IRC Proceedings: January 15th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

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Links 15/1/2012: Wine 1.3.37, Fedora Contest

Posted in News Roundup at 6:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux in 2012: what to expect
  • Desktop

    • Samsung Updating Google ChromeBooks, Unveils ChromeBox

      Samsung, one of the companies that first jumped on board to produce ChromeBooks, is improving on its design and also launching something completely different: the ChromeBox. Are there channel implications? Oh, yeah.

      Both Engadget and 9to5Google noticed that Samsung had a bevy of Chrome-based devices on display at CES 2012. The new Series 5 ChromeBook isn’t anything remarkably special beyond a speed bump (2GB of RAM, 16GB SSD and a faster Celeron-based CPU) and a new matte aluminum shell. But the ChromeBox, a device few remember Google teased us with in 2011, has finally arrived.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel 3.2.1 Is Available for Download

      Greg Kroah-Hartman announced last evening, January 12th, that the first maintenance release of the stable Linux kernel 3.2 is available for download and all users should upgrade to it.

    • Frontswap Still Not Ready For Linux 3.3 Kernel

      While the Frontswap patches with Cleancache have been available for several Linux kernel release cycles, the Frontswap support still hasn’t been merged. Another Oracle developer is now taking over maintenance of Cleancache and getting Frontswap finally ready for merging, but it’s too late for the Linux 3.3 kernel.

    • Btrfs Picks Up Snappy Compression Support

      New patches have been published for the Btrfs file-system that implement support for Google’s Snappy compression algorithm, which promises to deliver better performance beyond LZO compression.

      Andi Kleen of Intel has posted his updated Btrfs snappy compression patches, which he says are now ready for merging. “Here’s a slightly updated version of the BTRFS snappy interface. snappy is a faster compression algorithm that provides similar compression as LZO, but generally better performance.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 8.0 LLVMpipe: Fine For Desktop, Not For Gaming

        Continuing in the coverage of the soon-to-be-out Mesa 8.0, here are some benchmarks of the CPU-based LLVMpipe software driver for Gallium3D.

        LLVMpipe is the CPU-based software rasterizer driver that is faster than the standard Gallium3D “Softpipe” since it leverages LLVM for taking advantage of more of the CPU — especially on modern hardware with SSE3/SSE4, multiple cores, etc. See LLVMpipe: OpenGL With Gallium3D on Your CPU and Gallium3D LLVMpipe On The Sandy Bridge Extreme for just a small portion of the Phoronix coverage of this unique software driver.

      • Moving Closer To NVIDIA Optimus On Linux
      • Enlightenment Is Enlightening Wayland

        Back in November I reported on Enlightenment E17 coming to Wayland and shared the first screenshot. That first screenshot was very early and didn’t show EFL (the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries) doing too much under Wayland, but in the past two months there has been much more progress.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Big Bash Of Video Players On Gnome 3

        Big Bash Of Video Players On Gnome 3 is a lazy comparative study of Linux based video players , specifically those which are available on GNOME 3.2.1 , openSUSE 12.1.openSUSE 12.1 offers a large variety of video players based on various platforms like gstreamer , phonon , xine , mplayer etc : Most of the video player options can be installed through the addition of OSS , Non OSS , Update and Packman repositories in YaST.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fuduntu : funny name but interesting distro launched version 2012.1
        • Fedora vs. openSUSE vs. CentOS: Which Distribution Should You Use? [Linux]

          Not too long ago I wrote a similar article about the top three distributions of the Debian side in the Linux family (Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint), but as a true Linux geek I would never want to forget the entire other side of the Linux family, probably best known as the “RPM family”.

          All of these Linux distributions use .rpm files as installable packages rather than the .deb files which belong to the Debian family. So, let’s get started!

        • Fedora Running Beefy Contest

          Máirín Duffy, head art team designer for Fedora, posted a strange message Friday afternoon. She’s seen a vision of the future and it was of Fedora mascot Beefy Miracle holding some sort of futuristic ray gun at a poor radioactive panda. What could this mean for the popular Linux distribution?

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu — Traitors of Linux, Open Source Software and The Community: Is Ubuntu Becoming Too Commercialized?

            Unfortunately these are similarities that I do not like. Ironically my choice to soon abandon Ubuntu was ultimately caused by the creation of their product they called Unity. It was the final push that tipped me over the edge. With over 700 various linux distributions to choose from, there is no reason for me to continue using a commercialized by-product of one of the most amazing free and open source operating systems ever created –Debian. My choice with considering Slackware is completely based on my desire to try something different during a pivotable point in my journey of learning the most as I can about linux.

          • Ubuntu in the Corporate

            Such a little thing – getting a thumbnail for your images, videos or office documents. In Windows, once a directory has been thumbnailed, it creates a hidden file “thumbs.db” in that directory, so that when other people visit the directory, there’s no need to recreate every thumbnail from scratch.

            In Ubuntu, however, there is. Every user stores their own version of thumbnails . At work, my .thumbnails directory is a little shy of 40Mb. If you multiply that by 1000 employees, you’ve just wasted 39.96Gb of data creating the same set of thumbnails 1000 times. Bandwidth, Disk I/O, wasted. Worse, if you make your staff’s home directories a network share, you’re now wasting 40Gb of storage across your home share.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Plug Computer takes on education with Marvell SMILE Plug micro server

      Marvell announced an education platform combining its Plug Computer, Arch Linux, and software developed in collaboration with Stanford University. The SMILE Plug micro server runs on a 2GHz Marvell Armada 300 processor, sets up a secure Wi-Fi cloud for up to 60 students, and provides a “Classroom 3.0″ connected, secure, interactive learning environment.

    • Aruba Brings Wi-Fi to Wall Plates

      The typical Wi-Fi deployment today involves access points deployed in hallways or rooms as standalone boxes. As the move towards pervasive wireless access grows, so too have the demands on wireless infrastructure. That’s where Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN) is aiming to fill a gap with a new wall mountable access point.

    • Raspberry Pi is About to be Served – Manufacturing Has Begun for the $35 Computer

      What do you feel like doing, going out for dinner or buying a computer? The computer’s probably cheaper. In a joyful moment for the the charity, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that as of “a couple of days” before January 10th, production has begun on their $35 Linux computer. The Raspberry Pi Model B is an ARM GNU/Linux Box with 256 MB memory, 700 MHz processing, HDMI port, and Blu-Ray video quality capabilities. According to the post by foundation spokesperson Liz Upton 10,000 of the Model B computers will be fully constructed in a manner of weeks. As stripped down as a computer can probably be, the Raspberry Pi Model B is little more than a circuit board that fits in the palm of the hand. Yet that tiny bare bones board holds the promise of cheap computing for all.

    • Google TV 2.0 review, tweaks, and screenshots

      Google recently rebooted Google TV with the release of Google TV 2.0 based on Android 3.1 (Honeycomb). This detailed review introduces Google TV 2.0, demonstrates its features, apps, and flexible new user interface, and shows how to add customized folders and shortcuts to the homescreen for instant access to all your favorite apps and websites.

    • oundation tips 2012 schedule, sends LinuxCon to San Die

      The drone control systems used to operate U.S. military drones appear to have made the switch to Linux, says Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, in a tweet.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Design site brings UI designers up to speed on Ice Cream Sandwich

          Google launched an “Android Design” website that offers an in-depth style guide for Android 4.0 app developers. Explaining how to create apps for both smartphones and tablets across multiple vendors and devices, the guide gets down and dirty on details such as themes, notifications, typography, navigation, multi-pane layouts, and much more.

        • 5 Best Free Android UPnP Clients

          UPnP stands for Universal Plug and Play. It is a set of computer network protocols which enables devices on a home network to be aware of each other and access selected services. This collection of protocols with the appropriate software offers a very easy method of sharing media on your network as it features automatic discovery and supports zero-configuration.

          There are many devices that run UPnP audio visual servers. For example, a wide range of software exists for the Linux, Windows, and OS X operating systems that turn computers into media servers. Many NAS devices also have built-in UPnP media servers. We even see UPnP turning up in routers, audiophile hard disk players, and HD media players.

        • Google Asks Android App Devs to Design by the Book

          Now that Android has “taken the world by storm,” as AppsGeyser VP Eduardo Robles put it, Google apparently wants to tame the beast. It has launched a style guide — Android Design — in the hope of reining in app devs and encouraging a more uniform look and feel for Android products. “It’s only natural to bring out a tool like [Android Design] right now,” said Robles.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Intel’s educational PC gets dual cores, 12-hour battery

        Intel announced the fifth generation of its reference platform for education-focused portable PCs. The Classmate now features a dual-core Atom N2600 processor, delivering battery life of up to 12 hours, plus optional capacitive multitouch functionality, according to the company.

      • Ordered Aakash Tablet? Check Your Status Via Email

        The hottest selling Indian tablet Aakash is overwhelmed by the orders. There are thousands of buyers waiting for the delivery of their Aakash 2 tablets. The anxious customers are looking for the information about their order from various sources. Now the company behind Aakash has stepped up their efforts to help these customers.

      • Android 4.0 Confirmed for Archos G9 Tablets

        Archos is brand name that is quite popular and known all over the world. We all love them for their wide range of Android tablets. If you are familiar with their G9 Tablets or currently using one of them, then you would love to hear that Archos just confirmed an ICS update for G9 Line.

      • Genesi MX Smartbook Review

        Genesi currently offers two products with the EFIKA mx51 ARM board. They are the SmartTop and the SmartBook. I own one of their SmartBook models and today I would like to do a comprehensive overview of the device.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Video editing with Blender VSE: “It’s complicated”

    Coming from Kino, Blender’s “Video Sequence Editor” is a huge step up. Most people don’t think of Blender when considering video editing tools, but in fact, Blender contains a very good one. This is not a separate application but an editing mode within the Blender application. It can work directly with animated scenes created within Blender or with video footage from other sources. Evaluating it is a little tricky because of this unique niche.

  • Perens: the FOSS fire still burns

    The primary author of the Open Source Definition, Perens was in Melbourne today en route to Ballarat to attend the 13th Australian national Linux conference where he will be delivering the first keynote on Tuesday. The conference begins on Monday.


    The enthusiasm is still there in 2012. Perens is wiser, older – “I don’t have so much hair now,” he laughs – but open source is still very much what drives him.

  • Events

    • Linux Foundation tips 2012 schedule, sends LinuxCon to San Diego

      The Linux Foundation posted a calendar of its 2012 conferences. These include the Linux Kernel Summit, which will be held Aug. 26-28 in San Diego, where it will be co-located with the larger LinuxCon North America event and the Linux Plumbers Conference, both held Aug. 29-31.

    • Linux Foundation tips 2012 schedule, sends LinuxCon to San Diego

      The Linux Foundation posted a calendar of its 2012 conferences, starting with the Android Builders Summit Feb. 13-14, co-located in Silicon Valley with the Embedded Linux Conference, Feb. 15-17. The Linux Kernel Summit will be held Aug. 26-28 in San Diego, where it will be co-located with the larger LinuxCon North America event and the Linux Plumbers Conference, both held Aug. 29-31.

    • One Week To SCALE 10x Linux Event

      This will be the 10th annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) that’s taking place in Los Angeles, California and is all about open-source and Linux. This year’s weekend event will range from talks about Python to MySQL, Git, Qt, and and even a Tux Paint demo. Keynotes include Greg DeKoenigsberg at Eucalyptus Systems (previously at Red Hat and known within the Fedora community) talking about “Amazon and the Future of the Open Cloud” and Selena Deckelmann talking about mistakes and downtime.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Doesn’t Want Any Forks

      The notion of being able to fork a project is core to open source. It’s also potentially a bad thing in some cases as it can lead to fragmentation of a user base and compatibility issues.

      The OpenStack effort which is currently trying to figure out how to govern itself in a new OpenStack Foundation isn’t keen on forks. In a Friday Webinar talking about the goals of the new Foundation, Rackspace VP of Business & Corporate Development Mark Collier specifically took aim at the fork issue.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Ten nice Extensions for LibreOffice

      LibreOffice is an open source Office Suite, an excellent alternative to MS Office. If offers a number of features and the added functionalities in the form of extensions. Here are some of the useful extensions for LibreOffice.

  • BSD

    • For a Free Linux Alternative, Try FreeBSD 9.0

      Linux may not yet enjoy the widespread recognition that Windows does, but there’s no denying its popularity on servers, its growing use on desktops, or its ubiquity in the mobile world in the form of Android.


    • Google To Go After Go-One In GCC 4.7 Compiler

      Google’s Go was originally announced in 2009 and reached a production status in 2010, but in 2012 only version 1.0 of the language is being readied. Go version 1 will be a stable, long-term release with no language or API changes. This forthcoming specification is described in this Google document.

      Ian Lance Taylor at Google has shared his desire of having Go v1 in GCC 4.7. Go was sent into GCC 4.6 already, but Google is just concerned about making sure this long-term version 1 support makes it into next release — GCC 4.7.

  • Public Services/Government

    • ‘German cities following Munich’s open source example’

      Municipal administrations in Germany are starting to follow the example of the city of Munich, and increase their use of free and open source software, reports the Financial Times Deutschland on 3 January. “The demand for open source is growing – and not only at public administrations”, according the newspaper. It mentions the cities of Freiburg and Jena as examples of city administrations following Munich’s lead.

    • Call for Leaner US Government

      One thing that reducing complexity should do is to cut the numbers of data-centres and IT organizations in government. This involves a lot of work but in the end more should be doable by fewer people and fewer computers. Probably more will be done with GNU/Linux and thin clients. Obama has already shown with whitehouse.gov that FLOSS works. Several departments have already deployed a lot of FLOSS and the overall plan for a more open government should call for open standards and FLOSS.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Robotic surgeons get open source boost

      The cost and complexity of commercial robot surgeons has meant slow penetration in the market and to only one player–Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci.

      But that could all change if researchers at the University of Washington (UW) carry out their plans to accelerate innovation in surgical robotics.

      UW researchers will do final testing and then ship their latest version of robots named Ravens to five universities, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


  • The common goose

    The rapid expansion of digital technologies, and opening up of new channels of communication and information, challenges notions of the ownership of ideas. Richard Hillesley investigates…

  • Finance

    • Market Best Place for Fed’s AIG Bonds, Delaney Says

      Steven Delaney, an analyst at JMP Securities LLC, talks about a Wall Street Journal report, citing people familiar with the matter, that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. offered to buy a bundle of risky mortgage bonds that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York acquired in the 2008 bailout of American International Group Inc. Delaney, speaking with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television’s “In the Loop,” also discusses the outlook for mortgage securities.

    • Goldman Sachs Said to Offer Bid for New York Fed’s AIG Assets

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. approached the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with a bid for a block of the mortgage bonds assumed from American International Group Inc., prompting the central bank to weigh an auction of the debt, three people familiar with the matter said.

      The central bank may sell securities held by its Maiden Lane II vehicle with a face value of about $7 billion, said the people, who declined to be identified because the deliberations are private. New York-based Goldman Sachs may have sought the bonds for itself or clients, they said. Four or five dealers may be asked to assemble bids this month, they said.

    • What Does Goldman Sachs Do For You?

      You may have noticed that the rehabilitation of Goldman Sachs is in full throttle. Its brand is coming back according to YouGov’s BrandIndex’s Buzz score. Goldman’s share price has been falling recently but Goldman never seems to go without clients. Goldman is being sued by a number of individuals and firms but that is just the cost of doing business and they have set aside billions of dollars to deal with that contingency.

      Adam Davidson of The New York Times is offering his bit to rehabilitate Wall Street and that includes Goldman Sachs. His take on Wall Street is that without Wall Street “The poor would stay poor;” “There would be no Middle Class;” and “Lots of awesome things would never happen.”

      He asks two questions: “How does Wall Street do this?” and “Is it still O.K. to hate Wall Street?”

  • Censorship

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Major changes To Take Place In The Internet In 2012

      The Internet is set to witness a phenomenal change in 2012 with 5 major changes under way, having the potential to modify Internet history like never before. A technical upgrade is going to happen from Internet Protocol version 4 to version 6 and key Internet infrastructure and operations contracts controlled by the U.S federal government are going to be re-bid.

    • Are Canada’s Digital Laws Unconstitutional?

      One of the first Canadian digital-era laws was the Uniform Electronic Commerce Act, a model law created by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada in the late 1990s. The ULCC brings together officials from federal, provincial, and territorial governments to work on model laws that can be implemented in a similar manner across all Canadian jurisdictions.

      While a federal e-commerce law may have been preferable, the constitutional division of powers meant that it fell to the provinces to enact those laws.

  • DRM

    • The Four Horsemen of the General Purpose Computing Apocalypse

      Cory Doctorow’s “keynote to the Chaos Computer Congress” and follow-up post (Lockdown: The coming war on general-purpose computing) on BoingBoing raise the alarm about keeping the Internet and PC “free and open.” Doctorow makes excellent points and if you haven’t watched the keynote or read his essay, you should do so right away.

      I’m generally in agreement with Doctorow, but I’m not really sure that he goes quite far enough with Lockdown. Doctorow’s focus on the copyright war we’re facing with things like SOPA and PROTECT-IP is well warranted, but I’m not sure it covers everything.

    • Microsoft ‘Trustworthy Computing’ Turns 10

      “Bill Gates fired off his famous Trustworthy Computing memo to Microsoft employees on Jan. 15, 2002, amid a series of high-profile attacks on Windows computers and browsers in the form of worms and viruses like Code Red and ‘Anna Kournikova.’ The onslaught forced Gates to declare a security emergency within Microsoft, and halt production while the company’s 8,500 software engineers sifted through millions of lines of source code to identify and fix vulnerabilities. The hiatus cost Microsoft $100 million. Today, the stakes are much higher. ‘TWC Next’ will include a focus on cloud services such as Azure, the company says.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • As SOPA/PIPA Becomes Toxic, Frantic Congress Test Runs Dropping DNS Blocking Provisions

        Well, well, well. It looks like some in DC are starting to get the message that there is real concern with SOPA/PIPA. The latest is that the fact that SOPA/PIPA support is becoming “toxic” is starting to make the press. In response to that, plus significant pressure from those within the government who are concerned about online security issues… the folks behind both SOPA/PIPA are doing some trial running of finding out how people would respond if they just completely dropped the DNS/site blocking aspects from the two bills. The goal is to get the tech industry to “stop opposing” the bills (if not actually support them). Clearly, the opposition is having a pretty big impact, and we’re hearing that some of the “pressure” to “fix” these bills is coming from pretty high places. Separately, even with the House Oversight Committee hearings scheduled for next Wednesday, it sounds like Lamar Smith has decided he wants to restart the SOPA markup on the same day (perhaps with a new version of SOPA… sans DNS/site blocking).

      • Don’t Be Fooled: Leahy Is NOT Removing DNS Blocking Provisions, Merely Delaying Them
      • Lamar Smith Follows Leahy’s Steps With Plans To Delay DNS Implementation In SOPA
      • White House Comes Out Against The Approach In SOPA/PIPA In Response To Online Petition
      • Raging Grannies Come Out Against SOPA/PIPA
      • Free Culture Pitfall: Bait-and-Switch Free Licensing

        Last year, as I was checking the licensing and attribution on the tracks in my soundtrack library for Lunatics, I came across a bizarre and rather disturbing practice: bait and switch licensing as a ploy to sell music. This is a truly weird idea, if you understand what a free-license means, and it’s deeply unethical, but here’s what I think is going on: the artist (or more likely, some intermediary, such as a small record label) gets the idea of using a “free” loss-leader to try to draw people into buying a commercial/proprietary album. This is okay in itself, but the problem lies in that confusing word, “free”.

      • My SOPA Prophecy Has Come Half-True

        Dammit, this is frustrating. You see how prophecy works? It’s just like in the stories, where you make a wish to a genie and you wish to be a millionaire, and then you’re buried in piles of worthless Zimbabwe currency that’s worth about $1.88 American, and the genie goes, “Oooooh, you meant in DOLLARS! Well, sorry, you already spent your wish.”

        A while ago last December, I spake the Prophecy “SOPA shall not pass”. And I promised to follow up on that, which I’m doing now.

        It came half-true: Lamar Smith has now cut the DNS-blocking part from the SOPA bill. This was the part that made the bill so Draconian and had everybody in such an uproar. So, without the Gestapo-like powers to black out millions of websites at the fingertips of the Black Hand of the MPAA/RIAA, SOPA now becomes another toothless, gummy, mushy bill that kinda-sorta makes online piracy a no-no, just like twenty other laws we already have.

        But they’re still trying to pass SOPA anyway.

      • Obama Administration Responds to We the People Petitions on SOPA and Online Piracy
      • Righthaven complains about ‘scorched-earth’ efforts to enforce judgments
      • Libraries Are The Best Counter To Piracy… So Of Course Publishers Are Trying To Limit Them

        Interesting blog post by Peter Brantley over at Publishers’ Weekly last week, mocking the big publishers for supporting SOPA/PIPA, despite the fact that it (1) won’t stop much, if any, infringement, but (2) will have massive unintended consequences. The first half of the post focuses on SOPA/PIPA and uses the recent Cory Doctorow talk we wrote about to highlight how this is yet another example of old line content businesses not understanding how the technology works.

      • Sega Gets It Right About SOPA: It’s Time For A Hard Reset On Copyright Law & Congress

        With the news that the ESA supports SOPA, thus representing all its member companies on the matter, many gamers have taken to writing to ESA member companies asking for their input on the matter and especially asking them to oppose the legislation. As Kotaku reports, one such gamer has received word back from Sega after writing a very nicely worded letter outlining his concerns over SOPA.

      • US Can Extradite UK Student For Copyright Infringement, Despite Site Being Legal In The UK

        Want to understand just how insane things may get under SOPA/PIPA? Just take a look at what’s already happening under today’s laws. Back in 2010, one of the first websites that Homeland Security’s ICE (Immigrations & Customs Enforcement) group seized was TVShack.net. TVShack was a site that collected links to TV shows. Certainly, many of those shows were likely to be infringing — but TVShack did not host the content at all, it merely linked to it. Richard O’Dwyer, the guy who ran the site, was a student building an interesting project over in the UK. However, the US Department of Justice decided that he was not only a hardened criminal, but one who needed to be tried on US soil. Thus, it began extradition procedures. Even worse, nearly identical sites in the UK had already been found legal multiple times — with the court noting that having links to some infringing content was certainly not criminal copyright infringement. That makes things even more ridiculous, because extradition is only supposed to be allowed for activities that are criminal in both the US and the UK.

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