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01.23.12

Links 23/1/2012: Desura Game Client Open Source, Megaupload Seizure

Posted in News Roundup at 5:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 183
  • Server

    • NGINX: The Faster Web Server Alternative

      This formerly obscure Web server is gaining popularity with businesses. NGINX is now the new number two Web server, largely because it promises a fast, light, open-source alternative to Apache. Here’s why it’s attracting so much attention.

  • Kernel Space

    • Where The Linux 3.3 Kernel Will Come Up Short

      While there’s a lot of improvements in the Linux 3.3 kernel, it’s not perfect. Here’s some of what’s unfortunately missing from this forthcoming kernel.

      First of all, among the “great stuff” being introduced in the Linux 3.3 kernel is Btrfs and EXT4 file-system improvements, ACPI 5.0 support and other improvements, many staging changes, Byte Queue Limitsimproved Ivy Bridge support, many open-source graphics improvements, and the fix for the notorious ASPM power regression, among hundreds of other Git commits. With Linux 3.3, the kernel is weighing in at over 15 million lines of code.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Plans For X.Org, Wayland At FOSDEM 2012 Are Drawn

        Besides formally announcing an open-source, reverse-engineered ARM graphics driver, there’s lots of pother interesting X.Org / Wayland related talks happening in two weeks at FOSDEM 2012 in Brussels, Belgium.

      • XBMC May Soon Run On Top Of Wayland

        This weekend at the SCALE 10x event in Los Angeles I caught up with Cory Fields of the XBMC project. He was showing off XBMC running on the Raspberry Pi. This was my first time seeing the Raspberry Pi running first hand, which was the $35 model that has a 700MHz ARM processor, VideoCore IV graphics, and 256MB of RAM. XBMC was running well on this low-cost ARM platform — the video playback was smooth and reliable with the only area where the performance was struggling was the video overlays for the on-screen display. It’s hopeful though that the OSD performance issue will be figured out soon for XBMC on the Raspberry Pi.

  • Applications

    • Linux Programs (Apps) for Common Computer Tasks

      The purpose of this page is to introduce people new to linux to some programs I use for common tasks on my computer (sorry, no games). I include a list of programs to install beyond the default Ubuntu Linux distribution. Most of these notes would also apply to Debian GNU/linux, because Ubuntu is based on Debian.

    • MPlayer2 Is Still Being Actively Developed

      MPlayer2 — a fork of the popular MPlayer open-source project that’s added on several new features — has been quiet for a few months but is still being actively developed.

      The discussion surrounding MPlayer2 was resurrected in the Phoronix Forums this past week. One Phoronix reader immediately jumped to say that “Mplayer2 is dead. Nothing new for 11 months now.” and to also criticize the program for the lack of supporting the (outdated) MPEG-1 format.

    • Top 10 Plank Dock Themes

      Plank dock is one of the most lightweight application launchers, it does not require a big amount of memory or CPU usage. Plank dock is written using Vala programming language and developed by Docky Core team. Here we are going to have a look at 10 great Plank Dock themes looks stunning on many different desktop styles and user interface customizations.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • A Book Review of The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction
      • Deploying ChiliProject on Tomcat

        We have been using Redmine as our project management tool of choice at work for about a year and half. We use it primarily to manage our Pentaho and data warehouse implementation, along with some smaller initiatives. It meets our needs quite well by allowing us to host multiple projects (unlike Trac) with different needs on the same deployment. I love how flexible and easy it is to configure, however, I also like to keep my eyes open for potential alternatives. The last time I upgraded our Redmine installation, I decided to deploy Redmine on our Tomcat environment in an attempt to avoid having to maintain a apache+passenger install purely for Redmine (most of the apps we host are java based, so my Tomcat skills are much more polished than my apache+passenger skills).

      • Some time-saving tips that every Linux user should know

        Here is a selection of command-line tips that I’ve found useful when working on Linux. The emphasis is on somewhat less-known techniques that are generally important or useful to technical users. It’s a bit long, and users certainly don’t need to know all of them, but I’ve done my best to review that each item is worth reading in terms of projected time savings, if you use Linux heavily.

    • Games

      • Desura Game Client Is Now Open-Source

        Desura, the Steam-like game distribution service that came natively to Linux last year, is now open-source.

        Back in November I wrote that Desura was looking to open-source their client (the Desura server will remain closed-up) and now two months later they’ve finally committed to doing so and published the code.

      • Desura open sourced as Desurium
      • Project Zomboid, on the road to release!

        Project Zomboid another favourite indie game of mine is nearing the release of their very eagerly awaited version, after the tragedy of losing code due to a break in they are full steam ahead re-doing the game!

        Preview videos of the version to come (new to older)
        Build yourself a barrier!

      • 7 Best Racing Games For Android Phones And Tablets

        Crave Speed? Love the feeling of wind rushing at your face as your watery eyes struggle to stay fixated on your opponents? Yep, we too love racing; however, sadly, not everyone can drive a Formula One car, and not everyone can break city speed limits without getting arrested.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • 5 Reasons Why KDE Is Better Than Unity

        It’s no secret that KDE is not the most popular desktop environment for Linux/Unix users. With Ubuntu’s success slowly breaking through to the mainstream, there is now a whole swath of users who have no idea about it, or recognize it as “the other one”. In many ways, it’s exotic, having no other desktops environments forked or built from it. It seems to stand alone in excellence.

      • 12 reasons to love KDE

        We rain positivity onto the world’s most configurable desktop and pick out some of its best functions and applications…
        01. Keep it configurable

        The best thing about KDE is that you can change it. This has been its most consistent feature since version 2, and the latest releases are just as strong as their predecessors.

        Need that toolbar moving? Right-click on it then uncheck Lock Toolbar Positions, and drag them around until you’re happy. Want to add a function or remove an icon? Use the Configure Toolbars menu option. This works for every KDE application.

      • New Tool Gives Greater Control Over GTK Theming in KDE

        Running GTK+ applications on the KDE desktop isn’t as brutish-looking as it once was.

        This style-matching is due to the ‘oxygen-gtk’ package present in KDE theming GTK+ applications with an ‘Oxygen’ style theme.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: A Software Investment For The Next 30 Years

        Need a foundation for the house you’re building? That’s easy: You can Google probably a dozen nearby contractors to come fill your big hole with concrete.

        Need a foundation for the house you already own? Say what? Exactly: There’s no such thing as a replacement foundation, unless you’re going to rip your house down.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Deal of the Day: Ultra-thin Dell Vostro V131 with Ubuntu: $399

            If you’ve made it this far past the title of this post, you’re probably not afraid of venturing out of the Windows comfort zone faced by most PC users. So change it up and check out this dirt cheap deal on a Dell. In slimness and portability, the 13.3-inch Vostro V131 ranks near the top of the list, thanks to a 0.8-inch thick design and a light 4.08-pound weight. This business laptop is available now with an Intel Core i3 CPU, for $399 through a deal at LogicBUY.

          • A few thoughts on Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 1
          • Release schedule of Ubuntu 12.04 “Precise Pangolin”

            Here is the all key dates of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. This time Canonical goes to support this LTS [long term support] version for 5 years. So this time they try to make a better version in their history.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Surprise! It’s Xubuntu

              I’ve been using Linux Mint for almost everything these days, but like everything else in the Ubuntu/Debian family, Mint has been pulled in multiple directions by the unfortunate decision of the Gnome developers to go batshit insane, and the concurrent decision by Ubuntu to force a mobile device interface onto the 24″ dual monitors of bemused and disappointed desktop users all over the world. So now the main branch of Mint has three different desktop managers: Gnome 3 (with or without the Mint extensions), MATE (a fork of Gnome 2), and Cinnamon (Mint’s own spin on making Gnome 3 usable). I read the Mint forums regularly, and the one thing these three desktop environments have in common is that they are all apparently full of frustrating bugs. Gnome 3 is not fully baked, and the bolt-on attempts to customize it back into something half as usable as its predecessor are even less baked; and MATE is also a work in progress. Everything available in Mint 12′s flagship release seems like beta software.

            • Pear OS Linux Panther v3.0 – Not impressed

              Like Kororaa, Pear OS came up on my TODO list following a squall of emails. All right, let’s take a look, me says. Indeed, the prospect is promising. Pear OS is based on the latest Ubuntu, which is quite neat. However, it tries to do even more. Challenge legal issue by using yet another bitten fruit as its logo, use the top panel contextual reveal-as-needed menu and a bottom dock much alike the copycatted operating system in question. And you still get the Gnome Shell underneath, plus supposedly tons of usability, a unique branding, and an app store.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source software can be the answer

    You just bought a new computer. It’s full of promise and has that “new computer” smell. You can’t wait to get started.

    But, of course, there’s no software on it, and you’re accustomed to taking that for granted. You search your desk drawers but don’t seem have the discs for those programs you bought last time around. Plus, you resolved to get a more powerful photo editor. You start adding up what it will cost to replace and improve all you had. It’s staggering. What can you do?

  • App Inventor Rises From the Ashes Like Phoenix

    Google’s App Inventor is being implemented at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). It’s not ready for public use yet but geeks are invited to try the sourcecode and give feedback. It is expected to be ready for public use some time in April, 2012. The idea of App Inventor is to give ordinary non-programmers a “building-block” approach to creating an application for Android/Linux. Google and MIT have been cooperating to make the project an ordinary FLOSS project with a server at MIT for public use.

  • Life-giving software should be open: GNOME Foundation chief

    Software that controls vital human functions should always be open source, else it could prove to be a danger to one’s existence, the executive director of the GNOME Foundation says.

  • When Should Open Source Be Written Into Law?

    As a systems administrator, I tend to think about source code and computing platform in large numbers. Computers however are getting smaller and more powerful, and the reality of computers that we put in or on our body as a normal daily routine is coming closer, and for many is already here. When our safety, our liberty, and our sense of humanity are tied to programmable devices, should we not only hope, but expect that we should have the right to examine how these devices function?

  • Events

    • Locking down Linux.conf.au

      Conference organisers zero in on rogue wireless access points.

      Give five hundred very technically proficient Linux enthusiasts unfettered access to the same Wi-Fi network and you might be asking for trouble.

      Nearly every year, network administrators at Linux.conf.au, Australia’s premiere open source conference, have to deal with some sort of shenanigans on the network.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 9 Review

      PC-BSD 9 is a BSD distribution that is based on the latest version of FreeBSD 9 and uses KDE 4.7.3 desktop environment as it’s default desktop. It is somewhat more geared to novice and intermediate based users of BSD like how Ubuntu is for Linux users, but we won’t go into the differences between BSD and Linux in this review.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content

      • Elsevier — my part in its downfall

        The Dutch publisher Elsevier publishes many of the world’s best known mathematics journals, including Advances in Mathematics, Comptes Rendus, Discrete Mathematics, The European Journal of Combinatorics, Historia Mathematica, Journal of Algebra, Journal of Approximation Theory, Journal of Combinatorics Series A, Journal of Functional Analysis, Journal of Geometry and Physics, Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, Journal of Number Theory, Topology, and Topology and its Applications. For many years, it has also been heavily criticized for its business practices. Let me briefly summarize these criticisms.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • #Occupy the SEC Submits Letter on Volcker Rule to House Financial Services Committee Hearing (#OWS)

      For those who are fond of depicting Occupy Wall Street as a bunch of hippies with no point of view, counterevidence comes in the letter submitted by the Occupy the SEC subcommittee for a joint subcommittee hearing tomorrow, January 18, of the House Financial Services Committee on the Volcker Rule. The title of the hearing broadcasts that financial professionals are ganging up against the provision: “Examining the Impact of the Volcker Rule on Markets, Businesses, Investors and Job Creation.” The supposed “business” representatives are firm defenders of the financial services uber alles orthodoxy, and there is a noteworthy absence of economists or independent commentators on the broader economic effects. The one non-regulator opponent to the effort to curb the Volcker Rule is Walter Turbeville of Americans for Financial Reform. However, they made the fatal mistake of accepting the banksters’ framing about financial markets liquidity and merely disputed the data submitted.

    • Goldman lobbying hard to weaken Volcker rule

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc has just a few more months to put its stamp on the Volcker rule, and it is not wasting any time.

      The rule, designed to limit banks from speculating with their own money, will cost Goldman at least $3.7 billion in annual revenue, by one estimate. And billions more could be at stake if regulations now being drawn up are extra-tough.

    • More Evidence that JP Morgan Stuck the Knife in MF Global

      The death of MF Global and JP Morgan’s role in its demise is starting to look like a beauty contest between Cinderalla’s ugly sisters. As much as most market savvy observers are convinced that there is no explanation for how MF Global made $1.2 billion in customer funds go poof that could exculpate the firm, JP Morgan’s conduct isn’t looking too pretty either.

  • Privacy

    • CIA Tracks Public Information For The Private Eye

      The rise of social media, hash-tags, forums, blogs and online news sites has revealed a new kind of secret — those hiding in plain sight. The CIA calls all this information “open source” material, and it’s changing the way America’s top spy agency does business.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Geist: The day the Internet fought back

      Last week’s Wikipedia-led blackout in protest of U.S. copyright legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act is being hailed by some as the Internet Spring, the day that millions fought back against restrictive legislative proposals that posed a serious threat to an open Internet.

  • DRM

    • The poor get poorer and the rich get richer with Apple’s iPad-based textbooks

      Can you afford that for your kids? Can your school board? I could, but I’ve been lucky enough to do well in my career and I only have the one daughter. There’s certainly no way that any county I’ve ever lived in during my life in West Virginia, Maryland, or North Carolina could afford to give every student from K to 12 an iPad. They’re lucky when they can provide any kind of computer seat for each kid.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure

        Two events this week produced some serious cognitive dissonance. First, Congressional leaders sheepishly announced that they were withdrawing (at least for the time being) two bills heavily backed by the entertainment industry — the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House – in the wake of vocal online citizen protests (and, more significantly, coordinated opposition from the powerful Silicon Valley industry). Critics insisted that these bills were dangerous because they empowered the U.S. Government, based on mere accusations of piracy and copyright infringement, to shut down websites without any real due process. But just as the celebrations began over the saving of Internet Freedom, something else happened: the U.S. Justice Department not only indicted the owners of one of the world’s largest websites, the file-sharing site Megaupload, but also seized and shut down that site, and also seized or froze millions of dollars of its assets — all based on the unproved accusations, set forth in an indictment, that the site deliberately aided copyright infringement.

      • SOPA, PIPA Shelved, Internet’s Defeat Postponed
      • Explainer: How can the US seize a “Hong Kong site” like Megaupload?

        The Megaupload takedown, and the arrest of its key employees, might seem to vindicate late 1990s worries about the Internet and jurisdiction. Does putting a site on the ‘Net, though it might be hosted anywhere in the world, subject you simultaneously to the laws of every country on earth? Why would Megaupload, based in Hong Kong, be subject to US copyright laws and to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act?

        “Because events on the Net occur everywhere but nowhere in particular,” wrote law professors David Johnson and David Post in a 1996 Stanford Law Review article, “no physical jurisdiction has a more compelling claim than any other to subject these events exclusively to its laws.” The flip side was that every jurisdiction might make a claim—after all, Internet publishing is “borderless,” right?

      • Hold Your Horses – We’ve Only Won a Reprieve

        I just received an email from Demand Progress, a progressive web site, proclaiming, “Wow. We just won.” The reference, of course, was to Wednesday’s Internet blackout to protest SOPA and PIPA. Indeed, it does appear we’ve won a battle, as both bills appear to be dead – for the time being.

        Winning a battle is not the same thing as winning a war. The losing side in any war always wins at least a battle or two. A war isn’t won until the other side raises a white flag and agrees to terms of surrender. So far, all we’ve won is one battle.

      • U.S. DOJ: The Cloud Provides No Legal Cover for Criminals

        The Cloud is a model for computing that provides new opportunities for consumers, businesses — and yes, even criminals. As a result, one question that has emerged is: What is the reach of U.S. law enforcement agencies into the cloud, and to what extent are they able to operate in jurisdictions around the world?

      • Investigate Chris Dodd and the MPAA for bribery after he publicly admited to bribing politicans to pass legislation.

        Recently on FOX News former Senator Chris Dodd said (as quoted on news site TechDirt), “Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,” This is an open admission of bribery and a threat designed to provoke a specific policy goal. This is a brazen flouting of the “above the law” status people of Dodd’s position and wealth enjoy.

      • Bye Bye SOPA, PIPA; Will See You Again Next Year!

        SOPA has followed PIPA and has bit the dust, dead in the water, dead as a door nail. SOPA fiend Lamar Smith made the announcement shortly after Senator Reid postponed next Tuesday’s vote on PIPA.

01.21.12

Links 21/1/2012: Linux 3.3, GNOME Shell 3.2.2

Posted in News Roundup at 10:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux Setup – Goblin, TechBytes/OpenBytes

    Who are you, and what do you do?

    I run a blog and co-host an audiocast which highlights diversity in the computing world. I emphasise FOSS solutions [and] champion the plethora of choice in today’s market.

    I run these projects as hobby and it’s as far removed from my real job as is probably possible.

  • American Drone Controls Experiencing Virus Assault Migrate to Linux

    After the control systems of American military drones became contaminated with Windows USB viruses in 2011, there has been a shift of these control systems to adopting Linux operating system, published TheRegister on January 12, 2012.

  • Online banking has multiple elephants in its room
  • Server

    • NGINX: The Faster Web Server Alternative

      This formerly obscure Web server is gaining popularity with businesses. NGINX is now the new number two Web server, largely because it promises a fast, light, open-source alternative to Apache. Here’s why it’s attracting so much attention.

    • Cloud, Big Data, Virtualization Driving Enterprise Linux Growth

      Linux is poised for continued growth among new and existing users thanks to lower total cost of ownership, technical features and security, among other reasons, according a recent Linux Foundation survey.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Linux 3.3 goes into testing

      Linux 3.3 can change the size of ext4 filesystems faster and supports ACPI 5.0, LPAE for ARM processors, Ethernet teaming and hot replace for software RAID. Meanwhile, Linux 3.1 has reached the end of the line, and the Linux Ate My RAM web site explains why Linux often appears to use all of the RAM.

    • Graphics Stack

      • An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver

        There is some exciting news to break today on Phoronix… Coming up at FOSDEM (the Free Open-Source Developers’ European Meeting in Brussels) will be the formal announcement of an open-source, reverse-engineered graphics driver for the ARM Mali graphics processor. OpenGL ES triangles are in action on open-source code. Will this be the start of fully open-source ARM graphics drivers for Android and Linux?

      • Bumblebee 3.0 Released (Nvidia Optimus GPU Switching For Linux)

        Nvidia Optimus is a technology available for notebooks, used to increases battery life by switching the dedicated GPU off when it’s not needed and then switching it on again when it’s needed. When the dedicated GPU is off, the integrated graphics chip is used.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Xfce’s Early April Fool’s Joke

      I saw a post on the Xfce blog Tuesday or Wednesday about changing versioning scheme of the next Xfce release. I saved the URL knowing that I’d want to write about it. Just thank goodness that a storm blew in and caused my computer to shut off. Otherwise, I might have never seen the Update 2. Dirty rats.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.8 Upcoming Features

        GWENVIEW Just like Dolphin 2.0 will meet icon animations, Gwenview will get some animations and transitions of its own. The following video demonstrates both Gwenview’s and Dolphin’s. This video also demonstrates the new QML based device notifier.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell 3.2.2 improves extensions support

        Developer Owen Taylor has released version 3.2.2 of the GNOME Shell, an update which fixes a number of bugs in the GNOME 3.2 control panel. These include several which have previously caused problems with the recently launched extensions web site at extensions.gnome.org. The new version allows extensions to be reliably uninstalled from a web browser – something which had previously been problematic – and allows extensions to be installed using WebKit-based browsers like Epiphany and Chrome.

      • All aboard the Bendy Bus

        Bendy Bus will listen for D-Bus method calls and property changes made by your client program, and execute transitions within the FSM as coded in your FSM description file. These transitions may, for example, change the FSM’s state, change data stored in the FSM (technically making it a nondeterministic DFSM, but that’s immaterial), emit D-Bus signals, throw D-Bus errors, etc. Why do I say it’s a nondeterministic FSM? Because you may specify several transitions between the same pair of states which are triggered by the same (for example) D-Bus method call. Bendy Bus will randomly choose one of the transitions to take. For example, if your client program calls a frobnicate : string → string D-Bus method, you could code one transition which successfully replies to the method call with a string return value, and another transition which simulates a failure in the D-Bus service by throwing a D-Bus error instead.

      • Multitouch is near

        So, after a few strives during the last year, the multitouch Xorg patches were posted and merged to master last month, making multitouch available in the upcoming Xorg release. This turns the multitouch GTK+ branch into a suitable candidate for GTK+ 3.4…

      • GNOME Shell 3.3.4 Released

        The Gnome team has announced the release of Gnome Shell 3.3.4. The new version comes with fixes and improvements. It has fixed the new-workspace drop indicator that sometimes getting stuck. It has added ‘browse’ for labels for dash items – once a tooltip is showing it can switch to other items without a delay.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Electronic Arts, Red Hat Particularly Vulnerable To European Slowdown

        Although the European debt crisis is raging on halfway across the world – out of sight of most Americans – the impact could hit home. And in a big way. As my colleague, Karim Rahemtulla, pointed out in September 2011, “The reality is that a European crash – even a slowdown – would have a devastating impact on U.S. growth.”

      • IBM and Red Hat Introduce Local Virtualisation Facility in Sydney
      • CentOS upgrade from 6.1 to 6.2

        Just as I thought the storm has passed, there comes another upgrade for CentOS, this time version 6.2. My CentOS 6.1 box is working fabulously after a rather painless procedure that took only about fifteen minutes to complete. The one problem was the Nvidia driver, which was not installed for the latest kernel, so I had to grab it and install it again.

      • IGEL Supports Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0
      • Fedora

        • Things to do after installing Fedora

          Fedora is a great OS. Its Linux as it should be free and usable, at the cutting edge but completely stable. But it still lets a lot to be wanted such as the non free software, libraries which are essential in day to day life. Few nitty gritties installed and the make a wonderful environment to work and play.

        • Thoughts on Progress

          I tend to measure the success of an tech event (such as FUDCon) not by how many people show up or what talks were given, but by the work that happens in the days and weeks after the event. By that measure (along with the traditional measurements), our recent FUDCon event was a huge success. I have also been inspired by the friends in our community who have publicly posted their post-FUDCon to-do lists, so that we can all have insight into the work that FUDCon helped bring to light.

          Rather that give a day-by-day account of my own FUDCon activities, I want to just highlight some of the the things that resonated with me at FUDCon.

          First, I was impressed with the Virginia Tech campus. It was a beautiful location for the event, and the amount of space we had was absolutely fantastic. Thanks again to Ben Williams and the Math Department at VT for their awesome support.

    • Debian Family

      • Meet Debian at FOSDEM 2012

        The Debian Project is happy to announce that as in previous years it will be represented at this year’s Free and Open Source Developer’s European Meeting (FOSDEM) in Brussels, Belgium on the 4th-5th February. Debian will be present with a booth in the K building, ground floor, members of the project will be available for questions and discussion, and various Debian-branded items will be on sale.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 10.04 Lives! Go Back To The Future With Lucid Lynx

            Does Oneiric have you down? Is your hardware not up to snuff? Well, what are you going to do about it? Ubuntu 10.04 is almost 2 years old now, but you can teach it the electric slide even if all it know how to do is the funky chicken. Here is a short and simple guide for bringing Ubuntu 10.04 into 2012.

          • Introducing Ubuntu Flickr/Shotwell Photos Lens for Unity

            Following our previous articles, Ubuntu Spotify Scope, Ubuntu DeviantArt Scope, Ubuntu SSH Lens, Ubuntu Binary Clock Lens, Ubuntu YouTube Lens and Scope, Ubuntu Calendar Lens, Ubuntu Web Sources Lens, Ubuntu Gwibber Lens, Ubuntu Books Lens, Ubuntu Cities Scope, Ubuntu Grooveshark Scope, Ubuntu Calculator Scope and Pirate Bay Torrents Lens for Unity, today we are introducing the Ubuntu Flickr/Shotwell Photos Lens for the Unity interface.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $35 Raspberry Pi Model B computer shows off AirPlay capabilities

      Not long ago we published a story about Raspberry Pi, a $35 Linux-based single board computer that is still in development. Now, a Model B version of the device is being demoed and it shows off the small computer’s AirPlay streaming capabilities.

    • XBMC running on Raspberry Pi

      We wanted to keep the fact that XBMC is running beautifully on Raspberry Pi at least moderately quiet until Gimli and Davilla from XBMC had unveiled their demo at Scale 10x this weekend. Now they have done, so we can all talk about it: here’s some video showing how you can use your Raspberry Pi as a media centre. A $25/$35 media centre the size of a pack of playing cards.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android App to Find SOPA Supporters

          SOPA- I’m against it. Yeah, I’m talking about the Stop Online Piracy Act. It’s a U.S. bill, but if you think you’re fine because you live outside U.S., think again. This bill covers all foreign countries, so if you copy a song off the internet, you could land in jail for a couple of years. It is just another one of those reasons that will keep you up at night. And since both parties- Republicans and Democrats are in favor of it, you might want to start losing your sleep as of now.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Benefits: A Developer’s Perspective

    Open source benefits to businesses are pretty obvious, even if only recently recognized. It costs less, and often works better, than its commercial competitors. Developers have long preferred open source products to their commercial counterparts. In fact, this developer preference is why we are seeing the surge in enterprise open source usage. Why do developers prefer open source so strongly?

  • Darktable For Open-Source Photography

    For those less than impressed by Corel releasing some professional-grade Linux photography software earlier this month, Adobe still not providing native Linux clients for their popular applications, and haven’t been fond of the major open-source photography programs out there, you may want to try out Darktable.

    For those that haven’t heard of Darktable previously, it’s an in-development open-source photo workflow program. The software can also fully support RAW images and provides a virtual lighttable and darkroom for those interested in photography.

  • 10 open source shopping carts to run your e-commerce business

    More and more companies have turned to the Web to transact business. And, of course, if you are going to sell on the Web, the right shopping cart can mean the difference between red and black ink. When shopping for your own e-commerce shopping cart software the most important aspect to consider is how well the cart software meets your business objectives. An e-commerce shopping cart has to be customizable to fit your business needs and branding, be flexible enough to scale as your business grows, be secure and support industry standards and provide solid integrate with payment gateways.

  • State Hygienic Lab program lets clients collaborate

    The University Hygienic Laboratory is in the midst of a groundbreaking collaboration of open source software and public health laboratories at the lab’s three Iowa locations.

  • Events

    • SCALE 10x Kicks Off Today In Los Angeles

      Yesterday was the beginning of some SCALE presentations and the first of the parties while today the popular US open-surce event gets kicked off by Greg DeKoenigsberg (formerly of the Fedora Project) keynoting about cloud computing. For those interested the schedule can be found online. Among the talks I’ll be checking out today and potentially writing about or tweeting about include: Qt Project, Chris Mason’s Btrfs, Consolidating Linux and Open-Source Projects on ARM, PandaBoard, and FUSE with in-kernel meta-data caching.

    • Linux.conf.au 2012: planes and freedom

      For security researcher, software hacker and activist Jacob Appelbaum, the equation is clear. Anyone working on surveillance or censorship technology is part of a serious global problem.

      “When someone says that they are in favour of internet filtering, what they’re actually saying is that they’re in favour of you being ignorant and them having power to be your master. I reject that,” he told the Linux.conf.au 2012 (LCA) conference in Ballarat yesterday.

      Appelbaum is one of the key developers of The Tor Project, software that enables its users to communicate anonymously on the internet, and he’s represented controversial whistleblower site Wikileaks.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s Anti-Censorship Campaign Reached 40 Million People

        From Facebook posts to redirected Wikipedia searches to water cooler conversations, you could hardly miss the many discussions and signposts about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP bill (PIPA) this week. Many sites on the web went dark in protest, and Mozilla reimained one of the most active organizations opposing the proposed legislation. As we posted here, the bills drew widepsread opposition in the tech community due to online censorship concerns, and Mozilla put up an online page months ago urging people to contact U.S. politicians in opposition to SOPA and PIPA. Now, Mozilla has clarified that its activism efforts reached a whopping 40 million people.

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA Clears Runway for Open Source Software

      The NASA Open Government Initiative has launched a new Web site to expand the agency’s open source software development. Open source development, which invites the public access to view and improve software source code, is transforming the way software is created, improved and used. NASA uses open source code to address project and mission needs, accelerate software development and maximize public awareness and impact of research.

      In 2009, the White House issued the Open Government Directive, which requires federal agencies to take specific steps to achieve milestones that are transparent. NASA’s Open Government Plan has been recognized as one of the best. NASA was among several federal agencies recognized with two leading practices awards from the White House for achievement above and beyond the requirements in the “Participation and Collaboration” and “Flagship Initiatives” categories of the Open Government Directive.

    • NASA Clears The Runway For Open Source Software

      Open source development, which invites the public access to view and improve software source code, is transforming the way software is created, improved and used. NASA uses open source code to address project and mission needs, accelerate software development and maximize public awareness and impact of research.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • FLOSS Body of Knowledge

      The FLOSSBOK concept is based on a similar project, known as SWEBOK, sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society, that was used to develop a body of knowledge for software engineering. The SWEBOK project is now more than a decade old and in its third revision. It’s easy to see that the FLOSSBOK effort has a long way to go to match the extensive content found in that document. While I have some significant disagreements with the SWEBOK content, it’s important to notice that there is a sizeable community around that project.

    • Open Hardware

      • FLORA wearable electronics platform appears

        “The FLORA comes with projects at launch, the FLORA addressable and chain-able 4,000 mcd RGB LED pixels and premium stainless steel thread.

        “The FLORA has built-in USB support. Built in USB means you plug it in to program it, it just shows up. No additional purchases are needed! Works with Mac, Windows, Linux, any USB cable works great. Currently the PCB comes with a mini B connector but future versions may change to microUSB. Either will work great.

Leftovers

  • Kangaroo Group kicked out of Parliament?

    The Kangeroo Group, a lobby group that emerged as an MEP round table in the early stages of the European Parliament and chaired by Karl von Wogau, finally moved its office out of the European Parliament buildings. It was quite odd to have a lobby platform with a letter box address inside Parliament which covered up as an MEP group.

  • Has the World outgrown Commercial UNIX?

    When you read articles about cloud computing or Enterprise computing, you rarely see the term ‘UNIX’ anymore. You see plenty of rhetoric about Linux and Windows but UNIX seems to have left the building, for good. And, by ‘building,’ I mean data center. However, that’s not the case. UNIX is alive and well in the world’s Enterprise data centers. It just doesn’t grab headlines like it used to. Does the fact that UNIX isn’t a newsworthy buzz term mean that it’s on its last legs as an Enterprise operating system. Certainly not. Commercial UNIX might have lost its “coolness” but it hasn’t lost its place running your business-critical applications and services.

  • Security

    • X.org server allows anyone to unlock computer

      The French blogger “Gu1″ has discovered that versions 1.11 and above of X.org’s X Server contain an interesting vulnerability that enables users to gain access to a locked computer. Simultaneously pressing the Ctrl key, the Alt key and the * key on the numeric keyboard disables a user’s screensaver and unlocks the computer; we were able to reproduce the problem on a Fedora 16 system that hadn’t been updated to include Fedora’s recent patch.

  • Finance

    • It’s Goldman Bonus Day

      Groans and grimaces inside a 200 West Street skyscraper can mean only one thing – yes, it’s Goldman Sachs bonus day.

      Thursday is “Compensation Communication Day,” the name Goldman gives to the day when its employees learn how big – or how small – their annual bonuses will be.

      Many Goldman employees are dreading this year’s big reveal, and for good reason. The firm announced on Wednesday that its revenue in 2011 was down significantly, probably bringing bonuses down with it.

    • Our Morally Bankrupt Government, Justice Edition Part 1: Enforcement Against Financial Meltdown Perpetrators

      Perhaps the clearest window into a nation’s soul is its criminal justice system. Criminal law is legislated morality: certain acts are so vile, we exile the perpetrators to prison. But not every criminal. America will never have enough resources to catch and prosecute all criminals. As a result many guilty go free without ever being pursued, simply because the government decided spend its limited resources elsewhere. Looking at whom the government prosecutes, therefore, is an easy way to see law enforcers’ priorities in action.

      Sadly, when it comes to the Financial Meltdown perpetrators, scrutiny reveals those priorities are deeply distorted. Our law enforcers chose to become the protection detail of our wealthy-beyond-dreaming-crooks-in-chief, while throwing the book at their guilty but less destructive subordinates.

  • Privacy

    • Why we need a sound Do-Not–Track standard for privacy online

      This really is privacy and data protection week! In Brussels there is the Computers, Privacy & Data Protection conference and the Commission is soon adopting its proposal for a reform of the European Data Protection legal framework (which I wrote about here).

      So today, a blog on how I want to ensure privacy and user control when you’re browsing online: in particular, a standard known as “do not track” (DNT) that I hope will have a big role to play for the future of online privacy.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Importance Of Anonymity On The Web
    • Internet Blackout Day Fires Up Digital Rights Activism Around the World

      Yesterday was a defining moment for the global Internet community. The effects of the massive online blackout in protest of U.S. Internet blacklist legislation, SOPA and PIPA (H.R. 3261 and S. 968), were felt around the world as countless numbers of websites, including Google, Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit, BoingBoing, Flickr, Wired, and many others joined in the global action against over-broad and poorly drafted copyright laws that would break the fundamental architecture of the Internet. To quote [pdf] last year’s landmark Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion: “…Censorship measures should never be delegated to a private entity, and [..] no one should be held liable for content on the Internet of which they are not the author…” The massive opposition from both companies and individuals around the world demonstrates how much these and similar laws would hurt business and innovation, and most importantly, restrict online free expression.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Futurist Prediction Update – Copyright

        The five cases I mentioned above involved anti-competitive acts. The four cases I mentioned two years ago also involved anti-competitive acts.

        Two years ago I saw the industry making anti-competitive acts. Now we have SOPA. They can take down any website, and if they mess up and take down the wrong site, you can’t sue them, they are golden. But they can sue you. Does that sound fair?

      • White House declines MPAA’s call to hold piracy summit

        The White House appeared to brush back a suggestion from the Motion Picture Association of America on Friday that the president step in on negotiations over controversial online piracy legislation.

        MPAA Chairman and former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) suggested Thursday that the White House would be the perfect place to convene a summit between Hollywood and the tech industry, which are at odds over a pair of online piracy bills that were shelved by congressional leadership Friday morning following massive protests earlier in the week.

      • Why Congress couldn’t clean up the Internet with SOPA

        Seldom, even in the acronym-focused world of American politics, have truth and lyricism been so Cirque-du-Soleil-contorted as they have been in the naming the of PROTECT IP Act, or the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011.

      • Stupid High School Kids (and Teachers) Freak Out Over Wikipedia Blackout

        The best part of any internet news story is when the social media power user and sometime Gawker contributor Katie Notopoulos starts searching for it on Twitter. Like the SOPA-driven Wikipedia blackout, which sure freaked out high school kids—and their teachers.

      • MPAA Uses Anon Attacks To Make Nonsensical Comments About Free Speech

        Ok. So then you condemn SOPA and PIPA, right? Since those are attempts to silence people. But here’s the thing: “free speech” issues are about government censorship. Such as passing a bad law that allows the government to take down websites. Having some people protest you may be annoying, but it’s not a free speech issue (other than, perhaps, in arguing the protesters’ rights to free speech. Trying to regain the high ground on this issue is pretty transparently ridiculous by the MPAA — and simply calls much more attention to who’s actually trying to stifle free speech by passing bad laws that allow for censorship.

      • Staunch SOPA Supporter, Marsha Blackburn, Says It’s Time To Scrap SOPA
      • Did DOJ Provoke Anonymous On Purpose?

        Over at News.com, Molly Wood is suggesting that DOJ did this all on purpose — including the timing of the release — in order to provoke just such a response. This serves multiple purposes for the government. It gives them the chance to make the (obviously bogus and laughable) argument that the wider protests were done by this same group. But, it also gives DOJ and law enforcement the chance to go even further, and use this as an excuse to crack down online and put people in jail. It also gives a (again, bogus) reason to pass far-reaching cybersecurity legislation. The end result could be a lot worse.

      • GOP chairman shelves Stop Online Piracy Act
      • Why Chris Dodd Failed With His SOPA/PIPA Strategy
      • Battling Internet Censorship: The Long War

        There’s a lot of understandable enthusiasm about today’s array of anti-SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), anti-PIPA (Protect IP Act) demonstrations and protests.

        But there’s a real risk as well. When the big home page banners come down, and the site “blackouts” are lifted, the urge for the vast majority of Internet users to return to “business as usual” will be very strong.

        Perhaps you’ve signed an online petition or tried to call your Congressman or Senator today, and you’ve probably already heard that DNS blocking provisions (at least for the moment, pending “further study”) were announced as being pulled from SOPA and PIPA several days ago.

      • Patrick Leahy Still Doesn’t Get It; Says Stopping PIPA Is A Victory For Thieves
      • Megaupload Details Raise Significant Concerns About What DOJ Considers Evidence Of Criminal Behavior
      • Unintended Consequences of the Rogue Website Crackdown SOPA, PIPA and OPEN Legislation
      • ESA Drops SOPA Support, Video Game Lobby Laments Bill’s ‘Unintended Consequences’

        The Entertainment Software Association no longer supports the Stop Online Piracy Act, the controversial anti-piracy bill that was shelved earlier today in the House of Representatives after a week of fierce online protests.

      • Consumer group accuses Hollywood of ‘threatening politicians’

        Consumer group Public Knowledge on Friday accused the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its head, former Sen. Chris Dodd, of trying to intimidate lawmakers into supporting a pair of controversial anti-piracy bills.

        In recent days, Dodd and other top Hollywood figures have threatened to cut off campaign donations to politicians who do not support their effort to crackdown on online copyright infringement.

        “Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,” Dodd said on Fox News on Thursday.

      • MPAA Directly & Publicly Threatens Politicians Who Aren’t Corrupt Enough To Stay Bought
      • Clay Shirky: Why SOPA’s Not Going Away
      • Fight SOPA/PIPA, change your license

        All over the free world, government laws and court decisions are limiting our access to free Internet. Not that these measures are very useful, most of us hackers are able to circumvent them within minutes. But in essence, these counter measures are simply work-arounds – they do not eliminate the root cause.

      • The Seizing of Domains

        Really I find what happened with the megauploads take down stunning. Bear in mind that there were at least some legitimate files stored on those servers: for example, a lot of xda-developer files were distributed through megauploads.

      • Elaborating on Domain Seizures

        I want to elaborate on the previous post. The point of the SOPA/PIPA as well as the meguploads take down is that there is no accusation that the site operators were pirates, merely that pirates used their site to distribute pirated material. For the sake of argument let’s just accept the law that piracy is illegal. People can easily use social networking sites such as facebook, and cloud storage sites such as dropbox to exchange links to pirated files and make them available. Nor can the site operators easily police their sites; the technical difficulties aside (and they are significant) there is also the issue of user privacy if the operators go poking around in files and postings.

      • Why Google Opposed and Should Oppose SOPA/PIPA

        The last post might leave you wondering: if closing down small start up domains prevents competition, why were the big guys against SOPA/PIPA? That is the difference between a growing innovative industry and a dying industry. Music, movies and books may be thriving, but studios and publishing houses are dying. So: what is the last refuge of the desperate? Government protection – read SOPA/PIPA.

01.20.12

Links 20/1/2012: Linux Survey, Linux 3.3 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 9:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Poll: Linux’s big data guzzling worries melt away

      Concerns about using Linux on servers to crunch huge data workloads are evaporating, according a survey.

    • Despite whacking Windows, Linux gets too little respect

      After more than a decade of Linux vendors trying to grow into the enterprise — and Red Hat, the poster child for Linux, approaching $1 billion in annual revenue — it’s easy to presume that Linux is pervasive in businesses. It is, but as the Linux Foundation’s enterprise survey finds, there are still barriers to overcome. The survey also shows new data showing Windows — not Unix — as the primary operating system being migrated to Linux.

    • Linux Continues to Grow in the Enterprise – Is Anyone Surprised?

      Nearly every year that I’ve been writing about Linux, I’ve seen at least one report (if not more) showing that Linux adoption is on the rise.

      The latest example came this week from the Linux Foundation. Yes, their data is self-serving, but the trend is clear and it has been for the last decade.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.3-1 out – merge window closed
    • Responses To The Linux Desktop Security Problem

      Just about 24 hours ago I spread the news about a major vulnerability in X.Org / XKB that makes it trivial for anyone with physical access to a Linux-based desktop system to easily bypass any screensaver lock whether you’re using GNOME, KDE, or most other desktop environments. So what’s changed in the past day?

      Well, many people have confirmed this problem is widespread if running X.Org Server 1.11 or newer. This is affecting users right now of Gentoo Linux, Arch Linux, Debian Wheezy, Fedora 16, users of the Xorg-Precise testing stack for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and other distributions updating their X stack in the past few months. It doesn’t matter if you’re using GNOME or KDE or one of the lighter-weight alternatives like Xfce. With a few hits at the keyboard (e.g. CTRL+ALT+Keypad-Multiply) the screensaver lock is rendered useless.

    • Download Linux Kernel 3.3 RC1 Now

      Linus Torvalds announced last evening, January 19th, that the first Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux kernel 3.3 is available for download and testing.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Bettering Radeon Gallium3D Performance With PCI-E 2.0

        While it will not take you up to the speeds of the Catalyst driver, besides the 2D color tiling patches, there are a few other outstanding features not yet enabled-by-default in the open-source Radeon graphics driver that can yield some performance boosts. One of these other features is enabling PCI Express 2.0 support within the Radeon DRM.

      • Bumblebee Has Tumbleweed For NVIDIA Optimus On Linux

        Bumblebee 3.0 “Tumbleweed” has been released as an updated (and unofficial) way of handling NVIDIA Optimus technology under Linux.

        Optimus, the NVIDIA technology that’s becoming found on an increasing number of notebooks as a means of dynamically enabling a discrete GPU on the notebook for maximum performance only when needed and to be turned off otherwise to conserve power, has been troubling on Linux since its inception. NVIDIA doesn’t officially support Optimus under Linux, so the Linux development community is left to do what they can to support this growingly-popular feature.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+ 3.4 For Multi-Touch May Come In GNOME 3.4

        Now that X Input 2.2 with Multi-Touch is merged into X.Org Server 1.12, which will be released by early March, it’s time for the tool-kit and application developers to take advantage of the support. It looks like GNOME will be on the ball this time around with GTK+ 3.4 looking to handle multi-touch.

      • Basic Chemistry on the GNOME Desktop

        I’ve realized I’ve missed out on a huge area of computational science—chemistry. Many packages exist for doing chemistry on your desktop. This article looks at a general tool called avogadro. It can do computations of energy and gradient values. Additionally, it can do analysis of molecular systems, interface to GAMESS and import and export from and to several file formats. There also are lots of options for generating pretty pictures of your totally new molecule that you hope will revolutionize the chemical industry.

      • Mutter 3.3.4 Released
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Toorox 01.2012 “GNOME”

        A new version of the “GNOME” – Edition of Toorox has been finished featuring the recent stable GNOME 3.2.1. Some gnome-shell-extensions has been added to give the user the old fashion of a window panel and a classic app-menu. The Linux kernel 3.1.6-gentoo as basis and also included: Xorg-Server 1.11.3, Mesa 7.11.2, LibreOffice 3.4.3, Thunderbird 9.0.1, Firefox 9.0.1, Wine 1.3.37

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu TV is Coming. Will it Find Success Among the Masses?

            By now you’ve probably heard Canonical’s big announcement out of CES 2012: Ubuntu is coming to your TV (or so Canonical hopes). But what’s received less attention amid all the fanfare is the role of Unity, the Linux desktop environment on which the new TV interface is based. Since Ubuntu TV could have important, if surprising, ramifications for Unity, here are some observations to keep in mind.

            For the sake of civility, I won’t get back into the debate on Unity’s merits relative to GNOME Shell, KDE or any other Linux desktop environment. Suffice it to say, though, that — as we’ve seen in abundant clarity here on this site — Canonical’s decision to replace GNOME with Unity was more than a little contentious for many users.

          • Out of the Gate, Ubuntu TV Is Drawing a Mix of Criticism and Praise

            At the CES show in Las Vegas earlier this month, Canonical showed off Ubuntu TV, as we reported here. You can take a gander at it at the Ubuntu TV site, via a video. It’s a new interface that integrates television and movie content on an open source platform that Canonical hopes will win developers over. The interface is based on Unity, the controversial interface that many Ubuntu users have wrestled with. In the days since the arrival of Ubuntu TV, some interesting hands-on reports and criticisms have arrived, but there is no question that this will be one of the big open source stories of 2012.

          • Three Ways to Tweak Ubuntu Linux’s Unity Desktop

            The Unity desktop environment that was recently made default in Ubuntu Linux has been nothing if not controversial, as has the alternative GNOME 3.

          • Ubuntu 10.04 Lives! Go Back To The Future With Lucid Lynx

            Does Oneiric have you down? Is your hardware not up to snuff? Well, what are you going to do about it? Ubuntu 10.04 is almost 2 years old now, but you can teach it the electric slide even if all it know how to do is the funky chicken. Here is a short and simple guide for bringing Ubuntu 10.04 into 2012.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi demos Model B computer’s AirPlay capabilities (video)

      Just a few days after announcing that production of its Model B Linux computer is underway, Raspberry Pi has now unveiled a preview of what its single board device can do when combined with AirPlay. In a video published this week, a Raspberry Pi developer demonstrated how to stream content from an iPad to the ARM-based Model B, using only an HDMI-equipped TV and an AirPlay app. It’s as seamless as dancing cows are beautiful. Still no word yet on when this $35 will begin shipping, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the demo video, after the break.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • To Clean Up Android Smartphones, Take A Cue From PCs

          My Android phone has something in common with my desktop PC. It’s riddled with junk. Apps I didn’t install and can’t get rid of, “skins” that make my phone slower and less stable, and who knows what else—all contributing to the fractured headache that has become life with Android.

          The devices we’re forced to use feel like textbooks that have been through five different sets of grubby hands before we even use them.

          With my PC, it wasn’t so bad. A few hours of uninstalling and I had all that factory-loaded fluff out of the way. But my phone was another, much more painful story. I say it’s high time we were offered some choices in this regard.

        • INSIDE Secure Introduces Open NFC Stack for Google Android 4.0
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Ultrabooks, Tablets and the Space Between

        Ultrabooks may be targeting part of the tablet market, but using a tablet is a different experience than using a thin notebook computer. Meanwhile, convertible and hybrid form factors are gaining traction, and accessories can be used to add full-sized keyboards to tablet computers. Is there a form factor on which the mobile computer market is converging?

Free Software/Open Source

  • The making of open-source software

    Nicole Kobie reveals how software such as Ubuntu, LibreOffice and Firefox is made – and how you can get involved

  • 10 New Open Source Projects You May Not Know About

    With so many open source software projects under way at any given moment, it can be difficult to keep tabs on all that’s going on.

  • ForgeRock Updates Java-Based OpenIDM

    ForgeRock, the company formed last year by former Sun Microsystems executives to steward the open-source access management and federation server platform project known as OpenSSO, has released version 2.0 of its OpenIDM identity management offering.

  • Google Sky Map development ends, app goes open source

    If you’re a fan of Google’s augmented reality astronomy app Google Sky Map, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. Google announced that major development on the app has ended, so there will be no more major official releases from the company. On the plus side, they’ve decided to release the open-source code for Sky Map, so given enough developer interest it should be around for quite some time.

  • Events

    • Friday at the Southern California Linux Expo

      BUILD A CLOUD DAY: Mark Hinkle leads Build a Cloud Day, an all day session, in the Carmel room beginning at 9 a.m. The all-day session will teach users how to build and manage a cloud computing environment using free and open source software. The program is designed to expose attendees to the concepts and best practices around deploying cloud computing infrastructure.

      JUJU CHARM SCHOOL: Jorge Castro and Clint Bynum host a session in the Marina room at 2:30 p.m. It’s an event where juju experts answer questions about writing your own juju charms. The intended audience are people who deploy software and want to contribute charms to the wider devops community to make deploying in the public and private cloud easy.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Hands on: building an HTML5 photo booth with Chrome’s new webcam API

        Experimental support for WebRTC has landed in the Chrome developer channel. The feature is available for testing when users launch the browser with the –enable-media-stream flag. We did some hands-on testing and used some of the new JavaScript APIs to make an HTML5 photo booth.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • U.S. losing high-tech jobs, R&D dominance to Asia

    U.S. companies are locating more of their research and development operations overseas, and Asian countries are rapidly increasing investments in their own science and technology economies, the National Science Board (NSB) reported this week.

  • Two Years After “Citizens United,” Amending the Constitution is Essential
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • More than Half of the EU with Restrictions to Net access. What will Neelie Kroes Do?

      Paris, January 20th, 2012 – La Quadrature du Net sent EU regulators evidence from the platform Respect My Net that in more than 14 EU Member States, telecoms operators engage in illegitimate restrictions of their customers’ Internet access. Such evidence shows that EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes’ “laisser-faire” approach on Net neutrality amounts to allowing operators to blatantly violate their users’ freedom of communication. Now is the time for the EU Commission to start working on stringent measures to enforce Net neutrality all across Europe.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • DOJ Gives Its Opinion On SOPA By Unilaterally Shutting Down ‘Foreign Rogue Site’ Megaupload… Without SOPA/PIPA

        If you’ve been paying attention to the MPAA/US Chamber of Commerce/RIAA claims about why they need PIPA/SOPA, a key argument is that they need it to go after these “foreign rogue sites” that cannot be reached under existing US law. Among the most prominent sites often talked about is Megaupload — which accounts for a huge percentage of the “rogue site traffic” that the US Chamber of Commerce and other bill supporters love to cite. However, it certainly appears that the US Justice Department and ICE don’t think they need any new law to go after people in foreign countries over claims of criminal copyright infringement. As lots of folks are currently digesting, the Justice Department, along with ICE, have shut down the site and arrested many of the principles (with the help of New Zealand law enforcement) and charged them with massive amounts of criminal copyright infringement.

      • EU Politicians Send Letter To US Congress Warning Of ‘Extraterritorial Effects’ Of SOPA And PIPA

        Since SOPA and PIPA are US bills, the focus has naturally been on the US response to them – notably in the list of major sites that participated in the blackout, or who have otherwise protested against the proposed legislation. But it’s important to remember that the whole rationale of these new laws is tackling copyright infringement outside the US.

      • McConnell Calls for Senate Dems to Shelve PIPA, Study and Resolve ‘Serious Issues’ With the Bill
      • The Internet Strikes Back: Anonymous Takes Down DOJ.gov, RIAA, MPAA Sites To Protest Megaupload Seizure

        I’ll have a more detailed look at the Megaupload indictment tomorrow (there are some really ridiculous claims in there, but also some evidence of bad actions on the part of Mega, which isn’t too surprising). However, even if you’re 100% positive that Megaupload was a bad player in the space, you have to question both the timing and the process of completely taking down the site/company the day after practically the entire internet rose up to protest the threat of similar takedowns under SOPA/PIPA. For them not to think the reaction would be fast and furious shows (yet again) just how incredibly, ridiculously, out of touch with the internet the DC establishment is.

      • Joe Biden Picked An Interesting Day To Raise Money From Silicon Valley…

        Where was VP Joe Biden during yesterday’s big SOPA/PIPA blackout? Apparently he was cruising around Silicon Valley for cash from tech CEOs. Biden, of course, has been seen as the White House’s key man in supporting Hollywood efforts to pass ever more draconian copyright laws. One would hope that the various tech CEOs he met with spent some time showing him how their websites were blacked out in protest. From the article linked above, Biden spoke about a variety of topics during prepared remarks… but said nothing about SOPA/PIPA (or, at least the reporter didn’t mention it). Given the White House’s existing statements concerning the bills, he’d probably be limited in what he can say anyway… but is this a sign that Biden might finally realize that his previous actions were so damaging to the part of the economy that is developing innovation and actually creating jobs?

      • Crowd Cheers Loudly As All Four GOP Candidates Say No To SOPA/PIPA
      • US internet laws could be used to attack NZ websites

        As the British Wikipedia site goes dark for 24 hours to protest American internet piracy laws, web experts are warning the laws could be used to attack New Zealand websites.

        Wikipedia plans to go dark on Wednesday, US time, and Google and other websites are also planning protests to voice their concern over legislation in the US Congress intended to crack down on online piracy.

      • Brad Feld: Why SOPA and PIPA must be stopped

        In the last 30 days, there has been a loud and clear backlash against two bills – SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). SOPA is the House version of the bill; PIPA is the Senate version of the bill. For starters, I must emphasize that I agree that online piracy is a real problem — and, as an author, I deal with it all of the time — and that it is important to look for appropriate solutions.

      • SOPA and PIPA laws would affect Canadians if passed
      • Michael Geist’s website went dark to protest U.S. restrictions on Internet

        Yesterday my website, michaelgeist.ca, went dark for 12 hours with thousands of posts replaced by a single page warning against proposed U.S. legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). My site was not alone as the online protest included some of the Internet’s most popular sites, including Wikipedia, Craigslist and Reddit. It is nice to be in good company, but taking an academic site committed to open access to information offline on a day when thousands came visiting anxious to learn more about copyright and the Internet was not a decision to be taken lightly.

      • SOPA Opera

        SOPA is a culmination of years of corruption orchestrated by the copyright cartel. The victim is the public, whose elected officials became more concerned about campaign funding from Hollywood than about justice.)

      • You Moved Mountains

        On January 18th, 13 million of us took the time to tell Congress to protect free speech rights on the internet. Hundreds of millions, maybe a billion, people all around the world saw what we did on Wednesday. See the amazing numbers here and tell everyone what you did.

        This was unprecedented. Your activism may have changed the way people fight for the public interest and basic rights forever.

        The MPAA (the lobby for big movie studios which created these terrible bills) was shocked and seemingly humbled. “‘This was a whole new different game all of a sudden,’ MPAA Chairman and former Senator Chris Dodd told the New York Times. ‘[PIPA and SOPA were] considered by many to be a slam dunk.’”

      • MegaUpload: Copyright Industry At War Against Monsters of its Own Making

        The takedown1 of MegaUpload from the Internet shows a global attempt to control and censor the Internet, as illustrated by PIPA2 in the US, and the ACTA3 agreement worldwide. Conducted outside of the US territory and without even a court ruling, this case makes clear how disproportionate and violent is the war waged in the name of an obsolete copyright regime.

        The huge profits made by the editors of MegaUpload through the centralizing of copyrighted works are barely defensible. MegaUpload is a direct by-product of the war conducted against peer-to-peer non-market sharing between individuals. After promoting legislation that boosted centralized sharing sites, the same lobbies now declare a war against them.

      • SOPA/PIPA protestors finally heard; votes delayed indefinitely
      • Department of Justice shutdown of rogue site MegaUpload shows SOPA is unnecessary

        A strange confluence of events brought the question of how to deal with online piracy to the forefront of the American consciousness this week. Protests against the anti-piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA, were the major news of the day on Wednesday, with blackouts of big sites across the web. The very next day, MegaUpload, one of the largest sites allegedly enabling piracy on the internet, was shut down as the result of a two-year FBI investigation.

      • SOPA Protests Sway Congress: 31 Opponents Yesterday, 122 Now

        Yesterday the Internet cried out in protest of SOPA-PIPA, and congress heard us loud and clear. At the beginning of Janaury 18th, there were 80 members of congress who supported the legislation, and 31 opponents. Now, just 63 support SOPA-PIPA, and opposition has surged to 122, according to ProPublica.

      • Sopa and Pipa bills postponed in US Congress

        The US Congress has halted debate on two contested anti-online piracy bills.

      • PIPA Vote Canceled, Senator Leahy Not Amused

        PIPA is crumbling, Senator Harry Reid has announced that next Tuesday’s vote on the Protect-IP Act has been canceled. He is now talking compromise, saying, “There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved.” And, “We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.”

      • ACTA

        • Will the EP Development committee betray billions of people?

          Regarding compatibility with current EU law, the acquis, see our FFII note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA. Only by consistently overlooking known issues it is possible to claim that ACTA is compatible with current EU legislation.

Links 20/1/2012: Linux Foundation Report, KDE 4.9 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Is Reaching New Heights in Enterprises, Study Finds

    Global economic woes may continue to dampen spending forecasts for IT departments around the world, but that isn’t stopping large companies from adding more Linux servers to their operations.

  • Linux Foundation Report Shows Growing Linux Adoption Rates in the Enterprise

    The latest report shows a 40% decrease in technical issues cited among respondents since the 2010 report. “Twenty-two percent fewer respondents cite perception by management as an issue, and 10% fewer say there are no issues at all impeding the success of Linux,” the report says. Further, more than two-thirds of respondents consider Linux to be a more secure operating system over the alternatives.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.org screensaver bypass found
      • NSA releases security-enhanced Android

        The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) released a security-enhanced version of Android based on the hardened SE Linux, featuring stricter access control policies. SE Android restricts the system resources available to an Android app regardless of user permissions, blocking malware such as the “GingerBreak” exploit at six different steps during execution, says the NSA.

  • Applications

    • Poor Mans GoogleEarth

      In my last blog, I mentioned that I had gone in and made changes to our thin client build to accommodate running NX sessions along with local RDP. We had another thin client project scheduled for 30-45 days in the future and because I was already in the code it was the best choice to just finish it and roll out all features at the same time.

    • Proprietary

      • Is Steam Finally Coming to Linux?

        A job posting from Valve has sparked new speculation that the developer might be bringing their popular Steam service and library of Source engine games to Linux.

        The listing, for a Senior Software Engineer, states that one of the position’s responsibilities will be to “port Windows-based games to the Linux platform.” As Valve’s games are exclusively available through their Steam storefront, the logical conclusion is that Valve is planning to bring the entire service to Linux at some point in the near future.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Setting up a talking clock easily in Linux
      • DIY: Quick and easy Samba print server setup
      • fuk the kit you will love
      • Beginning Linux – Part III

        Now you’ve got Ubuntu installed and running, you’ll have probably noticed there are one or two things missing. Things like MP3 playback and decoding, support for certain audio formats, Microsoft fonts, Java runtime playback, Adobe Flash, and the ability to play (and rip) DVDs.

        The reason this stuff’s missed out from the default install is that it’s either proprietary — meaning the source code is controlled by a third party and you have to agree to their terms and conditions in order to use it — or it’s subject to copyright restrictions, or, in some countries (notably the US), there may be legal issues surrounding its use. (You can find more about this stuff here.)

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.9 to Get a New Widgets Explorer

        As you might have heard, KDE is, more or less, getting a whole new rewrite again. Some folks may read (or write) that with dread given how the last rewrite went for users there for a while. However, perhaps we should take a look at some of the good things instead. One that’s come to light recently is a brand new widgets explorer.

      • Calligra Words style selection combo
  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Review: Fuduntu 2012.1

          Fuduntu used to be based on Fedora, but then several months ago the lead developer announced that it would fork and maintain an independent codebase. This would serve two purposes: one would be to provide stable rolling releases, and the other would be to maintain GNOME 2 as long as possible. Indeed, Fuduntu uses not MATE, but good old GNOME 2.32.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Review: Aptosid (Install and First Impressions)

          I’ve installed Debian here and there on different computers in the last seven or so years that I’ve been using Linux. I almost ended up being a Debian person, but the Fedora book at the bookstore was more comprehensive, so I was set along the Red Hat path. On the one hand, I’ve often envied Debian both for its ease up upgrades and for its stability. On the other hand, I like having the latest stuff. KDE 4.8 is about to come out and I’ll be restless for the next few months before it makes its way into Fedora. So Debian’s never quite been for me. I’ve heard a lot about Aptosid (formerly Sidux) which turns Sid (the unstable repo) into a usable distro. Of course, Ubuntu does this along with a little extra polish, so I figured I’d see what Aptosid’s up to.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Do Fewer Spinoffs Signal a Waning in Ubuntu’s Popularity?

            Even if you don’t run Linux, chances are good you’ve heard of Ubuntu. You’re probably also familiar with its official cousins: Kubuntu, Xubuntu and the like. But there’s another subset of the Ubuntu ecosystem that gets less play — namely, the medley of unofficial spinoffs built by third parties. Although little discussed, the trends surrounding these distributions that hide in Ubuntu’s shadow reveal a lot about the open source channel more broadly.

          • Unity’s Dash to Ditch Giant Shortcuts

            Not a fan of the 8 giant shortcuts in the Unity Dash? Ubuntu 12.04 might just present you with something different…

          • Full Circle Podcast Episode 28 A Year in Comedy
          • Development Update
          • Ubuntu 12.04 May Get Rid of Useless Dash Shortcuts

            I have been using Unity since they day it came out with alpha of Ubuntu 11.04. One thing I never understood was the purpose of those 8 giant shortcuts in the Dash. I wrote about it in my first review. I still don’t know and have never used any of those 8 shortcuts. I wanted to get rid of them and put something more useful. It seems Ubuntu 12.04 will fix that too. As we reported earlier that with 12.04 we may get some more customization of Unity, the chances are that we may also get rid of those 8 icons and be replaced with something more useful.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Cyborg lawyer demands software source

    Lawyer Karen Sandler’s heart condition means she needs a pacemaker-defibrillator to avoid sudden death, so she has one simple question: what software does it run?

  • Open Source Still The Biggest Enterprise Software Threat

    Cloud is not the biggest threat to enterprise software companies like Oracle (ORCL), Microsoft (MSFT) and SAP (SAP).

  • Still don’t think open source hurts commercial software? Guess again
  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • New LibreOffice Ubuntu versions

      LibreOffice 1:3.4.5-0ubuntu1 has just been uploaded to oneiric-proposed too to be SRUed (it is exactly the same as the ppa version, except for the changed version).

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Q&A: NASA’s Sean Herron and William Eshagh on code.nasa.gov

      On Jan. 4, NASA added to its growing collection of open.nasa.gov websites with the launch of code.nasa.gov. The site aims to be a “community hub” by providing access to current NASA open source projects, information on

      its open source release process and a forthcoming forum for project collaboration.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • FLOSS Body of Knowledge

        As courses, certificates, and curricula are created, it’s valuable to bring together people who are working to develop and deliver this material into a community where we can jointly define a central body of knowledge related to free, libre, and open source software. That goal has led me to take the first step toward creating this body of knowledge, termed FLOSSBOK. The initial outline, intentionally very brief, can be found on our FLOSS Competency Center site.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open-Source Robot to Perform Surgery

        A new surgical robot called the Raven—originally developed by the army for battlefield surgery—is light and relatively inexpensive. It also runs Linux, an open-source software, so that different medical institutions can adapt the machine to different ends while sharing advances they find along the way. Harvard wants to use the machine to operate on a beating heart by compensating for the heart’s motion. Scientists at Berkeley will try teaching the robot to operate autonomously by mimicking surgeons.

Leftovers

  • How important is virtualization to commercial UNIX customers?
  • Finance

    • Bank of America Hopes to Improve its Image

      With its stock scraping bottom at just over $6.00 a share, its image reeling from a failed attempt to to stick its customers with a $5.00 per month debit card fee, and accusations of thousands of fraudulent foreclosures, Bank of America is undertaking another effort to improve its image. Heading up the makeover attempt is Anne M. Finucane, BofA’s Global Strategy and Marketing Officer. Ms. Finucane knows better than most the depths of the trouble BofA is in.

    • Returning to Simplicity

      The modern world depends on economic growth to function properly. And throughout the living memory of every human on earth today, technology has continually developed to extract more and more raw material from the environment to power that growth.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • How Timbaland Got Away With “Copyright Theft”

        So basically, if you’re a famous American, in a contract with a big American record company like the Universal Music Group, you’re entitled to copyright protection, but if you’re a little guy from Finland who writes chiptunes, you’re just a “freakin’ jerk” that American’s can plagiarise from with complete impunity.

      • SOPA backer reassures his troops: “Facts will overcome fears”
      • SOPA Protests: Results And Aftermath
      • SOPA a controversy against the Open Source world
      • SOPA protest by the numbers: 162M pageviews, 7 million signatures
      • Politicians Backing Off From SOPA And PIPA

        The big website blackout is paying off with a total of 18 U.S. senators publicly their withdrawing support of the controversial Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the last 24 hours. Let’s name some these belatedly good men who have finally come to their senses; Theres’s Sen. Marco Rubio (Rep, Florida) Lee Terry (Rep-Nebraska) and Ben Quayle (Dan’s boy, Rep, Arizona) Sen. Kelly Ayotte (Rep-NH), Sen. Marco Rubio (Rep-FL), Sen. Roy Blunt (Rep-MO), Sen. John Boozman (Rep-and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). Has someone been telling these guys that they’ll be censoring themselves as well with this act?

        Rubio puled out as a co-sponsor of PIPA in the Senate, while Terry and Quayle said they were pulling their names from the companion House bill, SOPA. In a posting on his Facebook page, Rubio noted that after the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed its bill last year, he had “heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet.”

01.19.12

Links 19/1/2012: OpenNebula 3.2, Rhythmbox 2.95

Posted in News Roundup at 9:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Sony Reader and Linux

    I read a lot while travelling. So, to lighten my load, my wife gave me a Sony Reader for Christmas. I knew that it ranks tolerably well on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Guide to E-book Privacy, and it was reputed to work with Linux. And it does, but it takes some figuring out.

    The Sony Reader connects to the PC through a standard USB cable. The first time I tried to connect reader, it wasn’t automatically detected. I don’t know why; perhaps I did things in the wrong sequence. I had to manually mount the devices. Yes, devices. The Reader appeared in my device list as three devices. Two are the reader, I think the third is for the add-in memory card (which I don’t have inserted).

  • Linux should be like a window

    In the nascent surge of mobile convergence, we now have a choice of four major desktops for Linux: GNOME 3, Ubuntu Unity, KDE 4 and Linux Mint’s Cinnamon. There are huge, complex and mind-numbingly technical advances in all of this technology. But all I want is for my window still to work the way I want.

  • Big Business, Big Linux

    According to new report by The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, “Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users,” in a lousy IT economy Linux is still growing by leaps and bounds.

    How fast it is growing? The report states, “Eighty-four percent of respondents report that their organizations have expanded Linux usage in the last 12 months, with 82% planning on continuing that expansion into the year ahead. The 5-year outlook indicates an even longer-term commitment to the platform among 79.8% of Linux users surveyed, who say the use of Linux in their company or organization will increase relative to other operating systems during this time period.”

  • Linux Adopton Trends 2012: A Closer Look

    These names represent just a handful of the thousands of large companies using Linux today. As early adopters of Linux (some having used the OS well over a decade) with some of the most technically advanced challenges to overcome in their business environments, companies such as these can give us important insight as to how Linux is being used and where it’s growing.

    That is why we started surveying large companies using Linux in 2010 and why today’s new report, “Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users,” sheds light on what we can expect from enterprises, both large and small, that are using Linux. We hope this research can help inform the industry, our members and us as we prioritize our work for a New Year.

  • Desktop

    • Is the Linux Desktop actually growing?

      I use a Linux desktop. According to Google Analytics, 12% of the visitors to my various technology Web sites use Linux. Nevertheless, I know that on the traditional desktop, the vast majority of ordinary users are running Windows, and don’t even get me started on “The Year of the Linux Desktop.” It’s not going to happen. But, and this is interesting, it appears that there is a slight upward trend in desktop Linux use.

    • Infographic: Linux lovers love big data

      For anyone thinking the big data trend is a flash in the pan, there’s some new evidence to the contrary. A hefty 75 percent of IT pros and developers responding to a new Linux Foundation survey have their eyes firmly on this big data phenomenon.

    • Linux Adoption Grows on Big Data, Cloud, Virtualization: Survey

      A new Linux Foundation survey on enterprise adoption of Linux indicates that growth in Linux usage is being driven by factors such as big data, cloud computing and virtualization, among others.

  • Server

    • Report: Open Source Application Servers Are More Prevalent Than You Think

      According to research from app monitoring firm New Relic, open source Java application servers own a serious chunk of overall application server usage. In fact, InfoWorld notes that New Relic’s data illustrates that the open source solutions are hindering commercial software alternatives. New Relic surveyed a series of enterprises regarding their Java application servers, with respondents ranging from big businesses to online merchants. Here are the numbers the survey turned up.

    • Linux gains share on enterprise servers — and desktops, too

      Linux has vaulted to 1.4 percent worldwide desktop market share from 0.97 percent in July, according to Net Applications. Meanwhile, a new Linux Foundation survey on enterprise adoption of Linux indicates that 84 percent of organizations currently using the open source operating system have expanded their deployments over the last year. Meanwhile,

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel NVM Express Driver For Linux 3.3 Kernel

      Linus Torvalds has been called upon to pull the NVM Express driver into the Linux 3.3 mainline kernel.

      The NVM Express driver has been around for the better part of the year now since the specification was announced, but it looks now like it’s finally ready to enter the mainline Linux 3.3 kernel.

    • Linux Foundation Expects More Enterprise Gains in 2012

      The Linux Foundation is sharing the results of their latest invitation-only survey of enterprise Linux users. Their last such survey, in August 2010, revealed Linux was gaining popularity in enterprise computing. It should come as no real surprise that the latest survey shows more of the same.

      A lot has happened since late 2010, and the Linux Foundation survey reflects that. In “Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users” we find that a substantial number of enterprise users “expressed concern with the rapid growth of data, and Linux is clearly the platform of choice to address it.” Less than half of respondents are planning to use Windows to handle their “Big Data” requirements.

    • The Linux Foundation Releases Enterprise Linux User Report

      World’s largest enterprises will add more Linux to support cloud computing, “Big Data” – all at the expense of Windows and Unix

      SAN FRANCISCO, January 19, 2012 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the immediate release of its latest report “Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users,” which shares new data representing Linux’s dominant role in supporting cloud computing, “Big Data” and new, “greenfield” deployments.

    • Graphics Stack

      • An Easy But Serious Screensaver Security Problem In X.Org

        I’ve been alerted this afternoon that there’s an outstanding security vulnerability within the current X.Org Server that’s receiving little attention. This active vulnerability could allow anyone with physical access to your system to easily bypass the desktop’s screen lock regardless of your desktop environment.

      • Wayland Action Items You Can Start On

        Tiago Vignatti, one of the active developers at Intel who’s dedicated to the Wayland team, has shared some active TODO list items that for those wishing to contribute can easily jump on.

        Vignatti wrote a post on his personal blog entitled starting on Wayland development. Tiago shares that while the Wayland protocol is not yet complete, there’s a number of items on their growing TODO list that could be accomplished by new contributors even without much graphics or X.Org/Wayland experience.

      • Radeon Gallium3D: A Half-Decade Behind Catalyst?

        What happens when you pull out some vintage computer hardware and run the latest Linux software as well as go back and run some of the oldest software available? Well, in the case of systems with antiquated R300-era ATI Radeon graphics, you are left with a downward slope in performance. Not only is the latest open-source Radeon graphics driver not always performing as well as an ancient Catalyst driver, but also the power consumption of the latest Linux code remains on an incline.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma QML documentation

        Just a brief heads up. As you know, from now on the recomended way to write plasmoids will be using QML only, and using the new components api for common widgets such as buttons, sliders etc.

        What’s cool about this API is that is as compatible as possible with Symbian and Harmattan(N9/N950), so porting to and from those platforms just became a tad easier (That’s especially important in the perspective of Plasma Active).

      • KDE Plasma Desktop Activities

        The idea of activities have only recently been introduced with the release of KDE 4. The KDE desktop is set up so all virtual desktops use the same activity and look the same, but this can be changed. Widgets will appear on all workspaces, along with icons, panels and other items. You can use activities to create a completely different work environment on each workspace. Each activity can even have its own name and function, this is great if you prefer to separate your work and play. You can use activities to add a different desktop wallpaper for each workspace, or to separate your widgets based on function.

      • Digia’s Qt Commercial Still Carrying Large Patch Delta

        In 2011 when talking about Digia putting out new Qt Commercial releases with over one hundred changes compared to what’s found in the open-source/community Qt repository, many Phoronix readers were upset by this large delta. Digia is still putting out new Qt Commercial releases that carry large differences to the upstream open-source releases, but they’ve offered up the patches for mainline integration.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell 3.2.2 Released

        Owen Taylor announced last night, January 18th, the immediate availability for download and upgrade of the GNOME Shell 3.2.2 user interface for the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

        GNOME Shell 3.2.2 is a maintenance release and it comes with over 15 changes, as well as lots of updated translations.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat guns for VMware with RHEV 3.0

        Red Hat has built a $1bn company, more or less, predicated on the idea that open source Linux is cheaper than Windows or Unix and that open source Java application servers are cheaper than commercial alternatives like WebLogic and WebSphere.

        For two years now, Red Hat has been trying to convince the world that it has a chance to take on x86 server virtualization juggernaut VMware, to little avail. But with the advent of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0, and a future upgrade planned later this year, Red Hat has a much better chance of denting VMware.

      • Red Hat slams Web legislation

        Open source software-maker Red Hat took to its blog Wednesday to speak out against controversial legislation meant to prevent online piracy.

        Red Hat and other critics of the Stop Online Piracy and the Protect IP acts, known as SOPA and PIPA, claim that the legislation would censor the Internet and throttleinnovative American businesses.

      • Red Hat Turns to Linux for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3
      • CloudLinux Announces Support for Atomia

        “Now, Atomia customers can easily upgrade their operating system to CloudLinux OS greatly enhancing the security and efficiency of their shared hosting businesses,” said Igor Seletskiy, CloudLinux CEO. “Better control over computing resources leads to a better overall customer experience and results in lower churn.”

      • Red Hat EV3 launches with all-Linux stack

        Announced on Wednesday, RHEV3 adds a self-service portal for provisioning virtual machines, access via RESTful API, the ability to store data locally on client machines and, via integration with the company’s private cloud management product CloudForms, a limited ability to manage hypervisors from other vendors.

      • Red Hat releases third version of its Enterprise Virtualisation platform

        As before, the RHEV hypervisor, which is only a few hundred megabytes in size, virtualises using KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) and integrates many RHEL core components – however, the new RHEV uses components from the current RHEL version 6.2 rather than RHEL series 5. Consequently, the new RHEV-V offers many improvements that have been available in RHEL 6 for some time – for example, guest systems can now access up to 64 virtual CPU cores and up to 2 TB of working memory. Technologies such as vhost-net, Transparent Huge Pages (THP), x2apic and KSM (Kernel Shared Memory) are designed to improve performance and increase efficiency.

      • Fedora

        • Thinkfan for Fedora Share/Bookmark

          Here it is the first release of Thinkfan, a simple and lightweight fan control program, for Fedora. As a thinkpad user so it’s obvious what my interest is, but developer assures now can manage other computers fan too.

    • Debian Family

      • All Hail Debian, King of the Web Server World

        “For all the grief people have given Debian over time for how ‘outdated’ the packages in Debian stable have been, Debian is certainly my choice for any type of Linux-based server,” said Hyperlogos blogger Martin Espinoza. “I flirted with Ubuntu Server for a while, but Ubuntu suffers from an excess of dependencies.”

      • Derivatives

        • m23 12.1 rock is available!

          The new year has only just begun – and already, a new m23 version with many new features and (of course) some corrections is available! Among the highlights, you will find the “m23 remote administration service”, the reactivation of openSUSE and Debian Lenny, the migration to new mirrors, support for arbitrary file systems and extended package manager settings (e.g. LibreOffice from Debian backports) in the package sources lists and a Java applet for accessing the “m23 VirtualBox OSE Console” directly from the m23 interface.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Do Fewer Spinoffs Signal a Waning in Ubuntu’s Popularity?

            Even if you don’t run Linux, chances are good you’ve heard of Ubuntu. You’re probably also familiar with its official cousins: Kubuntu, Xubuntu and the like. But there’s another subset of the Ubuntu ecosystem that gets less play — namely, the medley of unofficial spinoffs built by third parties. Although little discussed, the trends surrounding these distributions that hide in Ubuntu’s shadow reveal a lot about the open source channel more broadly.

            According to DistroWatch, there are 118 Linux distributions based on Ubuntu. These include both the official variants like Kubuntu and a wide range of lesser known spins created by community members. It’s this latter group, comprised mostly of operating systems that are not so well-known, that I’m interested in here.

          • School Leverages Sun Hardware, Switches to LTSP Thin Clients

            The School of Computer Science at the University of Windsor deployed their first network of diskless thin clients in August of 1987. Since then, the CS school has progressed through three operating systems, four thin client devices, and seven Sun server configurations. In the summer of 2011, UWindsor switched from Solaris and Sun Ray clients to Ubuntu and LTSP Thin Clients.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Meet Bodhi’s Bulky Brother: Bloathi

              If Bodhi Linux was a little too minimal, then perhaps Bodhi’s beefy brother Bloathi Linux will fill the bill. Jeff Hoogland posted today of a new community spin of Bodhi that comes with ” a slew of pre-installed software.”

              Bloathi retains the Enlightenment desktop environment and comes with lots of themes and several hardware profiles. These are setup upon reaching the desktop through a pop-up configuration. The hard drive installer icon normally found on the desktop doesn’t show up in a lot of themes, so check in the file manager under Desktop.

            • Step-by-Step Vinux 3.2.1 Install Guide
            • Bloathi Linux

              Bodhi Linux is mainly built around two things – the Enlightenment desktop and a minimalistic approach to software. Even with these goals stated we still have users (and review writers) that complain about the lack of pre-installed software Bodhi comes with by default.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Welcome to the world of open source domotics

      Ubuntu on your TV and Android running your refrigerator. Glyn Moody looks at some of the developments announced at the recent Consumer Electronic Show and explains how Linux is the natural choice for intelligent appliances.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Why Android might just kill GNU/Linux. Quickly.

          I write this article exactly 24 hours after receiving my Galaxy Tab 10.1. It’s something I’ve been wanting for a long time. I had to wait for the dispute between Apple and Samsung to settle (Samsung actually lost on millions of dollars worth of sales thanks to software patents, but that’s another story). After all that, I came to the realisation that we are in front of a forking path. On one side there is the death of GNU/Linux as we know it. On the other side, there is a new exciting world where free software is still relevant. I am not writing this just to be “sensational”: here is why.

        • Epic 4G and Epic 4G Touch have new kernel source available, look for OTAs soon

          Both the Samsung Epic 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G Touch have new kernel source up at Samsung’s open source portal. The Original Epic 4G has the kernel and other open-source bits for update version EL30 ready to download, and the Epic 4G Touch has the same for version EL29.

        • Google gets $3.65 billion in annual Android ad revenue, Oracle claims

          Oracle is claiming Google makes $3.65 billion a year in mobile advertising from Android, basing its estimate on Google’s own boast of 700,000 daily activations for Android devices. Oracle made the new claim to encourage a favorable settlement in its lawsuit against Google, which is finally scheduled to go to trial in March.

        • Motorola Opens Pre-Order for Wi-Fi only XYBoard
        • Focus Group Reveals Casio 4G LTE Quad-core Phone, Clam Shell Devices, and New Phone Protection Tech

          A reader of DL was fortunate enough to spend some time in a focus group within the last couple of days and came away with a spec list for a Casio phone that may actually interest some of you. There were other devices on display including a set of clam shells, but we will get to those in a minute. Remember, that our reader is going off of pure memory here, as focus groups almost never allow you to bring in a phone (for obvious reasons). He also mentioned that most of the phones were headed to Verizon.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Cheap Tabloid Tricks: The Truth About Linux, Open Source And The Media

        Linux and open source technology should be a good news story for everyone. However, the way these topics are presented in the media often leaves enthusiasts unhappy. There is a widespread belief that open source alternatives are neglected in favour of commercial products; that coverage often distorts the facts and exaggerates conflict rather than offering insight; and that the right-wing bias of much Australian media dooms the open source community to being dismissed as a kook minority led by some cult figure from Scandinavia whose name no-one can pronounce. The reality is more complex, as reality usually is.

      • Each Kindle Fire generating more than $100 in additional revenue for Amazon

Free Software/Open Source

  • 92 Open Source Apps That Replace Everyday Software
  • Where are they now?

    Years ago, the short-lived Maximum Linux magazine ran a graphic showing Eric Raymond, Richard Stallman, and Linus Torvalds wearing the gang colors of open source. Naturally, Stallman protested in the next issue that he was an advocate of free software, not open source, but the point is that, back then, it was easy to point out the leaders of free and open source software (FOSS) in a way that would be impossible today. And I can’t help thinking that’s a healthy sign.

    I was reminded of how much things have changed when I read about Bruce Perens’ keynote at linux.conf.au this week. If the Maximum Linux graphic had added a fourth or fifth figure, that figure would probably have Perens. But now? Although I was peripherally aware of him giving the occasional talk, his influence had faded. I doubt that many newcomers to the community would be even aware of his involvement in the early days of FOSS).

  • Making the most of open-source software

    THE digital industry has gone through a big change in the last couple of years. Funding used to stretch high and wide which meant there was a lot of money available for software projects.

    Two years down the line and the game has changed completely – companies now have to be more sensible about how they use their resources to avoid passing their costs on to clients.

    One of the largest non-productive costs to a web development agency is the cost of their bespoke content management system (CMS).

  • Open source software vendors turn eyes to channel

    Open source software vendors 10gen and Talend have both turned their attention to the channel this week, announcing their intentions to start recruiting resellers in the UK as part of a strategy to up their growth rates and find new ways to generate cashflow from communities of non-paying users.

    10gen is behind a database package called MongoDB, which has found a ready audience among internet firms that need to take a mroe flexible approach to their data management. It counts social start-ups including Foursquare and Craigslist among its customers and claims to have around 100,000 downloads a month as a free product

  • Ada Initiative To Help Women In Open Technology And Culture
  • Why SOPA and PIPA are bad for open source

    The widespread internet blackout yesterday in protest at unbalanced legislation being rushed through the US Congress was dramatic and notable. I did have some questions though on why it was important to the open source community. The way the laws have been framed by their proponents makes them look as if they are all about file sharing and specifically music and video sharing. However, the problem with them is they create badly-bounded new powers that are likely to exploited in ways that fall outside the frame.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Epiphany 3.3.4 Released With New Menu And Toolbar, More

      Epiphany 3.3.4 has been released today with many user interface changes which bring it closer to the mockups we’ve seen about a month ago.

      The new version features a much cleaner, unified user interface that’s optimized to offer the user as much vertical space as possible. The old-style menu and statusbar have been removed, being replaced with a menu integrated into the top GNOME Shell bar (that will be used by the whole GNOME application stack: Music, Documents, etc.), a new “super menu” and a Nautilus-like floating statusbar.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla demos MediaStream Processing, audio mixing in Firefox

        Mozilla is drafting a proposal for a new Web standard called MediaStream Processing that introduces JavaScript APIs for manipulating audio and video streams in real time. The specification is still at an early stage of development, but Mozilla has already started working on an implementation for testing purposes.

        Mozilla’s Robert O’Callahan, the author of the MediaStream Processing API proposal draft, released experimental Firefox builds that include MediaStream Processing support. He has also published a set of demos (note: you need to run the experimental build to see the demos) that illustrate some of the functionality defined by the specification.

  • SaaS

    • OpenNebula Releases OpenNebula 3.2 for Data Center Virtualization and Private Cloud Computing

      The OpenNebula Project is proud to announce the release of a new stable version of its widely deployed open-source management platform for enterprise data center virtualization. OpenNebula3.2 is the first stable distribution produced by OpenNebula’s new release cycle aimed at faster delivery of new features and innovations to the community, based on their requirements and feedback, while also increasing technical quality.

    • OpenNebula 3.2 adds out-of-the-box VMware support

      The developers of OpenNebula, the “open source cloud computing toolkit”, have announced version 3.2 of the software which adds support for Xen and KVM and out-of-the-box support for VMware including live migration, image and network management and automatic contextualisation (setting of parameters based on the host and other rules).

    • OpenStack, collaboration and competition
    • Piston ships new cloud OS based on OpenStack

      Piston Enterprise OS, or (pentOS) is a hardware agnostic OpenStack Linux distribution that utilizes the company’s Null-Tier architecture, combining storage, compute and networking on individual nodes to deliver high scalability at lower cost. This allows customers to “scale a high availability private cloud one server at a time,” the company announced Wednesday.

  • Databases

  • Education

    • Designing aesthetically pleasing Moodle courses

      When you’re working online and you access a text heavy web-page that scrolls for 5 pages, what is your initial reaction? To most of us, a text-heavy page filled with a long list of resources and activities is not inviting or enticing. The same is true for students and online courses. But with a little sleight of hand, plus use of the right resource formats and labels, you can design an aesthetically pleasing online course and avoid the long scrolling webpage syndrome.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Nexenta raises $21 million in funding

      Nexenta has announced that it has received $21 million in Series C funding led by Menlo Ventures, along with Sierra Ventures and Razor’s Edge Ventures. The enterprise storage specialist says that the current round of funding will be used to sustain its growth and global expansion, and to scale its support; the California-based company previously received funding from Javelin Venture Partners and TransLink Capital.

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD: Desktop is not a target

      This operating system is a community supported distribution, initially forked from FreeBSD 4.8.
      The current release of DragonFlyBSD is 2.10.1 and it was announced in April 2011.
      There are 3 downloading options available for this stable release of DragonFlyBSD: CD, USB and GUI. I downloaded the last one, which offers to have a GUI on top of the operating system itself. The distribution comes as a 1.2 Gb bz2 archive which packs an .img file of 3.7 Gb. Basically, this saves you some time during the downloading. But, then you need to unpack the file on your local drive before using it. Generally speaking, this is not an issue since most modern archivers, both Windows- and Linux-based, support bz2 format.

  • Project Releases

    • Rhythmbox 2.95 has been released!

      Rhythmbox 2.95 has been released, this release is considered as final transition of Rhythmbox to GTK +3, the new release also is compatible with Gnome3.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA looks to lower open source licensing barriers

      The recent launch of code.nasa.gov is providing better access to NASA sourced and funded projects, but William Eshagh of the NASA open government team says some forthcoming open-source licensing changes will make it more participatory.

    • Call to use open source

      Though open source developers approve free distribution of software, they are serious about their use in commercial products and solutions. “They may not restrict their source code or its usage, but they nonetheless would like licensing terms to be respected,” said Palamida CEO Mark Tolliver.

      With nearly 70 terabyte of code being indexed –against which most of the available open source software can be checked– Palamida’s solution mitigates risk of copyright infringement.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Big Switch Open Sources OpenFlow Controller

      Floodlight, an Apache-licensed open-source OpenFlow Controller, was released recently by networking startup Big Switch Networks , as part of its commitment to the open source community around Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

      Headquartered in Palo Alto, Big Switch Networks was founded in 2010 to bring virtualization and cloud innovation to enterprise networks using OpenFlow-based SDN. The OpenFlow standard was developed at Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley, and allows users to manage network equipment using software that can run on servers that communicate with switches, rather than directly on the switch or router.

    • Open Access/Content

      • The benefits of a transparent publishing calendar

        Why would an editor let go of publishing power and give the master calendar over to a group of trusted people? That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. But we did it. And it works. And this is another example of the power of open source.

        At the beginning of July, we opened the opensource.com publishing calendar to all the moderators. It started with a prototype that quickly evolved and grew in popularity. Sharing what was scheduled for publishing and articles in the works was the first step in being more transparent between the different community moderators.

    • Open Hardware

      • Raven, the Open-Source Surgical Robot, Takes Flight in Santa Cruz

        A multidisciplinary team of engineers from the University of Washington and the University of California, Santa Cruz, have developed a surgical robot, called Raven 2, for use as an open-source surgical robotics research platform. Seven units of the Raven 2 will be made available to researchers at Harvard; Johns Hopkins; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of California, Berkeley; and the University of California, Los Angeles, while the remaining two systems will remain at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of Washington.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • M$ Disturbs an Ant-hill

    So far it seems no OEM is considering an exclusive relationship with M$. The monopoly is not there. Further, OEMs who do put out a few models of ARMed PCs with “8″ may be wasting their money. Same with retailers. At best, it seems quite possible retailers may stock shelves with “8″ only to find consumers don’t want it just as they didn’t want “Phoney 7″. M$’s scheme may backfire in that they will be shipping “8″ on machines that will not sell. That is not a sustainable business model.

  • x86PC Has Peaked. Here’s Proof.

    One picture is worth millions of words. Here’s a site that has plotted sales/shipments of various platforms of personal computing over the decades. The PC has obviously peaked while new technology climbs like a scalded cat. It’s also clear that the new technology is just getting started… and Android/Linux is overtaking whatever Apple puts out.

  • Censorship

    • Ron Paul Campaign Sues To Stop Unauthorized Web Videos

      In an unusual move, the campaign team for Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has filed a trademark and defamation lawsuit against for-now anonymous individuals who uploaded unauthorized attack videos.

      The videos in question bear the name “NHLiberty4Paul” and malign former candidate Jon Huntsman’s religion and ties to China. The Paul campaign has disavowed the videos.

      “This is a classic case of dirty politics resulting from the unlawful use in commerce of an underhanded and deceptive advertisement designed to tarnish plaintiff’s reputation,” reads the complaint (posted below) which was filed yesterday in San Francisco federal court.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Supreme Court upholds copyright law

        The Supreme Court upheld a law Wednesday that extended U.S. copyright protection to books, musical compositions and other works by foreign artists that had been available without paying royalties.

        The justices said in a 6-2 decision Wednesday that Congress acted within its power to give protection to works that had been in the public domain. The law’s challengers complained that community orchestras, academics and others who rely on works that are available for free have effectively been priced out of performing “Peter and the Wolf” and other pieces that had been mainstays of their repertoires.

      • How SOPA and PIPA Affect US Websites and Companies

        Khan Academy has provided a very helpful video, “SOPA and PIPA : What SOPA and PIPA are at face value and what they could end up enabling”, explaining how SOPA and PIPA would work. It gives the lie to those supporters of the bills who claim it is targeting *only* foreign and illegal sites. Khan Academy, the famous non-profit educational site, shows how this “shoot-first, ask-questions-later” legislation could affect YouTube, Facebook or CNN, any site with user-generated content.

        I hope journalists and members of Congress in particular will view the video, because he goes through the wording of the proposed bills, bit by bit. It’s the best I’ve seen, by far. And for the rest of us, if we see journalists making mistakes in covering this story, why not let them know about this resource in a friendly way?

      • Supremes cite “settled law” to unconsitutionally extend copyright

        The Supreme Court has found Congress can extend copyright protection to works that had previously been in the public domain link here. The decision was 6-2 with one recusal. The story is covered here and here, but focus should be on the two dissenters who held that Congress had exceeded its authority when judged by the constitutional provision that copyright was justified when it served “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

      • EXCLUSIVE: Hollywood Moguls Stopping Obama Donations Because Of President’s Piracy Stand: “Not Give A Dime Anymore”
      • SOPA Activism Moves Republicans More Than Democrats
      • Inside the Cell Phone File Sharing Networks of Western Africa (Q+A)

        Digital filesharing doesn’t need the internet. This is the case at least in Western Africa and other parts of the developing world, where computers aren’t yet consumer goods for most and, even if they were, web access isn’t exactly New York City. Lovers of music still get it done, however, sharing files between knockoff cell phones via bluetooth connections and accumulating song collections in memory cards and bitrates that would probably make most in our lossless world laugh. It’s created a music culture that’s uniquely underground, an awesome anything-goes world of No Limit-style rap marrying Megaman-synth workouts, strange new techno-folks, and various other things so far untaggable.

      • Confessions Of A Hollywood Professional: Why I Can’t Support the Stop Online Piracy Act (UPDATED)
      • SOPA, PIPA Are Threatening Innovation And Economic Growth: Red Hat
      • RIAA Takes MPAA’s Condescending Response To Protests Up A Notch

        The MPAA and the RIAA have never been good about doing any kind of communication with “the public.” They’re just not set up for that kind of thing. They communicate with elected officials and with the press. And that’s about the extent of it. Of course, in this situation, where the public is actually paying attention to them… all they’re doing is showing off their true colors: condescending, entitled, spoiled brats who are seriously pissed off they’re not getting their way. Boo-freaking-hoo.

      • Anti SOPA/PIPA Protest: How it happened and what you can do
      • What does Wikipedia blackout hope to accomplish?

        As the fracas over the proposed federal anti-privacy legislation known as SOPA heats up this week, the open-source encyclopedia website, Wikipedia, says it will shut down for 24 hours, beginning midnight Tuesday to protest what the website warns is a threat to free speech.

        Instead of its usual homepage, users who navigate to the English-language Wikipedia Wednesday will find directions for reaching local members of Congress to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said in a statement Monday, he hopes this “will melt phone systems in Washington.”

      • Denial: MPAA Pretends That No Big Sites Have Joined SOPA/PIPA Protests

        Living in what can only be described as pure denial, the MPAA announced today that the SOPA/PIPA protests “failed to enlist big sites.” Honestly, there’s really not much more to say about that. Google. Wikipedia. Facebook. Amazon. Craigslist. All participating. Let’s just stare in wonder at the MPAA’s hubris and ability to deny reality.

      • Supreme Court Chooses SOPA/PIPA Protest Day To Give A Giant Middle Finger To The Public Domain
      • US Chamber Of Commerce Appears To Argue That SOPA & PIPA Apply To NO Websites At All
      • SOPA/PIPA blackout

        We are putting up a black interstitial about SOPA/PIPA for the next 24hrs or so. If you click away from it, you’ll get a cookie stored so you won’t see it again in the same browser, but what follows is my reasons for doing it.

      • Senator Ron Wyden To The Internet: Thank You For Speaking Up… But We’re Not Done Yet

        You may have heard that today’s been quite a day online and in Congress, concerning SOPA and PIPA. Senator Ron Wyden — the first politician in Congress to take a direct stand against these bills at the very beginning, and who was brushed off by the opposition — has now offered up what can be reasonably described as a thank you letter to the internet for speaking out on this important issue, and making it clear to many in Congress that this is not an issue that everyone takes lightly.

      • Did the SOPA blackout work? (And was it really a blackout?)

        Yesterday I posted screenshots of 127 websites that “blacked out” to protest the SOPA and PIPA legislation before the US Congress. Another site I came across reported that 7,000 sites had gone black. There was no citation, but I believe it if you include every blog that WordPress enabled to automatically go black and if you count all of those sites I posted screenshots of as “blacking out.

      • Yet More Collateral Damage From SOPA/PIPA: Activism Through Satire

        Greenpeace certainly isn’t alone in deploying mockery online to needle companies about the things they’d rather keep quiet: it’s particularly effective for smaller groups that can’t afford expensive, conventional campaigns. But such satire frequently depends upon using authentic elements from the marketing materials of the organizations they tackle. The extremely broad framing of SOPA/PIPA means that the large, well-lawyered enterprises of the world will have powerful new weapons for suppressing this kind of protest by claiming that their intellectual property is being harmed as a result.

      • Best Congressional Response To SOPA Yet? Rep. Bruce Braley Takes To *CENSORED* To Explain His *CENSORED*

        Lots of folks in Congress have been speaking out about SOPA and PIPA today — and what’s fascinating is how many of them are actually using key internet innovations to do so. Most of the comments we’ve seen were first made on Twitter and Facebook. But the best response (and by best, we mean funniest) response we’ve seen today comes from Rep. Bruce Braley from Iowa. Y

      • A Gallery Of The SOPA Blackout Protest Screens.
      • 8 Million People Looked Up Their Elected Officials’ Contact Info During Wikipedia Blackout
      • Jon Stewart Promises To Study Up On SOPA
      • A note on bravery

        A lot of people have been posting on twitter or sending me email thanking me for bravery in opposing SOPA. That’s a very very kind sentiment, and I really do appreciate it!

      • Traditional peer review in science faces challenges

        Thomas Lin writes at length about the scientific process, peer review of results, and publication of scientific papers link here.

        The concern remains that the results of research financed by the public’s taxes are not available free. The science establishment turns out of be conservative, however, and is sticking to the tradition of time consuming peer review and publication in the established journals. The results are still appropriated by the journals and published at great expense but considerable profit and public access is correspondingly limited.

      • Stop Censorship of the Internet!

        Thousands of websites across America have gone dark today in protest of supposed anti-piracy bills in Congress.

        I first noticed when I went to MichaelMoore.com to see how he was covering the Wisconsin protests, but his site was black with an eerie image of a mouse-controlled light that revealed the message “This site has gone dark today in protest of the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate… We need to kill these bills to protect our right to free speech, privacy and prosperity.”

      • Stop Online Piracy Act Markup to Resume in February
      • Father of the web backs SOPA protests

        Tim Berners-Lee says US government plan to censor the internet violates human rights.

        The father of the web has added his voice to the global chorus of outrage at US Government plans to censor the internet, saying its plans are undemocratic and violate human rights.

      • SOPA, Internet regulation, and the economics of piracy

        Earlier this month, I detailed at some length why claims about the purported economic harms of piracy, offered by supporters of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA), ought to be treated with much more skepticism than they generally get from journalists and policymakers. My own view is that this ought to be rather secondary to the policy discussion: SOPA and PIPA would be ineffective mechanisms for addressing the problem, and a terrible idea for many other reasons, even if the numbers were exactly right. No matter how bad last season’s crops were, witch burnings are a poor policy response. Fortunately, legislators finally seem to be cottoning on to this: SOPA now appears to be on ice for the time being, and PIPA’s own sponsors are having second thoughts about mucking with the Internet’s Domain Name System.

      • LibreOffice and XBMC Join SOPA Strike

        Earlier today, January 18th, we’ve announced that the openSUSE and Fedora projects decided to protest against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) through their websites.

01.18.12

Links 18/1/2012: Canonical Removes Java From Ubuntu, NASA’s Open Source Software Initiative

Posted in News Roundup at 6:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • HP Vayu Set Top Box Aka Vayu Internet Device (VInD) – Internet TV In India

      HP Vayu is the Tata Nano of Internet to Indians. Given the prices of Desktop PCs, Laptops & tablets in India; it’s no wonder that many Indians prefer to access Internet via mobile devices. Broadband penetration is rapidly growing and with Government taking initiatives with cheap ‘Aakash’ tablets, we surely know that Indians are going to adopt internet faster than ever before. HP India Labs has come up with an innovative device called Vayu Internet Device aka VInD. This mass Internet access device allows people to connect to the Internet using television sets and perform the basic operations using TV’s remote control.

    • HP readies Linux IP set-top computer for India
  • Server

    • Linux DRBD saves you from costly SAN deployments

      To configure services for high availability in a data center, shared storage is normally required, which typically means administrators will purchase expensive storage area network (SAN) devices. But there is an alternative in the form of the Distributed Replicated Block Device (DRBD) — a free software component that is available for the Linux operating system. In this tip, you’ll learn why DRBD can save administrators the expense of deploying a SAN and how to set it up.

  • Kernel Space

    • Stable kernel 3.1.10

      Stable kernel 3.1.10 has been released with a pile of important fixes. “This is the LAST release of the 3.1 kernel series, please move to the 3.2 kernel series at this time. Again, 3.1.y is end-of-life.”

    • Adaptive Tickless Linux Kernel Support Status

      Back in 2007 (the Linux 2.6.21 days) the mainline Linux kernel received tickless idle support. With the system idling, the timer tick no longer needlessly goes off with the “NOHZ” feature. Being worked on since last year is now adaptive tickless support, which extends the tickless functionality to non-idle cases.

    • Graphics Stack

      • XAA In X.Org Has Finally Met Its Executioner

        The XAA 2D acceleration architecture is finally set to be stripped out of X.Org Server 1.13 and upstream open-source X.Org drivers.

        The old and crusty XAA, the XFree86 Acceleration Architecture, is finally set to be laid to rest as X.Org developers cheer on its death. XAA has been around since, well, the XFree86 days (1996 with the XFree86 3.3 release to be exact while it was re-written in XFree86 4.0).

      • Intel Sandy Bridge Shines With Mesa 8.0

        Now that the Nouveau, Radeon, and LLVMpipe graphics drivers have been tested under Mesa 8.0, what is left? The Intel DRI driver, of course! The open-source Sandy Bridge Linux graphics support is shining with Mesa 8.0 thanks to OpenGL 3.0 support and measurable performance improvements. Intel Ivy Bridge is also ready to run under Linux.

      • Wayland’s Window Stacking & Raising Design

        Besides tool-kit advancements, other happenings in the world of Wayland this week pertain to coming up with a suitable window stacking and raising design for this next-generation display server.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo Linux 12.0 reviewed: Linux For The Toughies

        Gentoo Linux 12.0 LiveDVD was released recently. We were the first ones to announce the release of Gentoo. Although not as popular as Ubuntu , this Linux distro is good enough for those who want to learn more about their system’s functionality and GNU/Linux. It uses Portage package manager which is also used by Chrome OS and Chromium OS.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Inc Breaks Above 200-Day Moving Average – Bullish for RHT
      • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 Enters Market with Backing of Strong ISV Ecosystem

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced strong partner support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 from its ISV partner ecosystem. In line with the general availability of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 portfolio today, Red Hat introduces its ecosystem of industry-leading vendors that have integrated their applications with the 3.0 product through its APIs.

      • Red Hat weighs in on Internet regulations

        This is in protest to anti-piracy legislation being considered in the U.S. Congress and has already had a substantial impact.

      • openSUSE and Fedora Protest Against SOPA

        Today, January 18th, the openSUSE and Fedora websites are on strike against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act).

        While the Fedora Project website only displays a text saying “The Fedora Project does not promote internet censorship. Help stop SOPA and PIPA.”, the openSUSE website is already redirecting to http://sopastrike.com/strike.

      • Red Hat’s 3.0 platform deemed a turning point for KVM, cloud aims

        Red Hat took a major step forward today in its goal to establish the open source kernel-based VM hypervisor as a leading virtualization platform for desktops and servers and a core component of its cloud computing strategy — the release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0.

      • Uttam Energy Tech Builds Highly Secured IT Environment with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Uttam Energy Tech, a leading design and manufacturing company in India, has implemented Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to build its virtualized infrastructure for both servers and desktops. Uttam Energy Tech is utilizing both the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 platform as well as the Red Hat Enterprise 3.0 Beta, with plans to migrate all of its systems to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 upon general availability.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical backtracks on deleting Oracle’s Sun Java

            Canonical has announced that it has decided not to push empty versions of the Oracle’s Sun Java JDK packages into their partner repositories for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, 10.10 and 11.04. The company will now only remove the packages from the repository. The original plan announced in December 2011 would have seen the empty packages downloaded by users’ systems as part of the software update process, deleting any installation of the Oracle binary release of Sun Java and leaving only OpenJDK as an option.

          • Canonical Removes Java from Ubuntu on February 16

            As announced last month, Canonical is preparing to remove the Sun JDK (Java Development Kit) packages from the software repositories, starting with February 16th, 2012, affecting Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Ubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 11.04.

          • The Classic, Retro Workspace

            Lifehacker reader Tyler Brainerd uses an Ikea feet and shelf trick to raise his two Samsung monitors above the restored Marantz receiver and pull-out box. He’s got an HP Touchpad, runs Ubuntu, writes in Moleskine notebooks, and that’s his old rotary phone turned into a VOIP handset for his PC we told you about previously. Click through to his Flickr set for more shots and notes on his workspace.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux ARM Beta Release for Genesi Smartbook

              Much to my fiancée’s dismay my little Genesi Smartbook has been occupying much of my time of the late. In fact, just six days ago I posted about how to get an early build of a Bodhi ARM file system for the Smartbook.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • LG’s Honeycomb tablet features 4G LTE and an HD display

        LG announced its first tablet equipped with LTE 4G capability, heading first to Korea. Running Android 3.2 on a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor, the Optimus Pad LTE has an 8.9-inch, 1280 x 720-pixel display, an SD slot, plus both eight- and two-megapixel cameras — and it’s just 0.37 inches thick, says the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Freedom for the masses: plug servers from FreedomBox

    Proprietary social media platforms are used heavily even by those attending a conference meant for free and open source software users and Bdale Garbee used this fact to kick off his talk on FreedomBox at the 13th Australian national Linux conference in Ballarat today.

  • Events

    • Awesome! High-Altitude Balloon Launch At Linux.conf.au In Ballarat

      What’s better than launching a high-altitude balloon into space from Adelaide 20 times? Doing it live from Linux.conf.au in Ballarat. Check out our exclusive video and learn more about the Project Horus team after the jump, including their plans to launch an Internode Node Pony into space.

  • Web Browsers

    • Linux Web Browser Round-Up

      When I sit here in front of my desktop and look at my Debian Menu for “Internet”, I see a myriad of icons. But not just a myriad of icons for all kinds of applications, but also a myriad of icons for web browsers. As Linux users, we really are rewarded with having so much choice when it comes to web browsers.

      In this round-up, I will give you a brief look at the current web browser line-up for Linux users. This is not a review of web browsers, but rather a quick look to let you know what is out there available in the world of Linux for todays web user.

      You’ll find all the usual ones, ie. Firefox, but you’ll also perhaps find one that you may not have known existed. And you might even decide to give your own system a new browser for you to try. Because as you’ll see in todays quick round-up, not all browsers are equal. And they all provide something neat to offer a Linux web user.

    • Epiphany marches on

      Previously in this space we saw how the bright future of Epiphany looked like, and vague promises about incremental steps towards it were done. A month later, Epiphany 3.3.4 is out there, so let’s see how well we’ve done.

  • SaaS

    • Proposed New Cloud Standard Could Give Amazon Serious Competition

      In the cloud computing arena, one of the biggest debates in 2011 surrounded cloud “lock-in,” as many businesses and organizations are demanding increased portability of cloud applications between platforms, and increasingly pursuing open source solutions. Now, some of the biggest hitters on the technology scene are backing a proposed specification to do away with lock-in issues. The OASIS Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) Technical Committee has produced the specification, and it’s already backed by IBM, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix, EMC, NetApp, Red Hat, and SAP.

    • Enterprise Hadoop: Big data processing made easier

      It’s been a big year for Apache Hadoop, the open source project that helps you split your workload among a rack of computers. The buzzword is now well known to your boss but still just a vague and hazy concept for your boss’s boss. That puts it in the sweet spot when there’s plenty of room for experimentation. The list of companies using Hadoop in production work grows longer each day, and it probably won’t be long before “Hadoop cluster” takes over the role that the words “crazy supercomputer” used to play in thriller movies. The next version of the WOPR is bound to run Hadoop.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • 10 Open Source Shopping Carts to Run Your Ecommerce Business

      More and more companies have turned to the Web to transact business. And, of course, if you are going to sell on the Web, the right shopping cart can mean the difference between red and black ink. When shopping for your own ecommerce shopping cart software the most important aspect to consider is how well the cart software meets your business objectives. An ecommerce shopping cart has to be customizable to fit your business needs and branding, be flexible enough to scale as your business grows, be secure and support industry standards and provide solid integrate with payment gateways.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • 10 Open Source Shopping Carts to Run Your Ecommerce Business

        More and more companies have turned to the Web to transact business. And, of course, if you are going to sell on the Web, the right shopping cart can mean the difference between red and black ink. When shopping for your own ecommerce shopping cart software the most important aspect to consider is how well the cart software meets your business objectives. An ecommerce shopping cart has to be customizable to fit your business needs and branding, be flexible enough to scale as your business grows, be secure and support industry standards and provide solid integrate with payment gateways.

        Open source shopping cart software is an attractive option. Storeowners might look to open source ecommerce software because it will typically deliver the features and tools to manage a product catalog on a website without the hefty licensing fees that come with proprietary or off-the-shelf packages.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA’s Open Source Software Initiative Lifts Off

      The NASA Open Government Initiative has launched a new website to expand and explore the agency’s open source software development. Open source development is all about giving the public access to view and improve software source code. NASA uses open source code for it’s projects and missions.

      In 2009, the White House issued the Open Government Directive, which requires federal agencies to take specific steps to become more transparent. NASA’s Open Government Plan has been recognized as one of the best. “We believe tomorrow’s space and science systems will be built in the open, and that code.nasa.gov will play a big part in getting us there,” said William Eshagh, NASA Open Government co-lead on the project at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

    • NASA Clears the Runway for Open Source Software

      The NASA Open Government Initiative has launched a new website to expand the agency’s open source software development.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Record and visualize your own data with this open source creative toolset

      The concept of visualizing data has caught a lot of eyes in recent years, especially the fitness sector. Simply considering the amount of popularity that revolved around Jawbone’s Up (despite the fact that the product didn’t work), shows the potential of recording and visualizing activities.

      What’s most impressive is that many of the opportunities related to data visualization have yet to be realized, but don’t worry, the open source community is on it.

    • WikiHouse’s DIY kits are the open-source way to build a house

      This article was taken from the February 2012 issue of Wired magazine. Be the first to read Wired’s articles in print before they’re posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online.

  • Programming

    • Google Code-in 2011-2012 wraps up

      Google has announced that its 2011-2012 Google Code-in program has now concluded. Over the course of eight weeks, more than 540 high school students participated in the contest, which had them complete various tasks for 18 open source projects, including the GNOME and KDE projects, as well as openSUSE, FreeBSD and Perl.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • From CES: Will HTML5 Threaten the Closed World of the App Store?

      This year I was struck by the shifting nature of software ecosystems. On one hand you had Steve Ballmer and Steven Elop repeating over and over how Microsoft and Nokia will be the “third ecosystem” to Apple and Android’s already successful ones. I find it ironic that what Ballmer means when he says he wants “to build the strong third ecosystem in the smartphone market” is that Microsoft and Nokia really want to be well, Microsoft and Nokia again. Except this time in third place. We all know that the rise and hold of Microsoft’s desktop domination was driven not by technology superiority but by the “ecosystem,” the availability of applications and peripherals supporting that operating system (OS), and only that OS. Microsoft and Nokia would like to return to that world with their mobile platforms. As Elop said, “We believe the industry has shifted form a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems.”

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs forced to reveal pay of top London staff

      Ahead of the full-year results from Goldman Sachs on Wednesday it is worth taking a look at what the Wall Street firm paid its top flight staff in London in 2010. For the first time it has been forced to disclose, under EU rules, how it pays so-called “code staff” – those who are judged to be responsible for taking or managing risks – in its UK-based operations.

    • The Invisible Hand Behind Bonuses on Wall Street

      When asked about his job at cocktail parties, Alan Johnson has a curiosity-piquing line.

      “You know those big paydays on Wall Street?” he says, typically waiting a beat to deliver the punch line. “I have something to do with them.”

      Mr. Johnson, a consultant who speaks with a light twang from his native Alabama, has never worked for a bank. Nor will his company, Johnson Associates, pay million-dollar bonuses to any of its 12 employees this year. But as one of the nation’s foremost financial compensation specialists, Mr. Johnson is among a small group of behind-the-scenes information brokers who help determine how Wall Street firms distribute billions of dollars to their workers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • SOPA/PIPA Could Have Huge Impact on Enterprise IT
      • Wikipedia blackout begins vs. SOPA
      • What I Wish Wikipedia and Others Were Saying About SOPA/PIPA

        The SOPA/PIPA blackout today by Wikipedia, Mozilla, WordPress.com and many other sites is (I hope) drawing attention to proposed legislation that is considered a threat to “Internet freedom.” That’s fine, admirable, and (with any luck) will be effective at curbing SOPA/PIPA for at least another legislative season. The backgrounders I’ve read so far by Wikipedia and others explain pretty well why SOPA/PIPA shouldn’t pass. What they don’t say is that SOPA/PIPA are business as usual, and the protest is a last-ditch effort necessary because the legislative system and mainstream media are fundamentally broken.

        The blackout and other protests today are the result of a long, sustained, full-court press against legislation that’s being pushed through despite widespread opposition. Yet, Lamar Smith and many other members of the U.S. House and Senate have been plowing ahead full-steam. Why? Yes, in part because they’re well-funded by the entertainment industry, and it wants the bill passed, but also because they think they can.

      • OSI Opposes SOPA and PIPA

        The Open Source Initiative Board joined many other civil society organizations as co-signatories of an open letter expressing concern about SOPA and PIPA.

      • SOPA/PIPA – Who To Talk To in Texas
      • Top Open Source Sites Protesting SOPA, PIPA

        There are many open source communities which are protesting the anti-freedom bill SOPA and its ‘Little Boy’ cousin PIPA via their websites. Here are the top 5 open source communities protesting SOPA and PIPA.

      • The First Internet Strike in History a Success

        The Washington Post reports that Rep. Darrell Issa of California, who opposed SOPA/PIPA, has put out a statement saying, “The voice of the Internet community has been heard,” and that there will be no vote in the House on the bills so detested by the entire technical and Internet communities.

      • SOPA/PIPA: How to stop fear

        A communications medium that, at the default setting, provides free and open communication between connected people anywhere on the planet. Instantaneously.

        Today’s protests of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and it’s Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), are stark reminders that we, as a people, can get carried away with our fears and go too far to protect what we believe to be more important.

      • Mozilla, Firefox join anti-SOPA strike

        Mozilla, the open-source organization responsible for Firefox, joined other major technology companies today to protest anti-piracy legislation by blackening the browser’s home page.

      • First One Down: Rep. Lee Terry Removes His Name As A SOPA Co-Sponsor

        We were wondering when our elected officials would start realizing just how toxic SOPA and PIPA have become. It appears it’s happening today, along with the online protests. Rep. Lee Terry, from Nebraska — who just last week expressed some concerns about the bill at CES, but still appeared committed to it — has announced that he’s removing his name as a co-sponsor of the bill, becoming the first US Representative to do so. Over in the Senate, Senator Jerry Moran did so way back in June — and has since become a leading voice against PIPA. Terry’s spokesperson claimed that after listening to some of the complaints, he realized that the bill just has too many problems, and could cause more harm than good — especially for the open internet. Good for him. Now… who’s next?

      • Anti-SOPA/PIPA Protest Songs
      • Senator Marco Rubio Dropping His Co-Sponsorship Of PIPA
      • More Senators Dropping Off As Co-Sponsors Of PIPA
      • Disney Refused Invitation From Senator Feinstein To Meet With Tech Companies Over PIPA/SOPA

        We’ve been pointing out for months that the entertainment industry — who more or less wrote SOPA & PIPA — has done everything it can to deny both the tech industry and consumers any seat at the table. Many of us have asked to take part, or suggested that the backers of SOPA & PIPA open up the process — as Senator Wyden and Rep. Issa did with their OPEN Act — allowing the public to comment on it, suggest specific changes, and actually have a real debate on the bill, rather than handling it all in the back room. Multiple times, MPAA boss Chris Dodd has suggested that Hollywood is more than happy to sit down with folks in Silicon Valley to talk over the issues related to the bill — though, when a bunch of us offered to do just that, somehow Dodd wasn’t so welcoming.

      • Andy Samberg, Neil Gaiman, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage & More Tell Congress: Don’t Pass PIPA Or SOPA In Our Names
      • Protest Via Plugin: Facebook Users Bring The Fight To Lamar Smith’s Website
      • Black Wednesday

        No, it’s sadly not a day for shopping. Today, some of the most visited websites are dark to raise awareness of two bills now making their way through the U.S. Congress. The bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), pose such a great threat to all of us who use, enjoy, and make a living on the Internet that they have united a formidable front from the likes of internet giants such as Google and Wikipedia. Social sites like Reddit that would be devastated by this sort of legislation are getting in on the black out, as well as those who help build the software that powers the Internet like WordPress.

Links 18/1/2012: Btrfs In Linux 3.3, Oxygen-gtk3 1.0, Woz Says Android Better Than hypePhone

Posted in News Roundup at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux should copy Apple on user rapport

    The Linux operating system and other open software projects are under threat because they’ve failed to develop the sympathy for users manifested by companies such as Apple, according to luminary Bruce Perens.

    Perens created the Open Source Definition and was founder or co-founder of projects including the Open Source Initiative and the Linux Standard Base, to name just two.

    In his keynote address to the Linux.conf.au (LCA) 2012 conference in Ballarat yesterday he delivered a blunt warning.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux for the ‘Longterm

      The Linux 3.0.y kernel has been deemed to be the new longterm kernel support release. Kernel Developer Greg Kroah-Hartman has pledged to maintain the 3.0.y branch for at least the next two years. The first Linux 3.0 kernel was released in July 2011. Since then, it has been updated 17 times, with the most recent release being the 3.0.17 kernel that Kroah-Hartman released on January 12.

    • Are Your Linux Skills Right for HPC Jobs?

      Do you have what it takes for that Linux job with an HPC vendor you’ve got your eye on? Brent Welch, the director of software architecture at Panasas, talks about the role Linux plays in HPC at Panasas and the in-demand technical skills supercomputing suppliers need from job applicants.

      Last year, Panasas, a provider of high performance parallel storage solutions for technical applications and big data workloads, moved into new corporate headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, and expanded its team by more than 50 percent in areas such as engineering and sales. Panasas hasn’t been the only supercomputing-focused company growing and hiring recently. In fact, high performance computing (HPC) vendors across the industry are hiring, but they are running up against a shortage of skilled talent.

    • Btrfs In Linux 3.3 Brings Reworked Balance Code

      On the same day as talking about Microsoft’s new Resilient File System, the pull request for Btrfs in the Linux 3.3 kernel was sent in and subsequently pulled. This file-system update does bring a few notable changes.

      Btrfs with Google Snappy compression support didn’t make it for Linux 3.3 (it was a last-minute request and there’s at least LZO and Gzip file-system compression already available), but there are some notable changes. However, the 3.3 changes also aren’t as noticeable as the beefy Btrfs changes found in Linux 3.2.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Oxygen-gtk3 1.0 is out

      The first release of KDE’s Oxygen widget theme, ported to GTK 3.X applications, has been uploaded to kde ftp servers on Tuesday January 17 2012 and is available for download here. It is called oxygen-gtk3.

      This release is still experimental, notably due to the small amount of GTK 3 applications it has been tested on. Still, since snapshots of the running git repository were already being circulated around for some time, we deemed it appropriate to release the current code, if only because it would make book-keeping and bug tracking easier. Also, we expect rapid progress as bug reports are being filled by users.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Delays Bankruptcy Decision

        In a short post today Jean-Manuel Croset said that recent events have lead the failing company to postpone any final decisions for a week. Earlier this month a letter to shareholders stated that Mandriva would have to close its doors by January 16 without an influx of capital.

        January 16 came and went without word while anxious users paced the floors over at the Mandriva Forums. Then earlier today Croset published his post. Unfortunately, it’s a little short on detail.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 248
          • Improving Battery Life in Ubuntu Precise 12.04 LTS

            art of my focus this cycle is to see where we can make power saving improvements for Ubuntu Precise 12.04 LTS. There has been a lot of anecdotal evidence of specific machines or power saving features behaving poorly over the past few cycles. So, armed with a 6.5 digit precision multimeter from Fluke I’ve been measuring the power consumption on various laptops in different test scenarios to try and answer some outstanding questions:

            * Is it safe to enable Matthew Garrett’s PCIe ASPM fix?
            * Are the power savings suggested by PowerTop useful and can we reliably enabled any of these in pm-utils?
            * How accurate are the ACPI battery readings to estimate power consumption?
            * Do the existing pm-utils power.d scripts still make sense?
            * Which is better for power saving: i386, i386-pae or amd64?
            * How much power does the laptop backlight really use?
            * Does halving the mouse input rate really save that much more power?
            * Should we re-enable Aggressive Link Power Management (ALPM)?
            * Are there any misbehaving applications that are consuming too much power?
            * What are the root causes of HDD wake-ups
            * Which applications and daemons are creating unnecessary wake events?
            * How much does the MSR_IA32_ENERGY_PERF_BIAS save us?

          • Flavours and Variants

            • ZevenOS – Does it recapture the flavor of BeOS?

              BeOS was a much loved and highly advanced desktop operating system that ceased active development in 2001. ZevenOS is a Ubuntu 11.10 based system (with a bit of help from Xubuntu) that attempts to recapture some of the BeOS look and feel.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready multitouch PC has huge 65-inch screen, quad-core CPU

      Ideum announced a “multitouch wall” that responds to as many as 32 simultaneous touches and will support Linux in March. The MT65 Presenter has a 65-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, a 2.2GHz Core i7-2720QM processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD (solid state disk), and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics card, according to the company.

    • Pushing the Limits of Price on Small Cheap Computers

      A system suitable for embedded, educational and R&D applications has been developed based on ARM and minimal hardware (no PSU) for $15, about the price of a box of copy-paper. The idea is to have a complete stack from circuit-board layout, CPU and OS completely open and produced by cooperation with Free Software proponents and Chinese hardware design and production.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Woz admits Android does things better than iPhone

          Although he still carries the iPhone 4S as his main handset, Steve concedes that Android is making serious headway over Apple.

        • Motorola DROID 3 Now $99

          With the announcement of the Motorola Droid 4 Verizon’s looking to push its predecessor off of store shelves and quickly. They’re now offering the 3G-only Motorola DROID 3 for just $99. It’s a decent deal for a great phone if you don’t care for 4G.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Who can afford Open Source?

    The reason why I asked Francesco permission to publish his outburst is to stimulate the whole FOSS community to share thoughts and experiences on this topic, to find out how general the problem he signals is in 2012. Personally, I still remember hearing, during a Linux Day in Rome almost ten years ago, somebody commenting a talk about the FOSS used in, and developed by, the Bank of Italy asking to himself: “so, in order to develop FOSS you must belong to a big organization?”

    What do you think? Do you agree with Francesco? What is your experience in similar cases? How general is Francesco’s conclusion? Besides, do you too, think that current FOSS products for schol management lack usability?

  • LCA2012: Bruce Perens Says Open Source Needs To Do More

    Wearing a suit when the rest of the 500-strong lecture theatre were dressed in shorts, jandals, and old conference T Shirts, Bruce Perens introduced himself by announcing his clothes as a lesson: Linux needs to be more outward facing.

  • Open source needed to save democracy

    Open-source software developers face greater risks today than they ever have, to the point where the constraints inherent in proprietary software now represent a risk to democracy, according to one of the movement’s leading figures.

  • Tilde-D Detection Focuses on Coding Anomalies

    An open-source tool from the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security hunts for Duqu using telltale signs left behind by the Tilde-D creation toolkit.

  • Digital Delights – THe French, Open Source And Five Strips

    SourceDelight: The Droid Comic Viewer for Android systems that reads CBR & CBZ files has gone “open source” after its millionth download, to improve the software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Pushing the 3D Boundaries in WebKit with CSS 3D and Three.js

      Sometimes, you need to see what a technology can do before you can fully appreciate it. Take, for instance, CSS 3D and Three.js. It’s one thing to hear about doing 3D elements for Web sites, and another to see them integrated into a well-designed site. Take, for example, Steven Wittens’ Acko.net redesign.

    • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • Making the transition from RDBMS to Hadoop

      If your organization seems to be a good fit for Hadoop, you can download the open source software that comprises the data framework and try it out with relative ease.

  • BSD

    • Linux lovers should try FreeBSD for stable systems

      Say the words “free and open source operating system”, and Linux is probably what springs to most people’s minds.

      What many don’t even realise, however, is that there’s another free and open source operating system out there that’s also based on Unix and that’s also widely used on servers around the world. It’s called FreeBSD, and a brand new version of the software was just released on Thursday.

  • Public Services/Government

    • With Code.Nasa.Gov, Agency Steps Up Hunt for Its Open-Source Software Projects

      The Kepler space observatory slowly trails further and further behind the Earth as it orbits the Sun, scanning a sliver of the galaxy in search of Earth-like planets. A specially designed telescope, 0.95 meters in diameter, the Kepler instrument, per NASA, “stares at the same star field for the entire mission and continuously and simultaneously monitors the brightnesses of more than 100,000 stars for the life of the mission—3.5 or more years.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Google to Murdoch- This is just nonsense

    Well, Google has fired back and called the accusations “nonsense.”

    “This is just nonsense,” wrote a Google spokeswoman. “Last year we took down 5 million infringing Web pages from our search results and invested more than $60 million in the fight against bad ads…We fight pirates and counterfeiters every day.”

  • Myths and Realities of IT
  • Security

    • Apache Tomcat developers advise updates to avoid DoS

      The Apache Tomcat developers are advising users of the 7.0.x, 6.0.x and 5.5.x branches of the Java servlet and JSP container to update to the latest released versions 7.0.23, 6.0.35 and 5.5.35. Recent investigations revealed inefficiencies in how large numbers of parameters and parameter values were handled by Tomcat.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Commission seizes power to adopt certain measures blink-blink

      I have no idea what that is about, but it seems important. And in fact it is, the amendments concern “delegated acts”, where the Commission could take regulatory action without prior consultation of the legislator. We really should really look up Article 270 of the Lisbon Treaty regime…

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Lamar Smith & Bosses Call Wikipedia Blackout As Stunt
      • Wikipedia blackout tries to show SOPA is “unconstitutional’ and ‘dangerous’
      • Tell the EU regulator about your Internet restrictions!
      • This Site Has Been Shut Down Due To Possible Copyright Infringement
      • Who, besides Wikipedia, is going dark and why

        There is nothing wrong with your Internet. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. The reason you won’t be able to use Wikipedia, Reddit, or numerous other Web sites on January 18th is that these Web sites have decided to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA).

      • Wikipedia, Other Sites to Protest Anti-Piracy Bills with Blackouts

        Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is warning students to do their online research before midnight Wednesday when the world’s largest online encyclopedia will block access to its English language site for 24 hours. Wikipedia’s worldwide blackout to its English-language site is part of a larger online protest against the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP acts being considered by Congress.

      • Google to join Wednesday’s anti-SOPA protest

        Google will join Wednesday’s anti-SOPA and anti–PROTECT IP Act (aka PIPA) protest by noting its opposition to the bills on its home page.

        “Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the internet,” a Google spokeswoman told The Reg in an email. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”

      • January 18 captured: A SOPA blackout gallery

        I’ll be updating this post throughout the day with more images of sites that have joined the SOPA blackout. Leave a comment with any site you’d like to be added to the gallery, which will remain here after the blackout is over.

      • Google Goes Big With Its SOPA/PIPA Protests; Blacks Out Logo
      • Why Canadians Should Participate in the SOPA/PIPA Protest

        Some of the Internet’s leading websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, and BoingBoing, will go dark tomorrow to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The U.S. bills have generated massive public protest over proposed provisions that could cause enormous harm to the Internet and freedom of speech. My blog will join the protest by going dark tomorrow. While there is little that Canadians can do to influence U.S. legislation, there are many reasons why I think it is important for Canadians to participate.

      • Black Wednesday: In Protest of SOPA, Darken the Web
      • SOPA protest swells as Google, Scribd, and WordPress join

        “Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” a Google spokesman told Ars. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”

      • U.S. movie piracy claims mostly fiction

        In recent weeks, Canadians have been subjected to a steady stream of reports asserting that Canada has become the world’s leading source of movie piracy. Pointing to the prevalence of illegal camcording – a practice that involves videotaping a movie directly off the screen in a theatre and transferring the copy on to DVDs for commercial sale – the major Hollywood studios are threatening to delay the Canadian distribution of their top movies.

      • The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

        Tomorrow, a number of very high profile websites will go dark in protest of the proposed U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act. Though the White House has since made it clear that the President will not support the bill, the fact that it was proposed at all is an indicator of the threat the Internet faces. And, according to this post from Michele Neylon, SOPA may not be quite dead yet.

      • ACTA

        • 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.

01.17.12

Links 17/1/2012: SOPA Action, Android at the NSA

Posted in News Roundup at 6:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Quarterly LQ [Linux Questions] Zero Reply Drive

    One of the main goals of LQ is to help members get questions about Linux answered. One way we help facilitate this is with the “Zero Reply” functionality, which allows you to easily find threads with no replies.

  • Desktop

    • Free Windows Tool Offers a One-Stop Shop for Linux

      Windows users have many reasons for wanting to download and check out the Linux operating system, whether it’s to get a more secure environment to use for online banking, for example, or to get a full-blown Windows replacement.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Microsoft’s ReFS File-System: Competitor To Btrfs?

      Microsoft has released extensive details on their next-generation ReFS file-system to be introduced with Windows Server 8. How though does the file-system compare to Btrfs and the Linux file-systems?

      Unlike Microsoft’s exFAT file-system that’s designed just for flash memory cards and external storage mediums, ReFS is designed to be a real successor to Microsoft’s aging NTFS file-system that’s been widespread since the Windows 2000/XP days. ReFS is short for a Resilient File System and will be introduced as a production-ready file-system with Windows Server 8. The non-server Windows 8 won’t have ReFS support, but per typical Microsoft fashion, will come to the consumer operating system variants at a later date.

    • Intel Has 50 Patches For ACPI/Power In Linux 3.3

      The fun for the Linux 3.3 kernel merge window is not over quite yet; Intel this morning published 50 patches for integration into this next Linux kernel that affect ACPI and power management, primarily around ACPI 5.0 support for the Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • VA-API Video Acceleration On Intel Medfield

        It turns out that Intel’s recently-launched Medfield SoC for tablets and smart-phones will support VA-API for video acceleration.

      • Cogl, Clutter, Cogland Get It On With Wayland

        With the next GNOME 3.4 development release due out on Wednesday, several GNOME3 packages are being checked-in for release. In this latest round of updates, Clutter and Cogl have both been updated again to take better advantage of the Wayland Display Server.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Fragmentation of the Linux Desktop

      As recently as a year ago, the Linux desktop was easy to describe. GNOME and KDE dominated, both offered an ecosystem of applications, and neither much different from Windows and OS X in their goals or design. Xfce was a distant third, with other desktop environments trailing even further behind.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • WIP: Plasma Active Handbook

        The Book is written in Docbook 4.5 (XML) and uses XSLT/FO for producing the book. The book started in german, so the most is done in the german part of the book. Today i’ve added all Topics from the german book to the english one. This Plasma Active Documentation is created and driven by open-slx.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Decrappify GNOME3 Powermanagement

        GNOME3 has actually become quite usable, but I was really annoiyed by the inability to disable actions on “critical low battery” (Additionally, there is no way to define what “critical low battery” is and with a big battery I assume this might well mean that you cannot use the machine anymore even though there is half an hour of juice left). Add to that bnc#738782 which leaves my screen unlocked after suspend and I decided it was time to use someting sane — like xfce4-power-manager — instead.

      • MATE Desktop

        The other day on the #opensuse-gnome IRC channel there was a debate about the MATE Desktop and openSUSE. While I like GNOME3, I still feel more comfortable with GNOME2 and this “MATE Desktop” is somehow interesting. Mariusz Fik, a Polish contributor for openSUSE is most likely taking the lead on this project, for which I’ve decided to give some help with the packaging.

  • Distributions

    • Aligning Linux Distributions with Presidential Hopefuls

      Most politicians probably don’t use Linux. After all, some of them have barely figured out computers at all. But since the American presidential campaigning season is once again upon us, I’ve been wondering to myself lately: If the candidates did run Linux, which distribution would they choose? At the risk of offending various groups of people, here are my answers, for better or for worse.

      To be clear, and to temper some of the passionately loathsome comments that a post like this might inspire, I’ll preface these thoughts with an assurance that they are not intended as an endorsement of any candidate, party or ideology. Personally, I’d like to resurrect Rousseau’s state of nature, if only I thought it could endure. And there would be no Linux there, since everyone would be running around the forest. But that’s neither here nor there.

    • BackBox Linux 2.01 review – turning heads in the pen testing scene

      A relative newcomer to the forensic and penetration testing live CD scene, Italian project BackBox is already turning heads as it hits version 2.01. Gareth Halfacree explains why…

    • ArtistX 1.2 Released

      After nearly ten years of development and more than ten versions, the ArtistX 1.2 multimedia studio on a DVD is finally released. It’s an Ubuntu 11.10-based live DVD that turns a common computer into a full multimedia production studio.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is Ubuntu trying to act like Google?

            But Ubuntu the brand, and Canonical as a company, is seriously confusing to me. What exactly is it there for, outside of being the backing for the Ubuntu distro? Apparently they provide some sort of “enterprise consulting” and training. Apparently you can also buy support from Canonical as a regular consumer (just found this out on their website) for just over $100 (American). And of course there’s the deal with Dell (and others?) to act as an OEM for a few computer models. So they do have a business, but I don’t see how they have a profitable one.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • We’re auctioning ten beta Raspberry Pis!
    • Phones

      • Android

        • INSIDE Secure Introduces Open NFC Stack for Google Android 4.0

          “The Ice Cream Sandwich release brings even greater NFC functionality to the Android operating system, and INSIDE is making our latest version of Open NFC available to give connectivity chip vendors, smartphone and tablet manufacturers and software developers a head start in achieving NFC hardware independence,” said Charles Walton, COO for INSIDE Secure. “Once again, INSIDE is offering the Android community a complete, open-source NFC stack solution that can be used to greatly speed development and time to market, requiring only that the small hardware abstraction layer (HAL) portion be tailored for specific hardware.”

        • Galaxy Nexus: A Dazzling Phone With an Enormous Appetite

          The Samsung Galaxy Nexus features an impressive screen, a nice camera and the latest and greatest version of Android — Ice Cream Sandwich. Its voice control option is no Siri, but it gets the job done. However, the phone seems to guzzle power, significantly depleting the battery in just a few hours of moderate use.

        • Android variant Cyanogenmod passes one million installs

          Yesterday Koushik Dutta, a member of the Cyanogenmod team, announced that the distribution had reached the one million installs milestone. Cyanogenmod is a community led distribution based on Google’s Android known for supporting many smartphones and tablets.

          According to Cyanogenmod’s statistics, just under 24 per cent of Cyanogenmod users run 7.1. While detractors claim that Android is fragmented between several different vendors, Cyanogenmod’s statistics show that the vast majority of its users run Cyanogenmod 7.0 or above, near the latest bleeding edge of Android.

        • NSA releases ultra-secure open source Android derivative
        • NSA Releases a Security-enhanced Version of Android
        • Workforce mobility driving growth in global handheld device market

          Mobile, handheld computers are changing the way people do business. A new report from GIA says that open source operating systems such as Google’s Android are expected to dominate the market going forward, while single-source systems such as Apple’s iOS and RIM are going to lose market share.

        • Android Ice Cream Sandwich gets free NFC stack

          Inside Secure SA, a fabless supplier of near field communications (NFC) chips, has announced a free, open-source NFC protocol stack that it has made available for version 4.0 of the Google Android platform that is otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Introducing Ubuntu Secured Remix 11.10

        Softpedia is proud to introduce today a new Linux operating system based on the popular Ubuntu distribution, Ubuntu Secured Remix.

        Ubuntu Secured Remix 11.10 is actually based on the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system and is a slightly modified version of the Ubuntu Desktop Live CD.

Free Software/Open Source

  • INSIDE Secure Introduces Open NFC Stack for Google Android 4.0
  • Release of OpenNebula 3.2 for Data Center Virtualization and Private Cloud Computing

    The OpenNebula Project is proud to announce the release of a new stable version of its widely deployed open-source management platform for enterprise data center virtualization. OpenNebula 3.2 is the first stable distribution produced by OpenNebula’s new release cycle aimed at faster delivery of new features and innovations to the community, based on their requirements and feedback, while also increasing technical quality.

  • Take a decision to enter FOSS in 2012

    So, the year changed again and with it come quite often new decisions. Some swear to work out the superfluous kilos, pounds, or whatever standardized measure your country uses, gained too fast during the festivals. If it is your decision, it is for sure good for your body and I wish you success that goes beyond the act of subscribing to a local gym (and never appearing there after first month).

    But this could be also a nice time to take a decision that you were procrastinating with for too long. That one is good for your intellect and programming skills (even though you don’t consider yourself a programmer yet). What about starting to contribute to a Free and Open Source Software project (FOSS)?

  • Big Switch Networks Intros Open-Source OpenFlow Controller

    Big Switch Networks, a new vendor in the nascent, but growing field of OpenFlow-based networking, has introduced an open source controller for companies that want to build applications on top of the controller in an environment where the network intelligence is in the software-based controller rather than in the physical hardware of routers and switches. Big Switch, which also has a commercial controller offering in beta release, said it is offering the open source controller, called Floodlight, to stimulate development on the OpenFlow protocol.

  • Events

    • Playing games, going UpSCALE at SCALE 10X

      The Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 10X is putting the final touches on the first-of-the-year Linux expo in North America. Games? SCALE has them, as well as classes at SCALE U and the rapid-fire UpSCALE talks and more.

    • Looking forward to FOSDEM
    • Keynote Q-and-A: Selena Deckelmann
    • Speaker Q-and-A: Alison Chaiken

      A: My name is Alison Chaiken. For years I worked on cool technologies in the area of device physics and BioMEMS, but the projects I worked on always ended in cancellation and opportunities were diminishing. I’ve used Unix and Linux for almost 30 years on my personal systems. When the original Bug and Gumstix came out, suddenly I had the epiphany that by I could convert my hobby into a career with more positive impact on the world.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Nuxeo Opens U.S. Headquarters in NYC

        Nuxeo, the provider of an open source content management platform for business applications, today announced the opening of its U.S. headquarters in New York City. The company initially expanded into the United States in 2009, and already has offices in Boston and Silicon Valley.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.0 Delivers More Power to Serve

      One of the oldest open source operating systems is getting a new release. FreeBSD 9.0 was officially released this week, providing users with a boost in performance and capabilities over the FreeBSD 8.0 branch that was released in 2009.

    • FreeBSD 9 release updates ZFS support

      OPEN SOURCE OPERATING SYSTEM FreeBSD has released FreeBSD 9.0, almost a year after its previous release, updating ZFS to pool version 28.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • What makes a city open source?

      What qualities make a city open source? Is it technology, government policies, or businesses? No. It’s the mindset of the people. It’s the philosophy and the culture.

      About a year ago, I started trying to define an open source city. I’m very interested in seeing my own city (Raleigh, NC) become a hub for open source and a leader in open government. With Red Hat’s announcement to stay headquartered in Raleigh earlier this month, the City of Raleigh appears poised to “establish a growing ecosystem of partners and providers around the open source leader and to bolster Raleigh’s reputation as a leading open source community.”

    • Open Data

      • Google IP addresses link Indian contractor to vandalism of Open Street Map

        Someone hiding behind a range of Google IP addresses in India has been up to no good. Allegedly, the person or persons behind the range of Google IPs have been accessing the open-source map project called Open Street Map and using tools there to vandalize maps of major cities. The vandalism has included things that could get some users of the map into danger.

      • Google Contractor Caught Mucking Up Competing Open Street Maps

        Late last week, a story broke about how a Google contractor was apparently scraping info from a Kenyan crowd-sourced phone directory, Mocality, and then calling businesses pretending that there was a joint Google-Mocality venture for which businesses had to pay. Google responded that it was “mortified” by these actions, and are investigating them. However, ReadWriteWeb, is now reporting that the very same contractor has now been called out for vandalizing Open Street Maps, the more open alternative to Google Maps that has been getting a lot more attention lately. It appears the vandalism was deliberate, doing things that are hard to spot — like reversing the direction on one-way streets.

      • Google accused of vandalising OpenStreetMap

        Google has once again been accused of underhand business tactics, this time by OpenStreetMap. The not-for-profit organisation published a light-on-detail blog post alleging that Mountain View was “moving and abusing” the mapping outfit’s data.

        However the very same post appears to have been completely debunked by an OSM sysadmin, who claims to have first uncovered the issue.

    • Open Hardware

      • ‘Open-source’ robotic surgery platform going to top medical research labs

        “We decided to follow an open-source model, because if all of these labs have a common research platform for doing robotic surgery, the whole field will be able to advance more quickly,” said Jacob Rosen, associate professor of computer engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz and principal investigator on the project.

  • Programming

    • The Danger of Day-Tight Compartments

      What I was really happy about, however, was the Microchip MPLAB X, which runs nicely under my OS of choice, Linux. I promised that this week I’d show you a little bit about MPLAB X under Linux, and I’m as good as my word.

      The IDE is based on Netbeans (see the Figure) which is, of course, a Java program so it isn’t too surprising that it runs well under Linux. Netbeans is on par with other modern development environments — it interfaces with bug trackers, version control, and additional tools you expect to use while writing software.

    • new ruby RPM bindings
    • The FOR looping statement. A semantic compiler plugin

Leftovers

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