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08.06.12

Links 6/8/2012: HP TouchPad Has Latest Android, VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is usability breaking Linux adoption?

    I have been a Linux (Linux in this article refers to Linux based Operating System) user for a quite a number of years, actually, since I owned my first PC about four years ago. All through I have been using Fedora Linux , and it has not been an easy ride all along.

    Linux users have to learn how to use text editors, and how to work their way around configuration files. Initially, the issue was that Fedora Linux ships without a number of drivers, so called proprietary drivers and software. Proprietary drivers are drivers that do not conform to open source licensing terms. This means that the operating system ships lacking support for common media formats including MP3 and will also lack firmware drivers required for the functioning of some hardware such as sound cards and graphics drivers.

  • Desktop

    • Perfect Storm Brewing: The Linux Desktop – Part Two

      In “Perfect Storm Brewing: The Linux Desktop – Part One” I described some of the attributes that made for a low desktop penetration for Linux. Notice that not one of the issues was “ease of use” or “ease of porting applications”, but all had to do with installed base and volumes of systems being sold presently.

    • Adafruit launches Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro, hastens our hacking

      The Raspberry Pi is already considered a hacker’s paradise. However, that assumes that owners have all the software they need to start in the first place. Adafruit wants to give the process a little nudge through its Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro. The software includes a customized distribution of Raspbian, Occidentalis, that either turns on or optimizes SSHD access,

    • Brightness

      The future of IT clients is bright. People are loving small cheap computers, x86/amd64 PCs running GNU/Linux and, of course more servers than ever running GNU/Linux. I don’t see much possibility of this trend slowing in the near future, because fast and efficient is the right way to do IT. Any way you measure efficiency, GNU/Linux, Android/Linux and FLOSS are superior to that other OS. The world can make its own software and does not need to rely on a monopoly. The Wintel monopoly will have to change or die. A few units on ARM or smart phones won’t cut it when a better OS costs ~$0 per unit.

  • Server

    • Harvard goes PaaS with SELinux Sandbox

      Running students’ submitted programs is a security challenge for any university Computer Science department. When Harvard University contacted me about some work they are doing with the “sandbox” tool on Fedora 17, we decided it would be a great opportunity to see how they could get more out of it and share our findings with the community.

      In a lot of ways, Harvard is setting up a simple PaaS (Platform as a Service). We discussed tools like OpenShift and Secure Linux Containers, but the immediate issue was that once they begin offering ‘Intro to ‘C’” courses online, the students will upload programs to a Harvard web server that will be compiled and tested. And, to no one’s surprise, they were concerned about what the students “C” applications might attempt to do.

    • CME Group CIO – The challenges of upgrading an electronic trading platform to Linux

      Having now moved to Linux, CME is looking to refresh the order entry and market data parts, as well as upgrade the exchange’s network infrastructure.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • First release candidate of Linux kernel version 3.6

      Linus Torvalds has issued the first release candidate for Linux 3.6, closing the merge window for major changes. Among the new additions is a feature called “Suspend to Both” that offers hybrid standby functionality – when hibernating, the system will preserve its memory contents both in working memory and on a system storage device. Hybrid standby usually behaves like Suspend to RAM; however, if there is a power cut during hibernation, the system can restore the main memory contents from the storage device and resume as expected.

    • Find ‘Skater Tux’ and Win Cool Linux Skateboard
    • The 3.6 merge window is closed
    • Download Linux Kernel 3.6 Release Candidate 1
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Hacks On Tablet Shell For Wayland’s Weston

        Aside from the normal desktop shell for Wayland’s Weston reference compositor, open-source Intel developers have resurrected work on a tablet-oriented shell for this fledging display server.

      • Intel X.Org Update Restores 830GM/845G Acceleration
      • X.Org Foundation Issues Hasty CFP For XDC2012

        The X.Org Developers’ Conference 2012 is happening next month. Unfortunately, continuing to reflect the hastily-managed organization, the board has now come up with a call for presentations.

        XDC2012 is happening from 19 to 21 of September in Nürnberg, Bavaria, Germany. This three-day event focused upon X.Org and FreeDesktop.org projects (including Mesa and Wayland) will take place from the Nürnberg SUSE office. It’s just another developer event following in their yearly tradition to get together to hash out plans for future X.Org Server releases, Wayland, open-source 3D drivers, etc.

      • Intel Sandy Bridge Is Performing Well On Mesa 8.1
      • Intel Updates VA-API Video Acceleration Code

        Intel’s Video Acceleration API (VA-API) has seen updates to its core library as well as to the Intel-specific VA-API Intel driver.

        The libva-1.0.16 that was announced by Haihao Xiang of Intel adds API support for handling data structures for JPEG baseline decoding, clearing up another bit of the API, and adding a test case for VA-API JPEG decoding. The announcement of this generic VA-API library update can be found on the libva mailing list.

      • AMD RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Runs A Bit More

        Earlier this week the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver hit the glxgears milestone for handling AMD’s latest-generation Radeon HD 7000 series graphics cards on an open-source OpenGL driver. There’s still much work left, but it’s moving bit by bit.

        The pace of the open-source AMD HD 7000 series support has been disappointing, but with the very simple glxgears OpenGL test running, more milestones will hopefully be reached soon. Since the gears milestone on Monday, there’s been more RadeonSI commits to the mainline Mesa Git repository.

      • Intel Lands Some Haswell Commits For X.Org Driver

        For the past several months there’s been open-source driver development activities within the Linux kernel and Mesa library as it pertains to Haswell, the 2013 Intel micro-architecture to succeed this year’s successful Ivy Bridge platform. There’s xf86-video-intel DDX driver commits landing today pertaining to Haswell.

        Haswell commits to the xf86-video-intel X.Org driver aren’t as exciting as the Intel DRM driver commits within the Linux kernel or the user-space 3D work for Haswell, but is important nevertheless since there’s still more than a half-year until the 2013 Intel processors ship. Aside from work on the Intel SNA architecture, not many interesting things happen these days within the Intel DDX driver since all the important bits are now handled in kernel-space by the Direct Rendering Manager and the DDX drivers are on the way out with Wayland.

      • Intel Sandy Bridge Is Performing Well On Mesa 8.1

        A few days back I published benchmarks showing Intel’s Ivy Bridge hardware regressing with Mesa 8.1. While those problems are still outstanding, the good news is that Intel’s previous-generation Sandy Bridge hardware appears unaffected. Overall, Sandy Bridge is performing well with the soon-to-be-released Mesa 8.1 library for open-source Linux graphics drivers.

      • AHCI vs. IDE Modes With A SATA 3.0 SSD On Linux
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Gnome Disks Gets A Major Overhaul

      Gnome 3.6 is going to be released soon and the developers are working hard to make this the best Gnome release ever. One of the apps that desperately needed and upgrade was Gnome Disk Utility. Luckily, one may find some great changes of Gnome Disk Utility in Gnome 3.6.

    • CDE released as open source

      IconWe have some very good news for those of us with a love for the Common Desktop Environment. I’m a huge fan of CDE – I’ve even dedicated an article to it – so I’m excited about this. CDE has been released as open source under the LGPL, and can be downloaded as of today for Debian and Ubuntu. Motif will follow later.

    • MATE vs Unity, GNOME 3: Open Source Desktop’s Future?

      MATE, the open-source desktop environment whose name no one is sure how to pronounce, is now nearly a year old. Many of us never thought it would make it this far, but the interface has held own against competitors like Unity and GNOME Shell. But does MATE have a long-term future in the fast-evolving world of desktop Linux? Here are some thoughts.

      When MATE debuted last August, it was a one-man effort by a developer who called himself Perberos to keep alive the GNOME 2 desktop environment, which the GNOME project had deprecated in favor of GNOME 3.

    • Three LXDE-based distributions: race them face-to-face

      I am in a very interesting situation. Some time ago, I promised myself to stay away from LXDE-based distributions. At the same time, I wrote about three of them in the last 6 weeks.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Disk Improvements Within GNOME 3.6

        While disk management improvements might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to a desktop environment update, the disk utility (Disks) and udev within GNOME 3.6 will offer some new features.

      • GNOME needs to go to the Moon

        Even as the prospect of a another new Windows blunder and some new OEM deals have some wondering if this might be the time people start paying attention to the Linux desktop, disruptions within Linux desktop development communities may be threatening the future of the Linux desktop.

      • GNOME’s Future: Open Source Desktop Interface In Doubt?

        GNOME, the project responsible for what has been one of the open-source world’s most popular desktop interfaces for well over a decade, is teetering on the edge of crisis mode. At least, that’s what one developer suggests in a recent personal blog post ominously titled “starting into the abyss.” Does GNOME, despite its rich and influential past, really face such a dismal future? Here are some thoughts.

        Personally, I’d be pretty sad to see the GNOME project die. I haven’t used the desktop environment on a daily basis since development on GNOME 2.x ended in favor of GNOME Shell, but I grew up as a Linux user with GNOME. The open-source ecosystem just wouldn’t feel the same if I knew I no longer had the option of running GNOME software.

      • Speed Up with Midori!

        Sometimes, human minds get stuck without a reason between two options, jumping from the one to the other, never finding exactly what they are looking for.

        This is what happens to most people with today’s browsers. Almost no one completely likes Firefox and Chrome for their own personal reasons, but everyone keeps trying both when a newer version becomes available. Time to make a step towards something “greener” and give Midori a try!

  • Distributions

    • Stresslinux Torture-Tests Your Hardware

      Stresslinux is a lean, mean torture machine with 750MB of hardware-pummeling goodness for probing and load-testing your computer’s hardware. Why, you ask, would anyone want to torture their nice hardware? Perhaps “torture” isn’t the best word; think load-testing to expose defects, “burning in” a new machine, or to figure out some limits for overclocking.

    • Stella 6.3 Screenshots (08/03/2012)
    • This Week in Linux: Debian, Fedora, & Slackware

      This week in Linux brought the last developmental release of openSUSE 12.2 and Fedora’s approval of the MATE desktop for version 18. But besides that Debian Wheezy progresses, Fedora is getting a new installer, and Slackware deploys new package browser online.

      Debian Wheezy, or what will be Debian 7.0, is progressing forward in development. Despite nearly 600 bugs remaining on the to-do list no talk of a delay has been overheard in the hallowed halls of Debian as of yet. Of course, Debian isn’t on any kind of schedule and all we really have are educated guesses of the release date. Debian Wheeze went into new version freeze nearly a month ago. Another bit of good news out of Debian team is that the next version, Debian 8.0, will be codenamed “Jessie” after the cowgirl in Disney’s Toy Story.

    • New Linux distribution aims to club most benefits of other distributions

      There is a wide variety of distributions for Linux, with the differences mainly depending on the users’ needs. This could cause indecisive developers and enthusiasts to have more than one distribution of Linux installed at any time. Now, there is a distribution of Linux in development that aims to have the best features of all the different popular distributions.

      According to Bedrock, the new Linux distribution, “If one would like a rock-solid stable base (for example, from Debian or a RHEL clone) yet still have easy access to cutting-edge packages (from, say, Arch Linux), automate compiling packages with Gentoo’s portage, and ensure that software aimed only for the ever popular Ubuntu will run smoothly – all at the same time, in the same distribution – Bedrock Linux will provide a means to achieve this.”

    • Bedrock Linux Makes Most Of The Available Linux Distributions

      Open source lovers would love to know that a new Linux Distribution is in town with the name ‘Bedrock Linux’. It aims to get the best of all the distros and be as transparent as ever. You get to have all the mutually exclusive benefits such as a stable base from Debian or a RHEL clone, while having a hand on the Arch Linux packages. Users don’t have to worry about running their favorite Ubuntu-only software simultaneously while automating compiling packages with Gentoo’s portage. Having something as minimal as Tinycore or SliTaz and as user-friendly as Mint, does have a mass appeal. Bedrock gets you exactly that.

    • Slackware Current Goes Beta – And I Upgrade Now

      Alright. Enough about that Arch Linux for a while. Let me return to my first love… Slackware, baby! :)

      A few days ago, Pat V. announced that the Current branch of Slackware has now gone beta. Well, let me tell you how I do things. Ever since I started running Slack as my primary OS back around 10.1 or so, I always upgrade to Current from stable once it goes beta. Up until this time around, I’ve always used the standard UPGRADE.TXT method found on the servers along with an in depth perusal of the CHANGES_AND_HINTS.TXT. I guess you could say that’s the “Slacker Way” of doing it.

      I have three production systems running Slackware as the main operating system; my main system, my home office laptop, and my workshop system out back. They were all running fully updated 13.37 at the time I started this project. Normally, I would have started with the system that was lowest priority and easiest to restore should I do something stupid… that would normally be the shop system. However, it was awfully hot out there this week. I decided to sit in the AC and upgrade the home office laptop first.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Investing In Clouds Means Seeking Applications

        echnology journalist Adrian Bridgwater says clouds are a social phenomenon. They’re not as important for what they do as for what they enable, namely closer connections among people.

        This is not the way most investors see the technology. Most investors see companies involved in building clouds, like Rackspace (RAX), or developing cloud software, like Red Hat (RHT), as having more value.

      • Red Hat: Open cloud requires open APIs and stacks
      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 17: What Fedora should be!

          Let’s be realistic for a moment here. I believe that there is not a single Fedora user who doesn’t use repositories that conflict with Fedora’s policy and default selection ideology. Not even the most hardcore Fedora developers can use the completely useless system that Fedora is out of the box, without adding third party sources and pieces of proprietary software.

        • Why Fedora?

          No, I don’t think Ubuntu is bad, or has Linux cooties or anything. It’s a good distro if it best meets your needs. There are some really awesome people in the Ubuntu community. A few that come time mind immediately are Jorge Castro, Alan Pope, Jonathan Riddell and of course Jono Bacon. So why did I switch? Well let me start with the Fedora Core Values:

          * Freedom
          * Friends
          * Features
          * First

          There is a really good write-up of the values and what makes Fedora Different on the Fedora website. If you aren’t familiar with Feodra, it’s values and what makes Fedora different, go read that…I’ll wait until you come back, and then give you my personal take on this.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu from Android demo video

            When someone talked about Ubuntu from Android, it was somewhat akin to something which is rather hush hush, as very little was spoken about this particular project in February. This particular project from Canonical intends to deliver the hugely popular Linux operating system to the Android smartphone platform. Well, someone decided to come up with a demo video of Ubuntu for Android, where it will highlight a fair share of the system’s capabilities. First filmed at the Fórum Internacional Software Livre in Brazil last week, this is as up-to-date as it gets.

          • Five Latest Unity Lenses For Ubuntu

            One of the most beautiful and powerful feature of Ubuntu Unity is the lenses. These lenses enable instant searches in the Unity dash itself. For e.g., you can search Youtube videos straight from the dash by just typing the title of video. The main idea behind separating these kind of small features in individual lenses instead of providing in a bundle is to let the users decide to install them based on their preference and need, thus keeping the Unity dash clean and uncluttered.

          • Ubuntu for Android Looks Awesome [VIDEO]
          • Ubuntu 13.04 Developer Summit Sponsorship Open

            Canonical announced a couple of days ago, August 1st, that the sponsorship for the upcoming Ubuntu Developer Summit 2012 event is now open for submissions.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Quelitu 12.04

              I’ve been meaning to test Quelitu for quite some time. This weekend I finally got around to it. And the bottom line is, this might be the lightweight Linux I’ve been seeking for computer refurbishing…if only it had its own ready-to-run install disk.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Adafruit Announces its Own Raspberry Pi Linux Distro Geared for Better Hackability

      The initial fervor over the Raspberry Pi Linux PC has perhaps faded a bit, but that’s fine because the thing has been available long enough for master tinkerers such as Adafruit Technologies to do terrific things with it.

      Adafruit has actually developed its own Linux distro for Raspberry Pi called “Occidentalis v0.1” (a play on “Rubus occidentalis”, the Latin term for “black raspberry”), which is geared for optimum hackability. The Adafruit gang loves the Raspberry Pi but felt that the latest distro from the latter (Raspian Wheezy) lacked enough features; instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, Adafruit took the good work done in Wheezy and built Occidentalis around it.

    • Empowering your hardware engineers

      Your new embedded design becomes a reality when the first prototype arrives. This is an exciting time in any design cycle, but it can also be the most stressful. Sleep may not come so easily for the hardware team. When you think about it, the prototype is the realization of a new schematic, a new PCB layout, and a board full of new components. The likelihood of all these new design elements coming together and working out of the box are pretty slim.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 4.0 ported to Raspberry Pi’s $35 Linux computer

          The Raspberry Pi foundation announced today that its popular $35 Linux computer will soon be able to run Android 4.0. Google’s mobile operating system is being ported to the device by Broadcom developer Naren Sankar.

          The Raspberry Pi foundation was originally founded in 2009 with the aim of building a low-cost computer that can be used to teach computer programming to young students. The organization’s $35 computer—a bare board that is roughly the size of a deck of playing cards—has a 700MHz ARM11 CPU and 256MB of RAM. It sparked considerable demand when it launched earlier this year.

        • Samsung to unveil new Galaxy Note in late August

          Samsung Electronics is set to take the wraps off a sequel to its popular Galaxy Note smartphone at an event on August 29, about two weeks before the possible debut of Apple’s new iPhone.

        • Even Bigger Galaxy Note Set to Launch August 29th

          Even Bigger Galaxy Note Set to Launch August 29thSamsung’s updated Galaxy Note is on the way, with Samsung confirming that its Galaxy Note 2 is scheduled to be the star of its showing at this year’s IFA trade show.

        • DLNA certification pegs Sony Xperia LT30 as the Sony Xperia T

          A device that we know as the Sony Xperia LT30 may be coming to market with a different name if this DLNA certificate is to be believed. The certificate lists the device as having a product name of “Sony Xperia T.”

        • Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies arrives on Android
        • Desktop Android? Multi-user Android support is on its way

          Your smartphone is your smartphone, your tablet is usually your tablet, but your desktop, well you probably share it sometimes with friends, family, and co-workers. That’s one of the reasons why Android, the popular Linux-based device operating system has never been seriously considered for the desktop. Without multi-user support, it’s not great for a shared computer. That may be changing. We now know that Google has been slowly introducing multi-user support into Android.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • HP TouchPad gets Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

        Since day one, the HP TouchPad hasn’t been treated very well by its parent company, and as always, it’s been up to the hacker community to save the day. Last month, Google open-sourced Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) for third-party modification. As such, nobody should be surprised to learn TouchPad owners can now install Jelly Bean on their tablet (albeit it’s currently a CyanogenMod 10 build).

      • Samsung’s August 15 event looks awful Galaxy Note 10.1-ish

Free Software/Open Source

  • Netflix Unleashes Source for Chaos Monkey

    In other words, Chaos Monkey is a tool used to simulate failures in “cloud” services so that the operators can be better prepared for unexpected outages. By inducing failures in the system, developers are able to implement fixes and contingencies on their own terms, rather than waiting for a serious problem to develop before being able to deploy countermeasures.

    Netflix claims that Chaos Monkey has been used to cause over 65,000 failures in their system over the last year, and while most went by without issue, a few of them brought issues to light which Netflix engineers were able to repair so they won’t cause outages down the road.

  • Adobe releases Source Sans Pro, a new open source font

    Adobe has open sourced a new font family called Source Sans Pro. The font itself is now available in OTF and TTF formats. The company is also releasing the underlying source material so that the font can easily be modified and improved by third parties. Adobe is releasing the fonts under the terms of the SIL Open Font License, an OSI-approved license that broadly allows modification and redistribution.

  • Open source: The stealth stimulus package

    If I asked you to account for your energy consumption, you might list your laundry equipment on the spreadsheet. We’d see how much you spend using your dryer each month — quite a large amount. Worried by the cost, you might then opt for a clothesline in your yard. Naturally, your costs have gone down. But has your energy usage? You’re actually consuming as much energy as before, but you may decide to omit it from your spreadsheet because you’re no longer paying for it.

  • The Application Component Doctor Will See You Now

    Sonatype has launched Insight Application Health Check, an application component analysis designed to assess the integrity of open-source components at every phase of the software lifecycle. As a Component Lifecycle Management (CLM) player, the company says that this is a means of understanding the potential risks and opportunities associated with each component in use.

  • Wind River Becomes Key Sponsor for ISC Open Source Routing Initiative
  • Adobe debuts its first open source type family
  • Apache Deltacloud 1.0 Supports Open-Source Cloud Interoperability

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) announced Deltacloud 1.0, a new open-source cloud interoperability toolkit.

  • Open source: The stealth stimulus package

    If I asked you to account for your energy consumption, you might list your laundry equipment on the spreadsheet. We’d see how much you spend using your dryer each month — quite a large amount. Worried by the cost, you might then opt for a clothesline in your yard. Naturally, your costs have gone down. But has your energy usage? You’re actually consuming as much energy as before, but you may decide to omit it from your spreadsheet because you’re no longer paying for it.

    This tendency to account only for the resources we pay for and to ignore the value of the resources we don’t is called “the clothesline paradox” (first coined by Peter van Dressler). It was also the subject of O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly’s well-received keynote at the recent Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland, Ore.

  • Adobe open sources its first font family
  • Mozilla

    • New Photos of Mozilla’s Mobile OS Have Arrived Online

      Back in February, we reported on how Mozilla is in an alliance with Telefonica and Qualcomm to become a serious player in the smartphone arena with its own open mobiile operating system. And, just recently, we reported that Techweek Europe had posted a series of screenshots, seen here, showing Mozilla’s mobile operating system with a look and feel that Mozilla claimed was non-representative of the final OS. Now, adding credibility to sightings of the new OS in the wild, Robert Nyman, a Technical Evangelist for Mozilla, has posted a Flickr gallery of screenshots of what some are calling “Firefox OS.”

    • Mozilla expands in Berlin and US

      Mozilla is expanding its San Francisco office and will open another one in Berlin’s new Factory tech campus, the company recently announced. The branch in San Francisco is supposed to add 125 new employees for a total staff of 275 by the beginning of next year. Mozilla has confirmed that it will be hiring in Berlin as well, but has not yet given concrete numbers for that office.

    • Why We Love Firefox. And Why We Hate It.

      Admit it. You are in a love-hate relationship with Firefox. Either Mozilla gets Firefox right and you are jumping up and down, or Mozilla screws up and you threaten to ditch the browser in favor of Chrome. Mozilla’s passionate user base keeps Firefox dangling between constant ups and downs, which is a good thing, as long as Mozilla is going up. Unfortunately, that is not the case right now. Mozilla’s market share has been slipping again at a significant pace. There has been some discussion and finger pointing and it seems that the rapid release process has to take the blame this time. Are we right to blame the rapid release process?

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Releases VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1

      Oracle has put out their first (beta) development release of Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.2. The 4.2 release series brings several new features to this easy-to-use virtualization platform.

      Key features of VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1 include improved support for Microsoft Windows 8, the GUI has an expert mode for wizards, support for up to 36 network cards, support for limiting network I/O bandwidth to virtual machine guests, support for starting VMs during system boot, and experimental support for drag ‘n’ drop from the host to Linux guests. Additionally, more support for guest and guest-to-host drag ‘n’ drop is planned.

    • Oracle releases VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1
    • Download VirtualBox 4.2 Beta 1
  • Business

    • Study: During Hard Times, FOSS Has Tremendously Helped Small Businesses

      At the recent OSCON conference, the folks at O’Reilly released the results of a study, done in conjunction with the ISP Bluehost, called “Economic Impact of Open Source on Small Business: A Case Study.” It includes an extraordinary amount of data based input from over two million Bluehost customers and 4,000 survey respondents. The study makes the case that open source has had a profound impact on small businesses during these tough economic times.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open Source ERP Buyer’s Guide

        Open source is still a small subset of the ERP market, yet its promise of low cost and added flexibility means it merits investigation, especially for entry-level ERP deployments.

  • Funding

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Harvard creates software for 3D printing articulated action figures

      Harvard’s plan is to commercialize the software. They feel it will be useful for animators who want to print out and experiment with a physical version of the characters they create. There’s also a market for allowing anyone to create their own characters and have action figures printed and sent to them.

      Clearly this software is a little ahead of its time in terms of home 3D printing. Right now you’d be able to create the models and basic joints to clip together yourself, but using metal joints and being able to apply a color coating to recreate the character perfectly are desirable. Maybe that will be possible a few 3D printer generations from now.

    • Open Data

  • Standards/Consortia

    • IETF, W3C and IEEE publish statement on modern standardisation

      The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) presented a joint statement on modern global standardsPDF in Vancouver. The paper calls for fair, consensus-based processes, transparency and access for all to the principles of modern standardisation. Standards, they say, should not be determined by a few large corporations.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • “Anti-Occupy” law ends American’s right to protest

      I was stunned upon hearing a news report about a protest going on in China. Teachers, parents with their young, school-age children and pro-democracy activitists (one estimate was 90,000 people) marched in Hong Kong to government headquarters last Sunday to publicly protest a new required “Patriotism” class, to be taught in the school system starting in 2015. The protestors think that the effort of the Chinese government here is to brainwash their kids in favor of communism.

      What stunned me was that this protest, in China, against the government’s upcoming policy, at the government headquarters, would not now be tolerated here in the United States of America.

      Thanks to almost zero media coverage, few of us know about a law passed this past March, severely limiting our right to protest. The silence may have been due to the lack of controversy in bringing the bill to law: Only three of our federal elected officials voted against the bill’s passage. Yes, Republicans and Democrats agreed on something almost 100%.

    • America the Great … Police State

      For those of us who had hoped that the Obama administration would present us with a rebirth of the old republic that was so rudely erased a few years ago by that team of judicial wreckers, Bush and Gonzales, which led, in turn, to a recent incident in Cambridge, Mass. that inspired a degree of alarm in many Americans. But what was most alarming was the plain fact that neither the president nor a “stupid” local policeman seemed to understand the rules of behavior in a new America, where we find ourselves marooned as well as guarded (is that the verb?) by armed police who have been instructed that they are indeed, once armed, the law and may not be criticized verbally or in any other way and are certainly not subject to any restrictions as to whom they arrest or otherwise torment.

      This is rather worse than anyone might have predicted, even though the signs have been clear for some years that ours is now a proto-fascist nation and there appears to be no turning back; nor, indeed, much awareness on the part of our ever-alert media. Forgive me if you find my irony heavy, but I too get tired of carrying it about in “the greatest nation in the country,” as Spiro Agnew liked to say.

    • FBI Agents Raid Homes in Search of “Anarchist Literature”

      When FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided multiple activist homes in the Northwest last week, they were in search of “anti-government or anarchist literature.”

      The raids were part of a multi-state operation that targeted activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. At least three people were served subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury on August 2nd in Seattle.

      In addition to anarchist literature, the warrants also authorize agents to seize flags, flag-making material, cell phones, hard drives, address books, and black clothing.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • We need to go the extra mile with broadband

      Here in the rural areas of the United Kingdom we have waited patiently for broadband to reach us. We have made do with expensive satellites and community WiFi for a decade. Many homes are still on dial up, with no mobile coverage in many places.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Microsoft dumps Metro from Windows 8

        Microsoft has dropped “Metro”, the name given to the squaretastic user interface for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, claiming it was just a code name all along.

        Litigation, though, may be the real reason as it seems the word may be owned by a European company or individual that objected to its use.

    • Copyrights

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