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11.04.11

Links 4/11/2011: Fedora 16 Goes Gold, Apple Bats for Sacred Cow (Brand)

Posted in News Roundup at 7:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Their way or the highway.

    It all comes down to control. Not your control, the proprietary companies control. However much control they have over their operating systems the more mon^b^b^b^b^b better quality product they can provide you. That is their theory as far as I can figure out. What that means in real life is that no matter what you wish to do with your proprietary operating system, you have to chose the path they set. That path is generally expensive and to take words from the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, almost, but not quite like a cup of tea.

    This means that if you want something or wish to perform some task which is outside the limited bounds the proprietary companies have chosen then you are SOOL. You could think of that last acronym as Simply Out Of Luck but in my mind it is somewhat different :P . The end result is that you either go their way or take the highway.

    Then along came Jones. Tall thin Jones…..oops a bit of Ray Stevens slipping in there :) I actually meant along comes Linux. With Linux you are not limited to a straight and narrow path. You can simply take the path, or method, of achieving what you wish in the manner you prefer. This means that to scratch your left ear you can use your left arm or even your right butt cheek if you so desire, and are flexible enough.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • A sub $200 AMD FirePro benchmarked on Linux

      Workstation graphics cards tend to be significantly more expensive than their desktop counterparts, something the new AMD FirePro V4900 seeks to overcome. The card is available for less than $200 but still comes with the advantages of the FirePro series, workstation application certification, a three-year hardware warranty and greater technical support than with a desktop GPU. Performance wise, the benchmarks that Phoronix ran showed the card to be nicely between the V4800 and V5800 so perhaps not worth immediately running out and upgrading from the previous low end model but definitely worth considering for new machines.

    • Kernel Log: more details on the kernel.org hack

      The recent Kernel Summit, LinuxCon Europe and Realtime Workshop events revealed lots of interesting developments from the kernel scene, including a few details of the hack at kernel.org. AMD has released new graphics drivers and there’s a patch to fix serious problems in the RAID 10 code in Linux 3.1.

    • Linux Foundation: Will it be your friend or foe?
    • Ubuntu: Power Consumption, KVM, Mozilla, Etc
    • Open64 Compiler Tuning On AMD Bulldozer FX-8150
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE4, LFS: Make GTK Applications Look Like QT4 Applications
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • First Review of Krita 2.4
      • Start Active

        My blog has been rather empty lately. It’s not because I haven’t had anything to report, but due to the fact that many things have happened and all sorts of cool things in Plasma Active’s “Activity world” started appearing that I didn’t have the time to write about them.

      • Kademar 4.9.5 – two-faced surprise from Spain

        Do you like prizes? Yes, most of us do. That’s why I offered prizes to winners of contest which ran on this blog to celebrate its first birthday. Prize for the winner of “social” contest was 8Gb USB stick and CD with any Linux distribution available.
        The choice of the winner was Kademar Linux. It is the distribution based on Debian and Knoppix, created by community in Spanish province Catalonia.

      • Kubuntu Desktop Effects

        Many cool effects and animations are available for the Kubuntu desktop. Here you can get a few ideas for your desktop environment, and see all the options you can try. There are several different ways to zoom and magnify windows or different portions of your desktop. Or you can add effects for many actions, such as window opening and closing, mouse movement, or window switching. From the desktop effects settings window you can also enable desktop compositing which is required for most effects. Even the speed of most animations and effects can be toggled, you have complete control. Good luck creating your own desktop environment!

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2 Absent from Latest Version of Ubuntu Open Source OS
      • Indicator Applet Ported To GNOME 3, Can Already Be Used In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Classic GNOME 3 Session

        Jason Conti has ported Indicator Applet to GNOME 3. That means that you can now get almost the same classic (fall-back) GNOME 3 session look in Ubuntu 11.10 like in Ubuntu 11.04.

        With this, you’ll be able to use all the applications that come with an Ubuntu Appindicator, Indicator Date/Time, the session indicator, network, Ubuntu Sound Menu, Messaging Menu and even the Global Menu (optional) in the classic (fallback) GNOME 3 session, just like in Unity. However, unlike in Unity, the Global Menu doesn’t hide automatically for maximized windows and there are no buttons on the top panel.

      • Gedit – Dash 0.1

        In an experiment to for alternative “open file” dialogs we started experimenting with the Dash. When you open a new tab you will be greated with the following page. The thumbnails generated skip “comments” and “imports” and try to jump directly to some code or text from your work.

      • GNOME roams to Montreal

        The Montreal Summit 2011 turned out to be a very fun and productive gathering earlier this month of GNOME hackers and developers. With the 3.2 release behind us, there was a lot of discussion about the state of GNOME and its path going forward, reflected both in the technical and non-technical sessions that were held.

  • Distributions

    • Why AUR is part of the Arch Linux success

      If you usually follow some blogs about Linux, especially those on Arch Linux, there is a common word that you are come across often, AUR, acronym of Arch User Repository. You might wonder what does it mean, what does it imply for the distribution, and why it’s so popular for the Arch Linux community. If you asking yourself those questions, this post is for you.

      First, you should keep these two characteristics in mind.

      * Everybody may contribute to AUR.
      * It’s really easy to contribute to AUR.

      AUR is a kind of repository totally public, open to whoever want to contribute to let some resources available to anyone. No ceremonials, agreement or long ritual initiation to submits a package to AUR.

    • AV Linux – A Quick Review (With Screenshots)
    • SystemRescueCd 2.4.0 Has Linux Kernel 3.1.0

      François Dupoux proudly announced two days ago, November 1st, a major release of his popular SystemRescueCd Linux-based operating system for rescue and recovery tasks.

      The SystemRescueCd 2.4.0 Linux Live CD operating system for rescue tasks, includes the latest stable version of the Linux kernel, an updated version of the XOrg Server, Mozilla Firefox, and GParted applications.

    • New Releases

      • GParted 0.10.0-3
      • Clonezilla 1.2.11-15
      • ArchBang Linux 2011.11 Is Now Available

        Willensky Aristide proudly announced last night, November 1st, the immediate availability for download or upgrade of the ArchBang 2011.11 operating system.

        ArchBang 2011.11 is a Linux distribution based on the Arch Linux, but with the lightweight Openbox window manager. The new version brings various features, new apps and lots of bugfixes.

      • SystemRescueCd 2.4.0 released

        Three months after 2.3.0 arrived, version 2.4.0 of the SystemRescueCd Linux distribution has been released. Based on the Gentoo LiveCD and using Xfce as its default desktop, the SystemRescueCd is configured as a tool kit for administering or repairing an operating system and recovering data after a system crash. Supported file systems include Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, VFAT, NTFS, ISO9660 and Btrfs.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: The Integrated Stack Is Critical

        Embedded virtualisation makes more sense than having a layer of software sitting below the operating system, says Navin Thadani

      • More CentOS pimpage

        There you go. Now, some of you might claim that all of this can be done automatically in some other distributions, with as little as two or three mouse clicks inside the package manager window. True, but some other distributions have the life cycle of a butterfly and will often break in between updates, while CentOS is rock solid. And it will stay around for a long, long while. Did I mention it is very simple and lightweight, too? Plus, if you pay attention, most of what we did is a three-minute job, possibly less than what it takes to achieve the same results in Windows.

        All right, so now you truly have a perfect desktop, with pretty much anything and everything you could possibly need, including the latest software, games, virtualization products, eye-candy and bling-bing, cross-platform support, plugins, and more. Well, I hope you enjoyed this. See you around.

      • Red Hat (RHT) Trading Near $47.82 Support Level
      • Fedora

        • Six Good Reasons to Try Fedora 16

          There are many different Linux distributions, each offering a slightly different flavor of the free and open source operating system.

        • Fedora 16 declared gold

          On Thursday evening (3 November), the Fedora Project announced that the fifth release candidate (RC5) for version 16 of its Linux distribution has been declared gold, noting that “It is a nice, golden, almost… mustard-like color”.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze on Asus Eee PC 1215B
      • Derivatives

        • Wary Puppy Linux 5.2 review

          The true power of Linux is in its near-infinite variety: no matter what your particular requirement, the chances are that you can find a distribution tailored to your needs. There are Linux distributions aimed at power users, programmers, gamers, people moving from Windows and those with older hardware that just isn’t powerful enough for many modern operating systems.

          It’s this last market that Puppy Linux, a lightweight distribution created by Barry Kauler, targets. Unlike more ‘mainstream’ distributions like Ubuntu or openSUSE, ‘Wary’ Puppy Linux is designed to work on as wide a range of hardware as possible, regardless of its age or specification.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ignored Group of Ubuntu

            This morning in the Community Roundtable, Jono talked about the culture of Ubuntu and how it is changing and morphing. This caused me to think about another group of people who have popped up in the Ubuntu (And open source in general) world.

          • Ubuntu & HP’s project Moonshot
          • A Disturbing Dialog About Ubuntu and Unity

            Curious about how design decisions are made for Ubuntu’s Unity? About how the development team reacts to criticisms of its efforts? If you are, then a moment of unusual — and troubling — clarity emerged last week on Launchpad, Canonical’s development site.

            The moment takes the form of Bug #882274, filed by Tal Liron under the title “Community engagement is broken.” Although other people comment, much of the discussion is between Liron, an active bug-filer, and Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu’s founder. Liron writes as an Ubuntu loyalist, mostly succeeding in maintaining his politeness and trying to be constructive, but his frustration and feelings of being ostracized are obvious.

          • Precisely What Version of GNOME Will Ship in Ubuntu 12.04?
          • Ubuntu 11.04 Makes PCWorld ‘Best of 2011′ List
          • Ubuntu 11.10 review: On the right track
          • Ubuntu members over time
          • Next Ubuntu sounds good
          • Ubuntu: Power Consumption, KVM, Mozilla, Etc

            Ubuntu One As Your User Account: Canonical is planning to make it possible to sign into an Ubuntu installation using the Ubuntu One cloud credentials. In that if you sign into an Ubuntu system — whether it’s a desktop or mobile device — you can have immediate access to all of your data stored in Ubuntu’s cloud associated with your single sign-on account.

            Network access would be required, obviously. The plan would be writing a PAM module to authenticate against Ubuntu One, users wouldn’t need to create a local account, easily supports multiple devices, would streamline migrations, and provide other benefits. One of the action items expressed is to even have sign-in support with Facebook. More details can be found on this notes page.

          • Is Unity tearing Ubuntu apart?
          • Ubuntu, the end is near….

            I was a huge ubuntu fan. They got it *right* for a few years there, from 9.10 through 10.10 which I currently run on my netbook and desktops. My son’s machine is still on 10.04, and now I have a problem.

            It seems they just decided that 10.04 is reaching end of life and now I can’t perform updates on his machine. Further, the option to easily upgrade to 10.10 is no longer available in the update manager, they want us all to move to 11.10.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS To Target 750MB Image

            The default ISO size target for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is now 750MB, which rules out burning this Linux distribution to a traditional 700MB CD, but allows for 1GB+ USB flash drives and DVDs. Plus there’s some other news from the Orlando development summit happening this week.

            Back on Wednesday was a session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) for “Precise Pangolin” about targeting a 1.5GB DVD image by default. Doubling the available space on the standard Ubuntu disc image would allow for incorporating more software, since with recent releases they have had quite a hard time managing to fit all of their desired packages onto a 700MB image. There’s been optional Ubuntu DVD editions for earlier releases, but the Ubuntu default ISO has always been CD-sized.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lucid Puppy 5.2.8 review – More goodness

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

              What can you expect from Puppy? A lot really. And I mean a lot. I had Puppy tested on three separate occasions and it’s only getting better. Sometimes, you have small changes, sometimes big ones, like the brand new kernel based on Ubuntu Lucid and a whole new level of Wireless capability. My last review revealed these tremendous improvements that the major version 5 brought to the table. So let’s what you get with 5.2.8. Perhaps some fancy dessert?

            • Team Work in Open Source Projects

              You know what really helped us get to where we are today though? Team work. The old saying of “many hands make light work” holds true even in the process of software creation. While there is no doubting that I am the face man of the Bodhi project, this enlightening initiative has been a team project from the start. We started off as a small three man team:

              Myself: Packaging Enlightenment and building the ISO image.
              Jason Peel: Graphics and Web design.
              Ken LaBuda: Server setup and upkeep

            • Bye Bye Bodhi

              One website lists ten reasons to use linux my favourites of which are “Linux is easier to use than Windows” and “Linux is fun.” It is day three of the experiment and so far I haven’t installed Linux but I have taken a Dell Vostro 3350 apart about five times. I borrowed this laptop off a fellow comrade in this experiment, Jake B, as I will be sending my own netbook home this coming December.

              Starting off I aimed to install both VectorLinux and Bodhi to compare them. I consider myself a relatively light computer user outside of the office and so comparing two different distributions would give me something to talk about. Alas this choice has come back to bight me in the…

            • Linux Mint 12 to Blend GNOMEs 2 & 3

              Clement Lefebvre posted a preview of the upcoming Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” today. The post listed several noteworthy announcements. However, it wasn’t the news itself that was the most noteable. What seemed most noticeable to me was that Mint possesses what Ubuntu is struggling to recapture and what openSUSE and Fedora are duking it out to earn: user excitement.

              Canonical is trying to recapture the blogger excitement they once enjoyed. openSUSE is trying so hard to gin up some excitement for their upcoming 12.1 release and Fedora is trying to find some for version 16 that just went gold, but again, with lackluster results. I was beginning to think users are just burnt out. And change isn’t such a good word anymore.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dev Days 2011 – Qt 4.8, Qt 5.0 and Raspberry Pi

      I spent the first half of last week in a hotel in the outskirts of Munich for Nokia’s Qt Developer Days 2011. This is an annual gathering of the Qt-enlightened, designed to help attendees refresh their skills, upgrade to new ones and hear the gospel from the people who actually write the toolkit. But it’s also a chance to catchup on all the latest Qt gossip.

    • Questions remain over $25 Raspberry Pi

      The Raspberry Pi, a $25 working computer the size of a credit card, is almost ready for public consumption. But questions remain.

      The device was first revealed in May, with the brainchild behind it, former games developer David Braben, revealing the specs as a 700MHz ARM11 processor, 128Mb of RAM, OpenGL ES 2.0, USB 2.0, HDMI and Composite outputs, an SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot, and open source software including Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, and Python. In August we saw a demo of the Raspberry Pi working, with it impressively managing to run Quake III.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Xoom 2 tablets are faster, thinner, and lighter, says Motorola

        Motorola Mobility updated its Xoom tablet with a 10.1-inch Xoom 2 and an 8.2-inch Xoom 2 Media Edition tablet, each running Android 3.2 on a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. The Wi-Fi only devices are debuting in the U.K. and Ireland, and feature 1280 x 800-pixel screens with splashguard coating, while the 10.1-inch model is 10 percent lighter and 33 percent thinner than the original.

      • Xoom 2 tablets are faster, thinner, and lighter, says Motorola

        Motorola Mobility updated its Xoom tablet with a 10.1-inch Xoom 2 and an 8.2-inch Xoom 2 Media Edition tablet, each running Android 3.2 on a dual-core 1.2GHz processor. The Wi-Fi only devices are debuting in the U.K. and Ireland, and feature 1280 x 800-pixel screens with splashguard coating, while the 10.1-inch model is 10 percent lighter and 33 percent thinner than the original.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Designer Offers a Look at What Wasn’t

        Mozilla’s Principal Designer on Firefox, Alex Faaborg, is leaving the company to “try out design work in an entirely different space.” Before he goes though, Faaborg is sharing some designs from the Mozilla cutting room floor — mockups and design ideas that never quite made it to Firefox.

        Most Firefox users probably don’t know Faaborg by name, but he’s overseen the design of some of the browser’s bigger user interface changes over the years, including the Awesomebar, the move to tabs-on-top, the one-click bookmark system and the revamped icon that launched with Firefox 3.

      • Unleash The Firefox Web Browser Potential

        Firefox has made many improvements over the years and it is constantly evolving. Many new features have been added in the newer versions. Currently you can find Firefox installed by default on most Linux systems. But many users don’t realize there Firefox has several themes and thousands of plug-ins to expand the user experience. So why not take advantage of it? Here you can learn how. For people new to Firefox you will find all of the tools you usually use as well. Firefox has the basic bookmark functions, typical menu setup, customizable toolbars, and multiple tabs for browsing sessions. If you don’t have Firefox on your system you can install with the following commands.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle formally proposes open source JavaFX
    • Looking back: LibreOffice Conference in Paris

      First thing I want to say is ‘Thank you!’ to all the people who have been organizing the conference. It was a great experience for me – full of contrasts, inspiration and networking. I was very happy to meet so many of you LibreOffice enthusiasts personally. There have been a lot of detailed descriptions on various topics (e.g. I really liked Christophs post, also check the LibreOffice Planet). I do not want to add much more to these – only one little thing:

  • Public Services/Government

    • Government publishes guidelines to promote open source in the public sector

      The document, entitled All About Open Source, is to be used as part of the “toolkit for procurers” as an introduction to open source software. “Open source is part of a wider focus on lowering barriers to participation, including for SMEs, reducing vendor lock-in, increasing use of open standards, improving competitive tension and reducing the overall costs of government IT,” said the government.

      Mark Taylor, founder of small open source software company Sirius, has worked with the Cabinet Office on the input of the guidelines. “They have been a long time coming, but a lot of thought has gone into them and for that the government should be commended,” he said.

    • Open Source News

      Cabinet Office issues guidance on open source

      Glynn’s comments are worth reading, but the background here is that the lip-service that both Labour and Conservative governments have given to open source over the years, while making the UK one of the safest places for proprietary software vendors to do business with the government.

      These are sane documents, but unless they actually connect all the way through to departmental buying decisions they will be as inconsequential as all the previous attempts. Connecting all the way through means tracking purchasing and challenging the results that are discovered. Nothing here gives me confidence that connection will happen.

    • Dipping Into the UK Government’s Open Source Procurement Toolkit

      The UK Government has published what it calls its “Open Source Procurement Toolkit”. It’s a sad reflection of how long the open source in government non-story has been going on that at the top of the home page for those documents you find: “The Government first set out its policy on the use of open source in 2004. This was restated in both 2009 and 2010.” And still nothing has happened….

      However, trying to look on the bright side, let’s welcome the documents offered here – not least because they come in two versions: as PDFs and – drumroll – as ODFs. That might seem a small thing, but that alone shows that somebody gets it – that open source in government isn’t just about talking, but about doing. Making document files routinely available in ODF format is an excellent example – so kudos for that, at least.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Turns 10
    • jQuery 1.7 starts on/off switch

      jQuery logo The latest version of the popular jQuery JavaScript framework, version 1.7, unifies the way that JavaScript developers “bind” to events by adding new common .on() and .off() methods. There are a number of existing ways, .bind(), .unbind(), .delegate(), .undelegate(), .live() and .die() which will be superseded by the new .on() and .off() API. The use of the new API is recommended, although the old methods will remain in place for now.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Collabora Demos An HTML5 Video Editor

      An interesting project that Collabora has been working on lately, which they are now ready to show off, is Witivi. This is a non-linear video editor that was written in HTML5 and works with the WebKit rendering engine.

Leftovers

  • Slouching Toward Autonomy

    In trying to switch away from proprietary services, I have found that there still a lack of good information comparing the different systems out there and giving folks advice on who might be able to help with things like setup or hosting. I really value hearing from other people about what they use and what they find useful but finding this information online still seems to be a struggle.

    The autonomo.us wiki seems like the natural place to host or summarize this discussion and to collect and share information useful for those of us slouching (or running) toward autonomy in our use of network services. I invite folks to get involved in improving that already useful resource.

  • Complexity of Microsoft Exchange bites us again

    Recently I’ve been involved with a migration from one Exchange 2010 server to another, and the project is still ongoing at the moment. I’ve written before about how overly complicated Exchange is, when compared to other open source mail server alternatives. I came across more examples of how Exchange and Outlook have caused a large increase in help desk calls, because of features of Exchange that are complex and shouldn’t really be there for an email server.

    One Exchange 2010 server is in an old Windows domain, and another Exchange 2010 server is in a new Windows domain. The reason? The domain name is being changed. It was decided to bring up a new domain in parallel, and migrate users over time to the new domain. This is a huge multi-month project, as the more PCs and servers and members of the domain that there are, the more complex a domain change can be. So far, the two Exchange servers are happy and we have them sending and receiving mail to/from each other just fine. But, there are some quirks with Outlook that have caused much grief.

  • Science

    • 520 Days Later: Fake Mars Mission Ready to Return
    • Better multithreading offered by Columbia U researchers

      Since world+dog uses multithreaded software, it’s nice to know that someone cares about what goes wrong with it.

      A computer science group from Columbia University says it has a solution to “data races” in multithreaded programs, a common source of bugs and crashes. Its offering, called Peregrine, is the result of work at the Columbia Engineering School led by an assistant professor of computer science called Junfeng Yang.

  • Finance

    • Oligarchy, American Style

      Anyone who has tracked this issue over time knows what I mean. Whenever growing income disparities threaten to come into focus, a reliable set of defenders tries to bring back the blur. Think tanks put out reports claiming that inequality isn’t really rising, or that it doesn’t matter. Pundits try to put a more benign face on the phenomenon, claiming that it’s not really the wealthy few versus the rest, it’s the educated versus the less educated.

      So what you need to know is that all of these claims are basically attempts to obscure the stark reality: We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.

    • Wall Street Journal: Where was the CFTC?

      MF Global, the failed firm whose chairman and CEO is Jon Corzine, has already destroyed the wealth of its investors and roiled the banking world. But now we are learning that it may have lost customer funds as well.

      A major Wall Street broker in derivatives markets with $41 billion in assets, MF Global filed for bankruptcy on Monday after Mr. Corzine made disastrous bets on bonds issued by European governments. It initially appeared he was (only) gambling with his firm’s own capital, but a federal official tells the Journal that MF Global has admitted diverting money out of customer accounts, which may be a violation of federal law.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Apple’s patent trollage gets ever more bizarre

      Steve Jobs’ obsession with shutting down Andriod by spending all his company’s profits on hiring patent lawyers is starting to get out of hand.
      A tiny restaurant in Luxembourg named AppleADay which makes “balanced fast food” has had a writ from Jobs’ Mob and ordered to shut its doors.

      The reason is that Jobs’ legal hounds have decided that Apple fan boys are so stupid that they will confuse a small bistro with an Apple store. The fear is that they will buy a sandwich thinking it is the latest slimmed down Air and will complain when they try to plug it in and it does not go.

      Apple lawyers may have a point, anyone who is dumb enough to buy an iPhone 4S, which is identical to an iPhone 4, might have some problems with identification. But the rest of the universe, which can tie up its collective shoe laces, should be able to tell the difference between a sandwich bar and an Apple shop.
      One of the owners of the restuarant told IT World that all the outfit wanted to do was create bistro menues of fast food that’s healthy. Local authorities gave the name their approval. The logo looks more like the Georgia Peach logo than the Apple computer logo.

    • Apple wants a German cafe to stop using this logo

      The owner of Apfelkind, Christin Römer, registered the logo with the fashion and service industry in Munich this June. In the letter from Apple’s lawyers, they claimed that the logo could cause confusion with Apple’s global brand.

      The café’ (below) is advertised as an establishment for “children, coffee, and cake.” Its website describes it as a place where parents can relax over a cup of coffee, while their children are occupied in a playroom that features painting. Their menu contains several apple-laden snacks and beverages, such as apples with red cocoa cream, sugar apples, and apple blossom tea.

Scheduled Downtime and Copilotco Recommendation

Posted in Site News at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Scheduled downtime on Saturday

Tomorrow, Saturday November 5th, we plan to have some downtime between 5 and 7 PM (west coast, USA) to move into a new, larger space at the datacenter with better power availability and bandwidth. Earlier today we experienced some heavy loads for long periods of time and visitors occasionally received erroneous pages or Varnish pages (that would be the caching front end struggling). Everything will hopefully improve capacity-wise. The server that Techrights is on has been up for 92 days.

Many thanks to Copilotco for the hosting. If anyone is looking for a great service, check out their Web site.

Bill Gates Tells World Health Organization (WHO) What to Do, Still Pushing for Spendings on His Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, Patents at 5:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

WHO flag

Summary: Bits of news and noteworthy pieces about what Bill Gates is doing after cheating his way into software monopolies

“The Gates Foundation told the World Health Organization what to do,” claims Gates Keepers. “The Gates Foundation told the World Health Organization what to do. And WHO obeyed them!”

Here is the source, ScienceMag:

Hirnschall says his group decided not to issue the guidelines because of urgings from “key partners,” including the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In particular, the partners had concerns about both the language in the document and its lack of inclusion of surprising news that surfaced shortly before the Rome meeting.

By issusing all sorts of “studies” which they fund to promote their agenda they can help tilt sales in one direction or another. As an investor (for profit) in some big pharmaceutical companies, the Gates Foundation lets the conflict of interest be seen. We wrote about it in great length before.

Gates Keepers asks:

Have either of the chairs of the Gates Foundation ever engaged in open public debate about their ideas?

By checking questions in advance (e.g. for interviews) the Gates Foundation ensures that Gates need never be challenged in public. They do not quite believe in freedom of speech. We have some antitrust material which shows PR people preparing Gates’ answers to interview questions (that they know of) in advance. It’s all staged. It is a lot easier that way.

Here is another overview from the same site which shows us Philanthropessimism from the Economist”. And to quote an old observation which we covered here before:

If polio is eradicated the Gates Foundation will be credited. If it is not, governments will be blamed. Why not the opposite?

Yes, it’s all about PR. It’s easy to buy oneself credit. That PR, in turn, becomes money. Several years ago we showed GSK staff in the foundation, including the head of health (with his shady past that led to legal action). They use the foundation to sell/promote “licences” to patents, at taxpayers’ expense sometimes. And as one investigative journalist points out, we still see the conflict of interest:

Despite the hype and fanfare, many experts at the Seattle meeting said this experimental vaccine (known as RTS,S) actually so far represents only incremental progress — a scientific achievement which may still turn out to have little practical utility in the real world. They usually only said so privately, given that the Gates Foundation preferred to hear “optimistic” assessments rather than cranky ones.

1. No breakthrough. Let’s first put to bed the claims that these findings represent a major milestone. In fact, the findings largely repeat earlier ‘interim’ results that have continued to find the vaccine protects only half of those immunized — and appears to wane fairly rapidly over time.

So that’s the first reason — a point also made in this (terribly titled) Huffington Post article A vaccine that works only half the time is not the shot in the arm malaria needs.

[...]

All this is why it’s a bit off-target to be calling RTS,S a breakthrough or major milestone. It may never become the “world’s first malaria vaccine.” That title probably should be reserved for an approved vaccine — just as in 2009 an experimental AIDS vaccine that showed 30 percent effectiveness is not yet the world’s first AIDS vaccine.

The short story is, “Gates Foundation” has become somewhat of a marketing dunce for GSK and some other entities Gates’ wealth is tied to. These issues are not imaginary and they are hardly elusive, either. To be fair, there are other foundations that use the same business model. They often become front groups of very rich people.

Here we have another new example of Gates helping to sell patents of a company he is investing in using his front group/funding vehicle:

Monsanto and Gates Foundation Push GE Crops on Africa

[...]

Monsanto is donating the seeds for now, but the company has a reputation for aggressively defending its patents. In the past, Monsanto has sued farmers for growing crops that cross-pollinated with Monsanto crops and became contaminated with the company’s patented genetic codes.

[...]

WEMA and AATF swim in a myriad alphabet soup of NGOs and nonprofits propped up by Western nations and wealthy philanthropists that promote everything from fertilizer to food crops with enhanced nutritional content as solutions to world hunger. Together, these groups are promoting a Second Green Revolution and sparking a worldwide debate over the future of food production. The Gates Foundation alone has committed $1.7 billion to the effort to date.

There was nothing “green” about the first Green Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s. As population skyrocketed during the last century, multinationals pushed Western agriculture’s fertilizers, irrigation, oil-thirsty machinery and pesticides on farmers in the developing world. Historians often point out that promoting industrial agriculture to keep developing countries well fed was crucial to the US effort to stop the spread of Soviet Communism.

The Second Green Revolution, which is focused on Africa, seeks to solve hunger problems with education, biotechnology, high-tech breeding, and other industrial agricultural methods popular in countries like the US, Brazil and Mexico.

Speaking of farming in Africa, let’s not forget what Gates does for medical patents in the same continent. Here is a recent criticism we have not mentioned yet:

Still, millions with HIV in Africa have no access to these drugs, and there are signs of a dilution of the past decade’s efforts to get everyone infected on treatment. New studies have shown ARVs reduce viral load to near zero, effectively making manifest the old activists’ chant that “treatment is prevention.”

But so far, funding has not kept pace with the need for AIDS treatment. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria failed to obtain even the minimum amount requested.

Mogae said he believes everyone infected with HIV has a right to these life-saving drugs, to treatment.

“But whether or not you have that right does not mean you will get them,” he said.

The Gates Foundation is being criticised there too.

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)

Gates Foundation Still Strives for Power Over Teachers

Posted in Bill Gates at 4:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Class trip

Summary: The obligatory indoctrination system is being hijacked by plutocrats, most notably Bill Gates

With help from Rupert Murdoch’s publications, Bill Gates and his minions speak about changing schools agenda “less success[fully] than we had hoped for.”

That quote actually comes from the publication which Gates routinely visits to influence the coverage, according to one angry journalist from there. Who does the New York Times really serve much of the time? The problem is, Gates has already created a financial dependency (on him) among many newspapers, including those that cover education matters. Apparently Education Next is one he has not ‘bought’ yet because there is backlash against him over there. To quote:

In particular, the Gates interview confirmed two things about the Foundation’s education efforts: 1) they’ve realized that the focus of their efforts has to be on the political control of schools and 2) they are uninterested in using that political influence to advance market forces in education. Instead, the basic strategy of the Gates Foundation is to use science (or, more accurately, the appearance of science) to identify the “best” educational practices and then use political influence to create a system of national standards, curricular materials, and testing to impose those “best practices” on schools nationwide.

Under a similar headline we also found this:

In Part 1 of this post, I described how the Gates Foundation came to recognize the importance of using political influence to reform the education system rather than focusing on reforming one school at a time in the hopes that school systems would see and replicate successful models. No private philanthropist has enough money to buy and sustain widespread adoption of an effective approach and the public school system has little incentive to identify and spread effective approaches on their own.

Faced with the unwillingness of the public school system to reproduce successful models (assuming that Gates could even offer one), the Foundation was left with two solutions to encourage innovation: 1) identify the best practices themselves and impose them from the top down, or 2) encourage choice and competition so that schools would have the proper incentive to identify, imitate, and properly implement effective approaches.

It is good that teachers are being made aware of the truth. Like in many other areas, genuine journalism competes against a well-funded lobbying campaign.

Even the UN Calls Out Bill Gates’ BS

Posted in Bill Gates at 4:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Solutions to poverty

Bathroom

Summary: The toilet fetish which takes precedence at Gates’ lobbying arm is coming under fire

OVER A year ago we wrote about Bill Gates’ weird obsession with fancy toilets, which are clearly not a priority where people are starving or suffering from other intolerable conditions. It evoked the “let them eat cakes” phrase. What next? A One Bidet Per Child campaign?

This toilet fetish and arrogant beast rears its dirty head again. A few months ago we found criticism of Gates’ ‘ideas’ for solving world problems:

Scientists working for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are researching the many different ways human waste can be put to good use — such as powering electrical current with human excrement, or purifying urine into drinking water.

It doesn’t smell so right on the surface, but what are the experts and target populations saying? Let’s see them speak their minds:

Water advocate questions why the Gates Foundation is so stuck on the toilet

]…]

Another over-arching problem with many of the water and sanitation programs already out there is the lack of adequate evaluation. If the Gates Foundation truly wishes to leverage its already substantial influence in the field, I would encourage the organization to back efforts aimed at creating an independent rating system aimed at separating the wheat from the chaff. Today, many organizations “fill out their own report cards,” which may explain why there has been so little overall progress made in this field despite a plethora of groups working on these problems.

The UN, which usually has its top officers hang out at Bill Gates’ mansion (we wrote about the UN and Gates before), is not a fan:

A United Nations human rights expert today welcomed a multimillion dollar grant offered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at “reinventing the toilet” to save water and transform human waste into energy and fertiliser, but warned it will take more than new technology to overcome the world’s sanitation problems.

Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation, said: “New technology alone is not enough to overcome the sanitation and water crisis we face. Investments in software solutions, like awareness rising among the people on the vital importance of sanitation, are crucial to make sure the hardware solutions are actually used.”

When even the UN criticises a puppetmaster, then it’s clear that Gates does — as one one experts put it — have his head “stuck in the toilet.”

Breaking: Ubuntu is Dumping Mono, Mono Applications

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mono, Ubuntu at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trash sign with Mono

Summary: Microsoft dependency is being removed from Ubuntu GNU/Linux, based on UDS

Based on a video which is airing right night, Sebastian tells us (in IRC) that “Mono won’t be in the default install of 12.04 [but] still in repos [...] and they will switch back to Rhythmbox as well, so bye bye Mono [...] it was in the UDS video from Orlando at the moment [...] and they were just talking about it in the channel for that as well [...] I think it’s to save space really on the CD [...] and since Rythombox is good enough again now [...] they said it a little while ago in the UDS wrap up [..] and they said how they will get a certain amount of space back [...] and in the UDS channel someone was saying how that means: Tomboy won’t be there as well anymore.”

The Community’s Special Chance to Help Microsoft Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenSUSE at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: With OpenSUSE’s latest imminent release comes another call for GNU/Linux users to help (for free)

The ‘community’ version of Microsoft Linux is approaching another release, which stimulates another call for marketing for Microsoft Linux (by volunteers). They want PR and parties to celebrate this milestone while many of the old SUSE users — myself included — long ago dumped the distribution. People are still dumping SUSE based on this new anecdote. To quote:

So goodbye OpenSuse, the first Linux distribution I ever tried (don’t feel too bad, it’s still running on the kitchen computer, MediumHeadBoy), and hello Ubuntu.

This distribution has lost a lot of users to other distribution and that is a good thing.

Novell Trial Teaches Us Why Microsoft’s UEFI Plans Are Quite Likely Malicious

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jim Allchin on Novell

Summary: Groklaw brings out another old example where Microsoft used the boot sequence anti-competitively

Michael Reed is the latest person to write about “restricted boot” (or UEFI) in a major GNU/Linux Web site. Matthew Garrett, who started a lot of the outcry, calls it a bug and Groklaw helps remind us that “Microsoft’s license provision [was] prohibiting OEMs from modifying the initial boot sequence…”

From the latest article published by Pamela Jones:

Novell v. Microsoft — What’s It All About? ~ by pj

[...]

These are not allegations; they are findings from the DOJ case against Microsoft, and now Novell is asking the court to rule that they are established for this case as well. It’s an awful list, but two absolutely leap off the page in 2011, the one “Microsoft’s license provision prohibiting OEMs from modifying the initial boot sequence…” and the one “Microsoft’s intellectual property rights did not confer a privilege to violate the antitrust laws, id. at 63, and Microsoft could not justify these license restrictions on the grounds that it was simply exercising its rights as the holder of valid copyrights…” Presumably the latter is also true of patents. And on the booting question, it’s creepy to realize that right now, Microsoft is requiring OEMs to use a “Secure Boot” feature if they ship Windows 8 that has the potential to block competing operating systems, like Linux, from being put on a machine with Windows 8.

We gave several other examples of Microsoft sabotaging Linux adoption through booting complexity [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] . The worst thing one can do is assume good faith from Microsoft. The people who run the company are extremely anti-competitive. Don’t blame Microsoft; it’s in their nature.

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

George Santayana

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