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Links 23/6/2012: Wine 1.5.7 released, Apple Racism

Posted in News Roundup at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • OStatic’s Updated Collection of Free Books on Open Source Topics
  • The limits of openness

    The rise of open source is now being repeated by open endeavours in other fields, following a fairly constant pattern. First, somebody starts a small, personal project, often almost accidentally, and without any long-term plans. Crucially, they share that project online, and other people join in. Then, the project starts to grow and become quite useful. Later, it begins to rival commercial offerings, and companies start to attack it. Finally, it equals then surpasses those commercial offerings, and the companies find themselves in trouble.

  • The death of an HTML5 game breeds an open source project

    German social gaming company Wooga has thrown in the towel on its HTML5 project after seeing little return on the increasing amount of effort put into its “Magic Land Island” game.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Collusion Privacy Protection Add-On is Gaining Fans

        All of us who spend a great deal of time with digital devices have concerns about being tracked online, and these concerns are often especially pronounced among members of the open source community. In response to these concerns about online tracking, Mozilla delivered a Firefox extension not long ago called Collusion. You can get the add-on and watch a demo of it here, and we previously covered it here. It’s designed to turn the tables on online spies, allowing you to see who is tracking you. In an address focused on privacy delivered at TED, Mozilla CEO Ted Kovacs sang the praises of Collusion, and it’s gaining more traction with other Mozilla leaders.

      • Mozilla Firefox 13.0.1 Arrives on Ubuntu OSes

        Canonical announced yesterday, June 20th, in a security notice, that an update for the default web browser in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Ubuntu 11.10, Ubuntu 11.04 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is now available.

      • Introducing Thimble: webmaking made easy

        Today we are proud to launch a new Mozilla Webmaker app to the world. Meet Thimble, the new tool that makes it incredibly simple for anyone to create and share their own web pages and other projects in minutes.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • After Oracle, OpenSolaris rises again

      While some of the open source projects that Sun Microsystems created — and which I used to work with — have maintained a high profile, the one most associated with Sun in the minds of system administrators has been strangely forgotten. Whatever happened to OpenSolaris?

    • Perspectives on Apache OpenOffice 3.4 download numbers

      You may have read, on the Apache OpenOffice blog, news that the project has had 5 million downloads in the first 6 weeks since the release of version 3.4. And as the above chart shows, the download rate has increased in the past two weeks, as we’ve started to roll out the upgrade notifications to OpenOffice.org 3.3 users.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Open source Geiger counter successfully kickstarted

      The Safecast project, which was co-founded by BoingBoing contributor Sean Bonner in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, has recently completed a successful Kickstarter funding round to create an open source Geiger counter. Safecast aims to supply residents of Japan with reliable, crowd-sourced radiation measurements.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • Nitro 1.4 Released With New Features

      If you are a busy guy with a lot of tasks to keep track of, Nitro is the one of the best task management tools available for you. A new version has been released with some exciting features that we are going to cover in this story.

  • Public Services/Government

    • FOI request: Public sector favours legacy over open-source storage

      Local and central government departments in the UK are favouring legacy storage systems from the likes of IBM and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) as opposed to open-source storage, according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

      The request was made by open-source software provider Nexenta Systems, and the revelation comes despite the government’s efforts over the past few years to cut costs and create a level playing field between open source and proprietary software vendors.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Using open source & grassroots to map the world’s radiation data

        Mapping the world’s radiation and air pollution data, using one volunteer with one gadget at a time — that’s the goal of the Safecast project, which this week closed over $100,000 on Kickstarter to deliver a limited run of its open source geiger counters to interested buyers. “I don’t think it’s an unreasonable goal,” to create comprehensive maps of this data from all over the world, says Sean Bonner, co-founder of Safecast, in a phone interview shortly after his team’s project was funded.

  • Programming


  • Apple Bigots

    Apple was found to refuse to sell to people who speak Farsi, the language of Iran. They claim it’s to prevent export to Iran even though the person lives in Virginia, USA, and is a US citizen.

  • Apple blacklists customers on basis of race

    Jobs’ Mob has been branded a bunch of racists after one of its stores refused to sell shiny toys to some swarthy types who were not speaking English.

    WSB-TV interviewed two customers who were denied the right to buy an iPad or an iPhone after store personnel heard them speaking Farsi. Farsi is the language of Ancient Persia and once was the lingua franca between merchants.

    The Apple staff apparently decided to refuse the sale because, in the opinion of its genius managers, the two must be buying the gear to sell to their evil terrorist mates in Iran. Apparently they even quoted laws that prohibit the export of products to Iran.

    The only problem is that the law does not forbid you selling technology gear to people in your own country or US citizens. The US happens to have a fair number of US citizens who are Iranian and so the move seems to be to blacklist them from owning gear using the made-in-China Apple logo.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • STUDY: Right Wing Spins Media With “Job-Killer” Claims

      The media is indiscriminately using the term “job-killer” to describe government policies and programs, but without verifying or substantiating the claims, according to a new study. Use of the phrase by major media outlets has exploded since President Obama took office and rapidly circulates throughout the press with little or no fact checking of the “job killer” allegations.

  • Privacy

    • 4 Steps to immunity from UK snooping laws

      Last week’s draft Communications Bill outlines how civil servants are again intent on surveilling the internet communications of innocent British citizens. Fortunately, Free Software provides several ways with which you can protect your privacy online, regardless of the measures that the Coalition may impose upon you or your telecoms providers.

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