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03.09.13

Links 9/3/2013: Ubuntu Backlash, FSF Event Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TrueAbility, a SXSW Accelerator Finalist, Launches the Linux Challenge at SXSW

    TrueAbility, a company that tests the technical abilities of job candidates through hands-on online testing, is a finalist in the innovative web category for the fifth annual SXSW Accelerator competition taking place next week in Austin.
    The San Antonio-based startup, which is part of the 2013 TechStars Cloud program, beat out more than 500 companies to secure one of the finalist spots in the SXSW accelerator.

  • The Business and Artistry of High-End Creative Works in Linux
  • Desktop

    • Great Eagle Valley Computers, A Different Sort of OEM…
    • Some (sad) numbers on how Linux desktop adoption is going

      Their earliest numbers are March 2003 – Linux 2.2%, Mac 1.8%, Windows all the rest. By the time the first Ubuntu release was just about to show up, September 2004, Linux was up to 3.1%, with growth over that 18 month period smooth: contrary to popular belief, Linux use was growing at a constant rate prior to Ubuntu’s emergence, according to these numbers. At that time, Mandrake was the most popular Linux distribution for ‘regular desktop use’, occupying the spot Ubuntu occupies now.

      After the emergence of Ubuntu, the growth rate actually appears to decline quite a lot, from 2005 through 2008. The number at the end of 2004 is still 3.1%; by the end of 2007 it has reached only 3.3%. Growth picks up again a bit over 2008, 2009 and 2010: by the end of 2010, Linux use has hit 5.0%. Linux usage finally peaks at 5.3% in the middle of 2011.

    • Review: Chromebook Pixel is too expensive (and too good) for Chrome OS

      Just one month ago, the Chromebook Pixel was little more than a poorly sourced rumor. (And personally, while I didn’t quite dismiss it out of hand I came pretty close.) Google was releasing a high-end Chromebook with a touchscreen? And that touchscreen would boast a better pixel density than either of the Retina MacBook Pros? The rumor definitely didn’t fit in with the latest (and by all accounts, most successful) wave of Chromebooks, which have turned heads not least because they’re cheaper than any Chromebooks have been so far.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE’s KWin won’t support Ubuntu’s Mir

        Mark Shuttleworth surprised the KDE community yesterday when he said, “I’ve absolutely no doubt that Kwin will work just fine on top of Mir. And I’m pretty confident Mir will be on a lot more devices than Wayland.” It was surprising because the KWin maintainer Martin Gräßlin had already made it clear, after Wayland controversy, that he won’t support Mir and veto any attempt to do so. It seems like Shuttleworth made that statement without consulting or talking to the KDE developers.

      • Qt previews iOS version of toolkit

        The Qt developers at Digia have announced that they will be previewing the iOS port of Qt in Qt 5.1. The plan is to support Qt on iOS in Qt 5.2 which is due in late 2013; however, that plan is subject to change depending on resources and app store restrictions. So far the developers have a build process that works in conjunction with Xcode and working support for widgets, graphics view, Qt Quick 1, OpenGL, Touch events and orientation events.

      • Qt Creator 2.7 Nears Official Release
      • KDE e.V. Quarterly Report for Q4 2012

        The KDE e.V. report for the fourth quarter of 2012 has been published. It gives an overview of the activities KDE e.V. supported during that period, including reports of various sprints, conferences and projects.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Documents 3.8 Beta 2 Is Dubbed Trans-Siberia Express

        Dubbed Trans-Siberia Express, the second and last Beta release of the upcoming GNOME Documents 3.8 package, the main document viewer of the GNOME desktop environment, has been released a few days ago, March 4, for testing.

      • Some updates from the GNOME Sysadmin Team
      • Taking GNOME 3 to the next level (again)

        GNOME 3 is making major progress with each and every release. Six months ago, when 3.6 was close to release, I wrote about how excited I was about the improvements that were on their way. That release was a big step up from the previous version in terms of user experience. Now we’re on the cusp of GNOME 3.8, and I find myself in exactly the same position. Testing GNOME 3.8, it is a huge improvement on 3.6. It’s more effective, satisfying and polished. Basic operations like selecting a window or launching an application have seen major improvements and the overall experience feels like yet another upgrade.

      • I really like Gnome3

        The subject says it all. Since Gnome3 was released, or even in the works, all I’ve read about it is negative. I assume there must be posts that compliment it too, but forever reason, I’ve only run into what is now termed “Gnome bashing”. I’m not going analyse why people don’t like the new design; neither am I going to summarize why people should like it; I’m going to write down why it works for me.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Lately: openSUSE 12.3, New Distro, OpenMandriva
    • So Long, Pardus-Anka! Welcome, PiSi LinuX!

      Yesterday, Mechatotoro gave me a very surprising news: Pardus-Anka, the fork of the Turkish distro named Pardus, is gone.

      That news was shocking! How come the Phoenix Pardus (“anka” means “phoenix”) died? And so soon?

      Well, actually, what happened (as explained in Spanish here) was that Anka community decided to drop the name “Pardus” altogether to follow a totally independent path. Since they kept PiSi, the packaging system that made Pardus unique, they adopted PiSi as their distro’s new name (and identity). in other words, Pardus-anka died to give birth to PiSi LinuX!

    • Porteus 2.0 Review – Portable Computing for the indecisive

      Portable Linux computing has received an upgrade as the newest Porteus is released, now with an even lighter desktop environment

    • New Releases

      • Kanotix 2013 CeBIT Surprise

        Kanotix is a Debian-based desktop distribution originally designed to support a wider selection of hardware and provider newer packages than Debian. Started in 2003, Kanotix has had a rocky history with at least two declared deaths and rebirths. Now today a new release was announced with Steam installed by default.

        Kanotix 2013 ships with Linux 3.8.2, Xorg X Server 1.12.4, GCC 4.7.2, Grub 2, KDE 4.8.4, and NVIDIA 313.18. Some of the applications include LibreOffice 4.0, Amarok 2.7.0, VLC 2.0.3, GIMP 2.8.2, and Iceweasel 19.

      • Kanotix CeBIT Special 2013

        As a little surprise there is a new Kanotix ISO during CeBIT time (I am there as visitor) with some special features not found in normal releases. The main difference is that a newer libc6 2.17 is used (from Debian Experimental) which has the effect that self-compiled binaries can not be shared with Debian Wheezy users. If that does not affect you you can enjoy the new features…

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva’s Web Development is On a Roll!

        Lots been going on within the infra team lately. We recently got a couple of brand new servers, courtesy Mr. Leonid Reiman, and have been busy at work configuring them in order to get them ready to host the main website and all associated webservices. Thanks to all infra team members, we are in a very good position to finally migrate the existing website from the old servers, gracefully donated by Alessandro Sironi, to these new ones. The migration should be over by this weekend, with minimal downtime.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s Java leadership grows as Oracle’s wanes

        Following recent news that Oracle would no longer maintain Java 6, Red Hat announced its commitment to sustaining the open source OpenJDK 6 project. It’s stepping into the project leader role vacated by Oracle, and with the help of the OpenJDK community — including newly arrived IBM, as well as the existing community members — it hopes to be able to keep the widely used code maintained.

      • Red Hat Nudges Real Time Linux Forward with MRG 2.3

        Real Time Linux, that is Linux with a deterministic timing component for an action to occur, is big deal for a lot of industries (military among them). Red Hat first announced it’s production grade Real Time Linux platform, dubbed MRG back in 2007. Back then, Real Time enhancement were not part of the mainline Linux kernel, but that has changed over the years.

      • Red Hat tempts devs with OpenShift Origin upgrades

        Red Hat has instituted changes at platform-as-a-service OpenShift that put outside contributors on more equal footing with Red Hat employees.

        The Linux kingpin and cloud-wannabe announced a set of features designed to increase community participation in its PaaS in a blog post by the OpenShift Team on Thursday.

        The most significant change is moving to a pure GitHub pull request format for code contributions, so internal Red Hat developers will have to submit changes in the same way as community participants.

      • Release for CentOS-6.4 i386 and x86_64
      • Red Hat: We still love Java 6, even if Oracle doesn’t

        Red Hat has announced that it is assuming the leadership of the OpenJDK 6 community, just days after Oracle issued what it said would be the final patch for version 6 of its commercial Java SE 6 Development Kit.

        Oracle posted JDK 6 Update 43 on Monday as an emergency patch for the latest in a series of severe vulnerabilities that have plagued the Java browser plugin. But although Oracle is already investigating other flaws, it said that this would be the last set of public fixes for Java SE 6.

        “Oracle recommends that users migrate to JDK 7 in order to continue receiving public updates and security enhancements,” the database giant said in the update’s formal release notes.

      • Red Hat steps up to take over OpenJDK 6 leadership

        As Oracle brings to an end public updates of Java 6, Red Hat says it has assumed leadership of the OpenJDK 6 community. OpenJDK is the open source implementation of the Java specification and Red Hat has been active within the community, especially since 2007 when it came to an agreement with Sun Microsystems to collaborate around the then newly open sourced Java. Oracle is now the owner of Java and posted Java 6 Update 43 on Monday, as what it says is the last public update of Java 6. The company is now encouraging users to migrate to Java 7 or buy support for Java 6. The end of public updates for Java 6 also means the end of Oracle security updates for OpenJDK 6.

      • Red Hat’s OpenShift Origin to become more transparent

        Red Hat has announced that it is reorienting the OpenShift Origin project to make it transparent to developers wanting to contribute to it. OpenShift Origin, released as open source in May 2012, is the community edition of Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), OpenShift Online and OpenShift Enterprise. Although the Origin project is looking to emulate Red Hat’s work with the Fedora Linux community, it hasn’t been widely perceived as a community project in the same way. Red Hat is therefore making a number of changes that it hopes will boost the Origin project’s open source community vitality.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Linux on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (with pen support) – video

        Xda-developers forum member exception13 has been working to port Debian Linux to run on the Note for a few months. While some features (including GPS and the camera) aren’t fully functional yet, the tablet does support WiFi, Bluetooth, sound, and digital pen input when running Debian.

      • Debian Wheezy Is Imminent
      • First Skolelinux / Debian Edu Squeeze update released
      • Elive 2.1.32 Alpha Distro Has a New Focus System

        Elive, a complete operating system for your computer, that is built on top of Debian GNU/Linux and customized to meet the needs of any user while still offering the eye-candy, with minimal hardware requirements, is now at version 2.1.32 Alpha.

      • Elive 2.1.32 development released
      • Bonus: Debian 6.0.7 at 500Mhz, 256Mb

        I had a little extra time today, so I did a ritual backup of my standard Arch Linux framebuffer system, and installed the full Gnome suite to the Solo.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu is for everyone, not only “leets”, says Shuttleworth

            Ubuntu isn’t for “leets” – or “elite” users – but for mainstream users, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical.

            Reacting to community criticism over rolling releases and wider moves to extend the open-source OS to mobile devices and mainstream users, Shuttleworth took aim at so-called “leets”, saying the attitude that Linux OSes should be difficult to use is “dumb”.

          • Ubuntu chief isn’t interested in ‘leet’ users, wants to bring Linux to the masses
          • Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth says he wants Ubuntu to appeal to the masses, has no interest in keeping things “leet”

            Ubuntu, the user-friendly Linux distro, has seen a multitude of changes and transformations over the last few months. It has sprouted wings and became a fully functional multi-platform operating system. With these changes Canonical has taken a lot of flak and now founder Mark Shuttleworth is speaking out about how he feels.

          • Mark Shuttleworth Says He’s Not Impressed by the Rolling Release Model
          • Mark Shuttleworth addresses community concerns, rejects rolling release model

            Ubuntu founder has shot-down the uncertainty around to-roll-or-not-to-roll for Ubuntu by stating that he is not convinced. In a blog post, after evaluating all the possibilities Mark concluded that “rolling releases are not real releases.”

          • Thoughts On Recent Community Concerns
          • Ubuntu – A Rolling Linux Distribution ?

            Will Ubuntu switch to a rolling release ? This is the big question that is playing in the minds of Ubuntu users and developers alike.

            A rolling release model refers to a continually developing software system. In a rolling release, the user will never have to install a new version of the software. Rather, the updates to the software and the system will be pushed to the user as and when the changes are made.

          • Nothing to add here

            As hard as it may be to believe, there are times when even I am speechless.

            I keep the goings-on of Canonical and the Ubuntu community at an arm’s length — the real reason is to keep my blood pressure down. But actually, the gravity with which Canonical pulls Ubuntu further from its original FOSS orbit is nothing short of tragic, and it’s something that weighs heavily on any FOSS advocate.

          • Ubuntu. What Just Happened?

            I have been reading the recent posts on Ubuntu Planet with mixed feelings of disappointment but mostly with excitement, and always with keen interest in searching for a pattern that would assist us in understanding change.

            Rather than analyse or critique individual posts, I would like to present a visual model of what I think just happened, as an engineer(1) and a manager.

          • App patterns applied: calculator key journeys
          • Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu releases: “the sky is not falling”

            Responding to ongoing discussions and speculation about the future for Ubuntu’s release cadence, Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth published a blog post today, detailing his thoughts on the issue. Shuttleworth, who holds the position of “Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life” of the Ubuntu project, has in the past publicly stated his opinion on cadence and the importance of regular releases for the Ubuntu project. In his latest post, Shuttleworth is of the opinion that “rolling releases are not real releases” and are therefore not the right method for Ubuntu to adopt, but that he is considering accelerating Ubuntu’s release cycle.

          • 13.04 to go Ahead
          • Daddy, why are you sad?

            Canonical and I had a long, wonderful relationship. They brought a lot of wonderfully smart and committed individuals in, paid them great, and let them build really awesome free software. We all loved Canonical back then. They were the best sugar daddy anyone could want.

            I loved them so much I did a ton of boring work, even! I triaged over 1000 bugs! For free! Granted, I did most of it when I was in grad school with nothing better to do (I was procrastinating when writing papers). But, it was great because I loved the community that was around me and supporting me. Brian Murray was especially awesome. Along with persia and many others I can’t remember right now. Pete, the people who were active back in 2007 were so amazingly helpful, caring, and committed. We all worked together so well because we all saw each other as equals.

          • Confessions of a community member.

            I am concerned with the current status of Ubuntu, not because of the tension on the community or the new software being put out. I am concerned because I feel my time and contributions might go to waste and fall on deaf ears. As leader of a LoCo, how do I know if the work I am putting in is even going to matter in two months when 13.04 comes out? Is my work still relevant because it has nothing to do with a cell phone, nothing to do with a display server, and nothing that in any way is a direct profit source for the Canonical.

          • Thoughts and worries about the proposed new Ubuntu processes
          • Divisive Leadership

            So, Mark, let us take a step back and look at what actually happened.

            Kubuntu has always taken pride in being the link between the Ubuntu and KDE communities, and looking out for each’s best interest in order to facilitate the creation of exciting and revolutionary free software products. Jonathan personally has been a great advocate of the Ubuntu way even at times when KDE did not find it appealing; right now appears to be such a time.

          • All the faces of Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu is Many Communities
          • Misplaced criticism
          • Ubuntu To Investigate Digital Rights Management

            With Ubuntu preparing itself to land on tablets, smart-phones, and other consumer devices, Canonical is beginning to look at ways to support multimedia content protected by Digital Rights Management.

            For Ubuntu to be successful on mainstream consumer electronic devices, it will need to be capable of protecting DRM-protected content. Yesterday during the virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit was a session on hardware-accelerated video decode and rendering support. This video decode/rendering session was mostly about Ubuntu Touch and providing full hardware support for video playback. Right now Ubuntu Touch is using libhybris through Android Media Player while eventually they want to support GStreamer. Since GStreamer is currently used on the Ubuntu desktop, they want GStreamer on the Android-based Ubuntu Touch.

          • Ubuntu developers discuss rolling releases at UDS

            At the first day of the inaugural online Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), the developer community discussed several topics regarding the next release of the Linux distribution, Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail”. The discussion attracting the most outside interest was undoubtedly the session titled: “Should Ubuntu adopt a monthly cadence/rolling release?” Ubuntu developers also discussed the new Mir display stack, the planned Ubuntu SDK and several cloud-computing-related topics. Alongside the UDS proceedings, Canonical announced a Mir backend for Mesa, and the developers of Ubuntu’s social media client Gwibber unveiled a new version of the application based on QML and targeted at Ubuntu on mobile devices.

          • Shell Dock Vs Unity Dock

            After trying Ubuntu/Unity 13.04 and GNOME 3.8 and Fedora 19, I have to confess that both those desktops have gone to the next level. Yes, there are complains, but if you choose to look at the big picture..

            The competition to those, are Mac OS X, Windows 8 and Chrome OS, three totally different OSs by the three software – and not only- giants.

          • Good Luck, Ubuntu

            I have been a huge fan, supporter, and promoter of Ubuntu since about 2006. All the things that attracted me initially were: gratis, free/libre, community, just one CD to install. As I used it more I liked the technical merits as well, things such as timely releases, hardware support, server version, application availability, and LTS. I used it at home and work whenever I could. But things were not always perfect. Things popped up here and there that made Canonical’s direction for Ubuntu more important than the community’s. Things such as CLA, proprietary Landscape, Launchpad, bzr, Unity (initial releases; I love it now), Upstart, Amazon-in-Dash, etc. There was a visible Not Invented Here (NIH) syndrome in Ubuntu, which was good to some extent but then became overwhelmingly powerful. In an effort to control all the things they cared about, Canonical started deviating from the wider Linux ecosystem.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Won’t Get X.Org Server 1.14

            Some of the X/Mesa plans for Ubuntu 13.04 and the future of Ubuntu graphics were announced today. Mesa 9.1 is coming but Ubuntu 13.04 won’t be getting X.Org Server 1.14, in part due to Canonical’s focus on Mir.

            Mir wasn’t the exclusive subject of today’s Ubuntu X mailing list message, but rather the status and plans for the X.Org Server and Mesa. Bryce Harrington of Canonical wrote X.org 1.14 and RR / 13.04 (un-)plans.

          • Ubuntu Plans To Move To Systemd’s Logind
          • Shuttleworth On Mir: “A Fantastic Piece of Engineering”
          • Freedom and Community
          • Ubuntu Rolling Releases Vs. Hardware Companies
          • Shuttleworth Throws the FLOSS Community Under The Bus
          • The Ubuntu guide for displaced Windows users
          • Ubuntu Mobile OS seen as most promising new mobile OS announcement: Poll

            The smartphone segment will by the end of the year, or early next year, have three new platforms (Firefox OS, Tizen OS, and Ubuntu Mobile OS) competing with the big names in the business (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian, Windows Phone).

            This will undoubtedly be an exciting time to be a smartphone enthusiast, with so many options available. Major manufacturers have already expressed interest in the Firefox and Tizen mobile operating system, and it seems (at least according to our poll results) users are expressing much interest in the third.

          • Reply to “All the faces of Ubuntu”
          • Ubuntu Mir: Is This the Future of Linux Everywhere?

            Ubuntu — possibly the most popular distribution of the open source Linux operating system — is striking out on its own. Canonical, the commercial company that oversees Ubuntu, has made a habit of building new Linux components from scratch, moving away from tools built and used by the larger open source community. That’s rubbing many Linux developers and users the wrong way, and now Canonical may have finally alienated these hard-core open sourcers.

          • On the Ubuntu Community

            Charles Profitt, in his recent post Ubuntu: Time to Take the Shot, talks about a meeting that the Community Council had with Mark on Tuesday. This followed a weekend of me doing everything in my power to step back from the recent announcements and discussions from Canonical that made my Thursday and Friday very difficult.

          • Future Plans For Ubuntu’s Unity Still Being Discussed
          • Ubuntu: you’ve changed

            Ubuntu, you’ve changed, yes, but we were never closer to our goal of bringing free software to all of the world! Let’s work together to make this happen!

          • Mark Shuttleworth Goes Blogging On Ubuntu Defense

            Mark Shuttleworth hadn’t written on his blog — where he posts just a few times per year — since last December. That changed this morning though where he’s already written two separate blog posts to come to the defense about Ubuntu rolling releases and saying criticism is misplaced about Canonical not taking care of the Ubuntu community.

            Mark’s first post was about Ubuntu as a rolling release distribution. He says that rolling releases aren’t releases at all so he hasn’t given it much thought over the years as members of the community have written proposals. This year though he approved the Canonical engineering team doing a deep assessment about turning Ubuntu into a rolling release model.

          • Mark Shuttleworth Steps In On Developers’ Ubuntu Kerfuffle
          • Compiz contributor: Ubuntu for me is now a waste of time

            Canonical is receiving quite a flack from the free software community as they are transforming from community based distro to a company product. Most of the development now happens in-house, in secret behind the closed doors without any inputs from the community that made Ubuntu the success it is today. After pissing on off the veteran Wayland, X, KDE developers, the company has now lost it’s ex-employee and Compiz contributor Sam Spilsbury.

            Sam Spilsbury worked as a Canonical employee between 2010 to 2012 as a software engineer mainly working on Compiz.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint is better for those who come from the world of Windows

              Back in 2010 I was looking for jobs and I´ve always had a hobby interest in computer and found out that some work ads were asking for basic Linux skills.

            • Kubuntu 13.04 Alpha 2 Review: Very promising

              Kubuntu may not be the best implementation of KDE but definitely one of the most followed. For me, Kubuntu has been always a judicious mix of KDE and Gnome applications along with a boring default interface. Of course, with a change of wallpaper, KDE widgets and bringing in some KDE themes made it really shiny and attractive. Even Kubuntu 12.10 had a real boring and plain-vanilla default interface.

            • Clement Lefebvre: Mir has nothing to do with Linux Mint

              Linux Mint is one of the most important open source projects which cater to the needs of users by proving what users want. Linux Mint has been around for a while but it rose in popularity when Unity happened and Canonical started to drift away from the core Linux and open source communities and began doing their own things secretly, behind the closed doors. What Canonical is doing is fine for protecting a company’s interests but many see it as unhealthy for open source.

            • Linux Mint “Not in the Business of Picking Winners”, Continues With Xorg
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Is Android the new embedded Linux? (video)

      Karim Yaghmour, founder of OperSys founder and a well-known luminary in the real-time and embedded Linux market, led a panel discussion on this topic at the Android Builders Summit in San Francisco last month.

      “The idea ignited a lively debate among embedded Linux pros with three of the four panelists ultimately siding with Yaghmour,” writes Libby Clark in a post at Linux.com. “What seemed to be their litmus test? If Android can conceivably be used in ‘classic’ embedded projects, it is embedded Linux.”

    • Tegra 3 and Linux power tiny computer module
    • Intel All-In On Embedded Linux Development
    • Phones

      • Jolla CEO Marc Dillon: “Tune the system, instead of managing the people”
      • Ubuntu Touch Core Apps: How you can change the smartphone world
      • Hands-on with Ubuntu Touch: The Next Great Mobile OS?

        Ubuntu wants to make a home for itself on your smartphone and tablet. Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu open-source operating system, is working on a mobile version called Ubuntu Touch that the British company hopes will hit the market in late 2013. Although the software is still in beta, Canonical has made an early developer preview available for download, giving app makers and potential users a glimpse at what the operating system will offer.

      • Ballnux

        • Dual Display Smartphone Could be a Next Way Design

          The first dual display smartphone was presented at the NEC booth that got a lot of traffic and buzz. As illustrated below, Samsung is another smartphone player with designs in this category of smart device and others are working on this as well. On the other hand, there’s no sign of Apple even thinking of such an entry at this point in time. It’s this kind of design diversification in the smartphone sector over time that could hurt future iPhone sales.

      • Android

        • Apple’s Phil Schiller takes on Android over malware issues

          Poking fun at Google’s popular mobile OS, Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller recently tweeted a link to F-Secure’s latest Mobile Threat Report, paired with a ‘Be safe out there’ warning message.

          The F-Secure report mentions that around 96 new families and variants of Android threats were discovered in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone. Stats reveal that Android’s share of mobile threats rose to 79 percent in 2012 compared to 66.7 percent in 2011, while iOS’ share was just 0.7 percent.

        • Huawei wants to overtake Apple, Samsung in 5 years

          Chinese telecom giant Huawei is looking to challenge Apple and Samsung in consumer products by leveraging its dominance in network infrastructure.

        • Sony Xperia J gets Jelly Bean update ahead of schedule

          Remember Sony announced the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade schedule for Xperia smartphones back in December? It mentioned in a blog post that Sony Xperia P, Sony Xperia J, Sony Xperia go will receive the Android 4.1 upgrade “from the end of March”, followed by Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia SL, Sony Xperia ion and Sony acro S, which “will follow in the subsequent weeks”.

          So the news of Sony Xperia J getting Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean upgrade should come as a pleasant surprise for many users as the company delivers the roll-out ahead of schedule.

        • Sony Xperia L to come with 4.3-inch FWVGA display and 8MP Exmor RS
        • Upcoming Facebook phone (HTC Myst) full specs confirmed
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Linux on a tablet: Hurry up and wait?

        Takeaway: Patrick Gray takes a look at the upcoming Ubuntu tablet and explains why he’ll wait for their second generation device.

        A couple months ago, I wrote about the potential for open source tablets, with an adapted version of Linux powering some sort of generic tablet hardware. At that time, there was some movement toward creating a tablet-optimized version of Linux, but the efforts were scattershot at best, with no major Linux player throwing their hat into the tablet ring. That changed recently when Ubuntu announced a tablet-centric version of its eponymous Linux distribution targeted toward tablets.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Rackspace’s OpenCenter Underscores the Need for Simpler Cloud Tools
  • Rackspace Private Cloud software updated

    Rackspace Hosting has announced a new version of its free and open source Private Cloud Software, powered by OpenStack and supported by its own Fanatical Support services.

    Key among the new functionality in the latest release is OpenCenter, a single interface for deploying, configuring and operating clouds at scale in an enterprise datacenter.

  • Rackspace rolls out improved Private Cloud
  • Gluster rocks the vote

    Rock the Vote needed a way to manage the fast growth of the data handled by its Web-based voter registration application. The organization turned to GlusterFS replicated volumes to allow for filesystem size upgrades on its virtualized hosting infrastructure without incurring downtime.

  • ManyEars: open source framework for sound processing

    Making robots that are able to localize, track and separate multiple sound sources, even in noisy places, is essential for their deployment in our everyday environments. This could for example allow them to process human speech, even in crowded places, or identify noises of interest and where they came from. Unlike vision however, there are few software and hardware tools that can easily be integrated to robotic platforms.

  • Puppet Labs CEO: How to Grow an Authentic Open Source Community

    Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs, kicked off the last day of ApacheCon with a keynote on Growing Authentic Communities. Despite being early on the final day of a conference, Kanies managed to draw a respectable crowd at ApacheCon eager to hear about techniques for growing a community.

  • Platform Money is Key to Free Software Success

    Platforms are everything these days. They drive users in specific, and well structures ways and can make or break different ways of production. Take for instance the World Wide Web, it’s a platform that allows anarchy and it fundamentally breaks the traditional media’s economic model of charging for content per user. The World Wide Web does this by delivering content not just more cheaply, but more quickly and more succinctly than ever before.

  • Events

    • LibrePlanet software freedom conference announces line-up

      BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Friday, March 8, 2013 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the line-up for its upcoming LibrePlanet 2013 conference, to be held in Cambridge, MA at the Harvard Science Center on March 23-24.

  • Web Browsers

    • FLOSS Pays Real $ And Shines

      Who do you love, a browser that fixes discovered problems in hours or in months? The answer is that you love FLOSS, folks, software that works for you and not some corporation hiding bugs so that salesmen can claim they don’t exist…

    • Linux triumphant: Chrome OS resists cracking attempts

      Linux, once again, proved to be far more secure than most other operating systems as Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS shrugged off its attackers at the $3.14-million Pwnium cracking competition.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome for Android Beta has SPDY proxying

        Google’s latest beta of Chrome for Android, version 26, has added an experimental feature designed to improve the performance of mobile browsing. The new “proxy browsing” feature has to be turned on manually and, when activated, directs mobile users’ connections to HTTP sites through a SPDY connection to a Google-run proxy server. SPDY is Google’s reworking of the HTTP protocol that multiplexes many connections into one, which, combined with other enhancements, gives a faster web experience. SPDY is being used as the basis for the next generation of HTTP, HTTP 2.0.

      • VNC Viewer launched for Google Chrome

        RealVNC has come up with VNC Viewer for Google Chrome, which lets users connect to a remote computer and display the desktop within a Google Chrome Web browser window. The software is aimed at ensuring users can simply access their computers wherever they are in the world, according to the company.

        VNC Viewer for Google Chrome contains a range of features including a virtual keyboard that enables users to perform operations such as Ctrl-Alt-Delete, as well as sending other controls that may not be available on the machine running the browser, making it simpler for cross-platform connections.

        It also automatically optimises colour quality and responsiveness giving users the best performance according to their network speed.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Summit 2013: Five Questions CSPs Must Ask

      OpenStack Summit 2013 is set to start April 15 in Portland, Ore. The open source platform seems to be gaining momentum with cloud services providers (CSPs). IBM (NYSE: IBM) has just placed a huge bet on OpenStack. Plus, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) have each built their public clouds on the emerging software platform.

    • Cloud computing’s big debt to NASA

      IBM is betting big on OpenStack, deeply rooted in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s ingenuity

  • Business

  • Project Releases

    • Suricata 1.3.6 available!

      The OISF development team is pleased to announce Suricata 1.3.6. This the last maintenance release of Suricata 1.3 with some important fixes.

    • X.org releases X Server 1.14

      Performance improvements in terms of software rendering as well as fixes for touch devices and hybrid graphics systems are among the major new features of X.org’s just released X Server 1.14. The new X Server also includes modifications that affect the pointer barriers. GNOME 3.8 will use these pointer barriers to establish from what distance and at what speed a user has moved the mouse pointer to the bottom screen edge; if the values are big, GNOME will display the notification panel straight away instead of waiting for a second.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Study: Crowdsourcing a Valuable Resource in Medicine

      Crowdsourcing, posing a question, problem, or idea on the internet with the hope of soliciting responses from other web-users, has emerged as a valuable new method of soliciting ideas and solutions in the medical field, according to a case study conducted jointly by researchers at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School, London Business School, and web-based innovation company TopCoder.
      “The beauty of crowdsourcing is that it provides access to people that you would never normally meet,” said Ramy A. Arnaout, an assistant professor of pathology at the Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
      Arnaout, who co-authored the study, examined the impact of providing cash prizes to software developers and programmers on the web to encourage responses to a computational biological problem.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Lessig on “Aaron’s Laws – Law and Justice in a Digital Age”
      • Free Textbook Company Shelves Clones

        A company that offered free “alternatives” to three popular college textbooks has rewritten its controversial offerings following a lawsuit by major textbook publishers.

        Boston-based Boundless, which has become a darling of the open educational resources movement seen as threatening traditional textbook publishers, offered versions of textbooks that would normally cost scores if not hundreds of dollars. It pitched what it offered as “textbook replacement,” created by essentially reverse engineering popular textbooks. Boundless attracted considerable attention, including an $8 million round of venture capital funding led by Venrock, an investment group started by the Rockefellers. (Boundless currently generates no revenue, its co-founder and CEO, Ariel Diaz, said Thursday.)

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Jolidrive: It’s not what you think

    I just received an email about Jolidrive, a new offering from Jolicloud, a technology outfit based in Paris, France. As you can tell from the name, Jolicloud has something to do with cloud computing.

    It started life as a provider of Joli OS, a kinda (Linux) distribution for the cloud. I signed up when it was launched just to see what it had to offer, but was not very impressed. I like most or all my computing to be done locally. But that’s another story.

  • Hardware

    • Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs proclaims Internet of Everything connected future

      This week Qualcomm‘s CEO Dr. Paul E Jacobs let it be known that with AllJoyn technology and the company’s dedication to open source development, their newly promised Internet of Everything would become a reality. This chat was had during the Mobile World Congress 2013 set of keynotes entitled Vertical Disruption and had Jacobs letting the world know that it wasn’t a disruption he’d be talking about, it was a bit more positive angle on the whole situation. With the mobile universe advancing as it is today, Jacobs let it be known that wireless connectivity was in bloom, and AllJoyn was – and is – at the center of it all.

    • IFIXIT FINDS SURFACE PRO MOST DIFFICULT TABLET TO REPAIR, IPAD AND IPAD MINI A CLOSE SECOND

      iFixit on Thursday published a list of the best and worst tablets based on their respective repairability scores. While no slate scored a perfect 10, the company found that the Dell (DELL) XPS 10 was the easiest tablet to repair thanks to its accessible case, color-coded screws and labeled cables. At the bottom of the list was Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface Pro and Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and iPad mini. The Surface Pro scored a 1 out of 10 and was said to be difficult to open without shearing the display cables, while the iPad scored a 2 out of 10 for its excessive amounts of adhesive. The Surface RT didn’t fare much better and scored a mere 4 out of 10, compared to Android tablets such as the Nexus 7, which scored a 7 out of 10, and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which garnered at score of 8 out of 10.

  • Security

    • U.S. Ups Ante for Spying on Firms

      The White House threatened China and other countries with trade and diplomatic action over corporate espionage as it cataloged more than a dozen cases of cyberattacks and commercial thefts at some of the U.S.’s biggest companies.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Time’s Ticking Clock on War With Iran

      Nowhere does Time’s Massimo Calabresi mention one rather inconvenient fact: There is no evidence that Iran is actually pursuing a nuclear weapon. Regular inspections have failed to turn up any evidence of that. Instead, we read things like this: “Iran itself has slowed down its efforts, converting some enriched uranium to a form that can be used only in research, not in weapons.” This is treated as evidence that Iran is heading towards its nuclear weapons more slowly.

    • Mission Accomplished: Iraq as America’s biggest Blunder (Van Buren)

      I was there. And “there” was nowhere. And nowhere was the place to be if you wanted to see the signs of end times for the American Empire up close. It was the place to be if you wanted to see the madness — and oh yes, it was madness — not filtered through a complacent and sleepy media that made Washington’s war policy seem, if not sensible, at least sane and serious enough. I stood at Ground Zero of what was intended to be the new centerpiece for a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.

    • India says concerned over Syria crisis

      India on Wednesday expressed its “deep concern” on the security situation in Syria and the continuing spiral of violence in the civil war-torn country that has claimed about 70,000 lives and resulted in one million refugees since 2011.
      India’s views were conveyed to Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media advisor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is on a visit to India. “We also expressed our concern about the plight of the people of Syria arising out of intense fighting and conflict,” an Indian foreign ministry statement said after talks between Shaaban and Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid and others in New Delhi.

    • The CIA Can Handle the Truth

      The recent controversy surrounding the film Zero Dark Thirty only proves the debate surrounding torture isn’t over. There are some who continue to make the false claim that torture worked, and seek to reinstate the practice.

    • POLL: MAJORITY OF AMERICANS OPPOSED TO BEING KILLED BY DRONE
    • White House admits it can’t kill Americans with drones in US

      Two leading figures within the Obama administration now insist that the president of the United States does not have the authority to launch drone strikes on US soil.

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) received a response from the Obama administration on Thursday afternoon after spending 13 hours demanding answers about the possible use of drones inside of the United States.

      During a briefing Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “The president has not and would not use drone strikes against American citizens on American soil.”

      Mr. Carney also elected to read a statement penned by Attorney General Eric Holder earlier that day that had been sent to Sen. Paul. Mr. Holder’s entire statement, only 43 words, confirmed Mr. Carney’s remark.

    • Ten Years Ago: David Brooks, Iraq War Hawk

      You’d never know from his writings over the past few years, but New York Times pundit David Brooks was a full-throated hawk for the tragic U.S. invasion of Iraq and swallowed all of the Bush administration claims about WMD whole. He attempted to muddy the waters, long ago, after WMD were not found and the “liberation” proved to be a disaster by blaming the post-invasion disaster all on Rumsfeld, perhaps figuring that if he became known as a war critic folks would forget that he’d promoted the conflict from the beginning. Not a chance, in my case. Brooks, meet elephant.

    • Bradley Manning: The Conscience of America

      For over 1000 days, Private Manning has been held in military detention, in Iraq, Kuwait, Quantico, Virginia and Leavenworth, Kansas. Reports from these facilities and the media depicted Manning as unstable, depressed, weak, and worse. While imprisoned, he has endured some of the worst treatment imaginable at the hands of his own government, notably characterized by the UN special rapporteur for torture as “cruel, inhuman, and degrading,” possibly amounting to torture. Worse yet, this abuse comes in response to actions which Manning believed, and continues to believe, were in the service of both his country and international human rights law. Given all that he has endured, if the characterizations about his mental state were accurate, it would hardly come as a surprise.

    • VIDEO: Hungary Trial For Nazi War Criminal Sought

      wo senior figures at the Simon Wiesenthal Center have met with Hungarian political leaders to express concern about growing anti-Semitism in the country, including the ongoing failure to bring Hungarian Nazi war criminal László Csatáry to justice.

    • Survey: Some Austrians back aspects of Nazi era

      An Austrian survey has found that 42 per cent of respondents said that “not everything was bad under Adolf Hitler,” whose Nazi government had annexed Austria 75 years ago.

      The survey also found that 54 per cent of the 502 respondents said a Nazi party would have some success in democratic elections today, and that 61 per cent support the concept of a “strong man” as leader.

      The poll was commissioned by the Der Standard newspaper and reported on by the Austria Press Agency on Friday, a day before publication by the paper.

    • Democrats’ silence on drones leaves right in unlikely alliance with activists

      Rand Paul filibuster shines light on Democrats’ reluctance to question Barack Obama’s controversial targeted killing policy

    • Reviewing Drones

      Should a federal judge review the government’s decision to launch a lethal drone attack against a suspected terrorist? A recently released Justice Department white paper on the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen has prompted calls for judicial intervention. While the instinct is right, any review scheme must strike the correct balance between liberty and security.

      Most discussion is focused on creating a new court modeled on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). Congress enacted FISA following revelations that the government had been eavesdropping on Americans’ private communications for decades. FISA created a special court to review requests to conduct electronic surveillance of American citizens for national security purposes.

    • A question of national conscience on drones

      Sen. Rand Paul made some dubious warnings about drone strikes on San Francisco cafes in his filibuster last week against the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director. But his larger argument for clearer limits on drones is absolutely right.

      Paul’s battle isn’t with Brennan, who said that as CIA director he wouldn’t have any legal power to authorize domestic drone strikes. Brennan, who has been trying to sort out legal rules for drone warfare, deserved to be confirmed, as he was Thursday. Nor is this battle simply with Attorney General Eric Holder, though he used troubling language in responding to Paul’s queries.

    • Obama’s First Drone Strike In Yemen Proved The Strategy Is All Wrong

      The first drone strike President Obama ever ordered in Yemen was a deadly disaster, but it illustrated a larger issue with drones — they often create more trouble than they prevent.

    • Why President Obama is losing the drone war
    • Rand Paul Talked About Drones More in One Day Than Congress Ever Has

      While he was speaking, some of those following along on Twitter wondered if this was the lengthiest discussion of drones that had ever occurred in Congress. Searching the official transcript of Congressional business reveals that it was, by far.

    • Sentiment on U.S. drone program guaged

      The Pew Research Center said 56 percent of respondents to a February survey, conducted before Rand’s filibuster, expressed concern about drone strikes on U.S. citizens. Pew said it didn’t consider whether strikes were on U.S. or foreign soil, but found a divided nation from rival polls.

    • Iraq War Crimes: Neocons Escape Accountability

      Nearing the Iraq War’s tenth anniversary, an overriding truth is that few of the key participants – in government, media or think tanks – have faced accountability commensurate with the crime. Indeed, many of these Mideast “experts” are still go-to people for advice.

      One regularly hears much talk in Washington about accountability, but also regularly sees examples of how the concept of accountability gets applied in this town in an inconsistent and warped way. There are the inevitable calls for heads to roll after any salient untoward event, and huzzahs to senior managers who do roll heads in response.

    • Air Force erases drone strike data amid criticisms

      Quietly and without much notice, the Air Force has reversed its policy of publishing statistics on drone strikes in Afghanistan as the debate about drone warfare hits a fever pitch in Washington. In addition, it has erased previously published drone strike statistics from its website.

    • AF removes RPA airstrike number from summary

      Defense Department spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks said the department was not involved in the decision to remove the statistics. AFCENT did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

    • Where is America’s Hugo Chavez?

      Who Will Stand Up Against the Military-Oil-Banker Mafia?

    • Droning Americans on US Soil: Why Holder’s “No” is Not Reassuring

      During the Justice Department’s oversight hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder engaged in a lot of clunky tap dancing.

      [...]

      Although would-be dronees would not be in custody, their rights (or lack thereof) would be more extreme than for current terror detainees: death with no due process whatsoever. The government brags that at least 50 home-grown terror plots have been foiled since 9/11. Under the new definition embraced by Holder, here are some of the people who could have been droned: everyone on the flight with “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, once the plane entered American air space; “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, the “Lackawanna Six,” the 11 Virginia “Paintball” network, and those who proved to be “mistakes,” like Brandon Mayfield. I’m trying to picture drones dropping bombs or Hellfire missiles in Chicago, New York, Virginia.

    • The Drone Question Obama Hasn’t Answered

      As I have written, sweeping financiers into the group of people who can be killed in armed conflict stretches the laws of war beyond recognition. But this is not the only stretch the Obama administration seems to have made. The administration still hasn’t disavowed its stance, disclosed last May in a New York Times article, that military-age males killed in a strike zone are counted as combatants absent explicit posthumous evidence proving otherwise.

    • Police officers’ club in Cairo in flames: AFP

      Several buildings in a police officers’ club complex in the Egyptian capital were in flames on Saturday, an AFP reporter said.

      According to a senior security official, hardcore football fans known as the Ultras stormed the complex and set fire to the buildings.

      Residents of the affluent island where the club is situated were using garden hoses to try to extinguish the flames. Other buildings in the complex had their windows smashed.

      [...]

      The unrest comes hours after an Egyptian court upheld death sentences for 21 defendants over a deadly football riot in Port Said last year and handed down life sentences to five defendants, with 19 receiving lesser jail terms and another 28 exonerated.

    • John Brennan Sworn in as CIA Director Using Constitution Lacking Bill of Rights

      That means, when Brennan vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, he was swearing on one that did not include the First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments — or any of the other Amendments now included in our Constitution. The Bill of Rights did not become part of our Constitution until 1791, 4 years after the Constitution that Brennan took his oath on.

    • Killing with drones for dummies
  • Cablegate

    • Bob Woodward’s Tantrum, Bradley Manning’s Torment

      Anyone losing sleep over Bob Woodward’s relationship with the White House can finally rest easy. The éminence grise of access journalism has made his peace with the Obama administration. After a spat with economic adviser Gene Sperling over an op-ed he was writing about the sequester, Woodward received an apologetic e-mail from Sperling, who said “as a friend” he thought Woodward would “regret” his comments. Woodward took to the airwaves, casting it as a veiled threat. But by Sunday, order was restored: Sperling called him a “legend” on ABC’s This Week. “I’m going to invite him over to my house,” Woodward said on Face the Nation, adding magnanimously, “Hopefully, he’ll bring others from the White House, or maybe the president himself.”

    • Interview with Aśka, designer of Wikileaks “hourglass” logo

      Who designed the WikiLeaks logo? According to this Metahaven interview, a designer named Aśka. She created the WikiLeaks hourglass in 2006, and her story is most interesting.

    • Blogging in the Age of Wikileaks

      With the Wikileaks hoopla a few years ago and the recent leaking of government documents concerning President Obama allegedly targeting American citizens for assassinations, a lot of attention is now being paid to how and where reporters, bloggers, etc receive the information they use to inform their reports, posts and articles. Nowhere has this been more paralyzing than in the current events/news blogging niche.

    • Could All Whistleblowing Become Treasonous?
    • Ethel Rosenberg’s orphaned son says, ‘Scream bloody murder’ for Bradley Manning

      An ‘Heir to an Execution’ speaks out for Manning, 60 years after his parents’ death at the hands of the state.

    • Is the Tide Turning in Favor of Bradley Manning?

      A week ago today, Pfc. Bradley Manning surprised both detractors and supporters by reading a thirtysomething-page statement articulating the specific Whats, Hows and—most importantly—Whys of his disclosures to the popular media site WikiLeaks. In the week since Manning’s dramatic statement, media coverage of the case has shifted from a trickle to a steady storm as even mainstream outlets such as the Guardian, X and Y now echo the message of the 25-year-old army private’s supporters. With no public record or transcript of court proceedings, it is indeed these grassroots supporters who have kept an important faith, serving as a bridge in between the mainstream media’s rare spikes of coverage and its more frequent lulls.

    • Bradley Manning’s own words: blowing the whistle on war crimes

      Bradley’s 35-page testimony last week detailed his time as an intelligence analyst in Iraq and how he concluded that the American public needed to see the United States’ secret abuses in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He deserves thanks, not jail time.

    • Transcript | US v Pfc. Manning, Article 39(a) Session, 2/28/13, Providence Inquiry for Formal Plea
    • Response to Jemima Khan

      Khan took a role on Universal’s $2.5m budget documentary “We Steal Secrets”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Noam Chomsky: Can Civilization Survive Capitalism?

      Capitalism as it exists today is radically incompatible with democracy.

    • THE 1% JUST DROVE THE US RIGHT OFF THE FISCAL CLIFF

      The Bush Tax cuts were an unaffordable bribe, decreasing tax receipts while increasing spending. Meanwhile, representatives of the Clinton and Bush Whitehouse actively blocked regulation of the derivatives markets which were destined to implode, crashing the global economy, on Bush’s watch.

    • Austerity: Another “Policy Mistake” Again

      Shoddy political theater distracts people with vague demons called debt ceiling, fiscal cliff and now, sequester. Party leaders posture for major donors, media boosters and the faithful. They claim to save us from the demons. Meanwhile, backstage they all agree on austerity as the “necessary” response to “our major problem,” namely federal budget “imbalance.” “We” are spending “beyond our means,” accumulating “government debts.” So “we” must raise taxes and cut spending – impose austerity – to regain balance.
      On January 1, payroll taxes rose (from 4.2 to 6.2 %) for 150 million Americans. Their checks shrank as that regressive tax became more so. Obama’s hyped “tax increase for the rich” was comparatively trivial. It affected only the very few Americans earning over $450,000, raising their top tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. Our leaders hope we forgot the 1950s and 1960s, when the top tax rate was 91 percent. On March 1, the sequester hit, unleashing federal spending cuts.

    • Cisco Dealings Cost West Virginia $8 Million

      When the state government of West Virginia ordered Cisco routers to upgrade their networks in 2010, they did not calculate that dealing with Cisco would lead them to losses in tune to $7.88 million. Apart from the fact that the secondary bid process was legally unauthorized (instead of competitive bid process as required by law), the West Virginia legislative auditor has uncovered that Cisco supplied equipment that are extremely high-end and not at all required for the current state of affairs. Moreover, Cisco sold the state another $6.6 million worth of services like upgraded software licenses and extra security features.

    • Jim Himes, Former Goldman Sachs Executive, Introduces Bill To Roll Back Key Element Of Dodd-Frank

      Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a former Wall Street executive, is joining Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) to introduce legislation that would undercut one of the most meaningful elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

    • Have a Cold One, Brought to You by the Foodopoly

      Tonight, millions of people will enjoy a beer. What the vast majority of them probably won’t realize is that the variety of brands they see in the stores come from just two foreign-based multinational companies that control 80 percent of the market here in the U.S.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Google’s European conundrum: When does privacy mean censorship?

      Though Google is a U.S. company, its American rights don’t transpose across the pond. A court case will determine whether Google has to comply with EU law, which could have far-reaching consequences for European users.

    • European Parliament denies filtering emails as spam

      THE IT DEPARTMENT at the European Parliament has denied that it is deliberately blocking emails that it does not want its members to see.

      The European Parliament was accused of this by Christian Engström, MEP for the Swedish Pirate Party, who called the news an “absolute disgrace” in a blog post about the discovery.
      He said that he had been receiving a steady stream of emails about a vote, due on Tuesday, on whether or not the European Parliament will accept a report called “Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU”. The report is contentious because it suggests a ban on all types of pornography in the media.

  • Privacy

    • Court curbs Homeland Security’s laptop border searches

      Appeals court slaps down Obama administration’s claim that customs agents can peruse Americans’ electronic devices for evidence — without having even a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

    • US v. Cotterman — Laptop Searches at the Border Require “Reasonable Suspicion”
    • Inside the Black Box
    • Administration Moves To Quash Challenge to NSA Surveillance
    • White House: Secret spying on Americans immune to lawsuits

      After the US Supreme Court upheld the right of the National Security Agency to wiretap Americans’ communications with foreigners without a warrant, the White House seeks to quash a similar lawsuit citing the plaintiff’s inability to provide evidence.

    • Kim Dotcom, Megaupload.com Founder, Alleges NSA Involvement In Copyright Case

      Can the irascible, voluble and sizable founder of Megaupload.com blow the lid off the National Security Agency’s global spying network? Kim Dotcom sure thinks so. In a series of tweets on Thursday, the sometimes bombastic internet entrepeneur claimed a lawsuit he is pursuing against New Zealand’s spy agency will reveal that it passed intelligence illegally gathered on him to the NSA.

    • FBI employees, entrusted with stopping computer crimes, commit them too

      Though FBI agents are held to a high standard of conduct, some fall short—far short. Take, for instance, an incident in 2007 when an FBI employee “drove past a felony traffic stop, yelled ‘Rodney King’ out his car window and momentarily lost control of his vehicle, swerving into the oncoming lane and almost striking a police officer,” according an account of an internal FBI investigation. (When cops pulled him over, the employee claimed he had yelled, “Geeze Louise.”)

      Thanks to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which rounds up accounts of these infractions and distributes the cautionary tales to employees each quarter, we get glimpses of the seedier side of life inside the agency. CNN has obtained a recent set of these memos (after obtaining earlier ones last year) that show employees sexting, breaking e-readers, viewing pornography in the office, improperly accessing databases, and even shoplifting “two ties from a local retailer.”

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • A Tale of SimCity: Users Struggle Against Onerous DRM

      It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, for the latest installment in the popular SimCity video game franchise, which was released this week to massive sales, and then just as quickly, an epic fail as the paying customers were unable to play the game they just bought. The culprit isn’t the game itself, which by most accounts is pretty good; no, the problem is the game’s DRM scheme.

      That software requires each user to maintain an “always online” connection to the publisher’s authentication server—even for single player mode—but the publisher, Electronic Arts, is having trouble keeping that server available. Even if you connected, the double helping of fail continued: all cities are saved to the cloud, and if the servers bug out, hours of work can go up in smoke faster than Godzilla can decimate a metropolis. No more local saves, lest you mange to defeat the DRM.

    • Apple will give popular jailbreak tool the banhammer with next iOS update
    • FCC To Investigate Cell Phone Unlocking Ban

      Following an online uproar over a law banning the unlocking of cell phones, the Federal Communications Commission will investigate whether the ban is harmful to economic competitiveness and if the executive branch has any authority to change the law.
      The “ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told me last night at a TechCrunch CrunchGov event at our San Francisco headquarters.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Cheap drugs a bitter pill for the West

      Would you rather pay $12 a dose for malaria drugs or $2.40 – and potentially boost your country’s economy at the same time?

      The Ugandan government faced an easy choice when it decided to start producing its own version of a key malaria treatment, rather than continuing to rely on expensive imports. Since the country began making its own medicine in 2007, Uganda has produced not only anti-malarials, but also antiretrovirals (ARVs) used to treat HIV. The public-private company, Quality Chemicals, plans to roll out more ARVs, anti-malarials and antibiotics in the coming months and years.

      The venture, a shining example of African pharmaceutical manufacturing, was made possible in part because Uganda is considered a “least-developed country”. As such, it doesn’t yet have to respect international intellectual property laws, set out through the World Trade Organisation’s trade-related aspects of intellectual property agreement, or “Trips”. All countries are required to adopt the agreement’s measures into their laws if they want to be part of the organisation.

    • China plans study for free trade deal with Europe

      China and the European Union could start investment talks in the coming months, the Chinese ambassador to the EU said.

      China has also submitted a proposal on launching a feasibility study on a free-trade agreement with the EU, said Wu Hailong, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

      China does not want to be left behind while EU-US trade negotiations are under way. The EU and Japan are also expected to enter into trade negotiations.

      The EU has been a major source of China’s foreign direct investment and has been an attractive destination for China’s outbound direct investment.

    • Aaron’s Army fights the Trans-Pacific Partnership

      In light of the death of internet activist Aaron Swartz, there is a need to reconsider intellectual property enforcement standards in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

      The 16th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are taking place in Singapore until March 13. There have been concerns that the Intellectual Property Chapter would “ratchet up IP enforcement at the expense of digital rights”. Maira Sutton of the Electronic Frontier Foundation fears that “the Trans-Pacific Partnership could turn Internet Service Providers into copyright cops, prompt ever-higher criminal and civil penalties for sharing content, and expand protections for Digital Rights Management”.

    • Cartoons from the Issue
    • Copyrights

      • How A Fired Republican Staffer Became A Powerful Martyr For Internet Activists

        Someone in DC thought they had snuffed out an official Republican report on radical intellectual property reform by convincing the authoring agency to erase the document from the Internet and fire the staffer charged with writing it. The shadowy politicking backfired. The young fall-boy, Derek Khanna, instantly became a front-page living martyr against the entertainment and telecommunication lobbies, who have long been villainized for pushing aggressive anti-piracy laws at the expense of innovation.

        Just 3 months later, Khanna led a massive 100,000-person petition to give consumers more rights over their cell phone carriers, convincing the White House and Congress to publicly prioritize consumer choice and uphold the principles first laid out in the now non-existent committee document. A day later, legislation was introduced to codify the White House’s support into law, with an official hat-tip to Khanna.

      • Judge Won’t Bar CNET From Pointing to P2P Software

        An injunction is denied because a judge says there’s no evidence that CBS Interactive purposely encourages infringement “now or in the foreseeable future.”An injunction is denied because a judge says there’s no evidence that CBS Interactive purposely encourages infringement “now or in the foreseeable future.”

      • RIAA Faults Google for Failing Promise to Demote Pirate Sites
      • “Six strikes” enforcement policy debuts

        After months of delay, the “Copyright Alert System,” (also known as “six strikes”) is ready for its “implementation phase.” Participating ISPs will be rolling out the system “over the course of the next several days.”
        As we’ve reported previously, six strikes was conceived of by Center for Copyright Information (CCI)—an umbrella group representing major ISPs across the US and representatives from the recording and film industries. The group agreed in 2011 to come up with a six-stage warning scheme that would progressively warn—and eventually penalize—alleged online copyright infringers. (Here’s the CCI’s new video explaining the process and its new promo video.)

      • How do I challenge or appeal a Copyright Alert?
      • Fox Targets Pirate Bay Proxies With Bogus DMCA Requests
      • Daily Report: Music Industry Sales Rise, and Digital Revenue Gets the Credit

        The music industry, the first media business to be consumed by the digital revolution, said on Tuesday that its global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999, raising hopes that a long-sought recovery might have begun.

        The increase, of 0.3 percent, was tiny, and the total revenue, $16.5 billion, was a far cry from the $38 billion that the industry took in at its peak more than a decade ago. Still, even if it is not time for the record companies to party like it’s 1999, the figures, reported Tuesday by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, provide significant encouragement.

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    Links for the day



  2. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  3. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  4. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  5. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  6. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  7. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  8. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  9. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  11. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  12. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  13. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  14. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  15. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  16. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  18. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  19. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  20. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  21. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  22. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  23. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  24. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  25. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  26. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court



  27. Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

    Links for the day



  28. Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

    Links for the day



  29. Links 6/11/2014: Ubuntu Tablet Confirmed, Compiz 0.9.12 Released

    Links for the day



  30. EPO and UPC in Europe Now the Hope of Patent Maximalists, China Too is Assimilating

    A form of globalisation or unification among patent offices, courts and policies can serve to highlight the great role played by rich and powerful monopolists, including their rich lawyers who profit from protectionism


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