07.23.12

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Links 23/7/2012: Linux 3.5, Rupert Murdoch Out

Posted in News Roundup at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Smart meter hack framework goes open-source

    Security outfit SecureState’s smart meter hacking framework, Termineter, has gone live over at Google Code.

    The software is described as having a structure like Metasploit, with a similar interface and ability to be extended with external modules.

  • Open Source For Me But Not For Thee

    Open source is the best way to build and maintain big software projects. The more heads and hands you have on a project, over time, the more bullet-proof it can get.

    Trouble is, everyone wants the maximum benefits from open source but few people want to put in the work for someone else’s project. That’s why VMware (VMW) went through its recent reorganization, promising to separate its open source cloud projects from its proprietary virtualization.

    Open source is often the flag that’s flown after failure. When IBM (IBM) failed in operating systems two decades ago, it slowly began embracing Linux, eventually unifying its whole product line under the open source operating system. The results were spectacular.

  • Four insights to selling and marketing open source software

    In the last 15 years of my career I have worked at several open source software companies, each with its own unique approach to software delivery, packaging, branding, and sales. Two things have become clear to me:

    1. There is no single best way to build a successful business around an open source software solution
    2. Success depends on an organization’s commitment to building real-world solutions and its readiness to deliver genuinely valuable services that help customers to be successful with the solutions.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 15 Beta Tackles Memory Leaks

        Mozilla has released a beta version of the next version of its Firefox browser with better memory management and significant speed improvements.

      • Mozilla Releases Test Version of Firefox OS

        Mozilla this week released an early desktop version of Firefox OS that will let developers experience the mobile OS before comes to phones.

        The builds are available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

      • Firefox 15 reduces memory consumption

        In the beta version of Firefox 15, the Mozilla developers have implemented a “radical idea” to force add-ons to release memory allocated to them. According to the developers, many add-ons are causing memory leaks by not releasing their DOM structures when a tab is closed. This creates what the developers call zombie compartments – areas of memory that are never released.

  • SaaS

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Open source default choice for some Czech schools

      Schools in the Czech cities of Šumperk and Hradec Králové have been using open source for years, the Czech open source news magazine LinuxExpres reports.

    • BBC: A New ICT Curriculum

      I rejoiced when the Western Canadian Provinces got together and revised the maths curriculum to use computers and calculators in teaching. I had been using computers in that role for 25 years but most teachers had never done it. They took two years of “professional development” to indoctrinate the teachers. The UK has given the teachers just months for radical change. I predict “uneven” results…

      In ICT courses in Canada I have always been giving students the basics. I stretched “how to sit at a PC and turn it on” into disassembly/reassembly of ATX PCs with nomenclature and on-line shopping for parts… Instead of teaching them how to use M$’s office suite, I gave students a list of tasks to do with five different office suites and asked them to compare ease and performance. Instead of teaching students 300 features of Excel TM, I gave them real-world problems that could be solved several ways with spreadsheets and computer programming and had them learn the kinds of things that were better done with different methods. I exposed students to several spreadsheets and, yes, paper and pencil… Instead of limiting students to one PC with one hard drive, I showed them what they could do with thin clients, servers and clusters of servers, databases and web applications…

  • BSD

    • FreeNAS 8.2 is Released!

      The FreeNAS development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of FreeNAS 8.2.0-RELEASE.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • ARMv8 AArch64 Support For GCC Keeps Coming

      Support for AArch64, the ARMv8 64-bit architecture, continues to move along within the GCC compiler world.

      Besides the recently published AArch64 support for the Linux kernel, developers with ARM Holdings have also been tackling the compiler support and other areas of the Linux toolchain.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Programming

    • Finding Bottlenecks In Your Linux Game, Application

      If you are curious how Valve and Intel improved the OpenGL performance of their Mesa driver and also at the same time finding areas for performance optimizations within the Source Engine, here’s some of the tools used.

      The tools that seem to be predominantly used, based upon what Intel’s Ian Romanick wrote in a blog comment and from what I’ve learned in email communications and while at Valve, are Sysprof and APITrace.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Cotton brings doom to tribal farmers

    Desperation seems to have caught up with the normally imperturbable tribal farmers of Adilabad which is evident from the abnormally large number of suicides by them since 2011. As many as 27 of them, all cotton farmers including a woman, from the aboriginal Gond, Naikpod, Mannepu and the Lambada plains tribe, figure in the list of 101 cotton farmers who have committed suicide since January 2011.

    Giving up life, for whatever reason, was hitherto an unknown phenomenon in the primitive tribal communities which, paradoxically, have deprivation for a way of life. The gamut of Bt cotton, however, has dislocated their way of dealing with failures and like the trend in other communities, tribals are increasingly preferring the ‘easy way’ out.

    In 2010, only one Gond cotton farmer had committed suicide owing to debts. There was a drastic increase in the extent of land under cotton cultivation and the incidence of suicides in the agency in the following year.

  • Hardware

    • AMD could unveil low power tablet chips in August

      AMD isn’t expected to bring its new low power processors aimed at tablets to market until 2013. But according to Hexus, AMD will show off the first chips with its new low power “Jaguar” cores at the Hot Chips Symposium on August 28th.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • U.S. Drug War Expands to Africa, a Newer Hub for Cartels

      In a significant expansion of the war on drugs, the United States has begun training an elite unit of counternarcotics police in Ghana and planning similar units in Nigeria and Kenya as part of an effort to combat the Latin American cartels that are increasingly using Africa to smuggle cocaine into Europe.

  • Finance

    • Cities: Be Like Oakland and Walk Away from Interest Swap Payments to Goldman and Bankers!

      The city of Oakland, California, is fighting back against Goldman Sachs by refusing to pay a penalty for getting out of an interest rate swap contract that is to Goldman’s advantage.

      Isn’t that a hoot? Anyway, turns out that Goldman and the city of Oakland entered into a deal to protect variable interest rate bonds issued by the city in 1997. Oakland was given a fixed rate of under 6 percent to protect against inflation on those bonds.

    • £13tn: hoard hidden from taxman by global elite

      A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network.

      James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has compiled the most detailed estimates yet of the size of the offshore economy in a new report, The Price of Offshore Revisited, released exclusively to the Observer.

    • Goldman CEO on Dodd-Frank: ‘The vast bulk of it is good.’

      At the heart of Obama’s reelection narrative is the story that he battled the Big Bad Banks, mostly by passing regulation, and now those banks are retaliating by lining up behind deregulator Mitt Romney.

    • California’s Employment Picture

      Total employment in California pulled back in June from a recovery high of 16.5 million, set in May. This data series has been volatile, with annual revisions each year that have shifted the trough in total employment between early 2009 and early 2010. For now, the low was set in November of 2009, at 15.93 million. While “recovery” seems the right word to use in describing California’s job market, it is still the case that unemployment is hanging at 10.7%, per the most recent data. That’s the third highest state rate, in the country. Worse, as of Q1, California’s “U-6″, the broad measure of unemployment, was still above 20%. | see: California Employment in Millions (seasonally adjusted) 2000-2012.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

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