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Links 6/6/2013: Ghana Linux Update, AMD Turns to Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 4:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source: Does a Collaborative Process for Developing Ideas Imply Innovation?

    A goal of Open Source is that the model allows alliances to be built among randomly distributed remote developers. The theory goes that the collective ingenuity of many remote contributors can focus together on improving and creating a much more rich product than what can be created by a single individual or small closed group. The success of Linux springs to mind immediately as an example of Open Source collaboration work well and what many people would consider to be even better than the traditional process of closed development.

  • edX learning platform now all open source

    The edX learning platform has now completed its transition to open source and is available under an AGPL licence. The core of the system is the edx-platform which includes both the LMS (Learning Management System) and Studio, a tool for creating courses. Other parts of the system, such as the XBlock component architecture for courseware, machine-learning-based grading such as EASE, the discern tool, deployment tools, interfaces to external grading systems and Python execution utilities, can all be found on the new code.edx.org.

  • EdX Goes Open Source To Woo MOOC Developers
  • Has Open-Source Technology Grown Up?

    If open-source software and technology was a brand in its own right, it might borrow the popular 1968 tagline for Virginia Slims: You’ve come a long way, baby.

  • Linux source code for Rockchip RK3188 devices now available

    Rockchip’s RK3188 processor is one of the fastest ARM Cortex-A9 chips around. The 28nm quad-core processor outperforms the chips found in the Samsung Galaxy S III and Google Nexus 7, for instance. And it’s a relatively inexpensive chip, which explains why it’s proven popular with Chinese tablet and TV box makers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozillux: A Nice Linux Distro With a Unique Software Set

        French Mozillux may look a lot like LXDE-based Lubuntu Linux, but don’t be fooled. This portable Linux distro, which targets both beginners and intermediate users, offers a surprisingly comprehensive selection of installed software for users with a wide range of interests. It’s easily as flexible and usable as Puppy and Knoppix; just make sure you follow the developers’ download instructions.

      • Firefox’s New Interface Is Already Looking Good on Linux

        It’s been a few months since I last checked in on the progress of Australis, the new Firefox interface coming to Windows, Mac and, of course, Linux.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Semi-Open Source


  • Licensing

    • Forking and Standards: Why The Right to Fork Can Be Pro-Social

      It is often said that open source and open standards are different, because in open source, a diversity of forks is accepted/encouraged, while “forked” standards are confusing/inefficient since they don’t provide “stable reference points” for the people who have to implement the spec.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google Gives Training Wheels To App Developers

      Want to build an Android app but don’t want to bother with the backend nuts and bolts that keep it running properly? Google has got you covered. The Android maker has released a cloud-based backend kit which handles some of the nitty-gritty work of creating an app which requires authentication, cloud storage, server queries and push notifications. This offering also operates on Google’s App Engine cloud service which offers server scaling and a host of Google APIs, all manageable through a web-based dashboard. In essence, Google wants developers to not to just write apps for Android, but to write apps using their APIs and standards, and they’re willing to give away the keys to do it.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Reality of WebRTC…All Hype?

      Actually, WebRTC is the biggest change we face today. The full impact is probably 2 years out–but it’s coming. Here are the critical issues still to be resolved.

    • Google to keep CalDAV, CardDAV API open

      Google has reversed its previous decision to restrict access to CalDAV API to only select and large partners. The decision raised questions over Google’s commitment to open standard and open source. Google says that the decision was based on impression that “almost all the API usage was driven by a few large developers,” says Piotr Stanczyk, the Tech Lead of the Google Calendar APIs group.


  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Ben & Jerry’s Is Going Non-GMO

      Ice cream man­u­fac­turer Ben & Jerry’s has com­mit­ted to switch­ing to all non-GMO ingre­di­ents in its ice cream prod­ucts by the end of this year.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • After a Massacre, a ‘Glimmer of Hope’?

      In a courtroom base near Tacoma, Washington, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales will plead guilty today to killing 16 civilians–most of them women and children–in an Afghan village on March 11, 2012. Bales will give his first account of the attack under oath as part of the hearing, in order to avoid the death penalty (New York Times, 6/05/13). The incident remains one of the most shocking slaughters of civilians in the Afghan War. The massacre received some media attention at the time, though much of that discussion was about the problems it would pose for the U.S. war there.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Environmental Groups Split on Illinois Fracking Bill

      The Illinois legislature has passed a fracking regulatory bill, expected to be signed into law by the governor, hailed by some environmental groups as the “toughest in the country.” But other groups are highly critical, both of the bill and of the way some big environmental groups worked with legislators and industry to pass it into law.

  • Finance

    • Sure, Go Ahead and Invest in Goldman Sachs’ Hedge Fund for Average Joes (Just Don’t Expect to Make Money)

      Much attention has been paid lately to Goldman Sachs’ decision to “help” average folks (a.k.a. the 99% crowd) access the kind of high-stakes hedge funds once available only to the superrich (a.k.a. the 1%). And while all sorts of pundits and investor advocates have noted the folly of this and similar ideas, there’s a case to be made that the opposite is true — that average investors might do well by throwing some money Goldman’s way. In fact, there are two cases to be made. Allow me to explain.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • WI Legislature Fast-Tracking “War on Democracy” Bill, Business Lobby Misleads on Disclosure Provisions

      Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are fast-tracking a controversial bill to keep political donors secret, enact voter ID, and limit early voting, among other measures, with a vote scheduled for next week. The only public hearing on the bill was held Tuesday, where a representative of the business lobby made several misleading assertions about the bill’s disclosure provisions.

      “Our main message today to the committee is to please slow down,” Jonathan Becker and Mike Haas of the state Government Accountability Board told the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections.

  • Censorship

    • Who decides what we can see online?

      Today, along with the Open Rights Group, English PEN and Index on Censorship, we have signed a letter to Culture Secretary Maria Miller highlighting our concerns about the current debate around ‘blocking’ internet content.

      It is absolutely right to pursue the removal of illegal content from the internet, but moving to a system where legal content is blocked poses a clear and significant risk to freedom of speech. The triviality of circumventing blocks aside, such a policy risks blocking legitimate websites and setting a dangerous international precedent. After all, who gets to decide what legal content is deemed to be unfit for the British public?

  • Privacy

    • Fighting Facebook, a Campaign for a People’s Terms of Service

      Facebook is on the defensive again. Members of the social networking site sued the company for co-opting their identities in online ads, and Facebook agreed to revise its “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” and offer a $20 million settlement. The case has drawn less attention than the dorm disputes portrayed in The Social Network, but the impact is far wider. An underpublicized aspect of the dispute concerns the power of online contracts, and ultimately, whether users or corporations have more control over life online.

  • Civil Rights

    • Judge Blocks Order Demanding Suspect Decrypt Computer Drives or Face Jail

      A federal judge today halted an order that a Wisconsin man decrypt 16 computer drives the authorities suspect contain child pornography downloaded from the peer-to-peer file-sharing site e-Donkey.

      The brief ruling (.pdf) by U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa of Milwaukee came a day after the suspect’s attorney urged Randa to halt a magistrate’s earlier order that Jeffrey Feldman decrypt the drives by today or potentially face indefinite detention until he complied.

    • Bangladesh police open fire at collapsed garment factory protest

      Hundreds of Rana Plaza workers and their families take to the streets to demand back pay and compensation

  • DRM

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A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    June 7, 2013 at 3:01 am


    Well i’m pretty disappointed at the general silence on the apple e-book case.

    The evidence is pretty damning – and pretty sensational, and the defence so far (as from the little i’ve seen covered) has been utterly laughable – yet to this point all the usual suspects in the ‘non-msm media’ (groklaw, etc) are pretty much silent on the issue.

    I can’t say it’s terribly surprising though – when you work at becoming the darling of the people who write the stories, it’s easy for them to self-censor without even knowing it.

    Although it’s pretty sad that they’re not even facing a fine for what is apparently criminal activity.

What Else is New

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  2. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  3. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  4. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  5. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  6. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  7. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  8. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

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  10. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  11. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  12. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  13. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  14. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

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  16. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  17. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  18. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  19. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

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  20. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  21. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  22. Disruption to Site's Service

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  24. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  25. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  26. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  27. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  28. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

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  29. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  30. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015


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