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11.27.11

Links 27/11/2011: Linux Mint 12, Debate About Software Centre for Fedora

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • IBM Responds to SCO’s Motion to Partly Reopen SCO v. IBM and a New Judge Assigned ~pj

      IBM has filed its Memorandum in Opposition [PDF] in opposition to SCO’s motion to partly reopen SCO v. IBM. SCO would like to go forward with its side of the case, the little bits it thinks are left on the table after the whipping SCO got at Novell’s hands. SCO wants IBM’s hands to remain bound by the bankruptcy stay while it tries to beat it up. IBM seems to think that would be unfair. And it believes that the Novell ruling has killed off all of SCO’s claims anyway, but it indicates an interest in pursuing its counterclaims. It taunts SCO, suggesting it should just ask the bankruptcy court to lift the stay so all the claims and counterclaims can be litigated together.

      And a new presiding judge has been assigned, the Honorable Clark Waddoups (here is a little bit of background for you), because Chief Judge Tena Campbell has recused herself. She assumed senior status in January, which means the judge qualifies for retirement but instead of walking off into the sunset volunteers to stay around with a greatly reduced case load instead. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw her caption on the order [PDF] about her recusal and the case being sent to Judge Waddoups. It reads “Caldera Systems and SCO Group v. IBM”. Caldera Systems is what they were calling themselves until 2003, many moons ago, but they haven’t used that name for years and years.

    • Utah’s SCO Group, near dead, tries to revive IBM lawsuit

      The decision was made after an appeals court turned down The SCO Group’s appeal of a jury verdict and other rulings from a 2010 trial in a related lawsuit against Novell.

      “Now that the dust has settled in the litigation with Novell, we have turned to the remaining litigation assets of the estate,” Fatell said in an email. “We reviewed the status of the claims against IBM with Boise Schiller, [SCO’s] counsel, and have concluded that the Novell ruling does not impact the viability of the estate’s claims against IBM.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • ZaReason Strata 6880 Sandy Bridge Notebook

      You may have noticed several Phoronix articles in recent weeks using a ZaReason notebook built around Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” processor. This is one of the new notebooks from ZaReason that had been in our labs for testing. Here is a last look at the Strata 6880 notebook from this Linux-focused PC vendor.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 alpha 1 KDE and GNOME 3 screenshots preview

        The final version is scheduled for an early May 2012 release, almost a full six months away. So if you will not be testing this or any other pre-stable release, the following screenshots of the KDE 4 and GNOME 3 editions will give you an idea of what to expect.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Debating A Software Center For Fedora

          There’s an active discussion on the Fedora mailing list concerning a “software center” for Fedora Linux.

          A new Fedora contributor sparked a discussion about a software center for Fedora on this devel mailing list thread.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 Lisa Has Been Released | Release Notes | Download

              Finally Linux Mint 12 has been released with a code name “Lisa” and it’s available to download. Few weeks ago we have seen the earlier Release Candidate of Linux Mint 12 with Gnome 3 desktop, Mint Gnome Shell Extensions “MGSE” and new panels Mint-Z theme, backgrounds artwork.

            • DuckDuckGo Results No Better Than Bing, Becomes Default Search Engine Of Linux Mint

              inux Mint has signed an exclusive deal with DuckDuckGo, the new search engine which uses Microsoft Bing in the back-end.

              If you search DuckDuckGo for open source office suite, you will not find LibreOffice on top. It’s buried at the bottom, similar to Microsoft Bing. On the contrary if you search Google for the same keywords, LibreOffice is the second result. If you search for simply office suite then also you will never reach to LibreOffice. So, DuckDuckGo users will never know there exists an office suite called LibreOffice.

            • Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” officially released

              The Linux Mint development team has, today, officially announced the arrival of version 12 of its popular Linux distribution. The project’s lead developer, Clement Lefebvre, also announced the project has made its first income-raising deal with a partnership with search engine company DuckDuckGo. In Linux Mint 12, DuckDuckGo will be the default search engine. Lefebvre pointed to the company’s lack of tracking or personalisation based on web history, along with its range of features and a commitment to supporting the open source community, as reasons why the relative newcomer in search, established in 2008, was selected to be the Mint default.

            • Download Linux Mint 12 Lisa
            • Linux Mint 12 Review

              Linux Mint 12′s foundation is built on the base of Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions out there, not to say that Linux Mint isn’t popular but with this edition, things might change.

              With the latest release in Linux Mint “Lisa”, there has been a shift in what it feels its users deserve in the desktop environment that they choose. When Ubuntu 11 came out there was a big backlash in the Ubuntu community about the desktop Unity, being used and not allowing those which are more familiar with Linux a full Gnome desktop.

            • Bodhi Linux

              While reading the Ubuntu weekly news, I came across a link to some comparisons of various versions of Ubuntu that drew my attention because an old friend of mine, who is now living in Australia, had mentioned in email that he finds both Apple MacOS and Microsoft Windows to be inadequate in many ways that are irritating to him. I recommended that he try a version of Ubuntu on an old computer. He said that he had a turn of the millennium Gateway laptop. I pointed out that as long as he had sufficient spare disk-space then he could rejuvenate the computer by running Linux in some form that coexists with Windows, allowing him to try Linux and back away from it if it proved not to his liking, while preserving his data. Before sending him the links to the comparisons, I looked at them myself and was intrigued by a mention of Bodhi Linux that is based on the most recent Long-Term-Support version of Ubuntu. Bodhi Linux is built using the E17 version of the Enlightenment window manager. These days I am more in a Buddhist meditative frame of mind that embraces simplicity and minimalism; so, what with this and disliking the direction in which Ubuntu is going with the Unity desktop, I took a look at Bodhi Linux.

            • Mint 12 “Lisa” Linux distro available for download
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • T-Mobile boasts budget smartphone for less than £100

          T-Mobile officially unveiled a fresh self-branded blower this morning, putting Android smartphones in pockets for under £100.

          The T-Mobile Vivacity rocks up with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 3.5in capacitive display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5Mp camera and an iPhone-esque – silver band around the sides, I ask you – design.

        • Metro PCS bows $179.99 HTC Wildfire S
        • DROID Incredible 2 in Red Hitting Stores November 24

          If the standard black DROID Incredible 2 wasn’t to your liking, hold out until November 24 as Verizon appears primed to release a full-on red version. We aren’t sure if this has anything to do with Project Red or not, but it would certainly fit the theme of that organization. Specs and price will likely remain the same. Not a bad way to re-launch the product ahead of the holidays though, right?

        • NVIDIA demos Ice Cream Sandwich on Transformer Prime
        • “Android Started Before iPhone”: How True is That?

          How much Apple’s founder Steve Jobs hated Android is evident from his last conversations with his biographer, Walter Isaacson. Steve Jobs claimed that Android was a rip-off of Apple’s iOS and that he will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong, to destroy Android. This created an uproar. In an interview with Reuters, Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, said that all these allegations are baseless and that Android project started well before the iPhone effort. Let’s find out how true a statement that is.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Amazon’s Android-friendly Kindle Fire splutters

        Amazon’s new Kindle Fire is almost certain to be a financial success for Amazon, and may finally make a name for Google’s Android in tablets. If only the success and acclaim were deserved.

        Amazon has done quite a bit to soften Android’s rough edges, but in my experience it hasn’t gone nearly far enough to rival the iPad for elegance and polish. Then again, it doesn’t need to: at $199, Amazon’s Kindle Fire doesn’t have to be great. It just has to be good enough.

        I have been looking forward to the Kindle Fire for months. I have an iPad and and an iPad 2, and have spent quite a bit of time with other tablets too: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9, Motorola’s Xoom, and Research in Motion’s Playbook, in particular. But what I really have wanted was something that felt more like my second-generation Kindle in my hand, but with the ability to run a few apps and occasionally watch video. The Kindle Fire seemed to fit the bill.

Free Software/Open Source

  • opensource Asset Managment software : OCSInventory Ng

    Today I want to present an open source software created for the asset management OCSInventory, and in the next days i want to post information about Fusioninventory and GLPI. I will focus on programs that allow you to have an inventory of your hardware and software that allow you to manage everything with discovery tools, reports and alerts, but first let’s see what’s the mean of Asset Management:

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s NZ boss works to keep the web wide open

        Rob O’Callahan runs Mozilla’s New Zealand office, in Auckland. A New Zealander, he was working in the US when he was approached by Novell to do some Mozilla work. He said he’d prefer to return home, and Novell agreed. Subsequently Mozilla itself recruited him and agreed to his building an Auckland team.

        The team is currently about five strong with a few other developers working “pretty much full-time” for Mozilla from Wellington and the South Island. O’Callaghan is a passionate advocate of openness in internet applications and is disquieted by Google’s and Apple’s domination of the mobile market. He is scheduled to speak about this at the ITEX conference in Auckland on November 23. Stephen Bell caught up with him for a foretaste of his views and practical ways of furthering them.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • the gnu extension language

      I’m sitting on a train waiting to leave Paris for Barcelona, returning from the 2011 GNU Hackers Meeting. It was fantastic, clearly the best we have had yet. Thanks a lot to Ludovic Courtès for organizing it, and to IRILL and Sylvestre Ledru for hosting. I hope to write more about it in the future, but this essay will be long enough :)

      I gave a talk entitled “The User in the Loop”, which made the perhaps obvious argument that “extensibility is good & stuff”. I hope that it did so in an entertaining and illuminating fashion. It also argued that Guile is a great fit for the extensibility needs of the GNU project. The video will be out shortly. Slides are available here, though you probably just want the notes instead.

    • GNUstep Objective-C Runtime 1.6 Released

      GNUstep, the leading free software implementation of Apple’s Cocoa Objective-C libraries and related Mac OS X components, has reached a new version. GNUstep runtime 1.6 is this new version with many new features after being in development for more than one year.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • The New Government of Canada Open Data License: The OGL by another name

        Last week the Minister Clement issued a press release announcing some of the progress the government has made on its Open Government Initiatives. Three things caught my eye.

        First, it appears the government continues to revise its open data license with things continuing to trend in the right direction.

        As some of you will remember, when the government first launched data.gc.ca it had a license that was so onerous that it was laughable. While several provisions were problematic, my favourite was the sweeping, “only-make-us-look-good-clause” which, said, word for word: “You shall not use the data made available through the GC Open Data Portal in any way which, in the opinion of Canada, may bring disrepute to or prejudice the reputation of Canada.”

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Are Open Standards the Future of the Social Web?

      The Open Mobile Alliance (a coalition of over 140 mobile providers) discussed how they were also planning on rolling out a federated social Web client. However, there was concern from some that the underlying technologies could be patented, which would prevent their roll-out in products. This would be prevented if they were released under a license like the W3C Royalty-Free License.

Leftovers

  • Sony PS3 Class Action Update: July 21, 2011 Oral Argument Transcript ~ pj

    You can’t help but empathize with Sony after the terrible year that the company has suffered, with natural disasters that might make the superstitious wonder if God is angry. I don’t believe that God is behind natural disasters anyhow, actually, but still, it’s been an unusually awful year, with an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown interfering with normal operations.

    So I struggled with whether or not to tell you the latest from the PS3 class action litigation, particularly because of what I’d have to write about it. I don’t like to kick anyone when he’s down. But I have gotten emails asking me what’s been happening since the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint back in March, and while the judge has yet to render a ruling on Sony’s motion to dismiss it, we do have the transcript [PDF] of the oral argument at the July hearing on it. The court has lifted the sealing, so I’ll show it to you.

  • Security

    • Beware of Android scaremongers

      Smartphone malware may be rising, but users should be more wary of “charlatan” security vendors, says Google’s open source program manager Chris DiBona.

      DiBona took exception to claims that Android has a “virus problem” because it is based on open source and lacks Apple-like checks for its own Android Market Place.

      Echoing Symantec’s recent advice in a report that pitted iOS against Android, DiBona wrote on his Google + page:

      “No major cell phone has a ‘virus’ problem in the traditional sense that windows and some mac machines have seen. There have been some little things, but they haven’t gotten very far due to the user sandboxing models and the nature of the underlying kernels.”

    • Confusion Center: Feds Now Say Hacker Didn’t Destroy Water Pump

      A report from an Illinois intelligence fusion center saying that a water utility was hacked cannot be substantiated, according to an announcement released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security.

      Additionally, the department disputes assertions in the fusion center report that an infrastructure-control software vendor was hacked prior to the water utility intrusion in order to obtain user names and passwords to break into the utility company and destroy a water pump.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • MoD’s resistance to human rights in Iraq blamed for death of Baha Mousa

      The army’s former chief legal adviser in Iraq has accused the Ministry of Defence of moral ambivalence and a cultural resistance to human rights that allowed British troops to abuse detainees and beat the Basra hotel worker Baha Mousa to death.

    • Egyptian protesters reject military’s timetable for elections

      Egypt’s revolution has been plunged into fresh uncertainty after hundreds of thousands of angry demonstrators rejected a promise by the country’s military council on Tuesday to accelerate the transition to civilian rule.

      In an extraordinary display of people power, protesters at a mass rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanded the immediate departure of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), just as they had demanded President Hosni Mubarak’s humiliating exit in February.

    • Governor Halts Oregon Executions For Rest Of Term

      Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber on Tuesday imposed a moratorium on the death penalty for the remainder of his term, saying he’s morally opposed to capital punishment and has long regretted allowing two men to be executed in the 1990s.

      Kitzhaber’s decision gives a temporary reprieve to a twice-convicted murderer who was scheduled to die by lethal injection in two weeks, along with 36 others on death row. It makes Oregon the fifth state to halt executions since 2007.

    • Occupy Seattle protester claims police caused her miscarriage

      A pregnant woman who was pepper sprayed during the Occupy Seattle protests in the US claims she had a miscarriage five days later as a result of injuries allegedly inflicted by the police.

      Jennifer Fox, 19, claims that she was also struck in the stomach twice – once by a police officer’s foot and once by an officer’s bicycle – as police moved in to disperse marchers on 15 November.

    • Seymour Hersh: Propaganda Used Ahead of Iraq War Is Now Being Reused over Iran’s Nuke Program

      While the United States, Britain and Canada are planning to announce a coordinated set of sanctions against Iran’s oil and petrochemical industry today, longtime investigative journalist Seymour Hersh questions the growing consensus on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. International pressure has been mounting on Iran since the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency revealed in a report the “possible military dimensions” to Iran’s nuclear activities, citing “credible” evidence that “indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” In his latest article for The New Yorker blog, titled “Iran and the IAEA,” Hersh argues the recent report is a “political document,” not a scientific study. “They [JSOC] found nothing. Nothing. No evidence of any weaponization,” Hersh says. “In other words, no evidence of a facility to build the bomb. They have facilities to enrich, but not separate facilities to build the bomb. This is simply a fact.” [includes rush

    • Fixating on the Cost of Policing Occupy Protests

      The excessive and gratuitous use of police at Occupy protests, especially in New York and other large cities, has led a number of people to wonder how cities are paying for the police to patrol demonstrations and encampments. Now, with a report from AP circulating, those who despise the Occupy movement or have grown impatient with it have ammunition to lash out even more.

      According to AP, the movement has cost “local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services.” AP finds the “heaviest financial burden has fallen upon law enforcement agencies tasked with monitoring marches and evicting protesters from outdoor camps. And the steepest costs by far piled up in New York City and Oakland, Calif., where police clashed with protesters on several occasions.”

  • Cablegate

    • Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes

      A Malaysian tribunal has found former US President George W Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the Iraq war, Press TV reported.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate scientists defend work in wake of new leak of hacked emails

      Climate scientists have mounted a robust defence of their work and debates over science after more than 5,000 personal emails were leaked onto the internet in an apparent attempt to undermine public support for international action to tackle climate change.

      More than 39,000 pages of emails to and from scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) were loaded onto a Russian server and a link to them posted on climate sceptic websites on Tuesday, almost exactly two years after a similar release of hacked or leaked emails in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009.

      Norfolk police have also responded to criticism that their invesitgation into who released the 2009 emails had yet to make any arrests. A spokesperson described it as an unusual and complex case, adding that the inquiry had “been determined and persistent in following all relevant lines of enquiry”, including the latest email dump.

  • Finance

    • The New Price Era of Oil and Gold
    • We Speak on PBS Newshour About Why No Bank Executives Have Gone to Jail

      The cynic in me has to note that PBS Newshour decided to cover the issue of why no banksters have gone to jail on what has to be one of their lowest traffic days of the year. And I have a sneaking suspicion I got the call to go on the show because it was not exactly easy to find people willing to be taped late in the afternoon on the day before Thanksgiving (they did have to go to the trouble not only of arranging for a studio in Alabama, but also finding a makeup person, since I’m not in the habit of taking my TV warpaint with me when I travel).

    • Anti-austerity general strike paralyses Portugal

      Public services across Portugal ground to a halt on Thursday as trade unions held a 24-hour walk out. The strikers are protesting against a raft of austerity measures introduced by the government in exchange for financial aid.

    • An Open Letter to the Winter Patriot

      As the Occupy movement continues to grow in defiance of the heavy-handed police action determined to squelch it, a natural question emerges: What point will the military be summoned to contain the cascade of popular dissent? And if our nation’s finest are brought into this struggle to stand between the vested authority of the state and the ranks of those who petition them for a redress of grievance, what may we expect the outcome to be?

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

    • Apple iTunes flaw ‘allowed government spying for 3 years’

      An unpatched security flaw in Apple’s iTunes software allowed intelligence agencies and police to hack into users’ computers for more than three years, it’s claimed.

    • Spooked By Lax U.S. Data Privacy, European Firms Build Their Own Cloud Services

      A few recent legal developments affecting U.S. online privacy have rightfully troubled privacy advocates and civil libertarians on American soil. In addition to the Patriot Act’s relaxed regulation of law enforcement’s access to private data, recent court rulings have made it clear that U.S. authorities can secretly request data from tech companies without the user ever knowing.

      If this seems objectionable from the standpoint of U.S. citizens, imagine how it looks to outsiders who are storing their data there. Some European companies who do business with U.S. technology companies are concerned enough to start looking elsewhere for infrastructure.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Napster Drops Out of Canada, Warns Users Of Lost Purchases Due to Digital Locks

      Napster Canada has advised its customers that it is shutting down operations effective December 16, 2011. The move comes weeks after Napster US became part of Rhapsody and users were assured that Canadians would be unaffected by the move. The company warns users to create backup copies of downloaded music since purchases may be lost due to its digital lock system. The company warns:

    • Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Group Calls For Graduated Response, More Restrictive Digital Lock Rules

      The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network is back in the news today with a refreshed version of its 2007 report that recommended new border measure powers, legal reforms, and a massive increase of public tax dollars for enforcement and education programs. Many of those same recommendations are back with claims that the government should pour millions into anti-counterfeiting activities, increase criminal penalties, expand seizure powers, and ratify the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

    • What do digital locks mean for you and your work?

      Michael Geist is writing a series of posts called The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter. Beginning October 3 and right up to today, Geist is presenting the arguments that various organizations have made publicly against the idea of digital locks, which Bill C-11 would protect, making it illegal for Canadians to circumvent them. (More background on C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, here.) The bill is in its second reading in the House of Commons.

    • Challenging the New Digital Lock Talking Point: Why European Rules Are More Flexible Than C-11

      The debate over C-11 resumed this week in the House of Commons with Paul Calandra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, invoking a claim that raises the question of how the Canadian digital lock rules compare to those found in Europe. In response to the ongoing concerns with Bill C-11′s digital lock rules – they are easily the most discussed issue during the debates – Calandra stated:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Mandarin admits ORG got it right about opaque evidence

      This morning the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee began another evidence session looking at the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. Among the four panellists in the morning session were Baroness Wilcox, the Minister for Intellectual Property, and Adrian Brazier, a senior civil servant from DCMS. You can watch the session here.

      The hearing started with a positive discussion of our work (read our original post here) to reveal that the Government holds no evidence on the effects of copyright infringement online, or of the effectiveness of different ways of dealing with it. Mr. Brazier said that we ‘had a point’ about the ‘opaque’ evidence used in the Digital Economy Act, and that the methodologies behind the evidence used in the Digital Economy Act was not publicly available – or indeed available to the Government.

    • Trademarks

      • Koha trademark grab: US firm backs down

        An American company, which registered the name Koha as a trademark for software in New Zealand, has offered to hand ownership of the name to a non-profit representing the Koha community.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ISPA, LINX and ORG insist on Court Orders for Nominet’s domain suspensions

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an international trade treaty, drawn up over the past five years, that aims to improve ‘global standards for the enforcement of IPR, to more effectively combat trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.’ Having been negotiated in international fora, the treaty now requires national Parliaments and negotiating parties (including the EU as a whole) to sign and ratify it. This is what’s going on now.

          ACTA raises a number of extremely controversial issues, all of them outlined very well in this booklet from Access, EDRi and the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue. Concerns include a further drift towards private companies being forced to police the Internet and the further pressuring of ISPs to carry out surveillance of their users.

          One of the most troubling aspects, which is the focus of this post, is procedural – the persistent opacity that has surrounded the negotiation, and now ratification, of the treaty. It has seemed at every stage as if the process has a momentum and direction beyond the reach of the people it will affect. It has been formulated in closed international fora, with transparency an afterthought. Civil society groups have been consistently frustrated when seeking a mechanism to clearly put forward their objections in a meaningful and constructive way.

        • Dutch parliament refuses ACTA secrecy

          On the same day that the European Parliament had its first secret meeting on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), the Dutch parliament decided it will not take ACTA into consideration unless all ACTA negotiation texts are published.

          A few weeks ago, the Dutch House of Representatives’ committee of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation requested the ACTA negotiation texts (the earlier versions of ACTA). The minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Maxime Verhagen, sent the texts to parliament, adding a non disclosure obligation. In debates, Members of Parliament may not refer to the documents, nor quote from them.

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