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Links 1/4/2012: Munich Enjoys GNU/Linux, Gentoo 12.1 LiveDVD is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 10:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • Ask Stack: How can I find a good open source project to join?

    This Q&A is part of a biweekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 80+ Q&A sites.

    Lord Torgamus asks: I want to join an open source project for the same reasons as anyone else: I want to help create something useful and become a better coder.

  • Gorilla Free Software Marketing, Chapter 8: Community Metrics

    Revolutionary movements require revolutionary progress. However, at the start of a Movement, such progress may not be immediately evident to those whose views of progress have been tainted by commercial software, where progress is measured by feature enhancements, quality improvements and user satisfaction. These are false idols and the shallow view of progress they support are irrelevant for true free software.

    Rejecting the repressive capitalist view of progress-as-production and production-as-consumption, and the doctrinaire emphasis on results-oriented metrics, we instead adopt the dialectic of progress-as-being and being-as-becoming, with metrics illustrating not what is produced, but what is willed. Rather than galley slaves, prodded by whip lashes to “row harder!”, our motto shall be: “row louder!”

  • TACC Releases Open Source Display Tiling Package

    AUSTIN, TX, March 28 — The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin has released a new open-source software package called DisplayCluster that is used to drive large-scale tiled displays and allows scientists to interact and view high-resolution imagery and video up to gigapixels in size.

  • ☆ OSI Affiliate Scheme Grows

    It’s been an open secret all month, but two new members have joined the Affiliate scheme at OSI – Spain’s CENATIC (the national open source competency centre that’s been so important to the government adoption of open source in Spain’s regions) and the venerable Debian Project. Both bring a much-needed international flavour to OSI, along with a wealth of hard-won experience.

  • Web Browsers

  • Education

    • You Can Acquire Open Source Companies, But You Can’t Buy Open Source Community

      Blackboard has just announced its acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot, two companies that help provide support and deployment services for schools that use the open-source LMS Moodle.

      “Wait. What?” is an acceptable, albeit mild response.

      This is, after all, the LMS giant — one that once claimed the patent on e-learning technology and sued other companies who provided competing software. Blackboard now says it is embracing open source — “Ours is no mere dalliance with open source, but a very committed plunge into the pool,” says the company’s Ray Henderson. To that end, Blackboard has also announced it’s creating an Open Source Services Group that will help institutions manage their open source LMSes, including Moodle and Sakai.


    • Ruby Creator Wins Free Software Award
    • GNU Telephony and cross platform development

      With cross platform development comes some important questions of software freedom. There would be no true software freedom if we said we would permit our software to compile and run only on specific platforms, that is after all what proprietary software vendors often do. However in GNU Telephony we do principally develop and test our software on GNU systems specifically and do not have expertise in or interest in supporting proprietary ones.

      If people wish to work on or support other platforms also, they are certainly free to do so. As one of our goals in GNU Telephony is ubiquity, this is essential. However, unlike some groups who choose such goals, or distributions who choose “popularity” as their essential goal, we will never do so if it means also compromising the freedom of our contributors and users. Given this, if people want to submit patches for building and running on other platforms, we are happy to take such patches in, so long as they do not break features or functionality on free software platforms, and do not impose any additional restrictions on how we convey software to others.

    • GNUtrition 0.31.1 Released

      GNUtrition is a diet and nutrition analysis program for the GNU Operating System. The US Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database of Standard Reference is used as the source of food nutrient information.

    • FSFE celebrates Document Freedom Day by sending handcuffs to policymakers

      The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is celebrating open standards today in an annual event called Document Freedom Day. The event, which was first held in 2008, is observed on the last Wednesday of March. The purpose of the celebration is to raise awareness of the critical role unencumbered interoperability and open standards play in protecting data from vendor lock-in.

      According to the FSFE, 34 organizations are hosting 48 events in 17 countries to honor the occasion. The FSFE’s list of Document Freedom Day partners includes The Document Foundation, the KDE eV, the Pirate Party of Baden-Württemberg, and many regional Linux user groups.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Open Hardware

  • Programming


  • World Backup Day

    Thanks to our friends the Millers, I learn that yesterday was World Backup Day. I don’t know why it was especially important to be backed up on March 31st, unless because of worries that Anonymous was going to carry out their threat to bring down the Internet. If that had happened, and you use the “cloud,” you’d want a local copy.

  • Hardware

    • World’s slowest Linux computer, says ‘Hello Wor…’ (video)

      Evidently tired of smooth running graphics, lightning fast processing and bags and bags of available memory, programmer Dmitry Grinberg decided to go back to computing basics. And then some. As Linux was developed on a 32-bit machine with 1MB of RAM, this has always been considered the minimum system requirements to run the open source OS.

  • Finance

    • Goldman, Landesbank argue CDOs in US appeals court

      A U.S. appeals court was asked on Friday to decide whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc and TCW Asset Management Co should have foreseen the housing market implosion that caused a $37 million loss for German state-owned Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg.

      A three-judge panel on Friday did not make an immediate ruling on a trial judge’s decision last September to dismiss the German bank’s lawsuit claiming fraud against Goldman and TCW, an investment advisor.

  • Privacy

    • Ex-Googler Fears Google’s Greed, So He Launched A Company To Protect People From It
    • Snooping law – Why be concerned? Its the UK Government!

      So now we start getting some of the actual facts and not the bold headlines or the wishy-washy text from the BBC. So it appears, no, your actual data activity will not be monitored in real time, just your affiliations whilst in cyberspace. So the requirement of a warrant still is in place for anything more and I’d suggest that if an intelligence agency has a level of interest in you which would have your affiliates logged, then there would be a warrant on the cards anyway. A lot of fuss from the average user about nothing and a good way for the UK to look as if its not completely lost on its tech vision. Remember “digital Britain”? And how about your digital contract with your ISP? If I interpret mine correctly, I’ve already agreed for them to give my particulars away to any law enforcement agency if so requested – without warrant. In respect of my ISP, no new law or even warrant is required to get this information. More likely this is a good chance for the UK Government to pretend they are doing something.
      In the UK we’ve seen the expertise the courts and the criminal/civil justice system operate under – dealing with a chap who recorded a movie on his phone in a cinema in order to post it on the net for nothing but having an “image”, blundering through a circus like the ACS:Law case, where in the end, it was the law firm itself (not the alleged File-sharers) that ended up with big problems.

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