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10.27.12

Links 27/10/2012: KDE Plasma Active 3, Raspberry Pi WebIDE

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A New Era of Operating System Competition Dawns

    …it has been many years since we’ve seen such healthy competition among operating systems.

  • Windows 8 launch – Jim Zemlin and the Free Software Foundation have their say
  • Share Will Shrink to ~30% for That Other OS in a Few Years
  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • LG Gets Serious About Linux, Joins ARM Focused Linaro

      LG is in limelight these days, yesterday we posted a story about LG working on open source implementation of WebOS for their SmartTVs, then they announced 4K TV (UHDTV) and now they are joining the Linux for ARM expert Linaro to cooperate on new ARM technologies.

      According to a press statement LG will contribute resources to work together with the resources from existing Linaro members. Linaro uses a unique business model where multiple companies create core open source software once with a shared investment in a single software engineering team, rather than by creating multiple, fragmented software solutions in isolation.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Releases Plasma Active 3

        KDE has released a new version of Plasma Active. According to the announcement, the Plasma Active user interface is touch-friendly and works well across a range of devices, giving users a natural way to organize and access their applications, files, and information. Version 3 features an enhanced and expanded set of apps, improved performance, and a new virtual keyboard.

      • KDE Manifesto in action: bodega server

        I wrote the other day about why the KDE Manifesto is important for the KDE community. Today I’d like to show how it can be used in practice with a real-world case study: the bodega server. Coherent Theory has been working on this content distribution system for a while and it does things rather differently in a variety of ways including:

        * Free software licensed :)
        * multiple owner-defined store fronts to the same (or different) bodies of hosted content thanks to a tag-based metadata system
        * able to federate external content (a feature set I expect will evolve significantly over time)
        * good for books, music, services, artwork, etc. as well as for applications; essentially any content or artifact that can be delivered over the network works just fine (which is why we don’t call it an “app store”)
        * built-in purchasing system using a points mechanism which can be tied to monetary purchases (swipe integration is included), gift cards or pretty much any other system you can think of (e.g. in a school environment students could earn points through their performance in class)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • What’s New in GNOME 3.7.1

        Matthias Clasen has just posted the news that GNOME 3.7.1 will be released sometime today and then takes readers on a tour. The latest on Nautilus, tweeks to the control center, and other tidbits are discussed.

      • The First GNOME 3.8 Development Release
      • Announcing Every Detail Matters, Round 2

        Details matter. Small aspects of a user interface make a huge difference. Get them right, and the experience becomes beautiful, satisfying and easy. Get them wrong, and it can be clunky, awkward and ugly. It’s only by paying attention to the details that we can raise the quality of the GNOME 3 user experience and make it fantastic.

      • Every Detail Matters 2 is open for Hacking!
      • Gnome 3.7.1 Out With OwnCloud Support, Some Screenshots

        he first release of Gnome desktop in 3.7 cycle is out. Among the most exciting features, this release comes with OwnCloud support in Online Accounts and support for faster recursive searching in Nautilus. This release is a early version of the next major release of Gnome 3.8.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cubieboard is like a Raspberry Pi on Steroids

      Here at GeekTech, we’re big fans of tiny Linux computer boards like the Raspberry Pi. If you wanted even more power after the Raspberry Pi got itsturbo on and a serious RAM upgrade, you might want to take a look at the amped up specs on the Cubieboard.

    • Mobile Devices Will Replace PC In The Workplace

      on26Oct

      Over the next five years, 65 percent of enterprises will adopt a mobile device management (MDM) solution for their corporate liable users, according to Gartner, Inc. With the increased functionality of smartphones, and the increasing popularity of tablets, much of the network traffic and corporate data that was once the primary domain of enterprise PCs is now being shifted to mobile devices.

      With most employees coming to work nowadays toting their smartphone, and or Tablet, and it makes sense for businesses to adopt MDM. With more and more enterprise apps coming on the market and as remote access technology improves, more enterprise content will be stored on these devices. Users are already synchronizing corporate content into public clouds for later retrieval on the devices.

    • LG Working on an Open WebOS-Powered Smart TV
    • Raspberry Pi WebIDE

      If you are serious about using your Raspberry Pi (RPi) as a platform for writing and testing code, you’ll appreciate the WebIDE software developed by Adafruit. This server-based solution turns your RPi into a flexible coding environment which you can access and use from any machine with a browser. Although WebIDE is geared towards Python, it can handle other languages, including Ruby, JavaScript, and shell scripts. Better yet, WebIDE seamlessly integrates with the Bitbucket code hosting service.

      Using the provided installer script, you can deploy WebIDE in an RPi in a matter of minutes. Alternatively, WebIDE can be installed manually, and the project’s website provides instructions on how this is done. By default, WebIDE is configured to run on port 80, which can be a problem if your RPi is already running the Apache web server on that port. In this case, you need to configure WebIDE to run on another port. To do this, open the config.js file in the nano editor using the sudo nano /usr/share/adafruit/webide/config/config.js command, specify an alternative port, and restart WebIDE.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google’s Top 4 Free Android Apps

          Google’s top 4 free Android apps are available via Google Play. In order of downloads, they are – Facebook, Pandora Internet Radio, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

        • Android to beat Windows in 2016: Gartner

          Google’s Android operating system will be used on more computing devices than Microsoft’s Windows within four years, data from research firm Gartner showed on Wednesday, underlining the massive shift in the technology sector.

        • Samsung Releasing Arndale Community Development Board

          Samsung announced today the immediate availability of Arndale, a new community development board designed around its Exynos 5 Dual system-on-chip (SoC).

          It features the implementation of both the world’s first dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processor and the world’s first quad-core ARM Mali-T604 GPU based on 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process technology.

        • Samsung Galaxy Premier clears the NCC, shows its hardware
        • Nexus Wireless Charging Pad Shows Up

          We are already pretty well acquainted with the upcoming Nexus devices thanks to all the leaked photos of Quick Start Guide, camera photos, photos of the devices themselves and LG executive revealing info, Nexus is all over the internet. Since we already know so much about the new devices, let’s digest some news about the new accessory they will come with i.e. the wireless charging pad.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • NRO Readies Open Source Cloud For Launch
  • Tiki Wiki 9.2 can now check system requirements

    The current 6.x and 9.x long term support (LTS) branches of the open source Tiki wiki, CMS and groupware solution have been updated to versions 6.8 and 9.2 respectively. Whereas Tiki 9.2 has more than 500 code changes, focuses on fixing various bugs and also includes several improvements, the 6.8 release only includes a patch to close an undisclosed security hole.

  • SaaS

    • Cloudera Open Source Impala Brings Real Time Queries to Hadoop

      Cloudera, one of the leading commercial sponsors of Hadoop, is now aiming to enable faster Big Data queries by introducing a new technology codenamed Impala. The goal with Impala is to enable rapid and interactive queries.

    • OpenStack Foundation Board is all about Blocking and Tackling

      The name Alan Clark is a familiar one to those who follow open source governance. Clark sits on the Board of Directors at the Linux Foundation. He was also the former Chairman of the Board of the openSUSE Foundation, and Clark was recently selected to be the first Chairman of the newly formed OpenStack Foundation Board.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • CoffeeScript 1.4.0 released

      CoffeeScript creator Jeremy Ashkenas has announced the release of version 1.4.0 of his programming language that compiles into JavaScript. The first upgrade to the language since mid-May brings relatively few changes. Among them, the CoffeeScript compiler has been updated to allow developers to strip Microsoft’s UTF-8 BOM (byte order mark) from source files before compiling them.

    • Proxmox VE works with KVM and OpenVZ containers

      After six months of development, Proxmox Server Solutions has released version 2.2 of its Virtual Environment (VE) virtualisation platform. The system supports virtual machines running both under a Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and in OpenVZ containers. Both can be simultaneously and transparently operated and managed on one system. While KVM completely virtualises almost every operating system, OpenVZ conserves resources by only running Linux guests on a common kernel in isolated containers. The company says that this strategy puts its product ahead of alternatives like VMware’s vSphere, Microsoft’s Hyper-V and Citrix’s XenServer.

    • Google Web Toolkit 2.5 with leaner code

      According to its developers, version 2.5 of the Google Web Toolkit (GWT), a Java-based open source web framework for Ajax applications, offers significant performance improvements. Apparently, the overall code base has been reduced by 20 per cent, and the download size of the sample application dropped 39 per cent.

      GWT is built around a Java-to-JavaScript compiler that allows developers to almost exclusively use Java when writing an application’s client and server code. The user interface code is translated into JavaScript and deployed to the browser when required. The technology recently became a discussion topic when Google introduced its Dart alternative to JavaScript; however, Google has assured the GWT community that it will continue to develop GWT for the foreseeable future.

    • Clementine Music Player 1.1 Released
  • Openness/Sharing

    • The future of our open source world

      Open source shouldn’t just stop at the world of software. In fact, more and more manufacturers are warming up to the cause.

    • Open Hardware

      • Willow Garage’s Robotics Work Inspires a Spinoff

        We’ve covered the extraordinary open source robotics work going on over at Willow Garage a number of times. It is a project that originated at Stanford University. Robots being developed within it run the open source ROS (Robot Operating System) software. Now comes Suitable Technologies, a spinoff of Willow Garage doing some innovative things in the arena of remote presence robotics.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C publishes Working Draft for Push API

      The W3C has published a Working Draft for a push notification API for web applications. Currently, there are more than a dozen different approaches to sending push notifications from a server to a client, including EventSockets, PubNub and Urban Airship. The W3C draft, authored by Eduardo Fullea of Telefónica and Bryan Sullivan of AT&T, is a new approach that can use several different protocols and is intended to become a standard endorsed by the W3C.

Leftovers

  • Will Voter Suppression Tactics Threaten Free and Fair Elections?

    The wave of new voter restrictions and scare tactics being implemented for the 2012 elections — such as voter ID laws, early voting restrictions, threatening billboards, misleading mailers and vigilante poll watchers — could intimidate countless numbers of Americans from exercising their right to vote.

  • Science

    • Eating Cooked Food Made Us Human

      A new paper examines the metabolic restrictions of a raw diet, and suggests that our primate cousins are limited by their inability to heat their dinners. It bolsters the cooking hypothesis of Richard Wrangham, a primatologist and professor of biological anthropology at Harvard who believes cooking is our legacy.

      Brazilian biomedical scientists Karina Fonseca-Azevedo and Suzana Herculano-Houzel note that the largest primates do not have the largest brains, a perplexing question. Encephalization (a larger brain size per body size than you’d expect) has long been thought to be a key feature setting humans apart from other primates, and mammals as a whole, but there is no consensus on how or why this happened.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Spanish unemployment tops 25 percent

      Among workers aged 16-24 the jobless rate towered at 52.34 percent in the third quarter, only slightly down from 53.27 percent in the previous quarter, the institute said.

    • Neoliberalism Kills: Part Two

      Neoliberalism is an evolving ideological paradigm which can be traced back to the work of Hayek and von Mises in the 1920s and even earlier than that. I won’t however, do a historical survey here of the various developments and nuances. Instead, I’ll just rely on the definitions and specifications of this body of thought that seem to me to be the clearest statements of the current state of the paradigm.

    • The Price of Monopoly: $100 million
    • Don’t Be Fooled: For Investors, Charter Schools Are Cash Cows

      In Pennsylvania and across the nation, investors are making big bucks off of charter schools, and donating huge sums to the politicians who protect their interests.

    • ‘We Pay More’: US Austerity Well Underway

      Regardless of political persuasion, there isn’t one person I’ve met who isn’t infuriated by the fact that they pay more in federal taxes than a combined majority of most billion-dollar corporations. But what’s even more infuriating is that under the Budget Control Act that was passed after our austerity- crazed Congress forced it into being during the Summer-long debt negotiations of 2011, budgets for numerous essential social programs will be cut to the bone this January, under the false guise that our country is too broke to pay the bills.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • ACLU and EFF are in court against Twitter ID requests

      FREEDOM GROUPS the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will be in a US federal appeals court today as they fight government attempts to get internet user IDs without warrants.

      The ACLU and EFF are pushing back government advances on Wikileaks and Twitter where, they argue, there is a threat to liberty and privacy and want it made public whenever the government requests access.

    • How Companies Have Assembled Political Profiles for Millions of Internet Users

      If you’re a registered voter and surf the web, one of the sites you visit has almost certainly placed a tiny piece of data on your computer flagging your political preferences. That piece of data, called a cookie, marks you as a Democrat or Republican, when you last voted, and what contributions you’ve made. It also can include factors like your estimated income, what you do for a living, and what you’ve bought at the local mall.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • UN Agencies: A growing threat for the Internet?

      The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), led by Russian diplomat, Yury Fedotov, has just released a report (pdf) arguing for more surveillance and retention of data on all communications, even in the total absence of suspicion. Coincidentally, the Coordinator of the elegantly named 1267 Committee that was in charge of the report is British – and the British government recently proposed (even if it is likely to be rejected at national level) the most extensive suspicionless monitoring ever considered in a democratic society – the Communications Data Bill.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • How Food Became Technology [Excerpt]

      Patent protection helped transform agriculture into agribusiness

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • No, Copyright Is Not A Human Right

        We recently discussed the common fallacy that “copyright is in the Constitution”, but that’s only one example of copyright defenders misrepresenting a document to support their cause. Another favorite, often invoked by folks like Rob Levine and David Lowery, is the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights—a relatively toothless document in the US (compared to the Constitution) but one that feels good to have on your side.

      • Sony Sued Over William Faulkner Quote in ‘Midnight in Paris’

        The lawsuit claims a line spoken by actor Owen Wilson in the Woody Allen film infringes on the author’s literary rights; a spokesman for Sony calls the complaint frivolous.

      • Copyright Office fails to protect users from DMCA

        The FSF has fought for years against the threat of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). Users should have the right to modify, share and learn from the software on their devices, and technical measures put in place in the name of DRM offer a substantial roadblock. It’s even worse when those measures have the force of criminal law behind them, threatening people who simply want to change the software on their computers with jail time. The FSF wants to create a world in which there is no DRM. Until then, at the very least, users shouldn’t have to worry about legal consequences for disabling these malfeatures on their own devices.

      • Copyright: The New Mercantilism

        We’ve argued for a while that copyright is frequently used as a new form of mercantilism, the mostly discredited economic theory that basically said that the government should be heavily involved in “protecting” local industries with monopolies and tariffs. Adam Smith’s seminal works, which more or less created the field of economics were really, in part, a critique of mercantilism, and how it could cause more economic harm than good. When you take a wider view of copyright law and policy (especially in international trade), it’s not difficult to conclude that it’s very similar to classic 17th century mercantilism.

      • Six-Strikes “Independent Expert” Is RIAA’s Former Lobbying Firm
      • RIAA Failed To Disclose Expert’s Lobbying History to “Six-Strikes” Partners

        A month before the controversial “six strikes” anti-piracy plan goes live in the U.S., the responsible Center of Copyright Information (CCI) is dealing with a small crisis. As it turns out the RIAA failed to mention to its partners that the “impartial and independent” technology expert they retained previously lobbied for the music industry group. In a response to the controversy, CCI is now considering whether it should hire another expert to evaluate the anti-piracy monitoring technology.

Cisco’s CEO Would “Completely Throw out Everything” in the US Patent Process, “and Start From the Beginning”

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fiasco Cisco

Summary: Another CEO of a massive American company wants the patent system to be scraped as it slows down innovation and “[t]here are patent trolls everywhere”

DAYS after the CEO of Amazon slammed the US patent system we find that another CEO of a large company (neither Apple nor Microsoft, obviously) slams the patent system. It’s one of the most popular CEOs (among his employees) and here is what he has to say:

On the subject of intellectual property, Chambers is critical of the U.S. patent process and said he would “completely throw out everything, and start from the beginning.

“It is a mess; There are patent trolls everywhere,” said Chambers, noting that patent problems impose huge costs on every company.

But Chambers was also critical of the trend by tech companies of suing one another over alleged patent violations. He didn’t name names, but, speaking to the audience, he said for “his peers” in the room, “you shouldn’t be suing your peers.”

Patent litigation, he added, slows down innovation.

TechDirt adds:

[I]‘s nice to see Cisco CEO John Chambers speak out against the patent system by calling out both the trolls and the big tech companies for abusing the system and hindering innovation.

Take note, Apple and Microsoft. Fellow monopolies are getting fed up. It’s not even monopolies that always benefit from this system, either, just their lawyers and some collateral damage (patent trolls).

Android is Wiping iPhone and iPad Out, Soon to Become Most Used Operating System

Posted in Apple, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Patents, Samsung at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Samsung’s phones alone outpace iPhone sales (at 1:2 ratio) and Android tablets approach majority market share

Apple must be nervous. Its fake apology (court-mandated retraction, for lying about Android) is rather telling. I convinced several friends and also my wife to buy Android and avoid Apple simply because Android is better; it’s no longer just a matter of price. The bad PR Apple has been getting for its frivolous lawsuits is not helping either. Here is a new example of bad PR:

Apple was recently slapped with a court order in UK, after losing an appeal, to apologize on its UK website that Samsung did not copy it’s iPad design. Apple has complied with the judgment and posted a link at the bottom of their UK website which takes a user to the Samsung / Apple UK judgment page.

But all the news sites we come across slam Apple with headlines like “Apple Publishes Non-Apology To Samsung On Its Website To Comply With U.K. Court Ruling” or this article:

So Apple posted an ‘apology’ on its website today, and as you can probably guess, it’s not much of an apology at all.

“9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001,” Apple’s half-arsed apology reads, although there’s no mention of the word “sorry”, or even the word “regrets”, anywhere to be seen.

The cheeky apology goes on to point out that Samsung didn’t copy the Ipad because it isn’t “cool” and uses a quote from the UK judge that says Samsung’s tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design”.

By not apologising Apple has only gotten yet more negative publicity. Pamela Jones, who used to defend Apple, calls it “bratty”:

Apple has posted on its website, as ordered by the UK court, and upheld on appeal, a rather ungracious notice that Samsung did not copy Apple according to the UK court (but Apple adds it still thinks it does and other courts agree with it). I would like to show it to you, so you can see the kind of legal advice Apple is following, because what the UK court held was that nobody would imagine that a Samsung phone is an iPhone.

Apple did not provide you with a link to the order telling Apple to publish a notice on its websites either, so here it is. Ask yourself as you read it and then read Apple’s notice if it followed the order’s spirit or even its letter, except in the most strained way.

It is rather amusing to see this. It helps validate stereotypes about Apple. Since Microsoft destroyed Nokia — a tragic story in its own right — and took it down to obscurity we find that Android is marching strong and Apple sales disappoint. Android is growing at Apple’s expense in tablets, not just smartphones, with high profits and an impressive sales rate. Dominic Kennedy writes:

Samsung has maintained its leadership position in the worldwide smartphone market, posting another record quarter for itself and the industry, and more than double the total volume of Apple. It’s the first time since 4Q09 that a single company has held more than 31% market share in a single quarter.

Gartner, typically an Android- and Linux-hostile firm, admits that Android will also beat Windows, but it says it can take four years. This is nonsense. Android is activated about half a billion times per year (and growing). It can outpace Windows by the end of next year in terms of installbase. In terms of sales, it might already be the number one OS.

Jim Zemlin recently noted Android’s amazing growth. It brought Linux to many fingertips, but let us go further and aspire or push for freedom at the applications and hardware level, not just the OS. Peripheral networks, e.g. carriers, spectrum, are another key area for activism. Techrights intends to take it up a notch when it turns six, hopefully with more coverage just like in the old days. Celebrations are premature in a world full of moles, corrupt politicians, and a patent system turned into government-imposed protectionism (e.g. against South Korean firms).

Zemlin

Microsoft Vultures Under Research Campaigns

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Microsoft, Patents at 9:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pigeon hawk

Summary: Tracking the latest of Intellectual Ventures, Black Duck, and Ohloh, which were all founded by Microsoft veterans and executives

We recently discovered that attempts are under way to make public a lot of information about about the secretive patent troll that Microsoft created to extort a lot of companies behind closed doors. Mr. Masnick’s great Web site says:

We’ve written about patent trolling giant Intellectual Ventures many times, including how it is notoriously secretive about almost everything. Its deals with companies (often involving them forking over hundreds of millions of dollars to not get sued) are hidden away behind strict non-disclosure agreements. It also hides the various patents in over 1,000 shell companies. At other times it “sells” patents to independent trolls, but most people believe that it still gets a cut of any revenue that comes out of those trolling operations.

An operation called IP Checkups — a “patent analytics firm” — is trying to shine some more light on IV’s secret patent portfolio and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to investigate the company’s patents.

We have already gathered a lot of information about it, and much of it is bound together by our wiki. We correctly identified this racket as a source of future abuse back in 2007. Another firm that got our attention is Black Duck because that too is a company founded by Microsoft folks, who later hired yet more Microsoft folks (Ohloh) and used as their main output GPL-hostile messages (every few months for years). Some of the Microsoft veterans boast code search, but they had always been Microsoft-leaning, even before Black Duck acquired them. Here is the latest:

Black Duck Software today announced enhancements to Ohloh, the world’s most comprehensive developer resource for evaluating and tracking open source projects, contributors and code. Organizations can now aggregate their open source contributions across many projects, providing new visibility into community growth and top contributors. In addition, Ohloh Code, the leading open source code search engine, has graduated from beta, providing fast access to the world’s open source code base.

As we showed years ago, Ohloh is saturated with C#. Be wary of companies set up by people from Microsoft. The problem is, the vast majority of people do not know which companies those are. Another such company, founded and run by an ‘ex’ Microsoft manager, is called OpenLogic. It too has spread GPL-hostile messages while selling proprietary software (not “open” like the company’s name).

Techrights is not out to daemonise companies or individuals; it strives to alert when FOSS-hostile forces masquerade as pro-FOSS (e.g. Microsoft Florian on Microsoft’s payroll), so it’s merely a reactionary force. It’s self defence.

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