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07.03.12

Links 3/7/2012: KDE on the Raspberry Pi, Linux 3.5 RC5

Posted in News Roundup at 6:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Twitter’s Load Generator, Iago, Now Open Sourced

    If you needed something to test your website for traffic load before you publish it to production environment, Iago is a perfect choice for you.

  • 6 Meritorious Free Linux Modelers
  • Website creation: Dreamweaver v open source

    Recent years have seen huge changes in internet use, and therefore in the challenges presented by modern website design. Software developers are consequently racing to catch up and provide website design, creation and management tools that address these changes.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Opens Voting For Best Splash Screen Contest

      The LibreOffice team is getting ready for the next release and things have been getting exciting. This week, LibreOffice Design team has opened a poll for best splash screen to be included in LibreOffice 3.6. Weeks ago, LibreOffice developers hadd started a contest and best splash splash sreen selected from them are open for public voting.

    • LibreOffice 3.5.5 RC2 Released
  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.4 Update

      With the latest version of WordPress just arriving, version 3.4, I’m sure people who are using the self-hosted version of WordPress are interested to know what is included with this update. Along with the usual bug fixes, included are many improvements and additions that will benefit both designers, developers and end users. Let’s take a look and see why.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF’s new operations assistant

      Hello, I’m Chrissie Himes, the new operations assistant, and I’m excited to officially be with the Free Software Foundation. I handle sales, donations, and general office operations.

    • Two job openings on the FSF campaigns team

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect freedoms critical to the computer-using public, seeks *two* motivated and organized tech-friendly Boston-based individuals to be its full-time campaigns managers.

    • GNU C Library 2.16 Brings Many Features (GLIBC)

      Version 2.16 of glibc, the GNU C Library, was released on Saturday afternoon. This update to the de facto C library for GNU/Linux systems brings many new features. There’s x32 and ISO C11 support along with performance optimizations.

    • Free Software Foundation: Ubuntu’s Secure Boot Plan Won’t Fly

      There’s still no end in sight to the ongoing Secure Boot saga arising from Microsoft’s Windows 8 plans, and just recently we’ve seen both Fedora Linux and Ubuntu Linux respond with two very different approaches to working around the problem.

    • ‘Secure’ boot: Ubuntu goes one worse than Red Hat

      After Red Hat revealed how it would kowtow to the overlords at Redmond, it was only a matter of time before Canonical would genuflect as well over the issue of secure boot.

      But Canonical, which is best known for its Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution, has come up with a way of getting its distribution to boot on PCs certified for Windows 8 that is even worse than that devised by Red Hat.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Who Killed the Open Set-Top-Box?

      A few years ago, I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With my trusty Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150 I enjoyed the ability to watch and record Comcast TV on my desktop computer — and even to occasionally edit and re-upload it to YouTube along with fair use critical commentary. When I moved across the river to Boston, Comcast required me to pay for a set-top box that would tune channels on my television. However, when I plugged my PVR-150 into the cable connection, it got almost no channels at all. As it turns out, the Comcast system in Boston had been migrated to use mostly digital signals, but my tuner card worked only with analog cable signals. Fair enough, I thought, I’ll buy a digital cable tuner. As it turned out, that wouldn’t help much. The cable companies had implemented encryption to fight “service theft” of most channels that subscribers had not paid for. As a result, I lost the ability to view channels I had paid for on a device of my choosing.

  • Programming

    • Death to Javascript: CNN Edition

      Some weeks back I wrote “Death to Javascript”, in which I related the problem my wife has reported, of web pages that tie up her computer. She’s been seeing this more and more often lately. But today we got lucky: she was able to identify a specific page, on CNN.com, that causes this to happen.

    • jQuery 2.0 to drop support for older IE versions
    • Pymothoa: JIT’ing Python Over LLVM

      As explained on the project’s web-site, “Pymothoa extends the Python language by adding JIT compilation without any modification of the interpreter source code. Pymothoa lives at the application level. It uses the AST generated by Python. Therefore, users write in the original Python syntax but with a new contextual meaning in some cases using the new dialect provided by Pymothoa. User uses the decorators provided to mark Python functions for JIT compilation. Pymothoa uses LLVM for the JIT ability. Comparing to writing C-extension to speedup Python, Pymothoa is less cumbersome and easier to distribute as the user does not need to compile the C-extensions. Programming in the Pymothoa dialect is similar to writing in C. Variables must be declared and are statically typed. Despite a few extra constructs, the syntax is the same as raw Python code.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The FFmpeg/Libav situation

      One year and a half ago, an important part of FFmpeg developers decided to change the way the project was managed. This led to some kind of takeover, mainly to get rid of the old maintainer dictatorship, but also to change development methods, redefine objectives, etc. Then, for various reasons I will quickly explain, these people made a new project called Libav.

    • W3C forges ahead with Selectors API

      The Web Applications Working Group at the W3C has published a last call working draft of the Selectors API Level 1 specification. Widely used in CSS, selectors are patterns that match a set of elements in a structure tree. As accessing elements in HTML documents using DOM methods such as getElementById or getElementsByTagName can quite laborious, frameworks like jQuery have developed simple CSS selector methods. Many browsers offer querySelector and querySelectorAll functions that also use these selectors.

    • Google Web Toolkit now under a steering committee

      Google has released its grip on the development of the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and moved it under the control of a steering committee comprising developers from Google, Sencha, Red Hat, ArcBees, Vaadin, mgwt and other GWT advocates such as Thomas Broyer, Christian Goudreau and Daniel Kurka. First released as open source in 2006 and controlled by Google, GWT will now be under the control of a committee which will set out a direction for future GWT development, approve new committers, review code, administer releases, adjust the GWT development processes and work as master committers on the GWT project.

Leftovers

  • Gmail Becomes World’s Largest Email Service; Google Continues To Unseat Microsoft

    Gmail’s growth has skyrocketed since its public introduction in 2007, but this year in particular, Google has been successful in attracting millions of new users. In January, Google mentioned in its earnings call that it had about 350 million monthly active users on Gmail; six months later, about 75 million more users had flocked to Gmail, growing the total number to 425 million monthly active users. By this measure, Gmail has dethroned Hotmail.

  • ‘Leap Second’ Bug Wreaks Havoc Across Web

    Reddit, Mozilla, Gawker, and possibly many other web outfits experienced brief technical problems on Saturday evening, when software underpinning their online operations choked on the “leap second” that was added to the world’s atomic clocks.

  • Minitel service shuts down

    TOMORROW at midnight is the end of an era –Minitel is shutting down.

    After 20 years of service, owner France Télécom is pulling the plug by switching off the “X 25”, the network over which the service works.

    A precursor to the internet, Minitel gave a dial-up information service over phone lines via special terminals, consisting of a screen using text and basic graphics, with a keyboard and modem. Long before the World Wide Web, people could use it, for example, to reserve trains, search for phone numbers, buy online, pay bills, play games or chat.

  • U.S. Supreme Court Deals Blow to Unions, Shows Preference for Corporate “Rights”

    A little-noticed U.S. Supreme Court decision from June 21 has dealt a blow to public sector unions and demonstrated the conservative majority’s preferential treatment for corporate “rights.” The decision in Knox v. SEIU could have an impact on future election cycles.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Explaining the Legalese of the US Supreme Court’s Ruling on the Affordable Care Act ~ pj

      I was offline most of yesterday, and I returned to see long threads about health care and the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling [PDF] on the Affordable Care Act [PDF]. That surprised me, because I didn’t think you would be greatly interested. That’s why I didn’t even put it in News Picks, let alone write about it. But now I see I was wrong, that many of you are interested, and I also see a lot of misunderstanding of what the ruling actually says, not only in your comments but in the media. I also see a lot of FUD in the air. So I thought I’d take the time to explain it. If nothing else, it fits our purpose for doing Groklaw, since antiFUD is very much what we set out to do, and we have covered Constitutional issues before, albeit in the First Amendment context usually.

    • Americans for Prosperity Rally Calls for “Nullifying” Health Care Law (with Help from ALEC)

      The evening after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Wisconsin chapter of the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity held a “Hands Off My Health Care” rally to plan next steps in their effort to defeat “Obamacare.” The plan apparently involves American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) model legislation.

  • Finance

    • Completing The Circle: Meet The US Ambassador To Germany

      Everyone knows that Italy’s unelected PM, Mario Monti, is a former Goldman Sachs International ‘advisor.’ As such, it is only natural that being part of the banking cartel he would do everything in his power to promote an inflationary agenda, one that seeks ECB bond monetization intervention, (another central bank headed by a former Goldmanite of course, who just happens to be Germany’s most hated man), perpetuates the status quo, and one that naturally contravenes everything that German citizens have been pushing for in their desire to avoid the risk of another hyperinflationary episode. Especially if, as is well-known, resolving Europe’s problems, however briefly, facilitates an Obama re-election campaign because as conventional wisdom is also catching on, should Europe implode before November, Obama’s reelection chances plunge accordingly. And yet, even as Goldman’s tentacles had spread all over Europe (as seen here), conventional wisdom was that Goldman’s influence in Germany was relatively muted.

    • CFTC Skips `Intergalactic’ Power in Dodd-Frank Guidance

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and other banks won greater ability to fall under foreign regulations when they trade swaps overseas under guidance proposed for the Dodd-Frank Act’s international reach.

      Commodity Futures Trading Commission members, in a private vote, unanimously approved proposing interpretive guidance allowing for so-called substituted compliance for branches, subsidiaries and other overseas affiliates of U.S. banks when foreign jurisdictions have comparable rules. Banks have spent two years lobbying against efforts to automatically apply Dodd- Frank to their overseas operations, saying doing so would hurt their ability to compete.

    • Western banks ‘reaping billions from Colombian cocaine trade’

      While cocaine production ravages countries in Central America, consumers in the US and Europe are helping developed economies grow rich from the profits, a study claims

  • Censorship

    • Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk, Part VIII: Charles Carreon Gets Sued, Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen Joins The Fray

      Everyone knows what you do when someone like Charlie the Censor sues you. You lawyer up. If you’re very lucky, you have funds to hire a good lawyer, or you can get the backing of extraordinary advocates like those at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

      But what do you do if someone like Charlie the Censor just threatens to sue you at some unspecified future time or place, but doesn’t yet? Do you simply wait and see? Do you live your life under that cloud?

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Three NSA Whistleblowers Back EFF’s Lawsuit Over Government’s Massive Spying Program

      The three former NSA employees with declarations in EFF’s brief are William E. Binney, Thomas A. Drake, and J. Kirk Wiebe. All were targets of a federal investigation into leaks to the New York Times that sparked the initial news coverage about the warrantless wiretapping program. Binney and Wiebe were formally cleared of charges and Drake had those charges against him dropped.

    • Cops in USA to drive around in pornoscannerwagons, covertly irradiating people and looking through their cars and clothes

      American cops are set to join the US military in deploying American Science & Engineering’s Z Backscatter Vans, or mobile backscatter radiation x-rays. These are what TSA officials call “the amazing radioactive genital viewer,” now seen in airports around America, ionizing the private parts of children, the elderly, and you (yes you).

    • Twitter Ordered to Turn Over Data on Occupy Protester

      Twitter has been ordered by a New York judge to hand over the account information and tweets of an Occupy Wall Street protester…

    • Megauploads, WikiLeaks and Independence Day

      Wednesday is the Fourth of July, the day when we in the U.S. celebrate whatever we perceive to be the vision of our founding families. This would seem to be a good time to wonder what the framers of our constitution would think about the way we’ve been applying, or not applying, due process to the Internet.

      There are two cases in the news these days that are quite disturbing. For starters, there’s Megaupload.

      The only things that Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz, appears to have done wrong was to start Megaupload, a hugely successful file hosting service. The feds see it differently. They’re convinced, mainly by circumstantial evidence, that’s his website has made him the biggest pirate of movies and music online, an allegation he denies.

      Federal authorities were evidently waiting for SOPA to pass before making their move against him and his site. On the same night that public opinion forced SOPA to fail, however, the feds decided to act anyway. They took down his website and had Dotcom taken into custody by the New Zealand authorities. They seized most of his assets, without proving anything in court, and are now attempting to have him extradited to the United States.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • A Politics for Open Networks

      The essence of a network is its connections and, indeed, the multiplicity of those connections. While there are many ways of networking (putting up a card in the newsagent’s window still works fine!) we can not avoid at this point of the 21st century that the network of networks is the Internet.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The USPTO: Where Up Is Down, Expensive Medicine Saves Lives, And Cheap Alternatives Violate International Law

      Well, this is unfortunate. We’ve written a few times about how various countries, under the TRIPS agreement are able to break patents on important medicines in the interest of public health. Most recently, we wrote about how India did this with a cancer drug made by Bayer called Nexavar. Despite the fact that Bayer has more than made back the money it spent bringing Nexavar to market, it’s been pricing the drug at an unaffordable $70,000/year. After India allowed a small bit of competition, the price has dropped. We’ve seen that the USPTO doesn’t like this at all and has tried to claim that high priced drugs are good for one’s health, but that’s beyond ridiculous to anyone who actually thinks.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • This Week We Kill ACTA – Or Get Locked Down In Monopolies For Decades

          This is it. This is the week when ACTA lives or dies, globally. We have seen it coming. Now is the time for the very final push in contacting the European Parliament. On Wednesday, in the session between 12 noon and 14:00, the European Parliament votes on ACTA. If the European Parliament kills it, it dies globally.

        • Down with ACTA! The EU must protect our commons

          Joint press release by 55 European and International organisations to invite Members of European Parliament to reject ACTA, and beyond, engage in a positive reform of copyright and patents.

          ACTA threatens fundamental freedoms online, Net neutrality, innovation, access to and sharing of free/libre/open technologies, education, culture, essential medicines and seeds.

        • We Want to Share Books, Music, Films With You!

          La Quadrature du Net felt the urge to share works with the Members of the European Parliament and their assistants ahead of the ACTA vote, and in order to shed light on the urgency of reforming copyright. Some of these works aim at enjoyment and others at extending knowledge or enriching the public debate. All of them innovate in content, ways of distribution, economic models and relationship between authors, contributors and users. All citizens can do the same, and share pieces of digital culture with their elected representatives!

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A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    July 5, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Gravatar

    Why Google and Ubuntu don’t say “Linux”

    I don’t know why Steven has to perpetuate the linux is crappy fud in this article – because that’s all he does. His reasons boil down to “it’s great for geeks but too messy for stupid people and they don’t want to be associated with that”.

    The reasons are a lot simpler: Linux is just a kernel, not an operating system, and more importantly from a business perspective, is that they simply don’t own the trademark. They say ubuntu and android as both are their trademark and the marks under which they’re running their commercial operations.

    Why are tech journalists so lazy? And plain thick …

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