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03.29.12

IRC Proceedings: March 29th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

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#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: March 28th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 29/3/2012: Red Hat’s Results, GNOME 3.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Success is in the future of open source software

    Recently I read an article from Wired Magazine about the creator of the Linux kernel, Linus Torvalds. The article portrays him as a family man, yet when it’s time to get to work he does just that. And we already know this, as he is the chief of the Linux kernel which as we know is a lot of work. But, as with the nature of open source software, he takes a lot of pride with his work, which is clearly evident as he turned down an invite to Apple directly from Steve Jobs. This says a lot. Many of those that use proprietary software and purchase it over and over, have a hard time absorbing the fact that open source software is free and that developers write the software not to make a profit, but because they enjoy doing it and saw a need for the software they write. As I’ve mentioned before, the end result is quality software that any developer can open, look at, and tweak if they wish. Or, they can inquire with the main team in charge of the particular software title and offer their help. It’s a huge system of collaboration, and a very effective and powerful one.

  • Slashdot TV Launches Online, Including Many Open Source Videos
  • Interview with Jeffrey D. Long, author of Longitudinal Data Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences Using R

    This is an interview with Jeffrey D. Long, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa (USA) and author of the book “Longitudinal Data Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences Using R“. Dr. Long answers questions about his book and how he uses R in his work in behavioral sciences.

    F4S: Hello Jeffrey. Please, give us a brief introduction about yourself.

    I am a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa (USA). My expertise is applied statistics in the behavioral and medical sciences. I am the head statistician for Neurobiological Predictors of Huntington’s Disease (PREDICT-HD), funded by the National Institutes of Health and the CHDI Foundation, Inc. PREDICT-HD is a longitudinal observational study of individuals at-risk for Huntington’s Disease (HD), which is an inherited neurodegenerative disease. PREDICT-HD has several scientific sections that concentrate on different aspects of HD, including brain imaging, cognitive functioning, motor impairment, and psychiatric problems. My biostatistics team analyzes data from the scientific sections to answer substantive research questions.

  • Ubuntu 12.04 KVM/Xen Virtualization: Intel vs. AMD
  • Events

    • Topics For Next Week’s Linux Foundation Summit

      Among the items on the 2012 LF Collaboration Summit schedule worth pointing out (and the ones where likely I’ll be at) include:

      - The Importance of Linux at Intel

      - OpenMAMA

      - The Linux Kernel: What’s Next [Panel]

      - Intro to Tizen and Community and Architecture Overview

      - Kernel in the Way: Bypass and Offload Technologies

      - Introduction to Tizen SDK

      - The Decline of the GPL and What To Do About It

      - Architecture of a Next-Generation Parallel File System

      - Upcoming Technologies: Wayland & oFono

      - Dtrace

      - LLVM Toolchain – Update and State of Building Linux with LLVM

      - UEFI as the Converged Firmware Infrastructure

      - Btrfs Filesystem: Status and New Features

      - GCC, C++ and Transactional Memory

      - The Future of the GNU C Library

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • ownCloud Partner Program for Cloud Infrastructure Software

      ownCloud Inc., which develops open-source software for building cloud infrastructure, has existed as a commercial entity for only a few short months. But it has already begun racking up partnerships throughout the channel, highlighting the plentiful opportunities available at the juncture of the cloud and open-source. Read on for the scoop, and what it means for the open-source ecosystem more broadly.

      ownCloud has been around as an open-source project for a while, but its launch as a commercial venture dates only to late last year. Since that time, ownCloud has pushed out an important point release of its platform that brought novel functionality not only to the ownCloud package, but to the open-source channel as a whole, where ownCloud currently has no real contenders — which is probably for the best, since competition from proprietary platforms like Dropbox and iCloud should keep the team busy enough.

  • CMS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • 2011 Free Software Awards announced

      Free Software Foundation president Richard M. Stallman announced the winners of the FSF’s annual free software awards at a ceremony on Sunday, March 25th, held during the LibrePlanet 2012 conference at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

    • Enabling GPS location in ModemManager
    • Ruby creator Matz wins Free Software Award

      At the Free Software Foundation’s Libre Planet conference in Boston, Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto, the inventor of the Ruby language, was honoured with the Award for the Advancement of Free Software. Luis Falcon received the FSF’s Award for Projects of Social Benefit on behalf of GNU Solidario for its GNU Health project.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Happy Document Freedom Day!
    • Document Freedom Day: Promoting document freedom

      Today is Document Freedom Day. It’s not the easiest subject to explain. It’s easy to explain why being free to video a police encounter in the USA is important, or why it’s wrong for your eBook to be remotely controlled by a vendor, but many people fail to understand the subtlety of why a document format is important.

      Having your work in a format that will still be readable in 20 years makes sense, and being able to be sure when you share a document with others that they will be able to read it and work on it is good, but people glaze over when you try to explain that an ISO standard is not enough. Having a document format standard that is beyond the control of any individual vendor and is fully implemented in multiple products is crucial, but seems esoteric.

Leftovers

  • Is Office 365 the best thing that’s ever happened to Linux?
  • YubiKey Review: Next Generation Authentication
  • The Magic of Editable PDFs
  • Security

  • Finance

    • Goldman Ex-Prop Traders Flopping on Their Own

      Long standing readers may recall the 2009 row over the pay level of Andrew Hall, the head of a Citigroup oil trading unit. He had made $100 million in 2008 on a long-standing pay arrangement that gave him a pay deal for his team that was just below 30% of profits, a level unheard of since Mike Milken at Drexel (and we all know how well that turned out). Kenneth Feinberg, Obama’s pay czar, refused to back down, leading to the predictable hue and cry as to how terrible it would be to break Hall’s contract (we pointed out that there were likely ways to do just that, that big producers like Hall were often guilty of expense abuses that would allow for termination for cause).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Eye Opener: Turkish Charter Schools Sweep Across America Funded By Walmart Family

      Sharon Higgins, the independent researcher and blogger who helped found Parents Across America, reported in the Washington Post this week that the largest charter school network in the United States is a Turkish religious sect that few Americans know about.

    • Faces of NRA/ALEC “Stand your Ground” Law

      The Florida “Stand your Ground” law that may protect George Zimmerman, the man who recently shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, became the template for an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) “model bill” that has been introduced in dozens of other states. As the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has reported, the bill was brought to ALEC by the National Rifle Association (NRA). (The law at issue is also known as the “Shoot First” bill or the “Castle Doctrine” law in various states.)

  • Privacy

    • The Privacy Pickle

      It’s “offensive that several courts have ordered accused people to decrypt, possibly incriminating themselves,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “Police have all kinds of other options for their investigations, including access to computers powerful enough to decrypt, surveillance and search. An accused person should not have to convict himself.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The EU agrees to end the roaming rip-off

      “Great news: this new deal puts an end to roaming rip-offs. This is really great news for anyone who’s been stung by high charges when using a mobile abroad.

      For the first time ever, there will be new consumer rules for mobile data – so you can browse the web abroad with confidence.

      And most importantly, for the first time ever, we will open the market to competition. Because competition is the best guarantee of long-term, low prices.

      Users will see dramatic price cuts in time for the summer holidays: and prices will continue to tumble until 2014.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • European Parliament Committee Rejects ACTA Delay as MEPs Seek to “Bury” the Agreement

          The European Parliament’s INTA Committee yesterday soundly rejected a proposal to refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the European Court of Justice for review. ACTA critics viewed the proposal as a delay tactic designed with the hope that public opposition to the agreement would subside in the year or two it would take for a court review. The 21-5 vote against the motion means that the INTA committee will conclude its ACTA review later this spring with a full European Parliament vote expected in June or July. The lack of support for ACTA within the European Parliament is now out in the open with multiple parties indicating they will not support the agreement. For example, MEP Bernd Lange stated:

Windows Phones: Still Dying While Linux is Thriving

Posted in Microsoft at 2:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Phones

Summary: A look at some news about Microsoft’s endeavors in the mobile market

THE FARCE WHICH is Windows Mobile and its alternatives/successors (which saw no success, e.g. KIN, SideKick) is still a comedy in action. As Tim from OpenBytes puts it:

Operation Student – Microsoft tries to drum up interest in the ailing WP7?

[...]

As I said a few years back, Microsoft is watching its products erode, being eaten into by numerous competitors with products that consumers are rushing to buy, over the weekend I had occasion to browse a large electronic chain and speak with the manager. When I asked him if he thought a Windows tablet would sell, he replied that he doubted it, I don’t think its a secret now that the Microsoft name has little appeal to the mainstream consumer. This is the catch 22 situation I think Microsoft is in – Users won’t buy a phone without the apps they love, developers won’t generally make apps for a phone which users don’t buy and throw into the mix the public perception of Microsoft – I believe Microsoft has big problems..

Watch Microsoft getting snubbed by developers:

Rovio has shunned Windows Phone for the latest outing of the super-soaraway Angry Birds franchise, saying that it can’t support every platform and has no plans to support that one.

As OpenBytes noted over a year ago, Microsoft cheated buyers by falsely associating WP7 with this game. How pathetic and unethical.

As Pogson puts it, Microsoft is now smoked in its own rigged competition:

Sahas Katta, owner of a Galaxy Nexus Android smartphone, strolled into Microsoft’s Santa Clara, Calif. store on Sunday to compete in the company’s widely-publicized “Smoked by Windows Phone Contest” — but he walked out cheated of a victory by hapless Microsoft employees.

Katta, who wrote about the experience on his blog yesterday, was asked to “bring up the weather of two different cities.” He proceeded to beat his Windows Phone rival since he already had two weather widgets set up on his Android homescreen, and he also disabled his lock screen (a feature built-in to the operating system). But even though he technically won the challenge, Microsoft employees ultimately said he lost, offering a variety of excuses.

When pressed for a real answer, one of the employees told him Windows Phone won “just because.”

We can’t confirm that things went down the way Katta describes, but his method for beating the Windows Phone Challenge seems sound. Android does let you turn off the lock screen, and it’s not tough to put multiple weather widgets on a single home screen. The Windows Phone, on the other hand, had to be unlocked before its home screen was accessible (where it had two live tiles for weather). The challenge boiled down to one action on Android (just turning on the phone) versus two on Windows Phone (turning on the phone, and unlocking the screen).

Watch the damage control from Microsoft:

Microsoft is apologizing for a Windows Phone marketing campaign gone wrong, after a tech writer “smoked” a Windows Phone using an Android handset.

In its retail stores, Microsoft has been running a “Smoked by Windows Phone” campaign, in which participants are challenged to use their existing smartphones to try to beat Windows Phone in basic tasks. For example, users are asked to send text messages to their spouses, look up the weather, or find highly-rated local restaurants.

In most stores, Microsoft was offering $100 to users who could beat Windows Phone. But Microsoft upped the stakes at its Santa Clara location by offering a special edition laptop valued at over $1,000. That’s where Skatter Tech’s Sahas Katta decided to take up Microsoft’s challenge.

Too late for Microsoft. The damage has been done and reputation been further affected.

The mole from Nokia won’t save Microsoft and observers call him “insane”:

The CEO Insane – How To Rescue Nokia

I know I know, nobody is going to listen to me anyway. But Nokia’s Shareholder Meeting is coming up, and some have been asking me how would I fix Nokia today. I wrote a long detailed blog last year telling what was broken and how to fix Nokia overall, not just the smartphones part. Its sad to see it took Elop a year to get around to trying some of the ideas that I insisted Nokia needed to do back then (he is now, for example the 808 PureView is exactly what I suggested). So I will try to keep this short and to the point and focus only now on the catastrophic situation with Nokia’s smartphones unit and the Lumia line. And am trying to inject some humor into this rant. Lets see how the sane CEO would behave when faced with, lets say, a hypothetical situation…

LUMIA LAUNCH FAILURE

Fernando Cassia told me:

Microsoft´s Elop @ Nokia: Sane CEO, Insane CEO, or Criminal CEO?

Probably the latter, but “criminal” is a strong word. It’s more like white-dollar crime, at most.

Blackboard is Buying Out the Competition

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 1:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

To let

Summary: Patent aggressor with the rental/proprietary model in education is taking over Moodlerooms

THE strategy where one tries to conquer the competition ha been covered here a lot because of Microsoft. But a close ally of Microsoft, Blackboard, is doing that too. Having already attempted to “openwash” its public image, this patent-abusing firm is now getting part of the principal Free software counterpart:

Blackboard says each team will also become part of Blackboard’s new Education Open Source Services group, which will focus on the development of open source learning technologies globally.

There is a lot more disinformation out there, like whitewash with blurring and diffusion being used to distract from the real news. This EEE move is being painted as nicety, but in reality, it’s more towards an attempt to shut down the competition.

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