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12.23.11

Links 23/12/2011: Amarok 2.5, KDE SC 4.8 Release Candidate

Posted in News Roundup at 5:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Nine Open Source Discoveries I Made in 2011

    When writing about free and open source software, sometimes I seem to spend all my time complaining. So, after last week, when I described 2011 as a whole as a disappointment, I thought I should add some balance by mentioning some of the free software-related discoveries that delighted me during the past year.

    Many of these discoveries were not new in 2011, although several came into their own during the year. However, until the last twelve months, they were new to me. All are worth mentioning, just in case you’ve missed them:

  • Reinventing the open source wheel

    One of the greatest strengths of open source software development has been the notion that as an OSS developer, you can pretty much just pick and choose from the thousands of OSS projects out there to enrich your own project.

    (There are caveats to this idea, of course, the most obvious being license incompatibility. But, the general principle still holds.)

    But anecdotal evidence in the open source community seems to be demonstrating that the very opposite is occurring: new projects are often reinventing the wheel in their code, rather than partnering with someone else’s project.

  • Open Source Apps: the Monster List
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Project Releases

    • Ceylon Achieves Milestone 1

      Milestone 1 of Ceylon includes a reasonably complete and stable specification and a complete command line toolset (compiler, runtime, documentation compiler). A compatible release of the team’s Eclipse-based IDE is coming soon.

  • Licensing

    • VLC engine relicensed to LGPL

      As announced in a previous press release, VideoLAN and VLC developers have achieved the process of changing the license of the VLC engine to LGPL. The École Centrale Paris shares its happiness about this change.

  • Open Hardware

    • Arduino-Open Hardware and IDE Combo

      This article is a bit different from my usual column in two ways. First, it’s starting with a hardware and software combo—something I’ve not done before. Second, the projects are linked to each other and come recommended to me by Perth LUG member, Simon Newton.

Leftovers

  • Adobe’s Cloudware Announcement Stirs Pricing and Privacy Concerns
  • Security

  • Finance

    • A Christmas Message From America’s Rich

      It seems America’s bankers are tired of all the abuse. They’ve decided to speak out.

      True, they’re doing it from behind the ropeline, in front of friendly crowds at industry conferences and country clubs, meaning they don’t have to look the rest of America in the eye when they call us all imbeciles and complain that they shouldn’t have to apologize for being so successful.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • A New Lowe in Advertiser Cowardice

      The national hardware chain Lowe’s pulled its advertising from the TLC reality show All-American Muslim–explaining that the question of whether Muslims can be presented as regular human beings is a “hotly contested debate.”

      All-American Muslim is a reality show described by TLC, the cable channel that airs it, as “a look at life in Dearborn, Michigan–home to the largest mosque in the United States–through the lens of five Muslim American families…an intimate look at the customs and celebrations, misconceptions and conflicts these families face outside and within their own community.”

  • Civil Rights

    • SOPA Broken Even Before Being Passed

      The way some congressmen are desperate to pass dangerous SOPA, ignoring all the warning being given by IT experts, shows how much money speaks when it comes to passing laws. SOPA is nothing short of a measure to break the Internet just to entertain the entertainment industry which is failing to keep up with the technological evolution.

  • Copyrights

    • Anti-piracy laws will smash internet, US constitution – legal eagles

      Legal experts are warning that the proposed PROTECT IP and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation, currently working their way through Congress, will damage the world’s DNS system, cripple attempts to get better online security and violate free speech rights in the US constitution.

12.22.11

Links 22/12/2011: 700,000 Android/Linux Activations Per Day

Posted in News Roundup at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Twitter Buys Crypto Tech, Then Open-Sources It

    Twitter has released the source code to TextSecure, the encrypted SMS messaging application created by Whisper Systems, which it acquired earlier this year, and promises more releases to come.

  • Twitter to Open Source Android Security Tech
  • GitHub’s Janky Goes Open Source

    With little fanfare, GitHub has released Janky under the MIT license. Janky is a continuous integration (CI) server that runs on top of Jenkins and Hubot, designed to work with projects hosted on GitHub.

  • Open Source Projects Focus on a Greener, Safer Planet

    Ecobot. One way to start contributing to a more sustainable planet is to keep track of your own carbon footprint. Do you track how much fuel, power and paper you use, for example? If not, Ecobot is a free, open source Adobe AIR application that tracks your fuel consumption, paper consumption, and much more. It also directs you to green resources that you can leverage. We covered Ecobot in this post.

  • AZIZ: a new open source home automation solution for Linux

    In case you didn’t know yet, CocoonTech has been tracking all home automation software available to the general public, all compiles in a nice and easy to search home automation software list. This list is updated on a regular basis, and today, AZIZ has been added to the list.

  • Introducing Palantir’s first open source releases

    We’re big fans of open source. Libraries from Apache, Google, and various projects hosted on SourceForge.net make up a significant fraction of the third-party code we use to build our products.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Test driving Firefox 9

        Following a rapid release schedule that has upset several people, Firefox 9 was made available yesterday. Although it has been said that Google Chrome has taken the #2 browser market share position, I will continue using the Mozilla browser because, to be honest, none of the arguments against Firefox has been heavy enough for me to drop it. In addition, I like Mozilla’s open Web philosophy and the useful extensions that can be incorporated to “the little browser that could”.

      • Firefox Add-On Bypasses SOPA DNS Blocking

        The pending Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) continues to inspire opponents to come up with creative solutions to circumvent it.

      • Mozilla’s Renewed Deal with Google Showcases Google’s Real Priorities

        As December began, it was unclear whether Mozilla would renew its long-time deal with Google, through which Mozilla gains the lion’s share of its revenues by steering users of the Firefox browser toward Google’s lucrative search/ad ecosystem. For those who favor Mozilla’s browser and other tools, the issue was an important one, because Mozilla’s deals with other search-focused companies don’t provide anywhere near the amount of money that Google kicks in. Now, in a blog post, Mozilla has announced a new, long-term deal with Google that will last for at least three years. Above all, the renewal of the deal shows that Google cares more about steering the maximum number of users toward its search engine than it does about absolute dominance for its own software tools.

  • Databases

    • JDBC driver for Neo4J bridges the SQL/NoSQL divide

      NoSQL databases such as the graph database Neo4j don’t normally work with common database tools which are typically tailored for SQL databases. Rickard Öberg, a developer from Neo Technology, thought this wasn’t right, and now in a blog posting he has described a JDBC interface he has created which forwards database queries to Neo4j and allows common applications to access the NoSQL database without modification.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Backers Want Community to Join ‘bug Hunt’

      The organization behind LibreOffice is hoping community members will help it uncover problems with an upcoming release of the open-source office suite via an international “bug hunt” next week.

    • Hunt Bugs For LibreOffice 3.5

      The Document Foundation, the body behind LibreOffice, has announced the first LibreOffice 3.5 bug hunting session. The session will be held in a virtual environment on December 28 and 29, 2011. Volunteer bug hunters will gather on the Internet from the five continents to spot software problems of the upcoming new major release, featuring a large number of improvements and new functions, in order to make LibreOffice 3.5 the best free office suite ever.

    • VirtualBox 4.1.8 Fixed 3D Support
    • In progress : native support of the SVG graphic format in Apache OpenOffice.org

      Apache OpenOffice.org is gradually recovering from his transfer to the Apache Foundation. Until the release of the first version, new features appear. Here’s one: the native support for graphics files of type .svg (for Scalable Vector Graphics)

  • CMS

    • Newscoop 4.0 Beta adds new community features to open source news CMS

      Newscoop, the open source content management system for online news media, has a new major release out in beta. Newscoop 4.0 adds the possibility to build a community platform into a news website, allowing newspapers to grow and manage vibrant communities around their content.

  • Education

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Cloudant claims $2M funding

      The company also offers an open-source version of CouchDB in BigCouch. NoSQL is a catch-all term for developers who reject the popular open-source database software MySQL.

  • Project Releases

    • Ceylon language reaches first milestone

      Red Hat has released a first milestone of Ceylon, its open source alternative to Java. The milestone allows developers to access the compiler, language module and runtime of this statically typed language. A total of five such milestones are scheduled in the development roadmap to version 1.0 – according to the developers, around 80 per cent of the planned functionality has already been made available in the now released version.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Brazilan State Mandates Preference To ODF

      The government of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest state in Brazil, passed a new law which mandates public entities and companies in Rio de Janeiro to give preference to open document formats, in particular ODF. The publication of Law #5978/2011 was celebrated in an official event with representatives from the government, several state companies, and the FLOSS community.

  • Licensing

    • Self-regulation event in the European Parliament

      I posted a week or so ago about the latest round of discussions hosted by DCMS regarding ‘self-regulation’ and Internet policy. In addition to ongoing discussions about a new, faster scheme for website blocking, there are now plans proposed by rights holders for search engines to ‘self-regulate’ in the name of copyright enforcement too.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • IMF calls Irish rescue ‘fragile’

      Ireland’s lauded rescue program is at risk of falling off track as a slowing European economy cuts into the country’s exports and sparks concern about the nation’s banking system, the International Monetary Fund reported Tuesday.

    • Top business story in ’11: Europe financial crisis

      Europe took the financial world on a stomach-churning ride in 2011.

      The rising threat of default by heavily indebted European countries spread fear across financial markets and weighed on economies worldwide. As the year came to a close, banks and investors nervously watched Europe’s political and financial leaders scramble to prevent the 17-nation eurozone from breaking apart.

    • Break Up Bank of America Before it Breaks Us

      On Monday, Bank of America (BofA) stocks briefly traded for under $5. Yes, you could buy a share of BofA for less than the noxious debit card fee they tried to force down your throat.

    • Who Owns Our Politicians? Goldman Sachs

      Corporations are people too. So says our supreme Supreme Court. As such they can donate as much as they want to politicians. Does this sound right to any of you?

    • E-Mail Clues in Tracking MF Global Client Funds

      Federal authorities investigating the collapse of MF Global have uncovered e-mails that detail the transfers of money in the firm’s last days, including transfers that contained customer money, according to people close to the investigation.

    • Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren now dueling populists

      In a fierce fight to keep his job in deep-blue Massachusetts, the freshman GOP senator is shunning tea party Republicans who helped send him to Washington and embracing the same populist fervor that’s made Warren, his likely Democratic rival, a hero among liberals.

    • Calif. AG sues Fannie, Freddie demanding answers

      California’s attorney general filed lawsuits against mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday, demanding that the companies that own some 60 percent of the state’s mortgages respond to questions in a state investigation.

    • The Wall Street Journal Has Not Heard About the Housing Bubble

      The housing bubble apparently still has not gotten word about the housing bubble. Of course it is easy to see how an $8 trillion bubble whose collapse wrecked the economy could escape the attention of the nation’s premier business publication.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Upcoming American Petroleum Institute ‘Vote 4 Energy’ TV Campaign Disrupted by Undercover Activists

      Late in the morning, the API Edelman team filmed three unexpectedly honest ‘citizens’ who made clear the script did not represent their real opinions on energy. Greenpeace researcher Connor Gibson of the PolluterWatch project repeated their scripted line, “I vote,” then declared, “But I am a clean energy citizen. I will not believe the lies and influence peddling of the American Petroleum Institute, which would leave you to believe that I am a citizen that is okay with giving my tax payer dollars to billionaires and millionaires that run oil companies, the most profitable industry on the planet.” Gibson stressed movement

  • Privacy

    • Privacy rights

      With justification, Ontario’s privacy commissioner Ann Cavoukian continues to point out that Ottawa’s planned “lawful access legislation,” targeting the Internet, smartphones and other mobile devices, really amounts to a blatant infringement of our privacy rights.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • CRTC’s Net Neutrality Rules in Action: Bell To Drop P2P Traffic Shaping

      Bell advised the CRTC yesterday that it plans to drop all peer-to-peer traffic shaping (often called throttling) as of March 1, 2012. While the decision has been described as surprising or as quid pro quo for the usage based billing ruling, I think it is neither of those. The writing was on the wall in October when Bell announced that it was dropping the traffic shaping for wholesale traffic, citing reduced network congestion from P2P. At the time I wrote that the Bell move:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Swiss Government Says Copyright Enforcement Rules Sufficient

        Switzerland has completed a major government study on whether new measures are need to address online copyright infringement. The study concludes that no new legislative action is needed, citing the high costs and negative effects of three strikes and you’re out policies. It is noteworthy that Switzerland participated in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations and has enacted digital lock rules that link circumvention to copyright infringement.

      • Why Spotify can never be profitable: The secret demands of record labels
      • Are programming languages subject to copyright protection?

        Intellectual property law was created to protect the rights of creators over products of the mind. Speaking loosely: Patents protect inventions. Trademark protection covers names, images, and designs used in commerce. Copyright covers literary and artistic works, including both tangible artifacts and intangibles such as performances. Trade-secret protection is for information that owners keep secret to maintain competitive advantage.

      • ACTA

        • Last Parliament Standing: Europe Final Stronghold Of ACTA Critics

          With a recent decision by the Agriculture and Fishery Council of the European Union, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) seems to have made a big leap forward. And with recent breakthroughs in other countries, ACTA’s final hurdle may be in the European parliaments.

          Late last week, officials who might not have previously heard a lot about the much-debated agreement authorised the European Commission to sign ACTA on behalf of the Union. With this, ACTA reaches its final phase in Europe, which consists of 28 ratification processes, including the one involving the European Parliament (EP).

        • Shoving ACTA down the throat of the European Parliament

          As ACTA D-day approaches the debate heats up in Brussels. Today French Sarkozyist MEP Marielle Gallo started leading the forward charge of the music and entertainment lobbyist light brigade. MEPs are already being bullied into rushing into parliamentary approval of ACTA within 3 or 4 months without even seeking the opinion of the European Court of Justice. Ms. Gallo ended the today´s presentation of her enthusiastically pro-ACTA opinion in the Judicial Affairs Committee by warning of the dire consequences of “losing 2 more years” waiting for a European Court ruling on how the implementation of ACTA could affect fundamental rights, as requested by Green and Liberal MEPs.

        • EU Council Quietly Adopts ACTA, By Hiding It In An Agriculture And Fisheries Meeting

          So, continuing the tradition of denying European citizens any opportunity to offer their views on ACTA, the Council of national ministers employed the shabby trick of pushing the treaty through by adopting it without debate at a meeting whose main business had nothing to do with international trade.

          Interestingly, this is not the first time European politicians have used this subterfuge. In 2002 the European Commission presented a proposal that would allow software patents in Europe (currently, the European Patent Convention forbids patenting programs for computers “as such”).

          This saga was still going on in 2005 when the software patent proposal was added to the agenda of a fisheries meeting – just like ACTA. On that occasion, the ploy failed, but the Council Presidency went on to adopt the agreement in violation of the procedural rules. The proposal was then passed to the European Parliament, where it was definitively rejected.

        • FFII provisional note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA

          On a request from Members Lichtenberger and Engström, the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee decided to release the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA. You can find the documents here.

          The FFII published a provisional note on the Legal Service’s Opinion on ACTA, see below or the pdf. Due to the limited time available, it is limited to border measures and damages.

        • Will the European Parliament Public Health committee formulate an opinion on ACTA?

          As things stand now, the European Parliament committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will not formulate an opinion on ACTA. Despite all the analysis work done on the effects ACTA will have on access to medicine, and despite health groups informed the Parliament, no Member of Parliament has asked the committee to formulate one.

        • EP Legal Affairs Committee newsletter very positive about ACTA

          The JURI Report, the newsletter of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee, is a very positive about ACTA.

          “Thus, it will provide benefits for EU exporting right holders operating in the global market who currently suffer systematic and widespread infringements of their copyrights, trademarks, patents, designs and geographical indications abroad.”

          Not a word about all the civil society and academic criticism on ACTA. The critical European Parliament INTA study is not mentioned.

        • Letter to EP Legal Affairs Committee

          The world faces major challenges: access to medicine, diffusion of green technology needed to fight climate change, and a balanced Internet governance. While flexibility is essential to solve these major issues, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) codifies draconian measures. ACTA’s predecessor, the 1994 WTO TRIPS agreement, still hampers fair trade, even in life saving generic medicines. The EU should have chosen to further balance, in the World Trade Organization, the TRIPS agreement.

          It is not too late. ACTA goes beyond US law, the US will not ratify ACTA. The Mexican Senate urged the government not to sign ACTA. India, Brazil and China have turned against ACTA. The EU can and should reject ACTA, and seek a balanced solution in WTO and WIPO.

12.21.11

Links 21/12/2011: Munich Migration to GNU/Linux a Success, Apache Promises OpenOffice.org 3.4

Posted in News Roundup at 3:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • #noapple – or There and Back Again

      The TL;DR version is that I used Ubuntu 11.04 (Naughty Nightnurse) and liked it okay, then was excited to upgrade to 11.10 (Onanistic Oedipus) only to be somewhat disappointed with many of the changes. So I tried out Kubuntu, got frustrated and ran screaming back to Apple. I upgraded to Lion, realized that Lion really, truly sucks – sucks enough to make me rethink my decision to switch back. Then I find out that Debian testing (wheezy) now supports Gnome 3, so I loaded it up.

    • Why The Linux Desktop Still Rocks

      I needed that peace of mind that I never got with Windows, viruses always crashing my PC. I would have liked to get a Mac at some stage but the cost of it was a problem. Then I settled on Linux, and haven’t looked back since.

    • Munich has Migrated the 9000th PC to GNU/Linux

      The meaning is clear: the end is in sight. It has been a long haul but Munich will finally have a GNU/Linux system working for them instead of Munich working for M$. While there has been much cost and pain in the process, the future is forever and the benefits from switching to GNU/Linux, open standards and more efficient organization will continue to roll in. If there is one lesson learned from the process in Munich it is that the sooner migration is started the better. Otherwise, you’re just digging a deeper hole. While that other OS can form a basis for IT it is an unstable one designed to bring profit to M$ above all else. With GNU/Linux, FLOSS and open standards, an organization has much more control over its destiny. Almost every “feature” that M$ created served to lock-in Munich more strongly. They recognized that and took action.

    • Walmart Sells Linux Online

      So, they’re selling desktop boxes on the small side and the other 70 items? Mostly books and courses on GNU/Linux.

    • The Linux Setup – Jonathan Roberts, TuxRadar Podcast

      I run Arch Linux, and I love it. It’s fast, always up to date and is actually the most stable Linux distribution I’ve ever used. It takes a little while to get set up, but thanks to the amazing Beginners Guide anyone can do it and it’s well worth the investment.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Kernel Milestones in 2011

      The Big 3.0 and 20th Anniversary

      Granted, the jump to 3.0 wasn’t a technical achievement so much as Linus giving in to the voices in his head. Still, the 3.0 milestone is pretty nifty.

      The version bump went hand in hand with the 20th anniversary of Linux, of course. As Linus wrote when the 3.0 kernel went out, “it’s simply a way to drop an inconvenient numbering system in honor of twenty years of Linux. In fact, the 3.0 merge window was calmer than most, and apart from some excitement from RCU I’d have called it really smooth.”

    • Kernel Log: Multitouch for X.org and new graphics drivers

      X-Server 1.12 will include proper support for touch screens with multitouch capabilities. All three major manufacturers of graphics hardware for PCs have released new drivers. Linux 3.0 is still being maintained even though Linux 3.1 has already been out for a few weeks.

    • Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris i7-3960X Scaling Performance
    • The Linux Kernel vs Commercial kernels

      What exactly is the Linux Kernel and what makes it different than, say Windows or Mac System X? I’m not going to get too deep into the weeds on this one because, quite honestly, I’m not qualified to discuss Kernels beyond the basics. I’m really going to focus on the hardware/software interface aspects of the kernel pros and cons.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Commits: Fermi Reclocking, PM, MXM, Etc

        Last week there were a number of commits to the Nouveau DRM kernel tree by Red Hat’s Ben Skeggs, several of these commits bring interesting new features and support.

        With the Linux 3.2 kernel reaching the end of its development and the merge window for the Linux 3.3 kernel opening in January, it’s time for kernel developers to get ready.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Linpus Lite 1.6 desktop edition screenshot preview

      The last edition of Linpus Lite that was reviewed on this website, was Linpus Lite 1.4, and that was in September 2010 (see Linpus Lite 1.4 review). That edition was good in some ways, bad in others, but in general, was usable, though it lacked basic security features that I expected to see in a modern Linux distribution.

      The latest release, therefore, provides an(other) opportunity to see what, if anything, has improved in this RPM distribution. But while the review is being readied, here are a few screen shots from a test installation. If you would like to take it for a spin yourself, you may download an installation image here.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS and Oracle release their Red Hat 6.2 clones

        Only a week after releasing CentOS 6.1, the CentOS project finished up version 6.2 of its CentOS community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), while Oracle launched Oracle Linux 6.2 — a RHEL 6.2 clone that adds the company’s Unbreakable Enterprise Linux kernel. Meanwhile, Red Hat released a beta of its long-lifecycle RHEL 5.8 platform and announced strong third quarter earnings.

      • Red Hat Revamps JBoss Portal and Operations Network

        According to Red Hat, there is a misconception in the marketplace that middleware can be difficult to use for content creation. It’s a misconception the company aims to challenge with the new JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.2 release. Red Hat is also tackling the issue of middleware server management with the new JBoss Operations Network 3.0 release.

      • Minimal Desktop Install on CentOS 6

        This example of a minimal desktop shows how to manually create partitions using ext3 and ext4 for a server that has a minimal desktop for a graphical interface. Here are the choices to complete that install.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Developer Week 2012 Announced

            Daniel Holbach from Canonical proudly announced a few minutes ago, December 19th, the dates for the next year’s first Ubuntu Developer Week event.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Mint Cocktail: Mojito or Molotov

              Unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint does not keep the size of their distribution’s ISO image to 700 MB. The latest release “weighs” about 1Gb. It is larger than a CD, so you need either a DVD-R(W) or a USB stick to get this operating system booted or installed.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Review: Galaxy Nexus is top Android phone, but you’ll need big hands

          Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus is now the “king fish” of Android communicators in screen size, speed, and operating system functionality, according to this eWEEK review. But, its 4.65-inch screen makes the $300 device a challenge to hold by those whose hands are average-sized or smaller, the author adds.

        • Cricket unveils contract-free, four-inch Huawei Mercury

          Cricket Communications announced its most powerful Android smartphone, a four-inch Android 2.3 handset with a 1.4GHz processor and an eight-megapixel camera. Priced at $250 without contract and $55 per month in fees, the Huawei Mercury is the first U.S.-destined variant of the Huawei Honor, being released this month in a variety of global markets.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet pushing Android tablet share to 40 percent, predicts IDC

        Android tablet computers will grow from 32 percent global market share in the third quarter to an estimated 40.3 percent through the fourth quarter, reducing Apple’s iPad share to 59 percent, projects IDC. The growth in Android tablets is due largely to the popularity of the low-cost Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, says the study.

      • Archos Honeycomb tablet to debut at under $200

        Archos announced a seven-inch Android 3.2 (“Honeycomb”) tablet due to ship in January for under $200. The Archos 70b is equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, and offers a 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, 8GB of storage, HDMI output, and support for Google apps and Android Market, says the company.

      • Review: Mot’s Xyboard tablet rocks, but its stylus doesn’t

        Motorola Mobility’s Droid Xyboard 10.1 tablet brings the iPad some solid competition thanks to its Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, thin profile, HD display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and compatiblity with Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Yet, Motorola should take the hardware button design and new stylus option back to the drawing board, this eWEEK review adds.

      • Is Google prepping a Nexus tablet?

        Might Google be preparing to enter the Android tablet game with an officially-backed tablet much like the Nexus handset series? Depending on how much you read into the context and translation of the following, the answer is yes. According to Google’s own Eric Schmidt, the company plans to rally behind a top-notch tablet.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

12.20.11

Links 20/12/2011: Red Hat Results, Mageia 2.0 Alpha 2, Firefox 9

Posted in News Roundup at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Five Last-Minute Gifts for Open Source Fans

    Are you at a loss for what to buy the open source aficionados on your holiday shopping list? It’s actually not as difficult as you may think. Peruse this Linux fan’s personal picks to find inspiration as quick as a wink.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • Grails 2.0 with more cloud support and NoSQL connectivity

      After nearly a year of development, the Grails team has released Grails version 2.0, their Groovy language based open source web framework. The new version sees improvements throughout the Grails framework including an improved user and developer experience, additional cloud support via Heroku and Cloud Foundry, integration with the SpringSource Tool Suite (STS) and support for a range of NoSQL databases.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Open Letter to the Open Document Format Ecosystem

      In such a large ecosystem it is impossible to agree upon a single vision for all participants, Apache OpenOffice does not seek to define a single vision, nor does it seek to be the only player. Instead we seek to offer a neutral and powerful collaboration opportunity.

      The permissive Apache License 2.0 reduces restrictions on the use and distribution of our code and thus facilitates a diverse contributor and user base for the benefit of the whole Open Document Format ecosystem. Within an Apache project it is possible to rise above political, social and commercial differences in the pursuit of maximally effective implementations of freely available open standards and related software tools.

      Our license and open development model is widely recognised as one of the best ways to ensure open standards, such as ODF, gain traction and adoption. Apache OpenOffice offers much more potential for OpenOffice.org than “just” an end-user Microsoft Office replacement. We offer a vendor neutral space in which to collaborate whilst enabling third parties to pursue almost any for-profit or not-for-profit business model.

  • Business

    • Exploitation? Entrepreneurship, Capitalism, and Making Money on Free Software

      Recently, I was directed toward an excellent analysis of commons-based peer production as a phenomenon which separates “entrepreneurs” (who want to get things done and create value in the world) from “capitalists” (who want to get a return on an investment of property without contributing any labor). An observer — clearly outside of the community of free software developers — expressed dismay at the example of Mozilla Foundation, which makes money from the open source Mozilla project, but does not pay for most voluntarily contributed code improvements to the Mozilla software. Is he right? Is this exploitation of those contributors?

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source exceeds Munich’s expectations

      The German city of Munich has been very precise at bumping off Windows PCs to give its Linux operating system Lebensraum .

      Munich’s LiMux project has been going great guns and today the city announced that it had migrated 9,000 systems away from the PC and onto Linux. It only wanted to migrate 8,500 of the 12,000-15,000 PC workstations used by city officials in Munich but it turned out a bit easier than expected.

  • Programming

    • Cracks in the Foundation

      PHP has been around for a long time, and it’s starting to show its age. From top to bottom, the language has creaky joints. I’ve decided to take a look at how things got to this point, and what can be (and is being) done about it. I start out pretty gloomy, but bear with me; I promise it gets better.

Leftovers

  • Saudi Prince Pumps $300 Million Into Twitter

    In an unexpected move, a member of the Saudi royal family has invested $300 million in social networking company Twitter. This morning, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, founder and CEO of Kingdom Holding Company and one of the wealthiest people on the planet, announced the investment, which was reported first by Bloomberg.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Spinning the Occupation

      As winter sets in and Occupy Wall Street (OWS) encampments contract, the three-month old movement continues to have a big impact on the campaign trail. President Obama as well as some GOP candidates have adopted OWS concerns and language, while big bank lobbyists and GOP spinmeisters work hard to hold the line, defending U.S. economic institutions and the American “free market” system against what they fear could be a broad-based populist uprising.

  • ACTA

12.19.11

Links 19/12/2011: Linux Kernel 3.2 RC 6, Razor-qt 0.4.0

Posted in News Roundup at 11:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Application Development: Linux Skills Open Huge Job Opportunities
  • Server

    • Raytheon banners COTS data transfer system

      The servers run a hardened Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system.

    • File Sharing Made Easy With Media Servers and NAS
    • LinuxForce Cluster Service Now Available

      LinuxForce, Inc. announced today the availability of LinuxForce Cluster Services℠, a new IT (Information Technology) service offering. LinuxForce Cluster Services℠ design, provision, and maintain redundant, high availability (HA) clustered servers. HA servers are needed by organizations to assure a reliable system for delivery of critical business applications whether on-site, colocated, or “in the cloud”. LinuxForce’s advanced approach to implementing HA server clusters protect valuable data and assure continuity for virtualized systems while minimizing overall costs and maximizing performance without burdening existing staff.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • ANNOUNCE: Razor-qt 0.4.0

      We are glad to announce the release of Razor-qt 0.4.0, after a months of development since the last release…

    • Razor-Qt: A New Qt-Based Desktop Environment

      The Razor-Qt desktop was just updated to version 0.4.0 after being in development for months. This release improves stability of the lightweight desktop, introduces several new components, offers new translations, a new theme, new panel plug-ins, and much more. The new Razor desktop components are azor-runner, razor-config, qtxdg, and Razor own menu.

    • Users voted for best XFCE-based Linux distribution

      Most Linux distributions use one or more mainstream desktop environments. To be honest with you, I prefer KDE. My next preference is XFCE, followed by GNOME. And LXDE brings up the rear of the mainstream desktop environments for me. Every user has his own preferences, of course. That’s why arguments over Linux distributions and desktop environments will never end. People will always have differences of opinion.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • McRae: Pacman Package Signing – 4: Arch Linux

      Back in March 2011, LWN examined package signing (or the lack thereof) in the Arch Linux distribution. Things have advanced considerably since then. Allan McRae has now posted the fourth in a series of articles about the adoption of signed packages in Arch.

    • New Releases

      • Chakra Edn 2011.12, The Arch Linux Fork Released

        The Chakra Development Team has announced the release of Chakra 2011.12. Chakra is one the most popular Arch Linux forks. This version is Linux 3.1 and KDE 4.7. With this release KDE is updated to 4.7.4, kernel to Linux 3.1.4. The sound group has been rebuild/updated, latest networkmanagement and mesa-stack are also included. Chakra is now offering a DVD and CD version.

      • SystemRescueCd and GParted Live updated

        The SystemRescueCd and GParted Live developers have each released new versions of their Linux distributions for administering and repairing systems. Both of updated distributions include the recent 0.11.0 release of the open source GParted partition editor and new kernels, as well as other changes and package updates.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • The newsletter for the Debian community
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Will Remove Java From Ubuntu

            Canonical announced a few hours ago, December 15th, that it will remove all Sun JDK (Java Development Kit) packages from the Canonical Partner repository.

          • Oracle Java Dies On Ubuntu
          • MyUnity: A configuration tool for Unity
          • Puppy Linux Racy Review

            Puppy Linux is a tiny distribution that is geared towards older PCs and giving them a second life. Puppy Linux can be run from a Live CD or USB (for faster performance) or just install it onto your system.

            The software programs that come part of Puppy Linux are those that are specifically picked out to ensure that resources are not wasted while providing a productive machine. The programs that are part of Puppy you will not usually find on a distribution such as Linux Mint or Ubuntu which are geared towards more modern systems but that does not mean they are any less useful.

          • Ubuntu; apparently, a Linux apart from Linux

            When I decided to start a blog and write about Linux, I never thought that I would see this. Since this surprised me somewhat, I decided to share it.

          • Move unity launcher to the bottom with Unity Bottom Launcher | PPA Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu Squeezebox music server: update and modifications

            Six months ago I wrote about a weekend project to install the SqueezeServer Squeezebox media server on an aging PC (a Hush PC based on a 1.2 GHz Via system with 40GB hard disk and 1 GB of memory) running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS.

            This is an update. I have spent the last few months tweaking the setup and buying additional Logitech Squeezebox devices, allowing me to stream music throughout the house with the same song playing in different rooms, or each room playing different music.

          • Thunderbird 70-100% CPU idle in Ubuntu Oneiric 11.10

            Dear People From The Future
            Use gtk-theme-switch2 to change from Oxygen-Molecule to some other theme, Oxygen-Molecule caused me massive CPU usage for Thunderbird and *some* other GTK software. Oxygen-Molecule-Flat works fine.

          • Ubuntu targets smartphones, clouds

            Ubuntu 11.10 has some jagged edges and documentation isn’t easy to locate, but Canonical is certainly dreaming big with this latest update, dubbed Oneiric (dreamy) Ocelot.

          • New Canonical portal a sign of mobile to come?

            Canonical is showcasing a new effort to reach out and touch hardware manufacturers… an effort that coincides well not only with its ongoing desktop PC push, but perhaps also Canonical’s latest drive to target the mobile device market.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Pear OS Linux Panther 3 review

              Pear OS is a new Linux desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop with the graphical installer. Its development started in early August 2011 by David Tavares (from France), and on August 15 2011, Pear OS 1.0, the first version marked “stable,” was released. The latest edition, release on December 14 2011, is Pear OS Linux Panther 3.

              Though a Linux distribution running the GNOME 3 desktop, Pear OS’s desktop is fashioned after Apple’s Mac OS X, and each major version’s code name is taken from the Mac OS release with a corresponding version number. So, “Panther,” the code name of Pear OS Linux 3, is taken from the code name of Mac OS 10.3. If you have not been following Apple’s flagship operating system, each Mac OS edition is named after a big cat. Like all reviews published on this website, this one is based on test installations of the 32-bit edition of Pear OS Linux Panther 3 (a 64-bit edition is available too) in virtual environments and on real hardware.

            • Create desktop launchers in Linux Mint 12
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Timesys Expands Professional Services and Training Programs
    • Linaro scheme recognizes effort by contributors

      Linaro, the open organization focused on improving Linux on ARM, has formed the Linaro Community Contributor Process and Team. Linaro Technical Leads now have the opportunity to nominate any individual who has made sustained contributions over a significant period of time as a Community Contributor of Linaro.

    • Phones

      • How HP and Open Source Can Save WebOS
      • Android

        • Google Starts Rolling Out Android 4.0 To Nexus S

          Yesterday Google made available Galaxy Nexus in the US and today the company started rolling out Android 4.0 to its Nexus S phones.

          The Google + page of Android posted that “We’re rolling out Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, to GSM/UMTS Nexus S devices over the coming month, starting today.”

        • 6 Best Free Android FTP Tools

          File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a popular and time-honored method of transferring files to and from remote network sites and devices. FTP is built on a client-server architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and server applications. The FTP client connects to the FTP server, and enables the user to send and retrieve files from that server.

        • Pilotage Assistant LE

          Released with a GNU GPL license (see notice below), this is the application only. The distribution package contains the version 1.0 application .apk, source code, and all resources in an eclipse IDE workspace. There is a user’s guide.

        • How to: view core Android Java sources in Eclipse

Free Software/Open Source

  • EGL Goes Open Source

    Last week, IBM announced that it was taking Enterprise Generation Language (EGL) into the open-source realm with the debut of Eclipse EGL Web Developer Tools version 0.7, which is built on an open, extensible compiler and generator framework. ( You can download it and get more information here.)

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Lime: Chromium OS with extra hardware support

        Chromium OS Lime logo Following nearly a one year delay, web developer and hacker Liam “Hexxeh” McLoughlin has released new builds of Lime, a customised Chromium OS-based operating system. Chromium OS is the open source branch of Google’s Chrome OS, the company’s minimalist Linux-based operating system that is built around the Chrome web browser.

  • SaaS

  • Business

  • Funding

    • VC funding for OSS hits new high. Or does it?

      There are still a few days left for funding deals to be announced in 2011 but it is already clear that 2011 will be a record year. $672.8m has been invested in open source-related vendors in 2011, according to our preliminary figures, an increase of over 48% on 2010, and the highest total amount invested in any year, beating the previous best of $623.6m, raised in 2006.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • It’s been great!

      Hello, it’s Andrew the FSF campaigns intern. My internship is coming to a close, so I’d like to share with you what I’ve done this fall.

    • GNU Telephony plans for 2012

      Today is a good day. I just distributed ucommon 5.1.0, and a second api and utilities snapshot for what will eventually become GNU Bayonne 3.0. I think GNU Bayonne will become strategic to our goals in 2012, along with GNU SIP Witch and the GFC client. We have already discussed internally an outline and possible goals for 2012 development in GNU Telephony, and I have made preliminary plans to attend LibrePlanet2012 in March.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Salon Corporate Challenge: Goldman Sachs

      But what singles Goldman Sachs out for special opprobrium isn’t the culpability it shares with other investment banks for helping to create the financial crisis and then get bailed out with taxpayer dollars. It’s the fact that Goldman Sachs figured out, before any of its Wall Street colleagues, that the housing boom was a house of cards and the entire mortgage-backed security market was headed for a crash. Goldman wasn’t caught by surprise by the revelation that the mortgage securities it was creating were toxic junk. Quite the opposite. But instead of sending up an alarm bell and using its political influence and lobbying muscle to try to fend off the coming disaster, Goldman Sachs simply liquidated the positions in which it would be vulnerable to a downturn and started betting, instead, on the likelihood of disaster. As the Senate report acidly notes, in December 2006, “when it saw evidence that the high risk mortgages underlying many RMBS and CDO securities were incurring accelerated rates of delinquency and default, Goldman quietly and abruptly reversed course.”

    • Occupied Media: Interview With Professor William K. Black
    • Bill Black: Dante’s Divine Comedy – Banksters Edition

      Obama did not explain what Wall Street behavior he found least ethical or what unethical Wall Street actions he believed was not illegal. It would have done the world (and Obama) a great service had he been asked these questions. He would not have given a coherent answer because his thinking on these issues has never been coherent. If he had to explain his position he, and the public, would recognize it was indefensible.

      [...]

      I have explained at length in my blogs and articles why:

      • Only fraudulent home lenders made liar’s loans
      • Liar’s loans were endemically fraudulent
      • Lenders and their agents put the lies in liar’s loans
      • Appraisal fraud was endemic and led by lenders and their agents
      • Liar’s loans could only be sold through fraudulent reps and warranties
      • CDOs “backed” by liar’s loans were inherently fraudulent
      • CDOs backed by liar’s loans could only be sold through fraudulent reps and warranties
      • Liar’s loans hyper-inflated the bubble
      • Liar’s loans became roughly one-third of mortgage originations by 2006

      [...]

      As a criminologist, I do not favor sentencing criminals to the fates they richly deserve.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Walker Enlists Karl Rove Protégé to Promote New Protest Policy

      As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s new policies restricting protest in the Wisconsin capitol take effect in advance of the anniversary of 2011′s historic labor uprisings, the controversial governor has enlisted a new spokesperson to sell the rules, a 28-year old protégé of Karl Rove and new political appointee of the governor.

Links 19/12/2011: Red Hat is Up, New Chakra

Posted in News Roundup at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Systems Capacity Planning

    “Linux Systems Capacity Planning: Beyond RRD and top”, by Rodrigo Campos

    As infrastructure costs rise, there’s an urgent need to squeeze more performance from the same hardware. After several years of measuring and managing the capacity of thousands of Linux servers, we have learned that most typical tools and metrics are not sufficient to predict performance bottlenecks, particularly during traffic spikes. By using queue theory formulas and instrumenting our applications we were able to find the limits of our systems, improve reliability, and maximize throughput and performance.

  • Want a Linux Job? Learn Java or And
  • Linux Foundation shows job opportunities
  • GNFC-Intel tie-up may run into rough weather

    Surprisingly, senior officials of the state education department as also those advising Modi on the use of IT are blissfully unaware of the tie-up. “Those promoting the tie-up should know the advantage of free open source software Linux, in which schoolteachers are already being trained. In states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Linux-based software has been freely used in schools. It is easily downloadable,” the official said.

  • Desktop

    • Future of the Linux Desktop

      With the end of another year inevitable talks of the year of the Linux desktop is emerging once again. But what I’ve seen so far is all pessimism. I believe that compared to last years there is much improvement in the chances of Linux desktop in some cases. But there is also one big problem, let’s list them.

      Gaming first; with the rise of indie gaming Linux is a much better place then it was a few years ago. Recent release of Desura and popularity of various indie bundles is testament to this. Moreover, gaming consoles’ overtaking of PCs can only benefit Linux. So far, with regards of a year of Linux desktop, changes in gaming only improved Linux’s chances.

    • Google wants you to buy a Chromebook: Should you? (Review)

      Judging from all those Chromebook ads you’ve been seeing pop up on every tech. Web site known to man. Google really, really wants you to buy a Chromebook. Should you?

      I like my Samsung Chromebook, but it looks like not many people fell in love with these Chrome OS powered netbooks. So, Acer and Samsung have reduced their price from a high of $499 to $299 and Google started banging the advertising drum for Chromebooks. So, should you let the new price tempt you into getting one?

  • Server

    • Domination

      M$ was never close to dominating on servers, playing catch-up for years. Certainly they did make a dent in business databases, and authentication but there is so much more that servers can do. Apache has always been ahead of IIS:

      See Netcraft.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 lightweight Linux distros for older PCs

      The strange thing about PCs is that as they get older, even though they appear to be working fine, they can eventually become unusably slow. Successive operating systems take up more and more resources until your PC grinds to a halt.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • 5 S&P 500 Turnaround Stocks

        Red Hat (RHT): Red Hat, Inc. provides open source software solutions to enterprises worldwide. It also offers enterprise-ready open source operating system platforms. The company’s key products include Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. The stock has an ROA of 5% and an ROE of 8.38%. The company is trading with an ROIC of 8.38%. RHT is currently trading at 60.9% higher volume compared to its 10 day moving average. RHT is currently trading at $45.98, falling $0.58 or 1.25% this year.

      • Healthiest Employers of the Triangle – #11 – Red Hat
      • Employers promise jobs, seek tax breaks

        Red Hat, a North Carolina software developer best known for marketing a version of the Linux computer operating system, tentatively plans to expand its engineering headquarters in Westford in exchange for such aid.

      • Red Hat is still bound for downtown

        Business software company Red Hat remains committed to downtown Raleigh despite the uncertainty hanging over the proposed merger between Progress Energy and Duke Energy.

      • Red Hat open sources RHEV virtualization management tool
      • Analyst raises Red Hat target

        Analyst Steven Ashley of Baird Equity Research raised his 12-month price target for Red Hat this week in advance of the Linux software company’s release of its latest quarterly results.

      • Red Hat: Middleware Is Changing

        Red Hat has ended its year in business with an obligatory look forward at prospects for 2012. The company suggests that the role of middleware software as a crucial component of automating businesses processes will continue in the year ahead, but that the ways in which it plays its part will inevitably change.

      • Red Hat Higher Ahead of Earnings
      • Analysts’ Weekly Ratings Changes for Red Hat (RHT)
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 Verne with KDE – Rather nice, actually

          Fedora 16 Verne WITH the KDE desktop is a surprisingly high-quality product, much more than expected, and this is without lowering the comparison bar to Gnome 3 level. Taking all former Fedora tests into account, Verne is crash-free in all aspects. This is a pleasant change. Then, it looks good, runs fast and can be tamed easily.

          It is not without fault, and the magic is in the little details, of course. There are some half a dozen small problems and two moderately serious ones, the desktop effects and the printing, which must be sorted out. But the occasional freeze, the screensaver glitch, the Flash player behavior, the odd message here and there, and the comic strip widget bugs all remind us that Fedora is after all designed to be bleeding-edge, so issues are expected. They do not turn the desktop session sour, though, but they sure don’t make it glorious.

          Regardless, as far as Fedora goes, being what it is, the latest KDE edition is a rather solid product. It wins in the major categories – look, speed, stability. It loses some points where the spotlight shineth not, and there ought to be focus there, too. Most importantly, there are no cardinal issues or showstoppers. If you’re looking for a technology demonstrator type distro with a good balance between speed and stability, Fedora 16 Verne with KDE is a reasonable choice. I would say, 8/10, and that’s a lot coming from my biased mouth. But it sure proves one thing, that Gnome 3 is a disaster and that it must not be projected onto the distributions that bravely and yet foolishly choose to bundle their products with it.

          Bottom line, Fedora 16 Verne, KDE, stable and fast, quite polished, some rough edges, recommended to itchy power users who need a slick platform for work and testing, until they promptly discard it by the next release a mere six month away. Overall, a nice surprise, by Dedoimedo standards. Do try it.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux Testing

        The next release of Debian GNU/Linux is shaping up beautifully. There are only a few hundred bugs to go and many are pretty easy to fix. Everything’s easy when you do it right. At the rate they are going, Wheezy could be released before “8″. I think Wheezy could be released by September, 2012 and “8″ may take until November, 2012.

      • Austrian e-Health System

        They use Debian GNU/Linux on 12000 machines scattered across the country. At DebConf11 there was a presentation given about how updates to the software are done in a single night remotely. The presentation mentions a rescue system they built in case something goes wrong. They do the normal testing followed by tests on 300 accessible clients and finally the whole set. They have a variety of clients some as small as 256MB RAM and 256MB storage to 4gB RAM. They have some custom packages and they polish the Debian packages to remove all unnecessary bytes like documentation. A messaging system notifies systems updates are available and the clients poll in a staggered and randomized pattern to spread the load out through the night. Systems that are in use 24×7 have a manual polling function. To trap defective installations, watchdog timers grab applications that fail to load and re-install packages in real time. They customize the distributions so that different types of clients and different application groups are all handled by the APT package manager.

      • Derivatives

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Reflecting on 2011
  • Bottom Up Adoption: The End of Procurement as We’ve Known It

    Open Source

    In the late nineties, startups and enterprises alike were effecitvely beholden to commercial suppliers for the majority of their software needs. Because each piece of the requisite software infrastructure had to be licensed, the capital expenses associated with new initiatives was high. This represented a barrier to entry, and thus a brake on innovation.

    With the popularization of open source software, developers from enterprises and startups alike were able to operate independently. For the first time, the actual software practitioners were free to choose their own software rather than having it selected for them and subsequently imposed upon them by upper levels of management. Even in situations where the ultimate production infrastructure targets remained commercially licensed software, open source software like Linux and MySQL allowed for prototyping and rapid development without the attendant costs, both financial and in procurement latency.

    This was the first major shift affecting procurement, and perhaps the most profound. None of the infrastructure we take for granted today – Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc – were originally adopted from the top down. Their adoption was, instead, a fait accompli. CIOs – the last to know – gradually became aware that increasingly significant portions of their infrastructure, unbeknownst to them, were running on free and open source software. The inevitable demand for production support options for this software is what fueled, in time, the valuations of MySQL, Red Hat and others.

  • Events

    • A need to know

      THE use of computers and the knowledge of software and the Internet are basic needs for education with the Software Foundation of Fiji holding its first workshop on Linux for Beginners on Saturday.

  • Web Browsers

  • Funding

  • Public Services/Government

Leftovers

  • A Wayback Machine journey with BeOS R4, Zeta 1.0, and Haiku

    As the staff of Ars Technica convenes in Chicago for some infrequent face-to-face time, we’re turning the clock back to 1998. It was a time when Windows 95 ruled the desktop, preemptive multitasking on the Mac was still a gleam in Steve Jobs’ eye, enthusiasts were furiously overclocking their Celeron 300a CPUs, and the attention of geeks was distracted by a unusually bright, shiny object: BeOS.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Yet Another Goldman Investment You Shouldn’t Buy

      Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) earned a terrible reputation during the financial crisis. It ended up paying $550 million to the SEC to settle charges, admitting that it offered complex investments involving subprime mortgage-backed securities to investors — without bothering to tell them that the hedge fund that helped choose those securities also had a short position against the offering.

    • Goldman Sachs to pay $10 million to settle Nadel-related claims

      Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 12:03 p.m.
      Last Modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 6:16 p.m.

      Giant investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will pay nearly $10 million to settle claims over its handling of hedge-fund trading in the Arthur Nadel Ponzi scheme.

      The settlement, by far the single largest recovery of money for the Nadel receivership, could set the stage for other deep-pocketed companies to resolve threatened litigation in the case.

  • Privacy

    • Sen. Franken Statement on Responses from Carrier IQ, Wireless Carriers, and Handset Manufacturers

      Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) released the following statement after reviewing the responses he received from Carrier IQ, AT&T, Sprint, Samsung, and HTC regarding Carrier IQ and the use of its software.

    • Tor experiments with IPv6

      With the alpha version 0.2.3.9 of Tor, the anonymity software, Tor clients can now connect to private bridges using IPv6. According to the announcement on the Tor blog, when using IPv6, bridges still need at least one IPv4 address, as they would otherwise lose contact with other nodes in the Tor network. On the Tor Developer mailing list, Linus Nordberg describes how to set the necessary options on a Tor bridge for IPv6 operation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Universal Music claims it has a private deal with Google to take down YouTube videos it doesn’t own

        The saga of Universal Music’s war on the Mega Song (a song and video recorded by several major artists in support of the online service MegaUpload, which Universal is trying to have censored in the USA through its support of the Stop Online Piracy Act) just got weirder. Many of us were baffled that Universal kept telling YouTube to take down this video, even though it was clear they didn’t hold a copyright to it — a fact reinforced by artists like will.i.am, who insisted that he hadn’t authorized Universal to send the takedown notice.

      • Goldman Sachs to pay $10 million to settle Nadel-related claims

        The controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act legislation pending in Congress have pretty overwhelmingly focused on free speech issues (see, e.g., James Losey and Sascha Meinrath in Slate eloquently making the case again) but I think it’s worth calling into question the underlying economic premises here as well.

        It’s no secret that high-end income inequality has increased substantially over the past several decades. That’s happening for a variety of reasons. One reason, however, is that the returns to being a superstar content creator are much much higher in 2011 than they were in 1981. That’s because the potential audience is much bigger. It’s bigger because the world’s population is larger, it’s bigger because many poor countries have gotten significantly less poor, and it’s bigger because the fall of Communism has expanded the practical market reach of big entertainment conglomerates. At the same time, the cost of producing digital media content has fallen thanks to improved computers and information technology. Now step back and ask yourself why we have copyright in the first place. Well, it’s because policymakers think that absent government-created monopolies there won’t be adequate financial incentives to go out and create new content. That’s not a crazy thing to believe. But the implication is that if globalization and technology drive the returns to content ownership up, we need less IP protection. Instead, we’ve consistently gotten more. Copyright terms have been extended. Copyright terms have been extended retroactively. We’ve added “anti-circumvention” rules. And now we’re talking about SOPA and Protect IP. But why? What’s the policy problem being addressed here?

12.16.11

Links 16/12/2011: Kororaa 16, Puppy Linux 5.3.1

Posted in News Roundup at 1:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • British ISP deploys open source virtualization

    A telecommunications firm in Britain is supporting its Internet subscribers using the Ubuntu Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor, open source management software from Convirture and an approach to virtual machine clustering that shuns live migration.

  • SproutCore 2.0 becomes Ember.js
  • Ten years of Rockbox

    Just in time for its 10th birthday, the developers of Rockbox have released version 3.10 of their alternative open source firmware for digital audio players. Rockbox is mainly used on older MP3 players – including devices from Apple, Archos, Cowon, iRiver, SanDisk and Toshiba – and aims to be “considerably more functional and efficient” than the standard device firmware.

  • How to Leverage Your Open Source Skills in the Changing Job Market

    For countless people who are about to start a new year unemployed, this year’s top resolution will be finding a job. We’ve reported before on how acquiring skills with open source technologies can be an effective differentiator or the job seeker. Just this past week, more evidence that this is true has rolled in, and in this post you’ll also find some of OStatic’s best collected resources for leveraging open source skills for employment.

  • Free Tools and Resources for Doing A Deep Dive on Linux

    One of the biggest complaints that many people have about open source software is that there isn’t adequate documentation. On the Linux front, though, there is surprisingly rich information available for free online on moving from being a beginner to an advanced user. Whether you’re new to Linux, or a seasoned Linux administrator, you can find hugely helpful resources online, without paying anything. Here is our most recently updated collection of top free resources for Linux.

  • Big Winners and Losers of 2011

    A few people are saying KDE is a winner for 4.7. Folks seem to like that version. It might be time for me to brave away from 4.6, especially since my Aggregator has starting crashing lately.

    Another outlier even mentioned Slackware for remaining relevant. Well, his exact words were, “Slackware for continuing to be powerful, rock-solid and fast.” Gotta love the Slack. This same commenter also put Novell in the big loser column with, “Novell for selling their soul.” I’m not sure I agree with that. When I think of Novell selling their soul, I think more of the Microsoft deal than the Attachmate acquisition.

  • Is Your Company New to Open Source? Here’s Where to Start

    Over the past year, we’ve been working on a number of projects to help those who want to more closely participate in the Linux community, but don’t know where to start.

    First, there’s the Linux Foundation Training program. We’ve continued to add courses as new needs arise, and have had the opportunity to give on-site training to many companies over the past year. While much of our content is on improving technical skills (e.g. “Developing Linux Device Drivers,” “Embedded Linux Development,” “Advanced Linux Performance Tuning”), we have also added courses on being more effective when working with open communities. “How to Participate with the Linux Community” is a roadmap of sorts for developers and managers who are comfortable with the technology, but need some guidance in understanding the Linux kernel community processes. (A related guide on participating with the Linux community is also available.)

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • ownCloud Open Source Storage Launches Commercial Entity
    • ownCloud Transforms Into A Company, Appoints CEO, CTO

      ownCloud, the open source file-sharing project which enables individuals to create their own local cloud, has evolved into a company. Former SUSE/Novell executive Markus Rex is joining the company as its first CEO and CTO. ownCloud has more than 350,000 users around the globe. The company is opening its a HQ in Boston, USA.

    • OpenStack security analysis: Pros and cons of open source cloud software

      I’ve been asked to provide a brief security analysis of the OpenStack open source cloud computing platform and whether our enterprise should pursue it as the basis for our cloud infrastructure build-out. My initial assessment is that, like with Apache and Linux, the open nature of the platform allows security flaws to be found and fixed quickly, which helps decrease the likelihood of exploits. Do you agree? What other OpenStack security points (pro and con) are worth considering?

    • Latest MapR 1.2 Distribution Prepares for a New Hadoop

      The astonishing speed at which the “big data” processing industry is evolving dwarfs anything we’ve ever seen with regard to software. Problems that stymied the best engineers just 18 short months ago are now commonplace tasks for modern data centers. Already, the systems envisioned by Google’s and Yahoo’s engineers are being prepared for the history books, as 2012 should bring forth the second generation of open source, scalable, big data processing.

  • Databases

  • Education

    • Inside NYSCATE: Moodle, GIMP, and other open source in education

      As an educator, trained Linux systems administrator, and technology director for a K-12 school district, I have been actively involved with NYSCATE (The New York State Association for Computers and Technologies in Education), a non-profit organization that works to lead the transformation of teaching and learning through technology. It’s been 20 years since I attended my first NYSCATE conference, and the conference’s open source presence has taken many different forms.

  • Business

    • CloudBees launches Enterprise version of Jenkins

      Platform-as-a-Service provider CloudBees has released Jenkins Enterprise, a version of its continuous integration (CI) software designed for use in businesses. The service goes beyond the open source Jenkins community’s Long Term Support (LTS) release and provides enhancements for large installations, resource management, and access rights management; to this end, CloudBees has developed a variety of enterprise plugins. Customers who purchase Jenkins Enterprise also gain access to the company’s other proprietary products.

  • Project Releases

    • GIMP 2.7.4 Released, Install In Ubuntu

      GIMP team has announced the release of GIMP 2.7.4. This release does’t bring any major changes and is mainly minor improvements and bug fixes release. Most improvements are related to user interface and usability. The GIMP team is now looking at version 2.8 and it is expected, depending on amount of bugs, that this could be the last version before 2.8 release candidates and 2.8 itself.

    • Nagios fork Icinga 1.6 records SLA information

      The developers behind Icinga, which forked from Nagios two-and-a-half years ago, have released version 1.6 of the network monitoring software. This was quickly followed by version 1.6.1 released in response to a bug. Major changes in the new version include extended logging capabilities in the Classic UI and Core designed to make troubleshooting easier and increasing the performance of notifications. The developers have also added the ability to assign expiry times to acknowledgement, making use of an idea from a recent feedback poll.

    • TYPO3 publishes Security Guide for web site owners

      The TYPO3 Security Guide is available to view online or to download in DocBook or OpenOffice.org Writer format. Like the project’s other official documentation, the Security Guide is published under the Open Content License; the source code for TYPO3 is licensed under the GPL

    • Some Cerowrt updates
    • DNSCrypt: a tool to encrypt all DNS traffic

      DNS service provider OpenDNS has announced a preview release of a new open source tool to improve internet security: DNSCrypt encrypts all DNS traffic between a user’s system and a DNS server. The tool is currently only available for the Mac, with a Windows version promised, and only works with OpenDNS’s own DNS service. Normally, DNS information is exchanged between client and server as plain text which makes it vulnerable to snooping or modification and man-in-the-middle attacks. By encrypting the exchange, OpenDNS hopes to make the “last mile” of DNS requests more secure.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 3.6-Arendal Released
  • Licensing

    • Tips on picking right OSS license

      Open source software (OSS), like any other software, is protected by copyright and its usage is governed under a license. As such, it is important enterprises pay attention to considerations, such as how much freedom they need with regard to developing on the source code or whether they plan to monetize the software, before deciding which license to use.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Creative Commons 4.0 process starts

      The Creative Commons project has announced the beginning of the process leading to version 4.0 of its license suite.

    • Open Data

      • Open Government Platform: first source code made available

        This first code that has been released concerns the tools needed to set up an automated process for publishing data on the platform; this Data Management System handles the submission and approval of data and the updating of the catalogues of data on the Open Government Platform. The next set of data that will come from India’s National Informatics Centre relates to providing web site access to the platform. The two countries are encouraging developers to get involved and provide feedback, new modules and capabilities.

  • Programming

    • DragonEgg 3.0 Puts GCC & LLVM In One Bed

      LLVM 3.0 was released last week as a major update to this increasingly popular open-source compiler infrastructure. With the release of LLVM 3.0 proper also came major updates to the Clang C/C++ compiler front-end and the DragonEgg GCC plug-in (here are the exciting LLVM3 changes). In this article is a look at DragonEgg for LLVM 3.0 that plugs into GCC to replace its optimizers and code generators with those from LLVM.

    • jQuery developers come clean on plugin site

      The developers behind the jQuery plugins site have come clean – in a blog posting, they explain what happened to the jQuery plugins site. It went down around a week ago with only a message saying that the old site had issues with spam and was being reworked with a new submission process. In fact, what had happened was that, in an attempt to clean the spam using Drupal Views Bulk Operations, all the plugins were deleted, and all that they had was a year old backup. “In an ideal world, this certainly wouldn’t have happened exactly as it did. Sadly, it did” said the developers, who asked for forgiveness and “maybe even a hand” developing a completely new plugins site for the jQuery community.

    • qooxdoo 1.6 JavaScript framework gains offline features

      Five months after the arrival of 1.5, version 1.6 of qooxdoo has been released. Project Lead Andreas Ecker says that the update to the open source “Universal JavaScript Framework” includes a number of “substantial improvements” and new features.

      The 1.6 release of qooxdoo adds support for applications going offline. qooxdoo makes use of local/session storage and offline event technology and adds an offline event handler and offline data store to simplify using those facilities. This allows developers to create apps that can pre-cache data and will work without an internet connection; a feedreader demo app with offline support is provided.

Leftovers

  • Genode Aims To Produce A General Purpose OS

    2012 could be an especially interesting year for open-source software with continued advancements in the area of open-source drivers, prominent announcements, major software releases like GIMP 2.8 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and much more. Another event to look forward to next year is a new operating system release built atop the unique Genode Operating System Framework.

  • Science

    • Soon You May Be Able To Store 1TB Data On Your Android Devices

      Intel [NASDAQ:INTC] and Micron has announced a new benchmark in NAND flash technology – the world’s first 20 nanometer (nm), 128 gigabit (Gb), multilevel-cell (MLC) device. The new 20nm monolithic 128Gb device is claimed to be the first in the industry to enable a terabit (Tb) of data storage in a fingertip-size package by using just eight die.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Old Oil Depletes, And the New Oil is Slow

      Exxon Mobil has released its 2012 Outlook for Energy: A view to 2040 report. I actually find these industry forecasts helpful, especially for their nuanced contrast with comparable long-range reports from EIA Washington and IEA Paris. For example, I find Exxon’s view that oil will retain its role as the primary energy source—not to be eclipsed by either natural gas or coal—unrealistic. But this is the same view held by IEA and EIA. Where Exxon is more on track however, is in their call that growth in global coal consumption rises very strongly through the end of this decade. This is the call I would have expected IEA and EIA to make as well. Given current trends, I explained as much in Coal’s Terrible Forecast: Because it is coal, not oil, that is steadily growing in supply. And you can’t increase consumption of a resource whose supply has been flat, for the past six years.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • What’s So Bad About SOPA?

      SOPA has been making the rounds of headlines across the internet and print media this last couple weeks. It is a bill to criminalize “illegal” content online. So, someone posts a snippet of a song owned by a record company on your website, and you are now a criminal. You are not just a person with a legal dispute between you and someone else. The Federal Government is also standing between you and that someone else.

      This represents a dramatic shift in copyright law in recent years. At its inception, copyright law was designed as a civil matter. If a copyright holder felt their material was used illegally, the holder was granted the right to take any offenders to court, at their own expense, as one would do over a contract dispute.

      Criminal matters are intended to be those issues that threaten the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of the general public. For issues where the interests of only a few select entities are at stake, our once wise Constitutional legislators designated those issues as civil matters.

    • U.S. House Discusses SOPA Bill Today, As Tech Opponents Express Opposition

      The U.S. House of Representatives has set aside time today to discuss the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), as we covered here. Members of the House Judiciary Committee will debate the proposed legislation, and Judiciary chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) will reportedly try to address strong concerns from the technology community about the bill. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has said that the bill would: “….grant the government and private parties unprecedented power to interfere with the Internet’s domain name system (DNS). The government would be able to force ISPs and search engines to redirect or dump users’ attempts to reach certain websites’ URLs.” With the discussion looming today, many new organizations are coming out in opposition of the bill, or firming up existing opposition.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Links 16/12/2011: Red Hat Upgraded, Android Everywhere

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Top 5 Linux Predictions for 2012

    There will continue to be discussions and debates about Linux on the desktop, including popularity, vitality, usability, commercial connections and more, which is good for users and vendors. However, based on trends in cloud, mobile and consumer computing, Linux should and will move to these areas, leaving its longstanding low use on the desktop as it is.

  • Linux Professional Institute Appoints Director of Member Services
  • Desktop

    • Is Linux finally ready for the desktop?

      If this sort of initiative gains momentum, will it finally see Linux make it to the mainstream market for desktop computers? And if so, is it too late? Nowadays the tech-media would have us believe that everything is shifting into the cloud. The tablet and the mobile phone have become king. The desktop computer is dead. In this article, I want to look at some of these claims and see whether Linux has any hope as a mainstream desktop operating system.

  • Server

    • What’s next with hypervisors?

      The world of hypervisors is complicated by the fact that there are proprietary and open source tools and the latter are often pressed into service in different ways, say nothing of the fact that the whole market is evolving quickly. To get a handle on recent developments, Network World Editor in Chief John Dix corralled a panel of experts to assess where we are today and where we’re going. The experts included Al Gillen, an analyst IDC who tracks virtualization developments, Kerry Kim, director of solutions marketing at SUSE, and Adam Jollans, program director of IBM’s Linux and Open Virtualization Strategy.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux XFS Defragmentation

      There is a lot of debate over whether or not one should defragment file systems on Linux. Frankly, in most cases fragmentation of Linux file systems is probably not a problem. However, in a very few cases fragmentation might be a problem. When such a scenario has arisen is up to the reader of this article to decide. Recently here at ERACC we experienced access / speed degradation of the XFS file system on a heavily used /home partition. Part of the problem was that the file system was over 90% full. Another part of the problem was when we checked it with xfs_db the file system was roughly 20% fragmented. Besides cleaning up the file system by deleting and archiving old data from user’s directories, we came up with a defragmenation strategy for the entire server. This script is the result:

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Releases CUDA 4.1: CUDA Goes LLVM and Open Source (Kind Of)

        Since starting their GPU Technology Conference in 2010, NVIDIA has expanded into several events so that they can hold events in Europe and Asia. The next flagship GTC will be in San Jose in May, but NVIDIA’s #2 conference, GTC Asia, is occurring this week in Beijing. As with GTC America, GTC Asia serves several purposes for the company: a research symposium, a developer training program, and of course a platform for NVIDIA to announce new GPU computing products and initiatives.

      • AMD Catalyst 2011 Driver Year In Review

        With AMD having published the Catalyst 11.12 driver yesterday, the year is now complete as far as their graphics drivers are concerned. As such, for the sixth year, it’s time for the year-in-review articles looking at how the NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers have matured over the past twelve months in terms of features and OpenGL performance.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE and LightDM revisited.

      LightDM is a login manager (think KDM/GDM) for Linux, it is written in a way that is completely backend/frontend independent so we can share our the complex parts with our Gnome friends, whilst keeping KDE UI layers on top. It is currently the default display manager in Ubuntu, and the front end they’ve made looks gorgeous.

      There are two parts I’ve been working on, Qt bindings for LightDM which means anyone can easily write a whole new front end method in Qt, and a KDE front end using all the best KDE tech. The library has been majorly rewritten and the KDE front end has undergone a lot of work in the past few weeks..

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • From beginner to Gentoo developer

        This is my first step in blogging universe. I did that never before and hope my english isn’t to bad. The reason, why i decided to blog from now on, is that i reached the Gentoo developer state. Which gives me the chance to get a central theme to write. My personal goal is at least one post per month, maybe a little bit more if there is something i want to share. For sure the content of this blog won’t be Gentoo only related.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat To Provide Weather-Prediction Data For Pattern Energy

        Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions, says wind energy and transmission company Pattern Energy Group LP is using Red Hat Storage’s technology to manage weather-prediction data, including for wind farms.

      • Goldman Sachs Reiterates Neutral, $55 target on Red Hat

        Goldman Sachs maintains its Neutral rating and $55 price target on Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) ahead of 3QFY2012 preview and as company continues to execute in a tough environment.

      • UPDATE: Stifel Nicolaus Maintains Buy, Raises PT to $56 on Red Hat
      • Red Hat Q3 Earnings Preview

        For the fiscal year, analysts are projecting earnings of 78 cents per share.

      • Red Hat CFO: We have a Plan B if Duke-Progress merger faces complications

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), which employs about 800 people in Raleigh, plans on moving its headquarters from Centennial Campus to the Two Progress Plaza building in downtown Raleigh starting in mid-year 2012. The process would take at least six months.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Wins on Samsung Netbooks

          I currently own two Samsung netbooks (an N150 Plus and an NF310). Following up on some information from Moley (thanks), I found that most Linux distributions have a lot of trouble with the display brightness control on both of them. The most obvious and severe symptom is that when running on battery power they will sometimes (often) suddenly start to run the display brightness all the way up and down its range continuously. Not nice. A secondary problem, not quite so severe, is that the Fn-key control for display brightness is often erratic, and on some distributions doesn’t work at all.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – December 14th, 2011

        * Volunteers needed for publicity team
        * Removal of sun-java6 from the archive
        * Debian SDL packaging team revival
        * Bits from the DPL
        * Ubuntu appreciates Debian
        * India mini-DebConf, Mangalore edition
        * New mirror in El Salvador
        * Debexpo maintainers call for contributions
        * Bug Squashing Party marathon started
        * Call for talks: FOSDEM 2012
        * New s390 buildd at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
        * Further interviews
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu-related Xmas Gift Ideas

            Whether you’re stuck on gift ideas for the Linux loving folks in your life, playing secret Santa in the Office, or keen to add something to your own xmas list, the handful of ideas below might help.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint Agree Amazon Revenue Share

              Linux Mint have agreed to split the revenue generated from Banshee’s MP3 Store plugin with ‘upstream’.

            • Xubuntu 11.10. It Came To Stay

              I repeatedly tell on my blog that my laptop has quadro-boot landscape. It became so when I first installed Linux on my hard drive (really installed, not frugal installation that I had for SLAX and Puppy).

              [...]

              And then Xubuntu came. I tried it recently for the first time, and liked it so much that fate of hard drive’s partition was decided.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android-ready ARM mini-HTPC costs $130, uses just three Watts

      Solid-Run is shipping an open source mini-PC platform for developing Android TV and media center apps. Measuring 2.17 x 2.17 x 1.65 inches and consuming less than three Watts, the CuBox runs Android 2.2 or Linux 2.6 on an 800MHz Marvell Armada 510 CPU, has 1GB of DDR3 memory and a microSD slot, and includes eSATA, USB, infrared, S/PDIF, HDMI, and gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

    • Pogoplug gains USB 3.0, SATA ports

      Pogoplug announced a new version of its Linux-based file-sharing and backup device. The Pogoplug Series 4 adds more local storage options, including two USB 3.0 ports and a SATA port compatible with Universal Storage Module-compliant devices such as SeaGate GoFlex hard disk drives.

    • Refurbed Boxee Boxes now $99 at Best Buy

      Refurbished D-Link Boxee Boxes are currently being offered by BestBuy.com for $99, with free shipping, although it’s not known how many are available or for how long the opportunity will last. Check it out!

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Media player box runs Android

          Nixeus Technology announced an Android 2.2-based multimedia player selling for as low as $160. Offering 1080p playback, web browsing, and third-party Android app downloads, the Nixeus Fusion XS Network Media Player includes a dual-core, 900MHz Marvell Armada 1000 system on chip (SoC), an Ethernet port, dual USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and audio I/O.

        • Galaxy Nexus to cost $299 at Verizon, report says

          When Verizon Wireless’ version of the Galaxy Nexus finally launches, it will cost consumers $299.99 with a two-year contract, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

        • Android Market Download Crosses 10 Billion Mark

          Google has announced that Android Market has exceeded 10 billion app downloads. Google claims that its the growth rate of one billion app downloads per month.

        • Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus to finally launch tomorrow for $299.99

          Verizon Wireless on Wednesday finally announced the upcoming launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The world’s first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone with 4G LTE support will become available beginning tomorrow for $299.99 with a new two-year service agreement. BGR reviewed the international version of the Galaxy Nexus last month and called it the best Android device in the world, offering a more cohesive user experience than previous Android builds as well as solid hardware and an amazing screen.

        • 7 Music Player Apps for Android That Rock

          Android Market is all over the news for the stupendous growth it managed to achieve in such a short span of time. Searching for the right applications in Android Market, with over 600,000+ apps already, is a classic needle-in-a-haystack problem. We have already pitched in to help you choose the right set of Siri alternatives and top launchers for Android from that burgeoning list of apps, now let’s take a sneak peek into the best music player apps available for Android.

        • Nine-inch Android tablet sells for $280

          E-Fun announced a nine-inch Android 2.3 tablet for $280. The Nextbook Premium 9 is equipped with a 1GHz Rockchips RK2918 processor, 4GB of storage, a two-megapixel camera, and a 1280 x 800-pixel capacitive display, says the company.

        • Via announces Android support for x86 SBC

          Via Technologies demonstrated Android 2.2 on an Em-ITX single board computer (SBC) equipped with a 1.2GHz dual-core Nano X2 E processor. Running Android on an x86 platform offers increased I/O, performance, and cost-saving advantages for embedded applications such as in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and interactive kiosks, Via claims.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • More Android 4.0 tablets tipped, including a Cortex-A15 model

        Coby Electronics says it will unveil five tablets running Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”) at the CES show in Las Vegas, with shipments due in 1Q 2012. Meanwhile, Samsung is readying an Android 4.0 tablet for early 2012, offering 2560 x 1600 resolution and based on its Cortex A15-based Exynos 5250 processor, and Toshiba is prepping an “Excite” tablet running Android 4.0 on a TI OMAP4430 for February release, say reports.

      • Acer releases second-gen Android tablet
      • OLPC To Start Pre-Pilot For Helicopter Deployments In 3 Weeks

        Ever since Nicholas Negroponte started announcing that OLPC would parachute XOs into remote villages many people have asked whether he could possibly be serious about this. It seems like we now have an answer thanks to an interview he did with New Scientist (registration required to access the full article, at the moment the full text is also available here).

      • Tabulating 7-inch Android tablets

        In preparation for reviewing ViewSonic’s low-cost 7-inch Android tablet, this post tabulates the key features and specifications of five 7-inch Android tablets. The comparison includes ViewSonic’s ViewPad 7e and 7x, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, and Barns & Noble’s Nook Tablet.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google’s ANGLE certified as OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant

    Google’s open source ANGLE, the “Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine” which brings OpenGL ES 2.0 support to Windows without relying on OpenGL drivers, has passed the complete test suite for the OpenGL ES 2.0 specification. Version 1.0 of ANGLE has also been certified as a compliant OpenGL ES 2.0 implementation. The certification was announced by Vangelis Kokkevis, Software Engineer for the Chromium project, writing on the Chromium blog.

  • Open Source Datamining for Social Media Accounts with ThinkUp

    Proprietary social networking platforms have a few distinct issues for free software users, but one of the biggest is that it is often hard — if not impossible — to extract your information from them. With Twitter, for example, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page and wait for more tweets to load via JavaScript, but you can’t sort and analyze them yourself. But that’s exactly what the open source application ThinkUp does for you.

  • 2011′s Tribulations and Triumphs for FOSS

    “I think Google is the biggest FLOSS story of 2011,” said blogger Robert Pogson. “IBM and Red Hat and Dell and ASUS all did good things for FLOSS, but Google is the first one to drive a wedge into the heart of darkness: retail shelves monopolized by M$. … Nothing ensures the success of FLOSS like its ubiquity and popularity amongst ordinary people.”

  • Open source is not a dumping ground

    One of the unfortunate by-products of HP’s decision to shift webOS to an open source project is the notion that somehow webOS has been “dumped”–cast aside or buried in the open source graveyard.

    I was just wondering… when did it become okay to consider open source a dead-end option?

    Not to go all Pollyanna on all these pundits, but I would think that the historical open source success rate would at the very least see open source as an equivalent alternative to proprietary development practices–not as some kind of downgrade. (If I were not holding back, I would even argue that open source development is a better goal for which to strive. But, for the purposes of this discussion, I will settle for equality.)

  • Why We Need to Pay for Linux/FOSS

    If you rely heavily on open source software, should you be expected to contribute financially to its success? What if the project coordinator is specifically seeking out donations to keep things afloat?

    These are questions that I think most of us avoid. I believe that this avoidance might make sense to some end users, since no one wants to spend money where they don’t have to.

    In this article, I will point out how this way of thinking is why so many promising projects don’t last over the long term. While some open source projects manage to find successful ways of funding themselves, many others do not – a loss for all Linux users.

  • Levelling the playing field for procurement of open source solutions
  • Can open source save the planet?

    Ambitious open source projects are nothing new. After all, the free software movement started with the GNU project – the creation of free tools to build a free operating system – which at one point many would have considered an impossible dream.

    However, the participants in the Open Source Ecology project take ambition to new heights. The project takes the principles that were developed originally by the open source software movement and later the experiments with open source hardware, and applies them to developing an environmentally friendly society by creating open source tools capable of building sustainable communities – pretty much from scratch, using recycled and scrap materials.

  • Open source doesn’t repeal laws of economics

    After failing in its webOS strategy, HP has announced plans to use it to create an open source project. This is an example of what (in our 2006 paper) Scott Gallagher and I called a “spin-out” strategy by firms to find a home for a technology they no longer wish to control.

  • Events

    • Embodying the spirit of the LCA volunteer

      Thirteen years have gone by since the first Australian national Linux conference was held, but the event is still driven by the same category of people: volunteers.

      A great many things are organised very professionally, but it’s all done by people who have boundless enthusiasm and who work selflessly, often for a whole year, just to make sure that things run on schedule.

    • ELC and OSCON seek conference submissions

      The Linux Foundation’s CE Linux Forum (CELF) workgroup announced a call for participation (CFP) for this year’s Embedded Linux Conference (ELC), to be held Feb. 15-17, 2012, in Redwood Shores, California, with submissions due Jan. 6. O’Reilly Media, meanwhile, issued its own CFP, due Jan. 12, for its Open Source Convention (OSCON) 2012, scheduled for July 16-20, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Project Releases

    • GIMP 2.7.4 Released As a Precursor To Stable 2.8

      A new version of GIMP – the free graphics suite par excellence – has been released. GIMP ver 2.7.4 , which is termed as an unstable release leading to a stable version 2.8 sometime in January next year, brings a lot of new features.

    • GIMP 2.7.4 arrives for testing

      The GIMP development team has released version 2.7.4 of its open source GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) image editing software. Aimed at developers, testers and early adopters, the fourth point update to the 2.7.x branch is an unstable development snapshot that fixes bugs found in the previous release and includes changes to the user interface.

    • gThumb, The Image Viewer Gets Update

      gThumb, an image viewer for Gnome has his the version 2.14.1. gThumb is a light weight image viewer which comes handy if you are going through images and want to delete bad once while viewing them. You can’t do the same with Shotwell the image viwer that comes with Ubuntu. Another advantage of using gThumb is that you can open the image with other tools such as GIMP by right clicking on the image — shotwell lacks this ability. But, then Shotwell also comes with tools to edit images, which gThumb misses. Shotwell can also download images from your cameras. Anyway, each app has its own advantage and disadvantage. I prefer gThumb as when I go through my images I want to be able to delete the bad ones while I am going through them. Since I extensively use GIMP so ‘open with’ feature also comes handy.

    • Blender 2.61 Released

      The Blender Foundation today announced the release of Blender 2.61, the first bugfix update in the 2.6 series. Blender is an Open Source 3D graphic and animation application made famous for being used to create the first Open Source movie Elephants Dream and the Yo Frankie! video game. It has been used to create television commercials and Hollywood movies. Blender is quality Open Source Software at its finest.

    • GNU Stow 2.1.2 released
    • GNU Stow also available via CPAN
  • Openness/Sharing

    • OpenStreetMap calls for donations

      The open mapping service OpenStreetMap has launched an appeal for funds to finance the purchase of a new server. The main components for OpenStreetMap are currently hosted on several small servers held in the Imperial and UCL colleges of London University. The OpenStreetMap Foundation now feels that it is necessary to buy a new server to improve the system’s reliability and performance.

Leftovers

  • DuckDuckGo Doesn’t Show Leading Open Source Projects, Google Does

    We recently covered a story about LinuxMint using DuckDuckGo as the default search engine. The LinuxMint project will generate revenue through DDG. We do support LinuxMint and have nothing against them using DDG as the default search engine.

    However, the primary goal of a search engine is to show relevant results. We are aware that Microsoft’s Bing doesn’t show quite a lot of open source projects on the first page. LibreOffice, the default office suite of all major GNU/Linux based operating systems is missing from Bing’s first page.

  • SCO’s Reply to IBM’s Opposition to SCO’s Move to Partly Reopening the Case ~pj

    SCO has now filed its reply to IBM’s opposition to SCO’s motion to partly reopen the case. Guess what its argument is? To paraphrase, they say, What? Not fair? Who cares? Bankruptcy court lets us go ahead while tying IBM’s hands behind its back, so we want to do it that way. Besides, it’s not unfair, because IBM could have asked for relief from the stay, but it didn’t. It’s not SCO’s responsibility to help IBM advance its claims.

  • Judge Sam Has Now Recused Himself from SCO v. IBM ~pj
  • Judge Waddoups Also Recuses Himself from SCO v. IBM ~ pj

    Judge David Sam gets the hot potato now. I can’t tell if the problem is that nobody seems eager to take this case or if it’s just that Utah is a small and narrow world, so intertwined that it’s hard to find an impartial judge.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Teenager Who Changed My Life

      It was four years ago today that I received a phone call from a Los Angeles TV reporter that would change my life, although I certainly didn’t realize it at the time.

      The reporter said she had been told that CIGNA, the big health insurer I worked for back then, was refusing to pay for a liver transplant for a 17-year-old girl, even though her doctors at UCLA believed it would save her life and her family’s policy covered transplants.

      I didn’t pay much attention to the call at first, because as chief spokesman for the company, I had received many calls over the years from reporters seeking comment about benefit denials. We took them seriously, but usually didn’t have to do more than tell the inquiring reporters we couldn’t comment substantively because of patient confidentiality restrictions. If pressed, we’d email a statement to the reporter briefly noting that we covered procedures deemed medically necessary and that patients and their doctors could appeal a denial if they disagreed with a coverage decision.

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Sludge Industry Reveals “Resource Recovery” Spin

      The Water Environment Federation (WEF), the sewage sludge industry trade group that invented the Orwellian PR euphemism “biosolids” for toxic sludge in 1991, is now “rebranding” sewage treatment plants as “water resource recovery facilities.” The PR spin conveniently glosses over the toxic sewage sludge removed from the water and then heated and dumped on land for crops and grazing as “fertilizer” or misleadingly called “compost.” The toxins in sludge can then bioaccumulate in the meat and dairy we eat and be taken up by the food plants that feed us.

  • Finance

    • JPMorgan Chase Greedwashes Reputation with “American Giving Awards”

      As the New York Times media reporter, Brian Stelter, noted on Saturday, December 9, NBC agreed to broadcast a two-hour television show fully funded and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase called the “American Giving Awards.” The program, which aired this weekend, showcased solely recipients of charitable donations from Chase, featured commercials for Chase and reminded viewers constantly throughout the broadcast that the entire event was “presented by Chase.” NBC presented the show under the guise of a heartwarming holiday season special, but it was really a promotional/advertising event emblematic of a troubling trend among big businesses of creating their own media and disguising it as entertainment. As Lisa Graves, the Center for Media and Democracy’s Executive Director told the New York Times, the show is a “greed-washing campaign to score PR points.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Color of Change Targets ALEC Corporations

      Color of Change has launched a campaign encouraging corporations that rely on business from African-Americans to stop funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which promotes voter ID legislation that suppresses the black vote.

  • Privacy

    • ICO warns: Just six months to comply with EC cookie rules

      The Information Commissioner’s Office won’t begin enforcing the new cookies law for another six months yet – in the meantime, the regulator has issued a reminder to web outfits warning them to prepare to comply with the legislation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dutch Collection Society Found To Be Source Of Infringing Content

        Remember the story about the composer who found his music featured in anti-piracy ads and had a difficult time getting paid out, triggering a corruption scandal at collection society Buma/Stemra? It was obviously a bit ironic that the music in question was used in anti-piracy ads, but it appears the irony truck forgot to unload a package – filled to the brim with humiliation.

      • Software Freedom Law Center Asks U.S. Librarian of Congress for DMCA Exemption ~pj – Updated

        This is timely. Just as we are all reading about Carrier IQ, with our eyes wide in horror and our jaws on the ground, the Software Freedom Law Center has announced that it has filed comments [PDF] with the US Librarian of Congress, asking for an exemption to the DMCA, so that users can legally control their own devices — have the legal authority to control what software is installed, including being able to install a completely free operating system, and be able to remove whatever is not desired.

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