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Links 1/3/2012: Raspberry Pi and Cotton Candy, EU Censorship Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 5:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Penguins Seen Over California

      California shifted from 1.5% to 18%. What’s with that? Google has only 10K employees in Mountain View, not enough to change the share in California that much.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Of Fanboys and Distribution Menageries

      Opening the word processor is a rare thing for me. I usually make do with LaTeX. But it is needed sometimes, like when you have a desire to write for your blog, and the writing will end up copied and pasted anyway, and you want a completely unrelated way to start your post. That done, let’s start:

      Our first topic of discussion is distribution menageries. Some people, with a drive I confess I cannot even begin to understand, install distributions. I am not talking about building a stable desktop for yourself with Scientific Linux and putting a Fedora or Arch next to it to play with latest innovations and software, I am talking about those people who install (and I took this list from an anonymous from Ubuntu Forums) Ubuntu 10.04, openSUSE 12.1, Ubuntu 11.10, Xubuntu 11.10, Mint Linux 12, Windows 7 and the last Kubuntu. Agreed, not everyone goes that extreme, but it is common to see people who installed 2 or 3 spins on same Ubuntu and something like a nonworking BSD. They speak of this on public forums without embarrassment; and as it happens, there is no embarrassment to be felt as all they get are pats on the back. This gives me, so conveniently, a way to introduce our next topic of discussion: Fanboys or fanbots, whichever you prefer. People who write window$, M$ (winzort is popular here) and claim that Microsoft is out to conquer the world. This last world conquering part is what really angers me; after all, world domination should be goal of every self respecting nerd; do not discriminate against Linux people, please.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat to Webcast Results for Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year 2012
      • ClearOS Community 6.2.0 Beta 3 Released

        ClearOS Community 6.2.0 Beta 3 has arrived! Along with the usual round of bug fixes and enhancements, Beta 3 includes the following new apps: Content Filter, Flexshare, Samba, Remote Server Backup, Print Server, Password Policies, and Network Visualizer. New apps in the Professional Edition include: Google Apps Synchronization, Active Directory Connector, and Central Management. This will be the last beta as we head toward a final release. We will soon be able to put those Duke Nukem jabs behind us ;-)

      • CentOS, RHEL and Scientific Linux 4 reach their End of Life

        The CentOS and Scientific Linux projects have stopped maintaining the series 4 versions of their Linux distributions. According to the “End of Life” (EOL) notifications by CentOS and Scientific Linux, there will be no further security fixes for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4-based distributions. Users will, therefore, need to switch to other versions.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software brings benefits to Katikati Computers

    When Michael Pavletich and Glynn Smith found themselves running identical businesses six years ago, they decided they better join forces. Their operations in Katikati had the same business approach and philosophy and they also shared a love of motorcycling.

    However, though the partnership works well, Pavletich admits running a small business like Katikati Computers can be trying when one of them is away. Early in January, for example, Pavletich was effectively tied to the shop, while Smith was on holiday. Foot traffic and phone calls come and go, creating peaks in work that can only be overcome by coming in early and taking some work home.

  • SaaS

    • The Wild West of Big Data

      It is very easy to compare the atmosphere of this year’s Strata Conference and the big data ecosystem to the atmosphere of the Linux and open source ecosystem around the turn of the century.

      (And yes, I get a little trill in my fingers when I get to type “turn of the century.”)

      The comparison is not literal: I made this observation to someone I met at here at Strata this week and he dug into me a bit on how his company’s offerings were not related to open source technologies.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • Regina Holliday advocates patient engagement at HIMSS12

      Patient care has always been vital to healthcare. At the same time, patient engagement has always been frighteningly low. Patients have been passive players in their own care, depending on and assuming that ‘doctor knows best.’

      Today’s patients, however, are becoming consumers of healthcare. They are more informed about their options and with more information at their disposal they are becoming more vocal than ever about their expectations for care.

      In the past, gaining access to medical records was difficult at best. Now, as paper records are being replaced with electronic data, patients will have an opportunity to take greater control of their healthcare records.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Unreleased Elliott Smith, Deerhunter on Kickstarter Comp for Open Source Project CASH Music

      CASH Music is a not-for-profit open software project based in Portland, Oregon that will offer musicians and labels free, open source tools necessary for independently marketing their music. (“What WordPress did for bloggers, we’re doing for musicians,” they say.) The organization, led by Maggie Vail (formerly of Kill Rock Stars) and Jesse von Doom, is currently raising funds on Kickstarter.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Eurogreens: Dear Mr. President, where is our Info?
    • Code for America Meets Austin

      It’s hard to believe my team has been in Austin for nearly four weeks already. As part of the 2012 Code for America Fellowship program, we’re nearing the end of our residency: five weeks of interviews, meetings, events and information gathering. Code for America is a non-profit based in San Francisco that partners teams of developers and designer with cities around the country to encourage innovation in government and civic engagement.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • California State Senate bill seeks to create open source textbook library

        College students may find relief from high textbook prices in a California State Senate bill that would create a free open source textbook library.

        State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, introduced a bill Feb. 8 that would fund a library containing open source textbooks for the 50 most popular lower division courses at the state’s colleges and universities. Students could download the textbooks for free or pay about $20 for a hard copy.

        On March 3, the bill — which asks for $25 million in state funding to create the open source textbooks — will be eligible for discussion in committee hearings. But that funding request can change as the bill moves through the hearings, according to Steinberg spokesperson Alicia Trost.

    • Open Hardware

      • An open-source robo-surgeon

        RAVENS have a bad reputation. Medieval monks, who liked to give names to everything (even things that did not need them), came up with “an unkindness” as the collective noun for these corvids. Blake Hannaford and his colleagues at the University of Washington, in Seattle, however, hope to change the impression engendered by the word. They are about to release a flock of medical robots with wing-like arms, called Ravens, in the hope of stimulating innovation in the nascent field of robotic surgery.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • EU Censorship Plan With A Cheesy Name: The Clean IT Project

      Those last two sentences are particularly ominous. First, because they show no awareness that any attempt to “clean” the Internet inevitably affects everyone else’s online freedom. Given that there are no hard and fast rules about what is terrorism, the past teaches us that there is always collateral damage in the form of over-reaction — not least because people understandably err on the side of caution in this area.

  • Privacy

    • Privacy commissioner has concerns with Google’s new privacy policy

      Canada’s privacy commissioner has expressed concerns with Google’s new privacy policy, asking the Internet giant to clearly explain how it plans to use personal information it collects from users.

      In a letter to the company sent Thursday, but released publicly Friday, Jennifer Stoddart said Google’s new policy appears to have loopholes where users may unwillingly have their personal information used in ways that make them uncomfortable.

  • Civil Rights

    • Lawful Access Signals Canada Is Open to ‘Big Brother Inc.’

      Privacy International, one of the world’s leading privacy organizations, last year released the results of a multi-year investigation into the shadowy world of the commercial surveillance industry. Dubbed “Big Brother Inc.,” the investigation placed the spotlight on dozens of companies that specialize in covert surveillance technologies that are typically sold directly to governments and law enforcement agencies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Kickstarter Expects To Provide More Funding To The Arts Than NEA
    • Organic Farmers’ Preemptive Lawsuit Against Monsanto Patents Tossed Out For Being A Bit Too Preemptive

      Monsanto has quite a track record of going after farmers for making use of its “patented” seeds, even in a case that involve seeds that blew onto a farm from a neighboring farm. So, it wasn’t entirely surprising to see a group of organic farmers preemptively sue Monsanto last year, asking for a declaratory judgment that they did not infringe. However, the judge in the case has now dismissed the case, noting that for a declaratory judgment, there has to be a real conflict, and Monsanto keeps insisting that it won’t sue these farmers. From a legal standpoint, this argument makes sense (and the declaratory judgment standard can be pretty high in some cases — especially if no direct threat has been issued). But, it still seems unfortunate. Given Monsanto’s past actions in other cases, even if it says it won’t sue now, plenty of farmers are reasonably scared about what will happen down the road. But, for now, they just have to wait and hope that Monsanto seeds don’t show up on their farms…

    • Business Software Alliance’s latest weird argument for stronger IP laws

      The Business Software Alliance has found a newly imagined detriment of Canada’s supposedly sub-par intellectual property laws – make sure you’re sitting down for this shocker – it’s slowing down the advancement of cloud computing.

      It’s the latest of many poxes that have stricken Canada as a result of our outdated IP enforcement and copyright protection regime, all of which have been fastidiously documented by this interest group representing the world’s largest software companies.

    • Copyrights

      • Would You Rather Be ‘Right’ Or Realistic?
      • Artist Sues Sony Over Background Used in Music Video (Exclusive)
      • Company That Issued Bogus Takedown Says It Was All A Mistake, Apologizes

        ote about how a totally bogus DMCA takedown notice, coming from an “anti-piracy” firm called Armovore, deleted a key Techdirt blog post about SOPA/PIPA from Google’s search results. That post apparently got some attention within Google, who kicked off an expedited review and reinstated our site and a few others. Soon after that, we got a couple emails from folks at Armovore, and they also posted some comments to the site, in which they apologized, and said that it was an “early” version of the technology. To their credit, they “accept full responsibility for the mistake” and insist that while that takedown was an automated keyword-based effort, they now only do manual takedowns. They even apologized that multiple people reached out to apologize.

      • ‘Towards Flexible Copyright?’
      • ACTA

        • David Martin and the straw man about boarder searches in ACTA

          In fact, I never read these article about iPod searches at the customs or heard an advocacy group in Europe to make that consumer case. I only heard about the straw man of the ACTA defenders that there were these “misconceptions” of critics, even at times when ACTA was yet in a preparatory phase. Actually, as you see from the text, it wouldn’t even be even a misconception though it is a side topic. A distraction.

        • Karel De Gucht’s Fake ACTA Debate

          Last week, the Trade Commissioner De Gucht, the same who recently declared he was “not afraid of the anti-ACTA demonstrations”, went on to explain why, considering the wave of criticism on ACTA, he is now turning to the European Court of Justice to assess whether ACTA would be detrimental to fundamental rights1.

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