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Links 1/2/2012: Red Hat’s Realtime Linux, ACTA Lies

Posted in News Roundup at 3:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • TLWIR Special: GNU/Linux Petition Featured on WhiteHouse.gov!

    On January 30th, 2012, I started a petition requesting that the U.S. government broaden their use of Free Software and Open Source software to save money. I deeply believe that this one step is PART of the solution to the problem of the crushing national debt that the United States is currently facing. Will shifting to Free Software completely solve the crisis? No, it will not. Software expenditures are a very small part of our national budget. However, at some point, if we do not want our nation to go bankrupt, we will have to have the discipline and the fiscal restraint to say “no more”. The United States is not an infinite repository of cash, as many vendors seem to think. Decades of overspending have left us in quite a mess, and I believe that Free Software can help.

  • Heads Up for Linux
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • SMPlayer: A Flexible, Feature-Filled Media Player With a Frustrating Flaw

        SMPlayer is a media player that suffers from no lack of features — drilling down into its menus will quickly convince you. And despite the extent of these features, using them is nothing but simple. But SMPlayer unfortunately does lack one feature that some users may sorely miss: It can’t seem to read directories from CD/DVD music collections inserted in the optical drive.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Improves Realtime Linux

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is out with its first major enterprise supported Linux release will full support for the Linux 3.0 kernel. The Red Hat MRG 2.1 platform provides Messaging, Realtime and Grid capabilities and was last updated in June of 2011 with the 2.0 release.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Update Improves Multi-Monitor Experience

            An update to Ubuntu 12.04 (daily builds) has tweaked the Unity UI to make the systems more useful on multi-monitor set-up. I noticed it when I rebooted the system after an update. Now, launcher is available on all monitors, in addition to the top banner and menu items.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Boxee kills computer clients to focus on Boxee Box

      If you are a fan of the Boxee app on your Mac or PC, you had better hold onto your copy the software and be sure to back it up. Boxee has officially killed support for its computer clients and the last version of the software for Windows, Mac, and Linux has been removed from company servers. As of yesterday, the software is no longer available for download on the Boxee website.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • LibreTab… not?

        In a perfectly orchestrated marketing campaign for a 100% free-libre tablet called Spark that will run KDE Plasma Active, Aaron Seigo writes today about the problems they are facing with GPL-violations.

        Apparently, every Chinese manufacturer is breaking the GPLv2 by not releasing the sources for their modified Linux kernel. Conversations and conversations with Zenithink (designers of the Spark), Synrgic (designers of the Dreambook W7), etc have arrived nowhere. To the point that CordiaTab, another similar effort using Gnome instead of KDE, has been cancelled.

Free Software/Open Source

  • BusyBox replacement project fuels animated verbal spat

    BusyBox gained a measure of fame a few years ago when it became the subject of a lawsuit in the US, some say the first case in courts in that country to test the GPL. A number of similar suits followed, the contention always being the same: BusyBox was being used by some company or the other in violation of the terms of its licence, the GPL.

  • Local development company offers affordable open source solutions
  • EnterMedia Open Source Digital Asset Management Releases Version 8.0
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 10 Released, Running On Ubuntu 12.04

        Mozilla team has announced the release of Firefox 10. The latest version is available for Linux and Android, in addition to other platforms. The latest version is already available in the Android market. It may arrive on different Linux distros gradually. If you are running openSUSE you may want to enable the Mozilla repository to keep your Firefox/Thunderbird updated.

      • Mozilla releases Firefox 10, adds developer tools

        Mozilla has released version 10 of its Firefox browser as part of its accelerated six-week build cycle, and has also included a pack of developer tools aimed at simplifying life for website operators.

  • SaaS

  • Business

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open collaboration: living or dying by a community

      People like me tend to get the credit when things go right, and the axe when things don’t, but in the open source world it’s you who ultimately decides the fate of a project. Engineers and managers and designers work hard, this is true. None of that matters unless we have an involved community simultaneously pointing at the shiny object up in the clouds while holding our feet firmly to the ground.

    • Open Data

      • The imperative of openness for data society
      • Another Reason We Need Open Government Data: To Avoid Information Asymmetries

        Inspired by this work, Nicklas Lundblad has written an interesting speculative piece about what the rise of predictability through the analysis of huge data sets might mean for society and openness. He notes that one of the “theorems” of psychohistory is that for it to be effective the data sets and the predictions derived from them must be kept secret from the populations involved – the idea being that if they were able to analyze that same data themselves, they might change their actions and thus nullify the predictions.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Industry-Funded Software Research Goes Open Source

        Universities like open source licenses because they allow a community of developers to grow up around efforts such as Sakai or Kuali. But what about large technology companies that fund software research on university campuses? In some cases, it turns out that they prefer open source, too. When Intel launched Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie Mellon University in 2011, for example, its policy was open source all the way…

  • Programming

    • Teaching software libraries by example

      Many libraries use Doxygen or a similar tool to convert comments in their code into HTML documentation. This goal here is to explain what each function and class is and does. In some cases, this is all the user gets. This is equivalent to saying “This is a hammer. It is used to hit nails. This is a nail, it is used to hold wood together.” and then expecting the user to be able to build a house. This is simply not the right kind of information for the user to be able to learn to use the tool for their needs.


  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Price of Growth

      Growth. It’s what every economist and politician wants. If we get ‘back to growth’, servicing debts both private and sovereign become much easier. And life will return to normal (for a few more years).

      There is growing evidence that a major US policy shift is underway to boost growth. Growth that will create millions of new jobs and raise real GDP.

  • Censorship

    • Dutch ISPs Refuse To Block The Pirate Bay Without A Direct Order

      While some Dutch ISPs have been ordered by a court to block access to The Pirate Bay (after fighting it in court for years), the order only applied directly to two ISPs: xs4all and Ziggo. BREIN, the local anti-piracy group, had then demanded that other ISPs also start blocking access.

  • Privacy

    • Microsoft’s Bogus Attack On Google’s Privacy Policy

      Microsoft, the abusive monopoly in the Desktop segment, is slamming Google for its recent policy changes through an ad campaign claiming that Microsoft puts user ahead. Which, too me and many other is further from the reality. [A very good analysis by Danny Sullivan]

      While Google is trying to simplify things for users so they know about the privacy policies, Microsoft has its privacy policies spread out so its very hard to understand what your rights are and how much control you really have.

    • More Bad Ideas from the E.U.

      Now that the European Union’s member states are flailing around attempting to implement their miserable cookie directive, the European Commission has decided it’s a good time to further retard the Internet.

  • Civil Rights

    • Tourists deported from U.S. for Twitter jokes (Updated)

      Two U.K. tourists landing in L.A. were detained and deported because of tweets joking about “diggin’ up” Marilyn Monroe and “destroying” America.

      According to DHS paperwork, Leigh Van Bryan was matched to a “One Day Lookout” list, placed under oath, and ultimately denied entry and put on a plane back to Europe.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Four sources for Free-Licensed 3D Modeling Textures

        This week I discovered some new resources for texture graphics to use in 3D modeling. Textures are essential for most 3D modeling projects of any complexity, and good textures can sometimes make very simple “low-poly” models look much better.

        I just came across a post about different source materials for Blender modeling. The original included a lot of non-free materials, but along with it, I found some very nice sources for free-licensed textures:

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Commissioner De Gucht Lies to the EU Parliament

          The EU Commission “Trade” Directorate-General is lobbying the EU Parliament, presenting a one-sided and plainly distorted view of ACTA to face the growing citizen opposition. The EU’s executive branch, which negotiated ACTA behind citizens’ backs, is now shamelessly relaying the copyright industries’ lobbying pitch, in yet another sign of its collusion with business interests.

        • The Avaaz Petition on ACTA and the Commission campaign
        • ACTA’s Back

          Now that the US bills SOPA and PIPA have been put on ice, attention has returned to their parent, an international treaty called ACTA. I’ve written extensively about ACTA before, but in summary it is an international treaty that has been secretly negotiated to ensure as little input as possible from the citizens of any country.

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