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06.15.13

Links 15/6/2013: IBM and KVM, KDE 4.11 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Turning to Linux: A guide for SMBs

    A partial Linux solution could solve Windows 8 woes

  • What Linux Taught Me About Productivity

    I’ve spent the past two years interviewing people about their desktop Linux setups, asking them about the Linux distributions they chose, the desktop environments they use, and the software upon which they rely. Over the past 73 interviews, a number of common lessons have emerged. Most of these apply to anyone who relies on a computer to do their work, Linux user or not. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned from these interviews:

  • Five apps to make the Linux desktop business-ready

    It used to be quite the challenge to make a Linux desktop business-ready. Most every business depended upon niche, proprietary software that simply could not be run on anything but Windows. However, times have changed and so much of business is now handled through a web browser. Add to that how much the Linux platform has matured and you have the makings for a big win on the open source front.

  • One Window Successfully Shut; budding authouress Daughter Sarah’s voluntary testimonial

    Being a broke university student who couldn’t afford a technician’s fee, a client of this new ISP’s (and hardly servile at that), and with no other ISP options due to the grand monopolization of the region and who knows, maybe price fixing, I looked to my father and brother for advice. Brother recommended reinstalling Windows XP. Father recommended Debian GNU/Linux.

    And so it was. I didn’t want to deal with virus scanners and paying heed to time allocated to ensuring my shit was safe, so I went Father’s way with a free disk from Brother.

    The first few times I ran Ubuntu GNU/Linux (my brother deviated from Debian), the new ISP couldn’t give me a connection, leaving me to call their tech people yet-a-friggin’-gain. Since I changed network names and passwords, there’ve been no issues in that regard, though I am still using their provided modem.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • The Meteoric Rise of DigitalOcean
    • IBM unveils two new power systems linux centers

      At the recent Red Hat Summit in Boston, IBM, the giant international computer and server company, has announced its plan to expand the adoption of Linux accross its enterprise. There will be two new Power Systems Linux Centers in Austin and New York and support for Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) will be extended to its Power Systems portfolio of server products.

      In July, the two first North American IBM Power Systems Linux Centers will be opened, in Austin, Texas and in New York. With these centers, software developers will find it easier to develop and deploy new softwares for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open-sourced technology building blocks using the latest IMP processor technology and Linux.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 10

      In this episode: It looks like Rockwell was right – somebody was watching him (and us). There’s a great new Raspberry Pi installer called NOOBS and the President of the US promises action against patent trolls. Ubuntu’s ‘bug one’ has been fixed and the EFF objects to DRM in HTML 5. As ever, hear our discoveries and your opinions in this epic length podcast.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Improve Your Xfce Desktop with the Zen Suite 0.11.3 Theme

      Zen suite, a theme compatible with GTK+ 2.x and GTK+ 3.x that aims to be simple, consistent and visually appealing, is now at version 0.11.3.

    • If You Hate Flat Themes and Icons, You Are Going to Love Sphere 1.2.5

      A lot of users have turned to the flat model for their themes, but if you don’t like this type of embellishments, you can go the other way and install spherical icons.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Mir Still Causing Concerns By Ubuntu Derivatives

        With Canonical’s planned adoption of their in-house Mir Display Server over the next year rather than using an X.Org Server or Wayland, derivatives such as KDE-based Kubuntu continue to fear the change and what exactly the options will be.

        KDE will not support Mir as long as it remains a one-distribution solution. With KDE not coming to Mir for the foreseeable future, Jonathan Riddell of Kubuntu started a new technical discussion about non-Unity flavors and Mir.

      • Fanboys in Free Software

        Years ago I had a clear political opinion. I was a civil-rights activist. I appreciated freedom and anything limiting freedom was a problem to me. Freedom of speech was one of the most important rights for me. I thought that democracy has to be able to survive radical or insulting opinions. In a democracy any opinion should have a right even if it’s against democracy. I had been a member of the lawsuit against data preservation in Germany. I supported the German Pirate Party during the last election campaign because of a new censorship law. That I became a KDE developer is clearly linked to the fact that it is a free software community.

        But over the last years my opinion changed. Nowadays I think that not every opinion needs to be tolerated. I find it completely acceptable to censor certain comments and encourage others to censor, too. What was able to change my opinion in such a radical way? After all I still consider civil rights as extremely important. The answer is simple: Fanboys and trolls.

        When one starts to have a blog in free software one learns the hard way that being a relatively good developer means that you get hated. If you achieve something you get attacked, you get insulted, you get called a dictator [1], you get compared to Hitler [2], etc. etc. People say that you need a thick skin if you want to work in free software. I disagree. There shouldn’t be a need to have a thick skin. We are improving the world, we donated lots of our spare time to work on free software, we donate the source code we write for the public good and we are thanked by insults. This is not acceptable! Even if people dislike some specific software or are a great supporter of another software there is no reason to insult the people or the products. It never is! Not even if it is Microsoft or Apple or Google. There is no reason to attack them.

        [...]

        Final remark: please don’t come and tell me that I’m the same by criticizing Mir. It’s not the same. Criticizing decisions and having discussions is important, but of course critic has to be constructive. I have never attacked any of the Mir developers or have attacked the software in any way. I criticized the decision and the reasoning and pointed out the problems it causes for us, but I have in no way attacked Canonical, Ubuntu or Mir.

      • New Krita Web-shop!
      • KDE Ships First Beta of Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform 4.11

        Today KDE released the beta of the new versions of Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. With API, dependency and feature freezes in place, the KDE team’s focus is now on fixing bugs and further polishing.

      • KDE 4.11 Beta Released, Works On Wayland
      • Choqok Twitter client handed over to community

        Mehrdad Momeny, the developer of the KDE microblogging client Choqok, has announced that he plans to hand development of the application over to the community. Momeny had previously apologised for not finding a maintainer to take over the project after admitting that personal circumstances did not leave him enough time and energy to continue development.

      • Disabling semantic-desktop at runtime

        Today we bumped KDE SC 4.11 beta 1 (4.10.80) in the gentoo kde overlay. The semantic-desktop use flag is dropped in >=kde-base/4.10.80, as you may already noticed or read in dilfridges blog post. So if your hardware is not powerful enough or you just don’t want to use the feature you can easily disable it at runtime.

      • Status and plans for plasma-nm
      • SFLPhone-KDE 1.2.3 released!

        SFLPhone-KDE 1.2.3 have been released today as a bug fix release 6 months after 1.2.2. This version is (hopefully) the last in the 1.2.* serie. The next generation (1.3) is under heavy development since the last release. According to git diff –stat, 1.3 branch have a massive 16000 lines of changes. It is also 10x faster, less memory hungry and usable (more on that in an upcoming blog post(s)). As for 1.2.3, the new features include macro support, new command line options and being able to be invoked from KaddressBook. Important bug fixes include compilation fix on Fedora 19 beta, prevent race condition when launching SFLPhone-KDE in autostart. On the daemon side, many bugs have been fixed there too. Overall, this release should be quite stable.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3, Windows 95 Disconnected

        About a week and a half ago, I was nearly taken-in when an item appeared on The Register that tied recent Linux desktop woes to behind the scenes moves by Microsoft to enforce patents against GNOME. Supposedly, GNOME was violating Redmond’s patented designs of the Windows 95 desktop, most specifically the Start Menu and the Start button. According to the story painted by reporter Liam Proven, KDE was also guilty of violating the same patents, but got a pass as they benefited from the famous Novel/Microsoft patent swap deal, being they were the default desktop in SUSE.

      • Who’s birthday is it today?

        Users today have countless ways of knowing or getting notified when their friends and family have birthdays. The most popular way comes from social networking where such data is shared publicly, but is there a way to get Gnome Shell notifications about this?

  • Distributions

    • Divergence in the distros: how the Linux community is splitting into a two-tier system

      Look at any major service provider: Heroku, Google, Amazon, Apple. All of them offer different levels of access to what they offer, usually at different prices. There’s even an established route to enticing customers towards the paid plans, via the well-worn ‘freemium’ model.

      Let’s be clear about this: Linux isn’t dividing into paid and unpaid. It’s not going the freemium route (although the cynical will suggest that Canonical might be thinking about it). What we’re seeing, though, is the development of a clear split. A kind of meiosis.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Honors Rafael Guimaraes as 2013 Red Hat Certified Professional of the Year
      • Red Hat Announces Red Hat Storage Integration with Red Hat OpenStack
      • Where Is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7?

        In a standing room-only set of sessions at the Red Hat Summit here this week, the future of Red Hat Enterprise Linux was revealed.

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the Linux vendor’s core platform, had its last major release with the debut of RHEL 6 in November of 2010. Red Hat has been releasing major new RHEL platforms every two to three years, and at its 2012 Summit event the company had hinted that 2013 could be the year in which RHEL 7 might be released.

      • Red Hat bets its cloud future on OpenStack

        The message coming out of Red Hat’s annual Red Hat Summit is that while Linux is Red Hat’s foundation, OpenStack is its future.

      • Red Hat Launches New Initiative to Help Enterprises Chart Course to Open Source Middleware

        As more enterprises develop technology-dependent products and services, interest in robust and reliable middleware continues to grow. These enterprises are reconsidering existing investments in middleware as they look at open hybrid clouds, yet may find themselves unable to proceed as easily as they would like with proprietary middleware solutions because of “cloud unfriendly” features and practices, including rigid architectures, prohibitive license structures, and lack of portability. In addition, the technical complexity and mission-critical nature of enterprise applications present numerous migration challenges when the time comes to change platforms.

      • Red Hat + Hortonworks Tag-Team Open Source Big Data Storage on Apache Hadoop

        At the Red had Summit 2013 yesterday, Hortonworks and Red Hat announced an engineering collaboration to advance open source big data community projects. The engineering partnership will be a collaboration effort on enabling more storage file systems to work with Apache Hadoop. In order to accelerate the enablement of the broader file system ecosystem being used with Apache Hadoop, the engineering teams at Hortonworks and Red Hat will be working directly with the Apache Hadoop Community.

      • Red Hat launches new initiative to help enterprises chart course to open source middleware

        Linux Warehouse, the premier distributor of enterprise open source software for southern Africa and an authorised distributor in southern Africa for Red Hat, today announced the latter’s new community resources designed to help enterprises migrate to open source middleware technologies, including a community-driven JBoss Migration Centre and new tooling to ease the process of migrating from proprietary application server technologies to the open source JBoss platform.

      • Red Hat Summit: Open source trends, cloud outlook, innovation and more
      • Red Hat updates virtualisation and OpenStack products

        Full Storage Live Migration support and a framework for plugins are two of the new features included in the now available version 3.2 of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation (RHEV). Storage Live Migration allows the storage media that is used by virtual machines to be migrated from one storage domain to another at runtime. The new plugin framework enables programs to access the management interface of Red Hat’s virtualisation platform and offer additional interface features to administrators; companies such as HP, NetApp and Symantec plan to use it to provide maintenance and operational features for their products this way.

      • Cisco and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

        Cisco has over 10,000 RHEL instances.

      • What Do You Want to Ask a Linux Journalist?

        This morning I was on a panel at the Red Hat Summit with Scott Merrill from TechCrunch and Jon Brodkin from Ars Technica with moderation from 451 Groups John Abbot.

        Officially the session was titled, “Hot Off the Press: Top Journalists on Today’s Tech Trends” but it really could have just been called – What Do You Want to Ask a Linux Journalist?

        We had about 60 people or so in the room and the primary topic of discussion – not surprisingly – was cloud . Also not surprising is the fact that no one in the audience had actually deployed an OpenStack cloud. Considering that this is a Red Hat conference, that’s not terribly surprising either – since Red Hat’s full product is not yet available.

      • Red Hat Virtualization 3.2 announced, available world wide

        New features in Red Hat Virtualization include Storage Live Migration, new third-party plug-in framework and support for new AMD and Intel chips

    • Debian Family

      • Users warned to remove Debian Multimedia repository

        The Debian project is warning users that the unofficial Debian Multimedia repository now has to be considered unsafe. According to the Debian maintainers, the debian-multimedia.org domain is not being used by the maintainers of the unofficial repository any more and is now registered to a party unknown to the Debian project. This means that the repository is no longer safe to use and users should remove it from their sources.list file as soon as possible.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • System76 launches high-end Ubuntu-powered laptops

            Galago UltraPro and Gazelle Professional combine Linux smarts with ultrabook style

          • The Ubuntu App Developer Cookbook Announced

            In recent months we have been seeing tremendous growth and interest in the Ubuntu SDK that is at the heart of building applications for Ubuntu for phones, tablets, desktops, and TVs. The SDK provides the ability to build rich native applications in QML/Qt that hook right into the system, platform services, messaging, social media and more. We will also be providing support for HTML5 apps soon (with deep platform integration), and for OpenGL apps too.

          • Printed Certificates for Ubuntu Members

            The Ubuntu community is a core part of what makes us what we are, and right at the center of that are our Ubuntu Members. Ubuntu Members provide significant and sustained contributions over a wide range of areas such as packaging, documentation, programming, translations, advocacy, support, and more. We always want to do our best to recognize and appreciate our many members in the Ubuntu family, across these many different teams and our flavors.

          • The sorry state of services in Ubuntu

            Read the post How do I choose which way to enable/disable, start/stop, or check the status of a service?. Compare that with systemctl enable/disable/start/stop/status service and tell me, for a user, which is easier?

          • Ubuntu Desktop Convergence

            This is where it starts to get exciting, folks. The future starts now.

            Ubuntu is an operating system for the server, the cloud, the desktop, and the mobile device. One single OS. That makes it different from Apple’s OSes (Mac OS X on the desktop, iOS on the mobile) and Microsoft’s current OSes (Windows 8 on the desktop, Windows RT on the mobile, and Windows Server 2012 on the server and in the cloud).

          • Canonical: OpenStack Cloud Computing Platform Ready for Prime Time

            Has OpenStack, the open source cloud computing platform, come into its own? Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux—which happens to be the most popular OS for OpenStack deployments—is saying so this week as it touts the rapid maturity of the software. Now, the question becomes: Does the channel agree?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Linux Mint 15 “Olivia” Cinnamon + MATE

              It’s that time of the year again. Linux Mint has just released the latest version of its distribution, and I’m going to review it.

            • Best Newbie Distro? You Say Linux Mint.

              According to our “Newbie” Distro Poll, someone considering moving from Windows or Mac to Linux should consider taking Linux Mint for a spin. The poll asked the question, “What Linux distro would you be most likely to recommend to a new Linux user?” Evidently this was a subject that interested many of you, because a whopping 1,339 votes were cast in this poll, making it the most number of votes one of our polls has ever received.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Coping with Loss (in Open Source)
  • FLAG to discuss the Open Source landscape – Lawyer Monthly Magazine
  • Apps & the City from London-based app developer

    London-based software development company AppShed has detailed plans to migrate its app development platform towards an Open Source footing.

  • The Open Source Internet of Things has some big aspirations

    Internet of Things (IOT) advocate Michael Koster fixated makers and hackers at the recent Maker Faire in San Mateo, California, a few weeks ago. Standing in front of samples of many versions of Arduino, Rasberry Pi, and sensors, he spoke of an open source horizontal platform that will unify the IOT. He changed people’s perspectives from looking up from a small control circuit of dedicated sensors and actuators to seeing the unique value that will be created by looking down at a unified world of horizontally interconnected sensors.

  • Open-source game developers have the power to sink mega conferences like E3

    Contrary to popular belief, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known as E3, was alive and well, this year. But the rise of Ouya, Steam Box, and GamePop later this year could mark the end of an era. With relatively small revenue generated by a typical open-source game, indie developers simply won’t be able to afford to go.

    At the same time, there’s going to be more and more of them, playing a huge part in the gaming ecosystem.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • NoSQL, Hadoop Power NSA PRISM, Big Data War on Terror?

      The National Security Agency (NSA) apparently uses Hadoop, NoSQL and other open source software to wage its Big Data war against terrorism, according to anecdotal evidence and industry pundits who spoke with The Wall Street Journal.

    • SolidFire, Red Hat: SSD Storage for OpenStack Cloud

      It’s been a big week for solid-state device (SSD) storage and the channel. Earlier this week, Intel (INTC) unveiled a new line of SSD hardware for the cloud and Big Data. Then, a day later, SolidFire, which provides SSD storage infrastructure for cloud hosts, announced a partnership with Red Hat (RHT) that will integrate the company into Red Hat’s OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network. Here are the details on this latest news.

    • Cray Rolls Out Hadoop Cluster Solution
  • Databases

    • Red Hat ditches MySQL, switches to MariaDB

      Red Hat will switch the default database in its enterprise distribution, RHEL, from MySQL to MariaDB, when version 7 is released.

    • RethinkDB 1.6 gets regex and array functions

      The open source JSON document database RethinkDB has gained fourteen new array operations and the ability to match regular expressions within stored documents in its latest version, RethinkDB 1.6 code-named “Fargo”. RethinkDB is a rapidly developing database which works with Python, Ruby, or JavaScript in Node.js and supports clustering, sharding and replication. The developers compare it to MongoDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.1 will shine cleaner!

      Maybe the most important thing about LibreOffice’s 4.0 release was the work done in cleaning the code and making it more efficient, while also doing the biggest API cleanup that has ever occurred since the beginning of the project. This would theoretically help boost the project’s development tempo and make things easier for contributors.

    • Try The New LibreOffice Flat Icon Set

      It looks like LibreOffice will get a new set of flat icons, based on Gnome’s symbolic icons. The icon set isn’t completed yet, but you can try it already – below you’ll find instructions on how to easily try the new icons.

    • Libre Office Version 4 – Tantalizingly Close

      Some of the Linux faithful will look at this and say: “There he goes again, bashing open-source. He’s just a Microsoft shill.” They will use the fact I am an MCSE as ‘proof’ of their opinion.

    • LibreOffice Gets More Code Clean-up for 4.1.0

      LibreOffice 4.1.0 is right around the corner and developers are busy as beavers getting it ready. One of the things featured this release might be hard for ordinary users to see, but is every bit as important. Continued code refinement and clean-up will make LibreOffice 4.1.0 more efficient, smaller, and easier to contribute to and compile.

    • Java EE 7 melds HTML5 with enterprise apps

      Oracle has announced public availability of Java EE 7, the first major release of the enterprise formulation of Java since the database giant took control of the platform in 2010. The last version shipped way back in 2009.

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Parliament adopts open data strategy

      EU flag On Thursday, the European Parliament approved new rules, introduced by the European Commission, for re-using public sector information. These changes will require that administrative data is published according to open data principles. When implemented, all documents made accessible by public organisations will be re-usable for any purpose, unless they are protected by third party copyright.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Google App Engine gets git push support

      The latest version of Google’s App Engine, version 1.8.1, adds the ability to git push deployments of Python and PHP applications to its PaaS (Platform as a Service). Once developers have enabled “Push-to-Deploy” in their applications, they will then be able to clone a repository from the project. After making changes locally, they can then deploy the changed application with the command git push appengine master.

    • Eclipse faces challenges with adoption and popularity

      The latest Eclipse Community Survey results highlight some challenges for the Java IDE. For example, new version adoption for the annually updated IDE has slumped: in 2012, 76.9% of users were using the then current release Eclipse 3.7, but in 2013, only 56% are using Eclipse 4.2. Ian Skerrett, Marketing Director at the Eclipse Foundation, believes that this is most likely “the result of the performance issues found in Eclipse 4.2″. He notes in a blog post that overall satisfaction with Eclipse has dropped from last year’s 90% to only 81% being satisfied or very satisfied this year. This is something Skerrett hopes will be addressed “as the Eclipse 4.x platform continues to mature,” but, as it stands, it isn’t very good news.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Notebook ODMs bracing for price war

      Notebook brand vendors have recently started the request-for-quotation (RFQ) process for 2014 orders. But because of the notebook industry’s weak shipments and Lenovo increasing in-house production, competition between ODMs are expected to be fierce. Upstream suppliers may also see gross margins fall, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

  • Security

    • Snowden: US has been hacking Hong Kong and China for years

      NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has prompted a change of direction in the debate that has been going on for months around China’s alleged hacker attacks on the US. The former Booz Allen Hamilton employee and contractor to the US National Security Agency (NSA) told Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post newspaper that the intelligence agency has been launching hacking attacks on targets in Hong Kong as well as mainland China.

    • There Are Reasons M$ Is Losing The Web, Besides The Horrific Costs

      Folks who are comfortable with the cost, complexity and vulnerability of M$’s OS have not experienced the joy of IT that works, works for the user instead of for M$. M$ is all about “getting value” from its OS above all else. It is an OS designed by salesmen who love to sell more cost and complexity as “new features”. Unfortunately for the world, that brings vulnerabilities galore. Fortunately for the world, there is an alternative Debian GNU/Linux and other distributions of Free Software.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Preparing to Bomb Syria

      Quite simply I do not believe the US, UK and French government’s assertion that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against rebels “multiple times in small quantities”. Why on earth would they do that? The claim that “up to 150 people have died” spread over a number of incidents makes no sense at all. In a civil war when tens of thousands of people have died, where all sides have been guilty of massacres of scores at a time, I cannot conceive of any motive for killing a dozen or so at any one time with the odd chemical shell. It makes no military sense – chemical weapons are designed for use against population centres and massed armies. They are not precision weapons for deployment against small groups.

    • Syria and Chemical Weapons: What Do We Know?

      abc-assad-chemIf you watched ABC World News last night (6/13/13), the story of Syria and the use of chemical weapons had shifted pretty dramatically. Anchor David Muir declared at the top of the show: “The White House now confirming Syria’s president has in fact used chemical weapons to kill.”

    • The Forbidden Truth: The U.S. is Channeling Chemical Weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria, Obama is a Liar and a Terrorist

      Who has Crossed the “Red Line”? Barack Obama and John Kerry are Supporting a Terrorist Organization on the State Department List

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Website filtering problems are a “load of cock”

      On Tuesday, I spoke at an event organised by the Sunday Times and Policy Exchange about online pornography and child protection. This was in the run-up to the opposition debate that took place in Parliament on Wednesday on these topics.

  • Privacy

    • Edward Snowden: change you can believe in

      I voted for Barack Obama in his first term. I had seri­ous doubts about him even then, and today I wish I hadn’t done it, but I did vote for him. I wouldn’t say I com­pletely fell for the “change you can believe in” baloney, but I decided to give the guy the ben­e­fit of the doubt.

    • Government Built Spy-Access Into Most Popular Consumer Program Before 9/11

      In researching the stunning pervasiveness of spying by the government (it’s much more wide spread than you’ve heard even now), we ran across the fact that the FBI wants software programmers to install a backdoor in all software.

    • The fight against the snoopers charter rages on

      It seems that the fight against the ‘snoopers charter’ rages on. In a letter to The Times, signed by Jack Straw, David Blunkett, Alan Johnson, Lord Baker, Lord King and Lord Carlile, called for the ‘snoopers charter’ to be revived. The intention of the letter seems to be to put increasing pressure on Nick Clegg to drop his opposition to the draft Bill

      In the letter, the group state that “coalition niceties must not get in the way of giving our security services the capabilities they need to stay one step ahead of those that seek to destroy our society”.

    • You do have the right to record council meetings

      In positive step towards transparency Eric Pickles MP, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, has published new guidance which explicitly states that Councils should allow the public to overly film and council meetings.

      DCLG was forced to publish the guidance after a string of councils had prevented individuals from recording council meetings on health and safety and legal grounds. The guidance will only apply to English councils, but it certainly creates a serious precedent for councils in Wales.

      Public access to meetings is a key part of holding local councils and public bodies to account and it’s wholly wrong for people not being able to film or tweet in public meetings for spurious legal reasons.

    • Beat the CIA

      The World Wide Web is the greatest system for sharing information ever created – but how do you stop it sharing too much? Ben Everard investigates.

    • Baroness Ludford’s proposals take away your privacy choices

      Many amendments proposed by Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Ludford to the Data Protection Regulation would leave us with less control of our personal information. In this post, we focus on consent and loopholes.

      Yesterday we wrote about Baroness Ludford’s amendment to the Data Protection Regulation (amendment number 1210) that would mean your data could be transferred to a third country or international organisation without you being told. In the light of the PRISM revelations, we suggested this amendment should be withdrawn.

    • EU Commission caved to US demands to drop anti-PRISM privacy clause

      Reports this week revealed that the US successfully pressed the European Commission to drop sections of the Data Protection Regulation that would, as the Financial Times explains, “have nullified any US request for technology and telecoms companies to hand over data on EU citizens.

      The article, (as you can read below), would have prohibited transfers of personal information to a third country under a legal request, for example the one used by the NSA for their PRISM programme, unless “expressly authorized by an international agreement or provided for by mutual legal assistance treaties or approved by a supervisory authority.”

    • Has the NSA “poisoned the well” for responsible disclosure?

      Revelations about the PRISM project involve US tech companies have been compelled to provide special assistance to US intelligence agencies. This has also drawn fresh attention to “responsible disclosure” systems regarding information about security vulnerabilities in those companies’ products.

    • How to break out of PRISM

      NSA scandal has exploded fears of being watched on the Internet, but a new website lists ways to escape the Panopticon

    • Tech companies working with the NSA are making a Faustian bargain

      Whatever the details might be, it seems clear that dozens of technology companies — and perhaps even more — have co-operated with the NSA on its surveillance program. And they could pay a high price for doing so.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The EU, safeguarding the open internet for all

      Thank you for inviting me to speak. Net neutrality can be a polarising debate. But I often find there is much we agree on. We agree that the internet is a great place to exercise and enjoy liberty. A great place to innovate, and implement new ideas without having to ask permission. And an open forum for all kinds of activity.sentence

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  10. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  11. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  12. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  13. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  14. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  15. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  16. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  17. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  18. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  19. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  20. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  21. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  22. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  23. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  24. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  25. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  26. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  27. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  28. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  30. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court


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