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Links 28/3/2012: GTK+ 3.4.0, ACTA Spin

Posted in News Roundup at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • Skype Open-Source Back In Action, Breaks v5.5

    After a several month hiatus, the individual(s) working to reverse-engineer Skype’s binary client have successfully “deobfuscated” the Skype 5.5 release.

    “We got deobfuscated skype v5.5!!! I can’t belive in this. But its fucking true. Great thanks and congratulations going to Vilko,” begins a new post on the skype-open-source blog.

  • Roll Your Own Wiki With Open Source MoinMoin
  • WalmartLabs is building big data tools — and will then open source them
  • The benefits of open source

    Free and open source software has touched all our lives whether we know it or not. Often misunderstood and treated with suspicion, many businesses take advantage of the benefits of it without acknowledging the community that powers it.

  • Sirius CTO: UK businesses must start tapping SME talent

    The time has come for small and medium businesses to get the recognition they deserve, according to Andrew Savory, newly-appointed Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at open source systems integrator Sirius, with a new generation of smart British technology companies proving that they can deliver services just as well, sometimes cheaper, and sometimes better than their large entrenched counterparts.

    Savory, an active member of The Apache Software Foundation, joins Sirius from the LiMo Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium dedicated to creating the first Linux-based mobile operating system for smartphone devices. Coming from an open source, small business background himself, Savory is excited to see a step-change in the way that SMEs are being viewed, thanks to initiatives like the government’s G-Cloud.

  • The Peek Email Device Goes Open Source

    f at first you don’t succeed, open source the sucker. Peek has released an open source version of their Peek Mobile operating system, allowing hackers to use the all-but-obsolete little email device as a hacker platform. The Linux release is available the PeekLinux wiki and hackers are already adding new apps and functionality to the tiny device.

  • Building a GSM network with open source

    Over the last few years open source technology has enabled mobile phone networks to be set up on a shoestring budget at hacker conferences, on a tiny Pacific island and at a festival in the Nevada desert. Andrew Back takes a look at how this has been made possible and at what’s involved in building a GSM network using OpenBTS and OpenBSC.

  • Events

    • Sydneysider to give keynote at Wikimania

      Gardiner is a long-time member of the Sydney Linux User Group, an office-bearer of Linux Australia, and a regular member of the technical panel that chooses talks for the annual Australian national Linux conference.

      Last year Gardiner, along with Linux kernel developer Valerie Aurora, set up The Ada Initiative, a project to help increase the participation of women in technology. The project was born after several incidents of sexist behaviour towards women at FOSS events.

    • High-tech titans coming to Columbia

      Next week’s Palmetto Open Source Software Conference — or POSSCON — is starting to bring some serious high-tech street cred to Columbia.

      The conference – which grew substantially in each of its past four years — focuses on the communal development of software like Open Office and Firefox that developers share with the world, often for free.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla at Work on Mobile Do Not Track

        You can opt out of being tracked online by using a Web browser with support for Do Not Track, a privacy feature that lets you tell supporting websites that you don’t want to be tracked by third parties (advertisers, marketing firms, and the like). It’s like putting yourself on an online version of the Do Not Call list.

        Now Mozilla is developing an open-source operating system for smartphones and tablets that supports Do Not Track from the ground up. Code-named Boot to Gecko (B2G), this Linux-based mobile OS is designed to bring the (comparatively) rigorous privacy standards of the World Wide Web to smartphones and tablets.

      • Mozilla launches multiplayer browser adventure to showcase HTML5 gaming

        Mozilla has teamed up with Web design studio Little Workshop to develop a Web-based multiplayer adventure game called BrowserQuest. The game is built with standards-based Web technologies and is designed to be played within a Web browser.

        With the technical capabilities offered by the latest standards, Web developers no longer have to rely on plugins to create interactive multimedia experiences and application-like user interfaces. As we reported earlier this month, modern standards are making the Web an increasingly viable platform for game development.

      • Asa Dotzler Recommends Opera For Firefox 3.6 Users Who Don’t Want To Upgrade

        If you are a Firefox 3.6 user you know by now that support for that branch of the web browser will end on April 24, 2012. As it stands now, Firefox 3.6.28, released on March 14, is likely the last version of Firefox 3.6. Mozilla will not update the version of the browser again unless a major security or stability issue forces them to.

        With Firefox 3.6 out of the picture, Firefox users still using the branch are asked by Mozilla to either update to the current stable version of the browser, which is Firefox 11 at the time of writing, or the Firefox Extended Support Release. The latter has been specifically designed for organizations as a way to lessen the impact of Mozilla’s new rapid release process on the company’s IT department.

      • Firefox 3.6.x approaches end of life
      • Mozilla BrowserQuest The Future of Open Source HTML5 Gaming?
      • Jeff Klein, I hate you ;-)
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice developers demo collaborative editing prototype

      A group of LibreOffice developers have added experimental collaborative editing capabilities to the open source office suite. The feature allows multiple users to work on the same document simultaneously over the Internet. The collaborative editing functionality was implemented by grafting Telepathy to LibreOffice.

  • CMS

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Kickstarter to fund development of Arduino-based, browser-controlled open source hardware automated gardening dome
    • Google Summer of Code: Contribute to Open Source, Make Money

      If you’re a post-secondary student, 18 years or older, you have a golden opportunity this Summer. Contribute to an open source project that you care about, and get paid to do it. Once again, it’s Google Summer of Code (GSoC) time, and open source organizations are beating the bushes to find the best ideas and applicants.

      The GSoC has been an annual tradition since 2005. Google partners with mentoring organizations and offers students stipends for successful completion of open source projects. Students get a stipend of $5,000 USD and the mentoring organization receives $500. Students get a $500 stipend after coding begins on May 1st, a $2,250 payment after a successful mid-term evaluation, and $2,250 after the final program evaluation. Oh, and don’t forget the t-shirt.


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How open is too open?

      Last month, we posted a survey asking, “If you could open one of the following data sets tomorrow, which one would you open and why?” We got a great response–279 people voted and there were several comments.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Tizen pops up as HTML5 winner

      No one has seen the Tizen mobile platform in action yet, but whatever browser the in-development platform is using has blown away the competition for HTML5 performance.

      Listed only as “Tizen 1″ on The HTML5 Test (THT) site, the development version of the Tizen browser scored 387 points out of a possible total of 475 points within the mobile phone browser category.

    • 1&1 Internet AG receives German Document Freedom Award

      1&1, GMX and WEB.DE receive the German Document Freedom Award for the use of Open Standards. The prize is awarded by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure e.V. (FFII). 1&1 is awarded for automatically adding XMPP for all customers of their mail services. The Document Freedom Award is awarded annually on the occasion of Document Freedom Day – the international day for Open Standards. Last years winners include tagesschau.de, Deutschland Radio, and the German Foreign Office.


  • Security

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Shocker! FOX asks Tough Questions and Paul Ryan Flubs

      In an uncharacteristic move for a Fox News anchor, Wallace asks some tough questions of the Chair of the House Budget Committee. Since the Ryan plan would lose 10 trillion dollars of revenue over ten years, Wallace asked exactly which tax loopholes would be closed to raise the revenue that would be lost from reducing the tax rate. But Ryan could not name specific loopholes that he would close as part of his plan because “that’s not the job of the budget committee.”

    • The Corporations Bankrolling ALEC, which Has Promoted “Stand Your Ground” as a “Model” Bill

      The gun lobby has come under the spotlight for its role in the so-called “Stand Your Ground” or “Shoot First” law that may protect the man who shot and killed seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida –- but many other special interests, including household names like Kraft Foods and Wal-Mart, also helped facilitate the spread of these and other laws by funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

  • ACTA

    • Spinning ACTA “prolongation” strategies – noise in the cable

      LQDN demonstrates that their voting expectations do not depend upon the ECJ rerferral but their procedural input is quite a bit confusing. I had some strange artefacts in my DSL connection and then found out the ethernet cable between the router and the splitter was broken. You could argue that LQDN add some fog of war and inserted confusion in the process. I just wonder if MEPs would switch to a different cable. If you dismiss the current proposed procedures of the rapporteur David Martin as “delay” tactics what’s the actual alternative for Parliament?

    • EU Parliament Will Vote on ACTA Without Delay!

      The EU Parliament has refused to freeze the ACTA debate, and will not refer the agreement to the EU Court of Justice. In a 21 to 5 vote, the Parliament decided to stick to its calendar and will vote on ACTA in June, as originally planned. The Commission’s technocratic manoeuvres have not stopped the Parliament, and the door remains open to a swift rejection of ACTA.

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