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Links 30/12/2012: PulseAudio 3.0, GNOME Adds Privacy

Posted in News Roundup at 9:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Limerick migrates to Zentyal’s open source email solution
  • Integreen Brings Open Source Traffic Monitoring To Italy

    The best way to fight an enemy is to start by learning everything you can about it, which is exactly what the team at Integreen are looking to do in the Italian city of Bolzano. By using the latest technology and banking on open source software, Integreen hopes to provide the city management with enough traffic and environmental data to help them more effectively implement environmentally conscience programs such as mass transit.

  • OpenGamma updates its open source financial analytics platform
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome to End Silent Extension Updates

        When it comes to their Internet browsers, users can get quite picky about how much automatic updating they want to take place. For example, in an OStatic post at the end of last year on how the Mozilla Firefox browser would begin silently updating itself (in keeping with Google Chrome) our readers disagreed widely on whether they wanted Firefox to do so.

  • SaaS

    • HPCC: An Open Source Big Data Competitor to Hadoop

      We’ve written before many times about Hadoop, an open source software framework for highly scalable queries and data-intensive distributed applications. The ecosystem of companies and organizations using Hadoop has grown dramatically in recent years, and as the Big Data trend grows, Hadoop training and support solutions are proliferating.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.2.6 leads Oracle virtualisation update

      The developers of Oracle’s VirtualBox have announced a maintenance update to the lead version of their virtualisation platform. Version 4.2.6 is released along with maintenance releases of older branches of the software: 3.2.16., 4.0.18 and 4.1.24. The changes in 4.2.6 are focused on stability and on correcting a number of regressions – there are no new features. Fixes include ensuring that stale virtual machine events are not sent to resetting VMs, fixing the appearance of text in the GUI, corrections to the 3D support, fixing hangs with some storage and adding network rate and disk usage to the metrics.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Zurmo sets out to enchant the open source CRM space

        Being “fed up with the existing open source CRM applications”, the team at Zurmo have released their own open source customer relationship management (CRM) software – Zurmo 1.0. The CRM software, which has been in development for two years, includes deal tracking features, contact and activity management, and has scores and badges that can be managed through a built-in gamification system.

        Zurmo 1.0 has been translated into ten languages and features a RESTful API to further integration with other applications. Location data is provided by Google Maps and Geocode. The application’s permission system supports roles for individual users and groups, and allows administrators to create ad-hoc teams. The application is designed to be modern and easy to use and integrates social-network-like functionality at its centre, which functions to distribute tasks, solicit advice, and publish accomplishments.

  • Funding

    • Crowdfunding Piwik 2.0

      Piwik is a Free Software Web analytics application. If you run a website, it is what you use when you do not want to use Google Analytics or any other third party solution.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • LLVM 3.2 released
    • LLVM 3.2 now available

      A few days after the intended release date, the LLVM developers have announced the availability of version 3.2 of the LLVM compiler infrastructure. The LLVM project encompasses a set of compiler tools such as the C/C++/Objective C compiler Clang, the runtime compiler library compiler-rt, the low-level debugger LLDB, a C++ standard library libc++ and the VMKit JVM which uses LLVM for static and JIT compilation.

    • MediaGoblin 0.3.2 “Goblinverse” Released

      After initial stages of fundraising campaign, the developers have published a new release of MediaGoblin, the only full “free as in freedom” media sharing software. This software is a part of the GNU project and aims to give users full freedom to share, upload and use all kind of media on their servers without using some expensive services out there or losing their privacy, freedom or control over their data.

    • TomEE 1.5.1 more than just a maintenance update

      In the latest update to the Java servlet container Tomcat, the TomEE development team has done a lot more than just fix a few bugs. TomEE 1.5.1 includes an option to improve classloader customisation and the ability to inject remote initial context into TomEE clients.

  • Standards/Consortia



Links 29/12/2012: Calculate Linux 13, Finnix 107

Posted in News Roundup at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 2012′s 5 Most popular Linux stories

    Taken as a whole, 2012 was a great year for Linux. The most popular stories, however, were more about the day-to-day happenings of Linux then the big picture.

    2012′s top Linux story was The truth about Goobuntu: Google’s in-house desktop Ubuntu Linux. The title said it all. We’d long known that Google uses its own house-blend of Ubuntu on its PCs, but it wasn’t until this summer that Google finally revealed exactly how its workers use Ubuntu,

  • External Desktop Hard Drives, Backup Software, and Linux Part 3
  • The LINUX TABLET IS THE FUTURE – and it always will be

    The year of the Linux tablet is, like the year of the Linux desktop, destined never to arrive.

    That doesn’t mean we won’t see Linux on a tablet, but you’ll see Linux on a tablet the way you see it on the desktop – clinging to a tiny percentage of the market.

    There is of course Android, which does use a Linux kernel somewhere under all that Java, but when Canonical or Red Hat talk about building Linux tablets, obviously Android is not what they have in mind.

  • Five reasons 2012 was a great year for Linux

    The end of the year is always a good time to take stock of where things stand in any niche or field, and Linux is no exception.

  • 9 Major 2012 Events That Will Influence the Linux Desktop in Coming Years

    2012 was the year that the Linux desktop diversified.

    Two years ago, users could choose between two or three desktop environments. But by the end of the first quarter of 2012, they had at least eight choices, with more on the way.

    Similarly, the year started with LibreOffice as the main office suite. But halfway through the year, LibreOffice was joined by Apache OpenOffice as well as Calligra Suite.

  • Torque 3D Engine Is Wanting To Come To Linux

    Many Phoronix readers have written in over the past few days about the new effort to bring the Torque 3D Game Engine to Linux. The desire for Torque 3D coming to Linux is because the engine developers believe Linux is turning into a commercially viable platform for gaming.

    Torque 3D is the game engine out of Garage Games as the successor to the original Torgue Game Engine Advanced (TGEA) but with modern functionality like deferred lighting, NVIDIA PhysX, and modern shaders. The original Torque Game Engine had been originally developed in 2001 for the Tribes 2 game but it’s been developed much more extensively since its inception.

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Great Powersavings with Kernel 3.7.0
    • Linux 3.8′s features staked out

      Linus Torvalds has announced the first pre-release version of Linux 3.8, releasing it on the “longest night of the year”. As previously reported, it includes support for the Flash-Friendly File System (F2FS), which has been designed for use on flash storage devices such as USB flash drives, memory cards, and internal storage in devices such as cameras, tablets and smartphones.

    • The Linux Kernel in 2012
    • What Didn’t Make The Cut For The Linux 3.8 Kernel

      While there’s a lot of features that are new to the Linux 3.8 kernel as covered in The Feature Overview For The Linux 3.8 Kernel, there’s also several promising new features and functionality that didn’t make the cut for this next kernel release.

    • Linus Torvalds Celebrates Today 43 Years of Uptime

      Linus Torvalds is one of the most influential people in the Linux world and among the most active figures that promote open source as a real alternative.

    • CM Storm QuickFire TK Keyboard in Linux

      When one says mechanical keyboard you think gamers, at least I did. Gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because the physical act of typing is more precise. That’s it in a nutshell, the feedback provided by mechanical keyboards gives gamers another edge over the game and opponents. So, one may think Windows, because gaming in Linux is rarely as competitive. But I’m here to tell you a Linux user, not even an avid gamer, can and does love her new CM Storm QuickFire TK.

    • Linux Top 3: Hello ARM, Goodbye 386
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Work in progress to improve keyboard shortcuts in Xfce
    • The triumph of convenience

      A few years ago, my neighbors asked for help securing their computer. They were running Windows, so my knowledge was limited, but I did set up a separate administrative account and add passwords to their regular accounts. When I looked at their computer a month later, they had removed both — and were back to getting viruses and malware along with their movie downloads. Their explanation? That my simple safeguards were “too inconvenient.”

      “Let me get this straight,” I wanted to say (but didn’t). “It’s too inconvenient to spend ten seconds typing a password, or twenty logging into a different account to install software. But it’s not too inconvenient to have your computer at the shop every few months to scrub it clean and to sometimes lose files because you haven’t bothered backing them up.”

    • Awesome 3.5 Window Manager Released

      Awesome, the dynamic X window manager written in C and Lua that started off as a fork of dwm, is out with its version 3.5 “Last Christmas” release.

    • Linux Google Drive Client Insync Gets Xfce And Mate Desktop Integration
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE To Get Improved Multi-Monitor Handling

        A new screen manager is being worked on for the KDE desktop to dramatically improve the multi-monitor experience by making it work “auto-magically” or at least be “super simple” to configure.

        Dan Vrátil and Alex Fiestas have been working on writing a brand new screen manager for KDE to overcome the current configuration shortcomings of the current settings panel. As Fiestas wrote today on his blog, “We are trying be as smart as possible adapting the behavior of it to each use case making the configuration of monitors as simple as plugging them to your computer.”

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 16th December 2012
      • KDE’s Krita Gets Its Own Stichting Krita Foundation

        The Krita community has created Stichting Krita Foundation to support the development of Krita through funding. The foundation will also help the community by organizing creative and open content projects like, Comics with Krita DVD. The have done some funding before where Lukáš Tvrdý was sponsored before actual development work and currently they are sponsoring Dmitry Kazakov, who is working on Krita performance improvements.

      • RIM Proposes A Donation Of $10,000 To Qt Project Hosting

        Qt is one of the most important projects for both commercial and non-commercial players, especially in the embedded space. Now RIM is trying to lure Qt developers for the success of BlackBerry. If you are a developer of Qt apps RIM is offering a great deal for your Qt applications under Blackberry Qt porting program.

      • Qt 5 Is Here, Digia Claims It’s Qt For The Future

        The Qt project and Digia, the company behind Qt framework, have released the most awaited C++ framework for developers, Qt 5.0. The company claims that it’s one of the best releases till date and has invested a significant amount of time behind this release. It’s an overhaul of the Qt 4.x series and makes Qt fit for the future.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 2: Still king of the Linux desktop

        It seems fair to say that Linux users enjoy a degree of choice that’s unmatched by the proprietary players in the desktop computing world, what with the wide variety of both distributions and desktop environments from which they can choose.

      • The Coming Gnome

        The last few years have been troubled for the Gnome Project. Once a premier desktop environment for Linux, it has seen its market share diminish amid user dissatisfaction over Gnome 3 and accusations that the project was ignoring users. Yet, over the last six months, something important has been happening: Slowly and quietly, the members of Gnome have started trying to turn the situation around.

      • GNOME Whiteboards: Calendar, Maps and Power Updates!

        There is a nice Search in Calendar, by Reda, a support for two batteries and plugged devices in Power Panel, by Allan and some mockups in Gnome Maps, by Andreas.

        Keep on mind that these are just early designs that may never arrive in GNOME the way they look now, or the may arrive at all!

      • 2013: The year of Gnome security

        The goal that Gnome board of directors set for the upcoming year is to improve the safety features of our favorite desktop environment by implementing and integrating special tools and features.

      • Evolution 3.7.3 Brings Numerous Fixes
  • Distributions

    • My first GNU/Linux distros

      These were my 2 first GNU/Linux distros that I used on my home desktop (actually, I met with GNU/Linux a little earlier – the very first GNU/Linux distro that I saw, it was RedHat 9.0).

    • This Weekend in Linux: Mint, Slax, and KNOPPIX

      Several familiar names cropped up in the news the last few days. The Mint team finishes out their lastest family tree and the Slax guys has rushed out a couple of bug-fix updates to the recently released 7.0. And KNOPPIX got an update too.

    • ArchBang Linux 2012.12 Review – Lightweight Arch
    • From newb to expert – best Linux distro for YOU!

      You know how I like to rate distributions at the end of each year? Yes, you do. However, while I do try to make those articles be as impartial and fair as possible and encompass as broad spectrum of users as possible, they ultimately reflect one man’s experience, me. Not bad, given my awesomeness, but still.

    • Another year, another totally different top 10 Linux distros

      Between the new innovations that emerge practically every day and the fairly constant rate of change in general, things never stay the same for long in technology.

    • Booting A Modern Linux Desktop In Just ~200MB

      Unlike many of the Linux distributions out there today that are little more than minor user-facing changes to Ubuntu or another tier-one Linux operating system, Slax for the past many years has followed its own dance. Slax, a LiveCD Linux distribution built around Slackware, is very lightweight and calls itself a “pocket operating system” as with the most recent release it can fit a full Linux OS with the KDE4 desktop in about 200MB. Slax is also intended to be quite easy for others to modify and create custom images via Slackware packages and Slax modules. The recent Slax 7.0 release was the first update for the open-source operating system in several years. For those interested in knowing how this very lightweight and customizable operating system can work so efficiently, Tomáš Matejícek, the Slax creator, has written an exclusive Phoronix article about the process.

    • When should you switch to or install a new Linux distribution?
    • Puppy Linux 5.4 Review – New Dog, New Tricks

      Presented in two formats based on two distros, which version of Puppy stays true to the commitment of being small and fast?

    • New Releases

      • Calculate Linux 13 released
      • Finnix 107 released
      • Manjaro 0.8.3 has been unleashed!
      • Clonezilla Live 2.0.1-15 Is Powered by Linux Kernel 3.2.35

        Steven Shiau proudly announced a few minutes ago, December 18, a new stable release of his popular Clonezilla Live operating system, used for cloning hard disk drives.

        Being based on the Debian Sid repository as of December 17, 2012, the Clonezilla Live 2.0.1-15 operating system is powered by Linux kernel 3.2.35 and incorporates various improvements, bug fixes and updated translations.

        This release also blacklists the floppy module from the kernel, just because none really uses a floppy drive anymore. But, in case you’re one of those people who still use a floppy drive, you will be able to manually load it by running the “modprobe floppy” command in a terminal.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 3 beta 1 waits for your tests

        Finally here is Mageia 3 beta 1. This first beta release was a bit tricky as it comes with some major new features in installer. GRUB2 has been included as an option for now.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Switching policy types in Gentoo/SELinux

        When you are running Gentoo with SELinux enabled, you will be running with a particular policy type, which you can devise from either /etc/selinux/config or from the output of the sestatus command. As a user on our IRC channel had some issues converting his strict-policy system to mcs, I thought about testing it out myself. Below are the steps I did and the reasoning why (and I will update the docs to reflect this accordingly).

      • Gentoo 20121221 Screenshots (12/21/2012)
    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO: We have a “massive” potential next year

        Raleigh-based Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) CEO Jim Whitehurst says “the state of the union at Red Hat is strong.”

        Whitehurst took a break from running the billion dollar company to blog about accomplishments over the past year, as well as to look ahead to what he called “massive” potential in 2013.

      • A Red Hat for All Seasons

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT ) is a success story for troubled times. The economy falters? No problem. Southern Europe on the brink of collective bankruptcy? Sure, but sales are growing there anyway. Corporate IT budgets trimming down? Hey, that’s actually a business opportunity!

      • IBM taps Red Hat for cut-throat priced Linux on big supers

        Big Blue has been talking about the Power7-based “Blue Waters” supercomputer nodes for so long that you might think they’re already available. But although IBM gave us a glimpse of the Power 775 machines way back in November 2009, they actually won’t start shipping commercially until next month – August 26, to be exact.

        The feeds and speeds of the Power 775 server remain essentially what we told you nearly two years ago. Today’s news is that the Power 775 is nearly ready for sale, and the clock speed on the Power7 processors and system prices have – finally – been announced.

      • Red Hat CEO: We’ve Grown So Fast That Employees Spread This Crazy Rumor About Me

        What does it feel like to be the CEO of a super-hot company as it crests the billion-dollar-revenue mark and grows to 5,000 employees?

        Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst says that it’s hard to notice the changes. Then something happens to make you realize you are the boss of a very big place.

      • Red Hat Makes $104 Million Cloud Management Bid with ManageIQ Acquisition
      • Fedora

        • Are you FedUp with Fedora 17? Upgrade to 18 ;)

          Fedorians have a nice sense of humor, and FedUp (FEDora UPgrader) is the new upgrading tool for Fedora 17->18 and beyond, that replaces PreUpgrader.

          Earth survived from Mayan prophecy, end of days didn’t come, and Fedora 18 release will make it at Jan 8, 2013 -hopefully ;)

        • Fedora 19 will catch up GNOME 3.8 with a 4 months release cycle!

          After the 2 months delay and the 8 months release cycle of Spherical Cow, Fedora now will try to make a “Speedy Gonzales” release inside in just 4 months. This is the shortest release cycle that Fedora ever had from its day one – Nov 2003, Yarrow / GNOME 2.4 / Linux 2.4.19.

        • Fedora 18 Will Include LibreOffice In The LiveCD

          One of the gripes of the Fedora users, and mine as well, was that it doesn’t come bundled with any office suite. Users have to manually install LibreOffice or Calligra to get some work done. This is changing now. The LiveCD of Fedora 18 Spherical Cow will be shipped with LibreOffice installed. This is a great step from Fedora developers towards usability. This change is pushed by Bill Nottingham to Fedora 18.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – December 24th, 2012

        Welcome to this year’s twenty-fifth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Bits from the DPL
        * Wheezy freeze: reviewers needed for unblock requests
        * Report from Bug Squashing Party in Mechlin
        * Other news
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • A word on bitcoin support in Debian

        It has been a while since I wrote about bitcoin, the decentralised peer-to-peer based crypto-currency, and the reason is simply that I have been busy elsewhere. But two days ago, I started looking at the state of bitcoin in Debian again to try to recover my old bitcoin wallet. The package is now maintained by a team of people, and the grunt work had already been done by this team. We owe a huge thank you to all these team members. :) But I was sad to discover that the bitcoin client is missing in Wheezy. It is only available in Sid (and an outdated client from backports). The client had several RC bugs registered in BTS blocking it from entering testing. To try to help the team and improve the situation, I spent some time providing patches and triaging the bug reports. I also had a look at the bitcoin package available from Matt Corallo in a PPA for Ubuntu, and moved the useful pieces from that version into the Debian package.

      • Realtek ALC883 on Debian laptop
      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 7.0.5 Is Based on GNOME 3.4 and KDE 4.8

          Knoppix, a bootable Live CD/DVD, made up from the most popular and useful free and open source applications, backed up by an automatic hardware detection and support for many video cards, SCSI and USB devices, is now at version 7.0.5.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity, what a concept!

            The Unity desktop environment is something which has intrigued me a lot over the past year or so. My interest has partly been in the strong reactions, for or against the environment, from Ubuntu users. The other key point of my interest has been that I’ve really only used the desktop in short bursts and, as a result, I don’t feel I’ve really got a feel for it. Once every six months I will install Ubuntu, play with Unity for a few days, not long enough to unlearn the habits I’ve picked up from using other desktop environments, and then I’m off to another distribution and another desktop. In these quick looks at Unity I’ve certainly encountered things which rubbed me the wrong way, but I’ve also caught sight of design features which struck me as being beneficial. Or they would be beneficial if one were to use them long enough to form new work patterns. At any rate, I wanted to find out how I would feel about Unity if I used it long enough to unlearn old habits, behaviour learned after over fifteen years of using desktops with approaches different from Unity’s. With that in mind I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on one of my machines and tried to use Unity as much as I could while still taking time to test other Linux distributions. Right upfront I want to say that it took about a week for the old habits to fade away and for using Unity’s controls to become reflex rather than considered actions. Little things like moving the mouse pointer to the right of the window instead of the left have long been actions performed automatically and they were hard to break. This led to several days of jerking the mouse right, then back left to close windows or minimize them. There was also some trial and error at first finding the best way to handle window organization, launch applications and deal with window grouping on the launch bar. Typically, I have found I am most comfortable with setting up multiple virtual work spaces, populating them with related applications and switching between the work spaces. This allows for a small number of open windows in each space and avoids programs grouping on the task switcher. Unity, on the other hand, while it does allow for multiple work spaces, the desktop appears to be much better suited to having few windows open at a time and I slowly came around to typically using one workspace and grouping program windows together, switching between windows rather than work spaces.

          • Top 10 Things Ubuntu Is Doing Right

            Over the years, I’ve watched Ubuntu develop into quite the impressive Linux distro. While Ubuntu definitely has room for improvement, it does offer the casual user an outstanding experience overall. In this article, I’ll share the areas where I think Ubuntu is raising the bar on Linux for the masses.

          • Top 10 Ubuntu Apps of 2012
          • The Meritocracy

            Thus going after someone like Canonical and calling what they doing spying actually hurts the promotion of free software. What they are doing is a huge step in the right direction.

            Having run a business based on free and open source software for a decade, you can imagine that I am a big fan of it. Last year, for a variety of reasons, I decided to make the jump to using a desktop based on Linux. I tried a number of options, but the one that worked for me, the one that “stuck”, was Ubuntu. Using it just comes naturally, and I’ve been using it for so long now that other desktops seem foreign.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 297
          • ‘Unredirect Fullscreen Windows’ Now Enabled by Default in Ubuntu 12.10

            ‘Unredirect Fullscreen Windows’ option is finally enabled by default in Ubuntu 12.10. Compiz developer Daniel Van Vugt and his team has done lots of work in past few months to make sure that all the bugs related to this feature are fixed.

          • Canonical Supplies New Tools for Linux Evangelists

            Ubuntu may not quite be a religion, but it has its committed evangelists all the same. And now, Canonical has made their jobs easier with the release of an official “Ubuntu Advocacy Development Kit.” Will Ubuntu fans soon be showing up on your doorstep, asking you to convert? Probably not, but the move is an interesting endeavor nonetheless.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux round-up: A bunch of Mints for Christmas

              All the Linux Mint Editions have arrived just in time for the holidays – Linux Mint 14 (Nadia) with Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce dekstops, and Linux Mint Debian Edition Update Pack 6 with Cinnamon and MATE desktops.

            • Linux Mint 14 “Nadia” KDE released!
            • Linux Mint 15 New Features
            • Linux Mint 14 KDE: One of the best KDE distros of the year

              Linux Mint does it again! The thing I admire about Linux Mint is the ability to work on any type of system and refined interface that it brings on the table – every time! When I reviewed the Mint Maya KDE, I was wondering if I had seen any KDE distro more complete than this. With the Mint Nadia KDE release my impression has changed. This edition not only looks gorgeous but the KDE bloat-wares are gone to actually give the users a more functional set of applications.

            • Linux Mint 15: What’s Cooking In The Out Of The Box Operating System?

              I now refrain from comparing Linux based distribution because what my needs are could be different from yours and what works for you may not work for me, but I am really impressed with Linux Mint in the ‘out-of-the-box’ experience department, it’s becoming one of my favourites along with openSUSE and Kubuntu.

            • A week with elementary OS Luna: Could this be the start of something big?

              It is not far-fetched to say, open source and its poster child, Linux, is going through a golden period. The emergence of internet has a lot to do with the popularisation of open source way of thinking. But in the world of Windows and Macs, what makes Linux tick? Redhat was the first to explore Linux’s potential. But Redhat had a very enterprise centric approach. And in 2004, Ubuntu came along with the focus firmly back on end-users. This kick started a flurry of activity and a number of new Ubuntu based Linux distros started to sprung up. The latest one being elementary OS Luna. And this brand new OS has a lot going for it.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Zanata, an open source translation platform

    Zanata is an open source translation platform written in Java that offers translation memory, an online translation editor, and workflow integration with REST APIs and command-line tools. For translators, it is a web browser-based translation environment where previous translations provide context for their work. For software developers, it’s an integration tool that provides a centralized localization repository along with translation tools that save time and resources.

  • Taking open source foundations to the next level

    Given that now even some small open source projects are forming their own foundations, Glynn Moody thinks that perhaps open source foundations have come of age. He suggests that the time may now be right for the formation of an umbrella foundation to help share best practices, legal advice and other information and support.

  • Open Source: A Golden Age of Development

    Open source used to be an aberration — now it is an imperative. If you’re not using or developing open source projects, you’re putting your business at risk. That’s the message from Black Duck Software and Forrester, as recently presented in a webinar describing Open Source software and innovation.

  • Most ‘open source’ a good way to get software cheaper TECh TALK Nick Delorenzo

    DESPITE the increasing affordability of computers, the software that actually runs those devices can still be fairly expensive. Fairly common programs such as Microsoft Office can run to hundreds of dollars, and higher-end products like Adobe Photoshop can easily cost more than $500.

  • How open source shaped our world in 2012
  • Protect choice and freedom in technology by choosing open source solutions

    I remember first meeting Jeffrey A. “Jam” McGuire in person at DrupalCon Denver. We talked about communities, music, and shared ways to show why open source is a better way. Even before meeting him, I could tell from my first interaction with him that he was passionate about Drupal and open source. He’s becoming an in-demand Keynote speaker and presenter at Drupal and other business and software events around the world. He’s already a staple for the Intro to DrupalCon session and always seems to incorporate music and singing as part of the performance.

  • OpenPhoto: Elegant photo hosting in an open source package

    Think of all the photos and videos you’ve stored on various devices and social networks over the years. Enter: OpenPhoto, a new, open source platform all about gathering them into one place and never losing them. Their software imports your photos from Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram, and there’s an app for the iPhone (Android coming soon).

  • The founder gap: Why we need more women in open source

    At the same time, women make up an estimated 2% of the open source community, far lower than the percentage of women in computing overall, estimated at around 20%. Is it any wonder that women founders are so rare in Internet-related startups, when many of the founders come from a population that is 98% male?

  • Mahout, There It Is! Open Source Algorithms Remake Overstock.com

    Judd Bagley set out to build a web app that would serve up a never-ending stream of news stories tailored to your particular tastes. And he did. It’s called MyCurrent. But in creating this clever little app, Bagley also pushed online retailer Overstock.com away from the $2-million-a-year service it was using to generate product recommendations for web shoppers, and onto a system that did the same thing for free — and did it better.

  • Free Tools for Perfect Holiday Photos
  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Set to Tackle Open Source Federated Identity in the Cloud

      The OpenStack open source cloud platform started out with only two components: Nova Compute and Swift Storage. Nova originally came from NASA and Swift came from Rackspace.

      Over the course of the last two years, OpenStack has expanded beyond NASA and Rackspace and has been embraced by many large tech vendors, including IBM, HP, Dell, AT&T, Cisco and Intel among others. As OpenStack participation has grown, new capabilities have been added, including most recently the Cinder block storage project and the Quantum networking project. Cinder and Quantum both debuted in the recent Folsom release.

    • Dell Cloud and HP Cloud: OpenStack Twins or Different DNA?
  • Databases

    • NSA’s Super-Secure Database Dodges Bullet From Senate

      For Gunnar Hellekson — a chief technology strategist at Red Hat who closely follows the government’s approach to open source software — this language posed a threat not only to Accumulo but to open source project across the government. “It doesn’t take much imagination to see that same ‘adequacy criteria’ applied to all open source software projects,” Hellekson wrote earlier this year. “Got a favorite open source project on your DoD program, but no commercial vendor? Inadequate. Only one vendor for the package? Lacks diversity. Proprietary software doesn’t have a burden like this.”

      From where Hellekson was sitting, it was obvious that Accumulo was very different from the likes of Hbase and Cassandra. “When Accumulo was written, it was definitely doing new work,” he told us. “Some of its differentiating features are being handled by other pieces of software. But other core concepts are unique, including the cell-level security…. That’s an incredibly important feature, and to do it properly is incredibly complicated.”

      But it appears the Senate has now backed down. In that joint House-Senate statement on the DoD bill, Accumulo is cited by name. “[The Department of Defense] has already determined that the Accumulo database that NSA developed using government and contract engineers is a successful open-source project that is supported by commercial companies,” the statement read. “[We] expect that future acquisitions of Accumulo would be executed through such commercial vendors.”

      Those commercial vendors include Sqrrl. But Oren Falkowitz isn’t quite ready to celebrate. “Obama still has to sign it,” he says. “I wouldn’t jump for joy until it’s actually a law.”

    • If MySQL falters, what do you replace it with?

      The MySQL relational database serves as a back end for millions of websites, and powers millions of non-Internet data-handling applications. In 2009 ownership of MySQL passed to Oracle when it bought Sun, which had acquired MySQL the previous year. Since then developers and IT managers have worried that Oracle would someday cease support for MySQL because it competes with the company’s profitable proprietary database products. This fear may be justified. In August, Alex Williams wrote at TechCrunch, “Oracle is holding back test cases in the latest release of MySQL. It’s a move that has all the markings of the company’s continued efforts to further close up the open source software and alienate the MySQL developer community.” We tried to get Oracle to rebut that accusation, but multiple emails and phone calls did not get a response. Does this mean it’s time to move from MySQL to another open source database – and if so, which one?

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice.org vs LibreOffice

      Although there are many others, OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice are the two 800lb gorrillas of the open source office suite world. One or other comes bundled with pretty much every Linux distro out there.

      Without OpenOffice.org, it’s fair to say that the OpenDocument format would never have stood a chance of becoming an open standard. Pretty impressive, when many open standards haven’t had anything like the same success (how many people – even hard core Linux users – commonly spurn mp3 files for ogg vorbis?). Because (nearly) everyone needs a word processor and spreadsheet, OpenOffice.org has long been one of the open source poster children to encourage take up – “Why pay $$$ for Microsoft Office when this is just as good and you can have it for free?”.

    • Bugzilla-Assistant
    • The Document Foundation 2012 in Review

      Italo Vignoli today published lots of cool graphs and stats demonstating the growth and other accomplishments over the course of 2012. From the growth in number of contributors to high-profile roll-outs to increasing numbers of downloads, 2012 has been a banner year. He said, “Looking back, it has been amazing.”

      Starting with the contributor list, LibreOffice had 379 contributors at the start of the year, but that number had grown to 567 by Christmas 2012. The Document Foundation also announced 14 LibreOffice releases in 2012 and the team is currently working on LibreOffice 4.0, which should be released in February 2012.

    • The Future of LibreOffice and Other Office-Suites
    • Is Oracle Java 7 Update 10 Going to Improve Security?

      The Oracle Java Development Kit 7 Update 10 (JDK 7u10) release provides new updating and control capabilities that go beyond what Java users have enjoyed in the past.

  • Education

    • Open source groups warn Greece will waste millions on school software

      Advocates of free and open source are warning that the Greek government is going to waste millions of euro on proprietary software licences for the country’s schools. They are calling on the Ministry of Education to cancel its latest procurement. “Favouring proprietary software while ignoring the potential of open source, constitutes a choking of the educational process.”

  • Healthcare

    • Healthcare slow to adopt, not to adapt: Promise for open source in 2013

      Open source in healthcare remains in its infancy. This year saw some great activity with open source in health. Our community covered medical devices with available source code, electronic patient records, open product design and 3D printing, crowdfunding, and big data. These big ideas and innovations, but I predict that as more people take personal responsibility for their health in 2013, the greater the demand will be for faster, more affordable solutions… read: open source.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Piwik FOSS Web Analytics Tool to Get Crowdfunded

      Ever since OStatic’s inception, we’ve been fans of the Piwik online analytics application, which is a free, open source alternative to tools like Google Analytics. For example, we discussed Piwik in our roundup of open source tools aimed at web developers. When it comes to doing web analytics, it’s beneficial to get as many views of your data as possible, so you can use Piwik in conjunction with Google Analytics or on its own.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.1 Official Release Nears as PC-BSD 9.1 Debuts

      PC-BSD is a desktop based derivative of FreeBSD and typically PC-BSD releases follow FreeBSD releases. That’s not quite the case with the new PC-BSD 9.1 release which is actually coming out *before* the official release of FreeBSD 9.1

      FreeBSD 9.1 was originally set for official release at the end of October but has been hit by some delays. Though an official announcement has not yet been made the primary FreeBSD mirror currently has FreeBSD release ISOs available (ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/ISO-IMAGES/9.1/)


  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Government of India Generates Hundreds of FLOSS Promotional Videos
    • EU Commissioner Kroes articulates benefits of open source and open standards
    • FOSS satisfies government regulations

      Talend, a licensor of open source enterprise software, has recently received a ruling from the U.S. Customs Service corroborating that its software complies with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 USC 2511 et seq.) Open source software adoption by the U.S. Federal government must comply with many regulations, some of which can be difficult given the nature of modern software development. And these rules are frequently used as a barrier, or a bar, to the use of FOSS in federal government procurement. One of these issues is the ability of the FOSS company to certify compliance with the TAA which requires a product to be manufactured or substantially transformed in the United States or a designated country.

    • EC postpones its guideline on ICT standardisation and procurement

      The European Commission will postpone until early next year the publication of its guideline on how to make best use of ICT standards in tender specifications. Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, in a video speech on Friday said that the guideline should ensure that public authorities get the most value from open source and open standards. “And also that open source suppliers can compete fairly in tenders.”

    • What government can learn from open source

      I wanted to share my notes with you all from this TED talk with Clay Shirky. You can watch the video—and I recommend that you do—but since I took notes I figured I’d share my textual summary as well!

    • DARPA and Defense Department look to a more open source future

      As the United States military marches further into the age of networked warfare, data networks and the mobile platforms to distribute and access them will become even more important.

  • Licensing

    • European Union’s open source licence to become compatible with GPLv3

      The European Union’s open source licence, EUPL, is to be revised, aiming to make it compatible with the GPLv3 and AGPLv3 and other licences. A public consultation begins today on Joinup, with the publication of a first draft and a background document on some of the proposed changes.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How open source is disrupting visual art

      If you’ve seen an unbelievable interactive projection or a mind-blowing piece of generative video art, odds are you’ve come across openFrameworks, an accessible programming platform that has helped create projects like Arturo Castro and Kyle McDonald’s Faces, a real-time face-substitution project, the EyeWriter graffiti headset from F.A.T. Labs, and Chris O’Shea’s playful, Monty Python-inspired Hand from Above, among many other works of technology-based art. What makes openFrameworks and similar coding tools like Processing so powerful in an artistic context is that they are open source, free for any artist to use and hack to their own ends, and are made by artists, for artists.

    • Open Data

      • Digital Agenda: Turning government data into gold

        The Commission has launched an Open Data Strategy for Europe, which is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU’s economy each year. Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services. Member States such as the United Kingdom and France are already demonstrating this value. The strategy to lift performance EU-wide is three-fold: firstly the Commission will lead by example, opening its vaults of information to the public for free through a new data portal. Secondly, a level playing field for open data across the EU will be established. Finally, these new measures are backed by the €100 million which will be granted in 2011-2013 to fund research into improved data-handling technologies.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Should Instagram automatically license photos under Creative Commons?

        Instagram has undergone several big changes lately, most noteably taking away the ability to quickly view Instagram photos on Twitter. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described this update during the LeWeb Internet conference in Paris as Instagram’s evolution, and explained that the company would naturally change as it grew.In an article from Business Insider on December 6, Alyson Shontell calls for Instagram to make a bolder move: to publish all photos under Creative Commons unless the photographer specifically changes their publishing license.

    • Open Hardware

  • Standards/Consortia

    • New NIST Document Offers Guidance in Cryptographic Key Generation

      Protecting sensitive electronic information in different situations requires different types of cryptographic algorithms, but ultimately they all depend on keys, the cryptographic equivalent of a password. A new publication* from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aims to help people secure their data with good keys no matter which algorithm they choose.

    • HTML5 Still Not a Standard Until 2014

      The W3C announced today that the HTML5 definition is now complete. This is a big deal for the web and all of us that work and use it…but it’s not end of the story.

      The definition is not a final standard for HTML5, though it is an important milestone. HTML5 will not likely be a full bona-fide standard until mid 2014 according to what Jeff Jaffe told me during a conference call today to talk about HTML5.



Links 28/12/2012: Enlightenment 0.17, Qt 5.0

Posted in News Roundup at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Migration Stories, Part 2

    Some Windows users that I know (not power users in any sense) state that they do not migrate to Linux because, as they say, “the OS is different”. Of course, they never consider that they had to adapt from XP to Vista and then to 7…(One wonders what they will say after buying a computer with Windows 8).

  • Migration stories 3: Good Bye, Mandriva 2010.2!

    While my wife’s migration was very successful, mine was not a smooth process. But I know that is bound to happen when you change OSs.

  • Language Distortion and Other Problems

    The term “naked PC” is used by Microsoft Corporation to refer to a personal computer that is sold without any operating system preinstalled on the hard disk. The term was coined for its dramatic value and as a means for creating the impression that it is evil to sell computers without operating systems because they might be used for so-called software piracy (i.e., copying or using software in violation of its license).

  • Open Ballot: The rumour mill (Win free Linux stuff!)

    “Canonical is kicking off the New Year with a bang, and launching a brand new Ubuntu product. We’ll be holding an exclusive event hosted by Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project, to give full details of what we believe is the next generation of cross platform operating system.”

    Usually press releases get redirected to /dev/null, but a guy dropping off a brown envelope full of non-sequential £20 notes little bird told us that this is going to be interesting. However, we don’t know any more than this.

  • The 5 Most Important Linux Projects of 2012

    Mandrake Linux was my best early experience with Linux, way back in the last millennium, back when literal floppy disks roamed the Earth and 4 megabytes of RAM was riches. Back then you could buy boxed sets of Red Hat Linux in stores, and Red Hat was popular as a desktop Linux. Red Hat had good printed manuals, but it had one difficulty: it did not support as much hardware as Mandrake, and I had a lot of trouble getting 3D acceleration on my video card. Red Hat didn’t support my fancy Promise 66 IDE controller, so I had to connect my hard drive directly to the poky old 33Mhz controller on the motherboard. It didn’t like my sound card either.

  • 7 Top Linux Trends of 2012
  • Top Linux Stories Roundup 2012

    And we are on the verge to cross yet another year and blog posts regarding the year-in-review have already started to pour in on the web. The blog post, one of that kind, round-up top Linux (and open source) stories of 2012.

  • Netgear NeoTV NTV300 screenshot tour
  • Netgear NTV300 streaming media player
  • 2012′s Top five Linux stories with one big conclusion

    2012 was a very quiet, but very successful year for Linux. How successful? The most popular end-user operating system is now Linux.

  • Voting for the 2012 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards is now open
  • Raising the Bar for Linux Trainers

    You can write shell scripts in mere seconds, hack the kernel in your sleep and perform other feats of Linux wizardry—but can you teach?

  • Kbuild: the Linux Kernel Build System

    One amazing thing about Linux is that the same code base is used for a different range of computing systems, from supercomputers to very tiny embedded devices. If you stop for a second and think about it, Linux is probably the only OS that has a unified code base. For example, Microsoft and Apple use different kernels for their desktop and mobile OS versions (Windows NT/Windows CE and OS X/iOS). Two of the reasons this is possible on Linux are that the kernel has many abstraction layers and levels of indirection and because its build system allows for creating highly customized kernel binary images.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds on Linux and the future of computing

      In the first part of our three-part interview, Linux pioneer Linus Torvalds talked about how he got into computing, Raspberry Pi and the “free software” movement.

    • Linux Developers Promise Better Touch Support

      Support for touch-enabled devices traditionally hasn’t been high on the list of Linux kernel developers, who tend to focus their energies on more traditional computing platforms. But if all goes according to plan, future versions of the open source operating system may come with significant touch support built in, according to developers. And if that happens, it could have major implications throughout the channel.

      Linux, of course, already powers a lot of touch-enabled devices, from Android phones to the Ubuntu Nexus 7 tablet. But the software that makes touch work for those platforms was generally developed on a case-by-case basis, since the Linux kernel itself lacks integrated support for touch-ready hardware.

    • The best of Linux – made on a Mac

      The Linux Foundation has released a video of what it sees as the 2012 highlights for Linux – but the presence of decent video-creation and editing software running on Linux does not seem to be one of them.

    • F2fs flash-friendly filesystem integrated into Linux

      Linus Torvalds has integrated code to support the F2fs filesystem into the Linux kernel’s main development branch; this branch is currently used to prepare Linux 3.8 (1, 2, 3). Introduced in October, F2fs is a filesystem that was mainly developed by Samsung employees and is specially tailored for storage media that use flash memory chips and a rather simple Flash Translation Layer (FTL) – for example USB flash drives, memory cards (eMMC, SD cards, …) and the storage media that are included in cameras, tablets and smartphones.

    • Weekend Project: Become a Linux Contributor
    • EXT4 In Linux 3.8 Brings Inline Data, Seek Hole/Data

      The two new features for Linux 3.8 with EXT4 are Inline Data and SEEK_HOLE/SEEK_DATA support. Ted Ts’o mentions that the inline data feature allows small files or directories to be stored within the in-inode extended attribute area. This inline data assumes that the file-system uses inodes that are 256 bytes or larger.

    • Linux, the 386, and Days of Auld Lang Syne
    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE vs. Gnome system management

      A few weeks back, we talked about KDE and Gnome in daily life, and how they fared from the applications perspective, when you pit programs developed for one environment against those created for the other. We learned a valuable lesson that technology and practicality do not necessarily go hand in hand, nor that you can easily draw a clear line between the two. Finally, we discovered the joy of freedom, in that you can mix software, regardless of whichever desktop you choose, and get the best of all worlds. Now, the big question is, does the same set of conclusions apply when you try to administer your box? Well, to answer that, we will check how easy and intuitive it is to manage Linux when you choose KDE or Gnome as your platform.

    • Linux desktop environment showdown

      Normally, at the end of the year, I do my usual Linux distro showdown. But I have never really done a proper desktop environment comparison, regardless of which operating systems run them, even though in the Linux world, quite often, it is hard to separate the two. Well, it seems to me, this is a great opportunity to give you a comprehensive head-to-head clash between the leading desktop environments that bless our distros.

    • Enlightenment 0.17

      Enlightenment 0.17 (a.k.a E17) is the next generation of graphical desktop shell from the Enlightenment project. When you first run it and get past the initial setup wizard, you should end up with a desktop not unlike the above. It is a very traditional UNIX/X11 style desktop, because that is what E primarily is and attempts to be, BUT with a bunch of bells, whistles and modernities that were never there, as well as a different core design philosophy. There seems to be some obsession with Window Manager vs. Desktop Environment debates. It doesn’t much matter what you call it. It manages windows. It does compositing. It manages files. It launches applications. It handles UI and system settings.

    • After 12 years of Development, E17 Is Out
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • 2012 GNOME User Survey Results
      • Changing the world, one task at a time
      • GNOME 3 and login performance

        Our current login performance is pretty bad. We do way too much I/O and processing. If you write an application or service that automatically starts at login, please take a long hard look at how much extra work you’re doing on a cold start. It might seem small, but it all adds up very quickly with the rest of the applications competing for resources, as you can see in the bootcharts I made for that bug report:

      • Gnome3: User-Friendly Is Not Equal To User-Insult

        Like everybody in the Linux community, I have at last been dragged kicking and screaming onto Gnome 3. We had no choice; everything on our Linux desktops has been slowly failing from being so badly aged. My old Fedora release experience has so far been rescued by the graces of “fallback mode” on the laptop, while the desktops were still running old Ubuntus. So I had dodged being affected by Gnome3 so far.

        At the same time, Gnome now has the entire Linux desktop world at gunpoint: The majority of software that runs on Linux requires Gnome and GTK. I’ve tried running everything on alternatives – Gnome has a desktop lock-in going on right now that is worse than anything imagined by Apple or Microsoft in their kinkiest dreams. Do without Gnome, and your printers will break, your Bluetooth will refuse to connect, none of the weather applets will talk to your desktop, your videos will freeze, and taxi cabs will suddenly pass you by in the snow without stopping for you.

      • Pre-release version of GNOME 3.8 includes Shell extensions

        The core applications in GNOME version 3.7.3, which has now been released, now include gnome-shell-extensions. These have long been under development under the GNOME project umbrella and enable GNOME 3′s control centre to be modified so that it behaves more like a traditional desktop environment. ‘Alternate Tab’, for example, makes the alt+tab key combination switch between windows, rather than between applications, , whilst ‘Apps Menu’ adds a menu reminiscent of the old Gnome 2 menu. Extensions such as these mean that GNOME 3.8 will also have an built-in mode, selectable when logging in, to replace fallback mode. The fallback mode currently offers a “classic” interface, but will be dropped in version 3.8.

      • Settings news
      • Give a detail this Christmas

        When I last posted about Every Detail Matters, 27 detail bugs had been fixed by 9 contributors. About two and a half months later, 43 bugs have been fixed by a total of 12 contributors. We’ve made impressive progress, and the results are already making themselves felt. Testing the latest and greatest GNOME Shell, things definitely feel more polished and better executed.

      • GTK+ 3.7.4 Has Performance Improvements

        GTK+, a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces that provide a complete set of widgets, suitable for projects ranging from small one-off tools to complete application suites, is now at version 3.7.4.

  • Distributions

    • Chakra Linux: What I learned from Claire

      One of the plans I had during my vacation time was to try Chakra Linux. This latest release was named “Claire” to honor the memory of Claire Lotion, a KDE developer whose untimely passing away made the KDE community grieve.

      I finally had the opportunity today. I really liked it. I also learned certain things, too.

      Let’s see what happens when one boots the Chakra Live DVD. A screen asking you to select your language greets you. I had seen it before. Back then, I thought that the language selection was rather scarce.

    • First look at Cinnarch 2012.11.22

      The Cinnarch distribution is an interesting mix of technology. It combines the Arch Linux distribution, which features a rolling release approach to package management, with the Cinnamon desktop environment. Cinnarch is a fairly young project, still in its beta stage of development, so it should be approached with a degree of caution. The distribution is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and can be downloaded in two flavours: a full live CD (670 MB) with the Cinnamon desktop or a minimalist CD (190 MB). Whichever edition we select the installer will perform a net-install, downloading packages from an updated repository rather than from the CD. While this means we will be up to date right from the start, it also means a successful install depends on having a reliable Internet connection and any re-install will likely take longer than if we were installing from local media.

    • 10 Linux Live Disks Worth Exploring

      Free and open source software didn’t invent Live Disks (external CDs, DVDs, or flash drives from which you can boot a computer). That honor, according to Wikipedia, goes to FM Towns OS in 1989.

      However, no other segment of IT has made Live Disks so much a part of their culture as the open source community.

      Most major Linux distributions use Live Disks for installation because they are a quick way to test-drive an operating system without changing a computer’s setup or endangering its contents. When using a Live Disk, at worst, you may need to reset the BIOS temporarily to boot from an external device, and users have to set about deliberately to alter files on the hard drive.

    • The ‘Linux Diversity’ collection: One kit, 10 Linux distros

      With all the wide variety of free and open source software out there, it can sometimes feel like an insurmountable challenge to download and try each and every one that interests you.

    • ArchBang Linux 2012.12 Review – Lightweight Arch

      The lightweight Arch-based distro uses Openbox to help make it blazing fast without losing too much functionality

    • And the best distro of 2012 is …

      First place: Linux Mint 13 Maya

    • This Week in Linux: ROSA, Magiea, Mint, Gentoo
    • Battle of the Linux Mac OS X Clones: Elementary OS 0.2 Vs Pear OS 6 Vs LuninuX 12.10

      Mac OS X always deserves a special mention in the operating system world, for being the most attractive (arguably) distro around. It is kind of an aspiring product for almost everyone I know – they want to own a Mac at the end of the day! However, exorbitant price and seeking value for money at times limit our aspiration to own a Mac. But, don’t worry! Linux can help you create our own Mac! And those who don’t know how to customize Linux, there are three distros to help you out.

    • The Great Thing About Dream Studio

      If you’ve heard of Open Source software, and you’re thinking about giving it a try, you may be wondering why Dream Studio claims to be the best creative system available, when there are so many other options.

    • Slackware Current Toolchains Upgraded
    • CRUX 2.8 Review – The Inspiration behind Arch Linux

      This one is well overdue, but the time has finally come. In my defence, I installed CRUX 2.7.1 as far back as summer, but a hard drive failure wiped it all, and since then 2.8 was released. Just as well, so we’ll be testing the latest version 2.8. CRUX is a DIY distribution that is perhaps less known than others, but it is the inspiration behind the mighty Arch Linux as the distribution Judd Vinet was originally using. I would point to this dated interview if you want to know more about the origins of Arch.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A problem with iBus in Mageia 2 and Mandriva 2011

        I just found an interesting problem in the way Mageia 2 handles typing Asian languages with iBus, the Input Method Editor (IME) that is configured easily during the installation of the distro.

        For work reasons, I need my computers to be able to handle Japanese (and for fun, Korean and Thai). You can do this with iBus (a more modern IME) or SCIM. I chose iBus because you can install it during the installation process of Mageia.

        I had not seen this situation before because I have installed iBus only to computers that have an English keyboard. However, since my main desktop computer has a Spanish keyboard, when I opened LibreOffice, I discovered that iBus was preventing the keyboard to display the accents (“tildes”) of Spanish and those of French.

      • Innovation & Strategy at Mandriva corp.

        This video has been shot at the OW2 Conference and shows Michel Catan (Innovation Cluster Manager at Mandriva) and Gaurav Parakh (Partners manager at Mandriva) discuss Mandriva’s general strategy and its research & development activities.

      • Mageia 3, what’s on tap?
    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Beats Revenue Estimates, Acquires ManageIQ

        Bloomberg’s Dina Bass reported, “Red Hat Inc. (RHT), the largest seller of Linux operating system software, rose in late trading after reporting third-quarter sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates and saying it plans to buy cloud software company ManageIQ Inc. Red Hat rose 3.8 percent after the company yesterday reported sales of $343.6 million in the period that ended Nov. 30. Analysts had on average projected sales of $338.1 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Excluding certain items, profit was 29 cents a share, meeting the average projection compiled by Bloomberg.”

      • How Linux reads your fingerprints, helps national security

        Gunnar Hellekson has many awesome-sounding job titles.

        He’s the chief technology strategist for Red Hat’s US Public Sector group, where he works with government departments to show them how open source can meet their needs, and with systems integrators to show them what they can do to provide the government with what it needs.

    • Debian Family

      • The Linux Setup – Paul Tagliamonte, Software Engineer/Debian Developer

        Paul’s got a great Debian setup across a lot of interesting hardware. I appreciated this interview, though, because Paul makes the argument that although software should be free (as in freedom), there are often technical limitations/complications with that free software that create a barrier-to-entry for less sophisticated users. Unfortunately, with Linux, the price of freedom is often technical ease. It’s nice to hear a Debian developer contemplating the issue. It’s not an easy fix, but it is a fixable problem. Especially with developers like Paul on the case.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Advocacy Kit – Controlled Advocacy?

            I’ll start off by making a few things clear. Firstly my family PC runs Ubuntu 12.04LTS its great. Ive had no problems whatsoever with the distro and from my young lad playing Tree Fu Tom on the CBBC’s website, to handling of all the tasks I put to it there are no complaints. None at all.

            I’ve spoken to Jono Bacon (Canonical Community Manager) on a number of occasions, he’s open, friendly and above all makes time for people (he certainly made time for myself and Dr Schestowitz when he was a guest on the TechBytes show). I supported the integration of Amazon into the Ubuntu search, I personally had no privacy concerns, citing that myself and my wife are regular customers of Amazon and saw it as a feature that would be useful to us.


            If you start dictating (or sorry, advising) people on how to advocate your product, then its not really advocacy any more is it?

          • Stallman and Ubuntu: Sticks and Stones and a Blogosphere Brawl

            Spying was probably “not the idea behind the Unity tool,” said Google+ blogger Gonzalo Velasco C. “I think they are struggling to become a nice ‘normal user’ OS, with some helping, commercial tools.” Nevertheless, “it’s mandatory for a GNU/Linux distribution to warn the user, and easily allow them to switch on/off such a tool. I hope Canonical rethinks that tool.”

          • The Best New Features of Ubuntu 12.10

            Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distro for desktop users, moves to the cloud with the new Ubuntu 12.10, codenamed Quantal Quetzal.

          • Privacy is hard. Lets go shopping!
          • She sells sea shells

            Unity isn’t the only desktop environment that Ubuntu has. There are many and as they said, Unity is a shell for Gnome but it is not Gnome-Shell. I have been using Unity for a few years now and figured I would have a bit of a play with Gnome Shell for a bit. It is very easy to install, on Ubuntu clicking here: gnome-shell will with a bit of luck set it up for you. At the lightdm login screen you can then select gnome shell from the list of desktops and you are done.

          • Ubuntu in 2013

            There will always be things that we differ on between ourselves, and those who want to define themselves by their differences to us on particular points. We can’t help them every time, or convince them of our integrity when it doesn’t suit their world view. What we can do is step back and look at that backdrop: the biggest community in free software, totally global, diverse in their needs and interests, but united in a desire to make it possible for anybody to get a high quality computing experience that is first class in every sense. Wow. Thank you. That’s why I’ll devote most of my time and energy to bringing that vision to fruition. Here’s to a great 2013.

          • Rumors Running Wild About Ubuntu’s Top-Secret New Product

            “Save the date: Jan 2 — Ubuntu set to disrupt a new ecosystem,” read the urgent message. “Ubuntu will announce a brand-new product.” All lips were maddeningly sealed at the Ubuntuplex, of course, but the same couldn’t be said of the blogger crowds camped outside in the hopes of learning more detail.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Three new features coming in Linux Mint 15

              It’s been just a few weeks since the launch of Linux Mint 14 “Nadia,” but already the project behind the popular distribution has been making plans for its next release.

            • Linux Mint Cinnamon 14

              Linux Mint 14 was recently released. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and offers the Cinnamon or MATE desktop environments. This review covers the Cinnamon version, I will try to get a separate review up for the MATE version soon.

            • LMDE Update Pack 6
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source burrowed deeper into the enterprise in 2012

    Ten years ago, if you were working on an open-source project, you probably hosted it yourself. At the most, your team may have used SourceForge for storing your project code. But today, there is only one name in open-source software project repositories: GitHub.

    Throughout 2012, GitHub consistently played host to the biggest, most complex and most useful open-source projects. Relative newcomers to the open-source scene, such as Twitter’s Bootstrap, Raphael and Phusion Passenger, are all gaining popularity with both users and developers adding to these projects. But what is it about GitHub that makes it different from SourceForge?

  • Inside outsourcing interview: Banks moving to open source software and need control
  • 12 Days of Christmas: What open source has given us

    It’s been a good year for Linux and open source. As we wind it all down, I wanted to take a moment to have a little bit of fun with traditional holiday song — “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It’s a lighthearted way to wrap up some of the things open source (OS) has given us this year.

    So, forget the partridges and lords leaping, here we go!

  • Author Gabriella Coleman Expands on Role of Linux in Hacker Culture

    Gabriella Coleman is the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. She recently released a new book titled “Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking” after having spent three years working and living with hackers in the San Francisco Bay area. The community she chose to study was the Debian Linux community. In this interview with Linux.com, Coleman shares her perspective on the role of Linux in hacker culture and what it really means today to be a hacker.

  • Dear Open Source Project Leader: Quit Being A Jerk

    I do my best to support the people that use my open source projects. I don’t always do things right, I don’t always respond in a timely manner. Sometimes I just have to walk away from an issue or request and let it die from lack of attention. But I do my best, and I take the time to provide meaningful answers whenever I can. I get a lot of “thank you!” notes from people because of this, and every now and then I get a comment like “best open source project leader, ever” or “you do so much more to help, than any other oss project leader i’ve dealt with.”

    The first few times this happened, I was genuinely shocked. The next few times, I began to think “wow, I’m doing something great, here.” But then the last few times it happened, I started moving back in to “shocked”. I started wondering why people were reacting this way. Am I really doing something special? Am I going above & beyond? I don’t think I am… but maybe I am?

  • Global Economy 0 – Open Source 1

    The global economic slowdown has of course been mostly bad news for most people, business verticals and individual companies.

    But it’s important to remember that recessions can also be good as they flush out the old dead wood and help us to re-position for leaner and more economically efficient times ahead.

    Can we take this reality forward then and apply it to open source?

  • Opinion: What if Linux became closed source?

    Bryan Lunduke wrote a piece for Networkworld… or something like that. I’m NOT going to link to it because I don’t want to encourage more page hits for such lunacy. I heard the article when I listened to the latest Everyday Linux podcast. I strongly recommend that so check it out if you haven’t already. One of Montana guys is one of the hosts. They don’t always get it right, but they do make me think.

  • Best Free and Open Source Forum Software

    If you run a website, or have build a software application, you’ll need to have a certain amount of interaction with your users. One of the best ways to facilitate that is through forums. Forums not only allow seamless communication between users and developers, they also let companies provide support for their users. On the Internet, you’ll find millions of forums dedicated to various issues. From teenage problems to geriatric care, forums bring people with similar tastes or issues together and let them communicate effortlessly.

  • Open Source Software: The Mega List
  • Events

    • A peek at the geek heading LCA 2013

      Organising Australia’s national Linux conference is hard work. At times, given the vagaries of the climate Down Under, the best laid plans of men go awry and there is double work – as there was in Brisbane 2011, when the floods hit and the event had to be be shifted from one venue to another.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Cloud providers ready to strike with nuclear option

      It used to take a warrant, a sheriff’s deputy, and an axe to chop down your door and stop your business dead. But the cloud makes it so much easier.

      Today, if you rely heavily on a public cloud service provider, your entire business infrastructure could be taken offline without judicial review, useful explanation, or workable recourse, simply because a customer, a politician, or even a competitor claims there are issues with your — or your customers’ — activities.

  • Databases

    • Wikipedia moving from MySQL to MariaDB

      For years, MySQL has been the dominant open-source database management system (DBMS). Recently, MariaDB, the MySQL fork created by MySQL’s founder, has been making in-roads and Wikipedia, the world’s sixth most popular Web site, is shifting over from MySQL to MariaDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • The Path to Commerce Kickstart 2.0

      With more than 2650 reported active sites just since the August beta release, you’d be in good company giving Drupal Commerce Kickstart a try. And, now that the world isn’t going to end, what better time is there to launch that online store you’ve always wanted?

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 9.1 released ahead of FreeBSD 9.1

      The developers of PC-BSD have released version 9.1 of their FreeBSD-based Unix distribution for desktop PCs. Version 9.1 of FreeBSD has yet to be officially released, but it appears that the ISO images for the FreeBSD release are queued up on the official server and may just be waiting for an announcement to be made.


    • GNU automake 1.12.6 released
    • GNU gettext 0.18.2 released
    • GNU Xnee 3.15 (‘Shankar’) released
    • Maintainer of two GNU software projects quits

      Paolo Bonzini said in a message, in which he also announced the release of a new version of GNU sed, that he had decided to sever his links with the two software initiatives due to technical and administrative decisions with the Free Software Foundation and its head, Richard M. Stallman.

    • GNU sed maintainer resigns with 4.2.2 release

      Paolo Bonzini, the maintainer of GNU sed and GNUgrep, has announced the release of version 4.2.2 of the GNU sed and used the moment as an opportunity resign from his position on both projects. His decision to lay down the responsibility. after eight years of holding the post of GNU sed maintainer, and three on GNU grep, comes in the wake of a controversy over the control of the name and code base of the GnuTLS library, another member of the GNU Project.

    • GNU Grep and Sed Maintainer Quits: RMS and FSF Harming GNU Project
    • December 2012 GNU Toolchain Update
    • Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature

      Activists representing the Free Software Foundation disrupted an event at the Microsoft retail store in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, urging passers-by to shun the software giant’s Windows 8 operating system in favor of free software alternatives.

      The demonstrators, wearing Santa Claus and elf hats in the spirit of the holiday season, arrived at Boston’s Prudential Center shops during a planned “TechTots” children’s event at the Microsoft Store, accompanied by a man dressed as a gnu, the FSF’s horned mascot.

    • Gnu comes bearing gifts, draws shoppers from Microsoft store

      Thursday, December 20th, 2012 — Today, FSF activists visited a local Microsoft store during its “Tech for Tots” session to wish passersby happy holidays with copies of the Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system, a free software replacement for Windows 8. The activists were accompanied by a gnu (free software’s buffalo-like mascot) and sported Santa hats in the spirit of the season. Their action drew smiles from mall-goers who had expected to see costumed people giving gifts, but not quite like this.

    • GNU strikes again: FSF surprises Boston Microsoft store
    • Misunderstanding the Free Software Philosophy

      The problem I am seeing, and it is a serious problem in my opinion, is the constant use of the term “free software” when “open source” should be used. This is obviously not a recent problem, and I really cannot recall when was the first time I noticed this happening. But maybe because I am much more involved with (real) free software movements now, I have the strong impression that this “confusion” is starting to grow out of control. So here I am, trying to convince some people to be a little more coherent.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Defence of the GPL realm

      The H talks with Bradley Kuhn, noted GPL compliance enforcer, about whether there should be more people patrolling the GPL perimeter and what tools and techniques a potential protector should take into battle.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Perl is Free Software’s COBOL, and That’s Ok!

      In 1991, I’d just gotten my first real programming job for two reasons: nepotism, and a willingness to write code for $12/hour. I was working as a contractor to a blood testing laboratory, where the main development job was writing custom software to handle, process, and do statistical calculations on blood testing results, primarily for paternity testing.

    • Survey on Forge Platform Requirements

      The PROSE team are developing a detailed specifications for an online software system that can support EC ICT teams to carry out open software development work. Better known as a software forge we here in PROSE want to understand teams’ intentions for using forge platforms and the types of new features that you think should be available via a forge.

    • GitHub growth points to open source’s enterprise acceptance

      Every day 10,000 new users sign up for GitHub, an online repository for open source projects that already has 2.8 million members.

      Those users create 25,000 new repositories each day, adding to the 4.6 million already on the site.

    • Symbolic Math with Python
  • Standards/Consortia


  • Don’t Use Instagram

    For those who haven’t heard, Instagram is an online photo-sharing service, like Flickr. Some months ago Instagram was purchased by Facebook, and several days ago they announced that they would begin selling users’ photos to advertisers (with no compensation to the users). As many of their users are professional photographers, this caused a storm of outrage.

  • Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos
  • How to Download Your Instagram Photos and Kill Your Account
  • Five good Instagram replacements
  • Instagram reverts to old privacy policy wording after uproar
  • Instagram’s Exit Plan

    Instagram now says it was all a huge mistake, that users own their pictures and there’s no way Facebook is going to sell them to anyone… but the company hasn’t yet revealed alternate legal language, which they should have been able to cobble up in an hour or two. The underlying problem of mean-spirited, self-serving, over-reaching terms of service is still with us at Instagram and almost everywhere else. Their revised terms of service were stupid and couldn’t stand. Let’s hope in their next attempt to grab rights (because that’s what this whole thing was about and probably still is) Instagram and Facebook treat their users fairly. Until they do, most of what’s below still stands.

  • Instagram Reversal Doesn’t Appease Everyone
  • Do You Even Care?

    Dear businesses that post us marketing material through email,

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Bet the Farm: Spinning Wheat into Gold

      The details of that scandal are laid bare in a recent book by Frederick Kaufman, Bet the Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food. As it turns out, we are already acquainted with this story’s villain: Wall Street. There, bankers and investors are investing unprecedented amounts in commodities such as wheat. And when wheat speculation on Wall Street drives up the price of real wheat everywhere, people around the world can no longer afford to eat. Kaufman details exactly how this has happened in a story of traders, long-standing commodities markets meant to stabilize the price of food, and corruption.

    • Genetically Monetized Food

      If the food movement really wants to improve the food supply, it needs to follow the money instead of wasting its time on labels.

    • TSA Wants to Know if Airport Body Scanners Are Nuking You

      The Transportation Security Administration is deciding to determine, once and for all, whether the so-called “nude” body scanners being deployed at airports nationwide are nuking passengers at unacceptable radiation levels.

  • Security

    • Hackers Use Backdoor to Break System
    • DDOS Bots Are People! (Or Manned By Some, At Least)

      The targets were on relatively modest connections (think SOHO grade), so their pipes were flooded by the traffic and the people who were relying on that connectivity were not getting much network-related done. The sites weren’t totally offline, but just about anything would time out without completing and life would be miserable. I’ve made a graph of the traffic available here, in a weekly view of that approximate period that nicely illustrates normal vs abnormal levels for those networks, generated by nfsen from pflow(4) data.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Now You Can Donate to WikiLeaks Once Again: Do It Today!

      This is the first time that citizens can offer their financial support to WikiLeaks, since donation processing for the organization was shut down by extra-judicial government pressure on Bank of America, MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and Amazon.

    • Crowd Funding the Right to Know

      In December 2010, WikiLeaks started publishing a selection of leaked U.S. State Department cables through the New York Times, the Guardian, and other traditional media, opening a deep crack in the thickening wall of secrecy that has been forming worldwide around the internal processes of democracy since 9/11. They helped catalyze the “Arab Spring.” They struck a blow for the right of citizens everywhere to know what is being done in our names. And they thoroughly freaked out the U.S. Government, sending it into a security spasm of Cold War proportions.

    • The Torture of Bradley Manning
    • EFF Helps Freedom of the Press Foundation

      Of course Exhibit A in the case against payment censorship has been the shameful economic blockade of Wikileaks, where the intermediaries that were assisting people in giving money to Wikileaks refused to do business with them, based in part on not-so-veiled threats from members of Congress.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A Tale of Two Forecasts

      This announcement has since led to the magical thinking that we can somehow take ownership of this future “extra oil” not 8 years from now, but rather…. today. In other words, the additional 3 mbpd (million barrels per day) of crude oil and the 1 mbpd of NGL (natural gas liquids) that the IEA forecasts for 2020 have suddenly been booked into the “readily-available” column and are already being factored into U.S. growth projections. That is premature, to say the very least.

  • Finance

    • The Future of Jobs in the Digital Economy
    • Cisco hires Barclays to offload Linksys

      NETWORK EQUIPMENT VENDOR Cisco reportedly has hired Barclays to find a buyer for its Linksys business.

      Cisco bought Linksys back in 2003 to get into the consumer networking business and the firm has put out some good products, most notably the WRT54G wireless router that was a favourite with technology savvy punters. Now Cisco is looking to offload Linksys as it continues to pull back from the consumer networking market.

    • New York Stock Exchange sold to derivatives company in $8bn takeover

      The New York Stock Exchange called time on two centuries of independence on Thursday, agreeing to an $8.2bn takeover that will hand control of the icon of American capitalism to an Atlanta-based energy trader.

    • America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff

      But history is written by the victors, and the past generation has seen the banks and financial sector emerge victorious. Holding the bottom 99% in debt, the top 1% are now in the process of subsidizing a deceptive economic theory to persuade voters to pursue policies that benefit the financial sector at the expense of labor, industry, and democratic government as we know it.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rep. Tim Scott, an ALEC Alum, Nominated to U.S. Senate

      Representative Tim Scott (R-SC), who was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as a state legislator and was voted into Congress in the Tea Party wave of 2010, has been nominated to replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate.

    • To Turn the Tide Against the NRA, Leadership Needed at the Top

      You know you are not going to be seeing the brightest bulbs on TV defending America’s loose gun laws the weekend after the mass slaughter of children. Even the NRA had gone dark, taking down its Facebook and Twitter accounts and refusing to respond to reporters.

  • Censorship

    • “Porn filters” fail parents and children

      On Friday (14 December), UK government announced that it will not force internet providers to block online pornography. Despite high-profile campaigns by Claire Perry MP and the Daily Mail newspaper to engineer a moral panic, sense has prevailed.

      Index opposed the proposals on the basis they would have led to the filtering legal material by default; ergo censorship. Index also had serious concerns that child safety would be used as a criteria to filter a range of content beyond pornographic material. Under the Daily Mail’s proposal, only consumers over the age of 18 who had completed a “strict age verification check” would be able to remove such a block.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • New CPS prosecution guidelines for offences committed on social media

      The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has published interim guidelines on when it is appropriate to prosecute people for communications they send on social media. If the objective was a return to common sense policing, issuing twenty-five pages of guidance has risked complicating the situation even more.

    • Congress, at Last Minute, Drops Requirement to Obtain Warrant to Monitor Email

      The federal government will continue to access Americans’ emails without a warrant, after the U.S. Senate dropped a key amendment to legislation now headed to the White House for approval.

    • CDA 230 Success Cases: WordPress.com

      This is the second part in a series of posts about the importance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230). CDA 230 limits the liability of a number of Internet services that host user-generated content.

    • Government Attorneys Agree With EFF: New ‘Counterterrorism’ Database Rules Threaten Privacy of Every American

      Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on how a little-known government agency—the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)—got the keys to government databases full of detailed, personal information of millions of innocent Americans. Using the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with officials, the Journal obtained emails and other information detailing how the massive new spying program, which the Attorney General signed off on in March, was approved by the White House in secret—over strenuous objections from government privacy lawyers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Disappearing Web: How we’re losing the battle to preserve the Internet

      The Web may be less permanent than we once thought. According to archivists, after two years, 27 percent of social media, pictures, video, and blog posts vanish. For many who regret oversharing, this may be welcome news. But for historians eager to document the tweets that inspired the Arab Spring or who want a snapshot of how the Web looked on September 9, 2001, the impermanence of the Internet presents a challenge.

  • DRM

    • Good-bye books, hello e-books

      The number of people who are reading printed books is declining. But reading isn’t. According to the Pew Research Center, we’re buying Kindles and Nooks and reading more e-books at a rapidly growing rate.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Celebrates Chinese Patent Explosion, Pretends That It’s Innovation

      We’ve talked in the past about patent system supporters’ somewhat blatant cluelessness to China’s clear recognition that its own growing patent system is the perfect tool for backdooring protectionism and trade barriers, without making it look like protectionism and trade barriers. I sometimes can’t tell if this is just because those system supporters are so focused on the narrow “more patents must be good” argument that they’re missing the big picture, or if they truly don’t understand what’s happening. Either way, we’ve got the latest example, as the folks at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a part of the UN, are celebrating the fact that China’s patent system has received more applications than any other patent system this year.

    • Intellectual property crime unit to be set up by City police

      Raft of measures announced by business secretary Vince Cable to tackle copyright infringement

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Chief Patents “Pay Up or Disconnect” Scheme

        One of the top executives of the US-based anti-piracy outfit Digital Rights Corp has submitted a patent application that promises to turn piracy into profit. The patent describes a system where Internet users caught downloading will receive a notice from their Internet provider along with a request to pay a small fee to the affected copyright holder. Pirates who refuse to pay risk the ultimate punishment of being disconnected from the Internet.

        There are many ways copyright holders approach the “online piracy” problem. Some copyright holders prefer to do it through innovation, others prefer educational messages, warnings or even lawsuits. Another group is aiming for lots of small cash settlements.

      • U.S. Congress may not have stomach for another SOPA/PIPA fight

        As a new session of the U.S. Congress convenes in early 2013, don’t expect lawmakers to rush out a new version of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

      • Gangnam Style passes 1bn views on YouTube


Links 16/12/2012: Wrapping Up 2012, Many Leftover Links

Posted in News Roundup at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[I will be away until after Xmas]

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • A Pillar Of The Indian FOSS Community, Raj Mathur, Passes Away

    Raj Mathur (aka OldMonk), one of the leading figures of the Indian FOSS (free and open source software) community, passed away on 12.12.12. The cause of his death was a massive heart attack. This is the second major loss for the Indian FOSS world another notable figure, Kenneth Gonsalves passed away in August this year.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla in 2012

        2012 was an incredible year for Mozilla. We mobilized. We did a better job than I have ever seen us do identifying the places where we needed to have impact, and then we focused and delivered. There’s a lot for us all to be proud of in 2012; I’ve gathered up a few of my favourites.

  • Project Releases


  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • China and US hold the key to a new global climate deal
    • Shale gas: a burning carbon issue
    • Texas Energy Institute Head Quits Amid Fracking Study Conflicts

      The head of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin resigned following an investigation that found conflicts of interest in a study on the risks of natural gas drilling.

      Raymond Orbach, 78, resigned as director of the institute last month, the university said in a statement released today. The study’s lead investigator, Charles Groat, 72, also retired from his faculty position, according to the statement.

    • Illegal wildlife trade ‘threatening national security’, says WWF

      Group says organised crime syndicates are ‘outgunning’ governments, leading to sharp rise in elephant and rhino deaths

    • Mother Nature belongs at bargaining table

      Throwing the nation over the climate cliff will make our current fiscal challenges look like a minor bump in the road.

      As the highly scripted stagecraft of the presidential campaign fades from the headlines, there’s a new show in Washington. ”Fiscal Cliff” stars President Barack Obama, who urges Republicans and Democrats to agree on a ”grand bargain” that would soften the economic shock of the impending across-the-board tax and spending cuts. But that bipartisan handshake would be nothing to celebrate.

    • Fracking for shale gas gets green light in UK

      The government has lifted restrictions on the controversial practice of fracking, a method of extracting gas from shale rock, giving a green light to drilling that could produce billions of pounds worth of gas.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Saudi-Led Oil Lobby Group Financed Dark Money Attack Ads

      The “American” in American Petroleum Institute, the country’s largest oil lobby group, is a misnomer. As I reported for The Investigative Fund and The Nation in August, the group has changed over the years, and is now led by men like Tofiq Al-Gabsani, a Saudi Arabian national who heads a Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) subsidiary, the state-run oil company that also helps finance the American Petroleum Institute. Al-Gabsani is also a registered foreign agent for the Saudi government.

  • Censorship

    • India awakes

      This TV program is a breakthrough. CNN IBN, a leading English-language channel, started a campaign for the freedom of Sanal Edamaruku. “Does a rationalist deserve to be jailed for questioning a religious miracle?”, asked firebrand moderator Sargarika Ghose on 4th December in CNN IBN’s flagship program Face the Nation, calling upon the public to take a stand. The response was impressive: people from all walks of life expressed unequivocal support for Sanal, on camera, on twitter and on facebook. The wave keeps running… And 87% of the viewers who participated in a public internet ballot answered the question “Are blasphemy laws out of place in a secular democracy?” with a clear Yes! The blasphemy law should go.

    • Israel must explain targeting of journalists in Gaza

      The Committee to Protect Journalists is gravely concerned that Israeli airstrikes targeted individual journalists and media facilities in the Gaza Strip between November 18 and 20. Journalists and media outlets are protected under international law in military conflict.

    • Possible censorship of Putin and Medvedev’s names on Russian television

      Here’s a somewhat curious story: The Russian TV channel NTV showed a performance by the rock band “Leningrad”, which is famous for incorporating many Russian expletives in its lyrics. The expletives were censored by beeping, which is the usual and expected practice, comparable to beeping on words like “fuck” in American TV. The surprise in this performance, however, was that the names of president Putin and prime minister Medvedev, who were mentioned in the song, were censored the same way. The name of the the Church of Christ the Savior, which recently became famous as the stage of Pussy Riot’s notorious performance, was partly censored as well, although the name “Pussy Riot” itself was not censored.

    • Peers vote to remove law banning insulting language
    • ANC tries to muzzle media coverage of leadership conference

      Security will be rigid at the African National Congress’s (ANC) elective conference in Mangaung. Most sessions are closed to the media and the party has said it will use phone-jamming technology to prevent interruptions. Journalists who stray where they shouldn’t will be given short shrift.

    • Son of Anna Politkovskaya criticises murder trial deal for policeman
  • Privacy

    • Heart Gadgets Test Privacy-Law Limits

      A recent swell of digital-medical data collected on devices outside of a doctor’s office is raising some thorny questions: Who owns the rights to a patient’s digital footprint and who should control that information? WSJ’s Linda Blake reports.

      The small box inside Amanda Hubbard’s chest beams all kinds of data about her faulty heart to the company that makes her defibrillator implant.

    • Private By Default

      Depending which browser you’re using, you should see a little lock or some such in the address bar. On the right are readouts from (top down) Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. You can click on that readout to get some information on the privacy/security settings.

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Sony’s New German Ebookstore Features Thousands Of DRM-Free Books

      DRM is becoming less and less prevalent these days as more companies are realizing that the backlash from crippling the purchases of paying customers far outweighs any perceived prevention of infringement. It’s not a wholesale conversion, but new DRM-free converts are appearing more frequently, including some surprising holdouts.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Are The Old Enablers Becoming The New Gatekeepers?

      We’ve argued, for a long time, that just railing against “middlemen” misses the point. There are always middlemen. But not all middlemen are created equal. The distinction, that we’ve discussed multiple times, is the difference between enablers and gatekeepers. That is, historically, many middlemen came to power because they were gatekeepers. If you wanted to do something — be a musician, write a book, sell a new product — you effectively had to get “approval” and support from a gatekeeper who had access to those markets. Being a gatekeeper gave them enormous power, such that the gatekeepers often became central to the market, rather than the people/companies they were working with and it also allowed them to craft ridiculous deals that were incredibly favorable to themselves, at the expense of those they were working with. That, of course, is why there tends to be so much inherent antipathy towards traditional gatekeepers.

    • Copyrights

      • French Hadopi Scheme Gutted; Other Bad Ideas To Be Introduced Instead

        France’s Hadopi graduated response approach, also known as “three strikes”, occupies a special place in the annals of copyright enforcement. It pioneered the idea of punishing users accused of sharing unauthorized copies of files, largely thanks to pressure from the previous French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who seems to have hated most aspects of this new-fangled Internet thing. Sadly, other countries took up the idea, including the UK with its awful Digital Economy Act, New Zealand, Spain and, more recently, the US.

        Hadopi hasn’t been going too well. Despite putting out some dodgy statistics, the Hadopi agency hasn’t really been able to show that the three-strike approach is doing anything to reduce the number of unauthorized downloads. In the two years that Hadopi has been running, only one person has been brought to court — and he was innocent, but fined anyway.

      • How Copyright Criminalization Threatens Online Innovation

        I’m excited that my friend Jerry Brito has pulled together an edited collection of copyright reform essays by libertarians (and one from a pair of libertarian-leaning conservatives) called Copyright Unbalanced. Several recent developments have suggested growing sympathy for copyright reform on the political right. Jerry’s book promises to be a handbook for free-market copyright reformers, pointing to some of the most serious problems with the present system and explaining how Republicans could capitalize on public dissatisfaction with the status quo.

      • It’s Not “Getting” Or “Downloading” A Copy. It’s “Making” Or “Manufacturing” One.

        In the political fight for civil liberties and sharing culture, language is everything – which can be observed by the copyright industry’s consistent attempts at name-calling, hoping the bad names will stick legally. Therefore, all our using precise language is paramount for our own future liberties.


Links 16/12/2012: Humble Indie Bundle 7 Rants, ownCloud KDE Client

Posted in News Roundup at 9:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Measuring Linux’s Success in 2012

    With barely two weeks left in 2012, the inundation of “year-in-review” blog posts, podcasts, videos and–if we’re really lucky–songs has begun. This week, the Linux Foundation did its part by releasing a video celebrating major accomplishments over the last year in the Linux channel. What did the Foundation think were the most important developments? Read on for a look.

  • Readers’ Choice Awards 2012
  • 2012 Linux Retrospectives Highlight a Remarkable Year

    Linux Rising. As The Linux Foundation’s Amanda McPherson notes, this was the year that Red Hat achieved $1 billion in revenues, and Android adoption outpaced the iPhone. You can watch The Linux Foundation’s “What a Year for Linux” video here.

    Top Linux Trends. Datamation has a good look back at some of the top trends in Linux for 2012. These included the rise of crowdsourcing, diversity in desktop environments, Ubuntu’s “Corporation vs. Community” schizophrenia, and interfaces that adjusted for multiple device form factors.

  • How Last Year’s Linux Events Played Out This Year

    With the year coming to an end, here’s a look again at the prominent Linux news from last year (2011) and whether the milestones reached then still have an impact today.

    Effectively this comes down to a redux of the most popular Linux news from last year and an update on each of the topics as it stands today. The most popular Linux stories on Phoronix from 2012 will be shared at the end of December.

    The two most popular Phoronix news stories last year came down to the same topic: ending of the Linux 2.6 kernel and moving to Linux 3.0 (Say Hello To Linux 3.0; Linus Just Tagged 3.0-rc1 and Linus Talks Of Linux 2.8 Or Linux 3.0; Ending Linux 2.6). Well, there isn’t too much to add to this particular topic for 2012. Linus Torvalds continues releasing new Linux 3.x major kernel releases and after enough of them in a few years time he’ll move to Linux 4.x. This is just much cleaner than sticking to Linux 2.6.x as was done for so many years.

  • Server

    • MICROSOFT RULES? Unless YOU know better…

      Microsoft haters, Apple haters, Linux Haters, time for you to put all this nonsense to end once and for all with regards the real world of business!!

      So, here’s the scenario, and it’s up to YOU to provide the solution… if you can of course…..

      A small office, with 5 computers all running the same desktop operating system.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • New E17 Release: LUCKY

      This beta release of E17, LUCKY RUBBER DUCKY, has a much better name than what was originally proposed.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Amarok 2.7 Beta Available For Testing

        Amarok team has released the beta version of Amarok 2.7 which is available for testing. The team has invited all users to test this beta so the final release should be available before 25th December. With this version Amarok is introducing two brand new features.

      • Kids’ size KDE

        More than a year ago I started an experiment: to bring KDE Education to the kids in Kindergarten.

        Now my son was starting exactly at the same time his own adventure in Kindergarten, so I jump at the opportunity and suggest to the educators to have a period of testing. They accepted and I installed a Kubuntu 11.10 on an old PC, the Kindergarten bought a 22″ Touchscreen, and I also installed the first alfa version of Pairs (selfcompiled) that I was working on.

      • ownCloud KDE Client Coming Soon

        ownCloud, the free and open source cloud solution, will be getting a client especially for the KDE Plasma Desktop soon. Sebastian Kügler, one of the KDE developers, announced the development of the KDE client on his blog recently.

      • An ownCloud Client for KDE Plasma
  • Distributions

    • Weekend Project: Linux Distros You Never Heard Of

      Ubuntu this, Fedora that, Mint the newest Linux darling– it’s as though all those other hundreds of Linux distributions don’t exist. Let’s throw caution to the winds and seek out new distros, and boldly go where we have not gone before. Here are three I’m thinking of installing on my test machine and torture-testing this weekend.

    • After three years, Slax Linux is reborn with version 7.0

      There’s no denying 2012 has been a fruitful year for Linux distributions in general, but something about it has also seemed to favor the rebirth of distros we hadn’t heard from in years.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2012.08 review – A thing of the past

        Deep down, I was hoping that PCLinuxOS 2012.08 might rise again…

      • Sneak Peek at Mandriva Business Server

        Ever since the month of September, Mandriva is renewing its entire products and solutions portfolio. The next product to be unveiled this month is the Mandriva Business Server. A few words were hinted in the press as well as to our strategic partners and customers.

        Today we would like to lift the curtain on some aspects of the upcoming Mandriva Business Server. In a few words, Mandriva Business Server is complete Linux-based server platform aimed primarily at the SMB and public sector market. Mandriva Business Server is however not just another Linux server distribution. From the first moment in the installation to the regular maintenance and management tasks Mandriva Business Server offers its users with easy and beautiful management interfaces allowing them to configure and deploy services from the Mandriva Business Server in a seamless and fast way.

      • Mageia 3 beta 1: release hell strikes again!
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical adds photo functions to Ubuntu One

            Canonical has added new photo functions to its Ubuntu One cloud storage service. After users log in, the Ubuntu One web site now automatically displays thumbnails of all photos found in their cloud storage in a new “Photos” section. Users can browse the photos or display them as a slideshow.

          • Creating An Awesome LoCo Support Community

            Our LoCo Teams are a wonderful part of the Ubuntu community. They provide a fantastic place for Ubuntu users to meet other users locally and enjoy Ubuntu together either online or in person.

          • Ubuntu’s Frequently Asked Questions
          • Friends To Replace Gwibber In Raring

            Ubuntu 13.04, scheduled to be released April next year is in high pace of development currently. While a alpha release has been published for most other Ubuntu based distros, Ubuntu will only release a single beta before the final release.

            This release is targeted to improve integration in various mobile devices and will also run on some tablets like Nexus 7. Also, for developers, this will be the first release that will be shipped with an Ubuntu SDK.

          • E-book: Crunch time on the Enterprise desktop

            The enterprise desktop is ripe for change. With support for Windows XP coming to an end, it’s time to find a better way.

            This ebook is about that better way. It’s a short, easy-to-read guide to why Ubuntu is a better choice than Windows for the majority of enterprise desktops today.

          • Canonical Hunting Users of XP
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Year 2012 in Review

    Munich finally migrated its 12000th PC. We are so relieved that the trolls no longer pronounce Limux a failure and there’s a little matter of profit, besides.

    Dell has expanded its relationship with Canonical selling GNU/Linux in more than 1000 stores in China and India and Walmart in Brazil sells more GNU/Linux desktop PCs than that other OS.

  • Wait, what’s that rumble in the storage jungle? Yes, it’s Ceph
  • Open source

    The pursuit of business sustainability and innovative change does not have to originate from any one, single source. It can generate from within your own company at the ground level, from the customers you service to your suppliers. Often the least recognized resources can be the greatest source of information, which can make a significant difference.


    Evidence supports the need for executives to step outside the confines of traditional business methods and leverage the creativity of its key business stakeholders. Supporting an open innovation approach to business sustainability offers stakeholders the opportunity to become engaged in the future of a business. By recognizing that key stakeholders have a vested interest the success of the company, sustainable leadership can create openness to new ideas that promote business success and innovative ideas.

  • The Elgg API: Getting Social Using an Open Source Network
  • Obituary: Raj Mathur

    One of the pillars of the Indian FOSS Community passed away this week. Known for his humor, his uncompromising honesty and his generosity in sharing FOSS knowledge with like-minded individuals. His sudden passing after a massive heart attack has shocked and saddened his friends across the FOSS World.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Set to Tackle Open Source Federated Identity in the Cloud

      The OpenStack open source cloud platform started out with only two components: Nova Compute and Swift Storage. Nova originally came from NASA and Swift came from Rackspace.

      Over the course of the last two years, OpenStack has expanded beyond NASA and Rackspace and has been embraced by many large tech vendors, including IBM, HP, Dell, AT&T, Cisco and Intel among others. As OpenStack participation has grown, new capabilities have been added, including most recently the Cinder block storage project and the Quantum networking project. Cinder and Quantum both debuted in the recent Folsom release.

  • Databases

    • The MariaDB Foundation: A turning point for MySQL

      Back when Sun Microsystems was setting, some of the programmers who had been involved with the popular and well-known open source MySQL database started a fork of the project called MariaDB.

      The new project was led and named by Michael “Monty” Widenius, the original developer of MySQL and one of the founders of the eponymous company that Sun acquired. After leaving Sun, he formed a company in his native Finland — Monty Program AB — to host development of MariaDB and made an open offer of employment to any MySQL committer. As a result, a formidable corps of developers gathered at Monty Program.

    • MariaDB Foundation
    • Open Source Couchbase 2.0 NoSQL Database Released

      Couchbase has been working on a new type of NoSQL database the melds both key-value and document data models.

      It’s an effort that began with the merger of CouchOne and Membase back in 2011 as the two companies combined to build a new joint product. Couchbase has since moved beyond its core Apache CouchDB roots though it still benefits from them.


    • Support the FSF: Turn your dollars into decibels

      Make a one-time donation to help us make your voice for software freedom heard. Please support us at whatever amount feels right to you. Every dollar helps us raise your voices one more decibel.

  • Project Releases

  • Programming



Links 14/12/2012: Baldur’s Gate, Cinnamon 1.6

Posted in News Roundup at 12:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux is Free and it Shows

    On Android you don’t bother which bootloader to load – grub or lilo, which DE to choose from – KDE, Gnome, LXDE, Blackbox (there’re a dozen others), how to set system initiation – systemd, sysvinit, innserv… how the sound and audio subsystems talk to the rest of the system, bla..bla..bla… Here these ugly system software work under the hood, users are unaware of it for a lot of good reasons. This is how the big G establishes order in an otherwise chaotic open source model of software development.

  • Deadline looms for Linux Light project

    LAMP-powered Light project needs $700,000 kickstart.

  • Web inventor to keynote at Linux conference

    The inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, will be the fourth keynote speaker at the 14th annual Australian national Linux conference, the organisers announced today.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Cinnamon 1.6 Improves Workspace Efficiency

      The Cinnamon Desktop is becoming more impressive with every passing update. This release is the product of over 600 changes. Linux Mint 14 is the first distribution to ship with 1.6. Cinnamon 1.6 gives users a more convenient workspace management interface.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • SpaceFM Development Notes

        SpaceFM depends directly on bash, rather than just a general shell, so that custom commands and plugins are running in a well-defined, consistent environment. You can always use other kinds of script in SpaceFM, but the initial data integration is done with true bash.

        SpaceFM Dialog, a built-in feature of SpaceFM which allows custom commands to integrate dialogs into it (along the lines of zenity or yad), is also designed to have a predictable usage. Same for the socket commands which allow you to tap into and alter the GUI as its running.

        So overall, while SpaceFM may grow, or even its GUI toolkit or other key components may someday change, the goal is to provide a continuity to the user experience, and to honor the customizations the user has added. One big reason for this is that I am one of those users, and I don’t like having my stuff broken!

      • Testing GNOME 3 on family members
  • Distributions

    • Archbang 2012.12 Review: Simple, light and fantastic

      My interest on Arch Linux is increasing with every passing Arch based distro review. Last week I used Bridge Linux and was fascinated by it. This week I spent considerable time in learning as well as using Archbang, another Arch Linux based operating system with Openbox window manager. It gave me performance comparable to Puppy Linux and I replaced my Lubuntu 12.10 installation with Archbang on my HP Pentium 4, 2.4 Ghz, 1.5 GB DDR RAM desktop. To say the least I am more than fascinated by its speed, versatility and ease of use.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • RPM Fusion Now Available For ARM Based Devices

        RPM fusion is a unofficial RPM repository which hosts some of the restricted software that Fedora developers dont want to ship. Also, it contains some non-free software like Flash which are not available in Fedora official repos. Fedora is available for ARM devices, but unfortunately, there was no RPM fusion repo for ARM, so users couldnt listen to MP3 and other restricted formats. But from now on, you can add the repo to get non free codecs.

      • RHEV 3.1 – an overview about the new features
      • For Red Hat, Whitehurst changed his ways

        Having worked as operations chief for Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL), Jim Whitehurst came to his role as CEO of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) with the belief that he’d give directions and they’d be followed. That’s the take Whitehurst himself shared in a recent forum.

        But when he got to the open source company, he found that some of his orders were followed while others were not. “He joked that he told his wife that he thought he might have to fire many senior leaders due to insubordination,” writes Forbes blogger Peter High.

      • Red Hat and Citrix Named In Top 50 Companies to Work for in 2013
      • Fedora

        • New Fedora Magazine for Users and Developers

          Máirín Duffy blog today of a new Fedora magazine in the works for Fedora users and developers. The idea sprang from marketing brainstorming and a desire to revive Fedora Weekly News, or revamp it as a new online publication to promote Fedora. Two guesses what it run on…

          Actually, Duffy said that the new magazine has been set up on WordPress blogging software on top of an OpenShift server. OpenShift is a platform as a service by Red Hat. She then explained briefly the mechanics of that for those interested. The skeleton is currently located at http://wp-fedoramag.rhcloud.com, but one could safely bet they’ll secure a better addy than that soon enough.

    • Debian Family

      • Star Wars Christmas Light Show Powered by Raspberry Pi and Debian

        There’s no doubt that the Raspberry Pi is an amazing little PC, but its users continue to make up new ways to show the device’s might.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Advocacy Development Kit Packaged
          • BeagleBoard XM Powered File Server Using Ubuntu

            Single Board computers like Raspberry pi and BeagleBoard have found wide range of applications among DIYers. This post tells you how to install Ubuntu headless server on a BeagleBoard single board computer and then configure it as a File Server using Samba (almost like a NAS). BeagleBoard XM is an OMAP3 board and works very well an ultra low power file server for my LAN and serves all types of media to my HTPCs running XBMC and my Raspberry Pi powered digital picture frame. So here is how to do it.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • New Tricks for New (and Old) Android Phones

          There’s a new crop of Android phones out there — and a new set of hidden shortcuts to make using your phone even easier. And even if you have an older model, I’ll share my favorite tools to get you the same functionality you would get with a brand-new device.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Singapore needs Silicon Valley’s open source culture, says Meng Weng Wong of JFDI
  • Video: a good year for open source in 2012

    Goldman Sachs reported late last week that Windows has gone from dominating 97% of the computing market to 20%.

  • Limerick migrates to Zentyal’s open source email solution

    The city of Limerick, located in mid-west Ireland and, which at a population of about 110,000, is that country’s third largest city, has chosen Zentyal to migrate to an open source email solution.

    Zentyal is an open source solutions provider based in Zaragoza, Spain. Zentyal is the company’s main software offering, a server platform based on Ubuntu.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • MySQL 5.6 to ship in early 2013

      Oracle’s enhanced open source database will be ready for general availability in early 2013 and the company is working on a future version with a pluggable UI, more NoSQL options and revamped architecture for web and cloud computing,

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • BountyOSS: A Crowd Funding Site For Free Software Projects

      We have heard about crowd funding sites for software, games and sometimes hardware ventures too. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc are leading croud funding sites in the world today. However, the world missed a site just for Free Software. This is where BountyOSS fills the gap.

  • BSD


    • Interview with Kovid Goyal of calibre

      In this installment, I interviewed Kovid Goyal, the creator and lead developer of calibre, via email.

    • GNU Press debuts GNU beanies!

      Keep cozy this winter in our navy blue beanies with GNU embroidered in white on the side. They are 100% cotton, and the embroidered GNU logo is 2.16″H x 2.6″W. Pair the beanie with our hoodies in either the Free Software Free Society or GPLv3 designs, and you’ll stay warm this winter while representing free software!

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • What open source licensing could learn from Creative Commons

      I have been a critic as well as an admirer of Creative Commons. Last year, here on opensource.com, I noted that the CC license suite, though inspired by open source licensing, was at odds with norms of libre culture licensing by embracing, under a single legal brand, form licenses that prohibit commercal use and creation of derivative works. The result, I complained, was “a general confusing dilution of the meaning of ‘openness’ in the context of cultural works” and confusion on the part of both authors and users of CC-licensed material. Creative Commons has recognized at least some aspects of this problem in the course of its work on the 4.0 license series. (For example, there has been an interesting recent proposal to relabel the controversial NC licenses with “Commercal Rights Reserved.”)

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Make your street an open street

        The Open Streets Project should be your first stop if you’re interested in entering the open streets game. This collaborative project aims to help document Open Streets projects (so add yours to the map!), connect activists working on these projects, and provide them with the tools, resources, and facts to make projects a success. Check out their guide, click through examples of projects in communities everywhere, and reach out to learn about best practices and get help with challenges.


  • Science

    • Team Solves Mystery Associated With DNA Repair

      ust copy its DNA. Specialized proteins unzip the intertwined DNA strands while others follow and build new strands, using the originals as templates. Whenever these proteins encounter a break — and there are many — they stop and retreat, allowing a new cast of molecular players to enter the scene.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Media Oddly Silent on WikiLeaks Proceedings

      Some thoughts about Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s pretrial hearing, which concluded this week.

      Manning, of course, is charged with leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks and, at his trial in March, will be pleading guilty to certain charges while rejecting the military’s contention that he “aided the enemy” in doing so.

    • Tomana to prosecute WikiLeaks suspects

      The leaked cables released minutes of meetings held by political leaders with US government officials where they divulged sensitive information about the country and their respective parties.

      Turning to another issue, Tomana vowed to continue prosecuting people arrested for allegedly insulting Mugabe saying the President was different from any ordinary citizen.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • At ALEC Meeting, Indiana Regulator Advises Coal Companies on Delaying EPA Climate Rules

      This is the case with the recent American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting in Washington, DC. Leaked documents obtained by Greenpeace reveal that ALEC’s anti-environmental jamboree was inundated with coal money and featured an Indiana regulator advising coal utilities on delaying US Environmental Protection Agency rules to control greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous air pollution.

  • Censorship

    • US and UK refuse to sign UN’s communications treaty

      The countries had objected to calls for all states to have equal rights to the governance of the internet.

      But the breaking point was the addition of text relating to “human rights”.

      It marks a setback for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which had said it was sure it could deliver consensus.

      “It’s with a heavy heart and a sense of missed opportunities that the US must communicate that it’s not able to sign the agreement in the current form,” said Terry Kramer the US ambassador to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (Wcit).

      “The internet has given the world unimaginable economic and social benefit during these past 24 years.”

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Belgian Newspapers Agree To Drop Lawsuit Over Google News After Google Promises To Show Them How To Make Money Online

        As we’ve been reporting, there’s been a movement underway in many countries to argue that something like Google News — which displays headlines, brief snippets and links to full news stories on newspapers’ own websites — somehow violates newspaper copyrights. This makes no sense logically, especially given just how much those same sites likely spend on “search engine optimization” to try to get better ranked in search engines. The only explanation for it that makes sense is the most obvious one: the newspapers are struggling to find ways to make money these days, and they see that Google is making a lot. Hence: come up with a plan to force Google to fork over some of that revenue. Of course, the very first to do this — years before Germany and France and others got into the game — was a group of Belgian newspapers who sued Google for sending them traffic. Amazingly, a local court agreed with the newspapers and told Google to pay up. Following this, Google removed those newspapers from its index, leading the newspapers to freak out and demand to be put back in.


Links 14/12/2012: Linux 3.8 Previews, CrossOver 12.0.0

Posted in News Roundup at 9:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Format on Google Play Magazines

    Sorry for the lack of updates. We’re manically trying to finish 1.5 issues before Christmas. But we just wanted to let you know that, to coincide with the launch of Google Magazines in the UK, Linux Format is now available on Google’s magazine store – £4.99 per issue, £3.99 with a rolling subscription or £44.99 for the year. As always, DVD images are freely downloadable from http://www.linuxformat.com/archives. Issue 166 (the zombie one) should also be available on the Ubuntu Software Centre.

  • Video: What a Year for Linux

    It’s also hard to ignore that this holiday season’s most popular gifts, like the Chromebook and Amazon’s Kindle HD, are all powered by Linux.

    Part of the reason Linux is experiencing so much success is because of the network effect created by its collaborative development enviornment: Embedded engineers work on power savings for their devices; that same code is then used in the data center to lower power bills. The defense industry improves the real time capabilities of the Linux kernel and automakers benefit and add to it. Also, because Linux has no branding restrictions, Android (of the Kindle or a Chromebook) can be Linux without you knowing its Linux. This freedom allows companies to innovate at a pace that is simply unmatched.

  • Desktop

    • $299 version of Acer’s C7 Chromebook kind of defeats the purpose

      When we reviewed Acer’s $199 C7 Chromebook, we didn’t think it was perfect, but we were willing to overlook many minor flaws in the face of its $199 asking price. Today, Slashgear unearthed an upgraded model—there’s an Acer product page that lists a $299 version of the C7 with a larger battery, 4GB of RAM instead of 2GB, and a 500GB hard drive instead of a 320GB model.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • 15 Greatest Open Source Terminal Applications Of 2012

      Linux on the desktop is making great progress. However, the real beauty of Linux and Unix like operating system lies beneath the surface at the command prompt. nixCraft picks his best open source terminal applications of 2012.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Announcing CrossOver 12.0.0!

        I am delighted to announce that CodeWeavers has just released
        CrossOver 12 for both Mac OS X and Linux.

      • CrossOver 12 Released

        Today, the software company CodeWeavers has released a new version of the Windows emulation software CrossOver for Linux and Mac OS X. The new version is based on Wine 1.5.15 and now has a better integration with the desktop systems Unity and Gnome 3 and has a better support for transparent windows with an activated compositing manager.

    • Games

      • Linux Games: Spirits the modern version of lemmings

        Perhaps someone is old enough to remember the original Lemmings game, a puzzle-platformer video game developed by DMA Design and published by Psygnosis in 1991. Originally developed for the Amiga, Lemmings was one of the most popular video games of its era, the basic objective of the game is to guide a group of humanoid lemmings through a number of obstacles to a designated exit. In order to save the required number of lemmings to win, one must determine how to assign a limited number of eight different skills to specific lemmings that allow the selected lemming to alter the landscape, to affect the behavior of other lemmings, or to clear obstacles in order to create a safe passage for the rest of the lemmings.

      • Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition Is Coming To Linux

        Back in August I wrote that a Linux port of the Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition game was being considered. There’s now word that a native Linux port of this game is indeed coming.

        The year 2013 is looking to be the year of Linux gaming and Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition of Overhaul Games will be among the native Linux titles. Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition is a remake of the original Baldur’s Gate role-playing game and its Baldur’s Gate Tales of the Sword Coast expansion. The game was released last month for Windows while the Mac OS X port is expected this month.

      • Valve Has A Christmas Present For Linux Gamers

        Valve is becoming quite comfortable with the state of their Linux activities so beginning next week will be a more “open” beta program. If you’re a Linux gamer who wasn’t yet selected to be part of the beta program, you should be able to gain access in time for the holidays. Help them test out their Linux ports to ensure the Valve Linux-based game console will be a great success.

      • Cultures : Northland now available on Desura, another may follow
  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Amarok 2.7 Beta To Be Released Soon, Try Statistics Synchronization!
      • Why Kolab Groupware uses Submission

        Kolab Groupware has a strong focus on security, and data integrity – not just your own mailbox but the flow of traffic between you and your peers as well.

        Please allow me to take the opportunity to explain to you some of the background of what Kolab Groupware does, and why. In this blog post, I’m zooming in on our use of the submission port (587).

      • 15 years of KDE e.V. – Behind the Scenes

        As reported here two weeks ago, KDE e.V. has grown up since it was founded 15 years ago on November 27, 1997. From a body handling a few thousand euros for the yearly KDE meetings governed by a dozen members, it has evolved into a lean execution machine supporting many large and small events each year, taking care of legal matters, promotion, community management and more. KDE e.V. now has a dedicated employee and many members. Today, we take you on a virtual tour around Blue Gear Headquarters, to show you what’s going on at the German registered non-profit association and how it affects the KDE community world wide.

      • Qt 5.0 RC 2 released

        We are happy to announce that the second release candidate for Qt 5.0 has just been released.

  • Distributions

    • LuninuX OS 12.10 Screenshots
    • The Brightest Distro Stars of 2012

      “By taking Linux away from the devs and instituting real quality control and making it truly UI-centric and consistent, Google has managed to do in a couple of years what dozens of distros absolutely failed to do in a couple of decades,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet, “and that was bring a Linux-based OS out of the nerds’ basements and into the home of Joe and Sally Average.”

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Who Needs Ubuntu? Steam for Linux Running Under Gentoo

        In the post I made last week about some of the system requirements Valve has been applying to select Linux titles on Steam, I mentioned that I’ve been curious to know how running the official Steam client would fare on other distros. After all, Linux is Linux at the core, so where there’s a will, there should be a way.

        Well, sitting around with a bit of time on my hands late last night, I decided to fool around and see if I couldn’t get the client to run under Gentoo. Believe it or not, a guide exists on making it happen, and it’s a good one. However, the one thing to bear in mind is that because few Gentoo installs are exactly alike, you may have immediate luck getting Steam to work or none at all. You’re likely to need updated packages, and you’re even more likely to run into some trial and error. C’est la Gentoo.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Linux vs. Debian kFreeBSD With Squeeze & Wheezy

        This is far from the first time doing benchmarking of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, the port of the Debian operating system that pairs the GNU user-land with the FreeBSD kernel rather than the Linux kernel. The last time doing Debian GNU/kFreeBSD benchmarks extensively was back in July so new tests were warranted of 6.0.6 Squeeze and using the latest Debian testing bi-weekly images. The Debian testing ISOs used of Debian GNU/Linux and Debian GNU/kFreeBSD were dated from 3 December 2012. This testing not only shows how the Linux versus FreeBSD kernel performance compares with a similar user-land but how the Debian performance has progressed in moving from 6.0 Squeeze to 7.0 Wheezy.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • New Dash Icons Proposed for Ubuntu 13.04
          • Welcome to the new Ubuntu shopping centre

            A post on the official blog of Canonical, the compnay behind the GNU/Linux distribution, said that version 12.10 had taken “another important step towards fulfilling its intended purpose of being an online, global search tool that helps users find anything, instantly, right from their home environment”.

            This would be extended in 13.04 with the use of “smart scopes” – daemons capable of presenting local or remote information within the Dash (seen above with theresults of a search for the word Beatles) which is the search window for Ubuntu’s Unity interface. These “scopes” would be category-wise; depending on the search term a particular “scope” would be triggered.

            “For example, a search for “The Beatles” is likely to trigger the Music and Video scopes, showing results that will contain local and online sources – with the online sources querying your personal cloud as well as other free and commercial sources like YouTube, Last.fm, Amazon, etc,” said the post, written by Cristian Parrino, vice-president for online services at Canonical.

          • Ubuntu 13.04 Desktop Comparison: 6 Desktops, 5 Driver/GPU Combinations

            In this article are benchmarks of six different desktops (Unity, GNOME Shell, GNOME Classic, KDE Plasma, Xfce, and LXDE) on five different GPU/driver configurations (Radeon, Catalyst, Intel, NVIDIA, and Nouveau) running the very latest Ubuntu 13.04 “Raring Ringtail” development packages to look at the latest state of the Ubuntu Linux gaming OpenGL performance.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • New YotaPhone will feature LCD screen on one side, E-Ink on the other
        • 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 tipped for 2013

          Samsung‘s stylus-enabled “phablets” are set to get even bigger, sources in South Korea claim, with the Galaxy Note III tipped to have a whopping 6.3-inch display when it arrives in 2013. The growing smartphone stepped up to a 5.5-inch display in its second-generation, from the 5.3-inches of the original Galaxy Note, but according to whispers to the Korea Times, Samsung plans to maximize display real-estate with a new OLED model for the new year.

        • More details emerge about high-end ZTE Grand S
        • Google Chairman Says Android Winning Mobile War With Apple: Tech

          Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android is extending its lead over Apple Inc. (AAPL) in the mobile-software market at a rate that compares with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s expansion in desktop software in the 1990s, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said.

        • The real threat that Samsung poses to Apple

          The problem that Apple is facing right now has nothing to do with their designs being copied. There is a long history of copying in the tech industry; patents being deployed in lawsuits by giants often signify desperation more than anything else. Rather, the problem that Apple faces is that it now is going up against at least one competitor that has been a beneficiary of the scale that Apple has achieved on the business side. Samsung has clearly demonstrated that, like Asus, it was not satisfied being a low-margin ODM — of doing all the menial work while somebody else made the big bucks. Suing Samsung over Android patents isn’t going to change that — if Google’s operating system gets too expensive to use, there’ll be a switch made to Microsoft. Or to another operating system altogether. It doesn’t really matter, because design in the smartphone space has been commoditized. It’s good enough. Manufacturers are now creating performance that most consumers aren’t able to absorb. Instead, as we’ve moved into a world where performance is now “good enough”, the world has flipped into one where it’s the business side — operational scale — that matters most.

        • OwnCloud Android App Review

          onwCloud is one of the most important open source projects today, considering the invasion of ‘storage/data syncing’ cloud in our day-to-day life. This invasion is also posing a new threat to our privacy and ownership of our data, especially when there are players like Microsoft. It was quite shocking when Microsoft blocked access to a user’s account on finding some nude/semi-nude images in his SkyDrive folder. What was Microsoft doing in a ‘private’ as the user claims folder? Don’t confuse SkyDrive as your ‘private’ cloud where you can store whatever data you want. It’s not like a bank. The last think I would want is Microsoft peeping inside my SkyDrive folders. So, I would strongly recommend not to touch the SkyDrive even with a stick.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • In-depth review: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

        I recently spent a month using Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, running Android 4.0. Let’s find out what the tablet’s “Note” rather than “Tab” designation means, and how it compares to its less-expensive sibling, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and to Google’s Nexus 10.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Migration to open source—a personal experience

    The term open source (OS) arose in late 90’s; although, much of modern internet infrastructure predated and evolved from active code sharing between researchers after the dawn of modern computing age. It is difficult to trace its origins due to space constraints, but suffice to say that it arose out of ambiguity in “fair use doctrines”, with significant access barriers for community to examine source code or modify it. Interestingly, these ideas have spawned crowd sourcing for open source hardware, notably robotics and influenced scientific publishing for open access traditionally encumbered by copyright protection. Over the time, several unique and hybrid models of licensing have evolved for implementation.

  • The most talented youth choose open source tools

    At my public library job, all day long I help people use the library’s public access computers. At the end of a long day’s work, I enjoy kicking back and listening to some YouTube music videos. One way I do this is to search YouTube for new Bob Dylan cover songs. I search YouTube for: Bob Dylan cover, this week.

    Imagine my happy surprise to come across this fabulous multitrack video of Knockin on Heaven’s Door. But wait a second, is that a Tux penguin poster hanging on the wall behind this musician? Indeed it is. Hmmm, was that poster placed there intentionally, or was it just an accident?

  • Apache web server, more than “a patchy web server”

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is readying itself for the 25th outing of its ApacheCon North America official conference, training and expo event.

    The foundation describes its remit and status as a group of “all-volunteer developers, stewards and incubators” of what amounts to nearly 150 open source projects and initiatives inside Apache.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Hack This Game

        Today, we’re proud to invite game designers, developers and enthusiasts everywhere to take part in this year’s Game On competition. We’re looking for your ideas and playable protoypes for gaming experiences that push the limits of what open Web technologies can do.

      • Mozilla announces Game On Competition
      • Firefox introduces improved private browsing

        A new Firefox feature is being added to the Nightly Builds, with oft requested private browsing mode used by many other browsers to eventually reach the release version

  • SaaS

    • EMC Sees OpenStack As Much Like Linux

      It seems that nearly every tech titan under the sun is throwing its support at OpenStack. EMC is the latest giant to do so, now that it is an official, corporate-level sponsor of OpenStack. Since it owns most of VMware, when VMware recently joined OpenStack it became obvious that EMC would become a sponsor, too. In commenting on the arrangement, EMC officials are likening OpenStack development to Linux development. That’s an apt analogy, and it also tells us how important support and proper documentation and training are going to become in the future of OpenStack.

    • Dell commits to open-source software for its future clouds
  • Databases

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3.5 Elvin Drums Along Open Source CMS

      That’s right I called WordPress a CMS (Content Management System) and not a blogging platform. With WordPress 3.5, officially released on Tuesday, the CMS moves forward with some incremental features.

      I’m a user of both self-hosted as well WordPress.com sites so I’ve noticed some of the WordPress 3.5 changes roll out over the last several weeks. WordPress tends to dogfood releases on the hosted WordPress.com platform first before making the full release generally available.

  • Business

    • Open Source BI Considerations and Implications

      To prepare for software selection and to put all of the pieces together in terms of business and technical open source business intelligence implementation requirements, the following checklists will help you identify the tasks and considerations involved in planning your OSBI implementation.

  • BSD

    • The Grinch That Delayed FreeBSD 9.1

      Originally the plan for FreeBSD 9.1 was to release it in mid-September, but the first release candidate was one month late along with the RC2 and RC3 releases. The plan was then updated to release FreeBSD 9.1 at the end of October, but that too passed. The latest schedule set the RELEASE announcement as going out on 12 November, but that clearly didn’t work either.

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.65 Arrives – Most Stable Yet
    • [ANNOUNCE] PulseAudio 2.99.3 (3.0 RC3)
    • First Orion 2.0 Milestone rises

      The first milestone in the development of the browser-based IDE Eclipse Orion 2.0 has been released. A major focus in the development of Orion 2.0 is to bring node.js support to the IDE and while these are described as “large scale efforts” for future builds, the developers have decided to share a prototype of a node-based Orion server. Orionode, the prototype server, is a single user deployment of Orion running on node.js. “Having all the client and server tools written in the same language also raises some new possibilities and makes the Orion architecture very flexible” say the developers, but they note that the project is not ready for prime time yet.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Robotics Hacker Erects Open Source ‘Lego for Adults’

        Jasen Wang once bought a home robotics kit. He had studied aircraft design in college and spent years at an electrics engineering outfit, but he still found the instructions completely incomprehensible. And the pieces were flimsy. And after he broke two of them, he gave up entirely.

  • Programming

    • Why PHP Development Shows an Upward Trend in Open Source Development
    • REBOL 3 open source code arrives

      The latest version of Carl Sassenrath’s REBOL language has been published as open source, marking a major change in how the novel language is made available to the public. REBOL, a previously proprietary language developed by Sassenrath, the primary developer of AmigaOS, was first released in 1997 and is oriented towards task-specific language dialects or domain-specific languages to be used in processing. It has a number of “dialects” for purposes such as data exchange (load), programming (do), pattern matching (parse), function and object definition (make), and GUIs (layout or display). These dialects work together with a free-form syntax to provide an intriguing language, but one which has never become mainstream.

    • Sauce Labs Gives Open Source Projects Free Access to Testing Cloud

      Sauce Labs Inc., the leading provider of web application testing infrastructure for software developers, today announced Sauce Free Open Source Software accounts (Open Sauce), a new program offering open source developers free unlimited use of the Sauce Labs cloud for testing web applications.



Links 13/12/2012: Guy Kawasaki Evangelises Android, WordPress 3.5 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


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