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05.12.12

Links 12/5/2012: Dell Linux Laptops, OLPC Supported by Australia

Posted in News Roundup at 2:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What on earth is Dracut?

    Dracut is a new system to generate, in the same way for all Gnu/Linux distributions, the special programs and files that make Linux boot.

  • Linux-libre

    I came across the GNU/Linux-libre almost by accident and have enjoyed taking Trisquel and Parabola gnulinux for a test drive. I found both communities friendly and helpful.

  • OSHackers – Find a Linux lover near you!

    OSHackers is a website that aims to count GNU/Linux users and place them geographically using their Linux distribution as the marker. You can visit OSHackers and put yourself on the map, and you can search for people that use Linux around your area.

  • The Biggest Problem For A Linux PC Vendor

    Optimus has already long been causing issues for those not after Linux pre-loads but installing Linux by themselves on laptops with an integrated Intel GPU and discrete NVIDIA GPU. AMD’s technology is also in a similar sour spot, but at least it’s less popular than NVIDIA’s hybrid technology.

  • Innovate or Imitate? Where Linux Lags, Where Linux Leads
  • Announcing printerd

    For the last few weeks I’ve been working on an experimental new print spooler called printerd. It was designed in collaboration with Richard Hughes and it aims to be a modern print spooler for Linux.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • 5 Reasons Why You Should Update Your Kernel Often [Linux]
    • Control Centre: The systemd Linux init system

      A variety of distributions now let systemd, rather than sysvinit, take care of bringing the system up. The newest of the three big init system promises to speed up booting and requires no explicit system service dependency configuration; as a side-effect, it also eliminates some distribution-specific peculiarities.

    • Linux Hardware Support Myths and Legends

      Linux is compatible with more hardware than any other OS bar none. That certainly includes Windows. Try installing Windows 7 on some random laptop from scratch and see how much is missing or unsupported without third party drivers. My experience doing Linux installs for my customers is that a lot of off the shelf hardware “just works” and the rest needs proprietary drivers downloaded to make it work, just like Windows. There is, indeed, some hardware that doesn’t work with Linux and years ago that was a real issue. The fact is that more and more manufacturers are supporting Linux well and other drivers have been adequately reverse engineered.

    • Top 3 Websites To Check Whether Your Hardware Is Supported By Linux
    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.4 (Part 3) – Graphics drivers

      Linux 3.4 includes a whole host of changes to drivers for AMD, Intel and NVIDIA graphics chips. The new kernel, expected to be released later this month, also contains a new USB DisplayLink driver and lays the foundations for better support for hybrid graphics technologies such as NVIDIA’s Optimus.

    • Graphics Stack

      • A Look At Why Linux Graphics Drivers Have Issues

        Here’s an interesting look at the state of the Ubuntu bug count as it concerns Linux graphics driver issues.

      • Why Opensource Xorg/Gallium drivers suck on linux desktop
      • Compiz, Merging, Forking – Other UDS-Q Notes

        Here’s some other interesting notes from the Ubuntu 12.10 Developer Summit this week in Oakland.

        - The Compiz compositing window manager will move from using OpenGL 2.x to using OpenGL ES. The porting of Compiz to OpenGL ES (GLES) was originally done by Linaro and will now be used within Ubuntu. While designed for the benefit of mobile users, the Linux desktop graphics drivers — including those using Mesa/Gallium3D — do support OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0. This change in moving from GL to GLES for Unity’s compositing window manager may initially cause some pain with broken plug-ins, etc. Notes here.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • My first video editing experience with KDEnlive
      • The Overhead of KDE Software

        When Calligra 2.4 was released there was a flurry of interest resulting in a number of articles in the press and blog posts. Some of these were regular reviews of higher and lower quality. One of them, which I think was one of the better ones, was this one by Påvel (in Swedish). In the review he says that Calligra has a good foundation, he likes it but there are obvious problems with it. I find that an honest and true assessment, especially since it is obvious that he has really tried it and been bitten by some bugs. (Some of these bugs are already fixed in 2.4.2, most of the rest will be gone in 2.5.)

      • [Sneak Peek] Vivaldi Content Store Shows Ankles For The Cinematograph

        Our good friends over at opentablets.org have posted a video from aseigo’s blog demoing the beginnings of the Make-Play-Live content store. No word yet on whether that name is official, but it does drape itself quite dramatically across the application’s login screen.

      • partner network, 8gb storage, applications

        Today is a day in which I find myself passing through many doorway as all sorts of milestones for our little project are coming up at once.

        As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, we’ll be shipping the Vivaldi tablet computer with 1GB of RAM .. and today I can tell you even more good news: we’ve doubled the internal storage to 8GB as well. We’ll be settling on the USA pricing shortly as well, and I think people will be pleasantly surprised with where that lands.

      • KDE Plasma Netbook Revisited

        With Unity, Cinnamon, and Gnome 3 getting all the buzz, it’s easy to overlook other interesting projects that attempt to rethink the traditional desktop metaphor. Case in point, the KDE Plasma Netbook interface. Despite its moniker, the KDE’s alternative interface is not limited to netbooks, although it’s designed for devices with small screens. KDE’s alternative interface has been around for a while, but I only recently started using it as a primary environment on my trusty ASUS Eee PC 1005HA netbook, and I grew fond of it for a number of reasons.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 22nd April 2012
      • KDE Commit-Digest for 29th April 2012
      • LaKademy 2012 ‒ Artwork, Localization, Promotion, Development

        LaKademy brought together 19 Latin American participants, including developers, translators, designers and promoters. The full report has more information about major LaKademy outcomes related to artwork, localization, promotion, and developing.

      • Akademy Community Keynote: Agustín Benito Bethencourt (toscalix)

        Agustín Benito Bethencourt (aka “toscalix”) recently joined the KDE e.V. Board of Directors. He will be presenting the KDE Community Keynote at Akademy 2012 in Tallinn.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Make GNOME Shell Your Own: 10 GNOME Shell Extensions to Install

        GNOME Shell has been criticized for lacking many familiar features found in GNOME 2, but you can add them yourself with extensions. If you’ve installed GNOME Shell and didn’t like it, don’t write it off until you try some extensions.

        If you’re using Ubuntu, check out our guide to installing GNOME Shell and getting started. GNOME Shell is the default desktop on Fedora and should be available in most distribution’s package repositories.

      • Ubuntu Forks Gnome Control Center

        Ubuntu systems team has forked Gnome Control Center as Ubuntu Control Center which will be used in Ubuntu from 12.10 onwards.

        Bilal Akhtar, a young Ubuntu developer writes, “Gnome-contacts will be installed by default, clutter will be on the CD, totem will be updated to the latest version, and Ubuntu 12.10 should ship with a near-complete GNOME 3.6 stack (sans Shell, of course, and control-center).”

  • Distributions

    • The Eternal Distro

      Distro is short for distribution which in the software world mainly means Linux and BSD these days.

      Now, as good as the existing distros are (I use a bunch of different versions of Fedora Linux including fc1, f10 and f14, and also Vector Linux Classic and OpenBSD) they all have one irritating problem in that their software repositories disappear. OpenBSD 4.7 disappeared recently and Fedora Core 1 disappeared ages ago.

    • Rosa Marathon 2012lts
    • Best distributions for off-line use

      Internet is the the “Alpha and Omega” of our daily experience with computers, dominating, enriching and engulfing everything we do. This is the case with almost everyone around the world, but somewhere out there, there are computers that are not connected to the internet for some reason that we will not analyse in this article. What would be the ideal GNU/Linux distribution for such systems? Are there any linux distributions that can cover almost every need of an off-line user? Yes there are!

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 RC Released, Final Delayed

        The release candidate for Mageia 2 was released earlier today along with the note that the final release date had been changed. The changes are hard to see in the release notes, but perhaps prospective users might want to pay more attention to the errata list.

      • Dear Community – II
      • Mandriva: A new appeal to the community

        In a corteous and somewhat longer-than-usual post, Jean Manuel Croset has communicated with the Mandriva community again to inform some details of the situation (always mentioning that he is unable to disclose as much information as he would like) and to throw a new date on the table. This time, it is the third week of May, the moment in which the company will unveil its roadmap.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Strengthens Asia-Pacific Operations with the Expansion of Two R&D Centers in India
      • Red Hat, Dell announce OEM partnership

        The announcement Tuesday of a new partnership between Dell and Red Hat could mark a further expansion of open-source software use in the enterprise.

        OEM customers looking to Dell for custom products will now have additional open-source options. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss join SUSE as standard choices for Dell OEM.

      • Why I Bought Red Hat

        For a long time, corporate IT was managed by IT professionals. Such management had a lot of drawbacks. IT professionals are not easy people to get along with, they have strong opinions, talk to other people like children who don’t understand simple things. Unfortunately, they are usually right. Their strong opinions are based on knowledge and experience. And other people really don’t understand how IT works.

      • Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst Sells Shares for $6.8M – cbl

        CEO and President James Whitehurst sold Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) shares for $6.78 million, according to an SEC filing.

      • Something to Watch With Red Hat

        It had $209 billion of assets on its balance sheet, and $128 billion of that was in the form of goodwill and other intangible assets. Goodwill is simply the difference between the price paid for a company during an acquisition and the net assets of the acquired company. The $128 billion of goodwill in this case was created when AOL and Time Warner merged in 2000.

      • Red Hat to debut OpenShift PaaS solutions for on-premise enterprise use soon

        As it prepares for battle against VMware on the cloud front, Red Hat announced today that it will launch later this year its fee-based PaaS service with support and will begin shipping this summer integrated PaaS solutions that enterprises can deploy on premise that give its developers freedom to innovate while allowing IT to manage how apps are developed and deployed

      • Fedora

        • Grub 2 theme for Fedora 17

          Fedora 17′s grub2 screen won’t be the ugly black and white thing you saw in Fedora 16. The reason for the ugliness in Fedora 16′s grub splash is that it was the first release we used grub2 and there were some missing files that prevented the theme from working at all. We punted on it because grub’s splash is not shown by default and we had higher-priority issues to work on for Fedora 16.

        • It’s back! Fedora Reloaded Podcast

          This week Dave Le Sage, Suz, and I discuss Fedora 17, the upcoming release of the Free and Open Source Llinux computer operating system Fedora.

        • Fedora Project is naming names

          The Fedora Project is still trying to clarify its process of naming major releases, a process that has been met with calls for revision within the Fedora community.

          To address the problem, Fedora Advisory Board member Toshio Kuratomi is working to build a new naming process that will avoid some of the pitfalls of the most-recent naming concerns.

    • Debian Family

      • The Debian Administrator’s Handbook is available
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 8: Five points of comparison
          • Ubuntu 12.10 Working To Play A Sound Theme

            Discussed on Monday during the Ubuntu 12.10 Developer Summit were the plans to introduce a new sound theme to the Quantal Quetzel.

            Through a community-driven submission process, they’ve narrowed down the sound theme they’re looking for but are still trying to make it sound “more human and less robotic.” With Ubuntu 12.10 they’re also looking at the ability to customize sound themes and briefly discussed at UDS-Q was the ability to have a LightDM start-up sound.

          • Ubuntu releases open hardware VGA Switch

            As part of his keynote at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced the Ubuntu project’s first open hardware device. The Canonical created VGA Switch (VGAS-01) allows the disconnection of a VGA display from a system with the push of a button.

          • Reports from Ubuntu Developer Summit Highlight Major Momentum

            This week the Ubuntu Developer Summit is going on in Oakland, California, and Mark Shuttleworth and others have been filing some interesting reports coming out of the conference. According to Shuttleworth, today will be “Cloud Day” at the meeting, with speakers including Richard Kaufmann, CTO of HP Cloud, Randy Bias of Cloud Scaling, and Mark Collier of Rackspace. Perhaps the most interesting points coming out of the summit so far, though, have to do with new market share claims for Ubuntu.

          • Mark Shuttleworth Explains HUD for Ubuntu 12.10

            Mark Shuttleworth, father of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, proudly announced earlier yesterday, May 7th, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Oakland, USA, the goals for the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 operating system.

          • My Ubuntu 12.04 Tweaks
          • First Post Release Unity Update Brings Massive Fixes to Ubuntu 12.04

            Ubuntu 12.04 has already received first post release Unity update and its only second week since final Ubuntu 12.04 was released.

            This release, specifically Unity 5.12 brings numerous fixes and optimizations including improved HUD and multi-monitor support, compiz fixes, dash improvements, music/video lens fixes and many more.

          • Install Latest Gimp On Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu 12.10 To Target Linux 3.5 Kernel, Maybe 3.6
          • Why a Developer Laptop?

            At the Ubuntu Developer Summit this week, Dell announced an effort they’re calling Project Sputnik. The basic idea was Dell’s latest and greatest XPS hardware pre-provisioned with developer infrastructure: a developer laptop, in other words. As Barton George discussed, this was in part – full disclosure – an idea of mine. One of the questions we’re fielding from the media following this announcement is why? What’s the point of a developer laptop? I cannot speak for Dell on their motivations or the project logistics, but there are two primary reasons I believe a developer laptop program broadly makes sense.

          • Dell readies Ubuntu Linux laptop for developers
          • New Dell Ubuntu ultrabooks a step in the right direction for Linux support
          • Ubuntu Friendly Wasn’t So Friendly After All

            Ubuntu Friendly — the Canonical-spawned initiative for the community to try to provide information on computer hardware that’s “friendly” to run Ubuntu Linux — is not being actively maintained.

            Just months after it launched, Canonical QA engineers are more or less letting Ubuntu Friendly stand still and wanting to hand the work off to others. Ubuntu Friendly basically came down to a hardware database that listed computer systems and their components known to be compatible with Ubuntu. Ubuntu Friendly never really took off as a community success and evidently have too much on their table to maintain, so a session on Tuesday was held where they were kicking around some ideas or how to make it a success. They want to “hand the project to better hands.”

          • Ubuntu Friendly Wasn’t So Friendly After All

            In a UDS session for Gnome 3 stack in Ubuntu 12.10, Canonical discussed about future plans of Unity interface.

          • UDS: He did NOT say that . . . did he?

            For reasons mentioned in yesterday’s blog item, I’m not at the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Oakland. Oh, I could go up there and attend — it’s only 80 miles from the cozy confines of the Felton redwoods — but I value my life and I’d like to keep it, thank you very much.

          • Ubuntu Still Trying To Lock Down Third-Party Debs

            In the name of security, Ubuntu developers are looking at ways to lock-down or verify the way third-party Debian packages are handled on Ubuntu Linux.

          • Precise Pangolin: Ubuntu Grows Up

            Precise Pangolin is a big step up in many regards. The new Ubuntu OS is friendlier with legacy hardware. It’s peppier and more responsive. I find it is far less sluggish on my older gear. It flies on my newest hardware. However, while its Unity interface has been improved somewhat, it’s still too limited and too confining, at least for some experienced Linux users.

          • EA Games and Ubuntu

            LINUX VENDOR Canonical has pulled out all the stops with Ubuntu 12.04 to get enterprises to give its Linux operating system a go, and on the whole it succeeds, even if some features might put off traditional users.

            Canonical’s Ubuntu 12.04 is known as Precise Pangolin and it is the firm’s fourth long term support (LTS) release with extended support for both desktop and server distributions for five years. As part of Canonical’s push into the enterprise, Ubuntu 12.04 rolls up the big changes seen in the four Ubuntu releases since Ubuntu 10.04 rather than introducing new ones, and the result is an operating system that feels more complete than other recent Ubuntu Linux releases.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 May Get Wayland as a Tech Preview

            In a UDS session today, Canonical discussed plans to implement Wayland Tech Preview in Quantal.

          • The X.Org Plans For Ubuntu 12.10

            - When it comes to the kernel side, as mentioned already, for Ubuntu 12.10 they are looking at shipping with the Linux 3.5 kernel or possibly Linux 3.6 depending upon the features and schedule.

            - They’re undecided whether to ship X.Org Server 1.12 or 1.13 in Ubuntu 12.10. X.Org Server 1.13 should be out in early September and will feature more input improvements, GLX_ARB_create_context support, and various other enhancements. Shipping xorg-server 1.13 comes down to there being NVIDIA/AMD binary blob support in time, whether the 1.13 changes end up being too invasive (namely if Airlie’s DDX driver rework is merged), and their bug count.

          • Ubuntu 12.04

            Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) is out. By now there are a zillion reviews of it already, but I wanted to take a little more time to use it before writing one of my own. Before I get into this review, I want to be clear that I’m not going to be reviewing Unity. By now most people know what it is, and either like it or don’t. There really isn’t any point in complaining about it any more. If you hate it then do not use Ubuntu, just find another distro.

          • Ubuntu TV Is A Popular Topic This Week

            Last year plans began to surface for Ubuntu TV — a version of the popular Linux distribution intended to be deployed by television manufacturers — and during the Ubuntu Developer Summit this week there was much talk about the Ubuntu TV plans.

            Back in January at CES I checked out the interesting Ubuntu TV prototype, which did use a modified version of Unity and was looking interesting. Ubuntu TV though has yet to ship.

          • Mark Shuttleworth, Open-Source Software’s Sugar Daddy

            Ten years ago, just ahead of a trip into space, Mark Shuttleworth took out an insurance policy on his reproductive future. “I put a couple swimmers on ice,” he says. “There was going to be a gamma ray source about a foot from my balls under my seat on the Soyuz. So I made a deposit in a secret location before I flew.”

          • The new Business Desktop Remix is out now

            Today, we released the latest version of the Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix, based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

            Most businesses deploying Ubuntu on corporate desktops perform a similar set of tasks – from removing consumer-focused applications and integrating with existing infrastructure, to installing commercial software for application virtualisation.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 To Further Binary Blob Handling

            While things are coming to a close in Oakland at the last day of UDS-Q, there was an interesting session that concerns the future of third-party driver installation on Ubuntu 12.10 and future releases.

          • Ubuntu Plans For A Future With Upstart

            If you were hoping that Ubuntu 12.10 would mark the switch from Upstart to systemd for its init daemon, there was no surprise announcement and the Ubuntu developers are continuing to push for the advancement of Upstart.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • 13 surprises from Kubuntu 12.04
            • Kubuntu Likely To Retain Name Despite New Sponsor
            • Xubuntu 12.04 REVIEW

              Most of the machines I use are laptops or tablets, but I also have a desktop that I use for recording my music. On that desktop, though, I have two different hard drives split in three (roughly 250GB) partitions, something that allows me to have different distros installed on it. Since late 2010, that machine had Ubuntu 10.10, PCLinuxOS KDE and Ubuntu Studio 9.04 spread across those three partions available. It was about time I went for a change, for a number of reasons, including the fact that Ubuntu 10.10 recently went out of support (needless to say, so did Ubuntu Studio 9.04). On top of that, PCLinuxOS had been stuck on KDE SC 4.6.5 for about a year, so I wanted a fresh update on all my partitions to get fully supported distros and up to date applications and features.

            • A GNOME Flavor Of Ubuntu – “GNOME-buntu”

              Thanks to growing user-interest, it looks like there is going to be a GNOME Shell flavor of Ubuntu to satisfy those who aren’t fond of the direction of Canonical’s Unity desktop.

            • Ubuntu 12.10 Won’t Have Btrfs Filesystem

              Canonical announced at the Ubuntu Developer Summit for Ubuntu 12.10, that they plan to stay with the good ol’ EXT4 filesystem for the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) distribution.

            • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS: The morning after

              Following the official release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin), I took the plunge and upgraded my main work PC from Ubuntu 11.10. Up until the release I had been running the 12.04 beta on a second machine. Although I can switch to GNOME 2 (Classic) quite happily on this system, for some reason — yet to be resolved — I can’t do this on my work PC. So I decided it was time to scrutinise the latest version of Unity running on the latest version of the OS. Some of the observations that follow relate to new features and some to features already present in Ubuntu 11.10 and earlier versions.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • OLPC Gets Backing in Australia

        For years, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative drew major headlines even as promises made by the initiative’s organizers were routinely missed. The original idea behind OLPC was to create $100 computers that could arrive in the hands of poor kids all around the world. Too bad that $100 price point was never achieved, and other problems arose.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Would I Tell Developers About Using Open Source Software?
  • Do robots need a Linux or a Mac OS to thrive?

    Willow Garage sets its open-source software free to attract software developers and help make robots commonplace, but detractors say giving the software away is bad for business.

  • Nvidia contributes CUDA compiler to open source

    Nvidia Corp. said Wednesday (May 9) that LLVM, a popular open source compiler, now supports Nvida GPUs.

  • Web Browsers

  • Open Source Suites

    • Open Ballot: Should Apache abandon OpenOffice?

      In 2010, Libre Office, a new fork of OpenOffice was created. The main goal was to return control of the premiere free office suite to the community and creating new processes that would reinvigorate its development. By all accounts, it succeeded. Developers are getting behind the project, as are companies, and it seems that there’s something of a feature gap opening up between the two projects.

    • Apache Releases OpenOffice 3.4

      Today the Apache OpenOffice Project announced the availability of their inaugural release of Apache OpenOffice, version 3.4. Apache obtained the rights and code to OpenOffice last year and have now ‘vetted” and built “a solid and stable codebase, with significant improvement and enhancements over other variants.” But some are wondering if anyone cares?

    • Apache OpenOffice – Interview with Jürgen Schmidt

      Last week I spoke briefly with Jürgen Schmidt about the Apache OpenOffice 3.4 release, and he was able to give us a little insight into what was involved in getting this release out, and what’s coming in future versions. (Official Release Announcement)

    • When is a release not a release?

      Sixteen months after its last release. OpenOffice.org has released version 3.4, its first as an Apache Incubator project. The release was covered matter of factly by The H (http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Apache-OpenOffice-3-4-0-debuts-1570353.html), and with a dash of skepticism by Brian Proffitt (http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Apache-OpenOffice-3-4-0-debuts-1570353.html). A week ago, it was even trash-talked by LibreOffice developer Michael Meeks (http://people.gnome.org/~michael/blog/2012-04-26-ooo-comparison.html), whose eagerness to discredit it was just a bit too obvious.

    • Open Source Suites Highly Active

      While the news about the ongoing Oracle-Google trial in the US has been holding my attention, there have been a sequence of news releases about desktop productivity showing up over the last few weeks. It’s all too good to miss, so here are summaries in the order the news broke:

      * First, Calligra Suite is starting to look interesting. They have released version 2.4.1 of Calligra Suite, and it’s a fine step forward. With its roots in the K Desktop Environment (KDE) it’s only realistically available for GNU/Linux at present, but there’s an experimental Windows build and talk of a future mac build. The user interface is clear and appealing and there’s support for the important Open Document Format (ODF) file format. It’s available online. The project has also announced it’s Google Summer of Code student activities, which will add useful new capabilities when they are ready.

    • Calligra Suite, the Promising Not-An-Office Suite

      Once upon a time there was KOffice, all full of unrealized potential. And then it was forked as Calligra Suite. The first release of Calligra was on April 11, 2012. Is this a contender, or another niche productivity suite?

      It’s a tough row to hoe, building an office suite. The applications are complex, even without thinking about interoperability. Microsoft Office is the tail that has long wagged the office suite dog, with all of its flaws and lard and barriers to interoperability and portable data. If an office suite doesn’t have MS Office compatibility it’s going to appeal to a limited audience. But times change, and now the Open Document Format (ODF) is nearly universal, which (theoretically) means that we can open our files in any application that supports ODF. And thus even the most stubborn titan of lock-in must eventually succumb, and now even MS Office claims ODF support.

    • Open source suites go beyond Microsoft Office

      Open source desktop productivity suites are experiencing an injection of enthusiasm, as recent burst of news releases confirms

    • Apache OpenOffice Downloads

      Here the issue. What makes a document? The physical form? The logical frame? Sheer convention? So, too, the “office” document. A generation has come to expect of a suite those things that are found in the prevailing application. But that assemblage is, however useful, nevertheless rather arbitrary. It was also spawned by the desires of white-collar workers in large corporations, not by the needs and desires of those outside of the corporate walls. Times have changed. Today, and even more so, tomorrow, virtually all people will have access to some form of a computer, and they will be wanting to create, edit, distribute their works. The number of those coming to this 21st century table is not small, it’s in the billions.

    • Apache OpenOffice turns to SourceForge for Distribution
    • Apache OpenOffice.org 3.4: Download it Now!
  • CMS

    • Winner Takes All: WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla!

      When it comes to CMSs, WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal are the three leading names today. All three are open source software, and are free to use and customise. Each has its own community and user base, as well as a well-maintained repository of themes/templates and plugins/extensions. And all three have their pros and cons.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • To GNU or Not to GNU? That Is the Question

      There’s no denying the incendiary nature of the topic of desktop Linux, which tends to gets rehashed in heated detail every so often both on these pages and beyond.

      What some may not remember, however, is that there’s another recurring Linux subject that can be equally controversial. It hasn’t appeared in some time, but apparently some slow fires have been burning all along, because they just flared up anew.

    • Richard Stallman Cancels Event, Rushed to Hospital

      Reports state that Stallman was admitted to the hospital, but has since been discharged. Reports from Spain say Stallman was most likely suffering from symptoms of high blood pressure. The short note on www.fsf.org states that “he did not have a heart attack, as has been reported in some places.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OSI Supports Open Standards

      Nearly a decade after that original discussion at OSI – which itself was in the context of fairly established thinking – the UK Government seems to think this is still an open, undecided question. Why is that? It appears to be because industry bodies with a deep interest in protecting their existing, proprietary interests in the UK Government have lobbied that Government to re-open the issue. Moreover, during a change of leadership the responsible individuals in the Government decided to give those incumbents a second chance.

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    The dawn of § 101/Alice, which in principle eliminates almost every software patent, means that applicants find themselves having to utilise loopholes to fool examiners, but that's unlikely to impress judges (if they ever come to assessing these patents)



  7. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  8. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  9. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  10. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  11. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  12. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  13. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility



  14. Apple Discovers That Its Patent Disputes Are a Losing Battle Which Only Lawyers Win (Profit From)

    By pouring a lot of money and energy into the 'litigation card' Apple lost focus and it's also losing some key cases, as its patents are simply not strong enough



  15. The Patent Microcosm Takes Berkheimer v HP Out of Context to Pretend PTAB Disregards Fact-Finding Process

    In view or in light of a recent decision (excerpt above), patent maximalists who are afraid of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) try to paint it as inherently unjust and uncaring for facts



  16. Microsoft Has Left RPX, But RPX Now Pays a Microsoft Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures

    The patent/litigation arms race keeps getting a little more complicated, as the 'arms' are being passed around to new and old entities that do nothing but shake-downs



  17. UPC Has Done Nothing for Europe Except Destruction of the EPO and Imminent Layoffs Due to Lack of Applications and Lowered Value of European Patents

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is merely a distant dream or a fantasy for litigators; to everyone else the UPC lobby has done nothing but damage, including potentially irreparable damage to the European Patent Office, which is declining very sharply



  18. Links 17/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.4, Wine 3.2, Go 1.10

    Links for the day



  19. Patent Trolls Are Thwarted by Judges, But Patent Lawyers View Them as a 'Business' Opportunity

    Patent lawyers are salivating over the idea that trolls may be coming to their state/s; owing to courts and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) other trolls' software patents get invalidated



  20. Microsoft's Patent Moves: Dominion Harbor, Intellectual Ventures, Intellectual Discovery, NEC and Uber

    A look at some of the latest moves and twists, as patents change hands and there are still signs of Microsoft's 'hidden hand'



  21. Links 15/2/2018: GNOME 3.28 Beta, Rust 1.24

    Links for the day



  22. Bavarian State Parliament Has Upcoming Debate About Issues Which Can Thwart UPC for Good

    An upcoming debate about Battistelli's attacks on the EPO Boards of Appeal will open an old can of worms, which serves to show why UPC is a non-starter



  23. The EPO is Being Destroyed and There's Nothing Left to Replace It Except National Patent Offices

    It looks like Battistelli is setting up the European Patent Office (EPO) for mass layoffs; in fact, it looks as though he is so certain that the UPC will materialise that he obsesses over "validation" for mass litigation worldwide, departing from a "model office" that used to lead the world in terms of patent quality and workers' welfare/conditions



  24. IBM is Getting Desperate and Now Suing Microsoft Over Lost Staff, Not Just Suing Everyone Using Patents

    IBM's policy when it comes to patents, not to mention its alignment with patent extremists, gives room for thought if not deep concern; the company rapidly becomes more and more like a troll



  25. In Microsoft's Lawsuit Against Corel the Only Winner is the Lawyers

    The outcome of the old Microsoft v Corel lawsuit reaffirms a trend; companies with deep pockets harass their competitors, knowing that the legal bills are more cumbersome to the defendants; there's a similar example today in Cisco v Arista Networks



  26. The Latest Lies About Unitary Patent (UPC) and the EPO

    Lobbying defies facts; we are once again seeing some easily-debunked talking points from those who stand to benefit from the UPC and mass litigation



  27. Speech Deficit and No Freedom of Association at the EPO

    True information cannot be disseminated at the EPO and justice too is beyond elusive; this poses a threat to the EPO's future, not only to its already-damaged reputation



  28. No, Britain is Not Ratifying 'Unitary' Anything, But Team UPC Insinuates It Will (Desperate Effort to Affect Tomorrow's Outcome)

    Contrary to several misleading headlines from Bristows (in its blog and others'), the UPC isn't happening and isn't coming to the UK; it all amounts to lobbying (by setting false expectations)



  29. The EPO's Paid Promotion of Software Patents Gets Patent Maximalists All Excited and Emboldened

    The software patents advocacy from Battistelli (and his cohorts) isn't just a spit in the face of European Parliament but also the EPC; but patent scope seems to no longer exist or matter under his watch, as all he cares about is granting as many patents as possible, irrespective of real quality/legitimacy/merit



  30. Andrei Iancu Begins His USPTO Career While Former USPTO Director (and Now Paid Lobbyist) Keeps Meddling in Office Affairs

    The USPTO, which is supposed to be a government branch (loosely speaking) is being lobbied by former officials, who are now being paid by private corporations to help influence and shape policies; this damages the image of the Office and harms its independence from corporate influence


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