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Links 22/8/2012: Linux 3.4 Longterm, PowerTOP 2.1 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • Walt Disney’s Real Commitment To Open Source
  • Pixar software goes open source

    The mighty animation studio has decided to share its Subd evaluation code as used on its latest feature Brave. Download the software yourself for free!

  • The 2012 Google Summer of Code fruits!

    More than two months ago, we took a look on the 29 new things that this Google summer of code would bring to the Gnome desktop environment and its various components.

    Today it is the “pencils down” for everyone as we finally reached the end of this magnificent program. Interns and mentors have done a great job providing new exciting things to the Gnome users benefit.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: IonMonkey Firefox Faster Than Chrome

        More than two years ago, Mozilla promised that it would catch up with Google’s Chrome performance in JavaScript. Today, JavaScript is not as much as a problem anymore as it was in 2010, but Mozilla has not forgotten its promise. IonMonkey is breathing down Chrome’s neck.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • New Program to Squash Key Bugs in LibreOffice

      If you’re like many of us here at OStatic, you’ve probably been using the LibreOffice suite of applications for some time now. And, without a doubt, this suite has become very impressive both in terms of its overall capabilities and in terms of the speed with which problems are addressed. New releases of the suite clean up lots of bugs, with community support behind the effort. But there is a new and aggressive program that has just been introduced to crack down further on bugs in LibreOffice. Dubbed HardHacks, it should make the suite much better–and do so quickly.

    • Oracle Closing MySQL?

      Seems Oracle is on its way to close sourcing the widely used relational database management system – MySQL. It was acquired by Oracle from Sun Microsystems in 2010 and is used in millions of websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia and even Google.

    • Vagrant distances itself from Virtualbox

      Vagrant, the open source developer environment generation tool, is being re-engineered to no longer be dependent on VirtualBox, Oracle’s open source desktop virtualisation platform. Vagrant allows the creation of “boxes” which contain all the assets needed to provision a fresh virtual machine. With a single command, Vagrant can create a machine from a box and bring it up. Vagrant was designed for developers who need to bring up multiple virtual machines, repeatably and easily in a testing environment. Vagrant 1.0 appeared in March this year.

    • Oracle secrecy threatens open MySQL development

      Oracle has been accused of hiding MySQL test cases and obfuscating revision history by MariaDB VP Sergei Golubchik. In a blog post entitled “Disappearing test cases or did another part of MySQL become closed source”, Golubchik says they noticed that, according to the release notes, a number of bugs had been fixed in the most recent MySQL 5.5.27 release, but there were no test cases associated with any of the bug fixes – indeed, there are no tests associated with bug 61579 or 60926. When he asked on the MySQL internals mailing list, he was unable to get a response from Oracle as to whether this was new policy or an oversight.

    • LibreOffice team to focus on hard bugs

      In a new initiative, “LibreOffice HardHacks”, the LibreOffice developers are being called on to take on the harder bugs in the LibreOffice code. Bjoern Michaelsen announced the programme, which is complementary to an earlier successful project “LibreOffice Easy Hacks”, which set out to get the “low hanging fruit” bugs, the ones that would be easy to resolve and would bring new developers on board.

  • Funding


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Yet Another Government Adopting Free Software

      Google’s translation:

      “The municipality of Vieira do Minho definitively adopted productivity software LibreOffice”.

    • Swiss open source awards for canton of Waadt and Supreme Court

      The Swiss canton of Waadt(Vaud) and the country’s Supreme Court are among this year’s winners of the CH Open Source Awards. The Swiss Open Systems User Group /ch/open announced the awards last week Tuesday.

      The advocacy organisation writes in a statement that the ‘Portail eGov du canton de Vaud’ was awarded for its involvement in the open source community and its vision on using open source. “The price is to support the Canton of Vaud”, ch/open says, hoping it will serve as an incentive for other cantons.

      A special award was given to the Swiss Supreme Court. Ch/open chairman Matthias Günter says the court earned the award for its “pioneering of the use of open source, even as many other public administrations are increasing their use of open source, consciously or not.”

    • Government petitioned to “free the code”
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Four insights to selling and marketing open source software

      Without genuinely valuable services for your customer, you have no revenue. I am aware that “value” is an overused word. Having spent many years of my career in marketing, I have been guilty of saying “what’s the value proposition?” more than a few times. But now, having been in the driver’s seat selling services for open source software applications, I can provide a more specific definition of value, particularly as it applies to application software (in contrast with infrastructure software).

    • Yeastie Boys win gold for open source beer

      New Zealand brewing company Yeastie Boys added a gold medal for design to the growing swag of international gongs they have recently won for their leftfield ales, when they were awarded gold for their open source Digital IPA in the Packaging Class at the Sutton Group Brewers Guild of New Zealand Beer Awards last week.

    • Timberlake: Iceland open-sources its constitution for modern adaptation
    • Open Data

      • Open data done well is a catalyst for change

        In March 2012 I reported in a post entitled “Open by design” a paper by Harlan Yu and David Robinson entitled “The New Ambiguity of Open Government“. A discussion of the paper has now appeared on the World Bank blog by Anupama Dokeniya entitled “Opening Government Data. But Why?” [A thank you to Jacques Raybaut at en.europa-eu-audience for the heads-up]. This is also even more relevant given the UK Public Accounts Committee report back so recently which was linked to and commented upon in Transparent e-gov.

    • Open Hardware

      • MakerPlane open source hardware airplanes

        John sez, “MakerPlane is an open source aviation organization which will enable people to build and fly their own safe, high quality, reasonable cost plane using advanced personal manufacturing equipment such as CNC mills and 3D printers. The project will also include open source avionics software to enable state-of-the-art digital flight instruments and display capabilities. Basically we are designing an aircraft that can be built on a CNC mill at home, or at a makerspace which is easy to assemble and quick to build. The plans and instructions will be available for free to anyone that wants them!”

  • Programming


  • Wilt Chamberlain’s Family Tries To Block Film About His College Years, Claiming ‘Publicity Rights’

    A filmmaker is trying to make a film about basketball great Wilt Chamberlain’s college years at Kansas. However, his estate appears to be threatening the filmmaker if he goes ahead, claiming such things as publicity rights over Chamberlain’s image…

  • Security

    • Systemd to secure system log information against attacks

      Systemd can now secure log information on system processes stored in its journal, using a procedure known as Forward Secure Sealing (FSS). This prevents attackers who have obtained administrator privileges from clearing traces of their activity from the journal without deleting it in its entirety. A verification key is used to secure the data and, to prevent modification, it has to be stored externally. Instead of writing the key down, users can optionally save it to a smartphone via a QR code.

  • Finance

  • Privacy

    • Deep Web, Deep Privacy

      Tell someone that you know how to go off-radar on the Internet and, as a rule, they won’t believe you. They imagine shadowy intelligence agencies have state-of-the-art technology and can see everything you do. Bkut they would be wrong.

      No doubt they do have amazing technology, but it is perfectly possible to hide yourself on the Internet, to send and receive emails that nobody can intercept or read, to upload and download securely, to visit banned websites, blog anonymously, and do anything you want without being followed, profiled or analysed. Those that know how use the Deep Web.

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