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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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    Some of the latest material to and from French MP Le Borgn’, who is being informed by EPO staff representatives rather than lectured by Benoît Battistelli, with convenient references to Battistelli’s 'media partner' in France

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  3. Željko Topić Tries to Do to EPO Staff What He Did in Croatia, Now Crushes Staff Assembly in The Hague

    Reminder to European Patent Office (EPO) staff that the EPO's management has a history of union-busting and serious violations of the rules; a call to join protests later today and later this week

  4. The Spanish EPO Scandal - Part I

    How García-Escudero Marquez, the sister of a Spanish Senate speaker, got controversially appointed to succeed the (now) EPO's Vice-President Alberto Casado Cerviño

  5. Media Alert: IAM 'Magazine' Does Not Protect Sources

    An important discussion regarding the role of IAM (Intellectual Asset Management) in the debate about EPO abuses

  6. Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen on the Microsoft-Red Hat Deal

    Founder of Free software and author of the GPL (respectively) comment on what Microsoft and Red Hat have done regarding patents

  7. Links 30/11/2015: Linux 4.4 RC3, Zaragoza Moving to FOSS

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  8. Public Protests by European Patent Office (EPO) Staff Weaken the EPO's Attacks on the Media

    Where things stand when it comes to the EPO's standoff against publications and why it's advisable for EPO staff to stage standoffs against their high-level management, which is behind a covert crackdown on independent media (while greasing up corporate media)

  9. Why the European Patent Office Cannot Really Sue and Why It's All -- More Likely Than Not -- Just SLAPP

    Legal analysis by various people explains why the EPO's attack dogs are all bark but no bite when it comes to threats against publishers

  10. How the EPO Twisted Defamation Law in a Failed Bid to Silence Techrights

    Using external legal firms (not the EPO's own lawyers), the EPO has been trying -- and failing -- to silence prominent critics

  11. East Texas and Its Cautionary Tale: Software Patents Lead to Patent Trolls

    Lessons from US media, which focuses on the dire situation in Texas courts, and how these relate to the practice of granting patents on software (the patent trolls' favourite weapon)

  12. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  13. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  14. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  15. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  16. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  17. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  18. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  19. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  20. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  21. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  22. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  23. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  24. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  25. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  26. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  27. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

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  29. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

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  30. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour


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