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02.20.12

Links 20/2/2012: Linux 3.3 RC4, VLC 2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Super Dorky Way Programmers Are Trying To Get People Interested In Linux

    It’s Friday. That’s the perfect day to have uncovered this weird gem: This week, Rebecca Black got her own version of Linux, RebeccaBlackOS.

    She’s not the first teenybopper to get her own open source operating system either. RebeccaBlackOS follows Hannah Montana Linux and Justin Bieber Linux.

  • Baidu zooms in on mobile

    According to Reuters, Li said Baidu was looking to work with more smartphone vendors to expand the reach of its Linux-based Yi mobile platform.

  • Is Windows 8 a Linux Copycat?
  • Desktop

    • GNU/LInux Sold Retail in Brazil

      They don’t seem to have alphabetical order in mind but they certainly do give space to GNU/Linux. So much for the FUD that GNU/Linux is somehow not ready for consumers. Look at all computers sorted by “Best Sellers”…

    • Another Windows XP to Fedora 16 Linux migration

      My thoughts on why businesses and individuals need to start thinking about switching away from proprietary (and high maintenance) software like Windows, and look at open source and free software inste… Read more »ad like GNU/Linux. All articles are based on real world and everyday experiences with Windows and GNU/Linux, for both business and personal use.
      Recently I’ve had the pleasure of replacing yet another Windows XP computer with Fedora Linux (version 16). The user is a relative of mine, and finally became tired of dealing with malware every month or so by simply browsing the web. So at his request I put Fedora Linux on the PC and wiped XP away from it for good. He had already used GNU/Linux on other PCs.

      As stated in a previous post, I came across some issues with Fedora 16 and Gnome 3 with a previous deployment, but this time I knew what to expect. After installing Fedora 16 which took about 25 minutes or so from start to finish, I immediately changed Gnome to Fallback Mode to keep the desktop environment familiar to Gnome 2. My personal thought is that the Gnome 2 look and feel is much better suited for a desktop PC.

  • Server

    • ‘Linux for cloud’ floats anti-Amazon cloud taster
    • John Hancock Signs $25m Annuity Admin ITO Contract Extension with CSC

      CSC reports that the new contract authorizes a transition from the current mainframe environment to a new z Linux platform, which the vendor claims will: lower costs through enhanced operational and energy efficiency; improve service through a simplified, integrated environment; and augment risk management via strengthened resiliency and security features.

    • SGI’s Opteron-Based ICE System Is Tops in MPI Benchmark

      The SGI ICE 8400 platform with AMD processors is a completely open platform optimized for HPC workloads and runs an off-the-shelf Linux operating system for application compatibility. Although the ICE platform is able to comfortably support multi-petaflop sized installations, design considerations allow cost effective solutions down to a half rack. Single- or dual-plane integrated InfiniBand can be cabled into four different topologies, including hypercube, enhanced hypercube, all to all, and fat-tree, allowing flexible network customization for a variety of workloads.

  • Kernel Space

    • LZ4 For Btrfs Arrives While Its FSCK Remains M.I.A.

      The proper fsck utility for the Btrfs file-system remains M.I.A. while a contribution from an independent developer introduces LZ4 compression support to this next-generation Linux file-system.

      Last month at SCALE 10x the lead developer of Btrfs, Chris Mason, told the crowd that an error-fixing Btrfs.fsck tool was imminent since the file-system is going production-ready in Oracle Linux (Mason is an Oracle engineer) and had a deadline of 14 February.

    • Download Linux Kernel 3.3 RC4 Now
    • [announce] Gujin GPL bootloader version 2.8.5
    • [ANNOUNCEMENT] The Barbershop Load Distribution algorithm for Linux kernel scheduler.

      Here, I’m going to introduce an alternative load distribution algorithm for Linux kernel scheduler. This technique is named as “The Barbershop Load Distribution Algorigthm” or BLD for short and will be refered as BLD from here on. As it’s name implies, it only tries to distribute the load properly by tracking lowest and
      highest loaded rq of the system. This technique never tries to balance the system load at idle context, which is done by the current scheduler. The motivation behind this technique is to distribute load properly amonst the CPUs in a way as if load balancer isn’t needed and to make load distribution easier.

    • Linux 3.3-rc4
    • World Clamors for Linux Experts, Says Linux Foundation
    • Why being a Linux geek could make you more employable
    • Linux skills in demand, wages up
    • Report: Linux job openings on the rise

      This was the conclusion of the 2012 Linux Jobs Report released yesterday, which surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers. The survey was conducted by IT job specialist Dice together with The Linux Foundation. The latter is a non-profit foundation set up to promote, protect and advance Linux.

    • Kernel Log: Apple streamlines CUPS

      CUPS 1.6, which is currently in development, will no longer include some features used in many Linux distributions. An Intel developer has presented patches that may allow the kernel to use an efficient power management feature by default.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel Hardware Context Support Patches Arrive
      • Open-Source ARM Mali Code Published

        The initial code push has taken place for the Lima Project, which is the open-source ARM Mali graphics driver that’s under development.

        The Lima stack development is sponsored by Codethink and its lead developer is veteran X.Org developer Luc Verhaegen. Phoronix was the first to break the news on the project last month.

      • OpenChrome Picks Up New VIA Support, But Still Lags

        The xf86-video-openchrome driver has seen its first proper release in quite a while. The xf86-video-openchrome 0.2.905 release has support for new hardware and features.

        The OpenChrome driver is rarely worked on today by the small open-source VIA community, but the new 0.2.905 release that’s now available introduces VX900 support, VX855 X-Video support, X.Org Server 1.12 compatibility, and assorted bug-fixes/tweaks.

      • VMware Virtual GPU Driver Gets Fake Page-Flipping
      • VA-API Video Decoding Support For Wayland
      • Intel Tries To Fix RC6 Support Once Again

        After several attempts that ultimately failed, this weekend Eugeni Dodonov published a patch-set as “Another chapter in RC6 saga…” where he hopes the Sandy Bridge RC6 power-savings (and performance boosting) support is finally reliable to enable by default.

        For those that aren’t familiar with Intel RC6 at this stage, you must read more Phoronix articles as it’s been routinely covered in past months. To get up to speed, read SNB RC6 On Linux 3.1 Is Both Good & Bad where it outlines the power-savings abilities of this hardware feature, which allows the Intel graphics processor to be dropped into a lower-power state. At the same time as conserving precious energy, RC6 can also boost graphics performance as Phoronix benchmarks have shown in other articles.

      • The Technical Plans For Making Wayland 1.0

        After laying out plans earlier this month at FOSDEM for releasing Wayland 1.0 this year, Kristian Høgsberg has now written a more detailed message to the Wayland developers that outlines some of the TODO list and other plans for making Wayland 1.0.

      • Image Quality Comparison: Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst
      • NVIDIA Releases 295.20 Linux Drivers
      • Morphological Anti-Aliasing With Mesa 8.0

        One of the less talked about features of Mesa 8.0 is its ability to handle MLAA, which is short for Morphological Anti-Aliasing. But how does MLAA on the open-source graphics drivers affect the OpenGL performance and is it worth it for boosting the image quality through this anti-aliasing technique? In this article are some benchmarks of MLAA under Mesa 8.0.

        Morphological Anti-Aliasing support for Mesa was worked on last summer as part of the 2011 Google Summer of Code with X.Org. Lauri Kasanen was the student developer responsible for bringing MLAA to Mesa. Unlike many GSoC projects, he was successful in his summer project. In fact, he had MLAA Mesa code ready for testing in July well before the August deadline. In August the support was ready for merging, which also included the Gallium3D post-processing support and ROUND support for the various drivers.

      • Radeon HyperZ In Open-Source On Older Hardware
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Matthias Ettrich: Creator Of KDE

        The KDE 4.0, the latest version of KDE desktop environment, was released recently. On this occasion, we reached out to the founder of KDE project, Matthias Ettrich who started the KDE project back in 1996. Almost 12 years down the line, he’s now working at Trolltech, hacking Qt. Here is what the KDE-Man had to say…[The interview was conducted in 2008. KDE is gaining popularity so we wanted to refresh the memories.]

      • More About the Acer Aspire One 522

        I have switched Linux Mint 12 KDE to the Netbook desktop, and as always it looks nice and is a pleasure to use

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distributions Described In Terms Of Beer

      After trying the openSUSE beer at FOSDEM, which is specially brewed at a small Bavarian brewery near the Nürnberg SUSE office and where many of their developers reside, I began wondering if other Linux distributions were represented by beer, what beers would they be? Continue on for this enjoyable weekend article where the leading Linux distributions are described in terms of beer.

    • Sabayon 8 XFCE Review

      Sabayon 8 XFCE is a Gentoo based distribution that comes with XFCE desktop version 4.8 and makes Gentoo a whole lot easier. Gentoo Linux is a more advanced based distribution that has been around a long time which is focused more on advanced users with compiling your own packages (programs) in order to run.

      Sabayon, takes a different approach and takes the hard part out of Gentoo and makes it easy with the latest version in Sabayon 8.Sabayon comes as an installable LiveDVD and is available in 32 bit and 64 bit flavours. Installation did not take that long and was not complicated. The configuration was pretty easy and had you setup your keyboard, select your timezone and so forth.

    • Happy Birthday, SimplyMEPIS

      Like a lot of stories, there is more to it than meets the eye. And while on the surface, this is a story about a Linux distribution, there are some life lessons that can be found in it.

      As with many other people, my life saw a lot of dramatic changes in the year 2001. For me, it started in January 2001. I should have been keeping in mind the words of wisdom from the world champion athlete Dan Millman. He wrote The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, and other books. One of his statements is all accidents can be attributed to one of three reasons:

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PC Linux OS 2012.02: nice and stable

        There are not so many distributions in the Linux galaxy which have names directly showing the purpose of the distribution’s creation. I honestly do not think that Bodhi is going to enlighten anybody or Fedora can stay on your head. As opposed to these, PCLinuxOS directly says that it is a Linux operating system intended to be used on PCs.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity 5.4 Review

            It is always exciting when new versions of Unity are released since they bring along bug fixes and new features. Well Unity 5.4 was released on Friday. Let’s go through some the features and bug fixes it comes with.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Your Language! Your Freedom! preserve it for the next generation!!

    I just want to show how you could join the 2012 International Mother Language Day by celebrations by contributing to a FOSS project with your friends and relatives.
    In this century ICT plays manor role in various fields including education sector. There are many tools have been localized but most of them not let you in to the project to contribute as a localizer. So where you could contrinute to a softwrae on behalf of your own language or community?

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • The pros and cons of Mozilla’s super-open Boot to Gecko mobile OS

        Mozilla, the folks behind the Firefox web browser, launched a project last year to create a totally open mobile operating system, and now that dream is nearly a reality. Boot to Gecko (B2G) is built entirely with standards-compliant web technologies like HTML and JavaScript. It gets its name from the Gecko rendering engine in Firefox, which is also the platform that will run B2G. Android has a number of things in common with B2G, for instance it is open source, and uses some of the same underlying technology. Designing the entirety of a mobile operating system on web standards is a risky proposition, but B2G does have some advantages over Android.

  • Project Releases

    • VLC 2.0 Released, Support For WebM

      The VLC team has announced the release of VLC 2.0, code named, Twoflower. VLC 2.0 is a major upgrade for VLC. The latest version of VLC offers faster decoding on multi-core, GPU, and mobile hardware and the ability to open more formats, notably professional, HD and 10bits codecs.

    • VLC 2.0 available now, includes faster decoding and experimental Blu-ray support
    • VLC Player 2.0 released

      Just weeks after the first release candidate, the VideoLAN developers have officially released version 2.0 of the VLC media player for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. VLC media player 2.0, code-named “Twoflower”, is a major reworking of the VLC application, bringing playback improvements and experimental support for playing Blu-ray discs, albeit without menus.

    • VLC 2.0 “Twoflower” has been released! PPA Ubuntu11.10 and LinuxMint12
    • Linux Mint developer releases Cinnamon 1.3

      The lead developer of Linux Mint, Clement Lefebvre, has released version 1.3 of the Cinnamon desktop environment. This is the first major update of the user interface based on code from the GNOME shell and which was first considered “stable” with version 1.2. In Cinnamon 1.3, all panel components are applets which means, for example, that users can remove a menu or window list and replace it with alternative third-party applets. All applets can also be moved using drag & drop so that users have even more control over where to position them.

  • Public Services/Government

    • New EU-level spat over open standards

      The European parliament is currently consulting on a wide-ranging draft European Commission regulation on European standardisation. Voting in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, which is spearheading the legislation, is set to take place in March. The initiative is intended to create a comprehensive, effective, broadly applicable standardisation system. The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has criticised the proposal as paving the way for standards which are poorly compatible with open source software.

      A reform of the existing piecemeal European standardisation framework is, according to an FFII paper on the Commission’s proposal, long overdue. Their analysis claims that current regulations are not designed for specifications for software interfaces or data formats. According to the FFII, the proposal would mean accepting standards from international consortia licensed under FRAND (Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) terms and conditions.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Google is being sued by some idiot using Safari on a Mac. US Congress critters investigate.

      There’s a big stink going on right now. Someone found out that Google was setting “third party cookies” (for their advertising servers) in Apple’s Safari browser, which defaults to not loading third party cookies (which I’ll get to in a moment).
      Now it appears that someone using Safari on a Mac that expected privacy somehow, is suing Google. (The PC World article on the first link has a more accurate technical description of what’s going on)
      In short, someone found a bug in Safari, and now Google is being sued and is under investigation by Congress. We know how much Congress can be expected to know about the internet based on their hilarious to horrifying attempts to regulate it as many of them uttered things like “I don’t know how this here internet thing works, but they tell me….” or the late Senator Ted Steven’s infamous “series of tubes” comment. To say nothing of the fact that Congress flip flops between mandatory tracking for all and bullshit “consumer privacy concerns” such as this one. (For those concerned with the former, the bill is called HR 1981, but a more fitting name would be HR 1984)
      If this was a bug in Firefox, it would be fixed. If it was a bug in Chrome, it would be fixed.
      Somehow, Microsoft and Apple users seem to think they can use proprietary secret software when they’re not allowed to know how it works. Software, which has a history of many bugs, with vendors that typically take weeks/months/years to patch them once they’re made public. These companies also slip back doors into the software for various government agencies.
      Apple was recently caught with a back door that they put into iTunes, it remained there for 3 years, undetected, which facilitated man in the middle attacks. (A government could use this to run a counterfeit iTunes server and load malicious software onto the victim’s computer. The article calls it a flaw, but we know what was really going on, and that it was likely just moved.).

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • NJ programmer freed as NY court orders acquittal

      A smiling former Goldman Sachs computer programmer was freed from prison Friday after a surprise ruling from a federal appeals court reversed his conviction on charges he stole computer code.

      “Justice occasionally works,” declared the beaming programmer, Sergey Aleynikov.

      He said he “just jumped all over the place” at 6 a.m., the moment he read and repeatedly reread an email from his lawyer informing him that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan had reversed his conviction. The words were, he said, “‘We won!’”

    • Goldman Sachs caught in a Sharia Catch-22

      According to an article in the Arab News, Shariah-committed imams declined to issue its religious approval (fatwa) for the Goldman Bond derivative because the “use of proceeds” to fund Goldman’s non-Islamic business is forbidden, according to Shariah finance laws.

02.19.12

Links 19/2/2012: Raspberry Pi Coming on Sale, HUD Interface Coming to Next Ubuntu

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • XBMC 11 “Eden”

    XBMC, the open source media center, has steadily grown from its humble origins as an X-Box only replacement environment into the cross-platform, de facto playback front-end for multimedia content. It merges the file-centric approach taken by traditional video players with an add-on scripting environment that handles remote web content. The project is currently finalizing its next major release, version 11.0 (codenamed Eden), which includes updates to the networking and video acceleration subsystems, broader hardware support, and numerous changes to the APIs available to add-on developers.

  • Barriers to Migration to FLOSS

    I did a bit of fixing knowledge by exposing students and staff of K-12 schools to GNU/Linux. We sure freed up resources by bringing “dead” machines back to life and getting better and more reliable service from our PCs. Only a few schools have an official policy against FLOSS. Many just don’t know.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Report on Richard Stallman’s visit to Chennai

      Dr. Richard. M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, addressed a mammoth gathering at IIT-Madras on Monday, February 6, 2012. Speaking on the topic ‘Free Software, Freedom and Education’ in front of a crowd of at least 3,000 students, teachers and activists, Dr. Stallman elaborated on a variety of topics including the history of the free software movement, the difference between free software and open source software and the dangers of proprietary software.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • European Standardisation Reform lowers the bar

      The Consumer Committee (IMCO) within the European Parliament is considering an overhaul of the current standardisation system in Europe. The FFII presents a paper on the proposed recognition of ICT specifications from consortia.

      “They propose minimum rules against trade and antitrust abuses. It’s hard to imagine up an awkward specification which would fail the test”, explains FFII standards analyst André Rebentisch.

  • Licensing

    • Why FLOSS Should Use The GPL

      I just read an article about the software business littered with “zealot” and “restrictive” in relation to licensing of FLOSS and how ASFL is the only way to do business with FLOSS etc. It’s pretty sickening to read these parasites of FLOSS denying the reality that the GPL works and works well. It allows startups to have a head start. It allows startups to innovate and not to have to compete against their own code used against them by competitors in closed source software.

      Instead these “pro-business” parasites would have us believe that working for free for M$ and the like is just great for the world of IT. It would be laughable if they weren’t so seriously trying to undermine FLOSS at every turn. These traitors actually promote non-free software as some kind of virtue and perpetuate the myth that using the GPL “infects” software and harms business.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • DNA robot could kill cancer cells

      The researchers designed the structure of the nanorobots using open-source software, called Cadnano, developed by one of the authors — Shawn Douglas, a biophysicist at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. They then built the bots using DNA origami. The barrel-shaped devices, each about 35 nanometres in diameter, contain 12 sites on the inside for attaching payload molecules and two positions on the outside for attaching aptamers, short nucleotide strands with special sequences for recognizing molecules on the target cell. The aptamers act as clasps: once both have found their target, they spring open the device to release the payload.

  • Programming

    • The Shrinking Expanding World of CI

      Continuous integration is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance as continuous delivery (and its sidekick, DevOps) begin to find adoption in many enterprises. Simultaneously, the number of viable CI packages is shrinking quickly.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Is WebKit slowly turning into IE6?

      For those who don’t know, WebKit is today’s predominant layout engine, used by the major web browsers on almost all platforms. Examples are Safari on OS X, Windows and iOS, or Google Chrome on OS X, Windows, Linux, Android, to name only a few (1).

Leftovers

  • Litigation between SCO and IBM to resume

    The reactivation of the litigation between IBM and SCO is largely a procedural matter aimed at resolving the pending claims and counterclaims that the companies have brought against each other. Due to the court’s previous conclusion that Novell is the rightful owner of UNIX, the reactivated litigation between SCO and IBM isn’t going to be an opportunity for SCO to turn the tide in its favor.

  • Linux Bloggers Everywhere Burst Into Tears At The Thought Of Having To Write One More SCO Trial Blog Post
  • Keeping an Eye on the Enemy

    My enemies are the purveyors of non-free software who try to lock the world into doing things their way and paying for each iteration. M$ is chief among them but many of their “partners” are cut from the same cloth. Apple does charge less for software but it’s still lock-in one way or another. That lock-in and emphasis on keeping the cost of IT high is a terrible waste of resources especially when the enemy is restricting what I can do with hardware that I own.

  • Security

02.17.12

Links 17/2/2012: Finnix 104, Android on x86

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Random thoughts about Linux and my job

    Knowledge of Linux probably helped me indirectly to get my job — even if I don’t actually need to do any hacking as part of my job. People geekier than me can do the heavyweight php scripting much more efficiently than I can. In addition, I decided to use OS X as main main desktop system at work.

  • Where in the world is Tux? Photos of the lovable Linux mascot from 29 countries

    Do you remember the game “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?” We’re going to play a game of “Where in the world is Tux?” As it turns out, the lovable Linux penguin mascot has been to the far corners of the world and back again.

    As you will see, Tux has gathered with lots of his friends in Argentina, played with a robot in Brazil, frozen his tail off in Estonia, enjoyed the beaches in Jamaica, visited a castle in Scotland, and much, much more.

  • Linux Jobs Report: 81% of recruiters say hiring Linux talent is a priority

    New Linux Jobs Report says 81% of tech recruiters are looking for Linux talent and 63% expect an increase in Linux-related employment…

  • Announcing *NIXJobs.com – UNIX and Linux Job & Resume Listings
  • Give An Old PC New Life With Linux

    Chances are you have an older computer sitting in a closet somewhere just gathering dust. Why not breathe new life into it by replacing its old, clunky Windows installation with a fast and shiny new Linux installation?

  • Linux talent shortage drives up salaries

    It pays to be a Linux expert, and if you have any needs that are not being met by your employer and you have Linux skills, now might be a good time to start making some demands.

    The Linux Foundation, the non-profit consortium that fosters the expansion of Linux and which gives Linus Torvalds his paycheck, tag-teamed with Dice Holdings, the jobs posting site, to get a handle on what’s going on out there in the Linux workforce in terms of salaries, benefits, and working conditions.

  • Accessibility Leaders in Linux

    Accessibility to computers for people with vision, hearing, or physical impairments needs to be a part of fundamental design, and not an afterthought. Progress in the proprietary world is slow, and even slower in the Linux/FOSS world. But thanks to some dedicated people some significant work has been accomplished, and the groundwork laid for a common platform for all Linux distributions to build on.

  • Linux has a Place in the Enterprise

    From its meager beginnings as a hobby project to its extreme success among geeks, Linux has survived lawsuits, boycotts and onslaughts from every corner of the UNIX, Windows and Mac computing markets. Linux has, in spite of its critics, made its way into the world’s data centers. Linux enjoyed early success as a host platform for the Apache web server but now has blossomed into a formidable contender for rack space. For an operating system, Linux has the best mixture of vendor neutrality, open source code base, stability, reliability, scalability and affordability. It also provides the user or administrator the choice of graphical user interfaces or none at all.

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Catalyst A.I. Useless Under Linux?

        AMD today launched the Radeon HD 7570/7770 graphics cards as the latest GPUs built on the GCN architecture. Unfortunately there still is not any open-source support for the Radeon HD 7000 series hardware nor has AMD sent out any review samples to Phoronix. But there is some other Catalyst Linux news to share.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Pre-orders For KDE Plasma Active Tablet ‘Spark’ Now Open

        All right everyone, there is a good news. Pre-orders for KDE Plasma Active/Mer based tablet Spark has just started.

      • Easy Favorites in KDE!

        Having recently switched to KDE, I found one major annoyance. That is not to say that KDE is perfect save for this one thing, but it was pretty glaring to me none the less. Favorites.

        I started “pinning” applications to my “favorites” section in the KDE launcher and it didn’t take long to fill it up. In Windows 7, this is not a big deal because the launcher will just get longer to accommodate the content. Not the case with KDE. I set out to find a way to make the KDE launcher longer, to fit my most commonly used applications, but came up short and instead devised this clever way to launch apps without the aid of any 3rd party widgets.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Looking forward to 2012

        Stuart Jarvis from the KDE project agrees that there needs to be more communication and collaboration between the projects: “I’d love to see better collaboration between ourselves, GNOME and the other free software players. It’s daft to have different standards for desktop notifications, password storage, etc. There’s been some great work on this recently, such as the work around telepathy, but there’s plenty more to do.”

  • Distributions

    • Today’s Featured Distribution – Salix OS

      As many of you know, I’m partial to distributions with the Slackware pedigree. Salix is one that I had not tried before. My favorites up to now have been Zenwalk, Absolute Linux, and Vector Linux. However, I haven’t had any of those on any of my systems for quite some time. I’m patiently waiting for the 64 bit versions.

      Now with Salix OS, I find a nice 64 bit version all ready to go. I installed it with the Xfce desktop. Installation was fast and easy using their familiar installer. No surprises here, folks. It just works. I had to do a couple custom tweaks here and there to get the system up and running, though.

    • Linux Live Environments: Cool Tools Even For Windows Folks

      Preconfigured Linux environments provide powerful tools to aid in pen testing, mobile security testing, malware analysis, and forensics

    • Bridge 2012.1 Screenshots
    • Dreamlinux 5.0: a leap to the dream

      There are a lot of Linux distributions based on Debian. The most famous of them are Ubuntu, some flavours of Linux Mint and Aptosid. There are many more less known, for example, Kademar. Another Debian derivative which I have already written about is DreamLinux.

    • SimplyMEPIS 11.0.12 Screenshots
    • Webconverger 11 review

      Can an operating system consisting of just a web browser, designed for public kiosk use, offer anything of use to the masses? Gareth Halfacree investigates…

      Webconverger is an interesting project, but one that is clearly targeting a small niche of the overall Linux market. Founded in 2007 as a business entity, the project aims to create a fast and efficient locked-down distribution aimed at public-facing computers that only need access to web apps.

    • CrunchBang 10 R20120207 Screen Captures
    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Chating with Red Hat’s John Mark Walker

        John Mark Walker, Red Hat’s Gluster Community Manager, stopped by to discuss Gluster, an open source project and the foundation of Red Hat Storage. Gluster is storage virtualization technology that supports scalable, high performance storage to support organizations’ move towards “Storage as a Service.” The technology is available as a software appliance that can execute on both physical and virtual systems.

      • Fedora

        • Will Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle get Cinnamon?

          The upcoming Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle release is likely to be one of the most feature packed Fedora Linux releases in years.

          One feature that I’d like to see in it, is the Cinnamon desktop.

          Cinnamon was started by Linux Mint and has since found its’ way to multiple distro’s repositories. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t quite yet landed in anything official for Fedora (and yes I know, it’s all open source so users can just go and build on their own – great tutorials are out for that too). Cinnamon is a response to user demands for something other than Unity or GNOME Shell on top of a GNOME 3 base.

    • Debian Family

      • GPL use in Debian on the rise: study

        A recent study by a free software advocate has found that the use of the GNU General Public Licence family in the Debian GNU/Linux Project has been growing over the last seven years.

      • Debian announces “Wheezy” artwork contest

        The Debian Project has announced the launch of a new artwork contest for version 7.0 of its Linux distribution, code-named “Wheezy”. The project’s developers are seeking proposals from contributors for a variety of graphics and other artwork that will make up the look and feel of the next Debian operating system release.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical refreshes “Lucid Lynx” with 10.04.4

            Canonical and the Ubuntu developers have announced the release Ubuntu 10.04.4, the fourth maintenance release of updated installation media for the long-term supported release of the Linux distribution. This is the last planned update to the installation media and updates the desktop, server and alternate installation CDs and DVDs for i386 and amd64 architectures. In future, security updates will be individually downloadable from the Ubuntu archives.

          • A More “Classic GNOME” Session Lands In Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

            The Indicator Applet port to GTK3 has finally landed in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. This, along with some changes to the GNOME Panel default settings, finally “fix” the Classic (fallback) GNOME session in Ubuntu 12.04:

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sick of Ubuntu? Take a look at Linux Mint 12

              For a number of years now Ubuntu Linux has been the poster penguin for easy-to-use Linux. But it’s not the only one.

              Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, set out to make a ‘Linux for human beings’ and succeeded — it is, currently, the most popular Linux desktop distribution and the first port of call for Windows users looking to make the switch.

            • Distro Hoppin`: Linux Mint 12 KDE

              Oh, dear Open Source Lord, how time has passed. As I was reading the release announcement of the new Linux Mint KDE, I didn’t even consider creating a distro hoppin` episode, thinking I just recently did one on it. I went looking through the archives and, there it was, Linux Mint 7 KDE, written on… August 5th 200…9! And it’s now 2012! Wowey.

              So here I am, in front of a new Kate document (I like writing my articles in the OS I am testing – though I would prefer, in the future, to have a completely separate hoppin` machine), ready to share some geeky thoughts with you people! Before I begin, let me give a shout-out to my great neighbor on the 4th floor, who likes listening to horrible, horrible music, at max volume, every weekday MORNING until early afternoon.

            • Linux Mint 12 Lisa KDE – I don’t know what to think

              Linux Mint is a brave and feisty distro. First, it managed to remain unchanged in the last three years, which can’t be said of many of its siblings, which seemed to have jumped on the moronity wagon and traded the 10-finger dexterity we developed through million of years of evolution for the single-finger slide-like motion called touchcrap. Second, the developers most courageously chose to abandon Gnome 3 as the flagship platform for their future releases, and are working on a brand new design called Cinnamon, which should offer the latest technology sans the cretinism. Third, it topped the DistroWatch daily pagerank hit list, which tells us something.

              All in all, Mint’s popularity seems to be growing. The distro is doing well, even though it was set back by Gnome 3 in its latest autumn release, forcing it down a whole four places in the best distro contest I ran in December. Still, it consistently provides a simple and rich environment for users, with everything configured out of the box. There’s a bright future ahead for Mint. But all of what I told you so far does not mention KDE in any way. So what happens when you take Mint and twine it to KDE? What happens?

            • Pear Linux Comice OS 4 beta 1 review

              The distribution now goes by a slightly different name – Pear Linux Comice OS, and the latest version is Pear Linux Comice OS 4. Pear, we all know, is a fruit, and Comice is a variety of pear, a European pear. The interesting thing about Comice OS 4 is that it was announced (via email) on February 9. Then on February 10, an update was hurriedly pushed out after several bugs were discovered in the first release. That update was called Pear Linux Comice OS 4-b. The next day, February 11, it was announced on Distrowatch as Pear Linux Comice OS 4 Beta 1. That is the brief account of how Comice OS 4 became Comice OS 4 Beta 1. It is like walking backwards, but you have to give the developer credit for an error and going back to the drawing table.

            • Xubuntu 11.10 Review

              The list of changes is smaller than I expected after finally experimenting with Xubuntu 11.10 Oneric Ocelot. In fact very little has changed, but things are running better than ever. Some of the default applications have been replaced, but nothing major. That being said, I certainly have high hopes for 12.04.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi to run BBC Micro 2
    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • The Kindle Fire After Two Months

        My wife got me a Kindle Fire for the holidays and I thought I should check in and report on how it’s been going with it. I wanted to provide the perspective of someone who’s been seriously using the device for a few weeks, rather than someone who played with it for a few days.

        I’m not a huge tablet fan, in general. I’m a very fast typist and I find it infuriating working with text on an on-screen keyboard. Even a simple search often drives me nuts on my phone.

        That’s impacted how I’m using the Fire. I’m really using it to consume content and avoiding creating content on it, including emails and tweets.

        In fact, I’m really just using it for games, feed reading, and reading PDFs, and for those purposes, it’s perfect.

      • Huawei Launching New Tablet and Smartphone at the MWC

        Huawei rocked the CES 2012 show by launching the world’s thinnest smartphone at only 6.68 mm thin. It’s known as Ascend P1, of course it’s an amazing looking device and hopefully it will hit US sometime soon. We also informed you that Huawei will reveal their “Diamond” series at the Mobile World Congress later this month, and now the word on the street is the first Diamond series device will be known as Ascend D1 Q. The “Q” means it will be the first ever Huawei device to come with a quad-core processor. It will also run Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Weapons of mass open source destruction

    Open source is almost always viewed as a positive force for the onward development of software code, even if the community contribution model still garners criticism relating to quality, compliance and support from time to time.

    With this general trend in mind, the open sourcing of the Zeus banking Trojan last year may have left many industry watchers wondering whether an army of malicious code hackers would pick up the opportunity to further its destructive powers.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Create amazing websites and WAP sites with Packt’s Liferay Portal 6.1 book

      Liferay Portal is the leading open source enterprise portal, available under the GNU Lesser General Public License. Including a built in web content management system as well as multiple social collaboration services, it is used in diverse situations often to power corporate intranets and extranets and external websites. Liferay Portal is Java based but supports multiple scripting languages, and runs on multiple computing platforms, web containers, operating systems and databases. Liferay has a very large community with roughly four million downloads and 350,000-500,000 worldwide deployments.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Time to dispel open source myths, says Liam Maxwell

      Open source and open standards are the direction for UK government IT, the civil servant leading the government’s technology change agenda has said, reports The Register.

      Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said that open source has grown up and it’s time to dispel lingering misconceptions about this technology and development process.

      Maxwell told the Intellect 2012 conference in London: “Open source software is not three guys in a shed anymore. There are a lot of misconceptions about open source but open source is the future model for delivering IT.”

    • New Hampshire Legislature Passes Open-Source Software Bill

      The New Hampshire state legislature recently passed a bill that makes open data and open source software included by default in the state’s procurement process.

      The bill, HB 418, requires government officials to consider open-source products when making new technology acquisitions and only purchase products that comply with open data standards. Last year, Nick Judd covered how the New Hampshire legislature changed with the addition of several “geeks” to the House of Representatives and the passage of this new legislation shows a growing culture of friendliness to the tech concept of “open” in the statehouse. It is currently on its way to the governor’s desk for signing.

      Open source advocates say the New Hampshire bill represents an evolution for open software in government.

    • Committed, until the monopoly comes calling

      Every other year there is a fresh commitment that open source solutions will be preferred for government funded projects, and that open standards will be adopted ‘wherever possible’. The logic for these decisions is well understood, but is soon forgotten when the monopoly comes calling, says Richard Hillesley…

  • Licensing

    • The pluses and minuses of licensing

      Proponents of open source push their licences as superior; the folk who support free software licences, such as the GPL, do likewise. And those who are selling commercial software under proprietary licences throw mud at both free and open source licences, hoping some will stick.

      When the average company wants to find out details of these licences – in order to use free and, often, much better crafted code – it is unlikely to approach either the open source or free software advocates. Nor would such an entity go to the Open Source Initiative or the Free Software Foundation.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Windows 8′s five biggest enemies

    What? You thought I was going to say that the Linux and/or Mac desktops were going to rise up from their combined less than 10% of the desktop marketplace and smite Windows 8? Please. Contrary to Windows fanatics’ view of me, I’m not a Linux fanboy. I just like what works.

    Specifically, I think the Linux desktop is the best for power users and I think the Mac desktop is best for people who just want an easy to use desktop. Thanks though to Microsoft’s illegal desktop monopoly in the 90s, its rivals never had a chance to flourish and to this day they’ve never been able to catch up. Windows 8 won’t increase Windows’ PC market-share, but it will only cause a slight decrease on the desktop, not a catastrophic decline. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows 8 has far more bigger rivals to worry about.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • How We Work Now, In America

      The chart above divides total Full Time jobs by Total Part Time jobs, in the United States. Coming into the financial crisis of 2008, the US maintained nearly 5 Full Time jobs for every Part Time job. The failure of the economy to add back those Full Time jobs, along with flat to falling wage growth in real terms, accounts for much of the country’s dissatisfaction with the “recovery.” Replacing higher paying full time jobs with lower paying part time jobs simply won’t do. As food prices continue to climb, and as oil stubbornly holds to $100 a barrel (kicking 12% of US oil consumption offline), Americans are discovering what it’s like to live without progress.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • SOPA/PIPA and ??

        This domain closure stuff is seriously bad news. If the report is to believed a site that provides online forms to hundreds of thousands of users was cut off by their internet provider (Go Daddy – well they were idiots for using Go Daddy for DNS services) at the request of the Secret Service who were investigating something or other – and investigating so hard that they promised they’d look into the site closure in a few days.

02.16.12

Links 16/2/2012: Netrunner 4.1, More Ubuntu 12.04 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • My life with Coherent, part 1

    Coherent is a full fledged Unix that runs on a simple 386 with a few megabytes of memory – incredible, but true. The kernel is just a few hundred KB, so it boots in an instant. It lived happy together with MS-DOS in its own 40 MB partition. But the best thing was its price: only $100. Needless to say I spend a lot of hours with that little beast, porting my C programs and UUCPing with that “monster” machine back at work.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Goldman Analyst Is Said to Face Insider Trading Inquiry

      A Goldman Sachs stock analyst has been drawn into the government’s sweeping investigation into insider trading at hedge funds.

      Federal investigators are examining whether Henry King, a senior technology industry analyst for Goldman based in Asia, provided confidential information to the bank’s hedge fund clients, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

  • Censorship

    • Online Copyright: EU Court of Justice Rules Out Private and Automatic Censorship

      Paris, February 16th, 2012 – The European Court of Justice rendered another decision in defence of freedoms online. In the SABAM vs. Netlog case, it declares that forcing a hosting service to monitor and filter online content violates EU law. This is a crucial and timely ruling, just when initiatives such as ACTA and the revision of the IPRED directive aim to generalise private and automatic online censorship to enforce an outdated copyright regime.

  • Privacy

    • Social Networks and Privacy in the Eyes of Richard Stallman

      From the earliest days of Usenet to the huge leaps of the last decade, online socialization has come a long way, bringing with it interesting redefinitions of words that are part of everyday speech. If you hate an organization, you still have to hit ‘Like’ to get updates in your Facebook newsfeed to know what they’re up to. Someone “befriending” you can mean different things, often pretty much removed from reality.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T throttling users at just over 2GB of data?
    • Democrats’ cyber bill still looms large

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, following a recent anti-piracy legislative debacle with SOPA and PIPA, will lead his second effort of 2012 to push Internet-regulating legislation, this time in the form of a new cybersecurity bill. The expected bill is the latest attempt by the Democrats to broadly expand the authority of executive branch agencies over the Internet.

      Details about the bill remain shrouded in secrecy. Clues available to the public suggest that the bill might be stronger than President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity proposal, which was released in May 2011. Reid said that he would bring the bill — expected to come out of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, chaired by Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman — to the floor during the first Senate work period of 2012.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • You Can’t Watch SNL’s Hilarious “Downton Abbey” Sketch Legally Online, So NBCUniversal Pirates Itself

        All I wanted to do was share a funny “Downton Abbey Meets Spike TV” skit that was on Saturday Night Live this week. Unfortunately, there’s no authorized version of the sketch online from NBCUniversal. That made me hesitate, but apparently it wasn’t a problem for iVillage, an NBCUniversal-owned site. Nor was it an issue for Time, owned by internet piracy hating Time Warner. Come along. This is a sad tour of failure all around.

      • Could SOPA Pervade Canadian Copyright Law?

        The battle over the Stop Online Piracy Act in the United States may have concluded with millions of Internet users successfully protesting against the bill, but many Canadians are buzzing about the possibility that some of its provisions could make their way into a copyright bill currently before the House of Commons.

Links 16/2/2012: Scientific Linux 5.7 and 6.2, Mozilla Firefox 10.0.1

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Sourcers Drop Software Religion for Common Sense

    Olson helped build the open source Berkeley DB database in the early 90s — before the Linux boom — and as the CEO of Sleepycat Software, he turned the database into a successful business using something very similar to the GPL, the free software license that was so essential to the rise of Linux. The GPL — or GNU General Public license — said that if someone modified free software and distributed the code with a larger product, they would have to contribute their work back to the community.

  • Simon Phipps: Freedom Doesn’t Have Any Lobbyists

    Simon Phipps is a renowned computer scientist and web and open source advocate. Phipps was instrumental in IBM’s involvement in the Java programming language, founding IBM’s Java Technology Center. In this exclusive interview with Simon Phipps during FOSDEM 2012, Swapnil Bhartiya discusses new risks to our freedom. We discussed about ACTA, ebooks, copyrights and much more.

  • Exclusive Interview With ownCloud Founder Frank Karlitschek

    ownCloud is one of the most promising and important projects as we are heading towards cloud-centric computing. Free Software users fought a long battle to keep control over their computing, and cloud poses a threat to both — the control over your computing and data. Projects like ownCloud ensure that users can still have control over their data and computer yet reap the benefits of cloud. We have been covering ownCloud for a while now. We met Frank Karlitschek, the founder of ownCloud, at FOSDEM 2012 and talked more about ownCloud. Here is an interview…

  • Java-alternative Kotlin now available as open source

    JetBrains’ alternative language for the Java platform, Kotlin – which the company has been developing since 2010 and revealed in July 2011 – has now been released as open source under an Apache 2 licence. The released tools include the Kotlin compiler, “Kompiler”, a set of enhancements to standard Java libraries such as convenience utilities for JDK collections, build tools (for Ant, Maven and Gradle), and an IntelliJ IDEA plugin so it works with JetBrains’ own IDE.

  • Community spotlight: 5 questions with John Scott, founder of MIL-OSS and Open Source for America

    Meet John Scott. He is a systems engineer in Alexandria, Virginia. Scott has worked extensively on open source software policy for the US government and military–and helped found MIL-OSS and Open Source for America.

    On opensource.com, community is very important. We want to continue to recognize our community members who contribute in ways other than writing articles–things like rating and commenting, voting in polls, and sharing our collective work on social media. We hope you enjoy getting to know John.

  • Events

    • FOSDEM 2012: From The Lens Of A Camera

      FOSDEM concluded in Brussels this month. The weather took a strange turn and just the day before it started to snow heavily here in Brussels. It was freezing cold. The colorful city of Brussels turned white. The venue was only 6km away from our house so we drove through the snow.

  • Web Browsers

    • New web browser for HP’s Open webOS

      Having released the first elements of its webOS mobile operating system as open source at the end of January, HP has taken further steps on the road to creating a completely open source platform. The company has now made the user interface widgets for Enyo 2 – the HTML5 framework that was released in January – available; it has also released the new Isis web browser that implements Nokia’s QtWebKit browser and the JavaScriptCore JavaScript parser. HP also announced details of the governance model for the webOS platform’s future development.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 10.0.1 Update About To Be Released

        Mozilla, developers of the popular Firefox web browser, have just released an update for the browser’s stable branch that moves the version to 10.0.1. The release may come as a surprise to users of Firefox 10, who were updated to that version only ten days ago.

      • Firefox to Get a New Interface in Second Half of 2012

        Those who have been following the Firefox release tracking tables will not find any surprises, but the list certainly serves as a guide of the baseline of new features and changes Firefox will see by the end of the year, when we will be using Firefox version 17.

      • Mozilla’s 2012 Firefox Roadmap Targets Many New Goals

        Mozilla has released its 2012 roadmap for the Firefox browser, and to say that it is ambitious would be an understatement. Of course, Firefox was moved to a rapid release cycle in February of last year, and the company has been delivering updates to the browser at such a fast pace that it has even faced some backlash from users and IT administrators. There is a huge laundry list of updates to come for the browser this year, with a strong emphasis on adding social features and privacy enhancements along with preservation of open web standards.

      • Firefox sparks Mozilla civil war

        Mozilla coders are arguing among themselves about the open-source outfit’s Metrics Data Ping project, which was designed to monitor Firefox usage metrics. Several coders in the Mozilla camp have expressed concern about how some developers are proposing the project should collect data from users of the browser.

      • Mozilla explains user-tracking proposal for Firefox
      • Firefox extension illustrates password reuse
  • Databases

    • Special Q&A with Monty Widenius

      As an intern with the Monty Program AB, Vangelis Katsikaros recently had an opportunity to ask the project founder and MariaDB creator, Michael Widenius (aka “Monty”), a variety of interesting questions. Vangelis generously offered to share that conversation exclusively with Linux.com readers. Here is the transcript from that interview.

    • HP shares database smarts with EnterpriseDB

      EnterpriseDB is trying to pump up the PostgreSQL database to do battle with Oracle 11g and, to a lesser extent, IBM’s DB2 and Microsoft’s SQL. So the database upstart is upgrading its Postgres Plus Advanced Server 9.1 – and kicking it onto Amazon’s EC2 compute cloud to peddle it alongside Amazon’s own Relational Database Service.

      As El Reg previously reported, the open source PostgreSQL relational database was updated to the 9.1 release level last September, with a lot of the work being done by a team at EnterpriseDB, which has become the “Red Hat for PostgreSQL,” led by Robert Haas, the senior architect at the company.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • What’s New in LibreOffice 3.5

      The LibreOffice 3.5 release is due out shortly, and this release comes with a number of improvements that free office suite users will find useful. From grammar checking to better importing for Microsoft Office documents, LibreOffice 3.5 contains a number of useful improvements. This release also contains preliminary work for porting LibreOffice to the Web and mobile devices.

    • LibreOffice 3.5 sharpens its grammar checking
  • Education

    • 5 questions with StudentsFirst’s Michelle Rhee on education reform

      The name Michelle Rhee most likely rings a bell because of all the hard work she put towards reforming the Washington, DC public schools as Chancellor from 2007 to 2010. During that time period, she hosted hundreds of community meetings, even creating a Youth Cabinet to bring students’ voices into DC Public Schools reform.

  • Business

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK Government starts new Open Standards Consultation

      The UK Government has started the process of consulting on Open Standards. The process was promised after the government was found to have withdrawn its previous recommendations which had defined open standards as royalty-free. That original recommendation was reportedly heavily lobbied against by Microsoft which led to its withdrawal and the apparent restarting of the process to define open standards.

    • More SMEs for government suppliers: Liam Maxwell’s three-step plan

      The idea of getting more SMEs into the government’s roster of suppliers ranks somewhere alongside kittens and rainbows in terms of popularity. But it’s easier said than done – central government IT continues to be dominated by the usual suspects.

      Liam Maxwell, the government’s director of ICT futures, is the man charged with getting the public sector to use more small suppliers.

      But with the spectre of ‘doing more with less’ haunting many government departments, can IT minnows really deliver the economies of scale that the stretched public sector needs?

      Maxwell thinks so. The idea that SMEs can’t deliver the required savings is “fundamentally not correct,” he told Guardian Government Computing at the recent Cloud Expo in London. “You do business with SMEs, you get a better deal.”

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • A Sneak Peak at MPI 3.0
    • The Future of JavaScript – take a peek today!

      The ECMA committee is working hard on designing the next version of JavaScript, also known as “Harmony”. It is due by the end of next year and it is going to be the most comprehensive upgrade in the history of this language.

    • FSF wants labels on free JavaScript code
    • Google announces Code-in 2011 grand prize winners

      Stephanie Taylor from Google’s Open Source Programs Office has announced the grand prize winners for the 2011 Google Code-in contest. Five of the ten overall winners are from India, while two are from Romania; the remaining students are from the US, UK and Canada.

    • Oracle Staking Claim in Open-Source ‘R’ Language

      Oracle is hoping to carve out a prominent place in the world of “R,” the open-source statistical modeling language with roots in academia but an increasingly high profile in enterprise IT shops. It announced a new Advanced Analytics product on Wednesday that ties R to its database and family of software-hardware appliances.

      Oracle Advanced Analytics consists of Oracle R Enterprise, along with the vendor’s existing Data Mining module. It’s available as an Oracle 11g database option and costs US$23,000 per processor license. Data Mining will fall off the price list and be supplanted by Advanced Analytics.

Leftovers

  • Innovation? What innovation? Re-thinking progress and how we measure it

    CHFSS kicked off the Winter 2012 Big Thinking series on January 31 with Professor Jeremy de Beer from the University of Ottawa. Held in partnership with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the event drew over 150 MPs, Senators and public servants, as well as many university presidents who were in town as part of AUCC’s Day on the Hill.

  • Security

  • Finance

  • Privacy

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Every EU country needs a Digital Champion!

      The economy of the future is digital. Already today it’s hard to think of many jobs where familiarity with computers and the Internet is not helpful: in the near future, 90% of jobs will require some level of digital literacy.

  • DRM

    • The Problem With Liberals

      Let me reiterate the central point about DRM. The fight is over controlling the content on our computers. Even with complete physical control and administrative authority we are unable to prevent unwanted material (spam, viruses) from appearing on our computers. What are the chances that a third party (the RIAA, the MPAA) can successfully keep material that we want but they don’t (pirated music and movies) off of our computers?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The New World of Publishing: The Big Hurry – A Different Look
      • Is Copyright Enforcement Hopeless?

        I had a Twitter conversation yesterday with Tim Lee regarding my post about copyright enforcement, and today he responds at greater length. My contention is that copyright enforcement in the digital realm, though it’s obviously had a pretty bumpy history, isn’t self-evidently impossible. In fact, it might well be technically feasible.

      • Vimeo adds support for browsing CC licensed videos

        As part of its recent “new Vimeo” platform revamp, Vimeo has added support for browsing and searching for videos made available under a Creative Commons (CC) licence. The site has supported the CC license suite since July 2010, but the latest change should make it easier for users to find CC-licensed videos to “rework, remix and reimagine”. Now, when searching for videos, users can select “Show Advanced Filters” and filter by CC license type, such as Attribution-ShareAlike or Attribution-NonCommercial.

02.15.12

Links 15/2/2012: New Fedora Leader, Debian Lenny Support Ending

Posted in News Roundup at 1:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Want a Third-Rate Server? Put That Other OS On It

      Netcraft has again published it’s hosting survey. It shows that other OS is still far less popular than GNU/Linux. Only 7 out of 43 reports uses that other OS while GNU/Linux counts 28. I dug deeper into the table to have an idea why.

  • Kernel Space

    • Why Linux Jobs Are Burning Up the Tech Market: Q&A with Dice.om’s Alice Hill

      The Linux Foundation, in partnership with Dice.com, today released the results of the first-ever Linux Jobs Report. Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin breaks down the significance of those findings in his blog. In this special interview, we talk to Dice Managing Director Alice Hill for her perspective on what is most interesting about the 2012 Linux Jobs Report and the outlook for Linux professionals.

  • Applications

    • Stop Breaking My Software!

      My wife is a writer, and after Windows had crashed too many times, I switched her PC over to Linux. She continued using Microsoft Word 97 under CrossOver Office, but that combo was a bit unstable and crashed from time to time. So I finally convinced her to switch to OpenOffice, configured to produce the .doc files that she needs to send. This worked reasonably well, until recently.

      The last round of updates broke things. In particular, the spell checker is now useless. Attempting to spell-check a document crashes, typically after the second word, and I have to manually kill the OpenOffice program. This in turn leaves a “lock” file hiding somewhere, so that OO won’t run until I reboot the system. Not good.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Open Advice–Project Inspiration

        Thinking of starting a free and open source project? Looking for inspiration on an existing project? Lydia Pintscher has pulled together useful wisdom from free and open community leaders in a new book—Open Advice.

        Lydia is a KDE e.V. Board member. She’s part of the KDE Community Working Group, the Google Summer of Code Coordinator for KDE and contributes to projects and people outside KDE as well. Lydia is highly qualified to help people discover key concepts that make free and open software projects effective.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 5th February 2012
      • Meet KDE’s Own HUD – AppMenu Runner

        Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, recently announced plans for HUD which allows users to search or open menu items without having to follow the tree of a menu. The proposal got mixed responses.

        There is no doubt that HUD is a great idea. It’s excellent not because it is a new idea, Apple Mac has a similar feature. It’s excellent because Mark is trying to find a way to implement it in Ubuntu. If executed properly HUD can be an additional tool for those who need it.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Why Isn’t GNOME Listening?

        Ten months ago, GNOME 3 was released. Since then, there has been a steady murmur of complaints, mostly about a design that forces all users to work in the same way. And what have GNOME developers learned from the experience?

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • CrunchBang 10 “Statler” R20120207+
      • Webconverger 11.2
      • GParted 0.11.0-12
      • Current Release: AV Linux 5.0.3 “Tube”
      • Thinstation 5.0
      • Announcing NetBSD 5.1.2
      • SMS version 1.6.4 Released!

        This minor release brings security updates to 2.6.39 kernels for CVE-2012-0056 local root exploit, were a local user could gain root privileges by modifying
        process memory, and for various packages such as OpenSSL, Samba, httpd, php.
        This is the last release with GCC-4.5.3, as we will follow slackware-current with GCC-4.6.2 and 3.2.x kernels.
        3.2.5 kernels built with GCC-4.5.3 though, are available at SMS kernel repository

        http://sms.it-ccs.com/isos/index.php?dir=SMS.Native.CD%2Fextra%2Fkernels%2F

        if anyone wants an early upgrade.

      • Pear 4.0
      • Chakra 2012.02
      • Frugalware 1.6 (Fermus) released

        The Frugalware Developer Team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Frugalware 1.6, our sixteenth stable release.

      • IPCop 2.0.3
      • Finnix 104 released

        Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Today marks the release of Finnix 104, the twentieth release of Finnix. Since the first public release of Finnix 0.03 in March 2000, there have been twenty releases and 37 ISOs released to the public, totalling 4.5GB . (All releases have included x86 and PowerPC ISOs, with the exception of Finnix 0.03, 86.0, and 100.)

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • No further updates for Debian 5.0 Lenny

        The Debian developers have pointed out, in a announcement on the debian-announce mailing list, that – three years after it was released – Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (Lenny) has reached its “End of Life”. Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 was originally released in February 2009 and on 6 February 2012, the developers stopped providing security updates for that version of the distribution.

      • Debian ends support for Lenny
      • Code in next Debian release valued at $A17 billion

        If all the code in the upcoming release of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution were to be written today, it would cost $17 billion, according to an analysis by free and open source software consultant James Bromberger.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 Reaches End of Life
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical aims for enterprise desktop with Ubuntu business remix
          • Ubuntu Global Jam looking for event organisers

            Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon has published a blog post, calling for Ubuntu community members to organise events around the globe for the next Ubuntu Global Jam, which is taking place from 2 to 4 March. Volunteers will need to have a location with a “decent internet connection, some computers and great people to share the work”.

          • The first FOSDEM Legal Issues DevRoom

            For FOSDEM 2012, held last weekend in Brussels, I had the privilege of co-organizing (with Tom Marble, Karen Sandler, and Bradley Kuhn) the first-ever DevRoom track devoted to discussion of legal issues relating to free/libre/open source software. With several thousand attendees and hundreds of sessions, FOSDEM is one of the largest FLOSS conferences in the world, and surely the largest in Europe. This makes it all the more remarkable that FOSDEM is a free-admission, non-commercial community event, organized and administered entirely by volunteers.

          • See all of your installed applications in Ubuntu Unity

            Sometimes, you want to see all of your installed applications in Unity, without having to “search”. Doing so will probably make you discover a small world of great software installed in your computer.

          • Ubuntu Means Business: Announces Business Desktop Remix

            Ubuntu is making inroads into the enterprise segments in various markets. Recently The Supreme Court of India ordered all courts across India to switch to Ubuntu. Prior to this move the courts across India were using the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is mainly targeted at servers. More than 17,000 courts around India will now be switching over to Ubuntu from RHEL.

            However, Ubuntu did not have any business editon. The main Ubuntu desktop is targeted at enthusiasts with all the bells and whistles which may not be needed in an enterprise environment.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Canonical drops Kubuntu

              This doesn’t mean Kubuntu will vanish; merely that it will get no more development funding or marketing support from Canonical. That will probably turn Kubuntu into a “fringe” distribution like many other Ubuntu derivatives.

            • Canonical pulls funding for Kubuntu
            • Canonical Changes Treatment For Kubuntu! [Updated]

              Kubuntu users can now help the team in the new challenges that have emerged after this announcement. One such challenge as Jonathan points out is, …”we need people to step up and take the initiative in doing the tasks that are often poorly supported by the community process. ISO testing, for example, is a long, slow, thankless task, and it is hard to get volunteers for it. We can look at ways of reducing effort from what we do such as scrapping the alternate CD or automating KDE SC packaging.”

            • Linux Mint KDE 12 Review: Your Perfect Desktop

              Linux Mint team has done a commendable job with Cinnamon project where they are trying to help those users who are not comfortable with Unity. It’s great to see a project putting its users above everything else. Despite being a small team, Linux Mint successfully delivered Gnome+ Cinnamon and has now released a great KDE edition.

              With Linux Mint KDE you get the best of both worlds. What more can one ask for. Go ahead and give Linux Mint KDE a try, trust me you won’t go back.

            • Future of Kubuntu, Should You Be Worried?
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI announces new initiatives and seeks your input
  • UK.gov: We really are going to start buying open-source from SMEs

    Open source and open standards are the direction for UK government IT, the civil servant leading the government’s technology change agenda has said.

    Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said Tuesday in London that open source has grown up and it’s time to dispel lingering misconceptions about this technology and development process.

  • Isis unveiled: HP has opened the source code of the webOS Web browser

    HP has published the source code of Isis, the webOS Web browser. The company has also released the code of the browser’s underlying HTML rendering engine, which is based on QtWebKit. The code is available from GitHub and is distributed under the permissive Apache license.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Antarctica community site launched by coolest Firefox fans

        The popularity of the Firefox Web browser has grown tremendously in recent years, but there is one region where it is practically ubiquitous. Firefox has consistently held 80 percent market share in Antarctica.

        The Firefox enthusiasts at the bottom of the world are now launching their own community group in collaboration with Mozilla. A new Mozilla Antarctica website went live on Tuesday of this week, the 191st anniversary of the first documented landing on mainland Antarctica.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice should declare victory and rejoin OpenOffice

      While forks in the open source world can be a tremendous way of shaking things up, they can also be very damaging. In this case, I think it’s a waste of resources and energy to keep this going. Instead of competing with each other the LibreOffice and OpenOffice communities should get together to fight their common and real competitor.

      I know a certain level of competition can be healthy but I’m tired of seeing open source communities fight with each other to their own loss.

      I know the fork was painful and people still hold a lot of angst against one another but they need to get over that. They need to realize they would do themselves and everyone else a real service by putting all this behind them and uniting. LibreOffice should declare victory and join forces!

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.5: “the best free office suite ever”
  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • How to get your city to pass an open government policy

      Today, the Raleigh City Council passed an Open Source Government Resolution, unanimously, promoting the use of open source software and open data. The resolution includes language that puts open source software on the same playing field as proprietary software in the procurement process. It also establishes an open data catalog to house data available from the city.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open innovation is good for business

      Open innovation is an area only beginning to enter mainstream enterprises, despite years of success in open source communities. It allows people both inside and outside the company to get involved and collaborate on new products and processes that result in beneficial change.

    • Open Advice offers guidance for new open source contributors and the more experienced

      A new book sharing the perspectives of 42 open source contributors launched this month at FOSDEM. Open Advice, edited by Lydia Pintscher, shares what those successful people wish they’d known when they got started with open source software.

  • Programming

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: February 2012

      For years now, it has been self-evident to us at RedMonk that programming language usage and adoption has been fragmenting at an accelerating rate [coverage]. As traditional barriers to technology procurement have eroded [coverage], developers have been empowered to leverage the runtimes they chose rather than those that were chosen for them. This has led to a sea change in the programming language landscape, with traditional language choices increasingly competing for attention with newer, more dynamic competitors.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • SCO v. IBM Hearing Date Changed to April 23rd at 2:30 PM Before Judge Benson ~pj

    There’s been a slight change in the hearing date for the upcoming SCO v IBM hearing regarding SCO’s desire to partially reopen the case. The new date is April 23, 2012 at 2:30 Utah time in Room 246. It’s set to be heard by Judge Dee Benson, the new judge assigned, who, I gather, was unable to find a way to recuse himself.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Battle for Vermont’s Health — and Why It Matters for the Rest of the Country

      You can’t see them. They’re hidden from view and probably always will be. But the health insurance industry’s big guns are in place and pointed directly at the citizens of Vermont.

      Health insurers were not able to stop the state’s drive last year toward a single-payer health care system, which insurers have spent millions to scare Americans into believing would be the worst thing ever. Despite the ceaseless spin, Vermont lawmakers last May demonstrated they could not be bought nor intimidated when they became the first in the nation to pass a bill that will probably establish a single-payer beachhead in the U.S.

  • Security

    • With Love From M$

      M$ expresses its love for users by announcing critical (remote code execution…) vulnerabilities in every version of their OS from XP to “7″ and versions for servers. Happy Valentine’s Day. Hope you don’t get hacked before you manage to update…

    • Microsoft warns of dangerous IE browser vulnerabilities

      The most severe vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user simply views a specially crafted web page using Internet Explorer.

  • Finance

    • Why All the Robo-signing? Shedding Light on the Shadow Banking System

      The Wall Street Journal reported on January 19th that the Obama Administration was pushing heavily to get the 50 state attorneys general to agree to a settlement with five major banks in the “robo-signing” scandal. The scandal involves employees signing names not their own, under titles they did not really have, attesting to the veracity of documents they had not really reviewed. Investigation reveals that it did not just happen occasionally but was an industry-wide practice, dating back to the late 1990s; and that it may have clouded the titles of millions of homes. If the settlement is agreed to, it will let Wall Street bankers off the hook for crimes that would land the rest of us in jail – fraud, forgery, securities violations and tax evasion.

    • Goldman Sachs Seeks Exemption for Bank Stakes in ‘Credit Funds’

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which says it owns the world’s largest family of so-called mezzanine loan funds, is asking regulators to loosen proposed limits on bank investments in such pools.

      Four Goldman Sachs employees and three lawyers from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP met on Feb. 2 with Federal Reserve Board staff to discuss Volcker rule limits on banks’ fund investments, according to a summary published yesterday by the central bank. The Volcker rule limits depository institutions from supplying more than 3 percent of the capital in a hedge fund, private- equity fund or other “covered fund.”

    • Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%

      Americans have been watching protests against oppressive regimes that concentrate massive wealth in the hands of an elite few. Yet in our own democracy, 1 percent of the people take nearly a quarter of the nation’s income—an inequality even the wealthy will come to regret.

    • Gold Gets a Growth Scare

      An emotional, jubilant hooray! could be heard earlier this month when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest jobs numbers for January 2012, showing the addition of 243,000 net new jobs. That’s the kind of news both the financial markets and the political complex were yearning for, because it implies that growth is finally greater than the rate at which new workers enter the labor force due to US population growth alone.

      But the report was not without controversy. Significant revisions to BLS sampling were introduced in this report as a result of the recent integration of the 2010 census data. Recalibrated, this altered the size of the workforce, and thus changed the number of Americans either working, looking for work, or dropped out of the workforce altogether. And so the cries of Foul! began.

    • On ‘Bleak’ Street, Bosses in Cross Hairs

      Wall Street’s bleak bonus season just got bleaker at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, where it is becoming clear that traders aren’t the only ones at risk of having their pay taken back. Their bosses are on the hook, too.

    • Why Wall Street Should Stop Whining

      Everybody on Wall Street is talking about the new piece by New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, entitled “The End of Wall Street as They Knew It.”

      The article argues that Barack Obama killed everything that was joyful about the banking industry through his suffocating Dodd-Frank reform bill, which forced banks to strip themselves of “the pistons that powered their profits: leverage and proprietary trading.”

    • Kinder Morgan’s El Paso Buyout Tainted by Conflicts, Lawyer Says

      Kinder Morgan Inc.’s proposed $21.1 billion buyout of rival pipeline operator El Paso Corp. was tainted by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s conflicting interests in the deal and should be barred, a lawyer for El Paso investors said.

      Goldman Sachs, which holds a 19 percent stake in Houston- based Kinder Morgan, improperly served as an adviser to El Paso on the acquisition offer, said Mark Lebovitch, a lawyer for pension funds from Louisiana, Florida and New York that sued over the deal.

      “If there was ever a conflict that can’t be neutralized, this is it,” Lebovitch told Delaware Chancery Court Judge Leo Strine yesterday at an injunction hearing in Wilmington. “The word ‘conflict’ just doesn’t do it justice.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Syngenta PR’s Weed-Killer Spin Machine: Investigating the Press and Shaping the “News” about Atrazine
    • Atrazine: A “Molecular Bull in a China Shop”

      Atrazine is an herbicide primarily manufactured by the multinational conglomerate Syngenta and commonly used on commodity crops, forests, and golf courses. Its potential harmful effects on human health have been documented since the 1990s.

      As a consequence, atrazine has been “unauthorized” in the European Union since 2004 (and in some European countries since 1991). However, it is one of the most heavily used herbicides in the United States. Syngenta, atrazine’s primary manufacturer, has spent hundreds of millions combined on marketing, public relations (PR) campaigns, and lobbying to maintain its market and fight calls to phase the product out of use in the U.S.

    • Syngenta’s Paid Third Party Pundits Spin the “News” on Atrazine

      Documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, recently unsealed as part of a major lawsuit against Syngenta, reveal that the global chemical company’s PR team had a multi-million dollar budget to pay surrogates and others who helped advance its messages about the weed-killer “atrazine.” This story is part two of a series about Syngenta’s PR campaign to influence the media, potential jurors, potential plaintiffs, farmers, politicians, scientists, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the midst of reviews of the weed-killer’s potential to act as an endocrine disruptor.

  • Civil Rights

    • In Defense of Anonymous Speech ~pj

      Think of the Federalist Papers, written anonymously to encourage ratification of the US Constitution. If anonymous speech is so toxic, how do you explain the Federalist Papers? A logical answer would have to be that anonymity may not be the actual cause of the problem. One of the authors, James Madison, later ended up president of the country, and it’s believed that others included Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, so they were not trolls. At the time they wrote anonymously because they wanted folks to focus on the ideas, not where they came from, and because they were talking on a matter then quite controversial. You could speak anonymously back then in print, not just in person. That’s a closer comparison to the Internet than standing up in a public place.

      Even in person, if you went to a public square and started to speak, people could see you, but they didn’t necessarily know who you were if you were in a city — they didn’t know your name, your phone, your home address, your place of employment, your family’s makeup and names, where your kids went to school, and they couldn’t track where you went day by day via GPS — all of which can be done today on the Internet with just a name to start with. Nor were there widespread governmental cameras taking your picture, or even smartphones equipped with cameras. Nor were there databases retained for months, even years at a time. And the government wasn’t tracking all that speech in such databases. Any policy regarding commenting on the Internet has to factor in that the world has changed to make anonymity very hard, and that once it’s gone, there is a treasure trove of information about you available to whoever is interested in doing the research.

      And then what might happen? Zhou argues that forcing identity to be revealed encourages accountability. Let’s talk about accountability.

    • No Disconnect: European Commission to develop Human Rights guidance for the ICT sector

      Great news today as the Commission starts the process of providing human rights guidance to the ICT sector – kicking off a process to make it easier for makers and users of ICT products and services to know the impact their technology has on Human Rights across the world.

      When you look at events like the Arab Spring, you see that sometimes technology plays a positive role in the democratisation process – allowing activists to coordinate peaceful protests. But sometimes, it is less benign – as when despotic governments use ICT as a tool for surveillance or repression.

      The ICT tools that are used in such non-democratic countries (for both purposes) are sometimes provided by western companies. Many activists are out there promoting its pro-democratic use, and I encourage that. But on the other side, public and private actors cannot ignore their responsibilities. If western technology is being used by repressive governments to identify innocent citizens and put their life or freedom in danger, then I think we – manufacturers, suppliers, citizens, and democratic governments—ought to know.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • This is an argument?

      It is unlikely that making it illegal to steal a UPS track to start a delivery service “stifles entrepreneurship” but of course it is an empirical question. In the case of patents the evidence is in: patents stifle innovation. Only evidence can refute evidence – theoretical arguments, feelings, and analogies are irrelevant.

    • Copyrights

      • How to kill movie piracy: charge $1 for movies, and 50c for episodes

        Movie piracy is the next big thing. The RIAA is quickly realising that their reputation is nearly beyond unrecoverable, after taking to court single mums, dead people, and children. In the meantime, in Australia they are having secret meetings to try and work out a way to prevent movie privacy. The solution is simple: to kill movie privacy, allow people to download movies, make it cheap, and make it easy. Yes it’s hard. But yes, it’s rewarding.

      • The Real Reason for Bill C-11/ACTA/SOPA/PIPA

        One of the major complaints from the Motion Picture Association of America has been how can you budget a high-priced thriller, if you can’t charge huge amounts of money for tickets? They keep asking this question, even though they know the answer. Make less expensive movies.

      • RIAA Totally Out Of Touch: Lashes Out At Google, Wikipedia And Everyone Who Protested SOPA/PIPA
      • NYTimes critiqued for running self-serving RIAA propaganda

        Here are two paragraphs from his piece: “The real issue here is that copyright is an archaic property form that it is no longer practical to enforce in the Internet Age. Serious policy people should be looking to develop alternative mechanisms for financing creative and artistic work. Unfortunately, the organizations that ostensibly represent creative workers are not very creative. It is impressive that the NYT allows a piece from the industry to appear with apparently no fact checking. Two days earlier it had a similar column complaining about the failure of SOPA. Given its dominance of the NYT’s opinion pages, it is understandable that the RIAA would be upset about the growth of independent voices on the Internet.”

      • ACTA

        • Will the New ACTA Rapporteur Stand For Citizens Freedoms?

          Paris, February 7th, 2012 – Member of the EU Parliament David Martin, from the Socialist & Democrats group, has been appointed new rapporteur for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the “International Trade” committee (INTA). Unfortunately, his record on protecting freedoms online is worryingly poor and should prompt EU citizens to act against ACTA and ensure that the EU Parliament will defend their rights by rejecting this dangerous agreement.

        • Join the Giant Distributed ACTA Protest All Over Europe!

          The co-founders of La Quadrature du Net1 and many of its contributors will join the giant distributed ACTA protest that is taking place in hundreds of locations all over Europe2.

02.14.12

Links 14/2/2012: Sabayon Linux 8, ACTA Blowback in EU

Posted in News Roundup at 3:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is GNU/Linux just not cool anymore?

    Software is becoming less and less important. Most people today just don’t care about what software they use, what operating system they run, or who is behind the pretty screens they see. What they want, is something that works. Or, better, anything that works. This shift caused a series of changes which shook the whole industry. One of them amongst them: are GNU/Linux and free software in general just not cool anymore? Google Trends gives some interesting answers.

  • Desktop

    • Eight features Windows 8 borrowed from Linux

      Pablo Picasso said it. So did T.S. Eliot. And, more recently, Steve Jobs. Let’s face it: If something makes sense and succeeds, it gets imitated.

      Though Windows 8 and Linux distributions differ greatly from each other in design, ideology and — last but not least — their primary audience, they’re all built on the same basic principles of OS design so there’s bound to be some overlap. And while Microsoft has long been accused of stealing from the open source community, according to some Linux fans, it’s getting to the point where Microsoft simply appropriates good Linux features.

    • Why The Linux Desktop Matters More Than Ever, This Time?

      This article is talking about Ubuntu 12.04 aka Precise Pangolin

      If we look back at failures of Linux on Desktops to this day and analyze the technical part, it was due to hardware support and the software quality (GUI) that general computer users could use.

  • Kernel Space

    • Need a Job? New Study Says Learn Linux.

      No one disputes that that tech jobs are fueling the economy in the U.S. and around the world. The U.S. President said in his recent State of the Union address that there are twice as many openings in the science and technology sector as there are people to fill them. But where exactly are these jobs? And, who exactly is landing them?

    • Linux: It’s where the jobs are

      The job market is still only slowing shifting back into gear, but the IT job market is still doing better than the general market. And, guess which technology is doing especially well for would-be IT employees? If you said, “Linux,” you’d be right.

      According to a survey by The Linux Foundation and Dice, the top technology job site of more than 2,000 hiring managers at corporations, small and medium Businesses (SMBs), government organizations, and staffing agencies from across the globe” slightly more than eighty percent of companies that use Linux are making hiring Linux professionals a priority.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland – Beyond X
      • Gaming/Graphics Performance On Unity, GNOME, KDE, Xfce

        It is going on a year since showing how Unity, Compiz, GNOME Shell & KWin affect graphics/gaming performance, so here is an updated 2012 look. In this article are a variety of OpenGL benchmarks run under the current latest desktops as will be found in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS: Unity, Unity 2D, GNOME Shell, GNOME Classic, KDE Plasma, and Xfce. AMD and NVIDIA graphics were tested with both the latest closed and open-source drivers.

  • Applications

    • Looking at the eBook – Sigil 0.5.1 – A bug fix/maintenance release!

      February is off to a great ebook start and I expect there will be many people still enjoying the benefits of a Linux powered ebook reader (or indeed tablet) from Xmas. It’s easy to see that it won’t be long before epub (and dare I say it .mobi) will find themselves in the same place .mp3 or .ogg do today. – I wonder, how much life left in the space consuming book shelves found in high-street stores?

    • You Need A Budget

      This time of year is often rough on finances, and although there are many money-management tools available for Linux, none are quite like You Need A Budget, or YNAB for short. Unlike traditional budgeting programs, YNAB focuses on a few simple rules to help you get out of debt and, more important, to see where your money is going. If you’ve ever struggled with sticking to a budget (I certainly have), give YNAB a try. I’m not a “numbers person”, yet YNAB seems to make sense.

    • Dia – The Diagram Creation Tool

      Dia is an application designed for quick creation of structured diagrams such as simple, line-based illustrations, flowcharts, UML charts and network diagrams. Being a vector based tool, there is some overlap with other applications such as Inkscape, but Dia’s focus is on diagrams that are more functional than aesthetic.

    • Sublime Text 2 – A Fast & Fancy Text Editor

      The tiny bit of developing I do means Gedit, Ubuntu’s default text editor, is more than adequate for my (very basic) needs.

      But for proficient programmers a good text editor is as important to productivity as a finely tuned car is to a professional race driver.

    • Radio Tray: Tiny Web Radio Player Is Handy but Picks Up Some Static

      Radio Tray is a minimalistic online radio app that squeezes into the Linux desktop tray. Its small size and footprint make it convenient for anyone who doesn’t need a large interface. However, it doesn’t seem to play well with some distros, and some Internet radio channels may be difficult to access with it.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • The Linux powered LAN Gaming House

        LAN parties offer the enjoyment of head to head gaming in a real-life social environment. In general, they are experiencing decline thanks to the convenience of Internet gaming, but Kenton Varda is a man who takes his LAN gaming very seriously. His LAN gaming house is a fascinating project, and best of all, Linux plays a part in making it all work.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Do Linux Novelty Desktops Threaten Linux Adoption?

      By now, most of you have likely heard about Canonical pulling official support for Kubuntu. It’s hardly surprising, considering Canonical’s push to get Unity not only on the desktop, but on tablets and TVs as well.

      Any past desire to contribute officially to KDE has fallen by the wayside for Canonical. It’s simply not a priority for them any longer. Instead, Canonical has decided that their efforts are best spent on the Unity desktop, which some have described as a novelty desktop environment for Ubuntu Linux.

      Canonical’s Ubuntu is hardly alone on this front. Linux Mint, with its Cinnamon desktop environment, is also spreading its wings using the Gnome shell as its base. It seems that some desktop Linux distributions are potentially “jumping the shark.” Then again, perhaps both distributions are making a brilliant decision that will become more apparent in the near future. It remains to be seen which this situation will actually turn out.

    • Nine Rules for Designing a Linux Desktop

      Recently, the Linux desktop has had some troubled years. Where once the news consisted largely of announcements of features, in recent years it has included debates about features and directions, declarations of forks, and resurrections and re-inventions of older designs.

      The result of this activity has often been heated debate — to say the least — and, if user choice has increased, innovation has decreased.

      The problem is that, with the exception of a few projects, the free software community is still learning to make user feedback part of the development process. Not long ago, the distinction between user and developer hardly existed in free software. And, even today, users making a suggestion are often told to write the code themselves.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Accessibility Hackfest (interview)

        A few weeks ago in A Coruña, Spain a Hackfest around GNOME Accessibility took place hosted by Igalia . openSUSE found the opportunity to make some questions to the people involved and then learn a bit more about this interesting Project. Our interviewers were Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias, Joanmarie Diggs and Juanjo Marín.

  • Distributions

    • Pardus Future Uncertain, Fork Probable

      In a lengthy explanation Pardus developer Bahadır Kandemir said, “They are not shutting down the project, they are killing it very slowly.” He’s speaking of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and their recent decisions that spell nothing less than the abandonment of this wonderful Linux distribution. Political climates are volatile and evolving by the day in the Middle East and it appears this little project may be yet another casualty. Kandemir explains that many of those in management who cared and supported the project were reassigned or given early retirement. Boards were manned with “non-academic and non-talented people who has nothing to do with science, research and development.” Despite TUBITAK denials, developers have been resigning on a daily bases according to Kandemir. He said that Pardus had about 35 developers last year and now only five remain.

    • VectorLinux 7.0 – Sparta belongs to Spartans
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva the Woolworth’s of the Linux world.

        Mandriva or as some of us remember it Mandrake is in it’s death throes yet again, it would seem they are in financial difficulties and may have to go into liquidation. At the time of writing this post they have had a reprieve till mid February thanks to a donation by the Paris Region Economic Development Agency however their future looks decidedly dicey to say the least.

        Mandriva is like the Woolworth’s of the Linux world, everyone has heard of it, everyone has visited it , a small amount of people use it, but now it’s probably past saving EVERYONE is lamenting it’s demise. ”So why are you blogging about it Pete?” I’ll tell you why, I saw a story from Slashdot on G+ that was just such utter bollocks I felt the need to vent my spleen.

      • The Trouble With Mandriva

        Very few of the large, noncommercial distros are failing, observed blogger Robert Pogson. However, “from [Mandriva's] early days as Mandrake, the ‘insider club’ that paid to use Mandrake for ‘extras’ made the organization dependent on constant growth and the generosity of users. That is hard to sustain, and the cost of advertising and payroll are a millstone around the neck of such a distro.”

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon Linux 8 Debuts with a Dash of Cinnamon

        The Linux Mint project has made quite a splash in the Linux world over the past few months, not just for the growing popularity of its user-friendly operating system but also for the launch of Cinnamon, its brand-new desktop alternative.

      • Sabayon 8 KDE review
      • What a difference a distro release makes?

        Sabayon 8 has been released and a google search on the subject springs up a few interesting new features such as the Cinnamon Gnome 2 fork and the introduction of a new rolling release schedule which infers that once you’ve installed the ISO you’ll never have to do a version update again.
        I’m a firm believer in Sabayon, i’ve been using it since the heady days of version 3 with the DVD ISO which contained nearly 4GB of both Gnome and KDE distros and an hours installation. This gave the user a bleeding edge distro which implemented Compiz first and better than anyone else as an example.however I have to say I’m just a little disappointed in this release with it’s implementation of Gnome 3.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Ana Beatriz Guerrero López, member of the Debian KDE team

        If you met Ana, you’ll easily remember her. She has a great and pronounced Spanish accent… :-) I’m glad that the existence of the Debian Women project helped her to join Debian because she has been doing a great job.

        From KDE packaging to publicity/marketing work, her interests shifted over the years but this allowed her to stay very involved. As she explains it very well, Debian is big enough so that you can stop doing something which is no longer fun for you, and still find something new to do in another part of Debian!

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Linux Distribution Remorse: Ubuntu Unity 11.10
          • Shuttleworth: Don’t blow a gasket over enterprise Ubuntu remix

            Anticipating some sort of of outcry, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth posted a blog Friday that detailed the thinking behind the Ubuntu Business Desktop Remix.

            The Linux distro, based on Ubuntu 11.10, was released on Friday. The remix, which was first discussed at the Ubuntu Developer’s Summit last October, strips some of the more consumerish items in favor of enterprise features and business tools such as VMware View, which is incorporated in the distro along with a proprietary license.

          • 20 Popular Ubuntu Linux Apps to Try Now

            As Ubuntu Linux continues to grow in popularity, most discussions of it tend to focus on the basics of the operating system itself, including especially details about its desktop environment and user interface.

          • Canonical Targets Business Desktops with a New Ubuntu Linux Remix

            Hard on the heels of last week’s news that Canonical will no longer financially support the Kubuntu variant of its popular Linux distribution, CEO Jane Silber on Friday announced a brand-new version of Ubuntu Linux designed specifically for businesses.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • A tale of two distros: Ubuntu and Linux Mint
            • Is Linux Mint Really Eating Ubuntu’s Lunch?

              Because of the way many Linux distributions make their way into the wild unfettered by commercial overlords, it’s sometimes hard to draw a precise bead on who is using what flavor of Linux. In the world of commercial operating systems, by contrast, it’s easy as pie to identify Microsoft Windows and Mac OS as the most widely used platforms.

            • The Day Canonical Pushed Kubuntu Out of the Nest

              “If you want things you have to pay for them, simple as that,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “RMS may be able to squat at MIT, but I’m sure the developers at Canonical have families to feed and bills to pay. We need a new model for those places where FOSS simply doesn’t work.”

            • Can Linux Mint 12, Cinnamon Spice Up the Open Source Mix?

              I’ve been an Ubuntu user for a pretty long time — so long that I no longer remember exactly when I started (all I recall is that it was sometime around version 6.06.) But last week I finally replaced Ubuntu on my production computer with Linux Mint 12. Read on for why, and how it’s been working out.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Upgrade kit for Openmoko smartphones now available

      Although Openmoko Inc. has long since pulled out of manufacturing smartphones, open source smartphone development goes on. Just over one year from unveiling the prototype, German company Golden Delicious has now added the long awaited replacement motherboard for Openmoko smartphones to its online store.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • iOS More Crashtastic Than Android

          It seems Android apps crash significantly less often than those running on iOS, according to a recent study from Crittercism. There may be several reasons for this, including standards that cause headaches for developers as well as the relative newness of each platform and whether the platform auto-updates.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source CloudStack 3.0 Is Coming

    Over the last year I have been working on the CloudStack Open Source Cloud Computing project. This month we are getting ready to launch CloudStack 3.0 which really raises the bar for cloud computing platforms. So what is CloudStack ? short It is an infrastructure-as-a-service(IaaS) platform that orchestrates virtualized servers into an elastic compute environment. The project was originally developed by Cloud.com and is now sponsored by Citrix since they acquired Cloud.com in July of 2011.

  • Commercial Support now available for the open-source NGINX Web server

    NGINX, the popular open-source Web server, recently swept by Microsoft’s Internet Information Services to become the second most popular Web server in the world. Not bad for an open-source project without any commercial support! NGINX is changing that now. Its parent company has just announced commercial support options for businesses.

    According to the newly formed, July 2011, Web company, NGINX’s original creators and developers will provide support for small, medium or large-scale commercial Web site installations. Three technical support packages are available–Essential, Advanced and Premium–covering installation, configuration, performance improvement, software maintenance, design, implementation, and optimization assistance.

  • 50 Open Source Tools That Could Help You Find (or Keep) a Valentine

    You may not have noticed, but Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Don’t panic if you haven’t planned the perfect date yet — the open source community has you covered.

    In honor of the season, we’ve put together a list of open source tools for romantics. If you’re looking for the perfect gift, we found open source apps that could help you create your own Valentine’s Day card, open source chocolate, open source poetry and even open source jewelry. To help you create the perfect evening, we added a whole host of apps for putting together the perfect soundtrack. Plus: apps to help you practice your dancing, pick the perfect wine (or beer), cook a romantic dinner or watch a romantic movie.

  • Pentaho open sources big data code, licenses Kettle project under Apache 2.0

    Pentaho has open sourced some of the big data assets in its Kettle open source project — and moved its entire Kettle Data Integration Platform to Apache 2.0 — in order to capture more of the booming Hadoop and NoSQL business.

  • Super-communities debuting for open source vertical supply chains
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Introducing Chrome for Android

        In 2008, we launched Google Chrome to help make the web better. We’re excited that millions of people around the world use Chrome as their primary browser and we want to keep improving that experience. Today, we’re introducing Chrome for Android Beta, which brings many of the things you’ve come to love about Chrome to your Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone or tablet. Like the desktop version, Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalized web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices.

      • Google Chrome Web browser finally comes to Android
      • Review: Chrome 17, faster than ever, more secure than ever.

        Google’s been really busy lately. They may be releasing “G-Drive,” a personal cloud storage service ala Dropbox. They have released a beta of the Chrome Web browser for Android. And, with all that, their developers have also been hard at work keeping Chrome on top of the Web browser hill.

    • Mozilla

      • The death of Firefox

        It doesn’t look good for Firefox: Almost every month for the last three years, Firefox has lost ground to Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari. For most of 2009 the trend was fairly straight as it fended off Chrome and nibbled away at IE, but between 2010 and today Firefox has lost a third of its market share, from a worldwide peak of around 30% down to 20%.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Community, customer service and Free Software

      This is an edited version of a post of mine on the discuss mailing list of LibreOffice. The thread is ongoing at the moment I’m editing this post. Feedback and questions welcome.

      Listening to user feedback hardly makes up a democracy. It’s user feedback. In some cases it might be a case of “nice customer service”. But it does not help that much. I’ll explain myself.

  • Education

    • Rethinking ICT

      Just a few thoughts on the way forward for ICT education in response to Chris Leach’s Rethinking ICT #ICT500 invitation. I fear I’ve rather exceeded his limit of 500 words. What follows is a personal perspective.

      Like many in the profession, I’ve been thinking much about what an ICT curriculum ought to look like for a while now, but the Secretary of State’s announcement at BETT that he intends to ‘disapply’ the programme of study in ICT for all schools has brought this into sharp focus.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 9 review – to FreeBSD what Ubuntu is to Debian

      If you’d like to use FreeBSD as a desktop system, you’ll have to invest a lot of time in setting up the operating system and installing all the right packages. Obviously, this is a serious barrier for a lot of Linux users who are interested in trying out FreeBSD. PC-BSD fills in this gap by offering a completely usable and user-friendly FreeBSD desktop install with all kinds of stuff pre-configured. In a way, PC-BSD is to FreeBSD what Ubuntu is to Debian.

    • Two and a half ghosts – GhostBSD 2.5

      It is my impression that GhostBSD is off to a good start and just requires a few extra touches to make it a really user-friendly desktop. A little work on the installer could make it a first-class piece of software. Other little touches like putting the FreeBSD Handbook on the desktop and making updating the system’s packages easier would make GhostBSD a really appealing system. As it is, despite its warts, I do think it makes it easy to get a FreeBSD desktop install in place with a minimal amount of fuss and that’s a worthwhile venture. Even if you’re not planning to install the system, GhostBSD’s light live CD provides a good method for previewing what’s coming out of the FreeBSD camp these days.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK Government going ahead with Open Source

      More often than not, the UK governments grasp on technology/software is rather vague to say the least. We need look no further than BBClick to see the level in which these people comprehend (I’ve always thought the ignorance of Click mirrored the government perfectly – trying to be trendy, missing out the obvious whilst pandering to the monopolist)

      It comes then as a pleasant surprise that in recent times Government latched onto words such as “open source” and now we see news of how its to manifest itself within the spending plans of those who handle our taxes.

Leftovers

  • Why Don’t We Just Protest Internet Activism Instead?

    Where did fun go? It has been drowned in a sea of online activism. I can’t just go on the Internet and enjoy myself anymore. I can’t even do serious research anymore. When I log on, I am now instantly drafted as a member of everybody’s personal army.

    “Protest this! Donate to that! Write your congressman! Think this way, not that way! Change your mind! You must read this now! Join this cause! Fight, fight, fight! Sign this petition! Impeach that guy! Support this cause! Protest something else! Crisis, drama, wear a ribbon on your Facebook! Retweet this or you’re an enemy of freedom! I know last week I told you this other thing was the most important cause in the world, but this week’s cause is the most important thing in the world and I really mean it!”

  • Google Near Launch of Cloud Storage Service

    Google Inc. is close to launching a cloud-storage service that would rival one of Silicon Valley’s hottest start-ups, cloud-storage provider Dropbox Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

    Like Dropbox, Google’s storage service, called Drive, is a response to the growth of Internet-connected mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and the rise of “cloud computing,” or storing files online so that they can be retrieved from multiple devices, these people said.

  • Is Windows 8 Metro failing even at Microsoft?

    When I first saw this image of Bill Flora, a key leader on the team that created Microsoft’s Windows 8 Metro interface, I almost laughed myself silly. Notice what Flora, who had left Microsoft after 19-years as a creative director in September to start TECTONIC, a user experience design firm, uses for his main computer? That sure looks a MacBook Pro to me!

    Seriously? One of Microsoft’s go-to Metro guys left the company ahead of Windows 8’s launch and now uses a Mac? The picture says it all. Of course, Floria’s not the only Metro developer to abandon ship. Brandon Watson, head of developer experiences for Windows Phone, is the latest executive to leave the Microsoft’s phone unit. Between Flora and Watson’s departure, Matt Bencke, General Manager for Windows Phone Developer and Marketplace, left the Windows Phone team, but he did, at least, stay in Microsoft. He’s now over with the to Xbox Live crew.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • House bans federal lawmakers from insider trading

      The House on Thursday joined the Senate in voting to explicitly prohibit members of Congress and other top officials from making investments on insider information. But an effort to bridle purveyors of Capitol Hill political intelligence could delay the bill’s enactment.

    • Mean-Spirited, Bad Economics

      Fire insurance is mostly sold by the private sector; unemployment insurance is “sold” by the government — because the private sector never performed this role adequately. The original legislative intent, reaffirmed over the years, is clear: Help people to help themselves in the face of shocks beyond their control.

    • Banks near mortgage deal with state AGs

      The nation’s five largest banks and a consortium of state attorneys general are closing in on finalizing a settlement of at least $25 billion for the roles the banks played in the mortgage meltdown, POLITICO has confirmed.

      If completed, the deal would be the largest of its kind in history, rivaling the 1998 settlement states reached with the tobacco industry, and the largest civil action ever against the housing industry. The agreement would cap a year-long series of negotiations designed to hold banks accountable for falsifying documents related to home foreclosures in several states.

    • $25B settlement reached over foreclosure abuses

      A landmark $25 billion settlement with the nation’s top mortgage lenders was hailed by government officials Thursday as long-overdue relief for victims of foreclosure abuses. But consumer advocates countered that far too few people will benefit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The UK has become a hostile environment for Internet users and Internet businesses

      A series of rulings in UK courts of late is showing that UK copyright law is sadly out of sync with today’s society and renders the innocent acts of millions of UK citizens illegal.

      According to UK courts, tweeting a headline or emailing a colleague a link to an online news article is a breach of copyright if it is done without a copyright licence. The simple act of browsing the Internet is deemed a potential copyright infringement unless licensed. More details can be found in my commentary on recent rulings in the UK High Court and the UK Court of appeal.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Central Europe Backs Out of Copyright Deal After Protests

          Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia this week put the ratification of a controversial international copyright agreement on hold amid concerns it would lead to censorship online.

          The three countries, along with most others in the European Union, last month signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, which seeks to harmonize copyright protection across the countries that signed up, including the U.S.

        • Germany refuses to sign ACTA amid protests

          Germany will not sign an international anti-piracy treaty, despite having already agreed to it in principal, government sources in Berlin said Friday, February 10.

02.07.12

Links 7/2/2012: Firefox 11 Enters Beta, Canonical Disappoints KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Back next week]

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Look at 3D Printing and Open Source

    Arthur C. Clarke said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And it’s still magical when you understand how it works. 3D printers are here, they’re cool, and there is a large and enthusiastic open source 3D printer movement.

  • Apache releases Commons Validator-1.4.0, Commons Configuration 1.8 and Hive version 0.8.1…

    Three more additions from the Apache family this week! The Commons validator helps in both client and server side data validation. The Commons configuration software library offers an empirical configuration interface which enables an application to read configuration data from several sources. And Apache Hive data warehouse software helps in querying and managing large sets of data that resides in distributed storage.Find out what the the 3 latest releases have in store for you!!!

  • Piracy and the value of freedom

    I think you’ve heard about the piracy happening in the waters surrounding Somalia. Entire ships are captured, and their passengers are often hurt and sometimes even killed.

    Interestingly enough, the term often associated with this kind of kidnapping and killing is also frequently used in computing terms for something quite different. Copying something and giving it away for free, without any motive for profit and without taking anything away from the original.

  • EclipseSource Launches RAP Mobile

    EclipseSource, a developer of commercial solutions based on open source Eclipse technologies, has just unveiled RAP mobile, an alternative for developing apps in Java based on the Eclipse Rich Ajax Platform (RAP).

  • Facebook may release its core C++ library this year
  • OSI Announces New Initiatives

    OSI is changing, and you can help! I spoke at FOSDEM in Brussels on Saturday, on behalf of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) where I serve as a director. My noon keynote covered a little of the rationale behind OSI and a quick synopsis of its last decade from my own perspective and then announcements on OSI’s behalf about the work we’re doing to make OSI strong and relevant for a new decade.

  • “Free software from legal control”
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 11 Beta Lands in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

        The upcoming Mozilla Firefox 11.0 web browser and Mozilla Thunderbird 11.0 email client just landed in the daily builds of the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 2 (Precise Pangolin) operating system.

        Though it will not be the default web browser, as there will be more releases of it until Ubuntu 12.04 LTS reaches maturity on April 2012, Firefox 11.0 will bring the ability to migrate bookmarks, cookies and history from the Google Chrome web browser.

      • Firefox 11 enters beta, brings add-on sync
      • Firefox 11 Gets SPDY

        Mozilla is taking a page from Google’s Chrome development and is gearing up to implement a new protocol to help accelerate the Firefox web browser. The open source Firefox 11 browser, which is now in beta, will include the SPDY protocol. The current stable release of Firefox is version 10, which was released last week.

      • Firefox: Aiming for One Million Contributors

        Ayala spoke at FOSDEM about developing Firefox in 2012, and new approaches that Mozilla is taking to try to reduce time and effort required for contributing to the browser.

      • Firefox 11 Brings 3D Web Page Visualizer and CSS Style Editor
  • SaaS

    • Alfresco enter the cloud & mobile era

      Alfresco are an interesting company who grew out of the original web open source movement. Founded in 2005 by ex Business Objects exec John Powell and ex Documentum founder John Newton, Alfresco’s birth dna is as a full, open source Enterprise Content Management System (’ECM’), complete with rich metadata tools and deep standards compliance.

      It’s been an interesting journey for a company that was funded by blue chip VC’s to disrupt the sleepy ECM marketplace – presumably the name ‘Alfresco’ was chosen to define their ‘outsider’ status to competitors such as Sharepoint and Documentum (owned by EMC since 2003).

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • All proprietary software are malicious: Stallman

      Exhorting students to fight against proprietary software that stifled the freedom of users, software freedom activist from the United States, Richard Stallman, on Monday said that all such programs were malicious in nature and pushed the users into the “grip” of the developers.
      Addressing a packed hall at IIT Madras, the founder of GNU project said that by using such “non-free” software, people were in danger of being entrapped in a moral dilemma as they are forced to comply with the end-user agreements.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content/Education

      • Why Pay for Intro Textbooks?

        If ramen noodle sales spike at the start of every semester, here’s one possible reason: textbooks can cost as much as a class itself; materials for an introductory physics course can easily top $300.

        Cost-conscious students can of course save money with used or online books and recoup some of their cash come buyback time. Still, it’s a steep price for most 18-year-olds.

      • UC Santa Cruz library chooses Creative Commons

        In response to requests for reuse of its content, like guides and how-to information, the University of California Santa Cruz library has adopted a Creative Commons (CC-BY) license for all of its content.

        “Many of us like to use Creative Commons licensed material in our own writing and teaching, so it made sense for us to do this,” says Katie Fortney, the Library’s Scholarly Communications Officer. “Here at the Library – at most libraries – we’re paying a lot of attention to copyright and technology issues, and we want people to know that.”

    • Open Hardware

      • Five open source hardware projects that could change the world

        Open source hardware is increasingly making the news, as Ford partners with Bug Labs to “advance in-car connectivity innovation”, thousands of US Radio Shack stores start stocking Arduino, and Facebook releases the plans for energy-efficient data centre technology via Open Compute. But could it change the world? Andrew Back takes a look at five projects which just might.

Leftovers

  • Five Reasons why Windows 8 will be dead on arrival

    Some of my die-hard Windows friends are very excited by Windows 8 arrival later this year. Others fear that Windows 8 will be a repeat of Microsoft’s Vista disaster. Me? I know Windows 8 will be a Vista-sized fiasco.

    Before jumping into why I think far most PC users will still be running Windows 7 in 2016 than Windows 8, let me explain that while I prefer Linux as my desktop operating system, I don’t see Windows 8 charge into a brick wall as being a pro-Linux or anti-Microsoft issue.

  • 5 free operating systems that aren’t Linux

    The war of operating systems started decades ago, and the first mainstream desktop OS war took place between the Macintosh and Windows operating system. Operating systems are the first bit of software that go into our computer. As PCs dominated the market, Windows became the most used and most popular operating systems ever. It’s stayed that way for close to two decades.

  • Security

    • DDoS Attacks: Size doesn’t matter

      People often think that Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks-you know like the ones that knocked the Department of Justice, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and Universal Music recently–require hundreds of attackers generating gigabytes of traffic per second to pound a Website down into the ground. Ah, no they don’t.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein Identifies with Struggling Americans After Bonus Cut in Half

      Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein revealed Wednesday that he too is feeling the pinch of the weak economy as his company announced a 47-percent plummet in earnings, the most severe drop since 2008. As a result, the financial group decreased Blankfein’s annual bonus, seemingly in tandem, by nearly 44 percent. Blankfein, who was raised in a Bronx housing project, said the dramatic reduction in pay evoked memories of his humble origins. After being awarded a paltry $7 million — down from $12.6 million the previous year — Blankfein put on a brave face and told reporters: “Sure, it’s hard. I’m like so many Americans who’ve had their compensation shredded to a questionable living wage. And, you know, it’s easy to complain — to say, ‘why they’d even bother,’ or to think of the stipend as a hollow gesture in the face of horrendous morale. But then I take a look around and consider myself lucky that I’m even employed. The bank already fired 2,400 people. Unlike Mitt Romney, they didn’t seem to enjoy it. I’m grateful, actually.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Super Nonprofits Influencing Elections, Under the Radar

      While the popular understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision is that it opened the door to unlimited corporate spending, last week’s FEC filings showed that many of the millions that Super PACs received in 2011 came not from corporations, but from deep-pocketed individuals and corporate CEOs. What remains unknown is just how much corporate money is secretly flowing through another vehicle being used to influence political outcomes, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit.

    • ALEC’s Influence in Ohio Runs Deep

      The influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Ohio runs deep, according to a new report released by Progress Ohio, together with the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), People for the American Way, and Common Cause. The report shows how Ohio’s legislators are working in tandem with corporate leaders to deregulate key industries, privatize education and dismantle unions.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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