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Links 13/5/2013: New Linux/Open Source Documentary, Lots More About International Space Station

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI Board Meeting Report

    The new OSI Board met in Washington DC last week. We held an effective face-to-face meeting where we discussed the progress of our plans to transform OSI into a member-based organisation. We held officer elections, once again electing Martin Michlmayr as Secretary, filling the vacancy for CFO left by Alolita Sharma by electing Karl Fogel and replacing him as Assistant Treasurer by electing Mike Milinkovich. I was re-elected as President and thank the Board for that vote of confidence in this time of change.

  • A Disturbance In The FLOSS In Canada, May 2013

    What do I make of this? For such large swings it can only mean some large organization was tweaking their operating systems. It looks to me that a bunch of GNU/Linux and “8″ systems were acquired and some “7″ systems were retired or replaced with XP… The bottom line is that in one month that other OS lost a couple of percents and GNU/Linux doubled to ~2.8%.

  • Scratching an Itch
  • Motivation and Reward

    A few months ago, the GNU project had to withdraw its article on motivation and monetary reward, because its author did not allow them to spread it anymore. So I recreated the core of its message – with references to solid research.

  • SDN: Cash Contest Promotes Open-Source High-Speed Networking

    What happens when next-generation networking, cash prizes and the open-source ethos converge? Answer: The Innovative Application Awards program, which is now accepting proposals from developers seeking to build open-source software that takes advantage of OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN) features. And there’s big cash behind this endeavor to encourage investment in big-bandwidth networks, with winning proposals receiving up to $10,000 in funding.

  • Events

    • Impressions from the Open Source Business Conference 2013

      At the Open Source Business Conference 2013, conversations on innovation, disruption, and open source leadership dominated the sessions. The conference chair, Matt Assay, crafted a program where each presentation and conversation reinforced how traditional business strategies are being disrupted by new market dynamics. The dynamics are shifting power away from closed, proprietary corporate leadership towards open collaboration and user-led innovation. The shift is disrupting traditional business strategies, IT operation practices, and market dominance.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Personalization with Respect

        Mozilla’s mission compels us to provide people with an Internet experience that puts them in control of their online lives and that treats them with respect. Respecting someone includes respecting their privacy. We aspire to a “no surprises” principle: the idea that when information is gathered about a person, it is done with their knowledge and is used in ways that benefit that person. People should be made aware of how information is collected and used. Each individual should also be able to decide whether the exchange of personal data for the services received in return feels fair. This can be challenging to achieve, especially when balanced against convenience and ease of use: people expect a fast, streamlined user experience without excessive prompts and confusing choices. But we are always striving toward this ideal.

      • Firefox 21.0: Find out what is new

        Mozilla will release Firefox 21.0 on May 14, 2013 and shortly thereafter update the Beta, Aurora and Nightly channels of the browser to Firefox 22.0, 23.0 and 24.0 respectively.

        The updates will be transferred to Mozilla’s ftp server first before they will be announced on the official website. If you have configured automatic updates, you should not have to worry about that though as your browser will get updated automatically when you start it after the update becomes available.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Power of Brand and the Power of Product, Part 1

      “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful” said G. E.P. Box of Box-Jenkins fame. Today we’re going to look at a model of market share, and I hope it is a useful model. One nice property of it is that it is very easy to estimate the parameters of this model. A single survey question will do.

    • Results of Apache OpenOffice 4.0 Logo Survey

      A quick update on our recent logo survey for Apache OpenOffice 4.0. We called on community members to submit proposals for a new project logo. The response was huge. We received over 40 logo proposals. To narrow down the choices we sought out feedback from users. We created a survey asking users to rate each logo on a 5-point scale, from Strongly Dislike to Strongly Like, as well as give an optional comment on each logo. The survey ran for one week and 5028 responses were received. Full details of the results can be found in the Apache OpenOffice Logo Survey Report. In this blog post we want to highlight some of the highest scoring logos, recognize the designers, and talk about next steps.

    • Apache OpenOffice: Help pick a new logo

      The release of Apache OpenOffice 4 will not happen tomorrow, but it is getting close. How close? Well, let’s just say it will happen soon. In months time, not weeks.

      To usher in what will be a milestone release for the Free Software Office suite, The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) wanted a new logo to replace the old OpenOffice logo, and requested design submissions from the community. There were 40 entries.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open data: Meaningful, visual information

        One of the keys to a successful open data portal is to make it useful for the end user. Citizens and developers should be able to understand data sets without needing a PhD. I’ve been following the progress of Raleigh, North Carolina’s open data initiative, which launched a beta of their data.raleighnc.gov portal in March 2013.


  • Backlash begins against Adobe’s subscription-only plan
  • Time to Abolish the BBC

    I increasingly find myself advocating political opinions I would have found anathema five years ago. I am forced to the opinion that now it is time to abolish the licence fee and end all public funding to the BBC. We should not be blinded by nostalgia; the BBC has no claim to impartiality or “public service ethic.” Nor, for the most part, to quality. Talent shows, reality TV and endless cooking and property auction programmes are not something everybody should be obliged to pay for, on penalty of not owning a television.

  • What if people told European history like they told Native American history?

    Why do you include those “pre-contact” European things? Because they explain the motivations and reasons for what Europeans did. But people largely imagine North America as this timeless place and don’t recognize that pre-contact American history had just as much of an affect on post-contact history because it provides explanations of the motivations and reasonings behind indigenous peoples’ actions.

  • Security

    • Google to make 2-step verification mandatory, phones to replace passwords

      The rise of mobile devices and persistent connectivity, as well as apps and cloud services, has put us all at potential risk when it comes to online security. Simply put, it’s no longer as basic as using strong passwords and strong encryption on websites and services. According to a recent effort by Google in making its systems more secure, the company is looking into implementing smartphone tagging, life-long tokens, and requiring two-step verification on its services.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Plantwatch: Under attack – the wild British daffodil

      Spring went off with a bang in last weekend’s sunshine as blossom, flowers and new leaves burst out, although everything was about a month behind normal. But now even bluebells began to open this week over much of southern England, spurred on by the warm weather.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street is back

      American investment banks dominate global finance once more. That’s not necessarily good for America

    • Ahead of I/O, Google Wallet Drops Plans to Introduce a Physical Card

      Google will update its Wallet product at its I/O developer conference next week, but will not include the physical credit card that the company had considered launching at the event, according to sources.

    • 27% of Spaniards are out of work. Yet in one town everyone has a job

      As Spanish unemployment reaches another record high, the residents of rural Marinaleda could be forgiven for feeling a little smug.

      In the small village in deepest Andalusia, the joblessness remains firmly – and almost certainly uniquely within Spain – at zero. With one set of traffic lights, two bars (one jammed with football paraphernalia for the First Division side Seville) and one central avenue lined with of low terraced houses, Marinaleda looks like many villages in western Andalusia.

      But huge wall murals depicting the destruction of tanks and weaponry, the binning of Nazi symbols, and a column of workers marching through the fields, are far from the usual graffiti found in such places. Nor do many villages name their sports hall after Che Guevara, or have oversized placards of doves of peace dotted on streets named after left-wing heroes such as Salvador Allende and Pablo Neruda.

    • Ex-Senator Gregg Said to be Top Candidate to Lead Bank Lobby

      Former Senator Judd Gregg is a leading candidate to run Wall Street’s biggest lobbying group, according to people briefed on the discussions.

      Gregg, 66, a New Hampshire Republican who retired from the Senate last year, is being considered for the post as president and chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, said four people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter isn’t public.


      Gregg has served as an adviser to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. since retiring from the Senate after serving since January 1993.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Billionaires Un-Friending Zuckerberg’s Political Group FWD.us
    • Ghost in the Machine: Pete Peterson Haunts College Campuses

      An odd couple made an appearance on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus recently: Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson and Madison’s progressive Congressman Mark Pocan. The two were invited to participate in a conversation about the national debt hosted by a local student organization and a bevy of national groups, including the Comeback America Initiative, the Concord Coalition, the Can Kicks Back, and the Campaign to Fix the Debt. On the agenda: debt, deficits, and the economy.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • EE selling your data to pollsters and police

      The Sunday Times has published an explosive piece about an exclusive deal for the sale of customer data between mobile operator Everything Everywhere and polling organisation Ipsos Mori, who in turn have tried to sell the data to the Met Police.

    • EE and sale of user data: does Anonymisation work?

      This afternoon, EE called ORG to ask us about our blog. They did not question the article, but confirmed that it is their belief that IPSOS MORI employees misrepresented what the data they are offering can do.

  • Civil Rights

    • Justice Department Complies With FOIA By Releasing Completely Redacted Document

      Yes, the Department of Justice complied with the letter of the law and responded to a Freedom of Information Act request from the ACLU seeking insight into the Obama Administration’s policy on intercepting text messages from cell phones.

    • The Hoopla around Boston makes us forget the possible End of the Species

      The imperial system lives by searching for scapegoats (previously, there were the communists, then the subversives, and now the terrorists, the immigrants… who will be next?) on whom the desire for collective vengeance falls. That way, the system divests itself of guilt or error. But, above all, it does everything possible so that this lethal threat to the human species is not acknowledged, and transformed into a dangerous collective consciousness.

    • America Keeps Honoring One of Its Worst Mass Murderers: Henry Kissinger

      Henry Kissinger’s quote recently released by Wikileaks,” the illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer”, likely brought a smile to his legions of elite media, government, corporate and high society admirers. Oh that Henry! That rapier wit! That trademark insouciance! That naughtiness! It is unlikely, however, that the descendants of his more than 6 million victims in Indochina, and Americans of conscience appalled by his murder of non-Americans, will share in the amusement. For his illegal and unconstitutional actions had real-world consequences: the ruined lives of millions of Indochinese innocents in a new form of secret, automated, amoral U.S. Executive warfare which haunts the world until today.

  • DRM

    • W3C presses ahead with DRM interface in HTML5

      W3C logo On Friday, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published the first public draft of Encrypted Media Extensions (EME). EME enables content providers to integrate digital rights management (DRM) interfaces into HTML5-based media players. Encrypted Media Extensions is being developed jointly by Google, Microsoft and online streaming-service Netflix. No actual encryption algorithm is part of the draft; that element is designed to be contained in a CDM (Content Decryption Module) that works with EME to decode the content. CDMs may be plugins or built into browsers.

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