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12.16.11

Links 16/12/2011: Kororaa 16, Puppy Linux 5.3.1

Posted in News Roundup at 1:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • British ISP deploys open source virtualization

    A telecommunications firm in Britain is supporting its Internet subscribers using the Ubuntu Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor, open source management software from Convirture and an approach to virtual machine clustering that shuns live migration.

  • SproutCore 2.0 becomes Ember.js
  • Ten years of Rockbox

    Just in time for its 10th birthday, the developers of Rockbox have released version 3.10 of their alternative open source firmware for digital audio players. Rockbox is mainly used on older MP3 players – including devices from Apple, Archos, Cowon, iRiver, SanDisk and Toshiba – and aims to be “considerably more functional and efficient” than the standard device firmware.

  • How to Leverage Your Open Source Skills in the Changing Job Market

    For countless people who are about to start a new year unemployed, this year’s top resolution will be finding a job. We’ve reported before on how acquiring skills with open source technologies can be an effective differentiator or the job seeker. Just this past week, more evidence that this is true has rolled in, and in this post you’ll also find some of OStatic’s best collected resources for leveraging open source skills for employment.

  • Free Tools and Resources for Doing A Deep Dive on Linux

    One of the biggest complaints that many people have about open source software is that there isn’t adequate documentation. On the Linux front, though, there is surprisingly rich information available for free online on moving from being a beginner to an advanced user. Whether you’re new to Linux, or a seasoned Linux administrator, you can find hugely helpful resources online, without paying anything. Here is our most recently updated collection of top free resources for Linux.

  • Big Winners and Losers of 2011

    A few people are saying KDE is a winner for 4.7. Folks seem to like that version. It might be time for me to brave away from 4.6, especially since my Aggregator has starting crashing lately.

    Another outlier even mentioned Slackware for remaining relevant. Well, his exact words were, “Slackware for continuing to be powerful, rock-solid and fast.” Gotta love the Slack. This same commenter also put Novell in the big loser column with, “Novell for selling their soul.” I’m not sure I agree with that. When I think of Novell selling their soul, I think more of the Microsoft deal than the Attachmate acquisition.

  • Is Your Company New to Open Source? Here’s Where to Start

    Over the past year, we’ve been working on a number of projects to help those who want to more closely participate in the Linux community, but don’t know where to start.

    First, there’s the Linux Foundation Training program. We’ve continued to add courses as new needs arise, and have had the opportunity to give on-site training to many companies over the past year. While much of our content is on improving technical skills (e.g. “Developing Linux Device Drivers,” “Embedded Linux Development,” “Advanced Linux Performance Tuning”), we have also added courses on being more effective when working with open communities. “How to Participate with the Linux Community” is a roadmap of sorts for developers and managers who are comfortable with the technology, but need some guidance in understanding the Linux kernel community processes. (A related guide on participating with the Linux community is also available.)

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • ownCloud Open Source Storage Launches Commercial Entity
    • ownCloud Transforms Into A Company, Appoints CEO, CTO

      ownCloud, the open source file-sharing project which enables individuals to create their own local cloud, has evolved into a company. Former SUSE/Novell executive Markus Rex is joining the company as its first CEO and CTO. ownCloud has more than 350,000 users around the globe. The company is opening its a HQ in Boston, USA.

    • OpenStack security analysis: Pros and cons of open source cloud software

      I’ve been asked to provide a brief security analysis of the OpenStack open source cloud computing platform and whether our enterprise should pursue it as the basis for our cloud infrastructure build-out. My initial assessment is that, like with Apache and Linux, the open nature of the platform allows security flaws to be found and fixed quickly, which helps decrease the likelihood of exploits. Do you agree? What other OpenStack security points (pro and con) are worth considering?

    • Latest MapR 1.2 Distribution Prepares for a New Hadoop

      The astonishing speed at which the “big data” processing industry is evolving dwarfs anything we’ve ever seen with regard to software. Problems that stymied the best engineers just 18 short months ago are now commonplace tasks for modern data centers. Already, the systems envisioned by Google’s and Yahoo’s engineers are being prepared for the history books, as 2012 should bring forth the second generation of open source, scalable, big data processing.

  • Databases

  • Education

    • Inside NYSCATE: Moodle, GIMP, and other open source in education

      As an educator, trained Linux systems administrator, and technology director for a K-12 school district, I have been actively involved with NYSCATE (The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education), a non-profit organization that works to lead the transformation of teaching and learning through technology. It’s been 20 years since I attended my first NYSCATE conference, and the conference’s open source presence has taken many different forms.

  • Business

    • CloudBees launches Enterprise version of Jenkins

      Platform-as-a-Service provider CloudBees has released Jenkins Enterprise, a version of its continuous integration (CI) software designed for use in businesses. The service goes beyond the open source Jenkins community’s Long Term Support (LTS) release and provides enhancements for large installations, resource management, and access rights management; to this end, CloudBees has developed a variety of enterprise plugins. Customers who purchase Jenkins Enterprise also gain access to the company’s other proprietary products.

  • Project Releases

    • GIMP 2.7.4 Released, Install In Ubuntu

      GIMP team has announced the release of GIMP 2.7.4. This release does’t bring any major changes and is mainly minor improvements and bug fixes release. Most improvements are related to user interface and usability. The GIMP team is now looking at version 2.8 and it is expected, depending on amount of bugs, that this could be the last version before 2.8 release candidates and 2.8 itself.

    • Nagios fork Icinga 1.6 records SLA information

      The developers behind Icinga, which forked from Nagios two-and-a-half years ago, have released version 1.6 of the network monitoring software. This was quickly followed by version 1.6.1 released in response to a bug. Major changes in the new version include extended logging capabilities in the Classic UI and Core designed to make troubleshooting easier and increasing the performance of notifications. The developers have also added the ability to assign expiry times to acknowledgement, making use of an idea from a recent feedback poll.

    • TYPO3 publishes Security Guide for web site owners

      The TYPO3 Security Guide is available to view online or to download in DocBook or OpenOffice.org Writer format. Like the project’s other official documentation, the Security Guide is published under the Open Content License; the source code for TYPO3 is licensed under the GPL

    • Some Cerowrt updates
    • DNSCrypt: a tool to encrypt all DNS traffic

      DNS service provider OpenDNS has announced a preview release of a new open source tool to improve internet security: DNSCrypt encrypts all DNS traffic between a user’s system and a DNS server. The tool is currently only available for the Mac, with a Windows version promised, and only works with OpenDNS’s own DNS service. Normally, DNS information is exchanged between client and server as plain text which makes it vulnerable to snooping or modification and man-in-the-middle attacks. By encrypting the exchange, OpenDNS hopes to make the “last mile” of DNS requests more secure.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 3.6-Arendal Released
  • Licensing

    • Tips on picking right OSS license

      Open source software (OSS), like any other software, is protected by copyright and its usage is governed under a license. As such, it is important enterprises pay attention to considerations, such as how much freedom they need with regard to developing on the source code or whether they plan to monetize the software, before deciding which license to use.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Creative Commons 4.0 process starts

      The Creative Commons project has announced the beginning of the process leading to version 4.0 of its license suite.

    • Open Data

      • Open Government Platform: first source code made available

        This first code that has been released concerns the tools needed to set up an automated process for publishing data on the platform; this Data Management System handles the submission and approval of data and the updating of the catalogues of data on the Open Government Platform. The next set of data that will come from India’s National Informatics Centre relates to providing web site access to the platform. The two countries are encouraging developers to get involved and provide feedback, new modules and capabilities.

  • Programming

    • DragonEgg 3.0 Puts GCC & LLVM In One Bed

      LLVM 3.0 was released last week as a major update to this increasingly popular open-source compiler infrastructure. With the release of LLVM 3.0 proper also came major updates to the Clang C/C++ compiler front-end and the DragonEgg GCC plug-in (here are the exciting LLVM3 changes). In this article is a look at DragonEgg for LLVM 3.0 that plugs into GCC to replace its optimizers and code generators with those from LLVM.

    • jQuery developers come clean on plugin site

      The developers behind the jQuery plugins site have come clean – in a blog posting, they explain what happened to the jQuery plugins site. It went down around a week ago with only a message saying that the old site had issues with spam and was being reworked with a new submission process. In fact, what had happened was that, in an attempt to clean the spam using Drupal Views Bulk Operations, all the plugins were deleted, and all that they had was a year old backup. “In an ideal world, this certainly wouldn’t have happened exactly as it did. Sadly, it did” said the developers, who asked for forgiveness and “maybe even a hand” developing a completely new plugins site for the jQuery community.

    • qooxdoo 1.6 JavaScript framework gains offline features

      Five months after the arrival of 1.5, version 1.6 of qooxdoo has been released. Project Lead Andreas Ecker says that the update to the open source “Universal JavaScript Framework” includes a number of “substantial improvements” and new features.

      The 1.6 release of qooxdoo adds support for applications going offline. qooxdoo makes use of local/session storage and offline event technology and adds an offline event handler and offline data store to simplify using those facilities. This allows developers to create apps that can pre-cache data and will work without an internet connection; a feedreader demo app with offline support is provided.

Leftovers

  • Genode Aims To Produce A General Purpose OS

    2012 could be an especially interesting year for open-source software with continued advancements in the area of open-source drivers, prominent announcements, major software releases like GIMP 2.8 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and much more. Another event to look forward to next year is a new operating system release built atop the unique Genode Operating System Framework.

  • Science

    • Soon You May Be Able To Store 1TB Data On Your Android Devices

      Intel [NASDAQ:INTC] and Micron has announced a new benchmark in NAND flash technology – the world’s first 20 nanometer (nm), 128 gigabit (Gb), multilevel-cell (MLC) device. The new 20nm monolithic 128Gb device is claimed to be the first in the industry to enable a terabit (Tb) of data storage in a fingertip-size package by using just eight die.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Old Oil Depletes, And the New Oil is Slow

      Exxon Mobil has released its 2012 Outlook for Energy: A view to 2040 report. I actually find these industry forecasts helpful, especially for their nuanced contrast with comparable long-range reports from EIA Washington and IEA Paris. For example, I find Exxon’s view that oil will retain its role as the primary energy source—not to be eclipsed by either natural gas or coal—unrealistic. But this is the same view held by IEA and EIA. Where Exxon is more on track however, is in their call that growth in global coal consumption rises very strongly through the end of this decade. This is the call I would have expected IEA and EIA to make as well. Given current trends, I explained as much in Coal’s Terrible Forecast: Because it is coal, not oil, that is steadily growing in supply. And you can’t increase consumption of a resource whose supply has been flat, for the past six years.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • What’s So Bad About SOPA?

      SOPA has been making the rounds of headlines across the internet and print media this last couple weeks. It is a bill to criminalize “illegal” content online. So, someone posts a snippet of a song owned by a record company on your website, and you are now a criminal. You are not just a person with a legal dispute between you and someone else. The Federal Government is also standing between you and that someone else.

      This represents a dramatic shift in copyright law in recent years. At its inception, copyright law was designed as a civil matter. If a copyright holder felt their material was used illegally, the holder was granted the right to take any offenders to court, at their own expense, as one would do over a contract dispute.

      Criminal matters are intended to be those issues that threaten the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of the general public. For issues where the interests of only a few select entities are at stake, our once wise Constitutional legislators designated those issues as civil matters.

    • U.S. House Discusses SOPA Bill Today, As Tech Opponents Express Opposition

      The U.S. House of Representatives has set aside time today to discuss the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), as we covered here. Members of the House Judiciary Committee will debate the proposed legislation, and Judiciary chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) will reportedly try to address strong concerns from the technology community about the bill. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said that the bill would: “….grant the government and private parties unprecedented power to interfere with the Internet’s domain name system (DNS). The government would be able to force ISPs and search engines to redirect or dump users’ attempts to reach certain websites’ URLs.” With the discussion looming today, many new organizations are coming out in opposition of the bill, or firming up existing opposition.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Links 16/12/2011: Red Hat Upgraded, Android Everywhere

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Top 5 Linux Predictions for 2012

    There will continue to be discussions and debates about Linux on the desktop, including popularity, vitality, usability, commercial connections and more, which is good for users and vendors. However, based on trends in cloud, mobile and consumer computing, Linux should and will move to these areas, leaving its longstanding low use on the desktop as it is.

  • Linux Professional Institute Appoints Director of Member Services
  • Desktop

    • Is Linux finally ready for the desktop?

      If this sort of initiative gains momentum, will it finally see Linux make it to the mainstream market for desktop computers? And if so, is it too late? Nowadays the tech-media would have us believe that everything is shifting into the cloud. The tablet and the mobile phone have become king. The desktop computer is dead. In this article, I want to look at some of these claims and see whether Linux has any hope as a mainstream desktop operating system.

  • Server

    • What’s next with hypervisors?

      The world of hypervisors is complicated by the fact that there are proprietary and open source tools and the latter are often pressed into service in different ways, say nothing of the fact that the whole market is evolving quickly. To get a handle on recent developments, Network World Editor in Chief John Dix corralled a panel of experts to assess where we are today and where we’re going. The experts included Al Gillen, an analyst IDC who tracks virtualization developments, Kerry Kim, director of solutions marketing at SUSE, and Adam Jollans, program director of IBM’s Linux and Open Virtualization Strategy.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux XFS Defragmentation

      There is a lot of debate over whether or not one should defragment file systems on Linux. Frankly, in most cases fragmentation of Linux file systems is probably not a problem. However, in a very few cases fragmentation might be a problem. When such a scenario has arisen is up to the reader of this article to decide. Recently here at ERACC we experienced access / speed degradation of the XFS file system on a heavily used /home partition. Part of the problem was that the file system was over 90% full. Another part of the problem was when we checked it with xfs_db the file system was roughly 20% fragmented. Besides cleaning up the file system by deleting and archiving old data from user’s directories, we came up with a defragmenation strategy for the entire server. This script is the result:

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Releases CUDA 4.1: CUDA Goes LLVM and Open Source (Kind Of)

        Since starting their GPU Technology Conference in 2010, NVIDIA has expanded into several events so that they can hold events in Europe and Asia. The next flagship GTC will be in San Jose in May, but NVIDIA’s #2 conference, GTC Asia, is occurring this week in Beijing. As with GTC America, GTC Asia serves several purposes for the company: a research symposium, a developer training program, and of course a platform for NVIDIA to announce new GPU computing products and initiatives.

      • AMD Catalyst 2011 Driver Year In Review

        With AMD having published the Catalyst 11.12 driver yesterday, the year is now complete as far as their graphics drivers are concerned. As such, for the sixth year, it’s time for the year-in-review articles looking at how the NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers have matured over the past twelve months in terms of features and OpenGL performance.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE and LightDM revisited.

      LightDM is a login manager (think KDM/GDM) for Linux, it is written in a way that is completely backend/frontend independent so we can share our the complex parts with our Gnome friends, whilst keeping KDE UI layers on top. It is currently the default display manager in Ubuntu, and the front end they’ve made looks gorgeous.

      There are two parts I’ve been working on, Qt bindings for LightDM which means anyone can easily write a whole new front end method in Qt, and a KDE front end using all the best KDE tech. The library has been majorly rewritten and the KDE front end has undergone a lot of work in the past few weeks..

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • From beginner to Gentoo developer

        This is my first step in blogging universe. I did that never before and hope my english isn’t to bad. The reason, why i decided to blog from now on, is that i reached the Gentoo developer state. Which gives me the chance to get a central theme to write. My personal goal is at least one post per month, maybe a little bit more if there is something i want to share. For sure the content of this blog won’t be Gentoo only related.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat To Provide Weather-Prediction Data For Pattern Energy

        Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions, says wind energy and transmission company Pattern Energy Group LP is using Red Hat Storage’s technology to manage weather-prediction data, including for wind farms.

      • Goldman Sachs Reiterates Neutral, $55 target on Red Hat

        Goldman Sachs maintains its Neutral rating and $55 price target on Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) ahead of 3QFY2012 preview and as company continues to execute in a tough environment.

      • UPDATE: Stifel Nicolaus Maintains Buy, Raises PT to $56 on Red Hat
      • Red Hat Q3 Earnings Preview

        For the fiscal year, analysts are projecting earnings of 78 cents per share.

      • Red Hat CFO: We have a Plan B if Duke-Progress merger faces complications

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), which employs about 800 people in Raleigh, plans on moving its headquarters from Centennial Campus to the Two Progress Plaza building in downtown Raleigh starting in mid-year 2012. The process would take at least six months.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Wins on Samsung Netbooks

          I currently own two Samsung netbooks (an N150 Plus and an NF310). Following up on some information from Moley (thanks), I found that most Linux distributions have a lot of trouble with the display brightness control on both of them. The most obvious and severe symptom is that when running on battery power they will sometimes (often) suddenly start to run the display brightness all the way up and down its range continuously. Not nice. A secondary problem, not quite so severe, is that the Fn-key control for display brightness is often erratic, and on some distributions doesn’t work at all.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – December 14th, 2011

        * Volunteers needed for publicity team
        * Removal of sun-java6 from the archive
        * Debian SDL packaging team revival
        * Bits from the DPL
        * Ubuntu appreciates Debian
        * India mini-DebConf, Mangalore edition
        * New mirror in El Salvador
        * Debexpo maintainers call for contributions
        * Bug Squashing Party marathon started
        * Call for talks: FOSDEM 2012
        * New s390 buildd at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
        * Further interviews
        * 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?

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu-related Xmas Gift Ideas

            Whether you’re stuck on gift ideas for the Linux loving folks in your life, playing secret Santa in the Office, or keen to add something to your own xmas list, the handful of ideas below might help.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint Agree Amazon Revenue Share

              Linux Mint have agreed to split the revenue generated from Banshee’s MP3 Store plugin with ‘upstream’.

            • Xubuntu 11.10. It Came To Stay

              I repeatedly tell on my blog that my laptop has quadro-boot landscape. It became so when I first installed Linux on my hard drive (really installed, not frugal installation that I had for SLAX and Puppy).

              [...]

              And then Xubuntu came. I tried it recently for the first time, and liked it so much that fate of hard drive’s partition was decided.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android-ready ARM mini-HTPC costs $130, uses just three Watts

      Solid-Run is shipping an open source mini-PC platform for developing Android TV and media center apps. Measuring 2.17 x 2.17 x 1.65 inches and consuming less than three Watts, the CuBox runs Android 2.2 or Linux 2.6 on an 800MHz Marvell Armada 510 CPU, has 1GB of DDR3 memory and a microSD slot, and includes eSATA, USB, infrared, S/PDIF, HDMI, and gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

    • Pogoplug gains USB 3.0, SATA ports

      Pogoplug announced a new version of its Linux-based file-sharing and backup device. The Pogoplug Series 4 adds more local storage options, including two USB 3.0 ports and a SATA port compatible with Universal Storage Module-compliant devices such as SeaGate GoFlex hard disk drives.

    • Refurbed Boxee Boxes now $99 at Best Buy

      Refurbished D-Link Boxee Boxes are currently being offered by BestBuy.com for $99, with free shipping, although it’s not known how many are available or for how long the opportunity will last. Check it out!

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Media player box runs Android

          Nixeus Technology announced an Android 2.2-based multimedia player selling for as low as $160. Offering 1080p playback, web browsing, and third-party Android app downloads, the Nixeus Fusion XS Network Media Player includes a dual-core, 900MHz Marvell Armada 1000 system on chip (SoC), an Ethernet port, dual USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and audio I/O.

        • Galaxy Nexus to cost $299 at Verizon, report says

          When Verizon Wireless’ version of the Galaxy Nexus finally launches, it will cost consumers $299.99 with a two-year contract, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

        • Android Market Download Crosses 10 Billion Mark

          Google has announced that Android Market has exceeded 10 billion app downloads. Google claims that its the growth rate of one billion app downloads per month.

        • Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus to finally launch tomorrow for $299.99

          Verizon Wireless on Wednesday finally announced the upcoming launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The world’s first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone with 4G LTE support will become available beginning tomorrow for $299.99 with a new two-year service agreement. BGR reviewed the international version of the Galaxy Nexus last month and called it the best Android device in the world, offering a more cohesive user experience than previous Android builds as well as solid hardware and an amazing screen.

        • 7 Music Player Apps for Android That Rock

          Android Market is all over the news for the stupendous growth it managed to achieve in such a short span of time. Searching for the right applications in Android Market, with over 600,000+ apps already, is a classic needle-in-a-haystack problem. We have already pitched in to help you choose the right set of Siri alternatives and top launchers for Android from that burgeoning list of apps, now let’s take a sneak peek into the best music player apps available for Android.

        • Nine-inch Android tablet sells for $280

          E-Fun announced a nine-inch Android 2.3 tablet for $280. The Nextbook Premium 9 is equipped with a 1GHz Rockchips RK2918 processor, 4GB of storage, a two-megapixel camera, and a 1280 x 800-pixel capacitive display, says the company.

        • Via announces Android support for x86 SBC

          Via Technologies demonstrated Android 2.2 on an Em-ITX single board computer (SBC) equipped with a 1.2GHz dual-core Nano X2 E processor. Running Android on an x86 platform offers increased I/O, performance, and cost-saving advantages for embedded applications such as in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and interactive kiosks, Via claims.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • More Android 4.0 tablets tipped, including a Cortex-A15 model

        Coby Electronics says it will unveil five tablets running Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”) at the CES show in Las Vegas, with shipments due in 1Q 2012. Meanwhile, Samsung is readying an Android 4.0 tablet for early 2012, offering 2560 x 1600 resolution and based on its Cortex A15-based Exynos 5250 processor, and Toshiba is prepping an “Excite” tablet running Android 4.0 on a TI OMAP4430 for February release, say reports.

      • Acer releases second-gen Android tablet
      • OLPC To Start Pre-Pilot For Helicopter Deployments In 3 Weeks

        Ever since Nicholas Negroponte started announcing that OLPC would parachute XOs into remote villages many people have asked whether he could possibly be serious about this. It seems like we now have an answer thanks to an interview he did with New Scientist (registration required to access the full article, at the moment the full text is also available here).

      • Tabulating 7-inch Android tablets

        In preparation for reviewing ViewSonic’s low-cost 7-inch Android tablet, this post tabulates the key features and specifications of five 7-inch Android tablets. The comparison includes ViewSonic’s ViewPad 7e and 7x, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and Barns & Noble’s Nook Tablet.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google’s ANGLE certified as OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant

    Google’s open source ANGLE, the “Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine” which brings OpenGL ES 2.0 support to Windows without relying on OpenGL drivers, has passed the complete test suite for the OpenGL ES 2.0 specification. Version 1.0 of ANGLE has also been certified as a compliant OpenGL ES 2.0 implementation. The certification was announced by Vangelis Kokkevis, Software Engineer for the Chromium project, writing on the Chromium blog.

  • Open Source Datamining for Social Media Accounts with ThinkUp

    Proprietary social networking platforms have a few distinct issues for free software users, but one of the biggest is that it is often hard — if not impossible — to extract your information from them. With Twitter, for example, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and wait for more tweets to load via JavaScript, but you can’t sort and analyze them yourself. But that’s exactly what the open source application ThinkUp does for you.

  • 2011′s Tribulations and Triumphs for FOSS

    “I think Google is the biggest FLOSS story of 2011,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “IBM and Red Hat and Dell and ASUS all did good things for FLOSS, but Google is the first one to drive a wedge into the heart of darkness: retail shelves monopolized by M$. … Nothing ensures the success of FLOSS like its ubiquity and popularity amongst ordinary people.”

  • Open source is not a dumping ground

    One of the unfortunate by-products of HP’s decision to shift webOS to an open source project is the notion that somehow webOS has been “dumped”–cast aside or buried in the open source graveyard.

    I was just wondering… when did it become okay to consider open source a dead-end option?

    Not to go all Pollyanna on all these pundits, but I would think that the historical open source success rate would at the very least see open source as an equivalent alternative to proprietary development practices–not as some kind of downgrade. (If I were not holding back, I would even argue that open source development is a better goal for which to strive. But, for the purposes of this discussion, I will settle for equality.)

  • Why We Need to Pay for Linux/FOSS

    If you rely heavily on open source software, should you be expected to contribute financially to its success? What if the project coordinator is specifically seeking out donations to keep things afloat?

    These are questions that I think most of us avoid. I believe that this avoidance might make sense to some end users, since no one wants to spend money where they don’t have to.

    In this article, I will point out how this way of thinking is why so many promising projects don’t last over the long term. While some open source projects manage to find successful ways of funding themselves, many others do not – a loss for all Linux users.

  • Levelling the playing field for procurement of open source solutions
  • Can open source save the planet?

    Ambitious open source projects are nothing new. After all, the free software movement started with the GNU project – the creation of free tools to build a free operating system – which at one point many would have considered an impossible dream.

    However, the participants in the Open Source Ecology project take ambition to new heights. The project takes the principles that were developed originally by the open source software movement and later the experiments with open source hardware, and applies them to developing an environmentally friendly society by creating open source tools capable of building sustainable communities – pretty much from scratch, using recycled and scrap materials.

  • Open source doesn’t repeal laws of economics

    After failing in its webOS strategy, HP has announced plans to use it to create an open source project. This is an example of what (in our 2006 paper) Scott Gallagher and I called a “spin-out” strategy by firms to find a home for a technology they no longer wish to control.

  • Events

    • Embodying the spirit of the LCA volunteer

      Thirteen years have gone by since the first Australian national Linux conference was held, but the event is still driven by the same category of people: volunteers.

      A great many things are organised very professionally, but it’s all done by people who have boundless enthusiasm and who work selflessly, often for a whole year, just to make sure that things run on schedule.

    • ELC and OSCON seek conference submissions

      The Linux Foundation’s CE Linux Forum (CELF) workgroup announced a call for participation (CFP) for this year’s Embedded Linux Conference (ELC), to be held Feb. 15-17, 2012, in Redwood Shores, California, with submissions due Jan. 6. O’Reilly Media, meanwhile, issued its own CFP, due Jan. 12, for its Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2012, scheduled for July 16-20, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Project Releases

    • GIMP 2.7.4 Released As a Precursor To Stable 2.8

      A new version of GIMP – the free graphics suite par excellence – has been released. GIMP ver 2.7.4 , which is termed as an unstable release leading to a stable version 2.8 sometime in January next year, brings a lot of new features.

    • GIMP 2.7.4 arrives for testing

      The GIMP development team has released version 2.7.4 of its open source GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) image editing software. Aimed at developers, testers and early adopters, the fourth point update to the 2.7.x branch is an unstable development snapshot that fixes bugs found in the previous release and includes changes to the user interface.

    • gThumb, The Image Viewer Gets Update

      gThumb, an image viewer for Gnome has his the version 2.14.1. gThumb is a light weight image viewer which comes handy if you are going through images and want to delete bad once while viewing them. You can’t do the same with Shotwell the image viwer that comes with Ubuntu. Another advantage of using gThumb is that you can open the image with other tools such as GIMP by right clicking on the image — shotwell lacks this ability. But, then Shotwell also comes with tools to edit images, which gThumb misses. Shotwell can also download images from your cameras. Anyway, each app has its own advantage and disadvantage. I prefer gThumb as when I go through my images I want to be able to delete the bad ones while I am going through them. Since I extensively use GIMP so ‘open with’ feature also comes handy.

    • Blender 2.61 Released

      The Blender Foundation today announced the release of Blender 2.61, the first bugfix update in the 2.6 series. Blender is an Open Source 3D graphic and animation application made famous for being used to create the first Open Source movie Elephants Dream and the Yo Frankie! video game. It has been used to create television commercials and Hollywood movies. Blender is quality Open Source Software at its finest.

    • GNU Stow 2.1.2 released
    • GNU Stow also available via CPAN
  • Openness/Sharing

    • OpenStreetMap calls for donations

      The open mapping service OpenStreetMap has launched an appeal for funds to finance the purchase of a new server. The main components for OpenStreetMap are currently hosted on several small servers held in the Imperial and UCL colleges of London University. The OpenStreetMap Foundation now feels that it is necessary to buy a new server to improve the system’s reliability and performance.

Leftovers

  • DuckDuckGo Doesn’t Show Leading Open Source Projects, Google Does

    We recently covered a story about LinuxMint using DuckDuckGo as the default search engine. The LinuxMint project will generate revenue through DDG. We do support LinuxMint and have nothing against them using DDG as the default search engine.

    However, the primary goal of a search engine is to show relevant results. We are aware that Microsoft’s Bing doesn’t show quite a lot of open source projects on the first page. LibreOffice, the default office suite of all major GNU/Linux based operating systems is missing from Bing’s first page.

  • SCO’s Reply to IBM’s Opposition to SCO’s Move to Partly Reopening the Case ~pj

    SCO has now filed its reply to IBM’s opposition to SCO’s motion to partly reopen the case. Guess what its argument is? To paraphrase, they say, What? Not fair? Who cares? Bankruptcy court lets us go ahead while tying IBM’s hands behind its back, so we want to do it that way. Besides, it’s not unfair, because IBM could have asked for relief from the stay, but it didn’t. It’s not SCO’s responsibility to help IBM advance its claims.

  • Judge Sam Has Now Recused Himself from SCO v. IBM ~pj
  • Judge Waddoups Also Recuses Himself from SCO v. IBM ~ pj

    Judge David Sam gets the hot potato now. I can’t tell if the problem is that nobody seems eager to take this case or if it’s just that Utah is a small and narrow world, so intertwined that it’s hard to find an impartial judge.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Teenager Who Changed My Life

      It was four years ago today that I received a phone call from a Los Angeles TV reporter that would change my life, although I certainly didn’t realize it at the time.

      The reporter said she had been told that CIGNA, the big health insurer I worked for back then, was refusing to pay for a liver transplant for a 17-year-old girl, even though her doctors at UCLA believed it would save her life and her family’s policy covered transplants.

      I didn’t pay much attention to the call at first, because as chief spokesman for the company, I had received many calls over the years from reporters seeking comment about benefit denials. We took them seriously, but usually didn’t have to do more than tell the inquiring reporters we couldn’t comment substantively because of patient confidentiality restrictions. If pressed, we’d email a statement to the reporter briefly noting that we covered procedures deemed medically necessary and that patients and their doctors could appeal a denial if they disagreed with a coverage decision.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Sludge Industry Reveals “Resource Recovery” Spin

      The Water Environment Federation (WEF), the sewage sludge industry trade group that invented the Orwellian PR euphemism “biosolids” for toxic sludge in 1991, is now “rebranding” sewage treatment plants as “water resource recovery facilities.” The PR spin conveniently glosses over the toxic sewage sludge removed from the water and then heated and dumped on land for crops and grazing as “fertilizer” or misleadingly called “compost.” The toxins in sludge can then bioaccumulate in the meat and dairy we eat and be taken up by the food plants that feed us.

  • Finance

    • JPMorgan Chase Greedwashes Reputation with “American Giving Awards”

      As the New York Times media reporter, Brian Stelter, noted on Saturday, December 9, NBC agreed to broadcast a two-hour television show fully funded and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase called the “American Giving Awards.” The program, which aired this weekend, showcased solely recipients of charitable donations from Chase, featured commercials for Chase and reminded viewers constantly throughout the broadcast that the entire event was “presented by Chase.” NBC presented the show under the guise of a heartwarming holiday season special, but it was really a promotional/advertising event emblematic of a troubling trend among big businesses of creating their own media and disguising it as entertainment. As Lisa Graves, the Center for Media and Democracy’s Executive Director told the New York Times, the show is a “greed-washing campaign to score PR points.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Color of Change Targets ALEC Corporations

      Color of Change has launched a campaign encouraging corporations that rely on business from African-Americans to stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which promotes voter ID legislation that suppresses the black vote.

  • Privacy

    • ICO warns: Just six months to comply with EC cookie rules

      The Information Commissioner’s Office won’t begin enforcing the new cookies law for another six months yet – in the meantime, the regulator has issued a reminder to web outfits warning them to prepare to comply with the legislation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dutch Collection Society Found To Be Source Of Infringing Content

        Remember the story about the composer who found his music featured in anti-piracy ads and had a difficult time getting paid out, triggering a corruption scandal at collection society Buma/Stemra? It was obviously a bit ironic that the music in question was used in anti-piracy ads, but it appears the irony truck forgot to unload a package – filled to the brim with humiliation.

      • Software Freedom Law Center Asks U.S. Librarian of Congress for DMCA Exemption ~pj – Updated

        This is timely. Just as we are all reading about Carrier IQ, with our eyes wide in horror and our jaws on the ground, the Software Freedom Law Center has announced that it has filed comments [PDF] with the US Librarian of Congress, asking for an exemption to the DMCA, so that users can legally control their own devices — have the legal authority to control what software is installed, including being able to install a completely free operating system, and be able to remove whatever is not desired.

12.15.11

Links 15/12/2011: Linux 3.2 is Coming, 2011 GNOME User Survey Published

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Help us make LibrePlanet 2012 a success!

      The dates have been announced for our next conference — March 24th and 25th 2012, at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. A call for papers has also been announced. The conference will include talks from the FSF staff and board, GNU project contributors, and other members of the global free software community. I hope you will join us!

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Cloudera Expands Hadoop Management for the Enterprise

      The Apache Hadoop project has generated a lot of hype as being the poster child for the phenomenon known as Big Data. The practical reality though is that Hadoop works best with a distribution of complementary tools and applications that fully enables an effective Big Data deployment.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Hudson spinoff Jenkins gets commercial backing

      Java platform-as-a-service cloud provider CloudBees has launched a commercial version of the Jenkins CI (continuous integration) platform, the company announced Wednesday.

      An increasing number of enterprises that use Jenkins for their application development are using the software in production settings, said Steve Harris, who is CloudBees’ senior vice president of products. The company had surveyed Jenkins users and found that 80 percent deploy Jenkins in “mission critical” duties.

  • Business

    • JetBrains turns IntelliJ IDEA up to 11

      JetBrains, developers of the IntelliJ IDEA polyglot IDE, have announced the release of version 11 of IDEA with enhanced performance, improved version control support, an updated UI, and platform improvements on Mac OS X and Linux. Since October 2009, when the open source version was announced, IntelliJ IDEA has been available in two editions: an open source community edition for Java, Groovy and Scala development, and a commercially supported, more fully featured “Ultimate” edition with support from frameworks like Java EE and Spring, and tools to assist deployment and debugging.

    • Semi-Open Source

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • White House releases early test code for Data.gov platform, moves closer to open source reality

      The White House’s Open Government Partnership inched closer to maturity last week, with the release of a new open data platform, designed to help other governments set up their own Data.gov portals. On Wednesday, Data.gov developer Chris Musialek posted the first pieces of early test code for the unfortunately named “Data.gov-in-a-box” — an open source version of the US and Indian governments’ respective data portals. Both countries, in fact, have been working on the platform since August, with the Obama administration pledging some $1 million to the effort.

    • Report: DARPA Cozies Up to Open Source

      Among organizations that favor closed technology development, DARPA would have to qualify as one of the most traditionally closed outfits of all. The United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency routinely pops up with new inventions, many of which would impress James Bond, but the inventions are typically shrouded in secrecy and mystery until they arrive. After all, lots of them are intended for battlefields, where the element of surprise can matter a lot. But Ars Technica reports that DARPA is exploring some new technology development models, including embracing open source principles. This makes a lot of sense.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The importance of Wikipedia

      Mirror mirror on the wall, what’s the most important open source project of them all?

      * Are you asking about economic impact? Then it’s probably Linux, or maybe the Apache Web server.
      * Are you asking about user base? In that case I’m thinking Google’s Android, or Mozilla.
      * But if you’re talking about active participation, getting people’s hands on the guts of the thing, having them donate that back to the commons, and fulfilling the idea behind open source, there can be only one answer. Wikipedia.

      Wikipedia has over 100,000 active volunteers working in 270 languages. You’re probably most familiar with the English language version, with its 3.8 million articles. But that’s less than 20% of the total, which now comes to over 20 million.

    • Data

      • What’s Holding Back the Age of Data

        Which is essentially where the data market is today. Everybody understands that data has value; there is little consensus on how, where and via what mechanisms it should be distributed, licensed and sold.

    • Open Hardware

      • The making of Arduino, an open source electronics prototyping platform

        The Arduino is a fantastic example of multiple things–a platform for rapid prototyping (a crucial component of the open source way), a hacker ‘scratching his own itch’ (I need a platform for my students) in public where other people could adapt his creation for their own wildly different uses, a way to lower the barriers to access of technology creation.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Protesters Occupy Goldman Sachs

      The reason several hundred protesters have congregated on West Street is that Goldman Sachs can be found there. And, today, Occupy Wall Street has gone squidding just outside. The idea comes from Matt Taibbi’s “nailed-it” description of the banking giant as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Many umbrellas sporting makeshift tentacles and ad hoc hats with angry squid eyes cap the march, which leaves simultaneously from two locations: City Hall and Zuccotti Park.

      The march is timed to coincide with an effort in West Coast cities to shut down ports, with New York occupiers showing solidarity with their brothers and sisters in Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and elsewhere – all of whose occupations were evicted just like the de facto flagship one in New York. According to Boots Riley of the Oakland hip-hop outfit The Coup, “Occupy Oakland called for this massive coordinated blockade as a way to strike back at the 1% after their attacks on the Occupy movement and their continued assault on working and poor people.” New York couldn’t have picked a more apt 1 percent target than Goldman, as Taibbi’s depiction hints.

      “Everybody pays their tax,” chant the marchers. “Everyone but Goldman Sachs.” The reference is to Goldman’s shady accounting, which allows the corporation to grossly underpay its federal taxes.

    • Goldman Sachs + Warren Buffett = Not Many Jobs

      More than two years into the five-year program, which planned to reach and nurture 10,000 small businesses, just 5 percent of that goal has been met, and Goldman is reassessing the amount of time it will need. And what of Buffett, who has maintained an active role (though not a financial one) in the plan? The often chatty co-sponsor declined to comment.

  • Civil Rights

12.14.11

Links 14/12/2011: Pear OS 3.0, $99 Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Civil Rights

    • Why The Government’s Lawful Access Claims Stand on a Shaky Foundation

      Early next year the government will introduce lawful access legislation featuring new information disclosure requirements for Internet providers, the installation of mandated surveillance technologies, and creation of new police powers. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the chief proponent of the new law, has defended the plans, stating that opponents are putting “the rights of child pornographers and organized crime ahead of the rights of law-abiding citizens.”

  • ACTA

    • ACTA Adopted By EU Governments, Now in EU Parliament’s Hands
    • 100 years after Amundsen ACTA goes South

      100 years after Amundsen reached the South Pole in the Antartics our European member states sent ACTA on a mission to benefit the South. No, kidding?

      Sure, an Medicines Sans Frontiers representative once indicated ACTA may generate some serious effects on pharmaceutical supply for their emergency operations in the least developed nations and patients’ access to retroviral drugs etc. But these effect he argued would be rather negative.

Links 14/12/2011: KahelOS, Fujitsu Linux Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Trust Abused

    The matter has been a unhealed wound for more than six months, but this week the problem that C|Net’s Download.Com website has been perpetrating leapt into high profile with a complaint from the developers of NMap and others. The download.com site is one of the oldest software download sites, running since the nineties to offer downloads of free-of-charge software of all kinds – shareware, trialware and other proprietary software with loss-leader business models as well as true open source software.

  • 60 Open Source Replacements for Communications Software

    By 2013, experts estimate that e-mail users will send 507 billion messages every day. Currently, the average person receives about 419 e-mails per day, with a little less than half of them related to work.

    When you add up the time it takes to read and manage all that e-mail, plus time spent instant messaging, reading and writing blogs, and viewing and creating Web content, it’s clear that digital communication is one of the primary uses for technology.

  • Introducing LibrePlan: Project Planning, Monitoring and Control
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Grammar checking in LibreOffice

      Competitive grammar checking would be a nice improvement for LibreOffice. Supported by FSF.hu Foundation, Hungary, I have made two sentence checking patches to the English and Hungarian dictionary extensions of LibreOffice, based on the Lightproof Python UNO environment: see the related issue, the description and the standalone extensions.

    • A look at IBM Lotus Symphony

      BM Lotus Symphony is a free Office Suite available on Windows, Mac and Linux. The project began in 2007 and is basically a modified version of Openoffice.org. Though active, it still uses Openoffice 3.0 as its base. The developers seem to be focusing on stability and have released 3 “fix-packs” for Symphony 3.0 last year instead of newer versions. After the Libreoffice/Openoffice split, Symphony will continue to be based on the “official” version of Openoffice maintained by Apache.

  • CMS

    • Louvre using Drupal

      Big news! The world’s most visited art museum in the world is now using Drupal for its website: http://louvre.fr. Très cool!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Fdisk 2.0.0a1 released!

      We are happy to announce the new release of GNU Fdisk.

      As reported in the previous release, the software has been rewritten from scratch with a new design. With this release we include a first backend.

    • GIMP 2.7.4 now available for testing

      The maybe last development release in the 2.7 series of GIMP has just been made available for testing purpose.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • The GPL and distributing binaries

      Of late I’ve become the “build guy” in GNOME it seems. One thing I want to clear up is I do not actually care about building just because I think it’s fun or interesting in and of itself. No, the reason I care about building is because if software doesn’t build, then clearly it’s not being run. And if it’s not being run, then it’s not being tested. And if it’s not tested, then it will be crap. In other words, a competent build system is necessary for not producing crap (but not sufficient, obviously).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Charter of Open Source Org is Classified, CIA Says

      Open Source Works, which is the CIA’s in-house open source analysis component, is devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source information. Oddly, however, the directive that established Open Source Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization. In fact, CIA says the very existence of any such records is a classified fact.

    • Open Data

      • White House to open source Data.gov as open government data platform

        As 2011 comes to an end, there are 28 international open data platforms in the open government community. By the end of 2012, code from new “Data.gov-in-a-box” may help many more countries to stand up their own platforms. A partnership between the United States and India on open government has borne fruit: progress on making the open data platform Data.gov open source.

  • Programming

Leftovers

12.13.11

Links 13/12/2011: Ubuntu at HMV Stores, Ultimate Edition 3.0 Swaps Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • eBay Open Sources New Query Language

    eBay’s Ql.io could make e-commerce web applications faster to develop – and use

  • The Ada Initiative: Looking Back and Looking Forward

    The Ada Initiative isn’t quite one year old, but with the project embarking on a new fundraiser and as 2011 draws to a close, it seems like a good time to check in on the project. Much of the focus in 2011 has been on bootstrapping, but 2012 is looking like a very good year for the Ada Initiative.

  • The 10 Most Important Open Source Projects of 2011

    Well, here we are, another year almost done for. Time to look back and take stock of the year that was. You know what? It turns out that 2011 was a banner year for open source projects. So much so, that picking the 10 most important was pretty difficult.

    So what do I mean by “important,” anyway? Clearly, it’s not just projects that are widely used. That list would be just too long to even contemplate. You’d have to include Apache, GCC, X.org, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Linux Mint, not to mention a bazillion and one libraries and utilities that we depend on every day.

    So to judge importance, I looked at projects that are influential, gaining in popularity, and/or technical standouts in new areas. In other words, projects that are even more noteworthy than the other noteworthy projects. This means that many projects that are crucial didn’t make the list. And now, in no particular order, the 10 most important projects of 2011.

  • What a stint with an open source project can add to your life
  • Open source awareness growing, but misconceptions persist

    Its core business products such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system and JBoss middleware remain key components of Red Hat’s growth strategy, as the open source vendor looks to strengthen its presence in Asia-Pacific, particularly Southeast Asia, even as it makes “exploratory moves into cloud”.

  • DARPA’s factory of the future looks like open source development

    DARPA is looking to solve the problem of runaway defense systems projects by reinventing how complex systems are developed and manufactured. They aim to do this by borrowing from the playbooks of integrated circuit developers and open-source software projects. And in the process, the agency’s Adaptive Vehicle Make project may reinvent manufacturing itself, and seed the workforce with a new generation of engineers who can “compile” innovations into new inventions without having to be tied to a manufacturing plant.

  • Perspective from an open source newbie
  • Adoption of Open Source Software: The Challenges and Opportunities

    Open source has opened minds and provided a great amount of freedom of choice not just to organisations but to our government as well. In my view, open source has brought about a change in the way we view and adapt to technology. We are seeing a paradigm shift from packaged software to open source standards not just within organisations, but also at the government level. A significant amount of government administration processes have been simplified by employing various open source tools. In the last five years, there has been a sudden rise in open source developers being hired. There is a huge untapped potential for developers in the open source domain. However, it remains to be seen what measures the government is taking at the central and the state levels to implement this technology and how it is addressing the challenges associated with migrating to open source.

  • New Open-Source Technology Locks Down User’s DNS Connection

    The connection between a user and his or her DNS service can now be locked down with an encrypted session to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, spoofing, or sniffing: OpenDNS has written an open-source tool to secure that traditionally exposed link.

  • Artwork for articles is lacking for FOSS organisations

    I’ve noticed recently how badly disorganised some organisations seem to be when it comes to making their artwork easy accessible to people who wish to promote their work. Organisations, projects and groups all want their newest release covered, or what they’ve just announced is going to happen, unfortunately it’s hard to write about something when you’re missing their logo.

  • In Defense of Free Riders

    Free riders, people who contribute nothing to the software they use, are to free and open source software (FOSS) what illegal downloaders are to the Recording Industry Association of America. They’re people who are perceived as getting away with something, and are the subject of periodic rants. Really, though, I don’t see what the fuss is about.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Facing Trouble, Mozilla Argues Importance of Firefox

        Mozilla is making an emotional appeal to Firefox users amid declining market share and potential lost revenue thanks to Google.

        Mozilla has released a video, called “The Mozilla Story,” which explains the organization’s roots as a community project and the importance of Firefox as an open-source Web browser backed by a non-profit organization. The video avoids technical nitty-gritty in favor of general statements about putting users’ interests first.

      • Mozilla introduces gamepad support to Firefox
      • Google Deal or No, Firefox Can Still Survive

        Mozilla’s Firefox browser has had something of a rough year in 2011, but the past week or so has been particularly unkind.

      • Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Renews Firefox Search Deal
      • Mozilla Chairwoman Sheds Light on Firefox Priorities

        As pundits ponder the future of Mozilla’s Firefox browser, the non-profit group’s chairwoman is banking on some pretty abstract gambles to help regain the platform’s edge over its rivals.

        By one researcher’s count, Firefox last month lost its position as the second most-used browser to Google’s Chrome offering while Microsoft Internet Explorer held it’s lion’s share, although this continues to shrink.

      • Firefox May Not Recover In 2012

        As I stumbled over a note from Mozilla’s developer staff today, I wondered how much impact feature delays in a rapid release process really have and whether delays in a 6-week release cycle matter or not? Firefox could use some good news, but there is not much that could cause some optimism in the near future. Nearly every major feature the browser could use today is delayed and the browser that Mozilla would need today won’t be available until the end of April.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Stow gets first update since 2002

      GNU Stow, the GNU utility for managing the installation of software packages, gets its first official release since 2002 after a complete refresh of the code. Stow allows users to manage multiple software packages, keeping their files in separate directories while at the same time presenting the user with a single run-time directory, created using symlinks into those separate directories. Stow is a simpler, database-less version of its inspiration, the Carnegie Mellon Depot application.

  • Public Services/Government

    • DOD to debate appropriate use of open source software

      The Department of Defense is taking a closer look at open source software, hinting at the potential for new acquisition regulations.

      Specifically, DOD will host a public meeting Jan. 12 to “initiate a dialogue with industry regarding the use of open source software in DOD contracts,” according to a notice published in the Federal Register Monday.

  • Licensing

    • Proposed DMCA Exemption Would Unchain Device Owners

      The Software Freedom Law Center submitted comments yesterday to the U.S. Copyright Office proposing an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions. If granted, the exemption would ensure that owners of personal computing devices have the right to install whatever software they choose on their devices.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Data.gov goes open source, first step in government being afraid of the people

        Whether or not you voted for President Obama, it can’t be said that he hasn’t made intelligent moves in bringing the US government fully into the information age. In fact, his first executive order that he ever signed created a new information portal on the web, Data.gov, to allow web users access to information made available by the Freedom of Information act. Accessing that before was difficult because of the bureaucratic hoops people had to jump through to get the data they sought. Coming fully online in 2009, Data.gov allows web users to access a range of information, such as who has visited the White House, and be able to represent that data using visual charts. This toolset makes it much easier for US citizens to hold their government accountable for its actions.

  • Programming

    • Even More Graphical Git Clients
    • Why an Open Source Forge Matters

      A few months ago, I became “Director of Engineering” for SourceForge.net. It’s a big job that includes being “Product Owner” for the two development teams, managing support, and helping everybody do what we can to improve the site. We have over a decade of accumulated features, many of which are out of date, and little used. We have lots of technical debt. We have younger competitors with a lot of online buzz.

    • Open source, coding and the Cloak of Invisibility

      In this time of magic, who needs to know what an OS is let alone how to code one?

      Our College IT has disappeared. I knew this would happen, it’s become invisible to my students. Maybe it simply faded away when we weren’t looking properly. We use computers in class every day, many times a day; my course now utterly relies on Moodle to keep in touch, store our stuff and mark our tests; the World Wide Web is our constant companion whether on the whiteboard, laptop or phone … but we don’t ‘see’ it anymore.

    • PHP 5.4 emerges from the collapse of PHP 6.0

      With the pending release of PHP version 5.4, due early next year, the creators behind the popular Web scripting language are including the best parts of the now-abandoned PHP 6.0 project.

      “I guess you could say [PHP 6] was too ambitious,” said Zeev Suraski, one of the principal contributors to PHP as well as the chief technology officer and co-founder of PHP software vendor Zend Technologies.

Links 13/12/2011: Red Hat 6.2, Helsinki Happy With Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 9:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Finding a Linux Job

    According to new data from The Linux Foundation, Linux jobs are pretty much evenly divided between administrator and developer jobs. But, you won’t go wrong if you focus on Android programming work.

  • TLWIR 27: Stallman Lookalike, Linux Jobs, and Free Software Donation Directory
  • Desktop

    • Old Computer? No Problem! Linux Saves The Day.

      Old Computer? No Problem! Linux Saves The Day.
      Posted on December 4, 2011, 4:31 am, by devnet.
      [Translate]

      Want to know what utilizes 54.3 MB of RAM idle at 1% CPU utilization on a Gateway M250 laptop? CrunchBang Linux, that’s what!

      It’s always a breath of fresh air when you are able to resurrect older hardware that most people would throw right into the trash with a dash of Linux.

  • Server

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • In praise of LXDE

      When it comes to using GNU/Linux, there are two well-known desktop environments – GNOME and KDE. Most users opt for one or the other and make do with their choice.

      Both GNOME and KDE are environments that are full of features and, hence, quite memory-hungry. For most people, given the configurations which are present on modern-day PCs or laptops, that is not a problem.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 20th November 2011
      • KDE Commit-Digest for 27th November 2011
      • KDE e.V. Sprint – Making KDE Possible

        Over the weekend of 19 and 20 November, KDE contributors met in Berlin for the KDE e.V. Sprint—the first ever. KDE e.V. is the non-profit organization that represents KDE in legal and financial matters and provides funding to assist KDE development and promotion.

      • KDE Telepathy 0.2 – The Future of Free Communication

        The KDE Telepathy team is pleased to announce its second release. KDE Telepathy is a suite of applications that form an instant-messaging client for Jabber, Gmail, Facebook, MSN and more. KDE Telepathy stands out from previous instant messaging solutions by being able to integrate into the Plasma Workspaces, and can also be used like a traditional application.

      • Stable Update 4.7.4 and Testing Release 4.8 Beta2 Available

        Today, KDE makes available two new releases of its Workspaces, Applications and Development Platform. 4.7.4 provides bugfix updates, new translations and performance improvments on top of the stable 4.7 series, while 4.8 Beta2 gives a glimpse at what is coming in 4.8, to be released next month.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Talking Point: Should Distros Stick to CDR Size?

      Canonical owes at least part of its success with Ubuntu Linux to the unique way that it has been distributed. From the start it has been available as a downloadable ISO image and a free CD, posted at no cost to the user. This was great news for people who wanted to install Linux but did not have the luxury of a decent Internet connection. In a sense, installing via a CDR image has always been like a kind of cache, in that you’re moving part of the content that you need onto permanent storage rather than pulling it through the network connection.

    • My Favorite Distribution Releases 2010-2011

      I was going to write about how I finally dumped Firefox for Opera, but Firefox 8 does not seem too bad and for the first time appears a bit nippier at start up. Like Dedoimedo has found, this does not look like a completely arbitrary decision to pump up the version number but actually has some small benefits, so I’m going to give Firefox another chance before it is relegated.

      The slow scrolling though remains a major annoyance, and although several supposed solutions and hacks can be found around the interwebs none of them seem to work. In any case, this should not require a hack when Chromium and Opera can do it, but traditionally Mozilla based browsers have been bad at scrolling.

    • New Releases

      • December Linux fun

        Traditionally, the last few months of the year are filled with new Linux releases. This year is no exception and here we take a look at recent releases and some planned for early 2012.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • How to replace Ubuntu 11.10′s Unity desktop with good ol’ GNOME

            Ubuntu users who dislike the Unity desktop environment have other alternatives besides sticking with “Maverick Meerkat” or jumping ship to another distro. An illustrated DeviceGuru tutorial shows how to load the GNOME Fallback mode on Ubuntu 11.10 and configure it to provide a GNOME 2.x-like experience.

            The last two Ubuntu releases — 11.04 and 11.10 (“Oneiric Ocelot”) have generated controversy among the Ubuntu faithful for pushing the Unity desktop environment and user interface in place of GNOME. Even more so than with the similarly controversial GNOME 3.x, the radically different Unity desktop is oriented toward smaller, touchscreen devices — just one of several complaints from traditional desktop PC users.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sabily Linux review

              As well as being one of the first Linux distributions you could conceivably install for your Luddite parents without worrying too much, Ubuntu Linux has proved to be a great platform to build other operating systems off.

              This is a key strength of free software, and it means that there is a stack of Ubuntu derivatives, including the ‘official’ ones you can find on the Ubuntu website. There are distributions designed to offer a different user experience, such as the KDE-based Kubuntu, and distros such as Lubuntu and Xubuntu, which offer lightweight desktop systems.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open Source and the Open Road, Part 2

      The Linux community is setting the itinerary for what could become the biggest leap yet toward achieving a fully connected, software-enhanced car. Two significant events are already in motion. One is the creation of the Genivi Alliance. The other event is the first gathering of Linux movers and shakers to rally ideas and products for Linux-based automotive devices.

    • Phones

      • A Response To “We Need Some Angry Nerds”

        We even had a brief shot at Linux-on-the-mobile, Android – even I was excited about it once – and look how that turned out. Is FOSS on the mobile really that great an advantage? It’s still closed, controlled, and proprietary on all sides, from the service provider on one end and the hardware on the other. And given Google’s laissez-faire approach to FOSS use and how everybody seems pretty much content to let them get away with it – how much better can it even get? Imagine that! On the mobile platform, we finally had our “year of Linux on the desktop” and nobody cared.

        Angry nerds don’t seem like such a great ally when the they aren’t angry about the thing that concerns you, do they, Mr. Zittrain?

      • Android

        • Nexus Hits the Mainstream

          While the previous two Android phones in the Nexus line have been generally well-regarded by critics, their sales numbers were far from enormous. Could that change with the Galaxy Nexus? Buzz is building for the phone, which will make its U.S. debut soon and will usher in the next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.

        • IOS, Android app advantage keeps rivals at bay
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free Poker DB-Advanced On-line Poker Database
  • Open Source Total Cost of Ownership 2.0

    Back in 2006, I wrote a piece for LXer called “A Brief History of Microsoft FUD”. This ran through successive attempts by Microsoft to dismiss GNU/Linux in various ways. One of the better-known was a series of “Total Cost of Ownership” (TCO) studies. By an amazing coincidence, these all showed that Microsoft Windows was cheaper than that supposedly cheap GNU/Linux.

    Fortunately, people soon cottoned on to the fact that these studies, paid for by Microsoft, were pretty worthless (here, for example, is a great debunking of the kind of FUD that was being put out in 2005.) However, one knock-on consequence of that episode is that TCO studies rather fell from favour.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • On Citrus UI, and a zest of realism

      A few days ago I was surprised to learn that LibreOffice was to get a brand new interface called Citrus. The series of mock-ups called Citrus are not a surprise, they are the result of the enthusiastic work of Mirek M. with the feedback of our Design team. However, the fact that a OMGUbuntu could write an article claiming that Citrus was going to become LibreOffice’s user interface got me thinking.

    • 7 Free Office Tools to Save Non-Profits Money

      If you need a desktop solution for your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, OpenOffice.org is the leading open source software of free solutions. OpenOffice.org can read or write files from other common software platforms, save and share files in a variety of formats, including .doc, .xls and .odt, and best of all, the software suite is compatible with all common computers. Unless there are very complex features that can only be accomplished by current Microsoft Office products or similar paid software, OpenOffice.org will save money for a non-profit even as the organization grows and more computers are added.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Helsinki city officials highly satisfied with Free Software

      City officials in Helsinki, Finland, are overwhelmingly satisfied after trying out the Free Software office suite OpenOffice.org on their laptops. 75% of 600 officials have been using OpenOffice.org exclusively since February, as part of a pilot project where the city installed the program on 22,500 workstations.

      In the spring of 2011, the city installed the Free Software office suite OpenOffice on 22,500 desktops. On the laptops of 600 officials, it was deployed as the only office suite. Even though these latter users only received a written manual and no actual training, still 75 % of the users where satisfied. The pilot project is based on an initiative by Helsinki city council member Johanna Sumuvuori.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Unlocking the goldmine: new legal proposals to open up Europe’s public sector

        Already out there, many institutions have freed up their public data; and many people are making use of them. The UK, France and Denmark are leading the way in Europe; while all together, public sector information generates over 30 billion euros per year in economic activity, with services from geo-location services to weather forecasts.

  • Programming

    • Is a Computer Science Degree Worth It?

      “I suspect that in some areas of software development, a CS degree is extremely helpful, but I don’t think it is ever required,” said Slashdot blogger Chris Travers. “One thing the open source community is very good at doing is encouraging people to learn by both doing and by talking to those with a great deal of formal training or knowledge.” Such transfers of knowledge “can be compared to apprenticeships in the old guild system.”

    • git / cgit updated
    • 7 Reasons that Rexx Still Matters

      You might think of the dynamic language Rexx with nostalgia, but without a sense of urgency to program in it. René Vincent Jansen offers several convincing reasons that it ought to be in your programming toolbox.

    • SourceForge runs the Women in Open Source Survey
    • OS Wars in 2011

      It has become fashionable to say it’s always about applications and not the platform when someone chooses in IT. I don’t buy that for a minute, otherwise you would find all OS’s represented fairly on retail shelves. That said, it is interesting to look at platforms used to download software from servers.

Leftovers

  • This 32-Year-Old Entrepreneur Is Bent On Beating One Of Microsoft’s Largest Businesses

    The term “Enterprise 2.0″ is thrown around a lot these days. It refers to a class of companies that are taking ideas from companies like Twitter and Facebook and applying them to workplace software.

    It’s led to the rise of a whole new batch of startups with red-hot valuations. Jive, an enterprise social network, filed to go public earlier this year and is valued at $573 million, while Box.net turned down a $500 million buyout offer earlier this year.

  • No, You Won’t See Me on Facebook, Google Plus, nor Skype

    Most folks outside of technology fields and the software freedom movement can’t grok why I’m not on Facebook. Facebook’s marketing has reached most of the USA’s non-technical Internet users. On the upside, Facebook gave the masses access to something akin to blogging. But, as with most technology controlled by for-profit companies, Facebook is proprietary software. Facebook, as a software application, is written in a mix of server-side software that no one besides Facebook employees can study, modify and share. On the client-side, Facebook is an obfuscated, proprietary software Javascript application, which is distributed to the user’s browser when they access facebook.com. Thus, in my view, using Facebook is no different than installing a proprietary binary program on my GNU/Linux desktop.

    Most of the press critical of Facebook has focused on privacy, data mining of users’ data on behalf of advertisers, and other types of data autonomy concerns. Such concerns remain incredibly important too. Nevertheless, since the advent of the software freedom community’s concerns about network services a few years ago, I’ve maintained this simple principle, that I still find correct: While I can agree that merely liberating all software for an online application is not a sufficient condition to treat the online users well, the liberation of the software is certainly a necessary condition for the freedom of the users. Releasing freely all code for the online application the first step for freedom, autonomy, and privacy of the users. Therefore, I certainly don’t give in myself to running proprietary software on my FaiF desktops. I simply refuse to use Facebook.

  • The Download.com Debacle: What CNET Needs to Do to Make it Right

    The blogosphere has been buzzing about revelations that CNET’s Download.com site has been embedding adware into the install process for all kinds of software, including open source software like NMAP. For the unwary, some of the ads could have been read to suggest accepting the advertised service (e.g., the Babylon translation tool bar) was part of the installation process. Users who weren’t paying attention may also have clicked “accept” simply by accident. In either event, after their next restart, they would have been surprised to find their settings had been changed, new tool bars installed, etc. Gordon Lyon, the developer who first called public attention to Download.com’s practices, found a particularly egregious example last night: a bundled ad for “Drop Down Deals,” an app that, once installed, spies on your web traffic and pops up ads when you visit some sites. It’s hard to imagine that many users would choose that app on purpose.

  • Download.com Caught Adding Malware to Nmap & Other Software
  • U.S. Continues to threaten Internet freedom

    Incredible – 800,000 signatures in a few days, Congress is dithering and a senator will vote to block the reading of our petition for a few hours! Let’s get 1 million – sign the petition…

  • “8″ Roll-out A Year Away

    I think by the time “8″ will be released, it will already be obsolete. Likely Android will release a couple more times between now and then. M$ is sunk up to its axles in bloat while the world scampers along on small cheap computers.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Insurers Use PR Playbook to Keep Us in the Dark About Health Insurance

      If you wonder why the health insurance industry has to set up front groups and secretly funnel cash to industry-funded coalitions to influence public policy, take a look at the most recent results of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) monthly Health Tracking Poll.

      In its November poll, KFF added a few new survey questions to find out exactly which parts of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare are the most popular and which are the least popular. Insurers were no doubt annoyed to see that the provision of the law they want most — the requirement that all of us will have to buy coverage from them if we’re not eligible for a public program like Medicare — continues to be the single most hated part of the law. More than 60 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of that mandate.

    • Rick Perry’s Big Health Care “Oops”

      Last week, Dr. Michael C. Burgess, tweeted this directive: “Mark your calendars: Rick Perry will join Health Caucus’ Thought Leaders Series next Wednesday, December 7 @ 5 p.m.”

      Eager to hear what thought leadership the Texas governor and presidential candidate would be imparting, I marked my calendar as Dr. Burgess prescribed. Imagine my dismay when I learned yesterday morning that Perry would be sharing his thoughts behind closed doors. The media and public, it turns out, had been disinvited.

      Burgess, a Texas Republican, chairs the Congressional Health Care Caucus, which, according to its Web site, “is committed to advancing reforms that reduce costs, increase patient control, expand choice, and promote cures.”

    • We Are Farmer Brown

      But Brown, far from operating a mega-dairy or even distributing milk to retailers, milks one cow. After he and his family provide for their own needs, the remaining milk is sold from their farm stand. Brown said in a speech to supporters, “I’m not a milk distributor. I’m a farmer. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to be, it’s all I’ve ever done.”

    • California is Farmer Brown
    • Raw Milk Freedom Riders Take on Chicago
  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • New York Should Become the First State to Ban Fracking
    • Is Associated Press Working for the Fracking Industry?

      That’s what millions of readers are asking after seeing a piece that asserted:

      “The vast Marcellus and Utica shale formations are already paying off in thousands of wells in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, bringing great wealth to landowners and jobs throughout the region.”

    • Transition to Renewables and The Forward Speed of Economies

      From CarbonTracker.org comes this very useful accounting of global fossil fuel reserves, by market listing on stock exchanges. The risk identified in their report, Unburnable Carbon – Are the World’s Financial Markets Carrying a Carbon Bubble?, is that markets have accorded value to energy resources which may never be extracted. The reason? A rather hopeful one. According to the group: “the threat of fossil fuel assets becoming stranded, as the shift to a low-carbon economy accelerates.” The report pays particular attention to the value of London listings, a country which itself has dwindling fossil fuel resources.

  • Finance

    • How The European Endgame Will be the Death Knell for Modern Economics
    • The End of Growth in the United States

      With one month to go in the data series, US Total Non-Farm Payrolls have averaged 131.08 million in 2011. The problem is that the US is a Very Large System, and needs growth to support its array of future obligations, primarily Social Security and the debt it incurs to run its military budget, and other entitlements. If you had told someone ten years ago that Total Non-Farm Payrolls would be at similar levels in 2011, that likely would have sounded impossible, or extreme. But the fact is, US Total Non-Farm Payrolls averaged 131.83 million ten years ago, in 2001. The implications for this lack of growth are quite dire. | see: United States Total Non-Farm Payrolls in Millions (seasonally adjusted) 2001-2011.

    • Robosigner Tries to Burnish its Image

      Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) of Jacksonville, Florida — one of the most notorious processors of fraudulent home foreclosure documents in the country — has donated 1,000 tickets for a professional football game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the San Diego Chargers to Jacksonville Area USO.

    • FOX News, OWS, Banksters, and Bombs

      Scanning the horizon for someone to blame for the latest attack on Germany’s largest bank, FOX news pundit Dan Gainor worked “the Internets.” Did he detail Deutsche Bank’s track record of making friends by ripping off consumers and foreclosing on their homes? Did he mention that Deutsche Bank stirred public ire when it was bailed out by multiple governments, including two billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve? Did he even bother to notice that it was widely reported that an Italian anarchist group had already claimed responsibility for the attack?

      No. In his piece on FOX News, “Left, Obama Escalate War on Banks Into Dangerous Territory,” Gainor decided to go after the bank-busting activists at the Center for Media and Democracy in Madison, Wisconsin, specifically our BanksterUSA.org site, because the Bankster masthead is riddled with bullet holes.

    • Thomas Friedman Is Flat: More Nonsense on Economics In the NYT

      The NYT continues its policy of affirmative action for people ignorant of the world by allowing Thomas Friedman to write two columns a week on whatever he chooses. Today he talks about the job crisis.

      He does get some things right in pointing out that we have a huge shortage of jobs. He also notes the growing crisis posed by long-term unemployment in which millions of people are losing their connections to the labor market and risk being permanently unemployed.

      However he strikes out in his dismissal of manufacturing as a source of jobs and calling for more high tech centers like Austin, Silicon Valley and Raleigh-Durham. When the dollar falls to a sustainable level it will have an enormous impact in improving the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. We stand to gain more than 4 million manufacturing jobs once we get the dollar down to a sustainable level.

    • Robert Samuelson Does Some Serious Fed Apologetics

      The Federal Reserve Board is a perverse animal. While ostensibly a public institution, the banking industry has the extraordinary privilege of being able to pick 5 of the 12 members of its most important governing body, the Open Market Committee (FOMC). The banks also get to have 7 other representatives sit in on the FOMC’s secret meetings. Given this structure, it is not surprising that people who do not believe that the banks necessarily place the interest of the general public first are suspicious of the Fed.

    • Wonkbook: The real unemployment rate is 11 percent

      Typically, I try to tie the beginning of Wonkbook to the news. But today, the most important sentence isn’t a report on something that just happened, but a fresh look at something that’s been happening for the last three years. In particular, it’s this sentence by the Financial Times’ Ed Luce, who writes, “According to government statistics, if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.”

    • SF becomes first US city to top $10 minimum wage

      David Frias works two minimum-wage jobs to squeak by in one of the most expensive cities in America.

      Come New Year’s Day, he’ll have a few more coins in his pocket as San Francisco makes history by becoming the first city in the nation to scale a $10 minimum wage. The city’s hourly wage for its lowest-paid workers will hit $10.24, more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the working wage set by the federal government.

    • msnbc.com: Middle class workers are under attack
    • A Secret Scandal

      The government and the big banks deceived the public about their $7 trillion secret loan program. They should be punished.

    • Solyndra Schadenfreude As Goldman Sachs Played Key Role

      While we are not completely shy of saying we-told-you-so, in the case of the players in Solyndra’s fantastic rise and fall, we are more than happy to. Back in September we highlighted Goldman Sachs’ key role in the financing rounds of the now bankrupt solar company and this evening MarketWatch (and DowJones VentureWire) delves deeper and highlights how the squid has largely stayed out of the headlines (what’s the opposite of lime-light?) in this case despite its seemingly critical assistance and support from inception to pre-destruction.

    • The Goldman Saching of Europe

      I don’t want to sound alarmist but it looks like Goldman Sachs has taken over Europe. The continent has succumbed to the dictates of global finance, there was no choice. The bankers are holding us all to ransom and have done since the beginning of the GFC in 2008.

    • Europe’s Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy
    • U.S. Senate has just passed a bill that effectively ends the Bill of Rights in America
    • Huge Eurobank, rated ‘Britain’s worst,’ now accused of gouging US consumers

      The accusations are as outrageous as they are plentiful: Hundreds of “robocalls” — in one case, 800 to a single person — to collect auto loan debts; illegal repossession of cars from active duty military deployed overseas; late fees assessed three years after the fact and then compounded into $2,000 or $3,000 bills; harassing calls to friends, neighbors, co-workers — even children — on cell phones. And now, a flurry of lawsuits filed around the country, and lawyers fighting over potential clients.

    • Occupy Princeton Hijacked a Goldman Sachs Recruiting Event
    • Goldman Sachs whistleblower threatened with the sack

      A solicitor at HM Revenue & Customs who turned whistleblower to disclose that senior managers had quietly let off Goldman Sachs from paying millions of pounds in tax penalties is facing disciplinary procedures and possible prosecution for speaking out.

      Osita Mba has worked within the Revenue for at least four years and claimed to have personal knowledge of the deal that allowed the bank to write off a £10m bill.

    • Why Goldman Sachs Always Escapes Criminal Prosecution

      60 Minutes has been doing a lot of reporting on the financial crisis in order to find out why no bankers or mortgage servicers have been criminally prosecuted for fraudulent practices. When Obama was asked (see videos below) why no one was prosecuted for causing the financial crisis, his reply was that the actions of the banks were not illegal. What he is saying is that it is legal for the banks to take down the financial system by using sub-prime mortgages to create securities that were meant to fail and to sell those same securities to investors, like pension funds and municipalities, and at the same time bet against the whole mortgage market in order to make billions in profits.

    • Wealthy Patriots Wage Class War

      A strange thing happened in Chicago on Thursday, December 8. An audience of well-heeled professionals, a mixture of Democrats and Republicans, packed a room at the Drake Hotel to hear Robert Shiller, a Yale professor, give a presentation on the housing market. A few members of the audience were in the top 1%, and the balance of the audience was probably in the top 2%-5%. At the end of the presentation, there was a bi-partisan revolt.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Will “Obamacare” Force Americans to Buy Junk Health Insurance in 2014?

      The money that patients’ rights advocates have to spend trying to convince the Obama administration that Americans should have decent health care benefits pales in comparison to the boatloads of cash insurers and their corporate allies have on hand to do largely the opposite. But at least the advocates are now in the game.

  • Censorship

    • No disconnect – ICT helping Human Rights across the world

      There’s been a huge amount of interest in my announcement of a “no disconnect” strategy, to improve internet freedom around the world. In particular, there has been a lot of interest in my choice to invite Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to assist me with this work.

  • Privacy

    • Internet BitTorrent Spies

      The latest example of what you do on the Internet is no where near as “private” as you think it is comes from a new Russian site, YouHaveDownloaded. This site claims to track 20 percent of all public BitTorrent downloads… and tell the world who they’ve found downloading what. So, that final episode of Dexter? The DVD rip of Cowboys & Aliens? That copy of Call of Duty Modern Warfare? And, that illicit video of Smoking Hot Grannies that you really, really don’t want to talk about? Yeah, your permanent record of what you’ve been downloading off BitTorrent sites may all be available for the amusement of your friends, neighbors, and, oh yes, the copyright owners.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • RespectMyNet: Internet Restrictions on the Table of EU Regulators

      Paris, November 30th, 2011 – La Quadrature du Net met with European body of telecommunications regulators, BEREC, which is currently listing Internet access restrictions imposed by telecoms operators across the EU, as requested by the EU Commission. Thanks to the RespectMyNet.eu platform and thanks to the participation of citizens from all over Europe in unveiling these harmful practices, BEREC cannot ignore any longer the widespread access restrictions which undermine freedom of communication, privacy, as well as competition and innovation online. By further contributing to RespectMyNet, citizens can help increase pressure on the Commission to legislate on Net neutrality.

    • Internet censorship against streaming in France?
    • Freedom Online: Stop the Double-Speak!

      The Netherlands are convening a high-profile conference to discuss freedoms online. As the United States and Europe pose as defenders of freedom online, La Quadrature recalls that their Internet policy is going in the other direction by supporting censorship, through the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) and other initiatives.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

12.04.11

Links 4/12/2011: GNOME 3.4 and Torvalds, More GNU/Linux Games

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[I'm on vacation for a week starting now]

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Blender is amazing!
  • Apache: Old, out of touch, but worth it…

    The Apache Software Foundation has come under withering attacks lately, with accusations of its politics and bureaucracy getting in the way of its ability to foster open-source software.

    The common rallying cry of the Apache attackers is GitHub, a source-control system that has almost blossomed overnight into the industry’s top open-source code repository. But while GitHub clearly does offer a superior code-hosting alternative to Apache and other foundations in many respects, it is deficient in one of the most important ways: branding.

  • Lightspark Open Flash Now Works On Windows

    There’s a new release of the open-source Lightspark software for handling Adobe SWF/Flash support on the Linux desktop. New to Lightspark 0.5.3 among other changes is a working Microsoft Windows port.

  • Netflix opens “portal” for its open source projects
  • Events

    • Thoughts on conferences

      Over the last four years or so, I have attended numerous conferences in many different locations. It has been, really without any exceptions, an incredible experience. Conferences are one of the main ways that our communities come together and meet face-to-face—something that’s important to counterbalance the standard email and IRC development environment.

      In that time, I have also seen many different ways to organize, schedule, and produce those conferences, and, as is the case with free software projects, there are bits and pieces that conferences can learn from each other. What follows is my—fairly opinionated obviously—distillation of what works well and less well, which will hopefully be useful as new conferences spring up, or as existing ones plan for next year.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Why Hasn’t Google Put ChromeOS Out to Pasture?

        Google has been on a killing spree the last few months, whacking projects that are non-essential to the company strategy or that haven’t caught on. Even though this has angered some users, Google is still stubbornly clinging to one of its biggest dogs to date: ChromeOS and the Chromebooks.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • NoSQL hopeful cozies up to Hadoop data-muncher

      NoSQL data store CouchDB has become Hadoop’s latest convert with delivery of a connector tying together the two big-data architectures.

      CouchDB user Couchbase has announced a certified Couchbase Hadoop Connector, developed with Hadoop shop Cloudera.

      The connector potentially simplifies movement of data between the Couchbase Server, which Couchbase says is “powered” by CouchDB, and the Cloudera Distribution including Hadoop (CDH). Couchbase uses capabilities of CouchDB such as mobile and sync. Both CouchDB and Hadoop, meanwhile, are Apache Software Foundation (ASF) projects.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • TDF Celebrates 100 Extensions

      Little over one month ago The Document Foundation announced their new online extension repository. At that time it had maybe a couple of dozen total extensions and templates, but now the number totals over 100.

      A short note from Florian Effenberger expressed the projects pride and gratitude towards those who have been contributing. OpenOffice.org had a wide selection and many articles were devoted to the bounty. Today, LibreOffice is well on its way to closing the gap.

      The extension site is easy to use because one can sort and search through the extensions. You can sort by LibreOffice version, or one of several criteria such as Highest Rated, Most Downloaded, or Newest. Extensions can also be filtered by category such as Language Tools or Writer-Extensions. And it doesn’t require Javascript to function.

  • Project Releases

    • Genode 11.11 Released With Virtualization Options

      Genode, the interesting research (non-Linux) operating system developed on a unique framework architecture, recently experienced the release of Genode OS 11.11. This operating system, which brought Gallium3D support last year, now has a variety of virtualization modules available.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Copyrights

    • Copyright Corruption Scandal Surrounds Anti-Piracy Campaign

      Anti-piracy group BREIN is caught up in a huge copyright scandal in the Netherlands. A musician who composed a track for use at a local film festival later found it being used without permission in an anti-piracy campaign. He is now claiming at least a million euros for the unauthorized distribution of his work on DVDs. To make matters even worse, a board member of a royalty collection agency offered to help the composer to recoup the money, but only if he received 33% of the loot.

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