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Links 21/4/2013: GNU/Linux Desktops/Laptops at Dell, Google Glass Runs Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Away for a sunny vacation (100 degrees Fahrenheit) until May]

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux on the Mini PC

    The recent emergence of the mini PC has opened up new horizons for the Linux user.

    The form factor of the Mini PC is a square having approximately the same dimension as the long side of a DVD box and thin in profile. The mini PC is designed to be very power efficient, typically using a 65 Watt power supply. The CPU is a low-voltage power efficient type, there are no fans, and the power supply is often an external DC adaptor like that of a laptop. Because there are no fans, the computer runs silently.Fanless microserver aims Linux on Core-i7 at harsh environs

  • Desktop

    • It just works: Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition Linux Ultrabook review

      I’ve been terribly curious about the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition since we first covered it back in November. This is a different beast from the flippy-touchscreen-equipped XPS 12—this Ultrabook contains zero touchscreens. However, it comes preloaded with Ubuntu Linux, and Dell has spent a substantial amount of time and effort in ensuring that it works—and works well.

    • Chromebook’s Files app gets brand new UI and app status

      The Files app of Chrome OS is getting a brand new UI as well as status of a ‘full-fledged’ Chrome packages app status.

      François Beaufort has also shared the instructions if you are interested in testing out the new UI of the file manager.

  • Server

    • IBM reportedly in advanced discussions to sell part of server business to Lenovo

      Revenue dropped five percent over that period as the company missed expectations, with a 13 percent drop in hardware revenues leading a one percent drop in profits in Q1 2013. Year-over-year, System x revenues dropped nine percent compared to a seven percent increase for IBM’s System z mainframe business, which the company is not looking to sell. Lenovo told investors today in a clarification announcement that it “is in preliminary negotiations with a third party in connection with a potential acquisition,” but it has not confirmed talks with IBM specifically.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Kernel comment: Bad show, NVIDIA!

        NVIDIA’s graphics driver supports hybrid graphics now. As in other areas, NVIDIA took it easy, waiting until other people had done the dirty work building the necessary foundations.

      • The Focus Of Wayland’s Weston Compositor

        Kristian Høgsberg has clarified the scope and goals of Weston, Wayland’s reference compositor. Now that Weston has become somewhat of its own desktop environment, Kristian has clarified its intentions to benefit future patches.

        In hopes of clarifying future development work that could be potentially accepted upstream, Kristian has written on the developer’s mailing list about clarifying the scope and goals for Weston.

      • Shader Optimization Back-End Might Go In For R600g

        For many months there has been a “shader optimization” branch of Mesa/R600g that sought to rather noticeably boost the performance of the AMD R600 Gallium3D driver. While this work by Vadim Girlin didn’t look like it would be merged, after being revived and cleaned-up, it might reach mainline Mesa/Gallium3D as a new performance-boosting option.

        Vadim Girlin had been working on shader optimizations for some time to more efficiently generate shader code and the back-end has evolved quite a bit in recent months. Diminishing prospects for this code has been that it doesn’t use the R600 LLVM GPU back-end, which will eventually become the default for AMD’s Gallium3D driver as it’s needed for OpenCL/GPGPU support. With this custom back-end not using LLVM, it looked like it wouldn’t be merged, but now the story is different.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Libre Graphics Meeting 2013

        The 2013 Libre Graphics Meeting is over and everyone has returned home and gone back to the drawing board or the keyboard. Krita has been very well represented at this LGM with three artists and a coder, giving three presentations and two awesome workshops!

      • Slick New Artwork and call for testers
      • Semantic Desktop: Akonadi and Nepomuk

        Praised, cursed, often misunderstood, what are KDE’s semantic desktop tools for anyway?

        The idea of taking the myriad kinds of information stored on a computer, and trying to find the relationships between it so it’s more usable, has been around for a long time. “Semantics”, the dictionary tells us, “is the study of meaning”. The goal of a “semantic desktop” is to take all the bits and pieces of information we as users collect over time, and make it more meaningful, and ultimately more useful.

      • Recoll, a great Nepomuk alternative

        Nepomuk is becoming a great tool, but it still has it’s drawbacks.

        A hobby of mine that I’ve done for over twenty-five years now is genealogy. Over the course of that time I’ve acquired a lot of documents and scans of documents, not to mention photos, web snippets, text notes, pdf files and other such things.

        As an ardent KDE user, the natural thing to do for keeping track of all these files – and being able to find them again – is by tagging for Nepomuk. With Dolphin I give them a tag or two, add a comment, and I should have no trouble finding the file in the future. While for many users that would hold true, for my usage (and I suspect many other users) there’s still a problem with relying solely on Nepomuk. It’s tags and comments don’t transfer to the cloud, or another computer. In other words, because Nepomuk’s stores all those tags and comments in it’s database and not in the file itself, the tags and comments don’t transfer elsewhere. With me, I sync all my research files in Dropbox, but when I access them with my laptop out in the field, none of those tags or comments are there. That’s a serious handicap to my research.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 3rd March 2013
      • KDE’s Future Will be Wayland

        KDE’s Martin Grasslin blogged today that despite what the rest of the industry/community does, KDE’s future will be on Wayland. He said he and his fellow developers decided to travel the road more annoying, if not by choice by process of elimination.

        It’s been interesting to follow the various desktop camps as they discuss the future of their software in relation to desktop graphical servers. Xorg has been the recipient of some mighty harsh words as far back as when it was still XFree. GNOME already stated their interest in developing for Wayland and Grasslin thinks even the smaller projects will move away from X as well. Basically, Grasslin thinks Wayland is the future.

      • The relationship between Plasma and KWin in Workspaces 2
      • Migrating to kmail2

        Ok, I know, migrating to kmail2 is old news now. But only today I decided to try migrating to kmail2. Gentoo is going to remove kmail1 from their repository in a few months so I did not have much of a choice.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Another Gentoo Hardened month has passed

        Another month has passed, so time to mention again what we have all been doing lately ;-)


        Version 4.8 of GCC is available in the tree, but currently masked. The package contains a fix needed to build hardened-sources, and a fix for the asan (address sanitizer). asan support in GCC 4.8 might be seen as an improvement security-wise, but it is yet unclear if it is an integral part of GCC or could be disabled with a configure flag. Apparently, asan “makes building gcc 4.8 crazy”. Seeing that it comes from Google, and building Google Chromium is also crazy, I start seeing a pattern here.

    • Slackware Family

      • Alternative to Slackware Store

        There are a lot of ways to support Slackware Linux Project. One of them is by subscribing to Slackware Linux CD/DVD releases or by using Slackware Store to purchase merchandises or even donate to the project.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Hortonworks, Red Hat and Mirantis to bring easy Hadoop to OpenStack

        Hortonworks, Red Hat and Mirantis have announced that they will be cooperating on Project Savanna which aims to make provisioning Hadoop clusters on OpenStack systems fast and easy. Savanna is being designed as an OpenStack component with a REST API and UI accessible through OpenStack’s Horizon Dashboard.

      • Fedora

        • Rawhide week in review, 2013-04-15 edition

          Another week of rawhide rolling along and only one really interesting bug hit:

        • Pimp Out Your Fedora 18 Xfce Desktop

          So, the other day I wrote the Fedora Got Game story and have been continuing to make my transition from Fuduntu which as you may or may not be aware announced that it would close it doors.

          Initially, I had selected the Fedora 18 KDE 64-bit spin but found that it put a bit of a strain on my Netbook. Then, I opted to simply install the Xfce Desktop group onto the KDE spin. The problem with doing that is that your menu winds up having the combined items from both KDE and Xfce and so I opted to reinstall with the Xfce spin.

        • Fedora 19 Alpha status is Go, release on April 23, 2013
    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7 is Nearly Here

        McGovern said fixes are in the works for most of them. There was no mention of the new installer, but recent reports elsewhere state it is shaping up nicely as well with some new features. Ext4 is the new default filesystem, systemd is an option, and UEFI on 64-bit system is supported. Wheezy features Linux 3.2, GCC 4.7.2, Xorg 1.12.4, KDE 4.8.4, and GNOME 3.4.2.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.37 Sneak Peek

          It’s been ages since I last took a look at Elive. A development release has just come out so now is a good time to take a peek at it.

          Elive is a desktop distro based on Debian, and it uses the Enlightenment window manager. Elive is geared toward providing you with a high quality desktop, with minimal hardware requirements.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch betas are ready for testing

            Nicholas Skaggs, a Canonical software engineer and quality assurance community co-ordinator, wrote, “I’m happy to announce the Ubuntu touch images are now available for testing on the isotracker. And further, the images are now Raring based! [That is to say, they're based on the soon to be released Ubuntu 13.04 codebase] As such, the Ubuntu Touch team is asking for folks to try out the new images on their devices and ensure there are no regressions or other issues.”

            Specifically, there are four officially supported devices and images for each of them: Nexus 7, grouper; Galaxy Nexus, maguro; Nexus 4, mako; and Nexus 10, manta. These are all early releases and I recommend that only power Ubuntu and smartphone/tablet users try them at this point.

          • After 9 years, Canonical stops offering Ubuntu on disc

            I’ve already decided that the next PC I build won’t include an internal optical drive. I just don’t need one often enough anymore to warrant the cost or installation. I can instead rely on a USB optical drive I already own. And I think that’s the case for a lot of PC owners now. They either use hardware that has already dumped the optical drive (e.g. Ultrabooks), or won’t consider it a great loss if their next system doesn’t include one.

          • Ubuntu Touch images available for testing

            Ubuntu Touch, Canonical’s mobile aspirations, is getting ready for the market. If the developer preview was nothing more than demo-ware, with place holders, now there are images which you can test of your device with some ‘working’ and functional apps.

          • Ubuntu Community Survey 2013 (By Nathan Heafner)

            Today I got in touch with Nathan Heafner, a community member who is actively participating, and wanted me to leave you with this message:

          • Ubuntu Touch betas are ready for testing

            Ubuntu Touch, the version of the Linux operating system for smartphones and tablets, is now available.

          • 10 Best Ubuntu 13.04 Features – From Social Lens to Window Snapping

            But what can you expect to find in it? Unlike the last few releases Ubuntu 13.04 features few dramatic changes, instead bringing some much need polish and performance-boosts.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Preview

            A few days ago, I decided to give the Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ Beta version a test. I downloaded the Daily Build and installed it successfully. The first thing I have got to share with you all is there are many things to put in mind whenever you’re using any program/system in beta. Do not set too much expectation or you will be let down or frustrated. I was doing some work related word processing using the new LibreOffice Writer and my first experience was terrible

          • App Ecosystem for Ubuntu Mobile Growing Steadily

            Despite all the technical and commercial hurdles, Canonical is well on its way to transforming Ubuntu for mobile devices into the real deal. For proof, look no further than the rapidly maturing application stack for touch-enabled hardware that both Ubuntu engineers and independent developers are churning out.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Fuduntu 2013.2 Review: As ever – Simple, Effective, fast and now with added Steam!

              This year January, I reviewed the 2013.1 update from Fuduntu and was extremely impressed by it. Since then Fuduntu has been one of my favorite distros and I use it on my netbook, dual boot with Linux Mint 13 XFCE. Fuduntu, though the name has resemblance to Ubuntu in it, is more of Fedora with the advantage of rolling release. However, to me it is truly Fedora + Ubuntu, as it combines the simplicity and professionalism of Fedora with the fun of Ubuntu. It means that once you install it, you need not re-install it again – by just downloading the updates, your system has always the latest release.With the present release, Fuduntu also comes with a Fuduntu Lite version for advanced users and netbooks, which actually provides the basic shell without much pre-installed applications. For this review, I used the Fuduntu “heavy” version only – may be I’ll take Fuduntu Lite next time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Fanless microserver aims Linux on Core-i7 at harsh environs

      CompuLab has introduced a rugged, fanless, microserver based on 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors, clocked up to 2.5GHz. The Linux-friendly “uSVR” runs from -20 to 60° C, accommodates up to four internal 2.5-inch drives, networks via WiFi and up to six GbE channels, and expands modularly.

    • Guest post: more high altitude ballooning from Dave Akerman

      The payload will carry a model A Raspberry Pi, plus an Arduino Mini Pro, a UBlox GPS receiver, and 2 Radiometrix NTX2 transmitters. The latter will be on nearby frequencies primarily to avoid conflict with some other flights this weekend, but also to allow those with SDR (Software Defined Radio) receivers to listen to and decode the signals from both transmitters.

    • Automotive IVI Linux meets Yocto 1.3, Genevi 3.0

      Mentor Graphics has merged the Linux-based automotive infotainment technology it acquired in February from MontaVista Software into its own in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) platform. Additionally, the new Mentor Embedded Automotive Technology Platform (ATP) complies with Yocto Project 1.3 and GENIVI 3.0 requirements, says Mentor.

      Mentor’s ATP and its Sourcery CodeBench and Sourcery Analyzer development tools are aimed at simplifying the process of tuning the Linux kernel and selecting suitable components for Linux-based IVI systems. In particular, ATP’s support for LLTng (LInux Trace Toolkit, Next Generation), helps developers “more easily visually analyze and debug complex interactions between the Linux OS and automotive application software with the Mentor Embedded Sourcery Analyzer,” states the company.

    • Real-World Raspberry Pi

      The single-circuit-board Raspberry Pi computer, only as big as a credit card, makes it easy to gain experience with embedded Linux systems. We’ll show you some hands-on examples of how to use the Raspberry Pi in an everyday environment.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung to launch Galaxy S4 at end of April in 50 countries

          Samsung Electronics plans to introduce its Galaxy S4 at the end of April in 50 countries and sources from the supply chain predict shipments in the first month will be close to 10 million units. There have been no rumors regarding component shortages.

        • Quick Thoughts on Miscellaneous Smartphone Developments Awaiting Q1 Results

          Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was revealed, all signs point to another hit smartphone and big growth for the Sammy. They keep expanding the Galaxy series as was expected and the juggernaut should continue to roll on. I found it funny that the Galaxy Camera only now arrived to American shores, we’ve had it here in Asia since last year. Samsung’s Q1 financial guidance said massive growth in smartphones, driving up their profits.. yeah, this ‘surprised’ some after the Christmas season, but not our readers, we know China’s gift-giving season is in January for Q1 and as Samsung is China’s top-selling smartphone nowadays (used to be Nokia) that means big good sales for the Samster…

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Airbnb Open Sources Rendr, A Library For Running Backbone.js Apps On Both Client And Server

    Airbnb today announced that it is open sourcing Rendr, its library for running Backbone.js apps seamlessly on both the client and the server. After launching its Chronos cron replacement a few weeks ago, this marks the company’s second major contribution to the open source ecosystem this year. Airbnb originally developed Rendr for its mobile site.

  • Workshop for university students on free and open source software

    A workshop to promote the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Open Web Technology was organised successfully at S N Ghosh auditorium, of the J K Institute of Applied Physics and Technology of Allahabad University, on Saturday.

    The workshop was conducted by Mozilla foundation, an open source non-profit organisation working in open web technology.

    The workshop was inaugurated by head of the department of Electronics & Communication R R Tiwari who was also the chief guest of the workshop, aimed to benefit B Tech, MCA and BCA students of AU.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Manifesto Nears 1.0

        Mitchell Baker has blogged that since Mozilla is celebrating its 15 year anniversary, it was time to tweak their Manifesto first published in 2007. Mozilla gathered input for a year and three new proposed changes are suggested.

      • Mozilla Reconsiders, May Support WebP Image Format

        Want your website to load faster? Slim your images. According to the HTTPArchive, images account for roughly 60 percent of total page size. That means the single biggest thing most sites can do to slim down is to shrink their images.

      • Firefox Mobile OS to launch in five countries this summer

        Mozilla CEO says that the Firefox Mobile OS will be available this summer in Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain.

      • Firefox OS Powered Keon Makes Its Way To The FCC

        We’ve already heard that another mobile operating system will soon be made available courtesy of Mozilla. This summer Firefox OS powered devices will be made available in 5 countries spread over Europe and South America.

      • Firefox OS Powered Keon Makes Its Way To The FCC

        If you’ve wanted to be one of the first people to check out the new OS then Spanish e-retailer Geeksphone has you covered as they will be releasing two Firefox OS powered devices which they say “will be available for dispatch anywhere on earth.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • MariaDB Foundation on course for community governance

      The MariaDB Foundation has expanded its Board of Directors and has appointed Simon Phipps as its Secretary and interim Chief Executive Officer. Rasmus Johansson has been appointed Chair of the Board, which also includes Andrew Katz, Jeremy Zawodny, and Michael “Monty” Widenius as members. Speaking to The H, Phipps said: “The key change here is the Foundation is now officially under the direction of a diverse Board rather than just one director.” With this change, it is on track to be completely member-led in the second half of the year.


    • An Open Letter to Richard Stallman

      A few days ago Guillermo Garron wrote a piece on his website after seeing you speak live. A link to that article was posted at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux, where a discussion ensued. During the course of that conversation, I thought that maybe it was about time that we started using a less bulky nomenclature for the GNU/Linux operating system. I posted a few suggestions, but I think I like GNix the best.

    • Guile-SDL 0.4.3 available
    • Free Software Foundation takes potshot at Windows 8

      The FSF contends that sometimes, proprietary software actually helps its fight for freedom but that Windows 8 is “so bad it’s almost funny” — the group claims that it is “full of spyware and security vulnerabilities” and that it is confusing for users.

      The group sets out its stall as follows:

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

      This infographic is linked here, but not shown here in full due its arguably somewhat reactionary nature.

    • Forming a software foundation? Think again

      As an open source project gathers momentum and the possibility of corporate engagement beckons, developers can frequently be heard saying they need to start a foundation for their project.

      But do they? Ask many of the people who have gone down that path, and they’re likely to advise against it. The bureaucracy is daunting, the skills needed to run such an organization are similar to those of any other business, and there’s a very real risk the IRS will refuse to grant tax-exempt status.

  • Public Services/Government

    • FOSS in the Italian public administration: fundamental law principles

      We take a first reading of the recent modification to the fundamental law that governs the digital aspects of the Public Administration in Italy. These modifications require Public Administrations to prefer internally made solutions and FOSS solutions over proprietary ones, mandate an increased degree of interoperability and strengthen the push for open data.

    • FBI Seeks Open Architecture

      As I was skimming through a solicitation document the FBI posted surveying vendors that might provide it with new video monitor technology, one word jumped out at me: open.

      The FBI is looking for a system that will allow it to monitor video from all sorts of devices, including those it owns itself and those owned by other law enforcement agencies. It also wants to be able to plug tools into the system that help it identify faces and license plates.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Bioengineers Build Open Source Language for Programming Cells

      Endy is the co-director of the International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology — BIOFAB, for short — where he’s part of a team that’s developing a language that will use genetic data to actually program biological cells. That may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but the project is already underway, and the team intends to open source the language, so that other scientists can use it and modify it and perfect it.

      The effort is part of a sweeping movement to grab hold of our genetic data and directly improve the way our bodies behave — a process known as bioengineering. With the Supreme Court exploring whether genes can be patented, the bioengineering world is at crossroads, but scientists like Endy continue to push this technology forward.

    • Open Data

      • Startup strives to build a better symptom search engine using patients own words, open source data

        A patient facing search engine app MedWhat wants to achieve something its co-founder believes is lacking from similar tools — fast, comprehensive responses to patient questions no matter how simple or complex.

        In an interview with MedCity News, entrepreneur and co-founder Arturo Devesa said he believes two ingredients are essential to achieving that: open source data from respected medical institutions and natural language processing — allowing people to ask questions in their own words. He envisions a platform that can transform mobile phones into virtual primary care physicians.

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • You Built What?!: A Tractor For The Apocalypse

        A modular, open-source workhorse to help rebuild civilization.

      • Open-source hardware: Are you on board?

        Welcome to our 5 Engineers section, part of this blog and our Fun Friday newsletter, where we toss out a question and invite our audience to respond with their wittiest answers.

        This week, on the cusp of DESIGN West and its many open-source hardware and software (OSHS) sessions, we’re thinking specifically about open-source hardware (OSH).

  • Programming

    • Go at Google

      Rob Pike explains how Google designed Go to address major development issues they encounter while using other languages: long build times, poor dependency management, lack of robustness, etc.

    • jQuery 2.0 Released, IE 8 And Less Left to Bite the Cold

      jQuery, arguably the most popular JavaScript library, is out with their much awaited major release v2.0. It comes with a 12% reduced size footprint, API compatibility with v1.9.x, and 45 bug fixes & feature improvements. But the most notable change is dropping of support for Internet Explorer (IE) versions 8 and less.

    • Oracle Delays Java 8 To Next Year Over Security

      Oracle has decided to delay the release of Java 8 into 2014 over their engineers tackling various security-related issues with the language as of late.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The IETF between open innovation and network load limiters

      The German Federal Ministry of Economics advocates an “unpatronising” internet, said Otto. The internet and social networks have become a powerful voice for freedom that mustn’t be jeopardised through control and regimentation, he added. However, Otto noted that citizens must also be able to defend themselves against online violations of their personal rights. The Liberal politician spoke out against giving governments more technical control over the global network through established bodies such as the IETF and the ICANN internet management authority. Otto also noted that genuine internet politics require an understanding of “how the underlying technologies work”.


  • Phone While Driving

    For years, we’ve discussed the problematic nature of “distracted driving” laws that seek to outlaw things like talking on your phone or texting while driving. It is not that we don’t think these behaviors are dangerous. It seems clear that those activities can take one’s attention away from driving and potentially increase the likelihood of an accident by a significant amount. However, the laws are often broad and inconsistent — and, worse, they can have serious unintended consequences. As we’ve noted there are lots and lots of things that can distract a driver which are still considered perfectly legal, such as changing the radio station, talking to passengers, eating, etc. Trying to ban each and every distraction one by one is a ridiculous and impossible task. In fact, studies have suggested that bad distracted drivers will often just find a different distraction to occupy their time. And, thanks to these laws, those drivers are often still texting while driving, but are simply holding their phones even lower, taking their eyes further off the road, so as to avoid detection… actually making the roads more dangerous. The real answer is to focus on stopping bad driving, not trying to call out specific activities.

  • Prenda Law: Let The Other Shoes Hit The Floor
  • Paul Hansmeier Pops Up In Prenda Law Defamation Case, Prenda Tries To Force It Back To State Ct.
  • KEI Works to Make the World a Better Place in Many Ways (Video)

    Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) director Jamie Love — formally James Packard Love — is the brain behind the “$1 a day” HIV drugs that have saved millions of lives in Africa and other poor parts of the world. Basically, he went around asking, “How much would it cost to make this HIV medication if the patent cost was removed?” At first, no one could answer. After a while, the answer came: Less than $1 a day. At that price, the Bush administration set up a massive program to deliver generic anti-HIV drugs to Africa. Jamie also works on copyright issues, boosts free software (he’s a Linux user/evangelist and had more than a little to do with the Microsoft antitrust suit), and generally tries to make the international knowledge ecology more accessible and more useful for everyone, especially those who aren’t rich. Or necessarily even prosperous. He’s a smart guy (read the Wikipedia entry linked above), but more than that he’s bullheaded. Jamie has worked on some of his initiatives for years, even decades. In many cases you can’t say, “He hasn’t succeeded,” without adding “yet” on the end. (You’ll understand that statement better after you watch the video, which we broke into two parts because it is far longer than our typical video interview.)

  • Yahoo China to end email service: media

    Yahoo’s China arm will shut down its email service later this year, state media reported Friday, illustrating the brand’s diminishing profile in the country.
    China Yahoo! announced it will close its email service by August 19, a move the China Daily said will leave it with just its web portal business.

  • Official, Authenticated, Preserved, and Accessible: The Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act

    Digital technology makes documents easy to alter or copy, leading to multiple non-identical versions that can be used in unauthorized or illegitimate ways. Unfortunately, the ease of alteration has introduced doubt in users’ minds about the authenticity of many of the digital documents they encounter.

  • Science

    • Computers Are Not Darwin Machines

      Most people think computers are built by intelligent design. How on earth can you say their development follows Darwin’s mechanism of “survival of the fittest”? Yet an article at Science Daily announces, “‘Survival of the Fittest’ Now Applies to Computers: Surprising Similarities Found Between Genetic and Computer Codes.” (Emphasis added.) Certain similarities between Linux code and bacterial genomes may obtain, but one thing should be clear: they are not Darwinian.

  • Security

    • The Secret Password Is…

      Since retinal scans still mainly are used in the movies to set the scene for gruesome eyeball-stealing, for the foreseeable future (pun intended), we’re stuck with passwords. In this article, I want to take some time to discuss best practices and give some thoughts on cool software designed to help you keep your private affairs private. Before getting into the how-to section, let me openly discuss the how-not-to.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Microsoft Excel: The ruiner of global economies?

      A paper used to justify austerity economics appears to contain an Excel error.

    • Saving Detroit: Globalization, the Destruction of Cities and the Rights of African Americans

      Detroit is a city that has been in the national and world news once again. Since March, when Gov. Rick Snyder declared a so-called “financial emergency” in Detroit, therefore setting the stage for the appointment of an “Emergency Manager”, many press reports drew a direct connection between the recent corruption trial of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and businessman Bobby Ferguson. In fact just prior to Snyder’s declaration, Kilpatrick and Ferguson were found guilty of numerous corruption charges in the months-long federal trial.

      Of course the corporate and government-controlled media has never focused on who are the real culprits in the underdevelopment and consequent destruction of Detroit and other majority African American municipalities in Michigan. These media entities fall back on the same notions that have prevailed inside the United States since the period of Reconstruction, i.e. that African American political leadership is inherently corrupt and inefficient rendering them incapable of managing the affairs of governments locally, statewide and nationally.

    • Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Beats Expectations

      What’s worrying investors the most appears to be the strange mixture of anemic customer trading revenue and institutional bravado when it comes to Goldman’s own money. Such high-risk/high-reward behavior was rather typical of institutions like Goldman Sachs (and indeed Goldman Sachs itself) prior to the crash, and it was largely seen as having created a toxic financial atmosphere.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Self-Censorship on Chinese TV: An American Comedian’s Experience

      Now, he describes what happened after its wildly popular debut, and what it says about “doing business” in China.

    • Small bloggers good, small newspapers bad

      The latest twist in the Leveson saga is the Government’s proposed amendments to protect ‘small scale bloggers’.

      We previously warned the drafting meant groups like Big Brother Watch could be covered, along with websites like ConHome and Mumsnet.

      The amendment makes clear if you’re a multi-author blog with a turnover below £2m, you won’t be considered a ‘relevant publisher’ for the purposes of exemplary damages and cost protections. This is an important clarification. (Although the bill does still appear to lack a definition of ‘blog’, which could prove interesting – and expensive to argue in court.)

      However, the drafting only protects either ‘incidental’ publishers of news-related material, or multi-author blogs. So someone who is not a blog, who publishes news-related material on a regular basis, remains in scope even if their turnover is £10,000.

    • Fox Censors Cory Doctorow’s “Homeland” Novel From Google

      Copyfighter, journalist, sci-fi writer and Boing-Boing editor Cory Doctorow has fallen victim to the almighty content empire of Rupert Murdoch. In an attempt to remove access to infringing copies of the TV-show Homeland, Fox has ordered Google to take down links to Doctorow’s latest novel of the same title. Adding to the controversy, Doctorow’s own publisher has also sent DMCA notices for the Creative Commons licensed book.

  • Privacy

    • House passes Cispa cybersecurity bill with support of 92 Democrats

      House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, left, with the committee’s ranking Democrat, CA “Dutch” Ruppersberger. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

    • Former DHS Official Says Boston Bombing Proves ACLU & EFF Are Wrong About Surveillance And CISPA
    • A call to arms for obfuscated bridges

      Facebook debuted its Android app family Facebook Home today. This means those of you with compatible devices (sorry Windows Phone and iOS users) have a snazzy new product to try out if you’re looking for a tightly-Facebook integrated mobile experience.

    • ACLU accuses the IRS of reading Americans’ private email without a search warrant

      The group believes the tax collection agency has run afoul of the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable searches.

    • Law professor makes a case for legally recognizing the Dangers of Surveillance

      The Dangers of Surveillance, written by Neil M. Richards, Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, was recently published on the Social Science Research Network. In it, Richards proposed “four principles that should guide the future development of surveillance law.” Yet he said we must first recognize that: “Surveillance transcends the public-private divide;” that “secret surveillance is illegitimate;” that “total surveillance is illegitimate” and that “surveillance is harmful.” The courts may understand that surveillance could be potentially harmful, but “have struggled to clearly understand why.”

    • Apple Finally Reveals How Long Siri Keeps Your Data

      All of those questions, messages, and stern commands that people have been whispering to Siri are stored on Apple servers for up to two years, Wired can now report.
      Yesterday, we raised concerns about some fuzzy disclosures in Siri’s privacy policy. After our story ran, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller called to explain Apple’s policy, something privacy advocates have asking for.
      This is the first time that Apple has said how long it’s keeping Siri data, but according to Nicole Ozer, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who first brought these Siri privacy questions to our attention, there’s still more that Apple could do.

    • Analysis: NSA Utah Data Center would be world’s biggest iPod

      Plans for a data center in San Antonio were also announced by the agency in 2007. Although the exact size of the San Antonio facility is unknown, it took the place of a 470,000 square foot former Sony microchip plant, reported DataCenterKnowledge.

      President Obama’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative calls for “upgraded infrastructure” and “increased bandwidth” as part of enhancing the nation’s cybersecurity capabilities. Yet, the San Antonio data center is only one part of the agency’s capacity.

    • Lawmakers Cite Boston Bombing, WikiLeaks “Hacking” as Reasons to Pass CISPA

      North Korean hackers and the Boston bombings might not appear to have much in common. But not according to some American lawmakers, who are using both to justify passing a controversial cybersecurity bill that civil liberties advocates claim “undermines the privacy of millions of Internet users.”

      Yesterday, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 288 to 127. The law was first introduced in 2011 and approved last year by the House, though it died in the Senate after an outpouring of opposition from privacy and civil liberties groups. But it has been resurrected and is heading to the Senate for the second time. Predictably, the storm of criticism has also reappeared. Rights groups have consistently raised concerns over how CISPA would allow corporations to pass unanonymized user data to federal government agencies for vaguely defined “cybersecurity” purposes—and be covered by full legal indemnity when doing so.

    • Snoopers’ laws could be used to ‘oppress us’, says David Cameron technology adviser
  • Civil Rights

    • In Which NY Times Reporter Jenna Wortham Accidentally Reveals How She Violated Both The CFAA & The DMCA

      Over the past few months and weeks there’s been much greater attention paid to both the CFAA and the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, and how both are in need of serious reform. The attention to anti-circumvention was galvanized around the fact that unlocking your mobile phone became illegal again, after the Library of Congress allowed an exemption to expire, making many people realize that the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA, also known as section 1201, meant that they often don’t really own the products they thought they owned. The attention to CFAA reform came in response to Aaron’s Swartz’s untimely death, and the light it shed on the parts of the CFAA that he was charged under. Of course, many of us have been fighting back against both laws for years, but the public attention on both has been key over the past few months.

    • Hacking the Law: Fights Over Cyber-Security and a Silicon Valley Divide

      To some, hacker Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer is a cause celebré. To others, he’s a famous douchebag. To many, he’s a polarizing figure in a debate that’s roiled Silicon Valley, pitting established tech companies against rogue innovators. When Auernheimer was sentenced to 41 months in prison for collecting and publicizing the names of 114,000 AT&T iPad users, reporters grappled over the right words to characterize him. A headline in Venture Beat reflected their ambivalence: “Terrorist, hacker, freedom fighter: Andrew Auernheimer parties tonight in expectation of jail tomorrow.”

    • Increasing CFAA Penalties Won’t Deter Foreign “Cybersecurity” Threats

      In the last three months alone, the House has released three different cybersecurity bills and has held over seven hearings on the issue. In addition, the House Judiciary Committee floated changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—the draconian anti-hacking statute that came to public prominence after the death of activist and Internet pioneer Aaron Swartz. Politicians tout this legislation as necessary to protect against foreign threats every single time they introduce a bill with “cyber” somewhere in the text. And it comes as no surprise that every hearing has opened up with a recap of computer security attacks faced by the US from China, Iran, and other foreign countries.

    • Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime

      Though extensive due process protections apply to the investigation of crimes, and to criminal trials, perhaps the most important part of the criminal process — the decision whether to charge a defendant, and with what — is almost entirely discretionary. Given the plethora of criminal laws and regulations in today’s society, this due process gap allows prosecutors to charge almost anyone they take a deep interest in. This Essay discusses the problem in the context of recent prosecutorial controversies involving the cases of Aaron Swartz and David Gregory, and offers some suggested remedies, along with a call for further discussion.

    • CFAA: Internet Activists Win First-Round Victory In Fight Over Anti-Hacking Law
    • IBM executives head to Washington to press lawmakers on cybersecurity bill

      Nearly 200 senior IBM executives are flying into Washington to press for the passage of a controversial cybersecurity bill that will come up for a vote in the House this week.
      The IBM executives will pound the pavement on Capitol Hill Monday and Tuesday, holding nearly 300 meetings with lawmakers and staff. Over the course of those two days, their mission is to convince lawmakers to back a bill that’s intended to make it easier for industry and government to share information about cyber threats with each other in real time.

    • Reddit co-founder calls out Google, Twitter, Facebook over CISPA
    • 34 Civil Liberties Organizations Oppose CISPA After Amendments

      Today, thirty-four civil liberties organizations sent a joint letter to Congressional Representatives urging them to continue to oppose the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). CISPA is a misguided “cybersecurity” bill that would provide a gaping new exception to privacy law. The House of Representatives is likely to vote on it on Wednesday or Thursday of this week. This means that there’s little time remaining to speak out against this bill.

    • Hacktivists as Gadflies

      Mr. Brown came under the scrutiny of the authorities when he began poring over documents that had been released in the hack of two private security companies, HBGary Federal and Stratfor. Mr. Brown did not take part in the hacks, but he did become obsessed with the contents that emerged from them — in particular the extracted documents showed that private security contractors were being hired by the United States government to develop strategies for undermining protesters and journalists, including Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for Salon. Since the cache was enormous, Mr. Brown thought he might crowdsource the effort and copied and pasted the URL from an Anonymous chat server to a Web site called Project PM, which was under his control.

    • GRAHAM: Boston proves “homeland battlefield,” Constitution obsolete

      The always patriotic U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham says the Boston bombing “is Exhibit A of why the homeland is the battlefield.” In an interview with the Washington Post:

      “It’s a battlefield because the terrorists think it is.” Referring to Boston, he observed, “Here is what we’re up against,” and added, “It sure would be nice to have a drone up there [to track the suspect.]” He also slammed the president’s policy of “leading from behind and criminalizing war.”

    • America cannot assert moral authority while Guantánamo remains open

      In 2009, defending the promise he made to close Guantánamo Bay, President Barack Obama insisted: “The existence of Guantánamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.”

      This weekend, the case for the closure of Guantánamo Bay, promised by Obama on his second day in office, has never been more compelling. A hunger strike by the camp’s inmates, half of whom had been cleared for release, has underlined the growing desperation of those 166 still detained. Of that number, some 86 had been approved for transfer (while the rest had been earmarked for trial) but have become stuck in a political and legal limbo that has seen such transfers almost completely halted in the last two-and-a-half years. A recent report by a bipartisan panel of experts has condemned both the conditions there and the use of abusive interrogation techniques.

    • Michigan House Unanimously Passes NDAA Nullification Bill

      Local and state lawmakers opposing the tyranny of the NDAA and indefinite detention stand on very sound constitutional ground in their battle against federal overreaching. Any unconstitutional act of the federal government is prima facie void and must not be given the respect or force of law. In fact, such measures are not law at all.

    • Speakers on the National Defense Authorization Act in Belfast

      For many constitutional watchers, the Bill of Rights are in danger. That will be the message of speakers Debra Sweet and Michael Figura, who will be on a tour of Maine from April 19-21. After speaking in Bangor on April 19, Sweet and Figura will travel to Belfast to speak at the Belfast Free Library on Saturday, April 20 at 2:30 p.m. On April 21, they will wrap up their Maine tour in Portland.

    • Four Reasons Sens. Graham and McCain are Wrong about Military Detention for Dzhokar Tsarnaev
    • The Bill of Rights was written for Dzhokar Tsarnaev

      19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in custody. Assuming that Tsarnaev is indeed guilty of these crimes, a very real threat to public safety has been taken off the streets. That’s the good news.

      The bad news is that the Tsarnaev brothers have taken the last vestiges of a free society in America down with them.

      The Bill of Rights was already on life support before this tragedy. Before the dust settled after 9/11, the 4th Amendment had been nullified by the Patriot Act. The 5th and 6th Amendments were similarly abolished with the Military Commission Act of 2006 and the 2012 NDAA resolution, which contained a clause allowing the president to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil without due process of law.

    • America At Its Best … And Worst
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google moves to end EU antitrust probe without fine

      Google has formally submitted a package of concessions to European Union competition regulators in a strong signal that the world’s No. 1 search engine may be able to settle a two-year antitrust investigation without a fine.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Hitachi Loses Royalty Bid on TPV High-Definition TV Sales

      Hitachi Ltd. (6501) lost a U.S. patent- infringement trial in which it sought as much as four years of royalty payments from TPV Technology Ltd. (903) on sales of high- definition televisions.
      A federal jury in Marshall, Texas, last week said TPV, the world’s fourth-largest maker of LCD televisions, didn’t infringe four Hitachi patents and that two of them were invalid.

      The dispute is over inventions related to an industrywide standard for a process to transmit digital audio and visual signals, as well as program data, over the airwaves. Hitachi claimed that televisions made by TPV and its units infringed the company’s patents.

    • Trademarks

      • USPTO retracts objections to Apple’s ‘iPad mini’ trademark application

        In an Office action filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week, the attorney examining Apple’s “iPad mini” trademark withdrew their primary objections to the application, saying only a disclaimer clarifying the mark’s use of the term “mini” is needed in order to move forward.

      • Attorney Fee Award Against Charles Carreon for Abusive Trademark Litigation

        In a brief opinion issued today, Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California awarded Christopher Recouvreur more than $46,000 in attorney fees and expenses for having had to defend himself against a series of wild and baseless threats of suit for trademark infringement by Charles Carreon. After we were finally able to get service on Carreon and moved for an award of the costs of service, Carreon served a Rule 68 judgment granting the declaratory relief for which we had sued. We then sought to have fees awarded on the grounds that Carreon had bought threatened trademark claims that had no reasonable basis, thus forcing Recouvreur to seek a declaratory judgment to protect himself against damages claims; that Carreon ducked service and then refused to pay the costs of such service but rather forced us to move to collect those costs; particularly after Carreon demanded the opportunity to conduct discovery over the fee claims, we also argued that his litigation conduct made the case exceptional.

    • Copyrights

      • Judge Won’t Allow ‘Mass-Suing’ of Movie Pirates

        Hundreds of thousands of people have been sued for copyright infringement in the past three years using a controversial litigation strategy.

      • The Empire acquires the rebel alliance: Mendeley users revolt against Elsevier takeover

        Mendeley, an open collaboration platform for scientific research, has promised that it won’t become less open after being acquired by journal publisher Elsevier, but some prominent users aren’t waiting around.

      • EFF On IsoHunt: Bad Facts Make Bad Law

        As Gary Fung is seeking a rehearing of the IsoHunt case in the 9th Circuit, two amicus briefs were filed yesterday. The first from the EFF and the second from Google. Neither brief suggests that Fung should get off as innocent, or that he did nothing wrong. Rather, both are worried about how the broad ruling by the court for the specific situation regarding Fung and IsoHunt will lead to further abuse by copyright holders and massive chilling effects on service providers. The EFF notes that while Fung/IsoHunt may have been bad actors, it appears that the court used this to go way overboard in creating new and dangerous standards for copyright

      • YouTube prevails in huge copyright suit with Viacom

        In an epic clash between old and new media, Google Inc.’s video website YouTube has scored another huge victory in the long-running skirmish over copyright infringement brought by television giant Viacom Inc.
        A federal judge in New York on Thursday ruled that YouTube had not violated Viacom’s copyright even though users of the popular online site were allowed to post unauthorized video clips from some of Viacom’s most popular shows, including Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

      • How Google Beat Viacom in the Landmark YouTube Copyright Case — Again

        Media giant Viacom just can’t win — at least when it comes to the company’s long-running, landmark copyright infringement lawsuit against Google‘s YouTube video service. A federal judge handed a major victory to YouTube on Thursday, one year after a federal appeals court breathed new life into Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit. Viacom had accused YouTube of illegally hosting videos that infringe on the company’s intellectual property, including popular content like MTV videos and TV shows like Comedy Central’s “South Park.”


Links 19/4/2013: Enterprises Shift to GNU/Linux Servers, Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Microsoft ending support for Windows XP

      Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) advises XP users to update to a newer version of Windows or an alternative like Linux by that date at the latest.

  • Server

    • When a Shell Isn’t Enough
    • IBM Pushes New SystemZ Back-End For LLVM

      IBM is becoming increasingly interested in SystemZ for a variety of purposes, including the use of the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver. As a result, IBM developers have created a new LLVM back-end for their mainframe computers.

      Ulrich Weigand of IBM announced the new SystemZ back-end on Sunday with this mailing list message. He wrote, “We’re interested in this for the same reason we’ve been interested in the PowerPC back-end recently: to enable packages in upcoming enterprise Linux distributions that need LLVM support (e.g. 3D desktop support via llvmpipe).”

    • Intel targets software defined networks with Linux-based switch reference designs

      Intel is aiming at datacentres with new software-defined networking (SDN) products comprising reference designs based on x86 hardware for physical and virtual switch appliances, plus an optimised version of the Open vSwitch virtual switch software.

    • Linux: Enterprises Shift Servers from UNIX and Windows

      Over the next five years the shift towards Linux seems to be particularly clear, with 80 percent of large IT organizations planning to increase their purchases of Linux servers and only 20 percent planning to make additional Windows-server purchases.

    • With Roadrunner’s Retirement, Petascale Enters Middle Age

      Maybe I’m getting old, but the petascale era of supercomputing still feels new to me. On the other hand, the recent decommissioning of IBM’s Roadrunner, the world’s first petaflopper, suggests otherwise. Roadrunner booted up at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory five years ago in 2008. Its retirement last week marks the approximate mid-point between the first petaflop system and the first exaflop one — assuming, of course, you’re an exascale optimist.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.9 (Part 3)

      Linux 3.9 includes drivers for new AMD graphics chips and for Intel Wi-Fi chips that are expected to become available this summer. Changes to the network subsystem will enable the kernel to be more efficient when distributing network traffic across multiple processor cores.

    • The Kernel Column – 3.9 draws near
    • Freedreno Driver Begins Work On Adreno A320

      The open-source Freedreno driver that seeks to provide a fully open-source Qualcomm Adreno graphics driver for Linux with OpenGL ES acceleration by a Gallium3D driver, is beginning to support the Qualcomm GPU found within the Google Nexus 4.

    • IU saves nearly $20 million with open source financial system
    • Intel Does Fast Math With MKL On Linux

      Intel’s Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP) and their Math Kernel Library (MKL) provide for very fast math operations with modern processors.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Servers Updated To Fix Security Flaw

        Peter Hutterer has issued unscheduled updates to the X.Org Server 1.13 and 1.14 release series to address a new input security vulnerability on Linux.

        Coming about last week was CVE-2013-1940. Red Hat employees discovered, “An information disclosure flaw was found in the way X.org X11 server…used to register new hot-plug devices, when X.org X11 server was instructed (for that particular moment) not to receive input devices events. Formerly when registering new input device, X.org X11 server simultaneously enabled retrieval of input from the particular device (regardless of the setting). A local unsuspecting user, relying on the X.org X11 server disable input feature it to properly prohibit acquiring of events from this newly added hot-plug device, could supply a sensitive information that, due the above bug, would become available to the physically proximate attackers.”

      • Radeon HDMI Linux Audio Might Be Restored Soon

        Support for HDMI audio output with the open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver might finally be in a state where it could be re-enabled by default.

        While HDMI audio is important to many users, especially when it comes to HTPCs, the support within the open-source Radeon DRM driver has had the feature disabled by default. It’s been disabled by default for a long time now since for some Linux users having the support enabled has led to screen issues.

      • Wayland Bindings Come To JavaScript (Node.js)

        JavaScript bindings for the Wayland client have come in the form of a Node.js implementation.

      • Linux Gets IDed For Intel’s “Harris Beach” Ultrabook

        Harris Beach is Intel’s compelling Software Development Platform/Vehicle for Haswell in the form of an ultra-thin ultrabook.

        Harris Beach has been talked about in the public months back as an Intel reference ultrabook built around their forthcoming Haswell processors. Harris Beach is said to be a 17mm thick ultrabook and that the CPU found within this mobile device will have either a 10 or 15 Watt TDP, complete with high-end graphics capabilities.

      • Wayland 1.1 Officially Released With Weston 1.1

        The first post-1.0 release of the Wayland Display Server protocol and the Weston reference compositor implementation has been released.

        Kristian Høgsberg released Wayland/Weston 1.1 on Monday evening after last week laying out the 1.1 release plans.

      • Wayland 1.1 Officially Released With Weston 1.1

        The first post-1.0 release of the Wayland Display Server protocol and the Weston reference compositor implementation has been released.

        Kristian Høgsberg released Wayland/Weston 1.1 on Monday evening after last week laying out the 1.1 release plans.

      • Modern Intel Gallium3D Driver Proposed For Mainline

        Early this morning I delivered benchmarks of the new Intel Gallium3D driver developed by a LunarG employee. Coincidentally, hours later, the developer has proposed merging this Gallium3D graphics driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge hardware into mainline Mesa.

        The “i965g-next” driver was started late last year and continues to be frequently worked on by Chia-I Wu. Checking in on it recently, there still was fresh Git activity, I decided to run some benchmarks comparing it to Intel’s official Mesa “classic” DRI driver. The DRI driver is still a ways faster than this experimental driver.

      • More Criticism Comes Towards Intel’s Beignet OpenCL

        Yesterday was marked by the first release of Beignet, an open-source Linux OpenCL solution for Intel Ivy Bridge hardware, however it has drawn criticism by open-source developers.

      • The First Radeon DRM Pull For Linux 3.10

        AMD’s Alex Deucher has sent in the first Radeon DRM driver pull request for early Linux 3.10 kernel changes to be merged into the drm-next repository.

      • Intel Enables Mesa Support For Bay Trail / Valley View

        Intel has now officially enabled support for their next-generation Bay Trail (a.k.a. Valley View) platform within their open-source i965 Mesa graphics driver.

      • R600g Tests Show Little Change On Mesa 9.2-devel

        Now having shown that Intel Ivy Bridge graphics are faster with the latest Mesa 9.2-devel Git code and also that the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver is significantly faster, here’s a new round of AMD Radeon “R600g” Gallium3D performance benchmarks.

        The OpenGL benchmarks in this article are being done from an MSI WindBox system, which has been dusted off after not being tested in a while, and sports AMD Radeon HD 4330 graphics for the Intel Atom 330 “nettop” device.

      • Intel Releases NumaTOP 1.0 Tool

        Per its 01.org project page, “NumaTOP is an observation tool for runtime memory locality characterization and analysis of processes and threads running on a NUMA system. It helps the user characterize the NUMA behavior of processes and threads and identify where the NUMA-related performance bottlenecks reside.”

      • Mir Display Server Now Uses XKB Common

        XKB Common is a library for handling keyboard mapping and descriptions along with related tasks like parsing the descriptions, etc. The xkbcommon library is used by Wayland for handling keyboard mapping and is also used by KMSCON, GTK+, Qt, Clutter, and other open-source projects. More xkbcommon details for those interested can be found in its GitHub repository. This keyboard-related library is largely developed by well known X.Org developer Daniel Stone.

      • Intel i915 Gallium3D Driver Might Become The Default

        In the discussion about mainlining the new Intel Gallium3D driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, the long-standing i915 Gallium3D driver for older Intel hardware was brought out. It turns out that this driver might replace the classic i915 Intel driver as the new default.

      • Geometry Shaders Come To NV50 Gallium3D

        Initial patches are ready to provide support for OpenGL geometry shaders within the Nouveau NV50 Gallium3D driver.

      • NVIDIA Tegra DRM Prepares For Linux 3.10 Kernel

        The first NVIDIA Tegra DRM driver changes for the Linux 3.10 kernel are now known.

        Thierry Reding of Avionic Design submitted his first pull request for drm-next to merge his Tegra DRM kernel driver changes. The most notable change with the 3.10 kernel will be introducing host1x support, which is needed for introducing 2D and 3D acceleration to this open-source graphics driver used by NVIDIA ARM SoCs.

      • How-To Use Open-Source Radeon UVD On Ubuntu
    • Benchmarks

      • AMD Radeon Gallium3D More Competitive With Catalyst On Linux

        With the ever-changing state of Linux graphics drivers — both for the open and closed-source drivers — new tests have been conducted to compare the OpenGL graphics performance on Linux with AMD Radeon graphics. In this article are benchmarks of nine different Radeon HD graphics cards when being tested on the very latest AMD Catalyst (13.3 Beta 3) graphics driver as well as the open-source AMD Radeon driver consisting of Mesa 9.2-devel and the yet-to-be-released Linux 3.9 kernel.

      • Benchmarks Of The New ZFS On Linux: EXT4 Wins

        At the end of March was a new release of ZFS On Linux, a kernel module implementation of the ZFS file-system for Linux, and it was declared ZFS On Linux is now ready for wide-scale deployments. With this release (ZOL/SPL v0.6.1), new benchmarks are being done to compare ZFS to popular Linux file-systems. In this article is a brief preview against EXT4.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • KDE, GNOME, Unity, Razor-Qt Developers Met Up

      Last week at the SUSE offices in Nürnberg there was a meeting between developers of the KDE, GNOME, Unity, and Razor-qt desktop environments.

      The focus of this recent open-source cross-desktop meeting was to collaborate around specifications that are inoperable between the Linux desktop environments.

    • Open source desktop developers meet at freedesktop Summit

      KDE developer David Faure has written a report on the first freedesktop Summit, which took place from 11 to 16 April at the SUSE offices in Nuremberg, Germany. At the summit, developers from GNOME, KDE, Unity and Razor-qt discussed how to improve collaboration between their respective projects by creating new, and refining existing, cross-desktop specifications. The developers reached an agreement on how D-Bus will be implemented by applications across different desktops, talked about modifications to the trash specification and defined a new file format to cache and index .desktop files. The future of the accountsservice D-Bus interface was also discussed.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Ubuntu Gnome Obtains Official Status Recongnition

        Ubuntu users that prefer the Gnome Shell are in for a treat. Ubuntu Gnome has joined the ranks as an official Ubuntu edition. The first official Ubuntu Gnome release will be coming along with the eagerly awaited Ubuntu 13.04 which will continue to use the Unity desktop as before.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Slackware Family

      • Linux Potpourri: Slack Current, KDELyteDEsktop, and Sabayon systemd

        Volkerding says it’s been fun living on the bleeding edge, but he was actually thinking the next release should be a stable 14.1. “I’d rather be targeting the next release as 14.1 and a stable, evolutionary update to 14.0 rather than a 15.0 that’s churned out before the components have really have a chance to mature upstream. There’s enough of that happening elsewhere, and in my humble opinion it doesn’t need to happen here.”

      • Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed

        Code-sharing website GitHub has grown so popular that it and open source are practically synonymous for many developers. But new research shows that most of the projects now on GitHub are released under license terms that are unclear, inconsistent, or nonexistent, leaving their legal status as open source software uncertain.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Closing In On The Last Few Bugs In Debian Wheezy

        There are about 10 bugs left to solve before releasing Wheezy, Debian’s next release. Most of those bugs have a solution found and it’s just a matter of having the changes percolate through the system. A few will develop pragmatic fixes. It could happen this weekend…

      • Debian 7 “Wheezy” to be yours on 4th/5th May
        Anurag Bhandari’s picture

        Debian, the world’s largest Linux distribution (in terms of repository-size) and the mother of Ubuntu, is set to release its awaited next stable version on the weekend of 4th/5th May this year. Codenamed “Wheezy”, Debian 7.0 will bring a huge amount of changes to the table. Debian is known to make its stable releases under codenames based on characters of the popular animated trilogy Toy Story. It’s interesting to note that Wheezy was a stuffed toy penguin in Toy Story 2 that resembled the familiar Linux mascot Tux.

      • Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” release planned for May 5
      • Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” To Release In Early May
      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.1.37 development released

          We appreciate your feedbacks about the overall speed/lightness of the system compared to last stable version of Elive. You can say something in our chat channel directly from the running system. If you detect any lagging in the system please consider different setups like disabling composite (which you can select on the startup of the graphical system) in order to report improvements. We would also appreciate feedbacks about composite enabled or disabled in old computers, suggestions for better performances, and memory usage compared to Topaz.

        • Debian base for first Pardus Community Edition

          The developers of the Pardus Linux distribution have announced the first release of their new Pardus Community Edition. According to the announcement blog post, Pardus Community Edition is a “stable and useful” distribution based on Debian Wheezy. Pardus Community Edition 1.0 complements Pardus 2013 Corporate, which was released at the end of March.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • OpenStack Summit: HP, Canonical Ubuntu Flex Cloud Muscle

            Hewlett-Packard’s public and private cloud strategy leans heavily on OpenStack, the open source cloud platform. The same is true for Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux. Here’s an HP and Ubuntu update from OpenStack Summit 2013.

          • Ubuntu 13.04: GNOME vs Unity User Interface Update

            Ubuntu 13.04, which debuts next week, will have an official GNOME version. That news slipped under the radar for most folks, but it should please some Linux desktop users who don’t like Canonical’s Unity interface. And it could also impact Canonical’s big aspirations of “Ubuntu convergence” across all devices offered by channel partners.

          • Rhythmbox Says Goodbye to the Ubuntu One Music Store

            Canonical has announced that the Ubuntu One Music Store has been removed from Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.10.

            This news is not actually a surprise. It’s unclear how many customers are using the Music Store, but it seems that Canonical’s decision to remove the store from Rhythmbox has to do with the traffic generated by the web store counterpart.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Fuduntu’s development to end
            • Fuduntu Linux to shut down, new distro to follow

              Network World – The team in charge of maintaining and developing Fuduntu, a Linux-based operating system designed as a hybrid of Fedora and Ubuntu, voted Sunday to close down the project.

            • Kubuntu gets better artwork for 13.04

              Kubuntu, the KDE flavour of Ubuntu, is getting ready for the 13.04 release. Not only is it getting latest and greatest from the KDE stable, including 4.10.2, it’s also polishing the UI a bit.

            • The Future of Fuduntu

              I was pretty sad when I heard Fuduntu was going end-of-life. It seemed like a very promising distro was being mothballed just as it seemed to be gaining attention within the Linux community. I reached out to Lee Ward, who handles communication for Fuduntu, about the future of the distro, and he had some interesting details to reveal, including the idea that the future distro could be a rolling, curated version of OpenSUSE. It’ll be interesting to see what the new distro shapes up to be.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • HP: You Get From the Open Source Community What You Put In

    HP Cloud Services Vice President and General Manager Roger Levy stopped by #theCUBE at the #OpenStack Summit 2013 yesterday, to talk with co-hosts John Furrier and David Floyer about everything HP is doing in the cloud. HP sees winning DevOps as bringing automation into the private and public clouds and providing DevOps tools.

  • How to Bring More Women to Free and Open Source Software

    As an undergraduate engineering student Karen Sandler was used to being the only woman in a class. At the time she didn’t want to talk about why there weren’t more women in technology, though, believing the attention would only make things worse. That attitude has changed over time, however, as she experienced sexism more directly. At tech conferences, for example, her male colleagues would sometimes ask her whose spouse she was, not knowing that she was actually a speaker at the event.

  • French start-up Gaia Transparence ships open source position management tool

    Gaia Transparence announces the creation of the first open source software platform for financial trade and position management.

  • Napster.fm Is an Open-Source Social Music Player You Can Host Yourself
  • Facebook throws down efficiency gauntlet with real-time data and open-source dashboards
  • Open source monitoring software ready for final release

    Open source monitoring software should get a boost with the expected final release of the Assimilation Monitoring Project in late April.

    Originally, the Assimilation Monitoring Project (AMP) was started to fix the configuration woes and workload issues present in traditional monitoring software, but has evolved to include automation and a unique brand of scalability. AMP founder and project leader Alan Robertson expands on the details of its final release in this Q&A.

  • Improve Your Open Source Project Adoption by Catering to Integrators

    In the software ecology, a special type of evangelist works with organizations that are open to incorporating open source into their technology infrastructure. These “integrators” (sometimes called value-added resellers or just computer consultants) can encourage a business to adopt software because the integrator is a trusted outside party without a sales agenda. If you capture the integrators and keep them interested and dedicated, the growth of your project is guaranteed.

  • Events

    • 5 Favorite Sessions from Collaboration Summit Attendees

      Now more than halfway through the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, attendees have started to weigh in on the best sessions and experiences so far. Some cited Monday’s keynote presentations from heavy hitters such as Samsung and Jaguar Land Rover. Others focused on the technical discussions in Tuesday’s sessions, which covered a range of topics from Automotive Grade Linux to kernel scheduler load balancing. And for some, simply meeting the developers on the other side of an email list provided the best experience at the conference. Here, five Linux community members tell us their conference highlights so far. (See their abbreviated answers in video on Tout.)

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Intel CIO Kim Stevenson on big data, OpenStack, women in IT

      Intel CIO Kim Stevenson, who has been at the helm for a little more than a year, said OpenStack is the most useful cloud architecture for avoiding lock-in, outlined how the chip giant is using big data techniques, and talked capacity planning for her company.

    • Who is Using OpenStack?

      OpenStack is being deployed and used by organizations that many Americans know as household brand names. That’s the message coming from the OpenStack Summit where a conga line of big end users explained to capacity crowds why they chose OpenStack and how it is being used.

      In a live demo on the keynote stage, Mark Muehl, senior VP of product engineering at Comcast, showed how his firm is using OpenStack. Muehl brought out a TV set-top box and showed Comcast’s new X1, TV viewing guide system. That system is all powered at the back-end by an OpenStack cloud.

    • Why enterprises should get involved in the open cloud now

      While startups, developers, and small businesses flock to behemoth public clouds like Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine that give them a profoundly efficient bang for their buck, bigger enterprises largely stick to paying the high cost for private clouds. They are wary of potential availability and security issues that, rightfully, could hamper (or cripple) their business. The perceived risk-reward of saving money by turning IT operations over to a public cloud hasn’t yet permeated through to big businesses.

    • Flash is Just as Transformative as Open-Source Big Data, says IBM’s Steve Mills

      Steve Mills, the SVP and group executive of software and systems for IBM, discussed his company’s plan to invest$1 billion in flash storage with Wikibon’s Dave Vellante at a media event held this week in New York.

      Vellante starts the interview by pointing out that this is not the first time Big Blue decided to throw a billion at a major trend. A decade ago the company pumped $1 billion into Linux, and a few years after that it pledged to invest the same amount in analytics.

    • OpenNode – A Standards Based Cloud Platform

      Since we have been looking at FreeBSD, OpenVZ, and ProxMox, it seems only right to mention the other open source player in this market: OpenNode. OpenNode, like ProxMox, is a management layer built on top of OpenVZ containers and KVM virtual machines. Unlike ProxMox, which is built on Debian, OpenNode is similar to CentOS and Scientific Linux in that it is built off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. A good fit, since the stable OpenVZ kernel is also released for RHEL.

    • NSA Building a Secure Version of OpenStack

      The NSA (America’s super secret intelligence agency) is no stranger to open source software and apparently they aren’t strangers to OpenStack either.

      NSA developer Nathaniel Burton was speaking at the OpenStack summit today, though he joked that he couldn’t reveal how many servers they had running OpenStack or what they are running on those OpenStack servers.

    • At NSA, The Cloud Is About Big Data And Moving Beyond IT

      NSA’s goal is to unify data and use it to do analysis, said Nathanael Burton, a computer scientist with the security agency in a keynote address today at the OpenStack Summit in Portland. But with its old infrastructure, the data was spread across different systems that did not work together.

    • U.S. intelligence agencies embrace OpenStack
    • OpenStack Is Taking Important Steps Forward

      This week, the OpenStack Summit is going on, and in conjunction with the conference there are lots of signs that the open source cloud computing platform is going to start heading into high gear for the remainder of 2013. Red Hat advanced its enterprise Red Hat OpenStack offering into an Early Adopter Program and announced the availability of RDO, a community-supported distribution of OpenStack that runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and their derivatives. Meanwhile, there are reports that some enterprises are ditching Amazon Web Services (AWS) for OpenStack, in a push to gain more control over their cloud-based futures.

  • Databases

    • Taking MariaDB Foundation Forward

      I’m pleased to tell you that I have a new role that I’ve already started within the scope of Meshed Insights. It’s a new and exciting departure for me.

      I’ve remained in touch with Monty Widenius ever since we were both at Sun together. At the start of the year, he asked if I would consider helping him move the MariaDB Foundation forward as an independent steward of the MariaDB database project. I agreed, and recently accepted his request to join the board of directors for the new Foundation, along with several others. To allow Monty to focus on the technical aspects of MariaDB, I also agreed to the new Board’s request to take on a part-time role as the interim chief executive of the Foundation, at least until a member-elected Board is seated.

    • MySQL competitor MariaDB gets decorated board

      The MariaDB foundation has announced the appointment of a new Board of Directors and a new interim chief executive. The board members include Rasmus Johansson, Andrew Katz, Simon Phipps, Michael “Monty” Widenius, and Jeremy Zawodny. The interim board has appointed Johansson as Chair and Phipps as Secretary and Chief Executive Officer.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Google and the FreeBSD Foundation fund Capsicum development

      The FreeBSD Foundation has announced that it and the Google Open Source Programs Office are jointly funding developer Pawel Jakub Dawidek to improve the Capsicum framework. Capsicum was originally developed by Robert Watson of the University of Cambridge and Ben Laurie from Google Research to extend the POSIX API and provide object-capability security to Unix-like operating systems. The goal of the framework is to give thin-client operating systems like Google’s Chrome OS a robust security model that is relatively lightweight. Capsicum has been available in FreeBSD since version 9.0 and Google is working on a Linux version.


    • Google reinstates federated instant messaging

      We want to commend Google for doing the right thing.

    • The State & Future Of The GNU C Library (GLIBC)

      Red Hat’s Carlos O’Donell provided an update this week on the GNU C Library along with some recent and upcoming features for glibc.

      The GNU C Library (glibc) faces increasing competition from other C library implementations like Google Android’s Bionic, uClibc on embedded systems, EGLIBC, and dietlibc, among others. With glibc losing some of its appeal even on modern Linux desktop distributions, Carlos O’Donell spoke this week at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit about the state of this GNU project along with a look ahead at the glibc 2.18 release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • What’s holding back Open Source innovation in government?

      Much has been written about the use of Open Source in government over the last few years. Yet, despite a strong directive from Francis Maude, and the Cabinet Office, many central government workers in IT decision making positions still appear to be hesitant about implementing alternative software solutions into their existing technology stack. So, just what is holding back Open Source innovation in government?

  • Programming

    • Study: Most projects on GitHub not open source licensed

      That’s according to Aaron Williamson, senior staff counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center, who presented some of his findings on the matter at the Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday.

    • Making A Code Compiler Energy-Aware

      There’s a discussion on the LLVM development mailing list about making the compiler become energy-aware to provide an optimization level that would provide the most power-efficient binaries. However, it isn’t clear whether this would make sense over simply trying to assemble the fastest binary.

    • LLVM/Clang 3.3 Should Be Close To Building Linux Kernel

      Developing are reaching a point where the mainline LLVM/Clang compiler in an “out of the box” configuration can compile the mainline Linux kernel with only a few patches against the kernel’s source tree. This summer’s release of LLVM/Clang 3.3 should be a big milestone.

      Aside from Intel MKL and the state of glibc, another interesting topic at this week’s Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit was in regards to LLVM/Clang for building the Linux kernel rather than GCC. Building the Linux kernel with LLVM/Clang has long been pursued by developers and something we have been talking about on Phoronix quite a bit in the past two years or so.


  • Thatcher Lifted Millions–Says Who?

    This is notable for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that that John Burns gets to write news articles for the New York Times assessing the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. He’s made up his mind, obviously, and he tries to work that into his reporting for the paper.

  • Government’s Opinion Of You, In Thirteen Words

    Rarely has a legislator expressed what he thinks of the public with such eloquence and and brevity as Republican Tommy Tucker, Chairman of the North Carolina Senate’s State and Local Government Committee.

  • Science

    • Fish’s DNA May Explain How Fins Turned to Feet

      Often called a living fossil, the coelacanth (pronounced SEE-luh-canth) was long believed to have fallen extinct 70 million years ago, until a specimen was recognized in a fish market in South Africa in 1938. The coelacanth has fleshy, lobed fins that look somewhat like limbs, as does the lungfish, an air-breathing freshwater fish. The coelacanth and the lungfish have long been battling for the honor of which is closer to the ancestral fish that first used fins to walk on land and give rise to the tetrapods, meaning all the original vertebrates and their descendants, from reptiles and birds to mammals.

  • Hardware

    • Intel acquires Mashery API manager

      Intel has acquired Mashery, a company that develops management tools for web and on-premise APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). The tools are offered as a cloud service as well as locally (“Mashery Local”), and third parties can use them to access their own APIs. Components include caching features, security tools, dashboards, and options for generating API usage reports.

  • Poison/Gas/Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Al-Qaeda Pressure Cookers?

      The news that the Boston Marathon bombs used conventional pressure cookers led to a flurry of coverage suggesting that this was perhaps a link to Al-Qaeda inspired jihadists.

    • Altered States

      Nigeria shows much greater wisdom than the standard Western government line that the state can do no wrong and that all terrorist movements must be crushed by military force – something that often leads into an unending revenge cycle. Insurgency movements are indeed always caused – no matter how psychotic or vicious individual terrorists may be and no matter how evil some of their acts. For any terrorist or insurgency activity to have sufficient support in a host population to have a resilient existence, that population must believe itself to have a legitimate grievance. Ultimately the only way to overcome terrorism is to talk to the terrorists. Which is not to say I think this initiative will succeed; but it is certainly the right thing to try.

    • In Virginia’s Fairfax County, Robbing Banks for the CIA

      Theo started calling Washington-area lawyers asking them to defend Torres. He told criminal defense attorneys David Dischley and Michael Robinson that he worked for the CIA’s national resources division, which recruits citizens and foreigners to assist the U.S. abroad. He explained that Torres had been arrested during a government training operation gone bad. Torres, he said, was being tested for an eventual mission in El Salvador to infiltrate the criminal gang MS-13. Theo offered Dischley and Robinson $45,000 in cash to take the case.

    • Bay Of Pigs 52nd Anniversary Remembers Disastrous CIA Backed Invasion Of Cuba (PICTURES)

      In 1961 Cuba was ruled by a leftist administration dominated by Prime Minister Fidel Castro.

      With the Cold War in full swing the United States didn’t take kindly to the idea of a communist satellite state just 90 miles away from the Florida Keys.

    • The Bay of Pigs and Its Consequences
    • The Bay of Pigs—An Anniversary of Heroism and Shame

      “Wimps,” sneers Michael Moore in his book Downsize This, referring to men (and boys, some as young as 16) who 52 years ago this week hit a Cuban beach now known as the Bay of Pigs. “Really just a bunch of wimps. That’s right, wimps– and crybabies too,” sneers Moore. “Ex-Cubans with a yellow stripe down their backs.”

    • CIA Demolish Cloud Security Concerns: All Systems Go
    • Issa Tells CIA: Plan for Massive Benghazi Probe

      Escalating his investigation of the deadly terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last year, Rep. Darrell Issa warned CIA and other government officials Wednesday to lawyer-up in preparation for a massive probe.

    • Lawyer up, Issa warns CIA staff

      House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is pushing ahead with his investigation of last year’s fatal attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by preparing federal agencies to allow employees to lawyer up.


      Stone, who actually dabbled in horror early in his career via films like The Hand and Seizure, told a panel of filmmakers April 17 that he won’t be revisiting the genre.

    • Obama in Thrall to CIA Killing Machine

      ONE balmy evening, Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was relaxing with his family on his father-in-law’s rooftop in the village of Zanghara, south Waziristan.

      Two miles above, a Predator drone trained an infrared camera on him as he lay on his back and was joined by his wife and uncle. The images were so clear that it could be seen that the ailing Mehsud was receiving an intravenous drip.

    • Nicaragua needs to navigate winds of change in Venezuela
    • Venezuela’s Maduro accuses US Embassy of supporting violent protests

      Venezuela’s post-election crisis is growing deeper, with at least seven people killed during clashes between the opposition and police. President-elect Nicolas Maduro says he has proof that the US embassy is financing the ongoing protests.

    • US drone attacks kill 5 in Pakistan and 5 in Yemen
    • Yemen Drone Strike: 4 Suspected Al Qaeda Members Killed By U.S. [Ed: only suspected]
    • Drones and Death Lists: The New Face of Warfare

      Watching Senator John McCain foam at the mouth with his calls for war against Syria reminds one that President Barack Obama has done well to resist strident demands from congress and the media to use the U.S. armed forces in a direct role to remove President Bashar al-Assad. Which is not intended to suggest that nothing is going on. Washington has long been fighting a secret war seeking to bring about regime change in Syria in the mistaken belief that the fall of Damascus will inevitably produce a similar result in Iran. The White House humanitarian interventionists and friends of Israel have only been stalled in their effort to bring down al-Assad by stealth due to legitimate and belated concerns that empowering the rebels might produce far worse results than a continuation of Baathist rule. One would have thought that a lesson had been learned from the disastrous intervention in Libya, but apparently Washington operates on a principle of never looking back. That coupled with an attention span that appears to encompass something like 48 hours means that the White House will be continuously refighting the last war with predictable results.

    • Maduro Blasts Kerry for Rejecting Venezuelan Election Win
  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • California Ag-Gag Bill Exempts Factory Farms That Accidentally Record Their Own Abuses

      California lawmakers are considering an “ag-gag” bill today that not only criminalizes undercover investigators and whistleblowers, but carves out special exemptions if the industry accidentally documents its own abuses.

      As background: Ag-gag bills are facing massive public opposition across the country, and the industry is shifting how it talks about these bills. Factory farmers are moving away from attempts to outright criminalize anyone who photographs animal cruelty; instead, they’re introducing “mandatory reporting” requirements. Take California, for example. AB 343 says anyone who documents animal cruelty at farms and slaughterhouses has to notify the police. That sounds pretty reasonable, right?

  • Finance

    • It’s Time To Bury Not Just Thatcher – But Thatcherism

      She didn’t save Britain or turn the economy round.

    • Goldman Sachs Can’t Shake Fraud Lawsuit

      Goldman Sachs cannot dismiss Prudential’s claims that it falsely represented more than $375 million in residential mortgage-backed securities in its offering materials, a federal judge ruled in New Jersey.

      In September 2007, New Jersey-based Prudential Insurance and five investment subsidiaries held about $13.5 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and $241.1 billion in total investments.

    • MacIver Institute Ideologues Manage to Turn Lemonade Into Lemons

      In 2010, Governor Scott Walker ran for office on a simple message, that he would turn Wisconsin’s economy around and create 250,000 jobs. There was good news for Walker in the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs numbers released April 2013. Although Wisconsin still ranked 44th in the country in terms of job creation, the staggering economy had created 64,500 more jobs since Walker took office than previously known. There was a large upward correction in the BLS jobs data stretching back more than a year that not only impacted Wisconsin, but many states.

    • Pete Peterson Linked Economists Caught in Austerity Error

      A team of economists at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at UMass Amherst broke a huge story this week that was promptly picked up by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, and newspapers around the globe. The economists proved that the essential underpinning “of the intellectual edifice of austerity economics,” as Paul Krugman put it, is based on sloppy methodology and spreadsheet coding errors.

    • Lithuania And Estonia Use Google Maps Street View To Catch Tax Cheats

      Ars Technica points out that Estonia is doing the same. This might lead to demands for houses to be blurred, as can be requested in Germany. But the Boston Globe article notes that it’s not just Street View that tax authorities are mining for clues about people not paying all their taxes:

      In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service has said it would be cross-referencing information from taxpayers’ Facebook and Twitter accounts if their returns threw up any red flags.

      In Britain, tax officials have revealed they are using Web crawling software to trawl auction websites for undeclared sales.

      Authorities in Greece have been using satellite imagery to locate undeclared swimming pools in wealthy neighborhoods.

      The ability to draw on the massive stores of data that are now publicly available means that even seemingly trivial information, when cross-referenced with more of the same, can allow governments and others to create surprisingly detailed profiles of people that may have far from trivial consequences.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Oh Look, Rep. Mike Rogers Wife Stands To Benefit Greatly From CISPA Passing…

      It would appear that Rep. Mike Rogers, the main person in Congress pushing for CISPA, has kept rather quiet about a very direct conflict of interest that calls into serious question the entire bill. It would appear that Rogers’ wife stands to benefit quite a lot from the passage of CISPA, and has helped in the push to get the bill passed. It’s somewhat amazing that no one has really covered this part of the story, but it highlights, yet again, the kind of activities by folks in Congress that make the public trust Congress less and less.

    • US House of Representatives passes CISPA cybersecurity bill

      The US House of Representatives has passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA).

      Lawmakers in the House voted 288-to-127 Thursday afternoon to accept the bill. Next it will move to the Senate and could then end up on the desk of US President Barack Obama for him to potentially sign the bill into law. Earlier this week, though, senior White House advisers said they would recommend the president veto the bill.

    • CISPA Passes The House, As 288 Representatives Don’t Want To Protect Your Privacy

      This is not wholly surprising, but after some debate and some half-hearted attempts at pretending they care about the public’s privacy rights, the House has passed CISPA, 288 votes against 127.

    • CISPA Passes House, Obama Veto Threat Likely Untrue Making Senate Key Battleground

      After facing defeat with Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) – thanks in part to the late Aaron Swartz – the State and Big Business have regrouped and re-branded their bill Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Relying on a lazy press to leave out the details and hoping that a dimwitted public will cower in the face of “cyberterrorism” threats. Somehow cyberterrorism translates into shutting down the internet for Hollywood. They don’t really have an explanation either.

    • CISPA Moving Through House
    • CIA and Google sponsor prophets

      Who would not want to see the future? Millions of people around the world spend a great deal of money paying for services of prophets and magicians. Whether the predictions come true is another matter, but there is certainly a steady demand. The official science is also not standing still and is trying all sorts of ways to look into events that await us in the years to come. Will the humanity learn to predict the future?

    • Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote
    • Reddit Cofounder Calls on Google’s Larry Page to Oppose CISPA
    • Shame: U.S. House of Representatives passes CISPA

      The US House of Representatives have passed the dangerous Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA) just few hours ago. The bill won by 288-to-127, and will now move to Democrate-controlled Senate which is not as desperate to pass this draconian bill as was the House.

      The House passed the bill ignoring the veto threat from the While House. The House also ignored the ‘mandate’ given by the people as over 1.5 million people signed petitions against it.

    • Police In Japan Are Asking ISPs To Start Blocking Tor
  • Civil Rights

    • Why We Need the New Yorker to Correct Its Error on Venezuelan Inequality

      My hat is off to Keane Bhatt, NACLA blogger and occasional Extra! contributor, for his tireless efforts to prod one of the United States’ most prestigious media outlets to live up to their professed standards of accuracy. The outlet is the New Yorker, a magazine whose name is practically synonymous with factchecking. It’s a tradition there; they brag about how seriously they take checking the facts.

      Which makes you wonder how Keane was able to find the glaring, major errors in the New Yorker’s recent coverage of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, all perpetrated by longtime contributor Jon Lee Anderson.

    • Brazil’s groundbreaking Internet Civil Rights Bill needs support!

      Here at Mozilla, we believe the Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible. We believe in the importance of balancing the commercial goals of the Internet against those for the public benefit. Brazil’s Internet Bill of Rights, the Marco Civil da Internet, seeks to maintain this balance by guaranteeing basic rights for Internet users. We support this kind of effort to create a comprehensive, pro-Internet policy framework. If adopted, it could well serve as a reference model for future legislation.

      The legislation is groundbreaking in its intent. It secures important rights to Internet users through a civil framework rather than a criminal code. These rights include the right to privacy, freedom of speech, and access to information. It defends communications over the Internet, protects the sanctity of the Internet connection itself, requires comprehensive information in service contracts (particularly with respect to the protection of personal data), and limits third party access to connection logs and Internet applications.

    • Now is the time to talk about liberty

      …executive branch to detain US citizens indefintely and without due process.

    • Hagel, Syria and side-stepping the law

      …haven’t done anything to prepare the United States to cut off its ties.

    • President Obama must act to close Guantánamo

      The process of dying is never easy or painless. Death by starvation is particularly grueling: the body cannibalizes fat and tissue, wasting to skin and bones, leading to dehydration, incoherence and, ultimately, heart failure. It is a slow and agonizing ordeal, even for the most committed hunger striker. It took IRA member and British MP Bobby Sands more than two months to die in Maze prison when he starved himself to death in 1981. And for those who are force-fed, the process is even more excruciating; they may endure as food is pumped up their noses and into their stomachs like a veal calf, but eventually they will die as well. [...] prison has already claimed the lives of nine men [...]

    • Marathon Bombs Must Not Be a Justification For Trampling On the Constitution

      In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Boston that claimed three lives and wounded more than 170 others, the calls for a response will be loud — and inevitable. Yet, we still don’t know who the responsible parties are — and the trail has sadly gone cold. While it’s time to put politics aside, support for tougher pieces of legislation to combat terrorism will probably arise in the near future. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which gives the federal government vast new powers, has come under scrutiny from civil liberties groups, and rightfully so. It gives government the extraordinary power of detaining U.S. citizens indefinitely. After Monday’s events, I’ll guess that most Americans would support such a measure, but it’s times like these that we must not endorse actions that shred the Constitution.

    • San Diego Cop Thinks You Might Have Turned Your Cell Phone Into A Gun And That ‘Officer Safety’ Trumps Constitutional Rights

      We’ve seen several times before the reticence (a fancy $20 word for “antipathy”) many law enforcement officers have towards being recorded while on the job. They don’t seem to mind cameras they control (even though those too have proven problematic — but fixable), but if the average citizen starts “taping” an encounter, much ado is made about the impropriety (or illegal-ness) of the citizen’s actions.

      We’ve seen all of this before. But this one tops those stories. This is one of those has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed events. Fortunately, it involves a functioning camera installed in a surprisingly dangerous cell phone.

      San Diegan Adam Pringle was minding his own business illegally smoking a cigarette in a public area (I know — this falls under the “California Is Ridiculous” heading) when he was approached by Officer Reinhold, who then proceeded to cite him for outdoor smoking.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 17/4/2013: Android Activations Over 1.5 Million Per Day

Posted in News Roundup at 7:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 2014: The year of the Linux car?

    You read that right: Not the year of the Linux desktop, the year of the Linux car. Major automotive companies are investing in making Linux their cars’ operating system of choice.

  • Server

    • Intel launches ‘open’ Linux based SDN switch and server

      CHIPMAKER Intel announced two reference server designs for the fast growing software defined networking (SDN) market, sporting both its own silicon and its Wind River Linux distribution.

      Server vendors and their associated component vendors are all jumping into the SDN market as a new source of revenue from the datacentre as enterprises look to ditch expensive specialist network infrastructure hardware provided by firms such as Cisco, Extreme Networks and Juniper. Now Intel has joined the party, providing two reference server designs that include its Xeon processors, chipsets and network interface cards as well as its own Wind River Linux distribution.

  • Kernel Space

    • Inside Secure NFC controller gets Linux kernel support

      Inside Secure has announced its MicroRead NFC controller chip is supported in the new 3.9 branch of the Linux kernel, speeding up integration of the chip into a range of Linux based TVs, set-top boxes, GPS devices and industrial machines.

    • Linux in 2013: ‘Freakishly awesome’ – and who needs a fork?

      If there was a theme for Day One of the Linux Foundation’s seventh annual Linux Collaboration Summit, taking place this week in San Francisco, it was that the Linux community has moved way, way past wondering whether the open source OS will be successful and competitive.

      “Today I wanted to talk about the state of Linux,” Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, began his opening keynote on Monday. “I’m just going to save everybody 30 minutes. The state of Linux is freakishly awesome.”

    • PKSM: A New Data De-Duplication Method For Linux

      PKSM is a new system memory de-duplication method for the Linux kernel that was developed after seeing the current KSM and UKSM approaches as being ineffective.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Benchmarking The Intel Ivy Bridge Gallium3D Driver

        While Intel only supports their classic Mesa DRI driver when it comes to their open-source 3D driver on Linux, developed independently is also a Gallium3D driver for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge generations of Intel graphics processors. In this article are benchmarks of the new Intel (i965) Gallium3D driver with Ivy Bridge HD 4000 hardware.

        There was an unofficial i965 Gallium3D driver in the past, but it was ultimately removed when the code fell into bit rot and really didn’t have any users. There’s also the i915 Gallium3D driver that is still maintained independently for supporting old i915 and i945 graphics hardware, but Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers only officially support their classic Mesa drivers.

      • Radeon UVD Support Merged Into Mesa

        After having gone through five public code revisions, AMD has finally committed their open-source Unified Video Decoder (UVD) support for accelerated video decoding over VDPAU into the Mesa Git repository.

      • Nouveau NVC0 Gets Multi-Sample Textures

        The most notable commit this morning is perhaps the Nouveau NVC0 (Fermi+) driver supporting OpenGL multi-sample textures, thanks to work done by Christoph Bumiller with this commit.

      • Nouveau NVC0 Gets Multi-Sample Textures

        A NVIDIA engineer has code dropped over 2,500 lines of new open-source code that enables application-level support for host1x hardware through a new Stream library.

        The “host1x” is found with NVIDIA Tegra SoCs and this new patch-set by NVIDIA’s Arto Merilainen allows accessing the host1x hardware from user-space. There’s already been 2D acceleration for NVIDIA Tegra hardware that’s been done using host1x. The new patches on Friday are in their second revised form.

      • Mesa To Expose AMD Performance Monitor Extension

        While Mesa has some level of support for GL_ARB_debug_output, Intel developers are implementing support within Mesa for AMD’s OpenGL performance monitor extension to assist game developers and others with monitoring the performance of their software.

      • Mir Display Server Now Supports VT Switching

        While there was the video of Unity Next running on Mir with a Google Nexus 4 hand-held, in terms of the overall feature completeness of the Mir Display Server, there is still much work ahead. Only on Friday did Mir even gain support for switching to virtual terminals.

        For those not closely following Mir’s Bazaar repository, it was only on Friday with revision 585 that support for VT switching was committed.

      • DRI3000 Still Being Developed For New X.Org DRI

        While there hasn’t been too much news on the work recently, DRI3000 (DRI3) is still being developed.

        Keith Packard has been the one large spearheading the development of this next-generation Direct Rendering Infrastructure update that seeks to overcome some of the shortcomings of DRI2. For those unfamiliar with what this planned DRI update is about, see the earlier articles on the topic.

      • Mesa 9.2 Brings Better Performance To Intel Ivy Bridge

        Following on from our earlier Nouveau Gallium3D benchmarks of Mesa 9.2-devel earlier this week, for our first benchmarks this Saturday we have tests of Intel HD 4000 “Ivy Bridge” graphics when running Mesa 9.2-devel and compared to the Git branches of Mesa 9.1 and 9.0. Overall, there’s some more open-source Intel graphics performance improvements to look forward to with this next Mesa release.

      • Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe Driver Is Now Much Faster

        The Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver that’s commonly used as the fallback software rasterizer on Linux desktop systems when no GPU hardware driver is present, is a heck of a lot faster with the current Mesa development code. The gains are surprising and quite remarkable.

      • Nouveau Queues Up More Changes For Linux 3.10

        The developers behind the reverse-engineered open-source Nouveau graphics driver for NVIDIA hardware are still hard at work on preparing new changes for introduction with the Linux 3.10 kernel.

      • Intel Makes First Release Of Linux OpenCL Project

        While Intel has previously shipped its OpenCL SDK for Linux and Windows, this SDK is closed-source and on Linux was limited to compute support only on the processor rather than any graphics support with Ivy Bridge and newer hardware. Fortunately, Intel has finally managed to put out a first release of Beignet, an open-source Linux project that supports OpenCL.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 24th February 2013
      • KLyDE: A New Lightweight KDE Project Started
      • A Lightweight KDE desktop on the way

        KDE is an extensive desktop environment which features a large number of applications, widgets and components. It’s not bloated by default, but most distributions ship extra features and apps in KDE that are not needed by most of the users. KDE developer Will Stephenson has recognized this shortcoming, and is currently developing a slimmed down version of KDE, codenamed KlyDE, or K Lightweight Desktop Environment.

      • Report from the freedesktop summit

        During the week of 8 April 2013, developers from the KDE, GNOME, Unity and Razor-qt projects met at the SUSE offices in Nürnberg to improve collaboration between the projects by discussing specifications. A wide range of topics was covered.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3 and Unity Alternatives: Cinnamon vs. Mate

        If you want a GNOME 2-like desktop, the leading contenders are both developed by Linux Mint. Users can choose between Cinnamon, which is built on top of GNOME 3, and Mate, a direct fork of GNOME 2.

        Mate and Cinnamon are the default alternatives offered in Linux Mint 14, the current release. Both are highly successful attempts to provide a GNOME 2-like desktop in response to widespread user dissatisfaction with GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s Unity.

  • Distributions

    • Six good reasons to try Manjaro Linux 0.8.5

      Monday may have brought the disappointing news that Fuduntu Linux will soon close its doors, but another young, up-and-coming Linux distribution appears to be continuing along its upward path without interruption.

      Manjaro Linux, a distro I first covered only a few months ago, just released a fresh update, and it’s particularly notable for the addition of a graphical installer and other beginner-friendly features.

    • Fuduntu Linux is closing its doors
    • Fuduntu Linux discontinued, team plans to move onto a new distro

      Fuduntu is a Linux-based operating system designed to offer the ease-of-use of Ubuntu and the stability of Fedora. The operating system has been around for a few years, and gained a bit of attention recently by adding support for Steam games and Netflix video. Fuduntu has also long been available in netbook-friendly flavors.

    • Review: Manjaro Linux 0.8.5 Xfce

      That is where my time with Manjaro Linux ended. Overall, my experience with it was much more positive than last time; I partly expected this as last time, this distribution was still very young, whereas it has had a lot more time to mature since then. Anyway, it may be almost at the point that it is suitable for newbies, but maybe not quite yet; in any case, though, I can definitely recommend it to Linux beginners who want to experiment with distributions other than Ubuntu.

      You can get it here, though note that if you want to get the Cinnamon edition, the one that was released in the past week is the last one for the foreseeable future; this is because apparently the current version of Cinnamon conflicts with GNOME 3.8, so the Arch developers have stopped shipping Cinnamon altogether (or something like that).

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Slackware Family

      • Slackware-Current Maybe Too Current

        If you have been following discussions on LQ, then you might have seen this thread where the original poster was Patrick himself. He basically asked for opinion about the future of -Current for this development cycle which will end up with Slackware 14.1 in the end.

        Although things has been working pretty well in -Current as of now (at least in most systems looking at the comments there), but there are some considerations by Patrick in three parts of the system: kernel, GCC, and XOrg. They are critical components for most Linux distributions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Hortonworks prep OpenStack for Hadoop

        Merging the worlds of big data and cloud computing, Red Hat, Hortonworks and Hadoop integrator Mirantis are jointly building a software program, called Savanna, that will make it easier to deploy Apache Hadoop on an OpenStack cloud service.

        The software will “allow Hadoop to take advantage of the scale-out storage architecture that OpenStack offers,” said Adrian Ionel Mirantis CEO. “Enterprises will have a much easier way to deploy and use Hadoop at scale.”

        Mirantis launched the project earlier this month, donating the code to the OpenStack Foundation. OpenStack is a collection of open source software designed to offer shared compute, storage and networking services on an on-demand basis. And Apache Hadoop is a data processing framework for analyzing large amounts of data across multiple servers in a cluster. Both sets of software are increasingly being tested and deployed by organizations.

      • Red Hat releases community OpenStack distribution
      • Red Hat pushes open source cloud with OpenStack distro

        Linux software giant Red Hat has launched a community-led distribution of the OpenStack open source cloud platform.

        RDO — announced at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, USA, on Monday — is a free community-supported distro of OpenStack that will run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Fedora and their derivatives.

        OpenStack is an assortment of open source software designed to offer on-demand compute, storage and networking services, often referred to as infrastructure as a service.

      • Red Hat emulates Fedora Linux project with RDO OpenStack community

        OpenStack is sometimes called the Linux for clouds, and Red Hat, the dominant Linux distributor, seems to be all over that. The firm is now working to bring its Red Hat OpenStack distribution into the ever-crowding field of companies that want to peddle supported distributions of this cloud control freak. Red Hat Open Stack, or RHOS, is not ready for primetime, but a new RDO community – Red Hat is not saying what it stands for – is getting a Fedora-like early adopter community together running OpenStack on top of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux and KVM hypervisor.

      • Red Hat Announces $300 Million Stock Repurchase Program

        The new program replaces the previous $300 million repurchase program, the final $179 million of which was completed since February 28, 2013 at an average price of $49.15 per share, inclusive of commissions, for a total of 3.6 million shares. “Over the last 13 months we have repurchased $300 million or 5.9 million shares of Red Hat common stock under the current program, equivalent to 3% of our shares outstanding as of February 28, 2013,” stated Charlie Peters, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Red Hat. “Our management team and Board of Directors have a strong conviction in our long-term growth prospects and our ability to generate profits and cash flow. We believe that stock repurchases demonstrate our commitment to building shareholder value as well as confidence in achieving long-term growth.”

      • Red Hat to repurchase another $300M of its own stock

        Pioneering open-source solution vendor Red Hat (RHT) announced today that its board has authorized a $300 million stock buyback program.

      • Red Hat Unveils Partner Network for Cloud Infrastructure Solutions by OpenStock
      • eCube Systems Announces NXTera 6.3 Support for Linux Redhat Enterprise 5

        eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, announced the immediate availability of a new version of NXTera 6.3 High Performance RPC Middleware with support for Linux Redhat Enterprise 5.

      • Hortonworks, Mirantis and Red Hat Partner on Project Savanna

        Two of the biggest players in the OpenStack community and a top Hadoop provider announced plans yesterday to join forces to advance the “Hadoop on OpenStack” project known as Savanna. OpenStack systems integrator Mirantis Inc., the company that started Project Savanna, will be working with Hortonworks Inc., the top commercial distributor of Apache Hadoop, and Red Hat Inc., the current leading OpenStack contributor, the three companies said today.

      • Red Hat builds on OpenStack

        Following its preview of an OpenStack distribution, Red Hat is now offering an updated version of the software as part of an “early adopter program”. The company has also initiated the RDO community project, which offers up-to-date OpenStack versions for Linux distributions within the Red Hat ecosystem. The Linux distributor announced the news at the ongoing OpenStack Summit Portland 2013.

      • Red Hat Announces “RDO” OpenStack Distribution

        From the OpenStack event taking place this week, Red Hat has announced RDO, which will serve as a new community-supported OpenStack distribution.

        RDO will serve as a new open-source community-based OpenStack distribution for Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (along with other “EL” derivatives). Effectively, Red Hat RDO is a new proving grounds for Red Hat prior to introducing new OpenStack functionality within their commercial products. In the OpenStack world, RDO is to Red Hat OpenStack as is Fedora to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Fedora

        • Benchmarking Fedora 18 Updates

          With Fedora’s more liberal updating of packages in their supported Linux releases, here’s a look at benchmarks of Fedora 18 in its stock configuration versus where it’s at today with all stable updates.

          While Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions tend to stick to the same kernel version and other key package versions for the entire release’s lifetime, Fedora releases generally follow more closely the latest upstream releases. Fedora 18 shipped with the Linux 3.6 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.6.2, X.Org Server 1.13.0, and Mesa 9.0.1. These package versions with Fedora 18 updates are now at the stable Linux 3.8 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.6.3, X.Org Server 1.13.3, and Mesa 9.1. Many other packages are also at new versions.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint Debian Edition 201303

        I’m often asked what my “favorite” Linux distro is by readers. Well, if I have one, it has to be Linux Mint Debian Edition. LMDE has so much to offer Linux users since it combines the power of Debian with the elegance of Linux Mint. There really is something for everyone to love in LMDE.

        Linux Mint Debian was upgraded recently so it’s time to take another look at it. I downloaded the Cinnamon version for this review. You can also opt for the MATE version if you prefer that to Cinnamon.

      • Debian… The daddy of all distros?

        A couple of weeks ago I wrote a review of OpenSUSE. As one of the bigger distributions I asked the question whether OpenSUSE is a real alternative to Ubuntu.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix Pulls a Lot More Than Its Own Weight

          Like Puppy Linux, Knoppix is the Little Distro That Could. It’s a handy, user-friendly product that can boot from a disc or USB drive. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking it doesn’t have a full contingent of features and abilities. Knoppix covers all the basis and then some. Occasional boot stalls and restricted virtual workplace access keep Knoppix from achieving full Linux nirvana, but it gets you close.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch set to get Apps Collection, add yours now

            What is Ubuntu Touch, you ask? Touch is a super ambitious project sponsered by Canonical to get Ubuntu on mobile devices–you know–the phones and tablets kind. It’s the OS that will power the upcoming Ubuntu Phone. If you haven’t already, watch this longish viral video on Ubuntu Phone, explained in detailed by Mark Shuttleworth himself. Ubuntu Touch’s first installable preview was released was released on 21st February, and is up for grabs to be installed on a limited set of devices. Ubuntu Touch is slated for an end-2013 or early-2014 release.

          • Community Leadership Summit, Training, and Talks

            I just wanted to talk about a busy week of community management and leadership related content I will be involved in in July 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

          • Ubuntu’s Magical Approach to OpenStack [Video]

            Ubuntu Linux founder Mark Shuttleworth was among the earliest backers of the open source OpenStack cloud platform. The early OpenStack releases relied on Ubuntu as its reference Linux distribution and Ubuntu has been packaging OpenStack since its 11.04 Natty Narwal release in 2011.

            In an exclusive interview with Datamation at the OpenStack Summit, Shuttleworth talks about OpenStack in production environments and why a little magic known as Juju is a pivotal part of it all.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Oh No! Fuduntu Calls it Quits

              I can’t believe my eyes. Just as Fuduntu was getting rave reviews and moving up the charts, just a week after announcing their latest release the Fuduntu project “voted to end-of-life Fuduntu Linux.” It seems developmental issues are forcing this decision, and signals a time when ultimately all GNOME 2 users will end up having to move on.

            • The end of the road for Fuduntu
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Samsung flexes its open source muscles where you might not expect

    When you think of open source, you probably think of Linux, engines such as the WebKit browser engine and the Java language and virtual machine, and open source software such as LibreOffice, Firefox, Apache HTTP server, Git, Asterisk, and MySQL. You may not think of appliances, TVs, and cameras — but that’s exactly where consumer electronics giant Samsung uses open source software.

  • Metasploit 4.6 Open Source Pen Testing Restores Webcam Exploits

    In the core Metasploit 4.6 open source framework, 138 new penetration testing modules have been included, enabling at least 80 new exploits. One of the exploits that Metasploit 4.6 includes is a webcam activation module. The basic idea behind the module is that it could enable a security researcher to gain access to webcams and microphones at a vulnerable location.

  • Contributing to open source projects from 9 to 5, and beyond

    Luis Ibanez was recently awarded a People’s Choice Award by our readers for his contributions to the site. It’s no wonder he has so much to say and impart on open source projects—he works on them fulltime!

    In this Community Spotlight, Luis sheds light on what projects he contributes to, why he believes it is important we all give back at some point, and what open source tools he can’t live without.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Clutter Providing Acceleration For WebKitGTK+

      A Clutter back-end for WebKitGTK+ is providing for hardware acceleration of some web content effects.

      The change to WebKitGTK+ actually happened a couple weeks ago but the Planet GNOME RSS feed has been a bit wonky lately so the news is only coming out today. Joone Hur, a Korean Linux developer working at Intel and specializing on WebKit development, added an experimental Clutter back-end to WebKitGTK+.

    • Chrome

      • Adobe says it will contribute to Google’s Blink

        Adobe’s director of engineering for the Web Platform, Vincent Hardy, has confirmed that the company is not taking sides in the WebKit/Blink web rendering engine fork and will be contributing to both WebKit and Blink as they are open source. In a blog posting, Hardy pointed out that “Adobe actively contribute to Web standards and browser implementations” – mostly WebKit and Chromium, but the company also has some Gecko contributions to its name.

      • Adobe To Contribute To Blink Rendering Engine

        Earlier this month Google announced the Blink rendering engine as a fork of the WebKit project. After announcing their WebKit fork, Opera confirmed their plans of moving to the Blink engine too. Two weeks later, Adobe is now saying they will contribute to Blink.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Sets Sights on New Mobile Experiences

        You’ve probably heard the refrain before: “All of the great ideas have already been thought of.” That proposition, of course, has no business in the lexicon of thriving open source projects, and Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that he thinks there are lots more good ideas to come on the mobile technology front. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, “We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience.”

      • Mozilla Is Talking Firefox OS, and the First Five Countries to Get It

        As I noted yesterday, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs (who will be leaving his CEO post this year) made very clear in comments at the All Things D: Dive Into Mobile conference that Mozilla has very ambitious plans for its new Firefox OS mobile operating system. Specifically, he sees it as an innovation-centric platform. As quoted by ABC News, Kovacs said, “We haven’t done a great job [on mobile browsing]. I’m expecting someone will do an Apple on the whole browsing experience.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Tops Dogs Team Up for Project Savana : Hadoop Simplified for OpenStack
    • OpenStack Summit: SDN Switches Become Low Cost Linux Boxes?

      The VAR Guy is at OpenStack Summit and he’s starting to drink the Kool-Aid. Customers like Best Buy, Comcast and Hubspot say they are deploying the cloud computing platform. But now, the conversation is shifting to networking in the cloud — a software defined networking (SDN) primer. Leading the conversation: Ben Cherian, chief strategy officer at Midokura, a startup focused on network virtualization. His key point: SDN (using Overlay Solutions) will allow switches to be far more like commodity Linux servers — giving customers the ability to scale and manage their networks far more effectively.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Updated for Open Source Document Creation

      Version 3.6.6 is notable for speed increases to many operations, more than 50 bug fixes and various tweaks to the applications. For example, Impress, the presentation program, now supports widescreen formats for slideshows and comes with 10 new master pages. The Writer word processor’s RTF/DOCX import/export now handles document zoom settings. The program also provides support for contextual spacing and can import Office SmartArt. Exported PDF files can now be given watermarks and an import filter for CorelDRAW documents has been added. A complete list of the new functionality is available here.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Google Summer of Code 2013 Ideas

      GNUnet is participating in this years Google Summer of Code under the GNU umbrella. Here an overview over GNUnet’s project ideas.

  • BSD

    • AMD Kernel Mode-Setting Continues On FreeBSD

      For being a project that’s just a few months old and up until recently wasn’t touched by BSD developers, the port of the open-source AMD Radeon kernel mode-setting driver from the Linux kernel to FreeBSD kernel is progressing nicely.


    • An updated GNUnet Java tutorial for developers is available

      Thanks to Florian Dold, an updated version of the GNUnet Java tutorial is available. Developers starting to hack on GNUnet using Java are strongly encouraged to have a look there. It covers basic installation, writing services, APIs and clients.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • DOE supports truSolar’s efforts to develop open source risk scoring standards and rating criteria for solar projects

      The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) extend their support for the truSolar® Working Group’s efforts to develop uniform open source risk scoring standards and rating criteria for solar projects that will facilitate lower transaction and capital costs, and improve project finance liquidity within the commercial and industrial solar segment.

    • Open Data

      • Open your data to the world

        When Neil Fantom, a manager at the World Bank, sat down with the organisation’s technology team in 2010 to talk about opening up the bank’s data to the world at large, he encountered a bit of unfamiliar terminology. “At that time I didn’t even know what ‘API’ meant,” says Fantom.

        As head of the bank’s Open Data Initiative, announced in April 2010, Fantom was in charge of taking the group’s vast trove of information, which previously had been available only by subscription, and making it available to anyone who wanted it. The method of doing that, he would learn, would be an application programming interface.

    • Open Access/Content

      • For Those Who Like Things Open – Check Out OpenCourseware ~mw

        Our readers are a curious bunch, and I never cease to be amazed at the knowledge they possess. Still, I suspect most of you are life-long learners. Although you may already be aware of it, you now have the opportunity to take college level courses on a vast array of subjects. There is no course credit, but you also don’t have to pay for the courses.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Netflix To Possibly Use HTML5 Video Instead of Microsoft Silverlight

      If you longed to watch Netflix on your Linux computer, here is some good news for you. According to a blog post by Netflix’s Anthony Park and Mark Watson, they are planning to test HTML5 video and to switch from proprietary Microsoft Silverlight for video streaming. Modern mobile browsers have problems in running Microsoft Silverlight extensions and they want a more reliable solution so as to stream Netflix in all platforms without hurdles. Also, Silverlight has been discontinued by Microsoft since 2001 and they want a more future proof solution.

    • Netflix plans to dump Silverlight for HTML5 streaming


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Enough non-GM soy to fulfil Europe’s animal feed needs

      What’s needed is for advance purchase contracts to be in place so that farmers know that they have an assured market for their non-GM crop. Evidently the UK supermarkets listed above have consistently failed to tell their suppliers to do this. Instead their suppliers are relying on “spot” purchase, when the crop actually comes onto the market. That way, they are more likely to get the soy cheaper. Unfortunately in this game of greed and competition, the consumers – and the farm animals – are the losers.

  • Security

    • Old tricks are new again: Dangerous copy & paste

      Copying and pasting something does not necessarily mean the user will get what they think they are getting. With a little bit of HTML magic, one can even trick unwitting web site visitors into executing shell commands without their knowledge. The trick is by no means new, but it is currently being demonstrated again on several web sites which means Linux users especially have to be careful what they copy and paste.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Cooperatives and Workers’ Self-Directed Enterprises
    • Goldman Sachs’ move to trim compensation ratio seen as bid to placate shareholders

      Goldman Sachs revealed a cut in its closely watched compensation ratio when it reported first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, and in doing so sent a message to shareholders about the new economic and regulatory realities.

      “What the firm is saying is that we are still in the process of repricing parts of our business,” said Brad Hintz, analyst at AllianceBernstein.

    • Europe austerity measures are impacting on healthcare and increasing xenophobia

      “Rising unemployment and poverty across Europe have generated extreme-right statements stigmatising migrants” stated the Doctors of the World 2012 report ‘Access to healthcare in Europe in times of crisis and rising xenophobia’.

      The report, reported in the online newspaper EurActiv, shows a rise in xenophobic acts and regulations in Greece and Spain as well as other European countries.

      Dr Nikitas Kanakis from Doctors of the World Greece said “xenophobia and healthcare always go together”. He added “it’s about dignity and to live safely without fear”.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • USA Today: Venezuelans Voted for High Unemployment and Food Shortages

      Sunday’s election in Venezuela saw Vice President (or “Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor,” as he’s known to many in the corporate media) Nicolas Maduro narrowly defeat opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

    • ‘Terror Returns’–but When Did It Go Away?

      But what happened in Boston that hasn’t happened since September 11? All we really can say with confidence so far is that somebody tried to kill a large group of people; as USA Today (12/19/12) itself has reported, such mass slayings are alarmingly common in the United States, with 774 people killed in 156 incidents between 2006 and 2010. “Mass Killings Occur in USA Once Every Two Weeks,” the headline pointed out.

    • Wisconsin Ethics Board Fails to Curb ALEC Shell Game

      In theory, Wisconsin has some of the strongest ethics and lobbying laws in the country — legislators cannot accept even a cup of coffee from lobbyists or others who have an interest in the outcome of legislation — but these laws are meaningless if the state ethics board does not take action to enforce them.

      Last week, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board issued an ill-conceived decision in response to the Center for Media and Democracy’s complaint about an American Legislative Exchange Council “scholarship” program that allows corporate lobbyists to provide gifts of travel and perks to state legislators. The GAB agreed that some Wisconsin politicians had improperly attended corporate-sponsored events and failed to properly disclose receipt of ALEC “scholarships,” but failed to recognize that the corporate-funded “scholarships” themselves are improper and should be barred.

  • Censorship

    • Japanese court orders Google to censor autocomplete, pay damages

      A Japanese court has ordered Google to delete search terms related to a Japanese man who claimed that searches for his name autocompleted to include defamatory phrases.

      The ruling comes a year after Google rejected the court’s initial demands to censor its autocomplete function in 2012, in part arguing that it wasn’t subject to Japanese regulations.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • A Law to Nullify the NDAA?

      A state bill sponsored by Republican Tim Donnelly would guarantee Californians protection from the threat of indefinite detention made possible by the National Defense Authorization Act.

      The bill is called the California Liberty Preservation Act. If enacted, it would retain several fundamental civil liberties enshrined by the Constitution, “including the right of habeas corpus, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and public trial, and the right to be informed of criminal charges brought against him or her.”

    • Bipartisan testimony backs N.H. bill opposing indefinite detention of suspected terrorists

      Republicans and Democrats alike urged a Senate committee yesterday to support legislation that would forbid New Hampshire officials from helping the U.S. military detain suspected terrorists indefinitely without trial.

    • Hunger Strikes Put Guantanamo Back in the Spotlight

      Public debate here over the military prison at Guantanamo Bay heated up again following Monday’s surprise publication of a highly charged article by an inmate at the prison, one of dozens currently engaged in a months-long hunger strike over detainees’ “indefinite detention”.

    • Obama, is it time for martial law?

      Last week the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, Ala., issued a report to United States Attorney Eric Holder that said an alarming number of Americans are turning violently against their government.


      Last year, Congress, through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), authorized the president under section 1031 to declare the United States or certain sections of it, under certain circumstances, as a battlefield and authorize the military to make arrests and detain Americans without bringing criminal charges against them or bringing them to trial.

    • Oh, Please

      The Babbler calls the police-state currently tyrannizing Americans an “open society.”

    • Paid Sick Days Defeat in Philadelphia Followed Familiar Script

      When the Philadelphia City Council passed a paid sick days bill on March 14, it was the second of three wins in a two week period for the movement to let workers take a sick day without losing pay or their jobs. But the Council then fell one vote short of overriding a mayoral veto, providing a case study in how special interests aligned with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) work to oppose these common-sense bills.


Links 16/4/2013: Xen in Linux Foundation, Fuduntu Overhaul

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Chromebook Pixel LTE arriving today

    The first customers will start getting the Chromebook Pixel LTE today, several weeks after the Wi-Fi-only version was available.

  • You’re Invited: Design the Future of Automotive Infotainment

    Like many of us you are probably using your car almost every single day: commute to work, take the kids to school, run errands, go shopping, or just for fun. You name it. And while spending all this time on the road you may be using the in-vehicle infotainment system built into your ride for navigation, listening to music from the radio, accessing content stored on my mobile device, making phone calls, getting traffic updates and much more. And whether or not you are entirely happy with the solution that the maker has built into your car you may have the one or other idea on how things can be improved. Or maybe you think this is all lame and you can do a much better job. Well, here is your opportunity.

  • Tux moves house… again!

    I’ve written about this already, when I first changed the HDD in my laptop. I moved the same HDD from an HP Compaq C300 to a Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. The HDD had 4 operating systems installed: Windows XP, Mageia 1 KDE, Linux Mint XFCE and Debian Squeeze. I made a conclusion at that time that WinXP survived the move the best.

  • Resilient OS v Clunker

    I’m often told by trolls that other OS has better hardware support. Well here’s a comparison where a supported version of that other OS could not survive a hard drive transplant while GNU/Linux laughed.

  • Don’t forget to blame the little guy for screwing Linux over.

    Everyone in the industry and particularly home users like to blame the obvious large targets for Linux never (at least at the time of this writing) quite making it to the average users Desktop in the masses. Many blame Microsoft, Apple, Patents or just anything proprietary in nature.

    However I feel that there is one particular reason, made up of millions of small contributors, of why Linux has truly never landed on the Desktop. Who or what is it you ask? Your local PC shop is just as guilty and equally damaging as any of the large proprietary companies conspiring to hold Linux down.

    They purposely keep Linux off the desktop and out of the picture for end users simply because the “Windows Virus, Adware, Spyware, Malware, Trojan and general shittyness repair money” is just to great, soo… a stable, working, capable, compatible, computer for the masses, is just out of the question.

  • Linux Top 3: Debian’s New Leader, Linux 3.9 and Xen
  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • INSIDE Secure NFC Solution Supported In Linux Kernel 3.9 Release
    • QXL KMS Driver To Be Merged For Linux 3.10 Kernel

      David Airlie of Red Hat has pulled in his own QXL KMS/DRM driver into his drm-next Git tree, which means this para-virtual graphics hardware with TTM/GEM support will premiere in the Linux 3.10 kernel.

    • “Very Disruptive” Change Hurts ARM Linux Support

      The Linux kernel is having to remove support for NWFPE and VFP emulation code due to a licensing conflict. Removing NWFPE and VFP from the kernel will effectively render older ARM hardware on Linux useless until a solution is determined.

      Russell King, the maintainer of the ARM code for the Linux kernel, announced this removal on the linux-arm-kernel mailing list. The NWFPE (NetWinder Floating Point Emulator) and VFP (Vector Floating Point) code is for emulating floating-point operations within the kernel. While this code is critical to ARM hardware without hardware floating-point support, the code needs to be dropped due to a licensing conflict.

    • NFC Solution Supported In Linux Kernel 3.9 Release
    • Hisense Mobile, Solarflare and Thomas-Krenn Join Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Hisense Mobile, Solarflare and Thomas-Krenn.AG are joining the organization.

    • Welcome Xen as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project

      The Xen Project is 10 years-old this week, and its contributors have doubled in the last few years. Xen usage continues to grow and today the project is being deployed in public IaaS environments by some of the world’s largest companies.

      Additionally, the Xen Project has adopted mainline kernel development practices and is progressing ever closer to the mainline kernel community. As of Linux kernel version 3.0, Linux can run unmodified as a Xen host or guest

    • Xen become a Linux Foundation collaborative project

      The Linux Foundation has taken over the development of Xen as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project. Now Xen will be independently funded and will benefit from the collaborative development which will engage some of the biggest names in the IT world.

    • Citrix bequeaths Xen to the Linux Foundation

      In an effort to attract a more diverse set of contributors, enterprise software vendor Citrix has donated its open source Xen hypervisor to the Linux Foundation.

    • Linux Foundation takes over Xen, enlists Amazon in war to rule the cloud
    • Citrix bequeaths Xen to the Linux Foundation

      In an effort to attract a more diverse set of contributors, enterprise software vendor Citrix has donated its open source Xen hypervisor to the Linux Foundation.

      Citrix announced the donation Monday at the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit, being held this week in San Francisco.

    • Citrix and Industry Leaders Usher in New Era for Open Source Xen
    • Linux Collaboration Summit keynotes stream live

      The Linux Foundation is offering live video streaming of all of the Linux Collaboration Summit’s day 1 keynote sessions to be held Monday, April 15. Day 1 keynotes feature presentations by Jaguar Land Rover, Samsung, Intel, Netflix, Yocto, OpenMAMA, Adapteva, and LWN’s Jon Corbet.

    • Xen becomes a Linux Foundation project

      Xen, Citrix’s popular open-source hypervisor, is becoming a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project with the backing of such major technology powers such as Amazon Web Services, Google, and Intel.

    • Talks by Jaguar Land Rover, Samsung, Adapteva Underscore Industry Trend Toward Collaboration

      The Linux Foundation’s executive director Jim Zemlin sees a new trend in the technology industry toward a collaborative development model. Companies are focusing their research and development efforts outward and participating more in open source projects to accelerate innovation and progress, he said in his opening remarks at The Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Francisco.

      It’s no coincidence, then, that the conference kicked off this morning with a warm welcome to the Xen Project, the foundation’s newest collaborative project, which is also celebrating its 10-year anniversary today as a virtualization platform. The announcement comes on the heels of last week’s OpenDaylight software-defined networking project launch.

    • Jon Corbet’s Linux Forecast, Netflix and More from Collaboration Summit
    • 5 Great Quotes of the Day from the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit

      Keynote presenters had some interesting things to say at The Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on Monday. Here are some top quotes. What did you take away from the sessions? Please share your favorite quotes and moments in the comments, below.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel OpenGL Performance On The Linux 3.9 Kernel

        Our latest benchmarks at Phoronix of the Linux 3.9 kernel are looking at the performance of the Intel DRM driver when handling an Intel Core i7 “Ivy Bridge” processor with HD 4000 graphics. The Intel OpenGL Linux graphics performance with this forthcoming kernel was compared to the earlier Linux 3.8, 3.7, 3.6, and 3.5 kernel releases.

      • Intel Mesa Driver Gets HiZ Support For Haswell

        If running the latest stable components powering the Intel Linux graphics driver (namely the Linux kernel, Mesa, and xf86-video-intel), the open-source graphics support for the forthcoming Haswell processors should be in fairly good shape. However, like Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, it will take some time before the Linux graphics driver is fully-optimized. Fortunately, there’s another newly-enabled Haswell feature to report within Mesa.

      • New AMD Catalyst Beta Supports Linux 3.8, TF2 Fixes

        AMD has released a new Catalyst Linux graphics driver, which supports modern Linux kernel releases while having various other fixes in store too. Some of the OpenGL fixes will help those playing some Linux Steam client games.

      • Bitcoin Mining Comes To Radeon Open-Source OpenCL

        With the increasing popularity as of late with the Bitcoin virtual currency, the open-source Radeon Gallium3D OpenCL stack has advanced to support Bitcoin mining.

        Tom Stellard of AMD has spent the past few days working on getting the Radeon Gallium3D OpenCL stack in a state where it works to run the “bfgminer” Bitcoin mining application running on the open-source Radeon HD driver. After a few days, he has it working with some new code, but the performance isn’t all that great.

    • Benchmarks

      • Tuning Btrfs vs. F2FS, EXT4, XFS File-Systems

        When earlier this week delivering Btrfs benchmarks with various mount options for tuning the next-generation Linux file-system, some Linux users were hoping to see other file-systems tossed into the test mix too for reference. Here’s those numbers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.8 Classic for openSUSE 12.3
      • Trying KDE’s File Manager -Dolphin- in GNOME 3.8

        It was a time when the first letter of many programs in Linux was “g” or “k”, to declare if something was made for GNOME or KDE. Back then, KDE programs (made of Qt) was looking awful under GNOME (made of GTK) and vice versa.

        Nowadays with the very improved theming you can hardly understand if an application is written in Qt or GTK or even in another toolkit like Java. I remember when Mark Shuttleworth had talked 3-4 years ago for the development of a common environment in Ubuntu that could genuine run GTK or QT Apps, toolkit-invisible to users.

      • Gnome 3.8 Review… Still Shit!
      • GNOME Photos 3.8.0

        After a year of development, I am happy to announce GNOME Photos 3.8.0. This completes the last unfinished GNOME 3.8 feature – Photos is now the latest in the set of Finding & Reminding applications for GNOME 3.

  • Distributions

    • Specialized Gaming Distros Down and Out?

      Gaming on Linux is fun. A bit geeky, but fun. There is no dearth of free and open-source games for Linux. Some are plain awesome, some come handy when you want to kill time, and some exist just for the purpose of showing to the world that a geek in one corner of the world can build games on their own. The gaming universe is not as large on Linux as what it is on Windows, of course, but we’re getting there, one step at a time.

    • 10 Top Widely Used Linux Distributions of 2012

      Linux is one of the powerful and standard operating system which at present is growing faster and faster in computer operating system planet. It offers excellent performance and speed. Linux is very stable and reliable in terms of usage. It also provides several administrative tools and utilities that help you to manage your system effectively.

    • New Releases

      • [pfSense] 2.0.3 Release Now Available!

        I’m happy to announce the release of pfSense 2.0.3. This is a maintenance release with some bug and security fixes since 2.0.2 release. You can upgrade from any previous release to 2.0.3.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Bring in the clones – CentOS and Scientific Linux

        In March 2013 two projects, CentOS and Scientific Linux, released updates to their respective distributions. Both projects provide clones of Enterprise Linux free of cost. As such both projects are important to the Linux ecosystem as they provide a means for users to take advantage of stable, high quality software without the high cost associated with enterprise quality products. While both projects released clones of Enterprise Linux 6.4 and while both projects maintain binary compatibility with their upstream software provider, these projects do carry subtle differences. They may be binary compatible with each other, but each project takes a slightly different approach in their presentation and configuration. With this in mind I would like to talk about what it is like to set up both CentOS and Scientific Linux.

      • Red Hat Launches Open Source OpenStack RDO

        Red Hat is accelerating its involvement with the open source OpenStack cloud platform project with a new community distribution of OpenStack.

      • Red Hat Advances Enterprise OpenStack Distro to Early Adopter Program

        OpenStack is an open source framework for building and managing private, public and hybrid infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds. RDO, the name for Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution (which stands for Red Hat Distribution of OpenStack), may not have a name as catchy as the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project, but its function will be similar.

        The Fedora community adds new features upstream before they become incorporated in the Linux-based operating system and eventually make their way into Red Hat’s commercially available Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). RDO will be a freely available, community-supported distribution of OpenStack that runs on RHEL, Fedora and their derivatives and offers a pure upstream OpenStack experience.

      • JBoss Data Grid 6.1: High Availability, Faster Recovery

        Red Hat this week unveiled JBoss Data Grid 6.1, an update to its in-memory database, with significant new functionality for high availability and disaster recovery. Its first update in nearly a year, Red Hat’s database for large-scale enterprise applications now supports data-center replication across geographically dispersed clusters as well as the ability to perform rolling upgrades without interrupting service.

    • Debian Family

      • Lucas Nussbaum is new Debian leader

        Lucas Nussbaum, an assistant professor of computer science from Universite de Lorraine, is the new leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project.

      • DPL election is over, congratulations Lucas Nussbaum!
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS vs. Ubuntu 13.04 Benchmarks

            For those that may be currently running Ubuntu 12.04.2 as the latest Ubuntu Linux Long-Term Support release but are considering upgrading to Ubuntu 13.04 for better performance, here are benchmarks comparing the two Ubuntu Linux releases when tested on an Apple MacBook Pro and Lenovo ThinkPad. Overall, there’s a few areas where the new Ubuntu Linux release delivers worthwhile performance improvements over the year-old Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

          • Enable Different Wallpapers for Each Workspace in Ubuntu 13.04
          • 7 Subtle Unity Changes You Might Not Notice in 13.04

            Ubuntu 13.04 will be released later this month, and whilst many will be focusing on the big bang-whizz changes – like new animation effects, features and app changes, few will give much attention to the subtler changes.

          • The good and bad of Ubuntu 13.04 beta 2
          • No Official pre-press Ubuntu 13.04 CD/DVD will be distributed by Canonical

            But starting from Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail), pre-pressed Ubuntu CD/DVD will only be made available only for LTS release (the next one will be 14.04 LTS ) from this point forward. This is in-line with Canonical policy to only concentrate on supporting Ubuntu LTS.

          • Easily Sign The Ubuntu Code Of Conduct With CoC Signing Assistant

            Signing the Ubuntu Code of Conduct may seem difficult, especially for relatively new Linux users so to make things easier, Marten de Vries has created an application called Code of Conduct Signing Assistant which should make make it easier to sign the Ubuntu Code of Conduct.

          • Ubuntu Software Center Explored

            Over the years, the methods of installing new software onto Linux systems has evolved a great deal. These days, modern distributions use tools like the Ubuntu Software Center to make software installation as simple as point-and-click.

            In this article, I’ll explore the Ubuntu Software Center, it’s earliest beginnings, how the back-end works and where it still needs some fine-tuning for the future.

          • App Ecosystem for Ubuntu Mobile Growing Steadily
          • Flavours and Variants

            • 10 Reasons to Love Lubuntu 12.10
            • The Other Shoe Drops: Founder Announces Retirement, Fuduntu End of Life

              Sadly, following on the heels of that story, Founder +Andrew Wyatt made a formal announcement this morning regarding his planned retirement from active work on and end of life for the Fuduntu project.

            • Fuduntu Linux is closing its doors

              Fuduntu’s last release will be version 2013.3, he added. September 30 will be the last official day of Fuduntu Linux.

            • Fuduntu Team meeting held on April 14, 2013

              On Sunday, April 14, the Fuduntu team held a public meeting on IRC. Many things were discussed, including some issues that have major implications for both the team and community. Among the things discussed were introduction of team members, status of various teams, and the future of Fuduntu.
              The biggest topic discussed was the future of Fuduntu. The team has been striving to bring a stable system to the community and we believe we’ve been able to do that. One of the key aspects of that was using GNOME 2. However, as time has gone by, support for GTK2 has decreased dramatically. With this, apps using GTK2 have been moved to GTK3 and old versions are no longer being maintained for either bugs or security flaws.

            • Fuduntu Linux pivoting to rebase project

              The Fuduntu developers have decided that their current path of producing a GNOME 2 desktop with a Fedora based distribution as a rolling release is becoming technically problematic and have “voted to end-of-life Fuduntu Linux”. Fuduntu originally appeared in 2010 as a fork of Fedora designed for netbooks with power management applets and various optimisations for running on portable devices.The most recent release, Fuduntu 2013.2, appeared on 8 April.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dedoimedo reviews OpenPandora – Chapter one!

      I rarely review hardware, mostly my own purchases, which usually come in the form of this or that laptop, some desktops, plus an odd phone here and there. Approx. a month back, I was contacted by Michael Mrozek, the CEO of OpenPandora GmbH, and asked to review their Pandora product, the world’s smallest, most powerful micro-gaming computer.

    • ARM-based device developers get SMARC COMs
    • Tiny COM runs Linux, Android on quad-core i.MX6

      CompuLab is shipping a Linux- and Android-ready COM built around the 1.2GHz Freescale i.MX6 processor, giving developers a choice of one, two, or four ARM Cortex-A9 cores. The CM-FX6 measures 75×65 mm, offers up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and uses dual 140-pin connectors to supply interfaces like I2C, CAN, SATA, and HDMI.

    • Interesting embedded device opportunity: mobile ALPRs
    • Raspberry Pi Tops 1 Million In Sales

      Raspberry Pi is racking up some major sales. The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced last week that more than one million of the popular Linux-based devices have been sold to date.

      Posting on the company’s blog, the team at Raspberry also announced that it has greatly scaled up production for the devices.

    • Phones

      • Tizen DevCon issues 2013 presentations list v1

        After reviewing more than 160 session proposals, the program committee of Tizen Developers Conference 2013 has published the event’s preliminary list of 45 presentations. The sessions will be organized in three tracks: Tizen project, process, and progress; app development and deployment; and platform and device development.

      • What’s Up Dock?

        If you have followed my column during the past few years, you’ll know that I am a big fan of having a portable Linux environment with me wherever I go. For years, this took the form of small laptops (like the Fujitsu P series) and most recently the Nokia N900, which took the form factor down to pocket size.

        When I got the N900, I thought technology finally had caught up to a dream of mine: the ability to carry my computer in my pocket and, when I’m out walking around, interface with it via the small keyboard and touchscreen. When I get home, I can dock it, and it will expand to a larger display with a proper keyboard and mouse and become my regular computer. The big advantage of this idea is that I can keep my files and environment with me wherever I go.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Best Download Managers For Linux

          Downloading huge amount of files using your web browser can be quite tedious. Many times downloads are interrupted and sometimes, you’ll find that they are slower than usual. One of the worst things, however, when it comes to downloading files using web browsers is that the moment you close the browser or lose the connection, all your downloaded effort goes to waste. This is where download managers come in handy. These small applications are responsible for ensuring that you have an uninterrupted download that can be resumed anytime you want. Moreover, apart from giving you the core features, these tools also let you download your favorite content via proxy and FTP as well.

        • Android phones to top 1B by year-end, Eric Schmidt says
        • Facebook Home And The Promise Of Android

          If you’re an iPhone user, you might be feeling a little left behind, because Facebook launched an application called Facebook Home, touted by CEO Mark Zuckerberg as the “next version of Facebook.” In fact, you might be feeling this way if you’re an Android user, too. For now, only a handful of select devices can even run Home (officially) — notably missing from the lineup is Google’s Nexus 4, the latest in the lineup of Nexus-branded flagship Android phones — devices that users adopt in particular to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new app releases.

          But Facebook promised that more handsets will be supported in time, as will tablets. Well, only Android ones, that is.

          It’s too soon to say whether Facebook Home will live up to the company’s claims and expectations of becoming the new way people interact with the social network, or whether it will go down only as a notable experiment on the social network’s part. If the latter, it won’t be a major loss to the company, as Facebook will continue to have access to data from a core group of heavy Facebook enthusiasts. It will learn what keeps users engaged, what posts and images catch their eye and their clicks, and, eventually, which advertisements do, too.

        • UDOO Mini PC Single Board Android, Linux, Arduino System Unveiled (video)
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • EOMA-68 cards could lead to upgradeable tablets (and other computers)

        You know how you can upgrade some components in your computer when they start to feel stale instead of going out and buying a whole new PC? That’s a lot harder to do with a laptop than a desktop, and the only “upgrade” most mobile tablets offer is the option to add a microSD card.

        Rhombus Tech wants to change that by developing a platform that lets you swap out the CPU, memory, and other vital components of a tablet (or laptop, or desktop) when you want to upgrade — without requiring you to buy a new display, case, or other components.

      • Windows tablets don’t even rate a blip in the $64 billion tablet market, say report

        The ABI Research report says that an estimated 150 million tablets will ship in 2013, worth an estimated $64 billion. The total number of tablets will grow by a projected 38% over 2012, and the total revenue will grow a projected 28%.

Free Software/Open Source

  • You Use Open Source Tools? The Robot Recruiters Know It — and Like It

    As we’ve reported, the rise of the cloud and Big Data tools is also giving rise to a need for expertise in using these tools. Jobs for people with Linux and Big Data skills are readily available around the world.

    In an interesting spin on this trend, though, there are also some signs emerging that Big Data analysis tools could even match skilled workers up with their ideal jobs in ways that human recruiters can’t. And, these tools may put special emphasis on how savvy job seekers are with open source technology and general computing knowledge.

  • OSI Open Source Community Summit

    The License Clinic for US Federal Agencies is not the only new departure for the Open Source Initiative this May. OSI is also reaching out to a wide spectrum of open source communities with its Open Source Community Summit in Washington DC on May 10 2013, where we’ll be able to gain a much fuller idea of the needs of those communities. Sponsored by Google, Red Hat and Eclipse, and chaired by OSI President Simon Phipps, this is OSI’s first Community Summit.

  • BCS aims to promote open source awareness for females

    BCSWomen is working with BCS Open Source specialist group and Flossie to host a number of one-day career workshops to promote open source development as a second career opportunity.

    These events are part of the organisation’s campaign to advise more women to take up or return to careers in IT, with modern estimates claiming that women account for less than a fifth of ICT managers and 21 per cent of computer analysts.

  • Increasing participation of women in Free and Open Source Software

    Few women have been historically applying for Google Summer of Code, a program in which Google provides stipends for students to work for three months on FOSS projects. Last year, after many efforts by both the Google team and the community to increase the diversity in the program, about 100 of 1200 participants or 8.3% were women, which was a highest level of participation by women yet.

  • BCSWomen & Flossie team to bolster open source female job roles
  • Open-Source Software Maker Races to Funding Deadline

    In a bold experiment, nonprofit Mission software developer Yorba Foundation is bidding for sustainable support through crowdfunding for its open-source email program, Geary.

    Founded in 2009 by Google alumnus Adam Dingle, the Capp Street nonprofit aims to raise $100,000 in the next nine days via a campaign on the funding platform Indiegogo. If the plan works, Yorba’s strategy could blaze a trail for other open-source companies to support the creation of free software.

    “We want to be able to say, ‘Yeah this worked for us, and you should give it a try,’” said Jim Nelson, Yorba’s executive director. “This might be a way for other companies to raise money and keep going.” For now, Yorba gets its financial backing from Dingle.

  • New Open Source Engine on its Way!
  • Open Source Music Streaming Service Napster.fm Released

    When the MP3 format was unleashed onto the relatively young Internet, it was an absolute game changer. It finally made audio files small enough to practically distribute over the Internet, as high-speed connections were still a luxury item for the majority of Internet users. But while it was the MP3 format that made it possible, it was undeniably Napster that brought it to the mass media.

    In 1999, Napster completely changed the way people shared and listened to music; it helped start the trend of abandoning physical media for digital. Unfortunately, it also brought the wrath of the recording industry, and Napster was sued into oblivion after only 2 years.

  • Operating System Features I’d Like to See

    FOSS operating systems are great and I enjoy using and adapting them, but they are missing certain features which could make them even better.

    One issue with FOSS operating systems is the plethora of package managers. Fedora even has two different package managers: apt-get and yum. Slackware has their own version of apt-get that they call slapt-get. The three BSDs use pkgsrc and the Sharp Zaurus used a similar package manager called ipkg. If you use KDE you are probably familiar with kpackage.

  • Events

    • Linux Collaboration Summit keynote videos now available

      Videos from the Linux Collaboration Summit’s day 1 keynote sessions, recorded on April 15, are now available for on-demand streaming. The videos include presentations by Jaguar Land Rover, Samsung, Netflix, Yocto, OpenMAMA, Adapteva, and LWN’s Jon Corbet.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome OS devices get security updates

        Google Chromebook users running the stable channel of the Chrome OS are getting an update 26.0.1410.57. This update brings some security improvements. But since Chromebooks gets update automatically, you don’t have to do anything. Just keep an eye on the notification bubble and if there is one, restart your machine to keep it updated.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Shows Off TowTruck, for Browser-based Collaboration

        Over at Mozilla, they continue to throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. Mozilla Labs is out with an early alpha version of TowTruck, a project designed to facilitate Skype-style collaboration online, leveraging new features found in the Firefox and Chrome browsers. In a post announcing the experiment, Mozilla Labs warns that the technology is experimental at this point, but it looks like a very easy way to incorporate real-time collaboration into any website.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Rackspace attacks Amazon with new cloudy clones

      Look out, Amazon Web Services. Rackspace is cloning its own cloudy service – and to quote Jimi Hendrix’s Foxy Lady, it’s “comin’ to getcha.”

      Way back when, Rackspace Hosting teamed up with NASA to create the OpenStack community precisely to leverage the smarts and excitement of the open source community to take on the closed and controlled AWS cloud. Now Rackspace will take OpenStack and leverage its own experience in building custom infrastructure to house OpenStack clouds, and deliver it as a service to telecommunication and service provider customers.

    • Rackspace to offer OpenStack deployments for service providers
    • 9 Key Value Stores for Big Data
    • NetApp Unveils a File-Share Service Proposal at OpenStack Summit
    • Who Wrote OpenStack Grizzly

      The open source OpenStack Grizzly cloud platform release debuted the first week of April benefiting from over 480 contributors making over 7,600 updates.

      While the base of contribution is broad, one vendor stands at the top of the list, in terms of number of code commits made. While the initial releases of OpenStack were dominated by code commits from Rackspace and Nebula, for Grizzly, Red Hat now leads the list.

      Red Hat made 836 commits across core OpenStack projects and 1,854 commits across all OpenStack projects. Red Hat developers added 121,632 lines code and remove 87,145 lines of code.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Teaching children how to code

      Coding is the language of the future, with the power to create and modify the computer programs and websites that increasingly shape our day-to-day lives. While millions of people in the United States spend hours each day engaged with interactive technologies, relatively few truly understand how they work; and fewer take an active role in developing software and websites.

      Still, some organizations are advocating more be done to teach young people about computer programing and coding. It is no secret that younger generations, born into an age of smartphone apps and near-ubiquitous Internet access, tend to be more enthusiastic and adept at using new technologies than their parents and grandparents. The key word here is “using” technology, as opposed to creating new programs and reimagining existing processes.

    • Lessons from Koha in open source project ownership

      While compiling OSS Watch’s list of Open Source Options for Education, I discovered Koha, an open source Integrated Library System (ILS). I discovered, with some confusion, that there seemed to be several ILS systems called Koha. Investigation into the reason for this uncovered a story which provides valuable lessons for open source project ownership, including branding, trademarks, and conflict resolution.

      Koha started its life in New Zealand (reflected in the name, which is a Māori word meaning reciprocal gift, or a gift with expectations). It was originally commissioned by the Horowhenua Library Trust (HLT), written by Katipo Communications Ltd, and released under the GPL. Crucially, Katipo held the copyright on the Koha code.

  • Business


    • Epiphany SDK Insights and Future

      The Epiphany SDK started life as a prototype binutils & GCC port by Alan Lehotsky, which would run code on a Verilator model of the Epiphany chip.

      Embecosm became involved in March 2009, initially providing an implementation of the GNU Debugger. Then over a period of 6 weeks starting that September we upgraded GCC to a commercially robust implementation, eliminating all regression test failures from the C and C++ compilers. This was still before the first silicon had been spun, and with testing against a Verilator model.

    • Stallman Spake

      It’s too much for ordinary consumers, the vast majority of users of IT, to deal with a pile of such issues when moving to Free Software. Over time more manufacturers are supplying drivers for Linux so this issue may well disappear, but in the meantime some compromise must be made in practice. There’s nothing wrong with the principles however. It’s the right way to do IT with shared, re-used, redistributable software because it’s the best quality at the lowest price and it respects the freedom of the users.

    • GNU/Linux is difficult?

      GNU/Linux emerges thanks to the free software ideology, but independently of this ideology, we have a great freedom of choice and decision. For example, customized our operating system according to our preferences, tastes or needs. In Windows we can customize it partially through skins or themes, we can change the window color, transparency, change the login screen, boot screen among other little things. But you set out to change some other aspect in particular? Suppose the taskbar makes you ugly, annoying or maybe want to add some extra functionality. It will be difficult get this directly, that is, that it allows Windows you do beforehand, maybe we can use external programs, most of which are pay and usually, the result only partially mitigates the need that we had. In GNU / Linux this is possible and more so, if you do not like what you see can change completely, if you already bored as seen Gnome you can exchange it for KDE, If KDE does not fill your expectations can change for XFCE. If specific application has not simply what you expect you replace the other. Want to try another version of GNU/Linux? Just download and try it!

    • Boston Marathon bombings

      Thank you to everyone for thinking of us at the Free Software Foundation office in downtown Boston as yesterday’s terrible news unfolded. We appreciate all the concerned emails and queries.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Cabinet Office appoints Open Standards Board to drive open source use

      The Cabinet Office has announced the appointment of an Open Standards Board to oversee the development of a level playing field for open source and proprietary software providers in government.

      Since November, departments have been required to ensure all new IT contracts with software suppliers abide by open standards principles, allowing interoperability and data and document format interoperability. The Cabinet Office central spend and control process is responsible for ensuring departments adhere to the policy when procuring software.

  • Licensing

    • A Dual Model of Open Source License Growth

      Every open source project needs to decide on an open source license. This decision is of high economic relevance: Just which license is the best one to help the project grow and attract a community? The most common question is: Should the project choose a restrictive (reciprocal) license or a more permissive one? As an important step towards answering this question, this paper analyses actual license choice and correlated project growth from ten years of open source projects. It provides closed analytical models and finds that around 2001 a reversal in license choice occurred from restrictive towards

    • Open source cola and the ‘Napster moment’ for the food business
  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Funf 0.4 brings under the hood changes to sensor framework

      The developers of the Funf open source Java-based sensor framework for mobile phones have released version 0.4 of their software. Most changes in this version, the developers say, are under the hood and affect the architecture of the framework. Changes include a new pipeline interface, a redesigned configuration process, and changes that mean that Funf now runs as a single service instead of spawning a service for each sensor probe.

    • Benchmarking PHP 5.5 Beta 3: Not Too Much Over 5.4

      PHP 5.5 Beta 3 was released today wotj a few bug-fixes and other minor changes. To complement the PHP benchmarks earlier this week, here are some benchmarks of the forthcoming PHP 5.5.

    • RunRev’s Open Source LiveCode

      RunRev is launching an open source version of its LiveCode application development software. The finance was raised by a Kickstarter campaign earlier in the year.

      LiveCode has achieved a certain amount of success as a paid-for product designed for cross-platform application design, but RunRev wanted more users, so raised $750,000 in a Kickstarter campaign.

    • Generating Reports With Code

      Last week I was running load tests against a new server and needed to produce reports from the results. I wanted to have graphs to show the response time as the test progressed, and thought this would be a good time to try a couple of different methods of creating the reports. The first report was generated with Microsoft Word and Excel, and as I struggled with Excel’s insane copy and paste, and Word’s inane auto layout decisions, the one thought that kept occurring to me was “why does anyone put up with this?” The next step was to break out the power tools with Python and LaTeX.

      I used siege for the load testing, and redirected the output to a file. The siege output gives me a nice baseline to work from, but simply redirecting the output also gives some cruft that needs to be cleaned up. During the first go around with Excel, I needed to open up each file in Vim to clean it up before I could import the data. In the process of cleaning up the files, of course the thought occurred to me that I should automate that task, but I try to avoid unnecessary scripting when I can. Once the graphs were created, they needed to be copied and pasted into the Word document, which I then spent ten minutes trying to get each graph to look uniform. Admitted, I’m not a Word or Excel expert, but I do know that repetitive tasks and document layout are two things that computers do well. I should let them do it.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Intel touts free HTML5 development environment

      Intel launched a free HTML5 Development Environment at IDF in Beijing last week. The tool is said to enable cross-platform development, test, and deployment of apps that can run on multiple device types and operating systems, and which can be distributed through multiple application stores.

      Intel says it’s investing in HTML5 “to help mobile application developers lower total costs and improve time-to-market for cross-platform app development and deployment.”



Links 15/4/2013: Underwater Linux, More Android Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 7:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • “Safety Linux” project touts progress, solicits commitments

    The Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) wants to simplify the process of certifying Linux-based devices to the IEC’s Safety Integrity Level 2 specs. Now, the group is asking interested parties to sign a letter-of-intent, through which various system components would be pre-certified on a cost-shared basis.

  • Underwater vehicle with a Pi brain

    Seems with Raspberry Pi, creativity sees no limit. Recently, a group of National University of Singapore engineering undergraduates has created an autonomous underwater vehicle, with the help of the Pi for memory-intensive functions and Arduino for precise control. And they call it “Coconut Pi”.

  • Making a Living in a Microsoft World, Enriched by GNU/Linux

    I can appreciate someone who casts aside all other considerations in their quest for freedom from interference. We owe a debt to people like that. But not everyone needs to live up to that kind of standard. The differences in the nature of Linux and Windows software are instructive and eye-opening. I can use my experience with Windows to describe why I believe Linux is mostly just better than Windows.

    Microsoft software is tinged by the behavior of its maker and its fans. Otherwise, there would be no impulse to question why someone would use software from multiple sources.

  • 5 must read Linux Blogs
  • Dedoimedo with: A Beard and a Pipe

    Twenty years plus since being created, Linux remains a terrifying word in the global lexicon. Probably not as bad as it was for farmers watching cars take over the countryside in the early decades of the 20th century, but close. It’s an operating system all right, but one that does not warm the cockles of your heart. It’s the bastion of nerdy and geeky and difficult, and you are better off leaving it alone, to its bearded users. Which makes me think, why is the beard a status of sagacity in our society? Throw in a smoking pipe, and you have a PhD in trustworthiness. That’s how it works. And yet, even though Linux is an obvious choice among the people of science, academy and industry, the popular desire to emulate the prototype intellectual status is in low demand. For most folks, the hardship of becoming a Linux user outweighs the benefits. (Image credit: Wikipedia.org)

    Because of this phenomenon, if you happen to burrow your face into the job-seeking networks, you will see the string Linux featuring tall and mighty. There’s quite a bit of demand for Linux system administrators and engineers, global recession and all notwithstanding. True, you will find a wealth of other occupations, professions and skill being hawked to the lowest bidder, but Linux is sort of a star.

  • LPI Offers “Beta” Exams for Revised Linux Certifications
  • James Gosling Smartens up Floating Robot with Linux/Java “Regulus” OS

    Earlier this week, Liquid Robotics unveiled the latest in its line of “Wave Glider” autonomous aquatic craft, due to ship in the third quarter, billing it as “the world’s first hybrid wave and solar propelled unmanned ocean robot.” In addition to its energy harvesting marvels, the 9.5-foot, Wave Glider SV3 is also notable for being the first Linux-powered Wave Glider. With its Linux- and Java-based Regulus operating system, the floating robot is far more adept at autonomous navigation than the Wave Glider SV2, and can now coordinate with its siblings in fleet operations.

  • Desktop

    • ZFS is ready for your Linux desktop

      And now after more than two years in the experimental stage, the ZFS file system for Linux is ready for widespread use.

    • The Linux Setup – Meg Ford, GNOME Developer

      I am a member of the GNOME foundation and an MS in Computer Science student. I contribute to GNOME’s Documents application, co-organize monthly Linux user group meetups and GNOME hackfests in Chicago, and help out with the Chicago Python Workshop. I’m working as a web developer while I complete my degree.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Episode 190: JPEG and PNG, what’s in it?

      The last episode was for absolute beginners, this one is for Geeks. I try to explain (and understand on the way) how images are stored in PNG and JPEG files. PNG (pronounced “PING”) does this lossless, the image can be retrieved in the same quality as the original. PNG works wonders with graphics with a lot of lines and clear colour areas, comics and logos for example, but it creates monster files out of photos and similar images. JPEG looses details, aquires artefacts and generally mangles the image. But it has so beautifully small files and the losses are in most cases invisible – except in the area where PNG is good. So both have their niche to live in.

    • Apache Cloudstack
    • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 499
    • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 500
    • LB – Episode 77 – We Don’t Need No Claudio

      Kevin Wisher and Pegwole join Chad Wollenberg this episode. We discuss TLLTS 500th show, MakerFaire in Munich Germany, and we discuss network administration and how to utilize different utilities such as nmap and wireshark to do analysis on the packets causing problems. Make sure to catch Chad on Linux For the Rest of Us next week!

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 6

      In this episode: We’ve got oodles of Google news, Nvidia’s new Optimus driver, Dell selling Ubuntu games PCs and our own discoveries. Plus a new podcast challenge and the Open Ballot.

  • Kernel Space

    • The People Who Support Linux: Tony Awtrey, Linux Developer and Opera Singer

      Listening to Tony Awtrey sing Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem is awe inspiring. The classically trained tenor has a euphonious voice capable of taking your breath away. He’s also a Linux developer and Chief Scientist in the defense industry.

    • Systemd 201 Ushers In New Features

      Lennart Poettering announced systemd 201 on Monday afternoon. Features of systemd 201 include journalctl sub-command updates, improvements to reading the crypttab file, a “systemctl status” command for showing various bits of useful status information, improvements to the systemd libraries, and much more.

    • Systemd: The New PulseAudio

      So, clearly, it’s different strokes for different folks and while change is good, the contention over whether systemd is really a good thing remains hotly debated. One thread concerning ‘The Bad’ in the Arch Linux community is fairly representative of the concern for adoption of systemd. Arch Linux has a loyal following of pragmatic users who enjoy working at a component level because of how it allows one to truly learn the ‘build your own’ Desktop. The result is a clean, lean system and their is purity in that. So, they might be the most vocal of all critics and rightly so.

    • 6 Best File Systems for Big Data

      Big Data is an all-inclusive term that refers to data sets so large and complex that they need to be processed by specially designed hardware and software tools. The data sets are typically of the order of tera or exabytes in size. These data sets are created from a diverse range of sources: sensors that gather climate information, publicly available information such as magazines, newspapers, articles. Other examples where big data is generated include purchase transaction records, web logs, medical records, military surveillance, video and image archives, and large-scale e-commerce.

    • Developer Dissatisfaction Looms with Systemd

      Things seem to be moving along swimmingly with ongoing development surrounding systemd, at least as far as Lead Developer Lennart Poettering is concerned who has outlined the plans for moving the project forward with hopefully full upstream community participation in lock step.

    • Nouveau Improves Some Games With Linux 3.9 Kernel

      Nouveau, the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA Linux graphics driver, is faster for some OpenGL games when running on the soon-to-be-released Linux 3.9 kernel.

      Early this morning I published some new Nouveau benchmarks from Mesa 9.2-devel. After that testing, from the Lenovo ThinkPad W510 with NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M graphics, I then compared recent Linux kernel releases. The Linux 3.9 Git kernel as of yesterday was compared to the vanilla mainline releases of Linux 3.8, 3.7, and 3.6.

    • Linux Kernel Closer To Having Apple IR Support

      While some patches have turned up in the past, the mainline Linux kernel has yet to have support for Apple’s infrared remote control found on their computers since 2005. Fortunately, it looks like a new Apple IR driver is taking shape.

      Based upon the earlier work of James McKenzie, Greg Kroah-Hartman, and Bastien Nocera, Benjamin Tissoires has now provided a new patch ushering in the “AppleIR” driver for the Linux kernel.

    • Linux Kernel Power Management Targeting Memory

      One of the areas of hardware power management that can yield a surprising amount of power-savings but is often overlooked comes down to the system memory. Fortunately, new Linux kernel patches continue to be written for improving the Linux kernel RAM power management.

      On modern hardware with DDR3 and similar, there’s power management functionality for putting unused DIMMs into a low-power state when the RAM hasn’t been accessed for a period of time. While this is a hardware feature, with the operating system being made aware of such information, better decisions could be made by the kernel and in particular the memory management subsystem, e.g. first touching RAM that is actively being used rather than storing data on a DIMM currently in a low-power state. Other benefits can also come from making the kernel and memory subsystem power-aware.

    • Linux 3.10 May Have New Multi-Platform Support

      The Linux 3.7 kernel brought ARM multi-platform support and now with the Linux 3.10 kernel it may be extended to support the Samsung Exynos SoC family.

      The ARM multi-platform feature allows for having support for multiple ARM SoCs/platforms within a single Linux kernel image. Traditionally, the ARM Linux kernel situation has been a fragmented mess and needing separate kernel images for different Systems-on-a-Chip. With the Linux 3.7 kernel and this multi-platform support, it became possible to have one kernel for covering Calxeda Highbank, Versatile Express, Altera, PicoXcell, and other SoCs.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Linux and Mesa 3D support for AMD’s video accelerator

        Mesa 3D can now use the Unified Video Decoder (UVD) of modern Radeon graphics chips; this decoder is more efficient with common video formats than software that decodes using the main processor or the graphics processor’s shaders. The UVD support arrived with extensions that were created by AMD developer Christian König and have recently been added to Mesa 3D (1, 2). Therefore, it should become part of the next Mesa 3D generation that will probably be versioned as 9.2 or 10.0; once released, this generation is expected to be integrated into the Linux distributions’ development branches quickly, because Mesa 3D is an important component for these distributions’ 3D support for current graphics chips.

      • 2013 X.Org Board of Director Election Results
      • NVIDIA vs. Nouveau Drivers On Ubuntu 13.04

        After showing off early Mesa 9.2 benchmarks with Nouveau and Nouveau improvements with the Linux 3.9 kernel, our latest NVIDIA Linux benchmarks from one of our Lenovo ThinkPad laptops is comparing the NVIDIA vs. Nouveau driver performance on Ubuntu 13.04.

        For those deciding between the Nouveau (the open-source default NVIDIA driver on Ubuntu) and the proprietary NVIDIA Linux graphics driver that can easily be installed from Ubuntu’s package repository, here’s some new benchmarks. Overall though, these new benchmarks aren’t terribly surprising… NVIDIA’s binary driver still largely wins by a landslide, in large part because the Nouveau driver still lacks proper GPU re-clocking support.

      • First steps towards FOSS 3D driver for NVIDIA’s Tegra

        Developer Thierry Reding has released patches for the Linux kernel that enable the use of 3D acceleration features on Tegra processors. According to Reding, the patches are, however, not fully mature and are based on changes from other developers, in some cases from NVIDIA, which have not yet been merged into the Linux kernel.

      • Linux and Mesa 3D support for AMD’s video accelerator

        Mesa 3D can now use the Unified Video Decoder (UVD) of modern Radeon graphics chips; this decoder is more efficient with common video formats than software that decodes using the main processor or the graphics processor’s shaders. The UVD support arrived with extensions that were created by AMD developer Christian König and have recently been added to Mesa 3D (1, 2). Therefore, it should become part of the next Mesa 3D generation that will probably be versioned as 9.2 or 10.0; once released, this generation is expected to be integrated into the Linux distributions’ development branches quickly, because Mesa 3D is an important component for these distributions’ 3D support for current graphics chips.

      • New NVIDIA driver supports Optimus
      • NVIDIA Has Major New Linux Driver: Optimus, RandR 1.4
      • 2D Tiling For AMD’s RadeonSI Is Stacking Up

        Building upon last week’s RadeonSI tiling patches for exposing this performance-boosting feature on the latest generation of AMD Radeon HD graphics hardware is the xf86-video-ati work. With a new patch, 2D tiling can be turned on for Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs on the open-source Linux driver.

        Published last week and still baking were the “RadeonSI” tiling changes as they affect the Linux kernel with the Radeon DRM, the libdrm library, and the RadeonSI Mesa Gallium3D driver. Jerome Glisse has now put out the small xf86-video-ati patch for flipping on 2D color tiling within the Radeon X.Org driver.

      • X.Org/Mesa/Wayland In GSoC 2013

        While the X.Org Foundation and other projects under its umbrella like Mesa and Wayland benefited from Google’s Summer of Code initiative for several years, last year it wasn’t accepted to participate in GSoC 2012. The list of accepted organizations for GSoC 2013 was announced today and X.Org/Mesa/Wayland again isn’t part of the acceptance list.

      • Wayland Support For IBus Proposed
      • Wayland 1.1, Weston 1.1 Pack Lots Of New Features

        Version 1.1 of Wayland and the Weston reference compositor will soon be released. The first major post-1.0 updates to Wayland/Weston bring a number of exciting features to this next-generation Linux display server.

        Kristian Høgsberg has been preparing to get Wayland/Weston 1.1 out the door, which originally he hoped to have done by the end of March. However, a few remaining issues lingered, but now those are getting addressed.

      • 2013 X.Org Board of Director Election Results

        The 2013 X.Org Board of Director election results are now in for the four new board members responsible for stewarding the X.Org Foundation and related projects like Mesa and Wayland.

        The four new board members though aren’t a surprise since there was only four candidates running for the four open spots this year… Those elected were Alan Coopersmith (110 votes), Peter Hutterer (86 votes), Martin peres (66 votes), and Stuart Kreitman (63 votes).

    • Benchmarks

      • Early Mesa 9.2 Benchmarks With Nouveau

        While the release of Mesa 9.2/10.0 is still a ways away, for those users of the Nouveau reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA graphics driver, here are some early benchmarks for reference compared to the stable Mesa 9.0 and 9.1 series.

        The benchmarks being put out this morning are just some ThinkPad W510 numbers from an Intel Core i7 720QM system with NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M graphics. Ubuntu 13.04 was in use with the Linux 3.8 kernel and Unity 7.0 desktop. Being compared were Mesa 9.2 (master), 9.1, and 9.2 branches of Mesa Git.

      • Benchmarks Of NVIDIA’s New Linux GPU Driver
      • Btrfs File-System Tuning Benchmarks On Linux 3.9

        For those of you wondering the performance impact of using mount options for tuning the Btrfs file-system on the soon-to-be-out Linux 3.9 kernel, here’s some benchmarks of common Btrfs mount options.

        There were Btrfs tuning benchmarks on the Linux 3.7 kernel offered on Phoronix, but with this next-generation Linux file-system still being in a state of flux, new benchmarks were conducted this week from a Linux 3.9 Git kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • A Memory Comparison of Light Linux Desktops – Part 2

      In my previous article I’ve tried to investigate the RAM memory requirements for running some of the most common light window managers and desktop environments available in the Linux world. Prompted by a number of readers, I’ve decided to include also the big, well-known memory hogs that grab most of the Linux market, i.e. KDE, Unity and Gnome 3.

    • What makes a “lightweight” desktop environment lightweight?

      Over the last few days I was wondering what is a “lightweight” desktop. And I must say I couldn’t come up with an answer to that question.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE and Google Summer of Code 2013

        We’re delighted to announce that KDE has been accepted as a mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code 2013 (GSoC), for the ninth consecutive year. GSoC has been valuable in bringing new developers into the KDE Community and other free and open software projects. And it has been successful at achieving the goal of creating quality code for the use and benefit of all.

      • Dealing with Bugs in digiKam

        Bugs are inevitable in complex software, and digiKam is no exception. So what should you do when you’ve discovered a bug in your favorite photo management application? As a non-programmer, the best thing you can do is to file the bug with the KDE bug tracking system (digiKam is managed as part of the KDE project). Submitting bugs can be considered a tedious task, but this greatly helps the developers to improve digiKam, and the KDE bug tracking system makes it relatively easy to file bugs and issues.

      • The apps of KDE 4.10 Part III: KTorrent
      • KDE Outreach Program for Women

        We are pleased to announce that KDE will take part in the Outreach Program for Women (OPW) this year. OPW started in 2006 with an intention to reach talented women who are passionate about technology, but who may be uncertain about how to start contributing to free and open software projects. Since its beginning, OPW has included commercial and non-profit organizations that are leaders in free and open software.

      • Development begins on a lightweight KDE version

        KDE and openSUSE developer Will Stephenson is working on a slimmed down version of KDE that he calls KLyDE, short for K Lightweight Desktop Environment. In a blog entry about the project, Stephenson says that he thinks: “KDE is not intrinsically bloated”, but that most distributions of the open source desktop environment would, by default, install almost all of the software developed within the project. In his opinion, this leads to an overwhelming number of applications, widgets and options being presented to users. With KLyDE, Stephenson wants to create a modular distribution of KDE that can be reduced to the bare bones of what is necessary for a desktop environment.

      • Qt 5.0.2 Brings 600+ Improvements

        While Qt 5.1 is just around the corner, Digia released Qt 5.0.2 today as the second stable point release update. Qt 5.0.2 incorporates more than 600 improvements in 17 different modules of Qt 5.0.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • SolusOS And Transparency

      Some of you will still remember the early days of SolusOS. Every community member was involved in testing and feedback, and we put out ISO after ISO with sequential improvements.
      It was fun, and it worked.

    • Five operating system alternatives to Windows 8 and XP

      XP’s end of life-support is in sight and not everybody wants Windows 8. So, what are your other choices?

    • Important Notice: The future of Cinnarch

      While Cinnamon is a great user interface and we’ve had a lot of fun implementing it, it’s become too much a burden to maintain/update going forward. We’d like to remain faithful and compatible to our parent distro, Arch Linux, and further support of Cinnamon would strain that by causing incompatibilities/hacks in the entirety of the Gnome packageset. It is almost impossible to maintain software developed by Linux Mint in a rolling release as we are. They’re 1 year behind with upstream code. Arch Linux is going to have soon Gnome 3.8 and Cinnamon is not compatible with it. The Cinnamon team still have to migrate some of their tools to fully work with Gnome 3.6.

    • New Releases

      • Webconverger 19.1
      • Owl 3.0-20130408
      • Manjaro 0.8.5 released

        We are happy to announce the release of Manjaro 0.8.5. We worked hard to make this release the best Manjaro experience featuring Openbox 3.5.0 and Xfce 4.10. A graphical installer got added and a Manjaro settings manager handling user accounts, keyboard layouts, locales and translation packages is also included. Pamac got enhanced and is now translated to several languages. A special thanks flies out to Carl Duff for his great beginners guide, which makes it easy to install and start Manjaro Linux for everyone!

      • ClearOS Community 6.4.0 Released!

        ClearOS Community 6.4.0 is now available! Along with the usual round of bug fixes and enhancements, this release introduces a new reports engine, a storage manager, an antimalware file scanner, RADIUS, a basic POP/IMAP server, and mail retrieval.

      • Pardus 2013 (Community)
      • Announcing Foresight Linux 2.5.3
      • NST 18-4509
      • This is version 1.2.20 of Gorm.
    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Good news are always welcome

        Getting hit by this seasonal flu has not been exactly fun. I’ve been doing my best to keep up with my work and studies but, at this busy hour, I’m glad it’s me who gets the virus and not my computer. Starting my work from scratch AND recovering from the flu would be a lot worse.

      • Mageia 3 Beta 4 Live Images are Here

        Mageia 3 Beta 4 was released two weeks ago with a note saying live images to come. Well, by last week, I’d given up. But, low and behold, Claire Robinson posted a little announcement today saying she hopes they were worth the wait. Hmmm, good question.

      • OpenMandriva Has a Face!

        Black smoke is bellowing, church bells are ringing, trumpets are blowing… well, bloggers are blogging at least. The OpenMandriva canon have pondered, discussed, argued, researched, star gazed, and flung spaghetti on the wall; but they’ve finally decided. They’ve reached a decision as to the new logo and face of the OpenMandriva Association (and assuming the still officially unnamed distribution too). Thank goodness, it’s a pretty one.

        As you might have guessed, the logo above is the winner. The announcement said of it, “after internal voting, this was the most voted and consensual proposal.” The following is the official soon-to-be-copyrighted logo for the OpenMandriva Association.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Where is JBoss 7.2.0.Final?

        Red Hat and the JBoss Community recently announced that they will be releasing a single compiled binary under the EAP.Alpha terminology, rather than posting a community release on the community site and a separate EAP early release on the Red Hat site. This naming change has confused some members of the community, but rest assured the EAP.Alpha release is still under the LGPL as per previous JBoss Community releases.

      • Red Hat’s John Mark Walker: The Open Cloud Needs Open Storage

        Open source leads the data center, says John Mark Walker, Gluster Community leader at Red Hat. OK, what’s next? This is the question Walker plans to address in his keynote on Monday at Collaboration Summit in San Francisco, though he hints at the answer in this Q&A.

      • Jim Whitehurst takes support calls at Red Hat

        Support calls are extremely important for a billion dollar company like Red Hat. However, you won’t often hear about the CEO of company himself taking support calls. Red Hat’s CEO Jim Whitehurst does that. He takes support calls for customers.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Board: Fedora Userbase Discussion

          Last week the Fedora Board had an open, public meeting in IRC to discuss Fedora’s user base / target audience. Robyn announced the topic ahead of time and invited folks to join in. You can read the full meeting minutes, but I’ve gone through them and tried to pull out all of the interwoven threads of discussion and summarize it here for you as well.

    • Debian Family

      • Zombie Bug #645713 Still Lives
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Why I’m have not become an Ubuntu Member
          • Online Results in Ubuntu’s Dash: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

            Ubuntu wants to be the Google of your desktop. Yes, it really does. It wants you to be able to search for anything right from your desktop without even opening your browser. Sounds crazy right? On one side, you have Google letting you place all your world in your web browser, Ubuntu, on the other hand, tends to pull you away from the web and instead brings the web to your desktop. Now, as convenient as both ideas sound, many users are afraid of extremes. I, for example, would not like moving my whole life to a web browser much like Google Chromebook proponents do.

          • Why Canonical Is Using Android Drivers For Ubuntu Mir

            With Canonical’s Mir Display Server for future releases of Ubuntu Linux, they are supporting Android’s graphics layer and drivers rather than inventing their own solution, trying to push X.Org drivers, or demanding mobile graphics drivers modelled after the desktop Linux graphics stack. Why did they do this? Here’s an explanation.

          • Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) 13.05 announced

            The second edition of Ubuntu’s online developer summit, UDS 13.05, was announced yesterday. The virtual developer summit will run through May 14-16, from 1400 UTC to 2000 UTC. The summit is divided into five tracks – App Development, Community, Client, Server & Cloud and Foundations.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Emmabuntus 12.04.2-1.04 Review: Xubuntu LTS spiced up!

              I recently came across Emmabuntus in Distrowatch, it is a Xubuntu 12.04.2 LTS based distro which comes with a large number of pre-installed applications. You can say it to be Ultimate Edition for Xubuntu. Naturally, I was inclined to try it out – to check if it is just mindless collection of applications or the developers have used their judgement in selecting those apps.

            • Trisquel 6.0 LTS

              Trisquel 6.0 LTS was recently released so it’s time to give it another look. Trisquel is a popular distro for users that prefer to use only free software. You won’t find proprietary software included in Trisquel, it’s dedicated to the idea of truly free software.

            • Ubuntu 13.04 Sneak Peek

              Ubuntu 13.04 beta 2 has been released, so I thought I’d check it out for a sneak peek.

              The ISO file I downloaded weighed in at 825.5 MB. Note that Ubuntu 13.04 is a live distro, so you can try it without having to do an install on your system. I recommend this if you just want a quick look at it, while you wait for the final release.

            • 4 apps to install in Fuduntu 2013.2
            • Fuduntu 2013.2 review

              I havent tried any new distro for months. So on the occasion that a new version of Fuduntu got released, I decided to download then install it on my Samsung netbook. As a matter of fact, I had used an older version of Fuduntu last year and somehow liked it. However a problem occurred that the downloading speed was terribly slow back then, it just took me forever to upgrade system and install new packages. So I had to ditch Fuduntu for Linux Mint and havent tried Fuduntu again since then. But after installing and using the new Fuduntu for over a day, I can say that it is different now with many improvements.

            • Fuduntu 2013.2 Released – Download DVD Images and Installation Guide with Screenshots

              Fuduntu Linux, based on Fedora distribution released its Fuduntu 2013.2 version recently which has a user-friendly, rolling-release with RPM package management and the classic GNOME2 desktop environment. This release comes with many new features, application and bug fixes. It has released with two flavors. A Full version with lots of software installed by default and a new Lite version which uses 3-4GB less hard drive space depending on architecture. It supports Steam gaming and Netflix video streaming. XBMC, the popular media center developed by the XBMC Foundation is also now available in Fuduntu 2013.2 distribution.

            • One thing to edit in Fuduntu 2013.2
            • Fuduntu 2013.2 released with full and lite versions

              Fuduntu, the Linux based operating system earns its name by its ambition to fit somewhere in-between Fedora and Ubuntu. It had started a few years ago as a netbook-friendly OS. It had at that time, featured some desktop environment tweaks, which had sure improved performance on Eee PC netbooks with slow SSDs and small screens. Fuduntu has come a long way since then. The OS that straddles the line between Fedora and Ubuntu, uses the RPM package management system found in Fedora, but the design and usability get their tinge from Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny Atom-powered COM aims Linux at harsh apps

      VersaLogic announced a rugged, credit card-sized COM Express Mini module based on a 1.6GHz Intel Atom E6x0T processor. The Linux-ready VL-COMm-26 is also available as part of a “Falcon” subsystem that sandwiches the module with an I/O board of the same size.

    • 5-millionth Linux-powered Roku player ships

      In a post on the company’s blog today, Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood announced that more than 5 million of the company’s iconic Roku players have now shipped. Wood provides a brief history of the Roku player, from its modest 2008 launch as “the Netflix player,” to the point where it offers “about 750 channels,” including games.

    • 10 Things to Connect to Your Raspberry Pi
    • Meet UDOO – the Super Pi

      The hype of Raspberry Pi still going strong. But a new single board tiny computer just joined the game and currently raising fund on Kickstarter. It is UDOO ( pronounced “you do”) , and it can run both Android and Linux.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • LG Optimus F7 coming to Boost Mobile’s LTE lineup

          We’ve learned that Boost Mobile will be adding the highest-end model, the F7, to its LTE lineup in short order. It will be the carrier’s third LTE-capable device, following the HTC One SV and Boost/ZTE Force. Featuring a 4.7-inch, 720p display, 1.5GHz dual core processor, and eight-megapixel camera, the F7 (Boost codename: LG FX1) should prove a popular addition to the prepaid carrier’s handset portfolio.

        • Source: LG to hold New York press event on May 1
        • Samsung goes Mega with two new Galaxy smartphones

          Samsung has unveiled two new smartphones that push the envelope of screen size in the smartphone space.

          Dubbed Mega, the two devices Samsung showed off today come with the customer’s choice of a 5.8-inch screen or a 6.3-inch option. Both devices come with Android 4.2 (Jelly Ben) and a dual-core processor. The higher-end 6.3-inch option comes with a 1.7GHz processor, while the 5.8-inch version has a 1.4GHz chip. Both handsets have 8-megapixel rear-facing cameras and 1.9-megapixel front-facing cameras.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Profound Open Sources UI Tool Framework

    Profound Logic has open sourced its User Interface application development tool framework citing user and developer flexibility among its key reasons for doing so. Profound UI version 4.5 will now also benefit from improved integration between the IBM i and other compatible platforms.

  • What is Cisco’s Biggest Open Source Contribution Ever?

    Networking giant Cisco Systems is no stranger to the world of open source software. In 2009, Cisco was identified as one of the top contributors to the Linux kernel and its core IOS XE operating is based on Linux as well.

  • Funf 0.4 brings under the hood changes to sensor framework

    The developers of the Funf open source Java-based sensor framework for mobile phones have released version 0.4 of their software. Most changes in this version, the developers say, are under the hood and affect the architecture of the framework. Changes include a new pipeline interface, a redesigned configuration process, and changes that mean that Funf now runs as a single service instead of spawning a service for each sensor probe.

  • Open source app: Kaldin, an online exam tool

    Kaldin is an open-source web-based examination software that supports creation and management of various types of online assessments – exams and tests.

  • ProxMox – An Open Source Data Center Platform

    proxmox_logoMy journey in finding the best platform for web scale applications has brought me to ProxMox, an open source virtual environment that combines OpenVZ containers and KVM virtualization in a single pane of glass. ProxMox has the best balance between management and performance optimization using containers. We spent today bringing up a four node cluster, and it was dead easy.

    I love the architectural concept of containers. They allow you to slice up a single hardware server into multiple, independent environments, while still allowing full access to the hardware. It is not really virtualization, because none of the hardware resources are virtualized like they are with KVM or VMware. The ProxMox management layer is actually a base install of Debian running a modified OpenVZ Red Hat kernel. The base install weighs in at right around 1GB, and is so thin that there is only a 1-3% processing overhead incurred.

  • RunRev launches LiveCode 6.0, the first open source version of its app development software
  • Making Enterprise Penetration Testing Less Mysterious

    Since 2003 the open source Metasploit framework has been actively developed and used as a penetration testing tool for IT security. While ease-of-use was not top of mind in the early days of Metasploit, that is changing with the latest Metasploit 4.6 Pro release.

    “In the industry, there is a shortage of security folks and that puts a lot of pressure on the people that are working in security today,” said Christian Kirsch, product manager for Metasploit at Rapid7. “With the Metasploit Pro 4.6 release, there is the concept of wizards to make things easier.”

  • Negative to Positive: Interview with Mayan Developer Roberto Rosario

    The free and open source software community operates on a very simple principle: obey the license which the software is released under. But what happens when the rules of engagement set down in FOSS licenses like the GNU GPL are ignored? What do you do if a rival developer or company takes your code and doesn’t pass on the freedoms afforded by your original license?

    This is a fear that every FOSS developer has had at one point or another, and it only gets stronger as your project gains momentum and grows. It’s something that has kept untold lines of code closed up; arguably the biggest argument against opening up the source of a particular piece of software.

  • Check_MK simplifies Nagios monitoring
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla CEO Stepping Down Amidst Other Leadership Changes

        In a huge announcement from Mozilla, the nonprofit entity behind the Firefox browser and other open source tools has detailed significant changes to its executive management. CEO Gary Kovacs, who has been running Mozilla for three years, will step down later this year, and there is a search on for a Kovacs replacement. Kovacs will remain on Mozilla’s board of directors, and there are other executive shifts as well, during a time of transition for the company.

      • Mozilla Forges Ahead with Persona Authentication/Privacy Scheme
      • Firefox development versions show privacy plans moving forward

        The latest Aurora and Beta releases of the open source Firefox browser show privacy features are at the top of the feature list for the browser. Currently in Beta, Firefox 21 now includes a new user interface for the Do Not Track (DNT) system and Firefox 22, available in the Aurora test channel, has the new cookie policy, announced in February, implemented.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack grows up: But is it grown up enough for enterprise IT?

      Network World – Less than a year ago the cool thing for IT vendors to do was jump on the OpenStack bandwagon.

      Everyone was hopping on: Red Hat, IBM, and even VMware signed on as partners to the open source cloud computing platform, joining Rackspace, HP, Cisco and Dell that were already backing the project. All these companies had a unified goal, says Marc Brien, an analyst at Domicity, who tracks the movers and shakers of the cloud world. They wanted to stave off the fast-growing dominance of Amazon Web Services in the cloud.

    • OpenStack vs Amazon Cloud Battle Goes Coast to Coast

      The OpenStack vs. Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud battle will stretch across the United States next week. Indeed, cloud consultants and integrators will flock to OpenStack Summit in Portland, Ore. (April 15-18), while Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) partners and customers will gather for an AWS Summit in New York (April 17-18). Terry Wise, head of AWS’s wordwide partner ecosystem, will be on hand for the conference. For channel partners, it’s nearly time to choose sides

    • Hadoop-as-a-Service Expected to Top $1.9 Billion by 2016

      There is some skepticism about whether vendors and channel partners providing Hadoop services are yet bringing in the revenue they need to make it a viable business case, but according to a new report from TechNavio, the big bucks are ahead. And not that far ahead, really.

    • OpenStack To Crack Down On Incompatible Clouds
    • How Open Is Your OpenStack Platform?

      There have been reports that the OpenStack cloud computing platform is becoming overly fragmented for some time, and now it appears that the OpenStack Foundation is going to take aim at some players in the OpenStack space who don’t seem to be following interoperability guidelines. ITWorld, among other sites, has reported on comments from Josh McKenty, CTO of Piston Cloud and an OpenStack Foundation board member, who points out that HP and Rackspace, in particular, need to shore up their OpenStack interoperability efforts.

    • Piston Herds Cows with Enterprise OpenStack 2.0 Cloud
    • New OpenStack initiative could address interoperability questions
    • Piston Ships Enterprise OpenStack 2.0, Focused on Easy Deployment

      Very steadily, Piston Cloud has gained a reputation as a company with some smart strategies surrounding the OpenStack open cloud computing platform and how it can serve enterprises. In February, the company also announced that it had raised $8 million in Series B financing follows a $4.5 million Series A round in July, 2011.

      This week, the company has delivered its “turnkey” Enterprise OpenStack 2.0 distribution, which looks like a relatively easy way to start dabbling with an OpenStack cloud deployment.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.6.6 Arrives with 50 Fixes

      The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 3.6.6. This version, available for those more conservative users, is said to have arrived with over 50 bug fixes, many of which were backported from LibreOffice 4 and most of which were quite juicy. It’s always recommended to upgraded to the latest release.

    • LibreOffice 3.6.6 released, fixes over 50 bugs

      The Document Foundation has released a new update of the LibreOffice suite, LibreOffice 3.6.6. This release fixes over 50 bugs and other improves the software’s stability greatly. As it is a bug fix release, no new features have been added and all users are advised to update to this release as soon as possibile.


  • Project Releases

    • VLC Media Player releases version 2.0.6

      VideoLAN has released a new update of popular open-source media player, VLC. This version is an important release, and all users are advised to update to this release as soon as possibile. Some of the notable changes in this release are:

      * fixes some regressions of the 2.0.x branch of VLC.
      * introduces support for Matroska v4 files.
      * introduces an important number of fixes for MKV, Ogg, AVI, WMV, HTTPS and subtitles support.

    • New Releases: Wine 1.5.28, VirtualBox 4.2.12, FileBot 3.6

      A new development release of Wine v1.5.28 is out. Among other new stuff in this release are: built-in FixedSys fonts, new icon for the joystick control panel, and postscript driver improvements. This release fixes 21 bugs, including some graphics issue with Guild Wars 2 and Bioshock Infinite. In fact, it has been confirmed that this years blockbuster game Bioshock Infinite works with Wine 1.5.28.

    • DarkTable 1.2 Handles JPEG2000, Profiled Denoising
  • Public Services/Government

    • The Open Source Initiative reaches out to Washington DC

      The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has been reforming itself into a more outward-facing organisation and has now taken another step in that process by announcing that it will be hosting a “small open source license clinic” at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, in May. The event is designed to bring together individuals, organisations and government agencies to help all better understand the nature of open source licences. Discussions will also look at identifying problems unique to government. Although a small event, it is the first of what will, hopefully, be many, as the OSI pursues its “non-profit educational mission”.

    • Dutch government to use open source for its new e-ID card

      The Dutch government will use open source software for developing its e-ID card solution. The e-ID plans were presented to the Dutch Parliament by Ronald Plasterk, Minister of the Interior last week Wednesday.
      The ministry is considering to use a chip card similar to the German government, according to a spokesperson for the minister. It has also looked at the smart card system developed by the Belgian government. “Apparently the German approach for smart card allows a few more options that we’re interested in, but it is too early to tell.”

  • Licensing

    • The Dangers of a Post-License Era

      You don’t see many discussions about free software licenses any more. Once a burning issue, licenses and their implication hardly seem to be mentioned these days. Increasingly, we seem to be moving into a post-license era, and the implications for free and open source software are potentially troubling.

      The reasons for this apparent shift of interest aren’t hard to find. To start with, most of the important license issues have already been resolved. It’s hard to imagine any licensing issue today that would be as significant to the community at large as the release of the OpenOffice.org code in 2000, or of the discussion of the third version of the GPL in 2005-07.

    • IFOSSLR 5.1 available
  • Openness/Sharing

    • iPad Mini Getting Open Source Game D Game Controller Case Combo
    • Where Are the Women?

      If you’ve been to your local hacker/makerspace and there weren’t many women, did you stop and wonder about that? I hope so, but unfortunately a common reaction is to think, “I guess women just aren’t into building stuff.” As one of the few women directors of a U.S. makerspace, I know that this just isn’t true. In this and future posts I’d like to share my perspective on the problem, and what I think can be done about it.

    • Open Data

      • Freeing scientific data with CC0 and Dryad repository

        Karen Cranston (@kcranstn) is an evolutionary biologist at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), a nonprofit science center dedicated to cross-disciplinary research in evolution. NESCent promotes the synthesis of information, concepts, and knowledge to address significant, emerging, or novel questions in evolutionary science and its applications. They collect new data under a Creative Commons license (CC0) to free scientific data and make it more widely available.

    • Open Hardware

      • 3D printed fighter jet parts and open community vehicles
      • Nano Quadcopter open source tiny drone kit

        Designed by Bitcraze, the Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter is an open source development kit to make your own tiny drones. It’s $173 from Seeed Studio Depot and looks like great fun to make and fly! “Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter Kit 10-DOF with Crazyradio”

      • ARM: Vendors Want a Single Chip Design, Single OS

        Lakshmi Mandyam, ARM director of Server Systems and Ecosystems, said on last week that ODMs are looking to standardize on both a single operating system and a single chip architecture across their product stacks. In other words, they want a single chip that can scale from a smartphone to a server and one OS like Linux to rule them all. Vendors are finding this idea “very interesting”.

      • Open hardware quad-core ARM SBC hits Kickstarter

        A project to build a compact, low cost, open-hardware SBC (single board computer) has turned to Kickstarter for funding its way to production. The 110×85 mm UDOO board runs Linux or Android on an ARM i.MX6 Freescale applications processor, and also has a built-in Arduino Due-compatible subsystem.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Web app development lags device readiness, says analyst

      ABI Research forecasts that by the end of 2013, about 1.4 billion devices in the wild will be equipped with HTML5-compatible browsers. Despite this tantalizing opportunity for new HTML-enabled web apps, however, the “vast majority” of developers continue to create “native model” apps rather than web apps, reports the analyst firm.



Links 12/4/2013: Jolla With Wayland, Mozilla CEO Leaves

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • My Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit Picks and Details on Live Video Access to Keynotes

      For The Linux Foundation, April is not the cruelest month: it’s one of the busiest. Every year, we hold our Collaboration Summit in mid-April to bring together our members, Linux and open source community developers, open source legal minds, and large scale Linux and open source users in an intimate setting. Even as The Linux Foundation has expanded its event lineup to include LinuxCon, CloudOpen, Automotive Linux Summits, and more throughout the world, this remains our original event, and because of that, as well as it’s small size and unique format, it’s special to many of us in the community.

  • Applications

    • Games

      • Indie Royale Spring Sun Bundle Released

        Indie Royale is back with a brand new sale called the Spring Sun Bundle. The bundle contains Nifflas’ Games’ complex platformer Knytt Underground, Kitty Lambda Games’ Zelda meats Ultima mash up The Real Texas, Uber Entertainment’s MOBA meets third person shooter Monday Night Combat, ASTRO PORT’s side scrolling shooter Satazius, and Phr00t’s Metroid inspired FPS Gentrieve 2. The bundle also contains the soundtracks for Gentrieve 2 and The Real Texas. Those who pay more than $8.00 for the bundle will also receive Ben Landis’ comic book meets music album Adventures in Pixels.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • hackweek9: Lightweight KDE Desktop project – updated

        It’s Hack Week 9 at SUSE, and I’m working on a cracking project this time around. I’ve codenamed it ‘KLyDE’, for K Lightweight Desktop Environment, and it’s an effort to point KDE at the lightweight desktop market. Surely some mistake, you say? KDE and lightweight kan’t fit in the same sentence. I think they can.

        This project has been bouncing around my head for a couple of years now, starting on a train ride back from the KDE PIM meeting in Osnabrück in 2010, then I presented it at COSCUP 2012 in Taiwan last August. But work commitments and family always got in the way of completing/finishing it. SUSE’s hack week gives me 40 hours to throw at it and this time I wasn’t going to tackle it alone, so I enlisted my bro(grammer)s Jos and Klaas.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Product President Talks OpenStack, Public Cloud

        Cloud computing is driving many disruptions to traditional technology business models these days, and open source technology is a big part of it. Through participation in initiatives such as OpenStack as well as its own deep roots with Linux, Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) has been an open source trail blazer. To get a better sense of both the trends in cloud computing and the momentum behind public cloud migrations, we spoke with Paul Cormier EVP at Red Hat and president of the companies technologies and products division. Here’s what he had to say about his philosophy of open source and the state of the market today.

      • Tech firm Red Hat uses social media to ‘listen’

        When asked about the most important part of social-media engagement, Red Hat Inc.’s Stephanie Wonderlick offers a simple answer:


        Wonderlick, corporate communications director for Raleigh-based technology firm Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), says companies shouldn’t use social media just as a way to get out their own messages. They also should use it as a way to gauge how their customers are feeling.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • In Pictures: 13 hot new open source projects
  • Create your own apps for free with open-source LiveCode 6.0

    Application development may have once been the exclusive domain of professional programmers, but today a growing number of amateur-friendly development environments invite just about anyone with an app idea to bring it to life.

    In the past few years we’ve seen the arrival of BuildAnApp and Google’s App Inventor for Android on the mobile side, for example. An even longer-standing contender, however, is RunRev’s cross-platform LiveCode, a recently renamed version of the HyperCard-inspired “Revolution” development system born in the early 2000s.


    LiveCode 6.0 is released under the GPL3 license

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Grizzly showing maturity says development team

      This week sees the arrival of OpenStack Grizzly, the seventh release of the open source software for building public, private and hybrid clouds.

      Global contributors to OpenStack have now grown 45 percent in the last six months. This figure sits alongside a total of 230 new features now recorded to support cloud production operations with broad Software-Defined Networking support.

    • Open Source Cloud Computing: Riak Cloud Storage Offers AWS-S3 Compatibility

      Basho was founded in 2008 by a group of executives and software engineers from Akamai Technologies. Over the last five years, the team has received $26 million ($39 million based on GigaOm’s estimates) in venture funding. While the company name may have been selected for other reasons, it seems likely that there was inspiration from Matsuo Basho, a famous Japanese poet who lived during the 1600’s. This connection to Japan may have proved useful to help the American company achieve funding from Japanese companies IDC Frontier and Tokyo Electron Device Limited, along with quite a few American ones chipping in too. The Basho logo features a face with hair styled in a Japanese-style topknot, not too unlike the look that Basho’s CTO Justin Sheehy sports.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • GitHub Turns 5 – Open Source Code Rejoices

      When I first started aggressively using open source code , freshmeat and sourceforge.net were typically the first places I’d go to look.

      In 2006, Google shook up the open source code repository market with Google Code and I started to find great stuff there.

      Today, the VAST majority of all open source code that I seek, use and play with is all found on GitHub.


  • You know, Google, the web already had this feature.

    I used to be a Google fan. I must have tried most of their services as early as possible.

    But lately, they are pushing towards a version of the WWW that I don’t like. A WWW where things only happen if you use the “right” browser, where URLs are second class web citizens, where you have to have a Google account, you have to have Google+ enabled, you must be logged in and you have to notify Google of your every move and then Google decides what goes and what not.

  • Security

    • Hacker uses an Android to remotely attack and hijack an airplane

      The Hack in the Box (#HITB2013AMS) security conference in Amsterdam has a very interesting lineup of talks [pdf]. One that jumped out was the Aircraft Hacking: Practical Aero Series presented by Hugo Teso, a security consultant at n.runs in Germany. According to the abstract, “This presentation will be a practical demonstration on how to remotely attack and take full control of an aircraft, exposing some of the results of my three years research on the aviation security field. The attack performed will follow the classical methodology, divided in discovery, information gathering, exploitation and post-exploitation phases. The complete attack will be accomplished remotely, without needing physical access to the target aircraft at any time, and a testing laboratory will be used to attack virtual airplanes systems.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Royal Bank apologizes to outsourced workers

      The Royal Bank of Canada will make a public apology to the workers affected by the bank’s outsourcing arrangement with a foreign company.

      The apology comes at the end of a week of drubbing from RBC customers and labour critics after the bank’s outsourcing plans were disclosed in media reports.
      RBC should have been more sensitive and helpful to the affected employees, chief executive officer Gord Nixon says in a letter to be published in newspapers Friday.

    • Why New York City is writing Occupy Wall Street a six-figure check

      ew York City’s raid on Occupy Wall Street that cleared the group’s Zuccotti Park encampment will cost the city more than $350,000 — and that total could still rise.

    • Could a Patent Lawsuit Take Down the Bitcoin Exchanges Like MtGox?

      In a free market capitalist system ‘price signals’ are everything. Prices are determined by buyers and sellers in the free market and these prices are broadcast from the exchanges reaching all corners of the economy — where they are used to transact business. In a centrally planned economy, prices are set by fiat and implemented in a ‘top down’ approach organized by a committee; rather than by the bottoms-up, animal-spirits-driven, self-interested, individualistic, free market approach.

      But we have a problem with free market capitalism. Where free markets have failed over the past few decades is in maintaining fair and equitable ‘price discovery’ on various exchanges to compliment those animal spirits. Instead of buyers and sellers coming together and letting the ‘invisible hand’ of self-interest determine prices; more and more we see the dead hand of Wall Street monopolists and their market-rigging determining prices.

    • Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Received Fed Minutes Early

      Banks including Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., along with congressional staff members and trade groups, received potentially market-moving Federal Reserve information 19 hours before the public in a release the central bank called accidental.

      Brian Gross, a member of the Fed’s congressional liaison staff, distributed the March 19-20 minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting at 2 p.m. yesterday Washington time, according to an e-mail obtained by Bloomberg News. Gross referred questions to Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith.

      Distribution List

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • What We’re Up Against: Software Lobby SIIA Spends Big to Stop CFAA Reform

      To date, thousands of people have sent messages to Congress demanding reform of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act through EFF alone, not counting the ones sent through our friends at Demand Progress and elsewhere. But the citizens of the Internet will need to shout even louder if we’re going to drown out the corporate interests that have already dedicated hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence lawmakers to change the CFAA for the worst.

    • 8-year-old follows Tenn. lawmaker around Capitol until he drops welfare bill

      A Tennessee lawmaker has relented and agreed to drop his bill linking academic performance to the family’s welfare benefits after an 8-year-old girl shamed him by following him around the state Capitol.

      On his way to vote on Thursday, state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) was confronted by 8-year-old homeschooler Aamira Fetuga, who presented him with a petition signed by people opposing his welfare bill, according to the Tennessean. Nearby, a choir of about 60 activists sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”

    • Clashes erupt in Chile as students protest over education reform

      Violence has broken out in Chile following a massive rally in support of calls to reform the country’s education laws.

      The clashes erupted after thousands of students, teachers and their supporters took to the streets to demand free and fair access to education for all, and not just for the rich and well-off.

    • California bill to nullify NDAA unanimously passes committee

      California lawmakers are pushing a bill that would exempt the state from federal laws authorizing indefinite detention of citizens.

      The California Public Safety Committee voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of the California Liberty Preservation Act, which was introduced by Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly.

    • Valerie Plame, outed CIA spy, urges people to hold government accountable

      Famously outed former CIA agent Valerie Plame said Thursday she is not bitter despite being “betrayed” by the government officials who exposed her identity.

      But people need to “continually hold our government to account,” she said at the Conference on World Affairs discussion.


Links 12/4/2013: Previews of Linux 3.9

Posted in News Roundup at 7:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux. Be Passionate, But Not a Fanboy

    Fanboy. Tin foil hat. They are both common accusations that are thrown between fellow Linux users. Often intended as a joke, yet sometimes with some serious amount of truth behind it. The most common users that usually get this sort of words thrown at them are Linux users. The unknowing and general public are usually only aware of two primary operating systems: Windows and Mac. And they’re also usually only aware of two computer companies: Microsoft and Apple. If you introduce the words Linux, Ubuntu or Red Hat to them, you are usually presented with an odd startled look on the persons face. Usually because they have no idea what you are referring to or what any of those strange words are or mean.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Unveils Project To Build Open, Programmable Network

      In an effort to develop a set of standardized interfaces for programatically controlling networking gear regardless of brand and without access to the physical hardware, The Linux Foundation, in conjunction with other industry heavyweights, Monday took the wraps off OpenDaylight Project.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.9 (Part 2)

      From now on the help text for shown during configuration will indicate if a kernel feature is experimental. Linux now has the ability to “suspend freeze” and can throttle Intel CPUs with power napping. The KVM hypervisor now supports ARM cores.

    • Linux kernel: Licence problems for old ARM FPU code

      The arch/arm/nwfpe/ directory of the ARM code in the Linux kernel includes code which has a licence that contains an indemnity clause. Russell King has pointed out that the Free Software Foundation (FSF) feels that such clauses are not compatible with section 6 of the GPLv2, which is used for the Linux kernel. King stated his intention to remove the code, which is used for emulating a floating-point unit (FPU). Linux creator Linus Torvalds doesn’t see a problem with the licensing and is fighting against the removal, King later wrote.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The Linux desktop ‘mess’

      It seems nearly every pundit, every mouthpiece on the planet has decided that the Linux desktop is a “mess.” This “downfall” of the Linux desktop started with GNOME 3 and seemed to gain more momentum with Ubuntu Unity. I have a theory — and an idea for a fix.

      Linux is all about choice. It’s always been that way; from the earliest inception of the desktop, the Linux community has enjoyed CFE, AfterStep, FluxBox, XFCE, Enlightenment, KDE, LXDE, Cinnamon …

    • GNOME or KDE? The Old Question Is New Today

      At first the question sounds obsolete. Where once GNOME and KDE accounted for seventy percent of Linux desktop installations, today the choice has broadened, with half a dozen environments vying for users’ attention.

      However, the change is less dramatic than it appears. GNOME 3, Linux Mint’s Cinnamon/Mate, and Ubuntu’s Unity offer different interfaces, but the same GNOME utilities and applications underneath. Add their popularity together, and the same seventy percent of the Linux users — give or take — continue to select either KDE or GNOME. So the question of which to choose remains as timely as ever.

      In fact, regardless of the percentages, the question has become even more important today because the old user loyalties have broken down. Although many are growing resigned to the changes brought about by GNOME 3, Unity, and KDE 4, many others continue to search for their ideal desktop environment.

    • OMG! I’m Using One Hog Of A Window Manager!

      That’s a lot less than GNOME/KDE, around 200MB. Of course, RAM is cheap these days, but why waste it? I could use Joe’s Window Manager at just 3MB or even Rat Poison at 1MB.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Qt 5.0.2 Is Here

        Digia has announced a new version of Qt, the C++ toolkit and this revision comes with over 600 improvements. As noted from their blog, it is a big release and all users are advised to upgrade to this version as soon as possible.

      • The apps of KDE 4.10 Part II: Kontact

        Continuing on where I left off last time I decided my next order of business would be to set up my e-mail accounts and calendar. KDE provides a number of different, more or less single purpose applications to handle all of your personal information management. For example e-mail is handled by KMail, RSS feeds are pulled in via Akregator, calendars are maintained through KOrganizer, etc. Each of these applications could easily be reviewed on their own, however there is yet another application provided in KDE, Kontact, that unifies all of these distinct programs into one. For the purposes of this article I will be treating all of these as part of Kontact as a whole but will still try and focus on each individual component where needed.

      • The apps of KDE 4.10 Part I: Rekonq

        It’s been a while since I’ve used KDE, however with the recent rapid (and not always welcome) changes going on in the other two main desktop environments (GNOME 3 and Unity) and the, in my opinion, feature stagnation of environments like Xfce and LXDE I decided to give KDE another shot.

      • Exploring KDE 4.10

        KDE SC 4.10 was released six months after KDE 4.9, adding many new features. In the background, work is in full swing for the next generation, KDE Frameworks 5: a KDE based completely on Qt5 and QML.

      • KDE PIM Sprint Berlin 2013 – With Cuter Pictures

        Once most people had arrived at the KDAB offices in Berlin, the KDE PIM sprint started around 4 in the afternoon with an introduction by Till Adam. He welcomed everyone and issued a warning: there were only one-and-a-half crates of beer and all KDAB attempts at ordering more had failed. The participants would have to take care of this!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Cinnarch drops Cinnamon for GNOME

        The developers of the Cinnarch Linux distribution have decided to move away from their nominatively definitive Cinnamon desktop. Cinnarch, which is based on Arch Linux and has thus far been packaging the desktop developed by the Linux Mint developers, is now looking to switch to the GNOME desktop environment. The developers say that the technical situation of Cinnamon makes it too hard to deploy on Arch while still staying true to the distribution’s goals of distributing cutting edge software and doing so without unnecessary duplication of packages in the repositories.

      • GNOME 3.8.0 for openSUSE 12.3
      • A look at GNOME 3.8

        I have talked many times about the things I like about KDE, to the point where many people reading my blog consider me a KDE fan. That´s not exactly true, though. In fact, in the last three Fedora releases, I have always installed KDE and GNOME side by side on the same box, so I could get an actual understanding of how they fair against each other. For several releases now, it would always be the same thing. I would like some of the concepts in GNOME Shell, but after a while, I would always end up going back to KDE. Applications were better, the overall feel was more familiar and, even if certain things worked better in GNOME, it was a trade off I was happy to accept… Until GNOME 3.6 came about, that is. GNOME 3.6 had improved significantly over the original, included several new applications that I loved, and it got cloud integration down perfectly.

      • GNOME 3.8 in a Nutshell [Video]

        GNOME 3.8 looks incredibly slick and balanced. I can’t wait to take Ubuntu GNOME Remix for a spin with latest GNOME 3.8 on it. We were in the process of reviewing the brand new GNOME 3.8. And then I saw this animated video on GNOME 3.8. Probably the best (and really quick) “what’s new” video on GNOME 3.8 I have seen yet. Take a look.

  • Distributions

    • Snowlinux 4 Glacier – The winter is coming

      I am such an attention who … I mean, what a plucky title! So appropriate. Anyhow, I received a lot of emails, i.e. more than one, telling me I ought to review the Snowlinux distribution. And it does sound interesting. Somewhat like Mint, a combination of Debian and Ubuntu, and other fancy stuff.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 19: Chasing the perfect GNOME distro!

          Are you still trying to discover the perfect GNOME distro? You are just loosing your time! There is no such thing.. However what seems to make a difference is Arch Linux. Huge super active community, pure rolling release, native GNOME experience, unlimited packages, the very best documentation.

        • Distro Recipes 2013: Nice first !

          As indicated, I had the opportunity to talk during the first Distro Recipes event organized in Paris last week, at the invitation of Hupstream. As Yoann Sculo posted, this was a very interesting day for me, and I really regret I was busy to also attend the first day and the opening.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A Car Which Runs On Raspberry Pi And Linux

      Seems Raspberry Pi innovations are now not limited to gadgets only. Students at Norwegian University of Science and Technology have successfully modelled a car which uses the cheap $25 PC as its brain. To keep the car light, the body has been created with carbon fiber. Even the engine has been designed without using iron.

      The motor draws power of about 100 watts and capable of giving a maximum speed of 40 kilometers an hour.

    • Kit aids designs based on AMD’s Embedded G-Series APUs

      MSC Vertriebs has introduced a quick-start kit for embedded Linux system designs using AMD’s single- and dual-core Embedded G-Series APUs. The kit includes one of three MSC Qseven COMs (computer-on-modules), a baseboard, bootable Linux in flash, and (optionally) an XGA-resolution LCD.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google starts selling Nexus 10 cover from Play Store

          When I ordered by Nexus 10, the first thing I was looking for was it’s case, but there was no official case being sold by Google. Now, almost 5 months later Google has started selling the Nexus 10 cases.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Thinking Of Starting A Foundation?

    Open source projects are increasingly opting to form an independent entity – a “Foundation” – to form the core of their community, rather than relying on goodwill or corporate oversight. Foundations often hold shared assets such as money, trademarks and copyrights, provide infrastructure, and sometimes employ staff.

    The idea is seductive, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. A Foundation can’t solve your community problems; it can only make firm the solutions you devise, by providing a canvas on which to paint the trust and governance you have all agreed and to guarantee it for future generations of your community. You need to solve the problems first.

  • ATEME enables open source implementation supporting HEVC
  • ICEsoft Ships ICEpdf 5 – its Popular Open Source Java PDF Engine with Annotation Support and 10x Speed Improvements

    ICEsoft Technologies Inc., a leading global supplier of open-source technologies for enterprise, announced today that ICEpdf is shipping. ICEpdf is an open source Java PDF engine for viewing, printing, manipulating, and annotating PDF documents. The ICEpdf API is 100 percent Java-based, lightweight, fast, efficient and easy to use.

  • How Open-Source Software Could Help Save Endangered Animals From Poachers

    No one is going to tell you we’ve been winning the battle against the illegal wildlife trade. In most cases, we’re outmanned, outgunned, and probably most of all, out-spent. That’s why an alliance of six conservation organizations have come together to build an anti-poaching tool designed to bridge the technological gap between poachers and wildlife rangers.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Open source cloud tools show signs of maturity

      Open source cloud computing software CloudStack, which is developed by all-volunteer association the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), has this week graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a top level project. The move signifies the maturity of CloudStack as an open source tool for creating, managing, and deploying infrastructure cloud services.

  • Databases

    • SQLAlchemy

      Although it sometimes might seem as if relational databases have gone the way of the dinosaur, making way for non-relational (NoSQL) databases, such as MongoDB and Cassandra, a very large number of systems still depend on a relational database. And, although there is no requirement that a relational database use SQL as its query language, it’s a rare database product that does not do so.

  • CMS

    • Social Media Widget for WordPress a source of spam

      Researchers at Sucuri have found that version 4.0 of the WordPress Social Media Widget, also referred to as social-media-widget, has been injecting spam advertisements into sites. It is recommended that anyone using the widget, which has over 900,000 users, remove or disable it as soon as possible. The researchers believe the malicious code, which added “Pay Day Loan” spam into sites which ran the plugin, was added at the end of March when the developers released version 4.0 to the WordPress.org plugin repository.

    • Local Drupal shops to host Commerce training for devs

      Drupal development shops Realityloop and Cross(Functional) have partnered with US-based Commerce Guys to deliver Australian training for Drupal Commerce, a module for the open-source Drupal Web platform.


  • Project Releases

    • Behavio Updates the Funf Open-Source Project

      In the time since our last major version update (Funf 0.3) last year, we’ve had a chance to see how the framework has been used by developers and end users. In addition, we compiled our own “to do” list of features that didn’t make it into the 0.3 release.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Data.gov.au to move to open source platform

      The Australian government’s technology and procurement division has released a draft roadmap for moving the data.gov.au website to the open source CKAN platform. The shift will begin at the end of April.

    • Solutions for government agencies to empower citizens

      Meet Kris Trujillo, Senior Software Architect at Accela. I met Trujillo at last year’s CityCamp Colorado and was curious about how Accela is advancing the open government movement with their software. I was impressed to learn about some of their solutions aimed at government agencies and how those solutions help to provide transparency into government processes and civic information.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • NREL to create open-source solar performance database

      The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has introduced a new initiative to develop an open-source database of real-world performance from solar facilities across the US.

      The database, called Open Solar Performance and Reliability Clearinghouse (O-SPaRC), is being developed as part of the DOE’s SunShot Initiative, and is designed to improve access to low-cost financial capital by enabling credit rating agencies and potential investors to assess the underlying risk of the asset class.

  • Programming

    • Google’s Go Readies 1.1 Release

      As Google’s Go programming language version 1.1 nears release, the developers have announced the release of the latest beta, providing a working preview of its new features. Not least among these is an estimated speed increase of 30%-40% in several use cases. Version 1.0 of Go was released a little over a year ago in March 2012, and to this point Google has released bug fixes but version 1.1 will bring new features while upholding their commitment to backwards compatibility with 1.X version. The updates affect the toolset, language features, and changes to the standard library.


  • McGillLeaks releases confidential documents through SSMU email

    A cache of around 400 documents, most of them from the past six years, provide a look at the inner workings of McGill’s department of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR), including detailed profiles of the University’s top donors, and proposal for partnerships with some of the world’s largest companies.

  • With one signature, Internet cafes in Florida close
  • Finland’s most wanted? Putin’s biker connections put him on secret blacklist

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has been placed on a list of wanted criminals in Finland for his ties to a motorcycle club. Putin reacted to the news in his trademark ironic manner, while Helsinki issued a number of apologies.

    On Wednesday, Finnish TV broadcaster MTV3 exposed that Vladimir Putin’s name surfaced in a secret criminal register for his contact with the Russian motorcycle club, the Night Wolves. Being placed on the list translates to automatic detention at the Finnish border as a criminal for a possible jail term of at least six months.

  • Government Now Says No Deadline for CETA Completion

    Ted Menzies, the Minister of State for Finance, yesterday delivered a talk on the Canada – EU Trade Agreement that marked an important shift in the government’s rhetoric on the agreement. Aside from a bizarre reference to the value of the agreement being $17 trillion dollars (total Canadian GDP is $1.8 trillion), the talk is most notable from the move away from promising swift completion of the agreement. After years of setting missed deadlines, Menzies now says there is no deadline for completion, suggesting that the government is beginning to hedge on whether there even will be a deal. I wrote about the prospect of the agreement dying altogether last month.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tesco drops 11-year ban on eggs from chickens fed on GM soya diet as it blames farmers and suppliers for the decision

      Chicken and eggs sold by Tesco are to come from birds fed on a diet of GM soya as the company abandons a commitment not to use the controversial feed.


      “The value of rare earth metals and their relatively limited supply would seem to work in North Korea’s favor. Rare earth metals are used in the construction of everything from iPods to precision guided missiles. China currently produces more than 95% of the world’s output of these metals. China’s control over these minerals has regional implications for Northeast Asia. For example, in 2010 Japan alleged that China suspended its export of the minerals to Tokyo in response to a territorial dispute between the two countries. The EU, U.S., and Japan also recently brought a case against China at the WTO for unfairly inflating the prices of these minerals.”

  • Security

    • The day I received a subpoena…

      I was utterly surprised by this for several reasons.
      First of all I should make clear that I did not actively participate in Project PM, I merely decided to host the domain with my CloudFlare account and to maintain the server the wiki was being run on.

      Examining the site one will quickly realize that its content is gathered from publicly available sources on the Internet, none of it looks illegal even by the most restrictive laws.

    • Researcher: Vulnerabilities in aircraft systems allow remote airplane hijacking

      The lack of security in communication technologies used in the aviation industry makes it possible to remotely exploit vulnerabilities in critical on-board systems and attack aircraft in flight, according to research presented Wednesday at the Hack in the Box security conference in Amsterdam.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Ways and Memes: PA Lawmakers Seek To Ban Photography Of Gas Drilling Activity

      A picture may be worth a thousand words, but apparently it says a lot more when it’s a photo of frackers fracking. In Pennsylvania recently, the battle to control the images used to depict the national debate over shale gas drilling has officially heated up.

    • Arkansas Oil Spill Health Complaints Emerge In Mayflower

      Sherry Appleman awoke abruptly in the middle of the night less than 48 hours after a pipeline rupture last month sent thousands of barrels of heavy crude oil into the streets and swamps of Mayflower, Ark.

    • The Antarctic Half of the Global Thermohaline Circulation Is Faltering

      The sudden cooling of Europe, triggered by collapse of the global thermohaline circulation in the north Atlantic and the slowing of the Gulf Stream has been popularized by the movies and the media. The southern half of the global thermohaline circulation is as important to global climate but has not been popularized. The global oceans’ coldest water, Antarctic bottom water forms in several key spots around Antarctica. The water is so cold and dense that it spreads out along the bottom all of the major ocean basins except the north Atlantic and Arctic. Multiple recent reports provide strong evidence that the formation of Antarctic bottom water has slowed dramatically in response to massive subsurface melting of ice shelves and glaciers. The meltwater is freshening a layer of water found between depths of 50 and 150 meters. This lightened layer is impeding the formation of Antarctic bottom water, causing the Antarctic half of the global thermohaline circulation to falter.

    • Why did 28,000 rivers in China suddenly disappear?

      Startling government survey sheds new light on Chinese water crisis

    • ‘Irreparable’ safety issues: All US nuclear reactors should be replaced, ‘Band-Aids’ won’t help

      All 104 nuclear reactors currently operational in the US have irreparable safety issues and should be taken out of commission and replaced, former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory B. Jaczko said.

      The comments, made during the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, are “highly unusual” for a current or former member of the safety commission, according to The New York Times. Asked why he had suddenly decided to make the remarks, Jaczko implied that he had only recently arrived at these conclusions following the serious aftermath of Japan’s tsunami-stricken Fukushima Daichii nuclear facility.

    • Fukushima tank springs major leak

      Around 120 tons of contaminated water with an estimated 710 billion becquerels of radioactivity has probably leaked into the ground under the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. revealed Saturday.

  • Finance

    • Rabinovitch in Cyprus

      Recall the classic cartoon scene of a cat who simply continues to walk over the edge of the precipice, ignoring that she has no longer ground under her feet – she falls down only when she looks down and notices she is hanging in the abyss. Is this not how ordinary people in Cyprus must feel these days? They are aware that Cyprus will never be the same, that there is a catastrophic fall of the standard of living ahead, but the full impact of this fall is not yet properly felt, so for a short period they can afford to go on with their normal daily lives like the cat who calmly walks in the empty air. And we should not condemn them: such delaying of the full crash is also a surviving strategy – the real impact will come silently when the panic will be over. This is why it is now when the Cyprus crisis has largely disappeared from the media that one should think and write about it.

    • Cyprus Suspends Probe Into Who Withdrew Money Early

      In a day full of stunners, we next get news from Cyprus, where a few weeks after the start of the “investigation” into who pulled their cash out of the country’s doomed banking system in advance of the confiscation news on March 16 (and where even the current president was implicated in transferring over €20 milion in family money to London) the parliamentary committee tasked with tracking down the leaks, has suspended its probe.

    • Bitcoin Tumbles 25% In Hours
    • Bitcoin hits new high before losing $160 in value in one day
    • Bitcoin exchange halts trades of digital currency after drop in value
    • Bitcoin crashes, losing nearly half of its value in six hours

      Plunge happens on the same day one anonymous redditor made it rain in Bitcoin.

    • The Spark of Hope

      Most of the world’s people are decent, honest and kind. Most of those who dominate us are inveterate bastards. This is the conclusion I’ve reached after many years of journalism. Writing on Black Monday, as the British government’s full-spectrum attack on the lives of the poor commences, the thought keeps returning to me.


      A basic income removes the stigma of benefits while also breaking open what politicians call the welfare trap: because taking work would not reduce your entitlement to social security, there would be no disincentive to find a job: all the money you earn is extra income. The poor are not forced by desperation into the arms of unscrupulous employers: people will work if conditions are good and pay fair, but will refuse to be treated like mules. It redresses the wild imbalance in bargaining power that the current system exacerbates. It could do more than any other measure to dislodge the emotional legacy of serfdom. It would be financed by progressive taxation: in fact it meshes well with land value tax.

      These ideas require courage: the courage to confront the government, the opposition, the plutocrats, the media, the suspicions of a wary electorate. But without proposals on this scale, progressive politics is dead. They strike that precious spark, so seldom kindled in this age of triangulation and timidity: the spark of hope.

    • Report: SEC Probing Goldman, Banks on Municipal Deals

      The Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating whether Goldman Sachs (GS) and other banks are skirting post-crisis “role switching” rules aimed at preventing banks from giving biased investment advice to municipalities.

      According to The Wall Street Journal, regulators are probing whether banks have run afoul of Dodd-Frank regulations that prohibit banks that provide financial advice to municipalities from underwriting certain municipal bond transactions.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Google’s war against fake news

      A Forbes media reporter criticizes the company’s attack on “sponsored content.” He couldn’t be more wrong

    • The Corporations Colonizing our Public Schools

      In an era of corporate aggression into the public sphere, not even the classroom is safe. As the corporate reach extends into public schools, our kids are increasingly reshaped as products, as data to be collected, as pawns in the corporate fight to rid the country of unionized jobs. In our classrooms, the humanity and education of students is gradually being replaced with corporate systems and profit-values.

      As if the only human activity with any meaning or moral relevance is the pursuit of money, corporate education transforms the entire scope of the education process into pre-employment training. Instead of investing in the future, corporate education looks to squeeze a profit from it before it arrives.

    • U.S. To America: Be Afraid! The North Koreans Are Coming
  • Censorship

    • The Fossil Fuel Resistance

      As the world burns, a new movement to reverse climate change is emerging – fiercely, loudly and right next door

    • Muzzling scientists is an assault on democracy

      Access to information is a basic foundation of democracy. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms also gives us “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”

      We must protect these rights. As we alter the chemical, physical and biological properties of the biosphere, we face an increasingly uncertain future, and the best information we have to guide us comes from science. That scientists – and even librarians – are speaking out against what appear to be increasing efforts to suppress information shows we have cause for concern. The situation has become so alarming that Canada’s Information Commissioner is investigating seven government departments in response to a complaint that they’re “muzzling” scientists.

      The submission from the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre and Democracy Watch alleges that “the federal government is preventing the media and the Canadian public from speaking to government scientists for news stories – especially when the scientists’ research or point of view runs counter to current Government policies on matters such as environmental protection, oil sands development, and climate change” and that this “impoverishes the public debate on issues of significant national concern.”

    • Military Officer Suggests Press at Bradley Manning Proceedings ‘Police’ Each Other to Prevent Leaks
    • NC Legislators Sneak in “Ag Gag” Bill as Butterball Employee Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

      A three-week investigation at a Butterball turkey farm in North Carolina by an animal welfare activist with a hidden camera documented workers beating birds with metal bars, stomping and kicking them, and throwing them violently into metal cages by their necks (video below). Mercy for Animals, the non-profit organization responsible for the investigation, turned the footage over to prosecutors in December 2011, and the police raided the facility. Five workers were charged with criminal animal cruelty, and a top-level Department of Agriculture official was convicted for obstruction of justice in February 2012.

    • Court rejects release of spy records on iconic Canadian politician
  • Privacy

    • CISPA passes House committee, angering privacy activists

      The U.S. House Intelligence Committee overwhelmingly passed a cyber-security bill on Wednesday, angering privacy advocates who believe the bill fails to protect critical personal information.

    • Secrets of FBI Smartphone Surveillance Tool Revealed in Court Fight

      A legal fight over the government’s use of a secret surveillance tool has provided new insight into how the controversial tool works and the extent to which Verizon Wireless aided federal agents in using it to track a suspect.

    • CISPA’s Sponsor Can’t Even Keep His Story Straight About NSA Having Access To Your Data

      CISPA’s sponsors are doing the same thing they did last year when confronted with serious opposition to a terrible bill: they start lying about it. First, they released a “fact vs. myth” sheet about the bill that was so ridiculously misleading that the EFF had to pick apart nearly every dubious claim. A big part of this is trying to hide the fact that the bill has very broad definitions that will make it much easier for the NSA to get access to private data. No one has claimed that this automatically allows the NSA to do full “surveillance” via CISPA, but that’s what CISPA’s supporters pretend critics have said, so they can fight back against the strawman.

    • Remains of the Day: Control Your Google Account After You Die

      new Google feature lets you decide what happens to your data when you die, Twitter had the sniffles this morning, and social browser Rockmelt will start working in other browsers.

  • Civil Rights

    • EFF and ACLU team up against CISPA

      As noted here previously, a revamped version of CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), which is just as bad in terms of privacy protections as its first failed iteration, is in the “mark up” stage in the House. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU are working together to rally opposition to the bill, which would entail companies potentially handing over users’ private information and browsing histories to the government.

    • CFAA: Where the computer security law is broken

      Educators and activists representing a swath of organizations and institutions — from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to George Washington University — took to Reddit Tuesday in an Ask Me Anything interview, seeking to educate the public about the controversial CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) and to push for reform.

    • Nearly 70 Years Later, a New Round of Auschwitz Prosecutions
    • Police ask Margaret Thatcher protesters to identify themselves

      The Metropolitan Police has asked groups planning to demonstrate during or in advance of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral to make themselves known to officers so that their “right to protest can be upheld”.

      The call, which echoes similar ones made in the run-up to the Olympics, is an attempt to avoid any outbreak of violence or public order issues which might threaten to mar the funeral procession. However, the suggestion will anger those who say the right to protest should not need prior authorisation by police.

    • Comcast Looms Large in Paid Sick Days Fight in Philly

      Philadelphia is the latest front in the battle over workers’ rights, with a coalition of paid sick day advocates urging city council members to override a veto by Democratic Mayor Michael Nutter against a bill passed last month that would allow almost 180,000 workers to take a sick day without losing pay or their jobs. As has been the case around the country, corporate interests associated with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have lined up in opposition to the legislation.

    • First emo hate crime arrests in Manchester

      Greater Manchester police receives first report of hate crime under new category connected to alternative subcultures

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Canada’s Digital Divide Likely to Widen Due to Access and Adoption Failures

      The state of Internet access in Canada has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years as consumers and businesses alike assess whether Canadians have universal access to fast, affordable broadband that compares favourably with other countries. A new House of Commons study currently being conducted by the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology offers the chance to gain a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Canadian high-speed networks and what role the government might play in addressing any shortcomings.

      The study is ongoing, yet my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that two issues are emerging as key concerns: access and adoption.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New Monsanto Attack – Total DNA Control
    • Copyrights

      • New Pirate Bay Greenland Domains (About to be) Seized
      • Leaders Update – From Venice to Toxteth: We need more Pirates for Europe

        It’s certainly never a dull moment as PP-UK Leader. Since my last update I have been busy advocating for our politics, including a lecture at the London School of Economics, meetings at the House of Commons, attending events about open data and taking part at the international “Rethinking the Internet” conference in Venice.

        Equally, I have been working on the ground for residents in Manchester- whether it’s helping to run a community consultation on possible new uses for an derelict building in Bradford ward where I stood last year, or pressing for regeneration in the East of the city. I also had an amazing visit to community projects in the Liverpool district of Toxteth. Great to see real transformation, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. I like this combination of the visionary and the practical, that’s what politics is about for me.

      • IMAGiNE Piracy Group Founder Jailed For 23 Months
      • Oh Look, The Number Of People Employed In The Movie And Music Recording Business Just Hit An All Time High

        The common refrain coming out of the MPAA and RIAA over the past few years has really focused on “jobs, jobs, jobs!” This is a message that often works with Congress. If you can convince Congress that “jobs” are at risk, they go scrambling to protect those jobs, even if the economy would be much better off with obsolete jobs going away, and better jobs taking their place. That said, the MPAA and RIAA have a long history of making up ridiculous claims about the number of people employed in their industries, as well as the number of supposed “lost jobs.” So it’s rather noteworthy to see that the good folks over at ZeroHedge have pointed out that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs in the motion picture and sound recording industries hit an all time high in December.


Links 10/4/2013: Optimus Support in NVIDIA Linux Driver, Fuduntu 2013.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Software defined networks snare open source spotlight

    Eighteen mainly large communications and software companies have created the Open Daylight Project in the Linux Foundation to develop open source code for software-defined networks (SDNs). The group will develop a wide range of software including an SDN controller and an applications interface for it with the first elements slated for release this fall.

  • Software defined networks snare open source spotlight

    UNStudio will in June relaunch as an “open-source architecture studio” inspired by technology start-ups, the Dutch firm announced today.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mobile trend hurts IE, Firefox

      The growing popularity of Web browsing from tablet devices and smart phones has been a boon for Apple’s Safari and Google’s Android, but Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox are having a hard time maintaining a hold on usage share, according to a recent report.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome OS may get redesigned windows buttons

        Google’s Chrome OS and Android are heading in the direction where they look and feel identical.

        While the company executives have denied merging of Android and Chrome OS they have hinted at convergence and if you are monitoring the Chrome OS development for a while you can notice how the design and layout of Chrome OS is shaping up.

      • Five reasons I really love the Chromebook Pixel

        The other day, while indicating how much I loved the Chromebook Pixel, I wrote a piece on what I would change. Therefore, it only seems fair to more detail what I really liked.

      • Some useful Chrome links
    • Mozilla

      • On Antarctica 80% of users use Firefox

        The project started out as a release of the Netscape browser and email client/suite back on March 31 1998, at which point Netscape Communications Foundation formally created Mozilla.

      • Mozilla Stands Firm on Firefox Cookie Blocking, Despite Protests

        You have to hand it to Mozilla — the company really does pursue policies that favor users even when commercial interests cry foul. Case in point: Last month, I wrote about the fact that The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has accusied Mozilla of “undermining American small business” with its plan to block advertising cookies by default in the Firefox browser. Fast-forward to today, and the pre-release version of Firefox version 22 does indeed proceed with the plan, which will make many users happy.

      • Mozilla Firefox 23 Will Block Mixed SSL Content
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Rackspace, Magenta Partner on Open Source Ecommerce eCloud Hosting

      What can online retailers do that their brick-and-mortar can’t? Besides not charging sales tax (in many instances, at least, and for the time being), they can leverage the cloud to expand into new geographic markets and handle fluctuations in sales volume in particularly effective ways. And a partnership announced this week between Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) and Magento is designed to make it easier to do exactly that.

      Rackspace, which provides cloud hosting services based on flexible open source technologies that it touts as protection against lock-in, already has a strong presence among ecommerce sites. It is the most popular hosting provider for Magento deployments across the world, according to BuiltWith, and is also the No. 1 host for the Internet Retailer Top 1,000 websites.

      The partnership between Rackspace and Magento, which the companies announced Monday, will expand the former’s reach into the online retailer space even further. According to a statement, the collaboration aims to provide ecommerce sites with “a low-cost entry into new markets around the world without the cost of establishing a physical presence.”

    • OpenStack Gives the Open Source Cloud a Lift

      The OpenStack project itself is not even three years old, but thanks to maturing technology, a growing membership, and the OpenStack Foundation formed last year, OpenStack has matured to the point that it is getting attention from large service provider and enterprise users, including companies in telecommunications, retail and research.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LLVM/Clang Makes Progress On Building LibreOffice

      LLVM’s Clang C/C++ compiler has been making much progress in recent months on being able to build high-priority open-source/Linux software packages. When using the latest LLVM/Clang compiler, it appears to be in good shape for handling LibreOffice.

  • Education

    • A guide to free and open source education

      Nearly every week, if not every day, there are more and more open source and open educational resources available and accessible to us. It’s impossible to ignore. It also seems impossible to keep pace with the sheer volume.

  • Business

    • Building a scalable open source business model in the 90s

      Brothers Aleksander and Bård Farsted founded eZ Systems with a strong belief in open source in 1999. At that time, there were no scalable open source business models, so they developed and pioneered their own while developing eZ Publish, an Enterprise Content Management System.

  • Funding

    • How to increase donations to an open source project

      Lots of open source projects raise money from their user communities by soliciting donations. Most open source projects will have the ‘Support’ or ‘Make a Donation’ button on their home page or download page. At Eclipse we have had the Friend of Eclipse program for a number of years to solicit financial support for our community.

      Earlier this year, we started looking for ways to increase the number of users making donations. We have millions of people downloading Eclipse but very few making donations. Inspired by Ubuntu’s new donation page and Mozilla’s download page we changed where and how we asked users to make the donation.


    • Photos and numbers from LibrePlanet

      The involvement and energy of the free software community make LibrePlanet what it is: brilliant and passionate people coming together around software freedom, drinking lots of coffee and forging the future of our movement. This year, we particularly appreciated your contributions to the theme of “Commit Change”: a focus on making connections to other movements and building diversity within free software.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source for America Announces New Leadership

      Open Source for America (OSFA), an organization promoting the use of open source technologies in the U.S. federal government, today announced the election of Deb Bryant and Kane McLean as co-chairs of the organization.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • VB or Qt Whats the difference?

      So back to the title of this article. VB or Qt Whats the difference? As far as I am concerned one is based on BASIC and one is based on C++. Apart from that they are both as easy to use and program with and both are very graphically rich. Oh, one more thing. Qt is cross platform while VB is not. This means that your program done with Qt can work on Linux, Windows, MacOSx, Android, IOs (iPhone, etc.), Symbian, Maemo, Unix or even different CPU architectures like ARM and x86 platforms. VB can only work on Windows.


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