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07.10.12

Links 10/7/2012: Thunderbird Put to Rest, Catchup with Free/Open Source News

Posted in News Roundup at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Higgs Boson: Another Feather in Linux’s Cap

    CERN has “played a major role in bringing together scientific technologies and know-how regarding Linux in their Scientific Linux project, which acts as a clone and extension of Red Hat Enterprise Linux,” noted Slashdot blogger Chris Travers. “This goes *way* beyond the normal high performance computing usage of Linux. CERN is in the forefront of bringing Linux to the scientific community.”

  • FixMeStick gets a virus-infected PC up and running again

    FixMeStick is a USB flash drive with a rudimentary version of Linux and a set of malware-removal tools. Insert it into a Windows-based PC infected with viruses or spyware and you’re able to boot from the basic OS on the drive. It will then scan your PC and attempt to remove the malicious code so your PC is functional again.

  • Linux Credit Where Due

    I read an article on ZDNET. You can read it for yourself here. The Author was raising the point about companies who release Linux based services but fail to even mention Linux or their services’ heritage and what provides the actual base for their service. The Author points the finger specifically at Google’s Android and Canonical’s Ubuntu. I just want to extend on the Authors’ thoughts a little more.

  • Desktop

    • Google’s launches new Chromebox and Chromebooks

      Google has announced the launch of new Chromebook laptops and a new Chromebox desktop running version 19 of Chrome OS, a major software update to the minimalist Linux-based operating system built around the Chrome web browser. Chrome OS, the proprietary version of the open source Chromium OS, is designed primarily for accessing the web and cloud applications such as the company’s Google Apps web-based productivity suite. According to Google, the new devices and version of the OS represent “the next step”.

    • WOW! Computer for Seniors

      In fact, the company is so proud of their product they sell it at a premium price. That is justifiable because of the huge touch-screen, the freedom from worry about software updated and viruses and the great ease of use. It’s still a small computer, though, an all-in-one. No big box at all, and with fewer cables.

  • Server

    • M$ Promotes GNU/Linux By Shipping Cripple-ware For Servers

      Isnt’t that a laugh? M$’s charges more money in relation to how much of your own IT you can use? Do we have parking meters in our garages? Do we have coin-slots on our refrigerators? Do we pay to use our tools? Those are silly concepts. So is that other OS in IT.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Audio: Dan Risacher talks open source

      Dan Risacher, a self-styled “policy wonk” in the directorate for enterprise services and integration under the office of the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer and open source advocate, spoke May 24 before Mil-OSS LANT, a military open source adoption conference.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Zorin OS 6
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS KDE 2012.2: Pretty and solid distro

        I have heard a lot of good things of PCLinuxOS and yesterday, finally I decided to try it out. I downloaded the stable version 2012.2 (KDE) from the PCLinux FTP. The ISO is about 690 MB and I booted it up in my VirtualBox. The initial liveCD boot was easy, it asked a couple of questions on my keyboard and location and finally landed on the desktop.

      • Mandriva divides itself once again

        As Mandriva SA plans its future roadmap, the company will be taking a unique and bold step with its commercial offerings: using and participating in two separate upstreams for its product lines.

        According to CEO Jean-Manual Croset and Director of Community Charles Schulz, the Mandriva server products will be based on the Mageia distribution of Linux, while desktop and OEM products will be based on the historical Mandriva Linux distro.

      • Mandriva for Desktop, Mageia for Servers

        The heads of Mandriva SA have decided to base upcoming server versions of Mandriva on Mageia, the community run Mandriva fork

    • Gentoo Family

      • 2012 Gentoo Screenshot Contest is On

        Every year members of the Gentoo project hold their annual Gentoo screenshot contest, and it’s that time of year again right now. And just as the name implies, it is indeed a contest for the prettiest, coolest, or whatever-vague-criteria-is-used-but-isn’t-published-anywhere Gentoo desktop setup. All you need is a Gentoo install and an Internet connection to win.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Tails 0.12.1 Screenshots (07/08/2012)
        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 64-bit ARM support for Linux AArch64

            ARM employee Catalin Marinas has released a set of 36 patches that will extend the Linux kernel to provide support for ARM’s AArch64 64-bit architecture. This 64-bit ARM support will be provided by the ARMv8 instruction set, which was announced in the autumn of 2011 and is expected to be first used in processors in 2014.

          • Must-Have Missing Features in Ubuntu

            I feel a certain kinship with newer Linux converts. Switching to Linux on the desktop is definitely a unique experience that many of us tend to forget. For instance, the need to stop and think about where a tool’s located can be challenging for newbies.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source’s unlikely enemy: Your procurement rules

    Your procurement rules have gradually built up as you’ve played the procurement game with your suppliers. At its rawest, the vendors’ game is a chase to obtain as large a share of your IT budget as possible, preferably locked-in so that it becomes recurring revenue, while exposing themselves to the least cost and risk possible. Your suppliers’ tools of choice are proprietary software, proprietary data formats, and as much complexity as can be slathered into the solution.

  • Intel says open source fundamental to its cloud growth
  • NYSE Relies on Open Source for Growth

    The announcement by NYSE Technologies, the commercial technology division of NYSE Euronext, that it is expanding the terms of its partnership with the Warsaw Stock Exchange, illustrates how the exchange company expects to significantly increase revenue by commercializing its own technology.

  • Puppet Partners with EMC on Open Source Razor

    The open source Puppet configuration management system is widely used to get software onto servers. Now the developers behind Puppet are going a step further, taking aim at bare metal provisioning in an open source effort with EMC called Razor.

  • Open-source attitude in the internet era

    The term ‘open source’ comes from computer programming. It refers to a computer program that isn’t owned by any company and is freely available to the general public. Microsoft Word, by contrast, is ‘closed source’ — the Microsoft Corporation owns the code for its software and will never make it available or give it away for free.

    A little-known program called Open Office is a freely available alternative to Microsoft Office with many of the same features. A loose group of programmers around the world created Open Office and constantly tinkers with it to make it better. They do this for free with no benefit besides the pleasure of providing a useful service for anonymous users.

  • Monetizing Open Source with Fairware: Interview with Virgil Dupras

    There has been a long standing belief (or perhaps more accurately, fear), that developers who chose to release the source code for their software under a free and open license can’t turn their project into a viable source of income.

    It’s not hard to see how this negative connotation has developed. Those who may not be well versed in the various free and open licenses may believe that they are literally prohibited from charging for their software. Others may fall victim to the failed logic that, if the source is freely available, people won’t pay for the convenience of a binary build.

  • Filmmaker to attempt year of Open Source Everything

    On August 1st, Berlin-based filmmaker Sam Muirhead is abandoning all copyrighted products and switching to Open Source software, hardware, and services for one year, as the subject of his own series of online documentary videos.

  • DHS Sponsorship Boosts Open-Source Security Engine

    Network security companies looking for an open-source-based intrusion detection and prevention engine have a next-generation tool that can be incorporated into their existing or new offerings: Check out the latest beta of the Open Information Security Foundation’s (OISF) Suricata Engine.

  • Google scraps — and shares — Web-based collab coding tool

    Collide, which lets multiple programmers tap into a software development project, is open-source software now that Google has cast it off. One project member hopes it’ll inspire related projects.

  • From accountancy, to e-accountancy, to lion taming

    Electronic business has many levels. No surprise then that e-business (or e-commerce if you prefer) is served by e-accounting, which itself comprises of e-payments and (before that) e-invoicing… and every other level of e-accounting if you have the stomach for an endless stream of new-age e- prefixes.

  • Open-Source Science: The New Norm

    The discovery of the Higgs boson is of course a monumental achievement. But also noteworthy is how the physics community has evolved to get things done – and what this trajectory suggests for other scientific fields and fast-changing industries.

  • Google Collide Dims Hope For Brightly IDE

    Google has been developing a Web-based editor for computer code–what’s known as an integrated development environment, or IDE–for several years now. Mark S. Miller, an engineer for the company, revealed the existence of the project, known as Brightly, in a post to a mailing list in November 2010 about Google’s Dart programming language.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Thunderfork: Canonical’s Chance To Expand Its Ecosystem With Thunderbird

      With the recent news that Mozilla will no longer be innovating with new versions of Thunderbird, many Ubuntu users might be left wondering what this will mean for their favorite distribution’s default suite of software. In fact, it seems like Canonical has had it’s hands full over the last two years trying to find a winning combination. Canonical has thrown it’s hands up in the air before and changed default software on a whim, most famously switching from enterprise friendly Evolution to user-friendly and mainstream Thunderbird. Also, it chose to abandon the stellar Banshee player in favor of the more homely and less feature-rich Rhythmbox.

    • Mozilla is Wrong. There is Still Room for Open Source Thunderbird Innovation

      Mozilla’s current success is born out of a decision made over a decade ago to split up the Mozilla Browser Suite. The original Mozilla Browser (now continued in SeaMonkey) has both email and browser which was split out into separate projects: Thunderbird and Firefox.

    • Mozilla Puts the Brakes on Thunderbird
  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Why MongoDB? It’s the developers, stupid

      Increasingly the third standard within enterprises for databases, MongoDB, has been claiming a lot of victories lately. In relative terms, it has become the second-hottest skill to have on one’s resume, right after HTML5, according to Indeed.com job trend data. And despite plenty of hating on its technology, with one person telling me recently that “it sets database technology back 25 years,” MongoDB continues to get deployed for numerous, large mission-critical applications.

    • MySQL’s growing NoSQL problem

      Just a few short years ago, MySQL was the undisputed king of the open-source database hill. But with the NoSQL market emerging at an 82 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), it’s looking like MySQL may get bulldozed by its NoSQL peers.

      While this shift toward NoSQL provides an interesting commentary on where the industry is heading, it’s even more instructive about the frenetic pace of innovation that open source is driving.

  • CMS

  • Education

  • Business

    • PEPPOL now available through Open Source; installed in only a few hours

      We all know that PEPPOL focuses on e-procurement, but it is no secret that pan-European adoption of e-invoicing is also high on the project’s agenda. The technological PEPPOL developments have taken another step towards this goal. And this all thanks to Norwegian SendRegning.

    • Zurmo Releases Beta Open Source CRM Application

      Under development for the past 19 months, Zurmo is the brainchild of McKay, cofounder Ray Stoeckicht, and Jason Green, cofounder and lead architect, who are all part of the leadership team at Intelestream, an open source enterprise applications developer and professional services firm.

    • Zurmo open source CRM app pins its hopes on gamification

      Company hopes gamification principles in its CRM application, now in beta, will make it stand out and better engage users

    • Zurmo Gamified Open Source CRM Releases Beta Version
    • Open Source Open Days from Sirius

      Sirius is launching an Open Source Open Day programme to educate Government, Public Sector and business organisations on how to get the most benefit from using Open Source software within their technology infrastructure.

      With the UK in double-dip recession, no let-up in the Government drive for austerity, and the old-fashioned idea of economic growth making a comeback, Western economies have much to learn from the BRICS in utilising Open Source to combine public austerity with private growth. Extensive usage of Open Source is a signature of those economies which are thriving despite the global downturn and contrast markedly with the malaise throughout European economies.

  • Funding

  • Project Releases

    • Piwik web analytics now with Do Not Track by default

      The developers of the open source web analytics engine Piwik have released versions 1.8 and 1.8.1 of their software. Version 1.8 brings several key improvements to the user interface and introduces Do Not Track (DNT) support. The 1.8 release is also rated as a critical update after a security review identified a “limited” XSS vulnerability, a cookie denial of service vulnerability and a local file inclusion vulnerability. The Piwik developers recommend updating to the latest version as soon as possible, with the latest version being 1.8.1, released a few days after 1.8 after a number of regressions were found.

    • Transmission BitTorrent client supports Retina display

      In the latest major update to their open source BitTorrent client, the developers at the Transmission Project have mainly focused on enhancements that affect Mac users. The 2.60 release of the peer-to-peer file sharing client adds support for the new Retina display (HiDPI) in Apple’s latest MacBook Pro laptop and is, the developers say, now ready for the Gatekeeper security feature in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, which is expected to arrive later this month.

    • FFmpeg adds Blu-ray and ProRes support

      The FFmpeg developers have announced the first major update to the open source audio and video codecs package since January. FFmpeg 0.11, code-named “Happiness”, includes several new encoders and decoders for additional video formats including Blu-ray and Apple’s ProRes. A significant number of bugs have also been fixed.

    • New Nmap probes IPv6 networks
    • Open source initiatives in Spain
  • Public Services/Government

    • Open-Source R software driving Big Data analytics in government

      As government agencies and departments expand their capabilities for collecting information, the volume and complexity of digital data stored for public purposes is far outstripping departments’ ability to make sense of it all. Even worse, with data siloed within individual departments and little cross-agency collaboration, untold hours and dollars are being spent on data collection and storage with return on investment in the form of information-based products and services for the public good.

    • Pentagon releases open-source health record software
    • DoD official: Open source memo doesn’t mandate a support vendor

      The October 2009 memo on Defense Department use of open source software may have inadvertently created an additional roadblock to it, said attendees of a conference on military use of open source.

      The October 2009 memo (.pdf), widely seen as a landmark for its assertion that open source software qualifies as a “commercial item” under federal and Defense acquisition policy definition of the term (and so removing a previous barrier to is wider use), also stipulated that program managers before using open source software must “ensure that the plan for software support…is adequate for mission need.”

    • R is ready for big data
    • Government open source foundation needs to happen

      Talk within the Defense Department of creating a government open source foundation hopefully will become reality despite the climate of budget austerity that might prevent its formation.

    • Metadata plan should ease EU open source projects

      The European Commission wants to improve its free and open-source software repository system using an enhanced metadata specification meant to help E.U. countries exchange more information about their free and open-source software projects.

    • Proposal Aims to Improve EU Software Repository System

      The European Commission wants to improve its free and open-source software repository system using an enhanced metadata specification meant to help E.U. countries exchange more information about their free and open-source software projects.

    • Why there’s no quick fix to get open source into government
  • Licensing

    • NHS Hack Day brings open source to UK Health Service

      The first NHS Hack Day has highlighted applications which could help the UK’s National Health Service provide better, more customisable services for people. The event was won by a group who developed an electronic patient task list for doctors.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source powers big data index

      Avination Virtual Limited announced today that it has released code for llCastRay to the open source OpenSimulator project, as promised at Linux Day in Berlin last month.

    • Open-source ski films?

      If you’ve ever watched ski or snowboard films and thought “I could do that”, Teton Gravity Research (TGR) have now given you the perfect excuse to prove it. They’ve put up a $100,000 cash prize for the best segment submitted to TetonGravity.com during the 2012/13 season.

    • Loughborough professor calls for ‘open-source banking’

      The future of the UK economy depends on the switch to ‘open-source banking’, according to Alistair Milne, Professor of Financial Economics at Loughborough University.

      Speaking at today’s launch of the Loughborough University Centre for Post-Crisis Finance, which is part of the School of Business and Economics, Professor Milne advocated radical change in the structure and process of banking, defining ‘open-source banking’ as having open access to banking information and systems.

    • Open Data

      • TomTom’s Not A Fan Of Open Source Street Maps

        TomTom makes its money from navigation solutions, so it’s not a huge surprise that it’s not terribly fond of open source maps on a general level. It has been accused, however, of overstating the error potential in competing open source map sources as part of a blog post discrediting them.

      • TomTom launches assault on open mapping data

        Satnav manufacturer TomTom has written an article strongly criticising cartographical open data projects like OpenStreetMap for their “accuracy and reliability”.

        “Open source mapping has really come into the limelight in the past few years, and many businesses have started to experiment with its use in industry,” says TomTom on its website. “The limelight, however, brings with it closer scrutiny, and recent reports on the accuracy and reliability of open source maps make for uncomfortable reading.”

    • Open Access/Content

      • Scientific Journal Offers Flat Fee to Authors for ‘All You Can Publish’
      • Journal offers flat fee for ‘all you can publish’

        Science-publishing ventures continually battle for market space, yet most operate on one of only two basic business models. Either subscribers pay for access, or authors pay for each publication — often thousands of dollars — with access being free. But in what publishing experts say is a radical experiment, an open-access venture called PeerJ, which formally announced its launch on 12 June, is carving out a fresh niche. It is asking its authors for only a one-off fee to secure a lifetime membership that will allow them to publish free, peer-reviewed research papers.

    • Open Hardware

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • The Cloud of Lowered Expectations

    Alas, I’m not surprised that the customers of the various services will view this as “business as usual.” We’ve all become accustomed to the idea that web sites go down, emails go astray, computers fail, and in general Internet services are mostly available.

    Many years ago, I worked for a short while on telephone switching systems. Those were the days of Ma Bell, and Ma was very demanding. As I recall, switching systems were required to have a Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of ten years, and a Mean Time To Repair (MTTR) of thirty minutes. It wasn’t easy, but those specifications were met…and rare indeed was the occasion when you picked up a telephone and were met with total silence. (Telephone offices typically had 48 hours of backup power.)

  • Finance

    • Wall Street Employees Lose $2 Billion in 401(k) Bet on Own Firms

      Wall Street employees, who dispense financial advice to individuals and companies, aren’t following a basic investing tenet with their own money: diversification.

      Workers at the five largest Wall Street banks saw the value of company stock in their 401(k) accounts, sometimes the biggest holding of those plans, decline more than $2 billion last year, according to annual filings. Those losses don’t include shares received as bonuses.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Criminal Tax Penalties for ALEC? CMD’s Investigation Provides Facts for Powerful New Complaint by Former IRS Official

      This month, a former leader of the Internal Revenue Service filed a complaint that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has violated the terms of its nonprofit status by operating primarily for the private benefit of its corporate members, based on documents and research from the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), which manages PRWatch, ALECexposed, and SourceWatch. The complaint, which also alleges that ALEC misrepresented itself in tax filings, raises additional allegations beyond those in earlier IRS complaints filed by Common Cause.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • The DRM graveyard part 2: A brief history of digital rights management in video and TV

      A few months ago, we outlined a few of the major moments in the history of digital rights management (DRM) in the music industry. This time, we’re talking about TV, video, and the events in the ongoing fight over copying. We’re still calling it the “DRM graveyard”–but as you’ll see, the failures that DRM has seen in the music world aren’t quite yet as plentiful when it comes to video.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Monsanto Guilty! France convicts big ag firm of chemical poisoning
    • The Java IP Story

      Every year, I teach the AMOS class, a lab course on “Agile Methods and Open Source” that combines lectures with a real software project that ideally turns into a startup (see the AMOS Project concept, in German). To explain open source, I have to introduce students to intellectual property rights, of which most have been blissfully unaware of until then. Nothing teaches concepts better than a colorful story, and so I have been using the IP strategies around Java to make this dry topic come alive. For fun, comments, and corrections, I’m providing the short version of my talk below, including commentary. (You can also download a PDF version of the talk, licensed as CC-BY 3.0. If you find this useful for teaching, please tell me.) Students at this point have a basic working understanding of intellectual property and exclusion rights. Please let me know what you think! Finally, IANAL.

    • Copyrights

      • EU does an 1812 on US software companies

        In a move that scares the pants off of online software distribution such as Steam, the Court Of Justice of the European Union has just ruled that people should be able to resell downloaded games.
        While this does not effect the Land of the Free, where its French-backed Junta wants its people to pay many times for software they own.
        However, the ruling means that what it might say in the EULAs you are allowed to sell your old software. Steam, Origin, and GamersGate will now have their work cut out trying to work out a way to restore some rights to those who buy software online.

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