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Links 23/2/2012: Mozilla Marketplace, ACTA

Posted in News Roundup at 1:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Flash, Chrome and a Mole Hill

    So for now, lets not make a mountain out of something that very well appears to be nothing more than a molehill.

  • Desktop

    • Eugeni Dodonov: Even while I was at Microsoft, I still had Slackware on my machine

      My name is Eugeni (which is sometimes written as Evgueni or Eugene and with all the possible variations of it) Dodonov. I am 30 years old right now, and I was born in Moscow, Russia, but I live in Brazil since 1996. While in Brazil, I did my bachelor and master degrees at the UFSCar University, working with distributed parallel file systems; and my PhD in the USP University, proposing a prediction approach to allow computing systems behave autonomously, without any human supervision. It was really interesting research, and one of the most curious questions I got about about it was if I had thought about safety measures, because the overall autonomic approach we did looked similar to Skynet to some of the PhD thesis readers :).

    • Terrible Linux
  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 beta 1 screen shot preview

        The first beta release of Mageia 2 was made available for download yesterday (February 21). The final stable release is not due until May 3, but from test installations of this first beta, in both real hardware and virtual environment, I can tell you that Mageia 2 may very well turn out to be the best desktop distribution of 2012.

        For a beta edition, almost everything I tested worked smoothly, though there are a few packages that are not in the repository. These are Stackfolder and Takeoff Launcher, two applications that make a KDE desktop a lot more fun to use. Aside from those missing packages, there is a minor issue during the boot loader configuration step of the installation process. Bug report on that is on its way.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Management Tips From Red Hat’s Crazy Culture Every Company Should Steal

        As the world’s first and only billion-dollar fully open source company, Red Hat has a unique corporate culture. The employees collectively have more power than any one person, even the CEO.

        No one is more aware of this than Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. He calls it a “meritocracy” meaning leaders arise based on their brains, not their spot on an org chart.

        Whitehurst took the CEO job in 2007 after being COO of Delta Airlines, a cultural shock if ever there was one.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 vs. Oracle, CentOS, Scientific Linux Benchmarks

        Does Red Hat Enterprise Linux perform any better (or worse) than the various “Enterprise Linux” distributions that are derived from RHEL? Now that Scientific Linux 6.2 was released, here is a performance comparison of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux, CentOS, and Scientific Linux across three different systems.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Introducing Ubuntu Cooking Lens for Unity
          • Canonical Continues to Push Ubuntu for the Cloud

            The jury may still be out on what exactly cloud computing even means, but that isn’t stopping most IT movers and shakers from churning out incessant reminders of how important the cloud is. Canonical, which this week released a new publication highlighting the way Ubuntu fits into the cloud, is no exception. Here’s a look at this latest effort to market Ubuntu to a cloud audience, and what it says about Canonical’s strategy over the longer term.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Aruba Delivers BYOD Control with ClearPass

      The ClearPass solution is not part of Aruba’s existing ArubaOS based product line that delivers wired and wireless network connectivity. ClearPass is a server appliance that runs on a CentOS Linux base and it’s also available as a virtual appliance.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Digium’s First IP Phones and Asterisk: A Perfect Combo?
  • Web Browsers

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA To Open Source Web Operations

      NASA, like any other major enterprise, is a heavy user of open source and Linux. Now the agency is planning to open source its main portal NASA.gov and internal Intranet insidenasa.nasa.gov.

      The space agency recently (Feb 6) posted a draft Statement of Work (SOW) seeking vendors to submit their response to the request for information.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • An Open Innovation Toolbox

      The Obama Administration’s innovation agenda is aimed at finding, testing, and scaling new ideas that change the way government conducts business and delivers services through engagement with the American people. An innovative government incorporates an entrepreneurial mindset into its daily work – taking risks, building lean organizations, and developing innovative products and services faster than the rest of the world.

      On his last day in office, then-U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra released the Open Innovator’s Practitioner’s Toolbox. It contains 20 of the best disruptive innovation practices conceived and built by entrepreneurs across government. They provide a rich set of guiding principles that any Federal, state, and local government can use to support rapid innovation supporting economic growth and job creation.


  • Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on success, failure, and the future of social

    Twitter (as well as Xanga, Odeo, and Blogger) co-founder Biz Stone keynoted this week’s 2012 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference with the history of Twitter alongside advice on the future of the social web and what it means to be successful.

  • Censorship

    • Morocco’s main telecom provider blocks access to Skype and other VoIP services

      According to Moroccan Blog, Moroccan Geeks [French], Skype and all other VoIP services have been blocked in the country, pointing to an article from Moroccan newspaper Al Sabaheya confirming the news [Arabic].

      While services are more often than not blocked as a result of authoritative governments, Skype usually finds itself targeted by mobile operators and telecom providers, as was the case for Skype itself in Egypt. In Morocco, it would appear the move has been made in an attempt to create a monopoly on calling options available in the country.

  • Civil Rights

    • What a Difference a Week Makes: The Fight Against Online Surveillance

      When the government placed the Internet surveillance bill on the notice paper one week ago, few would have predicted that within days of the introduction, the anger with the legislative proposals would have been so strong that the government would steadily backtrack on its plans, with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews yesterday telling the House of Commons the bill will go to committee before second reading to ensure that there is greater openness to amendments (changes are more restricted after second reading). While the battle is only beginning, the overwhelming negative reaction seems to have taken the government by surprise.

  • DRM

    • “Unethical” HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism from W3C reps

      A new Web standard proposal authored by Google, Microsoft, and Netflix seeks to bring copy protection mechanisms to the Web. The Encrypted Media Extensions draft defines a framework for enabling the playback of protected media content in the Web browser. The proposal is controversial and has raised concern among some parties that are participating in the standards process.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Why We Take to The Streets

          Despite the EU Commission’s attempt to buy time and defuse the heated political debate by referring ACTA to the EU Court of Justice, this Saturday February 25th will be one more opportunity for hundreds of thousands of citizens across dozens of cities all around the European Union to take to the streets and protest against ACTA. For all of us, ACTA has become the symbol of corrupt policy-making, and the evidence that it has never been more urgent to reform copyright so as to protect our fundamental rights online.

        • FFII note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA

          We welcome the decision to release the European Parliament legal service’s opinion on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). We have compared the legal service’s opinion with multiple academic opinions on ACTA and some civil society analyses.

        • Will ACTA compromise the European Court of Justice too?

          The European Commission considers asking the Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA. This would be irresponsible, it could seriously compromise the Court. The Commission should withdraw ACTA in stead.

          The 1994 WTO TRIPS agreement spread out the enforcement of intellectual property rights over the world. Countries lost the ability to abolish their copyright and patent systems. For instance, the Netherlands abolished its suffocating patent system in 1869, and reintroduced patents in 1912. Since TRIPS, this is no longer possible.

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