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09.26.12

Links 26/9/2012: 1.3 Million Android Activations a Day

Posted in News Roundup at 2:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 things the “Average Joe” won’t know about Linux

    Last night my son was trying to install something called Tekkit which has something to do with Minecraft.
    I am not really savvy when it comes to Minecraft and I had no idea what Tekkit was. My son asked whether he could download and run the Tekkit Launcher and if so could I help him install it.
    The first thing I noticed when visiting the site is that there is a download button on the right hand side for both a launcher and a server. What is lacking however is any real information about what Tekkit is, how to install it and how it works.

  • Why Linux Will Never Suffer From Viruses Like Windows

    In the Linux world, there are dozens of companies and security researchers that constantly run scans over the entire ecosystem of software in their repositories – not just the software they’ve developed themselves.

    Open source code also tends to lend itself to re-use. In the Linux world, devs are not even going to be tempted to go implementing a security-centric feature like SSL libraries themselves, when there are perfectly working ones available for their open source apps to use for free. Having that code open, such that they can step their debugger into and fix any underlying bugs themselves, is a great asset.

  • Linux Jobs Are On The Rise And In High Demand– Report

    Dice and The Linux Foundation have published an infographic which shows the state of Linux jobs in current market. The report looks interesting, and hopefully will encourage more people to choose Linux as their career. The infographic is posted below:

  • Using GNU/Linux is cooler than using Windows: Laura Lucas Alday

    This is the last interview of the trinity series and in this interview we spoke with Laura Lucas Alday the woman power behind the latest release of Cheese. She was responsible for enhancing cheese to support svg overlays. Laura finds GNU/Linux better than Windows.

  • US Congressman Office Vandalized, Linux Installed

    The campaign office in Staten Island of the Republican Congressman Michael Grimm has been vandalized, the computer hard drives were erased, and a Linux operating system was installed.

  • Celebrating GNU/Linux

    GNU/Linux has come a long way and continues to grow. It is one of the great operating systems and a great cooperative project of the world. It is something to celebrate, to use, to enjoy and to be thankful for all the good people who contribute their time and resources to produce.

  • Desktop

    • The challenges of Desktop Linux
    • Apple v GNU/Linux

      No. GNU/Linux on the desktop is thriving. MacOS is catching up if anything. GNU/Linux is used everywhere from US military to Hollywood on desktops and servers. MacOS? Not so much. The main reason? Cost.

    • Lenovo Acquires PC Maker in Brazil

      This should allow Lenovo a bigger share of Brazil and perhaps South America where PCs are a growth industry and GNU/Linux is popular.

    • Evolution of IT in Estonian Schools

      In 2004, it was reported that 47% of servers in schools were GNU/Linux but only 3% of PCs were running GNU/Linux.

    • Linux on the Desktop: New Opportunities

      Lately we’ve been treated to (or bombarded by) a slew of articles and blog posts proclaiming the failure and/or the death of Linux on the desktop. I could describe what I really think of these articles but my language would be a bit more colorful than would be appropriate. Suffice it to say it’s all bunk as far as I am concerned.

      I have written about why I believe Linux remains under 10% of the desktop market: the lack of preloaded systems available in stores and the slow uptake of Linux on the enterprise desktop. The enterprise desktop is critical if Linux is to make progress on the consumer desktop without a presence in big box stores. People use what they know and like. If they use and like Linux at work they may well want to use it at home as well.

    • Caitlyn Martin Points Out The Obvious, GNU/Linux on the Desktop Works for People
    • Unbiased Web Stats For Germany

      Here’s a promising site. It’s in German but it seems to be about sports and has good volume with 64K unique visitors and so on. There are thousands of visits per day and hundreds of thousands of hits per day. According to Netcraft it runs on GNU/Linux, from 2004 to 2011 with Suse and then with CentOS. The result?

      * 81% That Other OS,
      * 8.1% */Linux, and
      * 7.6% MacOS

    • Correlation of IE Usage and GNU/Linux Usage
    • Who helped you get started with Linux?

      That’s the question of a poll I found on a German site, Pro-Linux.de. The answer they found?

    • World’s first Linux Ultrabook laptop costs as much as a Windows version

      Everyone is excited for the new slate of Windows 8 Ultrabooks to arrive in a few weeks — everyone, that is, except for Linux devotees. With the new ZaReason UltraLap 430, they finally get an Ultrabook of their own.

      The UltraLap is the first laptop that ships with Linux and could fall under Intel’s Ultrabook platform specs. The base model features a 14.1-inch, 1,366×768 LED-backlit screen, Intel Core i3-3217U processor, Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics, 4GB of RAM, 32GB solid state drive, and your choice of Linux flavor: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, or Fedora (or no OS pre-installed at all). If the base model isn’t powerful enough for you, you can upgrade to a Core i5-3317U CPU for $49, 8GB or 16GB of RAM, a larger SSD and/or a hard drive, and additional warranty protection beyond the standard one year.

    • But what happened to the desktop?

      Only one of well over 150 technical sessions is directly related to the desktop, a polished version of which SUSE releases under the name SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED).

      This session, Use Cases for SUSE Linux Desktop, was held yesterday by Stefan Behlert, senior project manager, and Jan Weber, product manager (both pictured above).

      Additionally, there is one session devoted to LibreOffice, the office suite that is part and parcel of most Linux distributions, and an additional session on openSUSE, the upstream of the enterprise distributions, which could be considered to be revolving around the desktop as well.

    • Two Solitudes: Desktop GNU/Linux and Server GNU/Linux

      In fact, RedHat which is doing very well on the server has lots of clients using GNU/Linux and OEMs are shipping millions of units.

    • Side by Side Comparisons of PCs with and without That Other OS

      In all other respects, these three models of Acer’s Veriton N are identical. The logical conclusion is that other OS costs $50 or $100 depending on the level of lock-in you desire…

  • Server

    • Where Competition Thrives, M$ Dives

      In 1995 M$ was just beginning to have a presence on the web. When Lose ’95 was inflicted on the world, M$ bundled its browser with the OS and did anti-competitive actions to boost its presence. It’s web server, IIS, rapidly grew to ~22% by 1998, when US Department of Justice went after them for their illegal war on Netscape. After the complaint in 1998, IIS levelled off and except for a few bumps where they bribed large customers to use IIS for periods of time, and reached 36% at most, IIS has declined gradually ever since.

  • Kernel Space

    • Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup Brings Open Source To Automobiles

      You can easily notice that many in-car infotainment systems are custom-built by their manufacturers, and locked down completely. The Linux Foundation is trying to change this concept and wants our cars to take up the open source route that we would find in an Ubuntu box.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA’s Driver May Support Wayland Eventually

        If Wayland’s adoption takes off and that it indeed is being widely used by tier-one Linux desktop distributions and the future direction of Linux is clearly with Wayland over X11/X.Org, the necessary pieces will fall into place within the NVIDIA binary graphics driver for supporting Wayland. That was heard while having dinner with a certain individual last week in Germany.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE 4.8.5 Now Available For Ubuntu Users

        Users using the KDE desktop in Ubuntu, or using the Kubuntu distro, will now be able to update to KDE Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform 4.8.5. This is the last release in KDE 4.8 series. This release mostly consists of bugfixes and stability enhancements.

      • Community News: Stabilizing Kolab 3

        The past weeks the Kolab Community has been busy working on the upcoming release of Kolab 3. We had people trying out fresh Kolab installs, or upgrading their existing installs to Kolab 3 alpha following the growing documentation. Also community members Michael Kiefer and Paul Klos worked on Debian packaging while Johannes Graumann is still testing their work. Jeroen van Meeuwen was working on making our awesome PHP LDAP capabilities generally available and wrote about why your system should have a proper FQDN. He also wrote a little script that assists users with migrating their Kolab 2.3 LDAP data to Kolab 3. This script still needs some feedback. So if you have a Kolab 2.3 server running, please check it out!

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Shell 3.6 Out

        The Gnome Foundation have announced the release of Gnome Shell desktop environment version 3.6. This is a test version not suitable for enterprise and business environments. Install it on your own risk.

      • Gnome 3.7 May Release On October 24, Gnome 3.8 On March 27th

        A release candidate of Gnome 3.7 is already out and Gnome 3.6 stable release is scheduled on September 26. However, development never stops in Linux world, and the developers are already making plans for the next releases. Currently, you can suggest some features for future Gnome releases as we announced earlier, and Gnome 3.8 feature freeze is on October 22nd this year.

      • GNOME 3.5.92 Release Candidate Is Now Available
  • Distributions

    • CrunchBang ‘Waldorf’ R20120806 – What a Shame
    • Manjaro Linux 0.8.1 XFCE Review: Fast, complete and looks awesome!

      Last time when I reviewed Manjaro 0.8.0 XFCE, I really liked it. I didn’t feel it wasted too much of RAM while using it, but there were criticisms from some corner. Possibly, I haven’t really used it that much as Manjaro was never my primary distro. But, it is good that the developer, Roland Singer, came up with another version 0.8.1 XFCE, which LXDM instead of LightDM and built up a really good looking theme over LXDM. Once I read the release note at Distrowatch, I was quick to download it. I download the 32-bit version and there is a 64-bit version available as well.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Increases Sales but Misses Estimates on Earnings

        For the quarter ended Aug. 31 (Q2), Red Hat met expectations on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

      • FactSet Net Soars, Red Hat Net Declines
      • Red Hat: We’re Not Just About Linux Anymore

        Red Hat reported second quarter fiscal 2013 results late Monday that continues to show revenue growth.

        Growth isn’t just coming from Red Hat’s core Linux business, it’s also being fueled by the company’s expanding portfolio, which includes middleware, cloud and storage technologies.

        For the quarter, Red Hat reported revenue of $323 million — up by 15 percent year-over-year. Net Income came in at $35 million or $0.18 per share, which is a decline from the $40 million reported for the second quarter of 2012. Moving forward, Red Hat provided third quarter guidance for revenue in the range of $336 million to $339 million.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora gamers rejoice…with Mumble!

          As Fedora is one of the “pure Gnome” distributions, it is very possible that it concerns a large part of our readers so here are some good gaming news for you!

          Mumble RPMs can help you with the popular Humble Indie Bundle game collections that don’t include an rpm package, thus not integrating well under your distribution (not taking care of dependencies, not offering easy install/uninstall option etc).

        • Root Account To Be Disabled By Default In Fedora 18
        • Fedora Project Officially Turns 9 Today

          Red Hat’s testing ground and all around number 2 Linux distribution Fedora, turns 9 today. A post by Fabian Affolter reveals on planet.fedora the historic day in which the project’s homepage was first registered.

        • The Fedora Project Turns 9

          Red Hat sponsored and community maintained Fedora Project has turned 9 years. This was just a few days after the upcoming Fedora 18′s alpha was released with some major changes and desktop overhaul.

    • Debian Family

      • Demand for Debian GNU/Linux Spreads

        In short, APT is absolutely fabulous and alone is reason enough to use Debian GNU/Linux for all your IT. For those unsatisfied with the speed of the web an organisation can keep a local repository mirror or cache to transfer software to computers at the speed of a LAN. That’s awesome.

      • AMD64 Now Debian’s Most Popular Architecture

        Bill Allombert announced today via the Debian-devel mailing list that the X86_64 version of Debian has now surpassed all of the other supported architectures by a narrow margin. The most surprising part of this announcement however, and accompanying info-graphics provided on the Debian Popularity Contest page, is that this was not already true.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • More Information About Online Dash Search Privacy

            Recently there has been some concerns about the privacy of the new feature we recently added to the dash in which it can query external resources to provide related results. I just wanted to follow up with some further details about how these searches are performed, the privacy protections that are put in place, and further work going on.

          • On The Recent Dash Improvements
          • Developer Of Ubuntu’s Amazon Search Lens Talks About Privacy Issues
          • Mark Shuttleworth Explains About Inclusion Of Amazon Search Results In Unity Dash
          • Gwibber To Become Faster And More Stable In Ubuntu 13.04

            Gwibber is a powerful and full-featured social client for Ubuntu, and though it supports a wide range of social services, its slow, buggy and also has occasional crashes. The good news is that developers have taken a note of users’ mishaps and the backend is being completely rewritten. So hopefully we will see a faster, sleeker and robust Gwibber in Ubuntu 13.04.

          • Ubuntu Help Lenses Makes It Easy For New Users To Use Ubuntu

            Unity already has a hell lot of lenses that makes the Unity desktop just wow. But one of the lens that is most helpful for new Ubuntu users is definitely the help lenses.

            The lens searches your query from both online (AskUbuntu, AskLibreoffice) and offline(man pages) sources. A set of results are displayed in the dash itself and clicking on one opens up the relevant help document or web page.

          • Getting Started with Ubuntu for Windows Users

            The New York Times has an interesting post up that caters to Windows users who have no Linux experience but would like to dip their toes in the water. It’s a short “Linux on a Stick” post that discusses how to use a Flash drive to begin using Ubuntu. We’ve covered the topic before at length, and if you happen to be a Windows user who wants to give Ubuntu a spin, here is a complete set of resources for doing it quickly–and you don’t have to ditch Windows to do it.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Release Schedule

            Now that we’re all waiting for the final version of the Ubuntu 12.10 (Qantal Quetzal) operating system, due for release on October 18th, we can take a look at the release schedule for the next major iteration of the OS, Ubuntu 13.04.

          • 20 Must Have Ubuntu Apps for Productivity

            For me, the ability to jump from one Linux desktop to another depends on whether the applications I depend on will be available to me. Luckily for me, the applications I rely on for productivity are readily available from the Ubuntu Software Center.

            In this article, I’ll share my top twenty productivity picks with you, and explain how they lend themselves to a more productive workstation environment.

          • In Spain, Hundreds of Thousand of Students Get Ubuntu Access

            Canonical has been very busy raising the profile of Ubuntu internationally for a couple of years now. As we’ve reported, Dell Computer has been a significant partner in this effort, helping get PCs pre-loaded with Ubuntu into the hands of users in India and China. Jane Silber, Canonical CEO, has discussed the companies’ plans to bring Ubuntu systems to 850 retail outlets in India. Now, Canonical is making a big push into the educational system in, of all places, Spain. There, 220,000 Ubuntu-based systems are being deployed for students.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu Christian Edition 12.04 Is Based on Ubuntu 12.04.1
            • Linux Mint founder calls Nautilus 3.6 “a catastrophe”

              Linux Mint founder and lead developer Clement “Clem” Lefebvre has provided further insight into his team’s decision to create Nemo, a fork of GNOME’s Nautilus file manager, and their plans for the new project. In a new blog post, Lefebvre says that he and his fellow developers chose to fork Nautilus because of the recent controversial design changes in version 3.6 of Nautilus, calling it “a catastrophe” as it “removes features we consider requirements”.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Open webOS – Promise and Delivery

        It was pretty exciting stuff when HP introduced WebOS a while back. Quickly they abandoned WebOS for unknown reasons but promised to open the source code. Now they have delivered:

      • The dead reanimates as HP ships Open webOS beta

        As promised, HP has shipped the beta release of Open webOS, the open source version of the web standards–based webOS mobile platform that was the last hurrah of the former Palm before HP absorbed it in 2010. More surprisingly, however, HP actually seems to be staffing up its webOS development team – an odd reversal of recent trends.

      • Android

        • Got an Old *TX PC Kicking Around? Newegg Can Help You Turn It Into An Android Desktop for $64.99
        • Google: 1.3 million Android devices activated every day

          Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that his company now sees approximately 1.3 million Android devices activated per day, up from 1 million in June. Schmidt was speaking at Motorola’s press event in New York City yesterday where the Google subsidiary was launching three new Android-based smartphones. Looking back to the end of 2010, Google was activating just 300,000 Android-based devices each day; in May of last year that number rose to 400,000. Of those 1.3 million daily activations, Schmidt said that around 70,000 were for Android tablets, and he put the installed base of Android devices at around 500 million devices.

        • Android developers: Go all-in with the Kindle Fire HD

          The Android landscape is vast with 1.3 million device activations per day. The target audience is big enough to obtain success with good app development, but only if apps get noticed by customers. Given the difficulty in getting an app noticed in the huge Google Play Store, a good alternative is writing apps for the Kindle Fire and releasing it first in the Amazon Appstore.

          More: Amazon’s gadget as a service theme: Hardware becomes irrelevant soon | Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD family: The highs and lows you need to know | Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD will give Apple’s iPad fits | Amazon just put Android tablets on notice with the Kindle Fire product line | Amazon changes the game in tablet market with Kindle Fire HD pricing | CNET: Amazon’s new Kindles: Everything you need to know | First take | Full coverage | Amazon statement

        • 7 Great Android Apps You Can’t Get on the Kindle Fire

          So, Amazon doesn’t exactly highlight this, but all of its Kindle Fires are Androids on the inside. Amazon slaps a heavy skin on top, so it’s not at all recognizable, but it’s Android all the same. Great, so you get access to all of the Android apps, right? Not exactly.

        • Can Android Replace Windows?

          The growing popularity of tablets within the pantheon of end-user computing devices has helped drive BYOD and cloud projects within the enterprise, made cell-phone networks a common remote-access option and brought relief to laptop-lugging road warriors worldwide. They’ve also made an even more fundamental change in the mix of devices for which corporate networking gurus are responsible, and, with Android, have given Microsoft the first really credible competitor to a major new version of Windows in more than a decade.

        • Hold On Microsoft, Quickoffice Pro HD Coming To Nexus 7

          Quickoffice is a very important tool for hundreds of thousands of Android users that allows them to open, edit and save to Microsoft’s Office files compatible with many Android devices. Some would even say it’s currently the best in its class. It provides a plethora of useful features from the ability to create new documents to the ability to sync to many popular cloud storage options and many more options in between.

        • New Tech From Walmart.com

          Interestingly of the 88 items, 15 are reported to have an operating system:
          “Operating System

          * Google Android (14)
          * Windows OS (1)

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tablets keep UK IT’s head above water

        Retail sales were up 2.8 per cent in volume and 11 per cent in value in comparison to July 2011, pointing to a big fall in sales through other channels, which benefit less than shops do from shiny new items like tablets and e-book readers.

      • Archos 101 XS 10.1in Android tablet review

        Archos has built a decent business making budget Android tablets, so I suspect the word ‘merde’ echoed loudly around the Igny HQ when Google pulled the rug asunder with its low Nexus 7 pricing. Archos hasn’t given up though and has now released a new device pitched as a budget alternative to the Asus Transformer Pad.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Adobe Releases Open Source Monospace Font

    Following the release of Source Sans Pro Last month, Adobe has released another font as free in SourceForge named Source Code Pro. This is mainly because of high response of last font which was downloaded over 68 thousand times and appreciated by the community, mainly Linux users and free software lovers.

  • 7 Questions to Ask Open Source Vendors
  • LSI CTO touts promise of flash, open source
  • Leaving on an (open source) jet plane

    We’ve seen open source hardware architecture grow significantly within the last eighteen months as well as open technology development even touching areas like car design.

    No surprise then that the sky is the limit (ouch! sorry for that!) and that open source should also extend to planes.

    MakerPlane says that its mission is to create innovative and game-changing aircraft, avionics and related systems and the transformational manufacturing processes to build them.

  • Apache OpenMeetings Moodle Plugin 1.4 Incubating released!
  • Central control is the big enemy of software freedom

    Quick: name one big difference between Linux and Android. And no, penguins and robots don’t count.

    The truth is, there are lots of differences between the two platforms, despite their common connection to the Linux kernel. But the one that’s most on my mind today?

  • Apache and RESTful Web Services
  • 3 open-source Javascript libraries for developers
  • Netflix open sources Eureka mid-tier load balancer

    With Netflix running so many services on Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) cloud, it needs to be able to find those services easily so that it can balance loads and manage failover. The video-streaming specialists have now open sourced Eureka, the software they use to meet that challenge. Eureka includes a REST-based server that allows servers to register with it when they come up and detects when they are down, and a client which talks to that service and does basic round-robin load balancing. Netflix has more sophisticated balancers in-house designed for their own needs.

  • To Master Tech You Must Master Software — And Open Source — Even If You’re Apple

    During my keynote at LinuxCon, I showed a picture of five smart phones from five different manufacturers with their screens blacked out. Think you could tell them apart? Without a UI they are all virtually indistinguishable from each other. When their screens are enabled, it’s easy to tell the difference between Blackberry’s and iPhone’s, Samsung’s Android devices and Nokia’s Windows based machine. My point? Software is where the heart of differentiation lies.

  • Spanish region of Extremadura confirms commitment to open source

    The government of the Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura considers the use of open source as strategic and as a requirement for technological sustainability. The region will continue to overhaul its IT environment, switching to open source software where possible.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromium 20 Finally Arrives In Ubuntu Precise

        After a long delay and a rumor that Chromium browser is being unmaintained, Canonical pushed an update of the browser silently today. Previously, Ubuntu 12.10 users had the old Chromium 18 browser running on their machines.

      • Why Chrome Hasn’t Killed Mozilla Firefox

        Four years ago, Google launched Chrome. At the time, I wrote a commentary piece that it wasn’t likely that Chrome would kill IE.

        As it turns out, I was (mostly) right. IE still exists, though it has its lowest share in years, thanks in no small part to Chrome’s growing share.

        Chrome however isn’t just growing entirely at IE’s expense. It has also had an impact on Mozilla’s Firefox too.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Plans More Non-Invasive Health Reporting in Firefox

        Mozilla has always been respectful of user privacy. But they also have to somehow get information from user’s browser to improve the product.

        Since at least Firefox 7 with something called Telemetry, Mozilla has had an opt-in mechanism for monitoring the performance of the open source browser on user machines. Telemetry is opt-in.

      • Canonical Marketing Guru Leaves Ubuntu For Firefox OS

        Canonical’s global marketing expert, John Bernard has left Ubuntu to join Firefox. The news was reported by marketingmagazine.co.uk. Benard is among top ten marketers in UK and has a track record of working with big companies like Sony Ericsson and LG.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Foundation Nears Launch

      The OpenStack Foundation is almost officially alive. The open source group that will have oversight over the OpenStack cloud platform project was first announced nearly a year ago and is now ready to launch.

      The Board of the new Foundation had its first full meeting at the CloudOpen Summit in San Diego last week. In an interview with Datamation, Jonathan Bryce one of the founders of the OpenStack effort at Rackspace detailed the road ahead.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • On-line Poll: 33% Use LibreOffice in Finland

      Tietokone IT magazing did a poll which shows that LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org combined have a bigger share than M$’s office suite and LibreOffice has 33% share. Not too shabby… Did they poll readers about GNU/Linux? Nope, but they did ask about FLOSS in government.

  • CMS

    • Google Tries to Compete with Moodle. Good Luck!

      Google has decided that building course websites is something they can help the world do. They have developed a method that requires knowledge of HTML and JavaScript… That cuts out about 90% of teachers, likely.

  • Education

    • Google open source code-in contest for school students

      Google has announced its Code-in contest will begin this November, introducing pre-university students to the world of open source development.

      From late November to mid January, students will be able to work with 10 open source projects on a variety of tasks, says Google. The contest starts November 26, 2012.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Results: Free Software voice & video testing

      The 25 sets of results were recorded, and can be browsed, sorted, and searched below.

      Six audio tests succesfully passed (24%), as did five video tests (20%). Mumble was the most successful client, passing 100% of tests (audio only, video is not yet supported). XMPP passed four out of 14 audio tests, whereas SIP passed only one out of ten (both vide and audio). Of nine apps tested, only Mumble, Pidgin, Jitsi, and Google Talk’s we client achieved passes.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • French guideline favours the use of free and open source

      France’s Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, signed a guideline favouring the use of free and open source software by the country’s public administrations, last Wednesday. Switching to this type of software lowers costs, increases flexibility and increases competition in the IT market, the Prime Minister writes in his introduction to the policy.

    • Italy making way for open source

      On 7 August, a law was passed by the Italian Parliament that requires the use of open source software by public administrations where possible. Article 68Italian language link of the Italian Digital Administration Code (Codice dell’amministrazione digitale) states that, from 12 August, public administrations looking for a new software solution must either use an application which they have already developed in-house, develop their own new program, use open source software, or any combination of these.

    • Report shows meagre rise in use of open source by parliaments

      Parliaments around the world are only slowly increasing their use of free and open source solutions, according to the World e-Parliament Report 2012, published last week. Most parliaments (80 %) now use at least one open source application. In most cases this type of software is used to run servers (50 %), for webpublishing (36 %), databases (31 %) and email (31 %).

    • My government is software-stupid

      I just checked, and my State government’s website here in Australia has 43 pages with the message that Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed if I want to view the page’s downloadable PDFs.

    • Kenyan gov’t embraces open source

      According to a report in Business Daily, the migration away from proprietary systems will see related costs go down by 20% initially but by as much as 80% within three years of the move having taken place.

    • Malaysian Government Marches Onward to FLOSS

      A workshop promoting self-reliance and increased comfort with FLOSS took place on 4-5 September 2012 at the Multipurpose Hall of the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, Putrajaya.

    • Costs Drive Adoption of FLOSS by Government of Kenya

      Yes, she can do the maths. Migration to GNU/Linux is a little short term pain for long term gain. For databases on servers etc. there is always a way to migrate the data and the computers can do most of the work. When it’s done, you are running FLOSS and never have to pay another round of licences. The same advantages apply to the client systems. Good news from Kenya.

    • FLOSS Preference – non-Free Software To Be The Exception in Malta

      The document is rife with references to things I like in IT like re-use and efficiency. Lock-in to monopoly is not associated with either of thse things. The result will be better IT for the money with all the good benefits of FLOSS: interoperability, openness, performance and freedom to use IT the best way possible. Having restrictions placed by EULA or lack of interoperability is going the way of the dinosaur. It’s about time. More governments should adopt such policies.

    • French Prime Minister recommends Free Software in public administrations

      This happened after Italy’s new law on software procurement clearly stipulating that the use of Free Software is to be prefered upon other alternatives.

      This text is mainly based on a report from the cross-ministry IT services. Its main idea rests on their consideration of Free Software as an “educated choice” that must be spread among all the ministries.

      The introduction acknowledges Free Software’s advantages for public administrations such as: “costs, flexibility or the balance of power with software editors”.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

    • 3 years later, hackers who hit Google continue string of potent attacks

      The hackers who breached the defenses of Google and at least 34 other big companies three years ago have unleashed a barrage of new attacks since then, many that exploit previously undocumented vulnerabilities in software from Microsoft and Adobe, a new report has found.

    • See? IE is Spaghetti Code

      This is characteristic of spaghetti-code. The stuff is running every which-way and off the plate… That the application does something for no reason/illogically/for no benefit, and that action causes the application to melt shows that the code was hidden under the spaghetti somehow.

    • Microsoft offers workarounds for IE bug

      Microsoft has detailed a method users of Internet Explorer can use to secure their computers from the recently discovered exploit allowing malicious code to run on a PC.

  • Finance

    • ‘Why Wall Street Always Wins:’ Post-Crisis Banking
    • ‘The Payoff’: Wall Street Wins, Again

      If you feel like justice was thwarted during the financial crisis, if you feel like the market’s been rigged for the insiders and there’s no check on it, you’ve got an ally in Jeff Connaughton.

    • How Goldman Sachs And Its Henchmen Are Starving The World

      For today I had intended to write another installment on what happens when the Republicans get their way and the so called “free market” is left to regulate itself. Then, a picture on Facebook caught my attention (the picture to the left) and it reminded me of a much more immediate problem. I was planning to discuss the South Seas Company founded in England in 1711. I’ll come back to it in a later article.

    • Woody Brock: Capitalism is Great, but Our Corrupted, Bastardized, Crony Capitalist System Stinks; It’s Rigged
    • Goldman Sachs Analysts Say Bank Slowdown Isn’t Temporary

      New bank regulations and capital requirements are “structural” changes to the industry that are more to blame for declining profits than the U.S. economic slump, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) analysts said.

      “The operating environment is unlikely to change any time soon, and we see shareholders of challenged banks becoming more demanding in asking management teams to lay out a path to unlocking value in the near term,” analysts led by Richard Ramsden in New York wrote in a report published today.

    • FDIC Sues Banks and Depositors Over MBS Fraud
    • Too Big To Jail: Wall Street Executives Unlikely To Face Criminal Charges, Source Says

      A last-ditch effort by federal and state law enforcement authorities to hold Wall Street accountable for nearly bringing down the U.S. economy is unlikely to lead to any criminal charges against big bank executives, according to a source close to the investigation.

    • Goldman at last gets a conflicts comeuppance

      Goldman Sachs is at last getting its comeuppance over conflicts of interest. The bank is forfeiting a $20 million fee after playing both sides of Kinder Morgan’s $21 billion El Paso deal. It’s peanuts compared with Goldman’s other profits from the transaction. But on the heels of a similar outcome for Barclays, Wall Street is getting an education about skewed incentives in terms it can understand.

    • Dan Kervick: Shamanistic Economics

      The Fed did something on Wednesday: it announced a new program of open-ended quantitative easing, and it announced that it likely won’t pull back on the new round of monthly asset purchases once the economy begins to recover more strongly, but will keep the purchases going for some indefinite period of time afterward. After what exactly was left unsaid. The Fed apparently has a target it intends to overshoot, but hasn’t said exactly what the target is. But whatever it is, we have been given forward guidance that the reaching of that unspecified target won’t stop the asset purchases – at least not right away.

    • Matt Taibbi: The People Vs. Goldman Sachs
    • Fiat Justitia? Breuer fires blanks on elite financial frauds
    • Goldman CEO sees tougher regulation as necessary

      Tougher regulation of financial institutions and higher capital ratios at banks are necessary in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the head of Goldman Sachs on Wednesday, even as he acknowledged that such safeguards carried some costs.

      Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive of the largest U.S. investment bank, said he sees financial regulation evolving now just as it did in the aftermath of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    • AT&T Presents: Your Congressional Representative™ Brought to You by Goldman Sachs

      The roar of the crowd, the flashbulbs, the excitement, the spirit of competition the… corporate logo-addled uniforms?

      One might be describing a NASCAR event, or perhaps even an NBA game in the near future if NBA commissioner David Stern gets his way. Or, one could be describing a political campaign rally, if Congress was as willing as the NBA and NASCAR to proudly display the logos of the big corporations that finance them.

      We recently launched the Suits for Sale campaign (suitsforsale.org) to bring attention to the dominance of big money in politics. It’s no secret that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, super PACs have flooded campaigns with more money than ever before. So what better way to inform voters of who they are really voting for then to adorn our elected officials with the very corporate logos that brought them to power?

    • NASSIM TALEB: Former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin Represents Everything That’s Bad In America

      In the piece, he interviews Nassim Taleb, who has some choice words for Rubin, President Clinton’s former Treasury Secretary and former Citigroup executive.

    • Richman v. Goldman Sachs Group: CDOs and Wells Notices

      Plaintiffs are purchasers of Goldman’s common stock between February 5, 2007 and June 10, 2010 (“Plaintiffs”). Defendants are Goldman Sachs & Co (“Goldman”), Goldman Chairman and CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, Goldman CFO David Viniar and Goldman COO Gary D. Cohn (“Individual Defendants.”) Plaintiffs claimed that Defendants made misstatements and omissions about Wells Notices the company received from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), and about the conflicts of interest arising out of Goldman’s role in structuring the CDOs known as Abacus, Hudson Mezzanine Funding (“Hudson”), Anderson Mezzanine Funding (“Anderson”) and Timberwolf I.

  • Censorship

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