
policies.  If GDACE does grant the permit, the NGOs say they will 
take legal action to stop the construction.  GDACE, Mogale City and 
the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens officials claim they 
have been investigating the feasibility of establishing a 
2,000-hectare reserve in the that areas which would safeguard the 
orchid's habitat and allow restocking of wildlife. 
 
------------------------------------------- 
Environmental Group Calls for Investigation 
of Gauteng MEC for Conservation 
------------------------------------------- 
 
¶9. (U) The Environmental and Conservation Association (ECA) has 
filed a lawsuit seeing to overrule Gauteng MEC for Agriculture, 
Conservation and Environment Khabsisi Mosunkuntu's decision to 
permit permitting a new road through one of Gauteng's wetlands. 
Various media reports have also raised questions about Mosunkuntu's 
decision to overrule GDACE ruling that the road should not be built, 
 
PRETORIA 00001009  003.2 OF 004 
 
 
citing Musunkuntu's involvement with the developments seeking the 
roadway.  Gauteng Democratic Alliance Leader Jack Bloom submitted a 
dossier detailing Mosunkuntu actions involving irregularities in 
eight separate developments across the province to Gauteng premier 
Mbhazima Shilowa last year.  Bloom called for a commission to 
investigate Mosumkuntu.  ECA Chairman Nicole Barlow said the 
wetland's road is yet another example of Mosumkuntu "sidestepping" 
the law and making decisions contrary to GDACE's expert opinion. 
 
------------------------------ 
Municipal Health Service Sees 
Deterioration in Water Quality 
------------------------------ 
 
¶10. (U) Tshwane municipal health service division tabled a report 
before the Metro Council on May 1, 2009 describing the rapid 
deterioration of the quality of water and food in the area.  The 
report contains findings by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) 
for the period July 1, 2005 to June 2008.  Food and water samples 
were taken and tested for compliance with the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics 
and Disinfections Act.  ARC samples included tap water, reservoirs, 
bottled water, and water in tankers, boreholes, rivers and streams. 
Food samples were taken from pasteurized milk, raw milk, dairy 
products, juice and ice cream.  ARC's findings indicated that 57% of 
all water samples complied with legal requirements; 60% of bottled 
water complied; 53% of food complied with legal requirements 
regarding microbiological analysis (a six percent decline from 
previous period; and that 63% of food complied with legal 
requirements regarding chemical analysis (a 35% decline).  The 
report stated that there are serious personnel shortages in 
municipal health services due to the council's alternative service 
delivery (ASD) process. 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Poor Water Quality Limits Business Growth 
----------------------------------------- 
 
¶11. (U) Independent water expert Anthony Turton said South African 
businesses growth could be constrained by the lack of clean water 
resources.  He added that business should stop the "blame game" and 
act swiftly in partnership with the government to deal with the 
threat.  Turton said, "Business cannot sit idle any longer.  We need 
new partnerships between the government, organized business and the 
national science councils to develop and resource a fresh strategic 
vision."  He advised business to see water as a business rick and to 
form partnerships similar to those formed in response to crime. 
Turton stated, "Companies must understand business risks in terms of 
input, process and output and then develop mitigation strategies for 
each of these sets of issues." 
 
¶12. (U) Turton said the water problem SA faced was that of quality 
and quantity, as well as demand and supply.  He said, "By 2035 SA 
will need 65-billion cubic kilometers of water and our current 
national stock stands at 33-billion.  Our problem is that we are 
managing our water resources so badly, and are putting pressure on 
available fresh water."   Turton also suggested that the country's 
water allocation reform process should ensure that industry - which 
contributed about 80% of gross domestic product (GDP) but received 
only about 20% of water allocation - should get more water at the 
expense of agriculture, which received about 60% of water allocated 
but only contributed about 2% to GDP .  Turton resigned from the 
Qbut only contributed about 2% to GDP .  Turton resigned from the 
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research last year after he 
made controversial remarks about the implications of SA's water 
situation on socioeconomic development. 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
SANParks Opposes Mining Project at Mapungubwe 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
¶13. (U) South African National Parks (SANParks) is challenging an 
application for a R3 trillion mining operation to be established at 
the entrance to the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site.  SANParks 
spokesperson Wanda Mkhutshulwa said on April 20, 2009 that SANParks 
was opposed to the project because it threatened the environment 
around Mapungubwe, particularly the quality of its water. 
Mkhutshulwa noted that SANparks mandate is to ensure the environment 
surrounding the national parks is protected.  She stated, "From our 
view, the mining project will have a negative impact on the water in 
the park."  Department of Minerals and Energy spokesperson Bheki 
Khumalo stressed that the mining project was not a done deal. 
Khumalo said, "After all objections have been registered and all 
concerns considered the department will make a determination.  We 
are still months away from that." 
 
¶14. (U) The proposed mining site is near the Limpopo River, which 
forms the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe.  The closest 
 
PRETORIA 00001009  004.2 OF 004 
 
 
town is Musina.  The mine's western boundary is seven kilometers 
east of the Mapungubwe National Park, and the coal processing plant 
infrastructure would be twenty-seven kilometers from the Mapungubwe 
World Heritage Site.  The proposed colliery would have the potential 
to produce five-million tons a year of coking coal, starting with 
one-million tons a year and ramping up to full capacity by 2011. 
The life-of-mine stretches beyond 2040.  Independent Power Producer 
(IPP) Mulilo Energy is considering constructing a power station in 
the area, although CoAL said it was not reliant on the sale of coal 
to the power station to make the project feasible.  The power 
station would ultimately produce about 900 MW, and initial designs 
show that it would be located directly below the CoAL tenement area. 
 
 
¶15. (U) The Mapungubwe National Park is a game reserve and home to 
the archaeological treasure of Mapungubwe, a kingdom predating that 
of Great Zimbabwe.  Mapungubwe was the base of a trading empire that 
traded with the people of China, India, Egypt and Persia, exchanging 
ivory, gold around the year 1200.  The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape 
became South Africa's fifth World Heritage site in July 2003, and in 
May 2004, it was officially announced as the Mapungubwe National 
Park.  The site was discovered in 1933, and is said to be where an 
Iron Age metropolis was ruled by an African king almost one thousand 
years ago.  Mapungubwe National Park Manager Tshimangadzo Nehemani 
said the Park had 26 000 visitors in 2007.  A new interpretation 
centre will open by the end of this year, allowing the public to 
view the gold work uncovered at the site, including the world-famous 
tiny golden rhino, a gold scepter and gold bowl. 
 
¶16. (U) Coal of Africa (CoAL) Chief Operations Officer Riaan van der 
Merwe stated in a community meeting that the project would create 
14,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities during the 
construction phase and 30,000 direct and indirect jobs during the 
operational phase.  Local business owners have complained that the 
CoAL still has not addressed concerns raised at previous meetings, 
including the need for an environmental impact assessment study on 
how local roads would be affected by coal-hauling trucks and dust 
from the coal.  Mopane Bush Lodge Manager Paul Hatty said, "We have 
such a beautiful environment here.  The atmosphere is clean and all 
of that will be wiped out by the coal business."   Hatty added that 
the lodge, which is seven kilometers from the proposed mine site, 
drew over one hundred international visitors last year, all of whom 
visited the heritage site.  He said, "We will lose our clients as no 
sane person will pay money to be swallowed by coal dust." 
 
¶17. (U) Vhembe District Municipal Councilor Mapulanka Baloi welcomed 
the proposal, saying it would benefit many people.  He added that 
the mine would create new levels of economic development and 
employment and bring the province to a new level of prosperity.  Van 
der Merwe emphasized that CoAL would manage the mine in accordance 
with mining environmental regulations.  Hatty responded that "Even 
with the best environmental controls, the environmental degradation 
caused by coal mining, similar to that around Witbank, will kill any 
hopes of growing tourism, both international and local, to this 
prime pristine area of Africa."   Local businesses and residents 
also fear that if this project is approved, more coal mines would be 
Qalso fear that if this project is approved, more coal mines would be 
established in the area.  Hatty said, "Anglo Coal has already 
purchased four farms even closer to the National Park and Heritage 
Site, and three other farms next to Mapungubwe Park entrance show 
promising signs of exploitable coal." 
 
--------------- 
Monthly Factoid 
--------------- 
 
¶18. (U) In 2002 South African internet entrepreneur Mark 
Shuttleworth, then age 28, became Africa's first astronaut.  Three 
years later Google adopted Shuttleworth's Ubuntu software as its 
in-house operating system. 
www.southafrica.info/about/414421.htm#innovat ions 
 
LA LIME

They are probably referring to Goobuntu.

Links 11/9/2011: Linux Tablets for Just $159, Sakai Open Academic Environment (OAE) Reaches 1.0.0

Posted in News Roundup at 8:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • ENT: The many faces of Linux – Online with Bob Vaillancourt

      A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had been playing around with a new distribution of Linux called Bodhi. One of the things I liked was its ability to run on minimal hardware. Its resource requirements were quite low, even to the point of enabling it to run on rather antiquated 386 machines.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • ALT Linux 6 KDesktop review

      Package Management: Debian’s Advanced Packaging Tool, APT, is the package management framework on ALT Linux, with Synaptic Package Manager as the installed graphical interface to apt-get, the most commonly-used command line utility in APT. The version of Synaptic that ships with this version of ALT Linux is Synaptic 0.57.3, which was released in late 2005. Compare that to Synaptic 0.70, the version that comes pre-installed on Linux Mint and Ubuntu. So the graphical interface you have to use on ALT Linux 6 KDesktop is very old. It works, but if you have used Synaptic on other distributions, you feel like you have just stepped back into the last decade.

    • The OpenJDK as the default Java on Linux

      Recently I’ve received a bunch of private correspondence from people confused/worried over the change in the default Java packaging for Linux. For many Linux distributions, the official Sun/Oracle version of Java has been packaged up as the default Java for the platform. However, due to a recent licensing change, this will no longer be the case! So, is this a positive or a negative thing for the Java and open source ecosystem? Read on for my take on it :-)

    • New Releases

      • PelicanHPC GNU Linux

        09 Sept. 2011. version 2.6 is available. make_pelican uses a new and simpler method to add non-Debian software. This latest image was made using the new method, and the image contains the updated tutorial which explains the new system.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Motorola’s Facebook phone leaked, without Google Android?

          A report posted by Unwired View on Thursday revealed an unannounced new smartphone from Motorola Mobility, running without the glorious power of Google Android operating system. The site claims the phone was posted in Bluetooth’s official website where certified devices land and get the “approval” for using the technology.

        • Undeniable Reasons That Show iPhone 5 Will Fall Head First Down Against Samsung Galaxy S2

          Samsung’s Galaxy S2, which is expected to reach the U.S. this month, has been released in more than 120 countries. The UK and South Korea were the first ones to receive the device.

        • Sharp Launching Aquos 3D Android Handset in Japan

          3D Android phones haven’t really taken off just yet. Even with HTC’s big marketing behind the Evo 3D, and the LG Optimus 3D, we haven’t seen much adoption right out of the gate. It appears that Sharp is staying in the game, though, as they’ve just announced a 3D Android handset that’s headed for Japan’s SoftBank.

        • Is Android forking – and does it matter?

          Android seems to be having a difficult time at the moment, but, far from being a sign of increasing problems, Glyn Moody argues that the forking of the mobile operating system by the likes of Amazon and Baidu could work in Google’s favour.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Like Father like Son (or Like Phone like Tablet)

        For those that read a previous article of mine, it shows to me why Microsoft wants to “talk up” the desktop – It knows that it won’t be able to compete in the Tablet world and if they follow their Phone legacy, then there will be the excuse of “its still in its infancy” whilst the product matures to a point to compete with others.

        It may be 12 months away (Windows 8 ) but I think we can add another 8 months onto that for “baking”. 2 Years for a ready competitor to Apple and Android Tablets? Yes Microsoft, you better keep talking up the Desktop, maybe you’ll convince a few of your customers.

        Unfortunately Microsoft can no longer dictate to the consumer, for the mainstream majority, I’d suggest Tablets are the future, Tablets I hasten to add that unlike the majority of Desktops, won’t force Microsoft products onto people.

      • Barnes & Noble Steps Up Push for Android Developer

        Barnes & Noble, growing increasingly serious about their Android efforts, has begun touting the benefits of their NOOK App Developer program. I recently spent some time speaking with Claudia Romanini, Director of Developer Relations and learned that NOOK Apps has been an all-around success. App downloads are already in the millions and developers are making money. According to Romanini, there are now more than 500 apps to choose from with many more on the way. The number of developers signed up for the program has eclipsed 10,000 more than doubling in the last few months. About that all-important money, I was advised that some developers have seen earnings of more than $100,000 in their first 30 days.

      • Quick Deals: Herotab M6 Gingerbread Tablet for just $159

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • HP’s OpenStack Cloud Goes Into Private Beta
    • Hadoop data-management provider Platfora raises $5.7M months after launch

      Hadoop is an open-source data-management software framework. It’s useful for companies that store enormous amounts of data and have to regularly index it. That can include financial services companies that have to track previous prices and old transactions or companies like Yahoo that need to regularly access search information. Platfora aims to add a more manageable user interface to access all that and make the data easier to digest for everyday users and business professionals.

    • LexisNexis open sources code for Hadoop alternative

      HPCC Systems, the division of LexisNexis Risk Solutions dedicated to big data, has released the open source code of its data-processing-and-delivery software it’s positioning as a better version of Hadoop. The High Performance Computing Cluster code is available on Github, and it marks the commencement of HPCC Systems’ quest to build a community of developers underneath Hadoop’s expansive shadow.

  • Databases

    • Open-source databases in the post-Oracle world.

      Open-source products, like MySQL and PostgreSQL, brought relational database functionality to the masses at a fraction of the price of a commercial Oracle, IBM or even Microsoft database. MySQL led the pack of free, or almost free, contenders — customers typically paid for support, not the database itself. Sun Microsystems bought MySQL in January 2008 and open-source fans saw Sun, which fostered many open-source projects, as a worthy caretaker.

  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Web terms SME operators need to understand #6: Proprietary systems

      If it weren’t for open source (as covered last week), there would be no need for the term “proprietary”.

      Because from a business perspective, “proprietary” is essentially “situation normal”.

      Normal because it’s the notion of a free or community service that to business is in fact pretty unusual.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Government of India Promotes FLOSS

      In the interests of open e-government, India has widely adopted GNU/Linux in governmental organizations from the legislators to the schools. A recent draft of policy formally gives preference to FLOSS. This has been a long process over the last decade. India has lots of divides and has no need of a digital divide so standardizing on FLOSS works for them.

    • Cabinet wants open source openness, with chocolate biscuits?

      Press reports have been circulating since the start of this month analysing the government’s attitude towards open source technology procurement. As we now know, the traditional approach within Whitehall has been to opt for some of the most costly proprietary technologies.

      Has this situation occurred due to perceptions of the ‘safety factor’ associated with big brand vendor products?

      Is this a case of ‘nobody ever got fired by buying Microsoft’ asks the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones.

      Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has said that he wants to shift mindsets and see more open source software deployment considered across a so-called “level playing field” now.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Millennials’ Open Source Attitude
    • Open Hardware

      • Geek 101: What Is Arduino?

        If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve probably seen us refer to the Arduino microcontroller on a number of occasions. This little circuit board is at the heart of many DIY projects, from robotics to art projects and just about everything in between.

        But what on Earth is Arduino, anyway? What makes it so versatile? And what can you do with it?

  • Programming

    • Google’s 7th Summer of Code comes to an end

      Google has announced that its seventh annual Google Summer of Code (GSoC) event has come to an end. More than 1,100 university students from 68 countries participated in this year’s event by writing code for 175 open source organisations, 50 of which are new to GSoC. A total of 417 mentoring organisations, including the Blender Foundation, the Debian Project, the GNU Project, the KDE Project, LibreOffice and Mozilla, were accepted in 2011.

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Orwell, 9/11, Emmanuel Goldstein and WikiLeaks

      A strikingly good piece of investigative journalism from Associated Press finds that accusations about the damage done by WikiLeaks’ latest release are — yet again — wildly overstated and without any factual basis. These most recent warnings have centered on WikiLeaks’ exposure of diplomatic sources whom the released cables indicated should be “strictly protected.” While unable to examine all of the names in the cables, AP focused on the ones “the State Department seemed to categorize as most risky.” It found that many of them are “comfortable with their names in the open and no one fearing death.”

    • When mistaken identity leads to torture

      Khaled El-Masri was held for weeks by secret agents who missed a letter in his name

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks Has No Blood on Its Hands

      Cassandra Vinograd and Bradley Klapper of the Associated Press conducted a partial review of US State Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks focusing on the sources the State Department “categorized as most risky.” The findings in the report cast further doubt on the official party line the government promotes when commenting on anything WikiLeaks and concludes, US examples of threatened sources have been “strictly theoretical.” The review found “several of them” are “comfortable with their names in the open and no one fearing death.”

    • 2011-09-05 Caracas Cables Pt I: Hugo’s Former Wife and “Half Brother,” Contentious Environmental Politics

      At the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, diplomatic staff routinely spoke to the rightist Chávez opposition during the Bush years. But in 2004, an odd encounter occurred between the Americans and Chávez’s former wife, Herma Marksman, who held a rather disparaging view of the Venezuelan president. Marksman, a history professor who was married to Chávez between 1984 and 1993, told U.S. diplomats that the firebrand populist was ambitious from an early age and “even thought of running the country as a 20 year-old.”

    • Kashmir politics – in disarray and dirtier than Dal Lake

      Kashmiris knew about their leaders all along. They knew they played a many-layered game. So when whistleblower website WikiLeaks recently released cables which the then US ambassador to India David Mulford had sent to the US State Department in February 2006, the contents didn’t surprise many.

    • A Wild WikiLeaks Week By Sonala Olumhense

      It is a cruel coincidence that in a week in which awful revelations have been tumbling out from WikiLeaks, much of it about the filthy nature of Nigeria’s political elite, the Goodluck Jonathan government insisted on inserting a 100 Days celebration.

      I would have counseled a policy of silence, but perhaps, in their wisdom, they imagined such a celebration would deflect attention from the lamentable revelations.

    • The Idea That DoS Attacks Against WikiLeaks are War Crimes

      A recent interview WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange did with Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Germany features Assange’s take on what happened with the Cablegate release, how the organization has managed to withstand cyber attacks, the organization’s suspicions about OpenLeaks founder and former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg and how the organization thinks it has impacted the world.

      One section that sticks out is Assange’s discussion of the denial of service (DoS) attacks the site has managed to withstand.

    • Wikileaks: Ugandan First Lady “Ultimately Behind” Anti-Homosexuality Bill

      Tomorrow’s edition of Sunday Monitor, Uganda’s largest independent newspaper, cites leaked diplomatic cables to report that Ugandan First Lady, Janet Museveni, was behind the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

  • Copyrights

    • Hollywood Leaks strikes fear into film industry bosses

      Behind the feelgood story lines and happy endings of even the most bland Hollywood movies lurks a formidable PR machine that exerts a grip on every aspect of a film’s life. From keeping scripts secret, to vetting press interviews with stars, setting embargoes and filming on closed sets, big Hollywood studios jealously guard their projects. After all, hundreds of millions of dollars are often at stake. One slip-up can kill a movie – and a dead movie usually takes a few careers with it.

IRC Proceedings: September 10th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Cablegate: Turkey’s Patents Trajectory on Bad TRIPS

Posted in Cablegate, Europe at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: Turkey’s route into patents as mentioned repeatedly in diplomatic cables from Ankara

YESTERDAY we went through and accumulated several Cablegate cables from Turkey. As part of becoming a good citizen/member of the European Union, Turkey has been changing some of its domestic and foreign inclinations. Patents appear to be among those.

The cables say that “Turkey is a signatory to a number of international conventions, including the Stockholm Act of the Paris Convention, the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and the Strasbourg Agreement.

“In accordance with the 1995 patent law and Turkey’s agreement with the EU, patent protection for pharmaceuticals began on January 1, 1999. Turkey has been accepting patent applications since 1996 in compliance with the TRIPS agreement “mailbox” provisions. The patent law does not, however, contain interim protection for pharmaceuticals in the research and development “pipeline”.”

The phrases above are repeated in many cables, the latest of which is this:

Read the rest of this entry »

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