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Links 1/2/2013: Tablets Growth, PHP Milestone

Posted in News Roundup at 9:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • A good week

    It’s pretty easy to set up a desktop system with most distros. I use Debian GNU/Linux because it has been around a while and has a huge repository of software. Let’s look at doing other kinds of things with your PC.

  • What’s the next big platform for Linux?

    Glyn Moody wonders whether the car – a currently undeveloped yet important platform with great potential – can provide the inspiration for the next generation of Linux coders.

  • Linux Format 168 On Sale Today – Linux vs Windows 8: The verdict
  • How to Get a Linux (Related) Job

    Working in Information Technology over the last twenty years (and the last ten or so as a senior engineer or team lead in various organizations) has exposed me to a lot of resumes over that time. Over the last five years, one of the more common questions I am asked is “how can I get a Linux related job?”. I will attempt to address that in this space.

    The most important thing to remember is that your quest for a Linux position at any organization is really no different than applying for any other I.T. position. Once you have identified the company and the posting (and a great place to get an idea of who is looking for Linux talent and with what experience, is The Linux Foundation), you need to focus on the attributes and experience you have that are directly applicable to the position you want. Your resume should then be tailored to highlight that experience throughout your career as much as possible.

  • GNU/Linux Inside
  • February 2013 Issue of Linux Journal: System Administration
  • With Open Arms, AccuPOS Embraces the Linux Platform

    As advocates press for more freedom of speech and more open platforms in general, AccuPOS’ POS software is already ahead of the game. Gone are the days of inaccessibility and clandestine operations; the most progressive POS software is now available on the Linux operating system.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Just 12 More Years to Go: Enlightenment 18 Begins

      E17, “the only software which has taken longer to develop than Duke Nukem Forever,” was released little over a month ago, but today brought clues and news that the reign of E18 has begun. It actually began weeks ago because a new snapshot was released today, as well as an update to E17.

    • New E17 Stable Snapshot and the First of E18

      You read that title right folks. The first showing of Enlightenment DR18 (or E18 for short) has become a reality. Sure, it is nowhere near what the final product is going to look like – but it is a start. If you would like to follow the life cycle of E18 as it develops there is a new release manager blog that can be found here.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • # Plasma Active 4
      • Desktop Containment moving to Plasma Quick

        As many other components of the Plasma Workspaces, Plasma Desktop’s default Containment is being ported to QML. A technology preview of the containment is being demoed and can be tested by a wider audience now. While the port is mainly replicating the current desktop containment in QML, its interaction scheme to position and manipulate widgets on the desktop has been improved.

      • KTouch fun
      • First Patch Release Of Qt 5.0

        Digia has released Qt 5.0.1, the first patch release of Qt 5. This version brings more than 400 entries in changelog from Qt 5.0.0 to Qt 5.0.1. The most important changes are made to 3 packages – qtbase, qtdeclartive, and qtmultimedia.

      • KDE plans to merge Plasma desktops

        Developers at KDE are planning to merge the code for their Plasma Desktop, Plasma Netbook and Plasma Active user interfaces in the not-too-distant future, according to a blog post by Aaron Seigo. As he explains, individual programs are currently responsible for each shell; their sources, however, consist of just three to ten thousand lines of code, since they otherwise make use of a common code base.

      • ITTIA DB SQL Leverages New Features of Qt 5.0

        Bellevue, WA — The ITTIA DB SQL Qt driver is now compatible with Qt 5.0.0, a major renovation of the popular application development framework. The integration of these technologies allows software developers for embedded systems and devices to take advantage of flexible embedded data management software and an elegant GUI framework. Features such as replication, data distribution, concurrency, logging, and change notification offer applications a unique competitive edge and enable rapid development of user-friendly data-driven applications with a level of performance that is only possible in native code.

      • QtWeb: Not Quite Ready For Full Time Browsing
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Support for RHEL 3 ends one year from … now!

        Red Hat has let it be known that by this time next year it will wash its hands of the third version of its Enterprise Linux.

      • Propaganda, Red Hat-style

        Does opensource.com tell both sides of the story? The short answer is no.

        If someone had reasoned criticism of Red Hat or anything to do with free software or open source, would that be published? Again, the answer is no.

        In September last year, I wrote to Red Hat with some queries about the site. Though I received a reply from one Emily Stancil, promising answers to my questions, nothing arrived.

        Ms Stancil then wrote to say: “I appreciate you reaching out. Unfortunately, since we’re in our quiet period leading into our earnings call next week – we’re not going to be able to provide feedback at this time. Please keep us posted if we can help in the future.”

        To me this meant that Red Hat did not want what could be not-so-positive publicity in the run-up to its big day in the sun.

        Earlier this month, I renewed my correspondence with Ms Stancil. This time, after a week, she sent me replies to my queries from Jackie Yeaney, executive vice president, strategy and corporate marketing, Red Hat. I reproduce them verbatim below:

      • Fedora

        • Kororaa 18 beta progressing well, final touches

          It shouldn’t be long now, firnsy and I are busy fixing the few remaining bugs (that we know about) and then we’ll be releasing it after some final testing. So far, so good. I’ll also be looking into a way to use FedUp to upgrade, but haven’t had time to test that yet. Our primary mirror is also currently down, so that’s causing a few issues.

        • Fedora 18 Gnome 3.6 Desktop Review
        • Fedora To Look At Reviving Apache OpenOffice

          Most Linux distributions have switched over to using LibreOffice in recent years for an office productivity suite on the Linux desktop after disturbances resulting in LibreOffice being forked from OpenOffice.org following Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems. While Fedora is one of the distributions that has been living with LibreOffice, OpenOffice may come back as an option in Fedora 19.

        • Fedora 19: MariaDB instead of MySQL, but no Btrfs
    • Debian Family

      • Bootstrappable Debian – New Milestone

        This post is about the port bootstrap build ordering tool (naming suggestions welcome) which was started as a Debian Google Summer of Code project in 2012 and continued to be developed afterwards. Sources are available through gitorious.

        In the end of November 2012, I managed to put down an approximation algorithm to the feedback arc set problem which allowed to break the dependency graph into a directed acyclic graph with only few removed build dependencies. I wrote about this effort on our mailinglist but didnt mention it here because it was still too much of a proof-of-concept. Later, in January 2013, I mentioned the result of this algorithm in an email wookey and me wrote to debian-devel mailinglist.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Smart Scopes

            A new feature of Ubuntu was discussed today (which is like an announcement but without overhyping it), it is called Smart Scopes and is documented here https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SmartScopes1304Spec go read that first and then I have a video for you to watch.

          • Ubuntu’s rolling release: Pros and cons

            According to Canonical’s Kernel Team Manager, Leann Ogasawara, it is possible that Ubuntu will get rid of the current “new release every six months” model and move to a rolling release. (You can find more info in this recent video.)

            So, just what is a “rolling release”?

            It’s exactly what it sounds like, really. As individual new/updated packages are ready, they are put up on a repository and made available to everyone. New version of Firefox? No need to wait until the next big release of your operating system…you get it right away. New improvements to the Desktop Environment (such as Ubuntu’s Unity)? BAM! No waiting until next April. Immediately available.

          • 5 Ubuntu alternatives worth checking out

            Linux is a free and open-source desktop operating system, and is recognized as the third most popular desktop operating system in the world. Unlike OS X or Windows, there are many different versions — called distributions (or distros) — that all fall under the “Linux” umbrella. Among the many flavors of Linux, the Debian Linux-based Ubuntu is the distro that tends to receive the majority of mainstream attention. Interestingly, according to the ever-popular DistroWatch, much as Ubuntu has surpassed Debian in popularity, Ubuntu has been overthrown by its own forked distribution: Linux Mint.

          • Ubuntu’s challenge to Android
            and iOS

            THE world’s most famous and popular Linux operating system is making news with their claims to have come up with a smartphone version which it hopes will give Google and Apple a run for their money.

            Recently, during the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, Canonical, the company behind the Linux-based open source operating system, flagged off its intentions to challenge the might of Android and iOS with a brand new smartphone version which makes better use of gesture control and also enables a handset to double up as a PC when docked.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Achieves Bodhi Enlightenment

              Until recently, most desktop Linux distros were about the same on the surface. What differentiated them were things like configurability. Some distros, those preferred by Linux purists or designed primarily to be used as servers, required users to open a terminal and change settings with a text editor. Others sought to be newbie friendly, and had devised schemes so that most systems settings could be done point and click, just like with that evil operating system from Redmond.

            • Have some fun with Deepin 12.12 alpha

              Linux Deepin is one of my favorite desktop distributions. A Chinese distro that is based on Ubuntu Desktop, it is not just a rebranded Ubuntu desktop, but offers a desktop computing experience different from that of its parent distribution.

              Its graphical package manager, music and video players, and a cool screen shot tool, are original to it. While previous editions offered a customized GNOME Shell desktop, the next edition, Linux Deepin 12.12, will ship with a new desktop environment called Depth Desktop Environment (DDE). And the graphical package manager, music and video players, and the screen shot have been spiced up. From what I’ve seen, Deepin fans will be very pleased with DDE and everything else that comes with it.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi’s Momentum Picks Up, and Google Pitches In
    • Raspberry Pi Foundation receives Google grant for Schools
    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Five great Android Wi-Fi calling apps

          There are many reasons to enjoy Wi-Fi calling, from starting video chats with family far and wide, to giving your old phone a new lease on life as a Wi-Fi-only device in little Johnny’s hands. However you want to use it, you still need to know which apps are best.

        • Android’s (quiet) killer feature

          It’s no secret that Android has lots of good stuff going for it, but one of the platform’s most useful and distinguishing features is one you rarely hear discussed.

          I’m talking about Android’s system-wide sharing capability — a process built into the operating system that many people take for granted. Android’s sharing function may not sound exciting, but don’t be fooled: It’s one of the most powerful and valuable components the OS has to offer.

        • Sony C530X ‘HuaShan’ smartphone leaks

          Sony’s Xperia Z and Xperia ZL are so far the most interesting Android handsets of the year, but the Japanese company seems to also be working on yet-to-be-announced handsets, such as the C530X, also known as the “HuaShan”.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Review

        There are tablets and seven-inch tablets and portable devices that wear their Android affiliation on their sleeve, but Samsung has gone and combined the best of all that has come before and pushed it someplace decidedly newer and better with their new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. As the name will tell, the two models in this line represent a second generation of Samsung’s popular Galaxy Tab, and the 7.0 iteration we tried affirms the evolution away from the ten-inch range and toward a more compact, increasingly common seven-inch screen size that is more affordable and generally easier to handle. (For those who prefer the larger form factor, Samsung does also offer a 10.1-inch second-gen model.)

      • Tablets Mature

        After a year or two of 100% per annum growth we are about where tablets are mature technology.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 10 open source projects to watch this year

    Open source software projects may not typically have the marketing budgets necessary to match launch events like the one Microsoft just held for Office 2013, but that doesn’t mean their products are any less valuable.

  • Opensource.com adds community moderators to team
  • Opengear Expands Open Source Remote Management

    In an age where Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the dominant tech company and proprietary smartphones and tablets account for an ever-growing segment of the market, it can be easy to forget that not all hardware is built on closed standards. Opengear, however, reminded the channel recently that open hardware platforms can be profitable as well with the announcement of two significant achievements in the remote-management market.

    When we last checked in with Opengear, which delivers solutions for remotely accessing and managing IT infrastructure that are built using open source technology, it was making inroads in the security space. Its newest product release, Opengear Lighthouse version 4, continues the company’s focus on security professionals, among others, while also introducing new features designed to enhance the scalability and usability of the platform.

  • How Does Your Workplace Use Open Source Software?

    Earlier this week I wrote about open source pragmatism and how even at an event like Linux.conf.au, there’s less evidence of one-sided tech zealotry than you might expect. Now I’m wondering: how does that actually play out in the workplaces of Lifehacker readers?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Makes Chrome OS Launcher More Customizable

        The way Google’s Chrome OS is shaping up is brining it closer to what one would expect from a ‘desktop OS’. Google has just made the launcher of it’s Chrome OS movable. Now, you can place the launcher on either edge of the screen – right, left, top or the default bottom.

    • Mozilla

      • At Mobile World Congress, Expect Firefox OS Phones

        Mobile World Congress–one of the biggest events showcasing mobile devices and platforms and applications for them–is coming up in February, and among the sights and sounds slated for the event, you can expect Firefox OS phones. Among several previews of the conference, Computerworld notes that Chinese phone maker ZTE wil deliver a Firefox OS phone in Barcelona, even as TelefA3nica and Geeksphone are also preparing phones. It looks like these Firefox OS phones will end up serving larger markets than the niche ones that Mozilla initially discussed.

        Notably, Mobile World Congress 2009 was expected to be the big rollout for the first group of phones based on Android. As we noted in this post, the phones didn’t show up there, which caused a lot of confusion.

      • Accepting drones admission of US aggression: Saeed
  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • Oracle who? Fedora & openSUSE will replace MySQL with MariaDB

      For years, MySQL has been fundamental to many server applications, especially those using the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP/Python) software stack. Those days may be ending. Both Fedora (Red Hat’s community Linux) and openSUSE (SUSE’s community Linux) will be switching out MySQL to MariaDB for their default database management system (DBMS) in their next releases.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Why I contribute my changes to Libreoffice and won’t re-license them to a non-copyleft license?

      So after reading several times on another mailing list that Libreoffice developers should relicense their patches to make them available to other descendents in the OpenOffice.org ecosystem I’m indirectly responding in this blog post and explaining why I contribute to the Libreoffice project and license my changes only as LGPLv3+/MPL. This reflects of course only my personal opinion.

    • A good week

      It’s been a good and busy week so far, and it’s not over yet with FOSDEM starting in Brussels on Saturday. It started with something I’m quite excited about: I got elected at the Board of Silicon Sentier. Silicon Sentier is the Parisian hub of innovation, collaboration and start-up incubation. Among other initiatives, it runs La Cantine , one of the most famous co-working spaces in the world located in the heart of Paris and Le Camping, the Parisian start-up incubator located in the old stock-exchange building. I feel it’s a true honour , a mark of trust and I look foward to the future discussions and actions of the board with excitement.

    • LibreOffice 3.6.5 Finishes off 3.6

      Today The Document Foundation announced the release of their final 3.6 update, LibreOffice 3.6.5. “This new release is another step forward in the process of improving the overall quality and stability of LibreOffice, and facilitating the migration process to free software.”

    • LibreOffice 3.6.5 arrives ahead of FOSDEM
  • Education

  • Business

  • Funding

    • EZ-EV Open Source Trike Kit Seeks Funding

      An electrical engineer by trade, Krysztopik built his three-wheeled hot rod in-between other gas-to-electric conversions like a Porsche Carrera and a Volkswagen New Beetle. His EZ-EV uses 24 deep-cycle lead-acid batteries powering a MES-DEA 200-250 AC electric motor that can take it up to 100 miles, with a top speed of 60 mph. Krysztopik, who lives in San Antonio, Texas, also plans on release open-source plans and kits, so people can make their own designs based on his work.

    • Help Fund “Producing Open Source Software” 2nd Edition
  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Polish Defence Ministry moving to open source email and groupware

      Poland’s Defence Ministry will move to an email and groupware solution based on free and open source, according to the specification in the tender documents, published last November. The document calls for software that can handle between 15,000 and 50,000 users. The ministry wants to “eliminate licensing fees”, it explains in the request for tender.

    • Danish municipalities using open source to innovate and collaborate

      Danish municipalities are increasingly using free and open source software for collaboration and innovation of ICT solutions. More than 10% of the country’s municipalities last year joined the newly founded Open Website Community OS2. The group has already delivered a Drupal-based municipal content management system (OS2Web) as well as an application offering paperless meetings (OS2dagsorden).

      The twelve municipalities in the OS2 consortium are supported by 19 Danish open source service providers. The group in December started the development of the two next applications, OS2kontactcenter and OS2kle, says Jon Badstue Pedersen, head of section at the Syddjurs municipality.

    • Army C4ISR portal uses open-source software for faster upgrades

      The Army has upgraded its Single Interface to the Field (SIF) web portal using open-source software to make it easier for users to find information and documents.

    • Japan economy ministry launches data site under Creative Commons license

      Japan’s conservative economy ministry has launched a new site that offers its data for download under a Creative Commons license.

      The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “Open DATA METI” project has gone public under what the government is calling a trial beta version, currently available only in Japanese. The website currently offers data on Japan’s energy use, industrial manufacturing, and intellectual property, as well as government white papers on topics such as small and medium businesses.

  • Licensing

    • VLC Multimedia Player Shows Changing Open Source License Is Hard, But Possible

      Licenses lie at the heart of open source — and many other kinds of “open” too. That’s because they are used to define the rights of users, and to ensure those rights are passed on — that the intellectual commons is not enclosed. Their central importance explains in part the flamewars that erupt periodically over which license is “best” — many people have very strong feelings on the subject.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source initiatives can strengthen cities’ downtown revitalization

      The open government movement in the United States is well underway, though still brand new in terms relative to the pace of the workings of government. Change tends to be delivered slowly, as evident during President Obama’s re-election campaign this year when many of us had to remind ourselves that though some change has trickled down over the past four years, much of it has yet to come to pass due to the inherent processes of government bodies. And yet, it still astonishes me how quickly ‘open’ ideas are being accepted, built, and implemented into city governments from east to west coast.

    • To honor Aaron Swartz‘s transparency fight, supporters submit over 150 public records requests

      MuckRock has begun processing 153 free FOIA requests submitted in honor of Internet pioneer and transparency activist Aaron Swartz, who died earlier this month at age 26.

    • How Aaron Swartz paved way for Jack Andraka’s revolutionary cancer test
    • EU Court annuls EU freezing orders on Iranian bank – and Wikileaks again

      In October 2009, Bank Mellat, an Iranian bank, was effectively excluded from the UK financial market by an Order made by the Treasury, on the basis that it had or might provide banking services to those involved in Iran’s nuclear effort. The Bank challenged the Order, and the challenge failed in the Court of Appeal, albeit with a dissent from Elias LJ: see Rosalind English’s post and read judgment. The Bank’s appeal to the Supreme Court is due to be heard in March 2013; it raises some fascinating issues about common law unfairness, Article 6, and the right to property under A1P1 , given that the Bank was not told of the intention to make the Order prior to its making.

    • ‘Github for recipes’ brings open source into the kitchen
    • Open Access/Content

      • Checking out open access

        Montreal, January 20, 2013 – From Wikipedia to shareware, the Internet has made information and software more widely available than ever. At the heart of this explosion is the simple idea that information should be open and free for anyone. Yet with publishers charging exorbitant fees for subscriptions to academic journals, university libraries are struggling to keep up.

    • Open Hardware

      • The State of Free Hardware for Robotics

        FreeIO.org is currently running a poll to determine what sort of free hardware project the community would most like to see developed. At present the poll is leaning heavily towards robots. So I thought it would be worthwhile to do a quick survey of existing free/open hardware robot projects to see what there is to work with and improve on. There are a lot of FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) robotics projects out there too but this article will focus on hardware projects that are under free hardware licenses. See the FreeIO.org “about page” to learn more about the concepts of free / open hardware.

  • Programming

    • Linux Foundation Gits Growth

      This week, development firm Perforce joined the Linux Foundation which is of interest for a number of reasons. Perforce build enterprise-grade Git version management software solutions via the Git Fusion solution. For years, I’ve been told by ‘other’ enterprise development firms that Git is all fine and nice but it’s not for enterprise developers (yeaah I know,FUD!).

    • This Old (Open Source) House: Man Renovates Home on GitHub

      When Mark Wainwright visited his friend Francis Irving in Liverpool last May, he nearly locked himself in his small guest room just beneath the attic. The door was missing a knob, but it could still latch shut. Wainwright, a community coordinator with a U.K. non-profit group, wanted to let his host know about the problem. So he filed a bug report on GitHub.

      “The almost-attic room has no handle on the door,” Wainwright wrote. “It would be simple to add a handle and would prevent someone getting locked in the room – quite easy at the moment as the sprung latch is working fine.”

    • Open Source PHP Usage Tops 244 Million Sites

      When I first started building websites in the late 90′s, PHP was my tool of choice. Though many things have change on the web since then, PHP’s popularity has not changed, it has grown.

      A new report from Netcraft puts the current tally as of January 2013 for PHP sites on the web at a staggering 244 million sites. In context that’s nearly 40 percent of the 630 million total sites on the web today.

    • Rubygems site recovers from compromise

      The volunteers that run the Rubygems.org repository of components for Ruby applications are checking those components to ensure they haven’t been tampered with after the platform was compromised. Attackers uploaded a gem to the site which had a metadata file that used the Rails YAML flaws to copy initialisation and configuration information to the Pastie clippings site.


  • WikiMedia Foundation Releases GeoData For Geotagging Wikipedia

    The WikiMedia Foundation has added a new extension to MediaWiki, the foundation for Wikipedia, that adds geographic data for individual wiki articles. Aimed primarily at mobile users, GeoData will make finding information about your present location easy and fun.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • HP’s first Chromebook revealed in leaked spec sheet

      Update: HP responded to our request with a simple “no comment,” but we also noticed that the PDF has an Ad Embargo date of February 17th of this year — we expect we’ll hear the full story right around then.

    • The Game of Drones: Sahel edition
    • With Assange in Diplomatic Limbo, Sweden in No Rush to Press Rape Charges
    • Video: Watch Julian Assange’s address to the Oxford Union

      WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange’s address to the Oxford Union is now viewable on the video below.

      The Union last month invited Mr Assange to speak during the Sam Adams Award ceremony that recognsies people who show devotion to the truth.

    • The New Fourth Estate: Anonymous, Wikileaks, and –archy

      As government and industry collude, the interests of the powerful trample the rights of the multitude. Technology has granted invasive new eyes and ears to government agencies, spurning the right to privacy. Felicitously, the individual has also been empowered with two new tools to check the corporate state: hacktivism and leaks. The press has been captured by a handful of news corporations that are generally uncritical of government and fail to expose corporate injustice. The techno-libertarian culture has birthed the do-it-yourself fourth estate—usurping the illegitimate media and furnishing a viable alternative to the cartelized press. Two entities, Wikileaks and Anonymous, have emerged under this banner. This inquiry seeks to understand their history, methods, and to ascertain whether use of the discrete figurehead is efficacious.

    • Postcards from Sweden

      “Assange has been hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is accused of sex crimes.”

      “Hiding”! A man holding speeches from the Embassy’s balcony, covered by media all around the world! “Accused”! To anybody’s knowledge he is not officially accused of anything; he is absurdly suspected for “sex crimes” against consenting women and wanted for interrogation by a prosecutor.

    • FBI Came to Investigate Wikileaks in Iceland

      ..as revealed by Wikileaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson on RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós…

    • Minister: Iceland refused to help FBI on WikiLeaks
    • FBI Banned from Iceland

      FBI agents landed in Reykjavík without prior notification in an attempt to investigate WikiLeaks operations in the country, but Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson found out about the visit and forced them to leave the country, with the Icelandic government then issuing a formal protest to US authorities, according to Islandsbloggen.

    • Minister: Iceland refused FBI aid over WikiLeaks investigation in 2011

      Iceland’s interior minister says he ordered the country’s national police not to cooperate with FBI agents sent to investigate secret-busting site WikiLeaks and that it escalated into a diplomatic spat.

      Ogmundur Jonasson told The Associated Press that the FBI agents were sent to the country to interview an unidentified WikiLeaks associate in August of 2011.

    • Saluting Bradley Manning

      I am in Berkeley, California, for an event tonight sponsored by KPFA Radio & Courage to Resist called, “Saluting Bradley Manning.” I’ll be speaking with Daniel Ellsberg and Patricia Ellsberg.

    • Update 1/21/13: Defense mounts over-classification defense, Daniel Ellsberg & Kevin Gosztola to speak in Berkeley
    • Lies, Damned Lies, and Newspaper Reporting

      But really, Ms Hill – if you are indeed the same reporter who was threatened with prosecution in 2011 under the OSA – examine your conscience.

      How can you write a hit-piece focusing purely on Assange – a man who has designed a publishing system to protect potential whistleblowers from precisely such draconian secrecy laws as you were hyperbolically threatened with? And how could you, at the same time, airbrush out of history the testimony of so many whistleblowers gathered together, many of whom have indeed been arrested and have faced prosecution under the terms of the OSA or US secrecy legislation?

    • Meteorology class uses UN studies to guide classroom discussions

      Students and professors find the reports online after they have been leaked, then use them to guide the class, Richman said. Sometimes, students are able to get their hands on Wikileaks-type information, or information that hasn’t yet been given to the public, to further their understanding of the issue.

    • WikiLeaks documents used in courts: The case of the Iranian bank
    • Prosecuting Whistleblowers Instead of Criminals

      Long the disclaimer of those bearing bad news, the phrase “don’t shoot the messenger” may soon become a rallying cry of the American public.

    • Assange’s allies

      If the Guardian could “find no allies” of Julian Assange (Report, 24 January), it did not look very hard. They could be found among the appreciative audience at the Oxford Union, and in our group seated at the front: the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

    • Assange’s running for office may affect his asylum claims
    • Ecuador Seeking Legal Way To Free Assange

      While he did not go into specifics about what legal steps would be taken, Patino quoted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which allows individuals to be granted asylum, and several other international treaties, indicating the issue may be brought up at the United Nations or the Hague.

    • DOJ Tells Judge WikiLeaks Investigation Details Should Remain Secret

      The U.S. Justice Department today urged a judge in Washington to allow the government to keep secret internal documents and correspondence that would reveal investigative techniques, confidential sources and potential targets of the ongoing WikiLeaks criminal investigation.

    • Defense mounts over-classification defense, Daniel Ellsberg to speak in Berkeley

      Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg, Kevin Goztola, will be speaking about Bradley Manning in Berkeley on January 31st.Kevin Gosztola reports that the government is now attempting to block discussion of materials being inappropriately classified. The government argues that overclassification of documents has no relevance to the charges.

    • Report: FBI Agents Flew to Iceland to Investigate WikiLeaks
    • Iceland Kicked Out FBI Agents Who Flew in Unannounced to Investigate WikiLeaks Operations in the Country

      According to the RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, FBI agents landed in Reykjavík in August 2011 without prior notification in an attempt to investigate WikiLeaks operations within the country. However, their plan was interupted when Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson learned about the FBI’s visit and sent them packing. The Icelandic government then formally protested the FBI’s activities with U.S. authorities.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Chinese Millionaire Fights Pollution with Fresh Air in a Can

      A Chinese tycoon has taken it upon himself to fight China’s air-pollution problem with a tongue-in-cheek campaign: soda-pop-size cans of fresh air.

      Chen Guangbiao, a Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist, has launched a line of fresh-air soft-drink cans that retail for about 80¢ and come in a variety of “flavors,” including, according to the Huffington Post, “pristine Tibet” and “post-industrial Taiwan.”

  • Finance

    • Former UK tax chief who ‘lied to MPs’ to advise HSBC bank about honesty

      Sensitive: The controversial appointment had to be rubber-stamped by the Prime Minister David Cameron

      Sensitive: The controversial appointment had to be rubber-stamped by the Prime Minister David Cameron

      Britain’s top taxman – who stepped down after he was accused by MPs of lying – has been hired by HSBC to advise it on honesty, it emerged last night.

    • Spanish prime minister Rajoy accused of hiding secret income

      Mariano Rajoy’s government reeling from claims that he received €250,000 in money that had been hidden from tax authorities

    • Corporate America has Messed with the Wrong People
    • It’s Good to Be a Goldman

      Here’s a get-out-of-jail-free card, and while we’re at it, take this obscenely huge bonus for having wrecked the economy. As the inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program pointed out in a devastating report this week, “excessive” compensation was approved by the Treasury Department for the executives of the three companies that required the largest taxpayer bailouts to survive.

      In a stinging rebuke of Timothy Geithner’s Treasury Department, the report “found that once again, in 2012, Treasury failed to rein in excessive pay.” Whopping pay packages of $5 million or more were allowed by the Treasury Department for a quarter of the top executives at AIG, General Motors and Ally Financial, the former financial arm of GM.

      But that’s nothing compared with the $21 million for last year’s work garnered by Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, which is now free of TARP supervision. In addition to his paltry $2 million in salary, Blankfein received a $19 million bonus for his efforts. Not quite the $67.9 million bonus he got in 2007 before the market crash that his firm did so much to engineer, but times are still hard.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Multinational miners: magnanimous or malevolent?

      Human Rights Watch recommends implementing legal frameworks, such as a local independent ombudsman, that allow government institutions to monitor the human rights performance of domestic companies when they operate abroad in areas that carry serious human rights risks; to take steps to regulate the human rights conduct of domestic companies operating abroad in complex environments, such as requiring companies to carry out human rights due diligence activity, and to communicate an expectation to the government of Eritrea that companies investing in the mining sector there should be able to implement the outlined recommendations.

    • Washington state’s anti-NDAA bill introduced with viral support

      The “Washington State Preservation of Liberty Act” introduced on Wednesday condemns and criminalizes the use of the 2013 NDAA’s provision purportedly authorizing the indefinite detainment of U.S. citizens.

      After news of H.B. 1581′s introduction caught wind, an Internet campaign went viral asking activists to contact their Washington state representatives to co-sponsor the legislation.

      It worked.

      In less than 24 hours the number of the bill’s co-sponsors tripled.

      Many believe the bill’s success hinges on bipartisanship. While only one of the original sponsors of the bill is a Democrat, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, eight of the later co-sponsors are also House Democrats, making for a fairly even split of nine to 12.

    • Tactical Chat: How the U.S. Military Uses IRC to Wage War
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google Decides Smartphone Market Share Is More Important Than Net Neutrality

      As a recent post noted, net neutrality is under threat in France, with ISPs like Free asking Google to pay extra for delivery of its traffic. According to this post on the Forbes Web site, Google has already agreed to pay the French telecoms company Orange in precisely this way. As well as damaging the whole principle of net neutrality, something that Google has been championing for many years, this would seem to be a pretty bad business decision. After all, if Orange is now getting paid to carry Google’s traffic, why shouldn’t every other telecom company out there also receive money for delivering Google’s services?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • French National Library Privatizes Public Domain Materials

      Copyright is sometimes described as a bargain between two parties: creators and their public. In return for receiving a government-backed monopoly on making copies, creators promise to place their works in the public domain at the end of the copyright term. The problem with that narrative is that time and again, the public is cheated out of what it is due.

    • Don’t Put a Fork in It: On the Perils of Genetically Engineered Salmon

      While most Americans were enjoying the holiday season or stressing out over the nation’s imminent leap off the so-called fiscal cliff, the Food and Drug Administration delivered some big news as quietly as possible.Fishy Genes.

      On December 21, the agency announced that AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon had cleared the final hurdle before clinching FDA approval.

    • Copyrights

      • NZ Copyright Tribunal: Accusations Are Presumed Infringement, Despite Denials

        A few weeks ago, we noted that the first “three strikes” case of infringement in New Zealand was set to go to the Copyright Tribunal (an earlier case was dropped after the recording industry (RIANZ) realized it had screwed up). The Tribunal has now issued its first ruling, demanding that the accused pay a grand total of $616.57 NZ (about $515 US). The person was accused of downloading and sharing Rihanna’s Man Down twice, and Hot Chelle Rae’s Tonight Tonight once. The tribunal noted that the first song retailed for $2.39 and the latter at $1.79, so it doubled the first one, and started with $6.57 (all NZ dollars). Then it added $50 to pay for infringement notices being sent out. Another $200 covers the fee that RIANZ paid to bring the case, and then it tacked on a “deterrent sum” of $360 — or $120 per song. Add it all up and you’ve got $616.57.


        Because of the tragic and untimely death of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide while awaiting trial on charges he violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by mass downloading academic journal articles, we have an opportunity to amend the CFAA, a federal law that interferes with important and socially beneficial computer security research. We want to revise the CFAA to decriminalize the computer security profession.

      • House puts Spotify on mute

        Spotify apparently hit a wrong note with the House’s Internet overlords, who recently blocked the chamber’s Web users from listening to the famed music-streaming service.

        While Spotify isn’t a peer-to-peer program along the lines of Napster, its inner workings appear subject to the longstanding ban on so-called P2P technology — a blockade lawmakers erected to thwart illegal file-sharing and prevent downloads from infecting computers with malware.

      • Hollywood Lobby Applauds Spain’s Copyright Law

        At a time when news about Spain tends to be pretty bad, the head of the Hollywood lobby came to Madrid to say the country is doing something right–when it comes to efforts to stop illegal file-sharing.

      • Music pirates: $250k reaps $616.57

        Rianz says it has sent out around 6000 notices to alleged pirates, for which the music industry body must pay a $25 fee each for internet companies to send on to their customers.

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day

  2. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’

  3. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active

  4. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”

  5. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023

  6. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort

  7. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that

  8. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day

  9. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”

  10. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day

  11. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023

  12. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"

  13. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.

  14. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software

  15. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.

  16. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work

  17. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it

  18. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day

  19. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype

  20. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023

  21. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell

  22. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage

  23. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day

  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023

  25. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)

  26. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  27. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)

  28. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)

  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023

  30. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape

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