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11.08.11

Links 8/11/2011: Android in the US, Mint on the Incline

Posted in News Roundup at 5:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • 7 Open and Free Network Servers

      Here, we’ll discover some free and open router projects, covering those suitable for small businesses, medium-sized, and even enterprise-level comparable to Cisco and Juniper.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux, Open-Source Affected In AMD Cutbacks?

      By now many of you have likely heard that AMD is laying off around 10% of its workforce by next year in a restructuring attempt to lower its operating costs, but will their open-source and Linux efforts be hampered by this move?

      Initial indications are that AMD’s Linux and open-source efforts will not be severely hit as AMD lets go of around 1400 employees worldwide.

    • Btrfs Brings “Pretty Beefy” Changes In Linux 3.2

      The pull request for the Btrfs file-system in the Linux 3.2 kernel has finally come in this Sunday. It brings some fairly significant changes for this up-and-coming Linux file-system.

      Chris Mason, the Oracle engineer and lead Btrfs developer, began his Btrfs pull request for the Linux 3.2 kernel by saying, “This pull request is pretty beefy, it ended up merging a number of long running projects and cleanup queues.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.11.2 Released

        While all major development work is now happening on X.Org Server 1.12, the 1.11 series is still being maintained with bug-fixes and other minor work. This is important since the X.Org Server 1.11 series is likely what will end up being used by Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Among the distributions shipping with X.Org Server 1.11, which was originally released in August, is the soon-to-be-released Fedora 16.

      • Samsung Keeps Working On Its Linux DRM

        While Samsung has its Exynos 4210 DRM merged into the Linux 3.2 kernel as the first DRM driver for ARM in the mainline kernel, they haven’t stopped there. More patches have been floating around from Samsung in the past few days.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • * Simplicity vs. Customizability in Desktop Design

      Another way to characterize desktop environments (or DEs) that are striving for simplicity is this: get out the way and let the user do their thing.

      It’s a pretty compelling argument, really. Why should the user spend time interacting with the OS at all? Why should they have to customize things? Just make it as minimal and intuitive as possible, then let the user actually USE the programs they want.

      We have a perfect example of this view taken to its logical conclusion in the form of Chromium OS. For all intents and purposes there IS no desktop, since the desktop consists of a single, full screen program. There’s a few other goodies tacked on, but for the most part that is what you get. You can’t change your desktop background because there is none. You can’t add a panel widget because there is no panel. It’s just … the Chromium browser. Nothing else.

      Other DEs have gone in this direction, but not nearly so far as Google did. Gnome released Gnome 3 to mixed reviews, largely because they tried to reinvent the desktop. And by reinvent I mean get rid of most of the desktop. Customization is at a minimum because EVERYTHING is at a minimum. No widgets or applets or any kind of -ets. When 3.0 came out there wasn’t even a plugin framework (still isn’t really, though it is in the pipeline) because, well, there was very little to plug in to. Ubuntu’s Unity struck a very similar chord, trying to keep the OS to a minimum. Reviews for Unity were about as enthusiastic.

      The big question is: is this desirable? Is it OK for a certain group to make design decisions that influence a huge number of users? Luckily in Linux, if you don’t like it you don’t have to stick with it, which leads us to the other side of the coin.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • New GNOME-FR board

        Early last month, we had a GNOME-FR annual general meeting. It was a while since the last GNOME-FR meeting, and it felt good to get things moving forward again! For those who don’t know, GNOME-FR is the french-speaking non-profit organization (association loi de 1901, to be exact), and while it’s not the most active organization, it’s quite useful to help organize the GNOME presence at events — usually french-speaking events, but also international events (like FOSDEM, for which GNOME-FR handles the t-shirts and more, since a bootstrapping fund given by the GNOME Foundation a few years ago)

      • GNOME and the Semantic Desktop

        The Unity interface’s ‘Files and Folders’ option relies on Zeitgeist—(zeit in German is time, and geist is ghost). My first experience of using Unity was very disturbing—it found nothing! Zeitgeist keeps track of various activities on files—provided the application you are using informs it. ‘Files and Folders’ searches for files within your activities. Obviously, there are no activities after a fresh install, and so nothing is shown as ‘found’—even though the home directory may be full of files from the previous version of Ubuntu. Its utility increases over time.

        In the GNOME environment, you will need to install gnome-activity-journal, which will also install Zeitgeist. After installation, you will find ‘Activity Journal’ in the Accessories menu on Fedora 15. The application aborts at start-up. Fedora’s Bugzilla had numerous entries for this problem—most likely via abrt—but no solution. You need to comment a few lines of code that cause the crash; this is to ensure that you have a recent version of Zeitgeist!

      • GNOME Shell Works Without GPU Driver Support

        As reported on Thursday, GNOME Shell / Mutter no longer requires OpenGL-accelerated hardware drivers. It’s possible to run this GNOME3 desktop with a software back-end via Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe.

        Reaching this milestone can be attributed to Red Hat, Google’s Chrome/Chromium OS developers, and others working on the Mesa / Gallium3D software stack. Just recently LLVMpipe gained support for GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap, the GLX extension that’s required by many Linux compositing window managers. These improvements allow the desktop effects to all be done on the CPU without any dependence on any GPU hardware driver. GNOME Shell on the VESA driver or within a KVM/QEMU guest is fair game.

  • Distributions

    • ArchLinux, not just for the elite

      I had several colleagues, friends and people asking me whether they should run Arch Linux on their desktops or laptops. I even read someone’s blog today on his impression on Arch Linux and Ubuntu. It’s time for me to jump in and clarify what you should expect with Arch Linux as a desktop on a daily basis.

      Arch Linux is a rolling release system. What this means is that you do not get releases at specific intervals in time, like you do with Ubuntu, OpenSuse or Fedora. Instead there is a constant stream of updates that are uploaded on the distribution servers and that you can pull almost everyday. These updates are uploaded after a testing period by the Arch Linux testing community (you can switch to the testing mirrors if you wish) and it is up to you to choose if you want to install them or not.

    • AgiliaLinux 8 GNOME review

      AgiliaLinux is a fork of MOPSLinux, a defunct Linux distribution that was based on Slackware. Now, AgiliaLinux is an independent, multi-purpose distribution with development roots in the Russia Federation (MOPSLinux was also a Russian distribution).

      AgiliaLinux 8, the latest release, was made available for public download on October 3 2011. With this release, AgiliaLinux’s development model was changed to a rolling release model, that is, AgiliaLinux is a rolling release distribution, with stable snapshot releases every three months.

    • Linux: Now 400 Distributions Strong

      According to the GLDT project, the Linux environment has grown by 10 new distributions over the past two months and more than 50 over the past six months. Among the new entries between September and October are candidates such as AtheOS, DreamStudio, Garuda or Syllable. Debian remains the most populated Linux branch with 114 different choices – among them flavors such Knoppix and Ubuntu. Redhat is the next largest branch, followed by Slackware and smaller branches such as Arch, Enoch, or Sorcerer.

    • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: 10 Linux Distros Every IT Manager Should Know

      The ability to customize Linux to run on various types of hardware and to suit specific user needs means there are more flavors of Linux-based operating systems available than Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. While administrators generally stick with the well-known ones, such as Canonical’s Ubuntu, Attachmate’s Novell SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise Linux for their servers and desktops, they are beginning to see other flavors sneaking into the enterprise. A recent Dell KACE study found that IT departments are supporting more operating systems than the company standard because employees are increasingly using personal laptops and devices to access enterprise applications and resources. “No single device is used dramatically more than others, meaning that IT must be aware of a wide range of operating systems and devices that connect to their systems,” Dell KACE researchers wrote in the report. Approximately 14 percent of personal laptops being used in the enterprise run a Linux distribution. In addition, 23 percent of personal tablets and over half of the personal smartphones in the enterprise run Android, according to the report. In this slide show, eWEEK lists some of the Linux-based operating systems and distributions that every IT manager should be familiar with.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Reviews: First impressions of Sabayon Linux 7

        Sabayon’s slogan, which appears when the distribution is booting, is “open your source, open your mind”. It’s catchy, it’s simple and maybe even inspiring. However, were I to choose an alternative slogan it would probably be “There’s an edition for that.” A quick look at the project’s download area reveals six different editions (GNOME, Xfce, KDE, Server Base, Spin Base and Core), each of them available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. And, indeed, the project lists its number one feature as “variety”. Judging by the editions which eventually appeared for Sabayon 6 we’ll probably see future editions of Sabayon 7 featuring LXDE and Enlightenment.

        For now though let’s focus on the Xfce edition, which is what I decided to download. There wasn’t any particular motivation for the choice, except when in doubt Xfce is usually a safe option. Speaking of options, booting off the 1.2 GB DVD brings up a menu which allows us to try the distribution in live mode, perform a graphical install, perform a text install or boot into a console. I decided to go for the graphical install. Sabayon uses the tried-and-true Anaconda installer, which Fedora and Red Hat users will recognize.

    • Debian Family

      • College near Mangalore hosts three-day Debian meet

        A technical college in Dakshina Kannada is the venue for an ongoing meet on Debian, a Linux-based operating system. The college has no “direct contributor” or developers in Debian. That precisely is the reason why one alumnus thought the locale for a three-day meet on the subject, titled Mini DebConf Mangalore, should be the NMAM Institute of Technology (NMAMIT) in Nitte, Karkala, about 60 km from Mangalore.

        Vasudev Kamath, an alumnus of the college, who now works on the Debian platform in a company in Bangalore, said he helped organise the event in his alma mater as he wanted developers to come together and spread awareness on Debian among students who had not had any exposure to it.

      • My DebConf11 summary and its after effects
      • Debian Beckons Ubuntu Refugees to Come Home

        Dissatisfaction continues over Ubuntu’s choice of the Unity Interface as default and, in the most recent release, no obvious way to return to the old Gnome desktop.

        Long time Ubuntu users have been complaining loudly about Unity’s lack of stability, limited options and an overall unfinished feel. Distros that have watched Ubuntu gobbling up the Linux mind-share are suddenly getting a second look by unhappy Ubuntu users seeking alternatives to Unity.

        Ubuntu started life as a simplified Debian with an emphasis on desktop usability. Recent Ubuntu releases seem focused on blazing their own trail toward a touchscreen, cloud enabled, widget driven environment. This may prove to be a very forward thinking plan, but it leaves traditional Gnome users hungering for their familiar desktop environment.

      • Debian Project News – November 4th, 2011

        * Updated Debian: 6.0.3 and 5.0.9 released
        * DebConf12 official dates
        * Debian Installer localisation
        * Feedback after DebConf11
        * Uses of Emdebian
        * Bits from the DPL
        * New Member process
        * Further interviews
        * Other news
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • Derivatives

        • CrunchBang 10 Statler review – Crunch, bang

          CrunchBang Linux is a power-user oriented, minimalistic distribution focused on clear, simple elegance of the Openbox desktop, with a low memory footprint, a robust behavior, and a spartan set of programs. Not one to fawn over you, it’s the other way around, although, based on the facts and figures, it should not be too difficult to setup.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Expected Changes In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin (UDS-P In Brief)
          • Ubuntu Acknowledges Boot Speed Problem

            Developers at the Ubuntu Developer Summit have acknowledged the boot speed problem in Ubuntu 11.10 and are looking to improve the time it takes to boot Ubuntu Linux for the 12.04 release.

            One of the issues in Ubuntu 11.10 that I have made widely known is that it’s booting slower. Since the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release each succeeding release has largely been regressing when it comes to the boot performance, among other areas. I have found the boot performance to be an issue on a wide-range of hardware and an obvious regression from the ten second boot time focus in Lucid Lynx.

          • Ubuntu Must Love The Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle

            For those that were concerned about Fedora 17 being codenamed the Beefy Miracle, fear not as Ubuntu has your back… At least Canonical’s community manager, Jono Bacon, is in support of this next-generation Fedora codename.

            Jono is in support of Fedora 17′s Beefy Miracle so much that he decided to dress up as the friendly competitor’s mascot for the Halloween party during the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Florida.

          • Canonical Hiring Chromium Browser Engineers

            Canonical is now hiring a web browser engineers. Not just one but three positions have opened. The first of these is specifically targeted at improving Webkit and V8 features. WebKit and V8 are key parts of the Chrome/Chromium web browser. This alone doesn’t indicate a shift to chromium as Webkit has be used in other applications to render content. The second position is a interesting in that it focuses on developing both Chrome/Chromium and Firefox plugins. But the last position is rather telling: a specific Webkit/Chromium Engineer. According to the posting this position is responsible for both developing WebKit and Chromium features.

          • Why Ubuntu Should Just Focus on the Desktop Market

            Recently, at UDS, it was announced that Ubuntu would soon be coming to tablets, and smartphones, and other devices. Come 2014, Ubuntu, the most mainstream Linux distribution around, will be battling major players like Android, iOS, and Windows for the mobile OS market share.

            As exciting as it may sound to any Linux fan, it seems that this is simply one of the worst decisions Canonical has taken recently. Even though Ubuntu is struggling to cross the 1% desktop market share, Canonical is running around in multiple directions when they should focus on their core product, that is the desktop.

          • Ubuntu and I – Beauty Isn’t Enough

            I’m not a new Linux user. Actually, I’m about as far away from being a new Linux user as you can get. I’m perfectly comfortable getting down as low as you want to go, rolling in the grease, re-routing the pipes and wiring, or smashing about in the subatomic.

            So you Arch Linux cutie dilettantes, you go have your fun running your scripts and googling for what someone else did to fix something, and feel all big about yourselves. That’s wonderful. It’s good to learn. Maybe you’ll be solving some problems some day too, that other people will benefit from. But don’t think I need to hear anything about how wonderful Arch Linux is.

          • Ubuntu’s Maverick Mobile Move

            If there was ever any doubt as to Canonical’s true intentions with its touch-enabled Unity interface, those doubts were laid to rest last week.

            Unity has often been described as a “mobile-inspired” interface, and voila! Canonical has finally admitted that it plans to bring Ubuntu onto mobile devices. At last, it all makes sense!

            While few have questioned the reasons behind Canonical’s move in this so-called “post-PC” era, the timing is another matter. Plans call for Ubuntu to arrive on mobile shores no sooner than 2014, causing more than a few furrowed brows last week in the Linux blogosphere.

          • Things that I do after installing Ubuntu (with Unity)
          • Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin unveiled

            With the Ubuntu developers summit wrapping up last Friday, there is some news of what to expect for the upcoming release of version 12.04, Precise Pangolin (a scaly anteater). Keep in mind that this is a LTS (long term support) release, so there isn’t going to be anything Earth shattering in the announcements due to the fact that Canonical and the Ubuntu development team will spend five years supporting Precise Pangolin in an effort to clean up as many bugs and functionality issues as possible. That being said, there was still some interesting news and features discussed during the week long event that will interest devotees of the open platform.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Developer Summit Summary

            The Ubuntu Developer Summit for the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS “Precise Pangolin” release has now ended in Orlando, Florida. Here is a brief summary of some of the interesting news and discussions that took place for this leading Linux desktop distribution.

          • The Official Ubuntu Book 6th Edition Review
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 Will Come With Gnome 3 And MGSE

              Extraordinary changes will be included to the upcoming release Lisa the code name of Linux Mint 12. Clement Lefebvre Linux Mint project leader just revealed Linux Mint 12 preview features Gnome 3 along with Mint Gnome Shell Extensions “MGSE” and many improvements.

            • Linux Mint 12 ‘Lisa’ to Come with a Customized Gnome 3 Desktop

              Linux Mint 12 ‘Lisa’ will come with its own customized desktop and it will be based on Gnome 3. The core desktop will be based on a series of Gnome Shell extensions called “MGSE” (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions) that will provide a layer on top of Gnome 3.

            • Xubuntu, so close, but not quite there

              Let me set the stage for my recent migration to Xubuntu. On one of my machines — my main machine actually — I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.10 only to find the desktop starting to randomly lock up. So I did what any one would do: I migrated my other test machine to Bodhi Linux, installed Dropbox to sync all of my work, and then began the process of re-installing Ubuntu 11.10 onto the new machine. Thing is, although I think Ubuntu Unity has come a long way, it’s just not the desktop for me. So, with that in mind, I installed GNOME 3 (aka Gnome Shell). What did that do? Brought my little machine to a screeching halt. This behavior was partially expected, but not welcome.

              My next step in the test was to try a different distribution sporting GNOME 3 — Fedora. Throwing caution to the wind (as I am wont to do) I downloaded the 64 bit beta ISO and installed. It looked as if everything was going to work out just perfectly. Oh, how looks can be so deceiving. When the installation completed, I attempted to log in — only to find that the Nouveau drivers are still, well, bad.

            • Linux Mint 12 To Use GNOME Shell By Default, MATE Might Be Included On The DVD Too

              According to a new LinuxMint blog post, Linux Mint 12 will use GNOME 3 with GNOME Shell by default. For those who prefer the classic GNOME 2.3x desktop, MATE (a GNOME 2.3x fork) will probably be included on the DVD edition.

            • Linux Mint Reveals The Top Secret Project, To Overtake Ubuntu Soon

              We just learned that Linux Mint is doing something which was expected from a project like this, yet we never thought of it – a way to embrace newer technologies without having the user to relearn everything or to lose some features or functionality.

            • Linux Mint Is The New Ubuntu

              Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, proudly announced on his blog that the upcoming Linux Mint 12 operating system will feature a new desktop interface built on top of the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 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

      • Android

        • Android Powers 45% of U.S. Smartphones: ComScore

          New comScore data on mobile usage shows the number of smart phones continues to grow rapidly, increasing 12% from June of 2011 to 87.4 million in Sept. of 2011, and that the Android platforms continues to grain market share, hitting 44.8%.

        • Barnes & Noble unveils Nook Tablet at $249 as Kindle Fire rival

          The Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet was announced on Monday as the bookseller’s answer to the coming Amazon Kindle Fire and Kobo Vox tablets.
          The Nook Tablet is now on pre-order and will ship to Barnes & Noble stores and other retailers (Target, Staples, Wal-Mart, Office Max and many others) late next week at a price of $249 — about $50 more than the Kindle Fire.
          But for the extra $50, the Nook Tablet offers beefier specs than the Kindle Fire that, Chief Executive William Lynch argued in unveiling the new Barnes & Noble device will add up to a faster, smoother experience when reading books, playing games or watching movies.

        • Ubuntu: Power Consumption, KVM, Mozilla, Etc

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Time Weaver – Where FOSS Meets Fantasy

    Thomas is a busy guy. A father of two, he and his wife live in a small town in Ontario Canada. He holds his college degree in Network Engineering and currently works as a software developer for one of the leading vinyl siding manufacturers in the world.

    Sounds like a fairly well grounded guy huh?

    Don’t bet on it.

    While Thomas goes about his business in this world, acting all normal and everything, he also dwells in a world where Evil Warlord Wizards cast mayhem and misery on the land. But all things in balance, Good battles evil, sometimes with ambiguous results.

  • Events

    • Zentrifuge: Future Day

      AJ and me today went to Zentrifuge again where we had the openSUSE Conference 2011 a couple of weeks ago. We were invited for a coffee and had a feedback session about the conference event. It was a success for both openSUSE and the Zentrifuge.

  • Web Browsers

    • The Holy Grail Of Chrome-To-Firefox User Conversion?

      A Firefox developer just posted some revealing information about a process of how Chrome users could be converted into Firefox users. The good news may be that there is now a reasonable hint why Mozilla may not be able to gain users once they have become Chrome users. The bad news is that Firefox, in its current form, is not equipped with a critical feature to lure influential Chrome users.

    • Mozilla Dev on How to Convert Chrome User to Firefox

      To survive the battle with IE and Chrome, Mozilla will have to find more compelling reasons for people to use Firefox – or reasons to draw people back to Firefox. Nicholas Nethercote, who works on memory improvements in Firefox, described why getting users back from Chrome may nearly be impossible, and the reason why casual users may steer clear of Firefox.

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free As In Freedom: But Whose Freedom?

      It would be hard to overstate the contribution of Richard Stallman to the digital world. The founding of the GNU project and the creation of the GNU General Public License laid the foundations for a wide range of free software that permeates computing from smartphones to supercomputers. Free software has also directly inspired like-minded movements based around sharing, such as open access and open content (Wikipedia, notably).

      At the heart of everything Stallman does lies a desire to promote freedom, specifically the freedom of the software user, by constraining the freedom of the developer in the way the code is distributed. That’s in contrast to BSD-style licenses, say, where the developer is free to place additional restrictions on the code, thus reducing the freedom of the user.

      [...]

      As with software licenses, the question once more comes down to: whose freedom are we talking about here? The freedom for creators to decide how their creations are to be used, or the freedom of users to do with those creations as they wish? The fact that Stallman straddles this divide shows there are no easy answers.

  • Project Releases

    • mdds 0.5.4 released

      I’m happy to announce that version 0.5.4 of Multi-Dimensional Data Structure (mdds) is available for download from the link below.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • 4 strange places to find open source

      Years ago I hung out with a friend who had a prosthetic hand. It was a stiff plastic hand, like a store mannequin hand, that could open and close in a simple grip. It didn’t have much functionality, but it had a bit of fun factor — my friend liked to remove it to scratch his back. In public, of course, with a freaked-out audience. Americans seem to have a hard time looking at these sorts of things.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Xtends Java

      The Eclipse Foundation has quietly launched a new language, Xtend, which it says is designed to address shortcomings of Java without replacing it.

      The aim of Xtend is to create more readable code, to add features that Java needs but doesn’t have, and to offer “a convenient alternative in situations where Java doesn’t shine”.

    • GCC 4.6, LLVM/Clang 3.0, AMD Open64 Compiler Benchmarks

Leftovers

  • Why can’t Apple get iPhone’s design right?

    For a company praised for such great design, Apple sure seems troubled getting out an iPhone that works right. Death Grip — and its signal stifling capability — marred iPhone 4 from Day One. Consumer Reports still won’t recommend the handset, even after giving it a high rating. Successor 4S comes along and, uh-oh, suffers from heap, big battery-life problems. The story is everywhere — even Apple apologist blogs report it. Perhaps the company should invest more resources in functional design than appearance.

  • Funny How Microsoft’s Views On Responsibility To Competitors Differ Based On Who’s In The Antitrust Hot Seat

    We recently mentioned the latest round of Microsoft’s antitrust fight, dating back to some of its actions around Windows 95. To be clear, I think the action against Microsoft is pretty silly. It’s pretty clear that the market is quite capable of dealing with any perceived Microsoft “monopoly” and routing around it. That said, one thing that is quite stunning in all of this is the sheer hypocrisy from Microsoft in discussing this case, as compared to Microsoft’s own efforts to drag Google into an antitrust battle as well. Now, some will shrug and say that this is basic self-interest on Microsoft’s part. It’s always going to favor things that help Microsoft. But it certainly seems to weaken the validity and credibility of Microsoft’s arguments.

    Back in March, we noted just how ridiculous this was, when Microsoft complained about Google to the European Union, whining that Google made it difficult for Microsoft’s platforms (mainly the Bing search engine and Microsoft’s mobile platform) to access YouTube video data. At the time Microsoft’s General Counsel sure seemed to insist that Google had a duty to engineer its platform to make life easier for its competitors.

  • Idaho National Laboratory to move to Google Apps

    On Tuesday, Unisys plans to announce that it has won a contract to move the employees to Google Apps for Government, a suite of services that includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Sites.

  • Windows Update Never Stops Sucking

    Ok, you’ve heard this rant before, so I’ll keep it short… I picked up a new netbook yesterday (more on that in the next day or two, when I have had a chance to try it out and load a few Linux distributions on it). It is VERY new, pretty much fresh off the production line, evidenced by the latsest AMD C-60 CPU for example. So, first I fire up Windows 7 Stupor Edition, and let it go through 30 minutes or so of “Initial Setup and Configuration”. Then I go to Windows Update, which says there are 25 “Important” updates, of which 24 have been selected for installation. No hint as to why that last lonely update didn’t get selected, nothing in the pitiful descriptions of the updates which indicates incompatibility of that one with any of the others. Never mind, let it install those 24, reboot, go back to Windows Update and select that last lonely one for installation, run that… SURPRISE! When that one has finished, a new one has now appeared. Grrr. Ok, select that one, install it (of course, each of these select/install updates causes a “Windows Recovery Point” to be created). Hmmm. Installing just that one new update is taking 15 minutes or so, thrashing around on the disk, not giving any status information other than “Update 1 of 1 is being installed…”. Ok, that one is done, now it wants to reboot, so let it do that. Finally, updates are done… or not…. GRRRR! Now there is one “Optional Update” that has suddenly materialized in the list… Ok, select that one, and install it – creating yet another “Recovery Point” in the process. Gee, this at least provides ample proof for my description of Windows as “The world’s only automatically self-destroying operating system”. When that “optional update” has finally installed, reboot one more time just to be sure, and check Windows Update again. Oh my God. OH MY GOD!!!! Suddenly there are EIGHT MORE *IMPORTANT” UPDATES to be installed! Where the HELL did those come from?!?!?!

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Occupy protesters declare Goldman Sachs guilty, get arrested

      In the latest round of demonstrations calling for corporate accountability, 16 Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested in front of the global headquarters of Goldman Sachs in lower Manhattan.

      A New York Police Department spokesperson confirmed that nine men and seven women were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

    • Corzine steps down at collapsed firm, hires lawyer

      He set out to create a mini-Goldman Sachs. In the end, he built a mini-Lehman Brothers.

      Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s resignation Friday from the securities firm he led capped a week of high drama and swift failure.

      MF Global collapsed into bankruptcy Monday, and Corzine has since hired a criminal defense attorney amid an FBI investigation into the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars in client money.

    • No Change After All

      President Barack Obama told us Jon Corzine was looking out for the little guy.

      Never mind Mr. Corzine’s 1% pedigree as a former Goldman Sachs chairman. Never mind how Mr. Corzine essentially bought himself a U.S. Senate seat, spending his personal Goldman Sachs loot in one of the most expensive senatorial races ever. Never mind the dough Mr. Corzine stuffed in Mr. Obama’s pocket.

      Here’s what Mr. Obama said in October 2009 while stumping for Mr. Corzine’s re-election bid as the Democratic governor of New Jersey:

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  5. Links 21/4/2014: New Games for GNU/Linux, Some NatSec Politics

    Links for the day



  6. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  7. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  8. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  9. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  10. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  11. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  12. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  13. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  14. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  15. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  16. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  17. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  18. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  19. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  20. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  21. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  22. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  23. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  24. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  25. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  26. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  27. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  28. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  29. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  30. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day


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