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10.25.11

IRC Proceedings: October 25th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

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#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

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#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: October 24th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Microsoft Throws More Lobbyists Into the Ring to Ban Linux Phones

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jonathan Zuck finger in nose
Jonathan Zuck, Microsoft lobbyist from Association for Competitive Technology

Summary: Microsoft front group Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) is gaming the US government, trying to establish an embargo on certain Android phones while pretending to represent “small businesses”

WE were gratified to learn that the Austrian press used our research (English translation) to explain to its many readers what “Association for Competitive Technology” really is. It pretends to represent the side opposite to its goals, thereby hijacking the voice of Microsoft’s opposition (Association for Competitive Technology is a Microsoft front group). Similarly, as the article from Austria explains, Florian Müller pretends to be against software patents while he is very much in favour of them and his funding sources — Microsoft included — easily show this. He was denying this problem until someone was starting to send us some ‘dynamite’ evidence, whereupon Florian decided to “come clean” and state who was funding him. Remember that he is a lobbyist, not an activist. He loves the smell of dollars, or Euros, occasionally bragging about his wealth.

Microsoft Florian supports other Microsoft lobbyists and their pressure for bans on Android/Linux. He is very shallow. He is not stupid, but he does expose himself far more often than he realises. Right now he is pushing for Microsoft’s front group Association for Competitive Technology to be seen as valid and the goal is to ban HTC products. Quite the spectacle, eh? Nobody should be surprised by this. The only thing to be surprised about is how tactlessly Florian operates. He even brags about Microsoft’s lead racketeer dropping some congratulatory words on him. Well, our research pays off because more publications now realise that Florian is just a Microsoft lobbyist that deserves to be denounced, not merely ignored. It is people like him who fracture society and cause a lot of harm to customers. Like we stated last year, based on some of our readers from Germany, Florian has become a national source of shame. HTC is trying to gain patents to defend against Apple, but Apple’s aggression seems to have paid off in the States (US agency favours US company, no way!), partly due to the pressure from Microsoft lobbyists whom we exposed years ago. The federal government of the United States should wake up and realise that it is being bamboozled and gamed by Microsoft. They should penalise/fine Microsoft for this manipulation which directly harms American buyers. Over in Europe, Apple once again fails to ban Android products. Perhaps lying to the judged with doctored ‘evidence’ and appealing to trolls-friendly courts was not enough.

Microsoft’s current strategy is very despicable, but not everyone understands it. Apart from feeding patent trolls for more patent lawsuits against Android Microsoft uses puppets/mouthpieces like Florian to lie and to shove fake ‘news’ into publications, even by mass-mailing journalists (this is the type of service Florian seems to be offering, for the pretence of independence from PR agencies). This distasteful cabal has been trying to incite manufacturers against Google, with Florian their lobbyist clearly playing this card of portraying Google as “evil” for being the victim of racketeering. “Patents emerge as significant tech strategy” is the headline of this new article which says: “What Microsoft is doing, he believes, is playing a long game, trying to isolate Google, both from the best patent lawyers and from manufacturers who could otherwise stand by Google’s side should there eventually be a direct legal battle with Microsoft.”

Here is the “Intellectual Property” propaganda section of Bloomberg (Microsoft-friendly source) giving some background on this:

Microsoft’s patent licensing business began when Marshall Phelps joined the Redmond, Washington-based software company in 2003 after spending 28 years growing patent-licensing into a billion dollar business at International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) Phelps was Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Licensing until his departure in 2010.

The company began using litigation as part of its patent- licensing strategy after Horacio Gutierrez took over management of the company’s patent portfolio in 2006.

In the Microsoft statement, Gutierrez said the licensing agreement with Compal meant that more than half the companies in involved in original design manufacturing for Chrome and Android have now taken a license to his company’s patent portfolio.

Gutierrez is now working alongside Microsoft Florian (see their Twitter exchanges out in public). They work together in this racketeering crusade, which ought to raise doubts about Florian’s legitimacy as a European lobbyist. One British blogger calls for a “Boycott against corporate greed” in reference to what Microsoft is doing:

Yesterday news came out that Microsoft is boasting about a total of 10 patent deals being signed so far, with Android phone manufacturers. In case you haven’t been following these so-called “patent deals”, Microsoft has been keeping a long list of Android manufacturers and has been checking off one by one on its list to keep Google’s Android phones from continuing their dominance of the mobile phone market. But why? Microsoft claims that the Android phones violate multiple of its software patents. And they probably do, since Microsoft has been able to get away with these deals with so many companies so far and also has the power and means register thousands of patents.

But let’s step back and look at the big picture. Microsoft didn’t start proposing these deals until Android started to grow and gain high market success. To me, it’s just plain old greed that’s getting the best of Microsoft. And now Microsoft has the legal means to squeeze everything out of Android that it can, hoping to help its struggling Windows Phone 7 in the mobile phone market. Microsoft is betting on mobile phone manufacturers to change to Windows Phone 7 because they are the ones getting stuck paying the fees to Microsoft. It’s a great situation for Microsoft, but it is costing Android manufacturers a fixed fee per device, which they may end up passing down to the consumer. So who gets hurt? The consumer, again. Does Microsoft care? Only if it helps its own bottom line, even at the additional expense of consumers. Microsoft has hurt consumers out of greed time after time, even its own customers.

5 years ago (minus 2 week) the Boyctott Novell Web site was launched to tackle precisely this type of crime that we foresaw. There is a massive PR campaign going on, with Microsoft trying to pass its criminal activities as "legit". We must not let fake journalists make it so. Earlier today I sent an E-mail to Google employees that I know, urging Google to take legal action. I basically explained that Google’s reluctance to engage in legal action or invoke the RICO Act in defence of Android seems to be disappointing many people who are cheering for the success of the platform. By neglecting to take legal action and also accumulating its own patents, GNU/Linux platforms such as Ubuntu are left ever more vulnerable to extortionate moves from Microsoft, which the latter will use as “precedence” — a sort of credibility test for assertions made without substantiation. Google does have the pocket to stand up to abusive behaviour that constitutes antitrust violations. Microsoft’s behaviour today is worse than ever before. But the PR machine is better greased.

“The Justice Department also renewed its request that the court fine Microsoft $1 million a day for contempt and, in an unusual move, asked the judge to give the government new authority to review any new operating systems or browsers made by Microsoft at least thirty days before release.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul

Microsoft Mole Killed Linux Projects and Fed Patent Trolls for Attacks on Android

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stephen Elop
Photo by Luca Sartoni

Summary: More news about Nokia and a quick note about patent aspects of this whole situation

WE STRONGLY encourage everyone who is sceptical to read our past posts about Meego and the mole which took over Nokia to pass patents for the cause of attacking Android [1, 2] (an antitrust concern) while also lobbying for software patents in Europe, advertising Windows, and burying/undermining some vital Linux projects including three car projects:

Three car electronics designs were among the projects dented when Intel scrapped in late September support for MeeGo, its mobile Linux variant.

At least two companies were building in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems for car makers based on MeeGo when Intel ended support for the operating system. A third company, Visteon Corp., was building a system that could run on MeeGo or Ubuntu versions of Linux using ARM or Intel processors.

All three projects were based on the middleware specifications defined by GENIVI, a consortium of about 150 companies including about ten participating car makers. The group approved MeeGo as one of six OSes complaint to its specifications for Linux core services and APIs.

Intel is now working with Samsung on a new mobile Linux variant called Tizen to be released early next year, according to the Tizen Web site.

According to this new article, there is hope that Nokia will dodge Windows and the mole (Elop) will be evicted sooner than initially planned (allegedly next year).

MeeGo is dead, Nokia has basically said, and yet the Finnish company seems reluctant to let the “ex-platform” go. Finnish magazine Tietokone claims sources at a retailer and an operator, each working closely with Nokia, have confirmed there is an N9 successor on the roadmap, though exact details as to what the device might be are unknown.

Keith from the OIN spoke to me about Nokia around the same time that Nokia and Microsoft passed thousands of mobile patents to the patent troll called MOSAID. He explained that Microsoft’s goal was to do whatever it takes to raise the price of Android until it becomes “uneconomic”. Well, it turns out that Microsoft’s booster Matt Rosoff (who did a lot of PR for Microsoft’s attacks on Linux) spoke to this same CEO of OIN, who made to him some of the same points he made when we spoke for an hour and a half (I did not record or take notes though). It seems likely that none of this will penetrate Rosoff’s mind as having come from a Microsoft boosting agency (Directions on Microsoft) he merely misuses his appointment as “reporter” to spew anti-Linux FUD and offer praise for Microsoft patent strategy against Linux. People like these need to be flagged for being more like agents than journalists (whilst occasionally pretending to be “fair and balanced” to get people off their back).

“As discussed in our PR meeting this morning. David & I have spoken with Maureen O’Gara (based on go ahead from BrianV) and planted the story. She has agreed to not attribute the story to us….

“[...] Inform Maureen O’ Gara (Senior Editor Client Server News/LinuxGram) or John Markoff (NYT) of announcement on Aug 28, 2000. Owner dougmil (Approval received from BrianV to proceed)

“Contact Eric Raymond, Tim O’Reilly or Bruce Perrins to solicit support for this going against the objectives of the Open Source movement. Owner: dougmil [Doug Miller]. Note that I will not be doing this. Maureen O’Gara said she was going to call them so it looks better coming from her.”

(From Microsoft’s smoking guns)

Badge of Dishonour for Apple, Even Dilbert Grows Tired of It

Posted in Apple at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some of the latest backlash against Apple’s brand zealotry and aggressive pre-emptive wars

THE world’s leading badgewars/badgeware company (Apple) must know that its fate is hanging on a logo and some associated perceptions

Someone who uses a Mac-branded PC told us this morning that “Dilbert takes a shot at Apple” in the daily cartoon. “The company is going to make a mess going down,” he wrote, “but it seems to have no future without Jobs. And even he was losing his touch at the end. I just hope they don’t sell out to Microsoft on the way out. That could keep Microsoft afloat artificially.”

We wrote about Steve's death before we found out he was a central figure in the assault on Linux and one of our readers made us aware of this article which criticised Steve even before those newer revelations. It says:

I had an iPhone but I was relieved to lose it because it swallowed so much of my time in pointless ways. I enjoyed following myself down a street, as a dot on a map, for instance, but all I was really doing was being both CIA operative and target in a tiny movie of my own life. I also think, as others have noted, that the products look like children’s toys. Beautiful simplicity, say the fans, but more simple than beautiful, made for CBBC. The equivalent 40 years ago would have been blind adherence to the ideology of Habitat.

But I am in a minority. Jobs’s death has stopped the clock. As the corpse cooled, all aspects of his life and legacy were detailed by a prostrate media. He is now, just a little too late to enjoy it, the world’s most famous man, one pixel short of saviour. His memorial service last Sunday was covered by the broadsheets, who reported that the golden triumvirate of Bill Clinton, Stephen Fry and Bono appeared to mourn and rend their garments. This made me laugh, I am afraid, because if the question “Which global celebrities are most likely to attend the memorial service of Steve Jobs?” was asked on Family Fortunes the top answers would surely be – Bill Clinton, Stephen Fry and Bono. Who else could it be?

Some of the mourners, appropriately, tweeted their loss, which I am sure Jobs would appreciate, being the world’s chief facilitator of manufactured emotions in 140 characters or less. The more general population, who are practised in responding to the media’s idiocies, obediently responded. They were told they have lost something precious, and so the more credulous grieved. Logos representing Jobs’s death were designed, circulated, fought over and abandoned.

Well, the comments are worth reading too. Some people raise the point about Apple just being badgeware and over at TechDirt there is criticism over the subject we wrote about last night — that Apple goes way too far with its badgeware greed:

Not this again. We were just noting some recent attempts by Apple to pretend its trademark blocked anyone else from using an Apple in their own logo, no matter how obviously different and unrelated to the computer company.

Apple has become extremely unpopular among many people although its own followers are the very opposite. But given this overall notoriety of Apple, the future does not seem too promising. Apple’s brand value is estimated to be about half the company’s market capitalisation. This can change very rapidly.

NNDB on Gates Foundation Connections

Posted in Bill Gates at 6:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gates map

Summary: Adjunct lobbyist of Microsoft and its co-founder gets analysed for its sources of influence that it pays and exploits

WE SHALL soon resume watching the Gates Foundation, whose scope of influence is vast. The above map of connections is a scaled down version of the original that can be found here and it lists the following:

PEOPLE
Sylvia M. Mathews Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Warren Buffett Billionaire in Omaha
Ann M. Fudge CEO of Young & Rubicam, 2003-07
Ratan N. Tata Chairman of Tata Group
Patty Stonesifer Co-Chair of Gates Foundation
William H. Gates, Sr. Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Gates Co-Founder of Microsoft
Michael Kinsley Founding editor of Slate
Melinda Gates Married to Bill Gates
Mary Maxwell Gates Mother of Bill Gates
Vartan Gregorian President of Carnegie Corporation
Howard G. Buffett Son of Warren Buffett
Catherine Bertini World Food Programme, 1992-2002

COMPANY
Alcoa
AlliedSignal
Amazon
Berkshire Hathaway
CBS
Coca Cola
Corbis
Costco
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Fiat
General Electric
General Mills
Honeywell
Kinko’s
Kraft Foods
Liz Claiborne
Marriott
McGraw-Hill
Metropolitan Life
Microsoft
Novartis
Preston Gates & Ellis
Salomon Brothers
Tata Group
Tata Steel
The Washington Post Co.
Tupperware Brands
Unilever
Viacom
Young & Rubicam

EDU
Brown University
Cornell University
Harvard University
Simmons College
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of Washington

GOVERNMENT
Indian Official
Singapore Official
South Africa Official
UK Official
US Agriculture Department
US Health & Human Services Department
US National Economic Council
US Office of Management and Budget
US Treasury Department
White House Deputy Chief of Staff

GROUP
The Digerati
Wedding: Bill Gates and Melinda French (1994)

NEWSPAPER
The Washington Post

ORGANIZATION
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Americans for a Republican Majority
Bilderberg Group
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Brookings Institution
Carnegie Corporation
Committee for the Preservation of Capitalism
Council on Foreign Relations
Every Republican is Crucial PAC
Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce
Green Mountain PAC
Human Rights Watch
J. Paul Getty Trust
National Academy of Engineering
Pacific Council on International Policy
RAND Corporation
Rockefeller Foundation
Seattle Foundation
Smithsonian Institution
United Way
Urban Institute
World Food Programme
World Technology Network

We made similar maps about Microsoft and other entities in the past.

Links 25/10/2011: Android Beats iOS in Apps, FreeBSD 9.0 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Community spotlight: Scott Nesbitt, contributor to FLOSS manuals

    Meet Scott Nesbitt. He’s a freelance writer and consultant in Toronto, Canada. He uses open source tools for more than 85 percent of the work he does. He’s idealistic about more getting more open data from our governments. Nesbitt also contributes to FLOSS Manuals (FLOSS stands for Free/Libre open source software) by helping to document open source projects. Documentation for the win!

  • Twitter, open source, DNA and bread making

    Consider, for example, software for processing DNA samples in some way. Such software is highly specialised. It is tempting to look for other people who are working in the same area and seek to share code with them.

  • Open source jobs: What’s hot, where to look, what to learn

    What does the future hold for eager, talented software developers, and people with related essential skill sets? The overriding trend, as in all industries, is you’re on your own, chum. But free/open source software (FOSS) offers considerably more richness of opportunity than anything else. Let’s peer into the crystal ball and see what the future holds.

  • Open software source centre undergoes revamp

    The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (Icfoss) is being revamped with an amended vision document and functionalities.

    The decision was taken at the fourth meeting of the Icfoss governing body held here chaired by Mr P. K. Kunhalikkutty, Minister for Industries, IT and Urban Affairs.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Open Source Cloud Standard: Reality Check

      ’ve been watching OpenStack, the emerging open source cloud standard, for more than a year now. Without a doubt, open source cloud projects generate buzz on TalkinCloud. But where exactly do VARs and MSPs fit into the OpenStack conversastion?

      Since the OpenStack project’s mid-2010 launch, the community of open source developers and solution providers building on the platform has grown from just two — Rackspace and NASA — up to more than 110 today. And technology titans like Dell, Citrix, and HP have all signed on, with even traditionally hardware-focused Intel submitting code to the OpenStack community.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle’s Cloud Strategy Looks Just Like Its Open Source

      Oracle (ORCL) is using its strategy with open source as a template for its approach to cloud: First you dismiss it. Then you buy into it. Then you muddy it up. Wash, rinse, repeat.

      In open source, this meant that Oracle first charged it was theft; then bought the largest player, Sun Microsystems; then used its control of key projects to muddy the industry’s waters, while it monetized what it could.

      That process has now begun again with the purchase of RightNow. (RNOW). The price, $43/share, is not far a huge premium over Friday’s close of $36. But it’s still a nice pop for RightNow shareholders, and for those who got in exactly a year ago, it’s a near doubling of their money.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Open source IT allows zero cost start-ups

      While open source as a concept and philosophy is not new, it’s not well publicised either. Peter Ward talks to Jan Wildeboer, open source evangelist at Red Hat about how open source can be used by small businesses and start ups to dramatically lower costs.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Talend: Open Source Ecosystem Critical to Its Success

        What does it take to build a successful business in the open source channel? That’s a question with no easy answer, but it’s also one the staff at Talend, one of the open source world’s largest commercial organizations, knows something about. I recently spoke with them about the importance of open source to their work. Here’s what they had to say.

        First, a little background: Founded in 2005, Talend focuses on delivering data-integration solutions based on an “open core model,” in which the core technology is open source but value-added components, provided by both Talend and partners, may be proprietary.

        Talend isn’t the very biggest open source business in existence, but with 400 employees and offices in 13 countries, it represents a powerful force within the open source channel. It also counts 2,500 paying commercial customers for its data-integration products and about 750,000 users of its free tools, making it one of the most important software vendors in its niche.

  • Funding

    • Kickstarter for Open-Source Projects?

      The Web site http://www.kickstarter.com is an interesting place. Basically, it’s a site that allows people to invest in various projects, giving people real money to develop an idea. Those ideas vary from film-making to programming video games, but the concept is the same regardless of the project.

  • BSD

    • First release candidate for FreeBSD 9.0 arrives

      The FreeBSD project has announced the arrival of the first release candidate (RC1) for version 9.0 of its FreeBSD operating system. The developers say that 9.0 RC1 was delayed due to a bug that the team encountered during the initial testing of the images, as well as problems related to FreeBSD-Update.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FOSS luminaries ignore Ritchie’s passing

      What is really sad about this lack of acknowledgement is that many people and writers who do recognise events that are newsworthy in the field of computing have turned a blind eye – or else issued something that’s similar to weak tea.

      Take Richard Stallman, the head of the Free Software Foundation, for example. Stallman has much to thank Ritchie for; were it not for the C programming language that Ritchie developed, Stallman would not have been able to create any of the GNU tools that he did, in his quest to create a free operating system.

      Stallman had time to comment on the passing of Steve Jobs. Yet, to date, neither him nor anyone else at the FSF or the GNU Foundation have said a word about Ritchie.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • VideoJS – The Open Source HTML 5 Video Player

      If you are like me then you were very excited about HTML 5′s video tag. Simplistic, great functionality, and now it is even supported by all of the latest browsers. Video is just a source away, and easier than ever to portray high quality videos right on your website. HTML 5, like anything else, doesn’t have everything we want. For example the biggest problem is a “full screen command.” Even though you are able to specify the dimensions appropriately, you still want to be able to save space, and provide that option. Early on there were a number of options available to have a deluxe video player. There seems to be a frontrunner in this battle, and that is VideoJS.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • “Horror Hotel”: The New Frontier of Junk Food Marketing to Kids

      Today’s teenagers are probably the most savvy generation yet when it comes to filtering out advertising, but that is no worry for junk food and drink companies who steadily deploy stealthier and more sophisticated interactive promotions that specifically target teens and exploit their emotional and developmental vulnerabilities. The newest generation of internet-based junk food promotions uses cutting edge marketing techniques with names like “augmented reality,” “virtual environments” and “neuromarketing” — the use of scientifically-devised digital marketing techniques that trigger teens’ subconscious emotional arousal.

    • Don’t Buy Insurers’ Junk — Or Let Them Keep Selling It

      Members of Congress and the Obama administration have assured us that on January 1, 2014, junk health insurance plans — which offer only the illusion of adequate coverage to the millions of Americans enrolled in them — will become a thing of the past.

      Among those who clearly don’t believe those plans are headed for extinction are the insurance companies that market these highly profitable plans, and the employers that buy them — primarily restaurant chains and retailers with high employee turnover.

      If I were President Obama, I would send one of my aides to the Chicago suburbs later this week to see first-hand just how determined these companies are to continue selling these plans — which are euphemistically called “mini-med” and “limited-benefit policies” — long past 2014.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Days of Our Supply

      Brent oil price have remained stubbornly above $100 a barrel in 2011. Part of the reason why has been the decline in days supply of OECD Total Oil Stocks. Following the financial crisis of 2008, total oil inventories in the OECD climbed steadily, rising above 60 days supply. However, after the low in oil prices in 2009, inventories started a gentle decline which has now seen levels fall below 59 days supply. Over the years it has been my observation that while the level of days supply influences oil prices, changes in direction matter more.

  • Finance

    • How the Austerity Class Rules Washington

      In September the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a bipartisan deficit-hawk group based at the New America Foundation, held a high-profile symposium urging the Congressional “supercommittee” to “go big” and approve a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan over the next decade, which is well beyond its $1.2 trillion mandate. The hearing began with an alarming video of top policy-makers describing the national debt as “the most serious threat that this country has ever had” (Alan Simpson) and “a threat to the whole idea of self-government” (Mitch Daniels). If the debt continues to rise, predicted former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici, there would be “strikes, riots, who knows what?” A looming fiscal crisis was portrayed as being just around the corner.

      The event spotlighted a central paradox in American politics over the past two years: how, in the midst of a massive unemployment crisis — when it’s painfully obvious that not enough jobs are being created and the public overwhelmingly wants policy-makers to focus on creating them — did the deficit emerge as the most pressing issue in the country? And why, when the global evidence clearly indicates that austerity measures will raise unemployment and hinder, not accelerate, growth, do advocates of austerity retain such distinction today?

    • Goldman Sachs Sends Its Regrets to This Awkward Dinner Invitation

      Earlier this month, hundreds of New Yorkers received an unusual dinner invitation from the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union.

      The Credit Union, a small lender serving New York’s poor, was holding a fund-raiser to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Among the chief sponsors listed on the invitation was Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    • Goldman Sachs Sued By Allstate Insurance For Fraud

Links 25/10/2011: Linux 3.1, Linux Smartphones Domination in Asia

Posted in News Roundup at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • All About Jobs and Hiring in Linux Land

    “Most developer jobs require current knowledge of non-open software,” said blogger Barbara Hudson, “but it’s a safe bet to say that most jobs are not ‘open’ jobs. … The most reliable way to get a job that uses open source exclusively is to create your own. The bad news is that, as in every previous recession, we’re seeing a lot of this ‘involuntary entrepreneurship.’ The good news is that this time the tools are freely available.”

  • Are Updates the Dirty Linux Secret?

    So, are updates the dirty little secret of running Linux?

  • Desktop

    • UEFI Headaches Begin For Linux Users

      The next morning I began looking into UEFI more since I had not done a lot of research but did know it was discovered around the time Windows 8 Developer was released. Anyways Ubuntu has a Community Documentation Article that discusses some workarounds for the UEFI problem and I have personally been considering how greatly the UEFI problem could affect Linux Users. I think there is some positive discussion going on and brainstorming occurring that will allow the Linux community to find reliable workarounds and solutions before UEFI becomes a standard.

      Apparently Dell has had UEFI laptops for a while so it is no surprise that a new HP laptop has UEFI by default although with HP doing quite a bit of stuff in the FOSS community I figured they might have provided better support for someone trying to install Linux. Hopefully some sort of legislation will pass that requires manufacturers to list that a certain device is only capable of running a certain OS out of the box and further the whole issue seems very anti-competitive.

    • Three years on the GNU/Linux road

      It’s been about three years, since I finally migrated all of my personal PCs for my immediate family from Windows XP to Fedora Linux. I had used it for many years previous to that, but I had held off on migrating all of my PCs permanently because of issues with getting apps to work in Wine, and problems finding apps to replace proprietary ones I had used up to that point.

      It’s been a pretty smooth ride on Fedora during the past 3 years though, for me and my family. I originally installed Fedora 9, and have upgraded the PCs to Fedora 14 during that time. I originally set up a Windows XP virtual machine in VirtualBox for those times where applications MUST run in a Windows environment, where there is no Linux alternative. But those cases are getting more rare now. I haven’t used my XP virtual machine in quite some time. I have realized one thing though, that staying on Fedora’s current release does take some extra time to upgrade from version to version. I have stated in other posts I became sick of maintaining Windows XP, and yet I’ve found that I still do need extra time to upgrade Fedora. But, I should mention that I don’t absolutely need to upgrade to the latest versions, but I do it mainly to upgrade all of the applications to their latest version, like Firefox, Thunderbird, and other software on the PCs. Overall, it’s a nice and easy way to “refresh” both the Linux kernel and all of the applications installed in one easy step.

    • ZaReason Invenire 1220 Reviewed

      A couple of weeks ago, ZaReason sent us a shiny new Invenire 1220 running Qimo 2.0 for a review. This is the first time I’ve ever seen Qimo running on a machine I hadn’t put it on, and the fact that it was like that out of the box was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. Having Qimo available as a pre-install option is not only a great opportunity for Qimo, but an easy way for parents to get a working computer that’s safe and inviting for their kids.

    • Ideal Desktop for Me

      On this machine I have installed Linux Mint Debian Edition, 32-bit and I’m using XFCE as my desktop environment. LMDE provides the necessary proprietary codecs to make my life simpler. Also the fact that LMDE is a rolling distribution is great as I don’t need to worry about the upgrade treadmill anymore and I have to admit that I like the idea of always having all the most current apps installed.

    • To Install or Not?
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.1 released with NFC support

      Released several weeks late due to malware attacks on kernel.org in August, the Linux 3.1 kernel is out now, with a variety of enhancements to performance, virtualization, and power management. It also includes support for near field communication (NFC), the OpenRISC open source CPU, Nintendo’s Wii controller, and 3D acceleration with Nvidia GEForce graphics processor units (GPUs).

    • Linux 3.1
    • What’s new in Linux 3.1

      Among the most prominent advancements of Linux 3.1 are the kernel’s 3D support for new NVIDIA graphics chips and virtualisation enhancements for KVM and Xen.

      About !!! weeks after the version jump to 3.0, Linus Torvalds has now released the second kernel in the 3.x series. Without the break-in at kernel.org, the new version would probably have been released three to four weeks earlier, as the temporary unavailability of the central server structure slightly hampered the kernel developers’ work. However, the scope of modifications compares quite well with that of the new kernel’s direct predecessors, as another round of advancements enhances the range of features and hardware support of Linux. Users are likely to benefit from these advancements in the near future, because distributions such as Fedora 16, which is due to be released in November, are already planning to use kernel version 3.1.

    • AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer On Ubuntu Linux

      Two weeks ago AMD introduced the Bulldozer FX-Series CPUs to much excitement, although many were letdown by the initial results, and it was months after showing the first Linux benchmarks of an AMD Dual-Interlagos pre-production system. In the days that followed I delivered some initial AMD FX-4100 Linux benchmarks when securing remote access to a low-end Bulldozer system running Ubuntu 11.04 (and there were also some Linux benchmarks from independent Phoronix readers), but then last week a Bulldozer kit arrived from AMD. The centerpiece of this kit is an eight-core AMD FX-8150 CPU, which is now being used to conduct a plethora of AMD Bulldozer benchmarks on Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Nokia gives Qt open-source governance

        Qt, the Nokia-owned graphical toolkit used in popular products from Google and Adobe, is now being run as an open-source project, meaning independent developers can have more influence on the direction of the software.

      • Qt Project launches; Qt now under open governance

        There are many levels of openness that a project can espouse, from simply dumping open source code at regular intervals, to actually fostering a community and letting the community dictate the course of development the project should take. It can be endlessly debated as to what level of openness is better and for what project or under what conditions. Regardless Qt, the popular open source cross-platform framework used by KDE, is now a little more open with the launch of the Qt Project.

      • Konqueror in KDE4. It’s not so terrible, I guess.
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Things that I like in Gnome 3

        A title that is effectively social-suicide to post on PlanetKDE, but I’ll risk it anyway. I spent some time last week trying out Gnome 3.2, and it has a lot of really good ideas that we can steal take influence from.

        I think as desktop developers it’s always worth spending some time to see what our “competitors” are doing in both the open source and commercial world.

      • Using Gloobus Preview With Nautilus 3.2

        GNOME 3.2 got its own file previewer: GNOME Sushi, but what if you want to use Gloobus Preview instead (the main reason for this being that Gloobus Preview supports more file types)?

  • Distributions

    • Chakra 2011.09 review – Interesting and powerful

      Two distributions that I have been most asked to review are Arch Linux and Chakra. And the reason I have so far refused to do so is the relatively high level of knowledge required to operate them. Think of Slackware, turbo mode into Gentoo, then add some. Supposedly, Arch Linux is good and stable and light on the system, but it takes time working out and taming, or as we say in technical parlance, why bother. But Chakra, as it turns out, is unto Arch what Sabayon is unto Gentoo. All of the horrible geekiness is taken away and you have a simple and friendly desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Updated – Almost Overlooked

        For some added fun, go to the Panel Tool Box (the cashew at the right end of the bottom panel), choose “Add Widgets” then *Get New Widgets”, then “Download New Plasma Widgets”. In the search box enter “CpuFreqDisplay”, and install the widget that comes up. Then go back to the Add Widgets function, and add that widget to your panel. That gives you a nice colorful display of the CPU speed as it is adjusted on demand. Enjoy!

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu turns 7, Canonical gets to work on Precise Pangolin
          • Ubuntu Summit Plans To Polish The Precise Pangolin

            With Oneiric Ocelot just released, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth wants to get next year’s release right

          • Canonical extends Ubuntu 12.04 LTS desktop support
          • Canonical announces five years of support for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS desktops
          • Canonical Develops Next Version of Ubuntu; Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
          • Vodafone Webbook With Ubuntu OS For $188 Released
          • Vodafone launches $188 Ubuntu Webbook for developing countries
          • The Latest from Ubuntu and Kubuntu

            At the end of the week my impression is Ubuntu 11.10 offers a good, newcomer-friendly distribution. It has a few issues, most of them minor, but it really feels like a distribution I could put in front of someone who considered themselves both a Linux and a computer “newbie” and they would probably do well with it. The Kubuntu edition feels to be targeting power users who want the convenience of Ubuntu, but who want to be able to configure their interface. It’s fast, easy to customize and, aside from a few issues with package management and the annoying Nepomuk pop-ups that appear at login, it’s been a solid experience. The two editions compliment each other well. Both install quickly, come with a good base of software (with over 30,000 additional packages in the Software Centre) and are easy to use. This is probably the best release Ubuntu has put out in the past two years and I think Kubuntu may become a permanent resident on my main machine.

          • Quality in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            As is natural for an LTS cycle, lots of people are thinking and talking about work focused on quality rather than features. With Canonical extending LTS support to five years on the desktop for 12.04, much of this is quite rightly focused on the desktop. I’m really not a desktop hacker in any way, shape, or form, though. I spent my first few years in Ubuntu working mainly on the installer – I still do, although I do some other things now too – and I used to say only half-jokingly that my job was done once X started. Of course there are plenty of bugs I can fix, but I wanted to see if I could do something with a bit more structure, so I got to thinking about projects we could work on at the foundations level that would make a big difference.

          • How Well Did Your Ubuntu 11.10 Upgrade Go?
          • Magazines and ebooks come to the Ubuntu Software Centre

            Ubuntu sponsor Canonical has announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with the Pearson Technology Group and Linux New Media to provide ebooks and magazines to the Ubuntu Software Centre. Canonical says that several ebooks, including “The Official Ubuntu Book” and “Ubuntu Unleashed: 2011 Edition”, have already been added to the Software Centre; magazines such as Ubuntu User and Linux Magazine should be available soon from $6.99.

            The Software Centre is the Linux distribution’s recommended software management system for adding additional applications, tools or components; commercial software was first added to Ubuntu in April 2010 with the 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” release. “Through this innovative partnership we are adding eBooks and magazines to the wide range of applications currently available in the Ubuntu Software Center, creating a fantastic revenue opportunity for Ubuntu developers and content creators”, said Canonical VP Business Development Steve George.

          • Useful Ubuntu Unity Lenses For Ubuntu Oneiric

            One of the best feature of the Unity desktop in Ubuntu is the lens. Lens are the search feature in the Dash. Different lenses allow you to perform search functions, for example, the Music Lens allows you to search for music that you have recently listened to while the Applications Lens searches for all your applications in the system. In Ubuntu Oneiric, it comes with three default lenses, namely the Applications lens, Recent Files/Folders lens and the Music lens. Below are several useful lens that you can add on to your system.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 238
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Getting Bodhi Linux up to speed

              Most of the time I am writing articles on getting users up to speed with specific tools, distributions, or desktops. This time, I am going to help you set up one of my new pet distributions so that you’ll spend less time figuring things out, and more time enjoying Bodhi Linux.

              You should already know that Bodhi Linux is proud to be one of the few distributions that is a minimal, yet very functional, desktop Linux. What that means is you are going to have to actually install some software. That task is always the first thing I do upon completion of installation. Naturally everyone has their own list of favorite software they install, my list looks something like this:

              * The Gimp
              * LibreOffice
              * Audacity
              * Banshee
              * Gnucash
              * Lucky Backup
              * Speedcrunch
              * Fotowall
              * Calibre
              * Chromium Browser
              * Dropbox

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Microsoft, MC Hammer and mobiles – its old news and new news!

    It is reported that Microsoft’s rather unpopular Windows Phone 7 costs more to make than the iPhone 4s, disproving the theory that “You get what you pay for”. It’s no secret that Microsoft is allegedly making more money from Android “licenses” than it is from WP7 and it doesn’t seem like Mango has stirred any excitement – the one “fruit” product in the Tech world that’s truly gone rotten?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Internet blocking – before/after EP
    • Broadband and science helping the developing world

      But broadband does not just benefit science for the developing world – it benefits science in the developing world too. In places like Chile, where low light pollution levels are conducive to astronomical observation, and where scientists make use of the regional RedClara network, itself largely funded by the EU. Even in a place like Somalia, the existence of a research and education network is not just remarkable – in a country with few functional national organisations – but positive, as an agent for change supporting healthcare, education services and the Fibre for Peace initiative.

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