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10.12.10

Links 12/10/2010: KDE-GNOME Comparisons, Mandriva Activity

Posted in News Roundup at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • New Linux Foundation User Survey Shows Enterprise Linux to Achieve Significant Gains

    The survey was conducted by The Linux Foundation in partnership with Yeoman Technology Group during August and September 2010 and received responses from more than 1900 individuals.

  • 10 Reasons Not to Use Linux (Reflexion)
  • Using Youtube to Promote Linux and Free Software

    It is very clear to me that Linux, GNU, and free software are more popular than ever. It is also very clear that this makes a lot of people in high places very afraid. Patent lawsuits and propaganda seem to be the customary responses to Linux’s ever increasing popularity. However, there is a great infrastructure that has been built that provides a powerful platform to combat the Linux-naysayers: Youtube. With billions (perhaps trillions) of video views, it is very clear that Youtube has become the dominant force for spreading information freely. I recently produced a 3 part video series on C++ programming that I posted onto Youtube. I produced the entire video series on my Fedora 13 Linux laptop using free software. What more powerful demonstration could I have come up with to prove that Linux is indeed ready for the prime time? In fact, the only problem that I ran into along the way was Youtube’s inability to process my Ogg Theora videos, the default file format on my system. In this article, I will talk about my experience, and what it means for the future of Linux on the desktop.

  • Desktop

    • A Linux that works

      With Ubuntu 10.10, I’m well along my migration to Linux as my main operating system

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 138: Cappuccino

      Cappuccino is an open source framework that makes it easy to build desktop-caliber applications that run in a web browser.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Nouveau Needs Help With Timing Management

        For those owners of NVIDIA graphics hardware that are already using — or interested in using — the open-source Nouveau driver that is developed by the community as an alternative to NVIDIA’s proprietary driver, the developers could use some help. Martin Peres has issued a testing request for people to try out new code for the Nouveau driver that deals with memory timing management.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME 3, Activites, and KDE 4

      The thing is, GNOME Activities has essentially the same concept (and even the same name) as KDE 4 Activities. So I was thinking for quite a while: how can this be called “revolutionary” with a straight face? Today it hit me: while KDE may have had the idea first, GNOME presents a far superior execution of this idea; GNOME Activities in the alpha and beta versions of GNOME 3 was very usable and improved with each iteration, while KDE Activities remained very slow, very buggy, and nearly unusable until the release of KDE 4.5.

    • KDE 4 vs. GNOME 3: An Early Comparison

      How will GNOME 3 compare to KDE 4? The picture is still emerging, since GNOME 3′s official release is still months away. However, with GNOME Shell available as a preview in the latest GNOME releases, a general outline is starting to be visible.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The King is dead, long live the king!

        Have you ever wondered what became out of KSensors? I did. Many times. Well the sad but inevitable fact is: its dead :-( . And as far as I can tell there are no real successors standing in the doorstep. All the sensor apps available for KDE4 are hardly replacements. Most of them are plasmoids and I’d rather consider them toys then the real deal.

      • A slides sorter in KPresenter

        As you may know, KOffice is on the way to release its 2.3 version. The presentation application of the suite, KPresenter, will embbed a really necessary feature for an end user application which is the slides sorter. A slides sorter view is a window that displays thumbnail versions of all your slides, arranged in horizontal rows. This view is useful to make global changes to several slides at one time. Rearranging slides is easy to do in Slides Sorter view.

      • Plasma Mobile Technology Preview Features in Kubuntu 10.10

        Yesterday’s Kubuntu 10.10 release features new KDE software for your phone. Working with KDE’s Plasma Mobile team, Kubuntu have created Kubuntu Mobile, suitable for smart phones and available for i386 and ARM platforms. This is a technology preview of the upcoming Plasma Mobile workspace and is not ready for day to day use.

  • Distributions

    • Larry and Me

      I want to thank Steve Dibb for all the effort he has put into building and running Planet Larry over the years, and for entrusting me to continue running it on behalf of the Gentoo community.

    • Reviews

      • Experiencing Arch Linux with the Archbang Live CD

        So I got my new laptop ready for a hardcore multi-boot install, and one of the distributions I’ve always wanted to test is Archbang. I’ve tried Arch before and installed it a couple of times just for fun, both in a virtual environment and on disk, but haven’t been serious about it. It was just to practice the installation and play around.

      • ArchBang Linux 2010.10 Review

        Released Oct. 7th, ArchBang 2010.10 is a ARCH linux based OS targeted at new and experienced linux users. The developer’s describe it as a simple, light-weight distro featuring the Openbox Window Manager and many small but useful apps.

        The “Bang” suffix is a clue to the original idea of a light Openbox desktop presented first in CrunchBang linux, a Ubuntu/Debian distro already established as a awesome Linux distribution targeted at laptops, netbooks, and older PC’s that I have used previously. I have followed the early development of this distro and thought I’d install the new version for x86 and see what’s changed.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Know thy packagers..

        So, in April, Funda Wang managed an impressive number of 600+ commits. He was followed by jquelin and goetz, with almost 200 commits each, then neoclust and cfergeau (I’ll mark Mandriva current/former employees with bold marks for the sake of clarity) with a bit more than 100 commits, and then by many others.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • PlayDeb Makes Getting the Latest Games on Ubuntu Easy

        Many games for Ubuntu are nicely packaged into an installable .deb file, which is great because it makes installing and running the game a piece of cake. But sometimes you’ll find a game that looks awesome, but it involves some command line incantations to get it to compile. Or perhaps, you installed version 1.0 some time ago, but version 2.0 came out last week and Ubuntu’s update-manager didn’t know about it.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Upgrade to the Latest Ubuntu the Easy Way

          Ready to jump on the latest Ubuntu, but don’t want to mess up your current Ubuntu installation? Here’s how you can painlessly upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10, or any later normal release of Ubuntu, directly from the Update Manager.

        • Re: The Register Maverick Review

          The first app and possibly others will be proprietary as well as commercial; but we are hoping for the sale and economic viability of Free and Open Source software in order to ensure that we don’t end up with proprietary people being rewarded and enabled while Free Software developers are punished and disabled.

          Canonical could have bee stronger message too, in my opinion. Not quite telling journalists if they’ll be selling FOSS software or just proprietary software. We need strong leadership and the best people to deliver a strong leadership on economic viability are platform providers who can communicate and provide the avenues built in to the platform.

        • 9 Things I Did After Installing Brand New Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

          The final release of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat is here with a ton of improvements. I think, it’s time to stop talking about the great strides Ubuntu 10.10 has made on the usability fronts and lets just concentrate on the things you need to do and you could do with the new Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Screenshot Tour Of Kubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

            Yesterday we published screenshots of the changes in Ubuntu 10.10. Today, we take a look at KDE-based Ubuntu derivative Kubuntu.

          • Linux Mint Fail
          • Xubuntu 10.10 – Xfce

            Another Ubuntu “Community” distribution, Xubuntu is basically the main Ubuntu distribution with an Xfce desktop. This makes it somewhat smaller and lighter than the standard Ubuntu Gnome distribution. I particularly like it for netbooks and sub-notebooks.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Fascism

        Every one has complied with the dictator’s wishes that a phoney “7″ should run on such-and-such a platform.

        [...]

        We shall see. One of the beauties of GNU/Linux is that being a well-designed OS it will run on anything.

      • Android

        • All myTouch 3G Series Phones to See Android 2.2

          An internal screen shot is being passed around showing T-Mobile’s Cole Brodman pledge of “no phones left behind” when it comes to the latest Android release and their flagship phones. It appears the carrier isn’t going to be pushing out vanilla Android updates but rather something along the lines of their Espresso build for the myTouch 3G Slide. Features include the Genius Button and MyFaves Gallery, both of which are new and custom for their phones. So all of you guys and gals with Fender edition phones, get ready. It’s “coming soon”.

        • Rumor: Android Gingerbread SDK To Drop Next Week

          Take this with a large grain of salt as it’s just a rumor at this point, but one of our sources very close to the Android core who has been testing and working with Gingerbread for quite a while recently shared a little tidbit of info. According to the source, we won’t have to wonder what exactly Gingerbread, the next Android OS, is going to bring to the table for too long because the Gingerbread SDK is going to go public next week.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Cloud Computing: Is there a threat?

      Perhaps the most sensitive aspect in the issue of cloud computing is the issue of privacy and personal security. Personally, I have no idea how storing all my personal data and personal files (images, documents, audio and video stuff) can be even remotely as private, safe and secure as storing them on my personal machine and then sharing them with the world as I wish. The irony is that when I tried to tell Noha that there will be many people who will refuse to place all the personal stuff on the cloud, her only response was something like: “Oh, of course there will be a great consideration for personal preference!”. But then, how is there going to be any kind “relevant” personal preference when the ability to store files and data on a completely isolated machine will not be available anymore? In my opinion (please correct me if I’m wrong), cloud-hosting service providers can brag all they want about the levels of privacy and security they provide, but the fact remains that the cloud will never be even half as trustworthy, when it comes privacy and security, as the desktop.

  • Oracle

    • Which OOo bugs are fixed in LibreOffice?

      Laurent asked me quite a good question this afternoon: should we add some comment in IssueZilla to indicate that a bug has been fixed in LibreOffice? It’s pretty obvious to me that it’s politically incorrect to do that… but we can extract the bug numbers from the LibreOffice git logs. First I started with some simple shell script to generate the list of the bug numbers, then I created my first GreaseMonkey script to change the IZ page for these bugs.

    • IBM joins the OpenJDK community, will help unify open source Java efforts

      When people talk about open source, the notion of “forking” often comes up. The idea is that some folks are not happy with the direction in which a project is going, so they take a copy of the source code, come up with a new name, and set up shop elsewhere. This is no guarantee that the newly forked project will be successful, but it functions as an important escape valve for those who have donated time and effort to a community project and want to see the work done in what they believe is the right manner.

  • Business

    • Freemium: The Web’s Counter-Intuitive Business Model

      It’s not a simple way to go, though, because as Aaron Levie, CEO at online collaboration vendor Box.net, pointed out at a recent talk called “6 Reasons You Would Be Crazy Not to Give Away Your Software For Free,” presented at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York City last month, it’s not easy to convince people to pay for something they are getting for free.

      In fact, Levie admitted that Box.net didn’t start out freemium. They charged for their services the old-fashioned way, and they actually made money — more money than they have since on a month-by-month, per-user basis. It seemed there was no reason to change.

      [...]

      By giving away storage and sharing services, Box.net was able to get inside organizations it might not otherwise have been able to penetrate. Freemium, it seems, is the Trojan Horse of business. You sneak inside an organization with freebies, then use your presence as a way to leverage sales of the pay version of your product.

Leftovers

  • Competition

    The latest campaign to compete head to head with Apple may be one of the costliest. This is good. It means they perceive the threat to their monopoly is real.

  • FULL DISCLOSURE: The Letters That Caused All This Drama
  • Thank a software developer today

    I think writing software—or just about any act of creation, really—is accompanied by the hope that others will find that what you’ve created is useful/beautiful/good. That’s true for commercial software, too, but I think it’s especially true for free and open source software.

  • Pay Per Patch: A Free Software Market Model

    If programmers are paid for work whose end product is released as free software, it follows that complete applications can be viewed as sort of a public good — virtually everyone can benefit from them. That being the case, there is no need for buyers to pay for applications. Instead of paying for complete software solutions, buyers may wish to pay only for specific program elements they want, which the software lacks. All such elements, regardless of whether they be basic functionality or new features, can be submitted in the form of patches. Paying for patches costs the buyer less than it would cost to pay for the whole application, and it ensures further development of the software they are using.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Protect police from lawsuits, says Met chief

      Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, has privately lobbied the home secretary to make it harder for people to take legal action against his force, the Guardian has learned.

  • Finance

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Waxman, Boucher Release GAO Report on Global Broadband Deployment and Adoption

      Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman and Rep. Rick Boucher released a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), examining the deployment and adoption of broadband in developed nations.

      At the request of Chairmen Waxman and Boucher, GAO conducted a case study of broadband initiatives in seven countries identified as being particularly successful in increasing broadband deployment or adoption. It found that all seven countries had achieved higher levels of either broadband deployment or broadband adoption than the United States as of the fourth quarter of 2009.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Areas where the Oct 2, 2010 ACTA text is inconsistent with U.S. law

          As an agreement, ACTA provides for a number of obligations for Parties to the agreement regarding the enforcement of intellectual property rights. The agreement either does or does not provide guidance as to the availability of exceptions to those obligations. Given that several exceptions are written into the agreement, for example the 2nd paragraph of the injunctions article, and footnotes 4, 5 an 6 in the border measures section, footnote 13 in Article 2.18, and the several areas of disputed text, one could reasonably ask, are the enumerated exceptions to remedies the only ones allowed by the agreement, or is there a different understanding that these norms are not to be taken literally. Are the dozens of cases where ACTA conflicts with current laws in the countries negotiating ACTA implicitly allowed by the new agreement? Or are have negotiators, wittingly or unwittingly, proposed changes in these law?

        • Senator Wyden asks for legal review of ACTA

          Noting the ACTA is being negotiated as an “executive agreement” because “it is not intended to impact U.S. law, but that “some experts outside of government are raising concerns that the ACTA text is contrary to U.S. law and its application or would present a barrier to changes in U.S. law in the area of reform to damages for patents, or access to orphaned copyrighted works,” Senator Wyden has asked in an October 8, 2010 letter (link here) that the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress undertake and provide to Congress…

        • S’pore could be among the first to sign intellectual property agreement

          The 24-page finalised draft of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) was released last Wednesday, with some provisions that had earlier raised eyebrows scrubbed out.

        • Brasil ataca acordo de ricos contra falsificação [Brazil says it does not recognize the legitimacy of ACTA]
        • Article 29 Working Party assessment of ACTA
        • ACTA Conclusion Leaves Flexibility for Made-in-Canada Approach

          Negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement concluded earlier this month, with Canada, the United States, the European Union, and a handful of other countries releasing the text of a near-complete agreement. While several key issues are still unresolved, no further negotiation rounds are planned as participants plan to use the coming weeks to iron out the remaining differences.

Clip of the Day

Google Chrome OS Demo


Credit: TinyOgg

10.11.10

Links 11/10/2010: Debian Links and OpenOffice.org 3.3 Beta Preview

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI Linux Users Get Excited For Catalyst 10.10

        In what has become an unfortunate tradition for the past few releases, prior to the release of Ubuntu 10.10, AMD provided Canonical with a pre-release of their latest proprietary Catalyst driver at the time. They have done this to fix some major bugs, but primarily to provide a working ATI/AMD proprietary graphics driver that will run against their latest Ubuntu Linux release as usually their latest public releases at the time do not support Ubuntu’s kernel and/or X.Org Server. With Maverick Meerkat, which was released yesterday, there is a pre-release of the Catalyst 10.10 Linux driver, which will not be released to the general public until later in October.

        The Catalyst 10.9 driver does not offer support for X.Org Server 1.9, which is used by Ubuntu 10.10, so in late September AMD had sent over an early Catalyst 10.10 driver to Canonical that offers “early look” support for this xorg-server that reached a stable status in August. Those running Ubuntu 10.10 and enabling the proprietary ATI/AMD support are using this driver.

      • New Ubuntu Support Site Debuts

        Just in time for the Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) release, Stack Exchange has introduced a new website, called askubuntu.com, dedicated to Q&A for Ubuntu users, developers and partners.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Zenwalk 6.4 review

        With all the hype surrounding mainstream Linux distributions like Ubuntu, openSUSE and Fedora, it’s easy to forget that there are quite a few other excellent distros out there. Case in point – Zenwalk. As Dmitri Popov discovers it’s a great way to give your old hardware a new lease of life…

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • 5 reasons why I still contribute to Debian after 12 years

        If you’re using Debian, you know that this distribution is built entirely by volunteers that form a very diverse community. And you could be part of it. But why should you do that? I can’t tell for you but I can share my own experience. It’s been 12 years since I joined Debian and I’m going to tell you what keeps me on board.

      • Skolelinux- An educational subset of Debian for schools

        The Skolelinux / Debian Edu project is the result of an effort that started out as independent projects orcestrated by many different groups from different regions of Europe and these days, all over the world.

      • Debian’s developer dilemma: Why Debian should vote “yes”

        The Debian project is, in many ways, a model example of how an open source project should be run. Its Social Contract, Free Software Guidelines (DFSG), and Constitution have served the project well and influenced many other substantial FOSS projects when it comes to project governance.

        But voting rights are restricted to developers, or at least that’s the impression most people get when looking through the process to become a Debian Developer. It’s not that the project explicitly disallows non-developers membership, it’s that the path to becoming a voting member (Debian Developer) is practically hard-coded to require a contributor to maintain packages or do some kind of development. Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli put forward a General Resolution to welcome non-packaging contributors to Debian. A similar proposal came up in 2008, but was tabled for further discussion.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Final Review

          As planned, Ubuntu 10.10 (codenamed “Maverick Meerkat”) was released yesterday, October 10th, 2010. Canonical usually releases closer to month end, but in this case it was a good opportunity to make it coincide with such a significant date. Ubuntu 10.10 was released on 10/10/10.

        • System 76 Starling netbooks won’t ship with ‘slow, confusing’ Ubuntu Unity
        • Ubuntu 10.10: date with destiny missed

          The first thing you’ll notice on a fresh install of 10.10 is the installer has once again been revamped, though the changes are for the most part cosmetic. The various slides that give new users information about Ubuntu have been tweaked and some menus appear to have changed. Unfortunately, the actual install process proceeds as usual – a fact that means dumping everything onto a single partition.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop i386 USB image

          Good old Ubuntu. Five years on, and still not offering an image that can be written to a USB stick and booted from.

          I really thought this time the Ubuntu overlords would have seen that tiny crack in the armor, and done something about it. But looking over the download page, it seems like it’s still something nobody has mentioned.

        • Nice themes for ubuntu 10.10 (maverick meerkat) users
        • Ubuntu 10.10: 12 reasons to try it now

          As Ubuntu 10.10, or “Maverick Meerkat,” hits the streets this Sunday, it’s a pretty safe bet that legions of existing Ubuntu users will be updating to the new release. After all, it looks to be Canonical’s most user-friendly Ubuntu Linux yet, and many of the new features promise to be must-haves.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Mythbuntu 10.10 is here!

            Mythbuntu 10.10 has been released. With this release, we are providing mirroring on sponsored mirrors and torrents. It is very important to note that this release is only compatible with MythTV 0.23.1 systems. Previous Mythbuntu releases can be upgraded to a compatible version with the builds located athttp://www.mythbuntu.org/auto-builds. For a more detailed explanation, see here.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Energy-efficient NAS server shares USB drives

      Synology began shipping a diskless network-attached storage (NAS) server designed for use with USB storage devices. The USB Station 2 incorporates an 800MHz processor, supports up to 4TB of external storage via dual USB 2.0 ports, includes gigabit Ethernet port, and offers file sharing and multimedia streaming via Synology’s Linux-based, DLNA/UPnP-ready DiskStation Manager 3.0 software.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • First look at Acer Aspire One D255 with Android

          The Android implementation on Acer’s recently launched dual-boot netbooks feels more like a technology preview than a usable product. It is buggy and inextensible, with no possibility to install extra applications from the Android Market or any other repository. As such, it is limited to basic tasks, such as Internet browsing, web interaction, image viewing and media playback. It’s hard to say who the product is intended for – the Windows crowd will take one quick look and never boot into it again, while any Linux geek will surely prefer a proper Linux distribution or one of the netbook-oriented variants. Perhaps the only positive point is that by providing a Linux-based alternative on its netbooks, Acer was forced to build these computers from Linux-friendly hardware components, so there are no unwelcome surprises when it comes to hardware support.

          Of course, this is Acer’s first attempt at delivering an Android-powered netbook, so one can understand the difficulties of creating a workable solution from something that is much more suited to running on smaller handheld devices with touchscreens. Still, the manufacturer is guilty for making very little effort at customising the product for a 10-inch screen or, indeed, for not choosing to dual-boot Windows with a proper Linux distribution that would be so much more suitable for running on the netbook. Perhaps Acer will realise its mistake and provide a better Android implementation for its next release or it might even deliver online updates that would address some of the bugs and inconveniences. Unfortunately, by that time my Acer netbook will be running a real, full-featured Linux operating system, instead of this bizarre Windows XP/Android combination.

        • Amazon.com leads pack of new Android app stores

          Amazon.com will soon offer an Android app store to compete with Google’s Android market, a second industry report has confirmed. The effort joins Verizon’s recent Android-ready V Cast Apps store, as well as an Android “app-pack” service announced last week by Sprint.

          Want to set up shop and sell mobile applications? There’s a platform for that: the Android operating system Google unleashed to the open source community. And companies are taking advantage of the search engine’s largesse.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu 10.10 arrives with impressive new netbook environment

        Canonical has announced the availability of Ubuntu 10.10, a major update of the popular Linux distribution. The new version introduces the Unity netbook environment, which offers a custom desktop shell that is optimized for ease of use on small displays and has a global menubar to conserve vertical screen space.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Piracy and Free Software

    Over the last few years, many advocates of access to information have gathered and organized under the banner of piracy. Should FLOSS and free culture advocates embrace advocates of piracy as comrades in arms or condemn them? Must we choose between being either with the pirates or against them? I believe that, unintuitively, if we take a strong principled position in favor of information freedom and distinguish between principles and tactics, a more nuanced “middle ground” response to piracy is possible. On free culture and free software’s terms, we can suggest that piracy is not ethically wrong, but that it is an shortsighted and unwise way to try to promote sharing that we should not support.

  • Would you hire an open source developer?

    One very important skill that you learn or improve in an open source community is to express yourself clearly in written form. The mailing lists or forums that we use are very limited compared to in-person communications, and extra care is required to get your message through. Being concise and complete, disagreeing respectfully, avoiding personal attacks and coping with what you perceive as personal attacks are all extremely useful skills on the job. Useful skills for your whole life actually.

    Once you master asynchronous written discussions as a way to build group consensus, doing the same in a face to face meeting can be much easier. But the basic skills are the same, so what you learn in an open source community definitely helps.

  • Open source comes of age?

    Say “open source software” to most people and they’ll conjure up an image of an alpha geek hunched over a keyboard, doing complicated things with command line interfaces. ‘All very well for the geeks,’ they think, ‘but not for ordinary mortals, and certainly too risky for my business.’

    In fact, open source software (OSS) is already ubiquitous in all sorts of places. For one thing, it runs most of the world’s Web servers, probably including yours. Apache has around 55% of the total world market share for Web servers, rising to 66% for the million busiest sites, compared to just 17% for its nearest rival, Microsoft. And it’s held that leading position since 1996.

  • Events

    • Touring the Balkans to promote Free Software

      James Michael Dupont (Mike) is a software developer that is doing a lot to promote Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) in Kosovo and other Balkan countries. This year, Mike invited a first class team to spend a couple of weeks in the southern Balkans, to explain why and how FOSS can play a great role in the social and economic development of those countries. The team included (I’m only naming those I met personally) Gnash developer Rob Savoye, technology historian Peter Salus, former member of the X.org Board of Directors Leon Shiman and LibreDwg developer Rodrigo Rodrigues da Silva.

      I attended the first and final parts of the tour, that is the two conferences FreeSB (Free Software in Balkans) and SFK10 (Software Freedom Kosova 2010). All the guys mentioned above gave really great talks that you can find (both slideshows and video!) on the conference websites. A few , only apparently “minor” talks that I found very relevant for t

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Please Mozilla, Let Me Disable Firefox Panorama

        I may be a bit old fashioned when it comes to changes in new versions of my favorite web browser Firefox. This can be partly attributed to years of working with a particular feature, only to find it completely revamped in a new version. Don’t get me wrong, if a feature makes sense from a usability point of view I’m all for it. But the Firefox developers lately seem to have concentrated much of their energy on making changes to the graphical user interface and the user’s interaction with the browser.

  • Oracle

  • Business

    • Build, buy or open source?

      Carbone believes building with open source software often makes software development more costly, error prone and slower to market. “Buying software offers faster time to market, portability to other hardware platforms, integrated components and the availability of support from the supplier. A proven solution with a strong track record of adoption and successful use can reduce risk of failure, just as using modern mcus saves time and reduces hardware cost.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

Leftovers

  • Fund-raising and self-publishing (the open source way), Part two

    Two online publishing companies that provide no additional barriers to users of open source software stacks (aside from the possible use of Flash) are CreateSpace (owned by Amazon) and Lulu . Both will get your publication listed on Amazon (if that is your goal), both feature copious written instructions and peer discussion (especially helpful to first-time authors), and neither requires any up-front payment.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Florida’s Kangaroo Foreclosure Courts: Judges Denying Due Process on Behalf of Banks

      Florida is ground zero of the foreclosure crisis. In addition to being one of the epicenters of the housing meltdown, it has also become the jurisdiction where local lawyers have been the most effective overall in unearthing how servicers and foreclosure mills have engaged in widespread document fabrications and use of improper affidavits to foreclose.

    • Foreclosures Slow as Document Flaws Emerge

      Defense lawyers say the disclosures are symptomatic of the carelessness, if not outright fraud, that lenders have been exhibiting for years in their rush to file cases. Many necessary documents have disappeared, with defense lawyers saying the lenders often do not even have standing to foreclose.

    • Citigroup, Ally Sued for Racketeering Over Database

      The homeowners claim the defendants filed or caused to be filed mortgages with forged signatures, filed foreclosure actions months before they acquired any legal interest in the properties and falsely claimed to own notes executed with mortgages.

      The lawsuit is one of multiple cases against MERS and banks alleging that the process allows wrongful foreclosures. Several of these cases, combined in a multidistrict litigation in Phoenix, were dismissed Sept. 30, with the judge allowing the plaintiffs to re-file their complaints.

    • At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture

      Behind the collapse of the Tribune deal and the bankruptcy is a classic example of financial hubris. Mr. Zell, a hard-charging real estate mogul with virtually no experience in the newspaper business, decided that a deal financed with heavy borrowing and followed with aggressive cost-cutting could succeed where the longtime Tribune executives he derided as bureaucrats had failed.

    • `Black Swan’ Author Says Investors Should Sue Nobel for Crisis

      Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of “The Black Swan,” said investors who lost money in the financial crisis should sue the Swedish Central Bank for awarding the Nobel Prize to economists whose theories he said brought down the global economy.

    • How technology is contributing to economic chaos

      Earlier last September, Europe erupted in protest. (About time!) Tens of thousands of workers went on strike! From rail road workers to truckers. This resulted in serious disruption of everyday life in Spain, France, Germany, Sweden and more. The governments of the world think that cutting the average worker’s pay, pensions and raising taxes on them will correct the massive deficits.

      But, these deficits were not caused by the workers or average Joe! They were caused by Bankers and Policy Makers (Politicians). In October 2008, the world witnessed America’s stock market crash. The result of which took months and months to determine whom was to blame. First, it was blamed on real estate brokers. But, it was soon found that everyone in the financial industry from bankers, brokers, insurance agencies and even home owners tapping into equity they thought they could pay back, where all found to be part of the problem.

      You can blame any number of institutions. But, it is clear it was orchestrated by major Banks and Policy Makers. The Politicians ‘in bed’ with the bankers created polices over the years that ultimately supported the ultra rich and not anyone else.

    • Take Action! Demand a Freeze on Foreclosures!

      DON’T THINK THIS DOES NOT AFFECT YOU! Unemployment is now driving foreclosures. Flooding the housing market with illegal foreclosures hurts everyone’s property values and unfairly denies people an opportunity to save their homes from foreclosure. It’s time to finally stop this madness and hold the nation’s biggest banks accountable for their detestable actions.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Corporate Cash Floods US Congressional Elections

      Big business and the wealthy are pouring unprecedented sums of money into the US congressional elections, according to data reported in the media over the past several days. While the lion’s share of the money is going to candidates of the Republican Party, Democrats are also raking in millions, underscoring the status of both parties as political instruments of the financial aristocracy.

      Much of the spending is fueled by the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, handed down in January, which reversed 80 years of precedent and declared that corporations—as well as labor unions—had the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of their favored candidates.

      While individuals and organizations are limited in what they can give directly to a candidate, there is no limit on what they can spend on their own, as long as the advertising is not directly coordinated with the candidate.

    • Larry Kudlow Calls for Campaign Ad Funding Disclosure

      The push for disclosure follows exposure of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s possible use of funds from foreign companies and governments to finance political attack ads in the U.S., and Republicans’ success at blocking consideration of the DISCLOSE Act in September. The Act would prevent foreign influence in elections, enhance financial disclosures for advertising, and make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for financing political ads.

    • How “Breast Cancer Awareness” Campaigns Hurt

      Because female breasts are sexy, and sex sells. Lungs and other organs — and their cancers — just don’t have the same zing. Lung cancer may be the country’s number one cancer killer, but people are unlikely to flock to buy weird and inappropriate “lung cancer awareness” products like a colored “lung cancer awareness” hand gun, a “colon-cancer awareness” floating beer pong table or a bile-colored “pancreatic awareness” toaster. Lungs, pancreases, colons, prostates and other hard-working internal organs are just plain unattractive marketing tools — they don’t sell stuff. They are asexual, and hidden, and we like them that way. Not so with breasts. Female breasts conjure up buying power like few other organs, and the “breast cancer awareness” theme gives corporate America a legitimate “in” to link female breasts to sales of just about anything — a winning combination for marketing purposes.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Argument preview: Protest vs. privacy
    • Local attorney jailed for not saying Pledge

      We talked to another attorney about this issue. He said if Lampley did not want to say the pledge he had that constitutional right.

      “You have a right to speak, and you have a right to remain silent. So I was shocked when I heard a lawyer had been put in jail. It doesn’t make any difference whether you agree with him or not it’s his constitutional right,” attorney Jim Waide said.

      Lampley said he hopes he and Judge Talmadge Littlejohn will be able to come to a resolution.

    • Making Congress All It Can Be

      In Justice Breyer’s view, democracy is best served when the court maintains “a strong workable relationship with Congress,” a partnership in which the court interprets statutes so as to help Congress achieve its legislative goals, unarticulated or even as coyly concealed as those goals may be. Why should that be? Here is Justice Breyer’s explanation:

      “The more the court seeks realistically to ascertain the purposes of a statute and interprets its provisions in ways that further those purposes, the harder it will be for the legislator to escape responsibility for the statute’s objectives, and the easier it will be for voters to hold their legislators responsible for their legislative decisions.” By contrast, when the court, deliberately oblivious to context and purpose, simply goes by the statute’s text, however inartful, “the easier it will be for legislators to avoid responsibility for a badly written statute simply by saying that the court reached results they did not favor.”

    • Kyrgyzstan election aims to bring democracy to central Asian nation

      Kyrgyzstan was today holding a landmark election that is likely to establish the country as the first parliamentary democracy in authoritarian central Asia. Thousands of Kyrgyz voters went to the polls to elect a new parliament following a violent year that saw a street revolution in April and savage ethnic riots in the south of the country in June.

    • The death knell for Morocco’s free press

      Leading Moroccan journalist Ahmed Benchemsi has difficulty speaking about Nichane, the vibrant Arabic-language news magazine he started four years ago, in the past tense. A passionate advocate for secularism, gender equity and individual rights and a vociferous critic of Islamist ideologies, Benchemsi was forced last Friday to close Nichane after major state-owned corporations subjected it to an advertising boycott that drove down revenues by almost 80%.

    • Liu Xiaobo Nobel win prompts Chinese fury

      China’s best-known dissident, Liu Xiaobo, today won the Nobel peace prize from the prison cell where he is serving 11 years for incitement to subvert state power.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why Imitation Gets A Bad Rap… And Why Companies Need To Be More Serious About Copying

      Where the book really shines, in my opinion, is in Chapter 4, where it details the massive successes and failures of copycatting in two key industries: airlines and discount retail. In that chapter, Shenkar looks at the success of Southwest Air, which “imitated” the failed People Express, but figured out how to do discount air travel while avoiding a few key elements that resulted in People Express’ failure. He then goes through a variety of other airlines and how they tried to mimic Southwest Air, covering many examples of both success and failure, and explaining why some succeeded where others failed. Most notable, perhaps, was the dismal failure of pretty much every single attempt by the big airlines to copy Southwest. They all appeared to copy the superficial aspects of it — the key things that everyone knew about — without quite grasping the underlying structural reasons why Southwest succeeded, thereby setting up a business model in conflict with itself. It’s yet another fantastic reminder that the idea that big companies can just come in and copy what some innovator does is quite frequently not really true.

    • Copyrights

      • Record companies lose, artists gain

        In early September, two of my M.Sc. students handed in their thesis, which has created quite a stir in the Norwegian music industry. I think this has applicability outside Norway, so here is a translation (and light edit) of the Norwegian-language press release and a link to the full link to the full report (PDF, 3,4Mb)

      • Facebook Fails At The DMCA: Promises To Restore Counter-Noticed Content, But Doesn’t [Updated]

        This is part of how the DMCA works. If the user files a counternotice, and if the copyright holder does not file a lawsuit within 10 to 14 business days, the service provider can put the works back up. Now, some say that service providers are required to restore the material, while the text of the statute is a bit more ambiguous. In theory, a service provider could opt not to restore the materials for other reasons. However, in this case, none of that matters, as Facebook appears to have promised that it would “replace or cease disabling access” within 10 to 14 business days.

      • “Free Music Is Always Going To Win,” Says Lee Parsons, CEO of Ditto Music; Interview Part 1

        Lee Parsons: Record companies cannot look into problems from a fresh, artist based angle. Problems are often solved but not in the way they were intended. For instance, Facebook began decades ago as a printed manual of College students and faculty. Through the expansion of Web 2.0 itself, a consummate of available web technologies and techniques, this became the phenomenon it is today. It could well be the future of music, we don’t know.

        Shawn Fanning created Napster firstly for his own purpose. The new music models embrace as much technology and revolution as they can contain in a chaotic attempt to find a new and better path. Revolutionaries are prepared to make mistakes on the way; labels do not have this luxury. Many battles win a war, likewise through constant chaotic growth, development will come. Developing a new model for a major label is fuelled with risk so it is more likely they will continue to look for ways of containing technological advancement rather than embracing it as a new way of income.

      • Spotify crashes into Apple on way to U.S.

        These are some swinging Swedes, the guys at Spotify.

        Founded in Stockholm in 2006, Spotify is is an online streaming music service that has already conquered Europe with the help of a revolutionary desktop service and now desperately wants to make the jump to the United States.

        And it’s probably safe to say many American music fans want that to happen too. Yet, despite immense anticipation for the service here, the company has already failed to meet two promised launch dates. The new self-imposed deadline is for the end of the year. Spotify managers say that by then they’ll finally have licensing deals in place with the four largest record labels: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI Music.

Clip of the Day

Copiar no es robar – Copying Is Not Theft – Subtitulos en español


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 11/10/2010: New Ubuntu Reviews, MySQL Up-selling

Posted in News Roundup at 2:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Blind Inventors Develop Free Software to Enable the Blind to Use Computers

    For many blind people, computers are inaccessible. It can cost upwards of $1000 to purchase “screen reader” software, but two blind computer programmers have solved this problem.

  • Biggest Genome Ever

    Now THAT’s a genome. A rare Japanese flower named Paris japonica sports an astonishing 149 billion base pairs, making it 50 times the size of a human genome—and the largest genome ever found.

  • Queensland open source firm doubles staff

    The downturn in the US economy has benefitted Queensland open source company Jentla to the extent that it has had to double its staff numbers to meet demand.

    [...]

    As a result of the demand, Jentla has taken on 20 new staff in the last quarter. The company has offices in Brisbane, its headquarters, Chennai (India) and in Romania. Most of the staff have been recruited in Chennai, at the company’s Tamil Nadu research and development office.

  • Events

    • Diversity, Freedom and Education at the Open World Forum

      This year I have been invited to present the first results of my research about Open public data at the 2010 Open World Forum. Due to the subject of my talk, I was also invited by Glyn Moody to a panel on Open Democracy (see Glyn’s comments on that panel at CWUK).

      I have to confess that I went to the Open World Forum expecting to find some pompous, self-referential, corporate driven marketing show. Luckily, that wasn’t the case, and this is what I’ll try to show here. The pounding, rave-style music at the beginning of each session was really depressing. A few talks by some politicians were not among the highest moments of the Forum (Glyn already explained why and I agree with him). This said, the Forum agenda was quite balanced and diverse. Personally I found it an interesting, useful event, one I would have been glad to attend even if I had not had to present my work. The Forum explored many sides of openness, not just the commercial one of Open Source software. Here are just a couple of examples.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 4 Ways to Supercharge Double-Click Action in Firefox

        Double-clicking (and double tapping) is one of the preferred mouse (or touch pad) actions for me. It’s quick and easy and helps to get things done faster. Sadly, double-clicking is really under-utilized in Firefox.

        The only thing you can do by double-clicking in Firefox is highlighting the word right next to the cursor. Besides that (which is a less-known behavior), if you double-click the 2-3 pixel wide bar just beneath tabs, it opens a new empty tab in the foreground.

      • Mozilla puts Firefox 4 Android beta on crash diet

        The Firefox 4 Android beta is morbidly obese. But Mozilla has a diet plan.

        Over the past twelve hours, after Mozilla released its first Firefox 4 beta for Android, multiple Reg readers have said the browser takes up far too much space on their Googly phones. “Fooking HUGE!!!” said one. “Not even going to waste my time with the beta.”

      • Mozilla upsets net world order with Bing on Firefox

        As Mozilla announced this morning with a blog post, the latest English-language version of Mozilla’s open source browser — due for release in November — will retain Google as the default search engine. But for the first time, Bing will be listed in the pull-down that lets you change the default. Google will be first on the menu. Yahoo! — now powered by Bing — will be second. And Bing will be third.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Up-selling MySQL

      Oracle is pressuring customers to pay more for enterprise support for MySQL. Those who may make tons of money from servers may feel comfortable with this but this could be a (another) fork in the road for MySQL. To what extent will the features Oracle is plugging in be available in the Free Software versions available to distros? So far, most of the differences are in clustering, management and support which do not affect many users of MySQL as a simple server.

    • MySQL price hikes reveal depth of Oracle’s wallet love
  • BSD

    • Ten ways Linux and BSD differ

      People tend to talk about Linux and BSD in the same breath, but a number of telling differences set them apart, says Jack Wallen.

      I hear it all the time: people lumping together Linux and any of the BSDs. On occasion, I’ve even done it myself. Of course, there are plenty of similarities. Both are based on Unix and have mostly been developed by non-commercial organisations. They also share a common goal — to create the most useful, reliable operating system available. But there are also significant differences that shouldn’t be ignored, and I thought it would be worth highlighting them here.

  • Licensing

    • HTC Willfully Violates the GPL in T-Mobile’s New G2 Android Phone

      Last week, the hottest new Android-based phone arrived on the doorstep of thousands of expectant T-Mobile customers. What didn’t arrive with the G2 was the source code that runs the heart of the device — a customized Linux kernel. Android has been hailed as an open platform in the midst of other highly locked-down systems, but as it makes its way out of the Google source repository and into devices this vision has repeatedly hit speedbumps. Last year, I blogged about one such issue, and to their credit Google sorted out a solution. This has ultimately been to everyone’s benefit, because the modified versions of the OS have routinely enabled software applications that the stock versions haven’t supported (not to mention improved reliability and speed).

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Generate OpenDocument spreadsheets from DB2 (or any other) database

      DB2 pureXML is IBM software for management of XML data that eliminates much of the work typically involved in the management of XML data.The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an open international standard for office texts, presentations and spreadsheets that is very simple to process or generate automatically. This page is a short synthesis of an article published in September 2010 by N. Subrahmanyam, Using DB2 pureXML and ODF Spreadsheets, to give an idea (see my comments at the end) of how flexible ODF scripting is. Please read the original full article to know how to actually generate ODF documents from DB2 pureXML files.

Leftovers

  • AMD says it is definitely, really not for sale

    Maybe Larry Ellison’s killing of Opteron-based servers from Oracle’s Sun Fire x64 server lineup earlier this year was a love touch instead of a bitchslap for Advanced Micro Devices?

  • Ex-General Electric boss unleashes bile on HP board

    Oracle’s Larry Ellison isn’t the only CEO mouthing off at Hewlett-Packard’s decision to hire Leo Apotheker as the company’s replacement for disgraced former boss Mark Hurd. Now Jack Welch, the ex-chief of General Electric, is sticking the boot in, too.

  • Flat pay turns IT workers into job seekers

    Companies have cut salaries and training, held back on bonuses and piled more work on employees in response to the economic downturn. These tactics may well be pushing many IT professionals to go job hunting, according to Computerworld’s latest salary poll.

  • Former FTC staffer files a complaint against Google

    The complaint was filed on 6 September by Christopher Soghoian, a former technologist at the FTC’s division of privacy and identity protection. Soghoian has decided to take on Google after leaving the agency that should have done it anyway by issuing a complaint alleging that the search engine and advertising outfit shares data with third parties.

  • Former FTC Employee Files Complaint Over Google Privacy
  • Google Patent Proposes $2 Fee To Skip Commercials

    A day after Google debuted its new Google TV website, the USPTO issued U.S. Patent No. 7,806,329 to the search giant for its Targeted Video Advertising invention. Among other things, the patent proposes having viewers take 5-10 minutes to ‘fill out a consumer survey and perhaps to provide additional information such as a mailing address survey before starting the program’ to avoid having to watch 10 minutes of commercials. ‘As another alternative,’ the patent continues, ‘the broadcaster may offer the users an option to pay $2 (such as through a micro-payment system, such as GBuy) to exchange for skipping all commercials.’

  • Las Vegas Review-Journal Endorses The Same Candidate It’s Suing For ‘Stealing’ From Them?
  • Science

    • Boy of 15 fitted with robotic heart

      What do you do when a 15-year-old boy is close to death and ineligible for a heart transplant? If you’re Dr Antonio Amodeo you turn to an artificial solution and transplant a robotic heart giving the boy another 20-25 years of life.

      The Italian boy in question suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy which rapidly degenerates the muscles and eventually leads to death. Having such a disease renders the boy ineligible for a heart transplant meaning almost certain death without an alternative solution.

    • Mission Complete! WMAP Fires its Thrusters for the Last Time

      The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) has, quite literally, changed our view of the Universe. And after nine years of mapping the slight temperature variations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, its job is done and NASA has commanded the probe to fire itself into a “graveyard orbit” around the sun.

      Launched in 2001, this ground-breaking spacecraft set out to unravel some of the most fundamental questions in modern cosmology. How old is the Universe? What happened when the Universe was born?

    • How nitroglycerine explodes – in slow motion
    • Three scientists receive 2010 Chemistry Nobel

      Wednesday, October 6, 2010, saw the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announce the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: It went to three scientists for their work in synthesizing complex carbon molecules; specifically, “for palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis”.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • The Government That Cried Wolf

      Speaking as an American who lives in Europe, I feel it is incumbent upon me to describe what people like me do when we hear warnings like the one issued on Sunday by the U.S. State Department and cited above: We do nothing.

    • iPhone app tagged as terror tool
    • US ex-spook wants ‘rogue states’ banned from Internet

      A FORMER US SPOOK wants all countries in the world to agree to do what America says or be banned from the Internet.

      It is not clear how much the views of the former chief technology officer at the US National Security Agency Dr Prescott Winter reflect those of his mates who still work there.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Solar Panels to Appear on White House in Spring 2011

      Solar panels will be installed on the White House roof a quarter of a century after they were removed by Ronald Reagan, the Obama administration said today.

      A mix of solar thermal and photovoltaic panels will be fitted in spring 2011 to generate hot water and renewable electricity, said Nancy Sutley, chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, and energy secretary Steven Chu at a conference on how federal government can green up.

    • Tuna Industry “Sustainability” Group Should Act to Save the Tuna!

      ISSF member companies account over 70% of the world’s tuna. The power to shift fishing practices on the water is well and truly in their hands, so Greenpeace
      challenges them to flex their considerable muscle to create positive change. If ISSF is genuinely concerned about transshipment and its role in overfishing and illegal fishing, then it should adopt conservation measures to oblige every one of its members to simply stop buying tuna from fishing companies that engage in tuna transshipment.

    • ‘Emission free’ nuclear power is more greenwash

      We’ve discussed before on Nuclear Reaction the nuclear industry’s attempts to greenwash nuclear power by rebranding it ‘clean’. It’s a description of this most contaminating of energy sources that nuclear boosters are pushing more and more in the debate about the future of nuclear power.

      Another term we’re starting to see more and more of is ‘emission free’, as in ‘nuclear power is an emission free energy source’. Take a look at this infographic where the Nuclear Energy Institute (‘the policy organization for the nuclear technologies industry’) portrays nuclear power as such. Even institutions like the BBC have bought the industry spin.

    • UPDATE: Climate negotiations from an American girl in China

      Tcktcktck’s Paul Horsman delivers a traditional Chinese stamp to UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres to mark the wall in support of collective action against climate change.

  • Finance

    • China’s recent activities in eurozone to devaluate US dollar

      The market structure of the rates of foreign currencies has been thrown into question. China has become more active in the eurozone as a result of the economic conflict with the USA. The Chinese dragon starts to determine quotations on world’s basic currencies, such as the euro and the US dollar.
      Premier Wen Jiabao of China stated during the meeting with the head of the Greek government George Papandreou that China had purchased long-term bonds, issued by Greece to cover its sovereign debt. Beijing, the Chinese official said, was determined to continue purchasing the bonds if Athens needed new loans to settle its huge budget deficit. Several days before that, the lower house of the US Congress approved the bill targeted against the lowered rate of the Chinese currency vs. the US dollar.

    • Fannie Mae logic-bomb saboteur convicted

      A computer contractor has been convicted of planting a logic bomb on the servers of Fannie Mae, the financially troubled US housing and mortgage giant.

      Rajendrasinh Babubhai Makwana, 36, responded to the termination of his two-year-long spell as a software development contractor at Fannie Mae in October 2008 by planting a malicious script designed to wipe all the data from its network on 31 January 2009. Anyone attempting to access data on the system after the logic bomb went off would have received the message “Server Graveyard”.

    • Unemployed find old jobs now require more skills

      The jobs crisis has brought an unwelcome discovery for many unemployed Americans: Job openings in their old fields exist. Yet they no longer qualify for them.

      They’re running into a trend that took root during the recession. Companies became more productive by doing more with fewer workers. Some asked staffers to take on a broader array of duties – duties that used to be spread among multiple jobs. Now, someone who hopes to get those jobs must meet the new requirements.

    • White House doubts need to halt all foreclosures

      A top White House adviser questioned the need Sunday for a blanket stoppage of all home foreclosures, even as pressure grows on the Obama administration to do something about mounting evidence that banks have used inaccurate documents to evict homeowners.

    • Financial regulators planning worldwide rules for large firms

      International bank regulators are planning a fresh wave of rules for the world’s most important financial companies in an effort to ensure that firms considered “too big to fail” are better protected from collapse – and that taxpayers are insulated from the fallout if they do.

    • Govt: No call for Social Security increase in 2011

      As if voters don’t have enough to be angry about this election year, the government is expected to announce this week that more than 58 million Social Security recipients will go through another year without an increase in their monthly benefits.

      It would mark only the second year without an increase since automatic adjustments for inflation were adopted in 1975. The first year was this year.

    • White House Aide Doubts Need to Halt Foreclosures

      A top White House adviser questioned the need on Sunday for a blanket halt to home foreclosures, even as pressure grows on the Obama administration to do something about growing evidence that banks have used inaccurate documents to evict homeowners.

    • Foreclosure freeze could undermine housing market

      Karl Case, the co-creator of a widely watched housing market index, was upbeat three weeks ago. Mulling the economy while at a meeting at a resort near the Berkshires, Case thought the makings of a recovery were finally falling into place.

      “I’m a 60-40 optimist,” he said at the time.

    • Why are so many Goldman/Sachs guys working for Obama?

      Goldman Sachs partner Gary Gensler is Obama’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission head. He was confirmed despite heated congressional grilling over his role, as Reuters described it, “as a high-level Treasury official in a 2000 law that exempted the $58 trillion credit default swap market from oversight. The financial instruments have been blamed for amplifying global financial turmoil.” Gensler said he was sorry — hey, it worked for tax cheat Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner — and was quickly installed to guard the henhouse.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Corrupt Akamai worker charged after secrets sting

      An Akamai accounts worker has been arrested for alleged wire fraud. This follows a sting operation during which the man was led to believe he was handing over confidential information to an agent of a unnamed foreign power.

    • Hacking the D.C. Internet Voting Pilot

      We found a vulnerability in the way the system processes uploaded ballots. We confirmed the problem using our own test installation of the web application, and found that we could gain the same access privileges as the server application program itself, including read and write access to the encrypted ballots and database.

      The problem, which geeks classify as a “shell-injection vulnerability,” has to do with the ballot upload procedure. When a voter follows the instructions and uploads a completed ballot as a PDF file, the server saves it as a temporary file and encrypts it using a command-line tool called GnuPG. Internally, the server executes the command gpg with the name of this temporary file as a parameter: gpg […] /tmp/stream,28957,0.pdf.

      We realized that although the server replaces the filename with an automatically generated name (“stream,28957,0” in this example), it keeps whatever file extension the voter provided. Instead of a file ending in “.pdf,” we could upload a file with a name that ended in almost any string we wanted, and this string would become part of the command the server executed. By formatting the string in a particular way, we could cause the server to execute commands on our behalf. For example, the filename “ballot.$(sleep 10)pdf” would cause the server to pause for ten seconds (executing the “sleep 10” command) before responding. In effect, this vulnerability allowed us to remotely log in to the server as a privileged user.

    • Hackers hijack internet voting system in Washington DC

      An internet voting system designed to allow District of Columbia residents to cast absentee ballots has been put on hold after computer scientists exploited vulnerabilities that would have allowed them to rig elections and view secret data.

      The system, which was paid for in part by a $300,000 federal grant, was hijacked just 36 hours after Washington DC elections officials began testing it ahead of live elections scheduled for next month. Scientists from the University of Michigan pulled off the hack to demonstrate the inherent insecurity of net-based voting.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • A Library Without Walls

        Can we create a National Digital Library? That is, a comprehensive library of digitized books that will be easily accessible to the general public. Simple as it sounds, the question is extraordinarily complex. It involves issues that concern the nature of the library to be built, the technological difficulties of designing it, the legal obstacles to getting it off the ground, the financial costs of constructing and maintaining it, and the political problems of mobilizing support for it.

      • On CBC podcasts and CC-licensed music available for commercial use

        On Friday, Michael Geist broke the story that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had apparently banned use of CC-licensed music in its podcasts. This seemed odd, given that the CBC’s Spark podcast has long used, promoted, and done interesting projects with CC-licensed music.

      • Record labels fail to get ‘three strikes’ rule enforced in Ireland

        Four of the world’s largest record companies have failed in an attempt to get the “three strikes” rule enforced against illegal filesharers in Ireland.

        Warner Music, Universal Music Group, Sony BMG and EMI brought the case against UPC, one of Ireland’s largest broadband providers, in order to establish a legal precedent that would force internet service providers to cut off illegal filesharers’ internet connections.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA is worthless without Chinese involvement

          But apparently those behind ACTA thought that they might have been able to get China on board. The fact that they have not has stymied ACTA negotiations, according to people familiar with the situation.

          “Critics say the omission of China from the list – the main source of the world’s counterfeit goods – makes the deal almost worthless, an argument strong refuted by the EU”, reports the EU Observer website.

Clip of the Day

Andrew Tanenbaum @ FOSDEM 2010: MINIX 3: a Modular, Self-Healing POSIX-compatible Operating System


Credit: TinyOgg

10.10.10

Links 10/10/2010: 10.10.10 Release of Ubuntu, SimplyMepis Experiment

Posted in News Roundup at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linspotting project – Linux video editing workflow ready for action

    A full Linux video editing workflow is finally ready for production use. The certified solution is based on Kdenlive plus a set of components which allow easy integration with different sources of video (firewire capture, DVD extraction, H264 transcoding, screen capture, etc). The certification and packaging initiative, which was made possible by years of impressive work from several groups of open source developers, comes from Angulo Sólido, Caixa Mágica and the freelance journalist Caroline Pimenta.

  • Linux package management is brilliant

    Often times when something just works, we tend to take it for granted. I think software package management in Linux is one of those things. It just works. Time and time again I have to help people with packages in Windows, which makes me even more thankful for the solid package management system in Linux. Packages can be installed while software is currently being used, allowing changes to happen when the software is closed and reopened. Packages can also be removed/updated/installed while the user is actively using the computer, with a simple SSH connection to their PC. And, best of all, no rebooting is necessary, unless you are updating the kernel itself, which is pretty rare.

  • Thank you, Linux! My Windows computer is infected

    I used this public computer and saved a file onto my USB drive. Then, because I am accustomed to working without any concern thanks to Linux, I forgot to check the USB contents. When I returned home, I booted my desktop computer in Windows and plugged the infected USB drive.

    Since Windows XP has become a little slow, I went for a cup of coffee and, when I returned, my computer was behaving in a way that I had not seen for quite long, yet not one I can call completely unfamiliar. My firewall was flashing alert messages crazily, the antivirus could not be updated, and the system froze on me as I sat dumbfounded. As you can see, THE PENGUIN NUMBED MY WINDOWS SECURITY SENSE!

  • Emergency Booting Windows PCs: Another Use for Linux

    Can there be still more to add to the list of useful functions a live Linux CD offers? This brief article reviews the use of Linux as a means of emergency booting a failed Windows PC and accessing potentially lost files. Linux as a boot OS is fairly common today. For instance, DELL often ships its servers with Windows driver disks that actually use a micro-Linux boot.

    However, I discovered another truly invaluable use for Live Linux CDs when my friend Mitch asked me to come over and help him with a very urgent need. His business report was due the next morning, but at the last moment his Microsoft Windows laptop failed to boot and he lost his report.

  • Switching from Windows to Linux: One Month On

    After a while, you soon get used to it, and I can certainly say that Gimp is perfectly adequate for providing the graphics we use on the site every day. When it comes to detailed work on photos, I still prefer to wait until I go home so I can use Photoshop there. It’s going to take me a few more weeks or months before I can handle that …

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Outlaws 168 – The Brigadier Drops By

      This week on the show: Brigadier Bradshaw joins us as a guest host, we talk to Bradley Kuhn about his move to the Software Freedom Conservancy, Sintel is released, LibreOffice is launched, the FSF turns 25, Microsoft sues Motorola and Canonical announces the Ubuntu One music streaming service.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa’s r600g Driver Test Drive

        There has been alot of talk about the Mesa driver in Linux. One of the new things that has been talked about as the savior of 3d graphics on Linux is the Gallium technology. This technology is supposed to make writing drivers easier and to allow for much more functionality in the Linux 3d stack.

        While I am not a gallium expert, I know enough to build the driver and test it out. So I started with my stock Fedora 13 setup (64bit, Q6600, 8GB RAM). I followed the wiki and installed the Kernel, libdrm, mesa and the ATI driver all from git. It took a little while, but it was reasonable to get going. It really helped that I had built many of these components before when the r600c driver originally came out, so I knew the process.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Ubuntu 10.04 E17 LiveDVD

      The Enlightenment foundation libraries (EFL) recently reached beta status after having been marked as alpha software for a decade. If you are unfamiliar with what EFL are, they can be summed up in a single quote from their front page:

      “Enlightenment is not just a window manager for Linux/X11 and others, but also a whole suite of libraries to help you create beautiful user interfaces”

    • GNOME Desktop

      • dots: a Braille translator for GNOME

        You can configure the output (cells per line, lines per page, etc…) and select the translation table. Also it presents the document on the screen in ASCII representation of using a Braille font with a review line. All the low level transcription is done using liblouis and liblouisxml libraries (the same that orca uses for the braille output). Also another nice feature is that you can actually edit the translation table with a nice UI. All the code is hosted on GNOME git: browse dots source code.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Simply Mepis 8.5 challenge: the first four days

        To sum up, my experience as a Mandriva user handling Mepis is satisfactory up to this point. SimplyMepis is not simply a disappointment. I think that it rivals Mandriva in its KDE handling…maybe a simplified experience than the one I am used to with Mandriva, but Mepis had given me little to complain about.

      • Preview: Debian 6 “Squeeze” (Part 2: KDE)

        there’s nothing show-stopping in either version for me to definitely recommend one over the other.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Officially Released

          Ladies and gentlemen, dear Ubuntu users, after three alphas, one beta and a release candidate, we are pleased to announce that Ubuntu 10.10 is here, today (October 10th), available on mirrors worldwide (see the download links at the end of the article).

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Has Been Released – See What’s New In Both Desktop And Netbook Editions

          Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat final has just been released. I’m taking this opportunity to review the major changes (mostly on the UI) in both Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop and Netbook editions. If you’re a regular WebUpd8 reader, you should already know all these changes but even so, read on for a new Unity video (recorded today) as well as a recap of the changes to Ubuntu Software Center, Unity and so on.

        • 10.10 10:10:10 – thank you and Happy Maverick Day!

          I spent a lot of time observing our community, this release. For some reason I was curious to see how our teams work together, what the dynamic is, how they work and play together, how they celebrate and sadly, also how they mourn. So I spent a fair amount more time this cycle reading lists from various Ubuntu teams, reading minutes from governance meetings for our various councils, watching IRC channels without participating, just to get a finger on the pulse.

        • Ubuntu One and FOSS Services

          My good friend S.Gerguri asked me to talk about the nature of the Ubuntu One services offered by Canonical Ltd. and has sent me his thoughts by email, I’ve quoted him here and responded with my own thoughts. Full disclosure: I briefly worked on the team that develops the Ubuntu One service at Canonical and so I’m going to be careful since I’ve seen code and talked about strategy while on the team.

        • Wikinews interviews Ubuntu developer Fabrice

          The 10.10 version of Ubuntu (codename Maverick Merkaat), a free operative system is to be released in the next few days. French Wikinews contributor Savant-fou (Baptiste) has interviewed Fabrice (fabrice_sp on Ubuntu), an Ubuntu’s MOTU (Master Of The Universe), member of the development team of the operative system.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 beta review

          Ubuntu has long been the Linux distribution favoured by businesses wanting to make a hassle-free switch from Windows, and the full release of the latest version, Ubuntu 10.10, is due this coming Sunday (October 10). In this review, we’ll be looking at the beta release of Ubuntu 10.10.

          Version 10.04 of Ubuntu arrived earlier this year and was an LTS (long term support) release, which means it benefits from three years of support for the desktop version; the server edition gets five years. This latest version, however, is a standard release and only gets security updates for 18 months.

        • We’re moving!

          As most of you who follow the Fridge know, Ubuntu has been given a face-lift. There is a cool new theme with new colors, a lighter feel, and just all around an upbeat tone to all the official Ubuntu related sites. Check out ubuntu.com and canonical.com to see the new look if you haven’t done so already.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • HD Video Android 2.2 myTouch Coming to T-Mobile

          T-Mobile today expands its myTouch line with a new Android 2.2 handset from HTC that sports a speedier processor than initial models as well as a front-facing camera for video calls, a larger screen and support for the carrier’s HSPA+ network, which offers 4G-like performance.

        • Android phones push cameras to 14 megapixels

          Japanese carrier KDDI announced a November release for a new 3.5-inch, Snapdragon-based “ISO3″ Android 2.1 phone from Sharp, touted for its 960 x 640 display and 9.6-megapixel camera. Meanwhile, Altek offered more details on its previously tipped 3.2-inch “Leo” Android phone — including an unprecedented 14-megapixel camera — and said it will ship in Europe in the first quarter of 2011.

        • Taking Care of Business with 12 Great Android Apps for Enterprise Users

          While Android smartphones were initially targeted at the consumer market, with the release of Froyo/Android 2.2, they’re increasingly making their way into the enterprise — and several Android applications are now available that are specifically designed to meet business users’ needs, covering everything from document scanning to task management.

          Although many of these Froyo apps are free, remember that you can uninstall any paid Android app within 24 hours of your initial purchase for a full refund — so go ahead and try any of the below, with no commitment.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Do You Believe In?

    I believe in giving users software ownership, that no matter how much or how little they paid for software that they should have complete ownership and control over their own computers. They should have source code, they should be able to modify it or pay others to modify it for them, they should be able to redistribute and learn from it without strings, restrictions or end user agreements.

  • Designed not to scale

    With the aim of bringing in one new contributor, Máirín Duffy sometimes writes a “Fedora Design Bounty”, a long description of something she could do herself.

    Look at the first one and you’ll get a sense of the process she underwent. She created a splashy web page and discussed a specific issue at length (rather than simply linking to a ticket). She singled out a specific task for a newcomer and provided context showing why it was important that the work gets done. In the “What’s in it for you?” section, she explained how you’ll totally be cooler if you do it. Finally, she made it a contest: anyone can try working on it for 48 hours, and if they don’t succeed, the next person in line gets a shot.

  • Education

    • Linux ,schools and zeitgeist

      By accepting that the Zeitgeist that propels the desirable is an unreliable indicator of worth and that as ICT moves outside this realm an opportunity is created for its dissection into its constituent parts and inclusion into the fabric of school subjects.

      In other words computing is old and boring enough to have earned its place in the mainstream curriculum.

  • Project Releases

    • Project News for PLplot

      This is a development release of PLplot. It represents the ongoing efforts of the community to improve the PLplot plotting package. Development releases in the 5.9.x series will be available every few months. The next full release will be 5.10.0.

    • LM_Sensors 3.2.0 Has Been Released

      It’s been quite a while since having anything to report on with the LM_Sensors project, which is the free software project to provide user-space utilities and kernel drivers for various hardware sensors to be supported under Linux. LM_Sensors makes it possible to monitor the CPU/system temperatures, fan speeds, voltages, and other metrics for many systems and motherboards. The last time though we brought up LM_Sensors was in May when it received some better Intel CPU support, but the last major release (LM_Sensors 3.1.0) happened in March of 2009. Today though, LM_Sensors 3.2.0 has been released.

  • Programming

    • C++ Snippets on Linux: Vectors Vice Arrays As a Better Way to Store Data

      You may have read and enjoyed my recent article “C++ Snippets: Converting Hexidecimal Values to Decimal Values.” In that article, I briefly discussed a secret project that I have undertaken that will eventually result in my first GUI application for GNU/Linux, Windows, and perhaps even MacOS. At that time, I said that I could not reveal the exact nature of the program. I still cannot reveal the exact nature of the program, but I am releasing more of the source code under the GNU GPL license version 3. If you look at this code, run and compile it, you may glean a few more hints as to what kind of program I am actually aiming to write. in this article, I will reveal a few more details as to how I came up with this program idea.

Leftovers

  • What we’re driving at

    So we have developed technology for cars that can drive themselves. Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research.

  • Does the market need freedom, or is it modern sharecropping?

    Thorne gave another example: An industrial designer in Berlin who has been financially successful using open licenses. As a result, he’s often asked what the business model around this is. Despite his financial success and critical acclaim, he admits that it’s the creative freedom that has real value. He had tenure, etc., but some people undervalue the importance of the creativity result of the freedom as opposed to the monetary returns.

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Conservationists row over ship hit by Japanese whaling vessel

      It was the moment a cat and mouse game between a Japanese whaler and a team of determined marine conservationists burst into chilling violence. In early January in the icy waters off Antarctica, the steel hull of the Okinawa-registered ship Shonan Maru II ploughed into a lightweight carbon-fibre pursuit vessel used by the anti-whaling charity Sea Shepherd, shearing off the sleeping quarters.

    • Rich nations ‘slow to start climate aid flow’

      Rich countries have been slow to launch the “fast start” climate funds promised at Copenhagen, the world’s least developed nations complained today as negotiators wrestled with a finance package to keep the UN climate talks process on track.

      World leaders agreed last year to inject $30bn (£19bn) into forestry and other efforts to tackle climate change between 2010 and 2012. Ahead of bigger, more long-term financing, the “fast-start” money was designed to build trust among poorer countries that produce very miniscule greenhouse gas emissions but suffer many of the worst consequences.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Corporate Censorship Kills Creative Innovation

      I recently twittered “Corporate censorship kills creative innovation because some great ideas aren’t seen as great until much later” but some people were confused, which isn’t surprising given that I could have fully explained what I meant if I’d just used all 140 characters.

      So to clarify, I’ll do a full post but due to how I have MySQL set up, I’ll need to keep to under two billion characters. Hopefully that will be enough this time.

      When I was talking about “Corporate Censorship”, I wasn’t talking about the relationship between a game developer and a publisher. That’s a unique relationship because one party (the publisher/employer) is paying the other party (the developer/employee) and I do think if you’re funding something, you do have the right to exert some control over what is being made. You are paying for it after all. In a good and healthy publisher/developer relationship both parties respect what the other brings to the venture and they let the other do what they do best with minmal interference, but that’s not what I was talking about.

    • Ninth Case Filed against Turkish Journalist Ismail Saymaz

      Turkish reporter Ismail Saymaz faces 79 years in prison due to the publication of critical articles for the Turkish daily newspaper Radikal, IPI’s National Committee in Turkey reports.

      Saymaz, accused of “violating the secrecy of an investigation” in relation to the Ergenekon trials and events in the city of Erzincan, has previously been charged with no less than eight other criminal cases. The eighth trial opened up against him on account of his article titled, “Love games in Ergenekon – The Ergenekon prosecutor also took the judge’s statement,” published on 8 June.

    • Pixel Light
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Scientific American appalled at US broadband, demands line-sharing

      Scientific American might be a bit late to the controversy over line-sharing and broadband competition in the US, but the magazine today released a sharp (and unfortunately short) editorial intent on making up for lost time. Called “Why Broadband Service in the US is so Awful,” the piece argues that ISPs need to open their networks to third-party competitors. As for politicians who don’t see things this way, they “have aligned themselves with large Internet providers such as AT&T and Comcast that stand to suffer when their local monopolies are broken.”

      The editorial appears in the October 2010 issue of the magazine and showed up online today. It breaks no new ground, instead citing the “recent” FCC-commissioned report from Harvard’s Berkman Center, the one arguing that most developed countries have more broadband competition thanks to their line-sharing rules.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sintel: An Epic Open-Source Movie

        On October first, the open-source movie project of the Blender Foundation released third animated short on YouTube: Sintel. Five days later, the movie had already reached one million views. Previously released only at the Netherlands film festival (on September 27), Sintel’s success is as much due to its quality than it’s open-source nature.

      • Anti-piracy lawyers caught pirating each other’s work

        We would like to think that the lawyers that are prosecuting alleged copyright infringers are practicing what they preach, but it looks like one of the most high profile firms involved in such cases are just as guilty of stealing other’s work as those who are downloading illegal media.

      • White House IP Boss: Digital Piracy Costs U.S. Jobs

        “Protection of our innovation and protection of our creativity is an essential part of our plan for economic recovery,” U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel said in a keynote address here at a policy conference hosted by the Future of Music Coalition.

        [...]

        In June, Espinel, joined by Vice President Joe Biden and other top administration officials, released an ambitious strategy charting a course of action to bolster IP protection and tighten enforcement. That plan contained recommendations on a variety of fronts, and Espinel said today that the administration is “moving forward quite rapidly” to put it in place.

Clip of the Day

Open Source Soil Pulverizer Prototype II


Credit: TinyOgg

10.09.10

Links 9/10/2010: GNOME Shell Highlights, Release of Ubuntu 10.10 is Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 4:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Brilliance Of Linux Package Management

    As this article rightfully points out, Linux package management is brilliant. Best of all, the process of installing or updating can be as simple or as complex, as you’d like to make it. For most people, updating is a matter of setting it and forgetting it. Others might perfer to do this manually from a CLI instead.

    However you care to slice it, today’s modern Linux distros make software and update packages brain-dead simple. Anyone who still makes the claim that Linux relies on the user being able to compile stuff, is not being entirely forthcoming. In all of the years I’ve used Linux, I have had to compile a package four times. Each time it was for a very new driver module. Nothing more.

  • Desktop

    • What Do Broadcom Drivers Mean for Linux Uptake?

      The early to mid 2000s were good years for Linux. The influx of cash and general interest from major enterprise players like IBM, Oracle and Novell gave the flagship free software operating system an incredible boost in terms of popularity and — more importantly — adoption.

      But there was a dark side to Linux in those days. It was not spoken of widely, save for whispered mutterings in back-room Birds of a Feather meetings at LinuxWorld. It was something That Was Not Spoken, yet everyone who dealt with Linux for any length of time knew the penguin’s dark secret.

  • Server

    • HPC Past and Present: Remembering the i8087

      The Portland Group has implemented a high level interface to NVidia GPUs, which could possibly work for all types SIMD units and even CPU cores. Eventually, compilers may get smart enough to do this automatically. Recently, Portland Group also announced CUDA support for X86, which should greatly extend the reach of the popular NVidia CUDA model.

    • Cloud Computing and Open Source: The Next Generation of Apps

      The survey found that open source is more widely used and is now considered an acceptable input into enterprise compute environments. Perhaps surprisingly, cost is not one of the main drivers for using open source; rather, security, control, and ability to affect the direction of a product are cited as primary reasons for open source use. Joe implied that one of the drivers for this turn to open source is the unhappiness many organizations feel about commercial software vendors and how users have fared in the dizzying industry consolidation that has occured over the past decade.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • From the land of Shell

        Obviously, the devil is in the detail – not to talk about some gross hacks used – so I wouldn’t expect the branch to land soonish. But there it is, for fellow hackers and ancious users to give it a try …

      • Gnome Shell: From Mockups To Reality

        I don’t know about you, but I for one am really glad we’ll finally have some sort of window list (dock, launcher or whatever is called) in Gnome Shell, although the above screenshot looks like the Activities view – hopefully the window list will be displayed in any view, not just here. What do you think?

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • What kind of software do you miss in Debian

        Debian holds a great amount of software, for everything from web servers to desktop wikis, but there’s always something missing.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Who setup ubuntunews?
        • More Zeitgeist integration in Software Center shows recommended apps based on usage

          As some of you may know, Seif has been working closely with the Software Center developers to integrate Zeitgeist into the Software Center. We blogged about the Software Center using Zeitgeist to display app usage a couple of weeks ago, and naturally the next step would be for that information to be translated into recommendations, which is very, very cool.

        • Interview: Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager

          Jono talks about the inspirations and challenges of community management.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition Offers Revamped User Interface

          Canonical announced today, October 7th, the upcoming availability of the new Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system for download on Sunday, October 10th.

          The Ubuntu 10.10 release introduces various offline and online applications for the Desktop Edition, and a brand-new user interface for the Netbook Edition, called Unity. The Server Edition of Ubuntu 10.10, as well as the Enterprise Cloud EC2, also introduces new features.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • What to expect from Google TV

          Future Google TV software updates could fill in some of those gaps and add other new features. One interesting possibility would be simple video calling.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Shindig Gets Social

    For developers, including social networking technologies into modern Web applications is often a key priority. The OpenSocial standard, originally developed by Google, is one mechanism that developers can leverage for social networking applications.

    But standards are one thing, and implementation is another. That’s where the Apache Shindig project comes into play. Apache Shindig is an OpenSocial container that enables developers to handle OpenSocial application content and gadgets. The project recently hit its 2.0 milestone as it continues to track the latest OpenSocial standardization efforts.

  • Gallery online photo album – cropped

    After two years of development, version 3 of the popular Gallery online album software, code named “Santa Fe”, has now been completed. Compared with its predecessor, the new version is said to offer improved performance and stability and require fewer resources. The developers have also drastically trimmed down the program package: instead of the previous 14 Mbytes, the standard installation is now only about 4 Mbytes in size.

    The program’s comprehensive slimming down has brought about various functional and flexibility reductions. For instance, users’ access rights are now managed on an album level, but no longer on an image level, which also benefits the program’s usability. Another discarded option is the availability of multiple, differently scaled image versions. Gallery 3 only offers three versions of every image: a thumbnail, a downsized image suitable for online use and the original non-scaled version. However, the developers point out that this relatively popular feature can be reintroduced via a plug-in.

  • The easy way to go open source in BI-DW: slipsteaming

    I’d like to propose a slightly devious strategy for getting open source Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing into your company. You’ve probably heard a lot about open source BI / DW offerings in the last few years. You’re kind of self-selected into that group by simply reading this post! However, just in case, I’ll wrap up a few of the leading lights for you. This is by no means comprehensive, consider it an invitation to do some ‘googling’.

  • Digital Reasoning and Riptano Advance Cassandra-Based Analytic Solutions
  • Events

    • Notes from the Open Source Analysts Summit 2010

      Having had the chance to chair the Open Source Analysts session at the Open World Forum I want to share here some takeaways. Matthew Aslett, senior analyst at the 451 group, opened the session anticipating some results from the upcoming revision of the “Open Source is NOT a business model” report, due between the end of October and the beginning of November.

    • Andalusia regional government on the lookout for alternatives to 6th Open Source World Conference

      Due to the budget adjustment Andalusia regional government is undertaking in order to improve the economic situation.

    • Open Source Business Research at OWF 2010

      To survey the research space, I’m breaking it up along the lines of involved actors or key roles these actors play. I see three main types of actors:

      * Producers
      * User/customers
      * Laborers

      Software developers are part of the producers category as long as it is volunteer work; they are part of the laborer category when it comes to non-self-determined work.

  • SaaS/Search

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org is Dead, Long Live LibreOffice — or, The Freedom to Fork

      We fear this, because it’s wasteful. If it happened all the time, free software development would disintegrate into zillions of tiny pockets with no room for large organized projects — it’s kind of like the fear that absolute democracy will result in “mob rule.”

    • MySQL price hikes reveal depth of Oracle’s love

      Oracle has repeatedly declared its intent to invest heavily in MySQL technology in its effort to up-end Microsoft’s SQL Server business.

    • Oracle wishes LibreOffice the best, but won’t directly cooperate

      Oracle has said that it will not be working directly with The Document Foundation and its LibreOffice fork of the OpenOffice.org office suite. In an email to ComputerWorld’s Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols from Oracle’s public relations office the company said that it believes that OpenOffice.org is the most advanced and feature rich implementation and encourages the OpenOffice community to contribute directly to it.

    • Oracle shows lacklustre support for LibreOffice

      Oracle has all but confirmed that it will not be joining the list of contributors for the new OpenOffice offshoot LibreOffice, established by the newly formed Document Foundation.

  • CMS

    • Acquia Hosting adds memcache support

      For those that don’t know memcache, it is a high-performance memory object caching system. Oftentimes it’s used to speed up database-driven websites by caching data and objects in RAM. This is very effective in managing the load on your database, which for most web applications including Drupal, is the biggest performance bottleneck and risk to scalability.

  • Business

  • Java

    • Is it time to fork Java?

      This year’s JavaOne was a dismal affair. Crammed into the Hilton hotel and Parc 55, the feeling was that Oracle had ruined the conference. And the dual conference idea also caused Java people problems: those that tried to attend the key note at Moscone with JavaOne passes were turned away – instead needing to go to the Hilton ballroom to see it televised.

    • Time to Fork Java? si vis pacem, para bellum
  • Project Releases

    • XenClient 1.0 Released

      On behalf of the entire XenClient product team I’m thrilled to announce general availability of XenClient 1.0 and the Synchronizer for XenClient 1.0 as part of XenDesktop 4 Feature Pack 2. XenClient has been more than a year and a half in the making with countless late nights and weekends dedicated to creating this ground breaking bare metal client hypervisor.

    • ActiveState Launches Komodo IDE 6
    • MuleSoft Releases Major Upgrade of Tcat Server, Enterprise Tomcat Made Simple

      Tcat Server is the leading enterprise Apache Tomcat application server with critical features for production deployment, allowing administrators to manage Tomcat seamlessly on-premise and in the cloud. Tcat Server addresses key gaps in “plain vanilla” Apache Tomcat, with capabilities such as performance monitoring and diagnostics, application deployment, and server and configuration management. Based 100% on the Apache Tomcat binaries, with zero changes to the core code, Tcat Server allows IT teams to migrate from legacy platforms such as Oracle WebLogic and IBM WebSphere to the lightweight and open source Tomcat.

    • Mercury Releases OpenSAL – Open Source Version of Scientific Algorithm Library

      The release of OpenSAL further underscores Mercury’s strategic commitment to industry standards, open architecture, and open systems solutions. An earlier example of this commitment is the OpenVPX™ specification effort led by Mercury to enable interoperability for VPX systems, ratified by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in June 2010. Like OpenVPX, the introduction of OpenSAL is also a response to customer and Department of Defense (DoD) requirements to migrate towards open architectures and systems for portability, reducing time to theater, lowering cost, while leveraging higher technology readiness levels (TRLs). OpenSAL is an initial step towards enabling the user community to add the values of open architecture to today’s ever expanding compute engines.

    • GoAhead Announces Release of OpenSAFfire Version 6.0

      GoAhead® Software today announces that it has shipped the general release of OpenSAFfire 6.0, the company’s commercial distribution of the recently released Version 4.0 of the OpenSAF project. OpenSAF is an open source software community with projects focused on high availability middleware. This new version of OpenSAFfire builds on OpenSAF 4.0 with an impressive range of technology, services, and partner programs.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Free Culture’s Worst-Case Scenarios

      Assuming the network will never deign to correct its mistake, I think one of the most important things to do is use the internet connect the song and show back to the artist. If the song really brought that many people to the show, they are likely to start searching for it online. Something like a post on the artist’s website will show up clearly in search results, and it gives the artist an opportunity to direct new visitors to free downloads of the song, concert dates, and his other reasons to buy (perhaps tweaked to appeal to fans of the show). It’s also a good idea to have a way for people to send donations.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Open Access Journals – A Major Problem

        I am seriously considering deleting many of the open access journals or even entire groups of them that are part of the “Freely Accessible” collections within Serials Solutions.

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

    • Atlassian acquires BitBucket

      Atlassian, the Australian-based provider of Collaboration and Software Development Tools to some of the world’s largest organisations, has announced that it has acquired BitBucket, the maker of the Mercurial Distributed Version Control System (DVCS) and its 60,000+ users.

    • Desperation or direction? Geeknet sells off Ohloh.net to Black Duck

      You have to give the company credit for not being boring. In 10 years it’s changed identities and strategies more than David Bowie. Also with fewer hits. SourceForge started as VA Linux Systems, then VA Research, VA Software, SourceForge, and now Geeknet. The company tried to sell Linux servers, then enterprise project control, and all manner of open source related Web sites — some of which it acquired from Andover.net, plus its big dollar purchase of Linux.com during the early tech boom.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Escape the tyranny of file formats

      In recent years, they have made attempts to allow for plug-ins that allow compatibility with other documents (like documents created with Unix, Mac, etc), such as a plug-in for the international standard OpenDocument format (ODF) (ISO/IEC 26300:2006).

      But there is a very simple way around all this madness. It’s called RTF (Rich Text File), and Microsoft Word and every other word processor on the planet knows how to work with, read, open, edit and create RTF files. The Rich Text Format is a proprietary file format, as I said, which was developed by Microsoft in 1987. If you have ever used WordPad, you’ve used RTF.

Leftovers

  • U.S. Acts to Quiet Blaring TV Ads. Welcome to the 1960s

    The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a bill (S. 2847) requiring that the FCC ban the decades-old practice by which broadcasters pump up the volume on ads so they are much, much louder than the programs they sponsor. It’s very attention-getting, which is the idea. It’s also extremely annoying, which isn’t.

    The CALM Act (Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation) would require the FCC to enforce “internationally accepted standards of television advertisement volumes” within a year of becoming law. A version of the act had already passed in the House of Representatives, where it will return for reconciliation with the Senate bill. Supporters hope for a final vote next month. It’s hard to imagine President Obama not signing it.

  • Facebook spammer fined $1 billion

    A Montreal man who sent more than four million spam e-mails to Facebook users over a two-month period was ordered to pay the social media giant more than $1 billion in compensation.

    Adam Guerbuez did not admit to sending the spam. But he also did not contest the Sept. 28 Superior Court ruling, which upheld an earlier decision by a U.S. District Court judge in San Jose, Calif.

  • How to Slash the State

    Yet loud critics of big government—especially but not only Republican politicians—are often reduced to an awkward stammer when put on the spot by the all-important question, “So what would you cut?” Well, stammer no more.

  • How the Left Hemisphere Colonized Reality

    If we are to believe the latest conclusions of Tony Wright (speaking above in a National Geographic documentary) the left brain hemisphere has not simply dominated a more passive right; rather, over time, it has changed our neurochemistry and neural structures to support its own ascent. In his new book, Left in the Dark, Wright argues that “humanity is suffering from species-wide brain damage” and this damage is the “root cause of our obvious insanity.”

  • Science

    • Lightweight Exoskeleton Gives Paraplegics New Legs

      The implications of exoskeletons in the health field go beyond giving paraplegics robotic legs. They could also teach people to learn how to walk on their own again. Currently, rehabilitation centers use much larger, stationary and extremely expensive devices to assist with temporary walking. (Wired.com’s Tim Carmody points out that “Getting time on these devices is like getting telescope time for an astronomer.”)

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Exclusive: Blackwater Wins Piece of $10 Billion Mercenary Deal

      Never mind the dead civilians. Forget about the stolen guns. Get over the murder arrests, the fraud allegations, and the accusations of guards pumping themselves up with steroids and cocaine. Through a “joint venture,” the notorious private-security firm Blackwater has won a piece of a five-year State Department contract worth up to $10 billion, Danger Room has learned.

    • A phone application that threatens security

      It also shows the airline, flight number, departure point, destination and even the likely course-the features which could be used to target an aircraft with a surface-to-air missile, or to direct another plane on to a collision course, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

      The programme, sold for just 1.79 pounds in the online Apple store, has now been labelled an ‘aid to terrorists’ by security experts and the US Department of Homeland Security is also examining how to protect airliners.

    • Trickle Down Surveillance

      The Pennsylvania spying scandal reveals a deeper problem with homeland security.

    • Don’t punish dad for defending daughter

      The world is upside down. The act of children bullying the vulnerable has become so common that many adults no longer seem to notice or care, much less do anything to stop it. But when a video clip on YouTube shows a father defending his daughter from bullies, some people go ballistic.

      What used to be considered unacceptable is now thought to be normal, and what used to be normal is now unacceptable.

      Jones is facing two misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing a school function. He was released from jail after posting a $2,000 bond.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • What a scientist didn’t tell the New York Times about his study on bee deaths

      Few ecological disasters have been as confounding as the massive and devastating die-off of the world’s honeybees. The phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) — in which disoriented honeybees die far from their hives — has kept scientists, beekeepers, and regulators desperately seeking the cause. After all, the honeybee, nature’s ultimate utility player, pollinates a third of all the food we eat and contributes an estimated $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the U.S. economy.

    • Canary Wharf is a ‘petrol station’ for some of the most rare migrating birds

      In fact, bird-watching enthusiasts consider the financial district to be a haven for some of the rarest migrating birds in the UK.

      Over the last 10 years, species such as the nightingale, the red-backed shrike and the song thrush have all found their way to the bright lights of the city.

  • Finance

    • U.S. House of Representatives Proposes Ban on For-Profit Home Resale Fees

      The Coalition to Stop Wall Street Home Resale Fees applauds Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Co-Sponsors Sherman, Sires, and Gwen Moore for introducing the Homeowner Equity Protection Act of 2010 to ban private transfer fees and protect consumers from a new predatory scheme that forces homeowners to pay for the right to sell their own properties.

    • The Return of Debtor’s Prison

      Part of the problem stems from the way the debt buying industry has evolved over the last 20 years. As recently as the early 1990s, many credit card issuers made little effort to collect on their past-due accounts. If a cardholder missed a payment or two, in-house collection efforts would generally follow. But when a cardholder hadn’t made a payment in 180 days, issuers tended to “charge off” the delinquent account against earnings, settle for the tax break, and pursue collection efforts no further.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Why is This GOP House Candidate Dressed as a Nazi?

      An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one: Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio’s 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Winemaker Charles Smith Sues Over Anonymous Blog Comments

      As Salmon notes, the entire 29 comment thread died out within a week, and most people would go on with their lives hardly knowing a thing about it or about the claims concerning Charles Smith.

      Instead, Smith decided to sue the anonymous commenters for libel, and since Gray’s blog is hosted by Google, it received the subpoena, and has agreed to hand over the names, unless Gray tries to quash the subpoena — something he does not appear to be interested in doing. Now, reading through the original comments, there might be stuff in there that’s defamatory — though, it seems like a long shot. For the most part, it’s clearly just people venting, and I would imagine that anyone reading those comments would take it as such. However, by filing the lawsuit, and calling that much more attention to the issue and the lawsuit, just in an attempt to “out” the commenters, it seems that Smith is now calling a lot more attention to what people think of him and (at the same time) making it clear that he also reacts in a legalistic way when someone doesn’t like him.

    • Can The ‘Gist’ Of A Book Be Defamatory, Even If Nothing Is Proven False?

      With the trial now underway, Main’s lawyers are pointing out that the book is “political and social criticism,” and that Royall has not proven she got any facts wrong. Royall’s response is somewhat stunning. His lawyers seem to be indicating that even if there’s nothing factually wrong, the “conclusions” drawn from those facts are defamatory. In other words, there may be nothing wrong with the book, but the analysis of those facts, as a whole, is somehow defamatory. This sounds an awful lot like “well, I don’t like what she said, and it makes me look bad — even if based on fact — and thus, it must be defamatory.”

    • Rockstar vs Daily Star: a landmark moment in games coverage?

      But of course, no such game existed. The reporter responsible for the piece (which can be viewed here) appears to have seen a crudely mocked-up cover of an imaginary game entitled Grand Theft Auto Rothbury – no doubt posted on a chat forum by some sneering teenager with a crude sense of humour and limited Photoshop skills. Without contacting Rockstar for clarification, it seems the decision was swiftly reached that this was a legitimate source.

    • Seventh Circuit Tosses Beverly Stayart’s False Endorsement Claims–Stayart v. Yahoo

      I have previously blogged about Beverly Stayart’s lawsuits against Yahoo and Google for apparently sploggy (and possibly cloaked) objectionable search results delivered when she searched on her name. Whatever sympathy I might otherwise feel for her is overridden by the lawsuits’ complete lack of merit.

      Yesterday, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of her false endorsement claims against Yahoo. My prior posts on the district court opinion and her initial complaint. The court efficiently points out that she has not made a use in commerce of her name sufficient to trigger Lanham Act protection, and therefore she lacks standing for a false endorsement claim.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EA Victorious as Court Denies Injunction Against Publisher for ‘Edge’ Trademark

      The litigation against EA over the use of the term “Edge” has finally come to a conclusion, IndustryGamers learned in court documents we received today. Tim Langdell, founder of Edge Games, has been on a suing spree over the past several months, and it seems as though he has now failed to win against Electronic Arts.

    • Politician Tied Up In Warez Scene Piracy Investigation

      Following last month’s chaos as police around Europe moved to take apart the higher levels of the so-called Warez Scene, an interesting individual has become entangled in the investigation. In Sweden, a suspicious IP address was linked to an account operated by a “top politician.” Although he has apparently denied any involvement, yesterday a court ordered his computers to be sent for examination.

    • Copyrights

      • Bomb threat as US Copyright Group sues 2,000 more file-swappers

        After filing its high-profile infringement case against Hurt Locker file-sharers back in May, the US Copyright Group went quiet. While the lawyers moved against the 14,000 anonymous “Doe” defendants they have accused of sharing films online this year, US Copyright Group appeared to suffer a summer drought. No new cases were filed.

      • Historical Audio Recordings Disappearing; Copyright Partly To Blame

        Recently, we pointed out that various film archives were disintegrating, and noting that perverse copyright laws were partly to blame. Now, Copycense points us to the news that experts are also quite worried about audio recordings degrading and disappearing — including recent recordings, such as from 9/11 and the 2008 election.

      • Porn studios’ copyright lawyer: ‘I will sue’ (Q&A)

        Considering you are collecting some highly sensitive data and since a law firm in Britain just lost a whole mess of the same kind of information, can you tell us how you protect your records? Do you encrypt? Have you hired an expert security firm?

        Ford: We do the settlements by hand and scan the papers. All that we accept online is credit card information through a third-party processor. So the computer with the information about who downloaded what is not connected to an external source and there is no risk of the information being hacked.

      • Gene Simmons Says Sue Your Fans, Take Their Homes; So Why Hasn’t He?

        Kiss’ Gene Simmons apparently was bored of not getting enough coverage in the blogworld lately, and so he’s cooked up another “controversy.” He does this every year or so, making a big stink about “piracy” or new business models, and I’m pretty sure at this point that he only says this stuff because he knows people will write about it. In 2008 he claimed that Radiohead was destroying the music industry with its “pay what you want” experiment — even though it made the band more money than all their previous releases.

        [...]

        But here’s the reason why I think Simmons is making all this up for the attention and the press. He notes that he has a record company, and he screams about the industry not having the balls to sue people. So… um… Gene… where are your thousands of lawsuits against file sharers? After all, I would imagine that KISS songs are downloaded all the time. What’s with all the talk and no action? Where are all the lawsuits that drove kids out of their homes and cars? Oh right. They didn’t happen.

      • Commerce Seeks Comment on Protecting Copyrighted Works on the Internet

        The U.S. Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force today issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment from all interested stakeholders on the protection of copyrighted works online and the relationship between copyright law and innovation in the Internet economy.

      • More Comics About Copyright

        We recently wrote about how James Boyle, along with two other law professors, was putting together a comic book about copyright. It looks some others are thinking along the same lines (and, nicely, using Boyle’s recent book as part of their inspiration). Someone sent over a link to the Jolly Roger comic book, which goes through the history of copyright in about 60 pages. Apparently, the original comic was in French, but this version has been translated to English.

      • Meet the US copyright lawyers planning a denial-of-service attack on the US courts

        Ars Technica’s Nate Anderson follows up on his excellent work analyzing the practices of ACS:Law, the UK law firm that uses “legal blackmail” (as the House of Lords termed it) to shake down accused copyright infringers on behalf of the porn industry; now Nate gives us a rundown of ACS:Law’s US equivalents — the handful of lawyers who are set to send legal threats to tens of thousands of accused downloaders this year, offering them a “settlement” if they simply cough up thousands of dollars rather than asking a court to rule on the evidence. So far this year, there have been more than 24,000 lawsuits filed against “John Doe” downloaders in order to get names and addresses for these shakedown letters — that’s not a business model, it’s a denial of service attack on the judicial branch.

      • The DMCA vs. Political Speech

        Transbot9 recently alerted us to the news that the NFL had complained about Senator Russ Feingold’s use of an NFL clip in his latest TV commercial:
        Apparently Feingold folded like a cheap suit and quickly re-edited the commercial to heed the NFL’s special interest. Ironically, the whole commercial is about Feingold’s willingness to stand up to corporate special interests. Yeah. Nice one.

      • Dear Righthaven…

        Now, I’m sure Righthaven CEO Steven Gibson’s super-secret, proprietary method of finding offenders (translation: Google searches) have carried this process this far, but I’m highly doubting that it’ll pick up on reuses of copyrighted artwork. So I’m here to help.

      • CBC decision highlights Creative Commons drawbacks

        One big story that broke yesterday was that the CBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, has come out with a new policy prohibiting the use of Creative Commons-licensed music in any of its podcasts. Predictably, the conspiracy theorists came out in force, especially where the story was reported on BoingBoing and Slashdot.

      • ACTA

        • MPAA loves ACTA, but European Parliament “alarmed” by it

          The motion picture business likes (PDF) the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). After a few tough years of record-setting box office receipts, the industry welcomes new legal enforcement tools that will “protect the jobs of the millions of men and women working in film and other creative industries.”

          But the European Parliament isn’t convinced yet. After all, there’s not even a text to view. And despite official statements expressing peace, love, and harmony, it’s clear that ACTA hasn’t actually been finalized and that some real issues still remain.

        • Surprise, Surprise: MPAA In Favor Of Current ACTA Text Before Anyone’s Supposed To Have Seen It

          That said, Jamie Love points out that the MPAA has already released a statement endorsing the outcome of the latest round of negotiations (pdf). Now this raises a bunch of important questions. Considering that the document is still secret, either the USTR has already provided the MPAA with a copy of the document before letting everyone else know — or the MPAA is simply assuming what ACTA says. Neither possibility says much good about either the USTR or the MPAA, but neither is all that surprising either.

        • ACTA Negotiators Still Claiming Secrecy Is Needed; Turn Off WiFi At Briefing

          EU’s ACTA negotiators apparently held a briefing about the latest draft, and apparently they ordered the WiFi in the room turned off, to stop real time reports from “leaking” to sites like le quadrature and Wikileaks. Apparently, EU negotiators are unfamiliar with mobile data and sites like Twitter, where reports of the meeting were posted in real time by folks like David Hammerstein.

        • ACTA is worthless without Chinese involvement

          COPYRIGHT HARPIES are alarmed that a lack of Chinese involvement will hamper the effectiveness of ACTA, the international Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

          We suspect that the protection of western media producers’ intellectual property rights and economic survival is pretty off-topic in Chinese government meetings, and it seems equally unlikely that China’s population will opt to pay ‘a lot’ for a piece of media when before they had paid ‘not much’, so this comes as no surprise to us.

Clip of the Day

Linux Native Game: Bridge Building Game


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 9/10/2010: More Android Tablets, Drupal in Tablet World, Joomla! 1.5.21 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • As Goes Chrome OS, So Goes Google’s Chrome Browser

      If you happen to think, as I do, that Google Chrome is emerging as the very best browser available, it’s worth noting a point that we’ve made many times on OStatic: Chrome’s evolution will have everything to do with the ongoing development of Google’s upcoming Chrome OS. Chrome OS, Google’s first operating system aimed squarely at computing desktops, is an ambitious project for Google, and, from the outset, it’s been clear that because the Chrome browser interface–and much of its plumbing–form the UI and guts of Chrome OS, the fate of the operating system and its sibling browser are inextricably tied.

  • Server

    • OpenStack: An Open Source Cloud for VARs and MSPs?

      Within the next few weeks, Rackspace is expected to announce key milestones for OpenStack, the open source cloud computing standard. But how will VARs and managed services providers potentially benefit from OpenStack? The VAR Guy went straight to the source, interviewing Jim Curry, chief stacker for Rackspace’s OpenStack effort. Here’s the conversation, recorded at the Rackspace Partner Leadership Summit in San Antonio, Texas, earlier today.

    • NAS device speeds up, adds storage and sync options

      Data Robotics announced a new member of its Linux-based Drobo network-attached-storage (NAS) storage family that adds a Drobo Sync application for offsite backup. Compared to the earlier Drobo FS, the DroboPro FS boosts capacity to eight bays (16TB), adds a second gigabit Ethernet port, and increases performance by 15 to 20 percent, the company claims.

      The DroboPro FS is a larger, turbocharged version of the Drobo FS announced in April. As a result of its greater speed, capacity, and replication capabilities, the DroboPro FS is aimed at the small business market instead of the Drobo FS’ broader SOHO (small-office, home-office) focus.

    • SingleOS To Host Cloud Hosting Lab During cPanel Conference 2010
  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab vs Apple iPad

      The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the poster child of the Android Tablet movement. This being the case we’ve put its specifications and features head to head against the current king of the hill – the Apple iPad. As you can see it raises the bar in several key areas including processing power, pixel density, system memory and storage among others…

    • T-Mobile MyTouch Android phone upgraded for 4G, HD video

      T-Mobile announced an upgraded version of its HTC-manufactured MyTouch that is said to support the carrier’s 4G-like HSPA+ network. The MyTouch is equipped with Qualcomm’s new 1GHz, 4G-ready Snapdragon MSM8255 processor, and offers a 3.8-inch, WVGA screen as well as a five-megapixel camera with HD video recording, says T-Mobile.

    • Sprint readies three Android phones with new custom skin service

      Sprint annouced Android phones from Samsung, Sanyo, and LG, all offering a new “Sprint ID” service for downloading UI skins. Sprint is readying a $150 Samsung Transform 3.7-inch QWERTY slider with front- and back-facing cameras, plus the previously announced 3.5-inch Sanyo Zio ($100) and 3.2-inch LG Optimus S ($50) — the latter also coming from T-Mobile as the Optimus T.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE and GNOME Desktop Summit 2011 from 6 to 12 August
    • Best places to get Ubuntu (Linux) wallpapers

      So you’ve managed to download and install Ubuntu, and now the customization features are calling. Don’t be alarmed, Ubuntu has always been nearly fully customizable due to having open source coding. However, there are plenty of options for the average user to utilize when giving the PC its own personal feel.

      The typical user will most likely only customize wallpapers, fonts, and the icons on the desktop. With wallpapers being the easiest of Ubuntu customization options, finding the websites to obtain them from is the tough part. There are thousands of websites on the Internet dedicated to downloading wallpapers for Ubuntu, a version of Linux.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KPresenter Template Contest Winners announced

        The KPresenter Template Contest was over on September 15. We are really happy with the number and the quality of the entries, and the fact that they came from all over the world. KPresenter 2.3 will be the first version of KPresenter 2 to ship with some cool templates to base your presentations on. Thanks to these templates it’s easier than ever to wow your audience, your customers and your colleagues.

      • Jesús Torres Talks About Bardinux, Spain’s Biggest Deployment of KDE Software

        Michael: The KDE community is very large and vibrant, would it help Bardinux to have an affiliation with KDE, such as a logo? We now have a series of labels you could use…

        Jesús: Yes, I think it could help Bardinux. KDE is a very important project which has a large community, so affiliation would be very interesting. I also think it would be very useful for students of the Free Software Bureau to have more contact with the KDE community. In any case, I did not know about those labels but will include some in the version of Bardinux that will be released soon.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • IPCop 1.9.16
      • Chakra 0.2.3
      • Clonezilla 1.2.6-28
      • Clonezilla 1.2.6-28
      • Toorox – Linux Live System – 09.2010 “GNOME”
      • http://www.slx.no/
      • 2010-10-02: CRUX 2.7 released

        We have released CRUX 2.7! Please check out the ChangeLog, the Release Notes and the Handbook, and download CRUX 2.7 right here.

      • NST 2.13.0
      • ArchBang Linux 2010.10 READY!!!

        ArchBang Linux 2010.10 is out in the wild! Grab it while its hot from the download section. Reported issues have been addressed. It comes with vesa video driver. To install your video driver, remove vesa by running as root “pacman -R xf86-video-vesa” & then run “pacman -S yourvideodriverpackage“. If you have a recent nvidia card (greater than GF FX), run “pacman -S nvidia” and run “nvidia-xconfig” and you’re done. For other video cards, simply run “Xorg -configure” after you have installed your video driver and “cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf”. Last step, edit /boot/grub/grub.cfg and remove xorg=vesa & nomodeset! Don’t forget that you can always build Arch Linux w/ OpenBox from scratch if you want by following my guide. Enjoy & report any bugs you could find on this thread!

      • Calculate Linux Desktop 10.9 released

        After five months of development released the new version of the distributive Calculate Linux Desktop 10.9. There are three ISO images for download with desktops KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) and XFCE (CLDX).

      • OpenXange 2010.10 Live DVD

        the Xange team are proud to anounce the release of Open Xange 2010.10:

        * Open Xange Live DVD > Minimal release for production and enterprise environments.
        * OpenOffice 3.2
        * Firefox 3.6
        * Java and Adobe
        * KDE 4.4.3-1

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Maverick Meerkat’s Personal Cloud for Ubuntu, Mac, and Windows

          The Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Linux distribution is set to debut on Sunday (fittingly: 10/10/10), and with it will come a renewed vision for the idea of the personal cloud.

          In contrast to the public cloud, where applications are served, the personal cloud is all about user data, content and synchronization. With Ubuntu 10.10, the Maverick Linux distribution will also take aim at improving the way users view their desktops and acquire new software.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition Offers Revamped User Interface

          Canonical announced today, October 7th, the upcoming availability of the new Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system for download on Sunday, October 10th.

          The Ubuntu 10.10 release introduces various offline and online applications for the Desktop Edition, and a brand-new user interface for the Netbook Edition, called Unity. The Server Edition of Ubuntu 10.10, as well as the Enterprise Cloud EC2, also introduces new features.

        • Ubuntu Server 10.10 rides distributed file systems

          Canonical’s work on the “Maverick Meerkat” Ubuntu 10.10 development effort has been mostly about polishing the desktop, but the commercial Linux distributor has not forgotten about the server business that increasingly pays the bills.

          And for those bleeding-edge shops who want the latest, greatest Ubuntu features, it could turn out that the Meerkat is a better fit for servers and their workloads than the Ubuntu 10.04 Server Edition Long Term Support variant that came out in April — especially if they are building private clouds using the built-in Eucalyptus framework that’s embedded with Ubuntu Server, deploying on Amazon’s EC2 cloud, or both.

        • Canonical prepares for a Sunday Ubuntu

          Canonical has pre-announced the release of the desktop, netbook and server versions of Linux distribution Ubuntu 10.10 for Sunday 10th of October (10/10/10). Of particular note are the enhancements to the server edition of 10.10 which focus on cloud deployment.

        • Ubuntu Extends Cloud Service to Smartphones
        • Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition Makes Cloud Deployment Easier

          “With Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition we continue to make Ubuntu the default open-source choice for cloud computing,” said Neil Levine, VP of Corporate Services at Canonical. “We are adding features and functions that extend our lead in the public cloud and bridge the gap to hybrid and local computing environments. The infrastructure layer is the enabler of cloud computing and Ubuntu 10.10 is leading the way to put open source at the heart of those efforts.”

          Already one of the most popular operating systems on Amazon EC2, Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition gets kernel upgrades, more configuration options at boot time, and the ability to run the AMI (Amazon Machine Image) off-line on a KVM-virtualised machine. The latter feature means users can test and develop on local servers before pushing to the public cloud – true hybrid cloud computing.

        • Latest Ubuntu, Perfect For Home Users

          Unity is a new interface for Ubuntu that is making its debut in Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition. It is designed for highly mobile computing, making the most of precious screen space on mobile devices. The Unity interface also supports touch and gestures for the increasing number of devices that will support it, with larger icons and a more touch-intuitive interface.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 almost ready for you

          Canonical announced the availability of the only release candidate and the last developmental release before the Meerkat goes gold. Ubuntu 10.10 is due for release on October 10. Design has been the watchword around Canonical this cycle, resulting in lots of cosmetic changes. Will they be celebrated or spurned?

        • Ubuntu 10.10 to debut on 10.10.10

          The chief improvement of the Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition is the new “Unity” user interface, which is optimized for smaller netbook screens and mobile computing.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition: free cloud power for an hour

          Canonical, the company that provides engineering services to the open source Ubuntu operating system community is whetting our mid-week appetites this morning by letting us know about the upcoming availability of Ubuntu 10.10 Server Edition, which will be free to download this coming Sunday.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint OS Ice- A lightweight, user-friendly distribution with built-in cloud technologies

            The latest release is Peppermint-Ice-10012010, it is the first respin of Peppermint “Ice” release. This new release “offers a fully updated system as of October 1st, 2010 and comes with a number of bug fixes, some new features, and some other miscellaneous goodies. The default Linux kernel has been updated to version 2.6.35. In an effort to continually try to offer the best possible hardware support, we felt this was a good move for the Ice release. A number of lower-level updates, such as Grep 2.7.0, Samba 3.5.5, File 5.04, FreeType 2.4.2 and others have been implemented in order to offer a more up-to-date system while remaining on the Ubuntu LTS code base.” Read the complete release announcement for further information.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 4G Linux networking platform features real-time support

      Wind River announced a collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent to develop a common Linux development platform for the latter’s wireless network base stations, optimized for the Freescale QorIQ P4080 multicore processor. The platform is based on Wind River Linux and the recent Linux 2.6.34, plus the latest version of the PREEMPT RT real-time Linux technology, says the company.

    • Logitech launches Google TV-powered STB

      Logitech announced an Android- and Atom-powered STB (set-top box) that employs Google TV software. The Revue includes HDMI I/O and 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking, may be controlled via smartphone apps or a choice of keyboards, and, with an optional camera, provides 720p videoconferencing, the company says.

    • QNAP to Launch VioStor Pro Series NVR with High-definition Local Display

      World’s first Linux-based NVR for PC-less network surveillance

    • Android hijacks in-flight entertainment

      Thales announced the Touch Passenger Media Unit (TouchPMU), an Android-based in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) handheld with an ARM Cortex processor and a 3.8-inch touchscreen. Meanwhile, rival Panasonic is planning its own Android-based seat-back IFEC system, says reports.

    • Linux-based flying robots use swarm AI for rescue ops

      Swiss university EPFL has demonstrated a swarm of Linux-based semi-autonomous “Flying Robots” designed for rescue communications. Each winged drone in the “SMAVNET” project is equipped with a Toradex Colibri PXA270 module, plus Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and GPS wireless communications, used to log location and trajectory and communicate with both ground communications and other craft.

    • Cortex-A8 modules get five megapixel cameras

      The e-CAM50 OMAP Gstix is said to include Linux camera drivers, with full source code. The drivers include support for the V4L2 (Video for Linux 2) buffer management interface, as well as close integration with TI’s IVA 2.2 (Image, Video and Audio Subsystem) accelerator subsystem on the OMAP35x SoCs.

    • GPS-equipped ARM processor hits the road
    • 4G Linux networking platform features real-time support

      Wind River announced a collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent to develop a common Linux development platform for the latter’s wireless network base stations, optimized for the Freescale QorIQ P4080 multicore processor. The platform is based on Wind River Linux and the recent Linux 2.6.34, plus the latest version of the PREEMPT RT real-time Linux technology, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Why The OS No Longer Matters

        Regard Palm. The sine qua non of handset makers saw that their PalmOS couldn’t be fixed, so they pressed the restart button and created WebOS, a Linux derivative.

        Android? It’s based on a Linux kernel. Nokia’s MeeGo? Ditto.

        The list goes on. We have the spiritual children of Unix living inside the Cloud, powering the millions of Linux servers running at Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.

      • Android

        • Verizon’s new Mot Android line-up includes biz-ready Droid Pro

          Motorola announced two Android phones for Verizon Wireless: the business-oriented, QWERTY-enabled Droid Pro, featuring Android 2.2 running on a 1GHz processor, plus a more modest three-inch “Citrus” phone. Meanwhile, Motorola announced a three-inch QWERTY slider with Android 2.1 called the Spice, and says that plans are going forward to split the company in 1Q 2011.

        • Sun (Now Oracle) VirtualBox: An Observation

          I accept that. And to ensure that I can fill out my time sheet, and track all those changes in MS Word documents, I run Windows in a virtual machine. (As an aside, I also use Open Office, have done so for years, but OO is not 100% compatible with MS Word. It’s also not always too swift with track changes, and I cannot count the hours I have wasted trying to make an OO Presentation look like anything other than the dog’s dinner when viewed in MS Power Point.)

        • Google reports >30% of Android devices now running 2.2

          Google has published an updated breakdown of the number of active devices running a given version of its Android mobile operating system. According to the Platform Versions device dashboard on the Android Developer portal, more than one third of all Android devices in circulation are now running version 2.2 of the OS – an increase of nearly 30% over early August of this year.

        • Android sign of a more businesslike Google

          Google’s Android might be the most successful thing the company has ever done that fails to completely live up to one of its original principles.

          Lots of companies have mission statements, core values, or publicly stated ideals that are supposed to put a pretty bow around the fact that they’re mostly in it for the money. Google, of course, made quite the splash in 2004 with its famous declaration that you can make money without being evil.

        • Android Top Smartphone OS in the U.S.

          Google’s fast-growing Android operating system picked up significant bragging rights this week. According to the latest research from Nielsen, Android was the most popular operating system among U.S. consumers who bought smartphones in the past six months.

          Apple’s iOS and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS came in tied for second in a statistical dead heat at 25 percent and 26 percent, respectively, about the same as the previous month.

        • Nielsen: Android is Most Popular Among Recent Smart Phone Buyers

          According to their data, roughly one in three (32 percent) smart phones sold over the last six months were powered by Android.

        • Android surges in traffic, developer confidence

          Android ad requests increased 39 percent month-over-month in August and 996 percent during 2010, says Millennial Media.

        • HTC’s Online Management and Remote Wipe Site Goes Live for Latest Androids
        • Motorola Droid 2 Global Boasts 1.2GHz Processor

          Motorola today published details about the Droid 2 Global handset, intended for Verizon Wireless. According to the specs posted on Motorola’s web site, the Droid 2 has a 1.2GHz processor and can access both Verizon’s 3G network and WCDMA/HSDPA/HSUPA networks of carriers in Europe.

        • Wind River updates dev tools for Froyo

          Wind River announced the release of a version of its Wind River Platform for Android that supports Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) and Adobe Flash Player 10.1. The company also announced a design win with train manufacturer Bombardier for a computer system that will run on London Underground trains.

        • Virgin Mobile sells Android slider without contract

          Virgin Mobile USA has started selling the Samsung Intercept Android slider at Target stores nationwide for $250 without a contract, available with a prepaid plan. The Samsung Intercept is equipped with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, a 3.2-megapixel camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and an optical joystick, says the company.

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Tablet boots Windows 7 or Android

        The Australian firm Tegatech announced a tablet PC that can boot into either Android 1.6 or Windows 7. Offered with available 3G cellular or WiMAX, the “Tega v2″ includes a 1.6GHz Atom N455 processor with 1GB or 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 32GB SSD (solid state disk), and a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, the company says.

      • Galapagos tablets to launch with multimedia e-reader service

        Sharp announced two color e-reader tablets set to ship in December, along with an electronic bookstore that will offer 30,000 books and periodicals with automated scheduled delivery services. The “Galapagos” is available in 10.8-inch and 5.5-inch versions, offers 802/11b/g Wi-Fi connections, and according to one report, runs Android.

      • Seven-inch Android tablet starts at $130

        MP4nation has opened preorders for a seven-inch, Android 1.5 “Rocktab” tablet from Nationite that costs approximately $130, featuring a 600MHz Rockchip RK2808 and GB of memory. Meanwhile, the retailer is also preparing to ship another batch of the 800MHz “Nationite MIDnite” seven-inch tablet, selling for $209 with Android 2.2 and an ARM Cortex-A8 CPU.

      • Two low-cost Android tablets take on U.K. market

        Irish consumer electronics manufacture Disgo has begun selling a seven-inch, 1GHz Android 2.1 tablet, called the Disgo Tablet 6000, for 180 U.K. Pounds ($285). The release follows the announcement from British fashion retailer Next that it has begun selling a 10-inch, 1GHz ARM11-based “Next 10″ Tablet” running Android 2.1 for the same price — but an early review dubs it “dreadful.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Maven 3.0 is open to domain-specific languages

    In a post on the Sonatype Blog, Maven’s chief developer Jason van Zyl has made version 3.0 of the popular Java build tool sponsored by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) available to download. The developers have completely reworked the central build infrastructure. While migrating Maven development projects from version 1.x to version 2.x was a very laborious process, the new release aims at being decidedly more compatible than its predecessor. Where necessary, the contributing developers made use of compatibility layers.

  • ‘open source ICT Centre’ launched

    The Kofi Annan ICT Centre in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission has launched an open source ICT centre for West African countries.

    The Centre is to help shift attention from the mere consumption of technology, to sharing ideas and expertise on the internet.

  • Mercury Releases OpenSAL – Open Source Version of Scientific Algorithm Library
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox for Android beta ships with focus on performance

        Mozilla announced a beta release of the Firefox 4 for Mobile (“Fennec”) web browser, initially supporting Android and Maemo Linux (Nokia N900). The Firefox 4 Beta for Mobile aims to increase performance, adding a new “Layers” technology claimed to streamline scrolling, zooming and animations, but an early review says it still needs to get faster.

      • Firefox for Android beta ships with focus on performance

        Mozilla announced a beta release of the Firefox 4 for Mobile (“Fennec”) web browser, initially supporting Android and Maemo Linux (Nokia N900). The Firefox 4 Beta for Mobile aims to increase performance, adding a new “Layers” technology claimed to streamline scrolling, zooming and animations, but an early review says it still needs to get faster.

  • SaaS

    • Basecamp alternatives

      Applicom: please, release Apollo under the GPL

      My love for Apollo is cursed: Apollo is not free software. The arguments are the same as with any Software As A Service:

      * If Applicom stops developing Apollo, I will no longer be able to use it
      * If Applicom’s servers stop, I will be locked out of my data
      * Nobody can look at the code, and improve it

      This is the same problem I have with Google Documents, and any proprietary Software as a Service. Yet, I’m addicted to Gmail and Google documents as well!

    • The New Type of Programmer: DevOp

      The Hadoop hoopla is generating increasing numbers of announcements from more and more vendors. From startups to large established players, new products and partnerships are emerging which confirm the emergence of a vibrant Big Data ecosystem evolving around Apache Hadoop.

  • Databases

    • Send in the (MySQL) clones

      Amazon is making it easier, and cheaper, to roll out copies of MySQL for very large websites across its cloud.

      On Tuesday, the company announced an update to its Amazon Relational Database Service that will let users create and delete multiple Read Replicas of MySQL instances in minutes, via a point-and-click interface.

  • LibreOffice

    • More freedom for OpenOffice

      Open source community splits off new version of office suite to ensure future

      Most users have heard of OpenOffice.org, the open source alternative to Microsoft Office. Now there is another name to add to the list: LibreOffice.

      LibreOffice is a version of OpenOffice.org (OOo) that has been “forked” from the original code. The new LibreOffice version will now develop at its own pace and in its own direction under the guidance of the newly formed Document Foundation.

    • Install and Switch to LibreOffice in Ubuntu

      OpenOffice.org’s main development community has split off and founded LibreOffice, freeing the alternative office suite from Oracle supervision. If you’d like to make the switch on your own Ubuntu, Linux Mint, or Debian system, it’s not too hard.

    • Michael Meeks talks about LibreOffice and the Document Foundation
  • CMS

    • Joomla! 1.5.21 Released

      The Joomla Project announces the immediate availability of Joomla 1.5.21 [senu takaa ama wepulai]. This is a security release, and we recommend users upgrade immediately.

    • Drupal in a tablet world

      A few years ago, computer tablets similar to Apple’s iPad were props in science fiction films. Only a couple of years from now, tablets might be among the most popular consumer electronics ever.

      It took less than three months to sell the first 3 million iPads. This has made the iPad the consumer electronics device with the fastest adoption rate of all time. Compare that with the 1 million iPhones sold in the first three months of its release, and the 350,000 DVD players sold in the first year of their mass production.

  • Films

    • Sintel Introduces the Next Generation in Animated Films

      When I think of (a) Blender, I think of a device for making slushy adult beverages, not an Open Source tool for rendering images, despite coverage in Linux Journal by Ben Crowder, Robin Rowe, Dan Sawyer and Dave Phillips to name a few. In fact, I am surprised I do not know a lot more about Blender. But if you, like me, feel like you have been living under a rock, let me introduce you to Sintel, the third Open Movie by producer Ton Roosendaal.

    • Applying the open source software model to the world of filmmaking

      Michelle offered one final goal for open source filmmaking: To drive creation of a new type of storytelling. One where audiences can participate and interact, creating new hybrid forms of art. One potentially fruitful genre for this, as pointed out by the moderator, Elenore, is documentaries. They are especially opportune for being open because they generally involve a point of view. With an open source documentary, you can see all of the raw footage that went into it. You can use it to tell your own story, maybe even one that doesn’t agree with the original.

  • Healthcare

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Alfresco Community 3.4 arrives

      Alfresco has issued version 3.4 of its open source enterprise content management system (CMS). The latest release is aimed at making it easier for users to collaborate and and share their content as quickly and easily as possible. Discussing the release, Alfresco Software CTO John Newton said that, “The demand for collaboration and social sharing around enterprise content is rising – and content that was once meant just for the intranet is now being re-purposed for the public web, external portals or even to destination sites across the web”.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

    • MINIX 3 3.1.8
    • FreeDiams v0.5.0 beta available

      FreeDiams prescriber and drug-drug interaction checker is the result of FreeMedForms prescriber plugins built into a standalone application. FreeDiams is a free and open source application, GPLv3.

  • Government

    • MEPs go 2.0

      It is great to see the European Parliament getting into digital spirit with a MEP 2.0 workshop this week. The trend is for more and more public officials to go 2.0, so it is good see this in the EU institutions. Even better that Jerry Buzek is supporting it – thanks Damien!

    • Racing To An Innovation Union

      For example, the Digital Agenda is all about new ways of working. Partnerships such as European Innovation partnerships (EIPs) help to get innovations into the hands of ordinary people and businesses as quickly as possible. They do this by concentrating our resources: bringing together innovators from both the public and private sectors, entrepreneurs, procurers and other interested parties. The partnerships are aimed at our grand challenges such as aspects of climate change, energy and food security, or supporting an ageing population.

    • UK Government goes open source

      The Government has made an important move towards opening its data for public use with the launch of the Open Government Licence, its answer to Creative Commons.

      Currently running in a beta phase, the Open Government Licence – part of the UK Government Licensing Framework – aims to make public sector data, which would ordinarily be covered under Crown Copyright and Crown Database Right, available for all to remix and reuse.

      The idea behind the Open Government Licence is to give the government a legal licence which it can publish its data and software under while retaining the copyright and database rights under Crown Copyright rules. Described as being “interoperable with the latest versions of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, and the Open Data Commons Attribution Licence,” the OGL offers those who want to use and derive UK public sector information a free licence to do so.

    • Euro 2012 qualification day #5 and the sick man of Europe

      FSFE president Karsten Gerloff recently wrote a blog post about the situation in the UK. He writes “Britain is the sick man of Europe in terms of Free Software adoption.” The results below agree with this. I think there are more – too many – sick men in Europe who suffer from the same disease. That’s why Wales is able to get a draw against Bulgaria.

  • Programming

    • Google Summer of Code report: WorldForge

      For the third time in a row, Worldforge participated in Google Summer of Code, with three students completing the program this year. Worldforge is the original open-source Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) project, so it’s great at getting students who are interested in games into open source.

      This post showcases some of the work done by one of our students, Tiberiu Paunescu, to implement a series of improvements to the Ember UI. These improvements were all end-user focused and meant to provide a better and more streamlined user experience.

    • Of Forges and the Enterprise: Should Your Business Use External Project Hosting?

      Thinking about starting a new open source project? Great! Thinking about hosting it yourself? Hold on there, sparky. Whether it’s an individual project, or something your company is behind, I’ve got at least four good reasons you should start the project on an established hosting site instead.

      Free and open source software is all about not re-inventing the wheel. Yet one of the first things many companies and projects want to do is re-invent the wheel when it comes to project hosting. Overcoming that is a good step towards success, for many reasons. Here’s the top four.

    • Komodo 6 Brings HTML 5, CSS 3 to the IDE

      Building HTML 5 and CSS 3 capabilities into modern Web applications is about to get easier for developers, thanks to the release of ActiveState’s Komodo 6 IDE .

      Komodo 6 also includes support for the latest iterations of development languages, including Python 3, Perl 5.12 and Tcl 8.6. Improvements to remote server connections, database connectivity and project flow also make their debut in Komodo 6.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Are There Too Many Consortia?

      Companies that participate in hundreds of standard setting organizations (SSOs) often bemoan the continuing launch of more and more such organizations. Why, they are wont to ask, are so many new ones being formed all the time? And indeed, the aggregate participation costs for such companies in terms of membership dues and personnel are very high.

    • HTML5: The jewel in the Open Web Platform

      The power of this platform is that it is so comprehensive. The challenge presented by HTML5, which I mentioned a month ago, is the need to test, refine and mature certain aspects of the specification in order to support the early adopters, the innovators and the engineers who are embracing this technology today.

Leftovers

  • The New Type of Programmer: DevOp
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Paid-to-snoop service launches

      As previously discussed on this blog, the new paid-to-snoop service which will allow members of he public to monitor CCTV cameras from their own home and alert business owners to shoplifting and anti-social behaviour has now been launched. Upon alerting business owners to a crime taking place, a text message will be sent to the business owner alerting the of the alleged crime.


    • Iris Scanning Set To Secure City in Mexico, Then the World

      The million-plus citizens of Leon, Mexico are set to become the first example of a city secured through the power of biometric identification. Iris and face scanning technologies from Global Rainmakers, Inc. will allow people to use their eyes to prove their identify, withdraw money from an ATM, get help at a hospital, and even ride the bus. GRI’s eye scanning systems aren’t more secure than others on the market, but they are faster. Large archway detectors using infrared imaging can pick out 50 people per minute, even as they hustle by at speeds up to 1.5 meters per second (3.3 mph). The first phase of the Leon iris and face scanning project has already begun. It is estimated to cost around $5 million and focuses on law enforcement agencies’ security check points.

    • CSA know how much is left on my credit card

      A POOLE father has told of his shock at discovering that the Child Support Agency could see how much money he had available on his credit card.

      Stephen Bailey, 49, pays child support for his son direct from his Sunseeker salary.

      But, after a recent reassessment, he was told by the agency that he owed arrears of almost £300 and needed to pay straight away – or see his monthly payments increase.

    • 4D face scans for students

      The technology is so advanced that it can distinguish between identical twins.

      The scanner works by measuring distinguishing features such as the distance between eyes and the length of the nose.

      About 200 sixth formers are having their faces scanned when they ‘clock in and out’ at Sir Christopher Hatton School, in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, along with pupils in schools in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

    • MoD labels Facebook Places a ‘targeting pack’ for terrorists

      Security chiefs have cautioned army, navy and RAF personnel to disable Facebook Places, over fears it could be used by terrorists to identify and track targets.

      The new service could act as a “one stop shop targeting pack”, particularly in Northern Ireland, they warn.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Bank Of America Stops Foreclosures In All 50 States

      Last week the bank, the country’s biggest by assets, announced it was halting foreclosures in the 23 states where foreclosures are processed in court, saying it needed to review foreclosure documents for potential errors. Now, the bank has extended that moratorium to all 50 states as it has decided to stop sales of foreclosed properties, blocking a major step in the foreclosure process.

    • Is Geithner Planning a Stealth Attack on the Wall Street Reform Bill?

      Rumors are rampant in Washington, D.C. that Tim Geithner’s first act as the new head of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), the high-level body created to bring stability to the financial system, will be to blow a hole in the Dodd-Frank law. Evidently, Geithner is interested in exempting the $24 trillion – that is trillion with a “t” – foreign exchange (or forex) market from the clearing and transparency requirements of the act.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Film Shows How Corporate America is Faking a Grassroots Revolution

      The documentary film “(astro)Turf Wars: How Corporate America is Faking a Grassroots Revolution,” explains the bizarre situation we face as America drowns in fake, corporate-funded “grassroots” movements. The 2009 “Tea Party Movement”, for example, came out of nowhere, and through a string of well-funded activities, became a huge roadblock to reforming health care, financial services and more. Leaders portray the tea party “movement” as made up of hard-working, mom-and-pop patriots who love their country, but well-heeled players representing some of the biggest and most lucrative businesses in the country are really funding and organizing it.

    • Filmmaker Goes Undercover to Expose Corporate Links to the Tea Party (VIDEO)

      While AFP have been getting a lot of press lately for their ties to billionaire oil man David Koch, (Astro) Turf Wars take this to a whole new level. Of particular note are the revelations that in a previous incarnation both AFP and FreedomWorks were paid by tobacco companies to kill the Clinton healthcare reforms in 1994, mobilizing their grassroots army to fight a ‘government takeover’ and ‘socialized medicine’.

    • Exclusive: Foreign-Funded ‘U.S.’ Chamber Of Commerce Running Partisan Attack Ads

      The largest attack campaign against Democrats this fall is being waged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a trade association organized as a 501(c)(6) that can raise and spend unlimited funds without ever disclosing any of its donors. The Chamber has promised to spend an unprecedented $75 million to defeat candidates like Jack Conway, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jerry Brown, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), and Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA). As of Sept. 15th, the Chamber had aired more than 8,000 ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates alone, according to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project. The Chamber’s spending has dwarfed every other issue group and most political party candidate committee spending. A ThinkProgress investigation has found that the Chamber funds its political attack campaign out of its general account, which solicits foreign funding. And while the Chamber will likely assert it has internal controls, foreign money is fungible, permitting the Chamber to run its unprecedented attack campaign. According to legal experts consulted by ThinkProgress, the Chamber is likely skirting longstanding campaign finance law that bans the involvement of foreign corporations in American elections.

    • Foreign-Funded “U.S.” Chamber Spends Big to Influence U.S. Elections

      By September 18, the Chamber had already aired over 8,000 ads on behalf of Republican candidates.

    • Kudlow to Corporate-Backed Groups: Disclose Your Funding

      Yesterday, Think Progress dropped a campaign finance bombshell when it reported that the US Chamber of Commerce, which is spending tens of millions of dollars this year to run ads supporting GOP candidates in federal elections, is collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign owned businesses, including companies owned by foreign governments.

      Reliable clean elections proponents, like Minnesota senator Al Franken, spoke out immediately for the FEC to investigate the Chamber’s finances. But the voices in support of campaign finance disclosure haven’t been coming only from the left.

    • Larry Kudlow Calls for Campaign Ad Funding Disclosure

      The Act would prevent foreign influence in elections, enhance financial disclosures for advertising, and make CEOs and other leaders take responsibility for financing political ads.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • FBI Drive for Encryption Backdoors Is Déjà Vu for Security Experts

      Back in the 1990s, in what’s remembered as the crypto wars, the FBI and NSA argued that national security would be endangered if they did not have a way to spy on encrypted e-mails, IMs and phone calls. After a long protracted battle, the security community prevailed after mustering detailed technical studies and research that concluded that national security was actually strengthened by wide use of encryption to secure computers and sensitive business and government communications.

    • Faking the Pledge

      The Republicans think expenditures related to “security” deserve the same exalted status, presumably because a government that is bumbling, wasteful, and ineffective in every other endeavor could not possibly display those characteristics when protecting Americans from terrorists. Yet defense is, among other things, a fiscal issue, consuming a fifth of the budget. The Republicans’ grandiose goal of “bringing certainty to an uncertain world” is inconsistent with their goal of “a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government.”

    • Illinois Mayor: Bloggers are Terrorists, Creating History’s Greatest First Amendment Crisis

      Joseph Werner, mayor of Mokena, Illinois, who compared bloggers attacking local officials to terrorists who fly planes into buildings, killing innocent people, and he believes blogs have given rise to the greatest First Amendment crisis in this country’s history.

    • Study Shows That Web Blocking Ignores Real Problems, Doesn’t Solve Anything & Is Used As A Political Tool

      We’ve been hearing a lot about politicians trying to restrict access rather than actually dealing with the root causes of problems a lot lately. From the horrible COICA censorship bill, to various state attorneys general pressuring websites to block forums, rather than having those AGs actually do their job and go after those responsible, it seems that politicians keep looking to put up a wall, rather than deal with real issues.

    • Miliband & Balls must apologise for trampling on civil liberties – Brake

      “Ed Balls, just like Ed Miliband, voted for all Labour’s attempts to steal our hard won civil liberties, not least ID cards and 90-day detention without charge.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Regions The Key To Broadband For All

      I’m 100% committed to 100% broadband coverage – now we need to get all the available funds used (there’s no point in not using the funds!) and get all implementation costs and barriers down. See my interview with the Committee of the Regions here.

    • Well done BT, now ISPs have to ensure that methods of collecting evidence are tested

      Congratulations to BT and Sky for opposing Norwich Pharmacal Orders following the ACS:Leaks.

      It’s good news that they have learned from the massive data protection breach from ACS:Law and opposed further orders by Gallant Macmillan, as we and others advised.

    • GOP leader puts kibosh on Net neutrality bill

      Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, the senior Republican on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he would not support a Net neutrality proposal put forth earlier this week by Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ‘The Social Network’ and the case against intellectual property rights

      In their film about the history of Facebook, David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin found a way to make computer programming a little sexier: play up the rivalries, the parties, the relentless pursuit of fame and fortune, and add Justin Timberlake to the cast. But “The Social Network” should also be celebrated for casting an intellectual property dispute as its central conflict — and in doing so, chipping away at the legitimacy of modern intellectual property protections.

    • Why Imitation Gets A Bad Rap… And Why Companies Need To Be More Serious About Copying

      Overall, the book is definitely a worthwhile read, though, at times it gets a little too caught up in the idea of “copying” vs. “innovating.” As the details of the book make clear, true innovating is really a combination of copying the best ideas of others, adding new things (tweeks) to them, improving on them, learning from the mistakes of others, and continually experimenting. It’s all really a part of the same spectrum. The problem is that we have such a negative association with the concept of “copying,” even though every company does it, and the end results are often really important and beneficial to society.

    • Copyrights

      • The Copyright Wars in Comic Form
      • RIAA Takes Down Music Downloading App Mulve

        Last week an impressive new music downloading application hit the mainstream. Mulve became hugely popular and demand was so great that the site’s servers couldn’t handle the pressure and fell over. Today the site is down again, not through excessive demand, but thanks to the lawyers at the RIAA.

      • EveryScape hits Adobe with copyright infringement lawsuit

        Newton firm EveryScape Inc. is going after Adobe Systems Inc. in court, asserting the San Jose, Calif.-based software company copied a plug-in that EveryScape founder Byong Mok Oh had developed for use with Adobe’s popular Photoshop image editing software and began passing the technology off as its own.

      • Magnet Madness: Legal Threats, DMCA Takedowns & Goofy Videos & Photos — But No Actual Lawsuits

        Now, Bronstein appears to be admitting that he sent the takedown notice, because the video includes a few photos of him (ever so briefly). That seems like a pretty clear abuse of the DMCA takedown process, as it would be difficult to argue that the use of those photos was not fair use. Of course, at the same time, Bronstein also admits that his voicemail “was off the Douche-o-meter” and sent Gizmodo a photo of him holding a trophy for the “Douchiest Voicemail of the Year.”

      • Antipiracy lawyers pirate from other antipiracy lawyers

        Sure, going after file-swappers has the potential to be hugely lucrative, but there are problems. Problem number one: someone needs to write all of the warning letters and response letter templates and all sorts of other legal miscellania. Sound simple? It’s not, and even anti-piracy lawyers aren’t above (allegedly) nicking the letters drawn up by other antipiracy lawyers.

Clip of the Day

linux + window maker on duron 850 Mhz 256Mb Ram


Credit: TinyOgg

10.08.10

Links 8/10/2010: More GNU/Linux at Dell, Wine 1.2.1, Firefox 4 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Professional Institute Certification adopted by Public Schools in Spain

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced with its affiliate organization LPI-Spain (http://www.lpi.org.es/) that a program in public schools in Spain to promote Linux education and certification has achieved successful results in its first six months of operation. This public education initiative with Proyecto Universidad Empresa (PUE) has recruited close to 20 training partners. PUE is Spain’s leading agency in the development of IT training and certification and provides academic programs for such major IT organizations as Microsoft, Cisco and Sun.

  • ‘Linspotting’ – Linux ad spoofs Trainspotting

    If you’re familiar with the British cult film ‘Trainspotting‘ then be the following advert for Linux by Caroline Pimenta is sure to amuse.

    Parodying the 1996 aforementioned film via the use synonymous visual and audio cues, Linspotting is a well made and incredibly funny short that will have you smirking throughout.

  • Why Microsoft Buying Adobe Threatens Desktop Linux

    All of the above aside, what I found most interesting is the fact that no one has been able to put together another side benefit for Microsoft — owning Flash adds a new hurdle to desktop Linux adoption. Remember that Adobe deals with more than Photoshop and other desktop software applications. They also provide Flash to users of all three major desktop platforms.

  • Desktop

    • Dell likely to be first vendor to launch Ubuntu Light netbooks, say notebook makers

      Canonical on October 7 announced its latest Ubuntu 10.10 operating system and Ubuntu Light for netbooks, and noted that consumers should be able to see Ubuntu Light-featured netbooks appearing in the channel within a month. Taiwan notebook makers expect Dell to be the first brand vendor to launch related netbooks, as among all notebook vendors, Dell currently has the biggest number of PC products that are pre-installed with Ubuntu. However, Canonical declined to comment on the speculation.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Sprint’s Galaxy Tab rumored at $399 with contract

      Those of you who have been waiting for some glimmer of hope in the tablet wars will be pleased to hear the latest rumor on the Samsung Galaxy Tab. A source tipped off Boy Genius Report that the Sprint version of the Tab will go on sale November 14 (better late than never).

    • HTC Explodes – GNU/Linux Invades the Monopoly

      What TFA doesn’t say is that most of those units will be Android and 40 million people converted to GNU/Linux by a single manufacturer is M$’s worst nightmare.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Gallium3D / LLVMpipe With LLVM 2.8

        While LLVM 2.8 was just released, we have been curious to see how the latest Low-Level Virtual Machine compiler code affects the performance of the LLVMpipe driver. This is the Gallium3D graphics driver that lives in Mesa and leverages the unique modular LLVM compiler to efficiently handle processing the graphics rendering workload on a modern CPU as a much faster alternative to that of their legacy software rasterizer. To see how much of a performance impact – for better or worse – that LLVM 2.8 has on this open-source software driver we tested it when being built with LLVM 2.6, 2.7, and the 2.8 SVN code.

      • Multi-Touch For The X.Org Synaptics Driver

        Takashi Iwai of Novell/SuSE has just published a series of 18 patches for the X.Org Synaptics input driver that primarily provides multi-touch support.

      • Multi-touch at UDS-N in Orlando, October 25th-29th

        Ubuntu is not just a community; it’s also part of a community. Part of many communities, in fact — very large and thriving ones. The obvious candidates come to mind: Linux, GNOME, KDE, GTK, Qt, the massive collection of upstream applications. But there are more and subtler ones.

        All the work that Ivanka and the Design team have done over the past year and a half has brought open source software into a new place with regard to aesthetics and how to make our applications more appealing to people across the globe, folks who don’t have the same engineering-based perspective on software that we have. This is hugely important and I personally feel that I owe the Design team a HUGE debt of gratitude for what they are doing for something I hold dear to my heart: open source software.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Almost 9 Distros in Almost 6 Minutes

      Ubuntu has gotten the spotlight recently here at Linux Journal, but this week Shawn shows us a handful of other Linux distributions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Linux Boosts Security with OpenSCAP

          Security is always a primary concern for enterprise IT managers, with a constant need to ensure that systems are kept updated and properly configured to prevent exploits. A new tool debuting in the upcoming Red Hat-sponsored Fedora 14 Linux release could prove a key ingredient in enabling properly secured systems.

          Fedora 14 is set to include a technology called OpenSCAP, an open source implementation of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) framework for creating a standardized approach for maintaining secure systems. The new system builds on numerous other technologies and systems in an effort to enable IT organizations to ensure a standardized approach to security.

    • Debian Family

      • Preview: Debian 6 “Sqeeze” (Part 1: GNOME)

        Trying to forecast when the next version of Debian will be released is like trying to figure out whether or not it will snow the next day in Washington DC in winter; it’s an exercise in futility. That said, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Debian 6 “Squeeze” will be released soon. Why? I’m testing the new Debian live images which were first released a week ago (and are daily builds — this one is the 2010 October 3 build); before that, the most recent live image available was of version 6 “Sqeeze” alpha 2. Now that they’re doing daily builds, I figure that it’s not too long until we see the official release.

        [...]

        The desktop isn’t much different from the live DVD (though, thankfully, the boot menu background is just as nice as in the live DVD; in the past, the installed boot menu would just be plain text on a black background, while the live DVD would have a much prettier boot menu). I used 1 GB of my 25 GB virtual hard disk for swap space and 4 GB for the root, which thankfully was and is enough. RAM usage of 100 MB is even better than the live DVD for obvious reasons. All the applications present in the live DVD are present post-installation.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu One Indicator Applet

          Ubuntu One started with an applet back on Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala but it was later removed with the intention of making Ubuntu One as unobstrusive as possible. But that brought a problem: now there is no easy way of knowing the Ubuntu One sync status.

          For this reason, Roman has created an Ubuntu One indicator applet which can display the file synchronization status, available space and it can also be used to disconnect Ubuntu One.

        • Elementary Firefox Theme 3.0, Released, Looks Amazing!

          If something looks out of place, it means you’ll have to customize the toolbars and re-arrange the elements exactly like in the above screenshot (that’s pretty easy).

        • Lubuntu 10.10 CD cover

          The new Ubuntu 10.10 CD cases we revealed with you a few days back are certainly worthy of praise but lets not forget ‘the spin that’s never in’ Lubuntu 10.10 and it’s own CD wallet effort which, as with Ubuntu’s design, takes cues from its default desktop appearance.

        • Brand Refresh of manpages.ubuntu.com
        • Ubuntu One Mobile, now with music streaming, is here!

          It’s finally here. Ubuntu One users can now add music streaming to the long list of things that we offer. This is a big step for us and our goal of creating useful services around your content.

          We have to thank the Android beta testers who provided great feedback, identified important bugs and streamed enough songs to their phones to help us identify ways that we should improve our infrastructure.

        • My new proposal for improving governance.

          I get a bunch of questions and mails from people who want to do great things.

        • This week in design – 8 October 2010

          Away from cool assets being produced we have been focussed this week on the release and by now the beautiful linux desktop you early adopters are already looking at is hopefully starting to feel like home. We can’t wait to hear what you think and hope that you love using Maverick.

        • 12 Reasons to Try Ubuntu 10.10 Now

          As Ubuntu 10.10, or “Maverick Meerkat,” hits the streets this Sunday, it’s a pretty safe bet that legions of existing Ubuntu users will be updating to the new release. After all, it looks to be Canonical’s most user-friendly Ubuntu Linux yet, and many of the new features promise to be must-haves.

        • Check if your next computer is Ubuntu compatible

          When the fear of hardware incompatibilities puts you off buying a new computer be sure to run your intended purchase through Canonical’s ‘Ubuntu Certification’ website.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • The Kubuntu Wishlist
          • Xubuntu 10.10 RC 1 Mini Review

            I found this software to be interesting and solid enough, even in test form, to install on my laptop computer and found it to be nearly ready for release, with just a few relatively minor issues still needing to be corrected. I like this software and I am likely to experiment with it quite often.

          • Linux Mint 9 review

            Finally, this version of Linux Mint 9 comes with three years of support. Now, we’re more than capable of supporting ourselves on Linux, but this will make Linux Mint 9 more interesting to new users or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) considering offering a desktop Linux already installed on their PCs.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • Dixons jumps on tablet bandwagon

        Dixons has announced that it will be flogging two self-branded Android tablets in the run-up to Christmas, which could make the electrical retailer the first outfit to have its own cheap and cheerful prodable PCs on the shelves.

        Dixons, which is the parent company of PC World and Curry’s, says the Advent Amico and Avent Vega will “bring tablet computing to the masses” and with prices starting at £130 it may just have a point.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mulva going open source
  • Open-Source As An Alternative To Commercial Software
  • Software Evolution Storylines

    I plan to make the code open source. It is only a matter of time. A research paper on this technique will be presented at SoftVis 2010.

  • Geert Lovink keynote: “After the Critique of Free and Open: Alternative Platforms and Revenue Models”

    Geert Lovink’s keynote, “After the Critique of Free and Open,” focused on the practical aspects of a free culture, and a need for the movement to shift from making legal demands and instead focus on the platforms and revenue models that could support the kind of culture we’re striving towards.

  • Why and How Indian govt can get huge benefits from Free Software/Open Source

    This article is written very late. So much late that government has wasted a huge amount of tax-payers money just for buying licenses to use few software which could have been produced by Indian Government itself. We still has time to save huge money wastage money by public and Government.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla releases Firefox 4 beta for Maemo and Android

        Mozilla’s efforts to scale down the Firefox browser and make it work on mobile devices took another step forward today with the release of Firefox 4 beta for Maemo and Android. On Android, the browser’s performance is still not competitive with that of the platform’s native WebKit-based browser, but the gap is starting to close.

        Firefox’s large disk footprint is also still problematic on Android, especially on devices like the Nexus One that have limited internal storage capacity. A fresh installation of Firefox on Android uses roughly 30MB of storage space. The first time it starts, it unpacks another 14MB, which takes about 15 seconds. Subsequent startups are faster, typically taking between 2 and 4 seconds.

      • Firefox 4 beta review

        Firefox is catching up to Internet Explorer in terms of market share, having already passed it in features years ago, but Google Chrome is nipping at its heels. Can Firefox 4 restore its glory?

  • Oracle

    • ‘LibreOffice’ Is Good News for OpenOffice

      Given Oracle’s recent decision to pull the plug on OpenSolaris, there has been considerable concern over the past few months about the future of the OpenOffice.org productivity software suite.

    • OpenOffice.org’s 10th Anniversary: The Difference a Decade Makes

      October 13, 2010 marks the tenth anniversary of the OpenOffice.org project. It’s a significant landmark, both for me personally and for free software in general.

      For me, OpenOffice.org was the wedge I used to find a niche in computer journalism. In the early years of the millennium, few people were writing about OpenOffice.org. Almost by accident, I started comparing it with Microsoft Office, and writing How-Tos in my spare time. Before I knew it, I was writing full-time. For a while, I was worried that I would be too closely identified with OpenOffice.org to sell stories on any other subject, but, with that worry long behind me, today I can thank (or blame) OpenOffice.org for what I am today.

    • Do you agree with LibreOffice fork?

      While this is no doubt true, it is also true that being under Oracle’s directions would slow the project, as far as could be seen from the reactions, and how patches to the next release are being treated in Oracle.

    • Oracle v Google: the open source perspective

      I spoke with James Governor, another Redmonk analyst and firm believer in the virtues of open source. Lending weight to Stephen’s position, he says: “If Google wins then it is open season on open source. If Oracle wins, then who else do they sue? Everyone? It would be the biggest stock price driver Oracle has ever acquired. ” If you think Stephen and James are correct then Google has to win.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • An open Open University course on openness

      Like Tony I think the OU has been a bit slow to start creating truly open courses – I’m partly to blame since I suggested doing one a couple of years back and then didn’t do anything. Before that Ray Corrigan simply released his course as openly, but that was withdrawn to make way for OpenLearn. We’ve had some good study skills courses from the library and Tony has dabbled with it, but I think those have largely been the release of course material. This is the first time we are running the course in the open I think (please correct me if I’m wrong, I don’t want to undermine someone’s else’s claim).

  • Government

    • German CIO caves in on open source

      First of all I don’t think it suits the dignity of a public office to endorse the commercial agenda of a vendor in a press release. The mere consideration of a cloud operator from third countries for a critical Federal information infrastructure seems insane unless the Ministry of the Interior believes it is appropriate to grant access to their colleagues from these third countries. I strongly doubt so but you never know. The European Commission for instance even outsources critical parts of their staff selection process to third country operators.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Mobile phone mashups: Imitation becomes innovation in China

      The open source solution

      If you exclude the copying of trademarks and logos and just look at the actual technology, innovations, and design, China essentially represents a free and thriving market of open source goods. Some safety regulation and oversight of the shanzhai phones is certainly needed, but overall there is no doubt that both the shanzhai developers and the Chinese people benefit greatly from this open mashup of an industry.

      In many ways, it’s like the American fashion industry—full of outrageous concepts, profit for designers, and something for every taste and every budget. The highest-end designers in both industries may well suffer some profit loss from those who imitate them, but let’s be honest. They’re doing just fine. (And to be frank, they’re also doing just as much imitating.)

      If the United States wants a fighting chance to keep a place in the global consumer electronics industry, it’s time to loosen up the legal reigns on intellectual property.

    • Poll: Kids say their friends share too much online

      The poll, conducted by Zogby International for Common Sense Media, also found that a majority of parents want Congress to update online privacy laws for children and teens, and that both parents and teens want online companies to get their permission before using their personal information for marketing.

    • Open Data

      • Our current consultations

        The Information Commissioner’s Office has launched its consultation on the Data sharing code of practice.

        [...]

        This code explains how the Data Protection Act 1998 applies to the sharing of personal data. It also provides good practice advice that will be relevant to all organisations that share personal data.

      • October 8: Opening Research on Open Source, Carlo Daffara

        It was an interesting meeting, with some peculiarities: first of all the recognition that there are relatively few people working in the field; I think that we can count the publishing participants in such a group to be less than 100, substantially less than those working in other related fields. The other aspect is, that despite the relative friendliness among all of us, most researchers still have to collect data and process it on their own.

    • Open Hardware

      • The moral imperative for open-source hardware.

        Consider, for example, the machines in airports that check your bags for explosives. What, exactly, do they look for? How do they report their findings? What else might explain a chemical they consider evidence of explosives? Answering these questions requires access to the design of the machine, its software and its hardware. Without its “source”, you might be denied boarding on a flight, even arrested, because of the behavior of a device you have no possibility to examine.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Digital Standards Organization publishes “standards for standards”

      In 2007, the Digistan workgroup started designing a framework for grass-roots development of free and open digital standards. Today Digistan publishes its first specification, COSS, and a reference implementation in the form of a pre-configured wiki.

      Digistan founding member Alberto Barrionuevo explains the reasons for COSS: we wanted to offer small teams a fast, cheap, and flexible way to develop their specifications into free and open standards. Setting up a foundation is an important step in a software standard’s history, but it’s a large step that most small teams can’t make.

      COSS is a fully-distributed peer-to-peer model. André Rebentisch, who helped build the Digital Standards Organization and COSS, says: each contributor makes a unilateral grant, allowing others to use their work under specific conditions. Those conditions include the right to branch and merge, which is radical for specifications but a much appreciated freedom in the free software community.

    • W3C Says HTML5 Isn’t Ready for the Web

      As an official from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) told reporters today, “There is already a lot of excitement for HTML5, but it’s a little too early to deploy it because we’re running into interoperability issues.” Particularly when it comes to video content, different devices and different browsers aren’t handling HTML5 consistently.

      “I don’t think it’s ready for production yet,” the official continued. “The real problem is can we make it work across browsers, and at the moment, that is not the case.”

      HTML5, which was hatched by the non-W3C Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group in 2004, should be fully approved within two or three years. Until then, officials say Flash and Silverlight are still going to remain approved and viable web technologies.

Leftovers

  • Saving Identica and StatusNet?

    Marketing accounts, with names like scooterforsale, cheapwidebeltsanders, mastercrafttablesawspowertools, bestbuyfinancialcalculator, ad nauseum, seem to make up more than half of the members of any Identica group. They often don’t actually spam the group (though sometimes they do, and eventually get removed), but they make it hard to look through the genuine group members. This is a pity, as the “group” function is one of the features that sets StatusNet apart.

  • Reflections On My First AGM

    The idea of using some free service, then contributing back to it is the FOSS ideal too. Of course not everyone who uses FOSS software will give something back, and nor should they be forced to. But plenty will in their own way. I use Drupal and Linux Mint enough that I want to give something back to those projects. I see value in what both projects are doing and want to help them somehow. Does this mean I code? No. But coding is only one way to give something back. I help out new users in the Linux Mint IRC channel, I am planning to do instruction and demonstration screencasts for both Linux Mint and Drupal. I evangelise and blog about both.

  • Congress passes bill to make Internet, smartphones accessible for blind, deaf

    Specifically, the legislation allows blind consumers to choose from a broader selection of cellphones with speech software that calls out phone numbers and cues users on how to surf the Internet. It makes new TV shows that are captioned available online with closed-captioning. TV remote controls would have a button that makes it easier to get closed-captioning.

  • Blogging, empowerment, and the “adjacent possible”

    Clay Shirky, for instance, has focused, with great verve and insight, on how the Web enables us to form groups quickly and easily, and how that in turn is reshaping society. In his book Cognitive Surplus, Shirky identifies a spectrum of values stretching from personal to communal to public to civic. The spectrum, he writes, “describes the degree of value created for participants versus nonparticipants. With personal sharing, most or all of the value goes to the participants, while at the other end of the spectrum, attempts at civic sharing are specifically designed to generate real change in the society the participants are embedded in.”

  • Google News Starts Testing A Social Layer: Twitter

    There’s a lot of speculation about Google’s upcoming stab at social (take 15, or so, for those keeping track at home). The most recent talk has Google adding a social layer to all of their properties to tie them all together. One such property is actually already trying out such a layer — but it’s a social layer run by Twitter.

  • NKorean official confirms Kim Jong Un as leader

    A top North Korean official confirmed Friday to broadcaster APTN that Kim Jong Il’s youngest son will succeed him as the next leader of the reclusive communist nation.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Brazil battles spread of ‘mad soy disease’

      Now “mad soy disease”, is troubling farmers and scientists in Brazil, where it causes yield losses of up to 40%, and is expanding out of its stronghold in the north of the country. And, like its bovine namesake, it is incurable.

  • Security

    • Security advisories for Friday
    • Spammers Using SHY Character to Hide Malicious URLs

      Spammers have jumped on the little-used soft hyphen (or SHY character) to fool URL filtering devices. According to researchers at Symantec Corp., spammers are larding up URLs for sites they promote with the soft hyphen character, which many browsers ignore.

      Spammers aren’t shy about jumping humans flexible cognitive abilities to slip past the notice of spam filters (H3rb41 V14gr4, anyone?). They’re also ever-alert to flaws or inconsistencies in the way that browsers render text to allow them to slip pitches URLs by programs designed to spot unwanted solicitations, phishing attempts and more.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • European Parliament Balks at US Data Deals

      Representatives of US security agencies want further concessions from the EU to ensure free access to police computers, bank transfers and airline passenger data in the fight against terror. But members of the European Parliament have said they will resist the moves.

      Washington’s army of diplomats in Europe has been taking on one country at a time. Germany stood at the top of the list and, initially, surrendered without even a whimper to the American demands. In 2008, the federal government in Berlin signed an agreement pushed by Washington allowing American officials wide-ranging access to the databases of German security agencies. It was only after leaders in Hamburg raised their objections to the deal that it was, temporarily, stalled in the Bundesrat, Germany’s upper legislative chamber, which represents the interests of the states. The city-state has since withdrawn its objections after securing minor concessions on data protection provisions in the document, and the treaty is now set to be approved.

    • Policing in the 21st Century: the role of transparency in Big Society

      In her speech at the Conservative Party Conference on 5 October, Theresa May placed great emphasis on the coalition’s vision for the future of policing in the UK. This vision has two core elements: to restore democratic accountability and to dramatically increase effectiveness through localism, innovation and a removal of bureaucratic constraints. For policing this represents among the most significant reforms since Robert Peel inaugurated the institution in 1829. In a wider context these elements lie at the very heart the Prime Minister’s ‘radical’ agenda for government (see statements on localism).

    • Philly officers in 25th District probe were not sting targets

      Investigators who set up a sting operation Monday had hoped to snare two corrupt Philadelphia police officers suspected of robbing drug dealers – just not the two who fell into the trap.

      The 25th District officers arrested Monday, Sean Alivera and his partner, Christopher Luciano, were not the initial targets of the investigation and were not previously suspected of wrongdoing, sources familiar with the case said.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tune in to the live whale song network

      Just 2 minutes ago, a sperm whale swam by about 4 kilometres south of Cassis on the French Mediterranean coast. From my desk in London, I heard its whistle. Thanks to a new website, so can you.

      The LIDO (Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment) site offers a live feed to 10 hydrophones sprinkled around European waters, and one in Canada. Several more are scheduled to come soon in Canada and in Asia.

    • Dr. Ryan N. Maue’s 2010 Global Tropical Cyclone Activity Update

      While the North Atlantic has seen 15 tropical storms / hurricanes of various intensity, the Pacific basin as a whole is at historical lows! In the Western North Pacific stretching from Guam to Japan and the Philippines and China, the current ACE value of 48 is the lowest seen since reliable records became available (1945) and is 78% below normal*. The next lowest was an ACE of 78 in 1998. See figure below for visual evidence of the past 40-years of tropical cyclone activity.

    • Turtle Watching in Dominica
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Private health lobby out in force at Tory conference

      “Grassroots” think tank favoured by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, has strong links to the private health insurance industry

      2020Health, the centre right think tank with close links to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley is out in force at this week’s Conservative Party conference. It is chaired by the CEO of a huge global network of health insurers, at the same time as arguing for a greater role for the private health sector.

    • Map of online ad market, US
  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Chinese dissident wins Nobel Peace Prize

      The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to Liu Xiaobo, a leading Chinese dissident who is serving an 11-year prison term after repeatedly calling for human rights and democratization, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced.

      Liu was sentenced in 2009 for inciting subversion of state power. He is the co-author of Charter 08, a call for political reform and human rights, and was an adviser to the student protesters at Tiananmen Square in 1989.

    • China’s Liu leads Kohl, EU in Peace Nobel race: TV

      Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is the leading candidate to win the Nobel Peace Prize with the European Union and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl also among the contenders, Norway’s main television networks said on Thursday.

    • The peace prize in the digital age

      In April 2009, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo published an op-ed praising the internet for bringing about ‘the awakening of ideas among the Chinese’.

      Just two months later Liu, who had previously been imprisoned for participation in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, was charged with inciting subversion of state power and sentenced to eleven years in prison plus two years deprivation of political rights.

    • China blanks Nobel Peace prize searches
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • The BBC: an open and shut case of corporate schizophrenia?

      I just wonder how they can square that call for openness with their ‘confidential’ response to the Ofcom consultation on attaching DRM digital locks to the BBC HD signal? The BBC’s secret response was a key cornerstone of Ofcom’s approval the BBC’s application to add DRM restrictions to their HD signal.

      Just a small request, since I know how things work in large organisations and it is entirely possible that they don’t know each other – could someone at the BBC please introduce the team who drafted the demand for openness and net neutrality to the team who drafted the demand for DRM on BBC and Freeview HD? I do firmly believe the unwielding advance and malignant growth of bureaucracy leads to endemic corporate schizophrenia in all large organisations but it can be cathartic to at least give the individuals caught up in it an opportunity to defend their positions.

    • If the Internet Ain’t Dead Yet, It Soon Will Be

      It appears Wired may have gotten it right that the Internet is “dead,” but for the wrong reasons. Just as the information, communications and technology (“ICT”) industries are poised to deliver more mobility, faster speeds, greater control and a whole new range of service options such as software as a service or cloud computing, we see stories that (1) the Obama administration is going to “try to make it easier to wiretap the Internet” (as the New York Times put it), (2) Congress is considering legislation that would give the President authority to “shut down” the Internet, (3) countries like India and Saudi Arabia are requiring Blackberry maker Research in Motion to provide the government access to encrypted communications, and (4) Craiglist is forced to shut down its adult content section.

      Individually, each of these actions may have some merit (or not), but collectively they suggest that the “wild, wild west” days of the Internet are behind us. It was inevitable that as the Internet gained in popularity and became an engine of commerce there would be calls for the government to assert more control. And certainly spam, phishing, hacking, and other cyber threats are real problems that may require government action. Indeed, researchers who are analyzing the Stuxnet virus are concluding that cyber threats have just taken an exponential leap from criminal to truly dangerous. It is inevitable that governments are going to respond to Stuxnet with a new round of measures in the name of “national security.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Cadbury Trademarks The Color Purple, and they’re not alone
    • Copyrights

      • Police Arrest Operator of Mulve Downloading App

        Last month, a relatively new music downloading application burst onto the scene. Mulve carried no music of its own, but instead allowed users to make their own searches and download material from servers owned by Russia’s biggest social networking site. This week Mulve disappeared unexpectedly but for good reason. Without any warning, the UK police arrested its operator.

      • Having a ball

        The longest, loudest boom is in live music. Between 1999 and 2009 concert-ticket sales in America tripled in value, from $1.5 billion to $4.6 billion (see chart 1). Ticket sales wobbled in America during the summer of 2010, but that was partly because some big-selling acts took a break. One of the most reliable earners, Bono, U2’s singer, was put out of action when he injured his back in May.

      • Copied pleadings show there’s no honor among antipiracy lawyers

        On September 29, Chicago divorce lawyer John Steele filed a case far outside his usual realm of family law and custody dispute; he represented First Time Videos, LLC, which an attached declaration calls “a leading producer and distributor of adult entertainment content within the transsexual niche.” Internet users had been sharing First Time Videos’ porn through BitTorrent—but what did Steele know of BitTorrent or file-swapping litigation?

      • CBC Bans Use of Creative Commons Music on Podcasts

        The producers of the popular CBC radio show Spark have revealed (see the comments) that the public broadcaster has banned programs from using Creative Commons licenced music on podcasts.

      • CBC agreement with talent agency prohibits use of Creative Commons music

        According to a comment from a CBC producer on a message board, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has banned the use of Creative Commons licensed music from its podcasts. Apparently, this goes “against some of the details in collective agreements [the CBC] hold with certain talent agencies.”

      • The Myth Of The “Lost Sale”

        Markets set the price, not the rights holders. If you have an item that you choose to price at £100 but nobody is willing to pay £100 for it, is it worth £100? No, it’s only worth what people will pay for it. If that means nobody is willing to pay your asking price for the latest reheat of yet another in a long line of factory pressed boy bands doing an album full of covers, then they are not worth the price you’re asking. If people are only interested when it’s free of cost, then that should also send a message of how much they’re willing to pay for your product.

        It’s not all about cost either. Plenty of people will pay for stuff they can get free if they see value in it. Plenty of independent musicians, writers and artists are bypassing the rich corporate middlemen and going straight to their fans. Plenty of fans are perfectly happy to buy “proper” copies of their favourite books or albums because they know their money is going to reward those who created the stuff they love. Even if they get the electronic version free of charge, they still want to donate a few pounds or dollars here and there, or help publicise a new release or tour.

      • US anti-P2P law firms sue more in 2010 than RIAA ever did

        In the UK, the Information Commissioner is investigating data security at an anti-piracy law firm, the country’s ISPs have started challenging the legitimacy of the entire detection process in court, and members of the House of Lords rage about “legal blackmail.” But here in the US, the antipiracy lawyers are just getting warmed up. Indeed, we might reasonably see 2010 as the Year of the Settlement Letter.

        Here’s how it works: a law firm drums up business, signing on copyright holders—mostly movie producers—as clients. The clients are charged nothing, instead getting a percentage of whatever revenue the law firm can collect by going after those sharing the film online.

      • CRAMER PELMONT – 2 day u-turn? and what of the others?

        Here’s something else to consider, could it be the “average” user sat behind their computer screen as a hobby has managed to stop the legal profession? It certainly seems that way to me and the law firms involved have certainly not had an easy time of it, challenged by, not some legal monster, but the average person. What ever happens in the future, one things for sure, it would make a great movie and really shows that whilst corporations can use the net as a powerful sales tool, the same internet can turn just as quickly and bring even the large firm to their knees.

      • Art Builds Upon Art: Nina Paley’s New Video

        From the maker of Sita Sings the Blues comes a new short film that artistically delivers a simple message: “All creative work builds on what came before.” Using artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nina Paley draws the visual conclusion that art borrows and remixes – that nothing is really out of the box. This argument resonates for some.

      • Musician Mourns aXXo’s Absence, Defends Piracy

        Drama struck parts of the BitTorrent community last year when the popular DVD ripper aXXo shared his last torrent with his millions of followers. At the height of his stardom aXXo suddenly went silent. Thousands have meanwhile begged for his return, and this week they’re joined by Norwegian musician Binärpilot, who has dedicated a track to aXXo on his latest album.

      • ACTA

        • Notes on the October 7, 2010 USTR NGO briefing on ACTA

          Today, USTR held a nearly 2-hour public briefing on the new version of the ACTA text. USTR representatives present included Stan McCoy, Kira Alvarez, and Rachel Bae. Stan and Kira did most of the talking at the meeting.

        • Brazil strikes deal rich against counterfeiting

          O Brasil atacou ontem o acordo assinado entre 40 países ricos que estabelece o primeiro tratado internacional para criminalizar o comércio, a produção eo fornecimento de produtos e remédios falsificados. Brazil has attacked the agreement signed yesterday between 40 rich countries establishing the first international treaty to outlaw the trade, production and delivery of products and counterfeit medicines. Para atrair a adesão do Brasil e da China, europeus e americanos flexibilizaram a versão final do documento, retirando do texto a obrigação do confisco de medicamentos genéricos nas fronteiras. To attract membership from Brazil and China, European and American eased the final version of the document, removing the obligation of the text of the confiscation of generic drugs across borders. Os dois países, porém, rejeitam o acordo. Both countries, however, reject the agreement.

          O Estado revelou ontem que, após três anos de negociações, Europa, EUA e outros países ricos haviam chegado a um acordo para tentar reduzir o comércio de produtos e remédios falsos – um mercado de US$ 250 bilhões, controlado por organizações criminosas. The state revealed yesterday that after three years of negotiations, Europe, U.S. and other wealthy countries had reached an agreement to try to reduce the trade in fake medicines and products – a market capitalization of $ 250 billion controlled by criminal organizations. Os países emergentes, no entanto, tomaram o acordo como uma verdadeira declaração de guerra: dizem que não foram incluídos nas negociações e argumentam que as medidas são direcionadas contra eles. Emerging countries, however, took the deal as a declaration of war: they were not included in the negotiations and argue that the measures are directed against them.

        • Copyright Criminal measures in ACTA

          The negotiating parties published the ACTA text. ACTA criminalises newspapers revealing a document, office workers forwarding a file and downloaders; whistle blowers and weblog authors revealing documents in the public interest and remixers and others sharing a file if there is an advantage.

          The EU is not competent to negotiate criminal measures in ACTA. The Presidency of the Council, representing the Member States, negotiated the criminal measures. It is unclear where this competence should come from. The EU has exclusive competence on trade agreements, the Council is not competent to harmonise criminal measures any more.

Clip of the Day

All Creative Work Is Derivative


Links 8/10/2010: Linux Tablet Price Goes Down Under $200, Fedora 14 Beta Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 3:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Case # 2010-5052271. Here be Scum

    Their TV was stolen as well and they will be able to use their computer for entertainment until they can get another television.

    [...]

    If you are interested in helping me get these folks a year’s Internet connection, let me know via email…helios at fixedbylinux dott kom. We’re also looking for a TV card that will work well in Linux. If possible, we could use some local help in setting up a mythTV box. This way, the computer can replace a television.

  • Legacy hardware for new age code-monkeys

    If you’re stuck with a dated machine in Austin, Texas, just call on your friendly neighbourhood Ken Starks (and the entire HeliOS team). Ken doesn’t just put old hardware to good educational use, he upgrades the machine thanks to (tax-deductible) monetary donations.

  • Desktop

    • Planning to Migrate to Linux? BEWARE!!!

      1. Your computer may become dull or stop working:
      Windows is a happy, efficient world where computers respond promptly and just work. They work and work even when you don’t know. They work as zombies and botnets, sending spam mail (in the best of the cases) for some hacker out there who rightfully earned control over them. Just last year, there was an estimate of twelve million zombies. That is four times the whole population of a small country like mine. Imagine! A whole country made of zombies!!! That is a happy country! Windows is a happy world in which you (if you’re a hacker) command and computers react. They react promptly to Trojans, worms and malware of all forms under the sun. If you install Linux and use it as your main OS, your computer may stop reacting to the Trojans, worms and malware that took cyber-criminals a lot of time and effort to design. Of course, if you engage into irresponsible security behavior, your PC may still be responsive to them, but not as it was with Windows. Are you sure you want a dull computer like that? Who wants a computer that fails to respond to malware by default? What? Your computer has never been part of a botnet, you say? Are you sure? Then, why is it that some users complain that their PCs still download updates regardless of their preferences? They are part of the biggest botnet in the world, that’s why!

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME and KDE 2011 Desktop Summit dates confirmed

      Supported locally by the TSB Innovation Agency Berlin GmbH and the Berlin Senate, the 2011 event is expected to bring together more than one thousand core contributors, open source leaders and various representatives from government, education and corporate environments. In addition to simply co-locating the events, as they did in 2009, GNOME Foundation board Member Vincent Untz says he hopes the projects can “actually plan a combined schedule in 2011 so KDE and GNOME contributors have every opportunity to work with and learn from each other.” Both of the projects say they hope the event will be the largest to date.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The Marvel of Marble

        Many might be thinking about Google Earth as a similar, probably more popular application that offers similar features, and they wouldn’t be far from the truth. Of course, there are differences in what each offers, but most importantly, Marble is and encourages the use of open source software and maps.

  • Distributions

    • In two flavors: AntiX at 150Mhz, 32Mb

      A long time ago I tried Feather Linux, came back to it a week ago, and found it just as useful even on a machine with considerably weaker guts.

      I have a similar experience to report … more or less … from AntiX, in its full M8.5 rendition and from the base version.

      I tried both, using the X60s as a surrogate and once again writing the system across USB1.1 for the complete, JWM-driven desktop and the lighter variant.

    • Wanted: Acer Aspire 5551 seeks distro

      Still on the list of distros to test are Archbang and Sabayon. What are your thoughts? Which distro works for you? Any tips on the above issues? Keep them coming.

    • Reviews

      • BLAG Review

        It came preset with a microblog and a blogging client, for example. Basically BLAG is a cool distro if you’re not into debian/ubuntu based distros, but still want something easy to use. You do have to watch out for nonfree, like I said, but that’s probably going to be cleared up by the stable release.

      • Distro Hoppin`: Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0

        I was more than pleasantly surprised with how gracefully Trisquel managed to bury my preconception about 100% free OSes being more of a creed, a philosophy than a practical operating environment, either at work or at home. Add that functionality to a polished, professional look and you have a project that is worthy of admiration and anticipation for future releases.

      • Arch Linux 2010.05 [Review]

        Arch Linux lets you be in control of your own system. But as always, with great power comes great responsibility. We will only recommend Arch Linux to those who have used Linux for quite a while, and have used from the console as well. If you want to download a Linux distro which installs a fully functional graphical environment ready for use, then Arch Linux is NOT for you. Arch Linux is for those who want to configure and set up their system with an intimate understanding and control over each aspect. If you are someone who wants to jump into Linux with both feet, and learn by possibly screwing up their system, Arch Linux is perfect for you.

      • Tiny Core: Ultralight DIY distribution

        When reviewing a lightweight distribution, the term Swiss Army knife is sometimes employed to indicate that it’s packed with features despite a diminutive size. However, at 11MB for the ISO, Tiny Core is more of a blank-slate distribution, as when booted from a CDROM or a USB stick, it presents the user with a simple desktop consisting merely of a task launcher and a package manager. It contains some good ideas and it’s already perfectly usable, but I think it needs a few more refinements in order to become great.

        Tiny Core can be installed to a HD like a traditional distribution but the process is relatively complicated and not the main focus. Instead, a typical Tiny Core installation would be portable and booted from a device such as a memory stick. The end result is a kiosk-like environment.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat and the Cloud

        These days I’ve talked with Red Hat about their Cloud strategy. It was an interesting and, in some areas, somewhat surprising conversation. It is not that surprising that Red Hat doesn’t focus on becoming an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider themselves, e.g. directly competing with Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure and other environments isn’t on their agenda at that point of time. Red Hat focuses on providing the technology some of these provides (not Microsoft, for sure) require – but not mainly the very big ones, but all the others like Telcos, large MSPs (Managed Service Providers), and so on.

      • Analyst affirms Red Hat a ‘sell’
      • Red Hat Getting Killed (RHT)
      • Option Pros Looking for a Big Move in Red Hat (RHT)

        Heavy volume in both puts and calls suggests that traders are expecting a big move but are unsure of direction.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 beta review

          All in all, Fedora 14 is shaping up quite nicely. Although it’s unlikely that Fedora 14 will sway existing Ubuntu or openSUSE users, the new release offers enough to keep developers and power users alike happy.

        • Fedora 14 Well On Its Way to a Desktop Near You

          Red Hat’s Fedora remains one of the most popular and versatile Linux distributions available today. In fact, it has few equals. And Fedora 14, which is due for final release November 2, saw its one and only beta release on September 28 with some exciting feature previews. Being based on Linux 2.6.35, that was released on August 1 and received its latest stable update on September 29, it will offer goodies like Btrfs direct input/output, better power management, expanded video and Ethernet hardware support, and memory cache de-fragmentation. Of particular interest to Red Hat and Fedora developers and users are the improvements in KVM virtualization, which include enhancements of the timer and emulator code that result in higher performance as well as improvements in performance tracing and monitoring.

    • Debian Family

      • Simply Mepis 8.5 challenge: the first four days

        To sum up, my experience as a Mandriva user handling Mepis is satisfactory up to this point. SimplyMepis is not simply a disappointment. I think that it rivals Mandriva in its KDE handling…maybe a simplified experience than the one I am used to with Mandriva, but Mepis had given me little to complain about.

        What’s next? The following days I will try a multimedia class. This will let me assess the video display and the sound quality.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • What Will Be Talked About At The Ubuntu 11.04 Summit

          Besides talking about performance at the Ubuntu Developer Summit later this month in Orlando for Ubuntu 11.04, there will also be discussions and tracks for hardware compatibility, Ubuntu as the project and community, application selections and defaults, how to empower application developers, cloud infrastructure, and multimedia.

          The tentative blueprints for what is to be talked about at the development summit for Ubuntu 11.04 is laid out on Launchpad. Some of the tracks that interest us for this Natty Narwhal summit are listed below.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 final ready to roll

          Canonical’s Ubuntu project announced the release candidate for Ubuntu 10.10 (“Maverick Meerkat”), with the final stable version ready for download this Sunday, 10/10/10. In addition to a revamped Software Centre, a new sound app, and a Netbook Edition overhauled with Canonical’s “Unity” UI stack, Meerkat’s final will feature new fonts and an Android-compatible Ubuntu One Mobile service.

        • The new Ubuntu is netbook and Windows friendly

          When you think of Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux, what do you think of? Well, you probably think of a smooth, easy to use desktop Linux. You also wouldn’t be surprised to know that it came designed to work and play well with netbooks. I bet you would be surprised to know though that part of it, Ubuntu One, the personal cloud service for Ubuntu users, will soon work with Android, iPhone, and Windows.

        • How to get Free ubuntu 10.10 CD (Maverick Meerkat)

          The ShipIt service can be used by users with low-bandwidth…

          [...]

          The costs involved with providing access to Ubuntu for those unfortunate to get access to the swift and easy online downloads are great.

        • Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

          After over a year’s worth of feedback from users like you and a clear view of where we want to take Ubuntu One in the future, we’ve just made some changes to the Ubuntu One service offering and pricing plans.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 to feature Windows, iPhone & Android syncing…

          Maverick Meerkat Ubuntu One users will be able to sync contacts and stream music direct to their iPhone or Android smartphone via a free app. The Ubuntu One Mobile service will cost $3.99 per month, but will be offered free if you choose to subscribe Canonical’s 20GB (or more) Ubuntu One paid subscription service.

        • Ubuntu Linux upgraded for netbooks, desktops, and servers

          Canonical on Thursday took the official wraps off Ubuntu 10.10, the latest version of its Linux-based operating system, and confirmed that it will be available for download starting on Sunday.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • My new #! CrunchBang desktop

            Here’s the current looks of my CrunchBang 10 “Statler” Alpha 2 desktop. Simple and dark.
            Openbox is great, but once you start customizing it, you keep finding all those little things you can change, adjust etc. …few hours later… you have a nearly perfect desktop. And then you start again….

          • Differences Between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, etc.

            Gobuntu is an Ubuntu derivative that is intended for users with a level of ability as developers and system developers, who intend to make their own free software distribution based on Ubuntu. In accordance with the disasarnya user segment, only the Ubuntu open source software provides non-restricted in Gobuntu and include full source for all firmware, drivers, and applications that are installed in it. The purpose of the inclusion of full source is clear, namely to give an opportunity for developers to modify and redistribute the program results.

            Gobuntu require the same hardware specifications with Ubuntu (min. 4 GB hard disk capacity), and also available in two architectures, the PC 32-bit and 64-bit.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux dev platform takes on embedded multimedia UIs

      Timesys has expanded its LinuxLink development platform for embedded Linux devices to offer a subscription for higher-level multimedia and interface functions. The LinuxLink Rich Multimedia User Interfaces (Rich MUI) subscription incorporates the Qt framework, GStreamer, and many other components, initially targeting Texas Instruments’ DaVinci, OMAP, and Sitara system-on-chips, as well as Freescale’s i.MX51, says the company.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • CherryPal Announces 7-Inch Android 2.1 Tablet with Sub-$200 Price Tag

        CherryPal has announced their new 7-inch Android 2.1-powered CherryPad today. Rather than setting their sites on the iPad and trying to take it on, CherryPal sees more benefit in the low-cost tablet space. Priced at only $188 per unit, the CherrpPad features an 800MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 2GB Flash memory, microSD card reader, and an 800×480 resolution screen. Other details include WiFi support (802.11 b/g), USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, speakers, and a microphone. The 3200mAh battery is said to provide around 6-8 hours runtime. Full press release after the break.Anyone interested in sub-$200 Android tablet? Worth dropping the money on one while waiting for a tablet from the bigger players?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Interview with Hugh McGuire, Founder of Librivox.org

    There were some philosophical reasons, and some practical reasons for the creation of LibriVox, which “launched” in August 2005. On the philosophical side, I was fascinated by Richard Stallman and the free software movement, both in methodology and in ethic. I was equally excited by Lessig’s work with the Creative Commons movement and the idea of protecting public domain, including projects such as Michael Hart’s Project Gutenberg. Brewster Kahle’s vision at the Internet Archive of Universal Access to All Human Knowledge was another piece of the puzzle, as was Wikipedia, the most visible non-software open source project around at the time. Finally blogging and podcasting revealed the possibility that anyone could make media and deliver it to the world. It was a potent cocktail.

  • Get More Out Of Your Home Wireless Setup With Open Source Apps

    Want better performance out of your home Wi-Fi setup? Most of us are now so dependent on Wi-Fi around the house that we do want that, but not everybody realizes that there are open source tools that can help improve your wireless experience. Since we last covered them here, dd-wrt and Tomato have both come to support for more routers and added functionality. They’re open source firmware replacements for the intelligence built into routers, and they can juice your wireless performance and extend your range, in addition to other features.

  • Events

    • My day @ SVIT

      Today I was at Swami Vivekananda Institute of Technology to take a session regarding installation of GNU/Linux and System Administration. The distribution I have selected is Ubuntu 10.10, Since it is widely popular and easy for the beginners. I was remembering the time when I had to install GNU/Linux with a great effort. Now its as simple as installing a windows :-) The students were enthusiastic to learn every bit of it. The seminar was part of a two day Industrial Training Workshop conducted by Swecha a free software organisation.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Update on Statistics Problem

        Last week we blogged about a problem with add-on downloads going to the wrong subdomain and said that counts would be repaired soon.

      • Firefox in Thailand – 2010 update

        15.25% on Firefox (from Mozilla’s internal data, 83% on Firefox 3.6, 13% on Firefox 3.5, yes I know that does not add up to 100%)

      • Crowdsourcing Project – Team 1 & 3 / Phase 2
      • Firefox 4 Beta for Android and Maemo is Now Available

        Our first Firefox 4 beta for mobile is now available to download and test. It’s built on the same technology platform as Firefox for the desktop and optimized for browsing on a mobile phone. Firefox beta for mobile comes with many of your favorite Firefox desktop features like Firefox Sync, Add-ons and the Awesome Bar.

      • Ars examines Chrome and Firefox bookmark sync protocols

        In a recent announcement, Xmarks revealed that it can no longer afford to continue operating its popular cross-browser bookmark synchronization service. Although Xmarks attracted a significant audience of users, the company was never able to build a sustainable business around the software. Xmarks cofounder Todd Agulnick says that the lights are scheduled to go out in 90 days unless the company can come up with a successful freemium strategy or a buyer emerges.

      • Refreshing the Firefox Search Bar
  • Databases

    • Thank you, everyone behind MySQL AB!

      MySQL AB opened the doors for learning to know many brilliant minds. Co-chairing a GPLv3 Committee with HP senior counsel Scott K. Peterson, I experienced Software Freedom Law Center’s Eben Moglen first-hand. Through a combination of intelligence and diplomacy, he tamed a conference-call-ful of the seniormost US corporate counsels, who all bought into Eben’s plans for the next generation of free software licenses. In 2005, I supported Florian Müller’s successful efforts to (at least for a while) save the EU from the software patents. I think Eben, Florian and I all agree swpats are obsolete legal tools, used to protect incumbent players against having to innovate. Sadly, Eben and Florian have since had some disagreements. Speaking of brilliant minds, the SAP negotiations in 2002 and 2003, and MySQL AB’s subsequent relationship with SAP AG, introduced us to people like Shai Agassi and Rudi Munz. Other memorable events was introducing MySQL Conference guest speakers, such as Guy Kawasaki and Mark Shuttleworth. I left the stage for Mark and his Ubuntu presentation on a MySQL conference by cheering him with “Поехали!” (Poyechale, Off we go!), a retired cosmonaut as he is.

  • CMS

    • eBay deploys Joomla for analytics portal

      Bypassing a number of commercial portal packages, eBay has started using the Joomla open source content management software as a framework to provide its employees with analytic tools, the online auction giant said.

      The Joomla Web framework will be used to stage a set of internal analysis tools for the company’s 16,400 employees. The company claims that it runs the largest commercial data warehouse in the world, and this software will provide a base for a set of eBay-built extensions to analyze some of this data.

    • Examiner.com Execs Push for Quality, Refute ‘Content Farm’ Tag

      Tell me how the integration with NowPublic has gone at Examiner.com?

      Rick Blair: We purchased NowPublic about this time last year, and we’ve used their platform to launch our Drupal 7 platform, or Examiner 2.0, which is the largest consumer-facing Drupal platform in the United States. Everything’s gone quite well. We have the normal slip-ups that you have with any technology platform where you’re serving over 20 million readers a month, and 60 million page views a month. We just released a new publishing tool for our writers, and within a week, 75 percent of them are working with it and are happy with it.

    • Teach.gov using Drupal

      The U.S. Department of Education just launched a new micro-site built on Drupal: teach.gov. At teach.gov you can learn what it’s like to be a teacher and get the tools you need to launch your own career in education.

    • University of Washington at Tacoma adopts Drupal

      I recently got an e-mail from a member of the UW Tacoma web team, who explained that they migrated to Drupal from a home-grown system running on IIS and mostly based in ColdFusion. Their system often required manual editing of HTML for even the simplest of content updates, and synchronizing between development and live versions of the site was (as we all know) an ever present problem.

  • Education

    • A K12 Educator’s Guide to Open Source Software

      There’s a very cool project I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work on, this coming month. It’s pretty exciting to me, because it involves introducing elementary school children to free & open source software, particularly creative tools such as my dearly beloved Inkscape and Gimp.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Open Source Software Licenses

      In this article we are going to talk about the open system/open source software licenses.As most of you are aware(if not please read and understand)how those licenses intend to do then apply them as you like.So lets meet those licenses that made an impact on open source development.Being an GNU/Linux consultant my one of the prime job to explain the licensing issue to my clients so they can understand what they adopt into their infrastructure.And as my second role as an GNU/Linux administrator I am very curious about the licensing factor to implements something into the production base.So what I will suggest please give yourself sometime and go through the below mentioned licenses to accustomed yourself better for deployment.

    • New Open Compliance Resources Now Available

      When we launched the Open Compliance Program in August at LinuxCon, we committed to providing additional free educational material. At launch, we had three info-packed papers you could view here or at our publications page.

      I’m pleased to report the fourth paper in the series is now available. “A Glimpse Into Recommended Practices in a FOSS Compliance Management Process” by Ibrahim Haddad can be found here.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Wikisource for Manuscript Transcription
    • The Next Social Networking JuggernauT

      Here’s a restatement of the opportunity to turn Facebook into the equivalent of AltaVista/Yahoo of social networking:

      * Software that makes grouping easy… from initial recruitment, first member recognition, rules for behavior, enforcement, goals, and reward allocation. Everything you need to build a group that operates as a club, a tribe, or a company.
      * Open MMOG (massively multiplayer online game) functionality. Basically, a set of functionality that enables people to build their own games on the network. As in: You get points for…. Your quest is.. Your reward is…. This gets even more interesting if you believe, as I do, that all real world social networks (like the global economy) are just poorly written MMGs (massively multiplayer games) with obscure/hidden/rigged rules.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Zuckerpunched! Maybe those tech nerds aren’t so harmless

    But perhaps most distressing for the Internet mogul must have been the leaking of the script for The Social Network, a $60-million movie based on Zuckerberg’s early years as an undergrad hacker at Harvard University, on the Web.

    Why would it be distressing for a young Internet visionary to be lionized in a big-budget Hollywood biopic? Because the script – which I managed to peruse this week – is unflattering at best and a public-relations disaster at worst for one of the world’s most eminent supergeeks. It’s also a fantastic read.

    Zuckerberg is said to be distinctly unpleased. He reportedly cancelled his birthday celebration in the Caribbean last weekend in order to hold a series of emergency meetings in California to discuss how to rehabilitate Facebook’s (and by extension his own) tarnished image. According to The Times of London, the software genius told colleagues that he wants to establish himself as “a good guy.”

    But it’s hard to imagine how he’s going to do that once The Social Network is given wide release this fall.

  • It’s not easy being Justin Bieber [lnxwalt140: "A man called Justin Bieber got kicked out of Facebook and other networks for sharing the name with the teen idol"]
  • Why the Internet Isn’t Making Us Stupid
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • PATCO riders undergo search

      A swarm of DRPA police officers, uniformed screeners from the federal Transportation Security Administration and an explosives-sniffing K-9 greeted commuters at the Lindenwold PATCO station Tuesday morning, the first of what will be routine random searches of riders, their bags and vehicles.

      After a lazy three-day weekend, the commotion took Kevin Greczyn, a regular PATCO commuter into Philadelphia, by surprise.

    • Burma activists say hands up for democracy

      Two years ago Aye Min Soe was known the world over, star of Oscar-nominated documentary Burma VJ, the shot-in-secret story of Burma’s 2007 Saffron Revolution. Today, the former political prisoner leads an anonymous existence, stateless, penniless and vulnerable, on the Thai-Burma border. Mired between UN and Thai government bureaucracy, his application for refugee status has stalled. He has no documentation allowing him to be in Thailand, he cannot work, and is regularly threatened with deportation back to Burma.

    • Germany Shocked by ‘Disproportionate’ Police Action in Stuttgart

      A hardline police operation against demonstrators protesting against a new railway station project in Stuttgart has shocked Germany, after more than 100 people were injured by tear gas and water cannon. German commentators argue that the police went overboard and warn of more violence to come.

      The controversial Stuttgart 21 railway project has been the focus of increasing protests in recent months. But Thursday seemed to mark a turning point as the conflict between the authorities and protesters escalated dramatically.

    • Don’t Post Pictures of an FBI Tracking Device You Find on a Car to the Internet

      On Monday, a guy in California posted pictures of an FBI tracking device his friend found on his car to the social news site Reddit. Tuesday afternoon the FBI showed up at his friend’s house and demanded it back.

      [...]

      It’s amusing how the tables were turned on the FBI on this one as the surveiller became the surveilled. But next time, don’t help the creeps out by posting evidence of their shoddy work to the Internet.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Business is changing the landscape of the climate battleground

      Over in California the vested interests are less hidden. On the one hand you have the oil industry who have been bankrolling a campaign to get rid of climate legislation, that would otherwise begin introducing caps on emissions and challenging targets for renewables in 2012. The infamous Koch brothers, who have no direct interests in California, have also weighed in because this is the new battle ground: what happens in California will ripple out across the States. There is a big fightback from other businesses and fortunately California is home to a burgeoning clean tech industry and to Silicon Valley where, as well as ruling the digital world, companies like Google have been ploughing their millions into trying to solve big problems like climate change.

    • Brazil election sees breakthrough for Greens and environmental agenda

      Environmental campaigners and Green party activists heralded a breakthrough today after a former rubber-tapper from the Brazilian Amazon who rose to be a world-famous rainforest defender became the central figure in the second round of the country’s presidential election.

    • Human waste turned into renewable gas to power homes

      Next time you flush the toilet, you could be doing your bit for green energy. After being stored for 18 days, human waste will from today be returning to homes in the form of renewable gas.

  • Finance

    • U.S. bank industry entering new crisis: analyst

      The U.S. banking industry is entering a new crisis where operating costs are rising dramatically due to foreclosures and defaults, a well-known analyst said Wednesday afternoon.

      “We are less than one-quarter of the way through the foreclosure process,” said Christopher Whalen, managing director at Institutional Risk Analytics at an American Enterprise Institute event.

    • The great American suburb gives way to rising poverty

      The American suburb is no longer the getaway from the city core that it used to be. Amid the loss of millions of jobs in the recession, home foreclosures and eroding wealth, poverty rates are rising in the U.S. suburbs, the Brookings Institution said in a study today.

    • Prospects for US economy either ‘fairly bad’ or ‘very bad’, warns Goldman Sachs

      Signs that the economic recovery is flat or dipping has pushed the dollar to record lows against the yen while gold continues to climb. Last week, controversial star hedge fund manager John Paulson predicted that gold would rise a further $1,100 to $2,400 an ounce – and could go as high as $4,000.

    • Ohio Attorney General Sues Ally Financial Over Alleged Foreclosure Fraud, First In A Possible Wave Of Lawsuits

      Ohio’s attorney general is suing Ally Financial Inc. and its GMAC Mortgage division, alleging the company violated state fraud laws in handling foreclosure cases.

    • Deutsche Bank Names Goldman’s Kuppenheimer Co-Head of Equity Structuring

      Deutsche Bank AG hired Greg Kuppenheimer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. as a managing director and co-head of equity structuring for North America, at least the third senior-level hire from its U.S. rival in two months.

    • Goldman Sachs Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Two CDO Securities

      A financial fraud lawsuit has been filed against Goldman Sachs over its Hudson Mezzanine securities, claiming that the company created collateralized debt obligation (CDO) securities that were doomed to fail so that it could profit from short positions it had taken on the funds.

    • Why did Merrill Lynch Fail? “Goldman Sachs Envy,” Says New Book

      The death of Merrill Lynch in a 2008 fire sale was tied to a key flaw at the brokerage: jealousy of crosstown rival Goldman Sachs, according to an excerpt of a new book, “All the Devils Are Here,” slated to be published next month.

    • Goldman Sachs May Be Losing Influence in Washington

      When it comes to visibility and influence, Goldman Sachs is as noticeable on Pennsylvania Avenue as it is on Wall Street. But that may be changing, as a result of the firm’s recent legal and public relations problems.

    • Dollar set for sharp decline, Goldman forecasts

      The investment bank expects the dollar to drop to $1.79 against the pound in six months and $1.85 in 12 months. Sterling closed at $1.5891 in London yesterday. The euro won’t be spared either, with the dollar’s slump forcing it to $1.50 six months from now and $1.55 in a year’s time.

    • SEC meets with Goldman Sachs, Wall Street CEOs behind closed doors

      Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) met with top brass at Goldman Sachs at the Willard Hotel to discuss implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform. So what happened? We wish we could tell you. When The Examiner called the SEC to ask for comment or for any notes from the meeting, they said that they would not comment and could neither confirm nor deny a meeting with Goldman. “But we know it happened,” I told the press officer. “No comment.”

    • German bank sues Goldman Sachs over toxic mortgage losses

      Goldman Sachs was in the firing line today after a German bank slapped it with a $37 million (£23.3 million) legal action over losses on a toxic mortgage product it sold before the credit crunch.

      German state-owned bank Landesbank Baden-Württemberg is suing Goldman and asset manager Trust Company of the West, according to documents filed in a Manhattan court.

    • Goldman Sachs International’s First Half Profit Falls by 53%

      Goldman Sachs International, the London-based unit of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said first-half profit fell 53 percent after the European sovereign debt crisis cut deal making.

      Net income dropped to $944 million in the six months ended June 30 from $2.01 billion in the first half of 2009, the firm said in a statement on its website. Goldman Sachs said trading profit at its European arm fell to $4.42 billion, 40 percent lower than the year-earlier figure.

    • German Bank Sues Goldman, TCW Over CDO Losses

      Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg has sued Goldman Sachs and Société Générale unit TCW Group over the German bank’s $37 million loss from an investment in a collateralized debt obligation.

    • Who Gets the Cash: Goldman Execs or Stockholders?

      In that bearish view, maybe Goldman’s single-digit p/e and double-digit earnings yield are actually warnings signs of worse times to come, rather than a clue that the stock is super-cheap.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • China’s Fifty Cent Party for Internet Propaganda

      China is not the only country in the world to employ cyber police. However, the scale of China’s efforts is staggering. The social media now comprises the dominant online activity for the Chinese. Currently, user-generated content provides the greatest component of China’s online content. Noticing these trends two years ago, President Hu called on the CCP’s members to “assert supremacy over online public opinion, raise the level and study the art of online guidance and actively use new technologies to increase the strength of positive propaganda.” After Hu’s speech, the State Council advertised for “comrades of good ideological and political character, high capability and familiarity with the Internet to form teams of Web commentators… who can employ methods and language Web users can accept to actively guide online public opinion.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Syria accuses teenage blogger of spying for a foreign power

      Syria has accused a young woman blogger of spying for a foreign power after human rights watchdogs raised her case as an example of unjustified restrictions on freedom of expression.

    • Is your private phone number on Facebook? Probably. And so are your friends’

      Uploads from iPhones using the Facebook app will push all your contacts onto Facebook’s servers – where they’ll be matched against any and everyone. Worried at all?

    • Interview with Chiranuch Premchaiporn of Thai Netizen Network

      Chiranuch Premchaiporn, known as Jiew, is the Director and webmaster of Prachatai, an alternative Thai news website, and is a founding member of the digital rights group Thai Netizen Network. News of her arrest upon her return from an Internet freedom conference spread quickly – a blog and #freejiew tag, a legal fund, news and opinion articles, condemnation by human rights institutions, a journalists’ campaign, and critical analysis of the case and the Computer Crime Act under which she was charged. Now out on bail, Jiew now has two criminal charges against her, for which she faces a possibility of an 82-year sentence.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ASCAP Tells Artists It’s Cutting Their Payments As It Brags To The Press How Much More Money It’s Collecting

        ASCAP feels like the gift that keeps on giving to those of us covering it. If you’re an artist… not so much. We’ve covered many examples of how ASCAP’s aggressive efforts to shut down venues from hosting up-and-coming singers is harming local musicians. And, we’ve also pointed out how they use a system to overpay large acts at the expense of small acts. Now it’s getting even worse. Just as ASCAP is attacking groups like Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge — who help artists find more ways to take control over their own careers, it’s also cutting back on payments to many of its artists:

        ASCAP cut payments to some members of it’s ASCAPlus program by 20-30%. “Unfortunately, because of the fiscal climate, less money was available this year for the award program,” ASCAP said in a letter to those receiving checks.

      • MPAA: Piracy Will Always Be With Us

        In a rare interview session two of the MPAA’s top executives gave an interesting insight into the movie industry’s view on copyright in the digital age and the anti-piracy hunt that accompanies it. The pair say that their organization will continue to fight against copyright infringements, but admit that piracy will never be completely defeated.

      • Copyright Abuse in Ohio Governor Election

        With just weeks to go before Ohio votes on its next governor, the contest has devolved into a copyright squabble that is keeping a political video off YouTube on the basis of a bogus copyright claim.

        A couple of days ago, Congressman John Kasich put out a commercial that featured a man dressed as a steelworker discussing Governor Ted Strickland’s record. It turns out that the steelworker depicted in the commercial wasn’t an actual steelworker, but paid actor Chip Redden.

      • ACTA

        • Global Copyright Accord Is Scaled Back After Google Led Push for Changes

          A counterfeiting agreement aimed at stepping up international enforcement of copyright protections has been scaled back after objections from Internet content providers led by Google Inc.

          The text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which would set joint rules for cracking down on the pirating of copyrighted materials, was released today by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. The deal would be the first major trade accord reached under President Barack Obama.

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