09.13.11

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 13/9/2011: 2011 Gentoo Screenshot Contest, All XOs Run GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TLWIR 16: Hydrogen, Recording Music and Red Hat’s Day
  • How to Hire the Linux Talent You Need

    More than 30 Linux-specific IT and developer jobs were posted to the Linux Foundation’s Jobs Board in a single week recently, while more than 11,000 Linux-related jobs can now be found on tech jobs site Dice.com. Demand for Linux experience, moreover, is growing at a rate of 31 percent year over year on Dice, compared with just 20 percent year on year for job postings overall.

  • Desktop

    • Linux, a second class system?

      I have seen a influx lately of people who use Ubuntu or have talked about their plans to use it. Whenever I hear this I will ask them why they want to use Ubuntu so I can know what people’s motives actually are for using Ubuntu. Often the response i hear is not a response I particularity like. It is usually to the effect of “well my windows system is getting a little old so I think I’ll breathe new life into my old laptop with Linux. Linux to them is the thing that makes their old windows laptop last a few more years. though this is true what I find happening is people will after these couple years are up, buy a new laptop and do the same cycle all over again; use Windows until their system gets a little sluggish or breaks then install Linux on to it. My friends, I do not see this as always good for Linux and the community behind it. The user who install Linux on their system to breathe new life into it is going to get new life but not realize that Linux is great for more then just that.

    • Linux Is Dead…and My Students See Dead Linux!

      Right…Linux is dead. So dead that nowadays I seem to encounter more people who know about it. True, they are not counted by millions, but this shows that the hegemony of Windows is not as solid as it used to be.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Second beta of GNOME 3.2

        The GNOME project has published version 3.1.91, the second beta version of GNOME 3.2. In just under two weeks, GNOME release candidate 3.1.92 is to follow. According to the roadmap, GNOME 3.2 is to be published on 28 September, but the developers are currently a few days behind.

  • Distributions

    • Russian Linux: Simply Works!

      What is Simply Linux? This is distribution which is based on the core of Alt Linux. I wrote about Alt Linux couple of times, so you may wish to have a look at those posts. Alt Linux is commercial product which is marketed in Russia for use in schools and government organisation.

    • Tails: One more distro for the privacy-conscious

      A couple of weeks ago I posted some information about the Department of Defense releasing its Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) Linux distribution aimed at giving remote workers a more secure way to access government networks– but also available to the public for anyone’s use who wants a little extra security.

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 164

        Summary:
        · Announced Distro: ArchBang 2011.09
        · Announced Distro: VortexBox 1.10
        · Announced Distro: Bodhi Linux 1.2.0
        · In Other News: Linux kernel sources moved to GitHub and KDE Software Compilation 4.7.1
        · Review of the Week: Tab Mix Plus 0.3.8.6
        · Video Clip of the Week: KDE SC 4.7
        · Distributions Updated Last Week: Zorin OS 3.1, AriOS 3.0.1, BrowserLinux 501, and more…
        · Development Releases: Unity Linux 2011 Alpha 2, Elastix 2.2.0 RC2 and ZeroShell 1.0 Beta 15

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Does Linux Community Need Corruption?

        So, ex-Minister invested his money into Mandriva. At the same time he started new Russian company ROSA Laboratories. And same fund NGI also acquired another Russian company PingWin.
        If you look at sites of ROSA Labs (English version using Google Translate) and PingWin (English), it is easy to notice, they are located at the same address in Moscow: number 14 at Presnensky Val. Do you need any more proofs of their affiliation?
        Now let’s come back to Mandriva. Recent release of this Operating System, called Mandriva 2011 Hydrogen, was very revolutionary, if not say more. Mandriva dumped all the Desktop Environments, except for KDE. Distribution itself grew in size more than twice. And even KDE itself was reworked significantly with help of… surprise-surprise: ROSA Labs. As a result, we got monster operating system with oversized distribution, slow performance and very arguable interface. Reading all the reviews of Mandriva 2011, I have found no one where reviewer would be absolutely happy with new release.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS 6 is finally deployed in my production setup!

        Believe it or not, I have finally included CentOS in my home production setup. After many years of unbroken hegemony of openSUSE and Ubuntu, the balance has been shattered. It is not so much a testimony of failure of either of the two, more sort of a great success that CentOS has reaped.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 gets thumbs up from SAP, Amazon

        Red Hat has reached two significant milestones in its effort to establish its latest enterprise Linux as the ideal platform for cloud computing and running mission critical applications.

        On Tuesday, the leading Linux provider will announce that its 10-month-old Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 has been certified by SAP.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Lightweight Bodhi 1.2 distro offers Enlightenment for the Linux masses

          Ubuntu derivative Bodhi Linux was released in a version 1.2 that moves up to Linux 3.0. Bodhi Linux 1.2 advances to a fresh new version of the lightweight Enlightenment 17 window manager and version 0.4 of the lightweight Midori web browser, and features improved documentation and a variety of new desktop themes, says the project.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is the opposition still unified against Ubuntu Unity?

            On May 10, 2010, Mark Shuttleworth stood in front of developers, programmers and fans of Ubuntu Linux at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in La Hulpe, Belgium and announced that Natty Narwhal, Ubuntu 11.04, was going to ship with the Unity Interface rather than Gnome. It was a surprise, and a startling one at that. The Gnome Shell was a staple of Ubuntu; if you wanted something other than Gnome, well, there was KuBuntu (with KDE), Lubuntu (using LXDE), or other distributions. Gnome came with Ubuntu; it was how things were. To veer off that path sounded like a betrayal to some, and the beginning of the end for others.

          • Is Ubuntu Driving Users Away?
          • Ubuntu Security Engineer Kees Cook To Join Google

            Kees Cook, an Ubuntu Security Engineer, has resigned from Canonical after a 5 years long stint. Kees will join Google’s ChomeOS team.

          • Canonical Seeks Independent Developers for Ubuntu Linux

            Are you an app developer with an “itch to scratch,” or an independent programmer eager for more exposure to the open source channel? If so, the Canonical team is building a site just for you, to help you integrate your work into Ubuntu. Here’s a look at what the company has done so far.

            The developer portal of the Ubuntu website, developer.ubuntu.com, has been around for a while now, but Canonical employees David Planella and John Oxton made its expansion and design the focus of a recent session during Ubuntu App Developer Week. The proceedings of their discussion reveal some important insights into Canonical’s plan for engaging new developers and expanding Ubuntu’s application profile.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Inside Linux Mint

              Linux Mint’s meteoric rise to the top of the distro charts can be attributed to its perfect mix of usability and functionality. But if you think it’s just another Ubuntu-skinned distro, you’re very wrong.

              Unlike most popular Linux distros, Mint is the brainchild of just one man – Clement Lefebvre – yet it has managed to invigorate the community. It’s no surprise, then, that it looks to its legions of users for advice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Teaching technology in the future – Raspberry Pi

      So how can we take advantage of that trend towards discovery and learning, and combine it with small cheap electronics, to really make a difference? Well, you may have heard of the Raspberry Pi Foundation – it has had a fair amount of coverage in the UK anyway, with the promise of a new low-cost computing platform which could theoretically replicate the success of the BBC-sponsored, Acorn-built, BBC Microcomputers from the 1980s (and backed by one of the most successful computer games authors of that era). Those BBC Micro systems were rolled out across schools all over the UK, and pretty much anyone in the 30-40 age bracket will have learned to write some kind of BBC BASIC or LOGO code at some point in their education, and have looked at fractals and played a variety of classic 8-bit games. My first home computer was an Acorn Electron, an affordable beige “keyboard box” that could be plugged straight into a home TV in 1984, with games and programs loaded off a (then) common cassette player.

    • SkyNET Copter Wrecks Wi-Fi Networks In Its Free Time

      As of now, it’s just a prototype. It’s built on the company’s AR Drone quadrocopter core, and it’s modified with a Linux computer, 3G card, GPS module and two Wi-Fi cards.

    • This Cheap Air Drone Can Break Into Your Computer and Own It

      The SkyNET drone is a modified $300 Parrot quadcopter with a Linux computer, 3G card, a GPS unit and two Wi-Fi cards. This is how it works:

    • Phones

      • HTC mulling purchase of operating system: report

        After the global PC heavyweight Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) announced on Aug. 18 a plan to spin off its PC business and stop sales of its TouchPad tablet that uses the WebOS operating system, a slew of manufacturers like HTC and Samsung reportedly have been trying to acquire the WebOS platform to expand their mobile market reach.

      • Android

        • Fast processor, 4G push Droid Bionic to the top, says review

          The Android 2.3.4-powered Droid Bionic by Motorola is the company’s fastest smartphone yet, and it runs on Verizon’s LTE network, the fastest 4G service in the U.S. Although one pays dearly for the Bionic’s blazing speed, both in price and in poor battery life, the Bionic will more than compensate for those seeking top performance, says this review.

        • Intel to offer Android 2.x on Atom E6xx in January
        • Echostar Set Top Box runs on Android 2.3

          The Echostar IP Set Top Box HDX-200 seen at the IBC 2011 Amsterdam is an Android 2.3 operated device & runs Linux kernel 2.6.34.

        • 7 beautiful CyanogenMod 7 themes

          If you own a rooted Android phone most probably you will have heard about CyanogenMod. CyanogenMod is a free, community built distribution of Android 2.3.x which greatly extends the capabilities of your phone. In other words it’s a custom ROM for your mobile phone. Among its many features is its ability to use custom themes on your phone simply by installing APKs and using the T-Mobile theme engine. Here I will show you 7 beautiful themes for CM7.

        • Top Free Android Finance Apps
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • 0% of XOs run Windows

        A stray comment today about Windows not working on ARM machines, by someone who thought all OLPC laptops had moved away from Linux, reminded me to reaffirm something:
        Every XO we have ever made shipped from the factory with Linux. The 2M+ XOs running Linux is one of the largest deployments of Linux in the classroom anywhere in the world, and the largest in primary schools.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why we still love open source

    It’s easy to make the argument that open source ain’t what it used to be. In the essay accompanying this year’s Bossie (Best of Open Source Software) Awards, InfoWorld contributing editor Peter Wayner nails it: Aggressive patent and copyright enforcement are inflicting damage on real openness and community-driven software development. And in desperate pursuit of revenue, both independent ISVs and big software players can make it hard to distinguish between demo versions and open source distributions.

  • The Covenant – A New Approach to Open Source Cooperation

    How can a company profit from their product while being fair to their Open Source development partners? After decades of corporate participation in Open Source, this question is still debated. HPCC Systems is taking a new approach.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Drupal: is an open-source star on the edge?

      For some, Drupal is a powerful content management system; for others, it’s a development framework.

      With more than 2m downloads and high-profile users like MTV UK, Estee Lauder, Fox News, and The Economist, however, there’s no disputing the fact that Drupal is a great example of a successful open source project.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK Government: Open Standards Must be RF, not FRAND

      So there we have it: the UK government officially recognises that open standards must be RF, as specified in the Procurement Policy Note, not FRAND, because the latter “ may present some difficulties for the open source software development model in terms of patents and royalties,” which is absolutely spot on.

  • Open Access/Content

    • A barrier-free world with open-access publishing

      The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), based on the Technopark campus here, is poised to take its first step into open-access publishing. The centre is set to release the Journal of Free Software and Free Knowledge on Monday, representing the next stage in the free software movement.

      Talking to The Hindu, Satish Babu, director, ICFOSS, said open-access publication provided an answer to the problems posed by copyright restrictions in the conventional method of publishing.

  • Programming

    • Introducing CoffeeScript

      It’s great that JavaScript has improved in many ways. At the same time, the language contains many legacy issues—not in terms of capabilities, but in terms of the syntax and grammar. You can do great things with JavaScript, but it’s easy to write code that has unexpected side effects, whose variables don’t have the scope you expect, or whose functions operate just differently enough from your intention to cause problems.

Leftovers

  • M$: Hotmail is Trash

    I have been saying that for about a decade. Now M$ agrees and will revamp Hotmail.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Through the Toxic Mirror: Vietnamese and Americans Continue to Suffer Effects of Agent Orange

      Fred Wilcox is a writing professor at Ithaca College and a long-time peace activist. In 1983, his book Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange broke the story of the suffering of American veterans of the Vietnam War due to poisoning by Agent Orange used as a defoliant. On September 13, Seven Stories Press will release his latest book, Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam, which chronicles the effects of chemical warfare on the Vietnamese people. On the same day, Seven Stories will also release a new edition of Waiting for an Army to Die.

    • A Decade After the 9/11 Attacks, Americans Live in an Era of Endless War

      To grasp its sweep, it helps to visit Fort Campbell, Ky., where the Army will soon open a $31 million complex for wounded troops and those whose bodies are breaking down after a decade of deployments.

  • Cablegate

    • 2011-09-11 Bulgarian Ambassador in Washington – Trusted Informant of USA

      A secret diplomatic cable [08SOFIA185], released by Wikileaks and dated March 27, 2008, reveals that Bulgarian Ambassador in Washington, DC, now serving a second term there, Elena Poptodorova and then Deputy Defense Minister, Sonya Yankulova, have informed American Ambassador in Sofia John Beyrle about plans to increase the Bulgarian contingent in Kandahar by fifty rangers, months before the official decision of the Bulgarian cabinet.

      The cable is also shading light on the steady pressure exerted by US officials on the Government of Bulgaria to expand its Afghan contribution with new contingent.

    • Narco elite vs oligarchy: Guatemala votes

      As candidates square-off in Guatemala’s presidential election, a broader political battle is transpiring away from the campaign signs and populist rhetoric: the old oligarchy is fighting to maintain its privileged position against an increasingly powerful “narco elite”.

      The old elite, or oligarchs, usually come from a feudal-style landowning class linked to coffee exports, cattle ranching and some heavy industry, such as cement production. The new narcos deal in cocaine, marijuana and assassinations.

    • More Lies from M$

      Sad that they relied on taxpayers money to sell products. Sad that one of the richest corporations in the world did not have the confidence to compete on price/performance.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CNN Sustains Tea Party Myth

      CNN Online has published a story titled an “angry electorate helps sustain tea party,” ignoring the clear evidence the “movement” is only sustained by thinly-veiled religious zeal and wealthy funders like the Koch brothers.

  • Privacy

    • Google+, Real Names, and Groklaw’s Pamela Jones

      In the meantime, though PJ, who’s a very private person, was subjected to death threats, invasion of her privacy by junkyard journalists, and even claims that she wasn’t a real person at all. There really is a PJ. I’ve met her, and as it happens her “real name” is Pamela Jones.

      Just because she has a real name though and she’s a well-known online legal expert and journalist, doesn’t mean that she wants Google, or anyone else, drawing a direct line from “PJ” the paralegal and analyst/reporter and the Pamela Jones who lives at X address in Y City. So what does she think of Google’s instance of making those connections from online to real-world identities?

      In our conversation, Jones said, “I was going to join up with Google+ until I read about the ‘real name’ policy. I use my real name, actually, but if I have to send a license or some other proof to establish it, it’s no different, to me, than a government ID card.”

  • Civil Rights

    • How problematic is the Public Data Corporation?

      Jonathan Raper from open data company Placr argued that the PDC is a massive step backwards for the direction we thought data policy was moving under this government (US style marginal cost + tax funding model). This is going to stop on its tracks opening up other key core data areas, such as Companies House. It is not just the impact of the datasets involved in the current deal for the PDC but the general policy u-turn.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright term extension is a cultural disaster

        This morning we heard that term extension in sound recordings has gone through the EU Council. Term extension is a cultural disaster. It means that it will be harder to publish older works, and many will remain out of print. Research showed that around 90% of the cash windfall from copyright levies will fall into the hands of record labels.

        Despite the rhetoric, small artists will gain very little from this, while our cultural heritage takes a massive blow by denying us full access to these recordings for another generation.

      • The Orphan Wars

        Just when I thought that the Google Books case might be tailing off towards an anticlimactic, unresolved ending — bam! The Authors Guild today filed suit against the HathiTrust, the library partnership holding many of the scans received from Google. You have to say this for authors: they sure know how to time a plot twist for maximum dramatic impact. I’ll give a quick summary of the important facts about the lawsuit, and then a few thoughts about what it means.

      • Accused Of Copyright Infringement For Reprinting Images Produced In 630 A.D.

        Over the years, we’ve heard tons of stories of professional printers refusing to print certain images because they’re concerned about being accused of copyright infringement. This tends to create a huge nuisance for people who have a legitimate right to have things printed, but it gets absolutely, positively ridiculous when it involves material that is quite obviously in the public domain.

Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Is the opposition still unified against Ubuntu Unity?

    On May 10, 2010, Mark Shuttleworth stood in front of developers, programmers and fans of Ubuntu Linux at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in La Hulpe, Belgium and announced that Natty Narwhal, Ubuntu 11.04, was going to ship with the Unity Interface rather than Gnome. It was a surprise, and a startling one at that. The Gnome Shell was a staple of Ubuntu; if you wanted something other than Gnome, well, there was KuBuntu (with KDE), Lubuntu (using LXDE), or other distributions. Gnome came with Ubuntu; it was how things were. To veer off that path sounded like a betrayal to some, and the beginning of the end for others.

  • Is Ubuntu Driving Users Away?
  • Ubuntu Security Engineer Kees Cook To Join Google

    Kees Cook, an Ubuntu Security Engineer, has resigned from Canonical after a 5 years long stint. Kees will join Google’s ChomeOS team.

  • Canonical Seeks Independent Developers for Ubuntu Linux

    Are you an app developer with an “itch to scratch,” or an independent programmer eager for more exposure to the open source channel? If so, the Canonical team is building a site just for you, to help you integrate your work into Ubuntu. Here’s a look at what the company has done so far.

    The developer portal of the Ubuntu website, developer.ubuntu.com, has been around for a while now, but Canonical employees David Planella and John Oxton made its expansion and design the focus of a recent session during Ubuntu App Developer Week. The proceedings of their discussion reveal some important insights into Canonical’s plan for engaging new developers and expanding Ubuntu’s application profile.

  • Flavours and Variants

    • Inside Linux Mint

      Linux Mint’s meteoric rise to the top of the distro charts can be attributed to its perfect mix of usability and functionality. But if you think it’s just another Ubuntu-skinned distro, you’re very wrong.

      Unlike most popular Linux distros, Mint is the brainchild of just one man – Clement Lefebvre – yet it has managed to invigorate the community. It’s no surprise, then, that it looks to its legions of users for advice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Teaching technology in the future – Raspberry Pi

      So how can we take advantage of that trend towards discovery and learning, and combine it with small cheap electronics, to really make a difference? Well, you may have heard of the Raspberry Pi Foundation – it has had a fair amount of coverage in the UK anyway, with the promise of a new low-cost computing platform which could theoretically replicate the success of the BBC-sponsored, Acorn-built, BBC Microcomputers from the 1980s (and backed by one of the most successful computer games authors of that era). Those BBC Micro systems were rolled out across schools all over the UK, and pretty much anyone in the 30-40 age bracket will have learned to write some kind of BBC BASIC or LOGO code at some point in their education, and have looked at fractals and played a variety of classic 8-bit games. My first home computer was an Acorn Electron, an affordable beige “keyboard box” that could be plugged straight into a home TV in 1984, with games and programs loaded off a (then) common cassette player.

    • SkyNET Copter Wrecks Wi-Fi Networks In Its Free Time

      As of now, it’s just a prototype. It’s built on the company’s AR Drone quadrocopter core, and it’s modified with a Linux computer, 3G card, GPS module and two Wi-Fi cards.

    • This Cheap Air Drone Can Break Into Your Computer and Own It

      The SkyNET drone is a modified $300 Parrot quadcopter with a Linux computer, 3G card, a GPS unit and two Wi-Fi cards. This is how it works:

    • Phones

      • HTC mulling purchase of operating system: report

        After the global PC heavyweight Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) announced on Aug. 18 a plan to spin off its PC business and stop sales of its TouchPad tablet that uses the WebOS operating system, a slew of manufacturers like HTC and Samsung reportedly have been trying to acquire the WebOS platform to expand their mobile market reach.

      • Android

        • Fast processor, 4G push Droid Bionic to the top, says review

          The Android 2.3.4-powered Droid Bionic by Motorola is the company’s fastest smartphone yet, and it runs on Verizon’s LTE network, the fastest 4G service in the U.S. Although one pays dearly for the Bionic’s blazing speed, both in price and in poor battery life, the Bionic will more than compensate for those seeking top performance, says this review.

        • Intel to offer Android 2.x on Atom E6xx in January
        • Echostar Set Top Box runs on Android 2.3

          The Echostar IP Set Top Box HDX-200 seen at the IBC 2011 Amsterdam is an Android 2.3 operated device & runs Linux kernel 2.6.34.

        • 7 beautiful CyanogenMod 7 themes

          If you own a rooted Android phone most probably you will have heard about CyanogenMod. CyanogenMod is a free, community built distribution of Android 2.3.x which greatly extends the capabilities of your phone. In other words it’s a custom ROM for your mobile phone. Among its many features is its ability to use custom themes on your phone simply by installing APKs and using the T-Mobile theme engine. Here I will show you 7 beautiful themes for CM7.

        • Top Free Android Finance Apps
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • 0% of XOs run Windows

        A stray comment today about Windows not working on ARM machines, by someone who thought all OLPC laptops had moved away from Linux, reminded me to reaffirm something:
        Every XO we have ever made shipped from the factory with Linux. The 2M+ XOs running Linux is one of the largest deployments of Linux in the classroom anywhere in the world, and the largest in primary schools.

  • Free Software/Open Source

    • Why we still love open source

      It’s easy to make the argument that open source ain’t what it used to be. In the essay accompanying this year’s Bossie (Best of Open Source Software) Awards, InfoWorld contributing editor Peter Wayner nails it: Aggressive patent and copyright enforcement are inflicting damage on real openness and community-driven software development. And in desperate pursuit of revenue, both independent ISVs and big software players can make it hard to distinguish between demo versions and open source distributions.

    • The Covenant – A New Approach to Open Source Cooperation

      How can a company profit from their product while being fair to their Open Source development partners? After decades of corporate participation in Open Source, this question is still debated. HPCC Systems is taking a new approach.

    • Web Browsers

    • Databases

    • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • CMS

      • Drupal: is an open-source star on the edge?

        For some, Drupal is a powerful content management system; for others, it’s a development framework.

        With more than 2m downloads and high-profile users like MTV UK, Estee Lauder, Fox News, and The Economist, however, there’s no disputing the fact that Drupal is a great example of a successful open source project.

    • Public Services/Government

      • UK Government: Open Standards Must be RF, not FRAND

        So there we have it: the UK government officially recognises that open standards must be RF, as specified in the Procurement Policy Note, not FRAND, because the latter “ may present some difficulties for the open source software development model in terms of patents and royalties,” which is absolutely spot on.

    • Open Access/Content

      • A barrier-free world with open-access publishing

        The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS), based on the Technopark campus here, is poised to take its first step into open-access publishing. The centre is set to release the Journal of Free Software and Free Knowledge on Monday, representing the next stage in the free software movement.

        Talking to The Hindu, Satish Babu, director, ICFOSS, said open-access publication provided an answer to the problems posed by copyright restrictions in the conventional method of publishing.

    • Programming

      • Introducing CoffeeScript

        It’s great that JavaScript has improved in many ways. At the same time, the language contains many legacy issues—not in terms of capabilities, but in terms of the syntax and grammar. You can do great things with JavaScript, but it’s easy to write code that has unexpected side effects, whose variables don’t have the scope you expect, or whose functions operate just differently enough from your intention to cause problems.

    Leftovers

    • M$: Hotmail is Trash

      I have been saying that for about a decade. Now M$ agrees and will revamp Hotmail.

    • Defence/Police/Aggression

      • Through the Toxic Mirror: Vietnamese and Americans Continue to Suffer Effects of Agent Orange

        Fred Wilcox is a writing professor at Ithaca College and a long-time peace activist. In 1983, his book Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange broke the story of the suffering of American veterans of the Vietnam War due to poisoning by Agent Orange used as a defoliant. On September 13, Seven Stories Press will release his latest book, Scorched Earth: Legacies of Chemical Warfare in Vietnam, which chronicles the effects of chemical warfare on the Vietnamese people. On the same day, Seven Stories will also release a new edition of Waiting for an Army to Die.

      • A Decade After the 9/11 Attacks, Americans Live in an Era of Endless War

        To grasp its sweep, it helps to visit Fort Campbell, Ky., where the Army will soon open a $31 million complex for wounded troops and those whose bodies are breaking down after a decade of deployments.

    • Cablegate

      • 2011-09-11 Bulgarian Ambassador in Washington – Trusted Informant of USA

        A secret diplomatic cable [08SOFIA185], released by Wikileaks and dated March 27, 2008, reveals that Bulgarian Ambassador in Washington, DC, now serving a second term there, Elena Poptodorova and then Deputy Defense Minister, Sonya Yankulova, have informed American Ambassador in Sofia John Beyrle about plans to increase the Bulgarian contingent in Kandahar by fifty rangers, months before the official decision of the Bulgarian cabinet.

        The cable is also shading light on the steady pressure exerted by US officials on the Government of Bulgaria to expand its Afghan contribution with new contingent.

      • Narco elite vs oligarchy: Guatemala votes

        As candidates square-off in Guatemala’s presidential election, a broader political battle is transpiring away from the campaign signs and populist rhetoric: the old oligarchy is fighting to maintain its privileged position against an increasingly powerful “narco elite”.

        The old elite, or oligarchs, usually come from a feudal-style landowning class linked to coffee exports, cattle ranching and some heavy industry, such as cement production. The new narcos deal in cocaine, marijuana and assassinations.

      • More Lies from M$

        Sad that they relied on taxpayers money to sell products. Sad that one of the richest corporations in the world did not have the confidence to compete on price/performance.

    • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Finance

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • CNN Sustains Tea Party Myth

        CNN Online has published a story titled an “angry electorate helps sustain tea party,” ignoring the clear evidence the “movement” is only sustained by thinly-veiled religious zeal and wealthy funders like the Koch brothers.

    • Privacy

      • Google+, Real Names, and Groklaw’s Pamela Jones

        In the meantime, though PJ, who’s a very private person, was subjected to death threats, invasion of her privacy by junkyard journalists, and even claims that she wasn’t a real person at all. There really is a PJ. I’ve met her, and as it happens her “real name” is Pamela Jones.

        Just because she has a real name though and she’s a well-known online legal expert and journalist, doesn’t mean that she wants Google, or anyone else, drawing a direct line from “PJ” the paralegal and analyst/reporter and the Pamela Jones who lives at X address in Y City. So what does she think of Google’s instance of making those connections from online to real-world identities?

        In our conversation, Jones said, “I was going to join up with Google+ until I read about the ‘real name’ policy. I use my real name, actually, but if I have to send a license or some other proof to establish it, it’s no different, to me, than a government ID card.”

    • Civil Rights

      • How problematic is the Public Data Corporation?

        Jonathan Raper from open data company Placr argued that the PDC is a massive step backwards for the direction we thought data policy was moving under this government (US style marginal cost + tax funding model). This is going to stop on its tracks opening up other key core data areas, such as Companies House. It is not just the impact of the datasets involved in the current deal for the PDC but the general policy u-turn.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Copyright term extension is a cultural disaster

          This morning we heard that term extension in sound recordings has gone through the EU Council. Term extension is a cultural disaster. It means that it will be harder to publish older works, and many will remain out of print. Research showed that around 90% of the cash windfall from copyright levies will fall into the hands of record labels.

          Despite the rhetoric, small artists will gain very little from this, while our cultural heritage takes a massive blow by denying us full access to these recordings for another generation.

        • The Orphan Wars

          Just when I thought that the Google Books case might be tailing off towards an anticlimactic, unresolved ending — bam! The Authors Guild today filed suit against the HathiTrust, the library partnership holding many of the scans received from Google. You have to say this for authors: they sure know how to time a plot twist for maximum dramatic impact. I’ll give a quick summary of the important facts about the lawsuit, and then a few thoughts about what it means.

        • Accused Of Copyright Infringement For Reprinting Images Produced In 630 A.D.

          Over the years, we’ve heard tons of stories of professional printers refusing to print certain images because they’re concerned about being accused of copyright infringement. This tends to create a huge nuisance for people who have a legitimate right to have things printed, but it gets absolutely, positively ridiculous when it involves material that is quite obviously in the public domain.

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    2 Comments

    1. Needs Sunlight said,

      September 13, 2011 at 7:13 am

      Gravatar

      Like myself, many users rely on Ubuntu not only for its ease of use, but also because it offers a huge community of support.

      I notice that there is a lot less traffic nowadays in the Ubuntu Forums compared to years past. It could also be a sign that the system is just that much easier to use and that the easy questions no longer need to get asked again and again.

      Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

      It’s the same in news sites. And Ubuntu suffers from brain drain. Remnant and the head of security at Canonical recently got poached by Google.

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