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02.27.12

Links 27/2/2012: Linux 3.3 RC5, Orange and x86

Posted in News Roundup at 5:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Projects showcase Central La. students’ interest in science

    The 12-year-old Pollock Elementary School pupil showed how he believes Linux is better than Windows at the Louisiana Region IV Science and Engineering Fair Saturday at Louisiana State University at Alexandria’s Fitness Center.

  • Ten Things I Wish I Knew When Becoming A Linux Admin

    Ten years ago I installed Linux for the very first time. To be exact, it was Slackware 7, the best distribution at the time in my opinion. Since then I’ve come to favor Debian Linux as my favorite version…at least for my Linux servers. I like to have a solid core system installed that I can build from scratch, but this is for another time. This article is for you new Linux admins; here are the ten things I wish I knew when starting my Linux admin journey.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux on the Desktop: Alive and Growing

      So, while Adobe and AK may believe GNU/Linux is dead in the water, the real reason for abandoning Flash on GNU/Linux lies elsewhere, likely the fact that Flash is a dead-end technology with HTML 5 ramping up. Killing Flash in 5 years is irrelevant for that reason.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Completely Blank Xfce Desktop

      The Xfce desktop environment comes with Xubuntu and is also available in the Xfce versions of Linux Mint, Fedora and other Linux distributions. Using Xfce, you can easily set up a highly functional but completely blank desktop – no icons, no menus, nothing. Just a blank screen or a favourite wallpaper, ideal for the user who hates distractions or loves simplicity. Here’s how to do it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 8.0: slightly burnt dessert

        February 2012 brought us some fresh releases of Linux-based operating systems. These systems are not as big and famous as Ubuntu, Fedora or OpenSuSE, but still have a considerable army of fans.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat vs Oracle Linux Support: 10 Years Is New Standard

        The Linux chess match between Red Hat and Oracle now involves a showdown on long-term support strategies. Indeed, both Red Hat and Oracle recently extended their Linux support life cycles to a lengthy 10 years. The big potential winners are partners and customers that are trying to maintain long-term IT road maps involving Linux data centers.

      • Is It Time to Try on Red Hat?

        Software firm Red Hat Inc. (RHT) captured my attention this weekend as I was scanning through lists of stocks. This poor equity was largely abandoned in December by investors despite a strong earnings report. A mix of sky-high expectations and poor news from Oracle (ORCL) in late December had the security dropping close to $39 on extremely high trading volume. The kind of high volume that bottoms are built on.

      • Red Hat’s Cloud and Virtualization Win: More to Come?

        It’s a familiar story: Like so many other telecom services providers, CDLAN is trying to push into cloud services. For CDLAN, the path to SaaS and cloud services involves an open source twist: Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Is this a sign of things to come for Red Hat?

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Press Release: KuwaitNet to open source VPN platform

    KuwaitNET, a complete Internet solutions provider, announces the launch of VPNPlatform.org in an effort to give back to the open source community which has been a large driver of their business over the years.

  • Open source opens doors for Aussie start-up

    It’s pretty rare for a start-up company to benefit from more than a decade of software development valued at about $2 million each year. Rarer still for one to land a six figure contract before it has even launched a commercial product.

    But that is precisely what Gold Coast-based Opmantek has done. The company was formed in October 2010 to acquire the commercial rights to the popular open source network management software Network Management Information System (NMIS), a product first developed in 1999 by one of Opmantek’s founders, Keith Sinclair.

  • Events

    • GNUmed holds mini conference

      GNUmed has been around a while. Most communication happens via the mailing list. Not everyone is comfortable with mailing lists and users tend to stay away from it. That is why we are planning a get together in Leipzig, Germany.

  • Education

    • Nature Editorial: If you want reproducible science, the software needs to be open source

      Modern scientific and engineering research relies heavily on computer programs, which analyze experimental data and run simulations. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a scientific paper (outside of pure theory) that didn’t involve code in some way. Unfortunately, most code written for research remains closed, even if the code itself is the subject of a published scientific paper. According to an editorial in Nature, this hinders reproducibility, a fundamental principle of the scientific method.

      Reproducibility refers to the ability to repeat some work and obtain similar results. It is especially important when the results are unexpected or appear to defy accepted theories (for example, the recent faster-than-light neutrinos). Scientific papers include detailed descriptions of experimental methods—sometimes down to the specific equipment used—so that others can independently verify results and build upon the work.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

Leftovers

  • TEST: How to know if your computer license should be revoked
  • Finance

    • SEC Seeks Testimony of Ex-IKB Employee in Lawsuit Against Goldman’s Tourre

      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to question a former employee of IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG (IKB) in its lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) trader Fabrice Tourre, court records show.

      The SEC today asked a federal judge in New York to issue a so-called letter of request that would allow the agency to take testimony from Jorg Zimmerman, a resident of Germany.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Facebook suffers lobbying exodus

      The move signals that the gloves are coming off in the ongoing lobbying fight between content providers and Internet companies. Facebook’s lobbying spending increased about 285 percent from $351,000 in 2010 to $1.35 million in 2011.

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • ‘The Free Internet Act’ Emerges As Redditors Craft SOPA Alternative

      When two proposed anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA looked as if they could become law, social news site Reddit helped organize a large-scale online protest that led lawmakers to table the bills indefinitely. But the activism didn’t stop there, and now Redditors are trying to draft legislation of their own.

      “The Free Internet Act,” as the idea has been tentatively named, intends to preempt any future legislation aiming to limit the scope of the Internet or censor content. Redditors have turned the “r/fia” page into a place to craft something they’d like to someday see become a standard for governing the Internet.

    • Study Confirms What You Already Knew: Mobile Data Throttling About The Money, Not Stopping Data Hogs

      Of the four national mobile operators, only Sprint still offers an “unlimited” data plan — and most industry watchers expect that to go away soon. When the operators talk about this stuff, they complain about how unlimited plans are abused and the amount of data being used by so-called “data hogs” is crippling network bandwidth. Of course, the alternative story is that they just want to charge people higher rates, and putting a toll booth on data usage makes that possible. A new study by Validas confirms that the latter theory seems to match with reality. The company looked at 11,000 mobile phone bills of users on both throttled (tiered) plans and unlimited data plans and found… data usage was effectively the same. In other words, for all the talk about how tiers and throttles are needed to stop bandwidth hogging… reality shows that these plans have little impact on actual data usage. Or, to put it really simply: these plans are all about the mobile operators making more money and have nothing to do with network capacity.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Why Ebook Portal Library.nu Differed From Other Filesharing Sites

        A couple of weeks ago the popular ebook portal Library.nu was shut down, apparently voluntarily, after a coalition of book publishers obtained an injunction against it and a similar site.

      • Leaked Audit in Eminem Royalty Suit Highlights Huge Stakes for Record Industry

        Here’s what an examiner turned up when opening Aftermath’s financial books to see how much was owed to Eminem’s production team.

      • If You Want To Compete With Free, This Is What You Need To Know

        When it comes to competing with piracy, one of the talking points of copyright maximalists is that content creators “can’t compete with free.” These people complain that because pirates don’t have to cover production costs, competing with them is a losing venture. What these people have not learned, despite our many attempts to teach them, is that price is not the only cost considered when consumers choose between buying legally and pirating. Over at Gamasutra, one expert blogger, Lars Doucet, has shared a very profound look at four “currencies” people consider when making such a choice.

      • One More Copyright Infringement, And HADOPI Must Disconnect Itself From The Net
      • Crony Capitalism: Big Companies Sponsor Fancy Dinner For TPP Negotiators

        We’ve talked about the ridiculous Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations, which are being held with incredible levels of secrecy, and which appear to include a wishlist of every copyright reform change that Hollywood wants, with little to no public scrutiny. The USTR, who’s in charge of negotiating the agreement for the US claims that there’s unprecedented transparency — and that may be true if you’re talking about the unprecedented lack of transparency in the negotiations. And where it gets really ridiculous is that while the public has no access to the information, the big company lobbyists have pretty much full access. We already spoke about the recent meetings in Hollywood, where TPP negotiators got to party with the Hollywood elite — but civil society/public interest groups who tried to hold an open meeting in the hotel (and reserved space and everything) were kicked out of the hotel.

      • UK Labour Party: Let’s Just Get On With Kicking People Offline Over Copyright Infringement

        As Techdirt reported at the time, the UK’s Digital Economy Bill was rammed through Parliament, without proper scrutiny or even much democratic process, in the dying hours of the previous government. Since then, the implementation of the Digital Economy Act has moved forward relatively slowly. That’s partly because there have been a series of legal challenges from ISPs concerned about its legality (and likely cost for them). In addition, it made sense for the current UK government to wait for the completion of the Hargreaves report on copyright in the digital age before proceeding.

      • Reductio Ad Absurdum: Eternal Copyright Is Crazy… But What About Today’s Copyright Term?

        Of course, it’s easy to laugh at satire like this… until you remember that some make such arguments seriously. But, similarly, it seems worth recognizing that for most of us, copyright is already effectively eternal. Here in the US nothing has entered the public domain in quite some time and it’s questionable if or when anything new will enter the public domain… as most people fully expect Disney to push for another copyright term extension as Mickey Mouse approaches the public domain yet again.

      • ACTA

        • FFII call for action: Act on ACTA

          over the past 10 years we have been at the forefront of many policy initiatives to prevent more risks for software professionals: Software Patents, IPRED1+2, Data Retention, European Interoperability Framework and many others. Since 2008 we have been following the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and sought to bring transparency in the process. Our involvement was partly successful, for instance criminal enforcement was not extended to patents and the Commission released the text of the agreement. However, both process and content are still deeply flawed.

        • ACTA is part of a multi-decade, worldwide copyright campaign

          Last week, we observed that major content companies have enjoyed a steady drumbeat of victories in Congress and the courts over the last two decades. The lobbying and litigation campaigns that produced these results have a counterpart in the executive branch. At the urging of major copyright holders, the Obama administration has been working to export restrictive American copyright laws abroad. The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is just the most visible component of this ambitious and long-running project.

        • Where did the patients go?

          The European Commission decided to ask the EU Court of Justice an opinion on ACTA. Commissioner Karel De Gucht stated: “We are planning to ask Europe’s highest court to assess whether ACTA is incompatible – in any way – with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property in case of intellectual property.”

02.26.12

Links 26/2/2012: GNOME 3.4 Beta, Mageia 2 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • What I do

      That may not be enough, but that will have to do. I also have a family — my daughter, now 14, has been giving Linux presentations for two years as well — and a full-time job, so I make no apologies if this does not clear the proverbial high bar set for Collaboration Summit admission.

    • Top 10 Ways To Make The Best Of An Old PC

      If none of the above tricks are helping, one of the best things you can do is install a new operating system altogether. It’ll definitely shake up your workflow a bit, but with enough commitment, you can use one of the many flavours of Linux to give your computer a major speed boost. If you’re already familiar with Linux, I can’t recommend ArchBang enough, while newbies might be more suited to something like Lubuntu or even Chrome OS.

    • XPmageddon

      When will the onslaught happen? I think it has been happening every since Vista broke the picture of M$ working for business. Businesses started checking out GNU/Linux and now many large businesses are expanding their staffing with expertise in GNU/Linux. Businesses are increasingly virtualizing clients and servers, making the migration easier. Once the servers are virtual, there’s little holding back the clients. GNU/Linux can make really good thin clients at half the cost of that other OS. Web applications are cross-platform, too. Having seen the cost of migrating from one OS after another from M$, businesses and their accountants do see the value in FLOSS without a lot of unproductive licences. Businesses do see the advantage of increasing in-house expertise instead of sending money to M$.

  • Kernel Space

    • XFS File-System Speeded-Up, Cleaned-Up Last Month

      A status report of the XFS file-system for January 2012 has been released. This report outlines some of then notable improvements made to this popular enterprise-grade Linux file-system for the Linux 3.2 and 3.3 kernels.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland Work Towards State Machine For Display Control

        Tiago Vignatti on Friday published initial code seeking comments regarding a state machine for display control on the Wayland Display Server.

        While Wayland is nearing version 1.0, there’s many items left to be addressed with this next-generation display server architecture. One of the big open items is handling of changing mode-setting and other display control settings, i.e. what RandR (the Resize and Rotate extension) is to X.Org. Tiago published some initial “RFC” code for Wayland that implements a state machine for display control.

      • State Of NVIDIA’s VDPAU, A New Community List

        Now that NVIDIA’s Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) has a public list, will NVIDIA be engaging more with the open-source driver community?

        Aaron Plattner of NVIDIA requested and then had established a VDPAU mailing list under the FreeDesktop.org umbrella. From Bug 44470, “It would be nice to have a list for discussing changes to libvdpau and vdpauinfo. It might also be useful for discussion of VDPAU implementation in Mesa/Gallium, if those guys want to use it for that.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LinuxQuestion Vote Shows Fragmentation of the Desktop
    • In a Community Survey, Unity Voted as the ‘Most Hated Desktop Environment’
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • AMD Will Properly Support KWin With Catalyst

        For those AMD Catalyst users that were concerned by the recent statements of Martin Gräßlin that KWin will likely end up dropping their GL1 renderer, which would eliminate vintage GPU hardware support as well as Catalyst driver support, fear not.

        While the latest AMD Catalyst driver fully supports up to OpenGL 4, within the KWin compositing window manager for the KDE desktop it defaults to using the OpenGL 1.x renderer. The GL1 renderer is used with the AMD binary blob since using the newer OpenGL 2.x renderer is troublesome for Catalyst. Meanwhile for the NVIDIA binary driver and even the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers, the GL2 renderer works without fault.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3.4 Beta 1 Released

        The GNOME Project announced a few minutes ago, February 24th, the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Beta release of the upcoming GNOME 3.4 desktop environment, which brings assorted improvements and features.

  • Distributions

    • Review: Archbang Linux

      Two years ago I reviewed Arch Linux. My conclusion at the time – great if you have to control every aspect of your system, but it’s not for me. I later used it on my Pogo Plug to set up a file and print server and it definitely has its merits. I know, generally speaking, that one of the best parts of using Arch is getting access to the latest software before anyone else. So I decided to take a look at a few Arch derivatives that take the work out of getting Arch installed while still having the benefits of Arch’s early access.

      Today I’ll be looking at Archbang. Archbang takes the foundations of Arch (early access to software and rolling release) and the visual aesthetic of Crunchbang (using Openbox). I enjoyed having Crunchbang on my laptop for a few years. Eventually I scrapped it in favor of something easier for my wife to use, but there’s definitely something nice to the Openbox look. As usual for my Linux reviews, I’m going to look at how the distro’s installation process works, their UI design philosophy, updating/installing packages, and how it compares to other distros I’ve tried. So, let’s get started!

    • New Releases

      • Ultimate Edition 3.0.1 Has Been Released
      • Ultimate Edition 3.0.1

        Ultimate Edition 3.0.1? Wow, where to begin. I tried to keep this under wraps, this is what Ultimate Edition 3.0 should have been. I have taken the time to rebuild it from the ground up 100% by me, mass changes between what 3.0 and what 3.0.1 is.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 first beta version has been released

        Originated in France and forked from Mandriva, The Mageia is now independent and community based project for developing a Linux based Operating System. Anne Nicolas said the released of first beta version of Mageia 2. The main new features of it are stable glibc 2.14.1, Linux Kernel 3.2.6, KDE 4.8.0, GNOME 3.3 [3.4 will be in final release], PCmanFM 0.0.10, Amarok 2.5, Cantata 0.3.0 music player etc.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Scientific, an interview with Amit Saha

          Fedora Scientific Spin brings together the open source scientific and numerical tools used in research along with the goodness of the Fedora KDE desktop. Thus, simply put Fedora scientific is a Fedora Linux flavour custom made for users whose work and play involves scientific and numerical computing.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu for Android: more details and prototype hands-on (video)
          • Ubuntu for Android: more details and prototype hands-on (video)
          • More Information About Ubuntu For Android [Video]
          • Let’s Customize Ubuntu

            One of the forefront advantages of Linux (Ubuntu) over proprietary operating systems is its ability to be customized and of course many other reasons. And with the latest versions of Ubuntu starting from Ubuntu 11.04 this seems to have gone since it is difficult to change your font, theme, Unity behavior etc. using default options. However, with open source you have the community rallying together to produce many excellent applications to customize Ubuntu. This article is the first of three to describe three such applications which are Ubuntu Tweak (0.6.x), Gnome Tweak Tool and MyUnity (3.0). In this article, I’ll also describe a review system with which I will compare the three applications in a fair manner.

          • What Is Ubuntu Doing At Mobile World Congress?

            Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has mastered the art of creating hype. If one may recall Canonical succeeded in creating buzz around Ubuntu with its TV offering at CES 2012. Even if the project is in the making and won’t make a dent in the market as a product unless some popular TV makers such as Samsung put it on their devices, Canonical succeeded at something. The company succeeded at main tech sites to take notice of it and talk about it. Through TV, Ubuntu became the talk of the town during CES 2012.

          • Ubuntu on Android, won’t work for me, 3 serious considerations!

            Ubuntu on Android! So you are guessing that your Android smartphone will have a dual boot or you will be able to boot Ubuntu on your Android phone? Certainly none of that is possible as yet. Ubuntu for Android is simply full-fledged Ubuntu hidden in your Android phone that that remains inoperative until docked. Once your smartphone is plugged into the dock connected to a moniter the OS (ubuntu) surfaces and starts making use of peripherals such as mouse and keyboard. All of that sounds interesting however neither it is new or useful. Let’s find how!

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 Gnome Review

              This release brings big changes to Linux Mint so be ready for something different. The DVD version offers users the ability to choose between the new Gnome 3 interface with the Mint Gnome shell extensions, Gnome classic, or the new MATE desktop.

              Linux Mint 12 is extremely user-friendly as always, and offers all the hardware recognition and easy driver setup advantages that new Linux users will enjoy. Novice users may however be frustrated with the customization options temporarily, but that will surely develop further in upcoming releases.

            • Zorin Is a Linux OS That Looks and Behaves Like Windows 7

              Zorin Is a Linux OS That Looks and Behaves Like Windows 7If you’re building a computer for a relative or friend and wish to avoid the cost of Windows 7 you might look into Zorin—the Linux OS’ elements such as the taskbar, file system, start menu, and desktop all work just like in Windows. This combined with Zorin having the WINE Windows Emulator preinstalled means that the end user can install Windows programs easily.

            • Review: Dream Studio 11.10 – Just another *buntu Clone

              Decided to take a look at Dream Studio 11.10 which was recently released. Dream Studio is always a little late when updating their distribution. It is based on Ubuntu 11.10 and from what I see pretty well the same thing except for maybe the background image and some added programs.

            • Dream Studio 11.10 Is Based on Ubuntu 11.10

              Dick MacInnis proudly announced earlier today, February 24th, the immediate availability for download of the Dream Studio 11.10 operating system.

              Being based on the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system, the brand-new Dream Studio 11.10 distribution has lots of new features and a beautified Unity-based desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Policies not encouraging enough, open source software difficult to grow

    Quang said that the biggest problem now is the lack of the legal framework on information technology (IT) services, including the regulations on the norms relating to open source software.

    “In the world, open source software can live well not on the licenses, but on the services. However, in Vietnam, there has been no regulation on the norms of INT services in general and open source software in particular,” Quang said.

  • Integrating Open Source Monitoring with Monitis
  • Open source code has fewer mistakes
  • Superiority of FLOSS
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Marketplace To Open Its Virtual App Doors

        Mozilla also claimed that it intends to make the store completely “people centric” so that it can provide both the developers community and regular users more choice, freedom as well as opportunity when searching for applications meant for multiple OS platforms – all under one virtual roof.

      • Why Mozilla And Canonical Should Join Forces

        Where do I begin? This idea entered my head the same day that Canonical announced Ubuntu For Android. That same day, information leaked about a desktop-capable Android, most likely Android 5.0 Jelly Bean. The appeal of tethering Ubuntu to a monitor, keyboard and mouse–from an Android phone– is tremendous. The appeal of attaching an Android phone to a monitor and gaining desktop functionality while only having to use one OS is much greater, I’m afraid…

  • Funding

    • Collabora and Fluendo Invest in GStreamer Open Source Multimedia Framework

      Collabora Ltd. and Fluendo S.A., two world leaders in open source multimedia, will invest in promoting the GStreamer multimedia framework through the creation of a cross platform software development kit (SDK), targeting desktop and server platforms like Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, and very soon to include leading mobile platforms, such as Android.

  • BSD

    • DragonflyBSD Developing The HAMMER2 File-System

      While it’s not part of this week’s DragonflyBSD 3.0 release, Matthew Dillon is currently designing the HAMMER2 file-system to succeed his original HAMMER creation in Dragonfly.

      The HAMMER2 file-system has been under-development already, but Dillon doesn’t expect for anything usable prior to July. While it may be usable this summer, he doesn’t believe it will be until “well into 2013″ when “the whole mess is implemented and even later before the clustering is 100% stable.” This is the only project Matthew Dillon is said to be working on this year.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Drug Developer Pursues an Open-Source Approach in Designing Clinical Trials

      Biopharma leaders have long needed greater transparency in the industry, though usually in the context of activity by government regulators and necessarily by companies themselves. Now, two industry veterans are testing the value of offering such transparency through an open innovation model for drug development.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Apple: Due Diligence versus Fraud

    Lately, Apple has been suing the world over smart thingies like smart phones and tablets that they consider to be their technology. “He who lives by the sword shall die by it” comes true again as a monitor manufacturer claims, in a US court, that “iPad” was acquired by Apple fraudulently. Proview, a Chinese business, sold the “iPad” trademark to a front set up by Apple in 2009. Proview has had mixed results in blocking use of “iPad” in China and now has swung its axe at the root of the tree.

    I am not a lawyer, but balanced between the necessity of any business to do due diligence before a transaction and the duty of a participant in a transaction to be open about material facts affecting the value of a transaction is a wide range of opinion. Usually the onus is on the seller but if Apple disguised itself for the purpose of buying a trademark cheaply I can see an argument. It will be fun to watch.

  • M$’s Empire – Structural Failure is Imminent

    Complicating the situation is that Android/Linux tablets are continuing to sell well and indeed, smart phones are emerging that are large enough to compete as tablets. M$ is under a lot of pressure to supply their office suite to iPad while the blush is on the rose. Waiting may build demand for Android/Linux tablets with M$’s office suite and M$ certainly doesn’t want that to happen.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Got BTU? Accounting for America’s Energy and GDP

      There are complexities associated with the calculation of US energy expenditures against its GDP. The above chart only records domestic consumption of energy. But you see, the United States is a country that does not bear the full cost of the externalities associated with its total consumption of goods.

  • Finance

    • Analysis: Goldman’s top brass gun for cash bonuses

      While Wall Street slashes pay and freezes cash awards, Goldman Sachs Group’s top five executives may reap special bonuses of $10.5 million apiece if the firm hits historically easy profit targets over the next two years.

      Many companies have long-term incentive plans, but Goldman’s program is notable for dangling hefty cash payouts at a time when banks are tilting toward deferred-stock awards.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Heartland Institute: Hoist With its Own Petard

      It was not a happy Valentine’s Day for the Heartland Institute’s climate change denial campaigns. First, Heartland’s plans for a $75,000 K-12 reeducation curriculum to turn America’s children into climate change deniers was leaked to the DeSmog Blog along with Heartland’s fundraising plan, which reveals support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation and a “free Koch summer intern.”

      Then, the story jumped to the New York Times, which raised serious questions about whether the group has undertaken partisan political activities, a possible violation of federal tax law governing nonprofit groups. The fundraising plan outlines “Operation Angry Badger,” a proposal to spend $612,000 to influence the outcome of recall elections in Wisconsin.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood still doesn’t get it

        The point is that the entertainment industry seems to be unable to listen to their best customers. They want the world to play by their rules, but every enterpreneur knows that’s a very bad business model. Studies prove that the entertainment industry can survive and even make money, but they simply have to start to use their brains (“BREIN” means “BRAIN” in Dutch).

02.24.12

Links 24/2/2012: Intel’s New Linux Graphics Drivers, LPS Security 1.3.2

Posted in News Roundup at 7:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 free Linux e-books
  • Desktop

    • Living and Loving the Acer Aspire One 522

      What an odd situation this is. For the past week or so, the only netbook / notebook I have been carrying with me is the Aspire One 522. Never mind that the display resolution is “only” 1024×600. Never mind that the keyboard is absolutely flat, so the feel is a bit odd and touch-typing takes some getting used to. I just like it. It’s kind of like it was with the HP 2133 Mini-Note, despite a number of apparent drawbacks or problems, I prefer using it. First because it is so small and light, and because the screen is so clear and bright. It is also quite fast – the AMD C-60 cpu and Radeon HD 6290M display controller make it noticeably faster than the other netbooks I have around here. I can connect it to an external display via VGA when I want to do more serious work at home, or to a TV via HDMI When I want to show my photographs, and in both cases the dual-display netbook/external works perfecty, and makes using it much easier and more pleasant. Oh, and it has a memory card slot that takes Memory Stick as well as SD/xD cards, which is a very nice extra.

    • Canonical believes Windows XP stragglers hold the future for Ubuntu

      LINUX VENDOR Canonical believes that Microsoft’s Windows XP, not Windows 8, could drive adoption of its Ubuntu Linux operating system.

      With Microsoft readying Windows 8 for release later this year, companies are expected to evaluate whether it is worth renewing existing Microsoft licenses or splashing out on the latest Microsoft revision of its desktop PC operating system. However, according to Canonical CEO Jane Silber, it isn’t undercutting Windows 8 that holds the key for take-up of Ubuntu Linux but Microsoft’s termination of Windows XP support that will drive Ubuntu growth.

    • Why Adobe Is Wrong to Restrict Flash Updates for Linux Users
    • Linux on Smartphones: Could it Replace the Laptop?

      Dan Gillmor’s got an interesting column looking at an idea I’ve raised before. Could the smartphone end up becoming the replacement for the laptop computer? My own question took it a little further: could the smartphone become our basic computer?

    • Death to Office or to Windows – choose wisely, Microsoft

      Windows is dead, and Microsoft Office has killed it. Or will, once the rumours about Microsoft porting its wildly popular Office product to the iPad become reality.

      For just as porting Office to Mac OS X back in 2001 sowed the seeds of Apple’s relevance as a credible desktop alternative to Windows, so too will Microsoft’s capitulation to the iPad ensure that Windows will die even as Office takes on a new, multi-billion dollar relevance.

      Microsoft, however much it may want to own the customer experience – from database to operating system to applications to free-time leisure gaming – wants to make money even more. Right now, Microsoft’s only real money in mobile comes from browbeating Android licensees to pay it patent hush money. So Microsoft needs a winner in mobile, and Windows isn’t it. At least, not anytime soon.

  • Kernel Space

    • Why Linux Is a Model Citizen of Quality Code

      With 6,849,378 lines of Linux 2.6 code scanned, 4,261 outstanding defects were detected and 1,283 were fixed in 2011. The defect density of Linux 2.6 is .62, compared to .20 for PHP 5.3 and .21 for PostgreSQL 9.1. Keep in mind that the codebase for PHP 5.3 — 537,871 lines of code — is a fraction of that of Linux 2.6, and PostgreSQL 9.1 has 1,105,634 lines of code.

    • Moving Linux Kernel Drivers To User-Space? Nope.

      Brought up on the Linux kernel mailing list this week was a short-lived discussion whether Linux device drivers should be moved from kernel-space to user-space in an attempt to provide “greater security and robustness” of Linux systems.

      Jidong Xiao asked on Wednesday, Can we move device drivers into user-space? It’s been a matter that’s been brought up before in past years and he cited an earlier research paper on “Tolerating Malicious Device Drivers in Linux.” Jidong’s reasoning for bringing up the topic again is that, “Advantage: Since most of kernel bugs are caused by device drivers issues, moving device drivers into user space can reduce the impact of device driver bugs. From security perspective, the system can be more secure and robust if most device drivers are working in user space. Disadvantage: At least, existing techniques as well as the above paper showed a relatively high overhead.”

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Releases 2.18 X.Org Linux Graphics Driver

        The primary target of xf86-video-intel 2.18 is to address outstanding bugs. The bugs namely addressed are changes for limiting the maximum object size, incorrect clipping of polygons, limiting the number of VMA cached, and latency in processing user-input during continuous rendering.

      • Intel 2.18 Video Driver for Linux Released
      • The Fallback Mode-Setting Driver Is Improved

        One week after the release of the new X.Org mode-setting driver there’s another release with more changes.

        Last week David Airlie announced the release of xf86-video-modesetting as a generic, un-accelerated DDX driver that in theory should work with any hardware that’s being handled by a Linux KMS (kernel mode-setting) driver. The xf86-video-modesetting driver just relies upon the generic KMS interface with the kernel to allow X.Org to work atop it.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Developers Make More Money From Android Than From iOS

          Android has left Apple behind when we talk about the market share. There is, however, one area where Android is catching up fast — apps. A new study shows an interesting aspect of Android vs iOS market.

          According to a survey by Canalys, Android developers earn more from Android than from iOS. A developer will make around $347.37 from top apps for Android vs only $147.00 from iOS.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Aussie woman scammed Nigerians: court

    A BRISBANE woman fleeced Nigerian scam artists by stealing more than $30,000 from their internet car sales racket, a court has been told.

    Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramsey, 23, was employed by the Nigerians as an “agent” in March 2010 but was unaware they were scam artists, the Brisbane District Court heard today.

  • Security

    • PacketFence 3.2.0 brings new features, closes XSS hole

      PacketFence logo The PacketFence development team has published version 3.2.0 of its open source network access control (NAC) system. The release adds support for Ruckus Wireless Controllers, integrates the OpenVAS vulnerability assessment system for client-side policy compliance and adds a billing engine that enables the use of a payment gateway for gaining network access.

  • Finance

    • Consumer Rates Climb After Deregulation Goldman Sachs Funded

      Houston (10750MF) consumers were supposed to get lower electricity rates from deregulation. Instead, they pay some of the nation’s highest prices, partly because of bonds Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) recently sold for a local utility.

  • Privacy

  • DRM

    • Who’s adding DRM to HTML5? Microsoft, Google and Netflix

      With tech companies abandoning the proprietary Flash and Silverlight media players for HTML5, it was inevitable somebody would try to inject DRM into the virgin spec.

      Microsoft, Google and Netflix are that “somebody”, having submitted a proposed modification to HTML5 to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) for “encrypted media extensions”.

    • Proposal to add DRM to HTML5 meets resistence

      A proposal at the W3C by Microsoft, Google and Netflix to add encrypted media support to HTML5 has already become controversial. The proposal has been called “unethical” by HTML5 editor and Google employee Ian Hickson who added that the proposal does not provide robust content protection. Hickson has yet to elaborate on his response to Microsoft’s Adrian Bateman who raised the issue in response to a change request to add parameters to pass values to audio and video elements. In follow up comments, Intel’s representative said they “strongly support the effort”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Links 24/2/2012: Linux at McDonalds, Android 5.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Bill G Got One Thing Right

    That was written the year after I adopted GNU/Linux and he was right on all those points. I went from being a newbie to being able to do everything a teacher normally would do with that other OS in just a few days. The download took more time, 10 days of nights and weekends on dial-up… I replaced Lose ’95 on five old PCs in my classroom and never looked back. GNU/Linux was clearly superior to the software we were using on Macs and other PCs in the school.

  • Linux as an Automation Host

    Automation is a perennial technical buzzword among System Administrators (SAs) and in management circles alike. Business owners and managers demand automation with the thought that it will save “man hours” and possibly decrease the need for a full technical staff. System Administrators realize that this is not the case nor is staff reduction the inevitable result of automation. The bad news is that the purpose of automation isn’t to reduce staff numbers. The good news is that there are several reasons for automation that make it a worthwhile pursuit.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Open-Source Radeon HD 7000 Code Coming Soon?

        Where oh where is the open-source support for the “Southern Islands” GPUs, a.k.a. the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series? It’s been over two months since the first hardware launched and there still is no open-source Linux driver support available.

      • Mesa 8.1-devel On Radeon Gallium3D

        Earlier this week I shared a pleasant surprise in Mesa 8.1 Radeon Gallium3D with some significant performance improvements to be found in the current Mesa Git code-base for the “R600g” driver in some OpenGL games. In this article is a more diverse look at the current state of Mesa 8.1 development for R600 Gallium3D and comparative benchmarks from every major release going back to Mesa 7.10.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s KVM Overtakes Xen and Service Providers Lead the Way

        This week Ubuntu sponsor company Canonical released the results of its latest Ubuntu Server User Survey. Over 6,000 Ubuntu Server users from around the world responded. Possibly the most interesting result is that although VMware still leads, Red Hat’s KVM has overtaken the Citrix backed Xen as the most common host environment for virtualized Ubuntu Server instances. According to the report, this is the fist time in the three years that Canonical has been conducting this survey that KVM has beat out Xen.

      • Oracle extends Linux support to 10 years

        Oracle has reaffirmed that it’s in the Linux business to stay by extending the support lifecycle of its own-brand build to ten years, and tempting Red Hat users with a trial offer of its Ksplice patching system.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 KDE

          Fedora 16 was released a while back, and I’ve finally gotten around to checking it out. For this review though I’ve opted for the KDE version of Fedora. As you may already know, Fedora comes in multiple spins including GNOME, Xfce, KDE and others.

        • Raspberry Pi school computer to run cut-down Fedora

          Early adopters of the Raspberry Pi $25 computer will be offered a cut down and customised Fedora ‘remix’ compiled to run on the system’s ARM microprocessor, it has been confirmed.

          The first Raspberry Pi is just bare circuit board for now but developers at Toronto’s Seneca College have worked hard to fit a Fedora image on to a 2GB SD card to boot the computer into a GUI, complete with a small suite of applications and admin tools.

        • Fedora puts back Btrfs deployment yet again
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu crests new wave of mobile computing solutions

            The popular Linux distributor is helping travellers turn smart phones into laptops, but we’ve barely imagined the potential

          • seems McDonalds is happy to stick with Jaunty…
          • Ubuntu: Community Developer Interview | Boden Matthews

            It’s always nice to follow the development of Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora. But what about the people behind the scenes that use these operating systems. The developers. The community. The Users. Behind all those pixels that make up your display, there’s a whole wide range of interesting geeks with plenty of talent to contribute in many ways to the future of Linux development.

            Geeks of all ages, young and old. I found one such person for which I briefly interviewed for Unixmen. A promising young developer who is still in his teens. Boden Matthews is a community developer who is currently working on a version of Ubuntu designed for the HP TouchPad. And it seems to be an interesting project with potential.

          • Canonical CEO admits Unity was a painful change

            LINUX VENDOR Canonical has acknowledged that Ubuntu’s shift to the Unity user interface was painful for many of its users but insisted it hasn’t led to a decline in the popularity of the Linux distribution.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Updates: The First 12.04 Beta to Be Released Next Week

            According to a development update posted on Ubuntu Fridge by the Ubuntu developer Daniel Holbach, Ubuntu 12.04 is on its way to release the first beta next week, on February 29, after the user interface freeze which occured today. “Today User Interface Freeze and Beta Freeze will kick in, next week we will do a test rebuild of the whole archive and Beta 1 will get out next week as well.”

            Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin is a LTS (long-term support) release and it will ship with Linux kernel 3.2 by default, GNOME 3.2, Unity 5.4.0, LibreOffice 3.5. According to Ubuntu Kernel Release Manager, Leann Ogasawara, as soon as new stable versions of the 3.2 kernel branch will be released, they will be included in Ubuntu. “With Ubuntu 12.04 being an LTS release, our primary focus has been on stability. As such, we chose to ship with a v3.2 based kernel and will continue to rebase to the latest v3.2.y stable kernels as they become available.”

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Introducing Descent|OS: Ubuntu With GNOME 2

              Softpedia is once again proud to introduce a new Linux distribution based on the popular Ubuntu OS from Canonical, this time with a modernized GNOME 2 desktop environment.

            • Hands On with the Cinnamon Desktop

              As one of the GNOME users who’s still fond of the old-school GNOME desktop, the recent release of Cinnamon 1.3.1 caught my eye. While it’s not exactly GNOME 2.x, it’s close enough that most users with a fondness for the 2.x days will feel right at home.

              The GNOME Shell (and Ubuntu’s Unity) are making lots of rapid progress, and they may (or may not) be the bee’s knees for many users. I’ve been using Linux desktops for a long time now, so I’m probably not the target audience for GNOME Shell or Unity. Either way, I’d rather spend my time writing and learning about how to use server-side software than re-learning how to use my desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Smackdown: Google TV vs Apple TV vs Boxee vs Roku vs…

      Throughout this smackdown, there are links to DeviceGuru’s in-depth reviews of all five devices. The reviews provide lots more detail on each device’s unique capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and also include comprehensive screenshot tours that demonstrate the device’s user interface and operation.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android 5.0 ‘Jelly Bean’ launching in Q2? Eh, maybe
        • Samsung announces armor-plated Android, the Rugby Smart

          Rugged phones have been around forever, but melding extreme survivability into a true Android smartphone that’s not laughably large or looks like an off-road tire is a challenge. Samsung feels it has created a tough device that has beaten the odds.

          The $99.99 Samsung Rugby Smart certainly has a rough and tumble name. The company claims it’s built to meet both the U.S. military Mil-spec 810f and the IP67 international standards for ruggedness. In a nutshell, that means the phone should be able to withstand submersion in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes, plus prolonged exposure to blowing dust, driving rain, extreme temperatures, and the odd drop onto hard surfaces.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The Problem with Tablets and the Spark Solution

        It’s real: Tablet PCs have arrived. According to a recent DePaul University study, one in every dozen airline passengers is using a tablet PC or e-book reader at any given moment.

        Like many of you, I got a tablet (a Nook, if you’re interested) as a gift this last December (thanks Jeanette!). It’s pretty nice. I read Wired on it now, check news, post tweets occasionally. But it’s moderately frustrating that I can’t really do anything worthwhile on this machine.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Monopoly is Not Natural for IT
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Scarcity Is A Shitty Business Model

      The Gotham Gal has been under the weather this weekend. Last night we made soup for dinner and decided to sit on the couch and watch a movie and go to bed early. After dinner, we fired up Boxee and checked out Netflix. Nothing good there. Then we fired up the Mac Mini and checked out Amazon Instant Video. Nothing good there. Then we went to the Cable Set Top Box and checked out movies on demand. Nothing good there. Frustrated and unwilling and uninterested in heading to a “foreign rogue site” to pirate something good, we watched a TV show and went to bed.

    • Trademarks

      • Trademark Lobby Wants To Help European Court of Justice Forget About EU Citizens’ Rights

        It was only yesterday that the European Commissioner Karel de Gucht made the surprise announcement that the European Commission would be referring ACTA to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) “to assess whether ACTA is incompatible — in any way — with the EU’s fundamental rights and freedoms.” Just a few hours after that, there are already signs of panic among ACTA’s supporters that the treaty may indeed be incompatible — and thus dead in the water as far as the European Union is concerned.

    • Copyrights

      • It’s my word, don’t you dare use it.
      • Australian Commercial Radio Wins Simulcast Suit Against PPCA

        Australia’s commercial radio stations won’t have to pay out extra royalties for online “simulcasting” of recorded music following an important ruling last week from the country’s Federal Court.

        Recording companies’ collecting society PPCA had sought a declaration from the court that Internet streaming of radio programs – or simulcasting — should not be regarded as a “broadcast” under the country’s Copyright Act and should there be subject to a separate music tariff.

02.23.12

Links 23/2/2012: Ubuntu Uses Qt, Many New Android Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 7:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why the World Is Desperately Seeking Linux Talent

    A recent study from The Linux Foundation has found that Linux talent is a hot commodity among many hiring companies. The conclusions made sense to many on the Linux blogosphere. “Linux and open source are becoming strategic investments in many companies and have been for years,” said Chris Travers of the LedgerSMB project. Others, however, took issue with the study’s methodology.

  • Transparency Launches as Linux of Drug Development

    When Tomasz Sablinski was working in pharmaceutical R&D, he was often frustrated by the demand for secrecy in the clinical trials process—a misdirected effort, he says, to keep competitors in the dark about what drug companies were up to. “The price you pay when you hide what you’re doing is you only get feedback from a precious few people,” he says. “There is very little new blood in the ideation process.”

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • With Many Eyeballs, All Bugs Are Shallow

      In his seminal work The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Eric Raymond put forward the claim that “given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” He dubbed this Linus’ Law, in honor of Linux creator Linus Torvalds. It sounds like a fairly self-evident statement, but as the Wikipedia page points out the notion has its detractors. Michael Howard and David LeBlanc claim in their 2003 book Writing Secure Code “most people just don’t know what to look for.”

    • Linux 3.4 Kernel Set To Speed-Up Intel’s GPU Driver

      While the Linux 3.3 kernel is still weeks away from release, there’s more building up to look forward to with its successor: the Linux 3.4 kernel. A few months down the road when Linux 3.4 makes it out, there will be some additional Intel performance improvements.

    • Graphics Stack

      • DRM Base PRIME Support Part Of VGEM Work

        Remember the proof of concept PRIME multi-GPU rendering / GPU offloading work that was being hacked on two years ago? Work on it has been resurrected and could make it into the kernel when the VGEM driver is ready.

      • Intel 12.02 Package Proclaims Stable Ivy Bridge

        The 12.02 graphics driver is basically what was Intel’s quarterly package release under a new numbering scheme. Instead of being the “2012Q1″ Linux driver package, it’s now 12.02 to reflect its release in February of 2012. Back in October I wrote about Intel working on a new release cycle and this is part of their new development process.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Pardus Kurumsal 2 for a Second Time

      A few days ago, I experienced a motherboard failure. This gave me ample opportunity to do a fresh Linux installation. The first disk on hand was Pardus Kurumsal 2 for AMD64. I thought it would be interesting to give the distribution another spin.

      Upon a first boot attempt of the Pardus Kurumsal 2 installation disc, I was met with a black screen and a blinking cursor. Using ALT+Left, I determined that this was merely a failure of Xorg to start. The disc was automatically set to attempt usage of the best drivers possible, but at the time of the Pardus release, the NVIDIA GT520 was no where near the market. Running X -configure and then setting the driver manually to vesa allowed me to run the installer without further complication. Although, this problem did reassert itself after installation and upon the first boot of the newly installed system. This time, I wanted to have higher resolutions and improved performance, which prompted me to fire up Lynx. After navigating to nvidia.com, I downloaded the driver I needed. The next thing is the installation of the Pardus equivalent to Slackware’s D package set as well as the required kernel headers for module building.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 10 New Features Added to Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin
          • Canonical: No plans for public cloud

            “Canonical doesn’t intend to offer a public cloud as part of our business strategy,” Jane Silber, the company’s chief executive, said on Wednesday. “We have no plans to do that right now.”

            Because of Canonical’s close ties with the OpenStack cloud project, it doesn’t want to go down the Red Hat route, Silber said.

          • Interview with Gema Gomez-Solano
          • Ubuntu One Switches To Qt

            Ubuntu 12.04 development hits the User Interface freeze tonight. This is also evident from all the user interface updates trying to meet the deadline. One such update brought a significant update to the Ubuntu One control panel.

            We all know about Ubuntu One, sync service developed in house by Canonical. In this update, the Ubuntu One developers have released a new interface based on the toolkit QT. This new interface is going to be the standard interface on all platforms like Windows, Ubuntu and MAC OS. A step in trying to bring about some integrity and commonality in the Ubuntu One usage on all platforms. It also helps with the Ubuntu One branding.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Economist Notices That The US Is Getting Buried Under Costly, Useless Over-Regulation
  • Finance

    • Oakland’s Toxic Deal with Wall Street

      Although last week’s $26 billion settlement between the Obama administration, attorneys general from 49 states, and five large banks over unscrupulous lending practices appears to have been deeply flawed, it may provide a modicum of relief for two million homeowners nationwide, including a half-million Californians. The agreement, however, does nothing for cities like Oakland that are trapped in expensive and toxic financial deals with some of Wall Street’s biggest players. Oakland’s bad lending deal is with Goldman Sachs, and it’s already cost the city $26 million. By 2021, the total pricetag for local taxpayers could reach $46 million.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wisconsin GOP Goes After Equal Pay for Equal Work

      Late in the evening, on February 22, the Wisconsin Legislature turned back the clock gutting key provisions of Wisconsin’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act (Act 20).

      Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison), a long time women’s rights advocate lamented: “It’s like we’re going back to 1912. We are fighting the same fight our mothers fought, just to be treated equally.”

  • Censorship

    • ICE Considered One Of The Worst Places To Work In The Federal Government

      Last month, we noted the odd propaganda film from ICE director John Morton, in which he seemed to be trying to pat himself on the back and pump up the morale of ICE agents for their hard work in illegally censoring the internet. Perhaps it’s because he knew that ICE agents apparently hate working there. An anonymous person pointed us to the news that in a recent ranking of government agencies, ICE ranked very near the bottom — 222 out of 240 agencies. It seems that morale isn’t particularly high there.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Time runs out for timezone lawsuit

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation is touting a victory in a copyright lawsuit that had the potential to shut down the database that all Linux and UNIX-based platforms and many time-based applications use to keep track of the ever-changing global timezones.

    • Copyrights

Links 23/2/2012: Mozilla Marketplace, ACTA

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Flash, Chrome and a Mole Hill

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

  • Desktop

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

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

    • Terrible Linux
  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 beta 1 screen shot preview

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

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

    • Red Hat Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

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

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Aruba Delivers BYOD Control with ClearPass

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

Free Software/Open Source

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

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA To Open Source Web Operations

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

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

  • Openness/Sharing

    • An Open Innovation Toolbox

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

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

Leftovers

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

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

  • Censorship

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

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

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

  • Civil Rights

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

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

  • DRM

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Why We Take to The Streets

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

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

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

        • Will ACTA compromise the European Court of Justice too?

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

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

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

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

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

  • US Veterans’ Administrations Looking at Alternative Office Suites

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

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

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

  • Events

    • COSCUP 2012

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

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Eight Business-changing Ways to Use Big Data

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

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Joomla: The Hidden Giant of Web Development

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

  • Healthcare

    • GNU Health Decision Support on Prescription Writing

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

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

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

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

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

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

    • Is the VA Embracing Open Source?

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

  • Openness/Sharing

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

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

    • Open innovation–the passion behind the Civic Commons community

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

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

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

  • Programming

Leftovers

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

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

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

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

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

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Spinning Suspect Ingredients in Baby Formula

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

  • Finance

    • How Greece Could Take Down Wall Street

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wisconsin GOP Attempts to Ram Through Special Interest Mining Bill

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

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

  • Censorship

    • Techdirt Deemed Harmful To Minors In Germany

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

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

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • How the CRTC Helped Stifle Internet Throttling

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

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

        • How the European Internet Rose Up Against ACTA

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

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

        • ECJ Referral: No Legal Debate Will Make ACTA Legitimate

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

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

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

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

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

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

02.22.12

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

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Kiwi open sourcers invade Aus

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

  • Is Open Source Software Falling Short?

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

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

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

  • Open Source Software Is Made For The Cloud

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

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

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Clustered NoSQL database Riak gets administration console

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

  • Education

  • Business

  • Funding

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

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

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

  • Finance

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

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

  • Censorship

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

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

    • The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom

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

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

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