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07.30.12

Links 30/7/2012: Wine 1.5.9, Warsow 1.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • This Week in Linux

    Another week has come and gone and much more has happened than what I can cover in my regularly scheduled slots. So, let’s have a look at some of the other developments this week in Linux. The Ubuntu family got a new developmental release, Zorin OS continues to get rave reviews, and Bodhi Linux 2.0 was released.

  • Chrome OS Linux 2.1.1145 Is Powered by Cinnamon 1.4

    The Chrome OS developers announced today, July 27th, the immediate availability for download of the Chrome OS 2.1.1145 Live CD Linux operating system, which brings a lot of fresh software.

  • Five ways to skip Windows 8

    I’ve been working with Windows 8 for months. Even after Microsoft dished out the release candidate to application developers, I’m still finding Windows 8 to be the worst Windows version to date.

    Yes, worse than Vista, worse than Windows Millennium Edition (Me), and the only reason I’m not saying its worse than Windows Bob, is that Bob was just a user interface for Windows 95 and NT and not an operating system in and of itself.

    Now, though even some of Microsoft strongest fans are beginning to back off from praising Windows 8.

    [...]

    2: Go with desktop Linux

    I’ve been telling you for ages that desktop Linux works great. It’s far more secure than Windows will ever be, and is more stable to boot. I’m not going to repeat myself here. I will say, though, that Mint 13 is a really great Linux desktop that any XP user will quickly feel at home using. I’ll also point out that anyone — and I mean anyone — can use Ubuntu Unity. I can also point out that Valve is bringing its Steam gaming platform to desktop Linux.

    Finally, I’ll add that you can buy PCs with pre-installed Linux from many smaller vendors and that Dell is recommitting to the Linux desktop. Dell has just released new high-end laptops with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and will soon be releasing a developer’s Ubuntu laptop.

  • Fresh eyes on Linux

    On July 16, game publisher Valve created Steam’d Penguins and formally announced their entry into development and promotion of the gaming scene for Linux.

    For years there have been feverish rumours of such a move based on job postings which explicitly asked for Linux experience in the job description.

    Without trying to play down the importance of the announcement and the excitement generated in the Linux community, there are still many unanswered questions about whether the games will be native ports or bundling of emulators, how open source friendly the underlying distribution platform Steam will be and which flagship titles will make the Linux leap.

    As a long-time Linux user but not really much of a gamer, I applauded Valve for looking at my operating system of choice more seriously and building a Linux capability even if I am not in their intended audience.
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    Linux has lately had a flurry of indie games released for it which has made the community richer and widened the audience which in turn helps break some of our more insular perceptions.

  • How to pick a new Linux distribution

    You might not have noticed, but there’s more than one Linux distribution out there. In fact, there are hundreds, and the list is growing weekly.

    Okay, you probably did notice, but the fact remains that the free software world is, primarily, one of choice, and that means developers can – and often do – scratch their own itches.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 210
  • Desktop

    • Impending Windows 8 ‘catastrophe’ behind $3bn game maker’s shift to Linux

      Computer game platform maker Valve is to port its Steam gaming and distribution platform to Ubuntu Linux in a move intended to protect the company from the impending “catastrophe” of Windows 8.

    • From Windows to Linux In No Time

      There are countless users of Microsoft’s Windows operating system who become Linux users each year–an important part of the engine that drives the popularity of Linux. In some cases, these migrating users want to escape the malware storm that afflicts the Windows ecosystem; in some cases they want to run Linux alongside Windows (a dual-OS strategy that has its advantages); and in some cases they want to use specific applications that are available for Linux.

    • The Linux-based Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Could Rival MacBook Air

      Linux-based operating system has proven to be more reliable and rugged for day-to-day activity especially security purposes, when placed at par with other operating system.

  • Kernel Space

    • Ask a Kernel Maintainer

      I’ve been writing an occasional “Ask a kernel maintainer” column on the lwn.net weekly kernel page. It’s been a while since I last wrote one, so I figured it’s time to start it up again.

    • VIA Releases ROM, Bootloader And Kernel For Android PC
    • Linux 3.6 Kernel Adds EFI Handover Protocol

      The in-development Linux 3.6 kernel introduces an EFI handover protocol, which will ultimately lead to faster boot-ups and simpler EFI boot-loaders.

      Right now EFI boot-loaders and the EFI boot stub in the Linux kernel carry the same initialization code to setup an EFI machine for booting the kernel. However, with this EFI handover protocol support, this redundant code could be eliminated. Intel and others want to have the initialization and booting of the kernel just within the kernel’s EFI boot stuff than also copied within the boot-loader.

    • VMware Has VMCI Ready For The Linux Kernel

      VMware is preparing to push VMCI support into the mainline Linux kernel.

      Back in May I mentioned VMware was working on the Virtual Machine Communication Interface for Linux and back then their kernel patches were in a “Request For Comments” state. The patches have been revised and now VMware is lining up the VMCI support to enter the mainline kernel, hopefully for the Linux 3.6 kernel.

    • Intel Rewrites TurboStat Plus IVB CPU Idle Support

      Another one of the pulls going into the Linux 3.6 kernel this week is the ACPI and power management updates courtesy of Intel. The two prominent changes for this next Linux kernel release is a rewrite of the “turbostat” tool and the “intel_idle” CPU idle driver now supports Ivy Bridge processors.

    • Testing Intel Sandy Bridge LLC Cache Controls
    • EXT4 Updates Go Into The Linux 3.6 Kernel
    • Oracle Rewrites Linux ZCache Compression Code

      Seth Jennings of IBM proposed that ZCache be moved out of the Linux kernel’s staging area and be accepted officially into the mainline tree. However, that proposal is being criticized by an Oracle engineers as they have evidently “completely rewritten zcache” and will share it soon but still doesn’t see a reason for the memory compression code to leave staging.

      On Friday was the kernel message by Jennings that proposes zcache to leave the kernel’s staging area, with the email being accompanied by four patches to make that happen. His justification for the code leaving staging is that “Based on the level of activity and contributions we’re seeing from a diverse set of people and interests, I think zcache has matured to the point where it makes sense to promote this out of staging.”

    • AHCI vs. IDE Linux Performance Benchmarks

      Hitting OpenBenchmarking.org this weekend are some interesting benchmarks comparing performance of AHCI vs. IDE modes under Linux from an AMD Fusion system.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Support For OpenGL Core Contexts

        There was exciting OpenGL 3/4 news yesterday for Mesa when it came to early but yet-to-be-merged support for OpenGL geometry shaders, but that’s not all the new Mesa GL news this week. Patches were also published to provide support for OpenGL Core contexts for OpenGL 3.1 and newer.

      • Intel Mesa Driver Ups Counter-Strike Performance

        A patch to mainline Mesa yesterday from Intel has resulted in a ~7% performance boost for Sandy Bridge “GT2″ graphics when running the video stress test for Valve’s Counter-Strike: Source.

      • Another Intel Linux Graphics Driver Release

        Intel has released a new open-source X.Org driver for their Intel graphics since it was only just discovered that the Ivy Bridge GT1 “HD 2500″ graphics were busted.

        Just days after releasing xf86-video-intel 2.20.1, which came just a week after the big 2.20 release, Chris Wilson has released a third update. The xf86-video-intel 2.20.2 driver takes care of a critical Intel Ivy Bridge issue while also packing more SNA acceleration architecture improvements.

      • VMware Has VMCI Ready For The Linux Kernel
      • R300 Gallium3D Driver In Mixed State For Mesa 8.1
      • Mesa Support For OpenGL Geometry Shaders
      • Intel SNA Performance Continues To Be Compelling

        Due to the extreme pace at which Chris Wilson has been releasing SNA architecture updates for Intel’s open-source X.Org driver, here are another set of benchmarks of Intel Sandy Bridge HD 3000 graphics when comparing UXA and SNA using yesterday’s Git code following the xf86-video-intel 2.20.2 driver release.

      • AMD Releases ACPI Header For Open-Source GPU Driver

        For those that didn’t notice, this week AMD released a new header that defines the AMD ACPI interface used for laptops, PowerXpress, and chipset-specific functionality.

        This new header defines four ACPI control methods used by AMD graphics hardware and then related functionality to them. The four AMD ACPI methods are ATIF, ATPX, ATRM, and ATCS.

      • Haiku Looks To Leverage More Of Mesa

        Haiku OS, the open-source operating system that’s a re-implementation of BeOS, is continuing to look at leveraging more of Mesa for its 3D/OpenGL rendering.

      • One Week To SIGGRAPH OpenGL Announcements
      • GLAMOR 0.5 To Advance 2D Over OpenGL

        With the Radeon driver now supporting GLAMOR acceleration — it works for all hardware, but for Radeon HD 7000 series and newer its the only way of 2D HW acceleration — this 2D-over-OpenGL architecture became more interesting.

      • Freedreno Driver Gets Working Shader Assembler

        Freedreno, the reverse-engineered open-source Qualcomm Snapdragon graphics driver, continues to advance. The latest accomplishment of the Freedreno Linux driver is that it now has its own working shader assembler, which means Freedreno can now work without any binary blob dependence.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Chrome OS Linux 2.1.1145 Is Powered by Cinnamon 1.4

      The Chrome OS developers announced today, July 27th, the immediate availability for download of the Chrome OS 2.1.1145 Live CD Linux operating system, which brings a lot of fresh software.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Results from the Kolab Sprint in Berlin

        This week members of the Kolab Community met in Berlin for some very productive face to face work on the upcoming release of Kolab 3.0 alpha. Developers from ownCloud, Roundcube, KDE, Cyrus IMAP, Fedora, and of course Kolab sat together for one week, discussed, hacked and celebrated. Employees of Kolab Systems used the opportunity to meet with several business partners and a usability expert provided same valuable input that will be used to make Kolab clients more user friendly.

      • EPUB Support Coming Soon To Calligra Words

        Calligra Words, a KDE word-processing software, will soon support EPUB formats. This support will make it possible for the user to create high quality and portable ebooks compatible with PCs, netbooks, tablets and mobile devices.

      • QML Support for Window Decorations

        Implementing a new window decoration for KWin is not the easiest thing to do. While the API has hardly changed since early 3.x releases it is not very Qt like and requires a strong understanding of how the window decoration in KWin works. To design a window decoration you basically have three options which come with KWin…

      • Get Bleeding Edge KDE Software In Fedora

        If you use Fedora and are a great fan of KDE, you can enable the KDE unstable repository to have latest and bleeding edge KDE software.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • staring into the abyss

        I suppose I can’t just leave my last post standing there as-is. I’ll start by listing a bunch of things I consider facts about the GNOME project. I don’t want to talk about solutions here, I just want to list them, because I don’t think they are common knowledge. People certainly don’t seem to talk about them a lot.

      • GNOME 4.0, GNOME OS Coming In 2014 & Other Crazy Plans

        While some GNOME developers and users see the once fledging desktop environment fading into abyss, other GNOME developers see nothing but GNOME getting better with the best yet to come. It’s been called for this week from GUADEC that GNOME 4.0 to be released in March of 2014 along with GNOME OS. That’s not all of their ambitious plans but they think they can gain a 20% market-share by 2020 and they also have some other plans on their agenda.

      • GNOME implodes – again

        From time to time, the GNOME Desktop Project blows up, with one developer or another indulging in soul-searching and realising that the project lacks direction. Or people. Or something else.

      • An opinion on the future of GNOME

        According to some within the GNOME team, the team and the GNOME product are falling apart. By alienating the people that were loyal dedicated users they have begun a downward spiral into the abyss. What was once a respectable, reputable product now a garbage salad that no one wants and no-one uses.

        Many projects are reacting to GTK3 with proverbial “meh” including Inkscape, Mozilla, GIMP, and LibreOffice. GNOME is bleeding developers, and it is being dropped like an anchor from multiple distributions.

      • Marvel-ize your Gnome Shell Theme!

        This is a simple guide on how you can hack your Gnome Shell (just a bit!) and make one unique theme just for you.

        I used Adwaita as base because everyone has this (but you can do this in every theme), and I also used some Marvel images that you can replace with anything you like.

      • yorba, a modern Gnome company!

        Some days ago I had posted about the new upcoming Gnome mail application and a reader let a comment about Geary. What is Geary? A mail client app, written in Vala which seems to share many common design goals with Gnome Mail.

  • Distributions

    • AntiX 12: Most complete lightweight Linux distro I have seen!

      Linux never ceases to amaze me – particularly the light-weight distros aimed for low powered PCs! There are so many options and depending on your need and suitability you can pick and choose which one to use. Plus, it brings your old machine back to life without compromising on the security and with the state-of-the-art applications! You can’t ever think of that with any other operating system, for sure.

    • Puppy Arcade – Good idea but needs an update

      Before I start I’d like to say this is not supposed to be an in depth review of Puppy Arcade. It is a post which explains what Puppy Arcade is and how I think it can be improved.

    • A Full LuninuX Experience!

      Another Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a customised Gnome 3 desktop with Gnome Shell has been released today and it is time for another distro review here on worldofgnome.org.

    • LuninuX 12 Screenshots (07/27/2012)
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Slideshow: Take a tour of new Red Hat office tower

        Our Red Hat tour guide turns on a light in a corner conference room – onto walls that are, not surprisingly, colored red.

        “You can’t appreciate it yet,” Craig Yost, senior director of global facilities and real estate says, “but when we’ve opened all the floors, you’ll see something.”

      • 3 Software Stocks To Buy, 1 To Ignore

        Within the software industry, Red Hat specializes in open source software solutions and applications. It is one of the less known mid-cap firms in the space, but has gained respect as a momentum play. As data demand takes off against rising consumer interest and emerging market growth, Red Hat will continue to be a prime beneficiary. Over the last 5 years going through the Great Recession, the stock more than doubled – appreciating by 133.7%. But, at this point, I don’t believe the fundamentals and earnings power is not enough to justify the valuation.

      • Red Hat’s Top 4 Priorities for 2013: Cloud, Virtualization, And…

        What are Red Hat‘s top four priorities for its fiscal year 2013? Sure, driving adoption of key technologies (virtualization, cloud and storage) is one top priority. But what are the other “big three” focus areas? And where do channel partners fit into the Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) conversation? Here are some clues, plus questions The VAR Guy will ask Channel Chief Roger Egan during CompTIA Breakaway (July 30-Aug. 2) in Las Vegas.

      • CowboyNeal Reviews Oracle Linux

        If you’re already perfectly happy with your RHEL or CentOS Linux install, Oracle Linux is a hard sell, even at the price of free. After toying about with the system, I’d say it’s at least worth a hard look. As it is, you get the benefits of CentOS or Scientific Linux, with Oracle’s own stuff bolted on, and their enhancements, even minus Ksplice, make a compelling argument to use Oracle Linux. If you are setting up a machine to use Oracle’s database software, Oracle Linux is the best choice, since it’s been designed to support Oracle DB, and is the same Linux that Oracle uses in-house. While Oracle’s premier support contract is cheaper than the RHEL alternative, the actual cost of switching from RHEL to Oracle in a given case may not be. While this release is a good first step for Oracle, more options, like free Ksplice Uptrack, or even a Ksplice Uptrack subscription, would make it an easier sell.

    • Debian Family

      • Bits from the nippy Release Team
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • What’s new with Ubuntu?

            One of Linux’s most popular distros, Ubuntu, will be getting some new UI and web integration with its latest LTS (Long Term Support) version, Ubuntu 12.20.

            In a recent presentation at Oscon 2012, founder Mark Shuttleworth said that Linux now comes pre-installed on five percent of PCs globally.

            With regards to the next version, 12.10, Shuttleworth mentioned that the next iteration would offer font, search and menu innovations.

          • A Game-Changing Proposal: Ubuntu for students.

            There’s this thing about students: they take technology for granted. It’s nothing too disheartening, except for the tech-savvy ones who seem that technology is more than a commodity. The 21st century endowed us a new way to access information, and to do so, it shouldn’t be just endlessly chatting with a friend through facebook or ceaselessly playing games on the iphone, hungry for more. Insatiable appetite is a byproduct of the consumer world. Why not change that?

            Today, during lunch, I had the honor of meeting David Montes, a senior and the school’s computer guru, to talk about something quite drastic. Two days ago, I had a facebook chat with him about the idea of Ubuntu running on all the systems within the school, from student cart laptops to the school administration servers. Although we saw some implications, we reached a stunning conclusion, that it actually should be done if we want to take learning about computers to a whole new and exciting level.

          • Ubuntu App Developer Showdown Likely To Be Repeated

            Ubuntu App Developer Showdown is an online event hosted by Canonical where new developers learn about creating apps with Ubuntu technologies and get a chance to host them in Ubuntu Software Center.

            This year, the event ran full three weeks, at the end of which developers submitted 140 applications. The event is accompanied by video tutorials and interactive Google+ hangouts where developers can ask and interact with lead Ubuntu devs and get their doubts cleared.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 Has Firefox 15 and Unity 6

            Softpedia is the first to announce today, July 26th, that the third Alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) operating system is now available for download. As usual, we’ve grabbed a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 12.10 development.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 Screenshots (07/26/2012)
          • Ubuntu 12.10 Unity Concept Mockup Video

            Britt Yazel posted a couple of days ago on the unity-design team mailing list an interesting link to a YouTube video showing a mockup of Unity in Ubuntu 12.10. The video was originally posted on February, but it is a very good example of how Unity should be.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 2.0.0 stable release arrives

              Alongside the launch of a new web site, the developers at the Bodhi Linux project have published the second major release of their minimal Linux distribution with an Enlightenment-based desktop. As previously described by lead developer Jeff Hoogland, the goal of version 2.0 of Bodhi Linux was not to “introduce ground breaking new features” to the distribution, but rather to smoothly transition to a new version of its underlying operating system.

            • Xubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 Screenshot Tour
            • Lubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 Screenshot Tour

              Canonical published yesterday, July 26th, the third and last Alpha release of the upcoming Lubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) operating system.

              Lubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 comes with a new version of the session manager, a new version of PCManFM, xfce4-notifyd replaced notification-daemon for default notification system, added Catfish searching utility, and updated the artwork (including the wallpaper and GTK themes).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Nexus 7? Wait: Google’s Motorola Xoom + Jelly Bean is coming soon

        Google launched Android 4.1 on the Asus-developed (but Google branded) Nexus 7 in part to reassure OEMs that they will be treated equally in the aftermath of its Motorola Mobility purchase. Maybe Google really did spend $12 plus billion for the Motorola patents, but users are still awaiting the more full featured iPad2 killer from Google. Will it be Jelly Bean on Motorola’s Xoom?.

      • Lenovo plans clip-on physical keyboard for tablets

        Tablet owners have so far had to opt for keyboard docks to take their typing physical. However, that may be about to change after recently published Lenovo patents revealed an interesting clip-on.

      • Casio announces V-T500-GE and V-T500E Tough Business Tablets

        Casio announced today the release of the V-T500-GE and V-T500E business tablets. Based on a product concept of Smart and Tough, these new tablets offer rugged, dependable performance and a full range of features to suit various work styles. The new Casio tablets run Android 4.0 and are equipped with an OMAP4460 1.5 GHz dual cores CPU. The V-T500-GE and V-T500-E are equipped with a large 10.1-inch screen with LED backlight for outstanding readability. The 10.1-inch screen offers excellent readability indoors and out, and offer multi-finger touch control as well as digitizer pen input (sold separately) for ease of use. The new tablets deliver tough, robust security, coming with an NFC Reader/Writer that can authenticate user login using a non-contact IC card, and they have a Secure Access Module (SAM) slot for applications where even higher security is required.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Can open source save HP?

    You seldom hear about it, but Hewlett-Packard has long been a supporter of open source. The company contributes to the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and has hired several people who were formerly leaders of the Debian Project, including the redoubtable Bdale Garbee. HP also participates in many smaller projects and invests plenty of effort in governance and community activities. Despite its work engaging the community and ensuring HP printers are usable from Linux, open source seems to have made little impact on HP’s software portfolio (alas, poor WebOS).

  • Google opens code for building interactive experiences in physical spaces

    Google has released a new software framework that aims to give programmers the ability to create interactive experiences in physical spaces. It could potentially be used to build interactive art installations or games that involve physical interaction.

  • Obsidian joins Open Virtualisation Alliance

    Obsidian Systems has further entrenched its position as a leading provider of enterprise open source in southern Africa by joining the Open Virtualisation Alliance (OVA), a global collection of platform and system providers dedicated to promoting open virtualisation as an alternative to proprietary solutions.

  • VMware buys Nicira: Open-source threat or cloudy opportunity?
  • Open source middleware and SOA help FAA distribute weather data

    Though its work is somewhat behind the scenes, most travelers know they depend on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure safe air travel. In the past, the organization has often scrabbled with technology and change. In fact, many of its systems have a lot of mileage on them and are difficult to modernize.

  • Call For Participation

    Do you contribute to open source? A great way to get started is to attend a conference, and there are four fine choices available to you this August-October.

  • Look Beyond Commercial Software, Asahi Technologies Provides Open Source Integration Services for Small and Medium Size Businesses
  • Open Source: Incredible Apps For Every OS

    As the resident open source zealot, I thought it might be nice to have a quick rundown of some of the best apps that are free, open source, and cross-platform available to our readers. Experienced users may find fault with me for leaving out their favorite app, but hopefully they will agree that the ones I’ve picked here are deserving of recognition. I especially hope this is useful to those that are unaware of the existence of these applications due to the long shadows cast by the proprietary icons of their respective categories. If you feel I did miss an important app, please let us know in the comments and share your favorites with everyone.

  • Exercising a Little Open Source Prudence

    IT organizations today are more dependent on open source code than ever; they’re just not always sure where it came from, whether they can legally use it or how secure it is.

  • Google hands developers keys to enliven interactive rooms

    Google this week announced it is opening code for building interactive experiences in physical spaces. The Monday posting on its open-source blog site, which carries news about its open source projects, announced the release of Interactive Spaces. As such, Google has a special invitation for developers: “Make a room come alive,” using this framework for creating interactive spaces. The release is described as a new API and runtime that allows developers to build interactive applications for physical spaces.

  • RIP Sparrow: Components of the beloved mail client are open sourced for personal use only
  • Events

    • My Top Five Sessions at the CloudOpen Conference
    • Mydala opts for open source

      When the deal aggregator Mydala was planning its portal, CTO Ashish Bhatnagar was convinced that the business was likely to take off in a big way and that they would be reaching a scale where, in a day, they would be catering to nearly 8 mn subscribers and running over 1.5 lakh deals across 93 cities.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Addons Cross 3 Billion Downloads

        Mozilla Firefox is everyone’s favorite browser because of its large collection of add-ons. These add-ons allow you to customize your browser the way you like. You can change personas, themes and more to make your browser stand out from others. And there are some tools like Adblock and NoScript that make your browsing safer and ad free.

      • Firefox Add-ons Cross More Than 3 Billion Downloads!

        We are excited to announce that we just crossed more than 3 billion downloads* of Firefox Add-ons! That’s almost half of the world’s population and more than the number of people on the Internet today.

  • SaaS

    • CIOs Increasingly Bullish on the Cloud, Survey Finds

      It’s easy enough to find rosy predictions for the cloud from the vendors of related products and services, but when CIOs speak out in favor of the technology, it’s hard not to sit up and take notice.

      Such, in fact, is just what came out of a recent survey of IT executives from Host Analytics and Dimensional Research.

      Whereas a few years ago we were still hearing considerable concern from CIOs on a number of fronts — security and control perhaps foremost among them — this new research suggests that these executives are increasingly optimistic about cloud computing’s many benefits.

    • Cisco Touts Its Cloudy Open Future – Will VMware Do The Same?
  • Education

    • AdaCamp DC: A learning environment for women in open source
    • Monoculture in Education

      I was browsing this morning and came upon an advertisement for system administrator for a small northern Canadian school division. I was surprised to see that there was not a single mention of a GNU/Linux product involved, not even on servers. They were locked in securely to the Wintel world, even in their virtual machines.

      I have worked in places like that a decade ago, but thought them totally obsolete by now. Even the most staid organizations see that GNU/Linux has its place, particularly in servers. I was working in one such place and was encouraged to give a presentation to all the IT people about rolling out a GNU/Linux server in each school. That was 2004. Eight years later, to still find M$-only shops still exist is surprising.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Lunatics is now Crowd-Funding for a Pilot Episode

      If you’ve been following my column for the last year or two, you already know that “Lunatics” is the free-culture animated science-fiction series that we are creating with free-software applications like Blender, Synfig, Audacity, Inkscape, Gimp, and Krita. We are finally crowd-funding for our pilot episode “No Children in Space” on Kickstarter. If we get funded, this will be a major step forward for free-culture and free-software in the media industry. Come check it out, tell everybody you know, and/or get a copy on DVD or other cool stuff from the project!

    • Open-Source Startup Meteor Gets $11.2M from Andreessen Horowitz

      Meteor Development Group (MDG) raises $11.2 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz and others to fund development around the open-source Meteor Web app development platform.

      Meteor Development Group (MDG), the company behind the Meteor open-source project, which produces a platform for building software applications, has announced $11.2 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz.

    • Money can’t buy open-source love… only code can

      Money can’t buy you happiness, but Meteor, a web-apps startup focused on enterprise app development, seems to think it can buy it an open-source community.

      Instead of the standard startup funding announcement, proclaiming that the company will use its funding for product development, marketing and so on, Meteor says it “will use the money to build the open source community around its offerings.”

      Is that so? Who knew all you needed for an open-source community was $11.2m in venture funding?

    • Open-Source Startup Meteor Gets $11.2M from Andreessen Horowitz
  • Public Services/Government

    • Hungarian city of Miskolc: “Saving €3,000 per user per year on licenses”

      In 2009, under the leadership of the vice-mayor, the administration of the city of Miskolc in Hungary started a transition to open source software and open standards. The primary goals were to reduce costs and find alternative solutions for IT services.

      At the start, under the control of service provider Open SKM (in Hungarian), there were no project-like qualities attached to this transition: it had no roadmap, no stages and no milestones.

      According to Dr. János Kovács, head of the Miskolc IT department, the plan also included some bad ideas, like converting document formats from .doc and .xls to .odt and .ods, respectively, as part of the move from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice. The original plan was to process as many as 600,000 existing documents to free the city from its data lock-in. However, important questions concerning the rationale and cost of this conversion were not considered.

    • DISA must make forge.mil live up to its potential

      When the Defense Information Systems Agency made forge.mil operational in 2009, it appeared a revolutionary step forward in Defense Department adoption of open source software.

      The site would be a repository for code and an online gathering point for a collaborative community of defense open source coders, DISA officials said at the time.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OAuth 2.0 standard editor quits, takes name off spec

      The lead author and editor of the OAuth 2.0 network authorization standard has stepped down from his role, withdrawn his name from the specification, and quit the working group, describing the current version of the spec as “the biggest professional disappointment of my career.”

Leftovers

  • Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

    Facts from these data that please me are

    * that other OS has a proper share and no more,
    * FireFox, a FLOSS web-browser rules, even though I am partial to Chrome,
    * there are a lot of comments per post, thanks to readers, and
    * Internet Exploder has a tiny share, probably still more than a tool of anti-competition deserves.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Randy Wray: Why We’re Screwed

      As the Global Financial Crisis rumbles along in its fifth year, we read the latest revelations of bankster fraud, the LIBOR scandal. This follows the muni bond fixing scam detailed a couple of weeks ago, as well as the J.P. Morgan trading fiasco and the Corzine-MF Global collapse and any number of other scandals in recent months. In every case it was traders run amuck, fixing “markets” to make an easy buck at someone’s expense. In times like these, I always recall Robert Sherrill’s 1990 statement about the S&L crisis that “thievery is what unregulated capitalism is all about.”

      After 1990 we removed what was left of financial regulations following the flurry of deregulation of the early 1980s that had freed the thrifts so that they could self-destruct. And we are shocked, SHOCKED!, that thieves took over the financial system.

    • Fed Governor Speaks Out For Stronger Rules

      A powerful new voice for financial reform emerged this week – Sarah Bloom Raskin, a governor of the Federal Reserve System. In a speech on Tuesday, she laid out a clear and compelling vision for why the financial system should focus on providing old-fashioned but essential intermediation between savers and borrowers in the nonfinancial sector.

      Sadly, she also explained that she is a dissenting voice within the Board of Governors on an essential piece of financial reform, the Volcker Rule. Her colleagues, according to Ms. Raskin, supported a proposed rule that is weaker, i.e., more favorable to the banks; she voted against it in October.

      At least on this dimension, financial reform is not fully on track.

  • DRM

    • Guide to DRM-free Living gets a big update!

      We’ve just finished a major update of the Guide to DRM-free Living with dozens of new places to get ebooks, movies, and music without DRM and a page of worst-offenders. There have been some exciting developments in the realm of DRM opposition on ebooks, like Tor/Forge dropping DRM on ebooks, and we wanted to spruce up the guide to reflect all the progress that’s been made. The suggested additions came from the LibrePlanet Wiki where you can submit new items for the guide for us to review. With so many new additions, we’ve also had to reorganize the guide into more sections that should make it easy to find what you need.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Creative Commons CEO reflects on YouTube’s remixable library

        How many of you have utilized the four million Creative Commons videos on YouTube? Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons, recently shared a guest post on YouTube’s blog, reflecting on the first year of YouTube’s Creative Commons video library. According to Casserly, this library is larger than any other in the world.

      • Digital Economy Act Consultation Response

        Last week I wrote about the extremely short consultation period for aspects of implementing the Digital Economy Act. Time is running out – the consultation closes tomorrow at 5pm, so I urge you to submit something soon. It doesn’t have to be very long. Here, for example, is what I am sending – short, but maybe not so sweet….

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