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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

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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.


    • 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.


  • 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
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