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Links 15/9/2011: Linux 3.1 RC6, X Server Newsfest

Posted in News Roundup at 8:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • ‘Bossie’ Awards Crown FOSS’ Best of Breed
  • Events

    • Q/A: Contributing To Open-Source Projects
    • Software Freedom Day, Team Christchurch

      This Saturday is Software Freedom Day – a global celebration of free and open-source software and the international community that supports it.

      The Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome internet browsers, the OpenOffice.org productivity suite, and GNU/Linux operating systems are all examples of free/open software that many people use efficiently every day. This combination of personal and business computer tools runs virus-free, saving time and raising both user productivity and technical experience. They thus form first-rate educational tools, and without licensing costs.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Oracle’s MSJ Opposition on Copyright – Some Interesting Nuggets

      When we did our earlier article on Oracle’s opposition to Google’s motion for summary judgment on the copyright issue, we didn’t provide the Roman Swopes declaration [343, PDF] in text or its associated exhibits because most of those exhibits had been heavily redacted. Now the exhibits have been made available unredacted, and they contain some very interesting nuggets of information taken from the depositions and documents of various individuals at Google.

      What is interesting about these nuggets is that they actually support Google’s theory and evidence the continuing lack of understanding of the relationship of copyright to software on the part of Oracle (or at least on the part of legal counsel representing Oracle) and the continued distortion of actions by Google.

  • CMS

    • Site builders: Drupal vs. Joomla vs. WordPress

      Building a website has never been easier. Gone — mostly — are the days of having to hand-code HTML and PHP scripts in order to get a slick, fully functional website, thanks to the capabilities of content management systems that do most or all of the heavy lifting for site creators.

      There are boatloads of content management systems (CMSs) for serious site creators, but the most common for websites today are three open-source tools: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress. Actually, to call them “tools” is an understatement — these are full-fledged platforms, with tens of thousands of add-on tools created by very active developer communities.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • French Prime Minister encourages greater use of open formats

      The government announcement makes the point that there are also economic gains to be made from a more transparent approach to government data, noting that the opening of public data helps to develop the digital economy and to support innovation, growth and employment. It adds that web entrepreneurs and researchers will be encouraged to develop new uses for public data.

  • Licensing

    • How NOT to Push a New Open Source License, Part 1

      Bruce Perens wrote several times that he had to check with the lawyers to see what the various terms of his open source covenant really mean. If this license is so complicated that he doesn’t understand it, shouldn’t it be fixed? And why would he be publicly advocating others use a license he doesn’t fully understand? This doesn’t inspire confidence.

    • Why make a new open source software license? MPL 2.0 (part 3)

      In my previous posts, I discussed the new features of the MPL and the new compatibility between MPL and other licenses. In this final post, I’ll summarize a few other small details about the new MPL that may be of interest to opensource.com readers.

  • Programming

    • Mesa Compiler Stacks, A Hard Dependency On LLVM

      Tom Stellard, the former Google Summer of Code student who worked on R300 GLSL improvements and a new register allocator, is now working for AMD and his work is focused on bringing up open-source OpenCL / GPGPU support in the Radeon Linux driver.

    • Gedit as a Django IDE for Linux
    • Covenant for contributors has real promise

      Open source developers continue to struggle with how they can work with commercial entities and still keep some measure of control over their code, and vice versa. But a recent plan crafted by an open source software pioneer may offer another option to solve this conundrum.

      The issue of contributing to open source projects maintained by commercial companies is not some sort of incongruity between open source software licenses and for-profit business interests, as many FUD-sters would have you believe. It’s not the licenses that are the problem, but rather the copyright: who owns the code?

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Blackberry would close UK service in unrest if ordered

      BlackBerry said on Thursday it would close down its hugely popular messenger service in Britain if ordered to at times of civil unrest, after police singled out the system as a key tool used in last month’s riots.

    • Google’s IBM Patents Feast: Good or Bad?

      Nicholas George planned to brush up on his Arabic vocabulary during a flight in August from Philadelphia to California, where he was to start his senior year at Pomona College. So he carried some Arabic-English flashcards in his pocket to study on the plane.

    • Cameron, Sarkozy meet with Libyan rebels

      British Prime Minister David Cameron has sent a strong message to Moammar Gadhafi and his followers still waging war in Libya to “give up” the fight, warning that NATO’s mission will continue “as long as it is necessary” to protect Libyans.

      Cameron spoke at a press conference alongside French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday — the first world leaders to travel to Libya since revolutionary forces seized the capital and ousted Gadhafi. Both countries led international support for the rebellion.

  • Cablegate

    • Moyo loses sleep over Wikileaks

      Zanu PF politiburo member Jonathan Moyo has presented the party with a “golden opportunity” to discuss the emotive succession issue and those quoted in the WikiLeaks diplomatic cables should stick to their guns and tell President Robert Mugabe to go, analysts said yesterday.

    • Nigeria: The Rage and the Fever of Wikileaks

      The fever that is raging in Nigeria today is “wikileaks”. Yet as entertaining as these secret communications are, the truth is that if you believe everything that you read in Julian Assange’s “leaks” then you will believe anything. I say this based on my own personal experiences. So far I have been fingered twice by them and in both cases I can assure you that the stories were fabrications. They simply never happened.

    • WikiLeaks fever grips Harare

      The story exploded last week with many political and economic heavyweights were alleged to have leaked sensitive information to US Ambassador Charles Ray.

  • Finance

    • UBS Blames $2 Billion Loss on Rogue Trader
    • Rogue trader suspected in $2 billion loss at UBS

      One man armed with only a computer terminal humbled a venerable banking institution yet again. This time it was Swiss powerhouse UBS, which said Thursday that it had lost roughly $2 billion because of a renegade trader.

      The arrest of 31-year-old equities trader Kweku Adoboli in London is one more headache for troubled international banks, and fresh proof that they remain vulnerable to untracked trading that can produce mind-boggling losses.

    • John Mack Stepping Down as Chairman of Morgan Stanley
    • Questions and answers about the crisis in Greece

      Its economy is smaller than that of many U.S. states. It’s better known for olive oil and souvlaki than high finance. It last strode global affairs 2,400 years ago, when men wore togas.

      Yet everyone is suddenly worried about Greece.

    • Deficit panel senses ‘historic’ moment

      Ignoring calls for their talks to be out in the open, members of the new deficit-cutting supercommittee went behind closed doors Thursday to begin their first bargaining that could reshape federal spending and programs for years to come.

    • The Lehman Brother Anniversary Bailout!

      Although this could be looked at as awful news — more economies and banks in such dire straights as to need yet another central bank bailout, moral hazard notwithstanding — the kneejerk response was relief. Dax is up 4%, US futures flipped positive, Dow now up 100.

      The key question is the another QE2, or a failed European TARP?

    • Lagarde calls for unified action to fight Europe crisis and backs Obama job-growth plan

      The head of the International Monetary Fund called Thursday for bold and collective action to combat a slowing global economy and a worsening European debt crisis.

      IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde also said she welcomed President Barack Obama’s U.S. job-creation plan in light of the unemployment crisis in the United States.

    • Study: Privatizing government doesn’t actually save money

      The theory that the federal government should outsource its operations to private firms usually rests on a simple premise: It saves money. But why should we believe it saves money? Often the argument is made by pointing to salaries for public- and private-sector employees in comparable jobs and noting that the private-sector employees make less. So outsourcing the task to the private worker should be cheaper, right? That’s the theory, at least. But a new study from the Project on Government Oversight suggests that this theory is quite wrong. In many cases, privatizing government turns out to be far more costly.

    • Number of poor hit record 46 million in 2010

      The U.S. poverty rate hit its highest level since 1993 last year with a record 46 million Americans living below the poverty line, according to a government report on Tuesday that depicted the grim effects of stubbornly high unemployment.

  • Privacy

    • Exclusive: Ziff Davis Offering Money To Sites To Secretly Track Users

      Technology publisher Ziff Davis is offering money to tech sites to secretly track their users, Medacity has learned exclusively.

    • U.S. border deal could compromise Canadian privacy: report

      The anticipated trade and security agreement with the United States carries no guarantee of a reduction of red tape at the border for Canadian business and is more likely to violate national privacy laws, a new report suggests.

    • The Government Might Know You’re Reading This

      “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”

      Many Americans have said this, or heard it, when discussing the expanded surveillance capabilities the government has claimed since 9/11. But it turns out you should be concerned. Just ask peace activists in Pittsburgh, anti-death penalty activists in Maryland, Ron Paul supporters in Missouri, an anarchist in Texas, groups on both sides of the abortion debate in Wisconsin, Muslim-Americans and many others who pose no threat to their communities. Some of them were labeled as terrorists in state and federal databases or placed on terror watch-lists, impeding their travel, misleading investigators and putting these innocent Americans at risk.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Police Issue File-Sharing Scam Letters Fraud Warning

        Canadian authorities are warning Internet users to be vigilant following the emergence of a file-sharing settlement scam operation. West Vancouver police, who have now issued an official fraud warning, say that seniors have been receiving letters claiming they have been caught downloading a range of porn titles. Unsurprisingly, the letters come with an offer to settle for thousands of dollars.

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