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08.26.13

Red Hat’s ‘Community’ Face Helps Disguise Corporate Nature

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, Red Hat at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat Headquarters

Summary: Disparity in pay (volunteer versus staff) and difference between perception and reality when it comes to GNU/Linux vendors, especially publicly-traded ones

Zonker was recently welcomed by Red Hat, which he used to compete against over at Novell. He was paid a salary by Novell to 'manage' a community (which is a bit of a contradiction) before he moved on to speaking for another community (which later crumbled somewhat). Canonical and Ubuntu make analogous stories of staff-run community (the company manages the community). At Canonical, the ‘community’ part has become a notable farce over the past couple of years.

Zonker came from a company that we criticised for having its community managed by staff. He is now acting was a bit of a spokesperson [1] as the company has been rather quiet, with only some chatter about Fedora names and Wall Street-driven discussions about the company’s monetary nature [2-4].

Red Hat actually has a decent community. Some of the writers at Red Hat’s OpenSource.com are not Red Hat employees and Fedora is open to many outside of Red Hat. Let’s not lose sight of the importance of community autonomy. Ubuntu (especially in the past 6 months or less) became an excellent example of how not to run a community.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Red Hat’s Bugzilla Passes 1,000,000 Milestone

    Bug 1,000,000 was filed today by Anton Arapov in Red Hat’s Bugzilla. The bug, an improvement request for the automatic bug detection and reporting tool (abrt), is a nice milestone just a few weeks ahead of the 15th anniversary of Bugzilla’s first release.

  2. Alliance Data Systems Moves Up In Market Cap Rank, Passing Red Hat

    Another reason market capitalization is important is where it places a company in terms of its size tier in relation to peers — much like the way a mid-size sedan is typically compared to other mid-size sedans (and not SUV’s). This can have a direct impact on which indices will include the stock, and which mutual funds and ETFs are willing to own the stock. For instance, a mutual fund that is focused solely on Large Cap stocks may for example only be interested in those companies sized $10 billion or larger. Another illustrative example is the S&P MidCap index which essentially takes the S&P 500 index and “tosses out” the biggest 100 companies so as to focus solely on the 400 smaller “up-and-comers” (which in the right environment can outperform their larger rivals). And ETFs that directly follow an index like the S&P 500 will only own the underlying component of that index, selling companies that lose their status as an S&P 500 company, and buying companies when they are added to the index. So a
    company’s market cap, especially in relation to other companies, carries great importance, and for this reason we at The Online Investor find value to putting together these looks at comparative market capitalization daily.

  3. First Week of October 19th Options Trading For Red Hat (RHT)

    Investors in Red Hat Inc (NYSE: RHT) saw new options become available this week, for the October 19th expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the RHT options chain for the new October 19th contracts and identified one put and one call contract of particular interest.

  4. Red Hat And Other Software Stocks That May Beat Revenue Estimates (RHT)

Fedora’s Recent Choice of Codenames Hurts the Project

Posted in GNU/Linux, Red Hat at 3:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

KDE gives credibility to my recommendations to users, but the names do not

KDE on Fedora

Summary: Fedora considers names for its next release and many are likely to make it seem like it doesn’t take itself seriously

HAVING USED many versions of Fedora over the years (rarely on a long-term basis such as years at a time) and installed it for others (more versions and more times than I can remember), I feel like I know enough about this project, which I’ve followed closely since its first release. I am not trying to have a cheap shot at Fedora. Red Hat was actually my first distro (before Fedora) and that’s how I was introduced to GNU/Linux.

Once upon a time release names were simple to remember and not controversial. Look at early names of Fedora releases.

Coverage about Fedora has increased somewhat in recent days, especially because of codename selection. Android has some tasty codenames and Ubuntu plays with animal names and the alphabet, so why not Fedora? Well, the two-word convention is being adopted again and some final candidates are awkward, to say the least.

Fedora continues to lead on innovation, or terms of freedom with compromise (thanks to Red Hat). Unlike counterparts, it has conferences (which Ubuntu no longer has, just virtual ones). Some hardware components come with Fedora preinstalled and sold over the shelf/bulk ordered (see below), so why not choose ‘professional’-sounding names? As one who covers news about GNU/Linux I must say that writing about a distribution called “cow” (“Spherical Cow”) is unlikely to attract new users. Help me out here, guys. I am trying to ‘recruit’ new users. I understand that Fedora wants to be fun and playful, but this is probably costing them more than they realise.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Fedora 20 Release Name
  2. Flock 2013, and re-attaching the tentacle

    You may have noticed I started out tweetin’ and bloggin’ up a storm, and then disappeared for a while. This is because, after attending some useful and interesting (and sometimes even both!) presentations for a couple of days, I discovered the glory and magnificence that is Badges.

  3. Fedora 20 Will Likely Have Another Goofy Codename

    It’s time to vote for another Fedora codename, this time for Fedora 20, and it’s likely to be yet another weird/goofy codename to succeed recent names like Beefy Miracle and Spherical Cow.

  4. Re: Default offerings, target audiences, and the future of Fedora

    Eric (a fellow Fedora board member) has a post describing his vision for what Fedora as an end goal should look like. It’s essentially an assertion that since we have no idea who our users are or what they want, we should offer them everything on an equal footing.

  5. 2.4GHz Haswell COM takes Fedora to extremes

    Acromag announced a ruggedized COM Express module based on Intel’s 4th Generation Core i7/i5 (Haswell) CPUs, clocked at 1.6 or 2.4 GHz. The COM Express Type 6 module runs Fedora Linux, supports up to 16GB onboard RAM, and boasts thickened PCBs, SODIMM lock-downs, and heat dissipation solutions to protect against shock, vibration, and temperature extremes.

  6. Fedora 20 Could Be Called Santa Claus

    Fedora had some interesting names in the past and others have been completely uninspired, but now it’s time to vote for the name of the next version.

Linux World Domination: The Covert Expansion of Linux to Broadcast, Games, and Even Watches

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 3:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watch

Summary: A look at some news about Linux-powered devices and the areas they now occupy

Linux is everywhere. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. But with brands like Android, TomTom or TiVo it might take some effort to see it and especially to show this to others.

In the past few days we saw Android’s role (or the role of Linux) in various mundane areas of the industry [1-3]. Other uses include drones (not just the lethal ones), rugged computers, telepresence, and hackable devices like the Raspberry Pi.

The desktop is not everything, it was the emerging market when mainframes declined and now we have devices that do to the desktop the same thing it did to mainframes (vendors use ‘cloud’ hype in an attempt to drive data back to their datacentres, despite storage being cheap).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Google breaks ChromeCast’s ability to play local content

    Bad news for all ChromeCast users who were thinking of being able to stream local content to their HD TVs. Google has pushed an update for ChromeCast which has broken support for 3rd party apps like AirCast (AllCast) which allow users to ‘stream’ local files from their devices to ChromeCast connected TV sets.

  2. It’s a Go for Omate’s Android-Powered Smartwatch

    Omate’s $199 TruSmart watch has already garnered more than twice its funding goal on Kickstarter, and there’s almost a month still to go for the device, which comes with a 5 MP camera and cellular modem. “A lot of these crowdfunded smartwatches are being seen as the drizzle before the thunderstorm of the major players coming in,” noted Reticle Research principal analyst Ross Rubin.

  3. Android games now out-selling games for Sony and Nintendo handhelds

    IDC and App Annie’s study suggests that iOS and Android combined now generate four times the revenues of dedicated gaming handhelds

  4. With Android Poised for Embedded Boom, Developer Training is Needed

    The use of Android in embedded devices is heating up and along with that comes demand for developers skilled in embedded Android, say analysts and service providers within the embedded industry.

  5. Rugged fleet computer runs Android on TI ARM SoC

    Micronet announced the availability of a ruggedized, Android 4.x-based touchscreen fleet computer. The A-307 runs on the ARM Cortex-A8-based TI Sitara AM3715 SoC, and offers a 7-inch resistive WVGA touchscreen, USB and serial connections, and numerous wireless options including WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and 3G radios.

  6. Linux-powered telepresence bot gets a boost

    Suitable Technologies has absorbed a majority of the employees of Willow Garage, the research lab that created Texai technology central to Suitable Tech’s “Beam” mobile telepresence robot. The remotely-piloted Beam bot, which can be controlled via a WiFi or 4G LTE cellular connection, runs Robot Operating System plus low-latency Skype-like video conferencing software on top of an Ubuntu-based embedded OS.

  7. Hey Raspberry PI, where is my cat?

    Last week my family went on a summer holiday to Menorca leaving me at home with just the cats for company.

    Half way through the week I realised that 5 cats had become 4 and that I hadn’t seen one for a good couple of days.

  8. Raspberry Strudel: My Raspberry Pi in Austria

    I remember my first colocated server rather fondly. It was a 1U Supermicro that had been decommissioned from my employer after a few years’ service. Although it was too old and slow for my company, the 800MHz CPU, 1GB RAM and 36GB SCSI storage was perfect for my needs back in 2005. A friend was kind enough to allow me to colocate the server at his facility for free. So, after a lot of planning, I installed and configured Debian, generated SSH keys and set IPs so I could manage this machine remotely. Once it was colocated, it became my primary server for Web, DNS, SMTP and my perpetual Irssi-in-a-screen session. The machine served me for more than five years until I ultimately replaced it with newer hardware.

  9. Compact SBC features 2GHz quad-core AMD SoC
  10. Linux-powered quadrocoptor has three cameras

    A startup called Pleiades is over a third the way to its Kickstarter goal for funding a hackable Linux quadrocopter that starts at $520. Spiri, which runs Ubuntu Linux with Robot Operating System (ROS) extensions on a dual-core Freescale ARM SoC, is an airborne craft that uses three cameras and a variety of sensors to navigate autonomously.

  11. HDMI-stick mini-PC runs Android on quad-core ARM SoC
  12. Home automation device offers HD fisheye pan/tilt

    A $209 Linux-powered home automation and security system aimed at apartment dwellers is off to a strong crowdfunding start on Indiegogo. BlackSumac’s Piper features motion, sound, and temperature detectors, and offers a 180-degree fisheye HD camera with pan and zoom viewable and controllable via smartphone apps.

The Desktop Dream and GNU/Linux Domination Through Mobile Adoption of Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crown

Summary: The elusive fight for the desktop crown no longer the only route to breaking the illegal monopoly

Microsoft is trying to enter the market of portable devices, alas without success. Apple tried this years ago and had limited success (it is losing to Linux/Android now). What these two companies have in common is that they both recognise that the desktop is not enough.

One GNU/Linux pundit alleged [1] that we should aspire to dominate the desktop with GNU/Linux. He is right and there are many others who still try to encourage others to switch to GNU/Linux. My experience with this is different. Judging from the experience of my wife, the way to go about is to first get them hooked on Android (smartphones/tablets) which makes them less sceptical or hostile towards Linux (the wife never resisted, she has a Computer Science degree and can cope). Later on they welcome GNU/Linux on the desktop and laptop. Windows is seen as one of many, not the only option, and this is generally why I view advocacy of Linux on mobile devices as constructive. Microsoft suffers badly from this and Apple too, to a lesser degree.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. What Linux really needs is more fun

    This week, something dawned on me. It wasn’t life-changing, problem solving, or (if I’m being completely honest with myself) truly profound. However, it really smacked me upside the head with a Harley Quinn-sized hammer and brought to light what Linux really needs to make serious noise on the desktop.

  2. Malware and Antivirus Systems for Linux
  3. Some Thoughts on Getting Started with Ubuntu Linux

    About a month ago, I came to the sad realization that my six-year-old white plastic MacBook was not going to see me to the end of my dissertation. Among the more serious of its ailments, its hard disk was about to fail, and doing any task took at least thirty seconds of waiting. (Going through the metal detector at an archives last summer, one of the security guards said, “I remember you; you’re the guy with the old laptop.”) Fortunately the funds for a replacement were at hand, and I needed to decide which computer to buy.

  4. Top 20 Linux Tips For Those Switching From Windows

    For the ones who are not aware of Linux, switching from Windows to the open source technology could be challenging. However, some simple tips can wade you through smoothly. Here are the top 20 things you need to consider while making your transition…

  5. Top 20 Linux Tips To Make Your Windows To Linux Transition Easy!

    Have you been contemplating moving to Linux from Windows? Well, if you are scared of the complexities involved, we will make it easy for you. We bring to you top things that you must know…

Microsoft Drops Further in Web Servers Ranking, But Latest Contender to Beat Microsoft is Proprietary Nginx

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 3:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nginx

Summary: The ‘open core’ (meaning proprietary mixed with free) Web server product from Russia is toppling Microsoft, but is this cause for celebration really?

There is a great deal of news about open core (proprietary) Web server software Nginx, which is beating Microsoft. Some links below shed light on what’s new and iophk corrects one article by saying “I thought nginx already passed Microsoft” (true).

“In the last chart,” he says, “nginx is ahead of Microsoft” (see latest links below or this page).

“Earlier this year ‘other’ was ahead of Microsoft,” iophk says, “putting them temporarily in 4th place.”

He correctly adds that “nginx has been moving to open core for a while now, it looks like a problem.” It would have been better if Apache got all this share.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Nginx Inc. Launches NGINX Plus

    Battle-Hardened Open-Source Based Product Combines Advanced Functionality, Support and Services for Commercial Customers

  2. Nginx Plus Moves Open-Source Web Server Forward
  3. NGINX Rolls Out Its First Commercial Web Server

    The fast, popular—and open-source—NGINX web server is now available as a commercial product for high-traffic sites.

  4. Industrial Erlang User Group Enhances Communication between the Open Source Community and Ericsson

    The ‘Industrial Erlang User Group’ will allow enterprise users of the Erlang/OTP programming language to collaborate with Ericsson and complement their work while spreading awareness and increasing adoption and commercial usage of Erlang.

  5. Nginx Web server goes commercial with new release
  6. Nginx introduces updated version of open source software
  7. Nginx, the popular open-source Web server, goes commercial

    Following in the footsteps of open-source companies like Red Hat and SUSE, Nginx’s developers are offering a commercial version of its flagship open-source program, the popular Nginx Web server.

The Rise of Sites and Comments Censorship

Posted in Courtroom at 3:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga
Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, censorship officer at Daily Kos

Summary: Not only governments but also those who pretend to be against governments’ abuse of power are engaged in censorship

The Web is becoming hostile to free speech and not only governments [1] are to blame. Some feeble-minded people call posters whom they don’t agree with trolls and then delete their words while insisting that they support free speech [2,3]. Freedom and censorship cannot co-exist. The latter example, Daily Kos, deleted many accounts of someone who hangs out in our IRC channels because he vigorously opposed war crimes and wanted Bush arrested. Even in a ‘leftist’ site like Daily Kos this is apparently not allowed. Comments oughtn’t be there to worship or decorate one’s own message (article’s author), they should be there to present a diversity of views, including disagreement. Anything else would be a farce in disguise, like Linux ‘Advocates’ (if Dietrich does not agree, the comment gets deleted). Below are two new examples of this trend getting worse and worse, with restrictions increased and regulations tightening.

Techrights never deleted any comments and it never will. Free speech is all about defending the speech of those whose views you may find objectionable and even untrue. Liberalism is allowing others whom we don’t agree with voice their opinions (which we are then free to ridicule, not suppress). Those who don’t want to deal with opposing views are not — irrespective of what they say — anti-censorship, they are hypocrites at best.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Finnish Court Censors Website That Criticizes Censorship

    A website with the aim of addressing flaws in Finland’s secretive child porn filter has ending up on the same list. The Finnish Supreme Court has ruled that censoring the website is justified as it lists domain names of sites that are currently blocked. While the site itself doesn’t host or link to illegal content, the court argues that society’s obligation ‘to protect the children’ trumps freedom of speech in this case.

  2. Huffington: Trolls uglier than ever, so we’re cutting off anonymous comments

    The days of anonymous commenting on The Huffington Post are numbered. Founder Arianna Huffington said in a question-and-answer session with reporters in Boston Wednesday that the online news site plans to require users to comment on stories under their real names, beginning next month.

  3. New community guidelines, final draft

    Also, before we get into the rules, I saw Bob Johnson’s diary about the problems with the new instant posting. When we first added the waiting period, the idea was to weed out ideological trolls. When we eliminated that waiting period, our fear was that we’d be swamped with conservatives or third-party trolls. Instead, we’ve been hit hard with commercial spam. Who knew commercial spammers were being weeded out with a one-day waiting period?

Wikileaks and Manning Help Expose the Full Brunt of the War Machine, Leading by Example

Posted in Cablegate at 2:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A public show of violence

Football

Summary: Some news about the leaking counterculture and what can be done about it

Private Manning got punished [1] for doing what many anti-war activists could not or would not. Society has debt to him. War is not a sport and blindly supporting one’s “team” is a foolish thing to do; it’s what typically supports and excuses war crimes. Here in the UK intimidation tactics against acts like Manning’s expand to relatives of those who report on leaks like Manning’s (see the latest on Miranda [2,3]) and the US military machine now calls the Founding Fathers extremists by attributing to them “extremist ideologies.” [4]

The US has been preparing for internment without charges for US citizens (c/f NDAA), having ‘trailed’ the idea in Guantanamo [5]. Those who are not worried by all this (and more, much beyond the scope of this post) are arguably complicit in serious abuses; apathy was not a defence, based on history’s lessons.

The war on dissent may successfully be crushing some Web sites and movements, but out response will be proportional in the opposite direction.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. RT interview on Manning sentencing
  2. United Kingdom detains private citizen for being affiliated with NSA reporting under Schedule 7 of the 2000 Terrorist Act

    Anyone reporting on or connected with a journalist writing articles about the NSA surveillance is now considered a threat.

  3. Miranda Detention: ‘Blatant Attack on Press Freedom’

    The detention of David Miranda — partner of the Guardian journalist involved in the NSA revelations — and the destruction of hard drives in the British newspaper’s basement reveal one thing: Governments do not want their citizens to be informed when it comes to the topic of surveillance.

  4. DoD Training Manual Suggests Founding Fathers Followed ‘Extremist Ideology’

    A Department of Defense training manual obtained by a conservative watchdog group pointed to the original American colonists as examples of an extremist movement, comments that have sparked fear of a broader crackdown on dissent in America.

    The training manual provides information that describes, among other things, “common themes in extremist ideologies.”

  5. Here’s What The White House’s “Secret” Plan To Close Guantanamo Looks Like

    One reason the White House drafted the document, sources tell me, was to beat back criticism from some members of Congress who have said the reason they have not taken any action on Guantanamo since 2009 is because the White House did not have a comprehensive plan for shutting down the facility.

Links 26/8/2013: GNU SIP Witch Updates, Pro-War Propaganda Debunked

Posted in News Roundup at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • ProcessMaker 2.5: Open source workflow made faster, simpler

    Latest rev of Colosa’s Web-based BPM offering has something for developers, admins, and users

  • The open source alternative

    In a recent conversation with an uncle of mine, he asked me to find him a license key for Microsoft Office. I replied “why do you need that when you can use a free open source alternative?” His answer was simply “It is what I know”. This response struck me as fascinating because it was not the first time I had heard that exact statement with regards to computers and software. In this day and age people still opt to use illegal or unlicensed copies of software instead of using free open source solutions because that is what they learnt in school or were taught at work. It seems a lot of people especially in developing countries would still opt to use illegal copies of Windows & Office than use the free and I must add impressive alternatives such as Ubuntu and Open Office.

  • 3D Photo Maker by DVDVideoSoft Goes Open Source

    DVDVideoSoft has announced the launch of its first open-source project: 3D Photo Maker, a unique program for three-dimensional image creation, is released in a new form, with an open source code.

  • 3D Photo Maker by DVDVideoSoft Goes Open Source
  • Bolivian open-source software company gets senate approval

    The Bolivian senate has approved a proposal for the creation of a national open-source software company in Sucre, according to a senate press release.

  • Open source culture thrives in Chattanooga

    Last week I had a chance to visit Chattanooga for several days and received an up close look at the maker and entrepreneurial culture of the city. Chattanooga is home to a municipal gigabit fiber installation, which reaches every home and business in a 600 square mile area. The city is positioning itself as a hub of digital innovation, and from where I sit they’re doing quite a good job of that. Some of the smartest minds from other parts of the country are moving to Chattanooga because of the quality of life combined with structural community support for innovators.

  • Open Source Meets Textbook Publishing – Much Cash Freed Up

    What do you get when you take the open source approach and apply it to textbook publishing? Answer: a whole lot of happy students, thrilled at the chance to save a whole lot of cash. “There’s over $1 trillion in student debt here, and textbooks cost $200 to $300 a pop,” said David Harris, editor-in-chief of OpenStax College. “There’s a great need to help students.”

  • ProcessMaker 2.5: Open source workflow made faster, simpler
  • Automate your common tasks on Linux with AutoKey
  • 5 Key Considerations When Choosing Open Source Statistics Software

    Type “free statistical software” into Google, and it’s not difficult to discover websites listing free and open source statistics packages available at zero cost. Just download them, and run.

  • Open Source Disk Partition Software List Published In Boffin’s Official Site
  • New glossary helps break down common open source related terms

    A couple of months ago, I wrote the first draft of “A Free, Libre and Open Glossary.” I am often frustrated by people using terms like “open source” and “free software” loosely, even though they have fixed and clear definitions. There is a web of terms, many of them using ambiguous terms like “open” or “crowd,” that frequently confuse and blur the issue.

  • Boffin Makes List Of Open Source Network Management Software Public
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome for Android getting more gesture controls

        Mobile browsers are getting quite some love, why not the mobile traffic is increasing manifold. Yesterday we covered how Firefox is revamping its Start Page and Awesonescreen, now Google just announced that they are bringing more gesture based control to the Chrome for Android.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox gets biggest design changes for Android

        The open source browser Firefox is getting the biggest UI changes for its Android browser. Lucas Rocha of Mozilla calls it the “biggest UI change in Firefox for Android since our first native release back in June last year. It took us about 3 months, 147 fixed bugs, and 250 changesets.”

      • Firefox 24: The Road to Australis
      • Mozilla’s Plug-n-Hack Can Integrate Security Tools with Browsers

        “Configuring a browser to work with a security tool can be a non-trivial process, and this can discourage people with less experience from using such tools,” said Mozilla’s Simon Bennett. “Without integration between security tools and browsers, a user must often switch between the tool and their browser several times to perform a simple task, such as intercepting an HTTP(S) request.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Cloud Foundry Event Showcases Open Source PaaS

      Developer interest in cloud-based application delivery platforms is expected to heighten over the next few weeks in the lead up to Cloud Foundry’s Platform industry event. Cloud Foundry, managed by Pivotal and used as a component of IBM’s open cloud architecture, provides an open source, cloud-based platform on which developers can release their applications.

    • Pivotal Boosts Cloud Foundry PaaS with Help from Piston OpenStack

      Piston Cloud, focused on the OpenStack cloud computing platform, has announced that it will donate hardware and developer resources to the Cloud Foundry community, as the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) company joins itself more closely with VMware-spinoff Pivotal. Also, Joshua McKenty, CTO and co-founder of Piston, will join the Cloud Foundry Advisory Board. This partnership between Piston Cloud and Pivotal could have a big impact on the IaaS, PaaS and OpenStack cloud scene.

    • Pivotal Extends Cloud Foundry PaaS With Piston OpenStack

      The open-source Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service is embracing the open-source OpenStack platform to provide infrastructure-as-a-service for its users.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Valencia region government completes switch to LibreOffice

      The administration of the Spanish autonomous region of Valencia has completed its switch to LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity applications. Last week Friday the region’s ICT department announced that the office suite is installed on all of the 120,000 desktop PCs of the administration, including schools and courts. The migration will save the government some 1.5 million euro per year on proprietary software licences.

    • Apache OpenOffice Templates New Site
    • LibreOffice 4.1.1 RC2 Gets New Features on All Platforms

      The Document Foundation has announced that the second Release Candidate version for LibreOffice 4.1.1 is now available for the Linux platform, bringing a lot of bug fixes and improvements.

    • New LibreOffice Update Released

      The Document Foundation yesterday announced the release of LibreOffice 4.0.5, the latest update to the acclaimed 4.0 branch. This is a bug fix update, but it does address 100 bugs and several annoying regressions. All users of the 3.6 and 4.0 branches are encouraged to upgrade.

  • Education

    • Mistakes Being Corrected In IT In Swiss Schools
    • /ch/open: ‘Swiss schools should switch to using open source’

      The Swiss Open Systems User Group /ch/open is calling on schools to switch to using open source, now that these can no longer use a discount contract to purchase proprietary software licences. Their volume licence deal was cancelled earlier this spring, in connection with an ongoing investigation into possible fraud. “Open source is a convenient and practical alternative, promoted also by Educa, the country’s national coordination platform for ICT in education.”

  • Healthcare

    • Why open source is the future of clinical trials

      Clinovo is a Clinical Research Organization (CRO) that partners with life science companies to streamline their clinical trials. Their CTO Marc Desgrousilliers is managing the development of ClinCapture, their open source Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system. In this interview, he tells us more about why healthcare needs open source and why it is the future of clinical trials.

  • Funding

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Ireland agency helps local governments beat open source fear

      Public administrations in Ireland are losing their fear of open source, trying it out in a test environment offered by the country’s Local Government Management Agency (LGMA). In July, the agency publicly announced its so-called Sandbox, a standalone network infrastructure offering a safe, controlled environment. Already in place for a while now, the sandbox helped convince local administrations to implement customer relation management tool SugarCRM and content management system Drupal.

    • Turkmenistan, Champion of Free Software

      One thing I don’t like about StatCounter, besides their numbers, is that many countries list only 7 operating systems, conveniently lumping either GNU/Linux or Android/Linux in with “Other”. Turkmenistan is one that shows both…

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Student programming with Scratch and The Finch

      The growing shortage of qualified programmers, computer scientists and software engineers is gathering significant attention in the media and popular press. Recent efforts from the non-profit organization Code.org have helped shine light on the problem—software is the defining industry of the 21st Century and the pool of skilled talent is slim. Conversely, for students who pursue software development the opportunity for employment is colossal: By the year 2020, it is estimated that there will be one million more programming jobs than available students.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Zombies Needed for Drone Terror

      Even with All the Pro-War Propaganda, The Air Force Can’t Find Enough Drone Pilots

    • Decades Of Failures: Why The CIA Keeps Blowing It

      Every failure has been rewarded with more money — and weakened America’s standing around the world

    • CIA Files Show U.S. Was Involved In Saddam Hussein’s Iranian Gas Attacks, Foreign Policy Reports

      The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.

    • The NYPD Division of Un-American Activities

      After 9/11, the NYPD built in effect its own CIA—and its Demographics Unit delved deeper into the lives of citizens than did the NSA.

    • Educators prepare the next generation of law enforcement, CIA

      Worldwide Counterterrorism Center is also offering people a look inside the CIA.

    • Snipers shoot at UN chemical inspectors in Syria – UN spokesman
    • Syria Presents More Evidence on Mercenaries” Use of Chemical Weapons

      The Syrian Government continues presenting evidence showing that armed opposition groups use chemical weapons, as it seeks to dismantle a media campaign aimed at unleashing a military invasion.

    • US gave Saddam blessing to use toxins against Iranians

      As Washington ponders over whether to hammer Damascus over unidentified use of toxic agents in Syria, declassified CIA documents reveal that 25 years ago the US actually indulged ruthless Saddam Hussein to use chemical warfare gases in war with Iran.

    • The BBC: A Criminal Instrument in the War on Syria

      Evidently, the BBC was not satisfied with the propaganda pieces I referred to in yesterday’s article, so it’s come out with another, equally audacious piece of fiction that reiterates, again without any proof, the same drivel it peddled to us yesterday (and the day before). But what ‘UN’s Angela Kane in Syria urges chemical weapons probe‘ (24/8/13) does is communicate a sense that it (the BBC’s) wishes might yet come true; that the Empire would once again unleash the dogs of war this time on poor, destroyed Syria.

    • What did the Cia Know?

      Fifty years after JFK was assassinated, many files remain secret. Experts believe they will show the CIA knew a lot about Lee Harvey Oswald before he became an assassin, and may have even used him to infiltrate a pro-Castro group

    • Amazon.com lawsuit criticizes handling of CIA contract

      Amazon Web Services’ battle with IBM over a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency has largely played out behind the closed doors of law offices and conference rooms.

    • Report: War Looms: Hundreds of American Troops and CIA Operatives Have Entered Syria

      This is all speculation, of course, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that the US financial system is potentially on the brink of a massive re-collapse, while the Obama administration is actively engaging Syria in what we can only conclude will lead to a broader conflict in the middle east.

    • Was Gilmore the victim of a CIA plot?

      Campaign has made Labour leader look like an opportunist and a back-stabber, writes Gene Kerrigan1

    • Hail Obama, America’s Hypocrite-in-Chief!

      Psychologist Kevin Dutton in his book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, notes that society generally admires and rewards many of the qualities of psychopaths – fearlessness, emotional sterility, supreme confidence, ruthlessness, lack of remorse, refusal to take responsibility, narcissism and delusions of grandeur.

    • Pennsylvania Action Alert: Pass SB999, Help Stop “Indefinite Detention”

      The NDAA of 2012 allows the Federal Government to detain U.S. citizens without due process rights right here in Pennsylvania.

      Citizens suspected of a “crime” without a warrant, a judge, jury or trial.

      Think of Guantanomo Bay right here. They can lock you up and forget about you.

    • The Permanent ‘War on Terror’

      Under these circumstances, anyone who accepts at face value the assurance of government lawyers that laws such as the Patriot Act and NDAA will conform to the Constitution and not walk all over one’s civil rights should, as the old saying goes, have their head examined.

      What we have in the Hedges v. Obama case is yet another very bad precedent. As Judge Forrest had pointed out, “Courts must safeguard core constitutional rights.” The Second Circuit Court of Appeals, clearly not applying the principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) to this situation, has sold out that obligation for a handful of dubious promises.

    • The BBC’s Syrian Chemical Weapons Coverage: An Exercise in Imperial Deception By William Bowles (updated)

      Now you have to ask why the BBC feels it necessary to propagandise on behalf of the UKUS governments? What’s in it for the BBC? Well if it was an independent organisation, there could be no justification for promoting an allegation as fact even when its main UK advocate, Hague himself, can only offer his “belief”. But given as the BBC is the de facto mouthpiece for the UK state, it clearly has to peddle the ‘party line’.

      [...]

      Well at least now the man is admitting that he doesn’t actually know what really happened, and it makes a nonsense of the BBC’s title. But just how compelling the propaganda assault has been (it reminds me somewhat of the media’s coverage of the Boston Bombing), is that ‘progressive’ media outlet, Democracy Now! has just published a piece that’s pretty much in step with the BBC’s coverage, though it does at least entertain the idea that if the Syrian government had done it it had shot itself in the foot and opened the door to direct (as opposed to indirect) foreign intervention, which is what Hague is proposing we do.

    • Beware the US military presence: academic

      WITH US forces in military bases dotted all over the north of the country, Australia is now hard-wired into the American military system, with potentially dangerous consequences, a political studies academic says.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Venezuela to sell oil at ‘fair price’ to Palestinian Authority

      Chavez, who often inveighed against US “imperialism,” also cultivated close relations with Washington’s foes, including Iran and Syria.

    • Canada’s oil pipelines will not build a nation – they are a great swindle

      The only nation-building that is occurring appears to be a coast-to-coast movement of opposition against planned pipelines

    • What if the Ocean Dies?

      The ocean (1) creates more than half of our oxygen; (2) it drives weather systems; (3) it modulates the atmosphere, and (4) it provides vital resources. As it happens, the ocean transcends national borders to maintain life everywhere on Earth. Yet, lamentably, the ocean is used and abused like a local trash dump on the edge of town, circa 1950s. And, connecting the dots of (1) ocean health or (2) ocean degradation and (3) survival of humanity is an exercise easily accomplished because the dots seamlessly connect all the way around the planet.

      In the words of Philippe Cousteau: “The effects of climate change, pollution and over-fishing should be making headlines because the ocean and all of us – and I literally mean all humankind – who depend on its resources are facing the very real prospect of the catastrophic collapse of ocean ecosystems if we continue on our current course.”

    • Cattle—not climate change—killing the Great Barrier Reef

      The Great Barrier Reef is considered one of the great wonders of the world and was granted World Heritage status in 1981. It’s the largest coral reef system composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching for over 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi) over an area of approximately 344,400 square kilometres (133,000 sq mi). The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

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