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01.17.12

Links 16/1/2012: Red Hat RHEV 3.0, LibreOffice 3.4.5

Posted in News Roundup at 12:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Are Your Linux Skills Right for HPC Jobs?

    Do you have what it takes for that Linux job with an HPC vendor you’ve got your eye on? Brent Welch, the director of software architecture at Panasas, talks about the role Linux plays in HPC at Panasas and the in-demand technical skills supercomputing suppliers need from job applicants.

    Last year, Panasas, a provider of high performance parallel storage solutions for technical applications and big data workloads, moved into new corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, and expanded its team by more than 50 percent in areas such as engineering and sales. Panasas hasn’t been the only supercomputing-focused company growing and hiring recently. In fact, high performance computing (HPC) vendors across the industry are hiring, but they are running up against a shortage of skilled talent.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 245 – Dirty I/O

      Ubuntu TV announced, MPL 2.0 released, LiMux reports success, CouchDB gets forked, Mandriva seems to be really dying and much more including a lot of soundboard fun.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux developers fix a homemade network problem

      Linux kernels 3.0.17, 3.1.9 and 3.2.1 fix a problem with the handling of IGMP packets that was introduced with updates in Linux 2.6.36. An IGMPv3 protocol packet being processed soon after the processing of an IGMPv2 packet could lead to a system crash caused by a kernel panic.

      On 6 January, Simon McVittie reported strange crashes of his Linux notebook in the Debian bug database. Debian developer Ben Hutchings found that the problem was caused by a division by 0 that can occur with IGMP packets that have a Maximum Response Time of 0. As a result, Linux systems running a kernel version from 2.6.36 or later, up until the patched versions, can quite easily be crashed remotely using certain IGMP packets if a program has registered to receive multicast packets from the network. Typical examples for such programs include the avahi mDNS server or media players, such as VLC, that support RTP.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Using The New Radeon Gallium3D 2D Color Tiling

        Patches finally arrived last week for 2D color tiling in the Radeon R600 Gallium3D driver. The patches were then re-based this past weekend and benchmarked by Phoronix. Will the 2D color tiling patches, which affect the Linux kernel, Mesa, libdrm, and xf86-video-ati DDX make the more recent Radeon graphics cards more competitive under open-source to the Catalyst driver?

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Tuning GNOME 3

        A recently launched web site is collecting extensions for the GNOME 3 interface. These extensions can be used to individually tailor the shell of the often criticised desktop environment and, for example, give it a GNOME 2 feel.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization: overview of RHEV-M, RHEV-H and RHEL

        Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization is a powerful and versatile server virtualization platform that’s often overshadowed by vSphere and Hyper-V. Because the underlying KVM hypervisor is integrated into the Linux kernel, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) can sometimes offer superior cost, security and performance than other virtualization offerings. But to get the most out of RHEV, you must understand how it’s architected.

      • Red Hat RHEV 3.0 to launch this Wednesday?

        Commercial Linux and Java development tool distributor Red Hat has big aspirations in the server virtualization and cloud computing arenas, and it looks like the company is getting ready to bust out the 3.0 version of its Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization hypervisor – RHEV for short.

      • New and revised modules in JBoss Seam 3.1

        Version 3.1 of the JBoss Seam Java EE web framework has been released. In the announcement, project lead Shane Bryzak mainly highlights the changes since version 3.0, which was released in April 2011. For example, the Solder module now includes the Seam Catch exception handling framework, the Seam Config XML configuration technology and Seam Servlet for servlet integration. Seam Transaction, formerly a part of Seam Persistence, is now available as a separate module that provides transaction-related features for POJO-based Java Beans.

      • Fedora

        • Thoughts on Gnome 3 & Fedora 16 Linux

          Recently one of the people I’ve deployed Linux for came to me and wanted to purchase a new PC to replace a spare Pentium 4 PC they had sitting around that was still running Windows 2000. They had started to use the Windows 2000 PC after having it sit for a couple years, and soon found that it was not able to keep up with today’s websites and other activities. Even Avast Antivirus refused to run (it would install, but would not perform a full scan). While the latest version of GNU/Linux can work on a Pentium 4 PC fairly well, it can become sluggish at times for heavy use. Eagerly to assist, I found them a refurbished HP desktop with the Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2 GB of RAM. Once it arrived, I verified that it came with the full Windows 7 media (which it did), and immediately wiped the drive and installed Fedora 16 Linux on it.

        • First look at Kororaa Linux 16

          Regular readers may recall that toward the end of 2011 I reviewed Fedora 16, the latest release from the Red Hat-sponsored project. Fedora’s latest did have some points in its favour — great hardware support, a smooth transition to systemd and an installer which, while having some issues, is still better than most Linux installers available. But I’m sorry to say that I also found several issues with the release: none of the graphical package managers were useful, Fedora shipped with the notorious plain GNOME Shell as the default desktop environment, the default install comes with a small selection of software and adding non-free repositories is a manual process. All in all the experience had its frustrations and so it was with cautious optimism I approached Kororaa Linux 16. Kororaa is based on Fedora and adds various extras and makes tweaks to the underlying system in much the same way Linux Mint makes adjustments to Ubuntu.

        • Fedora 17 Gets Beefier: Another Round Of Features

          The Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) met again today and approved several more features for this first Fedora Linux release of 2012. It was only at the FESCo meeting one week ago where they approved a whole lot of features like the inclusion of the long-awaited GIMP 2.8, the GCC 4.7 compiler, the oVirt virtualization component, PHP 5.4, and various other new packages and configuration changes. This is in addition to many other changes previously talked about on Phoronix.

        • 3 must-have extensions for Fedora 16 and other GNOME 3 installations
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Watch Ubuntu TV Playing Movies
          • New Unity Features: Shortcut Hints Overlay And Launcher Switcher [Ubuntu 12.04]

            The latest Unity from BZR got two very interesting new features: shortcut hints overlay and new launcher switcher.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • If I’m offline for a while …

              I’m just mucking around, changing operating systems again.

              My old laptop (running Linux Mint 11) headed toward slow death a month or two ago. I eBayed myself a newer ThinkPad and upgraded (or so I thought) to Mint 12.

              I’ve been loving Linux Mint since version 8 or so, and I guess I’m not alone in that since it’s risen from nowhere to become one of the top Linuxes, if not the top Linux, for real people. Love its media friendliness!

              But 11 had problems. Not the Mint team’s fault, but there were some new Ubuntu features they got stuck with (hidden slider bars that you can’t see until you’ve moused over them — and moused over them in just exactly the right way — was a very, very, very bad idea). (Okay, they’re scroll bars, as everybody in the comment section is reminding me very diplomatically. I don’t care what they’re called, as long as they work properly.)

            • Lubuntu 12.04 News Roundup
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi number 1 goes for £3,500 on eBay

      The Raspberry Pi project is almost a perfect example of open source engineering story. Well, it has started in popular fashion – a £20 Raspberry Pi computer sold for £3,500 on eBay last week, writes Steve Bush.

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation, which intends to sell its educational computers directly, auctioned 10 of its beta production board on eBay.

    • Now a $15 Linux Computer?

      Looks like everyone is trying to build a smaller and cheaper Linux computer. FXI is bringing Cotton Candy for about $200, production for $25 Linux computer Raspberry Pi has already started and now Rhombus Tech is aiming to deliver a low cost $15 (estimate) Linux PC Allwinner A10.

      Allwinner A10 will have fully GPL compliant hardware and is more powerful then Raspberry Pi. At least on paper now as the production has not started yet and there are no prototype builds. However, the development is going on rapidly and sooner or later they will deliver it.

    • Ubuntu TV vs. Google TV: Battle of the Linux-based Smart TV

      Google TV, despite being launched and relaunched with much pomp and expectations, has not quite managed to reach the market it intended to. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to proclaim that the foray of Internet on our television screens previously has been an utter failure. And this, you see, is despite the fact that there are giants like Apple and Google scampering for the top spot.

      Last week, Ubuntu’s own little warrior came sauntering into this hallowed market, but only to deliver a nice big surprise. At CES, when the Unity-based Ubuntu TV was unveiled, even the most pious of Apple fanboys couldn’t help feeling a tinge of jealousy. The demo, which showcased a beautiful-yet-functional interface, left all the Unity-bashers a tad guilty.

    • Phones

      • Samsung Merges Bada OS with Linux OS
      • Android

        • PulseAudio Ported To Android, Compared To AudioFlinger

          A developer at Collabora has brought PulseAudio to Google’s Android operating system. In the process of this port he has closely compared the performance and features of the once-notorious PulseAudio stack to that of Google’s AudioFlinger.

          AudioFlinger is Google’s audio stack equivalent to PulseAudio. AudioFlinger provides a single output path for PCM, a software mixer for various playback stream types, playback stream resampling, and a single input capture path. Collabora decided it would be interesting — and of potential interest to their customers — to bring the PulseAudio stack over to Android. Among the desired PulseAudio features mentioned to have on Android was its modular framework, power saving features, and flexible routing, among other traits.

        • HTC Ville Coming to T-Mobile; ‘HTC Family’ Tipped

          Besides the introduction of the Titan II for AT&T, HTC was fairly quiet at CES — no doubt reserving its best devices for either dedicated events or a Mobile World Congress debut next month. We’ve just learned that, somewhat unsurprisingly, T-Mobile will beging carrying the slim, Ice Cream Sandwich-powered HTC Ville this spring. We say somewhat unsurprisingly because on the one hand, T-Mobile has a history of carrying high-end HTC hardware, but on the other hand, the quad-core HTC Edge (Supreme?) is also waiting in the wings. Ville has been leaked as a 1.5GHz dual-core, sub-eight millimeter handset with a 4.3-inch qHD display and point-and-shoot quality camera.

        • Samsung Galaxy Note hitting Verizon as Galaxy Journal, also headed to Sprint?
        • Asus says there’s no 3G Transformer Prime

          A couple of weeks ago, various websites have reported that Asus would want to launch a 3G version of its Transformer Prime Android tablet. But this doesn’t seem to be true.

          According to FocusTaiwan, today Asus stated that “no such product exists on its current roadmap.” However, the company expects to introduce 3G versions of future high-end devices included in the Transformer series.

        • Google, LG Are Said to Be in Negotiations to Collaborate on New Television

          Google Inc. (GOOG) is considering giving LG Electronics Inc. (066570) first access to the next version of its Google TV software so the Korean company can build a compatible set, according to two people with knowledge of the project.

          The partnership would be similar to the arrangement Google has had with Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) and HTC Corp. to create Nexus handsets for the Android operating system, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks aren’t public.

        • SE Android released: Build your own NSA-approved Android device today

          On January 6, the US National Security Agency (NSA) released the first public release of the Security Enhanced (SE) Android Project, a program designed to find and plug security holes and risks in the Android flavor of Linux. SE Android is based on the NSA’s SELinux, first released in 2000.

        • NSA releases security-enhanced Android

          The National Security Agency’s SELinux Project has announced the first release of SE Android, a security enhanced version of Google’s Android operating system. SEAndroid is the name of both a project to identify, and find solutions for, critical gaps in Android security and of a reference implementation of a security enhanced Android. The project is currently focusing its efforts on enabling SELinux functionality in the hope that it can limit the damage done by malicious apps, but hopes to widen its scope in the future.

        • Google TV to gain personalized recommendations

          Google is planning a new version of Google TV that will integrate personalized recommendations based on user preferences, says a report. Meanwhile, Google TV 2.0 received a review from DeviceGuru, which praised the Android 3.1-based interface and Chrome browser, but dinged the poor Flash performance and continuing lack of Android apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Breaking down the gender divide in open source and open culture

    The tipping point for Linux kernel developer Valerie Aurora was when one of her friends was groped for the third time in a single year at a conference. “As I heard about it I knew I’d remember all the times I’d been groped as well, and insulted and harassed — and that was just too much,” Aurora says.

    Aurora waited a month then emailed Mary Gardiner, who she knew from LinuxChix and Linux.conf.au. The result was the Ada Initiative: A non-profit organisation the two formed that aims to break down barriers women face when it comes to participation in open source, open technology and open culture more broadly.

  • Perens: The iPhone is Destroying Democracy (And Open Source)

    The iPhone is Australia’s most popular smartphone, and it’s very much in evidence at Linux.conf.au 2012 in Ballarat. But in the opening keynote for the conference, leading open source advocate Bruce Perens argued that the continued success of the iPhone threatens not just the potential success of open source, but the future of democracy

  • Making a case for excluding users from open source

    Open source or free software is meant to remove the shackles of proprietary software binding users all over the world. This in itself is a very noble idea and goal. However, it’s also a very tough goal. Not because people are happy with their shackles but because most people don’t care about them. I see around myself people who want to do stuff and it doesn’t matter how they do it. Want to watch some TV show online? Pay Netflix, Hulu, whatever, to watch it. Even with all the hoopla about content piracy, people are signing up in droves for these services.

    Computers are complex machines. Not everyone can or is willing to understand how they function. All many people want is to be able to fire up a browser and connect with friends/family using Facebook or to sign in to Hotmail every once in a while. They also want to be able to carry a phone that can play music, games, YouTube, etc.

  • Events

    • LCA2012 Diary: The Smart And The Sweaty

      Attending Linux.conf.au is a great way to enhance my knowledge and scare me into presenting, but it’s an exhausting five days. It’s mentally exhausting because of all the new information to be acquired, and it’s physically exhausting because it’s the height of summer in Ballarat and the temperature is 32 degrees or more.

      Today is the first day of “proper” conference, although there were plenty of good things to discover during the mini-conference sessions. Bruce Perens’ opening keynote discussed the threat the iPhone represents to open source software before examining a potential future led by open source hardware. Not everyone is going to agree with him, but he certainly got people thinking. As one attendee commented: “The trouble with this event is it gives you all sorts of ideas for stuff to do.”

    • Linux.conf.au 2012 kicks off in Ballarat, Australia

      Last night I arrived in Ballarat after catching a train from the bustling city of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. Ballarat is the small town venue for Linux.conf.au 2012, the largest annual Linux conference in the southern hemisphere.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • User Sovereignty for our Data
      • Mozilla: We’re About to Grab More Data About You, But Here’s How We’ll Keep It Safe

        Mozilla has some big plans up its sleeve in 2012. The non-profit open source foundation is planning some features for its Firefox Web browser and beyond that will require greater access to user data. In a blog post, the organization explains exactly how it intends to use and handle that data. In short, very carefully.

        Some of Mozilla’s initiatives for this year include an HTML5 Web app store, a mobile operating system and perhaps most intensive of all, a decentralized system for user identification and authentication at the browser level. In other words, a browser-based replacement for usernames and passwords.

      • Has Firefox Lost Its Edge?
  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • BonitaSoft Announces 350 Percent Revenue Growth

        BonitaSoft, the leader in open source business process management (BPM), today announced corporate growth for 2011. The company achieved a record year, tripling its customer base to more than 300 and growing total revenue by 350 percent. The company added more than 200 new customers in 2011, including Stanford University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, SNCF, Portugal Telecom, Australian Department of Sustainability and Environment, Galapagos Province, and Sammons Financial Services.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GRUB 2 Editor

      Mostly, I prefer using a command line for system administration. However, I’m willing to rethink this preference in the case of the GRUB 2 Editor for KDE.

      Not too long ago, editing the GRUB boot manager was a straightforward task. You edited a text file directly, and, if in the long intervals between changes you forgot the structure of a boot entry, you could usually figure out what to do from existing entries. About the hardest thing to remember if you didn’t have an example to crib from was how to boot an unsupported operating system like Windows.

      However, in distributions like Ubuntu in which GRUB 2 has replaced Legacy GRUB, editing has become more complicated. Not only has the basic configuration file changed its name from menu.lst to grub.cfg, but you’re not supposed to edit it directly. Although you can edit directly if you know what you are doing, the fact that basic concepts have been renamed still complicates everything. Moreover, after making changes or setting up a kernel that isn’t packaged, you need to run the command update-grub.

  • Project Releases

    • Node IDE Nide gets 0.2 release, now also native on Mac

      Nide, an IDE for Node.js written using Node.js and accessible through a web browser, has been updated to version 0.2. The new release makes the IDE available as a native Mac OS X application, though this edition is “still at an early development stage”. Originally developed as part of the Node Knockout 48-hour coding competition, the developers have continued to enhance the MIT-licensed project.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Why Open Source is Good for German Software Businesses

      At a meeting this evening, a lobbyist confided in me: “Open source is bad for German software vendors!” I gasped. He couldn’t be further from the truth. If this was mechanical engineering or electrical engineering, he’d be right. ME? EE? Germany is top. Software? Not so.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Wi-Fi And NBN Lessons From An Open Source Town

      Free public Wi-Fi is still a relative rarity in Australia’s major cities, so how is it possible to make it viable in a town with less than 400 people? Newstead offers some interesting lessons about Wi-Fi, the National Broadband Network (NBN), open source and how to manage community projects.

    • Open Hardware

      • MakerBot Replicator video shows off open-source 3D printer

        Sick of going to shops and buying plastic toys like a chump? That woeful life could be behind you thanks to the MakerBot Replicator — a 3D printer that prints plastic goodies. We’ve gone hands-on with the Replicator at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, so check out our video above to learn how this mechanical marvel works.

      • ZPM Espresso is making an open source home espresso machine

        Making good home espresso is possible, but the machines tend to cost a small fortune. ZPM Espresso, a startup in Atlanta, is hoping to change that with its open-source espresso machine.

        If the company succeeds, it could have a nice market for itself, as the espresso and specialty coffee market have been growing quickly around the world. (Can you tell based on how many Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee places there are?).

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Why Is NBCUniversal Threatening To Report Commenters They Disagree With To Their Employers?

    This one is a little bizarre. David Seaman, a contributor to Business Insider, claims that he lost his contributor status at the site following a dispute he had with an NBCUniversal employee, Anthony Quintano, concerning NBC’s coverage of both SOPA/PIPA and NDAA. The details are a bit complex, but I’ve emailed with David a few times.

  • Intel’s Itanic is close to the end

    In the last week we reported how the Itanium Solutions page, hosted by Intel has been disappeared with virtually no traces left. The ISA, launched to fanfare in 2005 – had as members Intel, HP, NEC, SGI, Unisys, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Red Hat, Novell, Oracle, SAP and SAS – as reported by ZD Net here. All of these competitors working together in perfect harmony. Right.

  • Finance

    • Everything You Need to Know About Wall Street, in One Brief Tale

      If there was ever a news story that crystalized the moral dementia of modern Wall Street in one little vignette, this is it.

      Newspapers in Colorado today are reporting that the elegant Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado, will be closed to the public from today through Monday at noon.

      Why? Because a local squire has apparently decided to rent out all 94 rooms of the hotel for three-plus days for his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah.

      The hotel’s general manager, Tony DiLucia, would say only that the party was being thrown by a “nice family,” but newspapers are now reporting that the Daddy of the lucky little gal is one Jeffrey Verschleiser, currently an executive with Goldman, Sachs.

      At first, I couldn’t remember how I knew that name. But then I looked it up and saw an explosive Atlantic magazine story, published last year, called, “E-mails Suggest Bear Stearns Cheated Clients Out Of Millions.” And then I remembered that piece, and it hit me: Jeffrey Verschleiser is one of the biggest assholes in the entire world!

  • Censorship

    • UK.gov rejects mandatory filters, rebuffs Claire Perry
    • Spain adopts unpopular web-blocking law

      Websites accused of copyright infringement could be blocked within 10 days of a complaint, under legislation approved by Spain’s recently elected government.

      The Sinde Law, named after the former Spanish Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, establishes a new intellectual property commission to evaluate complaints about allegedly infringing websites. Complaints deemed valid will be passed to a judge who will determine whether or not to close down the site. It is not clear what technical means will be used, but the law’s proponents law claim that the process could take as little as 10 days.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • I’m Not A Fan Of This Craptastic Trademark Lawsuit

        We’ve seen some pathetic trademark lawsuits this year (SUE MOAR KALE, anyone?), but I’ll nominate this long-running litigation money-sink (going over 3.5 years) as the saddest trademark case of 2011.

        Fancaster registered its mark in 1989 for broadcasting services, and over the years it’s been used in connection with a range of services, “including selling Fancaster branded radios, charging customers to watch closed circuit boxing matches, producing karaoke shows, transmitting sponsored news messages to wireless pagers and cell phones, and conducting live demonstrations of FANCASTER broadcast services” (cites omitted).

    • Copyrights

      • Putting SOPA on a shelf

        Misguided efforts to combat online privacy have been threatening to stifle innovation, suppress free speech, and even, in some cases, undermine national security. As of yesterday, though, there’s a lot less to worry about.

        At issue are two related bills: the Senate’s Protect IP Act and the even more offensive Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, both of which are generated intense opposition from tech giants and First Amendment advocates. The first sign that the bills’ prospects were dwindling came Friday, when SOPA sponsors agreed to drop a key provision that would have required service providers to block access to international sites accused of piracy.

      • US Copyright Lobby Wants Canada Out of TPP Until New Laws Passed, Warns of No Cultural Exceptions

        The U.S. government just concluded a consultation on whether it should support Canada’s entry into the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations (I have posted here, here, and here about the implications of the TPP for Canada based on a leaked chapter of the intellectual property provisions). The Canadian government submitted a brief one-pager, pointing to Bill C-11, ACTA, the dismantling of Canadian Wheat Board, and forthcoming procurement concessions to Europe as evidence that it is ready to negotiate the TPP.

        While most submissions support the entry of Canada into the negotiations, it is worth noting that the major intellectual property lobby groups want to keep Canada out of the deal until we cave to the current U.S. copyright demands. The IIPA, which represents the major movie, music, and software lobby associations, points to copyright reform and new border measures as evidence of the need for Canadian reforms and states “we urge the U.S. government to use Canada’s expression of interest in the TPP negotiations as an opportunity to resolve these longstanding concerns about IPR standards and enforcement.”

      • SOPA Derailed

        According to a prominent U.S. Congressman, SOPA will not come up for a vote and is, thus, effectively dead, but PIPA remains active in the Senate.

      • The internet wins: SOPA has been shelved, but we must remain vigilant

        Over the weekend, the White House released a strongly-worded opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). The President has threatened to veto any legislation that “reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” which includes SOPA and PIPA. Just hours after this, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa said that SOPA had now been shelved indefinitely by the House of Representatives. It will not be voted on when the 112th Congress reconvenes for its 2012 session. The internet has won.

      • SOPA Killed!

        Marking the victory of freedom and American way of life representative Eric Cantor(R-VA) has announced that he will stop all action on SOPA, the examiner reports. We are still trying to verify the information as they is no credible source for the story.

      • SOPA/PIPA Supporters Pretend White House Statement Means We Can Rush Through SOPA/PIPA
      • Harry Reid Says He’s Concerned PIPA Will Break The Internet, But We Must Move Forward With It, Because Of ‘Jobs’

        In a short appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, Senate leader Harry Reid continued to insist that the Senate intended to move forward with PIPA, despite the widespread concerns, despite the White House’s statement against the bill, and despite multiple Senators — including bill co-sponsors — asking him to hold off putting the bill to a vote.

      • Even Thieves Are Ignoring DVDs And CDs As Worthless

        It’s been kind of funny to see that the various “public service announcement” videos that have been created and/or used by the government lately (see here and here for example) show people selling counterfeit DVDs on the street. There’s a reason for this, of course. The one study that suggests any kind of link between movie infringement and organized crime/terrorism was based on some really out-of-date reports of connections between… counterfeit street vendors. But that was all from over a decade ago. Of course, as we noted many, many years ago, there’s no significant business in selling counterfeit DVDs and CDs any more, because of competition from free file sharing sites.

      • HR 3699

        Kudos to Kevin Zelnio, who shoots down the self-serving rationales behind the so-called Research Works Act recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Darrell Issa and Carolyn Maloney. This piece of legislation would reverse the National Institute of Health’s open access policy, which requires that all tax-payer funded research be available to the public for free. Kevin’s piece appears in Scientific American’s blog, and is well worth the read.

      • How PIPA and SOPA Violate White House Principles Supporting Free Speech and Innovation

        Over the weekend, the Obama administration issued a potentially game-changing statement on the blacklist bills, saying it would oppose PIPA and SOPA as written, and drew an important line in the sand by emphasizing that it “will not support” any bill “that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”

      • Rupert Murdoch Lashes Out Bizarrely Against The White House For Asking Congress Not To Break The Internet
      • The Lies Of NBCUniversal’s Rick Cotton About SOPA/PIPA

        Chris Hayes, over on MSNBC, decided to be the first to seriously break the mainstream cable news’ boycott over SOPA/PIPA with a big debate on the bill — mainly between NBCUniversal’s top lawyer, Rick Cotton, and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. Chris’s opening discussion is quite good, and suggests he’s certainly sympathetic to all of us who are vehemently opposed to the bill.

      • It’s Official: Wikipedia To Go Dark On Wednesday
      • Wikipedia to join reddit in SOPA blackout Wednesday

        Seeking to “send Washington a BIG message,” Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has announced that the English version of Wikipedia will go dark on Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, anti-piracy bills now being considered by Congress.

      • Send A Sympathy Card Over The Death Of The Internet To Your Senator
      • SOPA/PIPA: How Far We’ve Come; How Far We Need To Go

        On October 26th, I was flying from San Francisco to Washington DC to meet with folks in the House of Representatives to explain why they should be careful about making the same mistakes as the Senate with its anti-piracy bill, PROTECT IP (PIPA). We had been assured by Rep. Bob Goodlatte that Congress had heard the myriad complaints about PIPA and that the House version would take them into account. Instead, as the plane I was on flew over the Rocky Mountains, I started getting a flood of emails from people sending me the first release of the House’s version of the bill, now known as SOPA (originally, the E-PARASITE bill, a name they dropped immediately when everyone started mocking it). Thanks to the wonderful innovation of WiFi-in-the-sky, I was able to sit in my cramped seat, read the bill, and write up my horrified post explaining just how much worse SOPA was than PIPA (an already disastrous bill).

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    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  6. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  7. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  8. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  10. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  11. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  12. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  13. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  14. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  15. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  16. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  17. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  18. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  19. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  20. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  22. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  23. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  24. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  25. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  27. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  28. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  29. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  30. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux


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