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02.23.12

Links 23/2/2012: Mozilla Marketplace, ACTA

Posted in News Roundup at 1:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Flash, Chrome and a Mole Hill

    So for now, lets not make a mountain out of something that very well appears to be nothing more than a molehill.

  • Desktop

    • Eugeni Dodonov: Even while I was at Microsoft, I still had Slackware on my machine

      My name is Eugeni (which is sometimes written as Evgueni or Eugene and with all the possible variations of it) Dodonov. I am 30 years old right now, and I was born in Moscow, Russia, but I live in Brazil since 1996. While in Brazil, I did my bachelor and master degrees at the UFSCar University, working with distributed parallel file systems; and my PhD in the USP University, proposing a prediction approach to allow computing systems behave autonomously, without any human supervision. It was really interesting research, and one of the most curious questions I got about about it was if I had thought about safety measures, because the overall autonomic approach we did looked similar to Skynet to some of the PhD thesis readers :).

    • Terrible Linux
  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 beta 1 screen shot preview

        The first beta release of Mageia 2 was made available for download yesterday (February 21). The final stable release is not due until May 3, but from test installations of this first beta, in both real hardware and virtual environment, I can tell you that Mageia 2 may very well turn out to be the best desktop distribution of 2012.

        For a beta edition, almost everything I tested worked smoothly, though there are a few packages that are not in the repository. These are Stackfolder and Takeoff Launcher, two applications that make a KDE desktop a lot more fun to use. Aside from those missing packages, there is a minor issue during the boot loader configuration step of the installation process. Bug report on that is on its way.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Management Tips From Red Hat’s Crazy Culture Every Company Should Steal

        As the world’s first and only billion-dollar fully open source company, Red Hat has a unique corporate culture. The employees collectively have more power than any one person, even the CEO.

        No one is more aware of this than Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. He calls it a “meritocracy” meaning leaders arise based on their brains, not their spot on an org chart.

        Whitehurst took the CEO job in 2007 after being COO of Delta Airlines, a cultural shock if ever there was one.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 vs. Oracle, CentOS, Scientific Linux Benchmarks

        Does Red Hat Enterprise Linux perform any better (or worse) than the various “Enterprise Linux” distributions that are derived from RHEL? Now that Scientific Linux 6.2 was released, here is a performance comparison of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux, CentOS, and Scientific Linux across three different systems.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Introducing Ubuntu Cooking Lens for Unity
          • Canonical Continues to Push Ubuntu for the Cloud

            The jury may still be out on what exactly cloud computing even means, but that isn’t stopping most IT movers and shakers from churning out incessant reminders of how important the cloud is. Canonical, which this week released a new publication highlighting the way Ubuntu fits into the cloud, is no exception. Here’s a look at this latest effort to market Ubuntu to a cloud audience, and what it says about Canonical’s strategy over the longer term.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Aruba Delivers BYOD Control with ClearPass

      The ClearPass solution is not part of Aruba’s existing ArubaOS based product line that delivers wired and wireless network connectivity. ClearPass is a server appliance that runs on a CentOS Linux base and it’s also available as a virtual appliance.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Digium’s First IP Phones and Asterisk: A Perfect Combo?
  • Web Browsers

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA To Open Source Web Operations

      NASA, like any other major enterprise, is a heavy user of open source and Linux. Now the agency is planning to open source its main portal NASA.gov and internal Intranet insidenasa.nasa.gov.

      The space agency recently (Feb 6) posted a draft Statement of Work (SOW) seeking vendors to submit their response to the request for information.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • An Open Innovation Toolbox

      The Obama Administration’s innovation agenda is aimed at finding, testing, and scaling new ideas that change the way government conducts business and delivers services through engagement with the American people. An innovative government incorporates an entrepreneurial mindset into its daily work – taking risks, building lean organizations, and developing innovative products and services faster than the rest of the world.

      On his last day in office, then-U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra released the Open Innovator’s Practitioner’s Toolbox. It contains 20 of the best disruptive innovation practices conceived and built by entrepreneurs across government. They provide a rich set of guiding principles that any Federal, state, and local government can use to support rapid innovation supporting economic growth and job creation.

Leftovers

  • Twitter co-founder Biz Stone on success, failure, and the future of social

    Twitter (as well as Xanga, Odeo, and Blogger) co-founder Biz Stone keynoted this week’s 2012 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference with the history of Twitter alongside advice on the future of the social web and what it means to be successful.

  • Censorship

    • Morocco’s main telecom provider blocks access to Skype and other VoIP services

      According to Moroccan Blog, Moroccan Geeks [French], Skype and all other VoIP services have been blocked in the country, pointing to an article from Moroccan newspaper Al Sabaheya confirming the news [Arabic].

      While services are more often than not blocked as a result of authoritative governments, Skype usually finds itself targeted by mobile operators and telecom providers, as was the case for Skype itself in Egypt. In Morocco, it would appear the move has been made in an attempt to create a monopoly on calling options available in the country.

  • Civil Rights

    • What a Difference a Week Makes: The Fight Against Online Surveillance

      When the government placed the Internet surveillance bill on the notice paper one week ago, few would have predicted that within days of the introduction, the anger with the legislative proposals would have been so strong that the government would steadily backtrack on its plans, with Public Safety Minister Vic Toews yesterday telling the House of Commons the bill will go to committee before second reading to ensure that there is greater openness to amendments (changes are more restricted after second reading). While the battle is only beginning, the overwhelming negative reaction seems to have taken the government by surprise.

  • DRM

    • “Unethical” HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism from W3C reps

      A new Web standard proposal authored by Google, Microsoft, and Netflix seeks to bring copy protection mechanisms to the Web. The Encrypted Media Extensions draft defines a framework for enabling the playback of protected media content in the Web browser. The proposal is controversial and has raised concern among some parties that are participating in the standards process.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Why We Take to The Streets

          Despite the EU Commission’s attempt to buy time and defuse the heated political debate by referring ACTA to the EU Court of Justice, this Saturday February 25th will be one more opportunity for hundreds of thousands of citizens across dozens of cities all around the European Union to take to the streets and protest against ACTA. For all of us, ACTA has become the symbol of corrupt policy-making, and the evidence that it has never been more urgent to reform copyright so as to protect our fundamental rights online.

        • FFII note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA

          We welcome the decision to release the European Parliament legal service’s opinion on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement). We have compared the legal service’s opinion with multiple academic opinions on ACTA and some civil society analyses.

        • Will ACTA compromise the European Court of Justice too?

          The European Commission considers asking the Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA. This would be irresponsible, it could seriously compromise the Court. The Commission should withdraw ACTA in stead.

          The 1994 WTO TRIPS agreement spread out the enforcement of intellectual property rights over the world. Countries lost the ability to abolish their copyright and patent systems. For instance, the Netherlands abolished its suffocating patent system in 1869, and reintroduced patents in 1912. Since TRIPS, this is no longer possible.

Links 23/2/2012: No More Adobe Trash on GNU/Linux, New Mageia Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 5:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ford’s open source OpenXC platform as gateway to future high tech car gizmos

    Ford (and other automakers) envision future cars with high tech infotainment systems galore where car dashboards could have downloadable app’s just like todays smart phones and tablets. With the OpenXC platform Ford is creating a channel for open collaboration with 3rd party application developers, allowing them to use cars like the Ford Focus to prototype their gizmos.

  • US Veterans’ Administrations Looking at Alternative Office Suites

    I have been using OpenOffice.org and lately LibreOffice for years with no ill effects and plenty of benefits like working well with PDF and using proper open standard file-formats. The only problem the VA will have if it switches over is what to do with the bulk of archived documents in M$’s various formats. My recommendation is to convert as many of them as possible to PDFs and leave them as archives. They rarely have to modify old documents. They should be able to do that using their present software and some “print” function. The cost of the migration would largely be the cost of processing those archives. That cost should be chalked up as a mistake of the past because it will not be an on-going cost.

  • Open source model creates new cybercrime frontier [Ed: FUD]

    Inspired by the success of the open source development model, criminals are creating similar community models and, in doing so, opening up a new avenue for malicious software and malware incubation, industry insiders warn.

  • Events

    • COSCUP 2012

      COSCUP is the largest Free software event in Taiwan and based on my experience from attending last year I can certainly say that it is one of the most well organized and vibrant F/OSS events in the world. It’s in the same category level as FISL in Brazil or Linux Conf Australia in my mind.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Eight Business-changing Ways to Use Big Data

      Enterprises are finding business-changing ways to put the power of Hadoop, an open source Apache project for storing and processing large amounts of data, to good use. They are using Hadoop and Big Data to reduce risks, better serve customers and even change the Internet.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Joomla: The Hidden Giant of Web Development

      Joomla is one of the most widely used open source content management systems available today. Though it’s not as popular as the MIGHTY WordPress, we are yet to discover the hidden treasures that lurk beneath. I am going to discuss the Pros and Cons of using Joomla in this article, so the next time you’re planning to invest on your online presence, you should have an idea where to spend and why!

  • Healthcare

    • GNU Health Decision Support on Prescription Writing

      In this entry I will briefly talk about how GNU Health can help the professional in making the best decision, and how to minimize mistakes.

      I will focus in prescription writing and how we’re incorporating DS (Decision Support) to GNU Health.

      GNU Health uses the WHO (World Health Organization) essential list of medicines by default, so you already have a very nice and updated set for your daily practice.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Help us Open Source NASA.gov
    • NASA calls for vendors to “open source” NASA.gov

      NASA has released an RFI (Request For Information) asking for help reimplementing the nasa.gov web site using open source software and open standards. With 600,000 unique visitors and over 1.29 TB of traffic a day, 140 different web sites and applications and over 700,000 web pages, the task is large. As the first stage of an acquisition process, NASA has therefore published the RFI looking for companies that, according to Nick Skytland, Open Government Program Manager at Johnson Space Center, are “visionary, that get open source, cloud computing, and citizen engagement using the latest online technology”.

    • Is the VA Embracing Open Source?

      Obviously security, supportability, and interoperability are among the factors the VA must take into consideration, so the department is only soliciting white papers right now. “The white papers should merely be focused on the per seat cost for services/tools provided, current state of the technology in terms of Office productivity suite benefits, supportability, security, ease of use, and interoperability with Microsoft based products,” the announcement says.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Ten Things You Need to Know about Open Source Geospatial Software

      How confident are you in your knowledge of open source geospatial software? How about a quick introduction or refresher? Executive Editor Adena Schutzberg offers 10 points that are important to understand about open source software.

    • Open innovation–the passion behind the Civic Commons community

      From the beginning, Civic Commons has been a dynamic community initiative. What began in January 2010 as a simple wiki of open government policies and practices (originally called “OpenMuni”, domains for which were simultaneously and independently obtained by Code for America and OpenPlans), grew into a partnership between the two organizations to support the growing open government technology movement, and is now an open community of civic hackers, government technologists, entrepreneurs and many others.

    • Cash Music Needs Our Help To Build Free Open Source Tools For Musicians

      Regular Hypebot readers know how excited I get about Cash Music. It’s hard to imagine anything closer to what this blog is about than a non-profit group building free tools that help musicians to market and sell music online. That’s exactly what Cash Music is; and for one of the first time’s ever, they’re asking for help via a Kickstarter campaign.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Funny stuff what I encountered
  • Microsoft’s Google Cloud FUD Could Come Back to Bite It

    You have to hand it to Microsoft. Their latest attacks on Google Apps are at least an attempt at comedy, but when you peel back the humor, what you have is just good old-fashioned Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD), YouTube style.

    I won’t discuss the irony of Microsoft going off on Google services using Google’s own YouTube channel. That’s fairly rich in itself, but as we shall see, Google has opened itself up to these attacks with its own behavior.

  • How The Guy Who Didn’t Invent Email Got Memorialized In The Press & The Smithsonian As The Inventor Of Email

    Late last week, the Washington Post reported that The Smithsonian had acquired “tapes, documentation, copyrights, and over 50,000 lines of code from V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, who both the Smithsonian and the Washington Post insisted was the “inventor of e-mail.” There’s just one problem with this: It’s not actually true. Lots of internet old-timers quickly started to speak out against this, especially on Dave Farber’s Interesting People email list, where they highlighted how it’s just not true. As is nicely summarized on Wikipedia’s talk page about Ayyadurai, he was responsible for “merely inventing an email management system that he named EMAIL,” which came long after email itself.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Spinning Suspect Ingredients in Baby Formula

      Isabel Salas reported to the non-profit Cornucopia Institute (Cornucopia) the difficulties she faced when her infant daughter reacted badly to a set of additives present in most baby formulas: DHA and ARA oils. Containers of formula containing these additives say things like, “Our formula is proven in clinical studies to enhance mental development” and “as close as ever to breast milk.”

  • Finance

    • How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street

      CDS are a form of derivative taken out by investors as insurance against default. According to the Comptroller of the Currency, nearly 95 percent of the banking industry’s total exposure to derivatives contracts is held by the nation’s five largest banks: JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, HSBC, and Goldman Sachs. The CDS market is unregulated, and there is no requirement that the “insurer” actually have the funds to pay up. CDS are more like bets, and a massive loss at the casino could bring the house down.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wisconsin GOP Attempts to Ram Through Special Interest Mining Bill

      Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald are pushing for radical changes in Wisconsin’s current mining law to benefit a single out-of-state company.

      Gogebic Taconite, based out of Florida, has proposed a massive twenty-one mile long iron-ore strip mine in some of the most beautiful and pristine land in the northern part of the state. Walker and the GOP are promoting the mining bill as the most important “jobs bill” of the session. Since Governor Walker’s austerity budget kicked in on July 1, Wisconsin has lost jobs for six straight months, the worst record in the country.

  • Censorship

    • Techdirt Deemed Harmful To Minors In Germany

      Hanno alerts us to the news that Techdirt has apparently been deemed harmful to minors in Germany. The German Media Control Authority has apparently been pushing internet “youth filters” to protect kids from dangerous things online. So far, it has officially approved two internet filters. Hanno got his hands on one and discovered that Techdirt was one of many blocked sites (Google translation from the original German) — as the filter declares that Techdirt has pornographic images and depictions of violence. We do?

    • La La La La La: The Internet Routes Around Copyright Censorship To Restore Daria

      One of the things I’ve never liked about copyright is its potential to be the functional equivalent of censorship. Sometimes this censorship comes about because an author didn’t get permission to create his work in the first place (see: Richard Prince, JD California). While this unfortunately turns judges into cultural gatekeepers, it’s been deemed a necessary balance between copyright law and the First Amendment, and harm to the public is arguably lessened by the fact that we don’t know what we’re missing; because the censored work is never able to reach and impact us, we’ve only lost the potential of its cultural contribution.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How the CRTC Helped Stifle Internet Throttling

      Hockey may be Canada’s national pastime, but criticizing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) surely ranks as a close second. From the substitution of Canadian commercials during the Super Bowl broadcast to Canada’s middling performance on broadband Internet services, the CRTC is seemingly always viewed as the target for blame.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Megaupload Boss Kim Dotcom Granted Bail After US Fails To Prove He’s Got Cash Stashed Away To Make An Escape
      • Entertainment Industry Embraces New Business Model: Suing Google For Third-Party Android Apps That ‘Promote Piracy’
      • ACTA

        • How the European Internet Rose Up Against ACTA

          Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland sent a letter to his fellow leaders in the EU Friday urging them to reject ACTA, reversing Poland’s course with the controversial intellectual-property treaty, and possibly taking Europe with them.

          “I was wrong,” Tusk explained to a news conference, confessing his government had acted recklessly with a legal regime that wasn’t right for the 21st century. The reversal came after Tusk’s own strong statements in support of ACTA and condemnation of Anonymous attacks on Polish government sites, and weeks of street protest in Poland and across Europe.

        • ECJ Referral: No Legal Debate Will Make ACTA Legitimate

          The European Commission just announced its intent to ask the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for an opinion on the conformity of ACTA with fundamental freedoms. Beyond the obvious intent to defuse the heated debate currently taking place, this move aims to make the ACTA discussion a mere legal issue, when the main concerns are political by nature.

        • European Commission Suggests ACTA’s Opponents Don’t Have ‘Democratic Intentions’

          So the European Commission thinks that tens of thousands of people on the streets somehow don’t reflect the wider community — presumably unlike the small band of negotiators and lobbyists behind closed doors that drew up ACTA in secrecy for years, who do represent the European Union’s 500 million people.

          And the Commissioners are just shocked that the opponents of ACTA, who have been denied any meaningful transparency about what was being agreed to in their name during those now-concluded negotiations, are desperately trying to make their voices heard by the only institutions left that can listen: the EU nations that haven’t signed ACTA, and the European Parliament that must still ratify it.

        • ACTA Approval On Hold While EU Commission Asks EU Court Of Justice To Weigh In

          Of course, other parts of De Gucht’s statement are pretty questionable. He talks about how the EU Council “adopted ACTA unanimously” leaving out that they did so by hiding it in an agriculture and fisheries meeting. He talks about how ACTA “will not change anything in the European Union” but is merely about “getting other countries to adopt” stricter laws. However, some EU countries have already noted that they would have to change their laws to comply with ACTA.

02.22.12

Links 22/2/2012: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.8, Firefox 10.0.2

Posted in News Roundup at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Kiwi open sourcers invade Aus

    New Zealand open source digital media company SilverStripe is ramping up its presence in Australia, selecting Victoria as its Australian headquarters and hiring 50 new staff.

  • Is Open Source Software Falling Short?

    Open source software has managed to find its way into the minds and hearts of users on all three popular desktop platforms. I know of countless Windows users who enjoy free access to applications such as Firefox, LibreOffice, GIMP, Filezilla, among others. Users of these popular software titles know all to well the benefits of using open source software.

    Yet, there’s still the question of using open source software in place of proprietary software. Specifically: can open source software provide an adequate replacement for legacy software?

    This is the question I’ll answer in this article. I’ll look at the open source applications I use, and how they differ from their proprietary alternatives.

  • Open Source Software Is Made For The Cloud

    Open source software has been maligned and celebrated over the years. Proponents of the open source concept claim that collaboration and openness will lead to better technological results for the consumer at a fraction of the price. Opponents of the concept claim that without a profit motive, technological progression will grind to a halt. Both sides may be right, but with many technology companies finding ways to turn a profit outside of software sales over the past decade, open source software has gotten a significant boost in popularity.

    Cloud computing encompasses many things, but a major part of it is the ability for multiple people in disparate places to collaborate on a single project at the same time. Since the information and processing are done in the cloud, each user only needs a way to log in to the cloud and all users can view updates in real time. This spirit of collaboration makes for an ideal pairing with open source software. Having the source code of a cloud service available to everyone makes it that much easier to spot bugs and improve performance.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Clustered NoSQL database Riak gets administration console

      The Riak distributed database has been updated to version 1.1, and has a new administration console and diagnostic console. Riak creator Basho believes the changes in 1.1 make Riak the most scalable and stable NoSQL database available.

  • Education

  • Business

  • Funding

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Vic Toews Apparently Not A Fan Of Others Seeing His Personal Data

    You may recall that Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews announced Canada’s “lawful access” (read: government monitoring of the internet) bill by saying that if you weren’t in favor of the bill, you supported child porn. Over the weekend, he also seemed to admit that he didn’t even understand the bill he was supporting.

  • Finance

    • “Crooks on the Loose? Did Felons Get a Free Pass in the Financial Crisis?“
    • Looking for Someone to Blame? Congress is a Good Place to Start

      While we here are committed to exposing the actions of Goldman Sachs – many of which helped, if not directly, created our economic problems – we often over look and under report on those who have and had the power to prevent the actions of Goldman Sachs and their band of merry banksters (including The Fed). Charlie Reese says it in plain and simple language. A report that he began in the 1980′s and modified several times. The version below was the one from 1995, long before anyone could have ever imagined the mess we would be in at the beginning of the 21st century.

  • Censorship

    • Twitter Sued For Defamation By Someone Who Thinks It’s Responsible For ‘Publishing’ Tweets

      I would have hoped that, by now, most people could understand basic secondary liability issues, such as the difference between a service provider who provides the tools/service for communications and a content creator and/or publisher who actually creates or chooses the content. Unfortunately, when large sums of money are involved, people often have difficultly distinguishing the two. The latest situation involves a guy in Australia, named Joshua Meggitt, who appeared to have a legitimate defamation claim by Australian writer/TV personality Marieke Hardy. On her blog, she accused Meggitt of writing “ranting, hateful” articles about her. She then posted a link to her blog on Twitter, where it got a lot of attention. Hardy and Meggitt have already “settled” the dispute between each other, with a rumored $15,000 changing hands, but Meggitt has now sued Twitter directly claiming that it “published” the tweet by putting it on its front page.

    • The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom

      On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year’s end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish “international control over the Internet” through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices.

    • Billionaire Romney donor uses threats to silence critics
  • Intellectual Monopolies

02.21.12

Links 21/2/2012: Ubuntu for Android, Apache 2.4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • HCL Bags Rs 278 Crore Order From ELCOT

      These 200,000 laptops will be running on both Linux and Micrsosoft’s proprietary Windows OS. ELCOT will be working on offering some educational applications with these laptops.

    • The Linux Setup – Amelia Andersdotter, EU Parliament

      Amelia Andersdotter, 24, is the youngest member of the current European Parliament. She’s a member of the Swedish Pirate Party, a political party centered around copyright and patent reform. Given her political interests, it’s probably not a surprise that Amelia is a Linux user.

  • Kernel Space

    • x32 Support For Linux Kernel Called In For Review

      The x32 effort, an undertaking to provide a native 32-bit ABI for x86_64 on Linux, is finally moving closer to fruition. Peter Anvin has published the set of x32 patches for the Linux kernel that are now up for review and comments.

      Peter Anvin and others have long been working towards Linux x32: a native 32-bit ABI for Intel/AMD 64-bit systems so that applications not needing 64-bit pointers can benefit from 64-bit performance while using the memory foot-print of a 32-bit ABI. The Linux x32 ABI support necessitates changes to GNU binutils, the Linux kernel, Glibc, and the compiler (GCC). On Sunday the set of 30 patches touching around 1,000 lines of code was sent off to the kernel mailing list by Anvin.

    • The Btrfs File-System Repair Tool Is Available

      After writing about Btrfs LZ4 compression support and that the Btrfs FSCK tool wasn’t available, it turns out that there is the new Btrfs repair tool, but it’s not widely known and it’s not recommended to ever use it — at least at this stage.

      As pointed out by Phoronix readers, from the btrfs-progs Git tree on Kernel.org is a new branch that was pushed a little more than one week ago. This new branch is called “dangerdonteveruse” (expanded: don’t ever use [it]) and contains the ability to fix Btrfs file-systems.

    • Slow boot? Blame systemd!
    • Graphics Stack

      • DisplayLink KMS Driver Arrives, Supports Hot-Unplug

        There’s a new KMS/DRM driver to introduce to the world: UDL. UDL is a DRM kernel mode-setting driver for the USB-based DisplayLink graphics adapters.

        It was back in 2009 that DisplayLink decided to provide Linux GPU support and be open-source friendly for their interesting USB-based graphics adapters and since then the support has only become more compelling. At first DisplayLink provided a simple Linux library, documentation, and then a frame-buffer and X.Org driver for the hardware.

      • Proposals To Split KMS & GPU Drivers, 2D Kernel API
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Taming Clonezilla: Free open source disk imaging and backups

      Among the many tools out there for cloning drives and performing full-system backups, one came to my attention for being both free (and open source) and powerful: Clonezilla, a product of the Free Software Labs of the National Center for High-Performance Computing in Taiwan.

      Clonezilla’s power, however, is matched by complexity. You can get a lot out of it, but at the cost of paying close attention to what you’re doing. Here’s a guide to getting just what you need from Clonezilla — without wreaking havoc on your system or being swallowed by the monster.

    • New Releases

      • Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) 1.3.2
      • New package format in Tiny Core Linux 4.3

        The Core Project’s “Team Tiny Core” has released version 4.3 of Tiny Core Linux, the lightweight modular Linux system. The new version introduces a “Self Contained Mountable applications” (SCM) package format for adding additional applications. Mountable applications take the file extension .scm and can be dynamically mounted and unmounted at runtime. They are managed using scmbrowser, a new graphical application.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia at FOSDEM 2012

        This FOSDEM thing could turn into a habit! Mageia was at FOSDEM 2012 in Brussels – and this year, we had quite a noticeable presence.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Inspecting the Gentoo 12.0 Live DVD

        Following a recent request I downloaded the Gentoo 12.0 Live DVD for a test drive. I tried Gentoo many years ago but gave up after a few hours due to the time involved, and my knowledge back then was a lot more rudimentary than today. Gentoo is a source distribution that is supposed to be configured and compiled from stage 2 or stage 3 tarballs, although some base images are available that allow you to cheat and skip the early part of kernel compilation etc. with minimal install images.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Project Releases

    • Apache 2.4 Delivers More Performance

      A key focus in the 2.4 release is improved performance which is delivered by way of multiple innovations.

      “What we have done is checked 2.4 against itself and other web-servers; in general, we find 2.4 to be the fastest version of Apache by far,” Jim Jagielski, ASF President and Apache HTTP Server Project Management Committee, told InternetNews.com.

    • Apache releases first major new version of popular Web server in six years

      The Apache Software Foundation has just announced the release version 2.4 of its award-winning Apache HTTP Server. This is the first major release of the Apache Web server in more than six years. Long before the release of Apache 2.2 in December 1st, 2005 though, Apache was already the most popular Web server in the world. Today Apache powers almost 400 million Web sites.

  • Public Services/Government

    • United Kingdom seeking advice on open standards definition

      The UK cabinet office is seeking advice on the definition of open standards in the context of government IT. It posted its consultation documents online last week Wednesday. The consultation follows the withdrawing in November of a IT procurement policy in effect since in January 2011.

      The consultation should also help to make clear what effects compulsory standards may have on government departments, on delivery partners and on supply chains. A third aim is to gain knowledge on international alignment and cross-border interoperability.

      In a statement, Minister for Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: “We are committed to implementing open standards and want to create a level playing field for open source and proprietary software. Open standards for software and systems will reduce costs and enable us to provide better public services. We want to get this right; so we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their say on this matter.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How to Kickstart an Open Source Music Revolution with CASH Music

      On February 10, 2012, CASH Music launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised more than 70% of their $30,000 goal in about 24 hours. What is CASH Music? And why does it already have vocal support from musicians, Firefox, and even Neil Gaiman? Jesse von Doom, Co-Executive Director of CASH Music, explains the inspiration behind the project and the big role Linux plays in it.

    • Booktype makes book collaboration web-based and simple

      If you’ve ever tried to collaborate with other authors and editors and the many other people who work to make a book successful, you know it’s not easy. Even if your experience stops at trying to incorporate three comments with changes tracked in word processing software, you get the idea. Last week at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference, a new platform called Booktype was announced. It was created to help you collaborate on editing content and getting it ready for publishing.

    • Open Hardware

      • Like to tinker? Two new devices are fully hackable

        “Open source” is a term most often applied to software, and it’s become increasingly common in both the business and consumer worlds.

        What some may not realize, however, is that hardware can be open source too, with design specifications, schematics, source code, and other data about the device’s inner workings available for inspection and customization by the user.

        I’ve already written a few times about the new, Linux-based Spark tablet that’s on the way with unlocked hardware, but recently I came across two other open devices launched in the last few weeks that can be freely hacked and modified. Both the Openmoko GTA04 phone and the Auraslate Lifepad tablet promise a veritable playground for tinkerers and anyone who values complete openness and customizability.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open Season on Open Standards

      The increasingly heated debates about the traditionally dull area of computer standards is testimony to the rise of open source. For the latter absolutely requires standards to be truly open – that is, freely implementable, without any restrictions – whereas in the past standards were pretty much anything that enough powerful companies agreed upon, regardless of how restrictive they were.

Leftovers

  • VA could give Microsoft Office the boot
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • On Anniversary of Prank Call the Real David Koch Wants to “Stop Union Power” in Wisconsin

      One year ago this week, blogger Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast pranked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by posing as billionaire David Koch on a phone call. As the crowds at the Capitol protesting Walker’s bill to end collective bargaining were increasing in size and volume, the fake Koch inquired how Walker’s efforts to “crush that union” were going. Walker’s fawning response helped rocket the Wisconsin protests into the national media limelight.

  • Civil Rights

    • From encryption to darknets: As governments snoop, activists fight back

      As the Arab Spring hits its first anniversary, tech activists around the globe are continuing their efforts to enable secure communications—especially in areas of the world that are in conflict or transition. After all, it’s become an open secret that governments ranging from Assad’s Syria to local American law enforcement to the newly created government of South Sudan are actively trying to find out what is being said and transmitted over their airwaves and networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

    • Copyrights

      • Canada’s C-11 Bill and the Hazards of Digital Locks Provisions

        While copyright owners claim that they need anti-circumvention laws to address copyright infringement, twelve years’ experience with the U.S. DMCA provisions demonstrates that overbroad digital locks laws can wreak havoc on lawful, non copyright-infringing activities, stifle free speech and scientific research, and harm innovation and competition. The issue is that overbroad anti-circumvention bans can override exceptions and limitations in national copyright laws, restricting or eliminating perfectly lawful non-copyright infringing uses of copyrighted works.

      • ACTA

        • How To Fight ACTA

          Now that the US bills SOPA and PIPA have been put on ice, attention has returned to their parent, an international treaty called ACTA. I’ve written extensively about ACTA before, but in summary it is an international treaty that has been secretly negotiated to ensure as little input as possible from the citizens of any country.

          While superficially about stemming the flow of counterfeit physical goods (ACTA stands for “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement“), the copyright and patent industries (music, movies, software, pharmaceuticals and more) have successfully infested it and the result is a trade agreement that substantially reduces the scope for discretion over new approaches to business on the internet.

        • MEP Phil Prendergast has a few questions on ACTA

          Members of the European Parliament could submit as many written parliament questions to the Council and the Commission as they like and force these institutions to make official statements. If you have a technical question about specific ACTA provisions or procedural oddities feel free to suggest your Member of Parliament to table them. Most MEPs are not as industrious in tabling parliament questions as Phil Prendergast (S&D, Labour Party Ireland) recently, and they limit their tabling to the “priority questions”/”oral questions”, where they have limitations but the institutions have to answer in a faster pace. In the past most of the numerous questions on ACTA were posed to the Commission, not the Council. However, only the Council is competent to answer the procedural specifics of the strange criminal sanctions parts.

        • Economy Minister blocks ratification of ACTA

          The Economy Minister Daniels Pavluts has decided to block the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which has caused wide protests in the society.

          On Wednesday, February 8, the Minister announced that he made the decision taking into account the mood of various groups of the society, as well as worries of several experts about the possibility of ACTA implementation in Latvia.

Links 21/2/2012: HijackThis Becomes Open Source, LibrePlanet 2012 is Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 8:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Thoughts on Hiring Linux Hackers (in 2012)

    I have interviewed hundreds of candidates and had the delight of hiring dozens of Linux and open source developers, engineers, and interns over the last 10 years — at IBM, Canonical, and now Gazzang. The most recent one signed his contract this morning, in fact! It’s quite a rush to bring new talent into a small team.

  • Some things you may have heard about Secure Boot which aren’t entirely true

    Talking about Secure Boot again, I’m afraid. One of the things that’s made discussion of this difficult is that, while the specification isn’t overly complicated, some of the outcomes aren’t obvious at all until you spend a long time thinking about it. So here’s some clarification on a few points.

  • Desktop

    • Top 5 Ubuntu pre-installed Laptop companies

      While Canonical has a well established business desktop scenario with Ubuntu, finding laptops with preinstalled laptops is sometimes a challenge. Laptops are usually available in two formats. First is the ODM (Original Design Manufacturers) who make the laptops. Second, is OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) who purchase from ODM but install their own brand of CPU, hard drive as well as the software. Some of these OEM

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • OpenChrome VIA KMS Has A Goal For This Summer
      • Nouveau 2D Still Has Room For Improvement

        The Nouveau 2D driver performance used to be very good against the proprietary/binary NVIDIA Linux driver. After running the new Intel SNA benchmarks earlier this month, I ran some quick 2D benchmarks of the latest Nouveau driver and NVIDIA binary driver.

      • Merging feature work to Mesa master

        Over the last six months a lot of feature work has happened in Mesa, and the load has been carried by a lot of different people / organization. In the process, we discovered a number of development process issues that made things more difficult than they needed to be.

      • First Release Of The New Mode-Setting Driver

        David Airlie officially released the first version of the xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver this week. The xf86-video-modesetting driver is a generic KMS X.Org driver that will work with any kernel mode-setting DRM driver in Linux, but only provides shadow frame-buffer support.

      • There’s Hope For DMA-BUF With Non-GPL Drivers

        There’s some resurrected hope for the kernel symbols of the DMA-BUF buffer sharing mechanism to be not restricted to only GPL drivers, which started off as a request by NVIDIA. This could lead to better NVIDIA Optimus support under Linux, among other benefits.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • First look at Asturix 4 and On desktop

      About once a year I try a new Asturix release and every time it’s something very different from the previous trial. The developers appear to be casting around, experimenting with this or that, and it always makes for an interesting ride. This time around I found the distribution to be a mixed bag and not in the way I had expected. When I heard they’d put out a release based on Ubuntu with a new, custom desktop I expected a solid base with functioning applications under a buggy interface. For the most part my experience was the opposite. The On interface is pretty good, mixing the mobile-like interfaces we’re seeing cropping up everywhere with enough traditional pieces to make it usable on a full-sized desktop screen. The developers surpassed my expectation there and I found only a few issues with the new interface. On the other hand I found some bugs which shouldn’t have made it through QA testing. For instance, the update manager that pops up and the Software Centre don’t launch with administrator’s privileges and don’t prompt for it. On the live CD there is a log out button in the corner of the screen where I would expect it, but the log out button doesn’t appear post-install, requiring the user to hunt for the proper icon. When trying to launch the backup utility it appears the software wasn’t actually installed, there’s just a useless icon in its place.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – February 20th, 2012

        * Goodbye Lenny!
        * Debian GNU/Hurd on the rails
        * DPL and legal work
        * Multiarch-ready dpkg
        * GPL in Debian: a study
        * Interviews
        * Other news
        * Upcoming events
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • The newsletter for the Debian community
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • What does Ubuntu want to be when it grows up?

            Once upon a time I knew exactly what Ubuntu was. Built on top of Debian Linux, it was the most popular Linux desktop around. Today, Ubuntu is in the clouds, on servers, tablets and smartphones, and, oh yes, it’s still on the desktop. By spreading its energy in so many directions it’s hard to see what Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, really wants from Ubuntu. So what exactly is Ubuntu today? Well, here’s my overview of Ubuntu 2012.

          • Ubuntu Command Center: Gnome Control Center

            Ubuntu 12.04 is all about pixel perfecting everything and focusing on the quality of the overall release. This is important since it is a LTS release which would be used by companies and users all over the world for a long time. From the view point of a user and sys-admins, it is important to have all the customizable options in one place. Gnome Control Center is meant for just that. There have been quite some updates on the gnome control center which are worth mentioning.

          • Ubuntu One Available on Vodafone AppSelect

            Ubuntu One team announced today, February 20th, that the Vodafone company has recently added the Ubuntu One Files app on their Vodafone AppSelect app store for the Android platform.

            Vodafone offers the Ubuntu One Files app in the following countries: United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Russia, Portugal, and Greece.

          • ARM On Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Battling Intel x86?

            In recent weeks I have shown how Ubuntu 12.04 is ARM-ing up for better performance on the ARMv7 architecture by enabling hard-float builds and how the TI OMAP4 support has come together resulting in significant performance gains. Nevertheless, how is modern ARM hardware now comparing to the low-end Intel x86 competition? In this article are some results from Ubuntu 12.04 comparing the ARM performance to some Intel Core, Pentium, and Atom hardware.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Will Try For Intel RC6 By Default
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12: Why it’s the best desktop OS

              Over the years, I’ve tried every shade of desktop — from the ridiculously complex to the overly simple, from the barely usable to the extremely useful. Recently, the push seems towards touchscreen technology, with little success. Nevertheless, some operating systems — such as Ubuntu Unity, GNOME 3 and Windows 8 — are persisting with touchscreen-friendly features. The problem is these desktops aren’t particularly user friendly.

              Then along comes Linux Mint 12. In terms of user friendliness, it offers something special. Here are the reasons why I think it’s the best desktop operating system available.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Intel Ships A MeeGo Update For Cedar Trail

        Cedar Trail represents the latest-generation 32nm Intel Atom processors. Unfortunately its graphics though aren’t developed in-house, but at least that’s changing to avoid such situations in the future.

      • Android

        • ZTE bringing two scoops of Ice Cream Sandwich to Mobile World Congress

          Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE today announced that it will be brining a pair of new Android smartphones to Mobile World Congress next week, both of them running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

          The ZTE PF200 sports a 4.3-inch display at qHD (540×960) resolution, with an 8-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing camera for video calling. It’ll have LTE, UMTS and GSM radios, as well as NFC, and DLNA and MHL high-def outputs.

        • Huawei Honor (U8860) Review
        • Sony Xperia U shows up next to big brother Xperia S

          Exciting news if you’re a fan of Sony’s Xperia designs, but not the huge displays that seem to permeate the mobile world these days: the Sony Xperia U (also known as the Kumquat/st25i) has been spotted in its first set of leaked photos. It’s getting comfy with Sony’s new international flagship, the Xperia S, in a series of shots found by Android HD Blog (Italian). Both phones share a lot of design DNA, but it looks like the Xperia U is much smaller, with a screen somewhere in the ballpark of 3.2 inches. Like the S, the Xperia U is still running Gingerbread.

        • Huawei Ascend D1 Q press photos leak

          We’ve known that Huawei had something special planned for Mobile World Congress, and this would appear to be it. The first entry in Huawei’s Diamond line is the Ascend D1 Q, and TechOrz.com got their hands on some leaked press shots prior to Huawei’s conference. The renders show a typical high-end Android phone that’s clearly of the large screen variety – probably with a 4.3-inch or larger display. The device’s red-on-black color scheme is reminiscent of the HTC Rezound, though the shape looks more like a Galaxy-class smartphone.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Is Tablet-Creep in Operating Systems a Bad Thing and Must we Accept it?

        Like it or not, it would appear that the tablet-ification of our desktop operating systems is inevitable. Setting aside the new Metro interface that will take the main focus of Windows 8, Apple are slowly creeping more tablet features into OS X and even Canonical are getting in on the act with their Unity interface for Ubuntu and their removal of drop-down menus. So is tablet-creep a bad thing, and need we accept it?

      • on the economics of Spark

        A question about Spark that we’re hearing fairly often is how the economics behind it will work. This question has come in a few different forms such as requests to explain the price point we settled on or how much of the proceeds will go where. I thought since it has come up a few times instead of answering it in blog comments repeatedly I’d answer it here in a proper blog entry.

        The economics around Spark have, as you might expect, been a focus point for us from the very start of project planning. To state the obvious: if the economics weren’t workable then the project wouldn’t be viable. So that was where we started.

      • Auraslate Is An Open Source Android Tablet For Hackers

        If you’re sick of firmware lockdowns and failed reflashings on your other Android tablets, the Auraslate may be for you. It’s basically an Ice Cream Sandwich-compatible tablet built from the ground up for hax0rz and programmers alike.

      • HP releases source code for its internal TouchPad Android kernel to CyanogenMod
      • HP releases Android on TouchPad code to happy hackers

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Security biz scoffs at Apple’s anti-Trojan Gatekeeper

      Security watchers are expressing reservations about whitelisting security that Apple plans to integrate with OS X Mountain Lion this summer.

      The security feature, dubbed Gatekeeper, restricts the installation of downloaded applications based on their source. Users can choose to accept apps from anywhere (as now) but by default Gatekeeper only lets users install programs downloaded from the Mac App Store or those digitally signed by a registered developer. More cautious users can decide to accept only applications downloaded from the Mac App Store.

  • Finance

    • Why Toxic Debt Looks a Lot Less Toxic

      Some of the same investors who made big profits betting against mortgage bonds before the 2007 housing bust have started snapping up the toxic assets. Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, who made $500 million when subprime debt cratered, is raising a fund to buy them. He’s joining John Paulson, who made $15 billion in 2007 thanks to the housing bust. Goldman Sachs Group has bought the bonds this year. Remarkably, so has American International Group —the insurer that had to be rescued by the U.S. government in 2008 after its wagers on risky mortgages went bad.

    • Emerging Asia Demand for Gold
    • Vulture Capitalism Gets a Makeover

      The candidacy of Mitt Romney for President of the United States has drawn scrutiny to the practices of the “private equity” industry. Tired of being bashed as greedy “vulture capitalists,” the industry has launched an effort to polish its image.

      The Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC), a trade group representing many of the most powerful firms in the venture capital and private equity industry, recently announced its intention to begin a new media initiative called “Private Equity At Work” to correct what it views as “a real lack of understanding about private equity.”

      Private equity firms use the funds of their investors to buy up struggling companies. These companies are then retooled to enhance their perceived potential for profitability and are subsequently resold for a profit. Critics argue that private equity firms often force their corporate clients to cut jobs, increase their debt load or shut down solely to benefit the private equity firm’s bottom line.

  • Censorship

    • Twitter Suspends Four Accounts Critical of Sarkozy: Is This What He Meant By ‘Civilizing’ The Net?

      We don’t know at this stage exactly who asked for these four accounts to be removed, only that according to Twitter’s rules it must have been done “by Sarkozy, or someone acting on his authority”. We asked Twitter about this and it refused to provide specifics on why the accounts were closed or the timing, other than to say that just because the accounts were suspended in the same general time frame, it wasn’t necessarily for the same reason.

      Be that as it may, the near-simultaneous closure of four accounts all critical of a powerful national politician inevitably reminds us that for many countries, “civilizing” the Internet often comes down to censoring it. It’s worrying to see France apparently starting to go down that route — and for Twitter to be helping it.

    • MegaBust’s MegaQuestions Cloud the Net’s Future

      On Saturday, January 14th the White House issued a policy statement in response to an online petition against pending anti-piracy legislation signed by more than 100,000 individuals. While supporting efforts to curb infringement of U.S. intellectual property by foreign websites, it outlined that to be acceptable to the Obama Administration any such legislation must guard against online censorship, be narrowly targeted at websites currently beyond the reach of U.S. law, have strong due process protections, be targeted at criminal activity, and not inhibit innovation. The statement was interpreted as indicating that current versions of the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) were not acceptable to the President — although no explicit veto threat was made.

    • Wikileaks Denied A Speaking Opportunity At UN Conference About Wikileaks?

      UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, is hosting a conference about The Media World after Wikileaks and News of the World. Sounds like it could be an interesting event, but one organization not happy about it… is Wikileaks. Seeing as it was a conference that touched on Wikileaks’ interests directly, Wikileaks asked to take part, and was instead denied a chance to speak at the event. When asked about this, UNESCO actually claimed that choosing to not allow Wikileaks attendees was an exercise in “freedom of expression,” which seems like a poor choice of words.

    • No Indian government shall ever censor social media, says minister

      India made headlines last week when Minister of State for Communications & IT, Sachin Pilot, said that online companies like Facebook and Google must comply with the country’s laws. His statement came one day after Google and Facebook revealed that they had in fact already removed content at an Indian court’s request.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Linsanity… At The Trademark Office

        Perhaps you’ve been following the “Linsanity” story over the last week or so. Even if you’re not a sports fan, it’s a pretty incredible story. The short summary for the six or seven of you who are sharing a rock to live under is that Jeremy Lin, who excelled at basketball as a high schooler in Palo Alto, was all but written off as having a real future in basketball. No college would give him a scholarship, and many thought that he should sign with a lower ranked college where he could play for fun, but not have any future. Even Stanford, which has a great basketball program and is literally across the street from where Lin played in high school, had little interest in getting Lin to play for them. He ended up going to Harvard (who did want him, but doesn’t do academic scholarships and isn’t known for its basketball program) and then wasn’t drafted by any NBA team. He did eventually sign with the Golden State Warriors (making him the first Taiwanese American NBA player) who played him sparingly last year and then cut him. He was with the Rockets in the pre-season, but they cut him before the season started. Then he signed on with the Knicks who had sent him down to the D-League and were rumored to be getting ready to cut him… before “Linsanity” began about 10 days ago.

      • 97 Las Vegas Karaoke Locations Sued By ‘Righthaven Of Trademarks’ Demanding $500 Million

        Steve Green, who was the absolute best reporter covering the Righthaven saga, recently wrote about the fact that 97 Las Vegas karaoke providers were recently sued by a company called Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp., which apparently mainly does business as “Sound Choice,” selling various karaoke content — music and videos. Green notes that someone familiar with Slep-Tone has called it the “Righthaven of trademark

    • Copyrights

      • UMG Artist Tyga’s Album Gets Pulled For Unauthorized MLK Speech?

        After several delays YMCM artist Tyga is set to finally release his album, Careless World, on Feb. 21st. Well he was supposed to – apparently retailers like Best Buy have thrown a wrench into the plan by yanking the album and returning it to the label. It also appears to have been removed from Itunes Pre-Order. According to reports the title track “Careless World” contains portions of a Martin Luther King speech and it’s use on the project is unauthorized. Kings estate has apparently sent notices to retailers asking them to halt the sale of the album and return the copies to Universal Music Group.

      • When We Copy, We Justify It; When Others Copy, We Vilify Them
      • MPAA: Ripping DVDs Shouldn’t Be Allowed Because It Takes Away Our Ability To Charge You Multiple Times For The Same Content

        It’s that time again when the Librarian of Congress is considering special exemptions to the DMCA’s anti-cicrumvention provisions. One of the key proposals, which we discussed earlier, was Public Knowledge’s request to allow people to rip DVDs for personal use — just as we are all currently able to rip CDs for personal use (such as for moving music to a portable device). The MPAA (along with the RIAA and others) have responded to the exemption requests (pdf) with all sorts of crazy claims, but let’s focus in on the DVD ripping question, because it’s there that the insanity of Hollywood logic becomes clear.

      • Hadopi Sends Info On Those Accused (Not Convicted) Of Repeat Infringement On To Prosecutors

        You may remember last fall’s numbers concerning how many first, second and third strikes Hadopi, the French agency in charge of kicking people off the internet for possible copyright infringement, was sending out. Now come reports that France is finally moving beyond just the strikes, and has passed along info on those accused (not convicted) of infringement to “prosecutors” for the next stage, which could result in them losing internet access.

      • MPAA Hires Four Ex-Federal Government Employees, Including One From ICE & Another From The White House

        Two of these aren’t huge surprises. The Pastarnack hire hit the news a few months ago, when people noticed that she jumped from being a point person on PIPA to working directly for the MPAA. Swartsel’s name may also be familiar. We tangled with her last summer, when she bizarrely took to the MPAA’s blog to attack reporter Janko Roettger for accurately predicting that bad economic news might lead people to seek out unauthorized sources of movies, rather than paying through the nose for authorized versions. Now, the MPAA’s former boss had said the exact same thing, but according to Swartsel it’s somehow “intellectually dishonest” to point out what might happen. Swartsel also was the one who flat out mocked the concerns of tech entrepreneurs concerning SOPA and PIPA. Turns out she did all this as a “consultant” to the MPAA — and they thought she did such a bang up job that they’ve hired her full time as “director of global policy.”

      • ACTA

        • IFPI accuses: “protests silence democratic process”

          A lobbying letter, attributed to the IFPI, the international arm of of the recorded music industry, and circulated by a coalition of rights-holders, attempts to wear the mantle of the moral high-ground in Europe’s political battle over ACTA. This wolf in sheep’s clothing also appears to have access to documents which have been denied to civil society.

        • EU Member Bulgaria Halts ACTA, Minister Of Economy Offers Resignation
        • “Green Week”: Ask MEPs to Reject ACTA Back in Their Home Districts!

          This week, Members of the EU Parliament will be back in their home districts to meet with their constituency. This is an important opportunity for EU citizens to get in touch with their elected representatives, and make sure that they understand how dangerous and illegitimate ACTA is. Next week in Brussels, many decisive meetings will take place in the committees of the EU Parliament regarding ACTA.

        • Shining Light On ACTA’s Lack Of Transparency
        • ACTA is a Bad Way to Develop Internet Policy

          ACTA (“Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement”) is a proposed new international law establishing international enforcement standards against counterfeit goods and pirated intellectual property items. ACTA was negotiated as a “trade agreement” which means that it was negotiated in private without open involvement of all the stakeholders. There has been no formal opportunity for input from people other than those who were lucky enough to be invited into the private discussions.

02.20.12

Links 20/2/2012: Linux 3.3 RC4, VLC 2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Super Dorky Way Programmers Are Trying To Get People Interested In Linux

    It’s Friday. That’s the perfect day to have uncovered this weird gem: This week, Rebecca Black got her own version of Linux, RebeccaBlackOS.

    She’s not the first teenybopper to get her own open source operating system either. RebeccaBlackOS follows Hannah Montana Linux and Justin Bieber Linux.

  • Baidu zooms in on mobile

    According to Reuters, Li said Baidu was looking to work with more smartphone vendors to expand the reach of its Linux-based Yi mobile platform.

  • Is Windows 8 a Linux Copycat?
  • Desktop

    • GNU/LInux Sold Retail in Brazil

      They don’t seem to have alphabetical order in mind but they certainly do give space to GNU/Linux. So much for the FUD that GNU/Linux is somehow not ready for consumers. Look at all computers sorted by “Best Sellers”…

    • Another Windows XP to Fedora 16 Linux migration

      My thoughts on why businesses and individuals need to start thinking about switching away from proprietary (and high maintenance) software like Windows, and look at open source and free software inste… Read more »ad like GNU/Linux. All articles are based on real world and everyday experiences with Windows and GNU/Linux, for both business and personal use.
      Recently I’ve had the pleasure of replacing yet another Windows XP computer with Fedora Linux (version 16). The user is a relative of mine, and finally became tired of dealing with malware every month or so by simply browsing the web. So at his request I put Fedora Linux on the PC and wiped XP away from it for good. He had already used GNU/Linux on other PCs.

      As stated in a previous post, I came across some issues with Fedora 16 and Gnome 3 with a previous deployment, but this time I knew what to expect. After installing Fedora 16 which took about 25 minutes or so from start to finish, I immediately changed Gnome to Fallback Mode to keep the desktop environment familiar to Gnome 2. My personal thought is that the Gnome 2 look and feel is much better suited for a desktop PC.

  • Server

    • ‘Linux for cloud’ floats anti-Amazon cloud taster
    • John Hancock Signs $25m Annuity Admin ITO Contract Extension with CSC

      CSC reports that the new contract authorizes a transition from the current mainframe environment to a new z Linux platform, which the vendor claims will: lower costs through enhanced operational and energy efficiency; improve service through a simplified, integrated environment; and augment risk management via strengthened resiliency and security features.

    • SGI’s Opteron-Based ICE System Is Tops in MPI Benchmark

      The SGI ICE 8400 platform with AMD processors is a completely open platform optimized for HPC workloads and runs an off-the-shelf Linux operating system for application compatibility. Although the ICE platform is able to comfortably support multi-petaflop sized installations, design considerations allow cost effective solutions down to a half rack. Single- or dual-plane integrated InfiniBand can be cabled into four different topologies, including hypercube, enhanced hypercube, all to all, and fat-tree, allowing flexible network customization for a variety of workloads.

  • Kernel Space

    • LZ4 For Btrfs Arrives While Its FSCK Remains M.I.A.

      The proper fsck utility for the Btrfs file-system remains M.I.A. while a contribution from an independent developer introduces LZ4 compression support to this next-generation Linux file-system.

      Last month at SCALE 10x the lead developer of Btrfs, Chris Mason, told the crowd that an error-fixing Btrfs.fsck tool was imminent since the file-system is going production-ready in Oracle Linux (Mason is an Oracle engineer) and had a deadline of 14 February.

    • Download Linux Kernel 3.3 RC4 Now
    • [announce] Gujin GPL bootloader version 2.8.5
    • [ANNOUNCEMENT] The Barbershop Load Distribution algorithm for Linux kernel scheduler.

      Here, I’m going to introduce an alternative load distribution algorithm for Linux kernel scheduler. This technique is named as “The Barbershop Load Distribution Algorigthm” or BLD for short and will be refered as BLD from here on. As it’s name implies, it only tries to distribute the load properly by tracking lowest and
      highest loaded rq of the system. This technique never tries to balance the system load at idle context, which is done by the current scheduler. The motivation behind this technique is to distribute load properly amonst the CPUs in a way as if load balancer isn’t needed and to make load distribution easier.

    • Linux 3.3-rc4
    • World Clamors for Linux Experts, Says Linux Foundation
    • Why being a Linux geek could make you more employable
    • Linux skills in demand, wages up
    • Report: Linux job openings on the rise

      This was the conclusion of the 2012 Linux Jobs Report released yesterday, which surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers. The survey was conducted by IT job specialist Dice together with The Linux Foundation. The latter is a non-profit foundation set up to promote, protect and advance Linux.

    • Kernel Log: Apple streamlines CUPS

      CUPS 1.6, which is currently in development, will no longer include some features used in many Linux distributions. An Intel developer has presented patches that may allow the kernel to use an efficient power management feature by default.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Hardware Context Support Patches Arrive
      • Open-Source ARM Mali Code Published

        The initial code push has taken place for the Lima Project, which is the open-source ARM Mali graphics driver that’s under development.

        The Lima stack development is sponsored by Codethink and its lead developer is veteran X.Org developer Luc Verhaegen. Phoronix was the first to break the news on the project last month.

      • OpenChrome Picks Up New VIA Support, But Still Lags

        The xf86-video-openchrome driver has seen its first proper release in quite a while. The xf86-video-openchrome 0.2.905 release has support for new hardware and features.

        The OpenChrome driver is rarely worked on today by the small open-source VIA community, but the new 0.2.905 release that’s now available introduces VX900 support, VX855 X-Video support, X.Org Server 1.12 compatibility, and assorted bug-fixes/tweaks.

      • VMware Virtual GPU Driver Gets Fake Page-Flipping
      • VA-API Video Decoding Support For Wayland
      • Intel Tries To Fix RC6 Support Once Again

        After several attempts that ultimately failed, this weekend Eugeni Dodonov published a patch-set as “Another chapter in RC6 saga…” where he hopes the Sandy Bridge RC6 power-savings (and performance boosting) support is finally reliable to enable by default.

        For those that aren’t familiar with Intel RC6 at this stage, you must read more Phoronix articles as it’s been routinely covered in past months. To get up to speed, read SNB RC6 On Linux 3.1 Is Both Good & Bad where it outlines the power-savings abilities of this hardware feature, which allows the Intel graphics processor to be dropped into a lower-power state. At the same time as conserving precious energy, RC6 can also boost graphics performance as Phoronix benchmarks have shown in other articles.

      • The Technical Plans For Making Wayland 1.0

        After laying out plans earlier this month at FOSDEM for releasing Wayland 1.0 this year, Kristian Høgsberg has now written a more detailed message to the Wayland developers that outlines some of the TODO list and other plans for making Wayland 1.0.

      • Image Quality Comparison: Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst
      • NVIDIA Releases 295.20 Linux Drivers
      • Morphological Anti-Aliasing With Mesa 8.0

        One of the less talked about features of Mesa 8.0 is its ability to handle MLAA, which is short for Morphological Anti-Aliasing. But how does MLAA on the open-source graphics drivers affect the OpenGL performance and is it worth it for boosting the image quality through this anti-aliasing technique? In this article are some benchmarks of MLAA under Mesa 8.0.

        Morphological Anti-Aliasing support for Mesa was worked on last summer as part of the 2011 Google Summer of Code with X.Org. Lauri Kasanen was the student developer responsible for bringing MLAA to Mesa. Unlike many GSoC projects, he was successful in his summer project. In fact, he had MLAA Mesa code ready for testing in July well before the August deadline. In August the support was ready for merging, which also included the Gallium3D post-processing support and ROUND support for the various drivers.

      • Radeon HyperZ In Open-Source On Older Hardware
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Matthias Ettrich: Creator Of KDE

        The KDE 4.0, the latest version of KDE desktop environment, was released recently. On this occasion, we reached out to the founder of KDE project, Matthias Ettrich who started the KDE project back in 1996. Almost 12 years down the line, he’s now working at Trolltech, hacking Qt. Here is what the KDE-Man had to say…[The interview was conducted in 2008. KDE is gaining popularity so we wanted to refresh the memories.]

      • More About the Acer Aspire One 522

        I have switched Linux Mint 12 KDE to the Netbook desktop, and as always it looks nice and is a pleasure to use

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distributions Described In Terms Of Beer

      After trying the openSUSE beer at FOSDEM, which is specially brewed at a small Bavarian brewery near the Nürnberg SUSE office and where many of their developers reside, I began wondering if other Linux distributions were represented by beer, what beers would they be? Continue on for this enjoyable weekend article where the leading Linux distributions are described in terms of beer.

    • Sabayon 8 XFCE Review

      Sabayon 8 XFCE is a Gentoo based distribution that comes with XFCE desktop version 4.8 and makes Gentoo a whole lot easier. Gentoo Linux is a more advanced based distribution that has been around a long time which is focused more on advanced users with compiling your own packages (programs) in order to run.

      Sabayon, takes a different approach and takes the hard part out of Gentoo and makes it easy with the latest version in Sabayon 8.Sabayon comes as an installable LiveDVD and is available in 32 bit and 64 bit flavours. Installation did not take that long and was not complicated. The configuration was pretty easy and had you setup your keyboard, select your timezone and so forth.

    • Happy Birthday, SimplyMEPIS

      Like a lot of stories, there is more to it than meets the eye. And while on the surface, this is a story about a Linux distribution, there are some life lessons that can be found in it.

      As with many other people, my life saw a lot of dramatic changes in the year 2001. For me, it started in January 2001. I should have been keeping in mind the words of wisdom from the world champion athlete Dan Millman. He wrote The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and other books. One of his statements is all accidents can be attributed to one of three reasons:

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PC Linux OS 2012.02: nice and stable

        There are not so many distributions in the Linux galaxy which have names directly showing the purpose of the distribution’s creation. I honestly do not think that Bodhi is going to enlighten anybody or Fedora can stay on your head. As opposed to these, PCLinuxOS directly says that it is a Linux operating system intended to be used on PCs.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity 5.4 Review

            It is always exciting when new versions of Unity are released since they bring along bug fixes and new features. Well Unity 5.4 was released on Friday. Let’s go through some the features and bug fixes it comes with.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Your Language! Your Freedom! preserve it for the next generation!!

    I just want to show how you could join the 2012 International Mother Language Day by celebrations by contributing to a FOSS project with your friends and relatives.
    In this century ICT plays manor role in various fields including education sector. There are many tools have been localized but most of them not let you in to the project to contribute as a localizer. So where you could contrinute to a softwrae on behalf of your own language or community?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • The pros and cons of Mozilla’s super-open Boot to Gecko mobile OS

        Mozilla, the folks behind the Firefox web browser, launched a project last year to create a totally open mobile operating system, and now that dream is nearly a reality. Boot to Gecko (B2G) is built entirely with standards-compliant web technologies like HTML and JavaScript. It gets its name from the Gecko rendering engine in Firefox, which is also the platform that will run B2G. Android has a number of things in common with B2G, for instance it is open source, and uses some of the same underlying technology. Designing the entirety of a mobile operating system on web standards is a risky proposition, but B2G does have some advantages over Android.

  • Project Releases

    • VLC 2.0 Released, Support For WebM

      The VLC team has announced the release of VLC 2.0, code named, Twoflower. VLC 2.0 is a major upgrade for VLC. The latest version of VLC offers faster decoding on multi-core, GPU, and mobile hardware and the ability to open more formats, notably professional, HD and 10bits codecs.

    • VLC 2.0 available now, includes faster decoding and experimental Blu-ray support
    • VLC Player 2.0 released

      Just weeks after the first release candidate, the VideoLAN developers have officially released version 2.0 of the VLC media player for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. VLC media player 2.0, code-named “Twoflower”, is a major reworking of the VLC application, bringing playback improvements and experimental support for playing Blu-ray discs, albeit without menus.

    • VLC 2.0 “Twoflower” has been released! PPA Ubuntu11.10 and LinuxMint12
    • Linux Mint developer releases Cinnamon 1.3

      The lead developer of Linux Mint, Clement Lefebvre, has released version 1.3 of the Cinnamon desktop environment. This is the first major update of the user interface based on code from the GNOME shell and which was first considered “stable” with version 1.2. In Cinnamon 1.3, all panel components are applets which means, for example, that users can remove a menu or window list and replace it with alternative third-party applets. All applets can also be moved using drag & drop so that users have even more control over where to position them.

  • Public Services/Government

    • New EU-level spat over open standards

      The European parliament is currently consulting on a wide-ranging draft European Commission regulation on European standardisation. Voting in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, which is spearheading the legislation, is set to take place in March. The initiative is intended to create a comprehensive, effective, broadly applicable standardisation system. The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has criticised the proposal as paving the way for standards which are poorly compatible with open source software.

      A reform of the existing piecemeal European standardisation framework is, according to an FFII paper on the Commission’s proposal, long overdue. Their analysis claims that current regulations are not designed for specifications for software interfaces or data formats. According to the FFII, the proposal would mean accepting standards from international consortia licensed under FRAND (Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) terms and conditions.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google is being sued by some idiot using Safari on a Mac. US Congress critters investigate.

      There’s a big stink going on right now. Someone found out that Google was setting “third party cookies” (for their advertising servers) in Apple’s Safari browser, which defaults to not loading third party cookies (which I’ll get to in a moment).
      Now it appears that someone using Safari on a Mac that expected privacy somehow, is suing Google. (The PC World article on the first link has a more accurate technical description of what’s going on)
      In short, someone found a bug in Safari, and now Google is being sued and is under investigation by Congress. We know how much Congress can be expected to know about the internet based on their hilarious to horrifying attempts to regulate it as many of them uttered things like “I don’t know how this here internet thing works, but they tell me….” or the late Senator Ted Steven’s infamous “series of tubes” comment. To say nothing of the fact that Congress flip flops between mandatory tracking for all and bullshit “consumer privacy concerns” such as this one. (For those concerned with the former, the bill is called HR 1981, but a more fitting name would be HR 1984)
      If this was a bug in Firefox, it would be fixed. If it was a bug in Chrome, it would be fixed.
      Somehow, Microsoft and Apple users seem to think they can use proprietary secret software when they’re not allowed to know how it works. Software, which has a history of many bugs, with vendors that typically take weeks/months/years to patch them once they’re made public. These companies also slip back doors into the software for various government agencies.
      Apple was recently caught with a back door that they put into iTunes, it remained there for 3 years, undetected, which facilitated man in the middle attacks. (A government could use this to run a counterfeit iTunes server and load malicious software onto the victim’s computer. The article calls it a flaw, but we know what was really going on, and that it was likely just moved.).

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • NJ programmer freed as NY court orders acquittal

      A smiling former Goldman Sachs computer programmer was freed from prison Friday after a surprise ruling from a federal appeals court reversed his conviction on charges he stole computer code.

      “Justice occasionally works,” declared the beaming programmer, Sergey Aleynikov.

      He said he “just jumped all over the place” at 6 a.m., the moment he read and repeatedly reread an email from his lawyer informing him that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan had reversed his conviction. The words were, he said, “‘We won!’”

    • Goldman Sachs caught in a Sharia Catch-22

      According to an article in the Arab News, Shariah-committed imams declined to issue its religious approval (fatwa) for the Goldman Bond derivative because the “use of proceeds” to fund Goldman’s non-Islamic business is forbidden, according to Shariah finance laws.

02.19.12

Links 19/2/2012: Raspberry Pi Coming on Sale, HUD Interface Coming to Next Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • XBMC 11 “Eden”

    XBMC, the open source media center, has steadily grown from its humble origins as an X-Box only replacement environment into the cross-platform, de facto playback front-end for multimedia content. It merges the file-centric approach taken by traditional video players with an add-on scripting environment that handles remote web content. The project is currently finalizing its next major release, version 11.0 (codenamed Eden), which includes updates to the networking and video acceleration subsystems, broader hardware support, and numerous changes to the APIs available to add-on developers.

  • Barriers to Migration to FLOSS

    I did a bit of fixing knowledge by exposing students and staff of K-12 schools to GNU/Linux. We sure freed up resources by bringing “dead” machines back to life and getting better and more reliable service from our PCs. Only a few schools have an official policy against FLOSS. Many just don’t know.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Report on Richard Stallman’s visit to Chennai

      Dr. Richard. M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, addressed a mammoth gathering at IIT-Madras on Monday, February 6, 2012. Speaking on the topic ‘Free Software, Freedom and Education’ in front of a crowd of at least 3,000 students, teachers and activists, Dr. Stallman elaborated on a variety of topics including the history of the free software movement, the difference between free software and open source software and the dangers of proprietary software.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Standardisation Reform lowers the bar

      The Consumer Committee (IMCO) within the European Parliament is considering an overhaul of the current standardisation system in Europe. The FFII presents a paper on the proposed recognition of ICT specifications from consortia.

      “They propose minimum rules against trade and antitrust abuses. It’s hard to imagine up an awkward specification which would fail the test”, explains FFII standards analyst André Rebentisch.

  • Licensing

    • Why FLOSS Should Use The GPL

      I just read an article about the software business littered with “zealot” and “restrictive” in relation to licensing of FLOSS and how ASFL is the only way to do business with FLOSS etc. It’s pretty sickening to read these parasites of FLOSS denying the reality that the GPL works and works well. It allows startups to have a head start. It allows startups to innovate and not to have to compete against their own code used against them by competitors in closed source software.

      Instead these “pro-business” parasites would have us believe that working for free for M$ and the like is just great for the world of IT. It would be laughable if they weren’t so seriously trying to undermine FLOSS at every turn. These traitors actually promote non-free software as some kind of virtue and perpetuate the myth that using the GPL “infects” software and harms business.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • DNA robot could kill cancer cells

      The researchers designed the structure of the nanorobots using open-source software, called Cadnano, developed by one of the authors — Shawn Douglas, a biophysicist at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. They then built the bots using DNA origami. The barrel-shaped devices, each about 35 nanometres in diameter, contain 12 sites on the inside for attaching payload molecules and two positions on the outside for attaching aptamers, short nucleotide strands with special sequences for recognizing molecules on the target cell. The aptamers act as clasps: once both have found their target, they spring open the device to release the payload.

  • Programming

    • The Shrinking Expanding World of CI

      Continuous integration is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance as continuous delivery (and its sidekick, DevOps) begin to find adoption in many enterprises. Simultaneously, the number of viable CI packages is shrinking quickly.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Is WebKit slowly turning into IE6?

      For those who don’t know, WebKit is today’s predominant layout engine, used by the major web browsers on almost all platforms. Examples are Safari on OS X, Windows and iOS, or Google Chrome on OS X, Windows, Linux, Android, to name only a few (1).

Leftovers

  • Litigation between SCO and IBM to resume

    The reactivation of the litigation between IBM and SCO is largely a procedural matter aimed at resolving the pending claims and counterclaims that the companies have brought against each other. Due to the court’s previous conclusion that Novell is the rightful owner of UNIX, the reactivated litigation between SCO and IBM isn’t going to be an opportunity for SCO to turn the tide in its favor.

  • Linux Bloggers Everywhere Burst Into Tears At The Thought Of Having To Write One More SCO Trial Blog Post
  • Keeping an Eye on the Enemy

    My enemies are the purveyors of non-free software who try to lock the world into doing things their way and paying for each iteration. M$ is chief among them but many of their “partners” are cut from the same cloth. Apple does charge less for software but it’s still lock-in one way or another. That lock-in and emphasis on keeping the cost of IT high is a terrible waste of resources especially when the enemy is restricting what I can do with hardware that I own.

  • Security

02.17.12

Links 17/2/2012: Finnix 104, Android on x86

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Random thoughts about Linux and my job

    Knowledge of Linux probably helped me indirectly to get my job — even if I don’t actually need to do any hacking as part of my job. People geekier than me can do the heavyweight php scripting much more efficiently than I can. In addition, I decided to use OS X as main main desktop system at work.

  • Where in the world is Tux? Photos of the lovable Linux mascot from 29 countries

    Do you remember the game “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” We’re going to play a game of “Where in the world is Tux?” As it turns out, the lovable Linux penguin mascot has been to the far corners of the world and back again.

    As you will see, Tux has gathered with lots of his friends in Argentina, played with a robot in Brazil, frozen his tail off in Estonia, enjoyed the beaches in Jamaica, visited a castle in Scotland, and much, much more.

  • Linux Jobs Report: 81% of recruiters say hiring Linux talent is a priority

    New Linux Jobs Report says 81% of tech recruiters are looking for Linux talent and 63% expect an increase in Linux-related employment…

  • Announcing *NIXJobs.com – UNIX and Linux Job & Resume Listings
  • Give An Old PC New Life With Linux

    Chances are you have an older computer sitting in a closet somewhere just gathering dust. Why not breathe new life into it by replacing its old, clunky Windows installation with a fast and shiny new Linux installation?

  • Linux talent shortage drives up salaries

    It pays to be a Linux expert, and if you have any needs that are not being met by your employer and you have Linux skills, now might be a good time to start making some demands.

    The Linux Foundation, the non-profit consortium that fosters the expansion of Linux and which gives Linus Torvalds his paycheck, tag-teamed with Dice Holdings, the jobs posting site, to get a handle on what’s going on out there in the Linux workforce in terms of salaries, benefits, and working conditions.

  • Accessibility Leaders in Linux

    Accessibility to computers for people with vision, hearing, or physical impairments needs to be a part of fundamental design, and not an afterthought. Progress in the proprietary world is slow, and even slower in the Linux/FOSS world. But thanks to some dedicated people some significant work has been accomplished, and the groundwork laid for a common platform for all Linux distributions to build on.

  • Linux has a Place in the Enterprise

    From its meager beginnings as a hobby project to its extreme success among geeks, Linux has survived lawsuits, boycotts and onslaughts from every corner of the UNIX, Windows and Mac computing markets. Linux has, in spite of its critics, made its way into the world’s data centers. Linux enjoyed early success as a host platform for the Apache web server but now has blossomed into a formidable contender for rack space. For an operating system, Linux has the best mixture of vendor neutrality, open source code base, stability, reliability, scalability and affordability. It also provides the user or administrator the choice of graphical user interfaces or none at all.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Catalyst A.I. Useless Under Linux?

        AMD today launched the Radeon HD 7570/7770 graphics cards as the latest GPUs built on the GCN architecture. Unfortunately there still is not any open-source support for the Radeon HD 7000 series hardware nor has AMD sent out any review samples to Phoronix. But there is some other Catalyst Linux news to share.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Pre-orders For KDE Plasma Active Tablet ‘Spark’ Now Open

        All right everyone, there is a good news. Pre-orders for KDE Plasma Active/Mer based tablet Spark has just started.

      • Easy Favorites in KDE!

        Having recently switched to KDE, I found one major annoyance. That is not to say that KDE is perfect save for this one thing, but it was pretty glaring to me none the less. Favorites.

        I started “pinning” applications to my “favorites” section in the KDE launcher and it didn’t take long to fill it up. In Windows 7, this is not a big deal because the launcher will just get longer to accommodate the content. Not the case with KDE. I set out to find a way to make the KDE launcher longer, to fit my most commonly used applications, but came up short and instead devised this clever way to launch apps without the aid of any 3rd party widgets.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Looking forward to 2012

        Stuart Jarvis from the KDE project agrees that there needs to be more communication and collaboration between the projects: “I’d love to see better collaboration between ourselves, GNOME and the other free software players. It’s daft to have different standards for desktop notifications, password storage, etc. There’s been some great work on this recently, such as the work around telepathy, but there’s plenty more to do.”

  • Distributions

    • Today’s Featured Distribution – Salix OS

      As many of you know, I’m partial to distributions with the Slackware pedigree. Salix is one that I had not tried before. My favorites up to now have been Zenwalk, Absolute Linux, and Vector Linux. However, I haven’t had any of those on any of my systems for quite some time. I’m patiently waiting for the 64 bit versions.

      Now with Salix OS, I find a nice 64 bit version all ready to go. I installed it with the Xfce desktop. Installation was fast and easy using their familiar installer. No surprises here, folks. It just works. I had to do a couple custom tweaks here and there to get the system up and running, though.

    • Linux Live Environments: Cool Tools Even For Windows Folks

      Preconfigured Linux environments provide powerful tools to aid in pen testing, mobile security testing, malware analysis, and forensics

    • Bridge 2012.1 Screenshots
    • Dreamlinux 5.0: a leap to the dream

      There are a lot of Linux distributions based on Debian. The most famous of them are Ubuntu, some flavours of Linux Mint and Aptosid. There are many more less known, for example, Kademar. Another Debian derivative which I have already written about is DreamLinux.

    • SimplyMEPIS 11.0.12 Screenshots
    • Webconverger 11 review

      Can an operating system consisting of just a web browser, designed for public kiosk use, offer anything of use to the masses? Gareth Halfacree investigates…

      Webconverger is an interesting project, but one that is clearly targeting a small niche of the overall Linux market. Founded in 2007 as a business entity, the project aims to create a fast and efficient locked-down distribution aimed at public-facing computers that only need access to web apps.

    • CrunchBang 10 R20120207 Screen Captures
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Chating with Red Hat’s John Mark Walker

        John Mark Walker, Red Hat’s Gluster Community Manager, stopped by to discuss Gluster, an open source project and the foundation of Red Hat Storage. Gluster is storage virtualization technology that supports scalable, high performance storage to support organizations’ move towards “Storage as a Service.” The technology is available as a software appliance that can execute on both physical and virtual systems.

      • Fedora

        • Will Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle get Cinnamon?

          The upcoming Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle release is likely to be one of the most feature packed Fedora Linux releases in years.

          One feature that I’d like to see in it, is the Cinnamon desktop.

          Cinnamon was started by Linux Mint and has since found its’ way to multiple distro’s repositories. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t quite yet landed in anything official for Fedora (and yes I know, it’s all open source so users can just go and build on their own – great tutorials are out for that too). Cinnamon is a response to user demands for something other than Unity or GNOME Shell on top of a GNOME 3 base.

    • Debian Family

      • GPL use in Debian on the rise: study

        A recent study by a free software advocate has found that the use of the GNU General Public Licence family in the Debian GNU/Linux Project has been growing over the last seven years.

      • Debian announces “Wheezy” artwork contest

        The Debian Project has announced the launch of a new artwork contest for version 7.0 of its Linux distribution, code-named “Wheezy”. The project’s developers are seeking proposals from contributors for a variety of graphics and other artwork that will make up the look and feel of the next Debian operating system release.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical refreshes “Lucid Lynx” with 10.04.4

            Canonical and the Ubuntu developers have announced the release Ubuntu 10.04.4, the fourth maintenance release of updated installation media for the long-term supported release of the Linux distribution. This is the last planned update to the installation media and updates the desktop, server and alternate installation CDs and DVDs for i386 and amd64 architectures. In future, security updates will be individually downloadable from the Ubuntu archives.

          • A More “Classic GNOME” Session Lands In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

            The Indicator Applet port to GTK3 has finally landed in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. This, along with some changes to the GNOME Panel default settings, finally “fix” the Classic (fallback) GNOME session in Ubuntu 12.04:

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sick of Ubuntu? Take a look at Linux Mint 12

              For a number of years now Ubuntu Linux has been the poster penguin for easy-to-use Linux. But it’s not the only one.

              Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, set out to make a ‘Linux for human beings’ and succeeded — it is, currently, the most popular Linux desktop distribution and the first port of call for Windows users looking to make the switch.

            • Distro Hoppin`: Linux Mint 12 KDE

              Oh, dear Open Source Lord, how time has passed. As I was reading the release announcement of the new Linux Mint KDE, I didn’t even consider creating a distro hoppin` episode, thinking I just recently did one on it. I went looking through the archives and, there it was, Linux Mint 7 KDE, written on… August 5th 200…9! And it’s now 2012! Wowey.

              So here I am, in front of a new Kate document (I like writing my articles in the OS I am testing – though I would prefer, in the future, to have a completely separate hoppin` machine), ready to share some geeky thoughts with you people! Before I begin, let me give a shout-out to my great neighbor on the 4th floor, who likes listening to horrible, horrible music, at max volume, every weekday MORNING until early afternoon.

            • Linux Mint 12 Lisa KDE – I don’t know what to think

              Linux Mint is a brave and feisty distro. First, it managed to remain unchanged in the last three years, which can’t be said of many of its siblings, which seemed to have jumped on the moronity wagon and traded the 10-finger dexterity we developed through million of years of evolution for the single-finger slide-like motion called touchcrap. Second, the developers most courageously chose to abandon Gnome 3 as the flagship platform for their future releases, and are working on a brand new design called Cinnamon, which should offer the latest technology sans the cretinism. Third, it topped the DistroWatch daily pagerank hit list, which tells us something.

              All in all, Mint’s popularity seems to be growing. The distro is doing well, even though it was set back by Gnome 3 in its latest autumn release, forcing it down a whole four places in the best distro contest I ran in December. Still, it consistently provides a simple and rich environment for users, with everything configured out of the box. There’s a bright future ahead for Mint. But all of what I told you so far does not mention KDE in any way. So what happens when you take Mint and twine it to KDE? What happens?

            • Pear Linux Comice OS 4 beta 1 review

              The distribution now goes by a slightly different name – Pear Linux Comice OS, and the latest version is Pear Linux Comice OS 4. Pear, we all know, is a fruit, and Comice is a variety of pear, a European pear. The interesting thing about Comice OS 4 is that it was announced (via email) on February 9. Then on February 10, an update was hurriedly pushed out after several bugs were discovered in the first release. That update was called Pear Linux Comice OS 4-b. The next day, February 11, it was announced on Distrowatch as Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Beta 1. That is the brief account of how Comice OS 4 became Comice OS 4 Beta 1. It is like walking backwards, but you have to give the developer credit for an error and going back to the drawing table.

            • Xubuntu 11.10 Review

              The list of changes is smaller than I expected after finally experimenting with Xubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot. In fact very little has changed, but things are running better than ever. Some of the default applications have been replaced, but nothing major. That being said, I certainly have high hopes for 12.04.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi to run BBC Micro 2
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The Kindle Fire After Two Months

        My wife got me a Kindle Fire for the holidays and I thought I should check in and report on how it’s been going with it. I wanted to provide the perspective of someone who’s been seriously using the device for a few weeks, rather than someone who played with it for a few days.

        I’m not a huge tablet fan, in general. I’m a very fast typist and I find it infuriating working with text on an on-screen keyboard. Even a simple search often drives me nuts on my phone.

        That’s impacted how I’m using the Fire. I’m really using it to consume content and avoiding creating content on it, including emails and tweets.

        In fact, I’m really just using it for games, feed reading, and reading PDFs, and for those purposes, it’s perfect.

      • Huawei Launching New Tablet and Smartphone at the MWC

        Huawei rocked the CES 2012 show by launching the world’s thinnest smartphone at only 6.68 mm thin. It’s known as Ascend P1, of course it’s an amazing looking device and hopefully it will hit US sometime soon. We also informed you that Huawei will reveal their “Diamond” series at the Mobile World Congress later this month, and now the word on the street is the first Diamond series device will be known as Ascend D1 Q. The “Q” means it will be the first ever Huawei device to come with a quad-core processor. It will also run Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Weapons of mass open source destruction

    Open source is almost always viewed as a positive force for the onward development of software code, even if the community contribution model still garners criticism relating to quality, compliance and support from time to time.

    With this general trend in mind, the open sourcing of the Zeus banking Trojan last year may have left many industry watchers wondering whether an army of malicious code hackers would pick up the opportunity to further its destructive powers.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Create amazing websites and WAP sites with Packt’s Liferay Portal 6.1 book

      Liferay Portal is the leading open source enterprise portal, available under the GNU Lesser General Public License. Including a built in web content management system as well as multiple social collaboration services, it is used in diverse situations often to power corporate intranets and extranets and external websites. Liferay Portal is Java based but supports multiple scripting languages, and runs on multiple computing platforms, web containers, operating systems and databases. Liferay has a very large community with roughly four million downloads and 350,000-500,000 worldwide deployments.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Time to dispel open source myths, says Liam Maxwell

      Open source and open standards are the direction for UK government IT, the civil servant leading the government’s technology change agenda has said, reports The Register.

      Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said that open source has grown up and it’s time to dispel lingering misconceptions about this technology and development process.

      Maxwell told the Intellect 2012 conference in London: “Open source software is not three guys in a shed anymore. There are a lot of misconceptions about open source but open source is the future model for delivering IT.”

    • New Hampshire Legislature Passes Open-Source Software Bill

      The New Hampshire state legislature recently passed a bill that makes open data and open source software included by default in the state’s procurement process.

      The bill, HB 418, requires government officials to consider open-source products when making new technology acquisitions and only purchase products that comply with open data standards. Last year, Nick Judd covered how the New Hampshire legislature changed with the addition of several “geeks” to the House of Representatives and the passage of this new legislation shows a growing culture of friendliness to the tech concept of “open” in the statehouse. It is currently on its way to the governor’s desk for signing.

      Open source advocates say the New Hampshire bill represents an evolution for open software in government.

    • Committed, until the monopoly comes calling

      Every other year there is a fresh commitment that open source solutions will be preferred for government funded projects, and that open standards will be adopted ‘wherever possible’. The logic for these decisions is well understood, but is soon forgotten when the monopoly comes calling, says Richard Hillesley…

  • Licensing

    • The pluses and minuses of licensing

      Proponents of open source push their licences as superior; the folk who support free software licences, such as the GPL, do likewise. And those who are selling commercial software under proprietary licences throw mud at both free and open source licences, hoping some will stick.

      When the average company wants to find out details of these licences – in order to use free and, often, much better crafted code – it is unlikely to approach either the open source or free software advocates. Nor would such an entity go to the Open Source Initiative or the Free Software Foundation.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Windows 8′s five biggest enemies

    What? You thought I was going to say that the Linux and/or Mac desktops were going to rise up from their combined less than 10% of the desktop marketplace and smite Windows 8? Please. Contrary to Windows fanatics’ view of me, I’m not a Linux fanboy. I just like what works.

    Specifically, I think the Linux desktop is the best for power users and I think the Mac desktop is best for people who just want an easy to use desktop. Thanks though to Microsoft’s illegal desktop monopoly in the 90s, its rivals never had a chance to flourish and to this day they’ve never been able to catch up. Windows 8 won’t increase Windows’ PC market-share, but it will only cause a slight decrease on the desktop, not a catastrophic decline. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows 8 has far more bigger rivals to worry about.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • How We Work Now, In America

      The chart above divides total Full Time jobs by Total Part Time jobs, in the United States. Coming into the financial crisis of 2008, the US maintained nearly 5 Full Time jobs for every Part Time job. The failure of the economy to add back those Full Time jobs, along with flat to falling wage growth in real terms, accounts for much of the country’s dissatisfaction with the “recovery.” Replacing higher paying full time jobs with lower paying part time jobs simply won’t do. As food prices continue to climb, and as oil stubbornly holds to $100 a barrel (kicking 12% of US oil consumption offline), Americans are discovering what it’s like to live without progress.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • SOPA/PIPA and ??

        This domain closure stuff is seriously bad news. If the report is to believed a site that provides online forms to hundreds of thousands of users was cut off by their internet provider (Go Daddy – well they were idiots for using Go Daddy for DNS services) at the request of the Secret Service who were investigating something or other – and investigating so hard that they promised they’d look into the site closure in a few days.

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