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Links 27/2/2012: Linux 3.3 RC5, Orange and x86

Posted in News Roundup at 5:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Projects showcase Central La. students’ interest in science

    The 12-year-old Pollock Elementary School pupil showed how he believes Linux is better than Windows at the Louisiana Region IV Science and Engineering Fair Saturday at Louisiana State University at Alexandria’s Fitness Center.

  • Ten Things I Wish I Knew When Becoming A Linux Admin

    Ten years ago I installed Linux for the very first time. To be exact, it was Slackware 7, the best distribution at the time in my opinion. Since then I’ve come to favor Debian Linux as my favorite version…at least for my Linux servers. I like to have a solid core system installed that I can build from scratch, but this is for another time. This article is for you new Linux admins; here are the ten things I wish I knew when starting my Linux admin journey.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux on the Desktop: Alive and Growing

      So, while Adobe and AK may believe GNU/Linux is dead in the water, the real reason for abandoning Flash on GNU/Linux lies elsewhere, likely the fact that Flash is a dead-end technology with HTML 5 ramping up. Killing Flash in 5 years is irrelevant for that reason.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Completely Blank Xfce Desktop

      The Xfce desktop environment comes with Xubuntu and is also available in the Xfce versions of Linux Mint, Fedora and other Linux distributions. Using Xfce, you can easily set up a highly functional but completely blank desktop – no icons, no menus, nothing. Just a blank screen or a favourite wallpaper, ideal for the user who hates distractions or loves simplicity. Here’s how to do it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 8.0: slightly burnt dessert

        February 2012 brought us some fresh releases of Linux-based operating systems. These systems are not as big and famous as Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSuSE, but still have a considerable army of fans.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat vs Oracle Linux Support: 10 Years Is New Standard

        The Linux chess match between Red Hat and Oracle now involves a showdown on long-term support strategies. Indeed, both Red Hat and Oracle recently extended their Linux support life cycles to a lengthy 10 years. The big potential winners are partners and customers that are trying to maintain long-term IT road maps involving Linux data centers.

      • Is It Time to Try on Red Hat?

        Software firm Red Hat Inc. (RHT) captured my attention this weekend as I was scanning through lists of stocks. This poor equity was largely abandoned in December by investors despite a strong earnings report. A mix of sky-high expectations and poor news from Oracle (ORCL) in late December had the security dropping close to $39 on extremely high trading volume. The kind of high volume that bottoms are built on.

      • Red Hat’s Cloud and Virtualization Win: More to Come?

        It’s a familiar story: Like so many other telecom services providers, CDLAN is trying to push into cloud services. For CDLAN, the path to SaaS and cloud services involves an open source twist: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Is this a sign of things to come for Red Hat?

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Press Release: KuwaitNet to open source VPN platform

    KuwaitNET, a complete Internet solutions provider, announces the launch of VPNPlatform.org in an effort to give back to the open source community which has been a large driver of their business over the years.

  • Open source opens doors for Aussie start-up

    It’s pretty rare for a start-up company to benefit from more than a decade of software development valued at about $2 million each year. Rarer still for one to land a six figure contract before it has even launched a commercial product.

    But that is precisely what Gold Coast-based Opmantek has done. The company was formed in October 2010 to acquire the commercial rights to the popular open source network management software Network Management Information System (NMIS), a product first developed in 1999 by one of Opmantek’s founders, Keith Sinclair.

  • Events

    • GNUmed holds mini conference

      GNUmed has been around a while. Most communication happens via the mailing list. Not everyone is comfortable with mailing lists and users tend to stay away from it. That is why we are planning a get together in Leipzig, Germany.

  • Education

    • Nature Editorial: If you want reproducible science, the software needs to be open source

      Modern scientific and engineering research relies heavily on computer programs, which analyze experimental data and run simulations. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a scientific paper (outside of pure theory) that didn’t involve code in some way. Unfortunately, most code written for research remains closed, even if the code itself is the subject of a published scientific paper. According to an editorial in Nature, this hinders reproducibility, a fundamental principle of the scientific method.

      Reproducibility refers to the ability to repeat some work and obtain similar results. It is especially important when the results are unexpected or appear to defy accepted theories (for example, the recent faster-than-light neutrinos). Scientific papers include detailed descriptions of experimental methods—sometimes down to the specific equipment used—so that others can independently verify results and build upon the work.



  • TEST: How to know if your computer license should be revoked
  • Finance

    • SEC Seeks Testimony of Ex-IKB Employee in Lawsuit Against Goldman’s Tourre

      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to question a former employee of IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG (IKB) in its lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) trader Fabrice Tourre, court records show.

      The SEC today asked a federal judge in New York to issue a so-called letter of request that would allow the agency to take testimony from Jorg Zimmerman, a resident of Germany.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Facebook suffers lobbying exodus

      The move signals that the gloves are coming off in the ongoing lobbying fight between content providers and Internet companies. Facebook’s lobbying spending increased about 285 percent from $351,000 in 2010 to $1.35 million in 2011.

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • ‘The Free Internet Act’ Emerges As Redditors Craft SOPA Alternative

      When two proposed anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA looked as if they could become law, social news site Reddit helped organize a large-scale online protest that led lawmakers to table the bills indefinitely. But the activism didn’t stop there, and now Redditors are trying to draft legislation of their own.

      “The Free Internet Act,” as the idea has been tentatively named, intends to preempt any future legislation aiming to limit the scope of the Internet or censor content. Redditors have turned the “r/fia” page into a place to craft something they’d like to someday see become a standard for governing the Internet.

    • Study Confirms What You Already Knew: Mobile Data Throttling About The Money, Not Stopping Data Hogs

      Of the four national mobile operators, only Sprint still offers an “unlimited” data plan — and most industry watchers expect that to go away soon. When the operators talk about this stuff, they complain about how unlimited plans are abused and the amount of data being used by so-called “data hogs” is crippling network bandwidth. Of course, the alternative story is that they just want to charge people higher rates, and putting a toll booth on data usage makes that possible. A new study by Validas confirms that the latter theory seems to match with reality. The company looked at 11,000 mobile phone bills of users on both throttled (tiered) plans and unlimited data plans and found… data usage was effectively the same. In other words, for all the talk about how tiers and throttles are needed to stop bandwidth hogging… reality shows that these plans have little impact on actual data usage. Or, to put it really simply: these plans are all about the mobile operators making more money and have nothing to do with network capacity.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why Ebook Portal Library.nu Differed From Other Filesharing Sites

        A couple of weeks ago the popular ebook portal Library.nu was shut down, apparently voluntarily, after a coalition of book publishers obtained an injunction against it and a similar site.

      • Leaked Audit in Eminem Royalty Suit Highlights Huge Stakes for Record Industry

        Here’s what an examiner turned up when opening Aftermath’s financial books to see how much was owed to Eminem’s production team.

      • If You Want To Compete With Free, This Is What You Need To Know

        When it comes to competing with piracy, one of the talking points of copyright maximalists is that content creators “can’t compete with free.” These people complain that because pirates don’t have to cover production costs, competing with them is a losing venture. What these people have not learned, despite our many attempts to teach them, is that price is not the only cost considered when consumers choose between buying legally and pirating. Over at Gamasutra, one expert blogger, Lars Doucet, has shared a very profound look at four “currencies” people consider when making such a choice.

      • One More Copyright Infringement, And HADOPI Must Disconnect Itself From The Net
      • Crony Capitalism: Big Companies Sponsor Fancy Dinner For TPP Negotiators

        We’ve talked about the ridiculous Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations, which are being held with incredible levels of secrecy, and which appear to include a wishlist of every copyright reform change that Hollywood wants, with little to no public scrutiny. The USTR, who’s in charge of negotiating the agreement for the US claims that there’s unprecedented transparency — and that may be true if you’re talking about the unprecedented lack of transparency in the negotiations. And where it gets really ridiculous is that while the public has no access to the information, the big company lobbyists have pretty much full access. We already spoke about the recent meetings in Hollywood, where TPP negotiators got to party with the Hollywood elite — but civil society/public interest groups who tried to hold an open meeting in the hotel (and reserved space and everything) were kicked out of the hotel.

      • UK Labour Party: Let’s Just Get On With Kicking People Offline Over Copyright Infringement

        As Techdirt reported at the time, the UK’s Digital Economy Bill was rammed through Parliament, without proper scrutiny or even much democratic process, in the dying hours of the previous government. Since then, the implementation of the Digital Economy Act has moved forward relatively slowly. That’s partly because there have been a series of legal challenges from ISPs concerned about its legality (and likely cost for them). In addition, it made sense for the current UK government to wait for the completion of the Hargreaves report on copyright in the digital age before proceeding.

      • Reductio Ad Absurdum: Eternal Copyright Is Crazy… But What About Today’s Copyright Term?

        Of course, it’s easy to laugh at satire like this… until you remember that some make such arguments seriously. But, similarly, it seems worth recognizing that for most of us, copyright is already effectively eternal. Here in the US nothing has entered the public domain in quite some time and it’s questionable if or when anything new will enter the public domain… as most people fully expect Disney to push for another copyright term extension as Mickey Mouse approaches the public domain yet again.

      • ACTA

        • FFII call for action: Act on ACTA

          over the past 10 years we have been at the forefront of many policy initiatives to prevent more risks for software professionals: Software Patents, IPRED1+2, Data Retention, European Interoperability Framework and many others. Since 2008 we have been following the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and sought to bring transparency in the process. Our involvement was partly successful, for instance criminal enforcement was not extended to patents and the Commission released the text of the agreement. However, both process and content are still deeply flawed.

        • ACTA is part of a multi-decade, worldwide copyright campaign

          Last week, we observed that major content companies have enjoyed a steady drumbeat of victories in Congress and the courts over the last two decades. The lobbying and litigation campaigns that produced these results have a counterpart in the executive branch. At the urging of major copyright holders, the Obama administration has been working to export restrictive American copyright laws abroad. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is just the most visible component of this ambitious and long-running project.

        • Where did the patients go?

          The European Commission decided to ask the EU Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA. Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated: “We are planning to ask Europe’s highest court to assess whether ACTA is incompatible – in any way – with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property.”

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