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01.30.12

IRC Proceedings: January 29th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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IRC Proceedings: January 28th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 30/1/2012: GCC 4.7, Protest Against ACTA

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 184
  • Linux System Administrator Career Kickstart!
  • Desktop

    • Met Office cuts off Linux users with new weather widgets

      Linux users face increased inconvenience getting a weather forecast from March onwards when the Met Office will withdraw its web-based weather gadgets and replace them with desktop widgets – for Windows and Mac only.

      Previously the Met Office’s Firefox and iGoogle weather gadgets allowed anyone with internet access to check the weather from their homepage: now you need to be running either a Mac or Windows OS to get the latest weather news piped to you by the second.

  • Server

    • IBM Throws The Books At Big Power7 Shops

      If you are shopping for a big bad box to run IBM i, AIX, or Linux–or a combination of the three–then Big Blue has a deal for you on its enterprise-class Power 770, 780, and 795 servers. The deal that IBM offered to customers of System p5 590, System p5 595 machines in October 2007 and then in March 2010 on the Power 595 in the wake of the initial Power7-based servers, which came out a month earlier.

    • Tilera Targets Intel, ARM With 36-core Server Chip

      The Tilera chip has attributes of a general-purpose CPU as it can run the Linux OS and applications commonly used to serve web data. The fast throughput chip has fewer parallelized cores but is faster than Tilera’s 64-core predecessor chip, which shipped a few years ago. A 2U server with eight 36-core chips will draw roughly 400 watts of power, the same as eight Tilera 64-core chips in the box.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.12 Steps Closer To Release

        Keith Packard released X.Org Server 1.12 RC2 in time for weekend testing. At the same time, Apple’s Jeremy Huddleston released the X.Org Server 1.11.4 stable version.

        Keith Packard put out X.Org Server 1.12 RC2 (a.k.a. xorg-server 1.11.99.902) as the last release before the non-critical bug window closes in one week. While eating chocolate and drinking beer next weekend, Keith Packard intends to release X.Org Server 1.12 RC3 during FOSDEM 2012 in Belgium.

      • Wayland Can Now Do Surface Transformations

        Patches have landed so that the Wayland Display Server can now handle surface transformations. Separately, there’s also an easy-to-understand guide for using the Qt 5.0 tool-kit with Wayland.

      • Reclocking Hits For Open-Source NVIDIA Driver

        Committed to the kernel repository for the open-source Nouveau driver for providing reverse-engineered NVIDIA hardware is now the initial GPU core/memory re-clocking support.

        A few days back I reported on re-clocking support coming to Nouveau for the newer NVIDIA hardware. Hitting nouveau/linux-2.6 yesterday were a slew of patches that work on the re-clocking code along with support for adjusting the graphics memory timings, among other support work.

      • R600 Gallium3D Can Now Do OpenGL 3.0, GLSL 1.30

        Marek Olšák has made another exciting commit to the Mesa mainline Git repository this weekend… What he’s accomplished now is making it possible to successfully advertise OpenGL 3.0 / GLSL 1.30 support within the R600 Gallium3D driver for the Radeon HD 2000 series and later.

      • Nouveau Reclocking: Buggy, But Can Boost Performance
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Racy Puppy- Wary On Steroids!

      For those of you who don’t know, Puppy Linux is an independently-developed Linux distribution started by Barry Kauler in 2003, with the purpose of creating a modern and fully-functional Linux that could run smoothly on older hardware. Since then, several (it’s in the hundreds now!) derivatives of Puppy have been made, with 3 officially recognized main projects: Puppy (main), Wary, and Quirky. Most puppies being built using the “Woof” development system (puppy can also be built using the original T2 build system, but this is not advised).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • GLE 4.2.4b Released, Available For Fedora 16

          The Fedora team has announced the availability of GLE (Graphics Layout Engine) 4.2.4b. For those who don’t know GLE is a graphics scripting language designed for creating publication quality figures (e.g., a chart, plot, graph, or diagram).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0.4 Released

        Debian, the mother of Ubuntu and Linux Mint, has announced the fourth update of its stable distribution Debian 6.0 (codename “squeeze” ).

        This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments to serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

      • Debian 7.0 ‘Wheezy’ To Include Linux 3.2
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s HUD: Why It’s A Terrible Idea

            In fighter aircraft the idea of HUD was to allow a pilot to see important stuff while looking through the windscreen for important stuff allowing intricate operations without taking the eye off either. That‘s a good thing. Ubuntu’s HUD is not.

            There are times when searching is useful, say, when you have a zillion things on the table and you need one of them quickly but that’s not what menus are about. A properly designed menu allows a few choices to bring you to what you need. The emphasis is on few.

          • Making the Evolutionary Leap from Meerkat to Narwhal

            I’m very happy with Ubuntu as a desktop operating system. I’ve used it for years with no significant issues. In fact, Ubuntu excels where other disributions fail. Even Linux arch rival Windows, is often left in the last century compared to the innovations perpetrated by the Canonical group. But what about Natty Narwhal? Is the hype worth the effort? I’d have to say, “Yes.” Although, I’m not 100 percent sold on Unity, I’m impressed with its boot speed, shutdown speed, and snappy performance. Oh, and there’s that little matter of The Launcher.

          • Ubuntu HUD: Solving A Problem That Doesn’t Exist

            I found Canonical to be the bravest company that has the courage to introduce a new UI for an LTS version just two months before its release. I don’t know why it has taken Microsoft so many years to release Windows 8! I was shocked when Mark Shuttleworth announced that they are working on HUD, which will ultimately replace menus in Unity applications.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Strategy Analytics: Consumers are increasingly buying tablets in preference to netbooks and even entry-level notebooks or desktops

        26.8 million is 150% more than the same quarter last year so stay tuned for more growth and more slippage by M$ in the PC market. “Others” includes BlackBerry, WebOS and MeeGO, I suppose. M$ is thick with that bunch… Android/Linux is gradually overtaking iOS. I predict they will be even within a few months.

      • Chromebooks are the electric car of laptops

        The only people I know who own Chromebooks received them for free, from Google. In my case, I have two, both free. But despite the very small-bore hole Chromebooks have made in the laptop market, in the midst of a major project shakedown at Google headquarters, Chromebooks are, apparently, going to be around for a while, and the Chrome OS project has the CEO’s support.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source developer Q&A: Rockbox’s Björn Stenberg
  • Open source community gets WebOS
  • Need software, open source it
  • FLOSS for Science Books December 2011
  • Events

    • SCaLE 10x: Onward and Upward

      As I walked into the Hilton on Saturday morning I knew something was up. I saw lots pf people wearing lanyards with a silhouette of a Penguin seemed SCaLE 10x was upon me already in full swing. I walked right onto the exhibitor floor and ‘did a loop’ through the Expo as it were..

  • Project Releases

    • GCC 4.7 Moves Along Into Stage 4

      GCC 4.7 is still on track with its development plans for an official release in March or April and this popular open-source compiler will deliver on many new features.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • World’s Largest One Stop Shopping for Free Online Courses!

        Looking for free, open source learning materials about any subject, from top experts in the world? I used to think that MIT’s OpenCourseWare and Yale’s OpenYale courses were a “one stop shopping” source for this, until I came across this stunning, worldwide, multi-lingual collection of course materials.

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino: the face of Free hardware

        ‘Free’ and ‘Open Source’ are today common parlance in the world of technology, software in particular. What was once perceived to be a concept alienated from business, and economically impractical, has now proven to be a business model that not only works but also delivers.

        But when it comes to hardware, the idea of ‘freedom’ or ‘open-ness’ is yet to arrive. Many believe that it is only a matter of time before the idea of Open Source Hardware makes an impact.

Leftovers

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Panic Attack: Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal Finds 16 Scientists to Push Pollutocrat Agenda With Long-Debunked Climate Lies

      A lot of folks have asked me to debunk the recent anti-truthful Wall Street Journal article with the counterfactual headline, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” I’ll combine my debunking with the rapidly growing list of debunkings from scientists and others. And I’ll update this as new debunkings come in.

      That the WSJ would publish an amateurish collection of falsehoods and half truths is no surprise. The entire global Murdoch enterprise is designed to advance the pollutocrat do-nothing agenda (see Scientist: “The Murdoch Media Empire Has Cost Humanity Perhaps One or Two Decades in Battle Against Climate Change”).

    • Global Oil Production Update: A Strange Future Has Arrived

      Since 2005, European oil consumption has fallen by 1.5 million barrels a day. And, in the same period, US oil consumption has fallen by 2 million barrels a day. If oil was priced at $60 a barrel, rather than $100 a barrel, then a fair portion of that lost demand might return. Instead, since 2005, global crude oil production has been bumping up against a ceiling around 74 million barrels a day. Thus, the tremendous growth in oil demand which emanates from the developing world, in Asia primarily, has been supplied by the reduction of demand in Europe and the United States. Why doesn’t the world simply increase the production of oil to 77, or 78 million barrels a day? After all, that is precisely the history of global oil production: a continual increase in supply to capture the advantage of rising prices.

  • Finance

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Are we too dependent on the USA for “our” WWW

      By now you’ll have heard and experienced the anti-SOPA protest. Wikipedia, Wired, WordPress, Google, Twitpic and even this very tome were joined by probably thousamds of smaller sites as large sections of the web went black to demonstrate what the web might end up like should SOPA be passed. As a Brit I joined in – even though the bill is a US one – because the effects of this nefarious piece of “leglislation” would most certainly be felt on the fair green isles that make up my homeland. The good news is both SOPA and PIPA were shelved after the protest – which proves if nothing else the power of protest. Yes they may wel return in some other form so the fight may not be over but the protest itself (for me) raised another question: is the [English-speaking] web too US-centric?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Senator Ron Wyden’s Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

        It’s been a pleasure to connect with Techdirt readers this week. Just as I appreciate Mike and Techdirt’s involvement in the PIPA/SOPA debate over the last year, your active involvement sent Washington a clear signal that the future of Internet policy can’t be decided without engaging the Internet. I hope you will remain engaged in the policy process, as there are many important debates ahead where your voice will be needed.

      • The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

        The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-nation trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property laws across the globe.

        The nine nations currently negotiating the TPP are the U.S., Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam. Expected to be finalized in November 2011, the TPP will contain a chapter on Intellectual Property (copyright, trademarks, patents and perhaps geographical indications) that will have a broad impact on citizens’ rights, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and innovation across the world. A leaked version of the February 2011 draft U.S. TPP Intellectual Property Rights Chapter indicates that U.S. negotiators are pushing for the adoption of copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

      • ACTA

        • [ALEV-FULL] Hearing on ACTA (Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)
        • Thousands Take to the Streets to Protest ACTA
        • Malta’s support for controversial ACTA treaty mobilising opponents

          Malta’s decision to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement last Thursday is mobilising opponents to the treaty, who are concerned about its possible effect on the internet.

          Many objectors took to the Internet, including social networking site Facebook, to express their displeasure, as news that a representative for Malta had signed ACTA in a ceremony in Japan broke out.

        • We Have Every Right to Be Furious About ACTA

          If there’s one thing that encapsulates what’s wrong with the way government functions today, ACTA is it. You wouldn’t know it from the name, but the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a plurilateral agreement designed to broaden and extend existing intellectual property (IP) enforcement laws to the Internet. While it was only negotiated between a few countries,1 it has global consequences. First because it will create new rules for the Internet, and second, because its standards will be applied to other countries through the U.S.’s annual Special 301 process. Negotiated in secret, ACTA bypassed checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens. Worse still, the agreement creates a new global institution, an “ACTA Committee” to oversee its implementation and interpretation that will be made up of unelected members with no legal obligation to be transparent in their proceedings. Both in substance and in process, ACTA embodies an outdated top-down, arbitrary approach to government that is out of step with modern notions of participatory democracy.

        • The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is at Stake and What You Can Do

          The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. (excellent analysis from Benkler and Downes) and elsewhere (mounting Canadian concern that Bill C-11 could be amended to adopt SOPA-like rules), but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia).

        • Blog blast births boffin boycott of publisher Elsevier

          The ongoing world protests against SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA have helped inspire a revolt among scientists over the role of academic publisher Elsevier and its business practices.

Android’s Defence of Self From Apple, Patent Extortion Proxies, and Microsoft Lobbyists

Posted in Apple, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft's Mueller

Summary: Another quick look at the patent play against Android/Linux and who is behind it

Regarding a story that was mentioned here before (because Microsoft lobbyists were trying to spin it ) Muktware states that it should really be blamed on Apple’s own aggression, not on Google or Android:

Apple has created a hostile environment in the mobile world by dragging almost every Android player to the court. We are noticing that Apple has started to lose legal battles in the courts, which is a good sign for the growth of the industry. Apple has used every kind of patents they can, even the rectangular design of a tablet, to exhaust their competitors and monopolize the market. Now, the tables have turned, Motorola, the inventor of cell phones has sued Apple, seeking an injunction against the iPhone4S and the iCloud.

This is a deterrent against Apple’s attacks. Nokia, having signed a deal with Apple and Microsoft, proceeds to feeding patent trolls as we covered last week:

Nokia sells more than 450 patents to patent troll

Following a long history at the forefront of the wireless industry, Nokia holds more than 30,000 patent licenses and applications. On Thursday, the Finnish vendor’s portfolio was confirmed to be slightly lighter as patent troll Sisvel International announced that it had acquired more than 450 Nokia patents.

It would not be shocking if Sisvel went after Android vendors, along with MOSAID (also fed by Microsoft/Nokia). Nokia is controlled by Microsoft and Apple signed an agreement with Nokia last year. Nokia itself, led by a mole from Microsoft, keeps imploding based on this news:

Nokia’s Windows Phones not selling

Nokia Oyj reported a 73 per cent fall in fourth-quarter earnings as sales of its new Windows Phones failed to dent the dominance of Apple Inc.’s iPhone or compensate for diving sales of its own old smartphones.

Apple itself cannot quite get its way causing an embargo against Android; there are new software patents coming from Apple, but patent proxies (perhaps Oracle too) are likely to come. Here is a new article that speaks of a new Apple patent: “This SDK would act as a sort-of “interpreter” of language between a mobile device and another gadget. It would make it possible for accessory makers to build apps for the iPhone or iPad that could communicate directly with their devices. For example, it would be like using your phone to control a desktop radio.”

A Microsoft lobbyist, Florian Müller, is working to weaken (at least in the press) the case for Android by feeding Android-hostile claims (fuelled by Apple), but fortunately enough not many journalist pay attention to him anymore (all the stories, including this latest one are consistently anti-Android). Perhaps they finally realised who was paying his wage. He is still a lobbyist for hire.

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