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Links 27/1/2012: GNOME 3.3.4 Development Release, GhostBSD 2.5 With Graphical Installer

Posted in News Roundup at 10:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • What is Zorp?

    Briefly Zorp is an open source proxy firewall with deep protocol analysis. It sounds very sophisticated at first, however, the explanation below will make it easy to understand.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 9.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

        After the official upgrade to Firefox 9 in Ubuntu 11.10 at the beginning of the month, Canonical announced on January 24th that the Mozilla Thunderbird 9.0 email client is now available on the official software repositories of the Oneiric Ocelot operating system.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 2.5 – Now with an Easy Graphic Installer

      GhostBSD 2.5 was released a few days ago and the headline on ghostbsd.com reads “Now with an Easy and Secure Graphic Installer.” GhostBSD is obviously a free BSD (and not coincidently, a FreeBSD derivative), but it aims to be a user-friendly free BSD and to improve the GNOME experience on FreeBSD.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Europe Sees Another Mass Migration of Government IT to FOSS, This Time in Spain

      At a time when Europe is facing a hard time in a financial crisis and Apple is worth more than Greece, price cuts of any form are always welcome. Perhaps for this reason, a slew of European countries have moved to FOSS technologies for use in their internal operations. France, Germany and many prominent European economies have started using FOSS technologies, and have benefited hugely in saved IT costs. This time, Spain’s autonomous region Extremadura wants to move to open-source solutions in place of their current proprietary desktop software.

  • Licensing

    • Sorting Out the Sharing License Shambles

      At the heart of the various movements based around sharing — free software, open content, open access etc. — lie specially drawn-up licenses that grant permissions beyond the minimal ones of copyright. This approach has worked well — too well, in fact, since it has led to a proliferation of many different licenses: the Open Source Initiative recognizes over 60 of them for open source. That’s a problem because slight incompatibilities between them often make it impossible to create combined works drawing on elements released under different licenses.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Avoiding The Vendor Perl Fad Diet

      It looks like Red Hat is distributing Perl without the core library ExtUtils::MakeMaker. If you’re not familiar with the details of the Perl 5 build chain, all you need to know is this: without MakeMaker, you’re not installing anything from the CPAN.

      Ostensibly Red Hat and other OS distribution vendors split up Perl 5 into separate packages to save room on installation media. Core Perl 5 is large and includes many, many things that not everyone uses all the time… but the obvious reaction to defining a core subset of Perl 5 that a vendor can call “perl” is another of those recurring discussions which never quite goes anywhere.

    • Binpress Integrates with Github, Adds a Commercial Layer Over Open-Source


  • Health/Nutrition

    • The High Cost of Allowing Health Insurers To Continue Keeping Us In The Dark

      In his State of the Union address, President Obama said very little about health care reform, but what he did say was a reminder of how tight a grip the insurance industry has on the U.S. health care system — and will continue to have if the Affordable Care Act is not implemented as Congress intended. And it is largely up to the President to make sure that it is.

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • EFF petitioning to extend legal protection for jailbreaking phones and tablets

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation is petitioning to renew a US Copyright Office ruling that makes smartphone jailbreaking explicitly legal. In 2010, the Office added an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act allowing users to modify phone firmware to run software that’s not approved by the manufacturer. Since exemptions only last three years, however, the ruling must be renewed over the coming months; the EFF is also adding protection for tablets to the new exemption. The Copyright Office is currently taking public comments on the proposed rules.

    • Tales From Ubisoft DRM: Latest DRM Goes From Horrible To Slightly Less Horrible

      We all know Ubisoft. That company that seems to think that piracy is such a huge problem on the PC and that DRM is the only way to stop it — even when fans complain about how horrible the DRM is. So it is really no surprise to find out that Ubisoft is still at it. It still thinks that annoying legitimate customers is going to prevent piracy of its games. This latest story of Ubisoft DRM woe comes from Guru3d.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dude! Where’s My Data?

        In light of the recent TERMINATION of operation of MegaUpload by Agent Smith and his colleagues, one has to wonder what happens to all the legitimate data that was stored on those servers? Are you one of the unlucky ones who is quite possibly having your private data scoured by the IT department gnomes at BIG BROTHER Central? Disturbing thought, huh?

      • SOPA and PIPA: What Bills Like These Mean to Open Source Software
      • Public Interest Groups Speak Out About Next Week’s Secret Meeting In Hollywood To Negotiate TPP (Think International SOPA)
      • Court Finds Copyright Trolling Lawyer Evan Stone In Contempt; Orders Him To Pay Attorneys’ Fees

        Remember Evan Stone? He’s one of a “new breed” of copyright trolling lawyers, who has been trying to sue large groups of John Does based on IP addresses, claiming they infringed on a client’s work. Of course, the end game of these lawsuits is not to actually take these people to court, but to find out who they are, send them a nastygram… with an offer to “settle,” and then get as many people to settle as possible. It’s basically a way to use the court system to force lots of people to give you money. Thankfully, the courts have been cracking down on many of the more egregious players in these games. Evan Stone was one of the earlier players in this space in the US, but one who made a pretty big mistake last year while representing porn producer Mick Haig. One of his cases came before a judge who recognized how sketchy these lawsuits were, and told Stone that he couldn’t subpoena for the Does’ identities just yet, and in the meantime, he asked Public Citizen and EFF to represent the interests of the still anonymous users. Amazingly, Stone sent the subpoenas anyway. The appointed lawyers discovered this when they heard from one of the Does in question. When they confronted Stone about it, he dropped the case in the most petulant manner possible (basically whining about the judge appointing these meddlesome lawyers who kept him from getting his way).

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Note from Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament

          As a Member of the European Parliament (EP), I am concerned about the ACTA treaty in the international trade committee (INTA). Please find some information about the procedure of the ACTA treaty in the EU, especially the EP, below. You can reach me on Twitter via @marietjed66, where I will also post a message about this post.

        • ACTA ‘Is More Dangerous Than SOPA’

          While panelists talked about what they saw as the relatively secrecy under which ACTA was authored, ACTA is by no means a new initiative. Posts about the act started emerging online as early as 2008 (the initiation began with the U.S. and Japan in 2006). Canada’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade site offers a comprehensive look at the act, and even tackles the claim that ACTA was built and ratified in secret:

          “This process has not been kept from the public. On October 23, 2007, the partners involved in ACTA at that time publicly announced that they had initiated preliminary discussions on ACTA. Several countries involved in ACTA have conducted public consultations on the key proposed elements of the ACTA.”

          One thing is clear: The temperature is finally rising for ACTA, and at least one Congressman now publicly sees it as a greater threat than SOPA. You can see the entire panel in the exclusive video above.
          What do you think? Is ACTA bigger, badder and more worrisome than SOPA and PIPA, or is Issa simply trying to steer votes to his own legislation?

        • Stop ACTA in Europe

          We’ve been hearing a lot lately about SOPA and PIPA in the United States. In the meantime, ACTA has been creeping along under the radar.

        • Polish Politicians Don Guy Fawkes/Anonymous Masks To Protest ACTA Signing
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