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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • 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.


  • 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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