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01.06.12

Links 6/1/2012: Alpine Linux 2.3.3, Mandriva in Danger

Posted in News Roundup at 9:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux sex life – An illustrated story
  • Desktop

    • ThinkPad X1 Hybrid packs both x86 and ARM processors

      Lenovo has announced a 13.3-inch notebook computer that has both Intel and ARM processors. The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid combines an Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon, allowing users to toggle between Windows 7 and a Linux-based “Instant Media Mode” operating system whenever they want.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Razer BlackWidow, Other Products On Linux?

      The Razer BlackWidow is an incredibly well constructed mechanical keyboard, but how well does it work under Linux? Has the Razer product support at Linux improved at all recently?

      A few weeks ago I picked up the Razer BlackWidow keyboard for my main machine in the office. I didn’t pick-up this keyboard for any gaming, but rather having been a big fan of their mice, keyboards, and other peripherals over the years. Razer is obviously a gaming-focused company, but their many products I’ve either bought or received as samples have been wonderful. The build quality is great along with an impressive feature-set and being very reliable.

    • Did Your System Take A Dive With Linux 3.2?

      If you upgraded today to the just-released Linux 3.2 kernel and your Intel system is now having problems booting this new kernel release, you’re not alone, but here’s a possible workaround.

      A regression struck the Linux 3.2 kernel concerning IOMMU and is still present in the final release of Linux 3.2. The issue didn’t appear during the 3.2 merge window but later on in the cycle (if my memory serves me when I first struck the issue, it was around -rc2 or -rc3) and results in the kernel not successfully booting.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Success of GNU/Linux on the Desktop

      GNU/Linux has been a success on the desktop with every distro I have tested since 2000: Caldera eDesktop, Mandrake, Slackware, K12LTSP, Fedora, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian GNU/Linux and a few others I forget (failure of my memory, not the distros). Government, education, business, individuals, OEMs all use it successfully. Consider what some might call a failure on the desktop, Dell and Ubuntu. Just because Dell.com looks like a GNU/Linux desert means nothing. That’s in the home country of M$, the Great Satan of operating systems. Dell is selling GNU/Linux like hotcakes in China. It’s a wild success. They have 220 bricks-and-mortar stores pushing the product.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • 3.3.3 Of GNOME Shell, Mutter Try To Fix Things Up

        Version 3.3.3 packages of GNOME Shell and Mutter were independently released today. These latest development snapshots in the road to GNOME 3.4 mainly try to address outstanding issues.

        There’s already been numerous advancements in the road to GNOME 3.4, but for the 3.3.3 release of the GNOME Shell and for the Mutter compositing window manager there isn’t too much to get excited about.

  • Distributions

    • Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, Ubuntu: Which Linux desktop is for you?

      There are more interesting Linux desktop distributions to choose from than ever before. However, if you’re looking for major distros with a great deal of support, you’ll want to look at the big four: Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.

      Each has its own outlook and methods. Thanks to Linux’s customizability, you could take any of them and completely revamp it, if you wish. But unless your idea of a good time is operating system hacking, chances are you’ll want a distribution that already meets your needs.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva in danger of closing its doors

        Mandriva S.A. hasn’t had an easy time of it, even after emerging from bankruptcy in 2006. Formerly MandrakeSoft, the company merged with Brazilian Linux vendor and former UnitedLinux partner Connectiva in 2005.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Introduces Storage Solutions Software for Enterprises

        Red Hat, Inc., the pioneer in Open Source solutions has unveiled its new integrated product for storage solutions, the “Red Hat Storage Software Appliance” for Enterprises. The software can be deployed on a list of compatible hardware through an ISO image file. It offers support for mission critical and latency-sensitive data. It is even POSIX complaint, hence easing the deployment. The software makes use of GlusterFS 3.2, which provides scale-out storage solutions, without having to use the monolithic platforms, which are costly. The software comes as a balm on the fear that Open Source software isn?t capable of providing storage solutions for huge chunks of data.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Geospatial services with FLOSS: Interview with Oslandia

    In this interview Olivier Courtin and Vincent Picavet, founders of geospatial service provider Oslandia, share with us their business story, some advice and how free and open source geospatial software plays a major role in their company. Enjoy the interview!

  • Why open source needs Simon Cowell

    With apologies for the sensationalist headline, Simon Brew wonders how to get a realistic debate going in the modern world…

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Can Mozilla Unify Open Source?

        This week saw a quiet landmark in the history of the open source movement with the formal release of version two of the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2) and its approval as an official open source license. While to many it may look like just another legal detail, it is significant both for the way it was conducted and for the intent with which it has been created. This is a license aimed at unity.

        Drafting and reviewing the license has been a very open process, for which Luis Villa deserves much credit. Conducted mostly on open forums, the discussion has led to many revisions of the text. Luis also approach the Open Source Initiative early, accepting input from the License Review group and obtaining the Board’s approval easily.

  • CMS

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA Discovers Open Source Planet

      NASA, like many mega organisations uses Free Software or Open Source due to the uncountable advantes it has over the proprietary technologies. NASA has been a user of open source forever, but we did not see much code coming out. Which is totally fine. You don’t have to relase the code of the work that you use. But, if you do it will benefit everyone.

      In addition, if the code is of no use to the rest of the world, there is no point in releasing it either. However, a lot of what NASA does enhances the quality of life and software is no exception.

Links 6/1/2012: KDE SC 4.8 is Coming, Tails 0.10 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • “Is this even LEGAL?”

    Chuckle. That was the reaction of one person to discovering GNU/Linux after being disgusted by that other OS falling down. After hearing so much about restrictions on copying in that other OS and the cost of repairing it repeatedly, the thought of Free Software for $0 does seem strange. “How can this be?” is reasonable, but the answer is simple: The world needs software and can make its own. The world does not need to sell itself software that it makes for itself any more than you need to pay yourself for mowing your lawn or washing your dishes. You don’t charge visitors for their enjoyment of your lawn and eating from clean plates. It’s a chore that needs to be done in the modern world and millions of contributors can share the software by including a licence to use and copy with the software that you can download and run, install, share and even examine and modify.

  • Linux Will Eat Oracle’s Lunch in 2012, Says Analyst

    In 2012, a shocking number of enterprises will slink away from Oracle into the arms of competitors Red Hat and SUSE, new market research finds. This comes even though Oracle has its own flavor of Linux that is basically a copy of Red Hat’s.

  • How to Craft a Killer Cover Letter for Linux Jobs
  • Lenovo Delivers Hybrid Laptop, Switches Between Linux and Windows
  • It’s CES Early! Lenovo Trots Out ThinkPad Ultrabook, X1 Linux Hybrid

    The hybrid’s pictured up top, dubbed the X1 Hybrid, a 13.3-inch (1366 by 768 pixel LED display) Thinkpad wielding your choice of Intel core i3, i5 or i7 CPUs and up to 8GB of memory. It runs Windows, of course, but lets you switch over to Linux with the press of a button if you want to max out battery life, something Lenovo’s calling Instant Media Mode (IMM). IMM mode runs off a Qualcomm dual core processor and can access up to 16GB of memory. “To switch to IMM from Windows, users simply click on an icon on the laptop’s home screen,” says Lenovo. “With IMM, users can watch videos, view photos, listen to music, browse the web and even work on documents with double the battery life, up to 10 hours.” Look for all that in a 0.6-inch thin chassis with your choice of 320GB or 160GB solid state drive for storage. The price: About $1,599, says Lenovo, and it’ll be available in Q2 2012.

  • 2012 to be year of Linux domination

    Previously, I’ve called out years for non-desktop Linux in 2008, Linux in both the low and high-ends of the market in 2009, ‘hidden’ Linux in 2010 and last year, cloud computing in 2011. For 2012, I see continued growth, prevalence, innovation and impact from Linux, thus leading to a 2012 that is dominated by Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Going All-FOSS With a New Computer

      There are many different ways to define “free” software, noted Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “Some software costs money, some costs more in terms of time. Some software has more restrictions attached to it. And just as previous generations wasted their time arguing about angels dancing on pin-heads, today’s pin-heads dance around shouting why their definition of ‘Free’ is the only one that matters.”

    • Switching off Apple and going back to my old Mutt

      I BOUGHT a Lenovo Thinkpad X220 today. After a few years’ foray into the world of Macs, I’m moving back to using Linux as my desktop.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.2 kernel released: What you need to know

      After a long delay due to kernel.org being hacked in August 2011, Linux 3.2 has finally been released. It’s a whopper of a release with optimizations and tweaks in nearly every facet of the OS; here’s the rundown of what’s new inside and why you want to upgrade to it.

    • What’s Coming For The Linux 3.3 Kernel DRM Pull

      Now that the Linux 3.2 kernel is released, the Linux 3.3 kernel merge window is open. Here’s a quick look at what should be queued up for the Linux 3.3 kernel when it comes to the DRM graphics area.

    • The kernel column with Jon Masters – a look back at 2011

      This month Jon Masters takes a break from looking at the very latest developments in the Linux kernel community, to bring two New Year special editions of his column. We start with a look back at 2011 with a look into the future to follow…

    • Linux Rings in the New Year with 3.2 Kernel
    • Fusion-io demos billion IOPS server config

      Start transforming your infrastructure today with HP

      Fusion-io has achieved a billion IOPS from eight servers in a demonstration at the DEMO Enterprise event in San Francisco.

      The cracking performance needed just eight HP DL370 G6 servers, running Linux 26.35.6-45 on two, 6-core Intel processors, 96GB RAM. Each server was fitted with eight 2.4TB ioDrive2 Duo PCIE flash drives; that’s 19.2TB of flash per server and 153.6TB of flash in total.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Makes Second 4.8 Release Candidate Available

        January 5, 2012. Today KDE released the second release candidate for its renewed 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 new and old functionality. Please give this release another good round of testing to help us release a rock-solid 4.8 later this month.

      • KDE SC 4.8 Will Be Released In Two Weeks
  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi Lands eBay Bidding Up To $2,700 USD

      The Raspberry Pi beta boards that are currently auctioning on eBay are reaching bids of up to $2,700 USD. The retail version will sell for $25 and $35 USD.

    • Someone Is Paying $US3000 For This Tiny PC
    • Here’s A Good Sign That HP’s Decision To Open Source WebOS Will Pay Off
    • Phones

      • Taiwan market: Smartphones account for 55% of total handset sales in December

        Sales of smartphones in the Taiwan market totaled 450,000 units in December 2011, accounting for a 55% share of a total of 820,000 handsets sold in the month, according to data compiled by local channel operators.

      • Android

        • High Noon – Android/Linux v “8″ on ARM in 2012

          Is a monopoly any longer a monopoly when OEMs have a choice? Nope. Free Software trumps non-free when it comes to small cheap computers. ARM is not going away and in 2012 every consumer on the planet will have a chance to own an ARMed PC. By 2013 the competition to sell ARMed PCs will swamp the x86 shipments and Wintel will be out in the cold looking in at the warmth of the fire.

        • Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Kernel Source Code Hits The Open Source Release Center

          While we’ve yet to actually see a release date for the Galaxy Tab 7.7 that Samsung debuted back in September, the company has now dropped the kernel source code for the device. In the past, this usually indicates an impending release, so we’re willing to bet that availability will be officially announced at CES next week.

        • Google TV switches to Marvell’s new dual-core ARM SoC
        • Making VoIP Calls With Your Android Phone
        • Should Android and Linux marry?

          There have been thoughts and speculation floating around the web recently of Android and Linux merging again. What gets me is that everybody seems to be speaking and thinking of Android as a separate operating system. It is not! Android is just as much Linux based as the Linux based distribution you are using right now.

          Admittedly it has the Linux internals locked away from the average Joe Citizen. However, any free shell program allows you to explore the Linux under the hood. Not only that, any of the many availiable rooting methods (hmmmm reminds me of a joke about a koala :P) will allow you to do anything on an Android device you can do on a major Linux distribution. The closest I can come to another example is MacOSx. The MacOSx is at it’s heart a BSD operating system. Which has had a pretty interface and api wrapped around it and marketed for mucho mula. Android is pretty much the same situation for mobile devices, only the mucho mula comes from the hardware sales :)

        • Motorola announces pair of new Androids for Europe, China, and other markets

          Motorola Mobility today announced a pair of new Android smartphones for Europe, China, and other markets. Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, these two are designed to offer consumers affordable choices that best fit their unique personalities. On one hand we have the MOTOLUXE, a slim touch-only handset with a 4.0-inch display and on the other we have the DEFY MINI with its water-resistant and dustproof design. Both come in a variety of color options and will be on display at CES next week. We’ll be in Las Vegas and expect to get our hands on each model and will be happy to share our early impressions.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Google tablet PC believed to be targeting Kindle Fire

        As Google reportedly may launch an own-brand tablet PC to compete against Apple’s iPad, sources from Google’s upstream supply chain believe that Google, instead of Apple, may actually be targeting Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire as its major competitor. However, Google Taiwan commented that the company has never heard about plan of launching own-brand tablet PC.

Free Software/Open Source

  • HBase, Node.js, nginx, Hadoop Make Big Enterprise Inroads
  • Web Browsers

    • QupZilla Browser: one web browser, three niche features

      Just how do you establish a niche in the browser market when it is already saturated with so many competitors? Well, you could use Webkit and QT, throw in a few neat features and see where that takes you. That’s exactly what the developers at QupZilla did. So, I decided to take a look at the substance behind that quirky name.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 3.6 Support To end On April 24, 2012

        We all knew that the day would come eventually when Mozilla would pull the plug on Firefox 3.6. According to new information posted on the Firefox Extended Support page, that day will be April 24, 2012. This is directly connected to the announcement that Firefox 10 will be the company’s first Extended Support Release (ESR).

      • The Mozilla Public License version 2.0 is out—and GPL-compatible!

        Earlier this week, the Mozilla Foundation published the Mozilla Public License (MPL) version 2.0. This is a major update to their flagship license, which covers most of the Foundation’s own free software projects, as well as others’.

      • Firefox wants to be your business buddy Web browser again

        Mozilla, the group behind the Firefox Web browser, has finally gotten a clue that business users don’t like constant updates. On the Mozilla wiki page, Mozilla admits to what many of us have known for a long time: Firefox’s recent rapid-fire release schedule was way too fast for corporate and institutional users.

  • Databases

    • CouchDB creator distances self from Apache project

      Damian Katz, creator of CouchDB, has announced that he is moving on from Apache CouchDB development to focus his efforts on Couchbase. In a blog posting he calls the merger of the CouchDB and Membase technologies in Couchbase Server “a product and project with similar capabilities and goals, but more faster, more scalable, more customer and developer focused” adding “And definitely not part of Apache”.

    • CouchDB creator moves on, sparking debate over open source dev

      The future of CouchDB is Couchbase Server. That according to CouchDB founder Damien Katz, who took to his blog to explain why he and others on the CouchDB team are regrouping around a more commercially focused offering within Couchbase, the company created in early 2011 when NoSQL startup Membase bought Katz’s CouchDB-focused CouchOne. While the decision might make business sense, not everyone is happy about it.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Funding

    • GrabCAD grabs $4M for open-source CAD

      GrabCAD, a specialist in open-source CAD software, has netted $4.2 million in new funding from its existing VC backers. Plus, David Skok, the general partner with one of those backers, Matrix Partners, has joined GrabCAD’s board. The news was outlined in a blog post on Thursday by GrabCAD president Hardi Meybaum. Skok has some CAD cred: He is on the board of Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks, a maker of 3-D CAD (or computer-aided design) software. Engineers use this kind of software to design products on-screen.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • XBMC 11 enters beta, final desktop version of Boxee 1.5 arrives

      As the XBMC developers release the first beta of version 11.0 of their open source media centre software, the Boxee developers announce that the newly released version 1.5 of their media centre software will also be the last open source version.

    • LibreCAD 1.0 released

      LibreCAD version 1.0 has been released. The free software 2D CAD program for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows is based on the open source community edition of RibbonSoft’s QCAD. LibreCAD is the result of a project which was started in order to add CAM capabilities to QCAD to drive a CNC router. That project, originally called CADuntu, set out to port the QCAD software so that it used Qt4 rather than the now outdated Qt3 before enhancing the software further. LibreCAD 1.0.0 now has a Qt4 user interface but is, for various reasons, not yet Qt3 free. An interface for plugins, autosaving and improved DXF file reading has also been added.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Five essential elements of an open government unconference

      Joining the open source (and CityCamp) movement has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve been involved with open source for over a decade, but I never got involved in a community project in any significant way–until I found CityCamp. I haven’t submitted a single line of code, but I’m able to bring my project management and community-building skills to the table. That’s important because it highlights the fact that there is more to open source contributions than writing code.

    • NASA launches open source web site

      NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the US, has launched code.nasa.gov, a web site that will serve as the central source of information about the agency’s open source projects. The site, which is still in early alpha, is intended to help unify and expand NASA’s open source activities.

    • NASA opens it Open-Source Code Doors

      Back in the 1980s, I was writing open-source programs for NASA. Oh, we didn’t call it open source then. Open source as a term wouldn’t exist until 1998. All the code we produced was “free software,” but we didn’t call it that either. We just made the best code we could and shared it with people. It was a different time. Many of these programs were made available under the COSMIC software project. Today, NASA is centralizing its open-source offerings at the Code NASA Web-site.

    • One small step: NASA launches open source portal, aims to open more code
    • NASA boldly goes deeper into open source with code.NASA
  • Programming

    • IDEs Are Dead. Long Live the IDE!

      How will developers’ favorite working environments evolve in a cloud-based, post-PC world?

    • SourceForge Embraces Mirror Projects

      SourceForge, the FOSS friendly site has expanded it’s nest with the new SourceForge Open Source Mirror Directory, whose job is to provide a directory that mirrors projects that are not hosted on their site. They are already busy adding non-Sourceforge Open Source software projects to the new directory. This will include a description of the product, links to their official website, and a mirror of their software releases.

    • SourceForge now mirroring external projects
    • Oracle Advances Open Source NetBeans

      Oracle is out with its first major open source IDE release of the year, updating NetBeans to version 7.1 The new NetBeans release builds on the Java SE 7 support first introduced in NetBeans 7.0 in April 2011.

      A key focus of the NetBeans 7.1 release is enhanced support for developers building user interfaces with JavaFX 2.0, CSS 3 and Swing.

      “For me, NetBeans 7.1 is all about the user’s interface,” Bill Pataky, vice president of Product Management for tools and frameworks, told InternetNews.com.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Hungary: Open standards for documents

      The Hungarian government has decided that, from April 2012, public administrations in Hungary should only provide official documents in internationally recognised open standards-based document formats and must be able to accept and process such documents. Quoting Hungarian media, a report on the EU Joinup collaboration platform said that only the Ministry of Defence will have more time to switch to using open document formats.

Leftovers

  • Nokia: There will be NO smartphone division selloff to Microsoft

    Rumours that Nokia is about to sell its smartphone division to Microsoft and that CEO Stephen Elop will jump after closing the deal have been denied yet again by the Finnish phone-makers.

    The suggestion that Nokia will sell off their crown jewels to Redmond has been rebuffed before, and even had an impact on the markets last year, but despite the Finns repeated denials, the rumour simply won’t go away.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • A Punch to the Mouth – Food Price Volatility Hits the World

      2011 was an abysmal year for the global insurance industry, which had to cover yet another enormous increase in damages from natural disasters. Unknown to most casual observers is the fact that during the past few decades the frequency of weather-related disasters (floods, fires, storms) has been growing at a much faster pace than geological disasters (such as earthquakes). This spread between the two types of insurable losses has moved so strongly that it prompted Munich Re to note in a late 2010 letter that weather-related disasters due to wind have doubled and flooding events have tripled in frequency since 1980. The world now has to contend with a much higher degree of risk from weather and climate volatility, and this has broad-reaching implications.

  • Finance

    • Crowd-Sourcing the Revolving Door

      This chart of Venn Diagrams (New Year’s Day links) is a nifty visualization[1] that shows how many, many people, through the operations of Washington’s revolving door, have held high-level positions both in the Federal government and in major corporations. To take but one example, the set of all Treasury Secretaries includes Hank Paulson and Bob Rubin, which overlaps with the set of all Goldman Sachs COOs. The overlapping is pervasive. Political scientists and the rest of us have names for such cozy arrangements — oligarchy, corporatism, fascism, “crony capitalism” — but one name that doesn’t apply is democracy. On the flip, you’ll find a larger version of the chart (and a discussion of its provenance).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Defending media pluralism in Hungary*

      Over recent weeks serious questions have been asked by the European Commission about 30 new laws in Hungary, including a major constitutional revision, and these concerns continue. These laws have passed against the backdrop of a media law adopted in late 2010, which was found by the European Commission to put fundamental rights at risk, and by the Hungarian courts to breach the Hungarian constitution.

  • Copyrights

    • It Is Time To Stop Pretending To Endorse The Copyright Monopoly

      There is a saying in the political discussion in Sweden: “Anything you say before but in a political statement doesn’t count.” We’ve seen a lot of that practice in recent years with increasingly horrendous cultural monopoly laws.
      People in corporate and political suits alike are climbing on top of one another to be the most statesmanlike in stating “We are fully committed to the copyright monopoly, but these proposed enforcement laws are just nuts,” worded in all the synonyms you can find in a thesaurus.

01.05.12

Links 5/1/2012: Linux 3.2 Released, Android Devices Unlocked

Posted in News Roundup at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Apache OpenOffice (Incubating)

      I suspect that finding the newly christened and newly energised project and application formerly known as “OpenOffice.org” is less than super easy for some. So, the link is there… Right now, I’m using the latest build for Mac OS X of Apache OpenOffice (thanks to Raphael Bircher!), and not only is it stable but fast. I’ve also added the usual extensions, etc.

  • CMS

    • Dries’ vision for Drupal 8

      In January last year the developers of popular open source content management system Drupal celebrated the release of version 7. Drupal 7 included significant architectural changes as well as usability enhancements.

  • Licensing

    • Mozilla overhauls for version 2.0 of public licence

      Patent protection and modernisation to reflect recent changes in copyright law have been addressed. The MPL 2.0 has also been polished to “incorporate feedback from lawyers outside the United States on issues of applicability in non-US jurisdictions”.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • The US Economy in 2012 – Two Big Problems, Two Ready Solutions

      A number of Obama’s historical allies feel that the President missed a major opportunity by not embracing the Simpson-Bowles blueprint when it was first released a year ago.

      [...]

      “Ronald Reagan once said,” writes Christina Romer in her concluding paragraph, “‘There are simple answers – there just are not easy ones.’ What needs to happen on fiscal policy is relatively straightforward. The hard part is getting politicians to do it.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Real “Winner” in Iowa: New “Super” Front Groups That Are Super Corrupting Our Democracy Thanks to “Citizens United”

      Contrary to most press accounts, there was a decisive winner in the Iowa caucuses last night, and it was neither Rick Santorum nor Mitt Romney. The “winner” was the so-called “Super” PACs (political action committees), the mutant front groups for political candidates that were “created” in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision that unleashed corporations and billionaires to spend unlimited money influencing elections. The losers were the American people and the integrity of the democratic process, which is so vulnerable to attack ads and other influence funded by the 1%.

    • “Energy in Depth,” “Counter-Insurgency” Tactics, and Astroturf “Energy Citizens”

      The corporations pushing for expanded “hydraulic fracturing” (“fracking”) for “natural gas” are putting big money into PR campaigns due to growing citizen concerns about this damaging drilling process. At a “Media and Stakeholder Relations: Hydraulic Fracturing Initiative 2011″ meeting this winter, an industry representative went so far as to suggest that industry public relations agents download the U.S. Army/Marine Corps’ “Counterinsurgency Field Manual.” He noted that it would be helpful because the industry is “dealing with an insurgency.”

    • Mitt Romney’s “Super” Friends Take Aim through the “Restore Our Future” Super PAC

      The PAC Is Run by Romney’s Former Campaign Strategist Carl Forti

      The pro-Romney Super PAC that carpet-bombed Iowa with ads against Gingrich is led by Carl Forti. Forti is the man who ran Romney’s campaign for president in 2008. He was perhaps Romney’s closest advisor and strategist when Romney placed second in Iowa four years ago.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Challenging Counterfeit Counterfeiting Data

      Julian Sanchez has an excellent post at the CATO website debunking claims in the U.S. on the financial impact of counterfeiting and piracy, which is being used to promote the dangerous Stop Online Piracy Act. The post focuses on the fake $250 billion per year claim that is frequently invoked by copyright lobby groups, noting that the number is not based on an actual study but rather a 1991 sidebar in Forbes that took a guess at the global market. In 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office examined the counterfeiting data claims and found that they could not be substantiated and last year the Social Sciences Research Council released a massive study on counterfeiting and piracy that thoroughly debunked the claims.

    • Copyrights

      • Piracy is not a problem; SOPA is not a solution

        Recently, as I was browsing the shelves of my local used book store, I realized that I was engaged in “piracy” of exactly the same kind as what the legacy entertainment industry has slammed as a scourge so terrible that it is worthy of giving up our online freedoms to protect. This is what SOPA is supposed to protect us from.

      • Disaffection with Jamendo among artists

        Jamendo has been one of my favorite sites for finding free-licensed music (i.e. music licensed under Creative Commons Attribution or Attribution-ShareAlike licenses) for projects. So, it’s very sad for me to find out that it has had a flagging reputation over the last year or so. I first noticed earlier this year that some artists were disappearing from the site. Originally, I attributed this to artists becoming disaffected with free culture in general, which worried me a lot.

        However, I’ve had a chance to track down a few of the artists and find their own comments (and complaints). Several have expressed concern over dealing with Jamendo’s management, which has apparently become somewhat inattentive — especially with issues surrounding the Jamendo Pro service and the other ways artists can make money through the site. Perhaps they are understaffed or overloaded. I don’t really have the whole picture, but whatever the actual details, it seems a fair number of free-culture musicians have been leaving Jamendo.

      • Crystal Ball Gazing at the Year Ahead in Tech Law and Policy

        Technology law and policy is notoriously unpredictable but 2012 promises to be a busy year. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) offers some guesses for the coming months:

      • Busted: Canadian Parliament Hosts BitTorrent Pirates

        YouHaveDownloaded is a great resource that reveals what people behind an IP-address have downloaded on BitTorrent.

      • ACTA

Links 5/1/2012: Nginx Beats Microsoft, Alpine 2.3.3, and Hadoop 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux 2012: 5 Things to Watch

    As we begin 2012, Linux is 25 years old and showing no signs of slowing down. 2012 should be another solid year for Linux growth and expansion in a number of areas with new development in the kernel, distros and on architectures big and small.

  • How Much Do You Linux?

    My journey with Linux began in 2009, one week before the release of Ubuntu 9.04. I was a long-time Windows user who knew of nothing else, but what Microsoft had to offer for my computer. Years of frustration culminated with me clicking away on Google to look for an alternative, if there was even one. Boy, did my eyes fill with wonder as I found out about Linux, in general, and more specifically Ubuntu. I read and read about it and came to find out that I could test drive it right from the cd itself. It works! It really works! I was ecstatic. I was free from the shackles of Microsoft Windows.

  • Download Linux From Your Desktop With Get Linux

    How do I download Linux? That’s a question that I hear fairly often. It usually leads to follow-up questions, like what is a distribution, which distribution should I download or how do I install Linux on my PC.

  • Linux emerges as a reliable option in 2012

    Linux has been into the market since the late 1990s and is open to anyone who wants to use it. Linux is free and moreover there is no paying for a cd or a product key. Yet many consumers are very skeptical to switch operating systems or download another. Because of various reasons, windows popularity could be one of them and adding to it is the extra work and time needed to install a new operating system.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Nginx Passes Microsoft for Active Web Server Share

      New web servers continued to come online at the end of 2011. According to web server stats vendor Netcraft’s January 2012 survey, there are now nearly 583 million sites on the Internet. The January survey figure represents an increase of 27.2 million sites over the December 2011 figures, for a 4.9 percent gain.

    • BT provisions IT faster with Database-as-a-Service

      BT has revealed how automation has enabled it to reduce the time it takes to deliver a new database from weeks to minutes.

      To do this, the telecoms company created a pre-provisioned, six-node rack cluster, which heavily uses automation to create databases for IT projects that require them. This means that new databases can be created on this Database-as-a-Service cluster in just 19 minutes.

      [...]

      BT has built its entire DaaS on Oracle, except for the hardware. It uses Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Oracle Clusterware and Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM).

    • Nginx overtakes Microsoft as No. 2 Web server

      With financial backing from the likes of Michael Dell and other venture capitalists, open source upstart Nginx has edged out Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server) to hold the title of second-most widely used Web server among all active websites. What’s more, according to Netcraft’s January 2012 Web Server Survey, Nginx over the past month has gained market share among all websites, whereas competitors Apache, Microsoft, and Google each lost share.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • LinuxCon 2011 Europe keynote videos now available

      Keynote videos from the September 2011 LinuxCon Europe conference are now available for on-demand viewing. Keynote presenters and participants included such Linux luminaries as Linus Torvalds, Alan Cox, Thomas Gleixner, Dirk Hohndel, Nils Brauckman, Tim Burk, Jon Corbet, and more.

    • Linux Foundation sites back in action

      The damage from the September 2011 cracking of several Linux Foundation web sites seems to have been repaired, though one site won’t be coming back: the Linux Developer Network.

    • What’s new in Linux 3.2

      Improvements to the Ext4 filesystem, network code optimisations and thin provisioning support in the Device Mapper are some of the major improvements in Linux 3.2. Further additions include new and improved drivers – for example, for graphics hardware by Intel and NVIDIA, as well as Wi-Fi components by Atheros and Broadcom.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Akademy-es 2012 – Call for Host

        KDE España has started planning Akademy-es 2012—the most important KDE-related event in Spain. The conference is an opportunity for Spanish KDE users and developers to meet, share experiences, catch up on KDE news, and plan for the future. Akademy-es includes a range of presentations, workshops, hacking sessions, informal get-togethers and an assembly of KDE España members. KDE members and supporters will be coming from other countries to enjoy famous Spanish hospitality and meet up with KDE friends. The date for Akademy-es depends on what location is chosen and the availability of suitable facilities.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 11th December 2011
    • GNOME Desktop

      • What does Cinnamon bring to the desktop?

        Cinnamon is another attempt to make the GNOME 3 desktop acceptable to those in the community who have so far refused to have an unpalatable substance rammed down their throats. While MATE is a fork of GNOME 2, Cinnamon is a fork of GNOME 3 Shell. And though better than the other attempts, it does not really represent a sharp break from GNOME 3 + MGSE. Imagine GNOME 3 + MGSE without the Applications view or menu, and you have Cinnamon. The last two updates added some much needed configurations options to the menu, but much still needs to be done.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 2.3.3 released

        The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce immediate availability of version 2.3.3 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • New aptosid Fork, siduction 11.1 Released

        A few day ago a new distribution forked from aptosid announced their first stable release. On the last day of 2011, Ferdinand Thommes announced the release of siduction 11.1. siduction is based on Debian Unstable and ships in versions featuring KDE, LXDE, or Xfce.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical at CES, Las Vegas, 10th – 13th January

            Canonical will have a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, from the 10th – 13th January. The booth, in the Upper Level of South Hall 4, is at location 35379 within the Las Vegas Convention Center.

          • Last Consumer Electronics Show (CES) for Microsoft, First for Canonical

            We have decided that this coming January will be our last keynote presentation and booth at CES. We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing.

          • Will an Ubuntu Gadget Debut at CES?

            The start of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is rapidly approaching, and speculation is running rampant as to what shiny new wares will make their debut there.

          • Ubuntu hoists skirt, flashes ‘concept’ gadget at CES

            Ubuntu shop Canonical has promised to make a splash at the annual gadget jamboree, the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, next week.

          • Precise Quality, not just for Precise

            I upgraded my primary laptop to Precise yesterday. Very smoooooth! Kudos to the Ubuntu team for the way they are running this cycle; their commitment to keeping the Precise Pangolin usable from opening to release as 12.04 LTS is very evident.

          • Canonical Seeking Designer for ‘Core Apps’, ‘HIG’

            A recent job posting from Canonical appears to hint at Ubuntu’s continued commitment to first-class user experience.

          • Canonical Will Present Exclusive Ubuntu Concept Design at CES

            Canonical announced last night, January 3rd, that it will present the latest in Desktop, Cloud and Ubuntu One demonstrations, as well as an exclusive Ubuntu concept design, at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) event, in Las Vegas, US.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Comparison Test: Pear OS 3.0 “Panther” vs. Zorin OS 5.2 Core

              There’s been a new distribution making small waves lately called Pear OS. It aims to replicate the experience of Apple’s Mac OS X, and upon first appearances, it seems to do so pretty well. I’m comparing it to Zorin OS, which similarly tries to replicate the experience of Microsoft Windows, to see which one does its job better.

            • Review: Meet ‘Lisa,’ Linux Mint 12

              For someone who has never before tried out a Linux desktop, consider telling them to make Linux Mint 12 their initial exploration.

              This version of the Linux distro, which launched late last year, is code-named “Lisa” and runs the relatively new Gnome 3 desktop graphical user interface. It is based on Ubuntu 11.10.

            • Linux Mint launches Cinnamon desktop

              Not content with its Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE), nor with GNOME 2 replacement MATE, Linux Mint has decided to launch a new GNOME 3-based desktop dubbed Cinnamon.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cortex-A9 hardware/software dev platform supports Android 4.0

      Intrinsyc announced a hardware/software development platform for Freescale’s Cortex-A9-based, dual-core i.MX 6 processor, offering support for Android 4.0 and Windows Mobile 6.5. The Open-6 Design and Production Platform combines a development kit, a wireless telephony stack, and a reference platform with a capacitive multitouch display, cameras, sensors, and wireless radios.

    • 13-Year Software Veteran Learns New Tricks with Embedded Linux Course

      Derald Woods is a 13-year engineering veteran who today works in software development, designing and supporting electronic vehicle controls for heavy equipment and trucks. Lately, his time is being used to work on an ARM9-based embedded Linux solution that involves NTSC/PAL video CSI input, V4L2 overlay, and graphics provided by an SDL implementation.

    • Roku media player shrinks again — to an HDMI dongle

      Roku announced a tiny dongle version of its Linux-based streaming player device, designed to plug directly into a TV’s HDMI port. Due to ship in the fall, the “Roku Streaming Stick” will send its signals to — and accept power from — Mobile High Definition Link-enabled televisions, including some of Best Buy’s Insignia models.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • The 10 Rookie Mistakes Every Android Developer Should Avoid

          As veteran mobile application developers with experience in most of the popular platforms of the past decade, we feel that the Android platform is one of the most accessible platforms for new developers. With cheap tools, a friendly development community, and a well-known programming language (Java), developing Android apps has never been easier. That said, we still see a number of mistakes that developers who are new to Android make over and over again. Here are the 10 most insidious gaffes.

        • Android Market tops 400,000 apps, climbing fast

          Google’s Android Market now has over 400,000 apps, and the pace of new code additions is accelerating.

        • Android Market hits 400,000 available apps, says analytics firm
        • Brits got Kindles for Christmas

          Ask punters what they got for Christmas and a rather large number of them say they got a Kindle.

        • Kindle Fire burned up some holiday iPad sales
        • Best Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs) for Android

          Since the late 1980s, Japanese role-playing games or JRPGs have managed to enthrall a wide range of audiences. From Wizardry to Final Fantasy, this genre has garnered a huge fan following not just among the Japanese, but also among Western gamers. Furthermore, since JRPGs have been made for almost every platform that’s out there, our very own Android, which is also a fledgling gaming platform, has seen some great titles in this genre. So, if you’re hankering for a visit to mystical realms and dragon-infested lands, here’s a list of some of the best JRPGs for Android.

        • Quad-core SoC supports Android 4.0, 3840 x 1080 video resolution

          ZiiLabs says it is sampling a quad-core Cortex-A9 SoC (system-on-chip) designed for Android 4.0 tablets. Clocked at 1.5GHz, the ZMS-40 processor is equipped with 96 “StemCell” media processing cores supporting 3840 x 1080 resolution for 1080p 3D stereo video, features 200-megapixel/sec image processing, and supports the new HEVC (H.265) video compression standard, the company says.

        • Android phones need to give root access. Now!

          I wanted to make an impression with my title. I hope I managed. I am writing this article as Gingerbreak’s wheel spins aimlessly runs on my Galaxy S phone. I have little hope that I will actually be root on my phone. Here I am: I intended to write an article about Busybox, in order to turn an Android phone into something that really resembled a GNU/Linux system. I failed, twice: as a user, I failed gaining control of my own phone. As a free software advocate, I failed warning people about what could have happened — and indeed I let it happen.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • MusOpen.org is Commissioning the Prague Symphony Orchestra this January

    It looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for free culture. Possibly my favorite development is that MusOpen has organized its planned symphony recordings for this January. In September, 2010, the free culture organization raised over $68,000 (several times their $11,000 goal) through a Kickstarter campaign, with the intent of commissioning a “internationally renowned orchestra” to perform the Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky symphonies.

  • The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: Open Source

    Musicians tend to make pretty decent label bosses. When I saw Adrian Legg perform several years ago, he extolled his new label, Favored Nations, because it was “run by a guitar player.” Violinist Jeff Gauthier is a triple-threat in this regard; he runs the Cryptogramophone label, produces some pretty happening names such as Jenny Scheinman and Erik Friedlander, and he’s one terrific bandleader. On top of all of that, he plays jazz violin like a bat out of hell, swinging the instrument by its tail and knocking over jars in the jazz, classical, and rock fusion departments in the process. Last time out, Gauthier’s modern jazz combo, The Goatette, was greeted with a year-end approving nod from Slate’s Fred Kaplan. Indeed, House of Return was a highpoint for music on the fringes in 2008, and its follow-up Open Source is just as good.

  • # NASA Promotes Open Source With New Website
  • All in the name

    One Debian/Ubuntu-based distro I’ve always liked — Qimo — seems innocent enough, especially since it is kid-oriented. Of course, when you try to pronounce it phonetically, it comes out “chemo,” as in “chemotherapy.” Actually, that’s not the correct pronunciation for Qimo — it’s really “kim-o,” as in “eskimo,” which is the basis for the name of the this distro. I’m not making this up: The lead developer has a toddler son named Quinn, named in part because the developer Dad is a Bob Dylan fan, and hence the “Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)” reference is not lost on the Dylanistas among us.

    Or so I was told.

    Then there’s the ongoing debate about the acronym for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, more commonly known as GIMP. My friend Ken Starks of HeliOS fame — not exactly a paragon in the defense of politically correctness (to his credit) — has a good point when he says that GIMP is insensitive to those with movement disabilities. While I hope a name change is being considered, I would like to think they’re not doing so at the moment because they’re still working on the single-window thing.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chromegate? Google Will Penalize Itself For Sponsored Posts

        Just a few weeks after Google Chrome was reported to have overtaken Mozilla Firefox to become the second most popular Web browser in the world, Google’s glory has been tarnished by a “jaw-dropping,” massive online Chrome advertising campaign that would seem to violate Google’s own guidelines, uncovered by SEO Book blogger Aaron Wall.

    • Mozilla

      • Can Firefox be a Web browser contender again? Firefox 9.01 Review

        The newest Firefox is faster, better, and its parent group is well financed, but is it this version, Firefox 9.01, good enough to win back fickle Web browser users?

      • Mozilla persuades Firefox 3.6 users to dump old browser

        Mozilla’s upgrade call last month pushed more Firefox 3.6 users to grab a newer edition than any month since June 2011, a Web metrics company said over the weekend.

      • Mozilla Updates License – Does it Matter?

        The Mozilla Public License is one of the most influential software licenses in recent memory. In many respects, it is the basis for alot of modern idea about open source, as opposed to just Free Software and the GPL.

        This week, the Mozilla Public License 2.0 was officially released – and to be honest, I was caught a little off guard. I’ve known that work was in progress since at least 2008. In 2010, Mozilla Chief Mitchell Baker let us know that the new MPL 2.0 would remove references to Netscape in the license.

      • Mozilla Releases Version 2.0 of Its License
      • Firefox Aurora for Android gets native UI

        Mozilla has published a new version of Firefox for Android to its Aurora development channel; the version 11 branch was previously only available as a Nightly build. The open source mobile web browser now uses a native Android UI. Traditionally, Firefox implementations have used XUL, an XML-based language that is interpreted by the Gecko rendering engine. According to its developers, the new native UI should provide improved start-up and page load times, while also using less memory. The new native UI also brings a completely re-designed interface and start page.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice: Is the Open Source Software Suite Here to Stay?

      For those who don’t know the back story: In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun, which owned the OpenOffice.org project at the time. Concerned that Oracle might restrict or close the OpenOffice code, or sell the product for money, several groups formed the Document Foundation and forked OO into LibreOffice, an independent endeavor. Since then, most leading desktop Linux distributions have replaced OpenOffice with LibreOffice as their default office productivity suite.

      Meanwhile, the fears of open source advocates were allayed in June 2011, when Oracle handed the OO code over to the Apache Foundation, ensuring that it would not, in fact, become proprietary. Now, Apache is in the process of regrouping and reorganizing the project, but for now development is kind of dormant and there has not been a new release in almost a year.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • WebOS Gets Surprise Second Life in Healthcare

      Andrew B. Holbrook, a Stanford University Department of Radiology research associate, developed a WebOS application that operates an MRI scanner and allows radiologists and other medical personnel to view images captured by the MRI machine on a TouchPad tablet.

      Holbrook designed an app allowing HP’s TouchPad to operate an MRI machine from inside the scanning room, then interface with a PC server located elsewhere. The computers traditionally used to control MRI scanners are cumbersome and costly because they need special modification to reduce metal parts, which react to the MRI machine’s magnetic field and pose safety risks.

    • VA Details Plans to Replace Medical-Scheduling Platform

      The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to overhaul its medical-scheduling software, which is integrated into its VistA electronic health record system.

  • Project Releases

    • Aeon Nox 2.0 XBMC Theme Released, Looks Fantastic!

      Many consider XBMC as one the finest, if not the best, media center application out there, which is also open source. Starting from the previous XBMC 10 ‘Dharma’ release, XBMC started supporting add-ons officially which made it super easy to install third-party developed skins and apps for XBMC. Aeon Nox 2.0 was one such long awaited theme for XBMC and it is now available with the default XBMC 11 repositories.

    • Apache’s Hadoop cloud computing framework achieves 1.0 status

      The Apache Software Foundation’s formal 1.0 release of Hadoop will give enterprises and SMBs a cost effective, open source cloud computing software framework that is mature, stable and features state-of-the-art technologies

    • gnutls 3.0.10
    • FreeIPMI 1.1.1 Released

      Major Updates:

      o Support new tool ipmi-pet, tool to parse/interpret platform event traps.
      o Support new –sdr-cache-file option specify specific SDR cache file in all SDR related tools (ipmi-sensors, ipmi-sel, ipmi-fru, etc.).
      o Support Quanta QSSC-S4R/Appro GB812X-CN OEM SDRs, sensors, and SEL events.
      o Update libfreeipmi for DCMI 1.5 additions.
      o Add petalert.pl contribution.

    • For years in development, is Scribus 1.4.0 worth the wait?

      Open-source, cross-platform desktop publishing package Scribus 1.4.0 has been given a final, stable release, four years after the first developmental version saw the light of day. Over 2,000 feature requests and bugs have been resolved in this new release, which, despite the relatively minor version number jump from 1.3.3.x, is a major new release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Of Open Source and the European Commission

      At the end of last year I reported on the worrying signs of vacillation from the UK government over its support for truly open standards. At least it’s relatively straightforward to keep tabs on what’s happening in Blighty; Europe is another matter – I find the labyrinthine bureaucracy and its digital shadow pretty hard to navigate. So I was pleased to come across the following page, entitled “Strategy for internal use of OSS at the EC”.

    • DISA revises software guideline clarifying open source rules

      The Defense Information Systems Agency has updated the Application Security & Development Security Technical Implementation Guide, clarifying a commonly-misunderstood Defense Department policy that many saw as a hurdle to open source software use at DoD.

  • Licensing

    • The economic incentive to violate the GPL

      My post yesterday on how Google gains financial benefit from vendor GPL violations contained an assertion that some people have questioned – namely, “unscrupulous hardware vendors save money by ignoring their GPL obligations”. And, to be fair, as written it’s true but not entirely convincing. So instead, let’s consider “unscrupulous hardware vendors have economic incentives to ignore their GPL obligations”.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • C development on Linux – Pointers and Arrays – VI.

      We have come to a crucial point in our series of articles regarding C development. It’s also, not coincidentally, that part of C that gives lots of headaches to beginners. This is where we come in, and this article’s purpose (one of them, anyway), is to debunk the myths about pointers and about C as a language hard/impossible to learn and read. Nonetheless, we recommend increased attention and a wee bit of patience and you’ll see that pointers are not as mind-boggling as the legends say.

    • 10 programming languages that could shake up IT
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open document standards mandatory in Hungary government

      Hungary’s public administrations will by default use open document standards for their electronic documents, as of April this year, the government ministers agreed on 23 December, and all public organisations are encouraged to move to open source office tools. Hungary’s government also in December decided to cancel the funding of proprietary office suite licences for all schools.

Leftovers

  • Boneheaded Stunts

    Don Reisinger has a list of M$’s mistakes in 2011:

    1. Where were the tablets?
    2. Let Google cement its lead online
    3. Failing to acquire a handset maker
    4. Let Android get away
    5. An odd Nokia partnership
    6. Failing to wrap up the living room
    7. Retaining Steve Ballmer as CEO
    8. Let Google cement its lead online
    9. Overpaid for Skype
    10. Tipped its Windows 8 hand too early
    11. Failing to make the mobile space about security

  • M$ and One of its Partners are at War

    This is great fun for me. One of the last barriers to the desktop space for GNU/Linux is the retail shelf space GNU/Linux gets. Now, M$ is actually suing one of its partners, Comet, a retailer of electronics. I don’t have details but according to Ars Technica, Comet sold recovery CDs to customers against M$’s wishes.

  • The Commodore 64 is 30 this year

    I used to have a paperweight sitting on my desk that read something like “Robert H. Lane, appointed President of Commodore Computers….” It was the sort of thing that they gave to executives. A brass plaque of their appointment as it appeared in the Wall Street Journal or the Globe and Mail.

  • IBM Buys Cloud-Based Software Testing Platform Green Hat

    In its first acquisition of 2012, IBM has announced the purchase of cloud-based software testing platform Green Hat. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • MF Global sold assets to Goldman before collapse: sources

      (Reuters) – MF Global unloaded hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of securities to Goldman Sachs in the days leading up to its collapse, according to two former MF Global employees with direct knowledge of the transactions. But it did not immediately receive payment from its clearing firm and lender, JPMorgan Chase & Co , one of the sources said.

      The sale of securities to Goldman occurred on October 27, just days before MF Global Holdings Ltd filed for bankruptcy on October 31, the ex-employees said. One of the employees said the transaction was cleared with JPMorgan Chase.

  • Civil Rights

01.04.12

Links 4/1/2012: Mozilla Public License 2.0, Pear OS Linux Debian Edition

Posted in News Roundup at 7:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux Setup – Brett Legree, Nuclear Engineer

    Good day – my name is Brett Legree. I am an engineer and I work in the Canadian nuclear industry – specifically, I am a nuclear facility site inspector and I work for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which is Canada’s nuclear regulatory organization. We help ensure the continued safe operation of nuclear companies. That is what I do from 9 to 5.

  • 2012 Plans and Dreams From the Linux Blogs and Beyond

    Looking ahead to this new year, “I wish and expect that the world will discover FLOSS, particularly Debian GNU/Linux, to be the rich and efficient software system I have been using for years,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “It is as different as night and day from that other OS, with all its restrictions and fragility.”

  • Linux design needs to be out of the hands of developers

    This post has been boiling in the back of my brain for quite some time. It’s been one of those that I was never completely sure of, until 2011 saw the influx of emails coming in saying how out of touch the Linux desktop designers were with both reality and the end user. From my perspective, it’s a bit strong of a sentiment; but the driving force behind the idea is dead on. After giving this train of thought plenty of time to derail, I decided it was finally time to fully address what I think is actually becoming an issue with the Linux desktop and how other platforms manage to avoid the problem. Although there is no big science behind my conclusions, this issue is something near and dear to me.

  • Linux Small Business Servers: Can Zentyal Succeed?
  • Windows Azure set for Linux inclusion?
  • Welcome to the 2011 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards
  • Genode OS Gets An Ambitious 2012 Roadmap

    Genode OS, one of the interesting non-Linux-based operating systems that is built on a unique framework architecture and is striving to make a general purpose OS, has shared a new project road-map.

  • Desktop

    • Ultra-Low-Cost School Computing Solution to be Exhibited

      At BETT in the HP booth (Stand J40, Upper Level) in London, England from January 11 – 14, Userful, the world leader in Linux desktop virtualization, will be demonstrating the next generation of their Userful MultiSeat™ solution.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Dolphin 2.0 – Status Update

        When introducing Dolphin 2.0 I talked about grouping support for all view modes. But I could not offer any screenshots, as this feature was not ready yet at that time.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Cinnamon 1.3 Released With Panel Autohide, More

        Cinnamon is a GNOME Shell fork created by Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint founder, which tries to offer a layout similar to GNOME 2: a bottom panel with launchers, GNOME2-like systray and notifications and more.

  • Distributions

    • Chakra Linux Review: Arch For Mortals

      Arch Linux has a cult following, and there is a price to pay too – it is one of those operating systems which requires its users to be well versed with the UNIX-like system. You build everything from scratch. There are quite a lot of benefits of using such a system. But, it also means that Arch Linux is not for mere mortals like me. I did install Arch once, reading a manual written by a Muktware author, but then moved back to my secure cocoon. I continue to dream of using Arch one day. Chakra brings me closer to realizing that dream. I may not have compiled the OS for my hardware and gone through the interesting installation process but through Chakra I do get to experience all the goodies of Arch without sweating too much.

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Lightweight Giant Debian XFCE

        When I started a poll about a month ago, I did not know what the outcome would be. I mean the “Best XFCE-based distribution” poll. I had a vague vision that Xubuntu would come out somewhere near the top not only because *buntu is the most popular distribution family, but also because it is a really good distribution on its own.
        But I had no idea which system would share the leadership with Xubuntu. All the candidates were actually decent Operating Systems, each with points pro and con.

      • Extremadura abandons its custom Linux distribution

        Extremadura isn’t the only public administration to discontinue the development of a custom Linux distribution. In May 2011, the German government said that among the reasons for migrating the German Foreign Office’s Linux systems back to Windows were the high maintenance costs of the custom Linux distribution.

      • Derivatives

        • Dreamlinux 5.0 Screenshot Tour

          The Dreamlinux 5.0 operating system has been released on January 1st, and it is based on the Debian 7 Wheezy distribution.

        • Announcing Pear OS Linux Debian Edition

          David Tavares, the French developer behind the jaw-dropping Pear OS Linux operating system is proud to announce today, January 3rd, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Alpha version of Pear OS Linux Debian Edition.

        • Aptosid 2011-03 comes with Linux 3.1 kernel

          The developers of the Debian-based aptosid, formerly known as Sidux, have released version 2011-03 of the distribution. As with the Debian Sid tree (as of 2011-12-31) it is based on, aptosid 2011-03 comes with the 3.1.6 Linux kernel and either the KDE 4.6.5 or Xfce 4.8 desktop environments. With the new kernel comes more support for hardware including various USB Wi-Fi sticks with Atheros chipsets and some Broadcom wireless cards.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Abusing the word “free” in software: what’s really free in the Google market and in Ubuntu’s market?

            I am becoming more and more convinced that the real thread to free software (and I am talking here about software released under a free license, not software that you can download and use for free) is contempt. Proprietary software is a competitor, but not a real threat. Proprietary software cannot really kill free software: no matter how many law suits you start, how many patents you file, how many pre-installed versions of Windows you have, common sense will always win. Contempt, however, the the real danger.

          • Is Ubuntu’s Bleeding Edge Hurting Linux?

            Like most computer enthusiasts, I find myself seeking out Linux distributions that offer a bleeding edge experience. That said, I’m also careful not to place bleeding edge operating systems onto a desktop machine I rely on for daily use.

            After all, why put my daily productivity at risk only to discover possible bugs with a cutting edge OS! Therefore, my bleeding edge Linux experiences tend to be used on my notebook only, thus leaving my desktop free of any surprises.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi – first 10 on eBay!

      The famed Raspberry Pi Model B Beta Boards are now up for grabs on eBay. The first 10 are being auctioned off 2 at a time and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Raspberry Pi foundation.

    • Raspberry Pi Linux computer goes on sale on eBay

      The super-cheap Raspberry Pi Linux computer has been given huge New Year boost with the news that the first beta development boards have been put up for auction on eBay.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Sony cuts Tablet S price by $100, now starts at $400 for 16GB

        New year, new pricing strategy? We just got word that Sony’s cut the price of its 9.4-inch Tablet S by $100, so that it now starts at $400 for the 16GB model, and $500 for the 32GB flavor. The move follows a temporary $50 price cut, which Sony announced on December 15th and said would last through the end of the year.

      • Tablet PC or notebook?

        This time last year Apple’s iPad had just made its local debut. A year later and the iPad2 is now well established in the market, so much so that you can even buy one at your local Pick n Pay.

      • Tablets: an Android 2011 Retrospective
      • The young pretenders

        The line up of names listed in the handset vendor rankings looks very different now to how it did a few years ago and may yet change more, with Linux-based operating systems lowering the cost of entry to new players. Ruslan Kogan, founder and CEO of Australian electronic manufacturer Kogan Technolgies and Australia’s richest person under 30, gives his thoughts on the market as the company prepares to enter the fray with a £119 Android tablet.

      • Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI tip Cedar Trail netbooks

        Following Intel’s announcement of its 32nm “Cedar Trail” N-Series Atoms, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and MSI have all tipped netbook models equipped with the processors. Aiming to revive interest in netbooks via lower power consumption and better graphics, the Acer Aspire One D270, Asus Eee PC Flare, Lenovo Ideapad S110, and MSI Wind U180 all employ Intel’s dual-core 1.6GHz Atom N2600 or 1.86GHz N2800 processors.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Motion-Tracking comes to Blender with Project Mango

    The Blender Foundation has started a new “Open Movie” project called “Mango”, and this one is of particular interest to me for Lunatics, because of the technical goal: motion tracking. Motion tracking is principally about putting animated 3D objects into real footage so that it matches the background “plate” (i.e. the original footage).

  • A Gross Miscarriage of Justice in Computer Chess

    What happened? Starting with the release of the first open-source Fruit in mid-2004, and continuing with the release of subsequent versions of Fruit, open-source engine Stockfish, and especially the release of reverse-engineered Rybka derivatives, highly detailed recipes for building strong, modern chess engines have been in the public domain. Fledgling chess programmers as well as programming veterans have not failed to take notice and the state of the art has advanced rapidly. As a result of this spread of knowledge new programs receive a tremendous performance boost and become “fast climbers”.

  • Is There a War Coming for Control Over Our Computing Devices?

    Over the holidays, noted blogger Cory Doctorow delivered a keynote at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress in which he warned that one of the biggest problems on the technology scene is that control over our computing devices is about to be taken from us. There is a video of the address, called The Coming War on General Computing, available on YouTube. Doctorow warns that the copyright wars are only the beginning of a much bigger set of issues having to do with how much we control our own devices. The address has already drawn much reaction from the open source community, and is, in some ways, a defense of open source principles.

  • libdce: The Distributed Codec Engine

    For those who became more interested in the PandaBoard ES after it was benchmarked on Phoronix last week, here’s some details about the Distributed Codec Engine found on this OMAP4 platform from Texas Instruments.

    For providing hardware accelerated codec support there is the Codec Engine for modern Texas Instruments ARM platforms. “Codec Engine (CE) is a framework that enables applications to easily instantiate and work with XDM codecs and algorithms using a common API.”

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • The browser platform

      For the best part of the past decade I’ve been writing about web browsers. In fact it goes back further than that, all the way to the early 1990′s, when the Mosaic browser first opened my eyes to the potential of the World Wide Web.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Public License, version 2.0

        So, as Luis Villa announced on a list, Mozilla Public License v. 2.0 has just been published. It’s actually an interesting evolution. (Indeed, the overall evolution of open licenses bears scrutiny, as they–the licenses–are being taken as seriously as any other legal instrument.)

      • Mozilla rings in new year with 2.0 license overhaul

        The overseer of the popular Firefox open source browser rang in the new year with an overhaul of its longstanding license — the Mozilla Public License 2.0.

        “Version 2.0 is similar in spirit to the previous versions, but shorter, better, and more compatible with other Free Software and Open Source Licenses,” the Mozilla project announced Tuesday

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice: Is the Open Source Software Suite Here to Stay?

      It’s a new year, and LibreOffice — the office productivity suite forked from OpenOffice.org — is the new face of open source productivity software. Or is it? And more importantly, will it remain so as OpenOffice is reborn under the Apache Foundation? Here are some thoughts on what to expect on this front in 2012.

      For those who don’t know the back story: In 2010, Oracle acquired Sun, which owned the OpenOffice.org project at the time. Concerned that Oracle might restrict or close the OpenOffice code, or sell the product for money, several groups formed the Document Foundation and forked OO into LibreOffice, an independent endeavor. Since then, most leading desktop Linux distributions have replaced OpenOffice with LibreOffice as their default office productivity suite.

    • Apache OpenOffice (Incubating)

      Apache OpenOffice is comprised of six personal productivity applications: a word processor (and its web-authoring component), spreadsheet, presentation graphics, drawing, equation editor, and database. OpenOffice is released on Windows, Solaris, Linux and Macintosh operation systems, with more communities joining, including a mature FreeBSD port. OpenOffice is localized, supporting over 110 languages worldwide.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Richard Stallman Was Right All Along

      Late last year, president Obama signed a law that makes it possible to indefinitely detain terrorist suspects without any form of trial or due process. Peaceful protesters in Occupy movements all over the world have been labelled as terrorists by the authorities. Initiatives like SOPA promote diligent monitoring of communication channels. Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia – but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality.
      Up until relatively recently, it’s been easy to dismiss Richard Stallman as a paranoid fanatic, someone who lost touch with reality long ago. A sort of perpetual computer hippie, the perfect personification of the archetype of the unworldly basement-dwelling computer nerd. His beard, his hair, his outfits – in our visual world, it’s simply too easy to dismiss him.
      His views have always been extreme. His only computer is a Lemote Yeelong netbook, because it’s the only computer which uses only Free software – no firmware blobs, no proprietary BIOS; it’s all Free. He also refuses to own a mobile phone, because they’re too easy to track; until there’s a mobile phone equivalent of the Yeelong, Stallman doesn’t want one. Generally, all software should be Free. Or, as the Free Software Foundation puts it:

      As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our homes, schools and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us.

      I, too, disregarded Stallman as way too extreme. Free software to combat controlling and spying governments? Evil corporations out to take over the world? Software as a tool to monitor private communication channels? Right. Surely, Free and open source software is important, and I choose it whenever functional equivalence with proprietary solutions is reached, but that Stallman/FSF nonsense is way out there.
      But here we are, at the start of 2012. Obama signed the NDAA for 2012, making it possible for American citizens to be detained indefinitely without any form of trial or due process, only because they are terrorist suspects.

    • What should free software do in 2012?

      In my last column, I suggested that one of the best things that Mozilla could do in order to promote the Open Web and openness in general would be to support the battle for online freedom in more general ways. That’s something it has already started doing, notably in trying to halt the passage of the awful Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that is currently grinding through the US legislative process.

  • Project Releases

    • Scribus 1.4.0 publishing software released

      After nearly four years of development, the Scribus development team has released version 1.4.0 of its open source desktop publishing (DTP) application. The major change in the 1.4.0 is the switch to the Qt4 framework, updating the application from its previous use of Qt3. The developers say the change itself was quick, but fine tuning and making use of new features of the application framework took “quite some time”. The result is that Scribus is now at the same level of reliability on all its supported platforms.

    • Version 1.0 of the Clementine music player arrives

      The Clementine developers have published version 1.0 of their open source music player. The cross-platform application is designed to be fast and easy-to-use, and was inspired by version 1.4 of Amarok (the current release is Amarok 2.5). With Clementine, users can listen to their local music library or to online radio stations; it can be used to transcode music into MP3, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Speex, FLAC and AAC files.

    • [PacketFence v3.1 Released]
    • Trelby screenplay editor relaunched

      Trelby 2.0, an open source screenplay editor, has been launched by developers Anil Gulecha and Osku Salerma. Trelby is a rebranding of Blyte, an application written by Salerma in 2003 and sold until 2006; poor sales led to Salerma open sourcing the application in the hope that a community would form around it, but this did not happen. Five years later, in late 2011, Gulecha discovered the application while searching for a better screenplay editor than celtx. He began creating improvements to Blyte and this inspired Salerma to return to work on the application. Together they have renamed the application, refreshed the code, created a new web site and are now trying to build a community around developing the application though they admit “the intersection of software developers and screenwriters is tiny”.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Misplaced priorities hampering UK government uptake of open source

      According to a computing.co.uk article entitled Open Source: The government’s commitment so far, most of the IT technology used in the UK government is still proprietary and comes from single vendors.

      Open source adoption by government agencies in the UK is progressing, but is still being hindered by a focus on “free as in gratis.” Decisions based on cost-of-acquisition alone ignore the other real and more important values offered by open source, which are derived from “free as in freedom.”

    • Environment Agency deploys open source knowledge management

      The Environment Agency is deploying an open source knowledge management system to compile and share information on around 500 river restoration projects throughout Europe.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Marco Tempest makes open-source magic for the 21st century

      Magic tricks depend on secrecy. So it might seem counterintuitive that Marco Tempest — a Swiss-born magician living in New York — has gone open-source. He reveals his methods, talks to his audiences online and asks for feedback. “If someone has a good idea, I put it in my show and give credit,” says Tempest, 46.

    • Andy Carvin explains how Twitter is his ‘open-source newsroom’

      Andy Carvin and Clay Shirky spent an hour on WBUR’s “On Point” program Tuesday morning discussing Twitter’s impact on media and the world. In one of several insightful exchanges,

    • Adblock and Wikipedia Look to Raise Money for ‘Free’ Software

      On Monday, I wrote about how the lead developer of an open-source project – Adblock Plus – had created a start-up to manage the project. As part of a new business plan, the software, which has long been known for blocking ads, would no longer block what it calls “acceptable ads.” (These ads will not be flashy or slow down the browsing experience.)

  • Programming

    • Gambas 3.0 for BASIC with bug and security fixes

      The Gambas developers published version 3.0 of their BASIC development environment for Linux just before the new year was about to begin in the US. By their own admission, they made it just in time, as they had promised this version would be released in 2011. Gambas allows users to write applications in an extended version of BASIC that can make use of Qt4 or GTK+ GUIs, communicate over D-Bus, drive OpenGL, and access databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite.

Leftovers

  • Wikinews holds Reform Party USA presidential candidates forum

    Three men are currently seeking the presidential nomination of the Reform Party of the United States of America: small business owner Andre Barnett, Earth Intelligence Network CEO Robert Steele, and former college football coach Robby Wells. Wikinews reached out to these candidates and asked each of them five questions about their campaigns. There were no space limits placed on the responses, and no candidate was exposed to another’s responses before making their own. The answers are posted below in unedited form for comparison of the candidates.

  • Hackers aim to launch Internet satellite network, moon mission

    Armin Bauer, one of the three German hobbyists involved in the HGG, said at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin that the system involved a reversal of the standard GPS technique. The scheme was announced at the event, which is Europe’s largest hacker conference.

  • BASIC Is Dead. Bury It.

    Quite the troll post on Slashdot over the Holiday weekend, sniveling about wanting BASIC on the mobile phone platform.

    BASIC advocates seem to come back annually on Slashdot like a herpes outbreak. Last year it was somebody advocating BASIC as a teaching language again. Touting BASIC as a way to teach “the joy of programming” is like recommending a night in a whorehouse as a way to teach young men “the joy of marriage”.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tail Risk and Embalming Fluid, in 2012

      I feel motivated today to write about global markets, and especially the lingering fear that’s sure to carry over from 2011 to 2012. The last 18 months have supplied historians with every reason to believe that a replay of the 2008 financial crisis was about to unfold. The difference being that the private sector debt crisis which triggered 2008′s terrible domino event has now been transposed, into a similar risk in sovereign debt. Especially the sovereign debt of peripheral Europe. As a student of macroeconomics, and as one who observes the procession of market psychology—when markets slowly move from the comfort of sleep to the Ker-Pow! of recognition—I am strangely in the position of thinking the following, mildly heretical thought: tail risk in global markets is now much, much lower than most anticipate. If that’s true, certain asset classes are going to make very large, very surprising moves in 2012.

  • Finance

    • Goldman’s Latest Boiler-Room Stock: America

      Happy New Year, everyone. Hope you all had a great holiday…

      Have a column on Iowa coming soon, but first, a quick but absurd note from the world of high finance.

      It seems Jim O’Neill, the head of Goldman’s Asset Management department, is predicting that the United States stock market may go up “15 to 20 percent.” O’Neill apparently believes Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve will resort to another round of money-printing, and finally green-light the long-awaited “Qe3,” or third round of “Quantitative Easing.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Neighbors Occupy Road, Blockade Sludge Trucks

      Recently, a group of farmers and neighbors in Salmon Valley, near Prince George, British Columbia, successfully blockaded Wright Creek Road and turned back a truck full of sewage sludge headed for a 117 acre parcel of farm land contracted as a dump site by the City of Prince George. One neighbor brought a snow mobile towing a portable fire pit on a sled so that they were able to keep warm while they blocked the road. As of this writing, the trucks have not returned.

  • Copyrights

01.03.12

Links 3/1/2012: Gentoo 12.1 LiveDVD, Red Hat to Hire a Thousand

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • TLWIR 29: Mozilla News, LibreOffice Chart Trick and Bitcoin Rises Again
  • Predictions for Smart Buildings in 2012

    The Automation Campaign In 2012 Will Be About Open Source Programming Languages, and Standards For Naming Conventions, Building Systems and Integration.

  • What does “Open” mean?

    I am particularly pleased with how our session; New Open Source Technologies that are Changing the Industry 1:30 pm Monday, January 23th is shaping up.

  • QuNeo’s Kickstarter Success Fueled By Pro Fanboys

    The QuNeo is a “Multi-touch Open Source MIDI & USB Pad Controller” in its final days of fundraising via a Kickstarter campaign. The controller will be produced by Keith McMillen Instruments and due to a combination of their reputation, desire for the product and Kickstarter’s strong combo of fundraising and presales, their request for $15,000 on Kickstarter has resulted in pledges over $100,000. Though gear is definitely a different kind of product than an album or film release, it’s worth considering the QuNeo’s success as a harnessing of the combined force of fanboy enthusiast and pro fan, often in the same individual fan.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Cloud-Ready Buildings and Open Source

      It is inevitable that the future of building systems operations is in the cloud. In the best run corporations, whose enterprise operations are in a private cloud, building system operation has already joined other enterprise operations. They have found that cloud-based building operation is the means to better cost control, improved service provision, and close ties between enterprise activities and energy costs. As distributed energy makes the links between business and building operations more critical (and rewarding), building owners without clouds will want to link their own buildings to the clouds.

  • CMS

    • Drupal Web Design Company Alliance Interactive Joins Drupal Association

      Alliance Interactive has signaled its continued commitment to leadership within the open source community by joining the Drupal Association as an association member. “We have been impressed by the quality of Drupal’s membership program, their commitment to the industry and their passion for representing full service agencies,” said Adam Aloi, managing partner of Alliance Interactive.

  • Healthcare

    • Does webOS have a future in healthcare?

      HP’s webOS platform may find new life as an open source operating system for healthcare applications. Researchers at Stanford University have developed applications for the HP TouchPad tablet, a discontinued webOS device, to operate an interventional MRI scanner and view patient respiration data and images gathered from the device.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Security ‘misunderstandings’ remain open source barrier

      Cultural barriers and misunderstanding of security risks remain the biggest blocks to the public sector’s wider implementation of open source, the civil servant tasked with boosting open source has told UKAuthority.com.

      Robin Pape, chief information officer for the Home Office and the senior responsibility officer within government for open source and open standards, said open source software is still not being given appropriate consideration when government bodies evaluate software options.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Now, classroom content of IITs can be accessed by MIT students

        The Indian Institutes of Technology have agreed to a proposal by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to join their OpenCourseWare community. This move will enable MIT students to access classroom content of the IITs online at a click of the mouse.

        However, this is not the only way by which the IITs are opening their doors to the world; lectures from IIT classrooms will soon be available on Apple’s multi-media platform iTunes. YouTube already has a separate channel for IIT courses, which, as of December 2011, had 63.64 lakh viewers.

  • Programming

    • The Linuxification of software development

      Just before the start of my holiday vacation, I went ahead and updated my old Froyo Android phone to the new Galaxy Nexus running Ice Cream Sandwich, promptly becoming a statistic in a new trend: buying new hardware to update software.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Kazaam Screencaster To Use VP8, Drops x264

      A lot of bloggers and techies use screencasters to record desktop sessions for training, documentation, tutorial or reviews. Under GNU/Linux, there are couple of desktop session recorders. Gnome 3, for example, comes with a built-in desktop recorder. There is one such screencaster called Kazaam. However, the program is not getting any updates after Ubuntu’s 11.04 release.

Leftovers

  • 11 Who Died in 2011 (And Were Not Named Steve)
  • Mounting Google Documents in GNU/Linux is just not a (real) option
  • Security

  • Finance

    • Public Money for Public Purpose: Toward the End of Plutocracy and the Triumph of Democracy – Part Six

      I will conclude by proposing six social tasks for the rising generation – six challenging tasks whose successful pursuit will help us achieve a more just, equal and democratic society. It is my view that the resulting society will not only be fairer and more decent. It will also be more economically productive, and will better promote human happiness and flourishing by more effectively distributing the goods and services we produce. Most of us will be happier in such a society as well, because the practices of democratic equality do a better job satisfying the human desires for cooperation, solidarity, trust, stability and fellowship that are the foundation of the social life for which human beings are naturally framed.

    • The Miracle of Solvency

      The lies which got us to the purgatory we are in, are being told all over again, right now, in every bank in the Western World. Not by accident, but on purpose, by men with calculators and degrees, in the full knowledge of what they are doing, why and for whose benefit.

      Every religion has its holy days. The days when the priests face their god and perform the rituals that renew the covenant between them. For believers it is the renewal of their faith, of their promise to believe in and serve their chosen God in return for which God will protect them. Global Finance is no different, and these days approaching New Year are their Holiest of Holies.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Impunity Reigns and Death Threats Rise in Colombia

      Truth telling in Colombia, a nation that bears the scars of politically motivated violence lasting half a century, has become increasingly difficult in response to new legislation intended to help heal the wounds of this Latin American nation, says one of the nation’s renown documentary film makers.

      The Victims and Land Restitution Law — which passed this June under heavy international pressure — is estimated to give more than four million Colombians the right to seek reparations for land or family members lost during the armed conflict. While hailed as an important step forward, the legislation has been criticized for its gaps. For instance, critics charge it is easier to access reparations on behalf of victims of guerrilla or paramilitary violence than for victims killed by the government. The law has also increased the volume of threats against journalists in the country who dare to rehash the history of violence and tell the stories of the victims, according to Colombian investigative journalist Hollman Morris who recently visited the United States.

  • Copyrights

    • Ron Paul Opposes SOPA

      SOPA has been criticized by everyone who understands how dangerous the bill is. Hollywood may be pumping money into the congress to get congressmen pass it as soon as possible, ignoring expert’s warning and opposition by the governments across the globe and most importantly opposition by the citizen of the United States themselves.

    • Wikipedia To Dump GoDaddy Over SOPA

01.01.12

Links 01/01/2012: Alien Arena 7.53, Calculate Linux 11.12

Posted in News Roundup at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Think Penguin’s “Penguin Air” Review.

    It wasn’t that long ago when we were forced to buy Windows machines, only to uninstall it and install Linux. But for most everyone, things are still the same. We shamelessly hand over our hard-earned money to Microsoft for something that we never wanted, nor planned to ever use. Most laptops are more than powerful enough for us to get by on, and those of us who know a thing or two about system requirements will gladly take a bargain system if it suits our needs. Sometimes it’s just about freedom, though many don’t know what it is as it regards to computing. You can certainly liberate any laptop (or desktop for that matter) from its shackles and regain freedom, but it goes a little deeper than that.

  • No Rants Just Sincere Concerns for Linux at Home

    Gone are the days of dirty commands on a text console. In 2012 99% users are going to use computers as just other electronic appliances. They are not going to worry what’s going under the hood as long as it works. I’m using Linux more than a decade (two of my home PCs are linux – Debian and PCLinuxOS, 100′s of my office workstations are linux – CentOS and Fedora), even administered some desktops for sometime. Here are my list of basics that go wrong in Linux, always.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 180, Happy New Year!
  • Kernel Space

    • Host storage devices vulnerable with KVM Linux virtualisation

      According to a kernel update advisory by Red Hat, root users in a guest system that is virtualised with KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) can, in certain circumstances, gain read and write access to the Linux host’s storage devices. The advisory says that the hole exists when a host makes available partitions or LVM volumes to the guest as “raw disks” via virtio. Privileged guest users can send SCSI requests to such volumes that the host will execute on the underlying storage device – which allows the guest system to access all areas of the device rather than just the permitted partitions or volumes.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Best Desktop Distributions

      A few days ago a friend, being new to Linux, asked me about different distributions and that led to a long talk about their merits and failings. So, being new to blog-sphere, I decided to play it safe and write about best desktop distributions. But I also thought that I could do this a little differently. Best as in best for the Linux Desktop. First let us find some criteria for choosing distributions:

      1. Considering an usual desktop user uses around 1000-2000 package, the distribution must have over 10000 packages. Let’s just say over 9000.
      2. It must not be a cosmetic derivative, or a derivative of a derivative of a derivative of a…
      3. It must be up-to-date. My criteria for this is two important packages: linux (* > 3.0.6) and libreoffice (* > 3.3). This packages manage to give a good sense of up-to-dateness for the desktop.
      4. It must have an active community.
      5. It must support both KDE and Gnome 3.
      6. It must not be a testing variant.

    • That’s my name, don’t wear it out

      Linux Mint: I particularly like the naming convention Clement Lefevbre has come up with for Linux Mint. It’s alphabetically a woman’s name ending in “a.” We’re at Julia now. I asked Clement once what he’d do when he got to “Zelda” (or whatever the “Z” name will be for Linux Mint when they get that far . . . and they will), and he said that it was simple: Start with a name beginning with “A” and end the name in “e.”

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Firefox 9 Is 30% Faster Than Firefox 8 | Install Firefox 9 On Ubuntu 11.10 and Earlier Releases
          • Search YouTube videos on Ubuntu with the YouTube Lens
          • What I Love About Ubuntu Unity

            I think the most important thing to understand about Unity is that it is not primarily a program or a desktop. It is primarily a set of specifications which are implemented in different ways. The two most prominent implementations are Unity and Unity 2D, but there are already several others. Since Unity is a set of specifications, it is possible to implement parts of it without that being considered an incomplete implementation. For instance, the indicators are supported on LXDE, Xfce, Windows, KDE and others. This is very important. For instance, people are complaining about not all Gnome Panel applets being ported to Gnome Panel 3 yet. This is because the applets become part of the panel itself, meaning that it has to be completely compatible or it won’t work. This is not the case with indicators, which is why all indicators are already supported on Gnome Panel 3. The panel just needs to support the indicator specification and then all indicators automatically work. It is also an uncomplicated specification, so it’s easy and quick to do.

          • Ubuntu rolling out the new

            If you’ve been thinking about giving Linux a run on your computer, Ubuntu’s next major release could be the one for you.

            Ubuntu 12.04, otherwise known as Precise Pangolin, will be released in April 2012 and promises to be one of the better releases of the past year from Canonical as the Ubuntu developers finally get to grips with the major desktop changes the OS has been going through.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Verizon Does A GoDaddy Drops $2 Bill Charge Plan

    It appeared to be a GoDaddy like day for Verizon and the customer broke the hell. The next day Verizon was forced to drop the plan.

  • Security

    • Researchers publish open-source tool for hacking WiFi Protected Setup

      On December 27, the Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a warning about a vulnerability in wireless routers that use WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) to allow new devices to be connected to them. Within a day of the discovery, researchers at a Maryland-based computer security firm developed a tool that exploits that vulnerability, and has made a version available as open source.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Civil Rights

    • Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now

      Now, after the Reddit Go Daddy protest gathered steam; Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales announced that he would be moving Wikipedia’s domain names from Go Daddy; and, last but not least, aggressive ads from competiting Internet domain registry and hosting companies such as Namecheap, Adelman has had a real change of heart.

  • Copyrights

    • Actual damages for single unauthorized download of software program held to be cost of single license fee
    • Goodwill And Hospitality Theft Continue To Drive Up The Cost Of The Holiday Season

      This holiday season many lawyers, executives, lobbyists, and politicians will have their relatives, friends, and family members stay in their households. With the economy slumping, some out-of-town visitors can’t afford to stay at hotels. When money is tight, these visitors know they can count on the hospitality of family and friends, who will welcome them in with open arms and good cheer.

      However, these hosts need to remain vigilant and avoid being swept up in the general goodwill of the holiday season. In the rose-colored fog of the Christmas-to-New Year’s festivities, it’s easy for these situations to get out of hand. Guests have a tendency to get too comfortable very quickly and before you realize it, it’s nearly February and a variety of house guests have begun to refer to you as “Dad” or “Grandpa” and you’re on the hook for video rentals, dry cleaning bills and dental appointments. Your vehicle is now referred to as the “family car” (often by non-family members), your house has become a combination day care/animal shelter and your walk-in closet is now home to a family of Guatemalan refugees.

      What starts as selfless “giving” swiftly becomes one-sided “taking.” These interlopers are not only stealing the relatively priceless* time of their hosts, but also their unbillable goodwill. While “goodwill” would seem to be in infinite supply during the latter part of December, the available supply dwindles at a rate inversely proportionate to the number of hours the “family car” has been missing.

      *Not actually “priceless.” Billing for used time runs anywhere from $400/hr. [lawyers] to $55,000/hr. [executives] to $20+ billion/hr. [politicians].

      The result of this goodwill “piracy” is nothing short of tragic. As time and goodwill are swiftly “stolen” by house guests, the host’s direct family often finds itself having to do without. At best, they can only hope to have a few moments between meals and Immigration raids to angrily discuss efforts to block the rogue infringers, perhaps by seizing the guest bedroom and posting a sternly-worded warning on the door.

    • EA, Sony, Nintendo pull support from SOPA (but their industry association still supports it)

12.30.11

Links 30/12/2011: Cuba Progresses With GNU/Linux, Red Hat Expects Staff Boost of 24%

Posted in News Roundup at 5:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Top Five Linux Stories of 2011
  • TLWIR 29: Mozilla News, LibreOffice Chart Trick and Bitcoin Rises Again
  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Ubuntu Razor-qt Remix Screenshot Tour

      Softpedia announced yesterday, December 28th, the immediate availability for download of a new Ubuntu Remix, this time featuring the next-gen, super-fast, simplistic Razor-qt desktop environment.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.3.3 Heats Things Up For GNOME 3.4

        GNOME 3.3.3 is now available as the latest update in what will ultimately become GNOME 3.4 next March.

      • The Year in Review: Desktop Linux Developments in 2011

        The “year in review” pieces that proliferate old and new media alike around this time of year get tedious pretty fast. But because I’ve yet to see a good compilation of the major developments — and there were plenty of them — that affected desktop Linux in 2011, I couldn’t think of any better topic for my last post of the month. That may make me a hypocrite, but if you can forgive a personal flaw, keep reading for a look at how the Linux world has evolved in the last 365 days or so.

  • Distributions

    • Pinoy Linux flavor stirs ripple in OS community

      The latest version of a locally developed operating system made the country proud early this month when the Linux-based software made a good impression among enthusiasts of the open source community.

    • Google Chrome Uses Graphics Card to Accelerate SVG, CSS

      Google has just added a new flag in its Chromium 18 builds that extends the browser’s hardware acceleration feature.

    • Chakra and Pinguy OS find spots in the top 25 fastest growing projects

      GNU/Linux distros Chakra and Pinguy feature in the Top 25 fastest growing projects compiled by SourceForge.So find out who else features in the list…

    • TechSource’s Top 10 Linux Distributions of 2011

      As we say goodbye to a momentous 2011, it’s time to reflect on some of the big happenings in the FOSS world. Apart from Android’s rise, Torvalds’s rant, and a tasty ice cream sandwich treat, the year also saw some big changes taking place for popular Linux distributions. While many of the changes ranged from annoyingly buggy to downright unusable, a few pleasant minty surprises did manage to cleanse the Linuxiens’ palettes.

    • The Linux top 10 hit parade

      Picking the top ten Linux distributions is fraught with problems. There’s very little hard data to go on and the nature of open source means that most users are getting copies of their favourite Linux release from a variety of sources – from official download channels to third-party sites or even from friends.

    • Austrumi 2.4.5: Small and Mighty

      The Austrumi team released a new version of their operating system recently, on the 30th of September, 2011.

    • New Releases

      • Endian 2.5
      • Calculate Linux 11.12 released

        You are welcome to choose between several flavours: Calculate Directory Server (CDS) if you need a server option; Calculate Linux Desktop featuring a KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) or XFCE (CLDX) desktop; Calculate Media Center (CMC) if a media center is what you want; or, if you would rather prefer a scratch distribution, either Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS) or Calculate Scratch Server (CSS).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) Crosses Pivot Point Resistance at $41.46
      • Get 10% To 20% Returns With Agilent And Red Hat Options

        Tech stocks have taken a beating in 2011, but in my opinion the market has it all wrong. The PowerShares Index (QQQ) has been trending sideways all year in the face of increased revenues and profits. Many tech stocks have been beating estimates and projecting growth into 2012. The QQQ has barely returned 1% for 2011, and 2012 isn’t looking any better. Using LEAPS, you can beat the market and get returns ranging from 10% to 20%.

      • CEO Of Cloud Firm Red Hat Expects To Boost Staff 24%

        Founded in 1993, the company has become a leading provider of support and related services for the Linux open-source operating system, which companies often use to build cloud computing-based data centers. That’s where users store data and apps that they access via the Internet, or the “cloud.”

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10: Setting up Oneiric

            The latest Ubuntu is slick and sublime, and while it gets a lot right, there’s still some essential tweaks you can do to make the most of your new install.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Calendar Lens for Unity
          • Full Circle Magazine – Lite!

            I know we’ve spoke about a mobile/epub version of Full Circle before, but I have good news! Our latest team member, Jens, is working on an epub edition of FCM which I previewed on our Facebook and Google+ pages. It’s looking good so far, and I hope to have more to show you on that next week some time.

            In the mean time, think of Full Circle Magazine Lite as a quick beta test edition of FCM to read on tablets and mobile phones. The first edition (FCM#56) is available through Google Currents, and app that you can download either from the Android Market*, or the Apple App Store.

          • Poulsbo Looks Better On Ubuntu 12.04, But Still Ugly

            Intel GMA500 “Poulsbo” graphics have a better out-of-the-box experience under the forthcoming Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release thanks to improvements in the open-source field, but ultimately it’s still an ugly mess.

          • Ubuntu AppStore Goes Online

            One thing that GNU/Linux misses the most is marketing. We never get to know about the new and useful tools which are being added due to the lack of PR muscles. Recently Ubuntu made yet another incredible move which makes the application installation process of Windows look ancient. Ubuntu silently took its apps on-line by launching ‘Ubuntu App Directory’ (the name can be more attractive like Ubuntu App Shop).

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu is a Nice Clean Desktop

              I am not going to make Lubuntu my day-to-day distro, on this machine. However, I would highly recommend it, and will use it, on older machines. Lubuntu is also a good alternative to those who want an alternative to Ubuntu’s Unity desktop.

            • Xubuntu 11.10 with Xfce4 Desktop

              I wasn’t really planning on installing Xubuntu, but it was the only Live/Install edition with the Xfce desktop that would install on an external USB drive from a USB stick, and that supported the Broadcom Wireless driver required by my HP mini netbook. The Xfce desktop is an alternative for those with older computers with minimal memory and older graphic cards.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $25 Raspberry Pi Linux PC Said to Arrive in January
    • Enea Inks Binding Deal To Sell Nordic Consulting Business

      Enea said it would focus on operating systems solutions and has the building blocks to deploy an entire system solution featuring Linux, realtime operating systems and hardware environments. Also, Enea would continue to offer services such as training and product related consulting services through their consulting units in Phoenix, Bucharest and Beijing. After the divestment, Enea would have 400 employees in 9 countries.

    • LLVM/Clang On The ARMv7 OMAP4 PandaBoard ES

      Here’s a quick look at running the LLVM/Clang compiler on the OMAP4460-based PandaBoard ES compared to the default GCC compiler.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android for Dummies: Make your own build of CyanogenMod

          For those of our readers that are looking to get into Android ROM development, but may not know where to start, there is a new tool created by XDA developer Lithid that will allow you to start some basic experimenting using the popular CyanogenMod ROM. The project, entitled CyanogenMod Compiler (CMC), allows users to tweak some simple settings such as wallpapers and language packs then compile ROM builds from the CM repository.

        • Best root only applications for Android devices
        • Smartphones getting the ICS update

          With the impending retail release of the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus smartphone in some parts of the world, Google will be making Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) open source.

        • 10 apps to add to your new Android phone
        • India To Become Android Super Hub?

          Chennai, the capital of south Indian state Tamil Nadu, is known as an electronic manufacturing hub with multinational corporations setting up Electronics/Hardware manufacturing plants in the region, especially in the Sriperumbudur electronics SEZ. The city is also home to many IT companies is fast becoming the support hub for Android, reports IBNLive.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Death and Rebirth of the Netbook

        As much as some of the Wintel “partners” would wish small cheap computers to go away, the netbook keeps going like the Energizer Bunnytm. Shipments are down quite a bit from a year ago with all the noise about smart thingies but the netbook is beloved because it is small, cheap, portable and comes with a keyboard.

        Intel has just announced an Atom processor designed for netbooks. At 1.6gHz it can be fanless but at 1.8gHz it wants a fan. In spite of 32nm technology and lots of features to reduce idle power consumption the thing must still be a hog. It uses 3.5 to 10 W while ARMed CPUs are way less than 1W per core. These gadgets are dual-core/dual-threaded. I guess Intel expects heavier batteries will do the trick…

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Unix Server Market Poised For Growth, Transitions

    While the Unix server business has lost much of its glamour in the face of assaults from Windows, Linux, and the cloud, there is still plenty of life — and growth — in the business, although for the foreseeable future that growth will be enjoyed only by IBM.

  • One of the Nails in M$’s Coffin

    In all that time, shareholders reaped short-term gains. Insiders reaped huge windfalls. End users suffered one indignity after another. A better product was not produced until 2009 by which time the world had seen a better way to do IT: GNU/Linux on desktop and server and Android/Linux on mobile devices. M$ has climbed to the top of the “shareholder value” ladder only to find it’s not resting on anything. The monopoly is a house of cards now that OEMs are discovering they can cut M$ out of the stream of revenue. M$ is scrambling to put something forward in the mobile space buying Nokia (more or less) and pushing a laughable product consumers don’t buy and suing competitors to hold them back. In a year or two all this will bear fruit and M$ will be on a downward slide with no bottom.

  • The secret to getting rich in 2012: Open APIs

    If the last decade was all about open source, the next decade will be about open APIs. However, as with open source, APIs aren’t necessarily a guarantee of billions in the bank. They’re simply the ante for playing the technology game at scale. That scale will be determined by who gives developers the best access to data, and that access is a function of open APIs.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Bill Black: What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds?

      The Wall Street Journal ran a story yesterday (12/27/11) entitled “SEC Ups Its Game to Identify Rogue Firms.” “Rogue” is an interesting word with a range of definitions. When it is used as an adjective its meaning is: “a playfully mischievous person; scamp.” The trivialization of the most destructive elite frauds is one of the most common forms of what criminologists call “neutralization” of the moral content of wrong doing. Neutralization increases crime.The actual story makes it clear that the criminals that the SEC was identifying were not “rogues.” They were the CEOs of seemingly legitimate firms. The SEC is identifying “accounting control frauds” – the frauds that cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. The SEC is not identifying a few rotten apples, but roughly 100 hedge funds likely to have engaged in accounting fraud. The WSJ describes the SEC’s identification system:

    • Good Luck Occupiers, But Here’s Why “Facebook For Protesters” Won’t Work

      Members of the Occupy movement are building a “Facebook for protesters” called The Global Square, Wired reported yesterday. Less than a traditional social network, it’s an international collaboration network. While a valiant effort, I see 3 big problems with the project’s concept that will limit its success and impact.

      The Global Square is designed to allow Occupy Wall Street, local Occupy movements, and other protesters to coordinate and share knowledge across different content management systems. Some of the reasons for starting the project that its developers told Wired include:

      1. Connecting and mobilizing protest movements
      2. Creating an open-source alternative to Facebook and other corporate social networks
      3. Protesters don’t trust Facebook to keep their data and messages private from authorities

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