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11.14.11

Links – Anti-Trust and US Parasite Laws.

Posted in Site News at 4:50 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Hardware

    • Color profile collector.

      For the past 3 weeks I’ve been working long nights on an open source colorimeter called the ColorHug. This is hardware that measures the colors shown on the screen and creates a color profile.

    • Integrated color management with colord

      color management is essentially a solved problem that has yet to be implemented system-wide on Linux. Every display or input device can be profiled — that is, its color characteristics measured and saved in a standardized format like an ICC color profile. With profiles in hand, applications need only to perform a transformation on RGB data to map it from one profile (say, a camera’s) to another (a display’s). … Colord is a framework for automating the storage and retrieval of color profiles. …

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

  • Anti-Trust

    • Gates groupie, Warren Buffet, buys ten billion share of IBM.

      Parrish said Buffett was probably attracted to IBM because of its practice of buying back stock to increase earnings per share — not because of any hot patents IBM owns or because Buffett is now a fan of servers and open source software …

      Ted Parrish should not be confused with the astute Bill Parish, but we can be sure that Buffet is not a fan of free software. The purchase is roughly five percent of IBM. The same amount of money would purchase all of Red Hat.

    • Piracy bill could waylay FLOSS projects

      It would also harm non free software too but big publishers don’t mind that.

    • EFF: Hollywood’s New War on Software Freedom and Internet Innovation

      for the free and open source software community — which contributes many billions of dollars a year to the American economy — legal obligations to blacklist domains would be an utter catastrophe. … any software product or service, such as many encryption programs, that is not responsive to blocking orders could be under threat.

      One of the points of free software is that users can remove malicious features. Laws that outlaw such removals are laws that violate your freedom.

  • Censorship

    • The Coming Fascist Internet

      The attacks on fundamental freedoms to communicate that are represented by various government repression of the Internet around the world, and in the U.S. by hypocritical legislation like PROTECT IP and SOPA (E-PARASITE), are fundamentally fascist in nature … Anyone or anything that is an enabler of communications not willingly conforming to this model are subject to attack by authorities from a variety of levels — with the targets ranging from individuals like you and me, to unbiased enablers of organic knowledge availability like Google. For all the patriotic frosting, the attacks on the Internet are really attacks on what has become popularly known as the 99%, deployed by the 1% powers who are used to having their own way and claiming the largest chunks of the pie …

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Copyrights

    • Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA) tells us to kill people who share.

      With their “Shoot the Pirate” campaign, music and TV industry players have taken to the streets with threats to “fight violence with violence.” Hacks into Sony computers to obtain content and warnings of a blood bath only add to the bizarre mix.

      It’s not surprising that people who use violent language to demonize their neighbors resort to real violence to keep power.

Bogus Patents as the Last Resort

Posted in America, Antitrust, Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ballmer sweats

Summary: Competition crimes/violations from Apple and Microsoft in particular but also in general, exploiting the broken patent system in the United States

IN MONTHS or years to come we are likely to cover Apple’s and Microsoft’s patent attacks on Linux. It’s really that old guard and a case of last resort in action. Apple and Microsoft have reached the point of actually collaborating (or colluding) in their fight against Linux/Android. They use some bogus patents, embargo based on fake evidence, extortion, and patent trolls.

Windsor apples
No fruit, just lawsuits!

Apple fan sites, in their usual way, spin Apple as a “victim” by saying that “Apple [got] Sued by a Third Party using Powerful Patents from Palm & 3Com”. To quote this fan site would be unwise, but it’s just something to be aware of. The reality is, Apple has been threatening several Linux-based platforms over the years, always using patents. It also threatened Palm. So who is Apple to claim to be a victim of Palm patents? How silly do these fan sites have to be? The patents in questions are worse than a joke; they are an insult to the USPTO and a real harm to everyone who buys electronic products. Apple and Microsoft just generally cannot compete fairly, so as Google puts it (paraphrased) “when Microsoft’s products fail, it wields patents”. The same goes for Apple, whose sales are falling behind those of several Android backers, even in isolation.

The problem with patents is widely understood. A OECD study says the quality of patent filings has fallen dramatically. To quote:

The quality of patent filings has fallen dramatically over the past two decades. The rush to protect even minor improvements in products or services is overburdening patent offices. This slows the time to market for true innovations and reduces the potential for breakthrough inventions, according to a new OECD report.

In other news of more minor relevance, things are not so rosy in India, either:

Reference to the name Upaid instantly reminds one of January 2009, the Satyam shock and class-action suits. The dispute between the two ended up with a tax issue, which was referred to the Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR). Among withholding tax issues, the AAR recently ruled on “hidden royalties”. Upaid was in the business of designing and developing software technology relating to payment-processing platforms and services. It conceived of an intelligent processing platform for which it outsourced the software development to Satyam. After all the agreements were done and dusted, two products — Call Manager and Net Manager — were developed. Patents were approved.

Two employees of Satyam also produced declarations that they had developed the patents which were assigned to Upaid, who turned out to be bad paymasters, forcing Satyam to acquire 22.06 per cent of its equity and offset its receivables. Disputes resulted in the termination of all agreements, with Upaid getting the intellectual-property (IP) rights and Satyam discontinuing software development.

Notice the terrible language in this article, not just “intellectual property” but also “develop patent”. How on Earth does one develop a piece of paper with ink on it? This whole system seem to have become somewhat rotten, especially when nothing physical is produced (e.g. in the software industry), which implies natural abundance.

Dr. Glyn Moody has this good new analysts of the antitrust violations of Microsoft as well as those mafia-like tactics which we wrote about before (that make it racketeering too). To quote:

Why Barnes & Noble is an Open Source Superstar

As I’ve noted many times, one of the biggest threats hanging over open source is patents, because of the way trivial but indispensable software techniques have been patented in some jurisdictions (mostly the US). Things are made worse by the fact that vague threats can be made in this area, for example this famous assertion in 2007:

Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and licensing chief Horacio Gutierrez sat down with Fortune recently to map out their strategy for getting FOSS users to pay royalties. Revealing the precise figure for the first time, they state that FOSS infringes on no fewer than 235 Microsoft patents.

It’s striking that Microsoft has never said exactly which patents it thinks free software infringes upon, although not surprising. If it did, it would be possible to see whether there were any likely infringement and, more damagingly for Microsoft, to look for prior art or other grounds for those patents to be revoked. By keeping everything as vague accusations, Microsoft gets the best of both worlds: it is able to imply that free software is in big trouble, but without running the risk of being proved a paper tiger.

That’s what makes Barnes & Noble’s principled stand against Microsoft’s patent bullying so important. As PJ writes on Groklaw:

Barnes & Noble has done the world a tremendous favor, by pulling aside the curtain and revealing Microsoft’s patent campaign tactics against Android in lurid detail.

It reveals the assertion of “trivial” and “invalid” patents against Barnes & Noble and some shocking details about an “oppressive” license agreement that would have controlled hardware and software design features that Microsoft presented, thus limiting to what degree Barnes & Noble could offer upgrades and improved features to its customers if it had signed it, features it says none of Microsoft’s patents cover. Microsoft worked so hard to keep it all secret, and I think you’ll see why. It’s ugly behind that curtain.

[...]

However, the Barnes & Noble filing goes further than simply listing these patents: it also provides detailed information about prior art or other reasons why they are all invalid. But even if they were valid, they are pathetic in the extreme. That Microsoft is using such flimsy weapons against Barnes & Noble exposes how its whole approach is a sham.
It is obviously hoping that the sheer effort and expense of fighting them in a long-drawn out court process will persuade manufacturers simply to roll over and license them as the easier option. And indeed, that has worked with companies like HTC and Samsung signing up, to their eternal shame.

Barnes & Noble, by contrast, emerges with considerable honour here, since it refused to buckle, and as a result is able to provide us with the first real glimpse into Microsoft’s new strategy as a patent troll following the continuing failure of Windows Mobile in the market. And that is a key factor, as Barnes & Noble points out in its submission to the FTC (also on Groklaw), where it calls for a full anti-trust investigation into Microsoft’s behaviour

The rest is worth reading. We are working on a petition to have Microsoft executives prosecuted for these acts. Rich powerful people never/rarely get prosecuted because of the bias of the system, but at least it makes a loud statement about the lack of justice. This raises awareness.

Former Microsoft Managers Still Monetise Fear of GPL

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GPL, Microsoft at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Server rack

Summary: A quick status update about FUD firms that piggyback FOSS concerns to sell proprietary software (unsurprising they have their roots in Microsoft)

EVERY now and then, the more notable firms which spread GPL FUD appear in the press again, either with a press release or a placement. Here is the latest example from PR person Kim Weins, who spreads some licence FUD on behalf of her boss from Microsoft, who created and runs this company called OpenLogic, just like Black Duck was created by a Microsoft marketing guy and serves a similar purpose now. We were somewhat baffled to see this announcement which says:

The partnership will help deliver complete code inventory and licensing reports to facilitate the adoption of open source Linux-based systems among automotive OEMs and Tier1 companies.

How is the spreading of GPL FUD with proprietary software and software patents “facilitat[ing] the adoption of open source Linux-based systems”?

Novell People Still Incite Against Techrights Rather Than Focus on Their Products

Posted in Novell, OpenSUSE at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Green sheep

Green sheep

Summary: A look at the inactivity at Novell and a quick mention (without examples) of smears from SUSE/Novell/Attachmate

THERE is a flood of ‘new’ Novell videos (over 40 of them in two or three days) from some account called NDMSolutions, but apart from those old videos (re-uploaded) there is radio silence from Novell. The only thing on their lips right now is the release of a new version of OpenSUSE. Some of them are insulting yours truly and trying to incite journalists against Techrights (there are many examples, none will be linked here though for obvious reasons). They try to silence us, as usual. Some of them retaliate against people who cite us. We noticed this funny new bit in Weekly News:

The rights for the compilation itself are copyright by Sascha Manns.

Hilarious. So one just takes bits of news and tries to claim a monopoly on no original content. In other news (packaging for OpenSUSE):

The Unknown Horizons development team has announced the release of Unknown Horizons 2011.3. Since I have full maintainership on this project and I don’t depend on no one to make this release, openSUSE is the first one to provide Unknown Horizons 2011.3. Debian should be the second next monday.

Not many people are even using OpenSUSE at this point. It might make more sense to just target Debian first. Oiaohm, who prefers Debian, wrote a couple of hours ago: “Really you have not done a positive story on anything suse has done. Maybe about the build system they designed that is nice… Just to confuse them a little.”

Ballmer: Android “Just a Press Release”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 4:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

From: RonB
Date: Monday 14 Nov 2011 08:32:01
Groups: comp.os.linux.advocacy

File this oldie under arrogance and Microsoft’s lack of
foresight (once again). This news story is from four years
ago (Microsoft doesn’t produce very high quality prophets).

~~
Google Android Just a Press Release, Says Ballmer

Google’s plans to enter the mobile industry with a cell phone platform
might have impressed many in the industry but not Steve Ballmer, CEO of
Microsoft and one of Google’s biggest competitors.

“Well of course their efforts are just some words on paper right now, it’s
hard to do a very clear comparison [with Windows Mobile],” he said.

Ballmer went on to note the successes that his company has had with its
Windows Mobile platform, which commands a sizeable share of the smartphone
market, especially in North America. He said Windows Mobile is on 150
different handsets and is available from over 100 different mobile
operators. He added that Microsoft will likely license 20 million Windows
Mobile handsets this year.

“So we have great momentum, we’ve brought our Windows Mobile 6 software to
market, we’re driving forward on our future releases and we’ll have to see
what Google does,” said Ballmer. “Right now they have a press release, we
have many, many millions of customers, great software, many hardware
devices and they’re welcome in our world.”
~~
http://tinyurl.com/yqtslg

This excerpt is linked in a Barnes & Noble letter to James J. Tierney,
Chief, Networks and Technology Enforcement Section Antitrust Division,
United States Department of Justice.

Groklaw has provided several of these letters from Barnes & Noble, dating
back to March of this year. If you want to see Microsoft extortion
thuggery in detail, I would suggest your read these letters. You can also
see why Microsoft demands non-disclosure agreements before detailing their
extortion. Fortunately Barnes & Noble told them where they could shove
their “NDA.”

I think it’s notable that Microsoft, when first discussing their patents
with Barnes & Noble, asserted six patents (all trivial). When they
actually sued Barnes & Noble, they used five patents, but four of these
were not discussed earlier. In other words, apparently admitting the
triviality of five of the first six patents, they came up four other
trivial patents, while only keeping one of the original six. In other
words, they’re employing a scattergun approach, they’re standing in
quicksand. They have no real cause for suing, except for extortion. Now
everyone can see how baseless their patent extortion campaign against
Android (and other Linux distributions) really is.

I think this quote (from a letter written by lawyers representing Barnes &
Noble to the Justice Department on Oct 17th) puts it all in perspective.

~~
Microsoft’s attempts to direct how others enforce their patents are part
of Microsoft’s strategy of attempting to maintain its monopoly in PC
operating systems by controlling and dominating the Android operating
system. Android, which Google gives away for free, threatens Microsoft’s
traditional business model of licensing its proprietary operating system
because OEMs no longer need to pay for a high-quality operating system. In
addition, the open source Android operating system is superior to
Microsoft’s proprietary products. For those reasons, Android threatens
Microsoft’s core business. Application-rich Android devices such as
tablets and smartphones now perform many of the functions once reserved
for PCs, a trend that will reduce demand for PCs and PC operating systems,
where Microsoft’s Windows enjoys a powerful monopoly. Moreover, as
operating systems such as Android become more popular, Android will become
a viable candidate for adaptation to PCs, putting Android (and its
companion, Chrome) into direct competition with Windows. Moreover,
Microsoft has announced plans to run its flagship Windows operating system
on tablets, and the popularity of Android-based tablets threatens the
dominance of Windows.

In response to these competitive threats, Microsoft is embarking on a
campaign of asserting trivial and outmoded patents against manufacturers
of Android devices. Microsoft demands exorbitant licensing fees (similar
to the fee for the entire Windows Phone 7 operating system) and imposes
licensing conditions that restrict manufacturers’ abilities to upgrade and
improve their products with features consumers want. Microsoft is
attempting to raise its rivals’ costs in order to drive out competition
and to deter innovation in mobile devices.

Microsoft’s arrangement with MOSAID and Nokia, in conjunction with its
improper use of its own patents, is causing and will continue to cause
serious harm to competition. Microsoft’s conduct will raise costs to
consumers, reduce the quality of popular goods, and impede innovation in a
technology-rich market. Microsoft’s conduct poses serious antitrust
concerns and warrants further exploration by the Department of Justice.
~~
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2011111122291296

That’s it in a nutshell.

Links 14/11/2011: Mint Previews, ACTA Secrecy

Posted in News Roundup at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org, Wayland, Open Gaming At FOSDEM 2012

        The Free and Open-source software Developer’s European Meeting (FOSDEM) is quickly approaching. The developer tracks/rooms for this huge open-source event have been announced.

        Among the interesting developer rooms for the 2012 event in Brussels, Belgium is X.Org, Open Mobile Linux, Mozilla, open-source virtualization/cloud, cross-desktop, open-source game development, LibreOffice, micro-kernel-based operating systems, and BSD operating systems. The full list of FOSDEM 2012 developer rooms is listed at the end of this posting.

  • Applications

    • This Week’s Top Downloads

      Firefox 8 Now Available (Windows,Mac,Linux) Firefox 8 officially releases on Mozilla’s site on November 8th, but technology blog GHacks discovered this morning that the Firefox 8.0 final version is already available for download for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Mozilla’s FTP servers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Nvidia Optimus with Ironhide
      • Hostile Takeover: New Linux Game Inspired by X-Com and Fallout

        Hostile Takeover takes place in a not-too-distant future devastated by a global economic crisis. In a desperate attempt to counteract this crisis, the world’s governments agreed to grant all large corporations immunity from prosecution. This was meant to free corporations from the oppressions of control and legislation but instead cast the global business world into deadly conflicts. Now, no longer inhibited by law, corporations wage war. And within this new world, a new occupation has seen the light of day: corporate assassin.

      • Indie Royale ‘Difficult Second Bundle’ Hits 25,000 Sold, Adds Two New Games

        The Difficult Second Bundle, the latest independent game download bundle from the Indie Royale website has surpassed a major milestone: over 25,000 units sold in just two days.

        To commemorate, organizers have released two brand new games for all previous and future 2nd Bundle buyers – intense shmups Bullet Candy Perfect and Irukandji from Charlie’s Games, available on Windows, Mac, and Linux directly, or through download platform Desura.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • A Disappointing Review of #! 10 “Statler”

      Before I say anything else, I’d just like to say that the reason why I haven’t posted anything in 2 weeks has been due to me being quite busy with classes, my UROP, and other related stuff. I will definitely have another post out this week (and it’ll actually be a bit like this one), but I can’t really promise much more. After all, I did say that I couldn’t count on posting stuff regularly during the semester.

      Anyway, I haven’t done a post like this in a while; in fact, it’s been half a year, when I criticized Dedoimedo’s review of Bodhi Linux 0.1.6. There, I criticized the author for holding Bodhi Linux to an artificially higher standard and then trashing it from there. Well, this time around, it’s another Dedoimedo review that’s caused me to write this: this time, it’s the review of #! 10 “Statler”. Follow the jump to read my issues with the review.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Westford encourages Red Hat to stay

        On Oct. 17 voters at special Town Meeting approved a tax incentive for Red Hat, Inc., called a Tax Increment Financing agreement that is designed to encourage the company to remain in Westford and expand its current office space. But the vote does not guarantee that company officials will choose Westford over two California locations that remain on the table. What follows is an explanation of what the vote meant.

      • IT Public Relations; “Red Hat” Selects Promedia Turkey

        Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, has selected Promedia as its new PR agency-of-record, following a competitive review. Promedia will help Red Hat on a broad range of communications activities that are aimed at reaching target groups and maintaining relationships with the open source community in Turkey.

      • Red Hat Assists Israeli Startups to Increase Software Revenue

        Seven Israeli early stage technology companies with revenue of less than $1.5 million each were chosen to get free access to Red Hat enterprise software. The program will be expanded in Israel before being extended to other nations, Whitehurst said. Red Hat, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, will offer its software at a declining discount as the companies’ sales grow.

      • Fedora

        • Disk Encryption in Fedora 16

          No distribution’s installer makes setting up disk encryption as easy as Anaconda, the Fedora system installer. And that has not changed in Fedora 16, the latest stable release. On previous versions of Fedora, those released before Fedora 16, the only automated disk partitioning option was one based on LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager. That made it easy to install Fedora on encrypted LVM partitions.

        • The Perfect Desktop – Fedora 16 i686 (GNOME)
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sneak Peek: Linux Mint 12

              One that really pleased me with Linux Mint 12 is that it runs in VirtualBox with no configuration headaches to get GNOME 3 to run. Compare that to Fedora 16, which is a pain in the ass to deal with since you have to work to get GNOME 3.2 to actually load.

              Note though that if you boot into the live desktop in VirtualBox you will see the fall back desktop (not the GNOME 3.2). Don’t let that bother you, just do the install and make sure that your virtual machine has 3D set to on. When you boot into your installed desktop, GNOME 3 should load without a problem.

            • Linux Mint: Standing Out In a Crowd (Review & Screenshots)

              Linux Mint 12 (right now a release candidate) definitely stands out in the crowd of Gnome 3.x Shell Linux distributions. It seems the Linux Mint team cares deeply about giving the community what it wants but doesn’t have. Linux Mint 12 is a Gnome 3.x Shell distribution that stands out on its own because rather than accept the default Gnome 3.x Shell interface like most Gnome 3.x Shell Linux distributions have done Linux Mint 12 tries its best to emulate the Gnome 2.x interface through the use of Gnome Shell extensions.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Remembering the promise of FLOSS

    Today is Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations. It’s a holiday that gets a bit of short shrift these days, so it’s important to take a moment and understand that we have a lot of people to thank for the freedoms we now enjoy.

    And there is a lot of work still to do.

    That work is being done by armed forces around the world, and it can also be done by us.

    In the last decade, one of the ways the free and open source software communities were going to work on the problems of global illiteracy and information distribution was to be the source of computer software for developing nations.

    With grand plans like the One Laptop Per Child program in place, the FLOSS community was gung-ho on the notion of delivering great software at a perfect cost: free.

  • OpenGeo Establishes Victoria Office
  • The Weather Channel chooses Talend open source MDM over Microsoft

    The Weather Channel LLC has chosen open source master data management (MDM) tools from Talend over competing proprietary products from Microsoft Corp. and other software vendors, an official with the organization said.

    The Atlanta, Ga.-based news outlet — which is devoted to all things weather — said the plan to go with Talend Enterprise MDM stemmed from a longstanding commitment to open source technology and the fact that it has already been successfully using Talend data integration software for the last two years.

    The Weather Channel, which began implementing the open source MDM platform last week, says it was drawn to the idea that the software package fully integrates with the Talend extract, transform and load (ETL) tools already in use. The company also liked that Talend Enterprise MDM comes pre-packaged with data quality and data integration tools of its own.

    “We looked a little bit at a couple of players in the space, mainly Microsoft,” said Ben Garrett, the company’s director of advertising technology and business intelligence (BI). “But the compelling argument for us was that, because we are already ingrained with Talend, it made perfect sense for us to pursue this as the right path.”

  • Interest in deploying open-source clouds is rising–survey

    As interest in open-source cloud computing continues to grow, a new–albeit self-interested–survey shows that users are looking to move from experiments to production deployments.

    Today, systems management software provider Zenoss released the results of what they’ve titled the “OpenStack Adoption Survey”. (OpenStack is an open-source cloud operating system.) The data was culled from 772 surveys filled out at the recent OpenStack Conference in Boston and the Zenoss open source management community.

  • Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) Provides Open Source Software To Energy Industry
  • Bechtolsheim: AWS, open source rewrite rules for startups

    “Software programming levels have improved from C to C++ to Java to Ruby to you name it. You can now do more with fewer people and open source deserves all the credit here for creating and maintaining these tools,” he said.

  • Events

    • ELCE11: Till Jaeger on AVM vs. Cybits

      German lawyer Till Jaeger came to the Embedded Linux Conference Europe to update attendees on the AVM vs. Cybits case that is currently underway in Germany. The case has some potentially serious implications for users of GPL-licensed software, particularly in embedded Linux contexts, so Jaeger (and his client Harald Welte) felt it was important to publicize the details of the case. So important, in fact, that he and Welte are forgoing the usual practice of keeping all of the privileged information (between a lawyer and client) private.

    • Lucene Eurocon 2011: Day One

      As we wrote a few days ago we are back from this years Lucene Eurocon, which took place in Barcelona. Despite the fact that the videos will be available shortly, we decided to write something about those presentations we attended.

    • Grab Your Free Ticket To Asia’s #1 Open Source Event

      Wish to avail this ‘Silver’ opportunity to attend Open Source India 2011, Asia’s mega open source convention, for FREE? All you need to do is click on this link and register for your FREE Sliver Pass (which is otherwise worth Rs 1000). But you need to hurry as this offer is available only for the first 500 registrants.

    • Jimmy Wales To Open The First WikiConference In India

      The Wikipedia Community and the Wikimedia Chapter are hosting a WikiConference for the first in the country in Mumbai next week. The three day event that will see a congregation of thousands of Wikipedians from all over the country, will be opened by Jimmy Wales, the founder, open-source evangelist and chairman emeritus of Wikimedia Foundation.

    • Open Source Meets Mobile in Ashoka’s Citizen Media Competition

      Mobile was a major theme running through many of the finalists — most likely because in developing nations, mobile phone use is often more widespread than Internet connectivity, so many people depend on their cell phones as a way to receive crucial information. Open-source software was the platform of choice for many entries. For more on that, Knight-Mozilla’s Dan Sinker has written quite a bit on the intersection of open-source culture and journalism. Security, too, loomed large among entries. Anyone who followed the Arab Spring probably saw examples of how anonymity and security are necessary for real-time reporting of conflicts.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Releases Firefox 8 with Twitter Search

        New features of the Firefox 8 release, which is for desktop editions of Windows, Linux, Mac, and mobile Firefox for Android, includes Twitter search integration, increased support for WebGL graphics hardware acceleration, and on demand tab-group loading. Mozilla explained in its blog post that with the inclusion of Twitter search in Firefox 8, “Twitter search in Firefox makes it easier to discover new topics, #hashtags, and usernames.” Languages supported for the new Twitter search function are English, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Japanese, but the company will release versions for other languages in the future.

      • Knight-Mozilla names news technology fellowship winners

        Five developers, designers and programmer-journalists funded by the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership are to spend a year in five national newsrooms around the world.

        Al Jazeera English, the Guardian, the BBC, Zeit Online and the Boston Globe will each be joined by a winner to produce open-source code and solve challenges within the news organisation.

  • SaaS

    • Tech sugar daddies shovel millions into Hadoop war

      There was once an idyllic time when people like Joe Kraus described an entrepreneur’s dream of starting robust companies on a shoestring budget, powered by open-source software and cloud infrastructure. Apparently Cloudera and Hortonworks didn’t get the memo. Both Hadoop competitors recently raised mountains of cash at sky-high valuations, fuelled by open-source software and cloud infrastructure. And now Cloudera investor Ping Li has declared that his firm, Accel, is prepared to dump $100m more into Hadoop’s meta-market, Big Data.

      What gives?

      Well, venture capitalists do, for one, and at valuations that entrepreneurs might be unwise to pass up. In a hot market like Big Data, where Cloudera and Hortonworks compete, it seems that VCs are trying to preempt competition by going very big, very fast, in a scorched earth policy of sorts for would-be competitors. It’s hard to imagine other VCs having the appetite to find other Hadoop companies when Cloudera and Hortonworks are so richly resourced.

    • Rackspace Launches OpenStack Private Cloud

      Rackspace Hosting continues to lease data center space, even as it extends its business beyond its own facilities, as seen in this week’s announcement of its Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition. The new private cloud is powered by OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform organized by Rackspace at last year.

    • Hadoop Start-Up Cloudera Teams Up With Storage Player NetApp

      If a company has a batch of data of any reasonable size and wants to do anything useful with it, chances are that at one point or another it’s going to wind up using some version of Hadoop.

    • Open Source Cloud Service Launched by DuraSpace
    • Hadoop-based startup Cloudera raises $40M from Ignition Partners, Accel, Greylock
    • Who’s Hawking Hadoop? Just About Everyone

      In recent months, the likes of Dell, Oracle, and EMC have unveiled what they bill as specialized hardware appliances for Hadoop, and on Monday, they were joined by storage hardware outfit and EMC rival NetApp, which announced a creation it calls the NetApp Open Solution for Hadoop.

      Named for the yellow stuffed elephant that belonged to the son of its original developer, Hadoop is an open source software platform that analyzes data by splitting it into tiny pieces and distributing it across a large cluster of machines. The platform was originally built by Yahoo! using research papers published by Google, and it helps drive such web operations as Facebook, Twitter, and eBay. But Hadoop is evolving into a tool for the average business — which faces its own avalanche of unstructured data pouring from the web.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Does Oracle’s Larry Ellison care about open source and Java?

      Oracle’s indefatigable efforts to convince the world that it truly will pump effort and resources into open source continue. The newest “stewards” of the Java platform and language have used the Java OpenJDK mailing list to detail plans for the JavaFX rich Internet application (RIA) platform.

  • CMS

    • Acquia to push use of free website building software in India

      Open-source software company Acquia today said it will expand its presence in India to promote use of free website building software Drupal.

      “We have two training partners in India, which we are planning to scale up massively. In this visit we are doing need analysis of Indian market and soon we will announce initiative specific to India,” Chief Marketing Officer Ronald C Pruett, Jr. said.

  • Education

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • 10 Questions for Fonality CFO Dan Rosenthal
      • Alfresco: An open-source ECM alternative for SharePoint

        In any business organization, the need to effectively communicate and collaborate in a timely manner is very important. Contending with mobile workers and shifting schedules, many businesses look toward enterprise content management (ECM) systems such as Microsoft’s SharePoint. Their purpose is to allow users within organizations to collaborate and share work inside of a commonly accessed website framework.

      • A faster Web server: ripping out Apache for Nginx

        Like so many others, I eventually decided to put my own website up on the Internets, and I used the Apache HTTP server to host it. Why? I had an Ubuntu server box sitting in front of me, and Apache was the Web server I’d heard about the most. If Apache was good enough for big sites, it should be good enough for my little static personal site. Right?

        But it wasn’t quite right for me. Here’s why—and what I learned when I spent a weekend ripping out my Apache install and replacing it with lightweight speed demon of a Web server called Nginx.

      • Talend’s New Community Coders Program Highlights Vendor’s Open Source Contributions
  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • CESG: Open-source software is secure enough for us

      It is wrong to believe that open-source software is implicitly insecure, according to Qamar Yunus, the government’s main official on the subject.

      Yunus, an assistant director in the Cabinet Office ICT policy team, made the comment on Monday, as he outlined the organisation’s guidance on open-source software at the EHI Live event in Birmingham.

      “There was a myth being circulated around the SIs, saying you can’t use open-source software in government as it’s not secure,” Yunus told the conference, referring to the systems integrators who account for large amounts of government ICT spending.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Hadoop-based startup Cloudera raises $40M from Ignition Partners, Accel, Greylock

      OpenFlow is an open source project borne of a six-year research collaboration between Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. It’s a programmatic interface and protocol that enables software-defined networking, which means that users can define flows and determine what paths those flows take through a network via software, regardless of the underlying hardware.

    • Superdesk is an open-source newsroom for citizen media

      Superdesk is a newsroom tool that gives journalists the ability to source, manage, verify, process and eventually present the facts behind a story, across multiple platforms and media — including the web, mobile, radio, television and print.

      The plan is to make the newsroom process collaborative and open-source — pulling in data from wire services, APIs and other sources, letting journalists and editors create content, edit it and even translate it, and then publish or broadcast it. The idea, essentially, is to detach the content from the medium, standardising it so it can easily be passed around a newsroom in a universal format.

  • Programming

    • ActiveState enhances Stackato PaaS

      ActiveState Software today announced new cloud application management and monitoring features for Stackato – its infrastructure-agnostic, polyglot private platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

      Built on VMware-based Cloud Foundry open source project, Stackato is designed to enable private PaaS for Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, Perl and Node.js-based applications.

    • StackIQ Releases Rocks+ 6.0

      StackIQ today announced the immediate availability of Rocks+ 6, the comprehensive software suite for automating the deployment and management of Big Infrastructure. Rocks+ 6 is designed for environments having hundreds or thousands of servers supporting Big Data, Analytics, or High Performance computing. These environments require powerful management software that turns loosely coupled commodity hardware and open source software into tightly coupled enterprise grade appliances, and StackIQ has been building software to do that for years. With thousands of satisfied customers using Rocks today, StackIQ is well positioned to solve the Big Infrastructure problem.

Leftovers

  • Adventures with Outlook 2010 Problems

    I’ve written recently about Exchange problems and how Outlook problems have been overwhelming the Help Desk. Another issue popped up that tops the cake. It was brought to my attention that some users, receiving some emails, cannot see PDF attachments. But, not only does Outlook refuse to show the attachments, it gives no indication to the user that there is something wrong. So, the user has no idea that there are attachments, other than relying on the sender to notify them in some way. We verified that the attachments are in the message, because Outlook reports the message size correctly which takes into account the extra size that the attachments take up. And, when having the user log in to Outlook Web App, the attachments show up. Seriously, this is idiotic. This is just unexcusable when you are dealing with customers and need to have reliable email correspondence. Already this has caused issues, since the customer needs to ask our staff if they got the attachment and why they have not responded regarding it. Our staff explains that they never got the attachment and back and forth fun begins.

  • Why Windows Phone 7 Is Too Late

    The Windows Phone 7.5 interface is interesting, but no more so than that of Android or iOS. Partnering with Nokia was a bold move, but in the end will be like climbing into a sinking lifeboat. The mobile-market ship has sailed, and while business users will continue to use Microsoft’s products, they will more frequently access them through the devices and operating systems of their competitors.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Geithner Grilled on Goldman Sachs

      Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner found himself on the defensive Tuesday, trying to assuage Rep. Maxine Waters about the role Wall Street behemoth Goldman Sachs played in the lead-up to the federal bailout.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Divide Persists Even as Broadband Adoption Grows

      Broadband Internet adoption has skyrocketed over the last decade in the U.S, though adoption hasn’t been entirely evenly spread across all Americans. That’s the conclusion from a new Exploring the Digital Nation report from The Department of Commerce’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

      The report is a followup to one released in 2010 that came to a similar set of conclusions about the so-called digital divide between those that have broadband Internet access and those that do not.

  • Copyrights

    • Warner Bros. Admits Sending HotFile False Takedown Requests

      Hollywood movie studio Warner Bros. has admitted to a federal court that it removed files from the file-hosting site Hotfile without owning the copyrights. Some of the false takedowns were the result of failing filtering software but Warner also admitted that one of its employees deleted Open Source software that could speed up downloads.

    • ACTA

      • INTA chairman defends secrecy

        On 9 November we sent the Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA), Mr Moreira, an open letter in which we protested against an INTA meeting behind closed doors on ACTA. On 10 November Mr Moreira replied.

        Below you will find his letter and our reply. Mr Moreira defends the secrecy: the document is, for the time being, confidential. We maintain that secrecy is not compatible with “utmost transparency” (art 103 European Parliament Rules of Procedure).

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