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07.24.12

Links 24/7/2012: X.org Foundation, GNOME 3.5.4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Rethinking Linux Hardware: Upgrade or Buy New?

    When you come from the proprietary operating system way of thinking, it’s difficult to get your mind around the idea of not automatically needing to upgrade your PC hardware every two years. While upgrading is not an absolute necessity, more often than not we feel compelled to, as if to make sure we enjoy maximum compatibility.

    On the Linux desktop, however, it’s completely different. You aren’t bound to the usual set of rules that come with a proprietary desktop. Generally speaking, peripherals from any time period are going to do well on the Linux desktop.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS Beta Brings Major Improvements

      Google has updated the beta channel of Chrome OS to version 21.0.1180.50. This version is available for Chromebooks (Samsung Series 5, Samsung Series 5 550, and Cr-48) and Samsung Chromebox Series 3.

    • Chromebox Review: A Ketchup & Salt Affair

      You will notice that there is no HDMI port on the back. I suppose it would be easy enough to throw a couple of bucks at a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, but even still, the option would have been nice and would have made the Chromebox more complete to more people.

  • Server

    • Fear not, Linux admins: There are TOOLS to help you

      Most Linux distributions have a significant focus on security. This does not mean they are necessarily ready for production out of the box. Tools like SELinux, excellent firewall options, and robust access controls can make Linux exceptionally secure. Despite this, actually deploying a Linux system into production still requires that the systems administrator have some idea what they are doing.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.5.4 Comes With a Revamped Nautilus

        The GNOME Project unleashed a few minutes ago, July 23rd, the immediate availability for download and testing of the fourth development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.6 desktop environment.

  • Distributions

    • Airinux 12.05 Screenshots (07/23/2012)
    • Improve Photos Automagically with aaphoto
    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Premade Gentoo Stage 4
      • Gentoo debates recruitment schemes

        First, Gentoo has 280 people with commit rights to the main repository. Numerous experiments have shown that an average human brain can’t deal with relationships in a group of >100 peers or so (the size of an ancient tribal band). So some degree of bureaucracy/HR is absolutely required for a project of such size, otherwise you get chaos.

        Second, it’s not enough for the answers to quizzes to be discoverable. Much of it is information you need to know by heart, so you don’t make mistakes and break user machines or community rules in the first place, instead of merely being able to google for how to fix the mess you had made after the fact.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Linux 3.5 Debuts as Fedora Gets a Cinnamon Dusting

          There are a few things that keep the Linux Planet spinning, one of them is the Linux kernel itself. This week, we saw a new kernel debut, providing another incremental step forward for performance and stability.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Community Leadership Summit 2012

            With a busy week away, I am just catching back up with everything. I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the Community Leadership Summit 2012 that happened the weekend before OSCON. You can also read a wonderful write-up from Andy Oram.

            This was the fourth Community Leadership Summit, and I was delighted with how everything went. We had a wonderful turnout with around 280 people joining us, and a fantastic breadth of sessions from our attendees. Topics of conflict, governance, gamification, diversity, collaboration, structural integrity, scale and more all generated great discussions and I think every one of us who joined the event took away some lessons learned.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Juju: DevOps for Cloud Services

              Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, is trying to make Development/Operations (DevOps) on the cloud easy with its Juju framework. The Juju project has been around for a while, but frankly it wasn’t that impressive… until now. At a demo at the Open Source Conference (OSCON), Jorge Castro, a Canonical developer relations executive, and Mark Mims, a software engineer, showed that Juju is finally ready for cloud prime time.

            • Linux Mint 13 now in KDE, XFCE flavours

              Get the latest, greatest Linux Mint, now with even more community loved desktop environments

            • Linux Mint 13 Xfce released: Installation tour

              Not just a refuge for those disillusioned with Gnome and KDE, the Linux Mint 13 Xfce distribution stands on its own merits

  • Devices/Embedded

    • D-Link MovieNite Plus review

      Although Apple’s and Roku’s streaming media players are the darlings of “cordcutters” seeking freedom from cable TV costs and restrictions right now, several other companies are angling for a slice of that rapidly emerging market pie. This review takes a look at D-Link’s most recent streaming player, the DSM-320 MovieNite Plus.

    • Power Strip’s a Penetration Testing Tool in Disguise

      The Power Pwn “is similar to a 1.2 GHz ARM-based processor running Linux,” M. Anthony Hughes, customer development manager, told LinuxInsider. It runs well-known open source tools including MetaSploit.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • ZTE launches N880E smartphone with Jelly Bean in China

          ZTE. the worlds fourth largest mobile manufacturer, according to a recent Garnter Report, has launched its first smartphone with the latest Android OS, Jelly Bean, in China. ZTE made the announcement in a press release.

          The ZTE N880E smartphone will run on Jelly Bean and is the third Android 4.1 smartphone. ZTE said that planned to also launch other handsets with Jelly Bean.

          The press release said: “ZTE has an excellent relationship with Google and this, combined with our extensive R&D capabilities and our experience of customising devices for partners around the world, means we are able to bring new technologies to market very quickly,” said Mr. Kan Yulun,Vice President and CTO of the Handset Division, ZTE.“Our aim is to provide the best quality customer experience for the best value, and the N880E is a great example of this.”

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Review: My Sordid Fling With The Nexus 7

        I will give Google credit, their propaganda hype machine is starting to rival that of Apple Inc. I’ve had the Nexus 7 for two and half days now and I must say I am far from impressed. Don’t get me wrong, I love Android and have been a user of the ecosystem since day one back in 2008, but I am not in love with, nor would I date this device. I am sure some of you will think I am nuts, but just because you put the name Nexus on it doesn’t make it the best thing since the advent of the wheel, and if you’re still reading this I will explain why.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

IRC Proceedings: July 15th-July 21st, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: July 15th, 2012

GNOME Gedit

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#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

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#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

IRC Proceedings: July 16th, 2012

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#boycottnovell log

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IRC Proceedings: July 17th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 18th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 19th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 20th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 21st, 2012

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Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: July 8th-July 14th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: July 8th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 9th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 10th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 11th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 13th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: July 14th, 2012

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Enter the IRC channels now

TechBytes Episode 70: Richard Stallman on How Browsers and Social Networking Sites Facilitate Surveillance

Posted in TechBytes at 1:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techbytes 2012

Direct download as Ogg (0:10:19, 4.2 MB)

Summary: The second part of our interview with Richard Stallman covers social networks and Web browsers

FURTHER to this interview with Richard Stallman (about UEFI) I spoke to him about another area of technology which is less to do with software and more to do with civil rights. Here is the transcript.


Dr. Roy Schestowitz: Obviously, quite famously, the FSF has made a statement about Facebook and my question was, what is your take on Google Plus? I know you’ve stated that in your Web site very briefly. And also, are there any centralised platforms that you actually deem benign?

Richard StallmanDr. Richard Stallman: Well, the first question is, well, the FSF doesn’t talk about Facebook too much. It’s a different issue from the Free software issue. So, I’m concerned with other issues of freedom besides that of Free versus proprietary software. So, I disapprove of Facebook because it collects a lot of personal information and I don’t think it’s good for anything to do that.

“I urge you not to use such communication systems which demand to know who you really are.”When I give a speech, at the beginning I ask people, “please don’t put a photos of me in Facebook.” And now I explain why. When you put a photo with people in it in Facebook, Facebooks asks people — asks users — to enter the names of those people. In other words, that photo gives Facebook an opportunity to do ad surveillance of those people. Those [can't make out the word] the victim of having a photo put in Facebook. So, I would suggest that if you are friends with somebody that you treat that someone well by not putting photos of that person in Faceebook. And and in any case, I ask people not to put photos of me in Facebook. Now, there are many other bad things Facebook does. See stallman.org/facebook.html for a list of quite a few.

But what about Google Plus? Well, from what I know, which is not everything, Google Plus does some of these bad things but not all. One bad thing that they both do is require people to give their real names. Now, Google Plus says that in some cases we’re wiling to publish a pseudonym but they demand to know the person’s real name. Well, I think that’s enough reason not to use it. I urge you not to use such communication systems which demand to know who you really are. Because if they do that, they’re basically one more eye of Big Brother.

[...]

I don’t go around trying to keep track of these things. Twitter might be okay. You got to be careful how you use it. First of all, it is possible to use Twitter without running non-Free software. It wasn’t easy to make an account, but apparently it could be done through their mobile version of the site. The problem was, the regular Twitter site tries to make you run non-Free JavaScript programs. And you will notice that if you have installed the LibreJS extension of Firefox, that’s a GNU package whose purpose is to enable you to avoid running non-Free JavaScript programs and also to make it easy to complain to the Webmasters about the non-Free JavaScript programs. But it is possible to work around that, as actually sending and viewing tweets, it’s not so hard to avoid using non-Free software. So, and Twitter doesn’t require people to give their real names and if you make an effort you can avoid sending in your geographical location or anything like that, which of course is a really dumb thing to do as certain protesters, dissidents in the US have discovered. So, maybe that’s enough to make it okay. Now, Twitter the company, is doing something else that’s bad — something that Facebook (and I think Twitter is doing this, I know Facebook and Google do it) and this is the “Like” button. In Facebook’s case it’s called the “Like” button. And you find this in lots of pages, where if you visit one of those pages that means Facebook is getting information about your browsing even if you’re not a Facebook user. And Google has “1+” button and they do the same thing. And I think Twitter also has such kind of button that you would find in various pages. We are going to release a browser modified to block all those.

I think in practice one of the issues is many of the browsers these days have actually got some surveillance built in and one of the usual excuses these days is security, so they try to prevent phishing scams and things like such that are absolute; I think since Internet Explorer version 7 and Google Chrome and other browsers by default they will track the users and leave a trail, or at least provide the corporate maker of the browser, with a list with pages you visit, so the other releases…

“…Google can forcibly impose software changes and the user can’t say no.”Those are non-Free programs. Internet Explorer is non-Free and Google Chrome is non-Free. Not only that, Google Chrome has a universal back door, which is another way of saying auto-update; basically it means that Google can forcibly impose software changes and the user can’t say no. This is the same thing that Microsoft has in Windows, so Microsoft can also impose software changes. Any malicious feature that’s not in the program today could be remotely installed tomorrow. So, once a program has a universal back door, you must consider it not merely malware but universal malware.


More insights from Stallman are to be published in the coming days.

We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

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