EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Links 15/3/2013: Mir Still in Headlines, S4 Enters Headlines

Posted in News Roundup at 8:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Real-Time Messaging

    Want to send messages to all the browsers connected to your site? The pub-sub paradigm, run through Web sockets, might be just the solution.

  • Comment: Fragments of win

    Fragmentation is this month’s word of the day, whether it be related to Canonical’s plan to develop and launch its own Mir display server fragmenting a consensus around Wayland or to Miguel de Icaza’s tale of his journey away from a fragmented desktop Linux world. But if we step back and look at the bigger picture, fragmentation isn’t just a part of the Linux story, it is in many ways core to its power to bring free software to the world.

  • Server

    • Cisco Details Plans for Internet of Things

      The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept where everything in the world is connected to everything else via an IP address. The IoT is no longer the dream of futurists, it’s soon to become a reality in the view of networking vendor Cisco Systems.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

      In this episode: OpenSUSE 12.3 is out, Red Hat takes ownership of Java 6, SecureBoot is coming to FreeBSD and Ubuntu ditches Wayland for Mir. We report back on our challenge from a couple of episodes ago, come up with a new challenge, and discuss IT education in our Open Ballot.

  • Kernel Space

    • Intel Puts Out New THP Cache Code For Linux Kernel

      Kirill Shutemov of Intel has published his second version of the work that’s going on for Transparent Huge Page (THP) Cache support within the Linux kernel.

    • Linux Kernel Gets A Wait-Free Concurrent Queue

      Introduced to the world on Monday and already revised today is the Linux Kernel Wait-Free Concurrent Queue Implementation.

    • Five Years Later, Intel Poulsbo Is Still A Linux Mess

      Next month marks five years already since Intel released their Atom “Silverthorne” processors for netbooks and nettops in conjunction with the Intel “Poulsbo” SCH bearing PowerVR-derived GMA 500 graphics. To this day, aging Intel hardware with PowerVR-based graphics continue to be a big problem for the Linux desktop.

    • Linux Kernel 3.8.3 Is Now Available for Download
    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland’s Weston With Bubble-Style Notifications

        For those using Wayland’s Weston compositor with the stock shell, a patch was proposed today for implementing “bubbles list” style notifications.

        This basic “wl_notification_daemon” interface also allows for user-configurable attributes of the anchor corner, margin, and order for these Weston desktop notifications.

      • Nouveau vs. NVIDIA Drivers On Quadro Laptop

        For starting off Friday’s benchmarking at Phoronix are some numbers when looking at the Nouveau driver with Ubuntu 13.04 against NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux graphics driver when both are controlling a Quadro GPU found on a ThinkPad laptop.

        In the lead-up to releasing Phoronix Test Suite 4.4.1-Forsand, a wide variety of hardware is always benchmarked to ensure there are no last minute bugs or other snafus concerning the Phoronix Test Suite client itself, the Phoronix Device Interface (Phodevi) library for hardware/software detection, or any other problems. One of the combinations tested was the NVIDIA and Nouveau drivers from a Quadro NVS 140M laptop since it hasn’t been tested in a while at Phoronix.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • logging into Plasma Workspaces 2

        You’re probably wondering what I was doing at 1am last night. I get asked that all the time. Well, mostly by people I live with, now that I think about it. “What were you doing on your computer at one in the morning?” they ask. The answer is usually quite exciting. Take last night, for instance: I was having a meeting with people to discuss display managers. Yes, the wonderful world of login screens.

      • An update on KWin on 5

        I realized I haven’t written a blog post to highlight the latest changes in KWin for quite some time. The reason for this is that we currently are mostly focused on getting KWin to work on Qt 5/KDE Frameworks 5. As I have mentioned already in the past KWin is a little bit special in the transition to Qt 5 as we used the low level native, non-portable functions provided by Qt (last week I found one usage of a native function which is not even documented). For us it mostly means that we transit from XLib to XCB and remove code which uses methods which got removed or replaced.

      • KDE’s wonderful usability
  • Distributions

    • The 2013 Top 7 Best Linux Distributions for You

      There have been several shifts and shakeups on the lists presented since then, of course, and -– as you’ll soon see – this year’s offering holds true to that pattern. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the past year has seen so much upheaval in the desktop world – particularly where desktop environments are concerned – that 2013′s list could come as a surprise to some.

    • For a fully free desktop OS, try Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0
    • New Releases

      • Slax 7.0.6 is now available for download

        I’d like to announce the next update of Slax Live Linux version 7.0.6. The main change is new Linux kernel 3.8.2 and updated KDE to 4.10.1. It was a bit harder than I expected, mostly due to some really odd changes made by KDE developers, which I had to work around to get the same functionality like we are used to.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva returns, challenges Microsoft in small and medium enterprise segment

        Mandriva was once one of the most popular GNU/Linux distribution. It has been around since 1998, but the company and the project went through hard times in the last two years. The company got forked then reached the brink of being sold. However, this resilient company faced hardship bravely and is now making a comeback with a concrete business plan. Could this be the ‘Red Hat’ move by Mandriva, turning the company into a ‘billion’ dollar revenue earning company?

    • Red Hat Family

      • JBoss Fuse and JBoss A-MQ join Red Hat’s middleware

        Red Hat has added JBoss Fuse and JBoss A-MQ to its enterprise middleware portfolio. The products are based on technologies acquired from FuseSource in September 2012. According to the company, these are designed to enhance Red Hat’s enterprise integration and messaging capabilities.

        Red Hat JBoss Fuse is a flexible open source Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) based on popular Apache projects such as Camel, an enterprise integration pattern framework, which enable faster time-to-solution integration implementations.

      • Red Hat shares fall after Citi downgrade

        Shares of Red Hat Inc. fell Tuesday after a Citi analyst downgraded the software maker citing concerns about slowing growth.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mir Code Moves Along, Branches Begin Appearing

            There’s code being committed to the new Mir Display Server every few hours. There’s also numerous Bazaar code branches appearing too that show early work on other functionality.

          • Canonical’s Bazaar Still In Stagnant State

            With Canonical allocating its resources elsewhere, the Bazaar revision control system has fallen stagnant.

            While Bazaar was promising in its early days, the open-source distribution revision control system has seen better times. The original developer of Bazaar, Martin Pool, left Canonical last year and the company ended up shuffeling around the other developers formerly working on the project. Bazaar isn’t a money-maker for Canonical and the control system in its current form is good enough for the company while most other free software projects prefer Git or even SVN over Bzr.

          • Ubuntu Offspring Go Forth With Their 13.04 Beta

            While Canonical no longer does a beta release of Ubuntu itself, many of the Ubuntu derivatives are doing their first 13.04 beta today.

          • Ubuntu Unity 7 Coming Soon

            Unity 7, the latest release of Unity which is currently in development, should be available for user testing via a PPA in a few days. According to Michael Hall’s blog post, it will be available there for 2 weeks, before it lands.

            One of the most prominent changes in Unity 7 is the Smart Scopes service. Currently, Dash searches are processed on the local system by installed lenses. In future, Dash searches will be sent to the Canonical servers for processing by the Smart Scopes service. This service will determine which scopes are most relevant for the entered keywords, and return the search results from those scopes to the user’s system. In short terms this should mean more relevant search results and less system resources will be used.

          • Why I support Ubuntu

            Today, on Linux blogs everywhere and on Google+, it’s open warfare between Ubuntu supporters and those who who believe it is committing free software heresy. Muktware’s own Swapnil Bhartiya suggested on this site that the company was morphing into a new Apple, with Shuttleworth in the roll of Steve Jobs.

            And there’s not much worse you could call an open source company than Apple.

            I get the criticism and the discomfort with many of Ubuntu’s decisions. I appreciate that the heads of various open source projects feel betrayed in many ways and that longtime users feel that they’ve been left out of the loop. Decisions are now made at the top not the bottom. The community opportunities at Ubuntu are no longer up to the standards of many free software advocates that once championed the distro.

          • Ubuntu development hits 13.04 beta 1 milestone

            The Ubuntu developers have just passed the beta 1 milestone in development of Raring Ringtail, Ubuntu 13.04. Although the milestone does not see a release of the Ubuntu distribution, it does see a release of a beta 1 version of most of the various remixes, as previously disclosed by the project’s leadership. The announcement notes that 13.04 Beta 1 images are available for Edubuntu (download), Kubuntu (download), Lubuntu (download), UbuntuKylin (download), Ubuntu Server Cloud (images), Ubuntu Studio (notes, download) and Xubuntu (download).

          • Canonical Targets Mobile Market with Ubuntu Mir

            In what appears to be a growing penchant among open source developers for naming things after Soviet spacecraft, Canonical recently announced a new project called Mir. And while it doesn’t actually have much (or anything) to do with outer space, it could have major implications for open source user interfaces throughout the channel–not to mention for Canonical itself as it strives to “converge” its Ubuntu offerings across a range of hardware devices.

            Quite unlike the space station of the same name, the Mir project exists to create a new display server for Linux. It will replace the venerable X.org implementation of the X Window System, which comprises one of the core components of virtually every major Linux distribution out there today.

            Mir, according to Canonical, will offer a number of improvements over X that will prove particularly beneficial for tablets, phones and other touch-enabled mobile devices. But it is being designed to work across all hardware platforms, and–if it gains wide adoption by other Linux distributions besides Ubuntu–it could help to drive innovation in interface design across the open source channel.

          • Is Canonical Heading In Apple’s Direction?

            I have been a huge supporter of Canonical and Ubuntu from its early days and have done my share of spreading the word about Ubuntu and invested hours and hours in converting people and installing Ubuntu on their systems. Canonical spent a lot of money and resources in making Ubuntu popular. Ubuntu was one such distribution which was putting the users ahead of anything else. The company created an awesome community which was ‘driven’ by the code of conduct, which made a very welcoming community.

          • Celebrate Ubuntu (but keep an eye on what they’re up to…)

            Ubuntu has come under a decent amount of flack over the past few months, particularly over their decision to use the ‘Dash Search’ to return results from Amazon by default in their most recent release.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • From US Soldier to IT Manager… with Linux Mint

              During my earlier years, I was in the US military as an enlisted soldier. Money was extremely tight for my wife and I, but I had a passion for computers.

              I couldn’t afford a new system, and certainly couldn’t afford to pay for Microsoft Windows. So, I purchased a used computer from a yard sale that had no operating system on it.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-powered soundbar also streams Internet music

      Sonos, a well-known maker of Linux-powered, WiFi-mesh networked, streaming audio systems, has added an HDTV soundbar to its line. The “Playbar” aims to bring “immersive HiFi sound” to home entertainment centers — not just from TV content, but streamed from Internet and local sources as well.

    • GCW-Zero $159 Linux-based retro gaming handheld coming in May

      The GCW-Zero is a portable gaming device designed for playing retro games — basically anything up until the era of the original PlayStation. It packs a 3.5 inch display, a 1 GHz MIPS processor, and and an open source Linux-based operating system called OpenDingux.

      Thanks to that operating system, you’ll be able to run a range of apps on the platform, including emulators for classic gaming consoles.

    • Raspberry Pi-powered open-source bartending robot nearly funded on Kickstarter

      Who wouldn’t want a Raspbery Pi-powered open source bartending that you control with your phone or tablet?

      For at least 353 people who have tossed $134,551 in tip money towards the project on Kickstarter, that question has an easy answer: everyone. And with a project goal of just a little more, $135,000, it seems certain that “Bartendro” will see the bright lights of night-time parties.

    • Windows Embedded Expert Jumps Into Open Source

      Sean Liming, Owner of Annabooks, has been heavily involved with Windows embedded for years, dating all the way back to 1995. With the growth of Linux and open source, Sean decided that he’d like to beef up his Linux knowledge in-order to create a new book to help people transition from Windows to an open software solution. He decided to attend a Linux Foundation event in 2012 and has taken two Linux Foundation courses, which he says helped with the development of his new book: Open Software Stack for the Intel Atom Processor.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Android expected to dominate tablets, too

          After having its way with the smartphone market, Android is now poised for a repeat performance in the tablet market, according to market anlyst firm IDC.

        • Android Builders Summit 2013 videos now available

          Videos from keynotes and presentation sessions at the Android Builders Summit 2013 held last month in San Francisco are now available for free viewing, courtesy of the Linux Foundation, which held the event. The videos cover a wide range of embedded Linux development, deployment, and marketing topics.

        • Android plus Chrome OS equals Google’s future operating system

          We still don’t know where Google is going with Android and Chrome OS, but putting Chrome’s top executive in charge of Android is a big, honking hint.

        • Why Google Won’t Merge Chrome OS and Android

          There are big moves going on at Google, with possible implications for the company’s operating systems Chrome OS and Android. Longtime Android chief Andy Rubin is stepping aside, although he is staying at Google. Meanwhile, Sundar Pichai, VP of Chrome and Apps, is a star on the rise. Pichai has been overseeing the delivery of Google’s well-recieved Chromebooks, and many of its very slick apps, in addition to steering Chrome OS forward.

        • Intel Atom Z240-powered X1000 lands in India

          XOLO has officially launched the new X1000 smartphone, powered by an Intel CPU, in India. Featuring Android 4.0.4, the X1000 phone hits online stores for Rs 19,999 ($369).

        • Do You Know What’s Inside Android App Code? Bluebox Does

          For many types of applications, in order to accurately understand what is going on within them, access to source code is typically required. When it comes to Android Apps, a new effort from startup Bluebox Security is set to make access and visibility into mobile code easier than ever before.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Benchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 7

        Last month I delivered extensive benchmarks of Ubuntu Linux on the Google Nexus 10 using the recently released Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview. In that article were benchmarks from the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (Cortex-A15) tablet against a range of ARM Cortex and Intel/AMD x86 systems. This article builds upon those earlier Ubuntu Linux x86/ARM results by now adding in the results from Ubuntu on the Google Nexus 7 plus more comparison processors have been tossed into the mix as well. This article offers Ubuntu Linux performance results for a dozen different Intel, AMD, and ARM systems. The ARM SoCs represented are from Texas Instruments OMAP, NVIDIA Tegra, and ARM Exynos families.

      • Pwnie Express Releases Pwn Pad Ahead of Schedule

        The team at Pwnie Express seems to have a lot of trouble standing still, as it doesn’t seem more than a few months go by before they are talking about yet another disruptive open source product that they are about to unleash on the security community.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The “Linux” of online learning? edX takes big step toward open source goal
  • edX MOOC Software Goes Open Source

    The non-profit pioneer in the phenomenon of massive open online courses (MOOCs) is releasing a core element of its platform for offering online courses as open-source software.

  • Video: Open-Source Oximeter Prototype Is Bluetooth Connected

    Do you know how much oxygen you have in your blood? You may not be worried about knowing since you’re alive and thus can infer you have enough. But, visiting high altitudes can be made safer, and implementing a new workout regimen can be made more effective, with an oximeter.

  • 5 Awesome Open Source Projects You Should Know About

    The amount of free content on the Internet is partially a result of horrid copyright infringement and partially a product of the open source movement, an umbrella term that applies to any kind of software that allows for its source code to be openly copied, edited, and distributed. Many of these programs are often quite amazing and frequently very cost-effective so, for your consideration, here are five really awesome products of the open source movement.

  • Olympus to showcase open source microscopy
  • Web Browsers

    • Web Browser Grand Prix: Chrome 25, Firefox 19, And IE10
    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Delivers New Version 3.0 Preview of Firefox OS

        Three months ago, the folks at Mozilla rolled out the 1.0 version of the Firefox OS Simulator, which provided folks–especially developers–an opportunity to try out the company’s promising new mobile operating system. Mozilla has been making lots of noise about its entry into the mobile OS business, and early Firefox OS phones (a couple of them seen here) are arriving. Now, Mozilla has rolled out a preview version 3.0 of the simulator, which can provide a lot of the mobile operating system’s flavor.

        Mozilla has warned that the version 3.0 simulator is “a little rough around the edges,” but can still be experimented with. All three of the preview versions do reflect the fact that Mozilla means to develop this new mobile OS fully out in the open.

      • Mozilla launches Open Badges 1.0, delivers virtual kudos for real skills
      • Introducing Open Badges 1.0
      • Mozilla releases Open Badges 1.0

        Mozilla has announced the launch of Open Badges 1.0—a new way to recognise and verify learning. The free, open source software will allow users and institutions to digitally recognize and verify learning that happens anywhere, and use it to get a job, further education, or add to a growing skillset.

        In other words, a digital badge is an online representation of a skill you’ve earned. Open Badges takes that concept one step further, by creating an online ecosystem where users can verify, display, and combine badges.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • SwiftStack Exits Stealth With Open Source Swift Software-Defined Storage
    • A new look for private cloud ownCloud 5.0
    • Did EMC Just Say Fork You To The Hadoop Community?

      In Derrick Harris’ article on GigaOM entitled “EMC to Hadoop competition: See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.”, EMC unveiled their new Pivotal HD offering which effectively re-architects the Greenplum analytic database so it sits on top of the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). Scott Yara, Greenplum cofounder, is excited about the new product. Since a key focus for us at Hortonworks is to deeply integrate Hadoop with other data systems (a la our efforts with Teradata, Microsoft, MarkLogic, and others), I’m always excited to see data system providers like Greenplum decide to store their data natively in HDFS. And I can’t argue with Scott Yara’s sentiment that “I do think the center of gravity will move toward HDFS”.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Open Education: Take Back The Curriculum

      Education technology consultant Karen Fasimpaur sounds like a revolutionary when she gets fired up talking about the potential of open educational resources (OER), the textbooks and other educational tools made available as free downloads or interactive Web experiences.

      “We have an opportunity to take back the curriculum!” she told educators at last week’s SXSWedu event. “What if we took the $5 billion annually spent on textbooks and invested that in teachers and their work?”

    • US States Rebel

      That’s from a request for proposals developed jointly by Maine and other states. Another request for proposals by Los Angeles Unified School District explicity excludes “RT” and includes Linux in the acceptable list of OS. It also includes, “Proposer does not have a reputation for practices including, but not limited to, unethical business practices, discrimination, and unfair labor practices.”

  • Business

  • Funding


    • Google backslides on federated instant messaging, on purpose?

      According to a public mailing list thread, Google is doing this on purpose, to handle a spam problem. We sympathize; we spend a disappointing amount of energy combating similar problems on the services we provide for the free software community. But the solution can’t be something that breaks legitimate communication channels, and especially not in a way that enhances Google’s disproportionate control of the network. While Google is offering to whitelist servers whose operators write to them, this just accentuates the inequality and doesn’t realistically solve the problem.

      We hope that Google will retract this change and find a solution that does not undermine the distributed nature of the Internet. We have already reached out to them toward this end.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Publishers Have A New Strategy For Neutralizing Open Access — And It’s Working

        Over the last few years, Techdirt has been reporting on a steady stream of victories for open access. Along the way publishers have tried various counter-attacks, which all proved dismal failures. But there are signs that they have changed tack, and come up with a more subtle — and increasingly successful — approach.

      • #ami2 liberating science; more SpringerGate: I have to ask their permission to re-use CC-BY 2.0
      • Details Come Out On US Attorneys Withholding Evidence In Aaron Swartz Case

        Last week, we wrote about Aaron Swartz’s girlfriend, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, releasing a statement accusing the DOJ of a variety of things that hadn’t really been covered before, including lying, seizing evidence without a warrant and withholding exculpatory evidence. That resulted in an interesting discussion in the comments, in which a few DOJ defenders suggested that since there were no details, we were probably making this up (as if we don’t have better things to do). Now, however, the details have come out. In a letter that was sent at the end of January (but just now leaked to the press), Swartz’s lawyers highlight how Assistant US Attorney Steve Heymann was responsible for the charges above.

        The key issue is the search of Aaron’s laptop. Cambridge police seized the laptop on January 6, 2011. The Secret Service did not obtain a warrant until February 9, 2011, even though it had clearly been involved since before the arrest and was leading the investigation. Swartz’s legal team, quite reasonably, argued that the evidence from the laptop should be suppressed due to the massive delay in obtaining the necessary warrant. Heymann hit back that it was the Cambridge Police who had the laptop, so the Secret Service had nothing to do with it until it got the warrant. There was a court hearing about all of this, and Heymann again insisted that the Secret Service had no responsibility until after the warrant.

  • Programming


  • The Pope and Politics

    Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as the new pope this week. But coverage often glossed over the most intense political controversies about him.

  • Crime Lab Scandal Leaves Mass. Legal System In Turmoil

    A scandal in a Massachusetts crime lab continues to reverberate throughout the state’s legal system. Several months ago, Annie Dookhan, a former chemist in a state crime lab, told police that she messed up big time. Dookhan now stands accused of falsifying test results in as many as 34,000 cases.

  • A Fool and His Money

    It turns out that the cause of my problem was not technical, but disciplinary.

  • RIP Google Reader. RSS is Not Dead No Matter What Google Says
  • Why I love RSS and You Do Too
  • Matthew Keys: ‘I Am Fine’
  • Former Web Producer Indicted in California for Conspiring with “Anonymous” Members to Attack Internet News Site
  • Mark Zuckerberg’s attempt to counteract ‘Facebook fatigue’
  • CNN: Unlike – Why I’m Leaving Facebook
  • 14 March 2013: International Day to Defend Apostates and Blasphemers

    Countless individuals accused of apostasy and blasphemy face threats, imprisonment, and execution. Blasphemy laws in over 30 countries and apostasy laws in over 20 aim primarily to restrict thought, expression and the rights of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

  • Science

    • Here’s my paper on evidence and teaching for the education minister.

      I was asked by Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education) and the Department for Education to look at how to improve the use of evidence in schools. I think there are huge, positive opportunities for teachers here, that go way beyond just doing a few more trials. Pasted below is the briefing note from DfE press office, and then the text of a paper I wrote for them, which came out this week. You can also download a PDF from the DfE website here.

  • Security

    • Treacherous backdoor found in TP-Link routers

      Security experts in Poland have discovered a treacherous backdoor in various router models made by TP-Link. When a specially crafted URL is called, the router will respond by downloading and executing a file from the accessing computer, reports Michał Sajdak from Securitum.

    • Kaspersky fixes IPv6 problem in Internet Security Suite

      Security researcher Marc Heuse discovered that the firewall in Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 has a problem with certain IPv6 packets. The researcher said that he publicly disclosed the details of the problem because Kaspersky didn’t respond when he reported it. Shortly after his disclosure, Kaspersky did release a fix.

    • Brian Krebs gets SWATted

      Brian Krebs got a visit from a SWAT team today, after having his site DDOSed and served with a fake takedown notice, possibly in retaliation for this article.

    • Researchers resurrect and improve CRIME attack against SSL

      Two researchers from security firm Imperva have devised new techniques that could allow attackers to extract sensitive information from users’ encrypted Web traffic.

      The new methods build on those used in an attack called CRIME revealed last year that abuses the compression feature of SSL to achieve the same goal.

      CRIME decrypts authentication information stored in headers sent during HTTP requests, in particular the session cookies. It works by tricking the victims into loading a malicious piece of JavaScript that forces their browsers to make specifically crafted requests to SSL-enabled websites where they’re already logged in.

    • CIA and the FBI is investigating President Obama’s financial condition / US News

      The website Exposed.su posted the Social Security Numbers, home addresses and phone numbers to an array of influential Americans on Monday, including President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, actor Mel Gibson, US Attorney General Eric Holder, FBI Robert Mueller and others. Additionally, the hackers have posted documents that they perpetrate to be legitimate credit reports for many of the victims, including singer Beyoncé, rap artist Jay-Z and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, among others.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A Lost Renoir? River in China Looks Like an Oil Painting

      The Chinese government has reportedly spent 7.4 billion yen (about 77 million US dollars) in an effort to restore life to the lake shown here.

      Comments posted on the Internet in reference to the top photo include, “it looks like a piece by Van Gogh,” “it resembles a green tea latte,” and “it’s like a landscape painting.” We in Japan cannot be too smug, however, as our own country experienced a plethora of similar environmental issues during its rapid growth stage in the 60s and 70s. Hopefully those experiences can be leveraged to help improve the situation in China and we can work together in creating and sustaining a better global environment.

  • Finance

    • After Watering Down Financial Reform, Ex-Senator Scott Brown Joins Goldman Sachs’ Lobbying Firm

      During his nearly three years in the U.S. Senate, Scott Brown (R-MA) frequently came to the aid of the financial sector — watering down the Dodd-Frank bill and working to weaken it after its passage — and accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from the industry. Now, the man Forbes Magazine called one of “Wall Street’s Favorite Congressmen” will use those connections as counsel for Nixon Peabody, an international law and lobbying firm.

      The Boston Globe noted Monday that while Brown himself will not be a lobbyist — Senators may not lobby their former colleagues for the first two years after leaving office, under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 — “he will be leaning heavily on his Washington contacts to drum up business for the firm.” The position will also allow him “to begin cashing in on his contacts with the financial services industry, which he helped oversee in the Senate.”

    • Fed Rebukes Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase Over Capital Plans

      Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, the Wall Street giants that emerged from the financial crisis in a position of strength, are now facing questions about their ability to withstand future market shocks.

    • Washington Post’s Austerity Backer, Still Trying

      If you read enough Paul Krugman columns, you know that there are politicians–in this country and elsewhere–who continue to assert that the best way to turn around slumping economies is to slash government spending. The problem, as Krugman has written countless times, is that there’s no evidence that this works in the real world–and plenty of evidence that it does not.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Google Takes the Dark Path, Censors AdBlock Plus on Android

      In a shocking move, Google has recently deleted AdBlock Plus from the Android Play Store. This is hugely disappointing because it demonstrates that Google is willing to censor software and abandon its support for open platforms as soon as there’s an ad-related business reason for doing so.

      Until now, the Internet and software development communities have relied on Google to be safely on their side when it comes to building open platforms, encouraging innovation, and giving users maximum choice about how their computers will function. But with today’s news, that commitment to openness suddenly looks much, much weaker.

    • Google Blocks Adblock Plus, Puts Revenue Before Users

      Adblock Plus, the popular free ad blocking tool for PCs and smartphones, was removed by Google from its Google Play store for Android apps. Though the app will no longer be available through Google Play, Adblock Plus has made a downloadable version of the app available directly from its website. Of course, it’s still available for PC and Mac computer users, while it has never been an option for iPhone and iPad users.

    • Google Kills Adblock Plus from Google Play Store; Open Source Tool Releases Statement
    • Sunshine “Weak:” Wisconsin Leaders Failing State’s Open Government Traditions

      “If Wisconsin were not known as the Dairy State it could be known, and rightfully so, as the Sunshine State,” the Wisconsin Supreme Court observed in 2010. “All branches of Wisconsin government have, over many years, kept a strong commitment to transparent government.”

      But just in time for Sunshine Week 2013, GOP leaders in the state are showing how they are failing that proud tradition.

    • ALEC Corporate Bill Mill Posts (Some) Model Bills Online for First Time; Watchdogs Say Move Falls Far Short on Transparency

      A two-year campaign by a coalition of public interest groups has pushed the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to release hundreds of pieces of “model” state legislation secretly developed and pushed into law by corporate interests. The coalition includes the Center for Media and Democracy, ColorOfChange, Common Cause, Greenpeace, People For the American Way, Progress Now, Voters Legislative Transparency Project, and a variety of labor organizations.

  • Censorship

    • Venezuela: Twitter user detained for spreading “destabilizing” information

      In the wake of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s death last week, government authorities in Venezuela seem to have resumed taking action against freedom of expression online. On March 14, 2013, Lourdes Alicia Ortega Pérez was detained by the Scientific Penal and Criminal Investigation Corps (CICPC, by its Spanish acronym), for allegedly having “usurped the identity of an official of the Autonomous Service of Registries and Notaries” and having sent Tweets that authorities deemed “destabilizing [to] the country.”

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • HTML5 DRM comes to all Chrome OS devices

      Google updated the dev channel of Chrome OS to version 27.0.1438.8 for all Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of stability fixes and feature enhancements. But the most important update is the arrival of ‘kind of’ HTML5 DRM to all Chrome OS devices (earlier HMTL5 was DRMed only on ARM based devices).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US ambassador says renegotiation of free trade deal with Seoul possible
    • Copyrights

      • Takeover Panel claims copyright on regulatory information

        The Takeover Panel (which regulated mergers and takeovers inn the UK) has sent me an email telling me that reproducing the list of takeover offers (i.e. a list of company names and dates) would be a breach of copyright, and that they would be unlikely to allow commercial reproduction except though “official news channels”.

      • Veoh Wins Important Case Against Universal Music Over DMCA Safe Harbors Again; But Is Still Dead Due To Legal Fees

        We’ve written a few times about the sad case of Veoh. Veoh was a YouTube-like site, funded by Hollywood insiders like Michael Eisner, but who got sued by Universal Music Group, claiming copyright infringement (using more or less the same theories used by Viacom against YouTube). Technically, Veoh sued first (filing for declaratory judgment after receiving a threat letter from UMG, but UMG quickly followed with its own lawsuit). UMG played dirty, not just suing the company but directly suing its investors as well. This was a pure intimidation technique, designed to scare major investors into either pulling investment or ordering the company to change course, even if what they were doing was legal. While the court dismissed the charges against the investors (and scolded UMG in the process), the intimidation might have worked. In the middle of all of this, Veoh shut down, because it ran out of money, mainly due to the lawsuit. It sold off its assets to another party, and somehow scraped together a little money to keep the lawsuit, and just the lawsuit, going.

      • Surprise: Register Of Copyrights Expected To Call For Reduction In Copyright Term

        For a long time now, the idea of an overhaul of copyright law in the US has mostly been seen as a pipedream. However, it appears that the Register of Copyright, Maria Pallante, may actually be angling for a major bit of copyright reform. Coming up next Wednesday, she’s going to be testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on her supposed “Call for Updates to U.S. Copyright Law.” Apparently, on March 4th, she gave a talk at Columbia University which has remained amazingly under the radar until now, in which she proposed a long list of possible copyright reforms, which are likely to headline the hearings next week. It’s fairly impressive, given how much attention copyright law has been getting lately, that she could present a surprising call for massive changes to the law, and not have a single person report on it immediately after the event ended. However, that is the case.


Links 15/3/2013: Kali 1.0, Fedora 19 Test Days

Posted in News Roundup at 8:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • If Linux were a dog

    As I zoned out this morning, sipping coffee and watching my dogs wrestle on the couch, I wondered, “If my dogs were Linux distributions, which ones would they be?” Yes, these are the thoughts that run through my head as I get started in the morning.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • OverlayFS File-System Proposed For Linux 3.10 Kernel

      The Overlay File-System has been in development for several years and is used by some notable Linux distributions, but has yet to be merged into the mainline Linux kernel after having to be pulled a few times in the past. The new plan is to merge OverlayFS for the Linux 3.10 kernel.

      With the patches now up to their sixteenth revision, Miklos Szeredi has called upon Linus Torvalds and Al Viro (the VFS maintainer) to consider pulling OverlayFS for inclusion into the Linux 3.10 release.

    • Graphics Stack

      • 2D Support Still Coming To NVIDIA’s Open Tegra

        The 2D graphics acceleration support for NVIDIA Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 ARM SoCs is still maturing and going through code revisions before entering the mainline Linux kernel, hopefully for Linux 3.10.

        The latest NVIDIA Tegra 2D patches were published on Wednesday by Terje Bergstrom and can currently be found on the kernel mailing list. These patches are currently up to their seventh revision.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • the case: brand

        This is part of the “Case for KDE” series of blog entries in which I explore various non-technical aspects of KDE. What follows are my personal thoughts and observations rather than an officially sanctioned position statement by the KDE community.

        I figured I would start with the topic of branding as it is a fairly simple topic .. a nice way to ease into this little adventure. It’s also a topic that has been getting increasing amounts of attention in the Free software communities in the last few years as products become more successful, projects progress and more companies appear on the scene.

      • KDE SC 4.11 Planned For Release In Mid-August

        The release schedule for KDE SC 4.11 has been set and the next major release of the KDE Plasma desktop will come in mid-August.

        Albert Astals Cid announced the KDE SC 4.11 release schedule, which can be found on the KDE.org Wiki.

      • KDE Homerun (Search & Launch Button/Containment)
      • PCManFM Qt port is 85% finished now!

        This is the Qt port of PCManFM with desktop management feature turned on. The desktop icons and the wallpaper were painted by PCManFM-Qt, just like the gtk+ version of the original PCManFM. The new Qt port is in a pretty good shape now.
        Although it’s not yet ready for production use, it’s almost there. About 85% of the planned features are finished.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Gnome throws its weight behind Wayland

        Gnome developer Matthias Clasen has proposed to make Gnome work on Wayland. Clasen made this proposal after meeting with X and Wayland developers (most X developers are the ones working on Wayland).

        In order to make Gnome work on Wayland, GNOME shell needs to be turned into a Wayland compositor. The team also needs to complete the GTK+ Wayland backend and all the X dependencies in the desktop infrastructure need to be replaced by Wayland equivalents.

      • GNOME plans to promote Wayland port
      • In Defense of GNOME Icons

        Recently I saw a few people commenting along of ‘GNOME 3 icons being crap’ so I investigated what the actual core of the issue might be. When dissing the years of work that went into creating the system theme and pushing app icons upstream, most of the commenters seem to actually have a problem with the folder icon.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • A new ESB and messaging platform join Red Hat’s middleware

        Red Hat has announced the addition of two new products to its middleware portfolio. The company acquired JBoss Fuse and JBoss A-MQ with the takeover of Progress subsidiary FuseSource last year. The first product is an open source Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that builds on the Apache Camel Enterprise Integration framework; Red Hat notes that it now employs 25 contributors to that Apache project.

      • Red Hat Introduces JBoss Fuse And JBoss A-MQ

        Red Hat, Inc., the global provider of open source solutions, has announced that it has added Red Hat JBoss Fuse and Red Hat JBoss A-MQ to its enterprise middleware portfolio. The products are based on technologies acquired from FuseSource in Sept. 2012 and are designed to enhance Red Hat’s enterprise integration and messaging capabilities.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Linux Mint Debian 201303 RC Sneak Peek

          Linux Mint Debian 201303 RC is has been released. Linux Mint Debian is one of my favorite distros, so I’m very happy to see an update to it.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’: Beta 1 preview

            Despite having cut back on the milestone releases, the Beta 1 release for Ubuntu 13.04, codenamed Raring Ringtail, has appeared on schedule. As yet, though, there’s not a great deal new to report.

          • Ubuntu developer offers a peek at core apps

            Back in January Canonical reached out to the Ubuntu community for help designing the core apps for Ubuntu Touch. Although the SDK preview for the platform is just over two months old Canonical already has something to show from the development of its key apps. A post on Michael Hall’s blog this week has revealed screenshots for some of the core apps giving a good idea of what they’re going to look like when finished and of the general design language.

          • Canonical: The Next Apple

            “On the verge of success, [Shuttleworth] is waving the white flag, demanding defeat if he cannot be like Apple and M$,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “It’s a Greek tragedy, where the winner sees defeat and commits suicide. Sometimes great leaders are “just greatly wrong. The error here seems to be based on the idea that a single GUI should somehow work on huge monitors or tiny smartphones.”

          • Ubuntu Q&A This Week
          • Refining and Improving Virtual UDS

            Last week we ran our very first virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit. The event lasted two days and gave us an opportunity to try out a new format and to see how well it worked. Generally it seems we got some pretty favorable feedback, but there are definitely some areas in which we want to sand off the rough edges and improve the structure of the event.

            I would like us to get the Virtual UDS format so tight and refined that it could be used to organize any kind of ad-hoc online set of meetings. As an example, I can imagine a similar event but focused explicitly on LoCo teams, or documentation, or translations. We want to make the format reliable enough and repeatable enough that anyone in our (or any other community) can use it. This will help our community to plan more regularly and get together more to do cool and interesting things.

          • Ubuntu SDK Apps are coming
          • Ubuntu Linux Gets Certified on Dell 12G Servers

            When the Intel Xeon E5 first debuted, both HP and Dell revealed that their respective servers would be certified for Red Hat and SUSE Linux. Canonical, the lead sponsor behind Ubuntu Linux, indicated at the time that it too would be certified with major server vendors on the Xeon E5 as well.

            This week Canonical announced that Ubuntu 12.04 has now been certified across the latest generation of Dell 12G servers powered by the Intel Xeon E5.

          • Unity 7.0 Desktop Coming To Ubuntu 13.04

            The Unity 7 desktop has been granted a feature freeze exception so that the updated desktop with “a lot of new code” can be landed in Ubuntu 13.04.

            Michael Hall of Canonical in a new blog post covers some of the Unity 7 work that will soon be found in Ubuntu 13.04. A PPA is being used for testing the Unity 7 packages for about two weeks before being pushed into the Ubuntu “Raring” repository, but it will happen in time for the April release of Ubuntu 13.04.

          • Unity 7 Fast-tracked Into Ubuntu 13.04

            Michael also addresses the 100 scope promise for 13.04 and has pre-maturely announced that thay’ve fallen short, but does mention that there “will be more scopes installed on the client than in previous releases, and even more that we will be able to implement on the server-side.” Hall also touches on the ever-present privacy concerns of Ubuntu users saying we’ve “tried to strike a balance between control and convenience, privacy and productivity”, but seems to allude to the idea that more data-sharing components of the dash will be activated by default. So, expect controls to turn off more than just Amazon.

          • Canonical and Dell collaborate on PowerEdge server support
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Trisquel to focus on LTS versions with Trisquel 6.0 release

              Based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, the latest release of Trisquel comes with GNOME Fallback Mode (from GNOME 3.4) as its default desktop environment. Trisquel 6.0 LTS, code-named “Toutatis”, uses the 3.2 Linux-libre kernel that removes all non-free elements from the upstream kernel.

              Trisquel is an FSF-approved distribution, and as such does not include any packages that cannot be considered free software, which is also the reason it is continuing to release with GNOME’s Fallback Mode. The developers cannot assume that the target computers for their distribution will have 3D acceleration available because of the lack of proprietary driver modules in the kernel.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A developer’s perspective on Google’s self-driving cars (video)

      One of the most interesting sessions at last month’s Embedded Linux Conference in San Francisco was a keynote presentation about the technologies, capabilities, and challenges associated with Google’s self-driving cars, which have now traversed some 400,000 miles on public roadways. Think of it as “Prius meets The Matrix.”

    • Embedded Linux dev kit supports Intel’s 3rd Generation Core CPUs

      Wind River has added support for Intel’s 3rd generation Core processors to its embedded Linux distribution and tools suite. The added Core processor support comes in the form of an integrated hardware/software Embedded Development Kit (EDK) bundle.

      Wind River describes Wind River Linux 5 as a hardened embedded Linux distribution, with advanced tools and a rich partner ecosystem. As a combination of ready-to-use hardware and software, the company’s new EDK is intended to accelerate the development of devices based on the 3rd Generation Core processors.

    • Atheros open sources firmware for two wireless chips

      Qualcomm Atheros has released the source code of firmware for two of its 802.11n wireless chips on GitHub. The source code and build tools for the firmware are released partly under the GPLv2 and and partly under the MIT license. The GitHub page provides build instructions for those wanting to compile their own firmware.

    • Intel toolsuite supports Linux device software developers
    • Roku 3 review

      There are two things you should know about me right up front. One is the list of shows I’m currently watching: at this moment I’m at various points in The West Wing, Homeland, House of Cards, Scandal, Alias, Mad Men, Community, The Office, Parks and Recreation, How I Met Your Mother, Workaholics, The League, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Girls, New Girl, Modern Family, The Newsroom, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Louie, and The Wire. (And those are just the ones I’ve watched recently.) I also watch a lot of movies, and religiously follow three different sports. The second thing you should know is that I don’t have cable, so I’m entirely reliant on the internet to get my fill.

      That combination has led me to audition nearly a dozen different set-top boxes over the last couple of years. I’ve used an Xbox 360 for my TV-watching needs; I’ve been a relatively happy WD TV Live Hub owner; my Apple TV remains one of the most-used gadgets I own; I at one point used a Chromebox for streaming movies straight through a browser; I’ve even repurposed a Mac Mini and an old Windows laptop as ersatz media centers. One device has just never done the trick for me, because I watch so many things and the industry is unfortunately in a place where almost no device or service has everything I need.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • HTC announces unlocked version of the One

          HTC starts to get the hang of the Developer Edition trend, called a necessary compromise because the original plan to stop making smartphones with locked bootloaders didn’t worked as Peter Chou (HTC CEO) expected.

      • Android

        • Ouya newbies: First-time developers bet big on $99 Android console

          Marco Williams never knew how hard game development would be. He and the team at Hashbang Games—which included his brother and his best friend—spent eight months working on Orbital Blaster, a space shooter that pays homage to games like Galaga. The development process was riddled with problems from the get-go, and even the process of making a simple game turned out to be a bigger endeavor than expected. To make matters worse, Williams’ effort to fund the game’s development on Kickstarter failed at around three percent of its $75,000 funding goal.

        • Andy Rubin Steps Down as Chief of Google Android

          “Having exceeded even the crazy ambitious goals we dreamed of for Android—and with a really strong leadership team in place—Andy’s decided it’s time to hand over the reins and start a new chapter at Google,” Google CEO Larry Page wrote in a March 13 note on Google’s official blog. “Going forward, Sundar Pichai will lead Android, in addition to his existing work with Chrome and Apps.”

        • 50 Android Apps for Business on the Go

          There’s no question that all the new Android devices make working outside the office and while traveling easy-peasey. But you can make your work easier still by using an app specifically designed to perform tasks on a smaller screen and with a minimum of input from your keyboard

          Take a look at these 50 Android apps on Google Play and see which ones fit your workflow best.

          1) OfficeSuite Pro 7. Think of this app as Microsoft Office lite. It does pretty much the same thing as the full version except it uses less memory and processing power on your phone. This app allows you to easily create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files directly on your phone. You can also open, read, and edit attachments, including PDFs using those same programs. $14.99

        • Leaked Motorola device tips Google influence

          So you want to see what a new, post-acquisition Motorola handset looks like now that Google is more (or not at all) involved. Behold the first few images and video of an unknown model that appears to be one of the first of such collaborations. To be clear, this is not the rumored X-Phone. This, rather, appears to be something entirely different.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open sourcing the Internet of Things

    Thingsquare, a company founded by Contiki OS creator Adam Dunkels, today released the code for its wireless networking system, Mist, which is designed to make it easy to connect low-power devices to the Internet.

    The company has posted the source code for the Thingsquare Mist firmware, which lets wireless-capable microcontrollers connect directly to the Internet.

  • Back to open source

    Open source has something of a poor reputation among certain developer communities. There can be potential issues with intellectual property, plus the challenge in loss of revenue through traditional sales. Then there’s the persistent fear of disclosing trade secrets to the benefit of the competition.

  • Events

    • Open Source at CeBIT 2013

      Open Source software has had a special area for itself at the CeBIT trade show for the last five years. The H went along to see what was new this year and in the process met Knoppix creator, Klaus Knopper, saw the latest in 3D printing, and talked with John “Maddog” Hall about Project Cauã.

    • The Big Tent of Open Source has Room for Anarchists, Intelligence Agencies and Businesses Alike

      I’ve always known that Open Source was a “Big Tent”. I worked at the Linuxcaffe (R.I.P.) in Toronto for 4 years, where I met a diverse clientele and was exposed to many exciting Open Source projects. The cafe’s atmosphere was inspired by the tolerance of the Open Source community, and made all sorts feel at home.

      That sense was reinforced when I went to this year’s Linux.conf.au conference at the end of January. It was my first conference of any kind, and the first time I had ever been surrounded by people who cared enough about Open Source to spend a week swimming in it.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • How to make Firefox the Fort Knox of browsers
      • Mozilla Provides An Early Peek At Its Updated Firefox OS Simulator

        Mozilla’s Firefox OS will soon be making its debut on devices sold around the world, but until then Mozilla is still working to get developers crafting web apps that will run nicely on Firefox hardware. To that end, Mozilla has seen fit to provide developers with an early preview of its updated Firefox OS simulator and all the new functionality baked into it.

        Mozilla has been pushing out these simulators and updates since late last year, but the most notable change with this 3.0 release is that developers can now push existing work-in-progress applications to a connected Firefox OS device (assuming devs have one floating around). Other additions to the mix include the ability to simulate a rotated display as well as support for mucking around with the geolocation API to generate longitude and latitude values.

      • All Things Appy: 5 Best Firefox Add-ons for Mobile-Desktop Syncing

        If you haven’t customized your Firefox browser, you’re missing a lot. Add-ons can provide a host of new features to improve the way your browser or application works for you. One indispensable category consists of add-ons that sync your preferences across a variety of devices and platforms. The five most useful syncing add-ons: LastPass Password Manager; Xmarks; Siphon; Pocket; and the Firefox browser for Android.

      • Mozilla Unveils Firefox OS Simulator Version 3.0
      • Firefox Not Coming to iOS Confirms Sullivan
  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud 5 Released, open competitor to Dropbox

      Cloud based storage and file syncing services like Dropbox or Google Drive wile offer great comfort of having access to your data while on move (you don need the internet), it does pose very serious security, privacy and ownership risks. Any data that you put on these public cloud storage service is accessible to these companies and is under government surveillance. The worst part is you can be blocked from accessing your data because of some gazillion issues. So, while such cloud data syncing or storage services have amazing advantages they have risk as well. It think it should be regulated and in case of blocked account as user must be allowed to download a copy of his data before he loses access to it.

    • Piston Cloud To Offer OpenStack Training Courses
    • Is BMW the ultimate open cloud driving machine?

      Cloud computing represents an unparalleled opportunity to deliver resiliency and scale to meet our business challenges.

      This is the opinion of Mario Mueller, chair of the Open Data Center Alliance and vice president of IT Infrastructure at BMW.

      In the spirit of true openness, Mueller has published BMW’s strategy for cloud adoption.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Army making open-source physiology engine

      An open-source physiology engine that anyone can use to develop medical simulations is being developed by the U.S. Army’s Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center.

    • Crowdfunded science exhibit encourages duplication
    • Open Access/Content

      • New claims of prosecutor misconduct in Aaron Swartz case

        The late activist’s lawyers have released complaint made to DoJ that prosecutors withheld evidence, overreached


        In a letter (made public Wednesday) to an internal Justice Department ethics unit from January 2013, Swartz’s lawyers argue that Heymann engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by “withholding key evidence from Swartz’s defense team and overreaching in his attempt to coerce Aaron into waiving his right to trial.” A press release regarding the letter to the ethics unit noted:

        In the letter to the Justice Department, Swartz’s attorney, Elliot Peters, elaborates on a legal complaint made earlier in the month that indicates how Heymann had withheld exculpatory evidence at a December 2012 hearing that would have demonstrated whether the government had properly obtained a warrant to search Swartz’s computer and thumb drive. Email evidence later revealed that Heymann made false statements about his ability to provide and obtain those materials. In that December hearing, Swartz’s legal defense team was given that evidence only after the hearing had concluded.

      • Aaron Swartz’s lawyer accuses prosecutor of misconduct

        Lawyers will move to unseal evidence against Swartz later this week.

      • Aaron Swartz to receive posthumous ‘Freedom of Information’ award for open access advocacy

        Internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz is slated to receive posthumous recognition in Washington for his efforts promoting free access to taxpayer-funded research.

        The James Madison Freedom of Information Award is administered by the American Library Association, and recognizes “individuals who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know national information.”

      • Open Thread: Evolving the library for the 21st century
      • House Judiciary Hearing on Investigating and Prosecuting Cyber Threats: CFAA – ~pj Updated

        Today, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations held a hearing to discuss “Investigating and Prosecuting 21st Century Cyber Threats”. Of course, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act took center stage.

        I know this interests many of you because of the Aaron Swartz case. So here’s the video of the entire hearing, including the testimony of Orin Kerr, which begins at around the 52:11 mark. His written testimony is here [PDF]. He’s been trying to get reforms of the CFAA for many years. And EFF has materials on what you can do, should you choose to, here.

    • Open Hardware

      • Lime Microsystems – First open-source RF hardware project set up to simplify design and further innovation

        Lime Microsystems has launched an open-source RF initiative to widen the community of developers and aid RF innovation. Launched as a non-profit initiative, Myriad-RF aims to give both hobbyists and experienced design engineers a range of low-cost RF boards and free design files available for general use. Future board designs will come from the wider Myriad-RF community, with the first board (Myriad-RF 1) designed by Taiwanese distributor Azio Electronics.

      • Arduino-compatible microcomputer speaks Bluetooth v4.0

        The RFduino from Nordic Semiconductor is an Arduino-compatible open-source microcomputer that can communicate wirelessly with any Bluetooth v4.0 compatible smartphone or tablet. The new microcomputer is based on an RFD51822 module with a Nordic nRF51822 SoC. The Nordic nRF51822 features a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0-based processor and is fully FCC and CE-compliant.

  • Programming

    • Fix a bug every 8.7 minutes

      With almost 30 years of active development under its belt, BRL-CAD is believed to be the second oldest open source codebase in the world that’s still under active development (VistA, the EHR of the Veterans Administration being the oldest). It has also been the primary tri-service solid modeling CAD system used by the U.S. military to model weapons systems for vulnerability and lethality analyses.

    • Spring and Groovy/Grails tool suites get performance boost

      SpringSource has released version 3.2.0 of the Spring Tool Suite (STS) and Groovy/Grails Tool Suite (GGTS). The new versions include updates to Eclipse Juno SR2, support for high resolution displays on Mac OS X, support for Spring Integration 2.2 and compilers for Grails 2.2.1 and Groovy 2.0.7.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Sun apologises to Gordon Brown over son’s medical records accusation

    Tabloid prints apology to former PM for claiming he had accused the paper of blagging details about his son having cystic fibrosis

  • Submission to DPP consultation on social media prosecutions

    In December 2012 the Director of Public Prosecutions launched a consultation on “interim guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media”. The guidelines “set out the approach that prosecutors should take when making decisions in relation to cases where it is alleged that criminal offences have been committed by the sending of a communication via social media.” This was in response to a number of cases through which people were subject to overzealous prosecutions for their comments on social networks, often under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. For more information see our wiki page.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Monarch Migration Plunges to Lowest Level in Decades

      The number of monarch butterflies that completed an annual migration to their winter home in a Mexican forest sank this year to its lowest level in at least two decades, due mostly to extreme weather and changed farming practices in North America, the Mexican government and a conservation alliance reported on Wednesday.

  • Finance

    • A market analogy

      “Let me translate that into economic language what Papa just said. A market is what Papa does not have and does not want in the house. He wants goods and services produced by household members distributed according to criteria of love, respect, need and desire. Mama didn’t charge family members for pieces of the turkey she bought, cleaned, cooked and served. You are not allowed to estabilish a market inside the house for the cleaning service you were asked to perform. The market is banned, Papa explains, because a market would destroy the love amongst us, would be incompatible with the family relationships.”
      – Richard Wolff, Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Wiretapping Firm Says Telecom Providers Could Be Handing Over More Data Than Authorized

      Wiretapping emails and phone calls has always been a contentious law enforcement tactic. But now surveillance is becoming more of a legal minefield than ever in the United States, thanks to a clash between European and American eavesdropping regulations—and some telecom firms could be handing over data on suspects without court authorization.

    • Facebook unfriends CISPA cybersecurity bill over ‘privacy’

      Authors of cybersecurity bill criticized for privacy invasions used Facebook’s enthusiasm to attract political support in D.C. Now the company’s execs have backed away from CISPA.

    • Why CISPA Could Actually Lead To More Hacking Attacks

      One thing we’ve talked about for years is that lawmakers are notoriously bad at thinking through the unintended consequences of legislation they put forth. They seem to think that whatever they set the law to be will work perfectly, and that there won’t be any other consequences. This is one reason why we’re so wary of simple “fixes” even when the idea or purpose sound good up front. “Protecting artists” sounds good… unless it destroys the kinds of services artists need. Cybersecurity sounds good, unless it actually makes it easier to violate your privacy. And, now, people are realizing that not only may cybersecurity rules like CISPA be awful for privacy, but they could potentially lead to more “cyber” attacks, as companies look to “hack back” against those who attack them.

    • Cyberattacks: The complexities of attacking back

      As digital malefactors continue raiding U.S. businesses for their most valuable corporate secrets, some in Washington are wondering whether companies should test the limits and cyberattack their cyberattackers.

      The private sector already can police its own computers and networks, but an uptick in serious intrusions from China and elsewhere is catalyzing a market for tools that might deceive or disrupt hackers and spies — a controversial development that has important limits under federal law.

    • As-it-happened coverage: SPD surveillance-cameras meeting on Alki – ‘We’re not hiding anything’
    • Sunshine Week: EFF Takes Fight Against Secret Surveillance Law to Federal Court

      Section 215 of the Patriot Act has been secretly interpreted by the government in ways, according to Senators briefed on the interpretation, that are misleading and would “stun” the American public. Today, EFF will ask a federal judge in Oakland to order the government to turn over those secret interpretations of the law.

      As we mentioned yesterday, this week is Sunshine Week – a week dedicated to celebrating the promise of transparent and accountable government. And what better way to celebrate than by fighting against secret surveillance law in federal court?

    • Democratic State Surveillance, Transparency and Trust – by Andrew Clement

      Those of us who believe that democratic governments have a central role to play in multi-stakeholder cyberspace governance have received in the past few weeks a bracing reminder of both the hazards of this ideal in practice and the importance of broad-based civil society mobilization. Democratic states, while not sufficient for effective internet governance, are necessary parties because no other institutions have yet emerged that combine as well as they do the inclusivity, legitimacy and resources to help manage the internet effectively in the broad public interest. However, when such states violate the democratic principles that they espouse and are built on, they seriously undermine their legitimacy as well as the viability of the internet governance project overall.

      Two events in February related to state surveillance in North America illustrate such problematic governmental behaviour and point to the importance of transparency for restoring trust in governance processes.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • France Proposes New Rules for Internet Equal Access

      The French government on Tuesday called for a law requiring Internet service providers to give all the traffic on their networks equal priority, saying existing rules were insufficient for protecting free speech online and ensuring fair competition among Web publishers.

Links 14/3/2013: Atheros Publishes Open-Source Wi-Fi Firmware, W3C Behind DRM

Posted in News Roundup at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Multitasking with Chrome OS and Linux on the Chromebook Pixel
  • The ultimate Linux starter kit for small business

    Microsoft did its best to usher in a new era of desktop computing with the launch of Windows 8, but many businesses and individuals are opting out. Linux-based operating systems, meanwhile, present an increasingly compelling alternative. Benefits include tougher security and superior customization—not to mention that Linux is usually free.

  • Kernel Space

    • Atheros Publishes Open-Source WiFi Firmware

      Atheros has been more friendly towards Linux customers in recent years with open-source WiFi/network Linux drivers. Atheros has even been kind towards BSD users. The latest Atheros open-source contribution is the opening up of their firmware for two wireless chipsets.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Releases LLVM IR SDK Plug-In For Eclipse

        Intel announced the first version of an LLVM IR SDK. The LLVM IR SDK is comprised of an LLVM IR editor plug-in for the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment.

      • Intel Comes Up With A Linux Graphics Driver Installer
      • Gallium3D’s Direct3D 10/11 State Tracker To Be Nuked

        The Direct3D state tracker for Gallium3D that for a short time provided hope of a native Direct3D implementation for Linux of the Microsoft Direct3D 10/11 APIs without simply being a translator layer to OpenGL, is set to be nuked from mainline Mesa.

      • OSMesa State Tracker + LLVMpipe Support Published

        Brian Paul has published an initial OSMesa state tracker along with OSMesa support for the LLVMpipe and Softpipe drivers.

        OSMesa is the API exposing Mesa’s off-screen rendering capabilities. The off-screen rendering infrastructure isn’t dependent upon any specific operating system windowing system, or graphics hardware. OSMesa rendering is simply done in user-space with main system memory. An example use-case all along for OSMesa has been “to use Mesa as an off-line, batch-style renderer.”

      • GLAMOR Acceleration Might Work On Newer X.Org
      • Linaro Eyes Up OpenGL ES 3.0, Mesa Improvements

        Last week at Linaro Connect Asia 2013, there was a session about OpenGL ES 3.0 and what the Linaro working group can accomplish.

        The OpenGL ES 3.0 session at Linaro Connect Asia 2013 was to gather Linaro member requirements for GLES3, discussion the Mesa activity, and review the Piglit regression test framework. The open question asked as a goal is “Within OpenGL ES, WebGL, OpenVG, Renderscript where should [Linaro]
        be investing time?”

      • Linaro Developers Plan ARM LLVM Improvements

        Developers from the member companies involved with Linaro are planning continued improvements to the LLVM compiler infrastructure that will benefit ARM developers and customers. With this ARM LLVM work there should also be Gallium3D LLVMpipe enhancements.

        Last week at Linaro Connect Asia 2013, aside from talking about OpenGL ES 3.0 improvements, there were also sessions about improving LLVM ARM support.

      • AMD Publishes Compute Support For RadeonSI

        The AMD “RadeonSI” Gallium3D driver now has basic compute (GPGPU/OpenCL) support.

        There has been R600 Gallium3D OpenCL support for running basic OpenCL demos and now the support has come to the RadeonSI driver, which supports the Radeon HD 7000 series and there’s early Radeon HD 8000 series support.

      • Intel Continues Advancing OpenGL GLSL Support

        Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers continue advancing support for the OpenGL Shading Language. Their latest work is on supporting Interface Blocks for GLSL 1.50.

        Jordan Justen of Intel published the initial Interface Block support, as mandated by GLSL 1.50. The shading language 1.50 version is for matching OpenGL 3.2.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfce 4.12 Desktop Release Ends Up Behind Schedule

      While Xfce 4.12 was scheduled to be released on 10 March, the release didn’t happen and it looks like the release won’t be coming anytime soon.

      Last September plans were expressed with a road-map to release Xfce 4.12 in mid-March. Xfce 4.12 was possibly going to be ported to GTK3, but a full-port to GTK3 was decided later on to not be feasible for this release though some packages may be friendly towards the updated tool-kit.

    • LightDM Caught Off-Guard By Mir, Plans For Wayland

      Development of the LightDM display manager is now in an awkward state by Canonical’s announcement of developing — and ultimately switching to — the Mir Display Server rather than Wayland.

      David Edmundson, who for a long time has been working on LightDM and has led when it comes to LightDM-KDE, wrote an interesting blog post this morning about how Mir conflicts with LightDM — the display manager that’s also used by Ubuntu.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME 3.8 Beta 2 Is Now Available for Testing

        Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias from the GNOME Release Team was happy to announce a few days ago that the second and last Beta release of the upcoming GNOME 3.8 desktop environment was ready for download and testing.

        This time, the release has been delayed with only two days from the original schedule and it is available for download and testing on the main GNOME FTP server, bringing numerous updated components, several improvements across basic apps, new features, countless bugfixes and many updated translations.

      • GNOME Will Move Full-Speed With Wayland Support

        We already know that KDE developers aren’t fond of Mir, Canonical’s display server for the Unity desktop not derived from X.Org and Wayland. KDE developers aren’t happy about it, some Xfce developers have also expressed dissatisfaction with the recent Canonical changes, and now there’s a GNOME response. What’s GNOME doing about Mir? They’re laying out plans right now to move hard and fast with Wayland support!

        There’s been experimental work on bringing the GNOME Shell and Mutter to Wayland/Weston, but nothing that’s been merged yet and ready for GNOME desktop users. The GTK3 tool-kit does have Wayland support and it’s continuing to be improved. Rather than GNOME jumping on the Mir bandwagon, they want to move now at a vicious rate in supporting Wayland.

  • Distributions

    • Kali Linux Is A Security-Testing Suite
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Dell, Canonical tag team on Ubuntu Server tune-up for PowerEdgies

            Enterprises don’t want to just know that an operating system will run on a piece of iron, they want to know who they are entitled to yell at when it stops working properly. And that’s why a new support agreement has been inked between Canonical, the commercial entity behind the Ubuntu Server distribution of Linux, and Dell, one of the largest server makers in the world.

            As David Duffey, director of technical partnerships at Canonical, explained in a blog post announcing the expanded relationship between the two companies, Dell fired up reference architectures for the PowerEdge-C density-optimized servers back in July 2011, and the following May these reference architectures were tweaked to support Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, the long-term support variant of Ubuntu that most enterprise customers go with for their iron.

          • Ubuntu Linux gets a new official flavor

            Ubuntu fans may recall Ubuntu GNOME Remix, the unofficial flavor of the Linux distribution that was launched last fall for users not fond of the software’s default Unity desktop environment.

          • More Mir Talking Points Come Out Of Canonical

            With the start of another week comes another round of information on the Mir Display Server out of Canonical.

            Mark Shuttleworth shared on Google+ a post by Christopher Halse Rogers about the Canonical motives for working on Mir. Interestingly, Mark claims, “Contrary to competitor FUD, from people who are not working as openly as they would have you believe, Mir is more likely to enable high-quality graphics for ALL flavours of Ubuntu, and any distro that chooses it. Graphics vendors have been happy to engage and ensure it works well on all architectures.”

          • Shuttleworth Comments On Future Ubuntu Releases
          • Ubuntu, Shuttleworth & rolling releases

            Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, has an ambitious plan with a short time-frame: One operating system for computers, smartphones, tablets and TVs by early 2014. One problem with this is how do you get there fast enough and one answer, rolling releases, has got developers upset. Now, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has a new proposal on how to handle rolling releases.

          • Ubuntu Linux Gets Certified on Dell 12G Servers
          • Dell, Canonical announce new Ubuntu 12.04 support for servers
          • Devs tease early screenshots of Ubuntu Touch Core Apps

            Ubuntu developer Michael Hall has posted screenshots of early versions of what Canonical is calling the “Core Apps” for Ubuntu Touch, the new flavor of the popular Linux distribution that’s being rewritten to run on mobile devices as well as PCs.

            There wasn’t much you could actually do with Ubuntu Touch when Canonical released the Developer Preview firmware images in February. The OS would boot, it supported basic internet access over Wi-Fi, and you could place calls with the smartphone version, but most of the preinstalled “apps” were actually just placeholders for software that had yet to be written.

            But according to Hall, work is already underway to build a set of apps to handle most of the everyday functions users expect from their phones and fondleslabs.

          • Dell, Canonical Partner on Ubuntu for PowerEdge Servers
          • Early apps for touch-based Ubuntu reveal a mostly clean aesthetic
          • New Ubuntu Spinoff Extends Life of Legacy Hardware

            It’s easy to assume, from the stunning rate at which OEMs roll out newer and better versions of PCs, phones, tablets and other popular hardware, that few consumers want to hold on to aging devices. But if a new community-based spinoff of Ubuntu named LXLE is any indication, there are those who are, in fact, keen on keeping legacy computers running–even if it means building the requisite software themselves.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny computer module boasts 1.65GHz AMD APU, Linux

      AndersDX is shipping a miniature computer-on-module (COM) based on a dual-core 1.65GHz AMD G-Series APU. The CM-iGT provides rich graphics and multimedia capabilities and is supported with embedded Linux.

      The CM-iGT’s AMD G-Series APU integrates a dual-core, 64-bit x86 CPU clocked at up to 1.65GHz (depending on board model). The module also supports up to 4GB DDR3 DRAM and up to 32GB flash onboard memory.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

        • HTC’s Mackenzie: We’re embracing our role as a challenger to Samsung, Apple

          HTC is searching for a comeback. After selling 43.2 million phones in 2011, according to research firm Gartner, HTC saw sales slide in 2012 down to 32.1 million units amid intense competition from the likes of Samsung Electronics and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) at the high end and Huawei and ZTE at the lower end of the market. HTC is plotting a return to prominence on the back of the HTC One, the Taiwanese smartphone maker’s latest flagship device. At the recent Mobile World Congress trade show, FierceWireless Editor Phil Goldstein talked with Jason Mackenzie, HTC’s global president of sales, about the company’s brand, the software features of the One and how the company can get its smartphone swagger back. The following is an edited version of the conversation.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • IBM CEO Rometty Says Big Data Are the Next Great Natural Resource

      IBM CEO schools executives on how to make data-based decisions and predicts the decline of management by gut instinct.

    • MIT Researchers’ Open Source Tool Can Optimize Databases in the Cloud

      In a steady fashion, almost all users of digital technology and devices are using open source, simply because so many open source software components help drive proprietary applications and platforms. The proliferation of open source components is starting to have a very positive effect on the cloud computing scene. As just one example, Netflix–which has a very robust cloud-based proprietary platform–has released Chaos Monkey and a number of other meaningful open source components that can make cloud deployments stronger.

      Now, news comes from MIT that researchers are open sourcing software components for cloud-based database-driven applications that could reduce hardware requirements by 95 percent while improving performance.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 4.0 Delivers Numerous Upgrades

      LibreOffice 4.0 is now available to download with user interface enhancements, and a multitude of fun new features. Here I will review many of the new features for all the LibreOffice lovers out there. This release delivers a cleaner interface and all-around improved usability.


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • TN, UP, Rajasthan to splurge on proprietary software over open source; Microsoft, Adobe, Norton and McAfee get large govt orders

      India may have policy of preferring free and open source applications, but still the world’s largest software maker Microsoft and others, including Adobe, Norton and McAfee, have managed to weasel their way into some of the largest government purchases in the country’s history.

      Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are in the process of procuring over eight million laptops preloaded with proprietary software in clear violation of India’s national policy on information and communication technology and incurring avoidable expenditure of large sums of money, activists said.

    • Open source to run on PCs donated by Italian bank and France’s La Poste

      Switching to free and open source software contributes to sustainability by making a more efficient use of computer hardware, allowing to use PCs for longer than when following proprietary software vendor’s upgrade cycle, two very recent examples show.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • MIT’s role in Aaron Swartz prosecution assailed at memorial

        Friends, family and colleagues memorialized computer activist Aaron Swartz and put MIT’s role in his prosecution front and center on Tuesday afternoon at MIT Media Lab.

      • Startups And Innovators Speak Out In Favor Of Fixing CFAA

        The good folks over at the EFF have posted a letter from a group of startups and innovators to Congress seeking reform of the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act), which has been abused for years, most notably and recently, in the case against Aaron Swartz (full disclosure: I helped review the initial letter and helped the EFF get some of the signatures on the letter). This is important, because, as we have noted, plenty of innovators and entrepreneurs could have been charged under this law for some of their random hacking experiments, some of which directly led them to create amazing innovations.

      • Towards learning from losing Aaron Swartz

        When I learned that Aaron Swartz had taken his own life, I cried. I am still desperately sad, for him, his family, for the close friends who loved him, and for our community. We lost a rare and special person, one who did so much in his short life to make the world a better place. Any do-gooder, including myself, could be proud were we to accomplish as much. We don’t know what else he would have acheived were he to have lived. But I admit that I also cried for myself, because I felt guilty that I didn’t do more to help Aaron in his criminal case. This article is about part of that challenge, the challenge to improve computer crime laws, and the criminal justice system more generally. Hopefully in the end, there’ll be something that I, and you, can do about it.

      • Aaron Swartz Lawyers Accuse Prosecutor Stephen Heymann Of Misconduct

        Federal prosecutor Stephen Heymann engaged in prosecutorial misconduct by withholding key evidence from the defense team of Aaron Swartz, the late Internet activist’s legal team alleged in a letter to an internal Justice Department ethics unit.


  • Pope Francis, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Of Buenos Aires, Elected Leader Of Catholic Church
  • Google Reader Axed, Shutting Down July 1st
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ‘Iran can’t covertly produce atomic bomb’ – US intelligence chief
    • ‘What Palestinians Said Was Israeli Aggression’: The Death of Omar al-Masharawi

      And the Associated Press noted that the UN “couldn’t ‘unequivocally conclude’ that the death was caused by an errantly fired Palestinian rocket.”

      The BBC (3/11/13) casts doubt on the attribution of the infant’s death to a Palestinian rocket, noting “that the Israeli military had reported no rockets being fired out of Gaza so soon after the start of the conflict.” It also pointed out that UN team, arriving four weeks after the attack, “did not carry out a forensic investigation, but said their team did not think the damage was consistent with an Israeli air strike.” Al-Masharawi’s father, for his part, calls the UN finding “rubbish.”

    • Tiny, Suicidal Drone/Missile Mashup Is Part of U.S.’ Afghanistan Arsenal
    • Interview: ‘The Terror Factory: Inside The FBI’s Manufactured War On Terrorism’

      But the problem with that is that Ali Soufan, in his review, and other agents I’ve talked to, consistently cite Faisal Shahzad, for example — he’s the man who came close to bombing Times Square — or Najibullah Zazi, who came close to bombing the subway system. They cite these men as examples of real terrorists and why sting operations are so necessary.

      But the problem with their argument, I think, is that neither of those men was actually caught in a terrorism sting operation. To date, we have yet to find the real would-be terrorist: Someone who was about to strike, who had the weapon, who had the means, who is thwarted by a sting operation.

    • Chinese authorities crack down on 18-day village uprising over landgrabs

      Chinese authorities have violently cracked down on an 18-day uprising over landgrabs in a southern Chinese village, arresting nine people and hospitalising dozens.

      This weekend, security forces stormed the village of Shangpu, a farming community of 3,000 in southern Guangdong province, cut the electricity supply and phone service, beat demonstrators and fired tear gas into crowds, injuring 30 to 40 people.

    • US Still Fighting “Threat” of Liberation Theology

      As just one example, an Embassy cable from June 9, 2009, explains how the former Colombian analogue of the FBI, the DAS, had been spying on and “Neutralizing” (a code word which can include actions up to assassination) particular human rights groups, including Father Giraldo’s group, the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace (“CIJP” or “Justicia y Paz”). (12) This cable noted that this surveillance has been ordered by the then-President of Colombia himself, Alvaro Uribe. The cable noted that the “[s]urveillance included physical monitoring of individuals and their families (including minor children), phone and email intercepts, and collection of sensitive financial data. The unit appears to have also taken active measures to disrupt opposition events and intimidate human rights activists. . . . Journalists and human rights activists claim the surveillance [which began in 2004-2005] continues.” (emphasis added).

      One must seriously wonder whether, indeed, this state policy of “neutralizing” the CIJP continues even now, and whether the recent assassination attempt upon Father Alberto Franco of the CIJP on February 13, 2013, was indeed carried out pursuant to this policy. I myself will say for the record that should any further ill befall Father Franco or any other priest associated with the CIJP, the Colombian state and its U.S. backer must be held responsible.

    • Navy Linguist Faces Additional Charge of Violating Espionage Act

      A Navy contract linguist charged with two counts of violating the Espionage Act by unlawfully retaining “national defense information” has been hit with a third charge of violating the law.

      James F. Hitselberger was working in Bahrain as a translator. A document collector, as Secrecy News’ Steven Aftergood describes, Hitselberger is a “peripatetic collector of rare documents.” In his living quarters, where a “classified document was allegedly found in April” of 2012, newspapers and numerous books could be found. Some of his “discoveries over the years” have been donated “to the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, which actually maintains a James F. Hitselberger Collection.” The collection includes “political posters and leaflets that he gathered in pre-revolutionary Iran.”

    • White House Changing Story on Anwar al-Awlaki? A Debate on NYT’s Inside Account of ’11 Drone Strike

      NASSER AL-AULAQI: I want Americans to know about my grandson, that he was very nice boy. He was very caring boy for his family, for his mother, for his brothers. He was born in August 1995 in the state of Colorado, city of Denver. He was raised in America, when he was a child until he was seven years old. And I never thought that one day this boy, this nice boy, will be killed by his own government.

    • CIA Boosts Support for Iraqi Militias

      The White House has directed the CIA to increase its cooperation and backing of Iraqi state militias to fight al-Qaeda affiliates there and cut off the flow of fighters pouring into Syria.

    • What, no Bible? Conservatives angered that Brennan took oath on Constitution
    • CIA Director Brennan sworn in on Constitution instead of Bible (Photos)
    • CIA Director John Brennan Turns Down Bible, Takes Oath Of Office On Constitution

      While there is nothing that prevents officials from being sworn in on a Bible, there’s certainly nothing wrong with following Brennan’s example and honoring the U.S. Constitution. Doing so not only sends a positive message, it frees government from giving the appearance of religious favoritism.

      When CIA Director John Brennan placed his hand on a copy of the U.S. Constitution last week to take his oath of office, did he defy the very document on which he swore? Absolutely not.

    • “Scientific Assassinations” Are Part of the CIA’s Modus Operandi

      Carroll also wrote that Chavez, himself, believed that the cancers that befell former leftist leaders of Latin America, including Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, diagnosed with colon cancer and Brazilian President Ignacio Lula da Silva, treated for throat cancer, were part of a CIA plot directed against left-wing leaders. Curiously, Carroll suggests that Uruguay’s former leftist president, Tabare Vazquez, also recovered from cancer.

    • “Poison Dart”: Secret CIA Weapon of Assassination, Triggers Heart Attack

      The astonishing information about this secret weapon of the CIA comes from U.S. Senate testimony in 1975 on rogue activities of the CIA. This weapon is only one of many James Bond-like discoveries of the Church Committee hearings, officially known as the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities.

    • Afghan Student Details Capture, Torture by CIA ‘Strike Force’

      Qayum reported that the strike force put a black hood over his head and took him to an “undisclosed location” where he was beaten and asked if he knew any “Taliban commanders.” They also asked if he could help them capture a neighbor from his home village.

    • The last surviving conspirator against Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler dies, age 90

      Ewald von Kleist, the last surviving member of a group of German officers who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944, has died at age 90. After the war von Kleist played a prominent role in transatlantic relations.

    • Rare first editions saved from Nazi book burnings returned to Austria after 75 years

      George Newman (formerly Hans Neumann) was 14 when he fled Vienna, fearing Nazi persecution, for England in 1938. Now, 75 years later, he has returned to Austria for a ceremony at the National Library, where he has donated hundreds of books and documents back to the Austrian nation which would otherwise have been burned by the Nazi regime.

    • U.S. Must Have Checks On Drone Killings

      John Brennan, newly confirmed director of the CIA, assured Americans in a speech last year on targeted killing that there is “absolutely nothing casual” about the process of targeted killing, including that of American citizens. He included in this the use of remotely controlled drone airplanes that have been used to strike and kill people identified as al-Qaida terrorists.

    • Drones: over there, over here?

      Congress is considering hearings into the use of deadly drones against terrorists, including U.S. citizens, overseas. It should expand its oversight to cover the entire subject of drones and their long-term implications.

      What matters immediately is the Obama administration’s indefensible secrecy about targeted killings overseas, particularly when U.S. citizens are the targets.

    • How To Regulate Drones

      I started to think about the intersection of robotics and the law in earnest a few years ago when I left private practice. In 2011, I came to the conclusion that drones had the potential to create a new Warren and Brandeis moment. Some combination of our visceral reaction to robotic technology, our fascination with flight, and our association of drones with the theater of war could, I thought, trigger a reexamination of privacy law. Drones have indeed captured the public imagination. And we are entering something of a policy window, to borrow a concept from Priscilla Regan. But just how citizens and lawmakers ultimately come down on the domestic use of drones remains to be seen. In this post, I will talk about what I think are the worst and best ways to regulate drones with respect to privacy.

    • Americans killed by American drones
  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Good report on Federal wildlife torture from a surprising source

      The story covers an investigation that was spurred, in part, by revelations that USDA “Wildlife Services” employee Jamie P. Olson had posted photos of his dogs tearing trapped coyotes to pieces on Facebook. (Previously, on Pharyngula.) The issue’s been kept on the front burner by my colleague Camilla Fox at Project Coyote; she and her organization deserve your attention and support.

    • Mali and Canadian mining in Africa

      The UK has just agreed to send 40 troops and another $5 million to support the French led operation and Harper is due to renew his contribution to the takeover on March 14. Other African nations have also begun to mobilize troops.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • EXCLUSIVE – U.S. to let spy agencies scour Americans’ finances
    • Boeing Declares War on Privacy in Washington State

      Washington state has led the way in many respects when it comes to the drone issue, something I highlighted recently in my article: Just Say NO: Seattle Residents Kill the City’s Drone Program. It’s not just Seattle though, there is a bi-partisan bill in the Washington state legislature, H.B. 1771, which limits drone use within the entire state. The bill has already passed its House Committee hearing and, as expected, the state’s corporate overlords have started to fight back. Specifically, Boeing. From the Examiner:

    • Era of the digital mercenaries

      “My computer was arrested before I was.” This perceptive comment was made by a Syrian activist who had been arrested and tortured by the Assad regime. Caught by means of online surveillance, Karim Taymour told a Bloomberg[1] journalist that, during interrogation, he was shown a stack of hundreds of pages of printouts of his Skype chats and files downloaded remotely from his computer hard drive. His torturers clearly knew as much as if they had been with him in his room, or more precisely, in his computer.

    • The Second Great Crypto War

      The first great conflict over cryptography and state power happened in the 1990s. In one corner were cryptographers equipped with subtle math, digital technologies, and new ideas. In the other were the Clinton administration and its National Security Agency (NSA), which sought to maintain and extend the federal government’s control over cryptography. They struggled over the concept that cryptography could be classified as munitions, over requirements to include NSA-friendly chips in communication hardware, and, in general, over the shape of post–Cold War security.

    • Hackers Attack Bank Minutes After NSA Chief Warns Senate About Hackers Attacking Banks

      The general wasn’t kidding. Within an hour or so of Alexander’s testimony reports that Chase Bank’s website had been hacked started to bubble up. Shortly before 7 p.m. Chase confirmed to CNBC that they had indeed been targeted. Hackers hit Chase with — you guessed it — a DOS attack, bringing down the company’s website. It’s unclear if any customer data was compromised. It’s also absolutely unclear if the hack has anything to do with the series of hearings in the Senate on Tuesday that mention cyber security and the threat of a cyber attack. Hacking into a bank’s website right after the head of the NSA warns the Senate about hackers hacking into banks’ websites is certainly a clever way to win attention.

    • Talking leadership with NSA’s deputy director
    • NSA Whistleblower Drake to Speak at NPC Luncheon

      This coming Friday, March 15, Government Accountability Project (GAP) client and National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Tom Drake will speak at a luncheon at the National Press Club (NPC).

      This event is part of the NPC’s involvement in Sunshine Week, a national initiative promoting open government and transparency.

      Drake will speak at 1:00 p.m., and a lunch preceding his remarks will be served at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are required for this event; more information about this and other details can be found on the NPC webpage. Journalists can also submit questions to Drake in advance, with instructions to do so contained on the NPC page.

    • Is This What Google Really Thinks About Privacy?

      His “ruminations” may indeed be his personal thoughts, and not official Google policy, but for that very reason represent his real opinions of issues, not just the public gloss that is put upon them. Given his pivotal role at Google when it comes to privacy, it is likely that the Google management team largely share those views – otherwise they would presumably have fired Fleischer and found someone else they felt more comfortable with. Thus his frank comments probably provide us with tantalising glimpses of what Google really thinks about privacy.

    • Apple Can’t Duck Giving Documents in Privacy Lawsuit

      Apple Inc. (AAPL) must show in detail how it’s complying with court orders to turn over evidence in a privacy lawsuit, a judge ruled, saying he can no longer rely on what the company tells him in the case.

      U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal in San Jose, California, issued the order after the plaintiffs’ lawyers claimed Apple withheld documents it had previously been ordered to produce. Apple is accused in the lawsuit of collecting data on the locations of customers through iPhones, even after the device’s geo-location feature was turned off.

    • Apple finally fixes App Store flaw by turning on encryption

      Company moves to protect its iOS customers from security and privacy attacks over Wi-Fi by turning on encryption, at least half a year after being alerted to the problem.

  • Civil Rights

    • Gov’t won’t even give page counts of secret PATRIOT Act documents

      Lawsuits challenging government secrecy have fared pretty terribly in the post-9/11 era, with the most recent example being the Supreme Court’s ruling last month that a group of journalists and activists have no right to sue over the FISA spying law.

      Only a few cases of this sort are left, including two Bay Area lawsuits being pushed forward by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. One is the San Francisco case over NSA wiretapping, which the government is trying to shut down using the “state secrets” privilege. The other is EFF’s case demanding to see documents about how the government is interpreting Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

    • US court says feds need reasonable suspicion to search laptops at borders
  • DRM

    • Disappointing: Tim Berners-Lee Defends DRM In HTML 5

      Berners-Lee is so good on so many issues (most of his talk seemed to be about the importance of openness) that this response really stands out as not fitting with his general view of the world. Cory Doctorow has responded eloquently to TBL, explaining why he should be against the DRM proposal.


      The Big Content guys have been seeking to remake the web in their image (i.e., “TV”) for over a decade now, still believing that they’re the main reason people get online. They’re not. There’s room for them within the ecosystem, but professional broadcast-quality content is just a part of the system, not the whole thing. If the world moves to HTML5 without DRM, the content guys will whine about it… and then follow. Especially as the more knowledgeable and forward-looking content creators jump in and succeed.

    • What I wish Tim Berners-Lee understood about DRM

      Adding DRM to the HTML standard will have far-reaching effects, incompatible with the W3C’s most important policies

    • Netflix kills third party app platform, current apps will continue to work

      In a blog post with the understated (to say the least) title “Changes to the Public API Program,” Netflix has announced that it’s shutting down its public API program. Effectively, that means that no new apps that take advantage of the data Netflix used to provide — for example, for searching for new shows and movies to watch — will be possible. Netflix director of engineering, Daniel Jacobson, writes that “existing and active affiliates” will still have access to Netflix’s APIs, so any third-party apps you currently use should still work as normally. Along with the changes, Netflix has set its developer forum to “read-only,” shut down its “OData catalog” for programmatically accessing Netflix’s catalog, and directed all developers to Stack Overflow for their questions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Mexico Will Ask To Join US-EU Transatlantic Trade Agreement

      That suggests that the US is actively involved in this latest move — maybe even its instigator — and would look favorably on Mexico joining TAFTA. There’s also a hint in the article quoted above that Canada too might join TAFTA. Having both Mexico and Canada on board would be consistent with the US’s past approach, where it allowed them to join the TPP negotiations, but on fairly humiliating terms that limit their scope of action.

      Whether or not Mexico and Canada become part of TAFTA, and under what terms, it’s pretty clear what the US strategy here is. Just today we learned that South Korea is likely to join Japan in asking to sign up to the TPP talks. That would make TPP the defining international agreement for the entire Pacific region. TAFTA obviously aims to do the same for the Atlantic. As well as establishing the US as the key link between the giant TPP and TAFTA blocs, this double-headed approach would also isolate the main emerging economies — Brazil, Russia, India and above all China — if they refuse to join as presumably junior partners. That globe-spanning pair of trade pacts, it would seem, are what Obama hopes to be remembered for when he leaves office: his legacy to America — and to history.

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Delusions: ACTA Supporters Pretend It’s Just About Counterfeit Goods

        One of the nastier tricks of copyright maximalists has been to lump together “counterfeiting” with “copyright infringement” in an effort to conveniently jump back and forth when making silly arguments. Basically, they can argue that copyright infringement is a huge issue, because of the massive amount of unauthorized sharing that happens online. But they have a lot of trouble showing real harm. On the other side, counterfeiting really isn’t that big of a problem when you look closely at the details, but there are a few, extremely limited cases (faulty counterfeit airplane parts, some fake drugs) where there could be real harm. So if you lump them all together you can claim “massive problems” with “real harm.” But that doesn’t work if you look at them individually.

        We recently wrote about some Canadian politicians introducing a bill to get Canada in compliance with ACTA, despite the fact that ACTA has been totally discredited around the globe. Some political opponents are now pushing back on that, calling the bill in question an attempt to get ACTA in “through the backdoor.” However, in response Canadian Industry Minister, Christian Paradis, just keeps repeating the “counterfeiting” mantra and ignoring the entire ACTA elephant in the room.

      • WordPress to fight “legally deficient and objectionable” Prenda subpoena

        Porn-trolling firm Prenda Law recently made another baffling move in a retaliatory defamation suit against its online critics: the firm sent a subpoena to Automattic, WordPress’ parent company, demanding a list of all of the IP addresses that have visited the anti-troll websites DieTrollDie and Fight Copyright Trolls, both of which are powered by WordPress. Prenda’s lawyer Paul Duffy wrote to Automattic in a letter accompanying the subpoena, “Due to the emergency nature of the requested information, it is imperative that your organization responds to the subpoena immediately.”

      • Copyright Trolls to Judge: Nope! We’re Not Coming to Scary Hearing


Links 13/3/2013: Akamai Gives GNU/Linux Numbers; Sabayon Linux 11 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 8:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Enterprise Desktops and Linux

      Linux wears many different hats. Server, desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, embedded, if there is a device with a CPU there is a good bet that it can run linux. Regardless of Linux’s domination in the datacenter, and it’s mainstream acceptance in mobile and other areas, the fate of the Linux Desktop is what gets people worked up. When a highly public person like Miguel de Icaza switches his desktop to OS X, quite a bit of discussion ensues.

      Much discussion, and most of it for naught. The personal computer that de Icaza uses is of little importance to the Linux community as a whole. He is making a switch during a transitionary period of personal computing, where we are moving from PCs to tablets and smart phones, and the new mobile computing platform is clearly the way of the future. The role of PCs will continue to decline, especially in the home use market. However, the enterprise will have a use for PCs for many, many years to come, and this is where the best opportunity for the Linux desktop resides.

    • Is this the easiest way to try Linux on a Win7 laptop?

      If you’re a Windows 7 user who wants to try out Linux for the first time, one of the easiest ways to do so is to install Ubuntu by using the Windows Ubuntu Installer, or Wubi for short. Using this installer, you can run Ubuntu on your Windows system without having to deal with partitioning and formatting issues, and if you ever get sick of the Linux variant, you can easily uninstall it from within the Programs applet in the Control Panel.

    • HTML5 Brings Netflix to Samsung’s ARM Chromebook

      Google has been working with Netflix (take some tips Canonical) to bring the DRMed services to the Chromebook. This is major as instead of using Microsoft’s Silverlight Netflix is using HTML5 video streaming (which now supports DRM for HTML5 on Chromebooks). Recently Google enabled the much controversial DRM (digital repression management) support for HTML5 in Chrome OS to bring services like Netflix to Chromebooks using HTML5 instead of controversial Silverlight of Microsoft.

  • Server

    • Akamai CSO Andy Ellis Details Linux Usage – VIDEO

      It should come as no surprise that Akamai, the world’s largest Content Delivery Network uses Linux as a core underpinning for its’ 120,000 server network.

    • Patching Dependencies

      So, we were caught in a situation where if we upgraded Postfix, we might break the installed MySQL client. There are a couple of things wrong with this situation. First off, why, oh why, does Postfix require a MySQL client to be installed? Postfix is our MTA, a mail transfer agent, setup because it is easy to configure and we need to do a couple things differently from what is available out of the box. We have absolutely no use for MySQL on every server in the environment. Secondly, why was the third party MySQL (or is that first party, since it is from Oracle?) installed over the default filesystem? Packages that are bundled for inclusion on an operating system should respect that operating system’s package manager and install all of their files to /usr/local/. This keeps the filesystem clean, and does not interfere with the standard package manager and patching process.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel-level app whitelisting support for Android devices
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel X.Org Driver Update Gets New Features

        Chris Wilson of Intel OTC announced the release of the xf86-video-intel 2.21.4 X.Org driver on Monday morning. This new driver has clumsy PowerXpress integration, run-time detection of available CPU instruction sets, Haswell fix-ups, and more work on the SNA acceleration architecture.

      • NVIDIA Updates Its Legacy Linux Graphics Driver
      • Intel’s graphics driver installation program for Linux

        On its “Open Source Technology Center” 01.org, Intel recently released an installation program that updates Intel graphics drivers for some Linux distributions, including the 32- and 64-bit x86 versions of Fedora 17, Fedora 18, Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 12.10. Once the program package is installed, the intel-linux-graphics-installer program can take a look at the distribution and connect to repositories from which it pulls packages with newer drivers.

      • NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Benchmarks On Linux

        Here’s some of the first OpenGL benchmarks of the ultra high-end $999 (USD) NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN running on Linux.

        The mighty-impressive NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN was released in mid-February as a graphics card with 6GB of video RAM and boasts 4.5 TeraFLOPS of single-precision compute power and 1.3 TeraFLOPS of double-precision compute power. The NVIDIA 313.26 driver was released to support this ultra-powerful NVIDIA GeForce graphics card under Linux.

      • Mesa/Gallium3D Gets Its First ARM SoC GPU Driver

        The first working ARM System-on-Chip (SoC) GPU graphics driver built for Gallium3D has been merged into mainline Mesa!

        The driver that was merged into mainline Mesa is the Gallium3D Freedreno for Qualcomm Snapdragon/Adreno graphics hardware. This Freedreno Gallium3D driver initially supports the A220, which is the GPU that Qualcomm uses with its Snapdragon S3 SoC.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Plasma 2 With KDE Frameworks 5 Looks Awesome

        Sebastian Kügler of KDE has talked about progress made on Plasma 2, the port of the Plasma Workspaces desktop to using KDE Frameworks 5 that in turn works atop Qt 5. The possibilities opened up for Plasma 2 due to KDE Frameworks 5 and using an OpenGL scene-graph are impressive and awesome.

      • The Kolab story

        Today I’d like to share a success story of a picture perfect project collaboration as it only happens in the open source world without any commercial, political or geographical borders. It all started back in 2009 after a short interview about Roundcube was published on a techworld.com blog. Short time after we got an email from Georg Greve, founder of the FSFE and member of the Kolab Groupware project. At that time, Kolab already made its name as a free competitor to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook and they were just about to found a new company to push Kolab to the next level. One thing Kolab definitely needed was a better web client to access all the groupware data from anywhere. And this is where Roundcube seemed to fit in perfectly. Although Roundcube was “just” an email client, the Kolab guys saw great potential in our codebase and the vital community around it. And now, more than three years after, we can all witness the great success of this decision.

      • Basic RAW Processing in digiKam

        For this project, we’ll use a photo of the famous Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, Spain (you can download the RAW file from https://www.box.com/s/cq3uknqt54o3usf1jg3r). The photo was taken with a Canon PowerShot S90 camera, and the RAW file exhibits several obvious flaws, including visible barrel distortion, underexposed areas, and noise. In other words, this particular RAW file is perfect for tweaking in digiKam.

      • the case

        Natural ecosystems are wonderful things full of complexity and beauty. There are few ecosystems on this planet that are occupied by only one or two species. Most are a complex meshing of variety, though it is not uncommon for there to be dominant species (numerically, positionally) within them.

        Interesting things happen when you change an ecosystem, however. If you remove a species, particularly a populous one, it leaves an opening full of suddenly unused resources in its wake. This opening usually fills up quickly with other species, often creating instabilities that over time even out until the system reaches a new equilibrium. Change the environment in some way (more water, less water; more heat , longer cold; etc.) and previously successful groups may find themselves marginalized, once again creating opportunities for others to grow and proliferate.

      • extending plasma desktop scripting
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME and Kylin become official Ubuntu flavours

        The Ubuntu Technical board has given the official designation to two Ubuntu flavours, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin. The decision was made in an IRC meeting and announced by the projects this week. Ubuntu GNOME 3 sets out to deliver the GNOME 3 experience on Ubuntu, while UbuntuKylin aims to offer a fully customised Chinese user experience on Ubuntu 13.04. The official blessing gives the developers of each flavour access to Ubuntu’s build infrastructure and allows them to be managed as part of the Ubuntu project rather than as an unsupported fork.

      • A Linux Conspiracy Theory

        Can we really and seriously believe that William Jon McCann, described as one of the main driving forces behind the concepts of GNOME 3, doesn’t know what Xfce is? What are the consequences of having a large corporation like Red Hat (perhaps with strong influence from the ultra-wealthy Google) in control of widely used open source projects like GNOME and GTK, with its teams of developers routinely altering their APIs in unpredictable, erratic ways and offering no real support to independent projects using their libraries? It’s clear that with the advent of GNOME 3, GNOME has become a corporate product solely created for and controlled by Red Hat.

  • Distributions

    • Distro deluge: Six imminent Linux releases previewed

      A number of interesting new Linux releases are due out in the next few days or weeks. Here’s a quick overview of some of them.

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The delayed Mageia 3 Beta 3 arrives for testing

        Mageia 3 Beta 3, the delayed beta release that pushed Mageia 3′s release date into May, has now been released by the development team. The team say they had to face quite a lot of bugs during the QA phase of testing the beta 3 ISO images and that it took more time than expected to fix them. Another beta, beta 4 is scheduled for 28 March, followed by a release freeze on 7 April, release candidate on 19 April, and final release on 3 May.

      • Mageia 3 Beta 3, A Quick Test Drive
    • Gentoo Family

      • Reviews: First look at Sabayon Linux 11

        Sabayon Linux is a distribution which uses Gentoo Linux as its base. The Sabayon project is very diverse, featuring many different desktop spins (KDE, GNOME, MATE and Xfce) along with some minimalist and server spins. Each flavour of Sabayon is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. This gives users a variety of editions from which to choose and one of them is bound to fit our needs. The distribution maintains a rolling release, meaning packages are constantly updating to keep users up to date with the latest available versions of software. I decided to try the latest release of Sabayon, version 11, and opted to try the project’s KDE edition. The KDE edition can be downloaded as a 2.2 GB ISO image.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat clone CentOS 6.4 replicated and released
      • Red Hat Opens Up Cloud PaaS Development on OpenShift Origin

        Red Hat’s OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering started its life as a mostly proprietary product built on technology acquired from Makara in 2010.

        In April of 2012, Red Hat made OpenShift available as open source under the OpenShift Origin effort. Simply making a project open source, however, doesn’t make it a true open source community with contribution and collaboration.

      • Apple, Red Hat, VeriFone highlight tech trading

        Tech companies ended up putting in a mixed trading session Tuesday, with notable losses coming from Apple Inc. and Red Hat Inc., but decent gains coming elsewhere from the likes of VeriFone Systems Inc.

      • Red Hat rolls FuseSource middleware into JBoss stack
      • Fedora

        • Fedora Project’s Robyn Bergeron: The Linux Desktop Is Almost Ready for Its Close-Up

          “I think we offer quite a bit more choice to people. Think in terms of the number of desktop choices we offer. Consider that if somebody in the Fedora community wants to add to those choices, we are supportive of that interest. We will do that. We are not dictating from on high. We don’t focus on ‘Thou shalt have’ and ‘Thou shalt not have.’ We are definitely a distribution that is focused on freedom.”

        • Fedora Linux Looks To Improve Its Boot Experience

          Matthias Clasen sparked a new mailing list thread on Monday amongst Fedora developers to improve the Fedora boot experience.

        • RAID Re-do for Anaconda

          So I think out of all of the feedback we got about the Anaconda UI redesign, the one piece of the UI that’s received the most negative feedback is the RAID configuration piece of the custom partitioning UI. The designs for how this UI ended up getting implemented in Fedora 18 was posted to this blog in December 2011. I really wish we’d received the level of feedback we received post F18-Beta and post F18-GA at that point, so the design could have been modified before it was implemented! That being said – I’m not placing blame with anybody but myself – I got this design wrong, and for that I am sincerely sorry.

    • Debian Family

      • Everyday Linux User Review of Crunchbang Linux #!

        Ok so I have put off doing this review for sometime. I tried Crunchbang for the first time about a year ago and I was a little underwhelmed.


        There are some distributions that have a lot of glitz and glamour and they lack functionality (if these distributions were people my nan would say they were “all skirt and no knickers”). There are other distributions that are built for do-ers. (and of course there are some that provide Glitz and glamour as well as functionality).

      • Debian community to elect new project leader

        The candidates have been announced and the election process for the new Debian Project Leader (DPL) has officially begun. Gergely Nagy, Moray Allan and Lucas Nussbaum are campaigning for the top position in the Debian Project. After three terms, current Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli is not running for re-election this year.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Developing Its Own Calculator, Calendar, Etc
          • Chromebook Pixel: Run Ubuntu alongside Chrome OS

            A common complaint about Chrome OS is that it’s not a full OS. That’s no longer true as you can easily run Ubuntu alongside Chrome OS on the Chromebook Pixel and toggle between the two.

          • Ubuntu Display Server Fallout

            Recently, many people have expressed concern over Ubuntu’s desire to migrate from the X Window System to the Mir display server, which the Ubuntu team will manage themselves. The bulk of the concern seems to be confusion over why Ubuntu developers wouldn’t use Wayland instead.

            In this article, I’ll explore the official reasoning for the decision, while also exploring some additional considerations that most people aren’t talking about.

          • Shifting to Ubuntu in 2013

            Seven years ago, it was a bit of a challenge to shift to open source because Linux desktop operating systems weren’t all that easy to set up and use. Today, it’s a snap to install and use Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions with an estimated 20 million users worldwide.

          • One year on, Ubuntu still to announce a single TV hardware partner

            More than a year after it announced plans to develop an Ubuntu-powered TV, Canonical, the company behind the operating system, is still to announce a hardware partner for the project.

            Ubuntu TV is one element of Canonical’s ‘four screen’ strategy, under which the company wants to see its open source operating system also appearing on smartphones, tablets and PCs.

            First announced at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, Canonical hoped that Ubuntu TVs would appear by the end of the year.

          • Monthly versions of Ubuntu might be too unstable, Shuttleworth warns

            Developers at Canonical have been considering a completely new release cycle for Ubuntu in which the interim releases that occur every six months would be dumped in favor of “rolling releases” that happen far more frequently but not necessarily on a set schedule.

            Last month, Canonical VP Rick Spencer suggested that Canonical “take a monthly snapshot of the development release, which we support only until the next snapshot.” Users could then choose either the Long Term Support (LTS) edition that comes out every two years, the monthly snapshot, or the absolute newest build, which could conceivably be updated every day.

          • Ubuntu’s Release Cycle and its Impact on the Channel
          • Ubuntu 13.04: how things are shaping up

            Ubuntu 13.04 is the latest version of Ubuntu, scheduled to be released on the 25th of April this year. But what’s it shaping up to? In this article I’ll sum up some of the changes since the last LTS (Long Time Support) release, Ubuntu 12.04. You might wonder “Why not Ubuntu 12.10?” The answer is simple; I never used Ubuntu 12.10 after my first crashtastic experience in VirtualBox. I’m not saying Ubuntu 12.10 was a bad release, but it didn’t really work for me.

          • What’s Good For Canonical Is Best For Ubuntu

            Mark Shuttleworth can’t leave well enough alone. First it was Unity. Then it was Wayland. Now it’s Mir. Inquiring minds want to know: what does he think he’s trying to do? It’s simple, really. He’s not trying to do anything. All indications are that he’s actually accomplishing what he’s setting out to do. Except for making money and only time will tell if that’s going to work out for him.

            Unity was a no-brainer. Practically everybody hated GNOME 3, so he pretty much had to do something. What everyone expected that something to be was along the lines of Cinnamon or MATE, an interface that would offer users the look and feel of GNOME as they knew it, not as it had become. What Shuttleworth offered was, in the words of Monty Python, “something completely different.” Different from both GNOME 2 or 3. Different from KDE. Different from Windoze and OS X. Unique to Ubuntu.

          • If Ubuntu wants to succeed on tablets and smartphones, the waiting game must stop
          • Can Canonical Rally Its Community for Ubuntu Convergence?
          • Ubuntu’s Release Cycle and its Impact on the Channel

            Daylight savings just began, which means it’s the time of year to start looking forward to the spring release of Ubuntu. But could this year’s version, 13.04, be the last one in the biannual release cycle that Canonical has stalwartly maintained for almost a decade? For the moment, that remains uncertain, but the issue, which has produced a stunning amount of debate, could have ramifications well beyond the Ubuntu ecosystem.

            Rumors of changes to the Ubuntu release policy have circulated for several months, but Ubuntu developers initially rejected them. The issue re-emerged a couple of weeks ago, however, when Rick Spencer, vice president of Engineering at Canonical, launched a wide public discussion by suggesting on the Ubuntu developers’ email list that a “rolling release” cycle might better serve the Ubuntu community. That would be a major shift away from the current model, under which Canonical introduces a new version of Ubuntu every six months. It designates one out of every four of those releases for “longterm support” (LTS), meaning they receive support and updates for five years.

          • Canonical and Ubuntu may be doing the right thing
          • Ubuntu shouldn’t matter to those who care about free desktops

            So Canonical is chaining its desktop Ubuntu Linux distribution to a phone/tablet/TV future, and they want us, the community, to write apps for their in-the-works devices and not care so much about the core operating system itself.

          • Ubuntu Unity Existed Before The GNOME Shell?

            Mark Shuttleworth has irritated some open-source developers by his latest claim: Ubuntu’s Unity existed before the GNOME Shell.

            Red Hat’s Adam Williamson, among other open-source developers, are ticked off by some of Mark Shuttleworth’s recent claims regarding Ubuntu. It’s just not about Mir, but other topics too. The Fedora QA manager wrote a personal blog post today entitled Dear Mark Shuttleworth: please tell the truth.

          • Let’s go faster while preserving what works best
          • Ubuntu Used as Online Gambling Station in Airport
          • How to Upgrade Ubuntu 12.10 to Ubuntu 13.04
          • Shuttleworth Goes on the Defensive for his Linux Vision
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Trisquel 6.0 LTS “Toutatis” has arrived!

              This long awaited release is based on Ubuntu Precise, and as usual comes full of free software goodness. We continue to provide an easy to use classic desktop experience complete with full featured browsing, office, communications and social networking utilities. Download it while it is hot!

            • Ubuntu GNOME Is Now An Official Ubuntu Flavor

              As some non-Mir news, Tim Lunn of the Ubuntu GNOME project wrote into Phoronix that the OS spin is now an official Ubuntu flavor. Ubuntu GNOME was originally released last year in conjunction with Ubuntu 12.10, but now the flavor has been approved by the Tech Board per the IRC meeting logs.

            • Gnome gets official status within the Ubuntu family
            • How will changes at Ubuntu affect Kubuntu: exclusive interview with Jonathan Riddell

              There are some major changes happening at Ubuntu which pans from changing base technologies to community involvement. Ubuntu has quite some flavour and derivatives and there was some concern among the users how these changes will impact these distributions, so we reached out to two major distributions which are based on Ubuntu – Linux Mint and Kubuntu.

            • Xubuntu Pangolin on Asus eeePC

              The combination of Xubuntu 12.04 and eeePC is amazing. This Linux distro has breathed fresh air into the lungs of my netbook. Unless it dies because of hardware fatigue, it should breeze on for a few years more without any trouble, blessed with an enhanced and improved presentation layer, much faster responsiveness and multitasking, and the latest set of programs and gadgets. Really nice. So if you happen to have a netbook, I do warmly recommend you give it a try with an Xfce-flavored distro, you’re bound for a pleasant surprise. Well, not a surprise, if you know what you’re expecting, but you get the drift.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Q&A with Mentor Graphics’ John Cherry: Android or Embedded Linux?

      As we discovered last week, Linux pros don’t think Android is the new embedded Linux. Android does, however, have a lot of great uses in embedded projects and many features that even hard core embedded Linux developers can envy.

      To dig a little deeper into some of the similarities and differences between Android and embedded Linux, we talked with John Cherry, Senior Engineering Manager of Linux Runtime Services at Mentor Graphics. While you might not need Android in a fixed function device such as your toaster (or maybe you do?), he said via email, “Android is no longer just a mobile communication and tablet operating system.”

    • Phones

      • The elusive third great mobile OS

        commentary BlackBerry. Windows Phone. Firefox. Tizen. Ubuntu. There’s a lot of interest in creating an alternative to Android and iOS. But the lack of concentrated industry support may spell doom.

      • Jolla hires designers behind Huawei devices, Nokia E-Series for Sailfish phone
      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • XOLO’s Q800 quad-core Android phone launched for Rs 12,499

          XOLO has launched its first quad-core Android smartphone in India. Powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the new Q800 phone has a 4.5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 960 x 640 pixels. It features a 1.2GHz quad-core processor.

        • LG announces global roll-out of Optimus L5II

          LG has announced that its 4-inch dual-SIM smartphone, Optimus L5II, will make its debut in Brazil, eventually trickling out to markets in Central / South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

          The handset packs 1Ghz processor and 512MB of RAM powering Android 4.1.2 aka Jelly Bean layered in the latest LG UX specific tweaks: Quick Button and Safety Care.

        • Phonegap Application Development

          Developing native code for Android is relatively easy. You’ll have to learn to use Android’s XML-based screen layout mechanism, and you’ll have to learn Java. For iPhone, you’ll need to learn Objective C. If you want to develop for Windows Phone, you’ll need to learn C# as well. Instead, you simply could use Phonegap and maintain a singe code base in HTML/JavaScript/CSS. This is the definition of a “no-brainer”.

        • Android is so in (in Asia)
        • Intel Delivers Innovations Atop Google’s Android

          Intel has released their own spin of Google’s Android operating system with some features not yet found in the upstream open-source Android project.

          For the past half-year Intel Open-Source Technology Center developers have been working on Android-IA, their project that optimizes the AOSP (Android Open-Source Project) code for Intel hardware.

        • Android-powered light switch seeks to control your home

          Ube announced today that its WiFi Smart Dimmer switch, currently an in-process project at Kickstarter, will be able to control other smart devices throughout the home via gestures on the dimmer’s capacitive multi-touch interface.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Community is an art form

    The collaborative community contribution model of open source computing is an art form.

    This is a view shared by an increasing number of respected speakers in the industry as open platforms now become seriously architected into our computing services from mobile devices to enterprise clouds.

  • Open Source / Open Development / Open Design: Leveraging Transparency for Greater Success


  • 4 Myths About Open Source We Should Put to Rest

    Growing consumerization of technology means an increasing number of people have control of what technologies they use in both their personal and business lives. Two of the biggest areas where this trend manifests itself these days are mobile technologies and software, the latter of which has resulted in a steady and significant growth in the use of open source software (OSS) thanks to its lower cost and relatively similar functional capabilities. Respondents in last year’s annual Future of Open Source Survey, which is currently being run for 2013 and can be taken here, indicated that by 2017 organizations will spend 50 percent more than they do now on OSS purchases.

  • Software Company Anahata To Open Source Anahata-Util Library
  • Open source networking: Mellanox introduces Open Ethernet

    The era of closed platforms in the Ethernet switching industry is over, according to Mellanox Technologies, the Israeli data center Ethernet and InfiniBand networking specialist.

    Mellanox has introduced its Open Ethernet initiative, which gives customers the option of running a complete open source networking stack on Ethernet hardware, allowing them to tweak and customize networks to their own specifications, said Gilad Shainer, senior director of market development at Mellanox.

  • Events

    • Open Source at CeBIT 2013

      Open Source software has had a special area for itself at the CeBIT trade show for the last five years. The H went along to see what was new this year and in the process met Knoppix creator, Klaus Knopper, saw the latest in 3D printing, and talked with John “Maddog” Hall about Project Cauã.

  • Web Browsers

    • Here come Stitcher browser plug-ins for Firefox and Chrome

      Stitcher has come up with new plug-ins for Firefox and Chrome browsers. You can now listen to the streaming service any time on any browser thanks to the new browser plug-ins customized for Chrome and Firefox. These plug-ins also enable users to stream their favorite programs along with over 15,000 shows using easy toolbar access providing full playback control, the company said.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Puppet and CloudStack
    • Rackspace Rolls Out Improved Open Source Private Cloud
    • In Five Years, Expect Far Fewer OpenStack Service Providers

      The OpenStack Foundation is crowded with heavy-hitting sponsors and partners, and in recent months we’ve seen OpenStack services and announcements from Rackspace, HP, Internap and AT&T. Dell, Red Hat and IBM are also diving into the fray. It seems inevitable that there could eventually be a market shakeout, and some organizations deploying OpenStack could end up very unhappy with the support and services that they are getting.

    • AWS plugs Node.js into Elastic Beanstalk

      Amazon has plugged Node.js into its free platform-as-a-service, Elastic Beanstalk.

      Elastic Beanstalk helps developers deploy applications by automating capacity provisioning, load balancing, health monitoring, and auto-scaling the company announced in a blog post on Monday

      It also promises some Node.js-specific support features for Elastic Beanstalk, like being able to couple Elastic Beanstalk with the Amazon RDS tech, and to run the Node.js app inside Amazon’s enterprise-friendly virtual private cloud. Elastic Beanstalk now also supports PHP, Python, Ruby, .NET, and Java, alongside Node.js.

  • CMS

    • Drupal’s Founder Sees Big Things Ahead for Version 8 of the CMS

      Dries Buytaert is the founder and lead of the open source Drupal content management system, which OStatic and many other web sites are based on. He’s also the co-founder of Acquia, which offers a commercially supported version of Drupal. Dries is one of the more respected pundits in open source, and has submitted guest posts here on OStatic.

  • Education

    • OER university practices go well beyond open enrollment

      While mainstream attention has been focused on MOOCs, the Open Educational Resource university (OERu) has been developing a parallel education offering which is distinctively open.

      The OERu aims to provide free learning to all students worldwide using OER learning materials with pathways to gain credible qualifications from recognized education institutions.

    • How to organize an education hackathon
    • Open Ballot: What does education need?

      So, we put it to you open balloters. What do you think?

      Kids should be able to use MSOffice, since that’s what they’ll need to use in most jobs.
      Kids should understand how computers work, and how they interact.
      Kids should be able to program.
      Kids should be able to install Gentoo. We’re trying to build a 1337 super race!
      Kids should know nothing otherwise they’ll steal our jobs. As Homer Simpson said, “Children are the future … unless we stop them now”

      Or, of course, any other thoughts.

  • Healthcare

    • Success of GNU Health goes beyond free software

      In 2006, Luis Falcón founded GNU Health, a free health information system that recently recieved the “Best Project of Social Benefit” award given by the Free Software Foundation.

      GNU Health, and in Latin countries, GNU Solidario, started as a free software project for Primary Care facilities in rural areas and developing countries. Since then, it has evolved into a full Hospital and Health Information System used by the United Nations, public hospitals and Ministries of Health (such as in Entre Rios, Argentina), and private institutions around the globe.


    • The Guile 100 Programs Project

      Guile 100 hopes to be a collection of useful examples of how to use Guile. Every few weeks, I’ll announce a theme for a collection of tasks. Then each week, I’ll announce a challenge in that theme: a script to be written or a problem to be solved.

    • Cynthiune 1.0.0
  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Swiss Canton’s use of open source document management system renews dispute

      The Swiss Canton of Bern has decided to switch to Open Justitia, a management system for legal documents, developed as open source by the country’s Federal Court. The canton procured support for the installing and maintaining the software from a Swiss IT service provider. One competitor disputes the contract. The firm, whose offer of its own proprietary alternative was turned down, is rallying for political support.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Zend Optimizer+ will land in PHP 5.5

      Zend Optimizer+ is to be integrated into the currently-in-development PHP 5.5. The announcement was made by Zeev Suraski, CTO and co-founder of Zend Technologies. The opcode cache and code optimiser was recently open sourced; previously it was only available as part of the proprietary Zend Server. It improves the performance of the interpreter by optimising the bytecode generated from PHP source files. It also stores precompiled bytecode in shared memory instead of reloading and recompiling source code from the hard disk when needed.

    • Uni profs: Kids today could do with a bit of ‘mind-crippling’ COBOL

      Want a guaranteed job in IT? Learn COBOL, even if it cripples you mentally – that’s the advice of university profs teaching tech.

      Ignore, for a second, the fact COBOL doesn’t feature in the top 20 of languages developers are using in anger today. Those in charge of setting university IT curricula reckon there’s no better guarantee of a job than tooling up on COBOL.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • On keeping a name relevant

      My conclusion is that when it comes to Freedom (Software Freedom or otherwise) standards actually matter as much as rights. Standards, regardless of what they are about, industry specifications, public policies, conventions defining legal terms, even words and their meaning, are the fundamental building block on an open, inclusive and efficient system. While their use may be twisted -any tool can, for the hand that uses the tool is the one ultimately defining its intent- standards form the basis of innovation, be it technological or social, and even political. Standards are what we must agree on first in order to agree on principles, values, and on the way we live. Our world, our countries, our lives, the industries we are working in are thus powered by standards. But it would be a pale assertion to stand at that line; for the author of this blog does not just stick to standards. He believes in Freedom as the energy in everything good that’s been happening in his life and around him as far as he can witness; and if the truth about the “primum mobile” will forever remain a mystery to Man, at least part of its manifestation lies in our innate and universal potential and right to Freedom. Software is no different in that respect. This blog will thus continue to be not just powered by standards. It will always be moved by Freedom.


  • Why Antibiotics Are the Wrong Approach to Shadow IT

    Possibly because the bad ones can kill you, bacteria get a bad rap. Those Purell stations you see at conferences? They’re barely competent as a viricide, but excel at destroying bacteria. And while the CDC says they’re not necessary, anti-bacterial soaps remain all the rage these days.

    We’ve been conditioned to consider bacteria as the enemy by way of related horror stories. The toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, for example, the bacteria which allows celebrities to give their faces a carboard-like appearance, is incredibly toxic. 1 gram of it, in fact, is enough to kill 14,000 people. Escherichia coli, a normally helpful occupant of our digestive tract, has a variant that can cause hemorrhagic diarrhea, kidney failure or even death.

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • Western Digital RE4 1TB SATA Enterprise HDD

      Benchmarks up this afternoon are of a Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX, an internal enterprise hard drive, being tested from Ubuntu 13.04 with the Linux 3.8 kernel. This Linux disk drive comparison was done with an EXT4 file-system and other disk benchmarks are available from different solid-state and traditional rotating hard drives.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • As Big as Terrorism

      UK deaths last year from antibiotic resistance: 5,000
      Uk deaths last year fron terrorisn: nil

    • Airport Screening Concerns Civil Liberties Groups

      …asked a Virgin America flight attendant for a soda and was told he had to request one using the aircraft’s seat-back system…


      “My biggest concern is that somebody on an aircraft has the power to outright lie about an incident and get me in all kinds of trouble,” he said. “Civil rights have gone out the window.”

    • 12 Companies Cashing In On Drones
    • Iowa leaders should take strong stand against drones

      At 11:47 a.m. Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky embarked on a near-13 hour deliberative filibuster, stalling the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan, to gain clarity on the possibility of the CIA’s drone assassination program being used against American citizens at home.

      The CIA regularly uses drones armed with Hellfire missiles to engage various targets abroad. Drone strikes have a cruel and unusual record. Afghani President Hamid Karzai demanded the attacks end, after the drone’s Hellfire engulfed 30 civilian locations in 2012.

    • Afghan Says Force Backed by the C.I.A. Beat Him

      The 29-year-old engineering student was standing outside his classroom here on Saturday morning when he said two pickup trucks full of armed men pulled up. The men, said to be members of a C.I.A.-backed Afghan strike force, grabbed him, tied his hands behind his back, draped a black hood over his head and drove him to an undisclosed location where, the student says, he was beaten and whipped.

    • After Afghan Raid, Focus on Captors
    • CIA Ramps Up Role in Iraq
    • CIA ups Iraq role to fight Syria Islamists
    • Killing a Citizen: NYT, Awlaki and ‘Muddying the Moral Clarity’

      Indeed, the Times story does a remarkable job of conveying official justifications for the Awlaki killing–but we hear nothing from those who have questioned the government’s account and its legal rationale. The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights have led the legal challenge on the Awlaki case, and issued a response (3/10/13) to the Times story.

      The Times story also included information about the drone killing of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old son of Anwar al-Awlaki. He was killed several weeks later, along with about a dozen others in Yemen. The strike was based on bad intelligence; the intended target was not among those killed.

  • Cablegate

    • Bill Keller Ponders What Would Have Happened if NYT Published Information from Bradley Manning
    • Forget WikiLeaks: Manning Should Have Gone to NYT
    • Interview uncut: Jacob Appelbaum

      RU: It’s interesting to have a book on Cypherpunk with Julian Assange as the author (his name, at least, is writ largest) when most people think of WikiLeaks as an anti-secrecy organization. Did he (or all of you) intentionally want to complexify the discussion around WikiLeaks or did anything like that even cross your mind(s)?

      JA: Personal privacy and institutional transparency are complementary ideas that help to create a free and open society.

    • Mark Weisbrot on Hugo Chavez, Kevin Gosztola on Bradley Manning

      This week on CounterSpin: Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is dead but his independence and help for Venezuela’s poor remains unforgiven in the US press. We’ll talk to Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research about what media’s portrayal of Chavez says about media.

    • The War Against Bradley Manning — A War Against All Who Speak Out Against Injustice

      Time and again, throughout America’s history, individuals with a passion for truth and a commitment to justice have opted to defy the unjust laws and practices of the American government in order to speak up against slavery, segregation, discrimination, and war. Even when their personal safety and freedom were on the line, these individuals spoke up, knowing they would be chastised, ridiculed, arrested, branded traitors and even killed.

    • WikiLeaks: GSL Doesn’t Want ICRC And UN Involved In Identification Of Those Killed In The War – Gota To US

      “Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa was sharply critical of international organizations in his final meeting with Ambassador. Rajapaksa said the ICRC’s job was essentially finished now that the conflict was over. He said the GSL is unhappy with the UN and ICRC for being critical of the GSL when they should have been working with the government to help resolve the conflict and address the challenges Sri Lanka faced. The Defense Secretary said the GSL doesn’t want the ICRC and UN involved in identification of those killed in the former conflict zone because of their ‘negative’ attitude. He claimed their reporting would likely inflame passions, exacerbate divisions, and be contrary to the goals of reconciliation and closure. Ambassador strongly disagreed, saying the ICRC was performing excellent work in assisting GSL efforts to deal with the humanitarian crisis.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

  • Finance

    • A Resurgent Goldman Can Reshape Wall Street

      The current system has made the people who work on Wall Street fabulously rich, and given the rest of us one financial crisis after another. It makes no effort to hold financial professionals responsible for their bad behavior. Instead, they continue to reap all the financial rewards for taking risks with the money of their depositors, counterparties, creditors and shareholders, with little or no accountability when things go awry. After what Wall Street put us through in 2008 and 2009, you would think that the compensation system would have been changed to prevent a repeat. You would be wrong.

    • Rigging the I.P.O. Game

      ONCE upon a time, in a very different age, an Internet start-up called eToys went public. The date was May 20, 1999. The offering price had been set at $20, but investors in that frenzied era were so eager for eToys shares that the stock immediately shot up to $78. It ended its first day of trading at $77 a share.

      The eToys initial public offering raised $164 million, a nice chunk of change for a two-year-old company. But it wasn’t even close to the $600 million-plus the company could have raised if the offering price had more realistically reflected the intense demand for eToys shares. The firm that underwrote the I.P.O. — and effectively set the $20 price — was Goldman Sachs.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • From Tabloids to Tablets: News Corp Spends Big on LA School Board Race, Sets Sights on Public Education “Market”

      A subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp – parent company of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal – has spent a whopping $250,000 on the Los Angeles school board race, just as the corporation focuses on making money off of public education. News Corp and its for-profit education subsidiaries are also members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the education initiatives promoted by News Corp’s preferred candidates track the ALEC agenda.

      Murdoch has called the for-profit K-12 education industry “a $500 billion sector in the US alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed” – and his News Corp is investing big to capture that market. In 2010, News Corp acquired Wireless Generation, a for-profit online education, software, and testing corporation, for $360 million. Its latest venture is a digital K-12 curricula to be sold and taught on a specialized “Amplify Tablet” that runs on the Android platform.

    • EU attempts to brainwash children with ‘sinister Soviet-style propaganda’

      European Parliament chiefs are considering setting up a site to target young children with a “playful” presentation of their working methods and democratic principles.

      It adds to concern highlighted by the Daily Express about educational materials produced for schools by the European Commission that critics claim are a bid to make children feel positive about the EU.

    • Another WI Supreme Court Election Battle Dominated By Outside Spending

      Ever since Governor Scott Walker imposed his anti-union legislation on Wisconsin, the state has become exceptionally polarized. This polarization is reflected in the current race for Supreme Court. Once again Wisconsin is seeing massive spending from outside groups in a race that is officially nonpartisan.

      The 2011 Supreme Court race between incumbent Justice David Prosser — who was formerly a GOP lawmaker in the state — and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg became a referendum on Walker’s controversial Act 10, with record-breaking spending by groups like the Koch-linked Citizens for a Strong America, the powerful Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Wisconsin chapter of Club for Growth, and the union-backed Greater Wisconsin Committee. Prosser ultimately won in a narrow victory after the last-minute discovery of uncounted votes in heavily Republican Waukesha County.

  • Privacy

    • Data Protection: Last Opinion Vote in JURI on 19 March

      Revision of the European Data Protection Regulation is ongoing and the “Legal Affairs” (JURI) Committee will vote on its opinion on 19 March. Unfortunately, there are strong indications that JURI will vote in the same way as the previous committees and weaken the protection of EU citizens’ privacy against corporations that collect, process and trade their personal data. With only one week left before the vote, citizens must act urgently and contact their members of the European Parliament (MEP).

    • Councils reassess their use of CCTV
    • Open source cloud offers another route to better security

      The news that IBM is going to shift all its cloud services and software to an open cloud architecture comes as no great surprise. After all, it had already signalled an intent to open up the cloud when it joined the OpenStack Foundation last year as a ‘platinum’ sponsor and then went on to contribute to the codebase.

    • Study links Facebook ‘likes’ with personality traits
  • Civil Rights

    • EU sweats over how to bring Hungary into line
    • Cops Detain 6-year-old for Walking Around Neighborhood (And It Gets Worse)

      Readers — The story below makes me so sad and so angry, and you will see why. If anyone at Child Protective Services or the police department would pick up a single book written before predator panic swept the country, they’d see that 6-year-olds were always part of the neighborhood scene, scampering, playing, or even — in many eras and areas — working! The idea that a 6-year-old can’t be outside without constant supervision is new and warped.

    • What U.S. Commitment to African Justice and Human Rights?

      What happens in other countries is important to U.S. media when they can claim that the news matters to U.S. interests. So it was not altogether surprising to see the March 8 headline in the New York Times, “Leader of Vote Count in Kenya Faces U.S. With Tough Choices.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality Neutralised in France?

      Questioned by the French government on the need to legislate on the protection of freedoms on the Internet, the National Digital Council (Conseil national du numérique or CNNum) published today an opinion on Net neutrality1 [fr]. It recommends that the French government makes this principle of non-discrimination into law, broadening its scope to include search engines and other online services. But by overbroadening the neutrality principle, the CCNum’s recommendations could result in a meaningless law.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Angry judge blasts porn trolls: “Someone has an awful lot to hide”

        In a Los Angeles federal courtroom on a blindingly sunny Monday afternoon, US District Judge Otis Wright expressed incredulity at the sheer gall of the Prenda porn copyright trolling firm.

        Judge Wright had ordered six other Prenda affiliates (or alleged affiliates) to show up in response to his order regarding possible sanctions for their behavior. None of those named parties showed up to the hearing in person, apart from Alan Cooper of Minnesota. (Cooper has alleged that Prenda attorney John Steele used Cooper’s name improperly as the CEO of copyright licensing firm AF Holdings.) Lawyers Steele, Paul Hansmeier, Paul Duffy, and Prenda paralegal Angela Van Den Hemel had filed a notice on Friday saying that travel to the Central District Court of California was impossible for the out-of-state parties. Today, they were represented by another attorney who identified herself as Heather Rosing.


Links 11/3/2013: X Server 1.14, Red Hat Takes Over OpenJDK 6

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Systemd 198 supports specification for improved multi-boot operation

      The now available systemd 198 is the first to include the kernel-install command-line program. The command allows kernels to be installed while complying with the new Boot Loader Specification that is defined at Freedesktop.org. The specification defines a way for multiple distributions to safely reside on a dual- or triple-boot system.

    • Linux 3.9-rc2
    • Features You Won’t Find In The Linux 3.9 Kernel

      While there are many interesting features to the Linux 3.9 kernel, there is some functionality you will not find yet within the mainline Linux kernel.

      Among the most pressing functionality that comes to mind that hasn’t been merged include:

      VIA Kernel Mode-Setting – For those unfortunate souls still using VIA hardware, there is still no mainline DRM/KMS driver, even after it’s been in development for years. There’s still work ongoing, but nothing that was merged for the Linux 3.9 kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.org releases X Server 1.14

        Performance improvements in terms of software rendering as well as fixes for touch devices and hybrid graphics systems are among the major new features of X.org’s just released X Server 1.14. The new X Server also includes modifications that affect the pointer barriers. GNOME 3.8 will use these pointer barriers to establish from what distance and at what speed a user has moved the mouse pointer to the bottom screen edge; if the values are big, GNOME will display the notification panel straight away instead of waiting for a second.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE misconceptions on being slow and bloated

        Let me preface this by saying I use KDE on a daily basis, and have for a very long time. There’s a persistent misconception about KDE being this slow and bloated monstrosity of a desktop and, admittedly, at one time it was true. It’s certainly not anymore, but sometimes the ghosts of the past intrude on the present and just won’t be quiet. So let’s see where this ghost came from and put it to rest.

        How did this misconception start? Back in late 2005 KDE reached a pinnacle with the release of KDE 3.5, what many believed to be their finest desktop. It had all the KDE hallmarks, infinite configurability, deep integration and most memorable, it was the cheetah amongst big cats. It was super fast. I used it at the time, as well as occasionally using Gnome 2, and KDE was noticeably faster on my hardware. Unfairly or not, this milestone 3.5 release would become the yardstick that later KDE’s would be measured against.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Documents 3.8 Beta 2 Is Dubbed Trans-Siberia Express

        Dubbed Trans-Siberia Express, the second and last Beta release of the upcoming GNOME Documents 3.8 package, the main document viewer of the GNOME desktop environment, has been released a few days ago, March 4, for testing.

        GNOME Documents 3.8 Beta 2 comes with a translatable “Getting Started with Documents” tutorial in PDF format, the search dropdown button now uses a linked style, the search dropdown now uses a revealer animation, and the page switch widgets are now insensitive for single-page documents.

  • Distributions

    • What About E17 on OpenSUSE 12.3!
    • New Releases

      • Chakra 2013.03
      • Chakra-2013.03-Benz ISO released

        With this second release of “Benz”(a code name that will follow the KDE SC 4.10 series), the Chakra-Project team is very happy to announce a new feature that has been on the wishlist for quite some time. Tribe (the installer) has a netinstaller feature implemented, giving the user the option for a regular offline install, or install fully updated packages, starting with a minimal functional KDE desktop, and adding groups of packages to that minimal install as desired.

      • Porteus v2.0 final is ready

        The Porteus Community is excited to announce that Porteus 2.0 Final is now available for immediate download!
        This is the first stable release of our Standard and Xfce Editions based on Slackware 14.0.

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat takes over OpenJDK 6 leadership from Oracle

        Java is one of the most important technologies (and also one of the reason’s Oracle bought Sun) yet it has a complex relationship with Oracle. It’s also turning out to be one of the most insecure technologies, considering the flood of java vulnerabilities found and exploited recently.

        Red Hat has played an instrumental role in Java for Linux users by starting IcedTea project whose “initial goal was to make the Java OpenJDK usable without requiring any other software that is not free software and hence make it possible to add OpenJDK to Fedora and other Linux distributions that insist on free software.”

      • Red Hat Opens Up Cloud PaaS Development on OpenShift Origin

        Red Hat’s OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering started its life as a mostly proprietary product built on technology acquired from Makara in 2010.

        In April of 2012, Red Hat made OpenShift available as open source under the OpenShift Origin effort. Simply making a project open source, however, doesn’t make it a true open source community with contribution and collaboration.

        Red Hat is now moving to further enable an open source collaborative development model for OpenShift, making it easier for non-Red Hat people to contribute and participate in the platform’s evolution. To that end, Red Hat is now moving to a new model for contribution, using a public continuous integration (CI) environment and hosting a community day at the upcoming OpenStack Summit in Portland.

      • Red Hat Announces New Support for Java; Taking Over OpenJDK 6
      • Fedora

        • Keeping your finger on the pulse of the Fedora community

          For those who haven’t been keeping up with all of the awesome code Ralph Bean has been churning out lately, be sure to checkout fedmsg.com. Hop on #fedora-fedmsg on Freenode or load up busmon to see it in action. Not all of the Fedora Infrastructure services currently fire off fedmsgs, but we’re getting very close.

    • Debian Family

      • If you run Linux, you can run Debian. At least give it a try

        I’m not a big advocate for one Linux distribution over another. Or maybe I’m fooling myself. I pretty much run Debian GNU/Linux (as it’s officially known) on just about anything.

        I say I’m not a “big advocate”/fanboy because I’m always open to something new. I flirt with Fedora. And Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu. Also Crunchbang. I like what I see in Fuduntu. I think Stella fills a real need.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Community Turmoil – Perspective and Advice from an Outsider

            Canonical has announced quite a few things over the past couple of days, weeks and months. Many of the announcements have been quite exciting in a good way (Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet) and some of them seem to be a little shocking… that have some in the Ubuntu Community feeling betrayed, ignored or worse.

            Just to review, I’ve not really been an Ubuntu fan. I’m a Red Hat and Fedora fanboi. I’ve often been critical of Canonical although not really of the volunteer community that supports Ubuntu. You know the same old stuff about how Canonical doesn’t work with upstream, they don’t contribute back much, most of the work that is outwardly visible is on their proprietary stuff… they seem to get way more credit than they deserve… and they still, so far as I know, haven’t figured out a way to be profitable… which I think is very important for something so many people depend on. You’ve heard all of that before many times from many people. Nothing new here.

          • Reply to “All the faces of Ubuntu”
          • Thoughts On Recent Community Concerns

            Recently there has been some fire flowing about Canonical in the community. These concerns started off as sporadic at first and then we saw a small blog avalanche (blogalanche, if you will) as a number of folks piled onto the ride.

            I feel somewhat trapped in the middle of all of this. On one hand I work at Canonical and I believe Canonical are acting in the honorable interests of Ubuntu in helping to build a competitive and forward-looking Free Software platform, but I also feel a sense of personal responsibility when I see unhappy members of our community who are concerned with different aspects of how Canonical engages. Essentially, I sympathize with both sides of this debate; both have the best interests at heart for Ubuntu.

          • On the Ubuntu Community

            Charles Profitt, in his recent post Ubuntu: Time to Take the Shot, talks about a meeting that the Community Council had with Mark on Tuesday. This followed a weekend of me doing everything in my power to step back from the recent announcements and discussions from Canonical that made my Thursday and Friday very difficult.

          • Ubuntu is not a community distribution

            That should be obvious to anybody who’s been following the development of Ubuntu, but for those who have not, here’s the deal: Ubuntu is not a community distribution.

            The sooner you get that, the better, especially if you’ve been under the illusion that Mark Shuttleworth cares very much about your own idea of what a community distribution should be.

          • Ubuntu Mir: Is This the Future of Linux Everywhere?

            Ubuntu — possibly the most popular distribution of the open source Linux operating system — is striking out on its own. Canonical, the commercial company that oversees Ubuntu, has made a habit of building new Linux components from scratch, moving away from tools built and used by the larger open source community. That’s rubbing many Linux developers and users the wrong way, and now Canonical may have finally alienated these hard-core open sourcers.

          • Ubuntu Linux developer squabbles go public

            It’s no secret that Linux and open-source projects have fights over the direction of a project, but it’s unusual for Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, to public fuss with programmers via his blog.

          • Visit Canonical at CeBIT 2013 and Win a Google Nexus 7 Tablet

            The CeBIT 2013 event takes place these days, between March 5 and 9, in Hannover, Germany, and Canonical is there to enchant visitors with technical details about Ubuntu Cloud Stack and Ubuntu Landscape Systems Management.

          • Ubuntu Apps Chart for February 2013
          • Confessions of a community member.

            I am concerned with the current status of Ubuntu, not because of the tension on the community or the new software being put out. I am concerned because I feel my time and contributions might go to waste and fall on deaf ears. As leader of a LoCo, how do I know if the work I am putting in is even going to matter in two months when 13.04 comes out? Is my work still relevant because it has nothing to do with a cell phone, nothing to do with a display server, and nothing that in any way is a direct profit source for the Canonical.

          • Ubuntu SDK Looks Towards Qt Creator

            Another item discussed on the first day of the virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit is about the roadmap for the Ubuntu SDK.

            Perhaps most interesting from the hour-long session for the broad community was what they’re looking at for their main tool to the Ubuntu SDK: Qt Creator. Ubuntu developers are looking at the open-source cross-platform Qt Creator, which is also part of the Qt SDK, as the integrated development environment for the Ubuntu SDK.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Choosing a Desktop Environment on Linux Mint

              Linux Mint has four desktop environments that you can choose from. There is KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon and Mate. The two most common choices by users are Cinnamon and Mate. Technically, you can download any of the desktop environments and change them later. If you decide to go with Mate and later on want to install Cinnamon, the change is going to be easy.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • R.I.P. LinuxDevices… Long live LinuxGizmos!

      In 2012, the embedded Linux market lost a valued resource when LinuxDevices.com became a collateral casualty of QuinStreet’s acquisition of a group of websites from Ziff Davis Enterprise. Unfortunately the new owner has no interest in supporting the site, so LinuxDevices has lain dormant for over a year.

      As the year wore on, a growing number of individuals and companies urged me (as the site’s founder) to do something to get LinuxDevices back on its feet, or to launch a new site to fill the void.

      Thanks to this encouragement, and recognizing that embedded Linux is not simply alive and well, but has been growing exponentially as the OS-of-choice for smartphones and numerous other embedded applications, I decided to launch a successor site.

    • R.I.P. LinuxDevices… Long live LinuxGizmos!

      In 2012, the embedded Linux market lost a valued resource when LinuxDevices.com became a collateral casualty of QuinStreet’s acquisition of a group of websites from Ziff Davis Enterprise. Unfortunately the new owner had no interest in supporting the site, so LinuxDevices has lain dormant ever since the acquisition.

      As the year wore on, a growing number of individuals and companies urged me (as the site’s founder) to do something to get LinuxDevices back on its feet, or to launch a new site to fill the void.

    • High-performance network video recorders run embedded Linux

      March Networks has released a new family of high-performance network video recorders (NVRs), which feature an embedded Linux operating system. The 8000 Series NVRs are aimed at video surveillance, license plate recognition, access control, ATM, and other applications requiring secure, reliable, high-definition video monitoring and storage.

    • Embedded Linux Conference 2013 videos now online
    • Phones

      • Good Old Days
      • Jolla keeps the open source tap running, releases SailfishOS Alpha SDK

        As promised in December 2012, Jolla, the company behind the SailfishOS, has released an Alpha SDK of the operating system targeted at developers. The SDK is currently supported only on Linux systems (Fedora 18 and Ubuntu 12.10), but a PC and Mac-compatible version is in the works.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • SpellTower comes to Android to satisfy open-source wordsmiths
        • A New Way to Play: MG Handheld Review

          We first told you about the MG back in September of 2012, when it was in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign attempting to raise a staggering $950,000. Perhaps they were inspired by the historic success of the OUYA just a few weeks prior, hoping to repeat that system’s incredible funding level on the same $950,000 goal. Unfortunately, the MG fell far short of its lofty goals, failing before it even reached $50,000.

          But owing to the professionalism of the team behind it, and community interest in a low-cost vanilla Android Ice Cream Sandwich handheld gaming system, the MG beat the odds and was able to launch on-time.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The First Ubuntu Tablet – If This Is It, It’s Disappointing To Say The Least

        In case you’ve followed us during the past couple of months or so, you might be aware of the fact that we’re quite excited about the Ubuntu Touch OS, and about the smartphones and tablets that are supposed to be powered by Canonical’s operating system. The platform seems very promising, the gesture-based navigation is quite interesting and who could argue that the flexibility of the OS is a bad thing?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mellanox to open source Ethernet software

    Mellanox Technologies pledged it will support open source software for its Ethernet switches over the next several months. The chip and system provider hopes to gain an edge over larger competitors that are only partially embracing a trend to open software for Ethernet.

  • Fujitsu demonstrates open source in-car infotainment system
  • FOSSC-Oman’ 2013 to open opportunities in FOSS
  • School Tool: Mathics, Like Mathematica But Open Source
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • How Big Data Is Transforming the Hunt for Talent

      Big Data is suddenly hot, winning Harvard Business Review’s recent “sexiest job of the 21st century” sweepstakes. It’s been slow to penetrate the world of human resources, however – but all that is changing fast, says Beth Axelrod, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for e-commerce giant eBay Inc., and co-author of The War for Talent. “There’s a lot of value to be created and added through data analytics,” she says, “whether it’s doing a better job spotting talent outside to attract to the company, or doing predictive analysis of who is likely to leave and what are the factors, so you can intervene before that point is reached to try to change the trajectory. There’s a ton of opportunity there.”

    • OpenStack Summit 2013: Five Questions CSPs Must Ask
    • Open source ‘critical’ to big data for all

      Technology vendors have backed a community-developed software platform as the critical piece to bring big data to the masses.

      EMC and Intel have joined IBM and Red Hat in releasing their own flavours of an open-source software that manages how hardware in data centres accesses and processes information. The Hadoop open-source software by the Apache Software Foundation was released in October. It helps extract business insights from huge amounts of unstructured data, a trend commonly referred to as big data.

    • Why Hadoop Is the Future of the Database
    • Open Source ‘Lingual’ Helps SQL Devs Unlock Hadoop
  • Databases

    • Monty Program and the meaning of LAMP

      Industry analysis suggests that Google handles as many as two million pieces of data every minute.

      Combine this “fact” with the challenge of managing a transactional workload with big data complexity riddled right through its centre and you can see why data analysis and both macro- and micro-level data management is a pertinent issue today.

      The open source community submits that it may have a route to new agility in this space through building functionality on top of MariaDB to keep it from downtime by replicating copies of the database on servers, which are located in different parts of the world.

    • MariaDB Galera Cluster ready for production use

      MariaDB now has a high-availability option ready for production use; the developers at MariaDB and Codership have released MariaDB Galera Cluster 5.5.29 as a Stable GA (generally available) version. The release gives MariaDB users access to a scaling solution for the SQL database with synchronous multi-master replication and guaranteed data consistency. Clusters built with the technology should prove automatically resilient with no risk of losing nodes with unique datasets on them.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Migrating to Pelican from Drupal

      Pelican is a Python-powered static website generator which comes with a rather decent feature set. It allows you to write your blog entries in reStructuredText, Markdown, or AsciiDoc using any editor that you desire.

    • Drupal 8: Re-architecting for world domination

      Drupal’s creator, Dries Buytaert, on Drupal 8 and the open source project’s future in the enterprise

  • Business

  • Funding

  • BSD


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source Software is Common at DHS

      The government should not have an “open source first policy,” Homeland Security Department Chief Information Officer Richard Spires said Wednesday, but added officials should look to open source technology whenever possible.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source governance anyone?

      Open source software is based on the philosophy of access — allowing people to get to the resources that they need to build things that are useful to them and their way of life. So anyone who is capable of doing so, can make a life for himself or herself without having to rely upon expensive software made by mighty big corporations. Proprietary software is essentially closed — its makers sell it to you and subject you to rules of their own making. They make it seem as if you owe them thanks and as if they are doing you a favour by allowing you use of their system.

    • RecycleBot: An open source recycling plant
    • Open Data

      • Do we need an open source GPS alternative?

        Although occasionally infuriating around roundabouts and new developments, we have placed an inordinate amount of faith in Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites as they exist for in-car and/or smartphone usage.

        So why would we need an open source alternative?

        Well the GPS system was created and is still predominantly run by the US Department of Defense (they mean Defence) with a history that dates back as far as the early 1970s.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Aaron Swartz

        We know there are going to be books about Aaron Swartz.

      • Holder defends alleged hacker’s prosecution

        Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general, clearly disagreed and suggested that stacking up a large number of felony charges in the case seemed intended at coercing Swartz to plead guilty rather than take the matter before a jury.

        “I would suggest to you if you’re an individual American citizen and you’re looking at criminal charges being brought by the United States government with all of the vast resources available to the government, it strikes me as disproportionate and one that is basically being used inappropriately to try to bully someone into pleading guilty to something that strikes me as rather minor,” the Texas senator said.

      • Attorney General: Aaron Swartz Case Was a ‘Good Use of Prosecutorial Discretion’
      • US Attorney General: Swartz case a “good use of prosecutorial discretion”

        “Does it strike you as odd,” Cornyn asked, “that the government would indict someone for crimes that would carry penalties of up to 35 years in prison and million dollar fines and then offer him a three or four month prison sentence?”

    • Open Hardware

      • Now, it’s the turn of Open Source hardware movement

        After the open source software movement in the IT sector, the new wave is that of open source hardware, wherein the information about the hardware can easily be discerned and it can be further customised.

        Beth E Kolko, head, Design for Digital Inclusion Lab, University of Washington, who is in Kerala to promote the movement, said that though at a nascent stage the Open Source hardware movement could go a long way by opening up the space for innovation and could impact the lives of millions.

  • Programming


  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • NHS in Meltdown: 31 Week Waiting List To See a Cardiologist

      I am afraid this is a personal medical story, but I think it makes a very damning point about the state of the NHS. There is no sensible way to tell it without giving an uncomfortable (I suspect for both of us) level of medical detail about myself.

      I had two collapses very early in the New Year, one with loss of consciousness of over ten minutes. On the second occasion we called 999, and the response was superb – a paramedic in less than five minutes and and ambulance in less than ten.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Repeal the Military Force Law

      Three days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress approved the Authorization for Use of Military Force. It was enacted with good intentions — to give President George W. Bush the authority to invade Afghanistan and go after Al Qaeda and the Taliban rulers who sheltered and aided the terrorists who had attacked the United States.

    • How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs
    • Three Democratic myths used to demean the Paul filibuster

      The progressive ‘empathy gap’, a strain of liberal authoritarianism, and a distortion of Holder’s letter are invoked to defend Obama

    • Former Newark Airport TSA screener says the job does little to keep fliers safe

      A LOT of what we do is make-believe.

      I’ve had to screen small children and explain to their parents I had no choice but to “check” them. I would only place my hands on their arms and bottom half of their legs, and the entire “pat-down” lasted 10 seconds. This goes completely against TSA procedure.

      Because the cameras are recording our every move, we have to do something. If someone isn’t checked or even screened properly, the entire terminal would shut down, as this constitutes a security breach.

      But since most TSA supervisors are too daft to actually supervise, bending the rules is easy to do.

    • Bulgarian who set himself on fire new symbol of protests

      A hundred flickering candles and mountains of flowers block the entrance to Varna’s city hall, surrounding a picture of a smiling young man with long hair who has become a symbol of anti-corruption protests that have swept Bulgaria.

    • Serial Killer Heads CIA

      Chalmers Johnson called the CIA the president’s private army. Imperial Rome had its praetorian guard. It served and protected emperors.

      CIA rogues work the same way. They do lots more than that. Extrajudicial killing is prioritized. Much that goes on is secret. Unaccountability keeps Congress and ordinary people uninformed.

      Johnson said US presidents have “untrammeled control of the CIA.” It’s “probably (their) single most extraordinary power.”

    • The CIA Can Handle the Truth

      The recent controversy surrounding the film Zero Dark Thirty only proves the debate surrounding torture isn’t over. There are some who continue to make the false claim that torture worked, and seek to reinstate the practice.

    • Alleged CIA Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders
    • The CIA Brennan Inherits: More Military, Less Espionage
    • How Drones Kill Americans

      They don’t target citizens in the United States. They kill them overseas as collateral damage.

    • The drone future

      Drones are clearly a big part of the future.

    • US Drones bombing Africa operated from RAF bases in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside

      An RAF base in Britain is being used by America in its controversial drone warfare campaign, it was claimed last night.

    • Congress, Drones, and The Imperial Presidency

      The administration’s outrageous response to the most serious Constitutional question of all — when a government can kill its own citizens — is clear evidence of an executive branch out of control.

      Many of the drafters of the Constitution envisioned the presidency as an office with very limited powers, but even the most dedicated proponents of a strong presidency at the time would be shocked to see the concentration of power in the modern presidency.

      Today the presidency is viewed as the center of the federal government, with each successive administration expanding the power of the executive at the expense of Congress and the people.

    • Paul Krugman: ‘Very odd’ for Republicans to oppose drones and support waterboarding

      Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Sunday said it was “very odd” that Republicans who supported waterboarding would join Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) anti-drone filibuster.

      Paul began his 13-hour filibuster on Wednesday morning to demand whether the Obama administration believed it could kill a U.S. citizen with a drone strike within the country.

      “It was a very weird way to start the debate,” Krugman remarked on ABC News’ This Week. “I mean, specifically about drones and on American soil? Does that mean it is OK to kill me with a drone while I’m visiting Paris or it’s OK to kill me in the United States as long as it’s by a sniper but not a drone? It was a very peculiar way to phrase the question.”

    • Legal, Ethical, And Political Issues In Use Of Drones – Analysis

      The recent increase in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), commonly known as drones, has been observed in conflict areas such as Yemen and in Pakistan and, more surprisingly, in civilian settings like the United States. Whereas its use as weapon for extrajudicial killings – i.e. the processes of sentencing people to death and implementing those decisions without any court decision – poses a myriad of ethical and legal issues, use of drones by the private sector, and police and border patrol agents, has ignited a discussion on the frontiers of legality, revealing a process where ethical, philosophical, legal and political debates have not accompanied the speed of technological progress.

      This article focuses on recent developments in the use of drones, and exposes some of the contentious issues surrounding the debate. Departing from public available data, and placing itself within theoretical debates in the domain of international relations theories, this article points to avenues for further inquiry on the use of drones.

    • Koch Exec Must Amend Aspen Kidnapping Suit

      A federal judge said it would not be futile for a former Oxbow executive to amend claims that his billionaire boss William Koch imprisoned him on a sprawling Colorado ranch.

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Fed Sees Goldman, JPMorgan Overvaluing Capital Strength

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Morgan Stanley (MS) lagged behind peers in a key measure of capital strength used by U.S. regulators to stress- test their resiliency in a severe recession.

    • Goldman loses a round

      Goldman Sachs yesterday lost its bid to keep a shareholder proposal to split the chairman and CEO roles off its proxy statement.

      Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission informed the bank that it couldn’t block the proposal from being included among a list of proposals at its next annual shareholder meeting.


      Lloyd Blankfein currently holds both titles at the gold-plated investment bank, which argues that it benefits from having a unified voice at the head of the firm.

    • Corporations and the Richest Americans Viscerally Oppose Common Good

      The Masters of Mankind want us to become the “stupid nation,” in the interests of their short-term gain — damn the consequences.

    • Wells Fargo Typo Victim Dies in Court

      His death came more than two years after Wells Fargo mistakenly mixed up his Hermosa Beach address with that of a neighbor in the same condo complex. The bank’s typo led Wells Fargo to demand that Delassus pay $13,361.90 — two years of late property taxes the bank said it had paid on his behalf in order to keep his Wells Fargo mortgage afloat.

    • UK: A quarter of Greater Manchester’s population living in “extreme poverty”

      The Greater Manchester Poverty Commission states that 600,000 people are in “extreme poverty” in the Greater Manchester region. The region is the largest urban conurbation in the north of the UK, with a population of nearly 2.7 million.

      That poverty is so entrenched in a region covering two cities and eight towns is a devastating indictment of the cumulative effects of central and local government policies over the last three decades carried out by the three parties of big business, Labour, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • EU mulls almost-anonymisation of folks’ data to cut biz some slack

      Officials from justice departments across the EU have been asked to explore to what extent the pseudonymisation of personal data can be used to “calibrate” businesses’ obligations to data protection.

      Pseudonymisation (such as assigning fake names to people), as opposed to anonymisation (complete stripping of identity), allows the same individual to be assigned the same pseudonym across various data sets.

    • Judge to village: No cameras

      A southwestern Ohio judge yesterday ordered a halt to a speeding-ticket blitz in a village that installed traffic cameras, saying it’s “a scam” against motorists.

    • Older, quieter than WikiLeaks, Cryptome perseveres

      Its co-founder and webmaster, a feisty 77-year-old architect, doesn’t hesitate when asked why.

      “I’m a fierce opponent of government secrets of all kinds,” says John Young. “The scale is tipped so far the other way that I’m willing to stick my neck out and say there should be none.”

    • Reps. Zoe Lofgren Introduces Bipartisan ECPA Reform Bill

      Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Ted Poe (R-TX) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) today introduced bipartisan legislation modernizing the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA. Consumers and businesses are increasingly using cloud computing and location-based services, but the law has failed to keep pace with technology – leading to weak and convoluted privacy protections from government access to user data. The bill, H.R. 983, the Online Communications and Geolocation Protection Act, would strengthen the privacy of Internet users and wireless subscribers from overbroad government surveillance by requiring the government to get a warrant based on probable cause before intercepting or forcing the disclosure of electronics communications and geolocation data.

    • CMU: Consumers Have Sharply Reduced Public Data Sharing

      For years, conventional wisdom about privacy has been that shoppers—especially younger shoppers—have been consistently sharing more information online to the general public, a trend that would likely continue as privacy desensitization progressed. But a report released Tuesday (March 5) from Carnegie Mellon University found the opposite when it tracked 5,076 Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) users from 2005 through 2011, one of the most extensive studies of social media privacy yet.

  • Civil Rights

    • How Facebook could get you arrested

      Police in America are particularly excited about what predictive policing…

    • Seattle, Tacoma rolling out new ‘predictive policing’ software

      The software is called Pred-Pol, short for “predictive policing.” It was developed by a professor at UCLA in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department and based on the same kind of computer modeling that helps scientists predict aftershocks following earthquakes.

    • Mayor McGinn introduces new “Predictive Policing” software
    • Dinah Rose quits Liberal Democrats in protest at secret courts

      One of the country’s leading human rights barristers is to resign her membership of the Liberal Democrats to express her outrage over the coalition government’s backing for secret courts.

      Dinah Rose QC successfully represented the British-resident Guantánamo detainee, Binyam Mohamed, in his battle to establish that British intelligence services were complicit in his “cruel and inhuman” treatment by the United States.

    • Evgeny Morozov: ‘We are abandoning all the checks and balances’
    • Former DEA Chiefs May Profit From Illegal Pot, Critics Say

      Two of the former Drug Enforcement Agency officials who came out this week urging the federal government to nullify new state pot laws in Washington and Colorado are facing criticism for simultaneously running a company that may profit from keeping marijuana illegal.

    • 9th Circuit Appeals Court: 4th Amendment Applies At The Border; Also: Password Protected Files Shouldn’t Arouse Suspicion

      Here’s a surprise ruling. For many years we’ve written about how troubling it is that Homeland Security agents are able to search the contents of electronic devices, such as computers and phones at the border, without any reason. The 4th Amendment only allows reasonable searches, usually with a warrant. But the general argument has long been that, when you’re at the border, you’re not in the country and the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply. This rule has been stretched at times, including the ability to take your computer and devices into the country and search it there, while still considering it a “border search,” for which the lower standards apply. Just about a month ago, we noted that Homeland Security saw no reason to change this policy.

    • Duke Confronts the First Amendment

      As some DIW readers know, last summer, I received several subpoenas from Duke, demanding among other things my confidential communications with hundreds of people relating to the “lacrosse incident” or discussing in any way President Brodhead’s “job performance.” The targeted correspondents consisted of all members of the 2006 lacrosse team, including the three falsely accused players who had long ago settled with Duke; all lawyers who were involved in the civil suit; all Duke faculty members; all Duke administrators or other employees; and all Duke alumni.

    • Michael Ovitz Can’t Escape Lawsuit Over Anthony Pellicano Attack

      A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled that Ovitz has failed to show that he’s entitled to summary judgment over Busch’s claims that Ovitz instigated a series of acts against her a decade ago, including the wiretapping of the journalist’s phone, a note on her windshield that read “Stop” with a dead fish and a rose, a hacked computer, an attack while she was driving her car and more.

  • DRM

    • Senator Crafting Bill to Make Cell Phone Unlocking Legal

      One day after the White House called on Congress to make cell phone unlocking legal, a Minnesota senator today announced plans for legislation that would allow the practice.
      Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said she will introduce a bill this week that would allow for cell phone unlocking.
      “Consumers should be free to choose the phone and service that best fits their needs and their budgets,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “I will continue to work to advance commonsense measures to protect consumers and promote competition.”

    • Why The Unlocking Phones Debate Is Important

      In recent years we have seen more and more attempts to separate us from the core computing functions on our personal computing devices. The iPhone is stock full of them and that is the fundamental reason I will never use one. The same is true of the iPad. So iOS users jailbreak their phones. The evasion iPhone jailbreak is on 23 million phones now.

    • The White House Supports the Right to Unlock Your Cellphone—but That’s Just the Start

      On January 26 this year, the Librarian of Congress declared that unlocking a cell phone to make it available on other carriers was illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Metadata and Copyrigh

        Most of us are aware of the basics of U.S. copyright law, including the categories of copyrightable and non-copyrightable works. Some materials are explicitly exempted from copyright in this country, a key example being U.S. Federal documents. (Although if that sounds to you like a clearly distinguishable category, you should ask your local government documents librarian to fill you in on the complexities of defining “U.S. Federal document.”) Another exempted category is that of facts and compilations of facts that have no creative component. This was determined in the famous Supreme Court ruling of Feist v. Rural Telephone, in which the Court interpreted the constitutional wording of “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” as implying some level of creativity.

      • U.S. Government Wins Key Ruling in Bid to Extradite Kim Dotcom

        A New Zealand appellate court rules that the U.S. won’t have to turn over documents and that the coming extradition hearing will consider only a “limited weighing of evidence.”

      • Backer of Cellphone Unlocking Petition Sets Sights on Modifying Copyright Act

        The man behind the petition to re-legalize unlocking of cellphones now has a broader target: The Digital Millenium Copyright Act itself.


Links 9/3/2013: Ubuntu Backlash, FSF Event Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • TrueAbility, a SXSW Accelerator Finalist, Launches the Linux Challenge at SXSW

    TrueAbility, a company that tests the technical abilities of job candidates through hands-on online testing, is a finalist in the innovative web category for the fifth annual SXSW Accelerator competition taking place next week in Austin.
    The San Antonio-based startup, which is part of the 2013 TechStars Cloud program, beat out more than 500 companies to secure one of the finalist spots in the SXSW accelerator.

  • The Business and Artistry of High-End Creative Works in Linux
  • Desktop

    • Great Eagle Valley Computers, A Different Sort of OEM…
    • Some (sad) numbers on how Linux desktop adoption is going

      Their earliest numbers are March 2003 – Linux 2.2%, Mac 1.8%, Windows all the rest. By the time the first Ubuntu release was just about to show up, September 2004, Linux was up to 3.1%, with growth over that 18 month period smooth: contrary to popular belief, Linux use was growing at a constant rate prior to Ubuntu’s emergence, according to these numbers. At that time, Mandrake was the most popular Linux distribution for ‘regular desktop use’, occupying the spot Ubuntu occupies now.

      After the emergence of Ubuntu, the growth rate actually appears to decline quite a lot, from 2005 through 2008. The number at the end of 2004 is still 3.1%; by the end of 2007 it has reached only 3.3%. Growth picks up again a bit over 2008, 2009 and 2010: by the end of 2010, Linux use has hit 5.0%. Linux usage finally peaks at 5.3% in the middle of 2011.

    • Review: Chromebook Pixel is too expensive (and too good) for Chrome OS

      Just one month ago, the Chromebook Pixel was little more than a poorly sourced rumor. (And personally, while I didn’t quite dismiss it out of hand I came pretty close.) Google was releasing a high-end Chromebook with a touchscreen? And that touchscreen would boast a better pixel density than either of the Retina MacBook Pros? The rumor definitely didn’t fit in with the latest (and by all accounts, most successful) wave of Chromebooks, which have turned heads not least because they’re cheaper than any Chromebooks have been so far.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE’s KWin won’t support Ubuntu’s Mir

        Mark Shuttleworth surprised the KDE community yesterday when he said, “I’ve absolutely no doubt that Kwin will work just fine on top of Mir. And I’m pretty confident Mir will be on a lot more devices than Wayland.” It was surprising because the KWin maintainer Martin Gräßlin had already made it clear, after Wayland controversy, that he won’t support Mir and veto any attempt to do so. It seems like Shuttleworth made that statement without consulting or talking to the KDE developers.

      • Qt previews iOS version of toolkit

        The Qt developers at Digia have announced that they will be previewing the iOS port of Qt in Qt 5.1. The plan is to support Qt on iOS in Qt 5.2 which is due in late 2013; however, that plan is subject to change depending on resources and app store restrictions. So far the developers have a build process that works in conjunction with Xcode and working support for widgets, graphics view, Qt Quick 1, OpenGL, Touch events and orientation events.

      • Qt Creator 2.7 Nears Official Release
      • KDE e.V. Quarterly Report for Q4 2012

        The KDE e.V. report for the fourth quarter of 2012 has been published. It gives an overview of the activities KDE e.V. supported during that period, including reports of various sprints, conferences and projects.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Documents 3.8 Beta 2 Is Dubbed Trans-Siberia Express

        Dubbed Trans-Siberia Express, the second and last Beta release of the upcoming GNOME Documents 3.8 package, the main document viewer of the GNOME desktop environment, has been released a few days ago, March 4, for testing.

      • Some updates from the GNOME Sysadmin Team
      • Taking GNOME 3 to the next level (again)

        GNOME 3 is making major progress with each and every release. Six months ago, when 3.6 was close to release, I wrote about how excited I was about the improvements that were on their way. That release was a big step up from the previous version in terms of user experience. Now we’re on the cusp of GNOME 3.8, and I find myself in exactly the same position. Testing GNOME 3.8, it is a huge improvement on 3.6. It’s more effective, satisfying and polished. Basic operations like selecting a window or launching an application have seen major improvements and the overall experience feels like yet another upgrade.

      • I really like Gnome3

        The subject says it all. Since Gnome3 was released, or even in the works, all I’ve read about it is negative. I assume there must be posts that compliment it too, but forever reason, I’ve only run into what is now termed “Gnome bashing”. I’m not going analyse why people don’t like the new design; neither am I going to summarize why people should like it; I’m going to write down why it works for me.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Lately: openSUSE 12.3, New Distro, OpenMandriva
    • So Long, Pardus-Anka! Welcome, PiSi LinuX!

      Yesterday, Mechatotoro gave me a very surprising news: Pardus-Anka, the fork of the Turkish distro named Pardus, is gone.

      That news was shocking! How come the Phoenix Pardus (“anka” means “phoenix”) died? And so soon?

      Well, actually, what happened (as explained in Spanish here) was that Anka community decided to drop the name “Pardus” altogether to follow a totally independent path. Since they kept PiSi, the packaging system that made Pardus unique, they adopted PiSi as their distro’s new name (and identity). in other words, Pardus-anka died to give birth to PiSi LinuX!

    • Porteus 2.0 Review – Portable Computing for the indecisive

      Portable Linux computing has received an upgrade as the newest Porteus is released, now with an even lighter desktop environment

    • New Releases

      • Kanotix 2013 CeBIT Surprise

        Kanotix is a Debian-based desktop distribution originally designed to support a wider selection of hardware and provider newer packages than Debian. Started in 2003, Kanotix has had a rocky history with at least two declared deaths and rebirths. Now today a new release was announced with Steam installed by default.

        Kanotix 2013 ships with Linux 3.8.2, Xorg X Server 1.12.4, GCC 4.7.2, Grub 2, KDE 4.8.4, and NVIDIA 313.18. Some of the applications include LibreOffice 4.0, Amarok 2.7.0, VLC 2.0.3, GIMP 2.8.2, and Iceweasel 19.

      • Kanotix CeBIT Special 2013

        As a little surprise there is a new Kanotix ISO during CeBIT time (I am there as visitor) with some special features not found in normal releases. The main difference is that a newer libc6 2.17 is used (from Debian Experimental) which has the effect that self-compiled binaries can not be shared with Debian Wheezy users. If that does not affect you you can enjoy the new features…

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva’s Web Development is On a Roll!

        Lots been going on within the infra team lately. We recently got a couple of brand new servers, courtesy Mr. Leonid Reiman, and have been busy at work configuring them in order to get them ready to host the main website and all associated webservices. Thanks to all infra team members, we are in a very good position to finally migrate the existing website from the old servers, gracefully donated by Alessandro Sironi, to these new ones. The migration should be over by this weekend, with minimal downtime.

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s Java leadership grows as Oracle’s wanes

        Following recent news that Oracle would no longer maintain Java 6, Red Hat announced its commitment to sustaining the open source OpenJDK 6 project. It’s stepping into the project leader role vacated by Oracle, and with the help of the OpenJDK community — including newly arrived IBM, as well as the existing community members — it hopes to be able to keep the widely used code maintained.

      • Red Hat Nudges Real Time Linux Forward with MRG 2.3

        Real Time Linux, that is Linux with a deterministic timing component for an action to occur, is big deal for a lot of industries (military among them). Red Hat first announced it’s production grade Real Time Linux platform, dubbed MRG back in 2007. Back then, Real Time enhancement were not part of the mainline Linux kernel, but that has changed over the years.

      • Red Hat tempts devs with OpenShift Origin upgrades

        Red Hat has instituted changes at platform-as-a-service OpenShift that put outside contributors on more equal footing with Red Hat employees.

        The Linux kingpin and cloud-wannabe announced a set of features designed to increase community participation in its PaaS in a blog post by the OpenShift Team on Thursday.

        The most significant change is moving to a pure GitHub pull request format for code contributions, so internal Red Hat developers will have to submit changes in the same way as community participants.

      • Release for CentOS-6.4 i386 and x86_64
      • Red Hat: We still love Java 6, even if Oracle doesn’t

        Red Hat has announced that it is assuming the leadership of the OpenJDK 6 community, just days after Oracle issued what it said would be the final patch for version 6 of its commercial Java SE 6 Development Kit.

        Oracle posted JDK 6 Update 43 on Monday as an emergency patch for the latest in a series of severe vulnerabilities that have plagued the Java browser plugin. But although Oracle is already investigating other flaws, it said that this would be the last set of public fixes for Java SE 6.

        “Oracle recommends that users migrate to JDK 7 in order to continue receiving public updates and security enhancements,” the database giant said in the update’s formal release notes.

      • Red Hat steps up to take over OpenJDK 6 leadership

        As Oracle brings to an end public updates of Java 6, Red Hat says it has assumed leadership of the OpenJDK 6 community. OpenJDK is the open source implementation of the Java specification and Red Hat has been active within the community, especially since 2007 when it came to an agreement with Sun Microsystems to collaborate around the then newly open sourced Java. Oracle is now the owner of Java and posted Java 6 Update 43 on Monday, as what it says is the last public update of Java 6. The company is now encouraging users to migrate to Java 7 or buy support for Java 6. The end of public updates for Java 6 also means the end of Oracle security updates for OpenJDK 6.

      • Red Hat’s OpenShift Origin to become more transparent

        Red Hat has announced that it is reorienting the OpenShift Origin project to make it transparent to developers wanting to contribute to it. OpenShift Origin, released as open source in May 2012, is the community edition of Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), OpenShift Online and OpenShift Enterprise. Although the Origin project is looking to emulate Red Hat’s work with the Fedora Linux community, it hasn’t been widely perceived as a community project in the same way. Red Hat is therefore making a number of changes that it hopes will boost the Origin project’s open source community vitality.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Linux on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (with pen support) – video

        Xda-developers forum member exception13 has been working to port Debian Linux to run on the Note for a few months. While some features (including GPS and the camera) aren’t fully functional yet, the tablet does support WiFi, Bluetooth, sound, and digital pen input when running Debian.

      • Debian Wheezy Is Imminent
      • First Skolelinux / Debian Edu Squeeze update released
      • Elive 2.1.32 Alpha Distro Has a New Focus System

        Elive, a complete operating system for your computer, that is built on top of Debian GNU/Linux and customized to meet the needs of any user while still offering the eye-candy, with minimal hardware requirements, is now at version 2.1.32 Alpha.

      • Elive 2.1.32 development released
      • Bonus: Debian 6.0.7 at 500Mhz, 256Mb

        I had a little extra time today, so I did a ritual backup of my standard Arch Linux framebuffer system, and installed the full Gnome suite to the Solo.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu is for everyone, not only “leets”, says Shuttleworth

            Ubuntu isn’t for “leets” – or “elite” users – but for mainstream users, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical.

            Reacting to community criticism over rolling releases and wider moves to extend the open-source OS to mobile devices and mainstream users, Shuttleworth took aim at so-called “leets”, saying the attitude that Linux OSes should be difficult to use is “dumb”.

          • Ubuntu chief isn’t interested in ‘leet’ users, wants to bring Linux to the masses
          • Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth says he wants Ubuntu to appeal to the masses, has no interest in keeping things “leet”

            Ubuntu, the user-friendly Linux distro, has seen a multitude of changes and transformations over the last few months. It has sprouted wings and became a fully functional multi-platform operating system. With these changes Canonical has taken a lot of flak and now founder Mark Shuttleworth is speaking out about how he feels.

          • Mark Shuttleworth Says He’s Not Impressed by the Rolling Release Model
          • Mark Shuttleworth addresses community concerns, rejects rolling release model

            Ubuntu founder has shot-down the uncertainty around to-roll-or-not-to-roll for Ubuntu by stating that he is not convinced. In a blog post, after evaluating all the possibilities Mark concluded that “rolling releases are not real releases.”

          • Thoughts On Recent Community Concerns
          • Ubuntu – A Rolling Linux Distribution ?

            Will Ubuntu switch to a rolling release ? This is the big question that is playing in the minds of Ubuntu users and developers alike.

            A rolling release model refers to a continually developing software system. In a rolling release, the user will never have to install a new version of the software. Rather, the updates to the software and the system will be pushed to the user as and when the changes are made.

          • Nothing to add here

            As hard as it may be to believe, there are times when even I am speechless.

            I keep the goings-on of Canonical and the Ubuntu community at an arm’s length — the real reason is to keep my blood pressure down. But actually, the gravity with which Canonical pulls Ubuntu further from its original FOSS orbit is nothing short of tragic, and it’s something that weighs heavily on any FOSS advocate.

          • Ubuntu. What Just Happened?

            I have been reading the recent posts on Ubuntu Planet with mixed feelings of disappointment but mostly with excitement, and always with keen interest in searching for a pattern that would assist us in understanding change.

            Rather than analyse or critique individual posts, I would like to present a visual model of what I think just happened, as an engineer(1) and a manager.

          • App patterns applied: calculator key journeys
          • Mark Shuttleworth on Ubuntu releases: “the sky is not falling”

            Responding to ongoing discussions and speculation about the future for Ubuntu’s release cadence, Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth published a blog post today, detailing his thoughts on the issue. Shuttleworth, who holds the position of “Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life” of the Ubuntu project, has in the past publicly stated his opinion on cadence and the importance of regular releases for the Ubuntu project. In his latest post, Shuttleworth is of the opinion that “rolling releases are not real releases” and are therefore not the right method for Ubuntu to adopt, but that he is considering accelerating Ubuntu’s release cycle.

          • 13.04 to go Ahead
          • Daddy, why are you sad?

            Canonical and I had a long, wonderful relationship. They brought a lot of wonderfully smart and committed individuals in, paid them great, and let them build really awesome free software. We all loved Canonical back then. They were the best sugar daddy anyone could want.

            I loved them so much I did a ton of boring work, even! I triaged over 1000 bugs! For free! Granted, I did most of it when I was in grad school with nothing better to do (I was procrastinating when writing papers). But, it was great because I loved the community that was around me and supporting me. Brian Murray was especially awesome. Along with persia and many others I can’t remember right now. Pete, the people who were active back in 2007 were so amazingly helpful, caring, and committed. We all worked together so well because we all saw each other as equals.

          • Confessions of a community member.

            I am concerned with the current status of Ubuntu, not because of the tension on the community or the new software being put out. I am concerned because I feel my time and contributions might go to waste and fall on deaf ears. As leader of a LoCo, how do I know if the work I am putting in is even going to matter in two months when 13.04 comes out? Is my work still relevant because it has nothing to do with a cell phone, nothing to do with a display server, and nothing that in any way is a direct profit source for the Canonical.

          • Thoughts and worries about the proposed new Ubuntu processes
          • Divisive Leadership

            So, Mark, let us take a step back and look at what actually happened.

            Kubuntu has always taken pride in being the link between the Ubuntu and KDE communities, and looking out for each’s best interest in order to facilitate the creation of exciting and revolutionary free software products. Jonathan personally has been a great advocate of the Ubuntu way even at times when KDE did not find it appealing; right now appears to be such a time.

          • All the faces of Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu is Many Communities
          • Misplaced criticism
          • Ubuntu To Investigate Digital Rights Management

            With Ubuntu preparing itself to land on tablets, smart-phones, and other consumer devices, Canonical is beginning to look at ways to support multimedia content protected by Digital Rights Management.

            For Ubuntu to be successful on mainstream consumer electronic devices, it will need to be capable of protecting DRM-protected content. Yesterday during the virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit was a session on hardware-accelerated video decode and rendering support. This video decode/rendering session was mostly about Ubuntu Touch and providing full hardware support for video playback. Right now Ubuntu Touch is using libhybris through Android Media Player while eventually they want to support GStreamer. Since GStreamer is currently used on the Ubuntu desktop, they want GStreamer on the Android-based Ubuntu Touch.

          • Ubuntu developers discuss rolling releases at UDS

            At the first day of the inaugural online Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), the developer community discussed several topics regarding the next release of the Linux distribution, Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail”. The discussion attracting the most outside interest was undoubtedly the session titled: “Should Ubuntu adopt a monthly cadence/rolling release?” Ubuntu developers also discussed the new Mir display stack, the planned Ubuntu SDK and several cloud-computing-related topics. Alongside the UDS proceedings, Canonical announced a Mir backend for Mesa, and the developers of Ubuntu’s social media client Gwibber unveiled a new version of the application based on QML and targeted at Ubuntu on mobile devices.

          • Shell Dock Vs Unity Dock

            After trying Ubuntu/Unity 13.04 and GNOME 3.8 and Fedora 19, I have to confess that both those desktops have gone to the next level. Yes, there are complains, but if you choose to look at the big picture..

            The competition to those, are Mac OS X, Windows 8 and Chrome OS, three totally different OSs by the three software – and not only- giants.

          • Good Luck, Ubuntu

            I have been a huge fan, supporter, and promoter of Ubuntu since about 2006. All the things that attracted me initially were: gratis, free/libre, community, just one CD to install. As I used it more I liked the technical merits as well, things such as timely releases, hardware support, server version, application availability, and LTS. I used it at home and work whenever I could. But things were not always perfect. Things popped up here and there that made Canonical’s direction for Ubuntu more important than the community’s. Things such as CLA, proprietary Landscape, Launchpad, bzr, Unity (initial releases; I love it now), Upstart, Amazon-in-Dash, etc. There was a visible Not Invented Here (NIH) syndrome in Ubuntu, which was good to some extent but then became overwhelmingly powerful. In an effort to control all the things they cared about, Canonical started deviating from the wider Linux ecosystem.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Won’t Get X.Org Server 1.14

            Some of the X/Mesa plans for Ubuntu 13.04 and the future of Ubuntu graphics were announced today. Mesa 9.1 is coming but Ubuntu 13.04 won’t be getting X.Org Server 1.14, in part due to Canonical’s focus on Mir.

            Mir wasn’t the exclusive subject of today’s Ubuntu X mailing list message, but rather the status and plans for the X.Org Server and Mesa. Bryce Harrington of Canonical wrote X.org 1.14 and RR / 13.04 (un-)plans.

          • Ubuntu Plans To Move To Systemd’s Logind
          • Shuttleworth On Mir: “A Fantastic Piece of Engineering”
          • Freedom and Community
          • Ubuntu Rolling Releases Vs. Hardware Companies
          • Shuttleworth Throws the FLOSS Community Under The Bus
          • The Ubuntu guide for displaced Windows users
          • Ubuntu Mobile OS seen as most promising new mobile OS announcement: Poll

            The smartphone segment will by the end of the year, or early next year, have three new platforms (Firefox OS, Tizen OS, and Ubuntu Mobile OS) competing with the big names in the business (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian, Windows Phone).

            This will undoubtedly be an exciting time to be a smartphone enthusiast, with so many options available. Major manufacturers have already expressed interest in the Firefox and Tizen mobile operating system, and it seems (at least according to our poll results) users are expressing much interest in the third.

          • Reply to “All the faces of Ubuntu”
          • Ubuntu Mir: Is This the Future of Linux Everywhere?

            Ubuntu — possibly the most popular distribution of the open source Linux operating system — is striking out on its own. Canonical, the commercial company that oversees Ubuntu, has made a habit of building new Linux components from scratch, moving away from tools built and used by the larger open source community. That’s rubbing many Linux developers and users the wrong way, and now Canonical may have finally alienated these hard-core open sourcers.

          • On the Ubuntu Community

            Charles Profitt, in his recent post Ubuntu: Time to Take the Shot, talks about a meeting that the Community Council had with Mark on Tuesday. This followed a weekend of me doing everything in my power to step back from the recent announcements and discussions from Canonical that made my Thursday and Friday very difficult.

          • Future Plans For Ubuntu’s Unity Still Being Discussed
          • Ubuntu: you’ve changed

            Ubuntu, you’ve changed, yes, but we were never closer to our goal of bringing free software to all of the world! Let’s work together to make this happen!

          • Mark Shuttleworth Goes Blogging On Ubuntu Defense

            Mark Shuttleworth hadn’t written on his blog — where he posts just a few times per year — since last December. That changed this morning though where he’s already written two separate blog posts to come to the defense about Ubuntu rolling releases and saying criticism is misplaced about Canonical not taking care of the Ubuntu community.

            Mark’s first post was about Ubuntu as a rolling release distribution. He says that rolling releases aren’t releases at all so he hasn’t given it much thought over the years as members of the community have written proposals. This year though he approved the Canonical engineering team doing a deep assessment about turning Ubuntu into a rolling release model.

          • Mark Shuttleworth Steps In On Developers’ Ubuntu Kerfuffle
          • Compiz contributor: Ubuntu for me is now a waste of time

            Canonical is receiving quite a flack from the free software community as they are transforming from community based distro to a company product. Most of the development now happens in-house, in secret behind the closed doors without any inputs from the community that made Ubuntu the success it is today. After pissing on off the veteran Wayland, X, KDE developers, the company has now lost it’s ex-employee and Compiz contributor Sam Spilsbury.

            Sam Spilsbury worked as a Canonical employee between 2010 to 2012 as a software engineer mainly working on Compiz.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint is better for those who come from the world of Windows

              Back in 2010 I was looking for jobs and I´ve always had a hobby interest in computer and found out that some work ads were asking for basic Linux skills.

            • Kubuntu 13.04 Alpha 2 Review: Very promising

              Kubuntu may not be the best implementation of KDE but definitely one of the most followed. For me, Kubuntu has been always a judicious mix of KDE and Gnome applications along with a boring default interface. Of course, with a change of wallpaper, KDE widgets and bringing in some KDE themes made it really shiny and attractive. Even Kubuntu 12.10 had a real boring and plain-vanilla default interface.

            • Clement Lefebvre: Mir has nothing to do with Linux Mint

              Linux Mint is one of the most important open source projects which cater to the needs of users by proving what users want. Linux Mint has been around for a while but it rose in popularity when Unity happened and Canonical started to drift away from the core Linux and open source communities and began doing their own things secretly, behind the closed doors. What Canonical is doing is fine for protecting a company’s interests but many see it as unhealthy for open source.

            • Linux Mint “Not in the Business of Picking Winners”, Continues With Xorg
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Is Android the new embedded Linux? (video)

      Karim Yaghmour, founder of OperSys founder and a well-known luminary in the real-time and embedded Linux market, led a panel discussion on this topic at the Android Builders Summit in San Francisco last month.

      “The idea ignited a lively debate among embedded Linux pros with three of the four panelists ultimately siding with Yaghmour,” writes Libby Clark in a post at Linux.com. “What seemed to be their litmus test? If Android can conceivably be used in ‘classic’ embedded projects, it is embedded Linux.”

    • Tegra 3 and Linux power tiny computer module
    • Intel All-In On Embedded Linux Development
    • Phones

      • Jolla CEO Marc Dillon: “Tune the system, instead of managing the people”
      • Ubuntu Touch Core Apps: How you can change the smartphone world
      • Hands-on with Ubuntu Touch: The Next Great Mobile OS?

        Ubuntu wants to make a home for itself on your smartphone and tablet. Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu open-source operating system, is working on a mobile version called Ubuntu Touch that the British company hopes will hit the market in late 2013. Although the software is still in beta, Canonical has made an early developer preview available for download, giving app makers and potential users a glimpse at what the operating system will offer.

      • Ballnux

        • Dual Display Smartphone Could be a Next Way Design

          The first dual display smartphone was presented at the NEC booth that got a lot of traffic and buzz. As illustrated below, Samsung is another smartphone player with designs in this category of smart device and others are working on this as well. On the other hand, there’s no sign of Apple even thinking of such an entry at this point in time. It’s this kind of design diversification in the smartphone sector over time that could hurt future iPhone sales.

      • Android

        • Apple’s Phil Schiller takes on Android over malware issues

          Poking fun at Google’s popular mobile OS, Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller recently tweeted a link to F-Secure’s latest Mobile Threat Report, paired with a ‘Be safe out there’ warning message.

          The F-Secure report mentions that around 96 new families and variants of Android threats were discovered in the fourth quarter of 2012 alone. Stats reveal that Android’s share of mobile threats rose to 79 percent in 2012 compared to 66.7 percent in 2011, while iOS’ share was just 0.7 percent.

        • Huawei wants to overtake Apple, Samsung in 5 years

          Chinese telecom giant Huawei is looking to challenge Apple and Samsung in consumer products by leveraging its dominance in network infrastructure.

        • Sony Xperia J gets Jelly Bean update ahead of schedule

          Remember Sony announced the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade schedule for Xperia smartphones back in December? It mentioned in a blog post that Sony Xperia P, Sony Xperia J, Sony Xperia go will receive the Android 4.1 upgrade “from the end of March”, followed by Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia SL, Sony Xperia ion and Sony acro S, which “will follow in the subsequent weeks”.

          So the news of Sony Xperia J getting Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean upgrade should come as a pleasant surprise for many users as the company delivers the roll-out ahead of schedule.

        • Sony Xperia L to come with 4.3-inch FWVGA display and 8MP Exmor RS
        • Upcoming Facebook phone (HTC Myst) full specs confirmed
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Linux on a tablet: Hurry up and wait?

        Takeaway: Patrick Gray takes a look at the upcoming Ubuntu tablet and explains why he’ll wait for their second generation device.

        A couple months ago, I wrote about the potential for open source tablets, with an adapted version of Linux powering some sort of generic tablet hardware. At that time, there was some movement toward creating a tablet-optimized version of Linux, but the efforts were scattershot at best, with no major Linux player throwing their hat into the tablet ring. That changed recently when Ubuntu announced a tablet-centric version of its eponymous Linux distribution targeted toward tablets.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Rackspace’s OpenCenter Underscores the Need for Simpler Cloud Tools
  • Rackspace Private Cloud software updated

    Rackspace Hosting has announced a new version of its free and open source Private Cloud Software, powered by OpenStack and supported by its own Fanatical Support services.

    Key among the new functionality in the latest release is OpenCenter, a single interface for deploying, configuring and operating clouds at scale in an enterprise datacenter.

  • Rackspace rolls out improved Private Cloud
  • Gluster rocks the vote

    Rock the Vote needed a way to manage the fast growth of the data handled by its Web-based voter registration application. The organization turned to GlusterFS replicated volumes to allow for filesystem size upgrades on its virtualized hosting infrastructure without incurring downtime.

  • ManyEars: open source framework for sound processing

    Making robots that are able to localize, track and separate multiple sound sources, even in noisy places, is essential for their deployment in our everyday environments. This could for example allow them to process human speech, even in crowded places, or identify noises of interest and where they came from. Unlike vision however, there are few software and hardware tools that can easily be integrated to robotic platforms.

  • Puppet Labs CEO: How to Grow an Authentic Open Source Community

    Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs, kicked off the last day of ApacheCon with a keynote on Growing Authentic Communities. Despite being early on the final day of a conference, Kanies managed to draw a respectable crowd at ApacheCon eager to hear about techniques for growing a community.

  • Platform Money is Key to Free Software Success

    Platforms are everything these days. They drive users in specific, and well structures ways and can make or break different ways of production. Take for instance the World Wide Web, it’s a platform that allows anarchy and it fundamentally breaks the traditional media’s economic model of charging for content per user. The World Wide Web does this by delivering content not just more cheaply, but more quickly and more succinctly than ever before.

  • Events

    • LibrePlanet software freedom conference announces line-up

      BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Friday, March 8, 2013 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced the line-up for its upcoming LibrePlanet 2013 conference, to be held in Cambridge, MA at the Harvard Science Center on March 23-24.

  • Web Browsers

    • FLOSS Pays Real $ And Shines

      Who do you love, a browser that fixes discovered problems in hours or in months? The answer is that you love FLOSS, folks, software that works for you and not some corporation hiding bugs so that salesmen can claim they don’t exist…

    • Linux triumphant: Chrome OS resists cracking attempts

      Linux, once again, proved to be far more secure than most other operating systems as Google’s Linux-based Chrome OS shrugged off its attackers at the $3.14-million Pwnium cracking competition.

    • Chrome

      • Chrome for Android Beta has SPDY proxying

        Google’s latest beta of Chrome for Android, version 26, has added an experimental feature designed to improve the performance of mobile browsing. The new “proxy browsing” feature has to be turned on manually and, when activated, directs mobile users’ connections to HTTP sites through a SPDY connection to a Google-run proxy server. SPDY is Google’s reworking of the HTTP protocol that multiplexes many connections into one, which, combined with other enhancements, gives a faster web experience. SPDY is being used as the basis for the next generation of HTTP, HTTP 2.0.

      • VNC Viewer launched for Google Chrome

        RealVNC has come up with VNC Viewer for Google Chrome, which lets users connect to a remote computer and display the desktop within a Google Chrome Web browser window. The software is aimed at ensuring users can simply access their computers wherever they are in the world, according to the company.

        VNC Viewer for Google Chrome contains a range of features including a virtual keyboard that enables users to perform operations such as Ctrl-Alt-Delete, as well as sending other controls that may not be available on the machine running the browser, making it simpler for cross-platform connections.

        It also automatically optimises colour quality and responsiveness giving users the best performance according to their network speed.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack Summit 2013: Five Questions CSPs Must Ask

      OpenStack Summit 2013 is set to start April 15 in Portland, Ore. The open source platform seems to be gaining momentum with cloud services providers (CSPs). IBM (NYSE: IBM) has just placed a huge bet on OpenStack. Plus, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) have each built their public clouds on the emerging software platform.

    • Cloud computing’s big debt to NASA

      IBM is betting big on OpenStack, deeply rooted in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s ingenuity

  • Business

  • Project Releases

    • Suricata 1.3.6 available!

      The OISF development team is pleased to announce Suricata 1.3.6. This the last maintenance release of Suricata 1.3 with some important fixes.

    • X.org releases X Server 1.14

      Performance improvements in terms of software rendering as well as fixes for touch devices and hybrid graphics systems are among the major new features of X.org’s just released X Server 1.14. The new X Server also includes modifications that affect the pointer barriers. GNOME 3.8 will use these pointer barriers to establish from what distance and at what speed a user has moved the mouse pointer to the bottom screen edge; if the values are big, GNOME will display the notification panel straight away instead of waiting for a second.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Study: Crowdsourcing a Valuable Resource in Medicine

      Crowdsourcing, posing a question, problem, or idea on the internet with the hope of soliciting responses from other web-users, has emerged as a valuable new method of soliciting ideas and solutions in the medical field, according to a case study conducted jointly by researchers at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School, London Business School, and web-based innovation company TopCoder.
      “The beauty of crowdsourcing is that it provides access to people that you would never normally meet,” said Ramy A. Arnaout, an assistant professor of pathology at the Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
      Arnaout, who co-authored the study, examined the impact of providing cash prizes to software developers and programmers on the web to encourage responses to a computational biological problem.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Lessig on “Aaron’s Laws – Law and Justice in a Digital Age”
      • Free Textbook Company Shelves Clones

        A company that offered free “alternatives” to three popular college textbooks has rewritten its controversial offerings following a lawsuit by major textbook publishers.

        Boston-based Boundless, which has become a darling of the open educational resources movement seen as threatening traditional textbook publishers, offered versions of textbooks that would normally cost scores if not hundreds of dollars. It pitched what it offered as “textbook replacement,” created by essentially reverse engineering popular textbooks. Boundless attracted considerable attention, including an $8 million round of venture capital funding led by Venrock, an investment group started by the Rockefellers. (Boundless currently generates no revenue, its co-founder and CEO, Ariel Diaz, said Thursday.)

  • Programming


  • Jolidrive: It’s not what you think

    I just received an email about Jolidrive, a new offering from Jolicloud, a technology outfit based in Paris, France. As you can tell from the name, Jolicloud has something to do with cloud computing.

    It started life as a provider of Joli OS, a kinda (Linux) distribution for the cloud. I signed up when it was launched just to see what it had to offer, but was not very impressed. I like most or all my computing to be done locally. But that’s another story.

  • Hardware

    • Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs proclaims Internet of Everything connected future

      This week Qualcomm‘s CEO Dr. Paul E Jacobs let it be known that with AllJoyn technology and the company’s dedication to open source development, their newly promised Internet of Everything would become a reality. This chat was had during the Mobile World Congress 2013 set of keynotes entitled Vertical Disruption and had Jacobs letting the world know that it wasn’t a disruption he’d be talking about, it was a bit more positive angle on the whole situation. With the mobile universe advancing as it is today, Jacobs let it be known that wireless connectivity was in bloom, and AllJoyn was – and is – at the center of it all.


      iFixit on Thursday published a list of the best and worst tablets based on their respective repairability scores. While no slate scored a perfect 10, the company found that the Dell (DELL) XPS 10 was the easiest tablet to repair thanks to its accessible case, color-coded screws and labeled cables. At the bottom of the list was Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface Pro and Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and iPad mini. The Surface Pro scored a 1 out of 10 and was said to be difficult to open without shearing the display cables, while the iPad scored a 2 out of 10 for its excessive amounts of adhesive. The Surface RT didn’t fare much better and scored a mere 4 out of 10, compared to Android tablets such as the Nexus 7, which scored a 7 out of 10, and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, which garnered at score of 8 out of 10.

  • Security

    • U.S. Ups Ante for Spying on Firms

      The White House threatened China and other countries with trade and diplomatic action over corporate espionage as it cataloged more than a dozen cases of cyberattacks and commercial thefts at some of the U.S.’s biggest companies.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Time’s Ticking Clock on War With Iran

      Nowhere does Time’s Massimo Calabresi mention one rather inconvenient fact: There is no evidence that Iran is actually pursuing a nuclear weapon. Regular inspections have failed to turn up any evidence of that. Instead, we read things like this: “Iran itself has slowed down its efforts, converting some enriched uranium to a form that can be used only in research, not in weapons.” This is treated as evidence that Iran is heading towards its nuclear weapons more slowly.

    • Mission Accomplished: Iraq as America’s biggest Blunder (Van Buren)

      I was there. And “there” was nowhere. And nowhere was the place to be if you wanted to see the signs of end times for the American Empire up close. It was the place to be if you wanted to see the madness — and oh yes, it was madness — not filtered through a complacent and sleepy media that made Washington’s war policy seem, if not sensible, at least sane and serious enough. I stood at Ground Zero of what was intended to be the new centerpiece for a Pax Americana in the Greater Middle East.

    • India says concerned over Syria crisis

      India on Wednesday expressed its “deep concern” on the security situation in Syria and the continuing spiral of violence in the civil war-torn country that has claimed about 70,000 lives and resulted in one million refugees since 2011.
      India’s views were conveyed to Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media advisor of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is on a visit to India. “We also expressed our concern about the plight of the people of Syria arising out of intense fighting and conflict,” an Indian foreign ministry statement said after talks between Shaaban and Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid and others in New Delhi.

    • The CIA Can Handle the Truth

      The recent controversy surrounding the film Zero Dark Thirty only proves the debate surrounding torture isn’t over. There are some who continue to make the false claim that torture worked, and seek to reinstate the practice.

    • White House admits it can’t kill Americans with drones in US

      Two leading figures within the Obama administration now insist that the president of the United States does not have the authority to launch drone strikes on US soil.

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) received a response from the Obama administration on Thursday afternoon after spending 13 hours demanding answers about the possible use of drones inside of the United States.

      During a briefing Thursday afternoon, White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “The president has not and would not use drone strikes against American citizens on American soil.”

      Mr. Carney also elected to read a statement penned by Attorney General Eric Holder earlier that day that had been sent to Sen. Paul. Mr. Holder’s entire statement, only 43 words, confirmed Mr. Carney’s remark.

    • Ten Years Ago: David Brooks, Iraq War Hawk

      You’d never know from his writings over the past few years, but New York Times pundit David Brooks was a full-throated hawk for the tragic U.S. invasion of Iraq and swallowed all of the Bush administration claims about WMD whole. He attempted to muddy the waters, long ago, after WMD were not found and the “liberation” proved to be a disaster by blaming the post-invasion disaster all on Rumsfeld, perhaps figuring that if he became known as a war critic folks would forget that he’d promoted the conflict from the beginning. Not a chance, in my case. Brooks, meet elephant.

    • Bradley Manning: The Conscience of America

      For over 1000 days, Private Manning has been held in military detention, in Iraq, Kuwait, Quantico, Virginia and Leavenworth, Kansas. Reports from these facilities and the media depicted Manning as unstable, depressed, weak, and worse. While imprisoned, he has endured some of the worst treatment imaginable at the hands of his own government, notably characterized by the UN special rapporteur for torture as “cruel, inhuman, and degrading,” possibly amounting to torture. Worse yet, this abuse comes in response to actions which Manning believed, and continues to believe, were in the service of both his country and international human rights law. Given all that he has endured, if the characterizations about his mental state were accurate, it would hardly come as a surprise.

    • VIDEO: Hungary Trial For Nazi War Criminal Sought

      wo senior figures at the Simon Wiesenthal Center have met with Hungarian political leaders to express concern about growing anti-Semitism in the country, including the ongoing failure to bring Hungarian Nazi war criminal László Csatáry to justice.

    • Survey: Some Austrians back aspects of Nazi era

      An Austrian survey has found that 42 per cent of respondents said that “not everything was bad under Adolf Hitler,” whose Nazi government had annexed Austria 75 years ago.

      The survey also found that 54 per cent of the 502 respondents said a Nazi party would have some success in democratic elections today, and that 61 per cent support the concept of a “strong man” as leader.

      The poll was commissioned by the Der Standard newspaper and reported on by the Austria Press Agency on Friday, a day before publication by the paper.

    • Democrats’ silence on drones leaves right in unlikely alliance with activists

      Rand Paul filibuster shines light on Democrats’ reluctance to question Barack Obama’s controversial targeted killing policy

    • Reviewing Drones

      Should a federal judge review the government’s decision to launch a lethal drone attack against a suspected terrorist? A recently released Justice Department white paper on the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen has prompted calls for judicial intervention. While the instinct is right, any review scheme must strike the correct balance between liberty and security.

      Most discussion is focused on creating a new court modeled on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). Congress enacted FISA following revelations that the government had been eavesdropping on Americans’ private communications for decades. FISA created a special court to review requests to conduct electronic surveillance of American citizens for national security purposes.

    • A question of national conscience on drones

      Sen. Rand Paul made some dubious warnings about drone strikes on San Francisco cafes in his filibuster last week against the confirmation of John Brennan as CIA director. But his larger argument for clearer limits on drones is absolutely right.

      Paul’s battle isn’t with Brennan, who said that as CIA director he wouldn’t have any legal power to authorize domestic drone strikes. Brennan, who has been trying to sort out legal rules for drone warfare, deserved to be confirmed, as he was Thursday. Nor is this battle simply with Attorney General Eric Holder, though he used troubling language in responding to Paul’s queries.

    • Obama’s First Drone Strike In Yemen Proved The Strategy Is All Wrong

      The first drone strike President Obama ever ordered in Yemen was a deadly disaster, but it illustrated a larger issue with drones — they often create more trouble than they prevent.

    • Why President Obama is losing the drone war
    • Rand Paul Talked About Drones More in One Day Than Congress Ever Has

      While he was speaking, some of those following along on Twitter wondered if this was the lengthiest discussion of drones that had ever occurred in Congress. Searching the official transcript of Congressional business reveals that it was, by far.

    • Sentiment on U.S. drone program guaged

      The Pew Research Center said 56 percent of respondents to a February survey, conducted before Rand’s filibuster, expressed concern about drone strikes on U.S. citizens. Pew said it didn’t consider whether strikes were on U.S. or foreign soil, but found a divided nation from rival polls.

    • Iraq War Crimes: Neocons Escape Accountability

      Nearing the Iraq War’s tenth anniversary, an overriding truth is that few of the key participants – in government, media or think tanks – have faced accountability commensurate with the crime. Indeed, many of these Mideast “experts” are still go-to people for advice.

      One regularly hears much talk in Washington about accountability, but also regularly sees examples of how the concept of accountability gets applied in this town in an inconsistent and warped way. There are the inevitable calls for heads to roll after any salient untoward event, and huzzahs to senior managers who do roll heads in response.

    • Air Force erases drone strike data amid criticisms

      Quietly and without much notice, the Air Force has reversed its policy of publishing statistics on drone strikes in Afghanistan as the debate about drone warfare hits a fever pitch in Washington. In addition, it has erased previously published drone strike statistics from its website.

    • AF removes RPA airstrike number from summary

      Defense Department spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks said the department was not involved in the decision to remove the statistics. AFCENT did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

    • Where is America’s Hugo Chavez?

      Who Will Stand Up Against the Military-Oil-Banker Mafia?

    • Droning Americans on US Soil: Why Holder’s “No” is Not Reassuring

      During the Justice Department’s oversight hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder engaged in a lot of clunky tap dancing.


      Although would-be dronees would not be in custody, their rights (or lack thereof) would be more extreme than for current terror detainees: death with no due process whatsoever. The government brags that at least 50 home-grown terror plots have been foiled since 9/11. Under the new definition embraced by Holder, here are some of the people who could have been droned: everyone on the flight with “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, once the plane entered American air space; “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, the “Lackawanna Six,” the 11 Virginia “Paintball” network, and those who proved to be “mistakes,” like Brandon Mayfield. I’m trying to picture drones dropping bombs or Hellfire missiles in Chicago, New York, Virginia.

    • The Drone Question Obama Hasn’t Answered

      As I have written, sweeping financiers into the group of people who can be killed in armed conflict stretches the laws of war beyond recognition. But this is not the only stretch the Obama administration seems to have made. The administration still hasn’t disavowed its stance, disclosed last May in a New York Times article, that military-age males killed in a strike zone are counted as combatants absent explicit posthumous evidence proving otherwise.

    • Police officers’ club in Cairo in flames: AFP

      Several buildings in a police officers’ club complex in the Egyptian capital were in flames on Saturday, an AFP reporter said.

      According to a senior security official, hardcore football fans known as the Ultras stormed the complex and set fire to the buildings.

      Residents of the affluent island where the club is situated were using garden hoses to try to extinguish the flames. Other buildings in the complex had their windows smashed.


      The unrest comes hours after an Egyptian court upheld death sentences for 21 defendants over a deadly football riot in Port Said last year and handed down life sentences to five defendants, with 19 receiving lesser jail terms and another 28 exonerated.

    • John Brennan Sworn in as CIA Director Using Constitution Lacking Bill of Rights

      That means, when Brennan vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, he was swearing on one that did not include the First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments — or any of the other Amendments now included in our Constitution. The Bill of Rights did not become part of our Constitution until 1791, 4 years after the Constitution that Brennan took his oath on.

    • Killing with drones for dummies
  • Cablegate

    • Bob Woodward’s Tantrum, Bradley Manning’s Torment

      Anyone losing sleep over Bob Woodward’s relationship with the White House can finally rest easy. The éminence grise of access journalism has made his peace with the Obama administration. After a spat with economic adviser Gene Sperling over an op-ed he was writing about the sequester, Woodward received an apologetic e-mail from Sperling, who said “as a friend” he thought Woodward would “regret” his comments. Woodward took to the airwaves, casting it as a veiled threat. But by Sunday, order was restored: Sperling called him a “legend” on ABC’s This Week. “I’m going to invite him over to my house,” Woodward said on Face the Nation, adding magnanimously, “Hopefully, he’ll bring others from the White House, or maybe the president himself.”

    • Interview with Aśka, designer of Wikileaks “hourglass” logo

      Who designed the WikiLeaks logo? According to this Metahaven interview, a designer named Aśka. She created the WikiLeaks hourglass in 2006, and her story is most interesting.

    • Blogging in the Age of Wikileaks

      With the Wikileaks hoopla a few years ago and the recent leaking of government documents concerning President Obama allegedly targeting American citizens for assassinations, a lot of attention is now being paid to how and where reporters, bloggers, etc receive the information they use to inform their reports, posts and articles. Nowhere has this been more paralyzing than in the current events/news blogging niche.

    • Could All Whistleblowing Become Treasonous?
    • Ethel Rosenberg’s orphaned son says, ‘Scream bloody murder’ for Bradley Manning

      An ‘Heir to an Execution’ speaks out for Manning, 60 years after his parents’ death at the hands of the state.

    • Is the Tide Turning in Favor of Bradley Manning?

      A week ago today, Pfc. Bradley Manning surprised both detractors and supporters by reading a thirtysomething-page statement articulating the specific Whats, Hows and—most importantly—Whys of his disclosures to the popular media site WikiLeaks. In the week since Manning’s dramatic statement, media coverage of the case has shifted from a trickle to a steady storm as even mainstream outlets such as the Guardian, X and Y now echo the message of the 25-year-old army private’s supporters. With no public record or transcript of court proceedings, it is indeed these grassroots supporters who have kept an important faith, serving as a bridge in between the mainstream media’s rare spikes of coverage and its more frequent lulls.

    • Bradley Manning’s own words: blowing the whistle on war crimes

      Bradley’s 35-page testimony last week detailed his time as an intelligence analyst in Iraq and how he concluded that the American public needed to see the United States’ secret abuses in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He deserves thanks, not jail time.

    • Transcript | US v Pfc. Manning, Article 39(a) Session, 2/28/13, Providence Inquiry for Formal Plea
    • Response to Jemima Khan

      Khan took a role on Universal’s $2.5m budget documentary “We Steal Secrets”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Noam Chomsky: Can Civilization Survive Capitalism?

      Capitalism as it exists today is radically incompatible with democracy.


      The Bush Tax cuts were an unaffordable bribe, decreasing tax receipts while increasing spending. Meanwhile, representatives of the Clinton and Bush Whitehouse actively blocked regulation of the derivatives markets which were destined to implode, crashing the global economy, on Bush’s watch.

    • Austerity: Another “Policy Mistake” Again

      Shoddy political theater distracts people with vague demons called debt ceiling, fiscal cliff and now, sequester. Party leaders posture for major donors, media boosters and the faithful. They claim to save us from the demons. Meanwhile, backstage they all agree on austerity as the “necessary” response to “our major problem,” namely federal budget “imbalance.” “We” are spending “beyond our means,” accumulating “government debts.” So “we” must raise taxes and cut spending – impose austerity – to regain balance.
      On January 1, payroll taxes rose (from 4.2 to 6.2 %) for 150 million Americans. Their checks shrank as that regressive tax became more so. Obama’s hyped “tax increase for the rich” was comparatively trivial. It affected only the very few Americans earning over $450,000, raising their top tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. Our leaders hope we forgot the 1950s and 1960s, when the top tax rate was 91 percent. On March 1, the sequester hit, unleashing federal spending cuts.

    • Cisco Dealings Cost West Virginia $8 Million

      When the state government of West Virginia ordered Cisco routers to upgrade their networks in 2010, they did not calculate that dealing with Cisco would lead them to losses in tune to $7.88 million. Apart from the fact that the secondary bid process was legally unauthorized (instead of competitive bid process as required by law), the West Virginia legislative auditor has uncovered that Cisco supplied equipment that are extremely high-end and not at all required for the current state of affairs. Moreover, Cisco sold the state another $6.6 million worth of services like upgraded software licenses and extra security features.

    • Jim Himes, Former Goldman Sachs Executive, Introduces Bill To Roll Back Key Element Of Dodd-Frank

      Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a former Wall Street executive, is joining Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) to introduce legislation that would undercut one of the most meaningful elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

    • Have a Cold One, Brought to You by the Foodopoly

      Tonight, millions of people will enjoy a beer. What the vast majority of them probably won’t realize is that the variety of brands they see in the stores come from just two foreign-based multinational companies that control 80 percent of the market here in the U.S.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Google’s European conundrum: When does privacy mean censorship?

      Though Google is a U.S. company, its American rights don’t transpose across the pond. A court case will determine whether Google has to comply with EU law, which could have far-reaching consequences for European users.

    • European Parliament denies filtering emails as spam

      THE IT DEPARTMENT at the European Parliament has denied that it is deliberately blocking emails that it does not want its members to see.

      The European Parliament was accused of this by Christian Engström, MEP for the Swedish Pirate Party, who called the news an “absolute disgrace” in a blog post about the discovery.
      He said that he had been receiving a steady stream of emails about a vote, due on Tuesday, on whether or not the European Parliament will accept a report called “Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU”. The report is contentious because it suggests a ban on all types of pornography in the media.

  • Privacy

    • Court curbs Homeland Security’s laptop border searches

      Appeals court slaps down Obama administration’s claim that customs agents can peruse Americans’ electronic devices for evidence — without having even a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

    • US v. Cotterman — Laptop Searches at the Border Require “Reasonable Suspicion”
    • Inside the Black Box
    • Administration Moves To Quash Challenge to NSA Surveillance
    • White House: Secret spying on Americans immune to lawsuits

      After the US Supreme Court upheld the right of the National Security Agency to wiretap Americans’ communications with foreigners without a warrant, the White House seeks to quash a similar lawsuit citing the plaintiff’s inability to provide evidence.

    • Kim Dotcom, Megaupload.com Founder, Alleges NSA Involvement In Copyright Case

      Can the irascible, voluble and sizable founder of Megaupload.com blow the lid off the National Security Agency’s global spying network? Kim Dotcom sure thinks so. In a series of tweets on Thursday, the sometimes bombastic internet entrepeneur claimed a lawsuit he is pursuing against New Zealand’s spy agency will reveal that it passed intelligence illegally gathered on him to the NSA.

    • FBI employees, entrusted with stopping computer crimes, commit them too

      Though FBI agents are held to a high standard of conduct, some fall short—far short. Take, for instance, an incident in 2007 when an FBI employee “drove past a felony traffic stop, yelled ‘Rodney King’ out his car window and momentarily lost control of his vehicle, swerving into the oncoming lane and almost striking a police officer,” according an account of an internal FBI investigation. (When cops pulled him over, the employee claimed he had yelled, “Geeze Louise.”)

      Thanks to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which rounds up accounts of these infractions and distributes the cautionary tales to employees each quarter, we get glimpses of the seedier side of life inside the agency. CNN has obtained a recent set of these memos (after obtaining earlier ones last year) that show employees sexting, breaking e-readers, viewing pornography in the office, improperly accessing databases, and even shoplifting “two ties from a local retailer.”

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • A Tale of SimCity: Users Struggle Against Onerous DRM

      It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, for the latest installment in the popular SimCity video game franchise, which was released this week to massive sales, and then just as quickly, an epic fail as the paying customers were unable to play the game they just bought. The culprit isn’t the game itself, which by most accounts is pretty good; no, the problem is the game’s DRM scheme.

      That software requires each user to maintain an “always online” connection to the publisher’s authentication server—even for single player mode—but the publisher, Electronic Arts, is having trouble keeping that server available. Even if you connected, the double helping of fail continued: all cities are saved to the cloud, and if the servers bug out, hours of work can go up in smoke faster than Godzilla can decimate a metropolis. No more local saves, lest you mange to defeat the DRM.

    • Apple will give popular jailbreak tool the banhammer with next iOS update
    • FCC To Investigate Cell Phone Unlocking Ban

      Following an online uproar over a law banning the unlocking of cell phones, the Federal Communications Commission will investigate whether the ban is harmful to economic competitiveness and if the executive branch has any authority to change the law.
      The “ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told me last night at a TechCrunch CrunchGov event at our San Francisco headquarters.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Cheap drugs a bitter pill for the West

      Would you rather pay $12 a dose for malaria drugs or $2.40 – and potentially boost your country’s economy at the same time?

      The Ugandan government faced an easy choice when it decided to start producing its own version of a key malaria treatment, rather than continuing to rely on expensive imports. Since the country began making its own medicine in 2007, Uganda has produced not only anti-malarials, but also antiretrovirals (ARVs) used to treat HIV. The public-private company, Quality Chemicals, plans to roll out more ARVs, anti-malarials and antibiotics in the coming months and years.

      The venture, a shining example of African pharmaceutical manufacturing, was made possible in part because Uganda is considered a “least-developed country”. As such, it doesn’t yet have to respect international intellectual property laws, set out through the World Trade Organisation’s trade-related aspects of intellectual property agreement, or “Trips”. All countries are required to adopt the agreement’s measures into their laws if they want to be part of the organisation.

    • China plans study for free trade deal with Europe

      China and the European Union could start investment talks in the coming months, the Chinese ambassador to the EU said.

      China has also submitted a proposal on launching a feasibility study on a free-trade agreement with the EU, said Wu Hailong, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

      China does not want to be left behind while EU-US trade negotiations are under way. The EU and Japan are also expected to enter into trade negotiations.

      The EU has been a major source of China’s foreign direct investment and has been an attractive destination for China’s outbound direct investment.

    • Aaron’s Army fights the Trans-Pacific Partnership

      In light of the death of internet activist Aaron Swartz, there is a need to reconsider intellectual property enforcement standards in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

      The 16th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are taking place in Singapore until March 13. There have been concerns that the Intellectual Property Chapter would “ratchet up IP enforcement at the expense of digital rights”. Maira Sutton of the Electronic Frontier Foundation fears that “the Trans-Pacific Partnership could turn Internet Service Providers into copyright cops, prompt ever-higher criminal and civil penalties for sharing content, and expand protections for Digital Rights Management”.

    • Cartoons from the Issue
    • Copyrights

      • How A Fired Republican Staffer Became A Powerful Martyr For Internet Activists

        Someone in DC thought they had snuffed out an official Republican report on radical intellectual property reform by convincing the authoring agency to erase the document from the Internet and fire the staffer charged with writing it. The shadowy politicking backfired. The young fall-boy, Derek Khanna, instantly became a front-page living martyr against the entertainment and telecommunication lobbies, who have long been villainized for pushing aggressive anti-piracy laws at the expense of innovation.

        Just 3 months later, Khanna led a massive 100,000-person petition to give consumers more rights over their cell phone carriers, convincing the White House and Congress to publicly prioritize consumer choice and uphold the principles first laid out in the now non-existent committee document. A day later, legislation was introduced to codify the White House’s support into law, with an official hat-tip to Khanna.

      • Judge Won’t Bar CNET From Pointing to P2P Software

        An injunction is denied because a judge says there’s no evidence that CBS Interactive purposely encourages infringement “now or in the foreseeable future.”An injunction is denied because a judge says there’s no evidence that CBS Interactive purposely encourages infringement “now or in the foreseeable future.”

      • RIAA Faults Google for Failing Promise to Demote Pirate Sites
      • “Six strikes” enforcement policy debuts

        After months of delay, the “Copyright Alert System,” (also known as “six strikes”) is ready for its “implementation phase.” Participating ISPs will be rolling out the system “over the course of the next several days.”
        As we’ve reported previously, six strikes was conceived of by Center for Copyright Information (CCI)—an umbrella group representing major ISPs across the US and representatives from the recording and film industries. The group agreed in 2011 to come up with a six-stage warning scheme that would progressively warn—and eventually penalize—alleged online copyright infringers. (Here’s the CCI’s new video explaining the process and its new promo video.)

      • How do I challenge or appeal a Copyright Alert?
      • Fox Targets Pirate Bay Proxies With Bogus DMCA Requests
      • Daily Report: Music Industry Sales Rise, and Digital Revenue Gets the Credit

        The music industry, the first media business to be consumed by the digital revolution, said on Tuesday that its global sales rose last year for the first time since 1999, raising hopes that a long-sought recovery might have begun.

        The increase, of 0.3 percent, was tiny, and the total revenue, $16.5 billion, was a far cry from the $38 billion that the industry took in at its peak more than a decade ago. Still, even if it is not time for the record companies to party like it’s 1999, the figures, reported Tuesday by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, provide significant encouragement.


Links 7/3/2013: Ubuntu and Mir Criticisms, Android Big in China

Posted in News Roundup at 9:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Benefits of Distribution-Flexible Linux Training

    As someone who started using Red Hat Linux back in 1997, and then worked for Red Hat for six years, helping to deploy and support Red Hat Enterprise Linux on thousands of high-end servers for Wall Street investment banks, I often get questions when students find out that one of my laptops runs Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, Canonical’s enterprise Linux distribution. Likewise, the fact that I run OpenSUSE on my server seems to raise questions about where my preferences lie in the Linux ecosystem.

    If I’ve always been associated with Red Hat, why wouldn’t I just stick with their products? The answer that I give is that being familiar with a variety of distributions allows for greater flexibility.

  • Support Linux Advocates – Donate!
  • Desktop

    • How I survived 7 days in Chromebook exile

      I’m not a Google fangirl. I have Gmail accounts for personal and work use, and I spend some time in Google Docs and Calendar, but that’s about it. And until a few weeks ago, I had never even more than glanced at the Chrome OS or browser, let alone touched a Chromebook.

      I have, however, read the vitriol aimed at Chromebooks by my tech press colleagues. The low-cost laptops that make up the majority of the Chromebook market have been dismissed as disposable toys. The new Chromebook Pixel, meanwhile, has attracted much greater interest—and even greater disdain, because it’s seen as an outrageously expensive disposable toy.

      But is the Chromebook platform really such a bad idea?

    • HP Selling Direct All-in-One Desktop PC With GNU/Linux

      Only in the UK. Pity. The price? £349 VAT included and delivered.

    • The secret origins of Google’s Chrome OS

      Many people know that Chrome OS is based on Linux. But where did Google’s operating system actually come from — and what is it made of today? Here’s its story.

    • Dell’s Linux Ultrabook gets more pixels, European availability

      We last reported on Dell’s Ubuntu-powered XPS-13 Developer Edition at the tail end of November 2012, when the laptop was released. Comments from the Ars community on the device were generally positive, though one overwhelming sentiment seemed to dominate: the XPS-13′s 1366×768 resolution was totally insufficient for the laptop’s intended audience and use case.

    • The Puzzling Case of the Chromebook Pixel
  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.9-rc1
    • Having “Largeness of Mind” While Doing Linux Driver/Kernel Development

      Often we try and remain very focused on our goals and work hard to avoid distractions. Keeping a very narrow vision on our target can help shepherd a product to completion on schedule, a goal very important both to project managers and the engineers tasked with the work. However, it can also become tunnel vision and lead to unnecessary work, delays, and failed deadlines and ultimately a weak product.

      The more you understand about the Linux kernel as a whole, the better you can work on its individual components, including device drivers. Normally device drivers do not (and should not) explicitly address (much less modify or control) global kernel issues such as scheduling and memory management. However, a badly written driver can certainly sabotage a lot of good work done in these kernel arenas, disrupting performance, wasting memory, etc, and at the same time deliver weak fulfillment of its mandated device service.

    • Kernel Progress On Improving I/O Wait, Interactivity
    • ARM Ports Linux KVM To AArch64/ARM64

      Last year ARM Holdings published ARM KVM virtualization support. This support was for ARMv7 hardware using the ARM Cortex-A15 since it’s the first 32-bit ARM processor to support hardware virtualization. Ahead of the debut of any 64-bit ARM (AArch64) hardware, KVM has now been ported to ARM64.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Releases 304.84 Linux Driver

        While it’s not part of the NVIDIA 310 or even the latest NVIDIA 313 driver series, this morning was marked by the release of the 304.84 certified Linux graphics driver.

      • X.Org Server 1.14 “Keemun Mao Feng” Released

        Keith Packard tagged X.Org Server 1.14 in Git on Wednesday morning and issued this brief release announcement. Some of the changes in the past few weeks that landed as fixes since the earlier release candidate were fixes to the touch device, GPU hot-plugging bits, software rendering speed-ups due to taking advantage of new Pixman APIs, elimination of a lot of warning messages, and pointer barrier improvements.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Xfdesktop 4.10.1

      I just released Xfdesktop 4.10.1 which contains some bug fixes and updated translations which had been there for months. Congratulations to Eric Koegel who committed most of them!

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu opens doors for the disappointed Ubuntu community

        More and more developers and long-time Ubuntu members are getting disappointed with the Canonical leadership and breaking their association with what they call the Canonical community. Martin Owens, popularly known as DoctorMo, is one such developer.

        There is special place for Ownes in my life as he directly affected me. He used to maintain the tablet pen drivers for Ubuntu. I have one such device and I was able to use it under Ubuntu because of the work he had done on it. I wrote about it extensively.

      • Can a direction in time be displayed by spatial signs?

        Redo and Undo are basic functions in almost every word processor. It is essential to be able to revisit your last actions, because human actions are error-prone. Simply using a function to go back and forth between actions is saving a lot of time and energy. The Tango and Oxygen icon sets use arrows pointing left or right. They are additionally colored yellow (Undo) and green (Redo). But these icons tend to get mixed up, as our Icon Test shows.

      • KDE 4.10.1 corrects over one hundred errors

        Over one hundred bug fixes and translation updates are in the first of the monthly stabilisation updates to KDE 4.10, KDE 4.10.1. The announcement notes bugs fixed in the Kontact PIM and KWin compositing window manager components of the KDE 4.10 desktop environment, which was released a month ago.

      • KDE Meetup 2013 – India

        On the 23rd of February, a crowd of about 330 enthusiastic people gathered to be a part of the first major open source event in the State of Gujarat, India. Some people traveled hundreds of kilometers to attend, coming from places such as Delhi, Durgapur (more than 1800 km), Nainital, Bardoli and Mumbai. Students from Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT) in Gandhinagar organized the event—KDE Meetup 2013. It was an opportunity for passionate students to take their first steps towards becoming true software developers. The two day event was filled with talks on the latest KDE developments, sessions on how to start contributing, coding sessions, hands-on workshops, and a whole lot more, along with a big serving of the magic ingredient – fun!

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • gThumb 3.1.4 – mature “native” choice

        gThumb is one of Gnome’s great choices when it comes to image viewers and browsers, but I admit that we have overlooked it for far too long.

        With version 3.1.4 getting released a few hours ago, I had the chance to test the application new features and general abilities for a typical daily use.

      • Gnome Founder Miguel de Icaza Solves Identity Crisis, Moves To Mac
      • GNOME Software overall plan

        I’ve been asked by a few people now to outline my plans for improving software installation in GNOME. I’ve started to prototype a new app called ‘GNOME Software’. It exists in gnome git and currently uses PackageKit to manage packages. It’s alpha quality, but basically matches the mockups done by the awesome guys in #gnome-design. It’s designed to be an application management application. GNOME PackageKit lives on for people that know what a package is and want a pointy-clicky GUI, so I’m not interested in showing low level details for power users.

        Of course, packages are so 2012. It’s 2013, and people want to play with redistributable things like listaller and glick2 static blobs. People want to play with updating an OS image like ostree and that’s all awesome. Packages are pretty useful in some situations, but we don’t want to limit ourselves to being just another package installer. From a end-user point of view, packages are just an implementation detail.

      • Freedreno Driver Now Runs GNOME Shell

        Rob Clark shared yesterday that his reverse-engineered ARM Qualcomm graphics driver is successfully handling the GNOME Shell with the Mutter compositing window manager. In a time when the ARM Linux graphics space is rather closed-up and many of the ARM reverse-engineering graphics projects don’t actually have any code to show for it or any working end-user driver but just code demos, this is really great to see.

      • Taking GNOME 3 to the next level (again)

        GNOME 3 is making major progress with each and every release. Six months ago, when 3.6 was close to release, I wrote about how excited I was about the improvements that were on their way. That release was a big step up from the previous version in terms of user experience. Now we’re on the cusp of GNOME 3.8, and I find myself in exactly the same position. Testing GNOME 3.8, it is a huge improvement on 3.6. It’s more effective, satisfying and polished. Basic operations like selecting a window or launching an application have seen major improvements and the overall experience feels like yet another upgrade.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • How two volunteers built the Raspberry Pi’s operating system

      When you buy a Raspberry Pi, the $35 computer doesn’t come with an operating system. Loading your operating system of choice onto an SD card and then booting the Pi turns out to be pretty easy. But where do Pi-compatible operating systems come from?

      With the Raspberry Pi having just turned one year old, we decided to find out how Raspbian—the officially recommended Pi operating system—came into being. The project required 60-hour work weeks, a home-built cluster of ARM computers, and the rebuilding of 19,000 Linux software packages. And it was all accomplished by two volunteers.

    • Limited Edition Of Blue Raspberry Pis Now Available

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the launch of a blue, one year anniversary edition of the low-cost, credit-card-sized single-board computer. The Foundation is celebrating the first anniversary of the launch of Raspberry Pi with the unveiling of a special limited edition of the Linux-based pocket computer.

    • Intro to Embedded Linux Part 1: Defining Android vs. Embedded Linux

      Is Android the new embedded Linux? Of course not, said Karim Yaghmour, OperSys founder, during the panel discussion on this topic at the Android Builders Summit last month in San Francisco. It was a question meant to spur discussion, he said, that’s all.

      It worked. The idea ignited a lively debate among embedded Linux pros with three of the four panelists ultimately siding with Yaghmour. What seemed to be their litmus test? If Android can conceivably be used in “classic” embedded projects, it is embedded Linux.

    • Star Trek-like Functional Tricorder Built with Raspberry Pi – Video

      Recantha, a known developer in the Raspberry Pi community, has managed to use the mini PC in an entirely unique way. He himself built a working tricorder, inspired by the devices in Start Trek.

      He used some sensors, two for temperature and one each for magnetism and distance, a simple LCD display, switches, a light-resistant resistor, a thermistor and an Arduino Leonardo clone. All of these were enclosed in a Lego case. A camera might be added later.

    • Modularly configurable M2M gateways run Angstrom Linux

      Systech recently demonstrated the first model in a new series of Linux-powered M2M (machine-to-machine) intelligent gateways at the Distributech smart grid conference in San Diego. The highly modular SysLink M2M Gateway series enables access to a wide variety of sensors and devices for monitoring and control purposes.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • 35 Open Source and Free Tools to Manage Your Online Store
  • Open Source’s Deep Dive Into the Enterprise

    Devops represents a dramatic change from the old siloed developers and script-heavy system administrators of yesterday. Any tools that can provide some common ground for developers and IT operations professionals can help, and it seems Chef and Puppet often do.

  • Ask Slashdot: What Does the FOSS Community Currently Need?
  • Exploring open source software developed for European libraries
  • How to self-promote your open source project

    Self-promotion in an open source world, it starts with a shameless plug—a simple way to make people aware of something you’re passionate about. Then, over time, you get more comfortable with using the shameless plug and that desire to make people aware transforms into purposeful marketing. At some time or another when working on an open source project, you’re bound to have to promote it. Self-promotion can be an uncomfortable topic for some people, but I’ve found word of mouth is the best way to promote open source.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Curvy, Chrome-Style Tabs Coming Soon to Firefox

        The new design will likely arrive in the Nightly Channel in the next few days, but if you’d like to test it today, you can download the Firefox UX branch. Retina MacBook Pro users should note that, thus far, the new curvy tabs don’t support high-DPI screens.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox OS vs. Ubuntu Phone OS: Which One Will Succeed?

        Though Android and iOS are currently ruling the roost as far as mobile operating systems are concerned, new players are emerging and disappearing each month in a feeble attempt to overthrow the giants. Being a third wheel to these top contenders is Microsoft’s own Windows Phone OS with an elegantly designed Metro interface. Such is the strength of iOS and Android though some people say that Windows Phone OS is better than Android feature-wise and performance-wise. That said, the market share that this new OS garnered leaves a lot to be desired and serves as a testimony to the fact that both Google and Apple are behemoths of the mobile world.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Why Open Source Matters, and the Limits of Pivotal HD

      Of the non-relational datastore technologies created in the past several years, none has been more successful or seen greater acceptance than Hadoop. Popular with startups, enterprise vendors and customers alike, Hadoop improved substantially the processing time associated with certain workloads. One early example, which came from a user of the technology as opposed to a vendor selling it, asserted that a customer profiling query which processed over a period of weeks in a traditional data warehouse executed in around thirteen minutes on a (sizable) Hadoop cluster. This type of performance guarantees relevance, even within the most conservative organizations.

    • IBM Unveils New Open Software: SmartCloud Orchestrator

      IBM has disclosed plans to make all of its cloud services and software based on an open cloud architecture.

      “This move will ensure that innovation in cloud computing is not hampered by locking businesses into proprietary islands of insecure and difficult-to-manage offerings. Without industry-wide open standards for cloud computing, businesses will not be able to fully take advantage of the opportunities associated with interconnected data, such as mobile computing and business analytics,” the company said.

    • Is Cloud PaaS Safe?

      The world of cloud based platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is about accelerating time to market for applications. With a PaaS, organizations can get up and running the cloud quickly, but one security researcher is warning that there may be an element of risk with that speed as well.

      eSecurity Planet met up with Nicholas Percoco, senior VP at Trustwave SpiderlLabs, during the RSA conference last week to discuss the state of PaaS security. Percoco specifically took aim at the Red Hat OpenShift PaaS in his demo, though he cautioned that OpenShift is not necessarily vulnerable.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Business

    • Digium Switchvox Cloud: Hosted PBX Service Launches

      Digium – which promotes Asterisk (the open source IP PBX) — has finally launched a cloud-based PBX service, aptly called Switchvox Cloud. No doubt, there’s demand for hosted voice services. And Digium partners can resell the new cloud service, which is based on Digium’s Switchvox brand. But how exactly will partner engagements work, and can partners earn recurring revenues? Bryan Johns (pictured), a product manager at Digium, offered some insights to The VAR Guy.

  • BSD


  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Announcing the Sourceforge Enterprise Directory

      SourceForge is pleased to announce our new Enterprise Directory – a sub-section of our site focused specifically on Enterprise projects. These are the projects that are geared specifically for use within a company. This might include areas such as project management, office suites, or customer relationship management (CRM) software. Often, software in this category is backed by a company, but this isn’t always the case, nor is it a requirement for inclusion in the directory.


  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The FBI’s shameful recruitment of Nazi war criminals

      A trove of recently declassified documents leads to several inescapable conclusions about the FBI’s role in protecting both proven and alleged Nazi war criminals in America. First, there can be no doubt that J. Edgar Hoover collected Nazis and Nazi collaborators like pennies from heaven. Unlike the military and its highly structured Operation Paperclip — with its specific targets, systematic falsification of visa applications, and creation of bogus biographies — Hoover had no organized program to find, vet, and recruit alleged Nazis and Nazi collaborators as confidential sources, informants, and unofficial spies in émigré communities around the country. America’s No. 1 crime buster was guided only by opportunism and moral indifference.

    • US senator says drones death toll is 4700
    • The question mourners in Venezuela are asking: Did the CIA kill president Hugo Chavez?v [spin warning]

      With Chavez’s death, Venezuela may rid itself of its international pariah status but the poor will always remember him as a hero

    • The CIA’s Latin American Program
    • UN expert urges release of inquiry findings on CIA interrogation practices
    • CIA drone attacks branded “illegal” in US House of Representatives Hearing

      AS MALIK Daud Khan rose with the glaring sun on a Pakistani spring morning two years ago, he was blissfully ignorant that this would be the last day his son had a father.

      As well as being a British citizen, Khan was a pillar of his North Waziristan community. On March 17 2011, he was living up to this role, presiding over a community meeting trying to settle a mining dispute. Both the young and the old from the village had come to meet, with a child as well as police officials among the scores assembled.

    • Ex-CIA officer Kiriakou ‘made peace’ with leak decision
    • Senate approves CIA nominee

      Senators voted by 12 votes to three to approve Brennan, putting him on track to be President Barack Obama’s third confirmed national security nominee, after Secretary of State John Kerry and Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel.

      A full Senate vote on Brennan’s confirmation is expected this week.

      “No one is better prepared to be CIA director than Mr Brennan,” committee chair Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement announcing the vote.

    • Golden Dawn’s “national awakening” sessions
    • They deny being neo-Nazis.

      A Golden Dawn candidate for parliament threatens the extermination of immigrants on camera (alt) (NSFW). There is also an interview with the filmmaker.

    • Administration debates stretching 9/11 law to go after new al-Qaeda offshoots

      Over the past few years, the Obama administration has institutionalized the use of armed drones and developed a counterterrorism infrastructure capable of sustaining a seemingly permanent war.

    • Rand Paul’s Drone Rant
    • CIA Seizes Bin Laden Son-In-Law In Turkey [Report]
    • CIA Captures Bin-Laden’s Son-in-Law
    • CIA nabs bin Laden’s son-in-law

      In February, he was arrested by Turkish authorities in Ankara. However, Turkey was unable to extradite him to the United States because no international warrant for his arrest had been issued, the newspaper said.

    • CIA Captures Bin-Laden’s Son-in-Law

      …he had not committed any crimes in Turkey.

      The U.S. asked Turkey to extradite Abu-Ghaith…

    • Little Reaction In Oil Market To Chavez Death
    • Drones over there, total surveillance over here

      The big story buried in all the commentary about the US government’s drone policy is that the old algorithm of the liberal state no longer works. Focusing on drones is almost a distraction, if it weren’t for the number of men, women and children they have killed in only a few years. What we should focus on is the deeper condition that enables the drone policy, and so much more, and that is the sharp increase in unaccountable executive power, no matter what party is in power.

    • Holder: 2001 AUMF authorizes use of military force in U.S.

      Yesterday, I spent some time defending Holder from what I believed to be false claims as to what he was asserting in his letter to Rand Paul. Today, there is no defense—Holder is wrong in what he said today. Egregiously wrong. And his testimony “can only breed fear and suspicion.”

    • Holder: Obama to talk about drones soon
    • Feds deny having drones that track guns, phones

      The federal government is pushing back against reports that it has drones specifically designed to track firearms and cellphone signals, the latest clash of an increasingly paranoid public and an administration trying to keep its unmanned aerial systems program under wraps.
      Citing U.S. Customs and Border Protection documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, numerous media outlets have reported over the past 48 hours that the federal government was in possession of unmanned aerial vehicles capable of detecting guns and of tracking citizens via their cellphone signals.

    • AUMF Creep

      While the federal government had yesterday off, Congress came to life after its long slumber through all things terrorism. In a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing for the Justice Department and an historical filibuster over the nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA, a lot of the controversy discussed dealt with drones–a conversation that desperately needed to be had, and must continue with equal vigor. However, the real elephant in the room is the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which has been used to justify all manner of civil liberty-infringing, extralegal and often unconstitutional conduct and programs since 9/11.

    • Whistleblower speaks
    • Of Course President Obama Has Authority, Under Some Circumstances, to Order Lethal Force Against a U.S. Citizen on U.S. Soil (and a Free Draft Response to Senator Paul for John Brennan)
    • Sen. Durbin Objects to Resolution Opposing President’s Ability to Bomb Citizens on US Soil

      The proposal was a non-binding resolution opposing the President’s ability to kill Americans in drone strikes on US soil. Simple enough, you might think. Who could oppose that?

      The Democrats, that’s who.

      Senator Dick Durbin, speaking for the majority, rose to say he objects to Paul’s non-binding resolution. He objects to a unanimous statement from the Senate that the President cannot drop bombs on Americans on US soil. Durbin said he doesn’t want to make such a vote until we’ve had proper and thorough congressional hearings on all the issues Senator Paul has brought up today.

    • The Obama Administration’s Reluctance to Say Drone Strikes on US Soil Against US Citizens Are Illegal

      Much of the motivation for standing on the Senate floor for the past hours has to do with the fact that Attorney General Eric Holder has declined to say outright that targeting and killing a US citizen suspected of plotting a terrorist attack on US soil, who did not pose an imminent threat, would be illegal. Paul submitted three letters and finally on March 5 Holder gave him an answer. However, it did not rule out the use of drone strikes and say this would be unconstitutional.

    • Petraeus and His Police Advisors Tied to Iraq Death Squads, Torture

      Former U.S. and Iraqi officials have implicated Gen. David Petraeus and his two top civilian police advisors in the operations of Shiite death squads and secret torture centers.

    • Rand Paul’s Filibuster; Holder’s Defense of “Immoral, Illegal” Drone Assassination Program
    • Dan Johnson – Hour 1 – People Against the National Defense Authorization Act
    • Dick Cheney Book Tour: 11 Questions Reporters Should Be Asking

      Dick Cheney has spent his career not revealing himself, and in his new memoir and the ensuing PR blitz, he appears to be staying largely in character.

      But as the former vice president uses media interviews to sell books, reporters have an unprecedented opportunity to confront him about his highly controversial legacy and push him to divulge more about how he pursued his agenda.

    • Report: Most of the $60 Billion In Iraqi Aid Wasted

      In the last few weeks, the Administration has been pushing hard to show how sequestration has produced dire consequences even though it involved only $85 billion (including the implausible claim that thousands of illegal aliens had to be released due to the cuts). For some of us who have complained about the Administration giving billions to Israel and other countries, it was a hard sell even if you do not agree with sequestration. Now a report has come out showing, as has been discussed for years on this blog and other sites, most of the $60 billion given to Iraq in the last ten years was wasted or lost to open corruption. The long documented waste of billions did not cause either the Bush or Obama Administration (or Congress) to take meaningful steps to stop the funding or, better yet, pull out of the country.

    • Winning Our Own Hearts and Minds, Again
    • Tomgram: Peter Van Buren, One Day Even the Drones Will Have to Land

      We don’t get it. We really don’t. We may not, in military terms, know how to win any more, but as a society we don’t get losing either. We don’t recognize it, even when it’s staring us in the face, when nothing — and I mean nothing — works out as planned. Take the upcoming 10th anniversary of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq as Exhibit A. You could describe what happened in that country as an unmitigated disaster — from the moment, in April 2003, U.S. troops first entered a Baghdad in flames and being looted (“stuff happens”) and were assigned to guard only the Interior Ministry (i.e. the secret police) and the Oil Ministry (well, you know what that is) to the moment in December 2011 when the last American combat unit slipped out of that land in the dead of the night (after lying to Iraqi colleagues about what they were doing).

    • Göring’s List: Should Israel Honor a Leading Nazi’s Brother?

      Leading Nazi Hermann Göring was instrumental to Hitler’s reign of terror, but research suggests his brother Albert saved the lives of dozens of Jews. Israel must now decide whether he deserves to be honored as one of the “Righteous Among the Nations.”

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • The Legacy of Hugo Chavez: The Revolution Within the Revolution Will Continue

      Chávez grew up a campesino, a peasant, raised in poverty. His parents were teachers, his grandmother an Indian whom he credits with teaching him solidarity with the people. During his military service, he learned about Simon Bolivar, who freed Latin America from Spanish Empire. This gradually led to the modern Bolivarian Revolution he led with the people. The Chávez transformation was built on many years of a mass political movement that continued after his election, indeed saved him when a 2002 coup briefly removed him from office. The reality is Venezuela’s 21st Century democracy is bigger than Chávez. This will become more evident now that he is gone.

    • Conservative lobby group behind push to lower minimum wage, report says

      Politicians backed by conservative group Alec have introduced 67 laws in 25 states aimed at reducing minimum wage levels

    • The Government Still Doesn’t Want You to Know What Caused the Financial Crisis

      In January 2011, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) created by Congress put out its final report. But it only released a portion of all the source documents it scoured, so last year the government accountability group Cause of Action filed a lawsuit seeking the release of those documents, including emails, memoranda, and draft reports. Last week, the DC district court announced it was dismissing the case. But it’s not over yet: COA vowed on Tuesday that it will appeal the decision. In a statement, the group said the judge’s ruling that the documents were not subject to the Freedom of Information Act was “a misapplication of the law,” and said that “COA will continue to fight to shed light on the workings of our government.”

    • Eric Holder: Some Banks Are So Large That It Is Difficult For Us To Prosecute Them

      While it is widely assumed that the too-big-to-fail banks in the US (and elsewhere) are beyond the criminal justice system – based on simple empirical fact – when the Attorney General of the United States openly admits to the fact that he is “concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them,” since, “it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy,” one has to stare open-mouthed at the state of our union. It appears, just as the proletariat assumed, that too-big-to-fail banks are indeed too-big-to-jail.

    • Senate Banking Committee Hearing – Bank Money Laundering
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • AP: Chavez Wasted His Money on Healthcare When He Could Have Built Gigantic Skyscrapers

      That’s right: Chavez squandered his nation’s oil money on healthcare, education and nutrition when he could have been building the world’s tallest building or his own branch of the Louvre. What kind of monster has priorities like that?

    • Golden Dawn film: Greek police probe neo-Nazi hate speech

      A Greek criminal prosecutor has launched an investigation after a report on Channel 4 News showed a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party threatening to turn immigrants into soap.

    • Greek neo-Nazi MP on trial over robbery
    • Propaganda against Scotland

      A particularly sickening trick from the BBC a few weeks back raised my blood pressure whilst in hospital and almost finished me off. A French Euro MP was asked for “the French view” on Scottish independence. She said that France would oppose it and the French government takes the view that an independent Scotland would be outside the European Union. I was absolutely astonished that the BBC had managed to find the only French person in the entire world who is against Scottish independence, and that she was telling an outright lie about the position of the French government.

      Then I realised who she was – the former research assistant (and rather more) of New Labour minister and criminal invoice forger Denis Macshane. She worked for years in the UK parliament for New Labour, in a Monica Lewinsky kind of way. All of which the BBC hid, presenting her simply as a French Euro MP. There are seventy million French people. How remarkable that the one the BBC chose to give the French view of Scottish independence was a New Labour hack!

  • Censorship

    • European Parliament censors citizens trying to contact MEPs

      The IT department of the European Parliament is blocking the delivery of the emails on this issue, after some members of the parliament complained about getting emails from citizens.

      This is an absolute disgrace, in my opinion. A parliament that views input from citizens on a current issue as spam, has very little democratic legitimacy in my opinion.

      I will be writing a letter to the President of the European Parliament to complain about this totally undemocratic practice.

      In the meantime, please continue to email members of the parliament on both the issue of the porn ban and on any other issW

  • Privacy

    • Government plans to take over possession of BlackBerry infrastructure

      New Delhi: The Government plans to take possession of the server and other infrastructure placed by BlackBerry in Mumbai to test the solution offered by the smartphone maker for legal interception of Internet communication.

    • Google says the FBI is secretly spying on some of its customers
    • FBI ‘secretly spying’ on Google users, company reveals

      The FBI used National Security Letters — a form of surveillance that privacy watchdogs call “frightening and invasive” — to surreptitiously seek information on Google users, the web giant has just revealed.

    • Google Says FBI Watching Web Users
    • Background on the Communications Data Bill

      Open Rights Group is asking organisations and individuals to ask the Home Office for a consultation on communications data and the Communications Data Bill. This briefing lays out some background to the Communications Data Bill and why a new consultation is needed.

    • My interview of head of SPD’s public surveillance camera program

      On February 21, 2013, I conducted a brief, impromptu, interview with Monty E. Moss #5598 of the Seattle Police Department about security technology, policies, and procedures for the set of surveillance cameras the department recently began installing on Alki Beach in Seattle. Of particular interest are Moss’ belief that it is important to keep secret the details about this system, such as the make and model of the equipment used, and that the SPD have been given direct access to various privately-owned and privately-operated surveillance cameras throughout the city.

    • Feds Demand Dismissal of Dragnet-Surveillance Challenge

      Citing week-old Supreme Court precedent, the President Barack Obama administration told a federal judge Wednesday that it should quash a federal lawsuit accusing the government of secretly siphoning Americans’ electronic communications to the National Security Agency without warrants.

      The San Francisco federal court legal filing was in response to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White’s written question (.pdf) to the government asking what to make of the high court’s Feb. 26 decision halting a legal challenge to a once-secret warrantless surveillance project that gobbles up Americans’ electronic communications — a program that Congress eventually legalized in 2008 and again in 2012.

    • EU privacy regulators take aim at Google privacy policy

      European data watchdogs said on Monday they plan to take action against Google by this summer for its privacy policy, which allows the search engine to pool user data from across all its services ranging from YouTube to Gmail.

    • Google Is Working On Making Your Actual Life Searchable

      Last summer, we took a look at how Google plans to see through your eyes (literally). This has a lot to do with Google Glass, but that’s not the only piece of the puzzle.
      Do you like the direction Google is going in? Is it getting too up close and personal, or is it taking the necessary steps to make users’ lives easier? Share your thoughts in the comments.

    • Administration Moves To Quash Challenge to NSA Surveillance

      Citing week-old Supreme Court precedent, the President Barack Obama administration told a federal judge Wednesday that it should quash a federal lawsuit accusing the government of secretly siphoning Americans’ electronic communications to the National Security Agency without warrants.


      The justices ruled the plaintiffs submitted no evidence they were being targeted by that law.

    • Surveillance Legislation Passes Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee

      A couple weeks ago you may recall that I wrote about my efforts to draft legislation relating to the City use of surveillance cameras.

      Passed today by the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee, Council Bill 117730 will require all City departments to obtain Council approval prior to acquiring surveillance equipment of any type. The respective department must also proactively conduct outreach in each community in which the department intends to use the equipment. In addition, the legislation requires that operational protocols will be developed and passed by ordinance. Separately, data management and retention protocols are required to be developed and presented to the City Council, but approval of that set of separate protocols by ordinance will be optional.

    • Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia

      In 1989, when the internet was predominantly ASCII-based and HyperCard had yet to give birth (or at least act as a midwife) to the world wide web, R.U. Sirius launched Mondo 2000. “I’d say it was arguably the representative underground magazine of its pre-web day,” William Gibson said in a recent interview. “Posterity, looking at this, should also consider Mondo 2000 as a focus of something that was happening.”

    • Espionage Everywhere: Spying in the News and Popular Culture

      All is not as it appears … Chalk marks on a mailbox, a button on a stranger’s coat … all around you things that seem unimportant are actually changing world events.

      The shadow world of espionage is thrilling, and makes a great “hook” to engage students in the classroom.

      As educators at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., though, we not only bank on the “cool factor” inherent in the subject, we view the world of intelligence as a len

    • Snoopers’ Charter: We need a consultation!

      The Joint Committee on the Communications Data Bill instructed the Home Office to run a consultation on communications data. They’ve failed to do so. We need your help to tell the Home Office why we need a consultation.

    • How the FBI Intercepts Cell Phone Data

      Good article on “Stingrays,” which the FBI uses to monitor cell phone data. Basically, they trick the phone into joining a fake network. And, since cell phones inherently trust the network — as opposed to computers which inherently do not trust the Internet — it’s easy to track people and collect data. There are lots of questions about whether or not it is illegal for the FBI to do this without a warrant. We know that the FBI has been doing this for almost twenty years, and that they know that they’re on shaky legal ground.

    • Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws

      If signed into law, cops would finally need a warrant to get location data.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Community-Owned Internet, Long Targeted by ALEC and Big Telecom, Under Fire in Georgia

      Members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the Georgia Legislature are pushing a bill to thwart locally-owned internet in underserved communities, an industry-sponsored effort that effectively reinforces the digital divide. A vote in the Georgia Assembly is scheduled for Thursday, March 7; if Georgia passes the bill it would be the twentieth state to eliminate community control over internet access.

  • Ownership

    • Two And A Half Minute Video Explains How The Ability To Sell Stuff You Legally Purchased Is At Risk

      As we wait patiently for the Supreme Court to decide the Kirtsaeng case, concerning whether or not you can resell goods that were made outside the US but that can be covered by copyright inside the US, the folks at Demand Progress have put together a nice two and a half minute video highlighting the possible consequences of a ruling that goes against first sale rights and limits your ability to freely sell items you legally purchased.

  • Intellectual Monopolies


Links 6/3/2013: HP Pavilion Has GNU/Linux, Apache OpenOffice.org Exceeds 40 Million Downloads

Posted in News Roundup at 9:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Running Modern Linux On The CompuLab Trim-Slice

    At the beginning of last year I tested the CompuLab Trim-Slice, which was a great ARM-based Linux desktop for the time. While the hardware now shows its signs of aging in the fast-paced ARM world, modern Linux distributions can still be loaded up on the platform.

    The Trim-Slice is built around the NVIDIA Tegra 2 SoC, which sports a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor clocked at 1.0GHz. The device has a built-in drive and supports SHDC expansion, bears 1GB of RAM, and 802.11n WiFi. With the Tegra 3 quad-core hardware now being widespread that’s multiple times faster than the Tegra 2 and the Tegra 4 hardware being around the corner that’s much faster with its use of the ARM Cortex-A15, the Trim-Slice is no longer competitive from a hardware point of view.

  • Linux Top 3: Ubuntu Abandons Wayland, Linux 3.9 Progresses, Secure Boot Stays in Userland
  • Spec aims to advance interoperable car connectivity

    Following two years of collaborative development, the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) this week announced the availability of v1.0 of MirrorLink, which defines methods for implementing interoperable phone-centric car connectivity.

  • Desktop

    • Torvalds asks ‘Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more?’

      Linux Lord Linus Torvalds is thinking about making Google’s Chromebook Pixel his main computer – once he installs a proper Linux distribution on the machine, that is.

      Posting on Google+, Torvalds lauded Google’s newest creation, writing “… the screen really is that nice” [his emphasis] and that “I think I can lug around this 1.5kg monster despite feeling fairly strongly that a laptop should weigh 1kg or less.”

    • Google Chromebooks: 5 Partner Profit Opportunities

      Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chromebooks, those cloud-centric notebooks, often carry low price tags that won’t generate much partner profit — at least not at first glance. But if you take a closer look at the Google Apps ecosystem, you’ll see at least five ways that channel partners can generate recurring revenues from one-time Chromebook sales. Here they are.

    • HP Pavilion 20 Linux AIO launches in the UK, ships with Ubuntu for £349

      Ready to take the plunge on a new all-in-one, but not super pumped about tackling Windows 8? You’re probably not alone, and it looks like HP’s got a solution.

  • Server

    • Amazon Web Services Cuts Prices For Linux Users

      Amazon Web Services Monday reduced its prices on its lowest cost option, reserved instances, by “up to 27%.” That means a reserved instance virtual server may cost 65% less than the comparable on-demand instance running on the AWS EC2 infrastructure at $0.06 per hour.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel 3.8.2 Is Now Available for Download

      Greg Kroah-Hartman announced a few minutes ago, March 4, the immediate availability for download of the second maintenance release for the stable Linux 3.8 kernel series.

      Linux kernel 3.8.2 comprises arch fixes (x86 mostly), filesystem improvements (EXT4, FUSE, NFS, OCFS2 and UBIFS), sound improvements, as well as many updated drivers. Please check the official raw changelog for the juicy details.

    • ELC 2013 keynote by Linaro CEO George Grey (video)

      George Grey, CEO of the Linaro organization, gave a keynote speech on benefits of collaboration in Linux development at last month’s Embedded Linux Conference in San Francisco.

      In his keynote, Grey expounded on the benefits of multiple companies collaborating to accelerate Linux development. Additionally, he explained the purpose and goals of Linaro and reported on the group’s recent accomplishments and current priorities. Watch the video below.

    • Linux Founder Linus Torvalds Blasts PC Industry, Praises Google’s Chromebook Pixel

      Linux founder Linus Torvalds recently picked up a Google Chromebook Pixel, and the hardware left such a positive impression that he posed the question “Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more?” on his Google Plus page.

      Google‘s design philosophy for the Pixel is decidedly unusual when stacked against the average portable PC. Chief among the differences is its 3:2 aspect ratio. Torvalds mentions that he “despises” widescreen displays and continues: “I don’t understand why people complain about ‘black bars’, when I can’t see why it would be any different to have ‘no pixels at all’, which is what the silly widescreen displays do.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • War is Peace

        Today I got many questions about KWin and Mir, how it affects us, what it means for our Wayland plans and so on. I did not want to write anything about it because I think there is nothing to write about, but before answering the same question again and again I think it’s better to put down a few lines here. Wiki will be updated once Wayland wiki is updated so that we have something to link to.

      • Whatever you want, whatever you like

        There are some news in the Plasma, Lancelot, Shelf, QML components, blah blah whoop whoop land. As some of the people have noticed from the previous screenshots, I’ve begun working on a QML port of Lancelot.

      • Export Photos from digiKam via DLNA
      • Akademy and Qt Contributors Summit Join Forces

        In July 2013, Akademy — the KDE community summit — will host the Qt Contributors Summit (QtCS) in Bilbao, Spain. QtCS is THE gathering of the Qt Project contributor community. It will take place July 15th and 16th in the middle of the KDE Akademy week (13-19 July). By co-hosting, KDE and the Qt Project will increase their existing collaboration even further. Holding their annual conferences at the same time and the same place will foster interaction, knowledge transfer and technical progress.

      • Two Major KDE Developers Weigh In On Mir, Wayland
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Behold: The Birth of “GNOME Software”

        Richard Hughes has been working on a new package manager for the GNOME desktop that he’s dubbed “GNOME Software.” With it, and the right plugins, a user might install software from just about any repository.

        It may not surprise folks that GNOME Software “currently uses” PackageKit. PackageKit has had the goal of providing one package manager for them all and, in their words, “to make the process suck less.”

      • My Impression of Gnome Situation

        To me it seems, and with the Gnome Shell release this has become even more pronounced, that the situation around Gnome is like the situation around political parties in Czech Republic. They mostly lost touch with reality and majority of people either lost their interest in them, became their haters or their (almost) unconditional adorers. Pointing out an issue equals hating now (and yes there are some exceptions). I have lost faith. Sadly. In both. Does it need to happen to Fedora as well? If we gnomeifficate anaconda, we might end-up like this as well. Users aren’t as dumb as we tend to make them. People don’t want grey lives with nothing to look forward to, with nothing to choose from. With computers treating them as monkeys. I don’t want an environment where I cannot choose between grey two-colour symbolic icons and colorful normal ones. Is reaching out specifically to women making them feel equal?

      • GNOME Classic Repeats History

        GNOME 3.8 is still a few weeks from release, but with the latest beta, users can view the new GNOME Classic for the first time. The replacement for the retiring fallback mode, GNOME Classic uses extensions to provide something of the GNOME 2 experience — but it is a strangely limited experience that fails to match Linux Mint’s Mate or Cinnamon, as though the GNOME project is reluctant to provide a “classic” experience at all.

        GNOME Classic is not included on the beta Live CD. You might find the beta in development directories for distributions such as Fedora or openSUSE, and the option of compiling from source is always available.

        However, the easiest way to view it is to download the latest version of Ubuntu 13.04, then use the command sudo add-apt-repository to add ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3 and ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3-staging as sources.

        Then running apt-get update followed by apt-get install gnome-shell gnome-shell extensions should add GNOME Classic to the selection of desktops when you log-in. Both these Launchpad sources are in rapid development, so you might have some unexpected problems (in my case, the keyboard stops working if the screen is locked).

      • A GNOME 3.8 Control Center like No “Other” ;)
      • GVFS 1.15.4 Fixes MTP and FUSE Issues

        A new development version of the GVFS software has been announced yesterday, March 4, bringing various fixes, some new features and the usual translation updates.

  • Distributions

    • Forking Arch

      Over the last couple of months there have been a number of discussions on the Arch boards about the forum policy of only providing support for Arch Linux, culminating in this long thread about Archbang users (login required) being denied support and having their threads summarily closed. As it emerged in the discussion, there seem to be two separate issues at play here; the question of Arch-derivatives using the Arch brand (logo, colours and even the forum style sheets), and how the wider community of GNU/Linux distributions are treated on our boards.

    • Precise Puppy Is a Fast, Furious Distro

      The latest version of Puppy Linux could easily win best of breed; it’s got all the convenience and user-friendliness you would expect from its bloodline, but this Precise Puppy also possesses whippet-like speed. That’s impressive when you consider that it boasts an expanded software repository. Like its predecessor, it’s also a very portable option.

    • New Releases

      • ALT 6.9.0-20130305
      • Skolelinux 6.0.7
      • SystemRescueCd 3.4.2
      • Proxmox version 2.3 available

        Proxmox Ve is an Open Source project developed and maintained by Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH in Austria under the auspices of the Internet foundation of Austria (IPA) and it’s released under the GNU General public license 3. It is a solution based on Debian 6 Squeeze at 64 bit, which duly “customized”, allows to create a virtualization environment of type “bare metal” based on OpenVZ and KVM technologies.

        Proxmox Virtual Environment, today announced the release of version 2.3. The version brings new compelling features like KVM live backup technology as well as the integration of the Ceph RBD (RADOS Block Device) as storage plugin.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo bugday is back

        For once you have tasted Gentoo you will compile the kernel with your eyes turned red monitor-squared, for there you have been and experiencing the raw power of Linux. There are some days I want to go back to the early ages of Linux, some days I want to use top notch packets and bleeding-edge software, but today I will debug — for this is Gentoo Bugday !

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Online UDS Day One: Feedback Welcome!

            I just wanted to post a quick blog entry thanking everyone who joined the first day of our inaugural online Ubuntu Developer Summit today. Overall we didn’t see many glitches in our plan of how to run the event, and we also gathered some fantastic feedback for things we can improve and extend upon next time.

          • It all sounds good in theory…

            Not too long ago, Mark communicated the vision for Ubuntu and Unity for 2013 as “[...] Unity in 2013 will be all about mobile – bringing Ubuntu to phones and tablets [...]” and my team is responsible for taking Unity to these hardware platforms.

            What you should expect to see during this year is an overhaul of Unity in order to power a wide variety of display sizes (think phone to tablet to desktop to TV to…), input methods (touch screens & on screen keyboards, traditional keyboards & pointer devices, voice, and whatever else Tony Stark makes us think of [*]), CPUs & GPUs, external peripherals and everything else we expect from a modern OS.

            Looking closer at the problem ambitious goal, we had to take a few interesting decisions how we possibly would get to where we want to be.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 306
          • Upstream X/Wayland Developers Bash Canonical, Mir

            Canonical’s decision to develop Mir, their own display server not derived from X11 or Wayland, hit many as a big surprise today. Canonical previously committed to Wayland in a future Ubuntu release but now it turns out that for months they have secretly been rolling their own solution behind closed doors.

            It will be interesting to see how the Mir situation plays out on Ubuntu, but already Canonical has once again disgruntled upstream open-source developers. Aside from end-users being surprised by this decision to no longer pursue Wayland, the X.Org and Wayland developers themselves were taken for a ride.

            Kristian Høgsberg, the creator of Wayland/Weston, has posted to his Google+ page about the Canonical Mir announcement.

          • [Updated] Mir – An outpost envisioned as a new home
          • Unity Next to Replace Old Unity and Converge Desktop and Phone Ubuntu Platforms

            After Canonical announced they are building their own display manager to replace X and to squash the Ubuntu dreams of Wayland fans, they also announced Unity Next, a new session-level shell implementation build on Qt and QML.

            When Unity was first introduced back in 2010, people didn’t like it. It caused an uproar and a lot of users were not ready to adopt a new way of navigating the operating system.

          • “World’s First Ubuntu Tablet” Taking Pre-Orders
          • Ubuntu’s New Display Server ‘Mir’ Gets Demoed [Video]
          • # Revamped QML ‘Gwibber’ Shown Off
          • A Note To Canonical: “Don’t Piss On Wayland”

            In addition to X.Org and Wayland developers criticizing Canonical on Google+ about the Mir display server, there was a colorful discussion about this new open-source project on the Wayland IRC channel.

            Shared via this forum post is a copy of the #Wayland IRC channel that took place with exchanges was Chris Halse Rogers “RAOF”, he’s the only Canonical employee that participated in the discussion, who works on X for Wayland and is one of the Mir Canonical developers. Participating in the IRC exchange on the Wayland side were Kristian Høgsberg “krh”, David Airlie “airlied”, Daniel Stone “daniels”, and other Wayland stakeholders.

            Chris Halse Rogers, the Canonical employee, was quick to joke around that “It’s [Canonical's] turn to pull a systemd!” He admitted that he knew internally about Mir and that’s his reason for his “lack of work on the wayland system compositor branches.”

          • Canonical announces Mir display server to replace X Windows

            Canonical has announced plans to develop new, open source Linux display-server software called Mir, in a move that it says will help further its goal of offering a unified Ubuntu user experience across PCs, smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.

            Traditionally, desktop Linux distributions have rendered their GUIs using software derived from the X Window System – X, for short – a venerable graphics layer that was developed for Unix by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1980s.

          • Building & Running The Ubuntu Mir Display Server
          • Ubuntu likely to struggle on the smartphone, says SugarCRM CEO

            The Ubuntu Touch operating system, which is scheduled for October release on a range of smartphones and tablets, will struggle to find a niche in a crowded mobile marketplace.

          • Ubuntu phone coming with new ecosystem

            The Ubuntu phone represents a new ecosystem for mobile devices, but the company behind it says that it won’t be primarily focused on Africa when it launches.

            Canonical, founded by billionaire Mark Shuttleworth, plans to launch the device to the developed markets of the US and Europe first.

          • Ubuntu tablet pre-order raises eyebrows for several reasons

            The news yesterday that an Australian company called Intermatrix has begun offering pre-orders of the first dedicated Ubuntu tablet has already made waves in gadget circles – but many raised questions about the device’s legitimacy.

          • Is Wayland incapable of delivering what Mir can?

            In November 2010 Canonical committed to using Wayland in the post x11 world. Mark Shuttleworth had said, “There are issues with Wayland, but they seem to be solvable, we’d rather be part of solving them than chasing a better alternative. So Wayland it is.”

            Despite that public support for Wayland Canonical secretly started developing a display manager without communicating it to Wayland developers. It was a U-turn from that commitment as the company is now ‘chasing an alternative’. Canonical has announced that they are working on Mir, it’s own display manager which competes with Wayland instead of contributing to it and making it better.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pros and cons of using Android as an embedded OS
    • Phones

      • The 8 mobile OS upstarts that want to topple iOS and Android

        Ubuntu, Firefox, Tizen, Sailfish, WebOS, Nokia Series 40, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone want a piece of the pie, but it won’t be a cakewalk

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung Galaxy S IV Antutu benchmark results leaked, confirm many specifications
        • Samsung plans to turn smartphones into data safes

          Like the home of the US government’s gold reserves, Samsung’s KNOX project is all about keeping intruders out. Samsung’s version, however, will not protect precious metals, but business data in mobile device storage. KNOX, which was unveiled today, is based on SE Android, the Android version of SELinux that was originally developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

        • Samsung Galaxy S IV: Screenshots leak, confirm Smart Scroll and Smart Pause (UPDATE)

          These screenshots mainly confirm that Samsung’s next generation Galaxy S will indeed have the much hyped Smart Scroll and Smart Pause features. The screenshots also confirm that the Galaxy S IV will feature a Full HD 1080p panel. It also looks like that Samsung is keeping some UI elements from the Galaxy S III but we are looking forward to see Samsung’s upcoming Nature UX 2.0.

        • Samsung to unveil 5.9-inch smartphone

          Samsung Electronics said Wednesday that it plans to introduce a 5.9-inch handset in the latter half of the year to solidify its leading position in the rapidly-growing “phablet” market.

          ”Samsung is working on introducing a new phablet using a 5.9-inch organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen,’’ an official told The Korea Times on condition of anonymity.

      • Android

        • Android 4.2.2 finally coming to Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus

          Owners of Verizon’s 4G LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus handset may soon receive an update to the latest version of Android, weeks after other Galaxy Nexus devices received it and fully six months after the Verizon model got its last official update.

          Twitter user @WinDroidGuy was the first to spot the update package on Monday, which so far is only available as a downloadable Zip file that must be flashed to the device by hand.

        • CyanogenMod 10.1 M2 released, HTC One X added

          The next development version of the CyanogenMod’s Jelly Bean spin has been released, and supports many new phones along with the Nexus family

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Intermatrix U7 Ubuntu Tablet

        An Ubuntu-powered tablet is not something that folks would camp out for, but this does not mean we should not pay closer attention to such a tablet. The Intermatrix U7 is an Ubuntu tablet which has been touted to be the “first of its kind in the world”, hailing from Australian manufacturer Intermatrix. Just what kind of hardware does the Intermatrix U7 pack underneath the hood? For starters, it is said to come with a quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex A9 CPU, coupled with a quad-core Vivante GC1000+ GPU, and accompanied by 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal memory, a 7″ IPS capacitive touchscreen display as well as cameras in front and at the back.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why your company should contribute to open source

    After almost three decades of development, open source software has firmly crossed over into mainstream use. Companies understand the unique value derived from software developed through open communities and are welcoming its use in mission critical settings throughout the enterprise.

    Companies that adopt open source are in a prime position to contribute back to the open source communities on which they depend. For example, most of the Linux kernel is developed and maintained by employees from companies like IBM and RedHat. However, corporate culture in many companies (and particularly in small businesses) tends to lean strictly toward consumption of open source and away from contribution. For example, in a recent survey of the Liferay community we discovered almost 75% of companies that responded do not reward or encourage open source contribution.

  • Zpanel- A good opensource alternative to Cpanel
  • How to Install ZpanelX Web Hosting Control Panel on Ubuntu Server 12.04
  • Google launches Zopfli, a better zip compressor for static content

    What is known as ZIP to most of us, is actually the DEFLATE algorithm, and Google has made it slightly better.

    The search giant announced Zopli today, which is a new compression algorithm that is compatible with existing DEFLATE decoders, and produces slightly smaller files at the cost of increased CPU load during compression.

  • Twitter open sources Java streaming library Hosebird

    Twitter has open sourced a Java library for its Streaming API. The Hosebird Client (hbc) supports OAuth and automatic reconnections with appropriate wait periods and Twitter says it has been “battle-tested in production” by its internal teams.

  • Web Browsers

    • Fear of a WebKit Planet

      I must confess, I was neither surprised nor disturbed by last month’s announcement that the Opera web browser was switching to the WebKit rendering engine. But perhaps I’m in the minority among geeks on this topic.

      The anxiety about the possibility of a “WebKit monoculture” is based on past events that many of us remember all too well. Someday, starry-eyed young web developers may ask us, “You fought in the Web Standards Wars?” (Yes, I was once a Zeldi Knight, the same as your father.) In the end, we won.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • IBM takes cloud software, services to OpenStack
    • Finally, “The Cloud” Means Something

      Few jargonistic terms have annoyed me as much as, “The Cloud.” When the term was first coined, its meaning was ambiguous at best. For some companies, it meant shared web hosting (but with a cooler sounding name). For others it was simply, “let us host your servers in our datacenter, which we now refer to as a cloud.”

      Then, finally, the concept started to solidify into offering specific services or entire software applications as a commodity removed from the server infrastructure. Honestly, I think that was the intent from the beginning, but it took several years before anyone really implemented anything useful in, “the cloud.”

    • OpenStack Ceilometer Bringing Metering to Open Source Grizzly Cloud
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Getting started with Koha, an open source library system

      When I think back, I can’t remember my first involvement in the Koha community. I remember talking to Chris Cormack on Instant Messenger nearly everyday before ever really communicating with the community has a whole. I remember trying to find a job working with Koha when it was time for me to move on from my first job, but I still don’t remember really being involved in the community. I read a great post by Siobhan Mckeown about participating in the WordPress community and I highly recommend reading it, but I thought maybe I should do a Koha variation for those who want to get involved.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • A neuro-hacker tells us why opening up scientific research is critical

        You see, Pete is not only motivated by what open source and open thinking can do to change our world, he is moved by it. He tell us that his passions change every few years, but always revolve around open source.

        Right now, he’s working on an open source project called: Smarter Safer Better, a study and research (what he calls, neuro-hacking) on trust. Read more about his work on the subject: What They Don’t Teach You in “Thinking Like the Enemy” Classes and Mind Control.

      • Who Turned over the Google Group Conversations Involving Aaron Swartz?

        In addition to Norton’s revelation that the prosecution seemed surprised when she first mentioned the Guerilla Manifesto, that seems to be another significant revelation implicitly included in her article. She’s not the source of whatever Googlegroup conversations the government got. At least according to the government, someone else turned this material over willingly.

      • Using Aaron Swartz

        Hacker Aaron Swartz is dead. It is reported that he hung himself.

        I’m having some real trouble with the way this story is being spread. Very early on, accusatory fingers got pointed in two directions:

        (1) Swartz allegedly “wrestled with depression”, a vague suggestion that he was killed by some impersonal (but psychologically devastating) illness.

        (2) Swartz was driven to suicide by a mean, self-promoting prosecutor and her accomplices in the administration of MIT.

        In either event we’re encouraged to regard his death as a kind of martyrdom for some vaguely specified “information wants to be free” agenda. (This may or may not be how he himself thought of dying; it doesn’t matter to my point.)

        I hate this popular telling of the story because is it completely ignores the middle aged male svengalis who brought the pretty 13 year old boy to the dance of tech industry celebrity, only to turn their back on him, defame him, and even drive him out of a job as soon as the blush was off the rose.

        Going down his Wikipedia page and adding some notes of my own:

        At the very crest of the dot-com boom there is Philip Greenspun, emerging millionaire. The company he founded was building “community backed” web sites for clients, just before the big crash. That company, ArsDigita, spun off a publicity generating competition with cash money prizes encouraging teenagers to crank out their own “community backed” web sites.

  • Programming

    • Projects plugin debuts in new Eclipse Orion 2.0

      The developers of Eclipse Orion have announced that version 2.0 of the web-technology-based editor and development platform has been released. Eclipse Orion 2.0 focused on making the editor technology easier to consume by other projects; library dependencies have been removed, the process for embedding the Orion editor has been simplified, and the Orion Shell has been enhanced.

    • Epic codefest: 7 programming languages in 7 days
  • Standards/Consortia


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • War on Terror, Women, and Children
    • Drones: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Always Afraid to Ask

      If you’ve checked out the news these past few (or many) months, you’ve probably noticed some news about drones. Drones used by the CIA to vaporize suspected terrorists. Drones used by the United States military. Drones that deliver food. Drones used by cops. Drones possibly violating the US Constitution. Drones protecting wildlife. Drones in pop culture. Maybe this has left you with some burning questions about these increasingly prominent flying robots. Here’s an easy-to-read, nonwonky guide to them—we’ll call it Drones for Dummies.

    • Transparency Report: Shedding more light on National Security Letters
    • After Revealing Atrocities of Asymmetrical Warfare, Manning Will Face Asymmetrical Trial

      I was in a military courtroom at Fort Meade in Maryland on Thursday as Pfc. Bradley Manning admitted giving classified government documents to WikiLeaks. The hundreds of thousands of leaked documents exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as government misconduct. A statement that Manning made to the court was a powerful and moving treatise on the importance of placing conscience above personal safety, the necessity of sacrificing careers and liberty for the public good, and the moral imperative of carrying out acts of defiance. Manning will surely pay with many years—perhaps his entire life—in prison. But we too will pay. The war against Bradley Manning is a war against us all.

    • A ‘dark night for British justice’ as Parliament passes secret court plans

      Seven Lib Dem rebelled to support public interest test amendment

      Ex-foreign secretary Jack Straw also backed the legislation

      Chakrabarti: ‘History teaches that politicians abandon ancient legal principles at their peril’

    • RSA 2013: Hacking Team Defends Its Surveillance Software

      Hacking Team’s software was allegedly used by repressive regimes to track down citizens for torture. We ask their lawyer Eric Rabe to explain

    • Department of Justice says White House can use ‘lethal force’ on American citizens on US soil

      The US government has the right to use military force on American citizens, even at home – but only in “extraordinary circumstances,” the attorney general has stated in a letter to Senator Rand Paul.

      Paul had threatened to filibuster the nomination of John Brennan, US President Barack Obama’s pick for CIA director, “until [Obama] answers the question of whether or not the President can kill American citizens through the drone strike program on US soil.”https://twitter.com/mollycrabapple/status/309174502129029120

    • Revealed: Pentagon’s link to Iraqi torture centres

      General David Petraeus and ‘dirty wars’ veteran behind commando units implicated in detainee abuse

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Critical Part of Keystone Report Done by Firms with Deep Oil Industry Ties

      The State Department’s recent conclusion that the Keystone XL pipeline “is unlikely to have a substantial impact” on the rate of Canada’s oil sands development was based on analysis provided by two consulting firms with ties to oil and pipeline companies that could benefit from the proposed project.

    • Ecojustice research offers troubling glimpse of harm oilsands pollution causes

      That’s the question Ecojustice hoped to help answer when we undertook our latest research. What we uncovered was unsettling, to say the least. Our research showed that toxic emissions from oilsands facilities in Northern Alberta are polluting the nearby Athabasca River, contaminating a waterway that’s home to more than half of the province’s fish species.

      The Athabasca River is Alberta’s longest and only major free-flowing river, and it holds ecological, cultural and commercial significance for the people that live along its shores. It is also a vital life source for many wildlife species.

  • Finance

    • The FBI is now profiling Bitcoin users, stereotyping them as criminals
    • Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson on Engineered Inequality

      Bill Moyers explores how America’s vast inequality didn’t just happen, it’s been politically engineered.

    • The Target Value For Bitcoin Is Not Some $50 Or $100. It Is $100,000 To $1,000,000.

      Bitcoin’s value is at an all-time high again. Following the hype peak and crash in 2011, many seemed to have thought it was just another dotcom fluke. But bitcoin was much more than that, and it has returned with a vengeance – its market cap is now twice what it was in the 2011 peak, and it is nowhere near its potential, which is four orders of magnitude above today’s value.

    • Goldman Sachs Already Finding A Work Around For Volcker Rule
    • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Fix the Debt

      As sequester cuts start to bite a little harder, the Fix the Debt gang is pushing for a “grand bargain,” deep cuts to earned benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare in exchange for some vague promises about “tax reform.”

      They may have a powerful ally in the White House. Rather than barnstorming the country demanding that Congress cancel the sequester (Representative John Conyers, Jr. wrote the one sentence bill to do this) and address our jobs deficit (now topping 9 million), President Obama seems ready to make a deal on the deficit, which is already in a steep decline.

    • Why the free market fundamentalists think 2013 will be the best year ever

      The same idea has been developed systematically in a number of bestsellers, from Matt Ridley’s Rational Optimist to Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature. There is also a more down-to-earth version that one often hears in the media, especially those of non-European countries: crisis, what crisis? Look at the so-called Bric countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, or at Poland, South Korea, Singapore, Peru, even many sub-Saharan African states – they are all progressing. The losers are western Europe and, up to a point, the US, so we are not dealing with a global crisis, but simply with the shift of progress away from the west. Is a potent symbol of this shift not the fact that, recently, many people from Portugal, a country in deep crisis, are returning to Mozambique and Angola, ex-colonies of Portugal, but this time as economic immigrants, not as colonisers?

    • BitCoin: The Currency Of The Future?

      This week, BitCoin (BTC), the virtual cryptocurrency that is not supported by any national bank or government, reached an all-time trading record, selling at $33.22 for a single BTC.

      Kim Dotcom’s cloud hosting website Mega has recently started accepting BitCoins as a form of payment, following the example set by WordPress, Reddit and countless other online businesses. But how do you begin working with BitCoins?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Chavez

      The BBC just said that Venezuela is a dictatorship, and the election will be close between left and right. They missed the irony. The incongruity and imbalance of the Chavez demonisation is ridiculous. Sky News did a five minute piece in which the evidence of him being evil and demented was that he called George Bush a devil and declared the age of imperialism over; he did however reduce poverty and improve housing, they added. I am not sure they left their audience with the same certainty as their presenters that he was a bad thing.

    • Venezuela orders U.S. Embassy attache to leave country

      …accusing him of “proposing destabilizing plans”

    • MI6’s links with media during the Cold War are exposed by BBC

      Documents purporting to show extensive links between MI6 and the British media during the Cold War have been authenticated, a BBC documentary is to claim.
      The documents, which were passed to a state-controlled newspaper in the Soviet Union and published towards the end of the 1960s, listed Fleet Street publications and the journalist or editor that MI6 had as its contact.

  • Censorship

    • Google Downranks The Pirate Bay In The UK, Because Surely, That Will Make People Buy Again

      We just recently wrote about the RIAA bitching about how Google wasn’t living up to its promise to “downrank” so-called “pirate” sites. The issue was that the RIAA could still find sites that it didn’t like ranked relatively highly in the index. Well, the folks at TorrentFreak have noticed that, at least in the UK, if you do a search for “pirate bay,” you no longer get the actual TPB website as one of the top 100 results. Of course, you do get a variety of proxies, instead, and perhaps that makes sense, given the decision last year by a court that ISPs must block access to TPB. Perhaps Google is just reflecting, accurately, that clicking directly to TPB will fail.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • White House Supports Phone and Tablet ‘Unlocking’
    • White House calls for cell phone unlocking ban to be overturned

      The legality of unlocking one’s cell phone to run on any network has flipped back and forth in the past several years. It was deemed illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—then it was made legal by the Library of Congress in an exception to the DMCA passed in 2006. The Library chose not to renew the exemption in 2012, however, and it expired in January of this year. That inspired a petition to the White House, which a few weeks ago passed the 100,000 signature mark. The White House then promised to respond.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Group remixes a copyrighted song to spread open technology

        David Mason (@dcm) and Heather LaGarde (@heatherlagarde) were interested in expressing open source in other ways and wanted to help spread mobile and open technologies across developing worlds at IntraHealth. They combined these two goals by remixing a song.

      • Taking copyright fight to ISPs too punitive, say critics
      • The Pirate Bay Reveals North Korea Relocation Plan Was A Prank

        The Pirate Bay (TPB) has revealed that the claim that it had been offered “virtual asylum” in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea by its leader, Kim Jong-un, was a hoax.

        The world’s most popular peer-to-peer sharing resource revealed that the announcement, carried by a number of websites, was false, and made fun of the gullible readers who would think it would partner “with the most hated dictatorship in the world”.

      • Group remixes a copyrighted song to spread open technology
      • Yes, The US Industrial Revolution Was Built On Piracy And Fraud

        Missed this when it first came out, but Bloomberg ran a fantastic report at the beginning of February, highlighting how piracy and fraud were key components to helping America catapult into the industrial revolution. In fact, there are reasonable arguments to be made that if the US was not a “pirate” nation, it would not have had the kind of success that it has had as the industrial world leader. We’ve discussed some of this in the past, and have highlighted how Eric Schiff’s research showed how other countries (the Netherlands and Switzerland) industrialized by explicitly rejecting patents. The US didn’t go that far, but it did involve quite frequent copying of the efforts of others and then improving on them, without fear of repercussions.

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts