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Links 28/2/2012: More Than 850,000 Androids Activated Daily

Posted in News Roundup at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Linux Setup – Terrence O’Brien, Engadget

    I suspected Terrence O’Brien was a Linux user when I started noticing he seemed to be behind just about all of Engadget’s Linux coverage. It turns out I was right about Terrence. Not only that, he gets a lot of work done through his Ubuntu setup. Also, his dream setup is pretty great. I think I’m stealing it for my dream.

  • Yep, There’s A Linux Appliance For That

    Purpose-built Linux distros are appearing faster than zombies in a first-person shooter. Need a drop-in replacement for Microsoft’s Primary Domain Controller? Try the Domain Controller Appliance. Working with the public schools? Now you can install Moodle for e-learning and course management in minutes thanks to the Moodle Appliance. Customer wants a Wiki? Download the TWiki enterprise wiki platform and you’re good to go.

    These systems exist today because someone has taken the trouble to do the work of assembling, installing and integrating the application stack, testing and debugging them and bundling them as ready-to-deploy VMs for VMware, Xen and other hypervisors, as ISOs for bare metal, or directly to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud for access through a browser.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Sandy Bridge RC6 Is Good To Go

      It looks like the debacle concerning RC6 power-savings support for Intel Sandy Bridge hardware is finally behind us. Intel thinks everything is worked out and ready to be enabled upstream (again) with the next Linux 3.4 kernel cycle and Canonical has enabled RC6 by default in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Here are some tests showing the performance benefits and power-saving abilities of using the RC6 hardware feature on Sandy Bridge processors.

    • New Wake Locks Patches Published For Linux Kernel

      While this weekend saw the release of the Linux 3.3-rc5 kernel, which Linus Torvalds self-admitted was pretty boring, also hitting the mailing list this past week were new kernel patches to implement auto-sleep and “wake locks” support.

    • Is Linus’ Law real?

      Now I’m about as big of a fan of open source as they come, but I’m not sure if this is the proper course for cause and effect. I’ve done a lot of thinking about Linus’ Law in the past few months as part of the Red Hat Product Security Team. What the Coverity report shows is that open source has fewer of the kind of defects Coverity can detect. That’s really it.

    • The Death of Ubuntu One Notes on the Web
  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • A look at SalineOS 1.6

      After a week with SalineOS I would say my experience thus far has been fairly good. The project’s documentation is helpful, the installer is quite novice friendly and I encountered no problems getting set up. The distribution is light on resources, but comes with a full range of software (and Debian’s large repositories). Being based on Debian Squeeze, some of the available software is a bit old (Iceweasel is still on version 3.5), but I didn’t find I was missing functionality due to the age of the software. SalineOS provides a quick and easy way to get up and running with a Debian-based system. I like that we’re given the choice of staying with Debian’s free software policy or installing non-free extras. There were aspects of the system I’d like to see changed or fixed. For instance, having my keyboard layout change to a French setting was an unwelcome bug. The update button in the system tray works well enough, but given SalineOS’ friendly approach to most things, I think it makes sense to put a graphical update tool in its place. Also a matter of taste, I think it would make sense to name items in the application menu by their purpose rather than by the application’s name. “LibreOffice” is easy enough to figure out, but new users might be curious as to what “Iceweasel”, “Icedove” and “Catfish” do, especially since Iceweasel and Icedove are names not typically seen outside of the Debian community.

      Admittedly, these are pretty minor complaints and I think if these are the worst issues I ran into when using SalineOS that shows just how well the small project is doing. It’s a light, fast distro with a good collection of software and the project makes it easy to get a Debian-based desktop installed quickly. If you don’t mind using venerable packaging tools like Synaptic and apt-get then I recommend giving SalineOS a try.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Book review: Open Advice

    The recently released Open Advice has much to offer those who are new to free software and its communities, but there is plenty of interest to veterans as well. It is a collection of essays from an auspicious number of contributors (42) to free and open source software (FOSS) that centers around the idea of “what we wish we had known when we started”. As might be guessed, the book encompasses more than that—it ranges all over the FOSS map—including recollections, war stories, philosophical musings, academic research, and good advice.

  • Resin Open Source Web Server Powers 4.7 Million Sites

    “Resin’s incredible growth is driven by fast performance speed, built-in server monitoring capabilities and extreme reliability,” said Caucho Technology.

    Founded in 1998, Caucho Technology released version 1.0 of resin in 1999. Companies including the Toronto Stock Exchange, Salesforce and CNET have deployed on Resin, the Java Application Server designed for high-traffic sites that require speed and scalability.

  • Open source empowers me

    Open source made new things possible for more people. One commenter said, “Open soruce technologies give me freedom…I was the prisoner of proprietary technologies for many years…open source gives me [options] a free choice.”

    Another commenter pointed out that open source empowers them to help others. They said, “I have also used open source to provide computer systems to people that would otherwise not be able to afford a new one with a proprietary system…”

  • Web Browsers

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open Data Handbook version 1.0

        The Handbook discusses the ‘why, what and how’ of open data – why to go open, what open is, how to make data open and how to do useful things with it.

        Read on to find out more about what’s in the Handbook, who it’s for, and how you can get involved – for example by adding to and improving the Handbook, or by translating it into more languages.

  • Programming


  • Security

    • ASLR to be mandatory for binary Firefox extensions

      A patch that was recently introduced to the Firefox repository is designed to make the browser more secure by forcing certain binary extensions to use ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomisation) under Windows. The Mozilla developers say that the change, which will prevent XPCOM (Cross Platform Component Object Module) component DLLs without ASLR from loading, should be included in Firefox 13 “if no unexpected problems arise”

  • Censorship

    • Key Techdirt SOPA/PIPA Post Censored By Bogus DMCA Takedown Notice

      If you’re scratching your head, you’re not the only one. There’s clearly nothing infringing in our post. I just wasted too much time going through all 300+ comments on that post and I don’t see anything that includes any porn or even links to any porn as far as I can tell. Instead, it seems that Armovore and Paper Street Cash sent a clearly bogus DMCA takedown notice, which served the purpose of censoring our key blog post in the SOPA fight. And they did it on January 20th… the day that SOPA was officially shelved.

      There are some other oddities in that list as well, including TorrentFreak’s article about how ICE took down 84,000 websites illegally by seizing the mooo.com domain and saying that all 84,000 of those sites were involved in child porn.

      In other words, two separate articles that have been key to the discussion concerning abuses of copyright law… both taken out of Google’s index due to a bogus DMCA takedown. Hmm….

      While many of the other links do appear to go to sites that may offer up infringing content, just looking at the URLs alone make you wonder what most of them have to do with Paper Street Cash or TeamSkeet. Some of the links talk about top Christian albums. One is to some Dave Matthews songs. Another is to Wiz Khalifa music. There’s another one that appears to be a link to downloads of the TV show Prison Break. Obviously those things may be infringing, but the notice itself only talks about TeamSkeet, and if Armovore doesn’t represent those other artists, it may have broken the law in pretending to.

  • Copyrights

    • ACTA

      • The ACTA Guide, Part One: The Talks To-Date

        The 7th round of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations begins tomorrow in Guadalajara, Mexico. The negotiation round will be the longest to-date, with three and a half days planned to address civil enforcement, border measures, the Internet provisions, and (one hour for) transparency. Over the next five days, I plan to post a five-part ACTA Guide that will include sourcing for much of the discussion on ACTA, links to all the leaked documents, information on the transparency issue, and a look at who has been speaking out.

        I start today with a lengthy backgrounder for those new to ACTA or looking to catch up on recent developments. There are several ways to get up-to-speed. The recent Google-sponsored debate was very informative, particularly on the transparency issue. There has been some helpful mainstream media coverage from the Washington Post (Copyright Overreach Takes a World Tour, Q & A on ACTA) and the Irish Times (Secret agreement may have poisonous effect on the net). The Command Line ran a podcast on the topic last week and I’ve posted interviews on ACTA I did with Search Engine and CBC’s As It Happens. Last last year I also created a timeline that tracks the evolution of ACTA and I gave a talk on ACTA last November that highlights the major developments in about 20 minutes (embedded below).

      • ACTA Week in the EU Parliament. MEPs Must Act!

        Despite an attempt from the Commission to buy time and defuse the political debate, important meetings will take place this week in the European Parliament to decide on the future of ACTA. Citizens must call on their representatives to work without delay towards the rejection of this illegitimate agreement.

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