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11.28.11

Links 28/11/2011: Linux 3.2 RC3, VectorLinux 7.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Visit to Brazil

    I was checking out DuckDuckGo search engine and used its setting to prefer .br and found VivaOLinux. It is a GNU/Linux-friendly site and I did not find any trolls in my brief visit. How refreshing. It’s in the top 10K sites in Netcraft stats. Compare that with DesktopLinux.com in USA which just scrapes by to get in the top million sites.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Review: Thumbs-Up On Oracle Database Appliance

      If you thought the past 10 years had brought forth an explosion of data — particularly when it comes to SMBs — just wait for the next 10. With mobile devices becoming incredibly powerful data collection devices, and with social media, new use patterns and more powerful processing, database technologies would appear to face a ton of challenges.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Linux Distributions

      As a Linux user, I am sure, you will be interested to know which is the most popular Linux distribution. Till recently, if you go by Distrowatch stats, Ubuntu ruled the roost as the most popular Linux distribution. However, after Ubuntu team made a switch to the Unity interface, its popularity has declined considerably.

    • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: 10 Custom Linux Distros That Ease IT Administrators` Workload
    • New Releases

      • Download CRUX 2.7.1 With Linux Kernel 2.6.39.4
      • Parted Magic update brings fixes for multi-boot CD issues

        A new version of Parted Magic, simply labelled “2011_11_24″, has been released. According to the release announcement post on the project’s News page, the update to the open source, multi-platform partitioning tool includes the 3.1.2 Linux kernel and brings “some major changes that might cause some issues with the Multi-Boot-CD crowd”.

      • VectorLinux 7.0 Standard Gold

        The final release of VectorLinux 7.0 (code name ‘GG’) is now available. This release is the result of nearly two years of blood sweet and tears since the very successful release of VectorLinux 6.0. With the enthusiasm of a small group of packagers, our repository now hosts over a thousand up to date packages. VectorLinux is the fastest Linux desktop in it’s class bar none. We have exceeded our original goals of VectorLinux 7 and produced a beautiful, full featured stable desktop that is fun, fast and efficient.

      • VectorLinux 7.0 goes gold after two years

        The developers of the compact VectorLinux distribution have announced that, nearly two years after the release of version 6.0, they have released version 7.0 of their operating system. Described as “the fastest Linux desktop in its class bar none” by its developers, VectorLinux 7.0, code-named “GG”, sports a desktop based on Xfce-4.8, with an option to use FluxBox as an alternative desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 Alpha 1 released for testing

        The Mageia project has announced the release of a first alpha of version 2.0 of its Mandriva Linux community fork. According to the Development Planning schedule, the first milestone will be followed by two more alpha releases, two betas and a release candidate; the final version is expected to arrive on 3 May 2012.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • fslinux_build: Debian Custom Build Script
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu penguins build Linux TV challenge

            Open-sourcers are taking Ubuntu Linux in the direction of Google TV and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

            A list of priorities for something called Ubuntu TV have been thrashed out by Ubuntu developers with the blessing of Mark Shuttleworth. The Ubuntu daddy has corralled the points here.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 screenshot preview
            • The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 12 (Lisa)
            • DistroWatch: Ubuntu Drops, Linux Mint Still On Top
            • CrunchBang Linux 10 R20111125 Available for Download
            • CrunchBang 10 update goes exclusively OpenBox

              Developer Philip Newborough has announced the release of an updated image of CrunchBang 10 “Statler” R20101205, a Linux distribution based on Debian Squeeze; CrunchBang 10 was originally released in March 2011.

              This release has some new additions but mainly focuses on the removal and cleaning up of the distribution. Previously, “Statler” was available with either the lightweight Openbox window manager or XFCE. But Newborough says that he wants to concentrate on giving “the best out-of-the-box Openbox experience possible” and, to that end, has retired the Xfce version as “there are plenty of brilliant Xfce based distributions available”.

            • Linux Mint 12: A Great desktop Linux stays Great

              Installing Mint is a snap. All you need do is download the ISO, burn it to a CD, DVD, or USB stick and then re-boot your computer with it and follow the instructions. On my PCs, the entire process took about half-an-hour. One nice thing about Mint, and other Linux distros, is that they’ll work well on old PCs with as little as 512MBs of RAM. For most people though I’d recommend running Mint on a system with at least 1GB of memory.

              You cannot though do an in-place update of Mint 11. That’s by design. Mint’s developers feel that if you just upgrade an already existing Linux, you’re likely to carry forward potential problems or out of date software. So, you’ll need to back up and restore your home directories and files. I did this by backing them up to an attached USB drive. It’s a trifle annoying, but it’s not really a big deal.

            • Linux Mint 12 Review: The Best Gnome 3 Shell Implementation

              LinuxMint team has dropped the bomb with the release of version 12, which offers a unique Gnome experience. Linux Mint is also enjoying its new limelight with esteemed #1 spot on Distrowatch. However, the journey was not that smooth for the team.

              Earlier this year when Ubuntu switched to Gnome 3 and came with Unity as the default shell, Clement Lefebvre told me that they won’t switch to Gnome 3 or Unity. The statement was applauded by the LinuxMint users. However, we did understand that it was a huge technological challenge for the LinuxMint to not adopt Gnome 3.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New ARM Dev Toolkit for Android Addresses Platform ‘Hodgepodge’

      This morning, ARM is taking a significant step toward ironing out Android’s multiple versioning issues that Linus Torvalds himself called a “hodgepodge” earlier this year. It’s releasing suites of developers’ tools, including a free community edition, of its ARM Developers Studio (DS-5), this time including a graphical debugger that it says will eliminate the need for devs to use a clunky, command-line debugger for tuning native code.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet review [Video]

        If you’re looking for a low-priced tablet this year, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet is one you’ll want to consider.

        At $249, the Nook Tablet is a bit more expensive than the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Nook Color and the Kobo Vox, each of which are selling at about $200. But, the Nook Tablet is a better piece of hardware than its $200 rivals and the extra dough wouldn’t be spent in vain.

      • Get an Acer Iconia 10-inch tablet for $229.99

        And come on: $229.99?! That’s only $30 more than you’d pay for a 7-inch Kindle Fire. And it’s $20 less than the Nook Tablet. If you’re in the market for a 10-inch slate, this is without question the deal to beat.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Devs tempted to hit the source at appMobi’s free bar

    Mobile developers with an AJAX leaning can now get free access to the source for appMobi’s development toolkit, allowing them to incorporate bits of appMobi tech into their own apps.

  • Science prize goes to an open source project

    The monthly Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) from Science magazine has this month been awarded to an open source project. The winner, Open Source Physics, is a web site that provides tools and resources for interactive computer-based modelling; it is intended to help teach students at all levels the principles of computational physics.

  • Crashing Google Wave Finds New Life in Open Source

    Google recently announced it will shut down Google Wave, the company’s web app for real-time collaboration, in April 2012.

    Google had previously all but abandoned Wave, ceasing new development over a year ago, but soon all traces of Wave will be removed from the web. Wave will become read-only in January 2012, meaning users will no longer be able to create new waves. After that Google Wave users have until April 30 to export their content before the service shuts down completely.

  • Why free software is not a job killer

    At first, this seems a little bit odd. As much as I love and enjoy using FLOSS and value it for its steadiness and security, I also understand that I must also devote some time to maintaining it, just like any proprietary system. What’s funny about my particular situation is that because I don’t use Windows that often, I actually spend more time maintaining security updates on my Linux machines than I do my Windows client. But when you only use a PC an hour a week or so, versus near-24/7 uptime, you get that. If I were using my Windows computer more often, I know the maintenance time would be much higher.

    And that’s just the client machines I have. I’ve done enough systems administration to know that there are almost as many tasks in administering FLOSS software as proprietary. Sure, there’s a lot less time spent looking for viruses on a Linux machine, but I still have to manage user accounts, provision machines, etc.

  • Events

    • CeBIT 2012: Call for projects

      Open source projects can now apply for free booth space at next year’s CeBIT trade show, which will take place from 6 to 10 March 2012 on the world’s largest fairground in Hannover, Germany. For the fourth year in a row, open source will have a presence at the event, with various organisations and projects from around the world represented in Hall 2.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Time up for Oracle’s HTML5 killer?

      Sun Microsystems in 2007 announced a re-imagining of GUI platform Swing with JavaFX. Swing, Sun said, had reached an architectural dead-end and need a reboot to compete on modern, Rich Internet Application (RIA) platforms.

  • CMS

    • The Big 3 continue to dominate the Open Source CMS race

      “WordPress turned in another strong year, clearly outpacing both Joomla! and Drupal,” notes lead analyst Ric Shreves. “Looking beyond the Big 3 we find a considerable amount of movement in the market, with several smaller systems turning in solid performances this year. Concrete5, in particular, had a very strong year.”

  • Healthcare

    • Summa Health System Launches New Site with Jahia

      Jahia, provider of Java-based open source CMS solutions, announced today that Summa Health System (summahealth.org) has re-launched its website using Jahia, chosen based on its interoperability with a wide range of content repositories, making Jahia the de facto “online digital hub” for Summa Health’s content.

  • Business/Other

  • Project Releases

    • Node.js 0.6.3 integrates NPM

      The Node.js developers have announced the release of version 0.6.3 of the JavaScript-based, event-driven, application framework. A new feature in the release is the addition of NPM, Node Package Manager, to the Node.js distribution. NPM was independently developed to offer Node users a simple way of packaging and distributing libraries of code and has become the de facto standard for Node.js packaging.

    • Version 1.0 of YaCy distributed search engine released

      After more than 5 years of development, the YaCy developers have released version 1.0 of their open source, decentralised search engine. The GPL-licensed YaCy peer-to-peer search engine is designed as an alternative to search services, such as those provided Google, that are centrally managed by one company.

      Like file sharing peers, all search engine peers will contribute search results and use the results contributed by others. An important advantage, say the developers, is that YaCy content cannot be censored. Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe described the project as a “vital building block” for the “future world of distributed, peer-to-peer systems”.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UkGovcamp: walk a mile in our sandals and realise some serious savings
    • Open source: Is the government doing enough?

      Open source is currently in use across several government departments, with Drupal powering the Cabinet Office website and some DirectGov services, Transport for London’s Oystercard using an open source infrastructure, and the Department of Health using open source to work with EU partners.

      In addition, some departments are creating their own open source technologies, such as the Department for the Climate Change, which has created FoxOpen. However, most of the technology used by government remains proprietary, with the Department for Work and Pensions, for example, still using comprehensive proprietary products from single vendors such as IBM.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Will HTML5 kill mobile apps?

      By forcing Web developers, and ultimately Adobe, out of the Flash business, Apple made HTML5 apps better. That’s good for Safari users, but it’s also good for users on other Web platforms, like Android. If there’s a truly good universal platform for online apps, it stands to reason that the smart developer will build apps for it, since this way the app will be available to the largest number of users. Right?

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Secret Fed Loans Undisclosed to Congress Gave Banks $13 Billion in Income

      $7.77 Trillion

      The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Will Paradis Fail To Can Canadian Spam?

      Last year, a Quebec court upheld the largest spam damage award in the world, ordering Adam Guerbuez, a Montreal-based email marketer, to pay Facebook $873 million dollars for sending millions of spam messages to users of the popular social network. Two months later, the Conservative government passed long overdue anti-spam legislation that finally established strict rules for electronic marketing and safeguards against the installation of unwanted software programs on personal computers, all backed by tough multi-million dollar penalties.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Koha trademark: top lawyer says Trust has stronger case

        A leading ICT lawyer in New Zealand says the Horowhenua Library Trust, which is getting ready to lodge an objection to the registration of the Koha trademark for software by an American defence contractor, has a stronger case than its opponent.

        Rick Shera, a partner at Lowndes Jordan Barristers and Solicitors in Auckland, and the first lawyer to have qualified as a New Zealand Computer Society Information Technology Certified Professional, was commenting on the case of the Koha project, an integrated library system.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright coming to the Supreme Court of Canada

        The copyright bar and the Supreme Court are gearing up for two big days of copyright appeals. The five appeals are being heard back to back on December 6 and 7, 2011.

        Earlier today the Court circulated the draft schedule for the arguments. It lists all the parties, the interveners, the lawyers involved, and the order in which the cases are going to be heard. It is going to be a very interesting two days for copyright in Canada.

Links 28/11/2011: iodoom3, Android Scare

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Applications

    • NewsBlur: The Open Source Feed Reader with Brains

      Google Reader is the undisputed champ among Web-based RSS and Atom feed-readers. But while the search giant gets plenty of karma points on the software freedom front, Google Reader’s status as a commercial product means that from time to time, features have to come and go. The latest change is the removal of social-networking “share this” functionality, as Google Reader gets merged into Google Plus. The open source feed reader NewsBlur is ready to make a play for your attention, adding not just link-sharing but multi-user rating and intelligence.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Copy of BEEP to give away from Gameolith!
      • Will it be Desura’s Linux client Vs USC?| Gaming

        The wait until now was for a Linux client to run games Desura streams. However, now that it is here, users face a new dilemma – Download from Desura or desuraUbuntu Software Centre?

      • iodoom3 Source Code Project Underway

        Remember that source code project to overhaul the Quake 3 Engine and make it more secure, viable and updated for game management projects? Well, the same team behind the ioquake3 source code project, which overhauled the engine for better and more platform support as well as all sorts of other goodies, is at it again this time using the Doom 3 source code.

        For now the project has only been just announced and that means that the team is consolidating resources and setting an outline for what the project will eventually blossom into.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Death of Copyright Is Greatly Exaggerated

        Red Hat makes money giving away software and selling support services.

        Adam worries about a future where “copyright exists on paper only,” but all of the above business models rely, in one way or another, on copyright protection. Hollywood uses copyright law to shut down pirate movie theaters. Apple uses copyright law to shut down unauthorized clones of its hardware products. Even Red Hat relies on copyright law to help it enforce the GPL license, which prohibits third parties from incorporating open source code into proprietary products. The fact that these businesses have chosen monetization strategies that don’t involve selling copies of content directly to the general public doesn’t mean they don’t benefit from copyright protection.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Top Free Android Scientific Apps

          Science is the effort of trying to understand how the physical world works. From observation and experimentation, science uses physical evidence of natural phenomena to compile data and analyze the collated information.

        • SwipePad: A Must Have App for Every Android Device

          SwipePad is a simple application that lets you launch any app with a single swipe action from within any other app. Upon being recommended by a friend of mine, SwipePad was one of those applications I installed immediately after receiving my first Android phone. Since then, SwipePad has become an integral part of my daily life that I almost started seeing it as one of those core apps for Android which comes as default.

        • Android scare: percentages do not tell the real tale

          In its eagerness to put a computer running its software on every desk, Microsoft has spawned a number of ancillary industries, the most pernicious of which is the anti-virus group. McAfee is a major force in this industry.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source: democratising the internets

    You probably use open source software every day, but it’s equally as likely you have no idea what it is or who is building it.

    Fortunately for us, Gavin Jackson is one chap who knows what it’s all about and he came into the studio to give Louise Maher the low down.

    “Open source software is any software that has been released under a licence that allows people to download the source code for viewing, for modification and also for redistribution,” Jackson explained.

    “A lot of big business relies on open source technology, they probably wouldn’t exist without it, so it’s an interesting phenomenon.”

  • appMobi Open Sources HTML5 Technologies

    HTML5 development shop appMobi will now open source key elements of its mobile technology in an attempt to accelerate industry migration to HTML5. This move will see the appMobi cross-platform device APIs released to the community contribution model of development and, as a consequence, also embrace support of HTML5 development for both Android and iOS platforms. appMobi will also release the source code for its mobiUs browser, which sets out to allow HTML5 web apps to perform identically to native apps.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Has Taken Over

      On November 25, two days after a failed German government bond auction in which Germany was unable to sell 35% of its offerings of 10-year bonds, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Germany might retreat from its demands that the private banks that hold the troubled sovereign debt from Greece, Italy, and Spain must accept part of the cost of their bailout by writing off some of the debt. The private banks want to avoid any losses either by forcing the Greek, Italian, and Spanish governments to make good on the bonds by imposing extreme austerity on their citizens, or by having the European Central Bank print euros with which to buy the sovereign debt from the private banks. Printing money to make good on debt is contrary to the ECB’s charter and especially frightens Germans, because of the Weimar experience with hyperinflation.

11.27.11

Links 27/11/2011: Linux Mint 12, Debate About Software Centre for Fedora

Posted in News Roundup at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • IBM Responds to SCO’s Motion to Partly Reopen SCO v. IBM and a New Judge Assigned ~pj

      IBM has filed its Memorandum in Opposition [PDF] in opposition to SCO’s motion to partly reopen SCO v. IBM. SCO would like to go forward with its side of the case, the little bits it thinks are left on the table after the whipping SCO got at Novell’s hands. SCO wants IBM’s hands to remain bound by the bankruptcy stay while it tries to beat it up. IBM seems to think that would be unfair. And it believes that the Novell ruling has killed off all of SCO’s claims anyway, but it indicates an interest in pursuing its counterclaims. It taunts SCO, suggesting it should just ask the bankruptcy court to lift the stay so all the claims and counterclaims can be litigated together.

      And a new presiding judge has been assigned, the Honorable Clark Waddoups (here is a little bit of background for you), because Chief Judge Tena Campbell has recused herself. She assumed senior status in January, which means the judge qualifies for retirement but instead of walking off into the sunset volunteers to stay around with a greatly reduced case load instead. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw her caption on the order [PDF] about her recusal and the case being sent to Judge Waddoups. It reads “Caldera Systems and SCO Group v. IBM”. Caldera Systems is what they were calling themselves until 2003, many moons ago, but they haven’t used that name for years and years.

    • Utah’s SCO Group, near dead, tries to revive IBM lawsuit

      The decision was made after an appeals court turned down The SCO Group’s appeal of a jury verdict and other rulings from a 2010 trial in a related lawsuit against Novell.

      “Now that the dust has settled in the litigation with Novell, we have turned to the remaining litigation assets of the estate,” Fatell said in an email. “We reviewed the status of the claims against IBM with Boise Schiller, [SCO’s] counsel, and have concluded that the Novell ruling does not impact the viability of the estate’s claims against IBM.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • ZaReason Strata 6880 Sandy Bridge Notebook

      You may have noticed several Phoronix articles in recent weeks using a ZaReason notebook built around Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” processor. This is one of the new notebooks from ZaReason that had been in our labs for testing. Here is a last look at the Strata 6880 notebook from this Linux-focused PC vendor.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 alpha 1 KDE and GNOME 3 screenshots preview

        The final version is scheduled for an early May 2012 release, almost a full six months away. So if you will not be testing this or any other pre-stable release, the following screenshots of the KDE 4 and GNOME 3 editions will give you an idea of what to expect.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Debating A Software Center For Fedora

          There’s an active discussion on the Fedora mailing list concerning a “software center” for Fedora Linux.

          A new Fedora contributor sparked a discussion about a software center for Fedora on this devel mailing list thread.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 Lisa Has Been Released | Release Notes | Download

              Finally Linux Mint 12 has been released with a code name “Lisa” and it’s available to download. Few weeks ago we have seen the earlier Release Candidate of Linux Mint 12 with Gnome 3 desktop, Mint Gnome Shell Extensions “MGSE” and new panels Mint-Z theme, backgrounds artwork.

            • DuckDuckGo Results No Better Than Bing, Becomes Default Search Engine Of Linux Mint

              inux Mint has signed an exclusive deal with DuckDuckGo, the new search engine which uses Microsoft Bing in the back-end.

              If you search DuckDuckGo for open source office suite, you will not find LibreOffice on top. It’s buried at the bottom, similar to Microsoft Bing. On the contrary if you search Google for the same keywords, LibreOffice is the second result. If you search for simply office suite then also you will never reach to LibreOffice. So, DuckDuckGo users will never know there exists an office suite called LibreOffice.

            • Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” officially released

              The Linux Mint development team has, today, officially announced the arrival of version 12 of its popular Linux distribution. The project’s lead developer, Clement Lefebvre, also announced the project has made its first income-raising deal with a partnership with search engine company DuckDuckGo. In Linux Mint 12, DuckDuckGo will be the default search engine. Lefebvre pointed to the company’s lack of tracking or personalisation based on web history, along with its range of features and a commitment to supporting the open source community, as reasons why the relative newcomer in search, established in 2008, was selected to be the Mint default.

            • Download Linux Mint 12 Lisa
            • Linux Mint 12 Review

              Linux Mint 12′s foundation is built on the base of Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions out there, not to say that Linux Mint isn’t popular but with this edition, things might change.

              With the latest release in Linux Mint “Lisa”, there has been a shift in what it feels its users deserve in the desktop environment that they choose. When Ubuntu 11 came out there was a big backlash in the Ubuntu community about the desktop Unity, being used and not allowing those which are more familiar with Linux a full Gnome desktop.

            • Bodhi Linux

              While reading the Ubuntu weekly news, I came across a link to some comparisons of various versions of Ubuntu that drew my attention because an old friend of mine, who is now living in Australia, had mentioned in email that he finds both Apple MacOS and Microsoft Windows to be inadequate in many ways that are irritating to him. I recommended that he try a version of Ubuntu on an old computer. He said that he had a turn of the millennium Gateway laptop. I pointed out that as long as he had sufficient spare disk-space then he could rejuvenate the computer by running Linux in some form that coexists with Windows, allowing him to try Linux and back away from it if it proved not to his liking, while preserving his data. Before sending him the links to the comparisons, I looked at them myself and was intrigued by a mention of Bodhi Linux that is based on the most recent Long-Term-Support version of Ubuntu. Bodhi Linux is built using the E17 version of the Enlightenment window manager. These days I am more in a Buddhist meditative frame of mind that embraces simplicity and minimalism; so, what with this and disliking the direction in which Ubuntu is going with the Unity desktop, I took a look at Bodhi Linux.

            • Mint 12 “Lisa” Linux distro available for download
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • T-Mobile boasts budget smartphone for less than £100

          T-Mobile officially unveiled a fresh self-branded blower this morning, putting Android smartphones in pockets for under £100.

          The T-Mobile Vivacity rocks up with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 3.5in capacitive display, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5Mp camera and an iPhone-esque – silver band around the sides, I ask you – design.

        • Metro PCS bows $179.99 HTC Wildfire S
        • DROID Incredible 2 in Red Hitting Stores November 24

          If the standard black DROID Incredible 2 wasn’t to your liking, hold out until November 24 as Verizon appears primed to release a full-on red version. We aren’t sure if this has anything to do with Project Red or not, but it would certainly fit the theme of that organization. Specs and price will likely remain the same. Not a bad way to re-launch the product ahead of the holidays though, right?

        • NVIDIA demos Ice Cream Sandwich on Transformer Prime
        • “Android Started Before iPhone”: How True is That?

          How much Apple’s founder Steve Jobs hated Android is evident from his last conversations with his biographer, Walter Isaacson. Steve Jobs claimed that Android was a rip-off of Apple’s iOS and that he will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong, to destroy Android. This created an uproar. In an interview with Reuters, Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, said that all these allegations are baseless and that Android project started well before the iPhone effort. Let’s find out how true a statement that is.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Amazon’s Android-friendly Kindle Fire splutters

        Amazon’s new Kindle Fire is almost certain to be a financial success for Amazon, and may finally make a name for Google’s Android in tablets. If only the success and acclaim were deserved.

        Amazon has done quite a bit to soften Android’s rough edges, but in my experience it hasn’t gone nearly far enough to rival the iPad for elegance and polish. Then again, it doesn’t need to: at $199, Amazon’s Kindle Fire doesn’t have to be great. It just has to be good enough.

        I have been looking forward to the Kindle Fire for months. I have an iPad and and an iPad 2, and have spent quite a bit of time with other tablets too: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9, Motorola’s Xoom, and Research in Motion’s Playbook, in particular. But what I really have wanted was something that felt more like my second-generation Kindle in my hand, but with the ability to run a few apps and occasionally watch video. The Kindle Fire seemed to fit the bill.

Free Software/Open Source

  • opensource Asset Managment software : OCSInventory Ng

    Today I want to present an open source software created for the asset management OCSInventory, and in the next days i want to post information about Fusioninventory and GLPI. I will focus on programs that allow you to have an inventory of your hardware and software that allow you to manage everything with discovery tools, reports and alerts, but first let’s see what’s the mean of Asset Management:

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla’s NZ boss works to keep the web wide open

        Rob O’Callahan runs Mozilla’s New Zealand office, in Auckland. A New Zealander, he was working in the US when he was approached by Novell to do some Mozilla work. He said he’d prefer to return home, and Novell agreed. Subsequently Mozilla itself recruited him and agreed to his building an Auckland team.

        The team is currently about five strong with a few other developers working “pretty much full-time” for Mozilla from Wellington and the South Island. O’Callaghan is a passionate advocate of openness in internet applications and is disquieted by Google’s and Apple’s domination of the mobile market. He is scheduled to speak about this at the ITEX conference in Auckland on November 23. Stephen Bell caught up with him for a foretaste of his views and practical ways of furthering them.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • the gnu extension language

      I’m sitting on a train waiting to leave Paris for Barcelona, returning from the 2011 GNU Hackers Meeting. It was fantastic, clearly the best we have had yet. Thanks a lot to Ludovic Courtès for organizing it, and to IRILL and Sylvestre Ledru for hosting. I hope to write more about it in the future, but this essay will be long enough :)

      I gave a talk entitled “The User in the Loop”, which made the perhaps obvious argument that “extensibility is good & stuff”. I hope that it did so in an entertaining and illuminating fashion. It also argued that Guile is a great fit for the extensibility needs of the GNU project. The video will be out shortly. Slides are available here, though you probably just want the notes instead.

    • GNUstep Objective-C Runtime 1.6 Released

      GNUstep, the leading free software implementation of Apple’s Cocoa Objective-C libraries and related Mac OS X components, has reached a new version. GNUstep runtime 1.6 is this new version with many new features after being in development for more than one year.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • The New Government of Canada Open Data License: The OGL by another name

        Last week the Minister Clement issued a press release announcing some of the progress the government has made on its Open Government Initiatives. Three things caught my eye.

        First, it appears the government continues to revise its open data license with things continuing to trend in the right direction.

        As some of you will remember, when the government first launched data.gc.ca it had a license that was so onerous that it was laughable. While several provisions were problematic, my favourite was the sweeping, “only-make-us-look-good-clause” which, said, word for word: “You shall not use the data made available through the GC Open Data Portal in any way which, in the opinion of Canada, may bring disrepute to or prejudice the reputation of Canada.”

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Are Open Standards the Future of the Social Web?

      The Open Mobile Alliance (a coalition of over 140 mobile providers) discussed how they were also planning on rolling out a federated social Web client. However, there was concern from some that the underlying technologies could be patented, which would prevent their roll-out in products. This would be prevented if they were released under a license like the W3C Royalty-Free License.

Leftovers

  • Sony PS3 Class Action Update: July 21, 2011 Oral Argument Transcript ~ pj

    You can’t help but empathize with Sony after the terrible year that the company has suffered, with natural disasters that might make the superstitious wonder if God is angry. I don’t believe that God is behind natural disasters anyhow, actually, but still, it’s been an unusually awful year, with an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown interfering with normal operations.

    So I struggled with whether or not to tell you the latest from the PS3 class action litigation, particularly because of what I’d have to write about it. I don’t like to kick anyone when he’s down. But I have gotten emails asking me what’s been happening since the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint back in March, and while the judge has yet to render a ruling on Sony’s motion to dismiss it, we do have the transcript [PDF] of the oral argument at the July hearing on it. The court has lifted the sealing, so I’ll show it to you.

  • Security

    • Beware of Android scaremongers

      Smartphone malware may be rising, but users should be more wary of “charlatan” security vendors, says Google’s open source program manager Chris DiBona.

      DiBona took exception to claims that Android has a “virus problem” because it is based on open source and lacks Apple-like checks for its own Android Market Place.

      Echoing Symantec’s recent advice in a report that pitted iOS against Android, DiBona wrote on his Google + page:

      “No major cell phone has a ‘virus’ problem in the traditional sense that windows and some mac machines have seen. There have been some little things, but they haven’t gotten very far due to the user sandboxing models and the nature of the underlying kernels.”

    • Confusion Center: Feds Now Say Hacker Didn’t Destroy Water Pump

      A report from an Illinois intelligence fusion center saying that a water utility was hacked cannot be substantiated, according to an announcement released Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security.

      Additionally, the department disputes assertions in the fusion center report that an infrastructure-control software vendor was hacked prior to the water utility intrusion in order to obtain user names and passwords to break into the utility company and destroy a water pump.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • MoD’s resistance to human rights in Iraq blamed for death of Baha Mousa

      The army’s former chief legal adviser in Iraq has accused the Ministry of Defence of moral ambivalence and a cultural resistance to human rights that allowed British troops to abuse detainees and beat the Basra hotel worker Baha Mousa to death.

    • Egyptian protesters reject military’s timetable for elections

      Egypt’s revolution has been plunged into fresh uncertainty after hundreds of thousands of angry demonstrators rejected a promise by the country’s military council on Tuesday to accelerate the transition to civilian rule.

      In an extraordinary display of people power, protesters at a mass rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanded the immediate departure of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), just as they had demanded President Hosni Mubarak’s humiliating exit in February.

    • Governor Halts Oregon Executions For Rest Of Term

      Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber on Tuesday imposed a moratorium on the death penalty for the remainder of his term, saying he’s morally opposed to capital punishment and has long regretted allowing two men to be executed in the 1990s.

      Kitzhaber’s decision gives a temporary reprieve to a twice-convicted murderer who was scheduled to die by lethal injection in two weeks, along with 36 others on death row. It makes Oregon the fifth state to halt executions since 2007.

    • Occupy Seattle protester claims police caused her miscarriage

      A pregnant woman who was pepper sprayed during the Occupy Seattle protests in the US claims she had a miscarriage five days later as a result of injuries allegedly inflicted by the police.

      Jennifer Fox, 19, claims that she was also struck in the stomach twice – once by a police officer’s foot and once by an officer’s bicycle – as police moved in to disperse marchers on 15 November.

    • Seymour Hersh: Propaganda Used Ahead of Iraq War Is Now Being Reused over Iran’s Nuke Program

      While the United States, Britain and Canada are planning to announce a coordinated set of sanctions against Iran’s oil and petrochemical industry today, longtime investigative journalist Seymour Hersh questions the growing consensus on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. International pressure has been mounting on Iran since the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency revealed in a report the “possible military dimensions” to Iran’s nuclear activities, citing “credible” evidence that “indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.” In his latest article for The New Yorker blog, titled “Iran and the IAEA,” Hersh argues the recent report is a “political document,” not a scientific study. “They [JSOC] found nothing. Nothing. No evidence of any weaponization,” Hersh says. “In other words, no evidence of a facility to build the bomb. They have facilities to enrich, but not separate facilities to build the bomb. This is simply a fact.” [includes rush

    • Fixating on the Cost of Policing Occupy Protests

      The excessive and gratuitous use of police at Occupy protests, especially in New York and other large cities, has led a number of people to wonder how cities are paying for the police to patrol demonstrations and encampments. Now, with a report from AP circulating, those who despise the Occupy movement or have grown impatient with it have ammunition to lash out even more.

      According to AP, the movement has cost “local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services.” AP finds the “heaviest financial burden has fallen upon law enforcement agencies tasked with monitoring marches and evicting protesters from outdoor camps. And the steepest costs by far piled up in New York City and Oakland, Calif., where police clashed with protesters on several occasions.”

  • Cablegate

    • Bush, Blair found guilty of war crimes

      A Malaysian tribunal has found former US President George W Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the Iraq war, Press TV reported.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate scientists defend work in wake of new leak of hacked emails

      Climate scientists have mounted a robust defence of their work and debates over science after more than 5,000 personal emails were leaked onto the internet in an apparent attempt to undermine public support for international action to tackle climate change.

      More than 39,000 pages of emails to and from scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) were loaded onto a Russian server and a link to them posted on climate sceptic websites on Tuesday, almost exactly two years after a similar release of hacked or leaked emails in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate talks in 2009.

      Norfolk police have also responded to criticism that their invesitgation into who released the 2009 emails had yet to make any arrests. A spokesperson described it as an unusual and complex case, adding that the inquiry had “been determined and persistent in following all relevant lines of enquiry”, including the latest email dump.

  • Finance

    • The New Price Era of Oil and Gold
    • We Speak on PBS Newshour About Why No Bank Executives Have Gone to Jail

      The cynic in me has to note that PBS Newshour decided to cover the issue of why no banksters have gone to jail on what has to be one of their lowest traffic days of the year. And I have a sneaking suspicion I got the call to go on the show because it was not exactly easy to find people willing to be taped late in the afternoon on the day before Thanksgiving (they did have to go to the trouble not only of arranging for a studio in Alabama, but also finding a makeup person, since I’m not in the habit of taking my TV warpaint with me when I travel).

    • Anti-austerity general strike paralyses Portugal

      Public services across Portugal ground to a halt on Thursday as trade unions held a 24-hour walk out. The strikers are protesting against a raft of austerity measures introduced by the government in exchange for financial aid.

    • An Open Letter to the Winter Patriot

      As the Occupy movement continues to grow in defiance of the heavy-handed police action determined to squelch it, a natural question emerges: What point will the military be summoned to contain the cascade of popular dissent? And if our nation’s finest are brought into this struggle to stand between the vested authority of the state and the ranks of those who petition them for a redress of grievance, what may we expect the outcome to be?

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

    • Apple iTunes flaw ‘allowed government spying for 3 years’

      An unpatched security flaw in Apple’s iTunes software allowed intelligence agencies and police to hack into users’ computers for more than three years, it’s claimed.

    • Spooked By Lax U.S. Data Privacy, European Firms Build Their Own Cloud Services

      A few recent legal developments affecting U.S. online privacy have rightfully troubled privacy advocates and civil libertarians on American soil. In addition to the Patriot Act’s relaxed regulation of law enforcement’s access to private data, recent court rulings have made it clear that U.S. authorities can secretly request data from tech companies without the user ever knowing.

      If this seems objectionable from the standpoint of U.S. citizens, imagine how it looks to outsiders who are storing their data there. Some European companies who do business with U.S. technology companies are concerned enough to start looking elsewhere for infrastructure.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • Napster Drops Out of Canada, Warns Users Of Lost Purchases Due to Digital Locks

      Napster Canada has advised its customers that it is shutting down operations effective December 16, 2011. The move comes weeks after Napster US became part of Rhapsody and users were assured that Canadians would be unaffected by the move. The company warns users to create backup copies of downloaded music since purchases may be lost due to its digital lock system. The company warns:

    • Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Group Calls For Graduated Response, More Restrictive Digital Lock Rules

      The Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network is back in the news today with a refreshed version of its 2007 report that recommended new border measure powers, legal reforms, and a massive increase of public tax dollars for enforcement and education programs. Many of those same recommendations are back with claims that the government should pour millions into anti-counterfeiting activities, increase criminal penalties, expand seizure powers, and ratify the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

    • What do digital locks mean for you and your work?

      Michael Geist is writing a series of posts called The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter. Beginning October 3 and right up to today, Geist is presenting the arguments that various organizations have made publicly against the idea of digital locks, which Bill C-11 would protect, making it illegal for Canadians to circumvent them. (More background on C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, here.) The bill is in its second reading in the House of Commons.

    • Challenging the New Digital Lock Talking Point: Why European Rules Are More Flexible Than C-11

      The debate over C-11 resumed this week in the House of Commons with Paul Calandra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, invoking a claim that raises the question of how the Canadian digital lock rules compare to those found in Europe. In response to the ongoing concerns with Bill C-11′s digital lock rules – they are easily the most discussed issue during the debates – Calandra stated:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Mandarin admits ORG got it right about opaque evidence

      This morning the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee began another evidence session looking at the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. Among the four panellists in the morning session were Baroness Wilcox, the Minister for Intellectual Property, and Adrian Brazier, a senior civil servant from DCMS. You can watch the session here.

      The hearing started with a positive discussion of our work (read our original post here) to reveal that the Government holds no evidence on the effects of copyright infringement online, or of the effectiveness of different ways of dealing with it. Mr. Brazier said that we ‘had a point’ about the ‘opaque’ evidence used in the Digital Economy Act, and that the methodologies behind the evidence used in the Digital Economy Act was not publicly available – or indeed available to the Government.

    • Trademarks

      • Koha trademark grab: US firm backs down

        An American company, which registered the name Koha as a trademark for software in New Zealand, has offered to hand ownership of the name to a non-profit representing the Koha community.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ISPA, LINX and ORG insist on Court Orders for Nominet’s domain suspensions

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is an international trade treaty, drawn up over the past five years, that aims to improve ‘global standards for the enforcement of IPR, to more effectively combat trade in counterfeit and pirated goods.’ Having been negotiated in international fora, the treaty now requires national Parliaments and negotiating parties (including the EU as a whole) to sign and ratify it. This is what’s going on now.

          ACTA raises a number of extremely controversial issues, all of them outlined very well in this booklet from Access, EDRi and the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue. Concerns include a further drift towards private companies being forced to police the Internet and the further pressuring of ISPs to carry out surveillance of their users.

          One of the most troubling aspects, which is the focus of this post, is procedural – the persistent opacity that has surrounded the negotiation, and now ratification, of the treaty. It has seemed at every stage as if the process has a momentum and direction beyond the reach of the people it will affect. It has been formulated in closed international fora, with transparency an afterthought. Civil society groups have been consistently frustrated when seeking a mechanism to clearly put forward their objections in a meaningful and constructive way.

        • Dutch parliament refuses ACTA secrecy

          On the same day that the European Parliament had its first secret meeting on ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), the Dutch parliament decided it will not take ACTA into consideration unless all ACTA negotiation texts are published.

          A few weeks ago, the Dutch House of Representatives’ committee of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation requested the ACTA negotiation texts (the earlier versions of ACTA). The minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Maxime Verhagen, sent the texts to parliament, adding a non disclosure obligation. In debates, Members of Parliament may not refer to the documents, nor quote from them.

11.26.11

Links 26/11/2011: Wine 1.3.33, KDE SC 4.8 Beta 1

Posted in News Roundup at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Computing prodigy did his first Linux install at age 6

    Recent months have unearthed a wealth of computing and coding talent amongst Irish school kids with their hearts set on disrupting the technology world. The latest is a computing prodigy who at the age of six did his first Linux install.

    Dublin schoolkid Shane Curran, age 11, admits his obsession with computers began when was six, when he did his first Linux install. When he was 7 he learned how to programme in Visual Basic and built a simple web browser that he made available on the web for download.

  • Samsung leaps from consumer hero to enterprise zero

    Cars, hotels, healthcare, construction, financial and advertising services, data centres, systems integration and consultancy – even the dominant Linux enterprise operating system – bear the electronic giant’s pedigree.

  • Presenters to get first warning: Linux Aus

    The process to introduce an official code of conduct for Linux Australia events is continuing, with the Linux Australia council today issuing a re-drafted code for the consideration of members, including a proposed new warning system for inappropriate speakers.

    The new draft of the code once again sets out how attendees and presenters should conduct themselves at Linux Australia events, strongly emphasising appropriate, all-ages conduct at all times.

  • Server

    • HP expands its x86 options with Mission Critical programme

      Serviceguard for Linux: This is a big win for Linux users on HP, and removes a major operational and architectural hurdle for HP-UX migrations. ServiceGuard is a highly regarded clustering and HA facility on HP-UX, and includes many features for local and geographically distributed HA.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Issues A Thanksgiving Day Linux Kernel

      Linus Torvalds has issued a Thanksgiving Linux kernel update for those not in a food-induced coma from this American holiday. The delicacy is the Linux 3.2-rc3 kernel.

      The Linux 3.2-rc3 kernel consists of “One quarter arch updates, two quarters drivers, and one quarter random changes. Shake vigorously and serve cold..”

    • Linux 3.2-rc3 – just in time for Thanksgiving

      Hey, since most of the US will be in a food-induced coma tomorrow, I just *know* that doing a new release candidate is a good idea.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Linux 2.6.38 To Linux 3.2 Nouveau DRM Benchmarks

        Earlier this month I showed the Intel graphics performance hasn’t improved much in the Linux 3.2 kernel (but there might be a boost when RC6 is flipped on), but how is this new kernel shaping up for NVIDIA hardware owners wishing to use the open-source and reverse-engineered Nouveau driver? In this article are some benchmarks of the Nouveau DRM driver from recent Linux releases.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Akademy KDE summit to take place in Estonia

        The search for a location for the KDE annual world summit Akademy 2012 is over. Tallinn, Estonia will be the venue for the event which will run from 30 June to 6 July 2012, according to the announcement by KDE e.V. The conference is jointly organised by the KDE e.V. and the host, the Estonian Information Technology College, which is located near to the Tehnopol Science and Business Park.

      • KDE SC 4.8 Beta 1 Is Available for Testing

        Softpedia is once again the first to announce that the KDE team proudly released a few minutes ago, November 24th, the first Beta version of the upcoming and renewed KDE Software Compilation 4.8 environment.

      • First KDE 4.8 beta released for testing

        The KDE Community has released a first beta of version 4.8 of the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC). Aimed at testers, the development preview of the next major update to the open source K Desktop Environment brings changes to the Plasma Workspaces, applications and underlying platform, as well as various performance and stability improvements.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • The rules of the game

        Dave Neary was at college in his native Ireland in the mid 1990s when he discovered free software. He had “managed to get through a maths degree doing very little programming”, and went on to do a research degree in image analysis where the ability to program became an essential part of his work. He remembers “turning to a friend and saying: ‘I understand that these things are variables but what’s the star thing in front of the variable name?’ When he stopped laughing he told me, and that’s how I discovered pointers.”

        “The piece of software I was working on would only compile on UNIX so I ran an X-Server on my Windows desktop until somebody said ‘You’re not using Windows. Why don’t you just install Linux and be done with it?’, and I had to say ‘Linux, what’s that?’”

        This was in 1996. By 1999 he had taken a job as a developer with Informix which left him in something of a rut “where I was wanting to learn more than I was learning through my job. So I began to work on The Gimp. I hadn’t worked on user interface software before,” he says, “and started looking at bugs that were annoying me, scratching my itch, and got heavily involved in Gimp development.”

        “The great thing about the free software world in general and also my upbringing is that I haven’t been afraid to take things apart just to see how they work. I’m not afraid to get inside the hood and see what’s going on even if I don’t know what I am doing.”

        He went on to become release manager for The Gimp and a member of the board of the GNOME Foundation, and later advised Nokia and Intel on community aspects of the Maemo and Meego projects.

      • GNOME 3.3.2 Development Release Is Here

        The GNOME Project announced a few minuntes ago, November 24th, the immediate availability for testing of the second development release of the upcoming GNOME 3.4 desktop environment, which brings assorted fixes and improvements.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Computerworld 25 years: Open source advocate says outlook is positive

    I am quite optimistic about the next 25 years of IT in New Zealand because, in recent months, I have got the sense that a number of auspicious trends are starting to converge.

    The new digital-native generation is starting get socially and politically involved in meaningful ways. For these young folk the internet is inextricably woven into their day to day social fabric.

    Their experience means they have some different priorities from earlier generations. Their influence seems to be quietly ushering in a new culture: one in which the opposite of open isn’t closed; this opposite of open is broken.

  • Convirture Open Source Server Tools for Virtualization and Cloud Management
  • appMobi Open Sources Its Mobile Platform During Black Friday
  • In the Open Source Community, the Platform Rarely Matters Anymore
  • In New York, open source data on bus location

    Last night, as I tried (and failed) to duck around raindrops on my way down Manhattan’s West 34th Street, I noticed something I hadn’t before: on the curbside bus stop, in blazing orange LED bulbs, were the times for the next city buses to arrive.

  • Ten things you didn’t know about Sourcefire

    1. Headquarted in Columbia, Maryland, Sourcefire was founded in January 2001 by Martin Roesch, author of open-source intrusion detection system Snort.

    2. Snort is the world’s most widely-deployed intrusion detection and prevention technology, with nearly 4 million downloads to date.

    3. In addition to Snort, Sourcefire manages some of the industry’s most respected open source security projects, including ClamAV, the most commonly used open source anti-virus and anti-malware gateway product in the world, as well as Razorback.

  • “Inspire” Magazine: Open Source Jihad

    The recent arrest of Jose Pimentel, a 27-year-old convert to Islam who was allegedly planning to detonate an explosive device in New York, underscores the ongoing danger posed by so-called “lone wolf” terrorists. Pimentel, busy preparing a bomb at the time of his arrest according to prosecutors, is alleged to have wanted to kill American troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. The real significance of his plot, however, lies in the method he was using.

  • Open-source projects that deserve your cash

    People who enjoy open-source software often forget that most of the developers behind the code are working in their own time and at their own expense.

  • Science education prize goes to Open Source Physics

    In an attempt to raise the profile of worthwhile science education projects, Science magazine has started handing out the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education, or SPORE. This week’s award is going to a project called Open Source Physics. Started by a group of college professors, the site offers simulation software on a wide variety of topics in the physical sciences (including astronomy), accompanied by guides and lesson plans that help integrate it into the classroom.

  • Events

  • SaaS

    • Italian people and the Cloud

      The storage is one of the favorite services offered by the Cloud: 76% of the sample interviewed is in favor of the storage of information in the Cloud, and consider the whole service a support in the work sphere (58%), in the education (38%), for social life (30%), for hobby sharing (21%) and to know new people (11%).

    • OpenStack is overstretched

      I’m back again at my daily job after a week travelling between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. It’s clear that the hot topics there are cloud and flash storage; in fact the first meeting I had last week in Silicon Valley was with OpenStack.

    • 6 reasons why 2012 could be the year of Hadoop

      Hadoop gets plenty of attention from investors and the IT press, but it’s very possible we haven’t seen anything yet. All the action of the last year has just set the stage for what should be a big year full of new companies, new users and new techniques for analyzing big data. That’s not to say there isn’t room for alternative platforms, but with even Microsoft abandoning its competitive effort and pinning its big data hopes on Hadoop, it’s difficult to see the project’s growth slowing down.

    • Hadoop is an Open Source Revolution: Federal Computer Week Interview
  • Databases

    • Is CouchDB in Trouble?

      So to recap, CouchDB doesn’t scale enough and it’s also too big for smaller devices. CouchBase, one of the leading commercial sponsors behind CouchDB should be plenty worried.

      To be fair, Ubuntu leaving an upstream project for their own needs is nothing new. You need to look no further than Mark Shuttleworth’s split from GNOME 3 with the Unity interface. The difference this time around though, is it’s not just the community that Ubuntu is splitting from, but the commercial relationship too. It’s one thing to have dis-agreements within an open source community, it’s another not to be able to get a commercial vendor to help tailor a solution that will work.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • PacktLib now Offers a Joomla! Library

      Packt has today announced a new subscription on PacktLib for Joomla! developers. Housing 26 books, this library will enable Joomla! developers to get up and running quickly, as well as extend their skills and knowledge to become serious professionals. Recently announced as the winner of the best 2011 Open Source CMS, a resurgent Joomla!, now with a six month development cycle, has proved itself to be one of the leading open source content management systems on the market.

    • Development of the world’s most popular WordPress open source ecommerce plug-in
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Copyright vs. Community

      Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it.

  • Project Releases

    • MyPaint reaches 1.0.0 with improved user interface

      The MyPaint developers have announced the availability of version 1.0.0 of their open source graphics-tablet-oriented digital painting application. The raster graphics editing software, which runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, began development in 2005 and has focused on being able to respond to pen pressure when drawing, while having a simple, minimalistic user interface that is hidden until the user needs it. It offers extensive brush creation and configuration options for the artist, basic layer support and an “unlimited canvas” which avoids the need for resizing.

    • Google sets Wave shutdown date, points to open source projects

      Google has now set specific dates for the shutdown of Google Wave, the collaboration service it launched in May 2009 and officially abandoned in August 2010. It has been informing users by email that from 31 January 2012, it will mark all waves, the equivalent of a conversation or thread on the service, as read only. On 30 April 2012, the service will be turned off entirely. Google is directing users who are interested in continuing to work with Wave or a similar collaborative tools to look at open source projects.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open letter to the Romanian Ministry for Culture and Patrimony

      A group of organisations and interested persons from Romania are addressing an open letter to the Romanian Ministry for Culture and Patrimony about the Romanian cultural patrimony on the Internet, which can be published at Europeana.eu, where our country was to submit 789,000 works until 2015 and currently has managed to publish less than 36,000. We ask about the status of this project and propose the use of the images contributed in the recent Romanian Wikipedia photography contest. The full text can be read on the ProLinux website or in printable format (along with the signatures list) from the APTI blog.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Physics

      Scientists routinely use computer modeling and computation in innovative research, including predicting the nature of He4 at extremely low temperatures and the impact of human activity on climate. Why does computer-based modeling remain absent from many educational programs?

      The Open Source Physics (OSP) project, www.compadre.org/osp/, seeks to enhance computational physics education by providing a central Web site containing computer modeling tools, simulations, curricular resources such as lesson plans, and a computational physics textbook that explains the pedagogic simulations’ algorithms (1). Our resources are based on small single-concept simulations packaged with source codes that can be examined, modified, recompiled, and freely redistributed to teach fundamental computational skills. Students at all levels will benefit from these interactive simulations by learning to question and assess the simulation’s assumptions and output.

    • Let Them Hack Your Innovation!
    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • ActiveState Commits To Free Stackato Micro Cloud

      Canadian dynamic language company ActiveState has said that that after its beta stage is completed, its Stackato Micro Cloud will continue to be free of charge for developers to use as their own private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution on a single node. ActiveState’s products all leverage community-driven open source projects, so with Stackato access assured, developers can build, test, and deploy applications on a micro cloud for free.

    • The R programming language gets 64-bit integer support

      The R programming language, a software environment designed especially for statistical computations and graphing, will now be able to process 64-bit integer types. A patch to enable this capability, from French R developer Romain François, is available to download from the CRAN server network. His approach involves storing int64 vectors in R as pairs of 32-bit integers in S4 objects, with one holding the high order bits and the other the low order bits. Behind the scenes, the arithmetic operations are carried out in high performance C++ code; François has modified almost all of the standard arithmetic operations available in R to transparently work with the new class.

Leftovers

  • SIM-free Lumia 800 handset is due at Clove in December

    ONLINE RETAILER Clove will start shipping a SIM-free Nokia Lumia 800 handset to people who want it at the start of December.

    Thus far Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7.5 handset is available from only three firms on a SIM-free basis – Carphone Warehouse, Phones4u and Expansys – and this is the source of some disappointment, says Clove, because apparently there are people out there who want to pay the best part of £500 for the handset.

  • source outgrown the Apache

    US lawmakers have launched an investigation into the threat of cyber espionage from Chinese telecoms firms operating in the US, singling out Huawei and ZTE.

    The House of Representatives committee on intelligence said yesterday that it was focused on the threat to America’s security and critical infrastructure coming from “the expansion of Chinese-owned telecommunications companies – including Huawei and ZTE – into our telecommunications infrastructure”.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Many Influential Lawmakers Invested in Wall Street Giant Goldman Sachs

      Goldman Sachs, the most notorious investment bank on Wall Street, has two things in common with the legislators with significant investments in the company: wealth and power.

      According to research by the Center for Responsive Politics, 19 current members of Congress reported holdings in Goldman Sachs during 2010. Whether by coincidence or not, most of these 19 Goldman Sachs investors in Congress are more powerful or more wealthy than their peers, or both.

    • Goldman Sachs Announces Candidacy For President

      Goldman Sachs Inc., the global investment bank and financial services firm, announced this morning that it is running for president of the United States. The announcement was made at a farm near Waterloo, Iowa by the musician Ted Nugent, who was hired to speak for the candidate. “We love oil and God and gasoline!” shouted Mr. Nugent, as he held aloft two semi-automatic machine guns and a sleeve of red, white and blue painted grenades. “And we hate them people who don’t look American and drive those weird tiny cars and use big words!” Mr. Nugent kept his remarks brief and did not mention the candidate, Goldman Sachs, by name. At the end of his speech, the outspoken musician fired off several rounds of live ammunition, screamed “Let’s go eat a live bear!” and then charged into the woods with the frenzied crowd following behind.

  • Censorship

  • Intellectual Monopolies

11.24.11

Links 24/11/2011: Doom Code, Atmos Storage for Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Microsoft’s Future: What’s the Worst that Could Happen?

    When you look at it methodically, it’s easy to see how all Microsoft’s parts are interconnected. If one part breaks, particularly if that part is Windows or Office, then the whole house could come down.

  • The retro vision of Commodore’s new OS.
  • Censorship

    • Highest EU Court Prohibits P2P Filtering by ISPs

      While the US is still pondering SOPA, we just got some absolutely fantastic news out of Europe. The European Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union, has just ruled that P2P filters installed by ISPs violate the European Directive on electronic commerce as well as fundamental rights [full ruling]. This is a hugely important ruling that effectively protects all member states of the European Union from ever being subjected to ISP filtering and spying.

      The origins of this ruling lie in Belgium. The Belgian version of the RIAA, SABAM, had sued Belgian internet provider Scarlet because the ISP’s users were downloading copyrighted content without paying royalties. The President of the Tribunal de première instance de Bruxelles (Brussels Court of First Instance) then ordered Scarlet to install a filtering system to monitor the internet traffic of its subscribers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Koha in fight to regain its own trademark

        The Horowhenua Library Trust, the birthplace of the Koha integrated library system, the first such open source project, finds itself in a peculiar position today, that of having to fight to regain rights to its own name.

        This follows the successful application by the American defence contractor, Progressive Technology Federal Systems/Liblime, for a trademark on the name Koha in New Zealand. Koha is a Maori term that means reciprocity in giving.

      • PTFS/LibLime Offers Trademark Transfer To Koha Foundation

        Open source Integrated Library System (ILS), Koha, came under a trademark threat when the US based PTFS/Liblime managed to get their application for a Trademark on Koha accepted in New Zealand.

        A Koha community blog says, “For the library that invented Koha to now have to have a legal battle to prevent a US company trademarking the word in NZ seems bizarre, but it is at this point that we find ourselves.”

    • Copyrights

      • Private Copying: French Parliament Downsizes The Public’s Rights

        Members of the French Parliament are using a bill on private copying levy as an occasion to kill the copyright exception for private copying. Under the pretense of saving royalties collection, MPs have redefined fair use in the process. Giving in once more to pressure from the recording and movie industry, the French Parliament carries on Nicolas Sarkozy’s repressive policy against the Internet and new cultural practices.

      • EU Court of Justice: Censorship in Name of Copyright Violates Fundamental Rights

        The European Court of Justice just rendered a historic decision in the Scarlet Extended case, which is crucial for the future of rights and freedoms on the Internet. The Court ruled that forcing Internet service providers to monitor and censor their users’ communications violated EU law, and in particular the right to freedom of communication. At a time of all-out offensive in the war against culture sharing online, this decision suggests that censorship measures requested by the entertainment industry are disproportionate means to enforce an outdated copyright regime. Policy-makers across Europe must take this decision into account by refusing new repressive schemes, such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and engage in a much needed reform of copyright.

11.23.11

Links 23/11/2011: SeaMonkey 2.5, Google To Kill Knol

Posted in News Roundup at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Five Gifts for Linux Lovers

    Is there a Linux lover in your life? Someone who loves to debate the advantage of Debian Linux over Ubuntu? Someone who wears a Tux the penguin t-shirt out to lunch? Then, these gifts might just be what they-or you-need to be happy this holiday season.

  • Server

    • EMC adds Linux support, metering to Atmos cloud software

      EMC today unveiled upgrades to its Atmos Cloud Delivery Platform that add new metering services and additional administrative reporting and controls.

      In addition, the Atmos GeoDrive, a piece of software that presents cloud storage as a drive letter on client systems, can now be deployed on Linxux servers. Previously, it could only be used on Windows systems.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux kernel patch slashes power hunger

      Linux users working on laptops and other portable devices may soon have cause to rejoice thanks to a new kernel patch that finally promises to fix power regression problems associated with recent versions of the software.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE On Wayland For KDE SC 4.8, 4.9?

        Yesterday in Darmstadt, Germany I met up with Martin Gräßlin, the developer known for leading KDE’s KWin compositing window manager advancements, and a few other Linux developers. A few words about KDE on Wayland were said.

      • Congrats to the MyPaint team!

        Yesterday, the MyPaint team released version 1.0.0! Warm hugs and congratulations to their entire team! Read all about it on the MyPaint website. MyPaint is a digital painting application with some unique features, like its brush engine (well, we’re still working on making that usable in Krita) and its infinite canvas. Our projects are connected through frequent meetings between the developers on IRC and in real life, the OpenRaster file format, and our users!

      • plasma bug days

        We want to make Plasma Workspaces 4.8 a great release, and one way to reach that goal is to take care of the defects that creep in. To do that, we need your help to groom the bug database. We also realize that to do that, many of you would appreciate some help and teamwork.

        It’s been a while since we’ve held Plasma bug days. They worked very well in the past so we’re resurrecting them.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Styling problems: living with both Gtk2 and Gtk3

        A couple of weeks ago, the harddisk in my small frontend, the one I’ve been using since last January after Yamato started acting up too much to be usable as a desktop as well, decided to give up. It wasn’t much of a bother as I was planning to replace it anyway: the small frontend was supposed to become an HTPC in short time, but for the moment it’s not of importance either since, as I noted previously I recently got a Sky subscription so that I can have most of the content I care about in my bedroom without having to spend time “finding” it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Looking for a Linux & free software-friendly interaction designer

        For me, it is my dream job and it is also the best job in the world. My personal passion for making free software easier to use is encouraged & celebrated, and I’m always in the company of folks much smarter than I with a never-ending supply of interesting and challenging projects to work on together. The position also comes with the satisfaction that it is, even if only in a small way at times, making the world a better place. Not only does Red Hat work to make more free software available and to make its power more accessible, saving time, money, and pain for businesses: with Red Hat’s support, for example, I’ve been involved in initiatives to teach kids how to use free software and to develop openly-licensed course materials for teachers interested in their own free software programs. It’s a position that has never been boring and through which I’ve been able to travel internationally and constantly learn and grow as a person.

      • Welcome Ceylon to the public eye

        I’m really excited by Ceylon and what it might mean for other things we’re doing in Cloud and JBossEverywhere. So expect to hear more about this effort in the coming months, because just like Java, it’s going to continue to evolve. And can we please stop these “my language is better than your language” arguments? There’s room in this evolving polyglot world for a few more, even if just to allow people to stretch their mental legs and see what works and what doesn’t. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and reasoned arguments are always allowed; but flamewars, especially if they’re subjectively based, don’t help anyone.

      • Welcome to Ceylon
      • Fedora

        • Navigating in GNOME 3/Shell in Fedora 16

          The more I figure out how GNOME 3/Shell works in Fedora 16, the more I like it.

          I’m not at the point where I can say, “Oh, it’s totally better than GNOME 2,” but I’m increasingly able to do things the way I’m accustomed to doing in the GNOME Shell environment.

          I will refrain from comparing how things work in Fedora 16/GNOME Shell vs. Ubuntu 11.10/Unity until I spend more time in the latter. But this comparison is at the forefront of my thinking about which direction my Linux desktop use will go in during the year ahead.

        • Mousetrap in a Hat: Fedora 16 XFCE
        • The 5th Pillar of Fedora
    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Stefano Zacchiroli, Debian Project Leader

        It’s been one year since the first People behind Debian interview. For this special occasion, I wanted a special guest… and I’m happy that our Debian Project Leader (DPL)—Stefano Zacchiroli—accepted my invitation.

        He has a difficult role in the community, but he’s doing a really great job of it. He’s a great mediator in difficult situations, but he’s also opinionated and can push a discussion towards a conclusion.

        Read on to learn how he became a Debian developer and later DPL, what he’s excited about in the next Debian release, and much more.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ubuntu Commons

            One of the most wonderful things about Open Source and collaborative community is that every community member participates in a commons; a shared area of community real-estate in which we can all contribute.

            As an example, with most small Open Source software projects, the commons is the code-base, the website, documentation, IRC channel, mailing list etc. Within that project’s commons people can contribute in different ways, such as writing code, fixing bugs, updating the website, creating documentation, providing support etc.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 242
          • Ubuntu 11.10 Review

            The look has not changed much in Ubuntu 11.10, but the features sure have. For those unable to use Unity 3D, Unity 2D is now available as well. The login manager is now LiteDM which is fast and efficient. A new window switcher has also been added and there have also been improvements to the lenses feature. Ubuntu as always, is free to try, and remains one of the top choices for Linux newcomers. For a long time Ubuntu was the most popular choice among Linux users, but for the time being the position may have been respectively passed on to Linux Mint. At least temporarily…

          • Ubuntu Linux desktop tips
          • Unity and GNOME Shell are more alike than different

            I’ve been spending time each day working in Ubuntu 11.10′s GNOME 3/Unity and Fedora 16′s GNOME 3/GNOME Shell desktops.

            They’re more alike than you think. Rather than do things the GNOME way, Ubuntu/Canonical decided to take its own direction with Unity, which is now, like GNOME Shell, built on top of GNOME 3.

          • Ubuntu Linux losing popularity fast. New Unity interface to blame?
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 “Lisa” Review

              Linux Mint has always been known as the great alternative to Ubuntu. In fact, after Ubuntu implemented the Unity desktop, many people switched ship and flocked to Linux Mint as their next “easy-to-use and user-friendly” distro. According to DistroWatch, Linux Mint has even overtaken Ubuntu as the most popular distro. Well, that was Linux Mint 11, which is still based on Gnome 2, the desktop that most people are familiar with. What about Linux Mint 12?

              In the latest release of Linux Mint (version 12, codenamed Lisa, Release Candidate), the developers of Linux Mint decided to embrace the new technology and use Gnome 3 in place of Gnome 2. As we all know, Gnome 3 comes with a brand new user-interface (aka Gnome Shell) that is confusing to many. It is interesting to see how the developers of Linux Mint intend to tame this beast, without failing the expectation of its users.

            • What Should You Expect from Linux Mint 12

              Clement Lefebvre, the founder, project leader, developer and maintainer of the Linux Mint project, is working very hard
              these days to release an operating system that will enchant many Linux users.

              Long story short, the upcoming Linux Mint 12, dubbed Lisa, is an operating system based on the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) distribution and powered by Linux kernel 3.0, featuring a new user interface based on the GNOME 3 desktop environment.

            • Linux Mint 12 Has Been Released, Download Now
            • Could MATE Be the Savior of the GNOME 2 Linux Interface?

              Right or wrong, plenty of Linux users — such as this guy — have been less than happy with the interface changes wrought by the advent of Unity and GNOME 3. Lucky for these people, there’s hope in the form of MATE, a fork of GNOME 2 that bills itself as “a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users.” Curious what MATE was all about — and pretty fed up myself with Unity — I recently gave it a spin. Here’s what I found.

              It’s true: Try as I have, I just can’t learn to love Unity. The concept itself is fine and I can even live with its biting lack of customizability, but I just can’t take the bugginess anymore. Random things happen when I try to switch between applications — trying to open recently used files via the dash launches Nautilus instead, and the whole thing just generally doesn’t work the way I need it to on a production machine.

            • Linux Mint Is a Refreshing Palate Cleanser

              Like it or not, GNOME 3 is the new direction for the Linux OS. But that doesn’t mean you have to learn a lot of new OS habits overnight. Two varieties of Linux Mint may be especially attractive for those making the transition. Mint 11 will allow you to maintain your current habits for the time being. Mint 12 gives you a steady and easy path to transitioning to GNOME 3.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Samsung video jabs Iphone users

          KOREAN ELECTRONICS GIANT Samsung might be behind a video that pokes fun at Apple and its Iphone users.

          A video posted to Youtube looks like an advert from the firm, but has not been posted to a company account. It’s a professional looking number however, and is rather good. We’ve asked Samsung to confirm whether it is the company’s work but so far have not had a response.

        • Facebook phone rises from the dead, again
        • Rugged Android handheld does RFID, bar code scanning

          Adlink announced a ruggedized Android handheld computer with IP65 protection and and optional 1D scanning and 2D bar code imaging. The TIOT 2000 runs Android 2.3 on an ARM11-based 800MHz Qualcomm processor, and is further equipped with a 3.5-inch, 320 x 240-pixel resistive touchscreen, a five-megapixel camera, plus a full slate of wireless features including 3G and optional RFID.

        • Android robots spy, race, and mix cocktails

          A startup called Romotive is readying a small, tank-tread “Romo” robot controlled by Android and iPhone smartphones that communicate to the robot via audio signals. Meanwhile, a prototype bartending robot called the iZac — based on a Motorola Xoom tablet and Arduino Mega controller board — has been created by developer Nick Johnson via the Android Open Accessory Development Kit.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • How to sideload apps on the NOOK Tablet (Amazon Appstore, GO Launcher EX)

        The Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet ships with a couple of great apps pre-loaded including Pandora, Netflix, a decent email app, and an excellent eBook reader. There’s also an app section of the B&N Shop where you can browse for additional apps for the tablet — but the selection is pretty limited.
        Fortunately it’s pretty easy to install third party apps on the NOOK Tablet. You don’t even need to root the tablet or install any custom firmware to do it. You might need a microSD card though.

      • Android e-reader debuts Mirasol display technology

        Kyobo Book Centre and Qualcomm MEMS Technologies (QMT) announced an Android 2.3-based e-reader, said to be the first device to use QMT’s sunlight-readable Mirasol color display technology. Equipped with a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the Kyobo E-Reader provides a 5.7-inch, 1024 x 768-pixel display and offers “weeks of reading” on a single charge, the companies say.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FuseSource Open Source Messaging Powers Roadside Assistance for Millions of UK Drivers

    Open source middleware is delivering reliable messaging and routing for the UK’s largest and newest network for roadside assistance. The Automotive Network Services, developed and managed by Apex Networks, is using FuseSource distributions of Apache projects to link 90% of the UK’s 32 million drivers with tow trucks, garages and emergency first responders.

  • Has open source outgrown the Apache Way?

    Organizations like the Apache Software Foundation, the Linux Foundation, and the Free Software Foundation have long been a part of the open source and free software ecosystem. But some in the FLOSS community are beginning to wonder if these venerable organizations need to change in order to keep up with the changing demands of FLOSS.

    Yesterday, I read what could be the most articulate presentation of this line of reasoning from Yammer Developer Advocate Mikeal Rogers. Rogers also happened to be Employee Number One at CouchOne from 2010-2011–a tenure that certainly pertinent to his arguments.

  • Occupy Your Kids with Open Source Games during the Holidays

    Add to it the pets underfoot and your children complaining that they want to play on the Wii when grandpa wants to watch the Law and Order marathon on USA, and you have potential for a grumpy household.

  • Apache considered harmful

    Apache was founded about 12 years ago, a time when companies were still very afraid of open source and many people in the open source community were very afraid of companies. The world hasn’t changed that tremendously, big companies still use an open source stamp as a marketing tool, commonly referred to as “open washing”, and some in the enterprise are still wary about open source, particularly when it comes to certain kinds of licensing.

  • Open Source (Almost) Everything

    When Chris and I first started working on GitHub in late 2007, we split the work into two parts. Chris worked on the Rails app and I worked on Grit, the first ever Git bindings for Ruby. After six months of development, Grit had become complete enough to power GitHub during our public launch of the site and we were faced with an interesting question:

    Should we open source Grit or keep it proprietary?

    Keeping it private would provide a higher hurdle for competing Ruby-based Git hosting sites, giving us an advantage. Open sourcing it would mean thousands of people worldwide could use it to build interesting Git tools, creating an even more vibrant Git ecosystem.

  • Mozilla

    • SeaMonkey 2.5 improves add-on control

      The SeaMonkey Project has announced the release of version 2.5 of its “all-in-one internet application suite”. Based on the same Mozilla Gecko platform as Firefox 8, the update includes several under-the-hood performance and stability improvements, while also improving on the way in which add-ons are controlled.

  • SaaS

    • Using OwnCloud and PageKite could get you in trouble with Verizon

      These days, everybody is talking about cloud computing, and many people use it in one form or the other. But popular cloud computing services are provided by a third party, which means that you store you data on a server somewhere, so that you can access it any time, from anywhere. But there are cloud applications that any person can use to host their own private cloud, from their home.

  • Databases

    • Announcing Heroku Postgres

      Until now, Heroku’s Postgres database service – originally launched in 2007 – has only been available to Heroku customers for use with Heroku platform apps. Today we’re excited to announce the launch of Heroku Postgres as a standalone service.

      With measured service uptime of four nines (99.99%), and designed data durability of eleven nines (99.999999999%), the service is trustworthy for mission-critical data. As of today, these production-quality Heroku Postgres databases are independently available for use from any cloud platform, provisioned instantly, metered by the second, and without contract.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Motions In Limine

      Judge Alsup has now invited the parties to jointly submit a list of the four motions in limine that are most deserving of oral argument. (629 [PDF; Text]) Presumably, each party will name the two of its own motions it most wants to argue before the judge. How the remainder will be disposed of, given that neither party has filed a response to the motions in limine of the other, is unclear. The list is due to Judge Alsup by December 7.

  • CMS

    • Google To Kill Knol, Its Wikipedia Competitor

      Google has announced that it will kill Knol, its Wikipedia competitor. Interestingly, Google co-founder Sergey Bring donated half a million dollars to Wikipedia foundation, last week.

      Google launched Knol in 2007 to help improve web content by enabling experts to collaborate on in-depth articles. In order to continue this work, Google has been working with Solvitor and Crowd Favorite to create Annotum, an open-source scholarly authoring and publishing platform based on WordPress.

    • Open Source Web CMS XOOPS Improves Ease of Use in Latest Release
  • Funding

    • Investment Protection With Open Source

      I have heard it said that companies don’t want open source because they want the security of a relationship with a big business. But this outlook reflects misunderstandings of the real values of open source. I believe it to be yet another consequence of the “price frame”.

      There is an overall price-related message-frame that proprietary software companies like to use around open source. In each instance, an idea completes the phrase “open source may come with free licenses but…” in creatively manipulative ways. In many cases, the resulting statement conceals a weakness of proprietary software by casting it as a weakness of open source.

      In the case of software investment protection, the phrase gets completed “… but you need a proprietary vendor for long-term investment protection”. That’s a deceptive statement and I suggest that actually the open source model – done well – offers more security than the proprietary model.

    • Rapid7 Secures $50 million in Series C Funding
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE) is Now Open Source

      Because of the large ecosystem that has developed around GWT, App Engine, and Google’s Cloud services, and because our primary mission is to help users (as opposed to creating proprietary development tools), it makes a lot of sense for us to open source GPE and make it easier for the community to enhance and extend the tools.

    • Apache Hadoop 0.23 is Here!

      I’ll present a short overview of the release in this post, more details are available in my recent talk on Apache Hadoop 0.23 at Hadoop World, 2011.

  • Public Services/Government

    • More open source software at European Space Agency

      The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to publish more of its software using open source licences. It is considering to use a source code tracking system to help untangle code that can be made available as open source and programs that, for whatever reason, can not.

    • French government tenders for open source support

      FOSS icon The French government has published a request for tenders to provide ICT support. The authorities are looking for a three-year support contract, worth two million euros and covering two-thirds of the country’s twenty-two ministries as well as the Court of Audit. According to Le Monde InformatiqueFrench language link this will include departments ranging from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Justice and Freedom to the Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Culture and Communication.

    • European Space Agency looks to open source more code

      The European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to promote more collaboration by open sourcing more of its software where possible. The effort is one of the facets of a recent case study of ESA by the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR.eu). ESA produces software for its own use to, for example, evaluate and analyse data from its missions. Software it has already released under open source licenses includes POLSARPRO, a tool package for manipulating polarmetric data, BEAM, a platform for analysing remote sensing raster data, and NEST, used for analysing mission data archives.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Release often … enough
    • New Relic Expands Performance Monitoring as a Service with Python

      How exactly should you gain visibility into the performance levels your customers are seeing when they use your Web applications? One method that’s still in wide use is compelling users to install plug-ins and background processes. But for many users, that’s not just performance monitoring, that’s behavior monitoring. You don’t want your analytics tool straying too far into the realm of potential privacy violations.

      Until HTML5 can fully implement its standard methodology for capturing browser performance specs, Web developers need alternatives. One candidate, provided by a company RWW spoke with called New Relic, is to have Web apps servers supply performance measurement agents to clients while the apps themselves are being served. These agents communicate not with your server, but with New Relic instead, and the results are made visible as analytics charts through your browser.

    • Fear and slow loading: Eclipse celebrates 10 unsettling years

      In November 2001, IBM made its Java tools IDE and platform, developed for WebSphere Application Studio, available under an open source licence. It was the beginning of Eclipse, which now claims 65 per cent of the Java IDE market. But why was Eclipse founded and what has been its impact over a decade?

    • ActiveState Commits to Free Stackato Micro Cloud for Developers

Leftovers

  • ‘Apple’s iPhone 4S ate our SIM cards’

    The “phone” bit of the new iPhone 4S has stopped working properly for some users who are experiencing repeated SIM card failures, according to customer help forums on the Apple website.

    The SIM stutter appears to be affecting customers running the new iOS 5.01 on the iPhone 4S: those affected report frequent error messages detailing “invalid SIM”, even while using SIM cards they know have worked with other phones.

  • Apple cult mocked by Samsung in Galaxy S II ad
  • 7 Reasons Why Apple is More Evil than Microsoft

    Thanks to the hard work and vision of Steve Jobs, Apple has managed to evolve from a mere cult to a mainstream phenomenon. Fanboys, celebrities, politicians and geeks who adore their products have exalted the billion-dollar company to a technological pseudoreligion. A silent witness to Apple’s magnificent ascent from failure to stardom has been Microsoft.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Health Insurers, Lobbyists Re-Tuning Their Spin Machine

      One of the reasons why Congress has been largely unable to make the American health care system more efficient and equitable is because of the stranglehold lobbyists for special interests have on the institution.

      Whenever lawmakers consider any kind of meaningful reform, the proposed remedies inevitably create winners and losers. Physicians’ incomes most likely will be affected in some way, as will the profits of all the other major players: the hospitals, the drug companies, the medical device manufacturers, and the insurers, just to name a few. The list is long, and the platoons of highly paid and well-connected lobbyists who represent their interests comprise a large private army that conquered Capitol Hill years ago.

  • Security

    • Tool kills hidden Linux bugs, vulnerabilities
    • Google’s open source geezer gets shirty about security

      Google’s hackerishly hirsute Open Source Programs Manager, Chris DiBona, stormed the IT headlines this week when he stuck his paddle into the computer security world and stirred.

      In a blog posting which was at least as far above the line in gung-hovity as it was below the line in orthography, DiBona openly referred to vendors of Android anti-virus software as “charlatans and scammers.”

    • Microsoft and Some Press Catch Up to the 21st Century

      While many of us do simultaneous facepalms and giggle at a decade-late decision, others question the legality of doing so. A multi-billion dollar industry has grown, based on the absolute porous operating system that is Microsoft Windows.

      I’m sure Windows fans will protest, saying such things as:

      “Well, I’ve run Windows for years and NEVER had a virus”.

      Of course, when he says that, he should also hold up a sign to identify himself as belonging to the 1%.

      Personally, I cannot suss where this will land legally. It’s hard to argue with the fact that MS is finally going to at least try to address the issue of virus/trojan/malware security. But then again, we all know most anti virus “protection” is a reaction to something that’s already happened on the system….

  • Finance

    • Who’s Wrecking America? Meet Your 1% Nominees

      Of course, simply bandying names about isn’t the point. The point is that the activists fueling social movements like Occupy need to be able to understand exactly how oppression works and which individuals are controlling the process. Where would our nation be if, in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, activists had spoken only of the systemic issue of segregation and didn’t have George Wallace and Bull Connor to single out as perpetrators? We at Brave New Foundation are helping build a narrative so that citizens can draw a straight line between the cheats and bullies misusing their wealth and the economic predicament in which our country is now ensnared.

      We aren’t alone in this effort. Our partners include progressive media truth tellers like AlterNet, TruthOut, the Nation, PoliticusUSA, CARE2, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Young Turks, Campaign for America’s Future, Free Speech TV, Thom Hartmann, and MichaelMoore.com.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • FCC finds AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile not in the public interest
    • It’s becoming their Internet — it should be our Internet

      Responding to Rob Reed’s Google+ post on the dark side of huge corporate entities — read: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube — controlling what we see and don’t see on the Internet, I wrote a couple of responses (instead of one because you can’t edit an existing post or comment on Google+’s Android client), which I will repeat here because, a) they’re not bad and b) I’m against “giving away” content to social networks and c) the irony of us having this discussion about Facebook on the newest, shiniest corporate-created social network, Google+ is particularly rich (and I acknowledge my part in it).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Cautious Optimism Follows SOPA Hearings: Don’t Get Cocky

        Crisis averted, so far. Last week’s hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was stacked in favor of the Internet blacklist bill but we seem to have come out unscathed.

        Public outcry against the bill rallied enough opposition to keep it from sailing through. Google testified against the bill, MasterCard voiced some objections, and tens of thousands of users lit up their representatives’ phone lines thanks to Tumblr. But it’s not over.

        Following the proceedings, I spoke with Electronic Frontier Foundation activist Parker Higgins. “Considering the makeup of the meetings, and how expectations were, it went really well” says Higgins. “It remains to be seen what happens next, but given positive experience [at the hearing] and outpouring through the EFF and other groups, things look better today than they did earlier this week.”

11.22.11

Links 22/11/2011: Ubuntu 12.04 Plans, OpenPGP JavaScript implementation

Posted in News Roundup at 7:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • No Quickflix movies for you, GNU/Linux user

    Movie fans are rejoicing over the opening of Quickflix in Australia and the possibility of streaming movies to their PCs without having to look over their shoulders.

  • Tool kills hidden Linux bugs, vulnerabilities
  • M$, Finally Admitting Installation Is Second-Rate, Promises Improvement

    That’s still not close to what I normally expect from GNU/Linux but, what the heck, they are newbies.

  • Desktop

    • How Committed Is Google To Chrome OS At This Stage?

      When Google announced Chrome OS in 2009, it got a tremendous amount of hype, primarily because it presented a new cloud-centric model for working with applications and unusual approaches to operating system security. Google has had problems, though, translating the hype into a realistic strategy for proliferating Chrome OS-based systems, dubbed Chromebooks. Although Samsung and Acer have steadily backed Chromebooks, they have not made a big splash, and now some analysts are questioning whether Google’s OS will ever become a dominant force.

  • Kernel Space

    • AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer Overclocking On Ubuntu Linux

      While in the weeks since the launch of the AMD FX “Bulldozer” processors we have looked at many areas of computing performance for the FX-8150 CPU, from the compiler tuning to multi-core scaling, one area that hasn’t yet been covered under Linux is the AMD FX-8150 overclocking. But this article changes that.

    • Journal: end of the line for syslog?

      Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers have developed a new Linux logging system with the aim of replacing syslog. The two Red Hat developers hope that their Journal daemon will resolve a number of perceived problems with syslog, the current industry standard for logging on Unix systems.

    • Kernel Log: real-time kernel goes Linux 3.0

      The patches for real-time support are now based on a much more recent kernel version. Torvalds has revoked a change merged into 3.2 which had come under widespread criticism from developers. AMD and Intel have released new graphics drivers.

      With the release of real-time (RT) kernel 3.0.9-rt25, Thomas Gleixner has declared that the Linux 3.0-based RT tree is now ready for use in live systems. He noted that this new version series represents a major leap forward and that development has run pretty smoothly, despite major revisions to many of the core techniques.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Releases 290.10 Linux Graphics Driver

        NVIDIA announced yesterday the 290.10 Linux graphics driver with numerous changes.

        Aaron Plattner announced the 290.10 Linux binary driver release with fixing numerous bugs, improving the performance of FBO bind operations under Xinerama (~30%), and support for pre-VBO DrawArrays command in the server-side GLX driver module. Bug/regression fixes make up a majority of the changes.

      • An X.Org Server 1.12 Snapshot Arrives

        Over the weekend there was the first X.Org Server 1.12 development snapshot released by Keith Packard. This isn’t an official alpha or beta development build yet, but rather just a snapshot to indicate the current development progress of this next major release. Going forward the plan is to tag such development releases at around the same time there are new stable point releases for the previous series.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • New Video of Multitouch Couch Table

          This time it runs Bodhi Linux 1.2.0

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Five Golden Rules for a Successful Ubuntu Desktop Migration

            So, you like the idea of deploying an Ubuntu desktop to all or some of your users. You like the way Ubuntu’s light-client model can give your older desktop machines a new lease of life. You like the fact that Ubuntu is secure, portable, and easy to manage. Best of all, you like that it costs nothing to license, and comes with a host of enterprise-grade apps that cost nothing to license either.

          • Building a Precise Pangolin: A summary of UDS success

            The Ubuntu Developer Summit – UDS – is a major event in the Canonical calendar. Taking place every six months, it is the Ubuntu event which defines the focus and plans for our up-coming version of Ubuntu. In the first week of November, over 800 people, from Canonical engineers and employees, Ubuntu community members, partners, ISVs, upstreams and many more gathered to discuss and plan for the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04, code-named Precise Pangolin.

            UDS covered 420 sessions, under nine tacks, from desktop to design, community to server and cloud. Attendees worked in the usual collaborative and open environment and spent the week pooling their experience and expertise and sharing best practise resulting, as always, in the very best ideas. Right now, those ideas are are represented in hundreds of blueprint documents and are being put into action by developers, community and Canonical, who are already driving forward for April’s launch. As a practical demonstration of that openness you can track our progress here (note, it’s early days!): http://status.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-precise/.

          • Canonical dropping CouchDB from Ubuntu One

            Canonical is discontinuing its use of CouchDB as part of its Ubuntu One data synchronisation service. The announcement was made by John Lenton, Senior Engineering Manager at Canonical. CouchDB has been used in Ubuntu One to provide a synchronisable way of storing and distributing arbitrary structured data which included contacts, notes and playlists.

          • Ubuntu Juju Delivers Cloud Server Magic

            Canonical is set to release Ubuntu 11.10, codenamed the Oneiric Ocelot this week, with a key focus on the cloud.

            Among the cloud-focused technology components that are set to debut in the new Linux distribution is something that Canonical is branding as Juju. With Juju, Ubuntu is aiming to deliver a cloud orchestration technology for server admins.

          • Will Ubuntu PCs in Retail Succeed Where Mail Order Failed?

            In recent weeks Canonical has announced major initiatives to sell Ubuntu PCs in Asia and Europe, just like it tried — and mostly failed — to do five years ago in the United States. But will things be different this time? Here are some thoughts.

            Five years ago, when Dell began shipping laptops and desktops in the United States with Ubuntu pre-installed, there were lots of reasons to believe Linux just might take off among the masses. Dell not only offered Ubuntu but actually promoted it for a while. The introduction of Windows Vista around the same time left many consumers eager to consider alternatives to the Microsoft universe.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) and other shells

            Recently I ‘upgraded’ to Ubuntu 11.10 and was faced with being, as I thought, ‘forced’ to use Unity if I wanted to stay with Ubuntu in its latest version. Having stuck with Unity for a few weeks I can say that I still dislike it.

            I started to look for a solution and fairly quickly found that I had made the same mistake as many other commentators — even in Ubuntu 11.10, Unity is only the default UI. When Ubuntu 11.04 shipped it had the easy fall-back at logon of ‘Ubuntu classic’, which gave users a choice of selecting the GNOME 2 UI at startup. Mark Shuttleworth had said, in the run-up to 11.10, that in Oneiric Ocelot this choice would no longer be available.

          • Canonical Moves One Step Closer to Mobile, TV Computing

            It’s official: Canonical’s foray into the world of phones, tablets and even TVs has begun. Or at least, that’s what the introduction of formal development channels for these categories suggests. Here’s the latest, and what it says about Ubuntu’s future.

            It’s been pretty clear for a while that Canonical was steering Ubuntu in the direction of portable devices; hence, its focus on the uTouch library for improving touchscreen support on Linux beginning back in 2010 and the introduction of the Unity interface, which aims to cater to screens of all sizes and touchabilities.

          • Canonical Community Team 12.04 Plans
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Lubuntu 11.10 Review: You Don’t Have To Quit Ubuntu

              I have been playing with couple of distros in the past week. I tried Linux Mint, Fedora 16 and openSUSE (Gnome as well as KDE). I found each distro to be the leader in its own class. For disclosure, I am a long time Ubuntu user and have been switching between Fedora 16 and openSUSE 12.1 ever since they are out. Apart from a few issues there is no major hurdle that keeps me away from any of these distros.

            • First Look at Linux Mint 12

              It’s a really good month for Linux distributions. First we got Fedora 16, then openSUSE 12.1, and now we have the preview release of Linux Mint 12. This release has the answer to the question: Just what is the Mint team going to do with the desktop?

              With GNOME moving from the 2.x series to 3.x, the big question was whether Linux Mint would find a way to stick with the old school GNOME or move to 3.x. The answer appears to be “yes.” Let me explain.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cotton Candy: The USB Sized ARM PC That Runs Ubuntu
    • It Doesn’t Get Much Smaller Than This, But It Could Be Cheaper

      We are getting close to “perfection” with thin clients and all-in-one computers but this gadget must be “it”. Using only USB power, the thing can run a modern distro like Ubuntu/Linux or Android/Linux and can be used with any PC that can boot a USB drive. It’s still pricey for the material in it. I expect eventually such gadgets will sell for a bit more than a USB drive costs. The HDMI port, card reader, electronics and ARM CPU do cost something but the price should be ~$100 to really hit the market hard. Still, this thing will sell and widely.

    • Intel embedded suite adds Yocto support

      Intel released an update to its Linux-based, Intel Atom-focused Intel Embedded Software Development Tool Suite, adding support for the Yocto 1.1 embedded tookit. Version 2.3 supports the latest Intel Atom models and optimizations, and updates components including the compiler, performance libraries, and analysis and debug tools, says the company.

    • Entire Computer Built Into USB Thumb Drive
    • Super Tiny Computer Puts Android on Your TV, Laptop
    • Phones

      • HP & Intel open Palm sale talks; webOS printers still in pipeline

        HP is still quietly shopping webOS around among with other Palm assets, according to sources, but insisting that potential buyers of the platform agree to license it back for use in future HP printers. Intel has just entered discussions with HP, a source close to the negotiations spilled to VentureBeat, while Qualcomm – despite sidestepping any suggestions of interest in webOS – is also said to be still in the running.

      • Android

        • The Facebook Phone: It’s Finally Real and Its Name Is Buffy

          After years of considering how to best get into the phone business, Facebook has tapped Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC to build a smartphone that has the social network integrated at the core of its being.

        • Steve Wozniak, Apple Co-Founder, Gets His Galaxy Nexus

          Steve Wozniak is the genius, the mad engineer who created what we call today Personal Computers or PCs. He co-founded Apple with the other Steve whose skill were around creating business model around anything.

        • Facebook taps HTC to build Android-powered Facebook phone (rumor)
        • Android’s lead over iOS hits 2x mark on mobile ad network
        • Your Android Apps Can Run On a Computer, Too

          A couple of years ago, there was much debate about whether Android would inspire the kind of inspiration among app developers that developers have for Apple’s iOS. There were even those who said that no app ecosystem would come close to Apple’s App Store. Today, though, Android apps are flourishing, and you may very well run them already on a phone, a tablet or both. Did you know, though, that you can run them on a computer as well? While it only works on Windows at this point (it is coming soon in a Mac version), BlueStacks App Player lets you do so.

        • How To Run Android Apps on Your Windows PC
        • Free software runs Android apps via Windows XP
        • Android 4.0 keyboard now available for older versions

          The Galaxy Nexus is almost here, but even if you’re not in the market for a new phone you can sate your Ice Cream Sandwich appetite a little thanks to an XDA developers user, who extracted the keyboard application from Android 4.0 and made it available as a free download for Android 2.2 and 2.3. It’s not the full 4.0 experience — voice input isn’t working, and not all languages were ported over — but the keyboard’s improved autocorrection, new look and feel, and a few other features came over in the transfer. We installed the keyboard on a Droid X2 running Gingerbread, and it activated and worked seamlessly.

        • Where’s Android headed? Everywhere!

          Ask him where he sees Android headed, and he’s confident that the open source mobile operating system will be ubiquitous, powering digital devices across the board – from fridges and heaters to every kind of mobile device there is.

          “We’ll see it power everything … even cars, maybe,” says the 24-year-old Android developer from Portugal. In Bangalore to attend and deliver the keynote address at Droidcon India, the first-ever international Android conference in the country, Diogo Ferreira is convinced that Android has the potential to transform the digital world as we know it. For instance, he talks about a CISCO gadget presentation where he saw a smartphone with a tablet built into it (that’s made on Android), so when you’re going for a meeting you can simply pick up the tablet from the phone and proceed. Being open sourced, Android, he believes, has the potential to go places. “The exciting thing is that it’s so open that if someone wants to, they can simply take the code and take it in any direction.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenPGP JavaScript implementation allows webmail encryption

    Researchers from German security firm Recurity Labs have released a JavaScript implementation of the OpenPGP specification that allows users to encrypt and decrypt webmail messages.

  • OpenPGP implementation for webmail encryption
  • Open Source and the Open Road, Part 1

    Automotive electronics are becoming more sophisticated each year, and it’s reaching the point at which some cars may soon need built-in operating systems in order for people to use them properly. Not too far in the future, if you buy a new car, you may find that Android or a Linux-based OS is riding shotgun.

  • Web Server NGINX Partners With CDN Firm Jet-Stream
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Faster JavaScript apps with Google Chrome

        Google is working on an alternative technique aimed at tangibly speeding up response times for interactive JavaScript applications in Chrome. Although Google’s V8 JavaScript Engine has made steady progress in the way it processes the scripting language in the past, interactive applications such as Google Maps, games like Angry Birds and WebGL experiments place additional demands on the engine. A new incremental garbage collector is aimed at improving “interactive performance”.

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 8 update fixes crashing bugs

        Mozilla has released the first maintenance update to version 8 of its open source Firefox web browser. According to the release notes, Firefox 8.0.1 is a minor release that addresses two crashing bugs though there are 13 bugs listed as known issues that are “to be fixed in future versions”.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Interview with Björn Michaelsen about the Hackfest

      Please, tell us something about you and your activities? And how you became involved with Open Source Software and LibreOffice?

      I started to get involved with Open Source when I was still a student. I got involved quite a bit with Gentoo (the Linux distribution) in its early days, somewhere around Gentoo 1.2. I even wrote some tools for it, only to scratch my personal itch, but it seems that for example ‘etc-proposals’ is still quite popular. I kept being involved in Open Source, although my first job after graduating from the university was not Open Source related. In 2008 I joined Sun’s OpenOffice Writer team, motivated by the opportunity to work on one of the biggest – and most important – Open Source projects in the world. I learned quite a lot about the codebase and the product there and in turn could bring in some experience from the sometimes chaotic, but always dynamic ways of Open Source projects. As of February 2011 I am employed by Canonical and take care of LibreOffice releases on Ubuntu. Since that date I am contributing code changes directly to LibreOffice. Later I also joined the Engineering Steering Committee of LibreOffice.

    • Oracle v. Google – Update on the Reexaminations

      As was noted in Google’s filing last Friday with respect to the proposed trial plan [PDF; Text] the reexaminations of the six asserted Oracle patents are currently running largely in Google’s favor. [Note: a seventh patent, the '447 patent which remains in reexamination is no longer being asserted by Oracle.] Google argues that this should sway the court in favor of staying at least the patent infringement action until final determinations on each of these reexaminations by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

      The most recent action by the USPTO has been the issuance of an Action Closing Prosecution on the ’720 patent. ACP Dated 11-18-2011 [PDF]. In that action the USPTO maintains its rejection of all of the contested claims of the ’720 patent, including the six claims asserted in the litigation. Oracle has 30 days in which to respond to the ACP and attempt to convince the examiner that the decision is misplaced.

  • CMS

    • XOOPS Project releases XOOPS 2.5.4

      XOOPS is one of the most successful Open Source CMS solutions, constantly winning top places in various competitions, and receiving various awards.

  • Education

    • Flinders replaces WebCT with open source system

      Flinders University is in the final stages of a multi-year effort to replace its 13-year-old WebCT learning management system (LMS) next year.

      The project began in mid-2009, as Blackboard phased out support for WebCT Vista – on which Flinders Learning Online (FLO) was based – after acquiring WebCT in 2005.

      Staff saw Blackboard Version 9, launched that year, as a “new product anyway”, so the university decided to consider other LMS vendors.

  • Funding

    • Google Co-Founder Donated Half A Million Dollars To Wikipedia

      The co-founder of Google Sergey Brin has donated $500,000 to Wikipedia Foundation. Sergey made the donation via his The Brin Wojcicki Foundation. The foundation was started by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Apple and jail made cool

      What Stallman wrote was “Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died … we all deserve the end of Jobs’ malign influence on people’s computing. / Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.”

      In a follow-up, Stallman expanded his argument: “The important thing about Jobs is what he directed Apple to do to those who are still living: to make general-purpose computers with digital handcuffs more controlling and unjust than ever before … Jobs saw how to make these computers stylish and smooth. That would normally be positive, but not in this case, since it has the paradoxical effect of making their controlling nature seem acceptable.”

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Embracing the Big open-source Society

      In this age of austerity, public sector IT leaders are constantly looking for alternative solutions to deliver more with less.

      In this context, it is perhaps surprising that the government’s overall approach to open-source solutions has been lukewarm to say the least, especially by comparison with other European countries including the Netherlands and France, which have embraced open source to deliver greater value through collaboration and efficiency to the taxpayer.

    • OpenVPN Modified for Dutch Government Use

      Fox-IT was contracted by the Netherlands National Communications Security Agency to make security modifications to OpenVPN, a leading open-source VPN product, which make the software suitable for government employee use. This development ensures that Dutch government employees can securely access work files outside their office.

  • Licensing

    • How scary are GPL violations?

      Since the source code is usually available, software under a free or open open source license can be re-used within another software project rather easily. That is, after all, the whole point of FLOSS. But the potential for FLOSS license violations within software projects is, like any other license, always there.

      Critics of FLOSS licenses are usually quick to point out that the very openness of FLOSS source code actually promotes more license violations. Protect yourself, these critics urge, and avoid FLOSS altogether–or at the very least purchase commercial compliance services and products.

  • Open Hardware

    • Q&A: Future of robotics is open source; raises ethical questions

      During my interview with Cousins at the Compass Summit he speculated that an open-source software base could provide a boost to the robotics industry, similar to how Apple’s App Store creates more utility for iPhones and how video game attachments support particular games.

  • Programming

    • jQuip: “90% of jQuery, 13% of the size”

      A new open source JavaScript library claims to offer 90 per cent of the popular jQuery library’s functionality at only 13 per cent of the size. jQuip – JQuery-in-parts – is small enough that it can be included as source to avoid external references in web pages, according to the developers. It offers the $() selector syntax and methods including each, attr, bind, unbind, append, prepend, before, after and many more. It also supports a wide range of events and static methods. Plugins allow jQuip to expand its capability to detect documentReady and perform CSS manipulation and Ajax calls. Any call not implemented currently throws a “not implemented” exception. The animation methods hide, show, fadeIn and fadeOut work, but do not animate.

    • PyPy 1.7 widens the performance “sweet spot”

      The PyPy development team has released version 1.7 of its “very compliant” Python interpreter with integrated tracing just-in-time (JIT) compiler. The developers say that the focus of the new update was widening the range of code that PyPy can speed up, which the developers refer to as the “sweet spot”. In their benchmarks, PyPy 1.7 performs approximately 30 per cent faster than 1.6 and “up to 20 times faster on some benchmarks”.

    • What I’m thankful for as a developer

      Open source tools

      Developer tools have benefited more from the free and open source software revolution than any other category of software. When I was learning C programming in the early 1990s, Borland’s offer of an integrated MS-DOS C compiler, editor, debugger, and linker for $150 came as a revelation. Developer tools for commercial Unix systems cost thousands.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • How technology can help the elderly – and how you can be part of the action!

    One of the things I’m most passionate about in my current role is the social benefits of the Digital Agenda. Because new technology isn’t just about boosting our growth and productivity: it also offers significant opportunities to protect and include everyone in our society.

    In particular, technology can help the elderly: because by innovating we can address the challenges of ageing. In an initiative led by the EU, we’ve just agreed some very clear actions so we can do this. Actions with a positive impact for older people, and those who live with and care for them.

    For example, did you know that falls are the leading cause of injuries among the elderly? By preventing falls through early diagnosis and screening, technology can lead to an amazing decrease in the number of elderly people who need to be treated after an accident. This means more elderly people can keep their independence longer – and also reduces the burden on our stretched health and social care systems. Most of all, it could have a lasting impact on how we value and interact with the older generation.

    New technologies can promise these kinds of changes – and many others besides. But it takes a whole range of people to deliver them. After all, innovation in this area could come from anywhere – doctors, carers, governments, the ICT industry, entrepreneurs, or the elderly themselves. To make progress, and to deliver the kind of changes that really help those in the care frontline, we need cooperation and mutual understanding between all those groups.

  • Security

    • Google Open Saucer wades into Android security FUD

      Google’s open source supremo Chris DiBona has lashed out at companies flogging antivirus software for Google’s Android operating system, calling them “charlatans and scammers”.

      He apparently became incadescant with rage after he saw a press report about “inherent” insecurity of open source software, which is used not just in Android but also Apple’s iOS, he said.

      DiBona said that Android, iOS, and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS don’t need antivirus software.

    • Google Open-Source Programs Manager Calls Out Anti-Virus Software Companies
    • Mobile Malware Crisis? Not So Fast

      “Virus companies are playing on your fears to try to sell you bs protection software for Android, RIM, and iOS,” DiBona charged. “They are charlatans and scammers. If you work for a company selling virus protection for Android, RIM, or iOS you should be ashamed of yourself.”

  • Finance

  • Civil Rights

    • Stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation

      The Internet Blacklist Legislation – known as PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House – is a threatening sequel to last year’s COICA Internet censorship bill. Like its predecessor, this legislation invites Internet security risks, threatens online speech, and hampers Internet innovation. Urge your members of Congress to reject this Internet blacklist campaign in both its forms!

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Culture According to Sarkozy: Digital Obscurantism and Contempt for Rights

      Paris, 18th of November 2011 – Nicolas Sarkozy is attempting a sleight of hand at today’s G8/G20 Forum d’Avignon on culture, economy and the media: posing as the defender of digital culture and the Internet. La Quadrature du Net reminds of his disastrous record, and calls on citizens to judge by themselves with the upcoming votes in the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, in particular on the anti-counterfeiting ACTA agreement.

    • The CRTC’s Declaration of Independent ISP Independence

      Last week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission released its much-anticipated usage based billing decision. While the ruling only focused on the use of data caps (or UBB) as between Internet providers, the issue garnered national attention with over 500,000 Canadians signing a petition against Internet data caps and the government providing clear signals that it would overrule the Commission if it maintained its support for the practice.

      My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the resulting decision seemed to cause considerable confusion as some headlines trumpeted a “Canadian compromise,” while others insisted that the CRTC had renewed support for UBB. Those headlines were wrong. The decision does not support UBB at the wholesale level (the retail market is another story) and the CRTC did not strike a compromise. Rather, it sided with the independent Internet providers by developing the framework the independents had long claimed was absent – one based on the freedom to compete.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Koha creators asking for help in trademark dispute

        Koha is a free library management system created by the Horowhenua Library Trust in New Zealand. This software has been the subject of an ongoing fight with a US company called LibLime, which seems to want to take the software proprietary; LWN reported on this dispute in 2010.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright isn’t working, says European Commission

        People have come to see copyright as a tool of punishment, Europe’s technology chief has said in her strongest-yet attack on the current copyright system.

        Digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said on Saturday that the creative industries had to embrace rather than resist new technological ways of distributing artistic works. She added that the existing copyright system was not rewarding the vast majority of artists.

        “Is the current copyright system the right and only tool to achieve our objectives? Not really,” Kroes said in a speech to the Forum D’Avignon thinktank. “Citizens increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what is behind it.”

      • EU Commissioner calls the term copyright a hated word

        The EU’s Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, has criticised the current system for the protection of intellectual property rights. In her traditional speech at a cultural and media forum in Avignon on Saturday, the Dutch politician said that the millions of dollars invested trying to enforce copyright have not stemmed piracy. Speaking with unusual frankness, Kroes said that citizens increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what is behind it. “Sadly, many see the current system as a tool to punish and withhold, not a tool to recognise and reward [creative work]“, she added.

      • Is copyright working?

        What do you think of, when you think of copyright? A tool to recognise and reward artists? Or a tool to punish and withhold material?

        For me the answer should clearly be the first. But all too often, in the digital age, it is seen as the second.

        Our current copyright system is not succeeding in its objectives. I agree we should fight against piracy. But it’s becoming increasingly hard to legally enforce copyright rules, a battle that costs millions of dollars with little signs of victory.

      • ‘We had no evidence for anti-piracy law’, UK government admits

        The UK government had ‘no evidence’ to support the Digital Economy Act, the UK’s anti-piracy and censorship law, it has emerged in a parliamentary select committee.

Links 22/11/2011: Chromebooks Get Cheaper, $60 Android Tablets, Woz Gets Android

Posted in News Roundup at 7:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 things you must teach new Linux users

    During TechRepublic’s Live Event, I said that I could hand a Linux machine to new users and give them the information necessary to make sure their transition to Linux was successful–and they wouldn’t be hounding me constantly on how X is done or asking, “What is Y?”

    I could tell by the faces of the audience members that some of them wanted to know how I could make such a bold statement. With that in mind, here are 10 pieces of information to pass on to new Linux users that will ensure a successful transition.

  • Over time, Linux package dependencies show predator/prey relationship

    You’ll frequently hear references to a “software ecosystem” on various platforms, but it’s relatively rare to see someone take that sort of terminology seriously. A group of evolutionary biologists, however, has now used the tools of ecosystem analysis to look at the evolution of Debian releases, examining things like package dependencies and software incompatibility.

  • Thoughts of Thankfulness From Linux Land

    The run-up to the holidays got many in the Linux blogosphere thinking about some of the things their thankful for, and a community of technology lovers sharing free and open software was near the top of many lists. “In the end, it’s the people you end up interacting with who are more important than the actual technology,” blogger Barbara Hudson told LinuxInsider.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks drop to $299, gain Chrome OS update

      Google announced that the Wi-Fi only version of the Samsung and Acer Chromebooks, including a newly announced black version of the Samsung Chromebook, will drop $50 in price to $300. Google also released updated firmware for the Chromebooks’ Chrome operating system, featuring a new login page and a revamped New Tab page that offers new shortcuts.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Who cares about your dang Desktop Environment?!

      If you are into such things, and you place your faith on those distro popularity numbers over on DistroWatch, you’ll see that Ubuntu has dropped from its number one position, a position now held by Linux Mint. Heavens, no! Surely the universe is about to implode! And isn’t even 2012 yet!

      Sorry about that. The reason for Ubuntu’s decline from that venerated number one position has been speculated on by tea leaf readers everywhere (i.e. my fellow tech journalists). Much has been made about the Canonical’s embrace of Unity over traditional GNOME and I am among the guilty when it comes to that. I happen to dislike Unity but I do like GNOME 3. This, oddly enough, puts me at odds with the majority of people who runs GNOME in one way or another though more people seem to hate Unity than GNOME 3 — I could be wrong. The question, however, is this . . .

      Has Canonical shot itself in the foot, giving up its number one position, by adopting and sticking by Unity? Does the choice of desktop environment matter that much? Are Linux users, who traditionally just install and run whatever they want, regardless of what it presented to them, really that irked about Unity that they are abandoning Ubuntu? Okay, that’s at least three questions.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • A good GNOME 3 Experience

        I’ve been using GNOME 3 full time for over 9 months, and I find it quite usable. I’ve had to learn some new usage patterns, but I don’t see that as a negative. It’s a new piece of software, so I’m doing my best to use it the way it’s designed to be used.

        Sure, it’s different than GNOME 2. It’s vastly different. But it is a new UI paradigm. The GNOME 2 experience was over 9 years old, and largely based on the experience inherited from the old Windows 95 muxed with a bit of CDE. There were so many things that the GNOME hackers wanted to do — and lots of things all the UI studies said needed changing — that the old pattern simply couldn’t support.

  • Distributions

    • A first look at ZevenOS 2.0 “Neptune”

      Aside from the window decorations I don’t see any connection between this project and BeOS. One could get the same effect by taking a distro like SimplyMEPIS and changing the desktop theme. It’s tempting to write off ZevenOS as just another Debian derivative with a different collection of artwork, but I’m not sure that’s a fair evaluation. ZevenOS 2.0 “Neptune” doesn’t just have nice artwork, but a good collection of programs and easy-to-access documentation. It does a good job of being user-friendly while staying out of the way — desktop effects, for example, were not in evidence. ZevenOS may not be in the same class as some other Debian-based distros, such as Linux Mint “Debian” edition or SimplyMEPIS, but it’s not doing badly for such a young project. Hopefully the developers will expand on the installer and add a dedicated update utility for future releases. If you’re already happily using a Debian-based distro I don’t think there is anything here to win over hearts and minds. On the other hand, new users, especially those seeking a distribution with a German-focused forum, may find what they’re looking for in ZevenOS.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva’s Powerpack 2011 propels it back into the forefront of Linux distros

        Back in the nineties, one of the top Linux distributions was, without a doubt, Mandrake Linux. Well, that eventually turned into Mandriva which wound up caught in the midst of an identity crisis. It was becoming clear which distributions were for the new users and which distributions where for the hard-core, well-versed users. All other distributions did nothing but struggle to remain afloat. Some went away and some simply continued to fluctuate.

        Mandriva was one of the latter. Unsure of which route to take, Mandriva at any given moment was a distribution that wanted to make new users happy, while at the same time, make experienced users proud to proclaim they were among the legions of Mandriva users.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 16 Verne with Gnome 3 – Absolute disappointment

          First, the good stuff. Fedora 16 did not have a single application crash or a SELinux alert, which is a great thing. There was the Samba problem, but it was not a crash per se. And thus endeth the good stuff. Now, the bad stuff. Where should I begin?

          Wireless takes ages to switch access points, Samba sharing is buggy, network gets slow, you must click three times just to get to your applications, and only then start sorting out what you might want or need. The interface is jerky and not very responsive. You can’t tell if you have open applications in any way, you get big, ugly prompts interfering with your work, the whole layout is annoying and counter-productive. Few of these elements should be blamed on Fedora, but Fedora’s developers chose it and they must bear the price of that decision. As a product, Verne suffers from bad integration and zero excitement.

          I have just decided I will not be testing another Gnome 3 release for at least one year, or maybe ever. In the upcoming SUSE review, it’s going to be KDE only. Well, maybe Linux Mint. I was never a great Fedora fan, but some of the releases actually made sense. You always had beta quality, little to no support, no fun software, and things changed rapidly, but the operating system could be made usable, it was fast and it was elegant in its own special way. What we have here is a Panda bear tripping a claymore wire.

        • Unknown Horizons 2011.3 for Fedora and EL6
        • Kororaa 14 Is No Longer Supported
    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

            Shuttleworth, don’t be stupid. Admit that diversity is a good thing and live with it or you will soon be obsolete like that other OS.

          • Rhythmbox Is the Default Player for Ubuntu 12.04

            Jason Warner, Ubuntu Desktop Manager at Canonical, decided to make Rhythmbox the default music player in the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) operating system.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12′s Three Desktops

              The popular Linux distribution, Mint, will be giving its users three different distinct flavors of the GNOME for their desktop in its next release, Linux Mint 12, Lisa.

              Like any Linux you can, of course, switch it to your own choice of desktop. Many, indeed, offer users a choice of desktops. Mint, for example, while primarily a GNOME-based distribution, also offers its users a version that uses the LXDE desktop for its interface.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-based GameGadget wants to become the iPod of classic portable gaming

      Anyone who wants to game on the go has a number of choices. There’s the Nintendo DS and 3DS, the PSP or the upcoming PS Vita, and then the growing competition from App Store and Android Market games running on smartphones or media players. Is there room for yet another platform? GameGadget hopes there is.

    • Phones

      • Is Amazon prepping a Kindle Phone?

        Amazon is preparing a Kindle Phone for 4Q 2012, expected to sell for as low as $150 to $170, says Citigroup. Meanwhile, Foxconn, which is rumored to be building the smartphone, will help build an upcoming 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire, says a report, and Piper Jaffray has upgraded its Kindle Fire 4Q sales estimates from 2.5 million to four million units.

      • Android

        • Google guru blasts Android virus doomsayers as ‘charlatans’

          Google’s open-source program manager has launched an entertaining rant against firms offering mobile security software, accusing them of selling worthless software and of being “charlatans and scammers”.

          Chris DiBona, Google’s open-source programs manager, argues that neither smartphones based on Google’s Android nor Apple’s iOS need anti-virus protection. Anyone telling you different is a snake-oil salesman, he said.

        • Asus Padfone specs leaked by GLBenchmark

          The Padfone is a smartphone-tablet hybrid. It includes a fully functional Android smartphone, along with a tablet docking station. Just slap the phone into the docking station and you can use a higher resolution 10 inch display instead of a 4 inch phone screen. The dock also has its own battery.

          [...]

          Right now it also appears to have a top clock speed of 918 MHz, but that could change by release.

        • Apple co-founder gets Google Android phone

          Wozniak, who has previously expressed his admiration for the Google Android operating system, was given a Samsung Galaxy Nexus device when he visited the search giant’s campus. He had previously said on Twitter that he was thinking about getting one, which is the first phone to run Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

          Wozniak was, however, also first in line the for the Apple iPhone 4S when it was released earlier this year. He has previously said that he bought Google’s first phone, the Nexus One, on the day it was released and that he tries to keep up with all the latest mobile developments.

        • HTC to focus on quad-core tablet PCs and smartphones in 2012

          HTC will focus on the production of quad-core tablet PCs and smartphones in the first half of 2012 competing with comparable devices to be released by rivals including Asustek Computer, Acer, Samsung Electronics and Lenovo, according to industry sources.

        • Top Free Android Comic Book Viewers
        • Apple co-founder gets Google Android phone

          Wozniak, who has previously expressed his admiration for the Google Android operating system, was given a Samsung Galaxy Nexus device when he visited the search giant’s campus. He had previously said on Twitter that he was thinking about getting one, which is the first phone to run Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • $60 tablet aims to bring internet to developing world

        They say the beauty of UbiSlate, an Android-based tablet, is that users will be able to obtain quality internet access using existing low-speed cellphone networks.

      • Don’t call it a tablet: the Kindle Fire reviewed

        Before it was announced, the Kindle Fire was rumored to be Amazon’s entry into the Android tablet market. To get a serious tablet, even a small one, at the Kindle Fire’s price of $199 would have been a holiday miracle.

        But in our time with the Kindle Fire, it fell far short of what tablets should be able to accomplish. As a vector for Amazon’s video and music stores and huge e-book selection, it’s great. As an e-reader, it’s merely OK. As an Internet and app portal, it falls short of Amazon’s promises.

      • Kindle hackers give Nook a thorough rooting

        The Android-based device, only unveiled by Barnes & Nobles in the US last week, was pwned by the same group of developers who previously rooted the Amazon Kindle Fire. In both cases rooting the devices gives users the ability to install apps themselves, rather than been restricted to those offered by the manufacturer.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache moves Geronimo to OSGi base

    In an attempt to help developers create more modular enterprise Java programs, the Apache Software Foundation has reconfigured its Geronimo application server to a set of standards established by the OSGi (Open Services Gateway initiative) Alliance.

    An application server based on the OSGi standard “is a lot more dynamic and provides a lot more structure to the developers,” said Kevan Miller, chairman of the Geronimo Project management committee.

  • Open source biometrics technology for mobile devices, PCs and servers

    DigitalPersona has open sourced its new MINEX-certified FingerJetFX fingerprint feature extraction technology.

    FingerJetFX, Open Source Edition (OSE), is free, portable software that device manufacturers and application developers can use to convert bulky fingerprint images into small, mathematical representations called fingerprint “templates” for efficient storage or comparison.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – The Pretrial Issues

      Now that almost all of the motions have been disposed of (the remaining motion open being Oracle’s motion to exclude portions of the damage reports from Drs. Leonard and Cox on behalf of Google), the focus turns to how to conduct the trial, and once again we see the sides at odds. This is not really surprising. How issues are dealt with at trial and the instructions given to the jury will be huge factors in the outcome of this dispute, especially on the copyright side of the ledger.

Leftovers

  • Chief rabbi: Steve Jobs’ Apple lust spreads misery, despair

    Steve Jobs has created a consumer society that makes many of us sad because we don’t have the latest iPhone, said the UK’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. Speaking at an interfaith gathering attended by the Queen, Sacks compared the iPad to the tablets of the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from the mountains.

    “The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTunes, i, I, I,” he said.

    “When you’re an individualist, egocentric culture and you only care about ‘I’, you don’t do terribly well.”

  • Dennis Ritchie: The geek Prometheus
  • Security

  • Finance

    • Weekly Financial Biz Recap: Citigroup and Goldman Sachs Employees Bail, Warren Buffett Antes Up

      Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) announces an unusually high number of partner retirements internally in recent weeks. Kevin Kennedy and Jeff Resnick are among the top well-known Wall Street names leaving. Kennedy was running Latin American operations, and Resnick was head of commodity trading.

      [...]

      Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM)have sold CDS protection on more than $5T of debt around the globe. However, don’t expect to get detail on which it was that sold. The banks have hedged themselves perfectly, and are not likely to divulge how they did so, unless they suffer a run similar to what has occurred to Jefferies (NYSE:JEF).

    • Thomas Cook plunges on £1bn debt fears

      Shares in Thomas Cook Group fell by more than 70 per cent after a further deterioration in trading forced the troubled tour operator to renegotiate the terms of its £1bn net debt burden for the second time in a month.

      [...]

      Paul Hollingworth, finance director, said: “We are confident that we will get the full support of our lenders. The rational and right thing for them to do is to support Thomas Cook over this period until we can trade robustly in the peak season.”

      The announcement prompted Thomas Cook to delay the release of its full-year results, which were originally scheduled for November 24.

    • Views on the OCCUPY Amendment

      As the struggle in the streets intensifies, and Occupy Wall Street refuses to remain silent, it’s good to know there are champions in Congress who have stepped up to the challenge of amending the US Constitution. It’s called OCCUPIED: Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy, here.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Book Discusses the Media’s Role in Perpetuating Racism

      An epic new book examines the crucial role press and media have played over time in perpetuating racist views in American culture. “News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the U.S. Media,” by Juan Gonzalez and Joe Torres, examines Americans’ chronic discontent with the media. The book reveals how racial segregation in the media has historically distorted the news and gives numerous examples of how publishers and broadcasters have actually encouraged violence towards minorities and ethnic groups through their coverage.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Interview with a Pirate

        In 2009, Amelia Andersdotter, a member of the Swedish Pirate Party (Piratpartiet), won a seat at the European Parliament in Brussels, but her official appointment was delayed until this year. Despite the delay in taking her seat, Andersdotter will still be the youngest member to hold a seat in the current parliament.

        The Pirate Party and open source software are intertwined. Back in December 2009, the group released a Tor server for anonymous communication and an Etherpad service, PiratePad, for real-time collaboration on texts.

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