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05.30.12

Links 30/5/2012: Red Hat Releases Fedora 17; GPL Compliance Advanced

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Microsoft Delivers a Blow to Open Source with Visual Studio 11

    Microsoft has already ruffled more than a few feathers with the exclusionary potential of its forthcoming Windows 8 operating system, and this past week the open source community has been up in arms again.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Open Source WordPress Turns Nine as 3.4 Release Nears

      The open source WordPress blogging platform turned Nine years old on Sunday (first WordPress release was May 27, 2003). It’s hard to believe that it has been that long isn’t it? (I’ve been a user for the last 8).

      WordPress started out as a ‘simple’ blogging platform that valued the user interface and ease-of-use over fancy knobs and deep features.

      The focus on usability and adherence to standards has been the hallmark of WordPress in every release since. It’s a focus that has propelled WordPress to become one of the most widely used open source projects on the web today, powered over 10 percent of all websites.

  • Education

    • Coders and CompScis

      I don’t think it’s enough just to teach children how an e-mail client works without also explaining what’s happening behind the screen. I don’t think it’s enough just to show children how to assign variables or manipulate lists without providing some way for them to think about these rather than just using them. It’s just this sort of understanding which we’ve come to label as computational thinking: there’s a strong case for this providing a unique way of looking at the world, with wide applications across (and beyond) the curriculum:

      With scientific method, we took things apart to see how they work. Now with computers we can put things back together to see how they work, by modelling complex, interrelated processes, even life itself. This is a new age of discovery, and ICT is the gateway.
      –Douglas Adams, 1999

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • What’s New in Nmap 6
    • Apache JMeter 2.7 measured up

      Version 2.7 of Apache JMeter has arrived, adding new system sampling for operating system processes, improved JMS, WebService and Test samplers, and improved graphs and reports. JMeter is a desktop application designed to load test applications and measure performance; it can test web, SOAP, JDBC, LDAP, JMS, Mail or native commands using its multi-threaded framework to concurrently sample many different operations.

  • Licensing

    • Linux kernel devs, Samba join GPL compliance effort

      GPL enforcement within the free software community has just stepped up its game.

      Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has announced a coordinated effort among several of its member projects to ensure compliance with their Free Software licenses.

    • GPL policing efforts expand to include Linux and Samba

      The Software Freedom Conservancy has announced that it is heading up a “unified effort” among a number of its member projects to ensure compliance with the free software licences they are distributed under. The conservancy is also launching the GPL Compliance Project for Linux Developers, which will see Linux kernel contributors request that the Conservancy pursue GPL violators over the Linux kernel.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Being Exceptional

      Apparently, in Python, it is easier to ask for forgiveness rather than seek permission. That is to say, the normal approach when writing Python code is to assume that what you are trying to do will work properly. If something exceptional happens and the code doesn’t work the way you were hoping, then the Python interpreter will tell you of the error so that you can handle that exceptional circumstance. This general approach, of trying to do something, then cleaning up if something goes wrong is acronymically called EAFP (“easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

    • Ozone Widget Framework to be on GitHub by Sept. 30
    • A look inside Code for America

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Syrian Citizen Journalists Risk All to Bring Stories from the Frontlines

      Since the uprising in Syria began last year, Syrian citizen journalists have risked their lives to fill a media void and bring the news of the oppressive government crackdown to a global audience. This has been done often with little recognition for the activists who have laid their lives on the line to report on the government’s assault on an unarmed civilian population.

      In March 2011, the arrest of 15 students who had written anti-government slogans on walls enraged the population of Deraa and sparked the first mass protests against the Assad regime. President Bashar al-Assad, who inherited Syria’s harsh dictatorship from his father, launched a series of crackdowns on protestors across the country, sending tanks into cities and opening fire on demonstrators. The violence has only escalated. This week, the country saw the deadlist attack since the protests began — at least 90 people were killed in the town of Houla. Video of rows of dead children lying in a mosque in their bloody shorts and T-shirts shocked the world. A local activist reached by Skype told the Associated Press that pro-regime fighters known as shabiha stormed the village, raiding homes and shooting civilians. The United Nations estimates that the conflict has left more than 9,000 dead and thousands more displaced.

  • Finance

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Next steps on Net Neutrality – making sure you get champagne service if that’s what you’re paying for

      When it comes to the issue of “net neutrality” I want to ensure that Internet users can always choose full Internet access – that is, access to a robust, best-efforts Internet with all the applications you wish.

      But I don’t like to intervene in competitive markets unless I am sure this is the only way to help either consumers or companies. Preferably both. In particular because a badly designed remedy may be worse than the disease – producing unforeseen harmful effects long into the future. So I wanted better data before acting on net neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

05.29.12

Links 29/5/2012: Fedora 17 is Coming, Linux Mint 13 Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Want Freedom from Vendor Lock-in? Survey Says: Choose Open Source

    It’s no secret that open source software is playing an increasingly prominent role in businesses around the globe, but a recent survey has uncovered a few surprising findings about adopters’ motivations for choosing it.

  • Freedom from vendor lock-in drives adoption of open source

    According to a report by the 451 Group, many companies are now identifying freedom from vendor lock-in as an important reason for switching to open source software. In a recent survey by the group, 60% of respondents said that the top factor that made open source software “attractive” was the absence of the dependency on one particular vendor. The second most quoted factor was lower acquisition and maintenance costs (51%) followed by better code quality (43%) and the ability to look at the source code (42%).

  • Apache Wookie Delivers Open Source Widgets

    As all geeks know, today is the 35th anniversary of the release of Star Wars (and it’s also Towel Day too). What you may not have known is that today also marks the release of Apache Wookie 0.10.0.

  • Interview with the Sage Mathematics Software Project
  • Living With Open Source
  • Open source and the National Security Agency, together again

    The Open Source Software Institute, a non-profit group that supports open-source adoption and the National Security Agency (NSA), the organization in charge of all out of country eavesdropping, will co-host an Open Source Software Industry Day on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. The unclassified, one-day event will be held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s Kossiakoff Conference Center near Fort Meade, MD, which is where the NSA is based. Alas, pre-registration is already over.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Crazy Geckos: Nitot on Mozilla’s post-Firefox mobile crusade

        First came the BlackBerry, bringing the smartphones for suits perfected by RIM to consumers. Next came the iPhone, which quickly hoovered up 23 per cent of the market. But the iPhone came at a price: the freedom of users and coders. It is tightly controlled by Apple, as Adobe quickly found to its cost with Flash.

        Next up was Android. In just four years, Android exploited consumers’ desire to poke and stroke their phones to become the world’s most popular smartphone OS – burying the iPhone – with 59 per cent of the market.

        Android had a plus: freedom of choice for both coder and consumer thanks to an open-source code base.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open access and open source in the context of scholarly publishing

      Scholarly publishing in the English-speaking world has been in turmoil since the reduction in higher education funding in the 1970s affected university presses and libraries. Scholarly publishing is not about money, at least not directly, but about personal reputation, research dissemination, impact and the advancement of knowledge. Open publishing accounts for a relatively small proportion of scholarly publishing, though its impact is growing and affecting the commercial publishing models. Agata Mrva-Montoya

Leftovers

  • Skip Internet Explorer for Web Dev. Save $100,000

    Even better is the fact that the company got few complaints — meaning that IE support isn’t a big deal anymore.

    This is fantastic news for Linux users (who can’t run IE) and good news overall that the hegemony of IE is now a thing of the past. Reality of course is that today, desktop users run multiple browsers and developers go mobile first (WebKit/iOS/Android) first in many instances.

    It’s also interesting to see how much more it costs to build an IE website. It’s shocking that it could cost $100,000 more isn’t it?

  • Security

  • Copyrights

    • Microsoft take-down requests – needs its own house in order first?

      Some Microsoft Advocates often refer to Linux/FOSS users with the derogatory term “freetard” and even if we look past at the apparent double standards Bing employs in comparison with requests made of Google and we ignore the millions of Windows users using the uTorrent client and downloading copyrighted material, we need only look to Microsoft themselves and a very interesting article by torrent freak, who, after researching a few Microsoft IP addresses, find that records show, their machines have been very busy downloading copyrighted material for free too. Hypocricy? Would we expect anything less from a company that employs a man someone like Steve Ballmer?

05.28.12

Links 28/5/2012: Android 4.0 Spreads, VirtualBox 4.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Galician Autonomous Region of Spain has a Plan 2012 to use Free Software

    Years ago it was Extremadura switching to GNU/Linux over a weekend, more recently Andalucia switched. Now Galicia is investing nearly €1 million in promotion of FLOSS for business and government. They have already saved €2.5 million last year.

  • Puppet Partners with EMC on Open Source Razor

    The open source Puppet configuration management system is widely used to get software onto servers. Now the developers behind Puppet are going a step further, taking aim at bare metal provisioning in an open source effort with EMC called Razor.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.1 update brings Linux 3.4 fixes

      The eighth update to the 4.1.x branch of VirtualBox has been published with compile fixes for the recently released Linux 3.4 kernel. The new version, 4.1.16, of the open source desktop virtualisation application improves the overall stability of the software by rectifying various regressions, including some that could lead to crashes, and a problem that caused some rpm-based packages to have an incorrect help file path on Linux hosts.

    • Java creator unhappy with Oracle trial outcome

      Most observers are applauding Google its successes in the Oracle v. Google case… but not everyone is thrilled about it.

      The jury for the Oracle vs. Google trial delivered their verdict for the second phase of the case–the patent phase–and as you probably know by know, found absolutely no patent infringement on the part of Google.

      With no patent infringement found, and only minor infringement found in the earlier copyright phase of the trial, Judge William Alsup dismissed the jurors early, since the planned damages phase was pretty much rendered moot by yesterday’s decision.

      The trial is not over, of course: Alsup will probably rule on damages himself, and there’s still his ruling on the copyrightability of application programming interfaces to come sometime next week. That API ruling is now arguably the most important remaining part of the case.

  • Funding

    • Help create a new free standard, by funding a great Kickstarter project!

      As part of a project to create a non-DRM fixed media standard for high-definition video releases, Terry Hancock has launched a Kickstarter campaign which will produce two Lib-Ray video titles and player software to support them (“Sita Sings the Blues” and the “Blender Open Movie Collection”).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Flarf and the prospect of open source poetry

      From the beginnings of human literature, there has been an instinct to identify with the community, the collective, more than with any individual author. Many of our most valuable texts have been created by social groups and belong to those groups. Multiple, anonymous authorship brought China its cherished Classic of Poetry, gave England Beowulf, and even accounts for parts of the Christian Bible, such as the book of Hebrews—author unknown. The Bible, by the way, tells not one definitive account of the story of Christ, but four that contain conflicting details. So despite the current celebrity mystique surrounding the individual, named author, it’s safe to say that at the core of human civilization lie values of collaboration, shared experience, and shared ownership. And certain movements in literature today remind us of those values.

  • Programming

    • Libc++ Has Landed

      As I reported on Phoronix earlier this month and was widely-carried by other news outlets after that, FreeBSD 10 will using the LLVM/Clang compiler and deprecate GCC. The BSD camp wants to get rid of the GPL-licensed compiler from the Free Software Foundation and replace it with the younger but promising Apple-sponsored and BSD-style-licensed LLVM and Clang; see the earlier Phoronix articles on the topic for greater detail.

Leftovers

  • Microsoft corrects itself: ‘We expect fewer people to use Windows 8′

    Microsoft doesn’t really expect that 500 million “users” will have Windows 8 next year, but it’s still juggling the numbers.

    The company has said reported comments by chief executive Steve Ballmer on Windows 8 uptake in 2013 are a “restatement of data” by a company employee in December 2011, and that these stats relate to Windows 7 licence upgrades.

    Ballmer was reported by the AFP to have told the Seoul Digital Forum in South Korea this week: “500 million users will have Windows 8 next year.”

  • Finance

  • Copyrights

    • Analysis of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012

      There are some welcome provisions in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012, and some worrisome provisions. Pranesh Prakash examines five positive changes, four negative ones, and notes the several missed opportunities. The larger concern, though, is that many important issues have not been addressed by these amendments, and how copyright policy is made without evidence and often out of touch with contemporary realities of the digital era.

      There are some welcome provisions in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012, and some worrisome provisions. Pranesh Prakash examines five positive changes, four negative ones, and notes the several missed opportunities. The larger concern, though, is that many important issues have not been addressed by these amendments, and how copyright policy is made without evidence and often out of touch with contemporary realities of the digital era.

      The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012 has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, and will become law as soon as the President gives her assent and it is published in the Gazette of India. While we celebrate the passage of some progressive amendments to the Copyright Act, 1957 — including an excellent exception for persons with disabilities — we must keep in mind that there are some regressive amendments as well. In this blog post, I will try to highlight those provisions of the amendment that have not received much public attention (unlike the issue of lyricists’ and composers’ ‘right to royalty’).

    • ACTA

05.25.12

Links 25/5/2012: Linux Mint 13, LLVM 3.1

Posted in News Roundup at 2:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 61% of the top 10k sites on the web are served by open source projects Apache and nginx

    Uptime monitoring service Pingdom analyzed the top 10,000 websites on the web and unsurprisingly found out that 74.6% of them are served on web servers run by open source software.

  • Simon Phipps is the new OSI President
  • Open Source: Why Are You Still Waiting?

    You see, since 2003 open source has been intertwined with Brazil’s government, which claims to have realized hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings. Critics with something to lose–notably Microsoft–claim that government workers immediately load up their Linux workstations with Windows, making the open-source desktop an illusion. Besides, Microsoft says, its software offers “better value” when the benefits are weighed against the costs.

  • Hughski ColorHug field report, or “test”, or “review”

    When Richard Hughes, founder of Hughski Limited announced an “open source” colorimeter with full GPL source code and even Linux support late last year, he offered a developers’ discount for testers and early adopters. So I was quick to give him a nod on that one. A few weeks ago I was informed that now I could have one if I still wanted it, and I did. And two days ago my ColorHug arrived, and here it is:

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • 451 Research delivers market sizing estimates for NoSQL, NewSQL and MySQL ecosystem

      NoSQL and NewSQL database technologies pose a long-term competitive threat to MySQL’s position as the default database for Web applications, according to a new report published by 451 Research.

      The report, MySQL vs. NoSQL and NewSQL: 2011-2015, examines the competitive dynamic between MySQL and the emerging NoSQL non-relational, and NewSQL relational database technologies.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Greek municipality of Pilea-Hortiatis migrating to LibreOffice

      The Greek municipality of Pilea-Hortiatis, just east of Thessaloniki, is migrating all of its PCs to the free and open source suite LibreOffice, with the help of the Greek Linux User Group. Greeklug explains in a statement published on 27 March that it has finished the migration from a proprietary office suite on 91 PCs. Still to be migrated are 45 PCs.

    • VirtualBox 4.1.16 Has Support for Linux Kernel 3.4

      Oracle announced a few minutes ago, May 22nd, the immediate availability for download of the popular VirtualBox 4.1.16 virtualization software.

  • Education

    • On the purpose of education

      This is something that has mattered to me for all my teaching career. When training, I took Terry McLoughlin’s optional philosophy of education module; this was the best bit of the course, certainly the one that had the most lasting effect on me as an educator. After three years of a maths degree to sit in seminars where students took responsibility for introducing each week’s topics seemed revolutionary then. We talked and thought about what education was for, something we find a little time for now in my own lectures at Roehampton. The idea that captivated me then, and remains the touchstone for me still, is that of rational autonomy.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • Nmap now fully ready for IPv6

      Nearly three years after the last major release of Nmap, version 6.0 of the open source network scanner has been released. Nmap is a popular utility for scanning and mapping network ranges to extract information about the systems attached to the network and the network’s topology. In version 6.0, the developers have added full IPv6 support while enhancing Nmap’s scripting engine, web scanning, mapping GUI and scanning performance, while also introducing a new tool called Nping.

    • LLVM 3.1 Officially Released
    • LLVM 3.1 Compiler Infrastructure released
  • Public Services/Government

    • First Open Government Summit to debate Open Source in the Public Sector

      The first Open Government Summit will take place on May 30th in Central Hall Westminster, London and will examine how the open source model allows public sector organisations to be more efficient, save money, meet mission-critical IT demands and improve their services.

      Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “The advantages of open source for government IT are well documented and will lead to efficiencies and savings in the delivery of public services. How to implement open source solutions most effectively is an important matter, and I am pleased that the summit is devoting time to discussing it.”

    • Government reneges on open source promise for Cloudstore 2.0

      The UK government has finally unveiled the second iteration of its Cloudstore after a number of delays, and has reneged on its pledge to make version 2.0 open source.

    • Crisis does not foster Greek open source adoption

      Greek public administrations in practice use almost no open source, in spite of a law approved by the Greek parliament in 2011 that promotes the development of open source. European funded initiatives like Open-Source for European Public Administrations (Osepa) could change that, those involved say.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ArduPilot Mega 2.0 Does Drone Autopilot on the Cheap

      This one is for all those autonomous vehicle makers out there who need a cheap autopilot system to make it go. Among the bits of awesome seen at the 2012 Bay Area Maker Faire, was the ArduPilot Mega 2.0 (APM2) from 3D Robotics, a complete open source autopilot system.

    • Open Data

      • What is open data?

        Open data is the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control.

        The goals of the open data movement are similar to those of other “Open” movements such as open source, open content, and open access. The philosophy behind open data has been long established, but the term “open data” itself is recent, gaining popularity with the rise of the Internet and World Wide Web and, especially, with the launch of open-data government initiatives such as Data.gov.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Protests demonstrate growing demand for open access to research

        Last week, Winston Hide committed what he called “a toxic career move.” Hide, an associate professor of bioinformatics and computational biology at the Harvard School of Public Health, publicly resigned from the editorial board of Genomics, an influential journal in his field.

        “No longer can I work for a system that provides solid profits for the publisher while effectively denying colleagues in developing countries access to research findings,” he wrote in a piece for the Guardian. “I cannot stand by any longer while access to scientific resources is restricted.”

    • Open Hardware

      • Open source hardware: Fast and malleable

        SparkFun is not like BMW. We will never be the company to produce the luxury market version of breakout boards and development tools. I believe the only way SparkFun will survive this quickly changing world is to be malleable. We have to be ready to change.

  • Programming

    • Open Django Builds Open Source Web Democracy

      Developers “more interested” in framework’s data models than operating system or GUI

    • Python modules you should know: PyGPGME
    • GCC Explorer – an interactive take on compilation

      One of the things I spend a fair amount of time doing at work is compiling my C/C++ code and looking at the disassembly output. Call me old-fashioned, but I think sometimes the only way to really grok your code is to see what the processor will actually execute. Particularly with some of the newer features of C++11 — lambdas, move constructors, threading primitives etc — it’s nice to be able to see how your elegant code becomes beautiful (and maybe even fairly optimal) machine code.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Finance

    • Goldman blames hedge fund victim in Hudson CDO fraud case

      Remember the case over Goldman Sachs’s Hudson CDOs, in which U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero wrote a scalding opinion in March? Marrero refused to dismiss fraud claims against the bank, in a ruling that detailed Goldman Sachs’s alleged scheme to shed exposure to subprime mortgages by dumping toxic collateralized debt obligations on an unsuspecting public. This week Goldman had a little something to say about the case, and — surprise! — it’s not an apology.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Internet Puts Up A Billboard In Front Of Lamar Smith’s Office: Don’t Mess With The Internet

      You may recall that, back in March, on a whim based on a discussion at SXSW, Alexis Ohanian and Erik Martin (from Reddit) teamed up with Holmes Wilson (from Fight for the Future) to crowdfund a billboard to go up in Lamar Smith’s district in Austin. It turns out that you internet people don’t mind paying after all, and helped fund two billboards which have now gone up in Smith’s district, including one across the street from his office in San Antonio, and a second one on “Lamar Blvd” in Austin

    • FCC boss backs usage-based pricing for cable Internet access

      The head of the Federal Communications Commission said he supports cable companies’ charging for Internet based on how much a subscriber uses the service, and also welcomed a cable industry initiative to share Wi-Fi hotspots around the country.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

05.23.12

Links 23/5/2012: printerd, Mageia 2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • ownCloud 4 improves ease of use, enhances flexibility for end users

      Earlier this month, at a conference dedicated to Ubuntu, Google developer Thomas Bushnell — who works under CIO Ben Fried — detailed the company’s use of Goobuntu, which has long been an open secret but was rarely discussed in public. According to Bushnell, Goobuntu is based on the LTS (long-term support) releases of Ubuntu, with modifications made to improve security and stability. Fried confirms that Google is currently using the “Lucid Lynx” version of Ubuntu (10.04), but that the company is moving to the “Precise Pangolin” release (12.04).

    • World’s ‘simplest’ Linux laptop reaches the UK

      Back to basics computing the Ordissimo way offers users a simple range of applications that have, the company claims, been hugely simplified to reduce the number of mouse clicks necessary to perform basic tasks.

    • 2 Drivers To Dell’s Earnings And $25 Fair Value

      Dell’s PC division constitutes 20% of its stock by our estimates. Looking ahead, another potential source for sales is the open-source Linux based Ultrabook, which is aimed at capturing the web and mobile design market share dominated by Macbook. For this earnings report, we however expect a slight fall in PC sales due to seasonality, but guidance on ultrabook trends could spark investor interest.

  • Kernel Space

    • printerd aims to be a modern print spooler for Linux

      Red Hat developers Tim Waugh and Richard Hughes have announced what they call a “modern print spooler” for the Linux desktop. The printerd daemon is PolicyKit-enabled and uses D-Bus to communicate with other applications. Waugh points out, that as a design decision, printerd will only accept PDF files as input.

    • Announcing printerd
    • New Linux Kernel Adds X32 ABI, Btrfs Updates

      It’s been a “calm” release cycle, according to Linus Torvalds, but the 3.4 Linux kernel released on Sunday still has plenty of interesting new features. Top of the bill? A X32 application binary interface (ABI) that will help provide better performance for applications that don’t really need huge chunks of memory or 64-bit variables.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Announcing the Make Play Live Partner Network

        In the wake of the announcement of the first ever KDE powered tablet, quite a few interesting things are happening in the background. One of them is the formation of a professional Partner Network for devices such as the Vivaldi tablet. Let’s look at this Partner Network in more detail.

  • Distributions

    • KISS simplicity: Arch Linux
    • Fire up your creativity with the latest Dream Studio release!

      Rock musician and software developer Dick MacInnis, announced a few days ago the availability of the new Dream Studio release which is based on Ubuntu 12.04.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva To Use Mageia For Their Business Servers

        Mandriva, the company behind the GNU/Linux based distribution with same name, recently announced that they are giving the control of the distribution to the community. CEO of Mandriva SA, Jean-Manuel Croset, wrote, “After reviewing all your messages, suggestions, ideas and comments, Mandriva SA took the decision to transfer the responsibility of the Mandriva Linux distribution to an independent entity.”

        The development raised questions about the role Mandriva fork Mageia will play in this community controlled Mandriva. Mandriva clarifies that there will be active collaboration between the two teams. For their server product, Mandriva will collaborate with the Mageia community.

      • Our baby’s growing up: Mageia 2 is here

        We’re the Mageia community, and we are very happy to announce the release of Mageia 2!

      • Mageia 2 Released

        The Mageia team has announced the release of Mageia 2, the community-driven fork of Mandriva.

      • Open Source: Mageia 1 to Mageia 2 Upgrade

        I am jumping the gun a bit and upgrading my Mageia 1 installation on my personal / business SOHO desktop PC tonight, May 21st, to Mageia 2. Officially Mageia 2 is not due to release until May 22nd. But the online repository for Mageia 2 is in place at my preferred mirror and I know that it is basically ready to go right now. So, I am upgrading. Ironically, I am starting this article from my soon-to-be-retired Mandriva 2011 install on the SOHO router / Bacula backup server. I have X and fluxbox installed on here just for occasions such as this where my main PC is being serviced. I am publishing this and will update as I go, so any of you that follow this site via RSS can make comments if you wish while this is being written.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO: The nuts and bolts of open source

        While the so-called Information Age has been touted since the public opening of the Internet nearly 20 years ago, the real dawn of the Information Age is just about to start.

        That was the central theme of this morning’s Open Source Business Conference keynote from Jim Whitehurst, President & CEO Red Hat, who also told the audience that open source is setting off the explosion of new innovation.

    • Debian Family

      • How Debian has grown: Stefano Zacchiroli speaks

        Last month, Stefano Zacchiroli was re-elected as leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project for a third term, the first leader to earn such a mandate. Only the founder, Ian Murdock, has headed the project for anything approaching three years.

        Debian is the biggest volunteer project of all distributions, has the most ports and provides, arguably, the best distribution; its package management tools are the stuff of legend. It serves as the basis for some of the better known and more widely used distributions, like Ubuntu and Knoppix, and also functions as some kind of conscience of the FOSS movement.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.04: Parentally Precise

            My mother in law, Sue, has what can be best described as a dog-earred mess of a laptop. A reasonably modern Lenovo Thinkpad with Windows Vista, it was painfully slow to use, crammed with all manner of bloatware and pre-installed rubbish that came with the machine and the applications she installed, and likely hiding some spyware, viruses and other uglyness.

            Now, I am not a fan of Windows at the best of times, but this was beyond software preferences: the machine was barely usable. Sue though, being the trooper she is, gritted her teeth and just got on with it, going about her business as usual.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi team teases camera add-on

      The Raspberry Pi $35 Linux computer, which is equipped with a 700MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, an SD card slot, two USB ports, an Ethernet jack and both HDMI and RCA outputs, will soon feature support for a camera add-on. The current prototype features a 14-megapixel camera that can be connected directly to the Rapsberry Pi through its CSI pins.

    • Raspberry Pi foundation demos 14MP camera module for $35 computer

      A blog post published by the Raspberry Pi foundation offers the first look at an experimental camera module that is designed to plug into the organization’s popular $35 Linux computer. The camera component, which will likely be available for purchase later this year, is relatively small. The foundation says that it is “ideal for some robotics and home automation applications people have been wanting to build.”

    • VIA Launches its Banana PC, i.e. The $49 Android PC

      Couple of days ago, WonderMedia (subsidiary of VIA Technologies, which in turn is a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics) announced its latest SoC processors, the 800MHz WM8950 and the faster 1.2GHz WM8850. We’re not sure why exactly the higher number part is the lower-performing one, but we’ll leave that one to you to figure out.

    • Phones

      • Samsung And HTC Working On Tizen OS-Powered Smarphones, Acer And ASUS Netbooks Will Follow

        After we have seen Tizen OS in action on a Samsung slate a few days ago, today we are bringing fresh news about this fresh platform. As probably know, Intel, Linux Foundation, Samsung, Sprint and many other big names of the telecom industry are involved in the Tizen Project.

      • Open Source Won the Mobile Platform Wars, Industry Executive Claims

        At the Open Source Business Conference 2012, the president of mobile data synchronization software company Funambol explained how open source software, such as Google Android, came to dominate the mobile space.

      • Android

        • Google Acquires Motorola Mobility
        • Page: Motorola Mobility acquisition is key to Google’s future

          Google announces completion of its deal to buy Motorola Mobility and enter the hardware market. The marriage will likely bolster Google’s Android-based smartphone business and Xoom tablet business but maybe not its OEM business. The extent of its success will also be determined by its support in the greater open source community, especially among open source developers, in the Software-as-a-Service era.

        • Why China Stuck Its Foot in Android’s Door

          Google has cleared the final hurdle standing in its way of acquiring Motorola Mobility. The government of China has given the pair its blessing, but one of the conditions regulators set was that the Android OS must remain open for at least the next five years. Google will have to file a report with China’s Commerce Department every six months.

        • Promising words of Google 5-year free & open source plan

          Some readers may remember that back in February we discussed the planned Google acquisition of Motorola Mobility and concerns over the possibility that Google’s Android might not remain an open-source platform. The promising news today for Android enthusiasts is that as part of the recent agreement for China to approve the giant search company’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Google has said it will maintain a 5-year free and open source plan.

        • Motorola Acquired By Google, Sanjay Jha Steps Down As CEO

          With the final nod from China, Google has closed the acquisition of Motorola Mobility this morning. Motorola will be run as a separate company, just the way YouTube is run as a separate company. So, there is no fear of Motorola getting an edge over competitors. On the contrary Google recently announced that they will give partners early access to Android to be able to bring products to the market in time. Motorola will remain a licencee just like other Android partners.

        • Why AT&T’s CEO is flat-out wrong about Android

          Randall, Randall, Randall. AT&T’s CEO has a habit of getting himself in hot water when he talks about his company’s network, and with his latest remarks about Android, he’s managed to make himself look like a fool yet again.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • The Only One

      Confused, mentally ill or just failing in facility due to advancing age, M$ is clearly not adapting to a new reality but trying to create a comfortable hallucination in which it alone can save mankind from ARM… Reality is that mankind must be saved from M$ by real innovation and unfettered imagination stimulated by FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software).

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs made billions by pushing AIG to bankruptcy

      An investigative report published Sunday by the New York Times provides a glimpse of the predatory practices of major Wall Street banks that played a central role in the financial meltdown and global economic crisis.

      The article, headlined “Testy Conflict With Goldman Helped Push AIG to Precipice,” documents the role of Goldman Sachs, the biggest and most profitable US investment bank, in pushing the insurance giant American International Group (AIG) to the brink of bankruptcy.

05.22.12

Links 22/5/2012: Google/Motorola Deal Secured, Chrome Passes IE

Posted in News Roundup at 4:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Survey: Open Source Adoption Rises, Drives Innovation

    More than 50 percent of all software purchased within five years will be open source, according to a survey released Monday by a collaboration of 26 open source companies.

    This year’s “Future of Open Source Survey” results signal a tipping point for open source software adoption in the enterprise and non-technical industries such as automotive, health care and finance. In the auto industry, for example, 59 percent of the companies surveyed use open source software and 35 percent said they’re evaluating it.

  • US Army trains in open source 3-D virtual cyber-world

    Intended to simulate “in theatre” scenarios to stimulate team building skills and wider training and analysis initiatives, the work to test out as many as 400 use cases is being carried out in the Research Lab Simulation and Training Technology Center in Orlando.

  • Open Source Finds Its Way Into Mobile, Cloud, Big Data

    As the Open Source Business Conference gets underway in San Francisco, a survey shows that open-source software is contributing to development in some of the top IT trends of the day.

    Mobile computing, cloud computing and analyzing huge amounts of data are among the top IT trends in 2012 and are also the focus of the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) 2012 that begins May 21 in San Francisco.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome Becomes World’s No. 1 Web Browser; Still No. 2 In US

        Well THAT was quick. Just six months after Google Chrome eclipsed Mozilla’s Firefox to become the world’s second most popular Web browser, Chrome finally surpassed Microsoft’s Internet Explorer on Sunday to become the most-used Web browser in the world, according to Statcounter.

      • Google Chrome: First run around the track
      • Chrome passes IE in browser share

        Chrome has passed Internet Explorer in browser share according to StatCounter’s latest numbers and Firefox’s recent downward trend appears to be over. Google’s open-source-based Chrome has been steadily gaining share according to StatCounter’s logs and, for the week just past, had a 32.76% share. IE on the other hand has been steadily declining since 2009, and in the same week took a 31.94% share.

    • Mozilla

      • Who Loves Ya, Linux Baby?

        We here in the Linux blogosphere tend to be pretty good at that, but recently a surprising turn of events left us befuddled. Namely: Mozilla’s decision to leave Linux support out of the initial release of its upcoming Web Apps marketplace.

        Mozilla has been nothing if not a friend to FOSS over the years — indeed, it’s one of our very own best successes — and Linux users tend to be among its most ardent supporters.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source Machines: New Ideas Are Arriving

        Bring up the term open source to many people, and they’ll immediately think of community-driven software projects, but we’ve covered many open source hardware concepts here on OStatic over the years. And, last year, the official Open Source Hardware (OSHW) definition arrived in version 1.1. Recently, TED fellow Marcin Jakubowski delivered an address in which he discussed the open source blueprints for 50 farm machines, ranging from tractors to harvesters. You can get his thoughts in a video, but these farm-focused ideas are only a small part of the open source hardware scene.

  • Programming

    • Perl 5.16.0 now available

      The Perl developers have announced that Perl 5.16.0 is now available, after twelve months of development following the release of Perl 5.14.0. The changes in Perl 5.16 are designed to improve the language without breaking any past software.

Leftovers

  • Microsoft charges to remove crapware

    Software giant Microsoft is offering to delete all the crapware which OEMs are forever installing on computers.

    Microsoft will do this for a fee. Sorting out your computer so it is bloatware free will cost you $99.

  • Finance

    • The True Costs of Bank Crises

      Ultimately the particulars of J.P. Morgan’s losses are so much noise. What they point to is an economic system designed to self-destruct. Add increasing environmental degradation in the face of global warming to structural financial fragility and what capitalism appears to have created is a full-blown suicide machine. And to invert Mr. Haldane’s premise—the $60 trillion in lost production (minimum) was never going to go to us anyway. The trajectory since the 1970s had it going to corporate executives, bankers and machines (automation).

05.21.12

Links 21/5/2012: Linux 3.4 Released, Dream Studio 12.04

Posted in News Roundup at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Introducing PuppetDB: Put Your Data to Work

    PuppetDB is the next-generation open source storage service for Puppet-produced data. Today, this includes catalogs and facts, and will be extended in the near future. The initial release provides a drop-in replacement for both storeconfigs and inventory service.

    We’ve designed PuppetDB to empower Puppet deployments, and built it from the ground up with performance in mind. It’s built on technologies known for their performance, and is highly parallel, making full use of available resources. It also stores all of its data asynchronously, freeing up the master to go compile more catalogs. Beyond that, we’ve devoted copious time to benchmarking and optimizing the performance.

  • GlobaLeaks: The Open Source Whistleblower Software
  • Military Explores Expansion of Open Source Technology
  • Miso Project Offers Open Source Tools for Data Visualization
  • Bangalore India slum kids use open-source software to learn computer skills

    The centre, supported by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), has so far taught 40 students basic GNU/Linux skills along with opensource tools to provide image and graphics software. “We use free software to bring home the idea of equality and freedom. Besides teaching computer skills, we also touch upon the issues of caste and gender discrimination. Also, we emphasise that free software does not mean subsidy for the poor. It’s about freedom from copyright. The focus is on freedom and equality offered by the community software as compared to corporate ware,,” says Balaji Kutty, an IT professional and board member of SFLC who also teaches at the centre.

  • NERC, EPRI Release Open-Source Code To Analyze GICs

    The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have developed a simulation tool for the electric industry to analyze geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) on their systems.

  • Open Source Spotlight – Yabi: Bringing drag-and-drop to supercomputers

    Supercomputers are powerful tools for scientists. They are also very expensive, so wasted time can mean a lot of wasted resources. But making the most efficient use of them is not the easiest proposition in the world; it’s not just a case of clicking a button to analyse a protein. However, fitting out the world of supercomputers with a user-friendly, web-based interface is the focus of an open source project based at Western Australia’s Murdoch University.

    Last year Murdoch publicly launched Yabi, a tool equipped with a web interface to make using supercomputers simpler.

    The computational physics community, as an example, may be very proficient in the intricacies of shell scripts and working with a command line, says Professor Matthew Bellgard, Director of Murdoch’s Centre for Comparative Genomics. “They’ve had a lot of experience in the past running their Fortran code using 4000 cores or 10,000 cores,” he says. However, “there are other domains where scientists don’t necessarily have that skill running command line code or porting their code from one supercomputer to another.”

  • Open Source Software Popularity Is Skyrocketing
  • The Morning Download: Open Source Software’s Coming-Out Party

    Good morning. Open source software is enjoying somewhat of a revival in business environments, although the revival is more about perception than reality. IBM‘s decision to swap out Oracle customer-account management software for similar software from SugarCRM was probably motivated at least in part by a desire to inflict some pain on rival Oracle, but also indicates an underlying confidence in the reliability, stability and scalability of open source software.

  • Winners Announced For International Space Apps Challenge

    While budgetary constraints and increasing commercial competition has clearly taken its toll on NASA, one area where the iconic government institution has unquestionably made headway is the implementation of open source.

  • Sigrok: open source framework for logic analysers

    While there are quite a few budget and even open source logic analyser platforms for recording and evaluating digital signals, each of them usually comes with a custom interface protocol and dedicated evaluation software of varying functionality. Usually, the software only works with one analyser family made by a specific company.

  • Open Source Spotlight: iSpy Connect
  • Open Source in the enterprise

    Open source software has come a long way. From the days when it was seen as a curiosity, to today’s scenario where some of the world’s biggest computer setups run atop Linux including Amazon and Google, it has been an interesting journey. According to IDC, Linux accounts for about 18-20% of the server market by revenues in any given quarter. That’s within striking distance of Unix, which had a market share of 20-22% in the second and third quarters of 2011. Of course, Windows ruled the roost with 45-50% in revenue terms.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice mentoring

      In fact it is about the difficulty to get started at the LibreOffice project, which is a quite bad thing, because we need supporters and contributors of any kind. In the past, the decade of OpenOffice.org, one thing what we missed were the developers (I was not involved at that time, but I heard it several times and I think it is true…). Now, at the LibreOffice project we have easyhacks (At least I assume this, because of THIS Google search). Loads of things have been done about that. Now, I would really want to show you 2 month old numbers from Italo Vignoli’s blog. On March the 15th, there were ~360 people contributing to LibreOffice and ~21 at Apache OpenOffice.

  • Education

    • The case for agile pedagogy

      Policy makers, industry and many teachers are eager that pupils should learn more about computing. This includes learning how to write computer programs, but also “computational thinking”, a transferable way of solving problems and exploring situations, which has wide applications across and beyond the curriculum. In short, as pupils learn to program computers and the principles of computer science they start to bring the unique insights of algorithms, abstraction and the like to other fields. The same is true for teachers – ideas from computing can dramatically change the way we think about our work, and one of these, agile development, is what I’d like to explore here.

      According to many A-level specifications, students are taught that software projects follow the “waterfall” methodology, starting with agreeing requirements, designing and implementing the software, testing it and then keeping things ticking over when it’s deployed to clients.

      In other words, the sort of approach that has characterised public sector IT projects like the NHS database. Hmm… This doesn’t sound that far removed from how we’ve designed curricula: a top down list of things “children should be taught”, schemes of work, implementation in the classroom, plenty of testing, and the “service pack” of INSET as and when needed.

    • UK science minister explains move to open source
  • Business

    • The Open Source Challenge in the Channel

      One of the ironies of the channel these days is that many of the data centers and network operations centers (NOCs) built by solution providers are based on open source technologies. Almost invariably, these platforms are being used to support commercial software and systems that have been deployed at any number of customer locations.

      That may sound a bit hypocritical. But in truth it just reflects an economic reality. Many solution providers have plenty of expertise available to them. What they are often short on is funding. When faced with the choice of throwing labor at a solution versus parting with cash to acquire commercial technologies, the decision is almost always to “sweat” the labor investment.

    • Open source Opsview polishes IT monitoring lens

      Opsview has around 19,900 customers using its free open source offering and a further 100 customers paying for all the bells and whistles as well as a support package in the shape of the Enterprise version.

    • The Serious Business of Open Source, Inc.

      Imagine what “Risk Factors” a hypothetical Open Source Incorporated would put into the regulatory filings that corporations file every year. The process could well provide insight into what the communities of Open Source should be prepared for.

    • Nuxeo growth shows increasing demand for open source solutions

      First a look at the numbers: Nuxeo reported global customer growth of 40 percent adding new customers that included Electronic Arts and InterContinental Hotel Group. It was North America where Nuxeo really took off, as North America became the company’s biggest market with revenue doubling there. Meanwhile, the community also grew. Nuxeo reported that the number of downloads tripled.

    • IBM Gets Behind Snort, Expands Anomaly Detection
    • Liferay Announces Strong Sales Growth in Europe
  • Funding

    • Great place to browse around

      Bocoup incubates Web startups, fosters open-source community [...] Web app and open-source consulting company that also provides space and funding for startups.

  • Project Releases

    • Lightspark 0.5.7 released

      A new ver­sion of Lightspark has been released yes­ter­day. You can give it a try by get­ting the source code from launch­pad. Ubuntu pack­ages should be avail­able shortly from our PPA

    • Cassandra 1.1 Brings Cache Tuning, Mixed Storage Support

      Apache has dished out another serving of Cassandra, the open source NoSQL database popular for handling big data. The improvements speak to a maturing NoSQL database that’s well-suited for big data deployments. This time around, Cassandra has improvements to its query language, and tuning improvements that will help companies trying to boost performance with a mixture of magnetic media and solid state drives (SSD). Its continued development helps maintain open-source dominance in the big data/NoSQL market.

    • OpenMAMA Project Delivers First Release of Middleware Messaging API
  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Fighting for Freedom in Slovakia

      FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) is helping a Slovakian business fined for failing to use that other OS and IE for filing taxation information. It will be interesting to see whether or not the courts can order the Slovakian government to do IT the right way, with open standards for communication protocols and file formats.

    • Executive summary of the EURA case
    • OSI Supports Open Standards

      The Open Source Initiative agreed what made a standard open back in 2006 and today collaborated with the Free Software Foundation on a press statement about it.

Leftovers

  • Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8

    Digital media playback in Windows 8 has fallen casualty to the savage economics of the PC industry and changing tastes in consumer viewing.

    We knew Windows Media Center would be sold at extra cost in Windows 8, but Microsoft now says you won’t be able to play DVDs on Windows Media Player in Windows 8.

  • Hardware

    • Can Nvidia’s Kepler processor revolutionize virtual desktop hosting?

      In a BYOD world, this approach is compelling. By hosting the desktop, IT owns a virtualized generic hardware environment yet can supply that environment to a variety of hardware devices-smartphones, tablets, Linux PCs and even smart TVs, which could be used more readily for high-end, off-site conferences in rented facilities or as a cheaper alternative to more expensive conference room solutions.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Why Goldman Is Not a Simple Culprit in the Financial Crisis Report

      The Senate Permanent Investigation Subcommittee’s report on the financial crisis is an important document. It is an exhaustive look at certain main aspects of the financial crisis, a report which heavily criticizes Washington Mutual, the now-defunct Office of Thrift Supervision, the credit ratings agencies, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

    • A Sea of Robin Hoods Tell the G8, “It’s Time to Tax Wall Street!”

      Thousands of nurses from around the world descended upon Daley Plaza, in the heart of Chicago on May 18, to demand that the richest nations in the world put an end to austerity politics and start asking the people who collapsed the global economy to do more to “heal the world.”

  • Censorship

    • UK ISPs ordered to block Pirate Bay website

      The High Court said on Monday that Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media would have to block access to The Pirate Bay (TPB), following an earlier ruling in February over the role of the site in copyright infringement.

    • The Tor Project’s New Tool Aims To Map Out Internet Censorship

      For years, the non-profit Tor Project has offered Internet users the world’s most secure tool for dodging censorship and surveillance, used by tens of millions of people around the world. Now two of the project’s researchers aim to help users to not only bypass what they call the “filternet”–the choked, distorted and censored subset of the Internet–but to understand it and map it out, the better to eradicate its restrictions.

05.19.12

Links 19/5/2012: Mandriva Linux Freed, New Linux Mint RC

Posted in News Roundup at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Porteus Team: We consider ourselves a “Portable Linux Community”
  • Musings on the linux audio stack

    I spent some free time today getting caught up on the large backlog of phonon-gstreamer bugs. Towards the end, I started to have delusions of grandeur: Imagine a phonon-gstreamer codebase that doesn’t require supporting a zillion different audio frameworks, and instead belays that task to something that I don’t have to maintain.

  • Desktop

    • and, nor or

      Just read another “forget desktop Linux” piece by a writer trying to cover Free software on a sight ostensibly doing the same. This is exactly the sort of thing I wrote about in a recent blog entry, and it’s sad to see it continue.

    • Will Linux Ever Experience The Year Of The Desktop? [Opinion]
    • Linux Desktop Space is no Place to Concede

      The argument goes something to the affect that “since there is a movement towards enabling more devices at work and schools, the desktop no longer really matters.”

      I understand my colleague Andrea’s passion for mobile devices and social media, but her conclusions seem seriously flawed. The reason I am writing this article is to ensure people understand the great value of Linux on the Desktop.

    • GNU/Linux Has Taken Off

      In it Maria Korolov trots out a long list of “problems” with GNU/linux for large businesses. Here’s an example: “a typical organization will have one application for every 10 users, and, today, about half of those applications require the Windows operating system”

      That makes no sense at all. It means businesses, money-making organizations, are foolishly paying for far too many applications. The largest organizations on the planet are governments and as we saw in Munich, it is worthwhile to shed unnecessary applications and rationalize the rest.

    • Yeehaw! Munich Now Has 10K GNU/Linux Machines
    • Netbook Upgrade – SSD IN, Windows OUT

      I did some very simple timing of several different Linux distributions on this system before I changed the disk drive, and found that they all took about one minute from the GRUB menu to a ready.-to-use desktop. I repeated those tests with the SSD, and found that the average boot time had been cut to 30 seconds or less! The overall impression of using the system is faster with the SSD as well.

    • Prague in the Spring

      Clearly, GNU/Linux works for them. It’s just silly that some commentators here cling to the idea that nothing can be done without that other OS. There is clear evidence to the contrary.

  • Server

    • May 2012 Web Server Survey

      nginx saw its 9th consecutive month of increased market share, gaining 894k hostnames and increasing its share to 5.48%, more than double the value it held a year ago. Apache fared the worst this month, losing 17.5M hostnames. However, it remains far ahead of the competition with two out of every three hostnames being served using Apache.

  • Kernel Space

    • Inspired by Linux? Design a T-shirt
    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org: “A Wasteland of Unreviewedness”

        After David Airlie brought up the new DDX driver API for the X.Org Server, a new discussion was born concerning the lack of patch review taking place for the X.Org Server.

        David Airlie commented on the developers’ mailing list about the lack of patch review for the new API patches, he wonders how he’s “going to get the next 50 patches in at this rate some time this year.” Alan Coopersmith then responded with how there seems to be a harder time overall in getting patch reviews done. Coopersmith says, “I’ve got no ideas how to fix this quickly, but we need to get it fixed.”

      • A New NVIDIA Linux Binary Driver Released
      • The New X.Org Server Driver API Is Coming

        The new driver API for the X.Org Server that would finally allow for the X.Org stack to better compete with modern desktop drivers on Windows and Mac OS X, may actually see the light of day, prior to the Wayland push.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Xfce 4 Desktop Customization

      The Xfce 4 desktop offers a vast array of customization options that will leave your desktop looking nothing like the default. Take advantage of all the excellent graphical user interfaces offered for all of your options, settings, and preferences.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kdenlive 0.9 Released

        Video editing is one of the few areas where GNU/Linux is behind Windows and Macs. There are no professional grade video editing software for Linux. However, there are many honest attempts to bring quality video editing to the Linux platform. Kdenlive is one such project.

      • The road to KDE LightDM-0.2

        Dave Edmunson, one of the lead developers behind KDE LightDM recently published an UPDATE describing some of the features (and shortcomings) already part of the first KDE LightDM release, as well as explaining a bit of what´s coming along in the next few months for the 0.2 release. Dave explained how some KDM features are still missing in KDE LightDM-0.1, but in turn, some of the screenshots he´s sharing look very promising. Among others, the benefits of using LightDM is, as its name rightly points out, its relatively low weight when compared with GDM or KDM. On top of that, there are obvious gains in terms of looks and flexibility. To give an example, changing the login screen wallpaper and/or welcome image will be very simple. Along the same lines, things like having the login screen and KSplash incorporating the same wallpaper the user has in her/his desktop should be easier. Inconsistencies between login screen and KSplash in terms of resolution and things of the like should also be out of the way thanks to the common QML thread. Here´s a picture of the Login screen control module, as it looks today. Note these are early days for this piece of functionality, so chances it may not look exactly like this come future releases:

      • Browse your activities
      • Moving Kolab 2.4 forward to 2.4.1

        I’m pleased to announce our Kolab 2.4 product series can now be labeled 2.4.1!

      • Qt 5.0 Is Going To Like LLVMpipe, Wayland
    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Review: ROSA 2012 “Marathon”

      You may have heard of ROSA before, but you may not be sure where. Almost 9 months ago, I reviewed Mandriva 2011 “Hydrogen”, and that version of Mandriva was developed in conjunction with ROSA Labs, a Russian Linux development group. Since then, Mandriva seen quite a roller-coaster ride and is now essentially on life support. It is all but certain that there will be no new releases of a distribution with the name “Mandriva” (or “Mandrake” for that matter). One fork appeared over a year ago, and that is called Mageia; that aimed to replicate and build upon the traditional KDE desktop that Mandriva used before the year 2011. The other fork is ROSA, and it is essentially a continuation of the novel desktop introduced in Mandriva 2011 “Hydrogen”. It seems like ROSA will become the haven for all Mandriva users that had not already gone to Mageia.

    • Parted Magic gets optional firewall

      A new version of the Parted Magic open source, Linux-based, multi-platform partitioning tool has been released. Labelled “2012_05_14″, the update is based on the 3.3.6 Linux kernel and includes version 1.12.1 of X Server.

    • 4 Strange And Disturbing Linux Distros You Probably Won’t Be Installing

      Linux is the operating system of choice for those who decide to go their own way. The open source model means the building blocks are there for you if you decide that you need your very own operating system.

    • New Releases

      • Rocks Releases Mamb

        The latest version of Rocks cluster distribution – an open source toolkit for real and virtual clusters – has been released.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Kindergarden Linux

          Fast forward one day, it seems like trying Fedora 16 Live was a failure: he gets a wallpaper and a mouse cursor, nothing else. I am showing a random screenshot from the web, trying to understand if he has a normal GNOME Shell empty desktop or is a deeper problem and this drives me to a large explanation on what GNOME, Unity, KDE, Xfce, LXDE are (and a statement of my desktop preference). I am asked again about my phone number and ignore the question. Then he wants to give Ubuntu a try, I don’t have a problem with that but he has: the same empty desktop with no panel, no right-click menus, no nothing. If is not the display, then it may be video drivers (ATI), so I recommend either a newer Fedora (F17 RC1 is online) or VESA parameters for boot (me blaming AMD).

        • Fedora 17 won’t be released until 29 May

          The Fedora Project has pushed back the release of the Fedora 17 Linux distribution by a week, from 22 May to 29 May. The main reason is that the project wants to take care of four bugs classified as blockers in the current release candidates; if possible, the developers will also use the extra time to fix a dozen other problems.

        • Fedora 18 Approves Controversial Feature
    • Debian Family

      • Crunchbang Linux review

        In my continued look at out of the ordinary Linux distributions, I installed Crunchbang Linux. Crunchbang’s main version is a distribution based on Debian’s stable branch (known as “squeeze”). This review is based on the 32-bit version of Crunchbang Linux. At this time, Crunchbang offers a regular version and one with backports installed (for the new kernel, among other things). I chose to use the regular version, R20120207 “Statler”.

      • Linux Mint Debian Edition, With Mate

        The move from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 resulted in varied emotions with many people liking the much needed change and for many, lets just say that they felt devastated.

        The Linux Mint team, after waiting out the initial change with Mint 11, released Mint 12 with Gnome 3 and now they have their work cutout with the Gnome 2 fork MATE and the Cinnamon Shell.

      • XBMC Eden on Debian Wheezy
      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Who is the biggest control freak of them all?

    Recently, it appears that the program offering paradigm is the virtual store front so to speak. Google’s play or Apples App store, to name the two most well known ones for mobile devices. Linux distributions have always had a form of application store where they are commonly known as repositories. In essence these ‘stores’ all work the same way. A single access point to all programs available for that operating system.

    Shall we play a game? Just imagine you have written the program to end all programs and want to get this program into an application store for XYZ operating system. Which one do you think is the hardest to get into?

    For your program to get into a Linux distribution it has to be already popular enough for someone to decide to do the work necessary so it can be included in the official repository. That someone can be you so I would say it is very easy for your program be become part of an official distribution.

    I think we can discount windows for this exercise as it does not have an application store as such. Although there are rumours that they are working towards creating one.

  • Need a resume boost? Get involved with an open source project

    There are a lot of excellent reasons to get involved with an open source project. You can learn a new language, improve your existing skills, be challenged by a community that is at the top of their field or even get better at managing complex distributed projects. There are also dozens of ways to participate. Open up a project’s bug tracker and find an issue that needs to be fixed. Write a useful new extension or plugin. Even if you don’t code, just about every open source project out there could use more testing, more documentation and tutorials and help handling the load on their support forums and mailing lists. If you are a heavy user of open source software it feels great to give something back to the community that has contributed so much.

  • An Open Source Arsenal for Photographers

    There has never been a better time to be interested in digital photography. Not only do inexpensive digital cameras offer great high-resolution photos, but they come with very advanced feature sets. Over the years on OStatic, we’ve also covered a huge number of open source applications that can make editing, organizing and adding effects to digital photos much easier. If you’re under the impression that you must have Photoshop to be a top-notch photo editor, think again. The open source applications that are available are beyond robust. Here is our updated collection of great tools for the digital

  • Open-source messaging at (nearly) the speed of light
  • OpenFlow Protocol 1.3.0 Approved

    The OpenFlow open source protocol for software defined networking (SDN) took a big step forward today with the approval of the OpenFlow 1.3.0 specification.

  • Penguicon–Would you like some sci-fi in your open source?

    In the metaphorical space between the two worlds, there were opportunities to play with Lego bricks, try a Chaos Machine, listen to nerd comedy, and talk zombies. You could learn about Camp Luminous, which arguably teaches open source principles, or learn to build a TARDIS from open plans.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Uptime: NASA to cut involvement in OpenStack

      The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is going to stop active participation in the open-source infrastructure cloud project OpenStack – something the agency’s employees were deeply involved in creating.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • A Tale of Two Suites: Do We Still Need OpenOffice.org?

      “I wouldn’t count OO out just yet simply because of ONE reason… the license,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “It’s common knowledge that NOBODY in business will go near GPL after the V3 debacle. Apache on the other hand is MUCH more business-friendly, and the Apache server is used all across the business landscape, so I can see businesses getting behind OO for that reason alone.”

    • Lotus Symphony realigns with Apache OpenOffice

      Donald Harbinson, Program Director for Open Standards/Open Source at IBM, noted the official beginning of the transition on the [ooo-devel] mailing list on Tuesday.

      “A few minutes ago, I submitted the IBM Software Grant Agreement and Corporate Contributor License Agreement for IBM Lotus Symphony contribution. This action means infra can begin to prepare to receive the ‘Contribution’ into svn when they’re ready,” Harbinson wrote.

      The move was hardly unexpected, since IBM announced last January that the last release of Symphony, 3.0.1, would be the final one for IBM’s version of the OpenOffice.org suite.

    • Apache OpenOffice™ 3.4 Blows Past 1M Downloads
    • Thoughts on the certification

      On the 7th of May 2012 The Document Foundation has announced its first certification program. This certification is aimed at professionals who are interested in having their skillset certified in order to provide professional services to their customers. The program is currently being rolled out, in fact the first official certification meeting will take place at the LinuxTag next week. I would like to explain what we are trying to achieve in a bit more details by shedding some light on the reasons such a program came into existence.

    • IBM contributes Symphony to Apache OpenOffice

      IBM has begun the process of contributing code from Symphony, its office automation suite, to the Apache OpenOffice project, saying: “This ends the Symphony fork here with Apache OpenOffice”. Earlier in the year, the company announced its intention to make the contribution, as it plans to move customers to Apache OpenOffice. Historically, Symphony has been based on a combination of Eclipse Rich Client Platform and OpenOffice.org code that was acquired when the OpenOffice.org code was under a dual-licence which allowed IBM to use the code and not release its changes.

  • Funding

    • Need cash? NLnet advances open source technology by funding new projects

      In April 1982, exactly 30 years ago, the European Internet was launched by the Dutch researcher Teus Hagen, at a European Unix User Group conference in Paris. EUnet was the very first European Internet backbone. NLnet Foundation subsequently took the lead of this initiative, and not only helped shape the European Internet, but was fundamental in establishing the currently biggest Internet exchange on the planet, and also built out a market leadership. In September 1997, so 15 years ago, it was acquired by UUnet, now Verizon. All money was put in a fund with the sole purpose to make the Internet better.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • WD 0019/2012 for open and collaborative government

      A few Members of the European Parliament started a Written Declaration for open and collaborative government. Gianni Pittella, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Marisa Matias, Katarína Neveďalová, Marietje Schaake. Written Declarations are documents which could get co-signed by other Members of Parliament. They get adopted when they reach a majority. Written Declarations could be perceived as petitions within the European Parliament and civil society groups often pressure MEPs to sign a Written Declaration that suits their interests. Here it would be rather difficult to get them to endorse the document WD 0019/2012. The reason is simple: instead of “unrestricted” they drafted “current”. That single phrase makes the declaration appear like a Trojan horse.

  • Licensing

    • What’s next after GPL and Apache?

      At the end of April, I wrote about the idea that usage of the GNU General Public License (GPL) is declining and concluded that although new, commercially initiated open source projects were indeed tending to adopt other licenses, the use of the GPL itself is still growing — especially among projects in its core community of GNU platform development. This article explores why commercial projects pick particular open source licenses and what might happen in the future.

  • Programming

    • LLVM For Code Decompiling?

      Asked on the developers’ mailing list last week was whether LLVM could be used for a decompiler, which an independent developer is working to construct.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Food Stamp Use Picks Up Again, In Los Angeles County

      After a winter lull, food stamp participation in Los Angeles County picked up again in March, to rise to a new all time high of 1,036,078 persons. Other economic data points to weakness in the nation’s largest state economy, as well. Indeed, falling tax collections are largely behind the recent budget deficit blowout of 16 billion dollars. And to think: many thought the years of California’s “budget crisis” were behind us. | see: Los Angeles County SNAP Users vs. Price of Oil 2007-2012.

    • Goldman, Merrill E-Mails Show Naked Shorting, Filing Says

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Merrill Lynch & Co. employees discussed helping naked short-sales by market-maker clients in e-mails the banks sought to keep secret, including one in which a Merrill official told another to ignore compliance rules, Overstock.com Inc. (OSTK) said in a court filing.

    • Accidentally Released – and Incredibly Embarrassing – Documents Show How Goldman et al Engaged in ‘Naked Short Selling’

      It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes God smiles on us. Last week, he smiled on investigative reporters everywhere, when the lawyers for Goldman, Sachs slipped on one whopper of a legal banana peel, inadvertently delivering some of the bank’s darker secrets into the hands of the public.

    • The Real Volcker Rule: No Gambling with the Public’s Money

      Pundits and Wall Street reforming politicians are crowing: Wowie! Jamie D has fought for weak regulations, especially a weak Volcker rule, but now Wall Street’s goose is cooked! We’re going to get a strong Volcker rule!

  • Privacy

    • UK government staff caught snooping on citizen data

      What a surprise: the U.K. government was forced to reveal under Freedom of Information laws more than 1,000 civil servants have ’snooped’ on British citizens’ private data.

      Don’t worry about hackers illegally accessing government systems. It turns out government workers and civil servants who are trusted with private citizen data are more likely to access your data illegally.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • BitTorrent not always piracy, says Wil Wheaton

        Geek TV star uses Ubuntu 12.04 download as example of legal BitTorrent use.

        Wheaton, actor on Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Big Bang Theory, and Eureka, is deep into the geek life and has been blogging for years. He may be the most prominent geek advocate in Hollywood, which he says gets him in trouble when he argues in favor of network neutrality and against ill-considered piracy crackdowns, like ignoring legal uses of BitTorrent.

        Using his download of Ubuntu 12.04 as an example, Wheaton argues that BitTorrent saves time and resources. The direct download would take an hour, but the torrent feed did the job in six minutes. Piracy legislation that would shut down or hobble BitTorrent protocol traffic would not stop file sharing, but would ruin a good protocol.

      • ACTA

        • Time To Realize That The Obama Administration Doesn’t Even Have The Authority To Commit The US To ACTA Or TPP

          There is a major problem with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that has little to do with IP or the internet: how does international law get made—by the President alone, or with Congress’s involvement? ACTA’s key problem in the United States is a Constitutional question that turns on the separation of powers. The President, or an office of the executive branch like USTR, can negotiate treaties that fall within presidential powers. But for topics that fall within Congressional powers, like IP law, the Constitution requires that Congress be involved in the process.

          The most obvious and difficult way to involve Congress is through Article II of the Constitution. Under Article II, a treaty negotiated by the executive branch is presented to the Senate for ratification. The process is notoriously difficult, because it requires two-thirds of the Senate to approve. So USTR, almost understandably, wants to avoid the Article II process if at all possible.

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