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Links 16/5/2013: Firefox 21 Out, Android 4.3 Foreseen

Posted in News Roundup at 5:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Measuring Linux By the VAR Metric

    I don’t think the unnamed and unknown blogger who writes under the banner of The VAR Guy would argue with me if I were to say that over at his site it’s all about the money. That’s not a bad thing. The value added resellers, the VARs who are his readers, would expect nothing else.

    These are guys and gals to whom hardware and software are all part of the same packet. This is the crowd who couldn’t care less about the usability of, say GNOME, for the average home user and who might even be tempted to look for loopholes in the GPL, because it would be easier to make money with free software if it wasn’t free. In other words, these are folks who’ve traditionally mainly stood firmly in the proprietary camp, where the rules for resellers have been more clearly defined. These are the dudes and dudettes who make RMS very wary whenever he sees them coming our way.

  • Linux vs Windows 2013: An Objective Comparison
  • Desktop

    • Malaysia adopts Google Apps, Chromebooks for education

      Malaysia has adopted Google Apps and Chromebooks as part of the country’s plans to integrate Web usage in a bid to reform its education system.

      According to a blog post by the search giant on Wednesday, Malaysia adopted Google Apps for 10 million of its students, teachers and parents. In addition, primary and secondary schools will receive Chromebooks.

  • Server

    • IBM Brings Power Linux Servers to China

      IBM is serious about expanding the footprint of the Linux operating system running on Power servers.

    • Intel Hybrid Cloud Server: Dead or Alive?

      Rumors are swirling that Intel Hybrid Cloud (a small business server that has cloud and managed services capabilities) has been discontinued. If true, this is the latest setback for resellers that are seeking on-premises alternatives to Windows Small Business Server (SBS), which Microsoft killed in 2012. Still, there are cloud-based alternatives — including Microsoft’s increasingly popular Office 365.

    • Google and NASA collaborate on AI research with new quantum supercomputer

      Google and NASA have teamed up to launch a new laboratory focused on advancing machine learning. The Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab — hosted at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California — will contain a quantum supercomputer that will be used by researchers from the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and all over the world to pioneer breakthroughs in artificial intelligence.

  • Kernel Space

    • Exploit for local Linux kernel bug in circulation – Update

      Back in April, the Linux kernel developers fixed an incorrectly declared pointer in the Linux kernel. However, it appears that they overlooked the potential security implications of such a bug – particularly the fact that it is possible to gain access to almost any memory area using a suitable event_id. The developers only got into gear and declared the bug as an official security hole (CVE-2013-2094) after an exploit was released that proves that normal, logged-in users can gain root access this way.

    • Critical Linux vulnerability imperils users, even after “silent” fix
    • Local root vulnerability in the kernel
    • Linux x32 Is Made Easier With Ubuntu 13.04

      While there isn’t yet a release yet of Ubuntu in the Linux x32 ABI flavor, some packages now found in Ubuntu 13.04 make it easier to setup this binary interface that brings some 64-bit advantages to the 32-bit world.

    • The Good & Bad Of Btrfs In A Production World

      A web hosting company has publicly shared their thoughts on the Btrfs file-system for Linux. While often discussed as the next-generation Linux file-system, Btrfs isn’t fully baked for use in a production world quite yet.

    • The btrfs backup experiment

      Today we’re talking about our experience with btrfs, the next-gen Linux filesystem. btrfs has been maturing rapidly over the last few years and offers many compelling features for modern systems, so we’ve been putting it through its paces on some of our backup servers.

    • More Linux Utilities Come For USB Logitech Devices

      It’s been a while since last reporting any improved to Logitech device support on Linux or any other USB gaming mice/keyboards for Linux. However, a Phoronix reader has written in with some news.

    • The Staging Pull Goes In For The Linux 3.10 Kernel

      Greg Kroah-Hartman submitted his feature pull requests on Monday morning for the USB, staging, driver core, and TTY/serial areas of the Linux 3.10 kernel that’s just entered development following yesterday’s Linux 3.9 kernel release.

    • Port of KVM to arm64
    • Linux: The Gold Standard of Code

      “Is Linux code the ‘benchmark of quality’? Well, it is very good, no doubt about that,” said Google+ blogger Brett Legree. “The main take-away point from the study should be that open source software, including Linux, is on par with proprietary software from a quality perspective. So, Linux code could be considered a benchmark of quality — it is as good as anything else out there.”

    • On the Job with a Linux Foundation Systems Administrator

      If you’ve ever dreamed of working directly with Linux creator Linus Torvalds, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Ted T’so or any of the other Linux luminaries, you could work your way up through the ranks of kernel developers submitting patches and fixing bugs. Or you could work as a systems administrator on The Linux Foundation’s IT team, managing the servers that they use every day to build the largest collaborative software development project in the world.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • GCC vs. LLVM/Clang On AMD’s FX-8350 Vishera
      • 15-Way Open vs. Closed Source NVIDIA/AMD Linux GPU Comparison

        Combining the work of the recent Nouveau vs. NVIDIA Linux testing and Radeon Gallium3D vs. AMD Catalyst testing articles, here is a 15-way comparison of both the open-source and closed-source AMD and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers when testing a mixture of NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards on Ubuntu Linux 13.04.

      • Gallium3D LLVMpipe Compared To Nine Graphics Cards

        Yesterday after publishing the 15-way open-source vs. closed-source NVIDIA/AMD Linux graphics comparison there were some requests by Phoronix readers to also show how the LLVMpipe software rasterizer performance is in reference. For this article to end out the month are the OpenGL performance results from nine lower-end AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards running with their respective Mesa/Gallium3D drivers compared to the LLVMpipe software driver in two configurations.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • OpenMW 0.23 Brings NPC Movement AI, Item Repairing

      OpenMW, the open-source engine re-implementation of Elderscrolls III: Morrowind, has a new version out. OpenMW 0.23 features the initial implementation of NPC movement AI, item repairing, enchanting, levelled items, texture animation, basic particles, and a lot more. This release comes just ahead of Morrowind’s eleventh birthday.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Cut Yourself a Tasty Slice of Gnome-Pie App Launcher

        Its interface design is the reason for its playful name, but Gnome-Pie won’t run you in circles when it comes to launching applications and getting into menus. It’s easy to set up your “pies” on the desktop so that you’ll have no problem finding your desired menu item for launch. Those weary of text-based app launchers will find Gnome-Pie to be a very productive alternative.

      • The Last GNOME 3.8 Point Release Has Been Made

        GNOME 3.8.2 was released this morning and it serves as the last bug-fix release in the GNOME 3.8 series. All work now is being focused on GNOME 3.10.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 13.04 KDE review: One of the most elegant distros in the Linux world

        Let me begin this way, I am a great admirer of Sabayon for quite sometime. This Italian distro is based on Gentoo Linux and provides an enviable ensemble of pre-installed applications which just works out of the box. Those who are scared of Gentoo, Sabayon can be a good starting point. Apart from being based on one of the most popular Linux operating systems, one of the greatest USPs of Sabayon is it’s aesthetics. It comes with a very professional dark blue theme with application interfaces tweaked to match it. I haven’t seen many Linux distros doing it, to be honest.

    • Arch Family

      • Arch-based Manjaro Linux touts user-friendliness

        For those of you always looking for — or at least willing to try — the newest Linux distribution on the scene, a pretty fresh candidate is Manjaro Linux, which recently announced some updates that should be appealing to users who aren’t necessarily command-line junkies.

        Manjaro is based on Arch, rather than Ubuntu or Debian, which is a version of Linux known for being lightweight, fast, and minimalist in its approach. Arch has been aimed primarily at more intermediate and advanced Linux users in the past, but the Manjaro team has placed an emphasis on the user-friendly aspect of this distro.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Review: CrunchBang (“#!”) Linux 11 “Waldorf”

        This is the last week of classes for me. I have turned in all my assignments and a handful of days until finals, so I can take today and tomorrow to write a couple of reviews at my leisure. The first will be #!.

        #! should be familiar to many readers here. It is a lightweight Debian-based distribution that uses Openbox. While it is not technically a rolling-release distribution because it is pinned to the stable release, there were tons of preview releases for this version. Now that Debian 7 “Wheezy” is finally stable, so is #! 11 “Waldorf”. Since version 10 “Statler”, the Xfce edition has been dropped, so #! is back to using Openbox exclusively.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical to maintain Linux 3.8 until August 2014

            The Ubuntu kernel developers plan to provide security fixes and minor improvements for version 3.8 of the Linux kernel until August 2014; version 3.8 was released in February. The announcement by Canonical employee Kamal Mostafa came just days after Greg Kroah-Hartman had discontinued the maintenance of Linux 3.8; Kroah-Hartman oversees the maintenance of the stable and long-term kernels and is currently maintaining stable kernel version 3.9 and long-term kernel versions 3.0 and 3.4.

          • On Brainstorm

            Recently the Technical Board made a decision to sunset Brainstorm, the site we have been using for some time to capture a list of what folks would like to see fixed and improved in Ubuntu. Although the site has been in operation for quite some time, it had fallen into something of a state of disrepair. Not only was it looking rather decrepit and old, but the ideas highlighted there were not curated and rendered into the Ubuntu development process. Some time ago the Technical Board took a work item to try to solve this problem by regularly curating the most popular items in brainstorm with a commentary around technical feasibility, but the members of the TB unfortunately didn’t have time to fulfill this. As such, brainstorm turned into a big list of random ideas, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, and largely ignored by the Ubuntu development process.

          • Getting the Ubuntu Advocacy Kit to 1.0

            A while back I started a project called the Ubuntu Advocacy Kit. The goal is simple: create a single downloadable kit that provides all the information and materials you need to go out and help advocate Ubuntu and our flavors to others. The project lives here on Launchpad and is available in this daily PPA. If you want to see the kit in action just run:

          • The Problem of Sunsetting Ubuntu Brainstorm

            Yesterday, it has been suggested to sunset Ubuntu brainstorm. While the arguments on the surface make a lot of sense, a bigger problem seem to be not as much in the focus of the discussion as it maybe should be.

          • Ubuntu One Detailed Guide for 13.04
          • Ubuntu Website and the Community Link

            There has been much teeth gnashing about the removal of the ‘Community’ link from the top of the ubuntu.com site. As a member of the Ubuntu Community Council I have tried to gather my thoughts before blogging about this. Recently, I read an article that got me rather upset.

          • Mir Display Server Gets A Demo Shell, New Demos

            Canonical’s Mir Display Server now has a simple demo shell as well as a multi-window compositing demo.

            In continuing to monitor the public Bazaar development repository for Mir, there isn’t too much to report on this week. The only highlights were:

          • Unity 8, Mir To Be Experimental Choice In Ubuntu 13.10

            For those Linux enthusiasts wishing to toy with the Mir Display Server and Canonical’s next-generation Unity 8 interface, they will be made optionally available for desktop users with the Ubuntu 13.10 release due out in October.

            The default desktop will be Unity 7 and it will be powered by an X.Org Server when running Ubuntu 13.10. However, the Qt5-based Unity 8 in conjunction with Mir will be readily packaged and available for those wishing to give it a go. Meanwhile, for the Ubuntu 13.10 state of the phone/tablet version, that is expected to be Mir-powered in time.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • 8 Reasons Why Ubuntu Users Should Try Out Linux Mint

              Ubuntu is moving in all directions lately. They are making sure that they find themselves on tablets, smartphones, and even on televisions. With the high amount of efforts being put in to make Ubuntu the best product in the FOSS community, there have been some polarizing decisions that have managed to alienate a few longtime Ubuntu users. Ever since the decision to switch to Unity was taken, there have been many Linux users who don’t find Ubuntu as user-friendly as they used to back then. There have been forum wars, IRC battles, and a bunch of irksome blog posts about usability–or lack thereof– of Ubuntu. However, as time progressed, Ubuntu has matured quite a lot and has managed to regain its top spot as one of the most user-friendly distributions in the FOSS world.

            • Kubuntu, KDE Has Little Hope For Ubuntu’s Mir

              Martin Gräßlin, the maintainer of KDE’s KWin window manager, has been vocal against Canonical’s Mir Display Server from the beginning. He’s now written another blog post on the matter in which he makes it rather clear there is little hope of seeing KDE running on the Ubuntu Wayland-competitor.

            • Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” RC released!

              Linux Mint 15 is the most ambitious release since the start of the project. MATE 1.6 is greatly improved and Cinnamon 1.8 offers a ton of new features, including a screensaver and a unified control center. The login screen can now be themed in HTML5 and two new tools, “Software Sources” and “Driver Manager”, make their first appearance in Linux Mint.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi camera module now available

      In development since late last year, the Raspberry Pi camera module is finally available. The module can be purchased from RS Components or Element 14 and is based on an Omnivision 5647 5MPixel sensor which is configured to give a still picture resolution of 2592×1944 or deliver video with 1080p resolution at 30fps. It manages this in a 20x25x10mm package which connects to the Pi over a flat ribbon cable.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • ASUS should license Ubuntu for Android for its Padfone

        At the moment, Canonical doesn’t allow users to download Ubuntu for Android (or perhaps it’s still not ready for prime time), and the company is rather looking for OEMs to license the software. I believe that the “perfect vendor” to take advantage of this software is ASUS, which should offer it pre-installed on its Padfone series. This way Padfone users would get an added benefit when they dock their smartphone to the tablet shell, with the ability to use real desktop apps.

      • HP Slatebook x2 : Android Powered Notebook Convertible

        HP has finally entered the Android hybrid market with HP SlateBook X2, the first Tegra 4 powered android convertible. The 10 inch tablet connects to the keyboard directly with a dock connector and also has a touch pad for mouse operations. The screen is a bright 1920 X 1200 full HD IPS display keeping things on screen very crisp and clear.

      • SlateBook x2: Tegra 4-powered Android hybrid
      • HP goes Android with x2 hybrid

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source community deploys ARM microserver cluster

    Calxeda, maker of ARM server-on-chip (SoC) cards, announced that the Fedora Project, an open-source development community sponsored by Red Hat, has deployed servers with its EnergyCore SoCs inside. The cluster consists of Viridis mircoservers made by a UK company called Boston.

  • Migasfree developer journeys from graduation to open source career

    When I first started to learn how to code and program, as a student and during the pre-internet era, it was common practice to share your source code as you were creating it. My classmates and I assumed that was the best way for us to learn—from each other.

    Almost everyone shared, except for a few. I never fully understood why they didn’t, because they would learn from others but not share thier creations afterwards. As I got older and moved into the business world of making money, I began to understand as I was faced with the obscure system of intellectual rights, patents, trademarks, and copyright (and copyleft). Of course, I often think that without these obstacles, technology could go much further and become more ethically correct. But, it seems that the focus on “information is power” is still more important. Luckily, I found out that my feelings towards this are not so weird and actually are shared by many.

  • Events

    • Gluster Workshop at LinuxCon Japan 2013

      Heading to LinuxCon Japan 2013? If you’ll be attending the conference or will be in Tokyo on May 31st, we’d like to welcome you at the Gluster Community Workshop.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome vs. Firefox

      For a few years now, the great debate between Chrome and Firefox has raged on. Which browser is faster? Which is easier to install? In this article, I’ll tackle each of these subjects, in addition to providing some personal insights on each of these topics.

    • Midori browser should now work on Wayland
    • SlateKit Shell: A New Qt5/QML Web-Browser

      SlateKit Shell is a new QML-based web-browser sporting a “sliding drawer” user-interface. The WebKit-powered browser is written entirely in QML and JavaScript.

    • Mozilla

      • We should keep Firefox as default browser in Ubuntu

        Why fix something if it’s not broken? If others prefer Chromium well then “sudo apt-get install chromium-browser” and I guess that’s just my two-cents on the topic.

      • Firefox 21 Arrives, Featuring Health Reports, More Social Features

        Version 21 of Mozilla’s Firefox browser is out for Windows, the Mac, Linux and Android. You can download the standard browser here, and get Firefox for Android here. If you’re already a Firefox user, you should be automatically upgraded. There are quite a few enhancements in this version, including additional Do Not Track features, a Health report, social APIs and choices on the desktop and open source fonts for the Android version.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • JavaTP
      Attackers Target Older Java Bugs

      It’s no secret that Java has moved to the top of the target list for many attackers. It has all the ingredients they love: ubiquity, cross-platform support and, best of all, lots of vulnerabilities. Malware targeting Java flaws has become a major problem, and new statistics show that this epidemic is following much the same pattern as malware exploiting Microsoft vulnerabilities has for years.

    • A more colorful LibreOffice unveiled
    • 50 million Apache OpenOffice downloads in a year

      Just a few days after the one year anniversary of the release of the first version of OpenOffice from the Apache Foundation (Apache OpenOffice 3.4) on 8 May 2012, the project can now boast 50 million downloads of the open source office suite. More than 80% of these downloads have come from Windows users, with the rest of the downloads spread between Mac OS X and Linux. Over time, the percentage of Windows users has slightly increased at the expense of Mac OS X, with Linux usage hovering steady under 5%.

  • Business

    • Open source code and business models: More than just a license

      As an organization or even individual there always seem to be questions when considering whether or not to make your project or code snippet open source. Many times, it starts with trying to figure out which license to use. But there are many other things to consider. We derived a list for you the next time you ask yourself: Should I open source my code?

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source Software Helped Obama Win the 2012 Election Campaign

      If you were to list all the reasons why Obama beat Romney in the 2012 presidential race, chances are DevOps, the cloud, and open-source software (OSS) wouldn’t be on your list. They should be. As Harper Reed, the CTO of Obama for America explained in his recent Palmetto Open Source Conference (POSSCON) speech, all these technologies played a major role in the campaign. Or, as the New York Times explained after the election: “Technology doesn’t win political campaigns, but it certainly is a weapon — a force multiplier, in military terms.”

    • Croatia’s President praises creative spirit of open source community

      President of Croatia Ivo Josipović appreciates the creative and innovative spirit of the open source community. “What you are doing is something good, creative and innovative”, he was quoted as saying, while opening the Croatian Linux Users’ Convention 2013 in the country’s capital Zagreb yesterday. “Most importantly, open source brings helps to strengthen democracy.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Mobile robot app competition offers $25,000 prize

        Kuka announced a 20,000 Euro Kuka Innovation in Mobile Manipulation Award for innovative mobile manipulation applications using its Kuka YouBot service robot. The open source Kuka YouBot is equipped with omnidirectional wheels and one or two 5-DOF manipulator arms, and runs Ubuntu Linux and ROS (Robot Operating System) on an Intel Atom-based Mini-ITX board.

      • Blender dives into 3D printing industry

        Blender 2.67 was released last week with a 3D printing toolbox. LGW spoke to Dolf Veenvliet, Bart Veldhuizen (Shapeways, Blendernation), and Rich Borrett (Ponoko) about the new tools and the future of 3D printing.

  • Programming


  • Health/Nutrition

    • How Private Consultancy Firms have brought the NHS to its knees.

      The NHS has spent billions of pounds on management consultants in recent years. It was profit-making private management consultancy firms (who shall remain nameless) that explored and reported on ways in which the NHS would make efficiency savings. The £20 billion pounds of ‘savings’ that were identified were built around the concept of what became known as QUIPP “Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention”.

      Central to the theories around QUIPP was the idea that much more of our patients should and indeed would be treated in the home. It was argued that the successful triaging of patients would relieve much of the pressure on our NHS. The logic on the face of it appeared reasonably sound. Many patients who arrive at A&E could indeed be treated elsewhere. If a way could be successfully found to divert patients to the most suitable care setting then it was argued that savings could be made in reducing A&E admissions, and that some wards could close as a result.

    • Is Monsanto’s New Genetically Engineered Soy a Health Food?

      To eat these two types of fats in the right ratio, we can either eat more omega-3s or eat fewer omega-6s. Companies like DSM and Monsanto want us to do the former — so we buy their high omega-3 products (and pay top dollar for them, too!). But scientists recommend going by the other route, reducing our omega-6 consumption. One healthy way to do this is by using monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil.

      Author Susan Allport, who wrote The Queen of Fats: Why Omega-3s Were Removed From the Western Diet and What We Can Do To Replace Them, agrees. “The best way to up the omega-3s in one’s tissues is simply to reduce one’s intake of omega-6s,” she says. “Monsanto will try to persuade us that we can get around this elephant in the room (the large amount of omega-6s in the food supply) with their new soybean but it certainly won’t be any more effective than the advice to eat more fish has been.”

      However, Monsanto does not want us to stop eating unhealthy levels of omega-6s, because their patented genes are in most of the soybeans grown in the U.S. And soybean oil is our number one source of omega-6s. (Soybean oil is often sold labeled simply as “vegetable oil.”)

      So instead of cutting into their sales by switching to a healthier fat, they’d prefer to keep making you unhealthy with soybean oil. But they are willing to offer you this “band aid” fix of a high omega-3 soybean that they anticipate will be grown on less than five percent of the nation’s soybean acres. Oh, and you’ll probably have to pay extra to get it, too.

  • Security

    • Rygel 0.18.2 Fixes Numerous Bugs

      The developers behind the Rygel home media solution (UPnP AV MediaServer) for the GNOME desktop environment, announced the immediate availability for download of the second stable release for the 0.18.x branch.

      Rygel 0.18.2 is the second and last maintenance release for Rygel 0.18 and it incorporates numerous fixes, all in order to make Rygel a more stable and reliable release.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Problem With Journalism? Scott Pelley Blames the Internet

      When big-time reporters decide to try their hands at media criticism, the results are usually disappointing–but they can also be quite revealing.

      So when a video of CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley started to making the rounds, the headlines associated with it piqued my interest. Over at the Weekly Standard, it was “CBS Anchor: ‘We Are Getting Big Stories Wrong, Over and Over Again.’”

    • Matthews: Obama Needs to Break a Union Like Reagan

      Praise for a conservative president’s breaking the air traffic controllers’ union–that’s what you hear on the liberal cable channel. (The video is below.)

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Strongbox: Aaron Swartz’s last gift to internet privacy

      Tragically, Aaron Swartz, hounded by an apparently over-zealous prosecutor, committed suicide in early 2013. His just-unveiled major open-source privacy project, DeadDrop, lives on in a citizen and press protection program, The New Yorker’s Strongbox.


      The Strongbox servers themselves are under the physical control of The New Yorker and Condé Nast in a physically and logically segregated area at a secure datacenter, but they otherwise have no elements in common with Condé Nast, The New Yorker’s publisher. As Amy Davidson, a New Yorker senior editor wrote, “Over the years, it has also become easier to trace [email] senders, even when they don’t want to be found. Strongbox addresses that. As it’s set up, even we won’t be able to figure out where files sent to us come from. If anyone asks us, we won’t be able to tell them.”

      Aaron would have been proud.

    • New Yorker unveils open source whistleblower system designed by activist Aaron Schwartz
    • The New Yorker’s Strongbox Anonymity Application Has Some Notable Roots
  • Civil Rights

    • On Paid Sick Days, Will Gov. Rick Scott Side With Moms or Mickey Mouse?

      Florida Governor Rick Scott is under pressure from Florida moms to veto a bill that would deliver a “kill-shot” to local efforts to guarantee paid sick days for workers. The legislation, which can be traced back the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is backed by major corporate players with questionable labor records, including Disney.

      In April, the Florida legislature passed a corporate-backed bill to preempt local paid sick day laws, largely in response to a small-d democratic effort in Orange County to have residents vote on the issue. More than 50,000 Orange County voters signed petitions to place a paid sick day measure on the ballot, which would be effectively blocked if Governor Scott signs the law.

    • Syria crisis: number of refugees tops 1.5 million, says UN

      The scale and speed of the exodus of those fleeing the violence in Syria has been underlined by UN figures showing that the number of refugees has topped 1.5 million, just 10 weeks after the millionth refugee fled to safety.

    • Israel to approve four unauthorised West Bank settler outposts

      Legalisation, which comes amid rise in attacks on Palestinians and their property, could frustrate US peace efforts

    • Grief, Grind, and Glory of Work

      Last month the world heard the tragic news that more than a thousand people working at a clothing factory in Bangladesh, were killed when the factory they were working in collapsed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • GMO Labeling Passes Vermont House as Activists Prepare to March Against Monsanto

      In an advance that makes history, Vermont’s House of Representatives passed a bill on May 10 requiring foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled. This is the furthest any such legislation has made it through the legislative process in the United States.

      Vermont’s legislative session was due to end already, but negotiations over a tax bill have kept lawmakers in the capitol this week. With the Senate’s attention focused fiscally rather than on food, however, H.112 to label GMOs will have to wait to be taken up by the Senate in January 2014.

    • Trademarks

      • Open source hardware trademark application rejected

        On April 19th the United States Patent and Trademark Office finally rejected an application for the trademark open source hardware. The grounds for the rejection were that the term was “merely descriptive.”

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  14. Links 30/9/2015: New Kernels, Nexus Devices

    Links for the day

  15. Links 28/9/2015: Last News Catchup Before Resumption

    Links for the day

  16. Links 25/9/2015: GNU/Linux in Indian Government, NeoKylin in China

    Links for the day

  17. Süddeutsche Zeitung Explains Imminent Federal Scrutiny Against Battistelli's EPO in Germany

    The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reveals that actions by the German government may be imminent against the EPO's cliquish management, including its ringleader Benoît Battistelli

  18. EPO Managers, Patent Lawyers, Commissioners and Other Non-Technical Personnel Tackle Democracy, Alter Laws in Bulk and in Secret

    The reckless assault on European democracies and long-established laws across Europe are now lucidly demonstrated when it comes to patents

  19. Europe's Acceptance of and Resistance to Software Patents, Courtesy of Corporate Front Groups and Courtrooms Respectively

    A snapshot of recent developments and upcoming developments in Europe, regarding software patents in particular

  20. German Press Explains EPO Investigation Unit (I.U.), Struggles to Openly Speak to the Secretive EPO

    The secretive Investigation/Investigative Unit (I.U.) of the European Patent Office (EPO) is further studied/explored by a recent article from junge Welt, an old and well-established German newspaper (since 1947)

  21. Links 24/9/2015: GNOME 3.18, Fedora 23 Beta, New Firefox

    Links for the day

  22. Translation Needed of Article About EPO Threats Against SUEPO's Elizabeth Hardon

    A call for translation of an important article that may help shed light on the modus operandi of the Investigation/Investigative Unit of the EPO, which works with Control Risks Group (CRG), the 'British Blackwater'

  23. Media Filled With Spin and Lies Amid Microsoft's Admission of Internal Usage (and Modification) of GNU/Linux

    Further analysis of Microsoft's admission that it uses Linux internally and the media's poorly-researched response to that

  24. EPO Management Justifies Censorship (Even of Journalists) Using Its Vice-President Željko Topić

    The Topić connection to EPO-imposed and universally-induced censorship not just of news sites but also sites which speak about the censorship itself, or dare question the integrity of the EPO's management

  25. Changes at Techrights

    A few short notes on how we are going to re-align the site with disruptive trends, notably patents-related

  26. EPO President Benoît Battistelli Compared to Famous Criminals on European Television

    The Belgian TV network featured a show which was making fun of Battistelli earlier this month

  27. Dutch Politician John Kerstens Says EPO Investigative Unit is Called ‘the Gestapo’

    The infamous Investigation Unit (I.U.), which secretly bullies staff of the EPO with notorious interrogation techniques under virtually no oversight, is described on Dutch radio

  28. The European Patent Office's Autocracy Has Proven the Streisand Effect, Amplifying Its Opposition's Messages

    The management of the European Patent Office (EPO) is still trying to suppress negative messages about managerial failures, violations and abuses, thereby serving to only increase media coverage (newspapers, radio, television) of increasingly well-known and widely-covered scandals

  29. IBM is Again Attacking Free/Libre Open Source Software by Pushing for Patents on Software

    A timely reminder that Big Blue is no true friend of GNU/Linux and other Free software projects, just an opportunist that uses the Linux brand and wants to make the platform a commodity (for servers that run IBM's proprietary software and use IBM-branded hardware)

  30. Windows is Dying, Based on my Conversations With Microsoft Windows Staff

    The arrival of Vista 10 heralds the continuation of a trend that Vista 8 cemented, namely an inevitable demise of Microsoft's common carrier (and formerly cash cow), Windows


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