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Links 10/2/2013: Ubuntu on Phones This Month, Linux Year on Desktop

Posted in News Roundup at 12:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Shock! Horror! Some People Want To Change The Linux Console
  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks Pick Up Steam with CDW Deal
    • Winning The Desktop Wars

      Chris Hall over at Foss Force wrote an article that I’ve been mulling over writing myself for quite some time. Chris claims that Linux has won the “war for the desktop”, and on top of that, won it a long time ago with Android. However, I’m not quite as enthusiastic about his claims of open source superiority. Did open source really win, or have we been hijacked?

      Let’s take a second and think about the nature of the open source movement for a few minutes. There are several reasons why we would want the software we use to be open to examination: fewer bugs, control of the machines we own, the ability to modify and redistribute programs, the list goes on. However, I believe that the core ideal of open source is not actually freedom per se, but control. We want to be able to control when and how our machines are used, and when and how our data is used, and to ensure that control access to the source code is necessary.

  • Kernel Space

    Free Software/Open Source

    • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

      • Rethinking the office suite

        I’ve spent much of the last week exploring the recent releases of Calligra Suite and LibreOffice, and listening to the unlikely rumors of a Linux version of Microsoft Office. I haven’t concentrated on office suites so intensely for years, and, as I examined Calligra Suite’s and LibreOffice’s very different layouts and approaches to productivity, I found myself thinking: What should a modern office suite consist of?

      • If Office Suites Are Not Broken, Why Change Them?

        He has some reasonable observations but IMHO office suites work well. They are more or less perfected. There’s no reason at all for restructuring or slapping on rafts of new features. That’s M$’s business-plan to force constant updates/new licence-sales. We don’t need that with LibreOffice. Improving its efficiency, fixing bugs and making small changes to UI/features make sense. Rethinking to the extent of adding “the ribbon” or linking to clouds is not needed and not useful. We can run an office suite as a thin client already. What more do we need?

    • Funding

    • BSD

      • BSDs Struggle With Open-Source Graphics Drivers

        While there’s plenty of code pouring into the Linux world for bettering open-source graphics drivers from desktop graphics cards to ARM SoCs, in the *BSD world they are struggling with their graphics driver support. Matthieu Herrb gave a presentation on the (rather poor) state of graphics on Unix-like platforms outside of Linux.

    • Project Releases

    • Public Services/Government

    • Openness/Sharing

      • Open Access/Content

        • Aaron Swartz and the Corrupt Practice of Plea Bargaining

          If Ortiz thought Swartz only deserved to spend 6 months in jail, why did she charge him with crimes carrying a maximum penalty of 50 years? It’s a common way of gaining leverage during plea bargaining. Had Swartz chosen to plead not guilty, the offer of six months in jail would have evaporated. Upon conviction, prosecutors likely would have sought the maximum penalty available under the law. And while the judge would have been unlikely to sentence him to the full 50 years, it’s not hard to imagine him being sentenced to 10 years.

          In this hypothetical scenario, those 10 years in prison would, practically speaking, have consisted of six months for his original crime (the sentence Ortiz actually thought he deserved) plus a nine-and-a-half-year prison term for exercising his constitutional right to a trial.

        • The inside story of Aaron Swartz’s campaign to liberate court filings

          And how his allies are trying to finish the job by tearing down a big paywall.


    • Security

    • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Cablegate

    • Finance

      • Governments Save By Paying Down Their Debts

        I think this over-states the case against the US government buying equities, but the deeper problem is that it ignores the government’s $11 trillion in national debt. If a heavily indebted individual wanted to save for the future, a financial advisor would probably tell him the first step is to pay off some of his debts. And the same point applies to the United States. It will be a long, long time before we run out of bonds to retire—so long that it’s silly to worry about what we’d do if we retired the national debt and still had more money we wanted to save.

      • Goldman Sachs hedging its bets: Is more economic pain on the way?

        Investment bankers – can’t live with ‘em, and can’t live without ‘em.

        At least that’s how it seems in these tough economic times. We tend to hang on their every word, as if they truly know how big money intends to manipulate financial markets in the foreseeable future. But we also tend to blame these financial powerhouses for creating the worst recession since the Great Depression.


        …1 trillion flowed out of equities during the month of January.

    • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

      • The Gates Foundation and Coca Cola at Odds or Legitimate Bedfellows?

        Sanjay Basu, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University, recently wrote a blog post that caught our eye about public and nonprofit leaders who sit on the corporate boards of major soda companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Using one of the tools that make such information readily available, NNDB Mapper, he argues that there appear to be institutional conflicts of interest occurring. In particular, Basu calls out Cathleen Black, chancellor of New York City Schools, and several key Gates Foundation leaders, for sitting on Coca-Cola’s board. In addition, he notes that the former president of the Ford Foundation and the CEO of Duke Health System sit on the board of Pepsi.

    • Censorship

      • Russia blacklists site hosting blogs of prominent journalists

        The Russian government has blocked access to a blog-hosting site that publishes reports from at least two prominent independent journalists often critical of the Kremlin. The site has been added to the country’s recently established official “internet blacklist.”

        LJRossia.org, also known as InsaneJournal, is “a non-profit project created to support freedom of speech, civil society and encourage the free exchange of ideas.” The site was censored today, reportedly over two posts that contained “child pornography elements.” But instead of blocking or removing the two posts in question, the entire site is inaccessible on at least one Russian ISP, RosTelekom.

    • Civil Rights

    • DRM

      • A Brilliant Parody of DRM

        But this post, in which he defends his decision to disallow cutting and pasting from his website, brings to mind another theory: Quinn is secretly an advocate of copyright reform, and has adopted the cartoonish “IP Watchdog” persona as an act of satire. Disabling cutting and pasting is such a ludicrous idea that it can’t be a serious business decision. But it brilliantly lampoons the fallacies that have caused major content companies to employ similar (and similarly ineffective) copy protection schemes.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

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Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Hans said,

    February 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm


    That youtube video of Julian Assange apparrantly infringed on some copyright.
    Another youtube-video of Assange interviewed by Bill Maher.

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