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Links 14/11/2012: Android 4.2 Source Code, Mozilla’s Shumway Project

Posted in News Roundup at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Who Would Buy A $199 Chromebook With 3.5 Hour Battery Life And HDD?

      Google is all set to shake the stagnated desktop PC market held hostage by Microsoft. There has not been any revolutionary innovation in the desktop PC space which is monopolized by Microsoft. It took Apple to shake it with the incredible Retina display (Microsoft wouldn’t have minded keeping 1024×800 for another 10 years). Google is all set to change this and Windows 8 is going to offer all the help it can to the wider adoption of Chromebooks.

      The recently announced ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook is selling at mere $249 which is going to make quite a lot of laptop users rethink, especially those who spend all of their PC time inside a browser. Before people could place their orders, just a day before Neuxs 4 was going on sale, Google dropped another bomb on Microsoft with the announcement (and immediate availability) of a $199 Acer Chromebook.

  • Kernel Space

    • Interview: Linus Torvalds – I don’t read code any more

      I was lucky enough to interview Linus quite early in the history of Linux – back in 1996, when he was still living in Helsinki (you can read the fruits of that meeting in this old Wired feature.) It was at an important moment for him, both personally – his first child was born at this time – and in terms of his career. He was about to join the chip design company Transmeta, a move that didn’t really work out, but led to him relocating to America, where he remains today.

    • ‘Personality Cults’ and the Open Source Channel
    • A Template For Writing Linux Kernel Drivers

      LDT has been published, a Linux Driver Template for helping new Linux kernel developers begin writing hardware device drivers.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA 310.19 Linux Driver Carries Enhancements

        There’s a new release available in the NVIDIA 310.xx Linux graphics driver series. The NVIDIA 310 Linux driver is already great for its big performance improvements thanks to Steam/Source coming to Linux and threaded OpenGL optimizations, but now the driver has been made even better.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Dropping GNOME Fallback Mode: The Right Decision, Wrongly Handled

        You have to pity the GNOME project these days. Even when it does the right thing, it does so in a way that maximizes controversy.

        I’m talking about the project’s recent announcement about dropping support for fallback mode. Since it was first introduced with the GNOME 3.0 release the fallback mode has provided an approximation of the GNOME 2 desktop for users who lacked the hardware acceleration needed for the latest desktop environment. Now, GNOME developers have announced that the upcoming 3.8 release will not include the fallback mode.

      • GNOME Shell 3.6.2 Has Been Officially Released

        The GNOME developers announced last evening, November 12, the immediate availability for download of the stable GNOME Shell 3.6.2 user interface for the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

        GNOME Shell 3.6.2 is the second maintenance release for the GNOME Shell 3.6 UI, which is part of the GNOME 3.6.2 desktop environment update, due for release tomorrow, November 14, 2012.

      • GNOME Dev Responds to Criticism of Open Source Interface

        One might reasonably assume that the controversy surrounding the design of GNOME 3, which was released well over a year ago, would have abated by now. But in one of the clearest signs that it hasn’t, a leading GNOME developer recently posted a strongly worded tirade against critics of the open source desktop environment — namely, the “crazies” and “yellow journalists.”

        The developer, Federico Mena-Quintero, published his thoughts on his personal blog, not any official GNOME outlet. Still, as one of the cofounders of the GNOME project, he carries a lot of weight within the open source community.

  • Debian Family

    • Derivatives

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Core Desktop on the Nexus 7: Getting Involved

          A little while ago I talked about our goals to get the core Ubuntu Desktop running on the Nexus 7. Again, just to be clear: the goal here is to get the lower level foundations of the Ubuntu Desktop running efficiently on the Nexus. This work is focused on optimizing the kernel, X, networking, memory consumption etc of the core of Ubuntu and not focused on making Unity into a tablet user interface. You can’t build a great house without a solid foundation.

        • New video offers a peek at Ubuntu for Android
        • Devs port Ubuntu to Rockchip (RK3066) devices

          Rockchip’s stalwart RK3066 can best be described as a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip with clock speeds up to 1.6 GHz.

          The processor powers a number of tablets as well as PCs-on-a-stick, including the Z2C, Minix NEOG G 4, Kimdecent, Droid Stick T10, MK802 III, UG802 and the UG007.

        • Could Ubuntu Power Your Phone?

          Ubuntu on smartphones remains a totally theoretical proposition. But that hasn’t stopped Canonical from releasing a video showcasing all the cool things that Ubuntu could do if it did run on phones. Is the company getting ahead of itself, or is this a sign that Ubuntu might finally be poised to make the jump to the mobile world?

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Parsix 4.0 Arrives with GNOME 3

            Parsix is a wonderful distribution that offers a complete starter system with its own repositories while remaining compatible with Debian. Version 4 was just released and “brings tons of updated packages, faster live boot, improved installer system and quality new features.”

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Giant pandas threatened by climate change

      Giant pandas could be left hungry and struggling to survive by global warming, scientists have warned.

      A new study predicts that climate change is set to wipe out much of the bamboo on which the bears rely for food.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Free speech? Man arrested for burning poppy photo

      Lawyers and campaigners have taken to Twitter to criticise the arrest. “Dear idiots at @kent_police, burning a poppy may be obnoxious, but it is not a criminal offence,” tweeted legal commentator David Allen Green, who rose to prominence when working on the case of “Twitter bomber” Paul Chambers.

      “What was the point of winning either World War if, in 2012, someone can be casually arrested by @kent_police for burning a poppy?”

    • Google hit with $200,000 damages bill over Mokbel shots

      A Melbourne man who won a defamation case against search engine giant Google has been awarded $200,000 in damages.

      Milorad Trkulja, also known as Michael, sued the multinational over images of him alongside a well-known underworld figure that appeared in its search results.

      A six-person Supreme Court jury found last month that Mr Trkulja had been defamed by the images, which he first contacted Google about removing in 2009.

    • Update On “Is Anybody Down?” Investigation And Bumptious Legal Threats From Craig Brittain And Chance Trahan
    • ‘Revenge Porn’ Site Owners Escalate Their Failure, Going From Bogus DMCA Notices To Bogus Legal Threats

      Needless to say, the criticism hasn’t ceased and nothing has been taken down. In fact, the boys have moved past the DMCA process and have moved on to completely bogus legal threats to us here at Techdirt, and a number of other sites as well. As described by Popehat, who has received an identical threat, it appears that Trahan and Brittain have decided to dive right into the always-entertaining “bumptious legal threat” arena.

  • Privacy

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Twitter limit: University of Washington caps live game coverage for media, threatens credential revocation

      It looks like college coaches aren’t the only ones restricting Twitter use. Todd Dybas, a reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune, Tweeted yesterday that he was “reprimanded” by the University of Washington Athletic Department for apparently Tweeting too much during Sunday’s 85-63 win over Loyola.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay Founder Arrested Again On Suspicion Of New Hacking & Fraud Offenses

        Every other Friday there is a court hearing in Sweden to discuss the continued detainment of Gottfrid Svartholm. A request to detain the Pirate Bay co-founder for an additional two weeks was granted yesterday but not without more drama being added to the proceedings. Gottfrid was arrested under suspicion of being involved in a second hacking case along with accusations of four instances of serious fraud and four attempted frauds. Further details of the alleged crimes are being kept secret.

      • The Cake Copyright Is A Lie; Safeway Just Doesn’t Want To Be Mocked

        A few folks have sent in this story on the blog of the wonderful (and super popular) site Cake Wrecks, which (as the name suggests) highlights hilariously bad cake designs, supposedly done by “professionals.” Not surprisingly, the site is well known among those who wield cake decorating bags. However, some do not appreciate the wonders of such a site… especially when it features their own cakes. Cake Wrecks recently put up a blog post in which it reveals that at least one Safeway (a part of the giant supermarket chain) has apparently told its bakery that there is a “no photography” rule, officially set up to avoid having its cakes show up on the site — though, they’re using copyright as their excuse:…

      • The Raw Power Of Louis CK: Even HBO Is Opening The Garden Gates

        Yesterday, Louis CK announced the seemingly impossible: his next comedy special will air on HBO, and also be available as a DRM-free download like his revolutionary Beacon Theatre show. Yes, even the network so infamous for its tight grip on content that fans have literally begged it to take their money can’t ignore the overwhelming success of CK’s open, inexpensive, highly accessible approach to content distribution.

      • Will The Next Secretary Of State Support Internet Freedom Or SOPA?

        Last week, we noted that one of Hollywood’s favorite Congressional Reps., Howard Berman had lost his re-election bid (in part due to re-districting, putting him up against another incumbent). For years, Berman has been a go to guy for the entertainment industry looking to pass dubious copyright expansion bills. Berman used to run the “IP Subcommittee” of the Judiciary Committee — which you would think is a major conflict of interest, since he (literally) represented part of Hollywood. Amusingly, when he moved on to head the Foreign Affairs Committee, the next line for the IP Subcommittee was Rep. Rick Boucher — a noted copyright reform advocate. Magically, the Judiciary Committee made the IP Subcommittee disappear. When Boucher lost in the next election, and a maximalist was available again, magically the subcommittee reappeared.

        Either way, as a bunch of sources have been reporting, now that Berman lost, he’s on the short list of possible candidates to become the new Secretary of State after Hillary Clinton steps down early next year.

      • Musicians Weave Elaborate CNET Conspiracy Theory In Attempt To Get BitTorrent Banned

        Last year, we wrote about a silly and uninformed lawsuit filed by eccentric rich guy Alki David against CBS. David has an online TV company, FilmOn, which has some similarities to Aereo and other online rebroadcasters. The networks sued the company, of course, and David has since gone on an odd and vindictive campaign against them. As someone who tends to think services like his should be both legal and embraced, I’d like to support him, but his legal campaign is just ridiculous and now has the possibility of causing real and serious harm. His reason for suing CBS was that a few years ago CBS bought CNET, and CNET has (for many, many years) run a site called Download.com. Download.com is a service that many software providers use to distribute their software. David claimed that because Download.com (a site owned by CNET which was — only relatively recently — purchased by CBS) distributed Limewire — which was eventually found to be infringing — that CBS was also guilty of copyright infringement. That original lawsuit was dumped pretty quickly, after the judge noted that David had failed to show what copyrights were being infringed (a key piece in any copyright claim).

      • RIAA: Pirates Are Bigger Music Fans Than Average Consumers

        After a study pointed out that file-sharers spend more money on music than their non-sharing counterparts, the RIAA felt the need to respond. The music industry group is now characterizing news reports on the findings as “misleading” and is ready to burst the bubble. According to the RIAA there is a straightforward reason why P2P users buy more – they are simply better engaged music fans than average music consumers. … Eh?

      • Copyright Industry Madness Takes Six Years To Catch Up With The Worst Satire Of It

        Six years ago, a satire site wrote a story about how the copyright industry wanted more money if you invited friends to watch a movie in your living room. This notion has now been patented in new technology: automated headcounts coming to a living room near you, to enable new forms of restrictions. Apparently, the copyright industry takes six years to catch up with the very worst satire of it.

      • Confused Irish Newspaper Editorial Argues That Search Engines Need To Pay Newspapers

        First of all, they seem to be claiming that search engines that index content, show a snippet and link people to the original content are “piracy.” That’s crazy talk. Furthermore, while they don’t name the “search engine” they claim that it “offered” these articles. Of course, if it really posted all the articles itself, then there is no need to change copyright laws — the company could already sue them for infringement. However, assuming that they’re really talking about Google or just about any other search engine, what they really mean is that the search engines aggregated the content and linked people back to the original. The “cost” to produce those articles is irrelevant to the overall discussion. Yes, it costs money, but it’s the job of a business model to bring in even more money. If the business geniuses who run your paper are too clueless to figure out how to monetize the traffic from Google, then perhaps you deserve to go out of business.

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