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08.16.12

Links 16/8/2012: Calligra 2.5, LibreOffice 3.5.6 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Keeping up with the Robinsons
  • From Windows to Linux Part One: The Newbie

    For almost three years, I’ve been using a HP netbook for all my computing needs. That includes surfing the net, writing emails, watching movies, blogging at GeekMom and my personal blog, and beginning my first novel. The workload was causing the little thing to die a slow and most unnatural death. There were huge lag times waiting for sites to upload or for Works to save. I use a HP Mini 110-1030NR running Windows, but I had begun to steal one of my husband’s laptops because I was so frustrated.

    One of the biggest problems I seemed to have was memory allocation. The netbook has a limited memory of 1 gig, which caused many of the problems. Once the netbook had performed a couple of tasks, it bogged down and became virtually unusable.

  • From Windows to Linux Part Two: System 76
  • Tesla CTO talks Model S, batteries and in-car Linux

    For most people who identify themselves as techies, Tesla’s Model S is something of a dream car. The all-electric vehicle accelerates fast, can maintain a high top speed, has a range of up to 300 miles, and packs a 17-inch flat panel display with a Linux-based computer system that provides access to just about every aspect of the car’s performance and entertainment system.

  • Why Linux Has Been an Attention Getter Lately

    Always a popular operating system, Linux has been getting a lot more buzz lately. All of this new news has helped to propel Linux operating systems to the public eye, and awareness of this system’s existence is now starting to spread beyond technology enthusiasts and computer coders.

  • Desktop

    • Building Computer Labs for Free

      I found an article about a teacher building a computer lab on $0. That’s mostly what I did for years refurbishing whatever PCs were in storage or not being used in schools where I taught. GNU/Linux is very flexible and installs on a wide variety of machines without concerns about drivers for the particular machine since most drivers needed to boot are part of the Linux kernel.

    • Removing Barriers for Linux Hardware

      I have squirmed in my seat while typing that reply. Free and Open Source Software doesn’t have borders. The hardware shouldn’t either.

    • Follow-up to “Pricing Hardware that Runs GNU/Linux”

      In Pricing Hardware that Runs GNU/Linux, I started what I hope will be a new practice at ZaReason — giving rebates at the end of each accounting cycle, giving back any profits that occur during that time period.

      For the last two weeks I have been cringing, literally cringing. How do I tell people that there won’t be any rebates this cycle? It was break-even.

    • ZaReason UltraLap 430 Ultrabook Ships With Linux OS Installed

      Along similar lines to what Dell has been creating within its Dell Project Sputnik, where the computer manufacturer has combined an XPS 13 Ultrabook and Linux together.

    • Dreaming of a Linux Ultrabook? Meet the New ZaReason UltraLap 430
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Display Switching Support For Apple MacBooks

      Canonical and others continue to hack on rudimentary support for graphics display switching for Apple MacBook laptops bearing multiple graphics processors.

    • New Linux drivers for old kernel versions

      The developers of the new Linux Kernel Backporting project plan to offer the drivers that come with recent Linux kernels in a form that will allow these drivers to be combined with older kernel versions. The initiative originates from compat-wireless – a project that was started by the Linux kernel’s Wi-Fi driver developers quite some time ago and has offered tar archives that allow, for example, the Wi-Fi drivers that come with Linux 3.5 to be combined with Linux 2.6.24 and above. For several months, these archives have included Ethernet and Bluetooth drivers as well as Wi-Fi drivers.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Marek Lands Radeon Gallium3D MSAA Changes

        Marek Olšák, the prolific independent contributor to Mesa/Gallium3D and the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver, has landed a number of commits today in Mesa pertaining to MSAA, a.k.a. multi-sample anti-aliasing for newer Radeon GPUs.

      • NVIDIA 304.37 Linux Driver Brings 41 Official Changes

        The first certified NVIDIA 304 series Linux graphics driver has been released. The NVIDIA 304.37 Linux x86/x86_64 graphics driver packs in 41 official changes affecting several areas of this leading proprietary graphics driver.

        The NVIDIA 304.37 Linux “certified” driver succeeds the earlier 304.22 beta and 304.30 beta drivers. As such, the 41 listed changes to this certified driver update aren’t all brand new if you used one of these earlier 304 series betas, but overall there’s some exciting stuff.

      • Wayland Support For Cursor Themes

        After several interesting news items in recent days about Wayland, the latest is that Wayland/Weston now has support for cursor themes.

      • AMD Open64 4.5.2 Supports Piledriver, Other Features

        AMD quietly released an update to their preferred compiler, Open64, last week. The AMD Open64 4.5.2 compiler supports their next-generation “Piledriver” Fusion APUs.

      • Radeon PRIME Import/Export Support For Libdrm
      • NVIDIA 304.37 released
      • Integrating Videobuf2 With DMA-BUF Still Being Done

        Aside from the ongoing DMA-BUF PRIME enablement work, Linux kernel developers are also still hacking on Videobuf2 with DMA-BUF support.

      • AMD Publishes “Southern Islands” ISA Documentation

        AMD has published their instruction set architecture (ISA) documentation for the “Southern Islands” graphics processors that are used by their Radeon HD 7000 series products.

        There’s no big press release for it or anything right now, but the Southern Islands shader ISA programming guide is available from the AMD developer web-site.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Best Educational Linux Distributions

      When it comes to using technology in education, there has been a lot of progress. These days, you see little kids doodling passionately on their iPads instead of papers. Moreover, with the use of desktops and laptops for teaching basic programming and computer essential to kids, technology has become an integral part of education.

      That said, as a FOSS enthusiast, the technology that is currently being used in schools is not the best course of action when it comes to introducing kids to computers. Not only are closed-source software and operating systems expensive, they also alienate the students from the ideals of sharing and freedom. iPads, iPhones, and iMacs do nothing except cultivate an insatiable gadget lust that further makes their parents shell out enormous amounts of cash for their kids.

    • [arch-dev-public] Migration to systemd

      Systemd has a overall better design than SysV, lots of useful administrative features and provide quicker boot up. Considering that it has been around in our repositories for some time and that it could be considered stable enough for production use, I would suggest to replace iniscript by systemd once the ‘Missing systemd units’ is over. Thus we will avoid duplicating our efforts on two init systems.

    • Arch Linux proposes switch to systemd
    • Arch migrates to SystemD ..and gets a little-bit better Gnome support!
    • The rise of the Linux hyper-distro

      Linux as a one-size-fits-all operating system may be fading into the background as new specialized distros assert themselves in consumer space.

      This is not to say that Linux is going away. Hardly. If anything, the sheer pervasiveness of Linux is what’s fueling the trend to which I refer: the rise of more specialized distributions with one or a few major objectives that stand apart from the idea of an all-in-one operating system.

    • New Lightweight Linux Distro Emmabuntüs Released

      If you have an old computer lying in your garage and would like to use it for some of your needs, here is a perfect distro for you. Emmabuntüs claims to be sleek, accessible and equitable.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Saving Mandriva

        The new management at Mandriva believes that a community-centric approach is the way to save the company from bankruptcy and rebuild lost trust. Do they have it right?

      • On life, death, and Linux

        After a rather long period without visiting the Mandriva community chat (because of an excess of work that is taking a toll on me), I learned that Eugeni Dodonov, a former Mandriva engineer, lost his life in a bike accident a month ago.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Unveils OpenStack Distribution

        Another open source vendor has tossed its hat into the OpenStack ring. A red hat, to be more precise. Now in preview release, Red Hat‘s (NYSE: RHT) own OpenStack distribution based on the open source OpenStack framework for building and management public, private and hybrid IaaS clouds.

        The news that Red Hat was planning on launching its own OpenStack distribution broke back in April when a GigaOm report let the news slip. Red Hat joining the OpenStack community seems like a case of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” It’s no secret that the vendor was facing increasing competition from the OpenStack community, and now it really is official the company that helped build the Linux empire back in the good ol’ days has seen the OpenStack light.

      • Zarafa Groupware, ClearOS Linux Get Integrated
      • Installing mod_geoip for Apache2 On CentOS 6.3

        This guide explains how to set up mod_geoip with Apache2 on a CentOS 6.3 system. mod_geoip looks up the IP address of the client end user. This allows you to redirect or block users based on their country. You can also use this technology for your OpenX (formerly known as OpenAds or phpAdsNew) ad server to allow geo targeting.

      • Red Hat releases Openstack preview
      • Red Hat Plans Enterprise-Ready OpenStack Distribution
      • Will OpenStack Wearing Red Hat Give it Cred?
      • Private Clouds Get Public Boost From Red Hat

        The OpenStack project got a boost today when Red Hat released a preview version of its own version of the open source cloud software. The preview edition isn’t meant to be run in production, but will give cloud hackers a chance to tinker with the software and provide feedback ahead of Red Hat’s official release, expected next year.

      • 75% Customer Wins Replacing Legacy Systems: Red Hat

        With Microsoft recently announcing a new wholly-owned subsidiary (Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.) to allow it to engage in open source projects, analysts are busy speculating what this means for the existing open source vendors. However, Paul Cormier, Exec. VP, Products and Technologies, Red Hat, seems unperturbed by this recent turn of events and terms it a great thing. “I think in some sense it was inevitable, and it is a sign of Microsoft publicly acknowledging that open source is a part of mainstream computing environment,” he adds.

      • Red Hat to release enterprise-ready OpenStack
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 Linux Set To Package Spherical Cow Load of Features

          The clock is starting to tick down on the Fedora Linux release with the feature freeze now in place. As such, now is as good a time as any to take a look at some of the new features that are likely to land when Fedora 18 goes live at the end of the year.

        • Fedora 17 KDE Beefy Miracle: is Fedora in decline?

          There are two Linux distributions which get the attention of a wide Linux-related community with enviable periodicity. Financially stable companies support both these distributions, and they are always on the peak of innovation. These are Ubuntu and Fedora.

          The latest release of Ubuntu 12.04 happened in April 2012, and I wrote about the whole “product line” of Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Xubuntu.

    • Debian Family

      • On Debian’s Birthday, Raphaël Hertzog Looks Back at dpkg

        Debian is turning 19 and is hoping users will be celebrating all over the world. Raphaël Hertzog looks back in is own way, by looking back at the development of dpkg. August 16 is the big day for Debian, but even the birthday post suggests a bug squashing party as one idea.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

    • BeagleBone gets I/O ‘capes’

      Fans of the BeagleBone single board computer, little brother to BeagleBoard, now have access to 20 plug-in boards to add a camera, LCDs, weather sensors, and other I/O, writes Steve Bush.

      Called ‘capes’ after the cloak worn by the beagle superhero BeagleBoard mascot, the boards have been designed by the open source community and will be available through www.beaglebonecapes.com.

    • ARM Cortex-A9 powers Origen 4 Quad dev board

      The Origen 4 Quad is a bare-bones dev board built around Samsung’s quad-core ARM-powered Exynos 4412 processor.

      Although the board is primarily targeted at devs who want to code and test apps, the Origen 4 Quad can also be used to power an Android or Linux based system.

    • Phones

      • TizMee brings Tizen apps to MeeGo

        Although the Tizen project has officially replaced MeeGo as the mobile operating system that Intel and the Linux Foundation are supporting, some MeeGo developers are still pushing MeeGo forward, especially as it is available on the Nokia N9 and N950. Developer Mike Sheldon has gone further than most by producing the first public release of TizMee, an application which lets Tizen apps, and other HTML5 apps, run on MeeGo-based devices.

      • Looking Back at One Year of Tizen

        The Tizen project is approaching its one-year anniversary, which makes for a good opportunity to look back at how far the project has come. The Linux Foundation announced Tizen in September of 2011 as a combination of Intel’s previous work on MeeGo and the LiMo Foundation’s handset platform. Samsung formally joined the party a bit later, bringing with it code from the company’s Linux-based Bada product line.

      • HP Spins Off webOS Into A Brand New Company Called Gram; Mission Unknown

        Ever since HP killed off webOS hardware, the fate of the webOS GBU (general business unit) was as yet unknown. But according to a flyer that has floated out of the HP office, it would seem that the webOS group, along with Enyo and Cloud services, has branched away from the mother ship to start a brand new company: Gram.

      • Android

        • Android 4.0 Hits More Tablets, Smartphones

          Android 4.0, also called Ice Cream Sandwich, is still being pushed out to smartphones and tablets far and wide. The 2011 version of Android offers significant upgrades to the system software of devices that hit the market earlier this year. Here are the latest devices blessed with the good graces of the system software update gods.

        • Songza debuts new tablet UI for Android

          Songza today announced that they have released a new version of the streaming music service which features a tablet-optimized interface.

        • Presumed Kindle Fire successor hits FCC
        • Android Is Winning

          This word comes from Gartner, a top research firm for these sorts of things. Overall, within the last quarter, Android outsold iOS devices nearly three to one while capturing 64% of the worldwide market share. Samsung was the top dog accounting for 90M handset sales.

        • Nightly Builds Of XBMC For Android Now Available
        • Android Programming with App Inventor

          MIT App Inventor, re-released as a beta service (as of March 5, 2012) by the MIT Center for Mobile Learning after taking over the project from Google, is a visual programming language for developing applications for the Android mobile computing platform. It is based on the concept of blocks, and applications are designed by fitting together blocks of code snippets. This may sound like a very childish way of programming, especially for seasoned readers of Linux Journal. But then again, App Inventor will tickle the child programmer in you and make you chuckle at the ease with which you can develop applications for your Android device. In this article, I describe how to use the camera on the Android device, develop e-mail and text-messaging-based applications and also show how to use location sensors to retrieve your current geographical location. Let’s get started.

        • Verizon adds $350 Galaxy Tab 2 (7-inch) to tablet roster
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Canonical: Making the Open Cloud Seamless for Users

        In preparation for a detailed review of Google’s recently-released Nexus 7 tablet, we’ve compiled a table summarizing the key specs of the Nexus 7 with those of the latest 7-inch Android tablets from Samsung, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Watch for our complete, in-depth Nexus 7 review to be published here soon.

      • Aakash 2 To Be Launched Soon

        The announcement of the first Aakash tablet had taken the world by storm due to its ultra-low price point. The pre-orders that followed the announcement made it pretty clear that it was going to be a commercial success. However, the poor technical specifications and the clunkiness of the actual product disappointed quite a few users.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Pixar Releases Open SubDiv On An Open Source License

    Most people can probably agree that Pixar is one of the most influential animation studios of all time. Their films have been not only critical and commercial hits, but important to the progression of animation technology as well. The technology Pixar uses in their films is some of the most impressive in the business. Now you can use it yourself for free.

  • Pixar open sources production animation code, patents

    Disney-owned Jobs-derived animation outfit Pixar has open-sourced some of its production software.

    Pixar started life as a software company and still operates a division selling its RenderMan wares, which have been pressed into service making innumerable films beyond the walls of Pixar itself.

    The code released as open source is called Open SubDiv, and “… implement high performance subdivision surface (subdiv) evaluation on massively parallel CPU and GPU architectures.”

  • Walt Disney Open Sources BRDF Explorer
  • Open Source Still Draws Proprietary Vendors Into the Fold

    The proprietary competition is very different when it is sitting alongside everyone else in developing, deploying or integrating with open source software. Today’s proprietary vendors talk bullishly about their integration with, contribution to, and support for open source software, which is a far cry from belittling open source as a hobby or demonizing it as not enterprise-ready.

  • One bug, millions of dollars lost: An argument for open source solutions

    On August 1, Knight Capital Group, a financial services company, lost $440 million in less than an hour because of a software bug. As I understand it, this bug could have been avoided if more thorough testing was done before release but, as the Omaha World-Herald reports, the company “rushed to develop a computer program so it could take advantage of a new Wall Street venue for trading stocks…and failed to fully work out the kinks in its system.”

  • oVirt 3.1 “narrows gap” with proprietary virtualisation

    oVirt 3.1 has become the second official release of the oVirt project. With it, the developers of the virtual datacentre management platform say they have narrowed the gap between “the open source virtualisation platform and proprietary alternatives”. In February, version 3.0 became the first official release of oVirt, and offered a range of virtualisation management components that also formed the backbone of Red Hat’s own RHEV product (Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation). The oVirt project is supported by Canonical, Cisco, IBM, Intel, NetApp, SUSE and Red Hat.

  • Study shows half of all websites use jQuery
  • Cash-strapped students have access to free software

    Students heading back to school can find hundreds of free programs to download or use as online-only applications. While they might not be as feature-rich as their paid counterparts, you might be surprised at what’s available.

    Put away your wallet and take note of these freebies for personal computers.

  • Companies struggle to get past open source ‘big data’ experimentation

    Speaking at a Computer Weekly roundtable on the topic, Bob Harris, chief technology officer at Channel 4, said big data initatives will likely require organisations to adopt new technologies.

  • IU’s Suresh Marru invited to join Apache Software Foundation

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) recently asked Suresh Marru of the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) to join its exclusive membership. This honor is bestowed on IT developers whose skills have significantly contributed to the foundation’s projects.

  • TACTIC Digital Asset Management Software Goes Open Source

    TACTIC, which had been targeted at digital content creators, is being released under the Eclipse Public license, which is generally considered less restrictive than the more frequently used GPL. This allows any individual, team, department or enterprise to download the TACTIC software for free and start using it for projects. Southpaw will continue and expand its support packages and professional services, as well as offer a commercial license for any organizations that prefer or require such licenses.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS To Replace Gecko With Servo

        Mozilla’s aspirations to build its own mobile platform while its browser is losing market share and its replacement to Microsoft’s Outlook has been put on innovation hold is incouraging. It’s even more interesting when we have seen hardcore mobile companies like RIM and Nokia failing to keep up with Android and iOS. What will Firefox bring to the market is not known at the moment.

        Firefox OS, or formally known as Boot To Gecko, does sound interesting since Gecko is Mozilla’s HTML rendering engine rather than the browser itself. However very few details and explainations about this project can be found.

      • Firefox OS Now Available For Raspberry Pi

        Mozilla had announced plans to create its own mobile OS based on HTML5 technologies. Some of the builds of this OS are available but it’s yet to release on any devices. However, Oleg Romashin has successfully ported Firefox OS to run on Raspberry Pi and builds are available for download.

  • SaaS

    • CFOs See Value in Cloud Computing, Which Open Source Platforms Can Boost

      From staffers in the IT organizations at many enterprises to departmental-level workers, cloud computing deployments are a hot topic. Businesses of all sizes are managing public and private cloud deployments and apps, and gaining efficiencies from them. But how does the average CFO feel about cloud computing? Do CFOs even understand the cloud? Google recently sponsored a study of 800 CFOs to find answers to these questions. Here are the details.

    • A Quick Overview of Hadoop
    • Open Source Cloud Lifts Up Rackspace, but Weighs Down VMware
    • ownCloud 1.0.5 Desktop Client Released
    • Rackspace Delivers OpenStack-based Private Cloud Platform, with Support
    • Revealed: Limited Edition “I Fight for an Open Cloud” T-shirt

      Two weeks from today The Linux Foundation will debut CloudOpen. This is a really exciting time in cloud computing, a time when developers and open source projects are clearly leading the way in technology innovation. The building blocks are in place thanks to decades of open source software development, and everybody is looking for their edge.

      CloudOpen will provide a vendor- and project-neutral venue for collaboration and for advancing key technologies. CloudStack, Eucalyptus Systems, OpenStack, Gluster, oVirt, Chef, Puppet, Xen, KVM, OpenShift, Ceph and more will all be there, as will the vendors and users who want to understand how best to work with these projects.

    • Contributing to Apache CloudStack as a Non-Committer

      If you’re a contributor to an Apache project, it means that you can commit directly to the project’s repository. For instance, with Apache CloudStack (incubating) contributors are allowed to directly push commits into the git repository.

      Non-committers, however, have to submit patches for review. Don’t worry, it’s not an onerous process at all. The first time you submit a patch, it will take a minute or two to create an account on Review Board, but it’s a piece of cake from start to finish.

    • Intel, Sina and others launch OpenStack-friendly alliance

      Burgeoning Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) initiative OpenStack received a welcome endorsement last week when Intel teamed up with some local Chinese players to launch the China Open Source Cloud League (COSCL) – a new alliance which will accelerate development of the project in the huge domestic cloud market.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.2 nears with release candidate

      With the arrival of a first release candidate, version 4.2 of VirtualBox is past its feature freeze and is nearly complete. VirtualBox 4.2, which entered beta testing earlier this month, will be the next major update to Oracle’s open source desktop virtualisation application and will bring various improvements and new features, such as a new “expert mode” in wizards aimed at making them quicker for experienced users.

    • Announcement: VirtualBox 4.2 Release Candidate 1 released
    • LibreOffice 3.5.6 Released

      The Document Foundation today announced the latest update to their 3.5 branch of their office productivity suite. Today’s release brings important bug fixes to users of this series.

    • Download LibreOffice 3.5.6 Office Suite

      The Document Foundation has announced earlier today, August 15th, that the sixth maintenance release of the LibreOffice 3.5 open source office suite software is available for download.

      According to the developers, LibreOffice 3.5.6 is dedicated to more conservative users, and it is here to fix various bugs and to further improve the stability of the software. A detailed changelog can be found in the official release announcement.

    • Oracle halts open-source HPC project

      Oracle researchers are winding down development of the Fortress programming language for high-performance computing, an effort started nearly 10 years ago by Sun Microsystems.

      The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which originally funded Fortress, pulled its backing in November 2006. Work continued at Sun and Oracle, however.

  • CMS

    • Open source page reminds clients to pay

      In terms of usage, Crumbs is currently on GitHub as both a WordPress theme and static placeholder, and Fairbanks said if using the former, you should remember to deactivate widgets and plug-ins so the client’s settings are saved and can be easily reactivated later. Better, though, would be to never get to this stage, and be more businesslike. Agreeing with our news article last week on contracts, Fairbanks recommended always using a contract (he said docpool.co is another good source of information) and also refining it to close up any gaps where a non-payment could slip through.

  • Healthcare

    • Big data in healthcare: Transparency is transformative

      The healthcare industry is experiencing off-the-charts growth in data generation. Growing numbers of clinical solutions generate more data every day–including electronic medical records, communication systems, and digital image archiving. On top of that, wearable sensor networks compile information on patients’ heart rate, brain activity, sleep patterns, temperature, muscle motion, and numerous other clinically useful data points. This enhanced ability to capture data from everywhere generates massive sets of information. This information is invaluable for healthcare and modern clinical practices–as long as we can manage it properly.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Zenoss Core 4 Advances Open Source IT Monitoring

      While Zenoss Core has long been able to monitor multiple types of network and server infrastructure components, with the new release Windows monitoring gets easier. The Zenoss Core 4 release is now able to perform remote monitoring of Windows systems without the need for additional third-party agents.

      Floyd Strimling, Technical Evangelist and VP of Marketing & Community at Zenoss, explained to EnterpriseNetworkingPlanetthat Zenoss Core 4 has a more native ability to monitor Windows. Strimling said that the system leverages WMI and perfmon to gather data from virtually any available metric via Zenoss’ native templates and collection technology.

    • Zenoss Releases Open Source Zenoss Core 4
    • Open Source IT Monitoring Scales Up with Zenoss Core 4
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU automake 1.12.3 released

      GNU Automake 1.12.3 has been released.

      This is mostly a bug-fixing release, addressing few old bugs in Yacc/Lex support, and some weaknesses in Automake’s own testsuite.

    • Gnucash On Android Hits Beta

      Gnucash is a free and open source software for maintaining personal finances. After being useful on the desktop, the developers are porting it on Android so that you can manage your finances on the move. The software was on alpha till date, and a new beta version has recently been released.

    • GCC Compiler Is Up To 7.3 Million Lines Of Code

      After providing Git stats on a number of graphics drivers, which proved to be interesting, here’s some development stats for the Free Software Foundation’s GCC. GitStats was run on the Git mirror of GCC as of 13 August to generate some rather intriguing numbers.

      The Git activity goes back to 23 November 1988 and during the course of these past 8,665 days on 7,270 of those days there were code commits made to this leading open-source compiler. In total, GCC in Git is currently up to 77,053 files amounting to 7,348,239 lines of code as of yesterday.

    • gnutls 3.1.0

      I’ve just released gnutls 3.1.0. This is release is a major feature update on gnutls 3.0.x, but is fully binary and source compatible with it. The main addition are support for the TPM module to store cryptographic keys, and simplified functions to access encrypted structures.

    • GCC 2012 Cauldron Covered Fission, Cilk, C++11, Etc

      The 2012 GCC Cauldron happened last month in Prague. The event, which was keynoted by Richard Stallman and celebrated 25 years of the GNU Compiler Collection, had a number of interesting talks. Videos and slides from the open-source compiler discussions are now available online.

      Those interested in links to the slides, videos, and other information pertaining to last month’s GCC Cauldron in the Czech Republic, see this GNU.org Wiki page. There’s also a YouTube channel.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Maximize the public benefit of federal technology by sharing government-developed software under an open source license.

      Openness: Open Sourcing ensures basic fairness and transparency by making software and related artifacts available to the citizens who provided funding, consistent with the President’s 2009 declaration that “Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset.”

    • Brazil at forefront of open source initiatives

      Since the workers’ party won the Brazilian Presidential election in 2003, an open source movement has continued to grow in government and public spheres. Now, the country appears to be at the forefront of open source initiatives, which isn’t news to most inside the community that, despite initial uncertainties, saw the movement growing each year. The workers’ party has without a doubt signaled that open source should be included at the top of the government’s agenda.

    • ‘Basque Country’s open source law challenges other Spanish regions’

      The new Basque Country law, to make all software developed for the government publicly available as open source, is a leading example to all other autonomous regions in Spain to adopt similar policies. Cenatic, the country’s resource centre on open source, expects the regions will take up the challenge.

  • Licensing

    • Furore over changes to licensing policy at CA/Browser Forum

      The Certification Authority Browser Forum’s (CA/Browser Forum) new licensing policyPDF has caused a furore within the very organisation meant to be responsible for guidelines and best practices for SSL certification. Prominent member organisations, including cryptography specialists RSA, BlackBerry manufacturer RIM and US carrier Verizon, are missing from the latest member list, updated in August. Entrust, a founder member of the organisation, has loudly expanded on the reasons for its withdrawal, which it explains is due to the organisation allegedly forcing members to make patented technologies available licence-free. In a posting to CA/Browser Forum’s public mailing list, certificate provider StartCom has responded by calling the allegation “a lie which I’m sure you are very well aware of”.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Willow Garage Marries Open Source and Robots, with an Eye Toward the Future

      For years now, in the field of robotics, open source platforms have been ushering in all kinds of innovation. And among the commercial companies focused on open source robotics, none is as prominent as Silicon Valley-based Willow Garage. Scott Hassan, a Google veteran, founded Willow Garage in 2006 as a well-funded robotics research shop. In addition to building innovative robots and robotics platforms, Willow Garage helped organize the Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF).

      Recently, the folks at Willow Garage hosted members of the press for a talk on robotics. Some of the predictions made are really worth noting.

    • Mailing lists: Community or communication?
    • Kicking Off a Year of Open Source Everything

      Berlin filmmaker Sam Muirhead is attempting to live a completely open source life for one year. Here’s why.

      The phrase ‘Open Source’, to many people, means ‘software you don’t have to pay for’—but really it’s so much more than that. It’s a way of thinking and working focused on transparency and collaborating with others. It’s about sharing ideas, plans, and developments for the benefit of the commons. And it’s definitely not just software.

    • Open Source Cars? Yes it works and the cars look great

      When you think of open source, you probably think of software first and foremost, and maybe about open source devices as well. While it is linked mostly to software, Open Source is not limited to that field at all, as it is also a design philosophy. But an open source car? How would that even work?

    • Open source desert racing cars in Arizona
  • Programming

    • Vim as your IDE

      To follow this article you required basic idea of how to use Vim and its command based editing. And it focused on how to make it an IDE.

    • Jodhpur boy gets invite for Google’s ‘mentor summit’

      A boy from Jodhpur has been chosen among 50 computer experts from across the globe by the Google for its ‘Mentor Summit’ to be held at its headquarters in California on October 20-21. The objective of this summit is to bring together the mentors of the Google Summer of Code 2012, which is a global programme that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source software projects.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Khronos: 20 Years Of OpenGL

      Among the fun facts shared last week in celebrating the 20th birthday of OpenGL was that covering the OpenGL specification with all of its extensions is longer — in terms of lines, words, and characters — than the bible.

      Last week at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles besides releasing OpenGL ES 3.0, introducing OpenGL 4.3, and talking about Valve’s games on Linux, they were also celebrating twenty years of OpenGL.

    • New open source Calligra Suite release enhances ODF document support

      Calligra has published the second stable release of its open source suite that includes word processing, spreadsheets and a sketching program. The new version greatly improves the support of Open Document Format (ODF) documents, said one of its main developers on Tuesday.

      The Calligra Suite is an application suite for Linux that includes programs not found in traditional office suites, so the development team prefers to call it an “integrated work applications suite.”

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Oracle releases unscheduled fix for critical vulnerability
    • Google warns of using Adobe Reader – particularly on Linux

      On its August Patch Day, Adobe has fixed numerous critical memory-related bugs in Reader for Windows and Mac OS X – but has chosen to overlook Linux users. The researchers who discovered the holes now fear that potential attackers could find enough clues to build an exploit by comparing the current Windows version of Reader with the previous one. This would leave Linux users defenceless. On top of that, even the patched versions still contain a total of 16 open security holes.

    • Microsoft patches critical security holes in Windows, Office, IE

      Microsoft has fixed 26 vulnerabilities in its software products, including several considered critical, the company said on Tuesday in its monthly security patch report.

      The security holes, described in five critical and four important bulletins, affect multiple products, including Windows, Internet Explorer, Exchange, SQL Server and Office. In the worst-case scenarios, exploits could give attackers control of affected systems.

    • Insightful Comment on “8″

      This comment came in response to the announcement of a bunch of vulnerabilities fixed in that other OS and Adobe’s software for that other OS. On top of all that “normal” angst, the radical change in UI is unwelcome by many. M$ has clearly over-reached. They have cowed most OEMs and retailers for decades and now they are attempting to add more burdens to the end users in order to bypass the grumbling loyal OEMs, ISVs and retailers who have supported M$ for so long. The dam holding back FLOSS on retail shelves is crumbling. Breakage will be great but a better world awaits. Enlightenment has its costs but no one wants to return to the Dark Ages of IT.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • U.S.-Funded War in El Salvador Casts Shadow over Romney/Ryan Campaign

      Amidst reports that Mitt Romney launched Bain Capital with funds from investors tied to 1980s Salvadoran death squads, his new running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is getting foreign policy briefings from a man who actively covered-up some of the worst atrocities committed by those same death squads. The GOP’s vice-presidential candidate also earned his political stripes working under neoconservative Republicans who funneled billions in U.S. aid to those military hitmen. Though the war in El Salvador was just one chapter in history, Romney and Ryan’s relationship with that war may provide a snapshot into their worldview.

  • Finance

    • Choosing Ryan, Embracing Austerity

      Whatever electoral calculations drove Mitt Romney to choose Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate, the choice also has a deeper meaning. Ryan’s arrival at the top of the Republican Party represents the rise of the most vocal and visible proponent of austerity in US politics today. Ryan represents the US parallel to the regimes now controlling, for example, Greece, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Their shared strategy is simple. First, deliver austerity policies to the biggest corporations and the richest 5 percent of the citizens. Second, in return, those two groups’ money will reduce political opposition to the austerity pushers and win them re-election with overwhelming legal and illegal funding.

    • Goldman Sachs Free to Keep Stealing

      Goldman again got off scot-free. On August 9, the Justice Department dropped criminal fraud charges. Evidence the equivalent of enough firepower to sink a carrier battle group was buried and forgotten. More on what happened below.

      Black’s Law Dictionary says:

      “Fraud consists of some deceitful practice or willful device, resorted to with intent to deprive another of his right, or in some manner to do him an injury.”

      It includes “all acts, omissions, and concealments which involve a breach of legal or equitable duty, trust, or confidence justly reposed, and are injurious to another, or by which an undue and unconscientious advantage is taken of another.”

    • Five Reasons Why Crisis Persists

      It is difficult to imagine and impossible to count all the costs of this persistence. Consider, just for examples, (1) damaged physical and mental health of the unemployed, (2) rising anxiety about increasingly insecure jobs and benefits, (3) strained and destroyed relationships, (4) interrupted or aborted educations and (5) lost skills and job connections. Consider, too, the gross inefficiencies (tens of millions of unemployed alongside trillions in unused raw materials, tools, equipment, offices, factories and stores; millions of empty homes alongside millions of people rendered homeless by the crisis).

    • Senator Carl Levin is Very Pissed Off: No Prosecution of Goldman Sachs

      Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., issued the following statement on the Department of Justice’s announcement regarding Goldman Sachs:

    • Sen. Levin Statement on DOJ Announcement on Goldman Sachs
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Flashback: U.S. propaganda in the run up to the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    • Stars Earn Stripes, NBC’s New “War-Musement” TV Show, Panned by Nobel Peace Laureates, Veterans, and Others

      Nine winners of the Nobel prize for peace are calling on NBC to cancel its new TV series, “Stars Earn Stripes” (S-E-S).

      The network unabashedly used its monopoly on the U.S. broadcast of the summer Olympic games to promote this new “reality” series, which debuted this week.

      The show features eight celebrities competing in what NBC calls “missions inspired by real military” activities — such as firing missiles and other simulated deadly weapons — alongside teammates and trainers who served in the military or did other related work.

      The Laureates’ letter notes that “war isn’t entertainment,” and they call the show “a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent.” (A pdf of the letter can be downloaded below.)

    • An anonymous group goes on a PR rampage to defame Uber in Boston

      Uber has been having a bit of a rough go of things in Boston the past few days. First a cease and desist order was given to the company after one of its drivers was caught in what played out as nothing less than a sting operation by the Keystone Cops. The city caught major pushback and relented, but today the plot thickens. It seems that someone in Boston is taking the abusive spouse role, promising that they’re only beating on the service because they care.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • The new totalitarianism of surveillance technology

      A software engineer in my Facebook community wrote recently about his outrage that when he visited Disneyland, and went on a ride, the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.

  • Civil Rights

    • ECUADOR SHOCK AT THREATS FROM BRITISH GOVERNMENT

      An Ecuadorian government spokesperson commenting on the threats by the British Government to enter the Embassy said:

      “We are deeply shocked by British government’s threats against the sovereignty of the Ecuadorian Embassy and their suggestion that they may forcibly enter the embassy.

      This is a clear breach of international law and the protocols set out in the Vienna Convention.

    • Julian Assange: UK issues ‘threat’ to arrest Wikileaks founder

      Ecuador has accused the UK of making a “threat” to enter its embassy in London to arrest Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

    • Julian Assange can be arrested in embassy, UK warns Ecuador

      The diplomatic and political minefield that is the fate of Julian Assange is expected to come a step closer to being traversed when Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, gives his decision on whether his country will grant the WikiLeaks’ founder asylum around lunchtime on Thursday.

    • Julian Assange asylum: Ecuador is right to stand up to the US

      Ecuador has now made its decision: to grant political asylum to Julian Assange. This comes in the wake of an incident that should dispel remaining doubts about the motives behind the UK/Swedish attempts to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. On Wednesday, the UK government made an unprecedented threat to invade Ecuador’s embassy if Assange is not handed over. Such an assault would be so extreme in violating international law and diplomatic conventions that it is difficult to even find an example of a democratic government even making such a threat, let alone carrying it out.

    • Peruvians rally to change course of Computer Crimes Bill

      In a wave of civic action, Peruvian citizens have sent over 5,000 letters to their representatives in Congress using Access’ speakout platform in response to the Computer Crimes Bill being quietly fast-tracked through the legislative process.

      The bill could be called up for a final vote in the Plenary Assembly at any time, though legislators have yet to publicize a schedule. The vote is expected to occur as soon as new commission assignments are finalized, but a new president of the Commission of Justice and Human Rights, could move the bill back to committee for further debate and consultation with affected stakeholders.

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