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07.06.14

Links 6/7/2014: Deepin 2014, Calligra 2.8.5

Posted in News Roundup at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Build the best Linux desktop

      Like all things Linux and open source, users are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a desktop environment (or DE). But this choice that many perceive as freedom, others may also see as a little bewildering and confusing.

      Right after making the soul-shaking decision of switching operating systems and installing an unknown system – by hand no less – a new Linux user is then greeted with weird sounding desktops to choose from with names like Gnome (a mini-desktop perhaps?), KDE (Isn’t that a double-glazing firm?) and Xfce (No idea). What veteran users herald as Linux’s crown jewels, to the innocent newcomer it’s like stumbling into a sci-fi convention where everyone is discussing a new TV series that you’ve never heard of but apparently it’s been around for years.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Pixman 0.32.6 Finally Updated

        The last Pixman stable release happened in November of 2013 while out this weekend is finally a new Pixman release.

        While it’s been more than a half-year since the last stable Pixman release, the changes for the new v0.32.6 release aren’t particularly compelling but still worth pointing out.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • NetworkManagerQt 0.9.8.2 is out

        Plasma NM is going to be part of kde-workspace and as you may know NMQt is a dependency for Plasma NM. Plasma 5 release is approaching and since we may not get NMQt ready for KF5 in time we decided to ship a snapshort of NMQt with kde-workspace so that Plasma NM compiles. In the future we will remove the snapshot and rely on the NMQt in KF5.

      • Final updates to section implementation
      • Calligra 2.8.5 Released

        This is the last but one update to the 2.8 series of the Calligra Suite, and Calligra Active released to fix recently found issues. The Calligra team recommends everybody to update.

        Why is 2.8.4 skipped? Shortly before 2.8.4 release we discovered bug that sneaked in 2.8.2 version and decided to skip the 2.8.4 entirely and quickly release 2.8.5 instead with a proper fix. The bug is related to not showing file formats in Save dialogs.

      • Calligra 2.8.5 Released

        The KDE Community has announced the release of Calligra 2.8.5. “This is the last (and last but one) update to the 2.8 series of the Calligra Suite, and Calligra Active released to fix recently found issues. The Calligra team recommends everybody to update,” says Jarosław Staniek of Calligra community.

      • opportunities presented by multi-process architectures
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Challenge technology competition

        Students from tertiary institutions in seven Asian Pacific countries are invited to attend the 4th Regional Red Hat Challenge – a knowledge-based technology competition.

    • Debian Family

      • I love my MacBookAir with Debian

        I can set the display backlight to zero via software, which saves me a lot of battery life and also offers a bit of anti-spy-acroos-my-shoulder support. WLAN and bluetooth work nicely.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 17 KDE Overview & Screenshots

              Linux Mint 17 ‘Qiana’ KDE and Xfce editions were released late last month, just a few weeks after the main editions (Cinnamon and MATE) were put out. This release will have the same lifespan as the distribution which is based on, Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr, so it will be supported until 2019, for no less than five years.

            • Deepin 2014 Release——Hold Your Dream and Move Forward

              Linux Deepin Project has been officially renamed as “Deepin Project”.

            • Deepin 2014 Linux Distribution Released

              Deepin Linux 2014 is now available as the popular Chinese-developed derivative to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS that features its own lightweight desktop powered using HTML5 and Go with Compiz. The updated desktop in Deepin 2014 is called Deepin Desktop Environment 2.0.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux Foundation introduces Linux for cars

      The connected car is shifting into high gear, and the Linux Foundation wants an open-source platform in the pole position. The non-profit consortium recently announced the debut of Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), a customizable, open-source automotive software stack with Linux at its core.

    • Linux OS Gets New In-Car Interface: ‘Automotive Grade Linux’ Launched

      A common, Linux-based software platform for the ‘connected car’ is one step closer, with the release of Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) this week.

      AGL claims to be the industry’s only ‘fully open’ automotive platform, allowing carmakers to use a standardised single base upon which to build their own user experiences.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Build Android, Chrome apps from the Chromebook

          The app allows you to code through HTML, JavaScript and Dart – Google’s JavaScript-like language, so there is no Java at this time, but you do get Git support.

        • Google Now Is The Killer App For Android Wear

          In the next few months, Google will get some competition from Microsoft, Apple and a few startups in this space. For better or worse, none of them know as much about you as Google does, so it’ll be hard for them to replicate the Google Now experience. That should give Google a bit of an edge against the competition — unless the iWatch turns out to be so amazing that people will buy it even if it just shows the time and phone notifications.

        • Android Circuit: Samsung’s New Galaxy Smartphones, Android Is The Top OS In The US, And The Home Screen On The Front Line

          Taking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit focuses on Samsung’s new Galaxy handsets; Android tops the US market share; the Android ‘L’ changes; Google Play Services’ update for Android Wear support; Android Wear apps arrive in the Play Store; the battle for the home screen continues with Aviate; and what happens next in the smartphone world.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • The AI boss that deploys Hong Kong’s subway engineers

      Hong Kong has one of the world’s best subway systems. It has a 99.9 per cent on time record – far better than London Underground or New York’s subway. It is owned and run by MTR Corporation, which also runs systems in Stockholm, Melbourne, London and Beijing. MTR is now planning to roll out its AI overseer to the other networks it manages.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • VIDEO: Calif. officer beating woman on roadside

      A cellphone video depicting a California Highway Patrol office punching a woman along the side of a freeway Tuesday evening has the agency investigating accusations of excessive force.

    • CIA interrupts info about secret overseas nuclear project

      The Washington Post has published an exclusive report about the US National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, but withheld information of “considerable intelligence value,” including a secret overseas nuclear project.

    • Communication breakdown
    • Extend NATO’s umbrella to Montenegro and Macedonia

      In reacting to Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine, President Obama has reassured exposed NATO members Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia of firm U.S. support. But he has shown little inclination to show needed leadership by putting another integral element of NATO policy on the agenda of September’s Cardiff summit — enlargement of the alliance.

    • The Cost of Iraq War Immunity

      If Official Washington were not the corrupt and dangerous place that it is, the architects and apologists for the Iraq War would have faced stern accountability. Instead, they are still around – holding down influential jobs, making excuses and guiding the world into more wars, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

    • Ukraine’s ‘Terrorists’ Talk.

      A 41-minute documentary has been produced and is online, “Ukraine Crisis Today,” interviewing “terrorists” (as our side calls them) who have been bombed by the Ukrainian Government. We — that is, the United States — installed this Ukrainian government, on February 22nd, in a coup (falsely presented as a democracy movement, but run actually by the U.S. CIA and two Ukrainian fascist parties) against Ukraine’s democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych. The government that we installed is now bombing the areas of Ukraine where the voters had voted overwhelmingly for Yanukovych, in Ukraine’s last national election, which took place during February 2010. Our side calls the residents of the Yanukovich-supporting areas “terrorists.” Those are the people our Ukrainian regime bombs.

    • Kiev promises war against Russia?
    • NYT Dishes More Ukraine Propaganda

      The mainstream U.S. media continues to sell the American people a one-sided storyline on the Ukraine crisis as the Kiev regime celebrates a key military victory at Slovyansk, an eastern city at the center of ethnic Russian resistance to last February’s violent coup that ousted elected President Yanukovych.

    • The world’s most dangerous ideology

      Halliburton, which offers a myriad of services, including oil field work, plus construction work, benefits when countries are “bombed to the stone age,” since those same countries need to be rebuilt. Angelo Young describes the war-profiteering in Cheney’s Halliburton Made $39.5 Billion On Iraq War…

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Finance

    • 2014 Job Creation Faster in States that Raised the Minimum Wage

      At the beginning of 2014, 13 states increased their minimum wage. Of these 13 states, four passed legislation raising their minimum wage (Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island). In the other nine, their minimum wage automatically increased in line with inflation at the beginning of the year (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington state).

    • It’s time to revive public ownership and the common good

      It might sound like an oxymoron, but this is a positive article about public services. So effectively has the coalition rebranded an economic crisis caused by private greed as the consequence of public ownership, that nationalisation has come to be seen as a universally discredited hangover from bad old Labour. So while current Labour is considering taking back parts of the rail network into public ownership the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, last weekend was intoning the neoliberal catechism: “I don’t want to go back to the nationalisation of the 1970s.”

  • Censorship

    • Keith Vaz criticises Home Office for losing sex abuse files

      Files which may be linked to child abuse claims seem to have been lost “on an industrial scale” at the Home Office, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee has said.

      The Home Office has said its own review last year found that 114 potentially relevant files could not be located.

      Keith Vaz MP said it was “a huge surprise” that so much potential evidence had gone missing.

      Lord Tebbit said he hoped any review would be conducted quickly.

      Number 10 has rejected calls for an over-arching public inquiry into historical child abuse claims.

    • What Google isn’t doing with requests for search redaction

      Newspapers are now accusing Google of censoring their articles every time that a search result is being removed in relation to one of their articles. However, what the very lazy journalists are not doing is testing the search results to see if any of the key figures are likely to have gained the redaction, at least not before telling the world about it.

    • Being an annoying person is a crime now, as it should be

      A law against being annoying in public was recently approved by the British House of Commons and sent to the House of Lords, which vetoed it. This was no surprise since Lords themselves are horribly annoying, with their castles and silly titles. (For example, does “Lord Privy Seal” means what it says, which is “Lord Toilet Sea-Mammal”?)

    • Colleges are slowly taking away your First Amendment rights
    • The right to be forgotten will turn the internet into a work of fiction

      We will all die, and we will all be forgotten, in the end. I’m still unsophisticated enough to find that sad. But society seems fairly stoical about it, to say the least. These days thousands are campaigning for “the right to die” and “the right to be forgotten” as if they’re genuinely worried it might otherwise not happen.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

Bill Gates Pushed Out of States by Better Informed Teachers

Posted in Bill Gates at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ravitch's book

Summary: Bill Gates’ private (for-profit) coup against public education is being impeded by people whom it negatively affects

SOME time ago it was reported in local media that Indiana had been getting out of the Bill Gates-imposed Common Core regime. Bill Gates apparently bribed not enough lawmakers, politicians, newspapers and non-profit origanisations over there. Passing taxpayers’ money to private pockets didn’t work as smoothly as expected.

According to new backlash against Gates, led by more public figures like Professor Diane Ravitch who wants Bill Gates investigated, it is “Good Riddance to Common Core Testing”, at least in some states:

Bill Gates’ money helped foist Common Core on Indiana

Indiana is no longer alone in abandoning the Common Core academic standards.

Oklahoma and South Carolina are pulling out, and North Carolina is headed for the door as well. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is taking his state out of the national standards, provoking a conflict with the state’s education superintendent and causing uncertainty about state testing in the fall.

Bill Gates is hardly any different from the Kochs. He has better marketing and he buys more media outlets than the Kochs, at the cost of around one million dollars per day. He does all this abusive lobbying while he keeps pretending to do charity (he hoards billions of additional dollars at times of recession), using heavy PR and bribed press. For people among world’s top 10 for wealth, the cost of bribing lots of papers and officials is by far outweighed by the profit this generates and Gates has been an incredibly useful example of this.

Here is a new and rather long article that covers some of the angles we have talked about before (although we may not agree with everything it says):

COMMON CORE WILL MAKE BILL GATES RICHER

[...]

Common Core will be used for “data mining.” In May 2012 Charles Scaliger wrote in The New American that “in the sagebrush desert of Bluffdale, Utah, in the shadow of the Wasatch mountains, a vast new federal surveillance and intelligence processing center is being erected. The so-called Utah Data Center, operated by the National Security Agency, will occupy more than a million square feet when it becomes operational sometimes next year.

Coincidentally this Data Center was completed in 2013 about the same time Common Core was being promoted by such organizations as the National Governors Association (which helps state governments get federal grants) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (which claims to provide leadership, advocacy and technical assistance on major educational issues) – started work on a common set of curriculum standards in English language arts and mathematics while using such deceitful words as “state led” and “voluntary.”

Thankfully, a lot of people now realise that not only in the education sector is Gates doing great harm. Former managers from Microsoft link to our articles about Gates, perhaps realising what was inconvenient to believe when Microsoft paid their salary.

Microsoft Struggling to Make Sales and More Future Products Axed

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 8, Windows at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lack of demand

End of season

Summary: The software bully which manipulates its financial reports is said to be unable to sell the latest Windows and a new Microsoft product running this version of Windows is axed before arrival

Microsoft’s criminal behaviour does not work quite so well in hardware, where bribes are harder to get budget for (unlike with software, which can be copied infinitely). Microsoft was already forced to kill many products and divisions and it has many famous failures in hardware, including Kin, Windows Mobile, and Xbox (which lost money). Now we learn that Microsoft has ditched yet another product. This article uses promotional language which fails to explain what a colossal failure Surface has been (the big table as well as the tablets with the same brand name).

Based on other reports like this one from ZDNet (citing the Microsoft-funded Net Applications), right after China banned Vista 8 and various countries/businesses rejected it for technical reasons:

Net Applications has found that Windows 8.x actually lost user share in June 2014, while Windows 7 has really been the operating system to gain from XP’s end of support.

This is not good for Microsoft’s financial bottom line. It’s also embarrassing because it shows systematic pushback.

Another ZDNet report says that Microsoft enables XP to still receive patches (a month ago IDG reported inaction from XP users). The NSA is going to benefit from this as more PCs have lots of back doors piling up. The NSA flags GNU/Linux users (or people who read GNU/Linux sites) for extra surveillance, based on leaked source code. Those who want security (e.g. Russia, China, Korea) will surely move to GNU/Linux very soon.

Internet of Things Alliance Now Has a Mole, Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Squirrel

Summary: The Internet of Things Alliance has just let the mole, Microsoft, dip its finger in the competition, as it so often does in order to derail the competition

The poorly-named “AllSeen Alliance” (or Internet of Things Alliance) is about to find out that it doesn’t pay off to welcome Microsoft. Resistance and antagonism are defence mechanisms here.

OpenStack learned that Microsoft involvement is trouble, as it had ushered in a proprietary culture (secrecy, neglect, technical incompatibilities, and distrust-inducing NSA back doors). The same goes for OpenDaylight, which is another way Microsoft got its foot inside the Linux Foundation (directly, not through Nokia or Novell).

While there is propaganda from Microsoft-bribed circles (e.g. Om Malik, who received Microsoft money and apparently still receives money from Microsoft to publicly openwash them as well as whitewash Nadella) it is clear that Microsoft is not an Open Source friend but a foe. Microsoft is doing so much to harm FOSS, as we shall continue to show perhaps for years to come (if Microsoft is still around).

IDG said that “Microsoft backs open source for the Internet of Things” (widely cited article), but it’s not clear what the word “backs” should be taken as. Microsoft competes with FOSS and Linux in this area, so Microsoft probably “backs” the Internet of Things in the same way that Microsoft “backs” ODF or the NSA “backs” Germany (see related news which fall outside the scope of this one particular post).

Having proprietary software inside a supposedly open initiative, just like in OpenDaylight, is a very dumb idea. In past years we covered examples where Microsoft was revealed to have pressured groups (rival groups) to let them in. Some successfully resisted and some admittedly perished after they had caved in for Microsoft’s manipulative mind game (e.g. complaining about exclusion and intolerance).

“Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” is what one of our readers immediately called the above news. One pro-GNU/Linux pundit stated: “Microsoft, like most companies, does what it is in its own interests, and I think joining the AllSeen Alliance is truly a marriage of convenience. So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t interpret this move by Microsoft as marking some new attitude toward open source. It seems to be something that is clearly rooted in Microsoft’s self-interest rather than any shared open source vision.”

The Linux Foundation has once again let a malicious mole in. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before there are complaints from within. It always happens sooner or later.

The more moles the Linux Foundation brings in (Microsoft or its allies), the harder it will become for it to prevent entryism. Just look what happened to Nokia.

Links 6/7/2014: Korea’s Domestic GNU/Linux Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 2:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • CMS

    • How Card.com Is Securing Itself and Its Users With Open Source

      “We’re heavily involved in Drupal. I’m a member of the Drupal security team and the former lead of the team for over two years,” Knaddison said. “So it’s an area where we have a fair amount of expertise and depth, and we feel that our situation is best served by fixing vulnerabilities directly in the software itself.”

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source to help Wales protect environment

      Using open source software solutions is helping a Welsh pilot project to manage flood risks and provide a stepping stone for future research. The Citizen Observatory Web (Cobweb) project involves citizens using their smartphone or tablets, to submit data observations within the Dyfi area in Wales, to help collect environmental data for use in evidence based policy.

    • S Korea to break away from Windows by 2020

      South Korea said that it will move away from Windows in the future to avoid dependency on the Microsoft operating system, citing the fact that Windows XP is no longer supported.

    • Korean govt to turn its back on Microsoft… and use what instead, Hangul?

      Usage of idiosyncratic software could push the Korean government away from Microsoft’s offerings and into open-source OSes like Linux

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • INTERVIEW: DAMIAN CONWAY

      Damian Conway is one of the Guardians of Perl (our term) and one of Perl 6′s chief architects. But he’s chiefly a computer scientist, a brilliant communicator and an educator. His presentations are often worth crossing continents for. He was the Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information Technology at Melbourne’s Monash University between 2001 and 2010, and has run courses on everything from Regular Expressions for Bioinformatics to Presentation Aikido (and of course, lots of Perl). Which is why, when we discovered he was making a keynote at this year’s QCon conference in London in March, we braved train delays and the sardine travelling classes of the London Underground to meet him opposite Westminster Abbey.

Leftovers

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