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Links 6/4/2013: Alienware Gaming PC With GNU/Linux, OpenStack ‘Grizzly’, Sailfish OS SDK

Posted in News Roundup at 5:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Source Code Released
  • Jedi Academy, Jedi Outcast Source Code Now Available To The Public
  • After LucasArts closure, Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy go open source

    We’re all still reeling from Disney’s shuttering of LucasArts yesterday, and tributes to the once-indomitable game studio are sprouting up all over the Web. One such tribute sure to bring a smile to programmer geeks everywhere comes from development house Raven, which has this morning released the source code for its two Star Wars titles: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy. The two FPS titles were released in 2002 and 2003 and continued the story of Kyle Katarn, the bounty hunter and Jedi first introduced in 1995′s Dark Forces.

  • Apache OpenMeetings hits first Open Source Top Level Project Release
  • Have spare time, dev skills? See what open-source projects need your help with this flowchart

    Hey devs! If you’ve got decent coding skills and a desire to give back to the community, we’ve found an interactive flowchart that’ll show you some of the ways you can contribute your time to Mozilla projects.

  • Web Browsers

    • Web browser war: The early 2013 report

      The latest NetMarketShare browser numbers are in for March 2013. They reveal a three-way battle for the hearts and minds of PC web browser users, but on tablets and smartphones, Safari is leading by a wide margin. StatCounter, however, has Chrome and the Android native browser leading respectively.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Introduces Promising Payments API

        When it comes to making payments, lots of us still turn to credit cards, checks and other longstanding ways to get the job done, but the race is on to have most payments made via “digital wallets.” You can already make electronic payments via your smartphone using PayPal, Square, Google payments and other solutions, although the number of places you can do so is limited. Now, Mozilla is taking a big step forward in the digital wallet space by developing a mobile electronic payment platform that is likely to be standard in the company’s Firefox OS.

      • Open payment system for Firefox OS

        Mozilla has released an early draft version of a payment service API, enabling Firefox OS app developers to process purchases. The API design is in part based on Google Wallet, but the WebPayment API will remain open to being used for a wide range of payment service providers.

      • Firefox 20 Officially Lands in Ubuntu
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Grizzly Open Source Cloud Platform Debuts
    • There’s a new bear in the clouds: OpenStack releases Grizzly

      If you like open source in your cloud, you have to be happy that the OpenStack Foundation hIf you like open source in your cloud, you have to be happy that the OpenStack Foundation has just released the latest version of its popular open-source Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud, Grizzly.

      OpenStack, the so-called Linux of cloud computing, was founded by NASA and Rackspace software developers. Today, it’s supported by numerous companies and organizations. With Grizzly, Rackspace no longer dominates code changes. Red Hat, IBM, Nebula, and HP are also now major contributors. as just released the latest version of its popular open-source Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud, Grizzly.

      OpenStack, the so-called Linux of cloud computing, was founded by NASA and Rackspace software developers. Today, it’s supported by numerous companies and organizations. With Grizzly, Rackspace no longer dominates code changes. Red Hat, IBM, Nebula, and HP are also now major contributors.

    • OpenStack ‘Grizzly’ Debuts with More Than 200 New Features

      Roughly six months after the launch of its “Folsom” release last fall, OpenStack on Thursday unveiled version 2013.1 “Grizzly,” the seventh and latest release of the open source software for building public, private and hybrid clouds.

    • OpenStack ‘Grizzly’ Debuts with More Than 200 New Features
    • Gartner Analyst Surprised That Developers Love FLOSS Clouds

      I have news for him. Folks who have choices and know they have choices do open their eyes and look at what’s available. Further, they like FLOSS because is does allow the flexibility people want. Non-Free software is advantageous to some. Free Software works for everyone else.

      I guess it takes time. Only a few years ago Gartner gave FLOSS no chance at all. Some of Gartner’s staff are still in denial but they will surely evolve faced with such overwhelming popularity of FLOSS with Gartner’s customers.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Mulesoft Raises $37 Million for App Integration

      Getting data out of one app and into another is big business. It’s a business that enterprise integration firm Mulesoft is now growing with new funding and products.

      Mulesoft announced this week $37 million in new funding, bringing total investment in the company to $81 million.

      Mulesoft is not a new company, having started out under the name Mulesource in 2003.The company originated as a commercial effort around the open source Mule Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) created by Mulesoft founder Ross Mason.

  • BSD

    • AMD Kernel Mode-Setting Progresses For FreeBSD

      More of the Radeon kernel mode-setting (KMS) driver stack being ported to FreeBSD from Linux is beginning to function.

      For the past few months, the open-source Linux Radeon KMS driver has been ported to Linux. It’s shown signs of life but still isn’t fully working or in a state where it will be merged to the mainline code-base in the near future.


  • Project Releases

    • MATE 1.6 Released

      The latest version of the GNOME 2 fork, MATE, is now out. MATE 1.6 includes updates to Caja, the panel and the control center

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Academia and Programming Language Preferences

      For years now, RedMonk has argued that programming language usage and overall diversity is growing rapidly. With developers increasingly empowered to select the best tool for the job rather than having to content themselves with the one they are given, the fragmentation of runtimes in use has unsurprisingly been heavy. Where enterprises used to be at least superficially built on a small number of approved programming languages, today’s enterprise is far more heterogeneous than in years past, with traditional compiled languages (C/C++) coexisting along with managed alternatives (C#/Java) as well as a host of dynamic options (JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby).

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OASIS Breaks the Traditional Standards Accreditation Barrier

      On Tuesday, OASIS made an extremely rare announcement for an information technology consortium: that it has successfully completed the process of becoming accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). As a result, it is now able to submit its standards to ANSI for recognition as American National Standards (ANS). And also to directly submit its standards for adoption by ISO and IEC. This is a milestone that’s worthy of note, despite the fact that over 200 standards setting organizations (SSOs) have achieved a similar status in the past.


  • British Library to begin web harvest

    It aims to ”harvest” the entire UK web domain to document current events and record the country’s burgeoning collection of online cultural and intellectual works.
    Billions of web pages, blogs and e-books will now be amassed along with the books, magazines and newspapers which have been stored for several centuries.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Occupy Medical: ‘If you need help – you get help’

      Every Sunday from noon to 4pm, volunteers gather at their “mobile clinic” to make a difference, and offer free healthcare in downtown Eugene, Ore. What started as a temporary first aid tent along the Occupy Eugene movement in October 2011 became the Occupy Medical clinic in February 2012.

    • One of Us

      These are stimulating times for anyone interested in questions of animal consciousness. On what seems like a monthly basis, scientific teams announce the results of new experiments, adding to a preponderance of evidence that we’ve been underestimating animal minds, even those of us who have rated them fairly highly. New animal behaviors and capacities are observed in the wild, often involving tool use—or at least object manipulation—the very kinds of activity that led the distinguished zoologist Donald R. Griffin to found the field of cognitive ethology (animal thinking) in 1978: octopuses piling stones in front of their hideyholes, to name one recent example; or dolphins fitting marine sponges to their beaks in order to dig for food on the seabed; or wasps using small stones to smooth the sand around their egg chambers, concealing them from predators. At the same time neurobiologists have been finding that the physical structures in our own brains most commonly held responsible for consciousness are not as rare in the animal kingdom as had been assumed. Indeed they are common. All of this work and discovery appeared to reach a kind of crescendo last summer, when an international group of prominent neuroscientists meeting at the University of Cambridge issued “The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness in Non-Human Animals,” a document stating that “humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.” It goes further to conclude that numerous documented animal behaviors must be considered “consistent with experienced feeling states.”

    • Garbage Patch, the newest country

      It is made of trash, is as large as maybe even Texas and is in the middle of the ocean. Oh, and it’s severely under-populated. Actually, no one lives in Garbage Patch, no man, no animal.

      Okay, Garbage Patch is not really a country but to focus on monumental examples of man-made pollution, the United Nations’ cultural and science agency UNESCO will designate the conglomerations of rubbish a veritable territory of its own.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Engineering the Bitcoin Gold Rush: An Interview with Yifu Guo, Creator of the First ASIC-Based Miner

      A month after it reached a new all-time high, the rollercoaster ride that is bitcoin continues to thrill and confound after a series of events helped propel the virtual currency to stratospheric new heights, more than doubling its market value with the digital currency now trading at over $70.

      Over in Europe, the threat of financial Armageddon gave citizens new reason to consider the viability of cyberpunk alt-money. As Cypriot officials put 100 euro limits on withdrawals, the tiny Mediterranean island will soon welcome its first bitcoin ATM.

    • Why Bitcoin Is Poised To Change Society Much More Than The Internet Did
    • Company profits depend on the ‘welfare payments’ they get from society

      The free market is a myth. From drug patents to quantitative easing, businesses make money because of state help

    • Obama picks Goldman Sachs exec for ambassador to Canada

      U.S. President Barack Obama has selected a partner at the investment firm of Goldman Sachs in Chicago to be the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, CBC News has learned.

      Sources tell CBC News Network’s Power & Politics that Bruce Heyman has accepted the job but still has to pass a vetting process in order to be be formally nominated. His confirmation will be up to the U.S. Congress.

      If he is approved, Heyman would replace David Jacobson, who has held the position since 2009. Jacobson is also from Chicago.

    • Wall St Burdens the Public Debt

      As the effects of the sequester agreement ripple through the American economy–massive cuts, that is, to social programs, and the military to some extent–one thing is clear: both sides–President Obama and the leadership of the Republican Party–seem to think that public debt is the biggest challenge facing the American economy. Well, our next guest begs to differ.

      Now joining us in the studio is Michael Hudson. He was a Wall Street financial analyst, is now a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His recent books are The Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents.

    • Laiki Bank: The Cyprus bank staff hit worst of all
    • Exposed: A Global Offshore Money Matrix of Up to $32 Trillion

      The covert handling of huge amounts of money away from public accountability has fueled the global austerity crisis by shifting tax burdens onto average citizens…

    • Ex-Goldman trader charged in $7.6 billion rogue trade

      A former trader at Goldman Sachs pleaded guilty Wednesday to fraud linked to a scheme to hide an unauthorised $US8 billion ($7.6 billion) futures bet he made at the US banking giant.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • AP Ditches ‘Illegal’ Label

      The Associated Press announced a change in their style guide: The wire service will no longer refer to “illegal immigrants,” except in direct quotes. The term “illegal,” AP’s new rules state, refers only to actions, and not to people.

      Though they say it’s just the result of an ongoing in-house effort to rid the Stylebook of “labels,” the change is undoubtedly a victory for activists, who have called for years for journalists to stop using the term. Not only because it’s dehumanizing. As AP’s executive editor Kathleen Carroll points out, it’s also bad reporting, a “lazy device” that obscures meaningful distinctions.

    • New Report Exposes Extreme ALEC Agenda in Arizona

      Seventeen bills introduced in the Arizona legislature in 2013 can be tied to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and every member of the Republican leadership in the state are current or recent ALEC members, according to a new report from the Center for Media and Democracy and its allies “ALEC in Arizona: The Voice Of Corporate Special Interests In The Halls Of Arizona’s Legislature.”

      “ALEC is a secretive but powerful force in Arizona politics,” said Lisa Graves, CMD’s Executive Director. “This report exposes how corporations and Arizona legislators, have worked together to keep citizens in the dark about ALEC’s extreme agenda.”

  • Censorship

    • New Evidence: Homeland Security Spied On Peaceful Protestors; Worried About Protests Getting News Coverage

      We just recently had a post on the head of one of Homeland Security’s “Fusion Centers” (the same Fusion Centers found by a Congressional investigation to be a near total waste of time and money, finding no terrorists, but violating the public’s civil liberties) who claimed that the DHS centers did not spy on Americans, and then immediately admitted that they spied on “anti-government” Americans.

      The definition of “anti-government” was mostly left as an exercise to the reader. However, in a bout of good timing, the Partnership for Civil Justice has released some new DHS documents it received via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, showing that DHS regularly spied on peaceful demonstrators and activists.

    • ‘Strong Lack of Instinct’: Turkish Paper Threatens to Sue over Trial Access
    • Turkish media to challenge exclusion from neo-Nazi trial

      Eight of the 10 victims of the neo-Nazi NSU underground organisation killed between 2000 and 2007 were Turkish citizens but no Turkish media organisation has been granted guaranteed seats for this month’s trial of suspected NSU member Beate Zschäpe.

      Yesterday Sabah said it was going to the German constitutional court in Karlsruhe to demand a seat reservation. The mass-market Hürriyet is considering joining the complaint.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • 6-y.o. Who Walked Alone to Post Office May be Removed from Her Home

      Dear Free-Range Kids: A few days ago CPS served my wife and me with a complaint alleging that we are neglectful. They want to take custody. Here is the chain of events that has led to this:

    • Azerbaijan Government Worried by Facebook Activism
    • Symbols of Bush-era Lawlessness Flourish Under Obama

      Guantanamo Bay prison plans expansion, while CIA official linked to torture cover-up gets promoted

    • Liberty Preservation: The states say ‘NO’ to NDAA

      Just days ago, an anniversary passed which should never be forgotten. On April 1, 1942, an order was issued by Lt. General J.L. DeWitt which began the forced evacuation and “internment” of people of Japanese descent.

    • Opponents Label Nullification “Nuts” and a “Bizarre Fad”

      Nullification is not the right of states to nullify any federal act. Rather, it is the right to choose to not enforce any federal act that fails to conform to the constitutionally established limits on its authority. Nullification presupposes that there are myriad (albeit limited) areas over which the Constitution has given purview to the federal government: defense, naturalization, foreign relations, interstate commerce, etc.

    • Bush Redux?

      Not only has the president ignored his promised platform planks, he’s actually reinforced and strengthened some of the most egregious portions of Bush-era abuses of power.

    • Abortion debate leads to comparisons with Nazi infanticide

      THE murder of infants with a disability in Nazi Germany was recalled during a highly charged debate on abortion, as doctors voted to reject radical calls for changes in the law.

    • Google Challenges U.S. National Security Letter in Court

      Google is fighting a National Security Letter (NSL) issued by the U.S. government, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) acknowledging it is one of the first firms to do so.

      Google took the unusual step last month of revealing, albeit in vague terms, the number of NSLs it received from the US government. At the time the company said it was working with the authorities to improve transparency around the subject, but according to court filings it is also fighting against handing over users’ data.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Opinion: £53 and the Problem With UK Politics

        No-one forced, or compelled, Duncan Smith to make that statement. The assertion that it’s possible is one that rankles many people, however. Of course not everyone is feeling the pinch of recession and csuts, and that includes the former Conservative Party leader. While he may have been on unemployment benefits in the ’80s, he’s had steady employment for the last twenty years, all on public funds. Now asking him to try living on the same solutions he’s proposing for others isn’t really that big a stretch. In fact, given his experiences being a ward of the welfare state, and his military service, it shouldn’t be that difficult for him to survive, adapt, and overcome.

        However, the speed with which he’s back-pedalled and tried to move away from his initial position shows how promises trip lightly off the tongue when you’re a politician defending your party base. It’s ‘a stunt’ he claimed, ignoring the simple fact that after 20+ years as an MP, one currently earning significantly more (£134,565/year) than the average wage (£28,700 for UK males, according to the BBC in November) he may be a bit out of touch, and a bit clueless about the realities of his policies. Sure it looks good on paper, but without experiencing it first-hand, he’s not going to understand why it doesn’t work. At the time of writing, over 400,000 people have already said they’d like him to re-acquaint himself with that area of his job, to help him perform better.

      • YouTube Won’t Put Your Video Back Up, Even If It’s Fair Use, If It Contains Content From Universal Music
      • Film studios request removal of takedown notices

        Two film studios have asked Google to take down links to messages sent by them requesting the removal of links connected to film piracy.

        Google receives 20 million “takedown” requests, officially known as DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notices, a month. They are all published online.

      • Icelandic Píratar On Final Approach To Election Victory

        A new poll today places the Icelandic Pirate Party in parliament, with their election three weeks out. This follows a continuous and rapid ascent for the Icelandic Pirate Party. The poll will probably have the additional effect of putting the media spotlights on the party, further accelerating its growth.

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