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10.15.10

Links 15/10/2010: Wine 1.3.5 Out, Ubuntu 11.04 is Developed

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Lenovo ThinkPad W510 Notebook

    Since July we have been testing a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook under Linux and have already published a variety of Linux benchmarks. This Lenovo notebook boasts an Intel Core i7 720QM CPU, 4GB of system memory, a 320GB SATA HDD, and NVIDIA Quadro FX880M graphics. In this review we are taking a closer look at the ThinkPad W510 notebook and have more Ubuntu Linux benchmarks comparing its performance to the ZaReason Verix and an older ThinkPad T61.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4: The KDE SC in Kubuntu and Fedora

        Although not one of my main desktop environments any longer, I have been keeping track of KDE development now and then and feel it has improved a great deal. Ever since the 4.4 releases it actually seems stable and light enough to use and while not all features and functions present in KDE 3.5 may have been replicated (at least Kwikdisk and Kdiskfree are back), the 4.4 series has marked the point where KDE has finally become usable again. I have to admit, it looks good too. I actually enjoy booting into the new KDE.

  • Distributions

    • 6 Linux Distros That Changed Everything

      Linux is all around us. From phones to firewalls, from Macs to PCs, it’s getting hard to find electronics that don’t run Linux. Over the years, there have been many distributions (normally called distros) of Linux. Some are full-featured, others are very small, some are general purpose, and others are designed for specific tasks. Love it or hate it, Linux is here to stay.

      Below is a list of 6 distros that were milestones for Linux adoption. Enjoy.

    • Following the Fragmentation Era, Linux Needs a Federated Front

      Federated marketing of Linux, federated support of it, and more organized community-driven resources for Linux platforms are the next steps. It’s not so easy to get these kinds of federated initiatives going, though, especially as myths about Linux continue. Perhaps the impetus for more progress in this area will come from smart entrepeneurs who see that Linux is fragmenting less, succeeding more outside of the desktop, and represents a free, malleable platform opportunity to leverage.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Mark Shuttleworth talks Project Harmony, Unity, Windicators and more

          If you have done some homework, you might already who Mark Shuttleworth aka SABDFL is.

          As the founder of Ubuntu ,it becomes necessary to interact with the community, however Mark is busy man so it is only limited to an 1 hour IRC session after release.

        • Test Drupal 7 beta for 54 min free thanks to Canonical

          This week two exciting things happened in the open source world. Drupal 7 beta was released for testing and Ubuntu 10.10 was delivered. It just so happens that the timing couldn’t have been better, because Canonical debuted a new feature that lets you test Ubuntu Server Edition in the cloud free for one hour.

        • Better Than Ever Ubuntu 10.10

          Looking for an alternative operating system besides Windows or Mac OS? There’s always Ubuntu Linux. The latest version of Ubuntu called Ubuntu 10.10 or the Maverick Meerkat was unveiled on Sunday in time for the 10/10/10 date. Checking out the updated Ubuntu version will definitely be worth your while since it has several exciting new features.

          Ubuntu 10.10 has several editions, one of them is Ubuntu Netbook Edition which has an improved user interface called Unity that enables netbook users to open their frequently-used applications. Also, it helps make the screen more organized. In addition, Ubuntu 10.10 has the Software Center that provides convenient access to numerous open-source and free apps.

        • Natty Narwhal open for development

          Natty Narwhal is now open for development. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the natty-changes ML, please do so at [1].

        • Ubunchu Chapter 7 in English Released

          Hey there! I’ve just finished the finally editing and correcting for Chapter 7 of Ubunchu. The long awaiting Installfest chapter.

        • This week in design – 15 October 2010

          For a kick off Andrea, a community member who has worked with us on the enhancements to the theme in the new release, has been hard at work thinking about the future of the Murrine theme engine. This engine is the beating heart of our gorgeous default themes and before we’ve even really started on Natty he’s upgraded it to work with the latest version of GTK. As we’re not sure what’s going into the next release just yet we can’t say for certain if all this work will make it in but what we can say is that if you’re a brave and heardy soul you can head over to his blog and get it for yourself.

        • Development Begins On Ubuntu 11.04

          Not even a week has passed since the release of Ubuntu 10.10, but developers are now free to start committing package changes for the next release, Ubuntu 11.04, which is codenamed Natty Narwhal. Matthias Klose has announced that the Ubuntu Natty repository is now open for business.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Ubuntu Privacy Remix 10.04r1 Comes with TrueCrypt 6.3a

            Ubuntu Privacy Remix 10.04r1 has been released, the first stable version of the Ubuntu-based distro. Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) is a specialized Linux distribution for handling highly sensitive data. The latest release comes with several updated packages as well as some custom software.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Palm Hires Ex-Nokia Meego Chief Ari Jaaski

          After a very large number of Palm employees headed to Nokia to work on Meego, perhaps its only fitting that somebody from Nokia heads to Palm. So reports John Paczkowski of All Things D, who writes that that Nokia’s head of the Meego division, Ari Jaaski, will move to the bay area and become the new Senior Vice President of webOS for Palm / HP.

          Paczkowski also notes that Palm is pulling in Victoria Coleman from Samsung R&D to oversee platform and app development as well as a few execs from within HP to run product marketing, sales organization, and product management.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Schools Combine Netbooks, Open Source

        The marriage of low-cost netbooks and open-source technologies to create 1-to-1 computing programs is a relatively new development. Open-source technologies, which evolve when individuals voluntarily contribute their creativity and knowledge to online networks of innovation, were once thought to be too free-wheeling and untested for schools. But that is now changing as schools look for more creative and cost-effective ways to use technology.

      • ‘Ubuntu Netbook’ Linux Adds Multitouch, Looks Tablet Friendly

        As flavors of Linux go, Ubuntu has been pretty popular over the years. The open source operating system can be installed on a wide range of computer hardware, and there’s even a version called Ubuntu Netbook that’s specially made to optimize the relatively tight 1024×600 screen resolution found on many of today’s netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Does “Free as in Speech” or “Free as in Beer” Really Mean?

    In a nutshell, it translates to “zero price” (gratis) versus “with few or no restrictions” (libre).

  • Events

    • Guest Post: The Apache Software Foundation’s Open Source Approach

      ApacheCon, one of the biggest open source conferences of the year, is coming up in Atlanta November 1st through 5th, sponsored by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Of course, from Hadoop to the web server, Apache software platforms have become enormously influential. Ross Gardler, VP of Community at the foundation, provided OStatic with a guest post–one of a series we’ll be doing in conjunction with ApacheCon–on how the Apache Software Foundation approaches open source. Here it is.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • last few days of survey

        If you’re a Thunderbird contributor and you haven’t already done so, please help us understand how we can make the Thunderbird community and contribution process more enjoyable and rewarding by taking a short, 7-question survey at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/376585/Thunderbird-Participation-Survey by this Sunday.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Proof That Microsoft Is Worried About Office’s Competition
    • Microsoft’s fear of an OpenOffice

      Of course, it’s possible that Microsoft sees something the wider market doesn’t yet see: momentum building for Office defections. The Register’s Kelly Fiveash suggests: “By declaring such a threat, it would seem that Microsoft just admitted that it’s worried about losing market share in an area where it has been unshakeable for years.”

      If true, it would seem that the last thing Microsoft would want to do would be to dignify its competition with a formal campaign. Remember its “Get the Facts” campaign against Linux? That one worked wonders for Linux, putting the upstart operating system on the radar screen of a huge swath of CIOs who probably hadn’t given Linux much thought up until that point.

    • Microsoft video proves that Microsoft Office is like cocaine and has dealers inside schools

      When it first appeared, I simply ignored the video. After seeing all the buzz around it and reading two articles that explain some of its weaknesss (1), I gave up and watched it. The first view proved the objections made in those articles, but also made me uneasy. I could feel that there was something more serious, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So I watched the video again, and a flash of understanding came.

      What Microsoft published is not really a video about office productivity. A good part of that video is about drug addiction and nothing more. It says “we already fell addicted to this specific drug, it feels good and we see no way out. So you should take it too”. This is what I was feeling. Several of those quotes really sound like statements from people who tried to free themselves of cocaine or some other equally destructive substance and failed, simply because they misunderstood their situation or didn’t really care to succeed.

  • CMS

    • Matt Mullenweg

      “I am lucky enough to be able to code, and only have a limited time on this earth, so I want as much of my work as possible to benefit humanity. Having my output be freely available under the GPL is one of the best ways to make the world just a little bit better and more open with every line I write.

      Also, as an anecdote, every good thing that has happened in my life was because I gave something away first, be it time, money, or code. I see no reason to change that now. It’s just good karma.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Pentaho Brings Business Intelligence to Hadoop

        Open source business intelligence company Pentaho unveiled BI and data integration tools for Hadoop this week, but they aren’t available to users of the free community edition of Pentaho.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why We’ve Learnt to Love the Labs

      This more public kind of lab has been spreading, albeit slowly: we have Mozilla Labs, Apache Labs, Eclipse Labs, the just-announced LinkedIn Labs, as well as the rumoured Facebook Labs and Twitter Labs. I predict we will see many more; indeed, I fully expect every self-respecting software company to set one up.

    • Beautiful technology: The Open Source Satellite Initiative

      His background is electrical engineering and computer science–he completed his Master’s at ICU Engineering in Korea. He works on things like satellites and sophisticated machines designed to avert war.

    • What’s the Return on Investment for Open?

      And actually, that’s the real story here. The quantifiable contribution ratio — 3-to-1, 2-to-1, 4-to-1, whatever — might vary based on a lot of factors. The true “RoI of open” usually shows itself before a given piece of code makes it into the project. Many times one of us, the CollabNet-salaried developers, would post a proposal for a feature design, or even post a concrete implementation, and the non-CollabNet community would find bugs and potential improvements in it. They would also contribute new features themselves, in some cases quite major ones

    • In praise of cheap science

      The era of ‘big science’ in the United States began in the 1930s. Nobody exemplified this spirit more than Ernest Lawrence at the University of California, Berkeley whose cyclotrons smashed subatomic particles together to reveal nature’s deepest secrets. Lawrence was one of the first true scientist-entrepreneurs. He paid his way through college selling all kinds of things as a door-to-door salesman. He brought the same persuasive power a decade later to sell his ideas about particle accelerators to wealthy businessmen and philanthropists. Sparks flying off his big machines, his ‘boys’ frantically running around to fix miscellaneous leaks and shorts, Lawrence would proudly display his Nobel Prize winning invention to millionaires as if it were his own child. The philanthropists’ funding paid off in at least one practical respect; it was Lawrence’s modified cyclotrons that produced the uranium used in the Hiroshima bomb.

    • Open Licenses vs Public Licenses

      It’s critical to distinguish “open licenses” from “public licenses” when discussing IP licensing, especially online — mostly because Creative Commons is so popular and as a result has muddied the waters a bit.

    • Open Data

      • Nobel news blackout lifted: The Party Strikes Back

        Stand by for a major announcement: The Cabinet Office is about to publish the organogram of Whitehall.

      • Departmental structure charts

        As part of its ongoing drive to make Government more accountable and more transparent than ever before, the Cabinet Office is publishing new details about civil servants working at the heart of government.

      • Principles for Open Bibliographic Data

        While first attempts were mainly directed towards libraries and other public institutions we decided to broaden the principle’s scope by amalgamating it with Peter Murray-Rust’s draft publisher guidelines. The results can be seen below. We ask anyone to review these principles, discuss the text and suggest improvements.

Leftovers

  • Heise vs. the music industry – German appeal court rejects link ban

    Since 2005, Heise has been involved in a protracted legal dispute with the music industry. In late 2008, the Higher Regional Court in Munich upheld a ban on Heise placing a specific link. Judges at the German Appeals Court have now found in favour of Heise Zeitschriften Verlag (publisher of heise online and The H’s parent company).

  • The Times of London’s impenetrable but straightforward paywall

    The order to adopt the paywall came directly from Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp, which owns the Times’ parent company News International. Murdoch has been extremely vocal about the importance of implementing paid online content both for financial and principled reasons since spring 2009. But Whitwell explained that the thinking at the paper has suggested for some time that this could be the right move to take.

  • Two mice and two pointers

    So, please, can somebody do this. Is a simple hack, but I am not a programmer. Nowadays to have two mice attached to the computer is easy. Just connect them to two usb ports, but them they will share the same pointer. That would be no good. The idea is to have a pointer for each mouse. Then will mouse typing speed will soar!

  • Joan Siefert Rose on the insanity of entrepreneurship

    Joan Siefert Rose is the president of CED, a 25-year-old organization with 5,500 active members who promote and work to accelerate the entrepreneurial culture in North Carolina and the Research Triangle area in particular. She gave a talk at today’s TEDx Raleigh event outlining the six symptoms of what she called the “Insanity of Entrepreneurship.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Rinderpest virus has been wiped out, scientists say

      Scientists working for the UN say that they have eradicated a virus which can be deadly to cattle.

      If confirmed, rinderpest would become only the second viral disease – after smallpox – to have been eliminated by humans.

    • Eat less meat, save the planet? Livestock nears sustainability limit

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that agriculture accounts for 10-12 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This figure does not include land conversion effects; taking those into account, the number jumps to almost thirty percent, and livestock production accounts for the bulk of these emissions. Rearing livestock also uses a great deal of nitrogen-based fertilizer, which goes into the animals’ feedstock.

      A new analysis of the carbon and nitrogen cycles suggests that livestock production is on a path to unsustainability, and that it will push us beyond Earth’s safe operating limits by the middle of the century.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Twitterphobia and the mainstream media

      IMHO, the experiment was a brilliant success. It highlighted the amazing range of things that the police service is called upon to do, and made that point more forcefully than any official speech by a senior officer or Home Secretary could do.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Confounding Fathers

      Glenn Beck’s view of American history stems from the paranoid politics of the fifties.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Nobel news blackout lifted: The Party Strikes Back

      On October 14th, the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda Department relaxed their total news blackout around Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. Major online news portals, including Netease and Sina, seem to have been instructed to prominently position a pair of Xinhua Daily articles that respond to the Nobel announcement.

      The two articles, physically positioned high up on the news portal websites, are titled “From the Dalai Lama to Liu Xiaobo: What the Nobel Peace Prize Tells Us” and “Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo was an Especially Big Mistake.”

      Following days of media blackout, the strong push behind the two articles suggests that the Party’s propaganda apparatus is finally gearing up to ‘lead public opinion,’ a media control strategy used by the Party since 2005. Before 2005, the Party typically responded to negative events by suppressing all related news stories. Over the last five years, however, the Party’s more common reaction to politically sensitive news has been to temporarily block all reports, craft an official version of events, and order media outlets to publish only the official version.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • As Negotiators Launch Talks On Biodiversity, Industry Requests IP Protection

      This week, global attention will be focussed on hopes to find solutions to give the world a better chance to reduce the loss of biodiversity and reach agreement on an international instrument ensuring benefits are being shared. Intellectual Property Watch will be in Nagoya, Japan to report on the negotiations.

      The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) will take place in Nagoya from 18-29 October. Two intense weeks during which member states of the convention will have to agree on the next 2011-2020 strategic plan for the CBD, and finalise a binding international instrument on access and benefit sharing (ABS) of the commercial benefits derived from biological resources, and the prevention of biopiracy.

    • Copyrights

      • Google Music in China… the way it should be everywhere.
      • Public outrage mounts over plan to nab pirated DVD buyers

        Public outrage is mounting over the proposal by the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry to penalise those who buy pirated DVDs and VCDs.

        Accountant Ahmad Huzaimi Ghazi, 27, said it was unfair to take legal action on people who buy such DVDs, when original DVDs were too expensive.

      • Album price ‘should drop to £1′

        The price of music albums should be slashed to around £1, a former major record label boss has suggested.

        Rob Dickins, who ran Warner Music in the UK for 15 years, said “radically” lowering prices would help beat piracy and lead to an exponential sales rise.

      • Former UK Record Boss Proposes $1.60 Album to Fight P2P

        Rob Dickens, former head of Warner Music in the UK, proposes a “micro-economy” in which album sale prices are “radically” reduced, and in which the resulting increase in sales volume more than makes up for the drop in prices.

      • India to align copyright norms with global standards

        ‘The Copyright Amendment Bill 2010 contains better provisions to deal with technology issues by extending protection of copyright material in India over digital networks related to literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, films and sound recordings,’ said Amit Khare, joint secretary in the ministry of Human Resource Development, Friday.

      • MPAA Copy-Protected DRM Site Hacked By Anonymous

        A site run by the MPAA has become the most recent victim of cyber attacks being carried out by Anonymous. CopyProtected.com, a site used to inform on copy protection and DRM on DVD and Blu-ray movie discs, now displays a missive from the anarchic group . After a few seconds it redirects visitors to the homepage of The Pirate Bay.

      • The Impossible Job Of Being The Copyright Czar

        The administration’s “IP czar” (more technically, the “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator”), Victoria Espinel, recently gave a talk at the Future of Music Coalition event in Washington DC, and while I had seen various reports about her speech, and had a few submissions asking me to comment, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Espinel basically said the same things she’s been saying all along. Her job is to “protect the creativity of US citizens.” And, to her credit, she doesn’t just define that as big companies. While reports of her pressuring ISPs, payment processors and registrars to voluntarily block or disable accounts of infringers is… troubling, she is always careful to try to “balance” things. This was evident in the IP Strategic Plan she released a few months back. While it makes some suggestions that clearly makes industry interests happy, at the same time, it tosses some breadcrumbs to those concerned about how over-aggressive IP laws can actually hinder quite a lot of creativity.

      • The “Imbecile” and “Moron” Responds: On the Freedoms of Remix Creators

        “Remix,” in the sense the competition intended, means a creative work that builds upon the creative work of others. That doesn’t mean simply grabbing or using the work of others. It means using the work of others in a way that is transformative, or critical. The rules of the competition expressly required that every entry “recombine[] and modif[y] existing digital works to create a new transformative work.” The recombined or modified work must, the rules specified, be either original with the remixer, in the public domain, or “created under the protection of fair use.” Every entry that I reviewed had a strong, almost certain argument that it satisfied the requirements of “fair use.”

      • FREE – THE JOURNEY
      • ACTA/Hadopi

        • ACTA – PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS!
        • Hadopi? Not Even Scared!

          The Minister of Culture and the Hadopi itself have been prompt to announce the launch of the Hadopi’s operations: here we are, no later than the end of the summer, the Hadopi would ready to send its first mail to Internet users who have been caught in Trident Media Gard’s nets, the private society empowered by rights holders representatives3 to scan file sharing on peer-to-peer networks. However, analysis of enacted laws and decrees calls for more caution on this potential threat. The Hadopi might be unable to impose penalties, but it could be that the Hadopi should not even be authorized to send any warning without prior judicial ruling.

Clip of the Day

iOS4 Error Code 3014


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 15/10/2010: Ubuntu Unity uTouch, Motorola’s Linux-based Phone Proliferate

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Did you ever tried Google Search Engine for Linux users?

    Google offers a good search tool targeted for Linux users.

  • Linux Foundation sets record for stating bleeding obvious

    Until this morning, I was convinced that the late Benjamin Disraeli had it down pat when he said that there are three forms of deception – lies, damn lies and statistics.

  • Server

    • Smart Clusters: Intelligence Is As Intelligence Does

      The following topic scares me for two reasons. First, maybe I read too many sci-fi novels about Artificial Intelligence (AI) going wrong (or right, we’ll get to that in bit). Second, most HPC people are pragmatic individuals who deal with numbers and results that have a firm mathematical underpinning. Talking about AI as an HPC application is not quite a mainstream discussion.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Book Excerpt: Linux Kernel Development, 3rd Edition.

      In this chapter, we introduce some of the basics of the Linux kernel: where to get its source, how to compile it, and how to install the new kernel. We then go over the differences between the kernel and user-space programs and common programming constructs used in the kernel. Although the kernel certainly is unique in many ways, at the end of the day it is little different from any other large software project.

    • LinSched Advances For Testing The Linux Scheduler

      While we are close to seeing the Linux 2.6.36 kernel, this week LinSched for the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released. LinSched is a simulator that allows testing the Linux kernel scheduler in user-space for modifying and observing its scheduling behavior.

      LinSched is not a new tool, but it comes from the academia world (University of North Carolina) and has since seen adoption by new developers looking to understand the kernel scheduler and is also used by corporations like Google. This new release of LinSched is based upon the Linux 2.6.35 kernel and now supports several additional features of the kernel.

  • Applications

    • Command Line Little Helper: CLI Companion
    • Introducing: Recipe Manager

      Three years ago, Daniel Taylor (of Arista fame) made a small application designed to store and manage your favourite recipes. It was simple, lightweight, elegant. He called it Recipe Manager (got a better, unique name, anyone?) and released a “technology preview” along with the file format spec onto this website.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • HTML5: Up and Running
      • Inside MySQL Character Sets & Settings

        Character sets are ways of storing string or text data in a database. Since the world’s languages use different character sets for their writing systems, a database must support many different types of character sets to store information in those languages. For Western European languages, for example, there are alphabets with many overlapping characters, but in addition some require accents, different currency characters, and so on. For Asian languages with many more characters, a multi-byte character set is required since one byte is not large enough to store all the characters that can be represented in that language.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Using digiKam with MySQL

        By default, digiKam uses SQLite as its back-end for storing important metadata and thumbnails. But the photo management application also provides support for the popular MySQL database engine, and it comes with a database migration tool that can help you to move your data from SQLite to MySQL. Of course, you might wonder why you’d want to switch to MySQL when SQLite already does a good job of managing the data? Using MySQL as digiKam’s database back-end allows you to store the data on a remote server. This way, you can use multiple digiKam installations (e.g., on your notebook and desktop machine) to access and manage your photo collections. You can also use MySQL tools to back up and analyze digiKam’s data.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+ Continues To Become More X11-Agnostic

        As good news for those of you interested in GTK+ applications on Mac OS X and other operating systems, or to even run such applications within a Wayland Display Server on Linux rather than an X Server, this tool-kit used by GNOME continues to become more X11-agnostic and easier to port.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Spotlight Feature: Keeping Secure with OpenSCAP

          Back by popular demand, we’ll again be posting a series of blogs leading up to the Fedora 14 “Laughlin” release, which highlight some of the cool new features planned in the latest Fedora distribution. Up first is a feature that boosts security in Fedora 14: OpenSCAP.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Unity uTouch demo

          One of the more exciting aspects of Ubuntu 10.10 is undoubtedly the Unity shell in Ubuntu Netbook Edition and the uTouch touch screen capabilities bundled with it. In his latest blog entry Canonical’s Gerry Carr unveils this new user experience in a cool video demonstration that shouldn’t be missed…

          “One of the coolest things though is one that will be experienced by the fewest people at this point – touch. Unity is fully touch-enabled – those big icons are screaming out to have a digit poked at them,” explains Carr. “But as ever, the boys in the lab, or in this case Duncan McGregor‘s multi-touch team have gone a step further and created a multi-touch ‘gesture’ library. This allows finger combinations to do groovy things like expand and reduce windows, pull up multiple windows in one workspace, and call up the ‘dash’ automatically. These are in 10.10. In 11.04 we will see a lot more.”

        • The Perfect Desktop – Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

          This tutorial shows how you can set up an Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • we’re getting fast

        Firefox’s JavaScript engine, Spidermonkey (including the Tracemonkey and Jaegermonkey JITs) is now faster than Webkit’s JSCore on both Sunspider and V8. Great work, team!

  • Oracle

    • Why Is Microsoft So Scared of OpenOffice?

      Microsoft and its supporters have a long history of applying all kinds of FUD to any discussion of free and open source software. Whether it’s Linux or other free alternatives to Microsoft’s high-priced products, it seems no conversation can take place without the inevitable insinuations about higher total cost of ownership, lack of support, and other baseless fearmongering.

    • What does IBM joining OpenJDK mean for Java?

      This week IBM announced it would be supporting Oracle’s OpenJDK. At first glance it seems like “Great!”

      Isn’t it good that two big supporters of Java are getting behind a single open source project?

      Well, in my personal opinion, no. It is bad. Bad for Java. I’ll try to explain why.

      The first point is that IBM are not just saying they will support OpenJDK. They are also saying that are pulling effort out of Apache Harmony. Apache Harmony is a project to build an Open Source JVM under the Apache license, rather than the GPL which is the license under which OpenJDK is available.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF initiates “Respects your Freedom” hardware endorsement

      The Free Software Foundation has announced the initial criteria of the “Respects Your Freedom” hardware endorsement programme. Under the programme, the FSF will endorse products that comply with its conditions, which include; using only free software in all parts of the product, ensuring the software can be built using only free software tools and allowing user installation of modified software. The non-profit organisation is seeking to get feedback on these criteria and hopes to use the process to raise the interest of hardware manufacturers.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Net Positive: A Conversation with Clay Shirky

      The Internet has brought about a sea change in the way societies organize and operate. Few scholars anticipated the trend sooner, or articulated it with greater force and optimism, than Clay Shirky. In his 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations, Shirky described how new social structures were being created spontaneously as a result of the Web’s astounding ability to enable people to coordinate—instantly and across distances—not only with other individuals, but with the masses. Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, develops his ideas further. He sees a revolution in the way people are beginning to pool their free time. “Cognitive Surplus,” he says, “is essentially answering the question, What is Wikipedia made of? What is Linux made of? What is YouTube made of? It is made of the coordinated contributions of the world’s connected citizenry.”

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Antidepressant reboxetine no better than a placebo, study finds

      An antidepressant prescribed in the UK over the last 13 years is ineffective and potentially harmful, according to a damning study published today.

      The drug, reboxetine, which is known in the UK under the trade name Edronax, works no better than a placebo, or dummy pill, say scientists in the British Medical Journal, who accuse the manufacturer, Pfizer, of failing to disclose the results of trials which show its inadequacies.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Western lifestyles plundering tropics at record rate, WWF report shows

      The Earth’s population is using the equivalent of 1.5 planets’ worth of natural resources, but the long-term decline of animal life appears to have been halted, a WWF report shows.

      The latest Living Planet report, published today by the conservation group, also reveals the extent to which modern Western lifestyles are plundering natural resources from the tropics at record levels.

    • Deepwater drilling: risks and consequences

      What if officers of corporations in the oil, coal or auto industry were to face arrest and possible prosecution, when their actions in the US – as in Hungary – result in deaths? Might that change the calculation of acceptable risk?

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

Clip of the Day

Java Swing GUI Demo


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 15/10/2010: Fusion Fedora 14, MeeGo 1.1 for ARM

Posted in News Roundup at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Five problems Linux still needs to overcome

    Greg Kroah-Hartman’s, a Linux kernel developer and a Novell engineer, Linux Driver Project (LDP), has been creating Linux drivers for years for anything that any vendor brought to the project that needed one made for it for years now. Kroah-Hartman and his crew of open-source developers charge nothing to create Linux hardware drivers. Despite that, a handful of companies still won’t release Linux drives. Other companies, like Wi-Fi chip vendor Broadcom, that have been slow to release Linux drivers has recently taken to making them. So what’s the real problem?

    I think there are several problems hiding under the ‘drivers’ issues. First, even now some hardware doesn’t have any Linux drivers, or, more commonly, the drivers aren’t that good. That’s true of Windows as well, but people seem to give Windows a pass for this kind of thing.

  • Aruba Revs Its Wireless Gear with ArubaOS 6.0 release

    ArubaOS is the underlying network operating system that powers Aruba’s wireless access points and controllers, and is built on top of a Linux base. With ArubaOS 6.0, new spectrum analysis, security and quality of service capabilities are being baked in. The new ArubaOS comes as Aruba is growing its market footprint following a partnership deal with Dell.

  • Linux users to get AUSkey access before Christmas

    The key replaces the need to separately log into online government services with a username and password, and is integrated into commercial software to provide businesses with a point of access to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) portals, its electronic commerce interface, and the Australian Business Register.

  • Desktop

    • Christmas? It’s Still 90 Degrees Here..

      But for us with with The HeliOS Project, it’s one of the most satisfying times of the year…haranguing advertising notwithstanding.

      Last year, between November 1st and December 25th, we built and gave away 41 computers. Three of them I delivered and set up on Christmas Day.

      [...]

      We’ve blown through the machines gathered at this year’s Linux Against Poverty event, planned and hosted by Lynn Bender. Having such an all-encompassing event twice in one year is just too much to ask of anyone…it takes months to plan and over 50 people to execute.

  • Server

    • Linux Foundation highlights growth, but what versions?

      The Linux Foundation survey also highlights continued gains for Linux at the expense of Unix, with 19.8% of respondents indicating a decrease in their use of the OS (compared with 18% decreasing use of Windows and only 1.8% decreasing use of Linux). Those planning on increased use were 76% for Linux, 41% for Windows and 19.5% for Unix. We also wonder whether Oracle’s end of support for OpenSolaris will perpetuate Unix-Linux migration?

  • Google

    • Google Testing Chrome OS Release Candidates. Official Release 1 Month Away?

      At their official unveiling event 11 months ago, Google promised that Chrome OS would be ready to by the end of this year — before the holiday season. It looks like they will be able to keep that promise, as bug comments on their Google Code site for the project indicate that the OS has already hit “RC” status — also known as “Release Candidate”.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Solid-state storage devices and the block layer

      Over the last few years, it has become clear that one of the most pressing scalability problems faced by Linux is being driven by solid-state storage devices (SSDs). The rapid increase in performance offered by these devices cannot help but reveal any bottlenecks in the Linux filesystem and block layers. What has been less clear, at times, is what we are going to do about this problem. In his LinuxCon Japan talk, block maintainer Jens Axboe described some of the work that has been done to improve block layer scalability and offered a view of where things might go in the future.

    • Aava Mobile Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Aava Mobile has become its newest member. It will participate in the MeeGo project with specific emphasis around x86-based devices and the mobile user interface.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Solid Sprint Enhances Key KDE Platform Technologies

        Solid is the part of the KDE Platform that handles interaction with hardware, making it easy for application developers to deal with things like network availability by abstracting underlying libraries within a familiar KDE-style API. As such it is an essential component across all kinds of KDE software. It is getting clear that Solid is becoming a well defined team within KDE and everybody is exited about the idea of attracting more developers interested in hardware support to the desktop, mobile devices, netbooks, media center and beyond. There are now quite a few developers working on Solid so it was a good time to get them all together for a sprint in Madrid, Spain.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fusion Fedora 14 Remix beta Debuts

          Fusion Linux is a completely free and open source based Linux operating system, it is also a Fedora Remix. It is a installable Live DVD/USB image that includes multimedia functionality out of the box with added desktop tweaks for better usability and additional software.

        • First Look – Fusion Fedora 14 beta Gnome – Review

          Conclusion:

          Pros:

          * Very stable for a beta
          * Easy and safety-concious installer rivals or exceeds Ubuntu’s Ubiquity
          * Extra software via the RPM Fusion repositories and others
          * Nice Chrome web browser didn’t crash at all, as it does in some distro’s
          * Fast and no noticeable slowdowns or freezing under load
          * Great detection of video on both my testbed PC’s
          * Stylish and easy-to-use Desktop and menu
          * Rivals or maybe exceeds some aspects of Ubuntu though still beta

          Cons:

          * Somewhat large install, maybe release a Netbook or single CD version (probably already happening
          * Will it support nVidia proprietary graphic’s drivers, including Legacy?

        • Fedora 13: Fixing sound and video for the Lenovo G555

          In order for the “standard” fix to work for sound, I needed 2.6.34 and the full ALSA version 1.0.23 to go with it. Unfortunately, I had to get the missing ALSA bits — meaning the ALSA-driver — from another repo, as they’re not in Fedora 13′s official repository (and seemingly not needed to have working ALSA for reasons that continue to elude).

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity and uTouch

          One of the most exciting things about the Ubuntu 10.10 release has been the delivery of the Unity ‘shell’ in Ubuntu Netbook Edition. For the uninitiated, this delivers a very different user experience to that in the main desktop edition. For a start the icons of the most popular applications are permanently featured on the left-hand side of the screen. This borrows more from the smartphone interfaces but is adapted for use on, in this case, netbooks. So there remains a workspace where users still have sufficient room to watch video, edit photos, create documents, play games, read the web, write emails – all of the usual tasks we use a computer for, day to day.

        • Maverick Upgrade *sigh*

          I’m fairly conservative when it comes to upgrading Ubuntu, every upgrade fails in some way on this System76 laptop. One week after the release of 10.10 and after asking lots of people if they had any problems. I decided to upgrade.

          I shouldn’t have bothered.

        • Installing Ubuntu 10.10
        • 50+ Beautiful Hand-picked Ubuntu Wallpapers

          Ubuntu is a computer operating system originally based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source software with additional proprietary software available.It is named after the Southern African philosophy of Ubuntu (“humanity towards others”). Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. Web statistics suggest that Ubuntu’s share of Linux desktop usage is about 50 percent, and upward trending usage as a web server.

        • Ubuntu – The Flagship Linux Desktop Distro

          The year after Ubuntu’s first release the amount of searches of “Ubuntu” versus searches for “Linux” was 13 to 1

        • 10 Reasons to Install Ubuntu 10.10

          It’s been a few days since I installed Ubuntu 10.10 and my initial good impressions have not only been confirmed, but exceeded. In my PREVIEW and REVIEW articles I covered some concepts and features that I considered innovative, surprising or simply welcome. Today I want to present 10 reasons why this release is totally worth it installing.

        • Spice up Ubuntu 10.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock

          Ubuntu 10.10, the latest edition of the popular Linux distribution, which was just reviewed here, ships with the same blank desktop that has come to identify the Ubuntu desktop. But you do not have to live with it. You can spice it up with a very simple and elegant application. You can go from the default desktop shown below, to a more sexy desktop.

        • Open Source Technologies: Ubuntu 10.10 Cozies Up to Android, iPhone and the Cloud

          The October 2010 release of Ubuntu Linux brings the usual slate of free and open-source software updates, alongside unique new capabilities around cloud services integration. The distribution’s Ubuntu One personal cloud service adds interoperability with Android and iOS-based mobile devices, as well as new support for Windows.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 builds on app store, cloud service strengths
        • Askubuntu Support Site Has Good Pedigree

          All in all, it’s great to see this kind of crowdsourced support for Ubuntu, and given the fact that lack of support is so often cited by IT administrators and users as a shortcoming with open source software, it could make a difference for the new version of Ubuntu. Check it out.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $250 ARM9 computer supports PoE, sips two Watts

      The Linux-based Gateway Express 2 (GWX2) Embedded Computer incorporates Techsol’s ARM9-based SA2410 Medallion module, and offers up to 64MB of SDRAM, a microSD slot, an Ethernet port, and four USB ports, says the company.

    • Phones

      • The biggest mistake Palm has made with WebOS

        Palm’s WebOS (a Linux variant) based phones have been out for a while but I haven’t had the need to consider them until recently (in the form of my Treo 650 broken down).

        My Treo 650 was a real workhorse, containing hundreds of contacts, thousands of calendar entries (I use the calendar actively and like to keep entries for a very long time for reference), lots of todos and memos. As a long time Linux/Ubuntu user, I have synchronized and backed up my Treo with JPilot, which is an excellent Linux application. In the past, I have used several Palm devices and I was always able to migrate my complete PIM database with ease between the old device and the new one.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo 1.1 for ARM handsets gets closer

          The MeeGo project says MeeGo 1.1 will be available soon for the Nokia N900 smartphone, which will be able to boot into either the MeeGo or Maemo flavors of Linux. Meanwhile, Aava Mobile, which is porting MeeGo to its Intel Atom N6xx based Aava Mobile smartphone reference design, joined MeeGo’s overseer, the Linux Foundation.

        • Nokia Prepares to Give Developers a Look at High-End System

          As previously reported, Nokia has high hopes for the MeeGo operating system, which merges Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo Linux-based operating systems, to lead its next-generation mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.

          [...]

          In the blog post, titled “MeeGo calling – on N900,” Mr. Hakulinen said that after months of work the team is in its last phase of development for MeeGo version 1.1, which will give smartphone application developers something tangible to work with. Mr. Hakulinen also said they’re close on an update that will allow users to run both the current N900 operating system, Maemo, and MeeGo on the device.

      • Android

        • LEGO Launches Robot-Controlling Android App

          Semi-autonomous robots are already available in a number of forms: the most notable being iRobot’s Roomba and Scooba line of single-purpose devices. And the new MINDdroid app isn’t going to replace such commercially available robots. But for now, my son and I can look into using a smartphone to remotely control the robot arm we built a few months back.

        • Opera Mobile for Android Coming Soon
        • HTC Releases Source For T-Mobile G2

          Is it that time already? Like clockwork, HTC has released the source code for the G2 – only this time, it doesn’t appear that they’re being very vocal about it. Instead, a few G2 enthusiasts in the #G2ROOT channel on Freenode have managed to find it while digging through HTC’s site.

        • Google: We’re on Track to Make $1 Billion this Year from Android

          Google held a financial earnings conference call earlier today and threw out some interesting mobile-related stats to prove that their desktop search strategy isn’t the only thing poised to earn them some big bucks. According to Google’s Jonathan Rosenberg, if you take all of last quarter’s earnings and extrapolate the trends over the next year, they could be looking at over $1 billion in revenue. It’s a far cry from the $10 billion goal they’ve set before, but it’s a good first step.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • Java wars: IBM joins OpenJDK as Oracle shuns Apache Harmony

      Prior to acquiring Sun, Oracle was one of several companies that sided with Harmony and called for the test suite to be made available under suitable terms, as stipulated by the JCP policy. Oracle reversed its position, however, after completing its acquisition of Sun. Like Sun, Oracle intends to exercise its control over the test suite licensing in a manner that will drive open source Java adopters towards OpenJDK, the implementation that it controls.

    • Will Oracle and IBM Help Java Move Forward?

      As concerns over Oracle’s allegedly territorial behavior toward Java continue to spread, with its lawsuit aimed at Google regarding parts of the Java code used in the Android mobile OS fueling the wall of worry, Oracle’s agreement to cooperate with IBM on advancing Java is drawing mixed interpretations. Are two of the biggest software titans necessarily going to proceed with the kind of open goals and focus on open standards that Sun Microsystems did?

    • Microsoft Launches FUD VS OpenOffice.org

      Were did all these quotes come from? None other than twelve Microsoft cases studies (You can find a full list/links to these on ArsTechnica). When watching the video you will also notice clever advertising tricks such as a brown colored background whenever they are speaking about OpenOffice and a pleasant blue colored background whenever Microsoft Office is mentioned. This video is nothing other than pure FUD, plain and simple. If Microsoft really does love open source they have a strange way of showing it.

    • http://ostatic.com/blog/will-oracle-and-ibm-help-java-move-forward

      And, this is hardly the first time that Microsoft has shown its poker hand regarding the OpenOffice suite. Jonathan Schwartz, who was Sun Microsystems CEO and had deep involvement in the progress of OpenOffice, started a blog after he left Sun called “What I Couldn’t Say,” which contains very interesting items from his tenure as Sun CEO. In this post from the blog, he notes the details of a meeting that he had with Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates years ago:

      “As we sat down in our Menlo Park conference room, Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, ‘Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.’”

      It’s clearer now, more than ever, that Microsoft takes the OpenOffice suite seriously as competition. Let’s hope Oracle and the OfficeLibre community do right by the suite.

    • Microsoft Starts A FUD Campaign Against OpenOffice.org

      Here is the Microsoft video…

    • Key binding compatibility options

      As I posted on the libreoffice development list, I’m currently working on adding a new option page in the Options dialog, to provide a quick way to switch key bindings between LibreOffice’s default and OpenOffice.org’s for Calc. For the most part, the default key bindings are identical between LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org as far as Calc’s concerned, but there are some differences, which are enough to annoy those users who are accustomed to the old key bindings from OOo Calc.

  • CMS

    • WordPress and Drupal: Convergence?

      Obviously, as a once-upon-a-time core developer for the project, and as someone who continues to work in that community, I am pretty familiar with WordPress. There’s hardly a day that goes by that I’m not hip-deep in WordPress code and news. I’ve watched its evolution over these past 7+ years as it has moved from a simple blogging system towards becoming a more full-featured CMS.

      [...]

      WordPress started with good usability, but a limited architecture and feature set. Drupal started with a strong architecture, but a very developer-centric user experience. But WordPress has been steadily improving its architecture. And Drupal has been working on its UI. They had different origins, and they have taken different paths, but they are both evolving towards CMS Nirvana. And we users get to ride along.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Respects Your Freedom

      Even if consumers have been brain-washed to feel it is OK for manufacturers of hardware and software to restrict their use of IT for commercial advantage, those who are aware should tell them there are alternatives and we should promote alternatives on all levels. Some day the freedom to use a PC free of arbitrary restrictions will be one of the considerations when purchasing PCs and peripherals and the monopoly will be truly broken. That day is coming soon.

Leftovers

  • The latter-day ‘scarlet letter’ of sex work

    In the waning days of the last millennium, I worked as a stripper to pay for university. It requires no courage to admit this now, but had I written it a few years ago, when I taught high school, I would have been fired on the spot. My continued presence in the classroom would’ve set a bad example for the innocent teenagers in my charge, because we can’t let “The Children” think sex-industry workers could ever be decent people or anything.

  • Italy to combat prostitution by cutting trees

    Environmental organisations today expressed outrage over a plan by local authorities in the Abruzzo region of central Italy to combat prostitution with deforestation.

    For decades, local law enforcement and politicians have struggled to police the Bonifica del Tronto road, a haven for the sex trade that runs inland for more than 10 miles from the Adriatic coast alongside the river Tronto. Over the years, cameras have been installed, raids mounted, 24-hour patrols implemented and the mayors of towns near the road have signed bylaws imposing fines on prostitutes’ clients. All to no avail.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Where’s Da Bread?

      If you like cramming Lucky Charms and Wonder Bread into your piehole, you’re probably white. But you’re also probably somebody who should go to this Action Center to End World Hunger deal tonight at 6. Harper’s contributing editor and Vice contributing contributor Fred Kaufman will be there to outline how those dastardly diablos on Wall Street are responsible for starving millions of people and why you may not be able to afford to be such a fat piece of shit for much longer.

      Fred’s cover story for Harper’s June issue, “The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It,” picks apart the relationship between Goldman Sachs and the 2008 food crisis that increased the number of hungry people in the world by a good 250 million. It can be a tough read if you’re not familiar with hedging, selling short, demand shock, perpetually selling long on wheat futures, or any of the weird, made-up bullshit that constitutes finance, but the story should be a wakeup call for those of us who take cheap food for granted, aka probably 99.999999% of us.

    • MERCK SUED: HomeAgain® PET CHIP IMPLICATED IN CANCER

      Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has been served with a lawsuit over claims its HomeAgain® pet microchip induced cancer in a cat. Animal rights attorney Steven Wise seeks “reasonable compensatory damages” for a malignant tumor “likely” induced by a HomeAgain® ID chip implanted in his client’s cat, Bulkin

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change could lead to Arctic conflict, warns senior Nato commander

      One of Nato’s most senior commanders has warned that global warming and a race for resources could lead to conflict in the Arctic.

      The comments, by Admiral James G Stavridis, supreme allied commander for Europe, come as Nato countries convene on Wednesday for groundbreaking talks on environmental security in the Arctic Ocean.

      The discussions, in the format of a “workshop”, with joint Russian leadership, are an attempt to create dialogue with Moscow aimed at averting a second cold war.

    • Brussels plans strict new controls for offshore oil drilling

      The European commission is to reveal plans for tougher controls on offshore oil and gas drilling tomorrow. It would force national governments to abide by rules set in Brussels and extend liability for oil companies in the event of a disaster, The Guardian has learned.

  • Finance

    • French protesters join forces in last-ditch attempt to derail pension reform

      French workers, students and schoolchildren today joined forces in a last-ditch day of strike action and street protests aimed at derailing Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reform.

    • New wave of French strikes raises spectre of May 1968 protests

      The battle between President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French unions over pension reforms enters a crucial phase today with a new wave of strikes and protests across the country.

    • US bankers set for record pay and bonuses for second year

      US bankers are set for record compensation for a second consecutive year, shattering both the illusion of pay-reform and the expectation that bank bonuses would be tempered while the US economy remains weak.

      With third-quarter figures from JP Morgan expected to begin a bumper profit reporting season today, a study of more than three dozen banks, hedge funds, money-management and securities firms estimates they will pay $144bn (£90bn) in salary and benefits this year, a 4% increase on 2009.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • RepubliCorp

      The Cabal of Multinational Corporations is pleased to formally announce RepubliCorpTM, a new combined entity following our complete merger with the Republican Party.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Schneier: invasions of privacy a “byproduction of the IT society”
    • The Coalition and Civil Liberties

      It was surprising and disappointing to watch as the Labour government – which gave us the Freedom of Information Act – became the most authoritarian British regime in modern times. As we at Big Brother Watch pointed out in our manifesto before the election, the arrival of a new government offered an opportunity to undo some of that work – and indeed, both parties in the Coalition pledged before the election to reverse the rise of our surveillance state, and reaffirmed that intention in the Coalition agreement.

    • Guest Post by Yasin Akgun: Facebook’s Privacy Problem

      There are only two reasons that Facebook is allowed to get away with their overzealous demands over your personal information. They can get away with it because people will simply obey and because there are no national or international laws governing who has a right to demand what personal information you hold and who does not hold these privileged rights. Both issues lie with one group of people, the members of the public. We have the power to do something about it, whether or not we choose to exercise this fast diminishing power is another matter.

    • Bolivian newspapers stage protest

      Several Bolivian newspapers protested last week against a proposed law that would allow the government to shut down media outlets it deems guilty of racism. They carried front pages bearing a single slogan: “There is no democracy without freedom of expression.”

    • The Values of Everything

      Progressive causes are failing: here’s how they could be turned around

    • Liu Xiaobo’s wife under house arrest

      The wife of Liu Xiaobo, this year’s winner of the Nobel peace prize has been placed under house arrest as part of a crackdown by the Chinese authorities aimed at stifling celebration following the award.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Council of Europe Agrees That Net neutrality is Key to Freedom of Expression

      On September 29th, 2010, the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe (CoE) adopted a declaration on network neutrality1. The declaration is overall a very good news for the protection of freedom of expression and communication in Europe. It is one more indication that governments are finally realizing the importance of the Internet’s core architectural principles for the future of rights and freedoms in our democracies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda

        Copyright has long been viewed as one of the government’s most difficult policy issues. It attracts passionate views from a wide range of stakeholders, including creators, consumers, businesses, and educators and it is the source of significant political pressure from the United States. The latest chapter in the Canadian copyright saga unfolded in June 2010 as Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage James Moore tabled Bill C-32, copyright reform legislation billed as providing both balance and a much-needed modernization of the law. The introduction marked the culmination of months of public discussion and internal government debate.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

uTouch on Unity


Credit: TinyOgg

10.14.10

Links 14/10/2010: Mozilla’s New CEO, More on IBM Joining OpenJDK

Posted in News Roundup at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Digital Media: Achilles heal or new cash crop?
  • Should Linux focus on the desktop?

    Linux has been far more successful at just about every application for one simple reason. Linux has the flexibility and ability to easily fill, without overflowing, any container it is poured into and it is not surprising either. It is all due to the real focus of Linux which should not be split.

  • CLI

    • The Trouble With GUIs

      “Like everything else in life, it boils down to having the right tool for the right job … and the command line is like that all-purpose screwdriver that we all have,” said Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “It opens paint cans, makes a handy chisel, pry bar and wedge — we grab it, get the job done, and move on.”

    • The Command Line: Nothing to be scared of

      It’s getting close to Halloween but the Command Line shouldn’t be something that you are spooked about. The good old command line has been around for ages. And it’s still around today and as popular as ever. Why? Because it’s extremely powerful, and allows you to get to the root of most operating systems. Sure, the nice GUI-based applications are great and all, but the command line can greatly simplify some tasks.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 139: Alfresco

      Alfresco is a leading open source alternative for enterprise content management (ECM).

      Guests: Luis Sala, Chief Community Officer and John Newton, CTO for alfresco.com.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel To Have Sandybridge 3D In Mesa Done By Q4

        Intel’s Ian Romanick has just written an e-mail message entitled What I’m working on to the Mesa development list. With Intel’s new GLSL compiler being used by Mesa and can be found within the Mesa 7.9 release, Intel’s open-source graphics developers have worked onto working on some other areas of their 3D driver stack.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE’s Plasma To Be Reworked, Use More OpenGL

        While we already know that by the time KDE Software Compilation 4.7 rolls around it may optionally support OpenGL 3.0 within the KWin compositing manager, but with time KDE’s Plasma may begin using more OpenGL too. Aaron Seigo has written a lengthy blog post about what he hopes to achieve with Plasma and its library going a few releases out into the future. This includes a rather extensive rework of Plasma and its drawing, which would include the use of more OpenGL to allow for greater hardware acceleration.

      • OpenCycleMap server changed – don’t forget to update

        As you probably know, you can download a lot of additional Marble maps with the “Get hot new stuff” framework. The reason for this entry is that OpenCycleMap is now using a different server for their map storage. For all users of the OpenCycleMap in Marble it means that they will have to update their map configuration if they want to see updated maps.

      • Fourteen Reasons to be KDE

        In case you’re sleeping under a rock today, KDE is celebrating its 14th birthday.

      • KWatchman – An Idea given Birth

        First of all: Thank you everyone for you comments and suggestions. They really got me on the road and showed my that there indeed is interest enough to do some more serious work. So I sat down and made myself a little planing and even some (small) coding today.

      • Faenza-Cupertino icons available for KDE

        That Faenza icon set. It gets everywhere. Not content with being one of the most popular icon sets of the year Faenza’s success has spawned an enviable army of ‘spins’ and derivatives including a ‘green’ Faenza-Mint version and the following Mac OS X inspired ‘Faenza-Cupertino’ set.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Arch Linux review

        If after reading this, you want to try Arch Linux, it is a great idea, but it might not be as good as you think if you are beginning with Linux, if you are a newbie, start with Linux Mint, Ubuntu, or Fedora.

        Once you know more about Linux, switch to Arch Linux, you will never miss any other distribution. Arch Linux gives you almost the same control you may find in Gentoo, but it is a lot easier to run.

        The more user friendly distributions, make a lot of things for you, but then, maybe that is not what you need. I mean not always the same configuration is good for everybody, you need to tweak your configuration to fit your needs, and your likes.

    • New Releases

      • Parted Magic 5.6 adds System Stability Tester

        The Parted Magic developers have released version 5.6 of their open source, multi-platform partitioning tool. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with as little as 64MB of RAM. File systems supported include NTFS, FAT, ReiserFS, Reiser4 and HFS+. LVM and RAID are also supported.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World Call For Papers Now Open

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the call for papers is now open for the seventh annual Red Hat Summit and JBoss World. These premier open source events will take place May 3-6, 2011 in Boston at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center.

      • Business-critical logistics systems migrated by Jeppesen to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation

        Already a long-time user of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Network Satellite Jeppesen has migrated business-critical systems to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 Might Be Dubbed Malmstrom, Woody

          Rather than coming up with the codename for the next Fedora release deep within Red Hat, the community is leveraged with anyone being allowed to propose a potential name prior to these names being reviewed by Red Hat’s legal department and the voting on the final name then commencing by Fedora contributors. With this open process, there’s also more than a few interesting name proposals with each release. Case in point, Fedora 14 could have been called Fytnargin. With the release of Fedora 14 now being just a month out, name proposals for Fedora 15 have started.

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMepis 8.5 Challenge: Conclusions

        Even though both distributions work with KDE very well, they both have certain issues:
        MEPIS: When opening kmplayer, KDE crashes. I think that it is because of the mess I made with codecs trying to install VLC. Sometimes MEPIS suspends the composition and the effects are therefore disabled temporarily.
        MANDRIVA: The clock sometimes freezes (only in the netbook). This is corrected by enabling the display of seconds in the clock options.

        Concerning performance and ease of use, both distributions can satisfy the needs of users who lack technical computer knowledge or formal Linux training. I feel that SimplyMepis might be a better choice for users who want a simple system and do not really care much for eye candy. In addition, Mepis comes with Java pre-installed, whereas you must install it in Mandriva.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Is Ubuntu 10.10 Worth the Upgrade?

          I’ve been running 10.10 betas and the RC for weeks, and had been running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on a few machines before that. Honestly, it’s hard to see much difference between the two. Plus several points for consistency, but that doesn’t add up to rushing to upgrade at the first opportunity.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Palm Gives WebOS Homebrew Hackers a Little Love

        Up until recently, if you wanted to hack your Palm Pre, you hopped over to the Pre-Central forums for all of your hacking needs, where you could find concise and usually simple explanations from the experts of WebOS Internals and the like. It was all at your own risk, of course, but you were treading a path that someone who knew more than you had already trail blazed (and uploaded screenshots in a how-to form). Well, those days seem to be over–and for the better. Palm has made Rod Whitby’s Preware Homebrew Documentation available for download, and with it they’ve put the knowledge, tools, and know-how of a few years worth of hacking into every WebOS users hands. Now everyone can have thousands of well-made and free applications, patches, themes, and assorted customizations all rolled into one package by a supportive community.

      • Android

        • Motorola to start rolling out Froyo update to European Milestones

          In a post on its Facebook page, Motorola has confirmed that, from next week, it will start user trials of an over-the-air (OTA) upgrade for its European Milestone smartphones that will upgrade the onboard version of Google’s open source Android mobile operating system to version 2.2, code named “Froyo”. The company says that, once the trails are completed, it will go into the approval stage and a roll out to all users is expected by the end of the year.

        • 35 Amazing Android Apps: Inform, Update, Manage

          Have Android app, will travel. In the digital age, managing the steady deluge of information that confronts you every day can be a challenge. But with the right apps, the Android can be a powerful tool to help you stay on top of that deluge.

          There are Android apps to manage your news feeds, gather the weather, find the scores of your favorite sports teams, track your finances and keep up-to-date with your appointments and updates of all kinds.

          To help you find the cream of the crop, here’s a list of 35 of the best Android apps for tracking, managing and updating your information.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Released: Netbook Review

        Its been a little while since my last post and some might be wondering whats been going on in technology here at the PMC, especially since the last post promised insight into some of our production software.

        Well, thats all still coming. We DID get in our new desktop for our Media Center, and I am working on compiling a few videos showing its construction. I’ve also been working on updating and testing the production software to give everyone a better picture of what can be done with our Open Source resources. All that is coming, and you can now receive shorter updates and info through the PMC Tech Blog Twitter and Identi.ca feed (For those of you unaware, Identi.ca is an Open Source microblogging service, similar to twitter). Follow me and get much more frequent updates about things going on here at the PMC and in the Open Source world in general.

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.

  • Zimbra Desktop 2.0 integrates Web 2.0 services

    Open source groupware provider Zimbra has announced the arrival of version 2.0 of its Zimbra Desktop client. The new version of the open source, web-based mail and calendaring solution includes significant performance upgrades and introduces a number of new features.

  • 10 Young Open Source Projects to Watch

    New open source projects launch all the time and there’s so many great ones out there it’s hard to find the diamonds in the rough. Here are 10 promising young FOSS projects to keep an eye on as their development grows. Download or use them in the meantime as they develop, they are awesome!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing Gary, Mozilla’s New CEO

        I’m very happy to introduce Gary Kovacs as our new CEO for the Mozilla Corporation. I think he’s going to be great for Mozilla, and that our broad community will like him and be well served by him.

      • Introducing our new CEO: Gary Kovacs

        Prior to joining Mozilla, Gary held senior leadership roles as Senior VP of Markets, Solutions & Products at Sybase (through its acquisition by SAP earlier this year), as General Manager and VP of Mobile & Devices at Adobe and as VP of Product Marketing at Macromedia (through its acquisition by Adobe).

      • Mozilla foot soldiers unleash ‘Army of Awesome’ on Twitter

        Mozilla has hooked itself up to Twitter and created an “Army of Awesome” for Firefox users needing help with the browser.

        In other words, those surfers with a short attention span can now find out all they need to know via 140-character bursts.

  • Oracle

    • An Unexpected Pleasure

      Today’s announcement that IBM is going to join forces and work with Oracle on OpenJDK is good news for Java, and by extension for Eclipse. All of us who live within the Java ecosystem need to recognize that this fundamentally strengthens the platform, enhances the business value of Java and offers the hope of an increased pace of innovation.

    • IBM and OpenJDK

      IBM and Oracle are going to bring their combined resources together to collaborate in OpenJDK. The natural question arises about what this means for the Apache Harmony project.

    • IBM joining OpenJDK – repeat after me “pragmatic”, “pragmatic”, “pragmatic”
    • IBM to join OpenJDK
    • Good For Java?

      List of the people working on Harmony. Not only is the list apparently out of date, it has such a strong IBM contingent (I wonder how many of those “independents” are actually IBM or Intel contractors) that I am amazed it has escaped Apache Board scrutiny for so long.

    • IBM joins Oracle on OpenJDK

      The basic announcement today was that IBM would join with Oracle to work on the OpenJDK. The reciprocal IBM announcement said the same thing.

    • Microsoft posts video of customers criticizing OpenOffice
    • Oracle and IBM Collaborate to Accelerate Java Innovation Through OpenJDK

      Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and IBM today announced that the companies will collaborate to allow developers and customers to build and innovate based on existing Java investments and the OpenJDK reference implementation. Specifically, the companies will collaborate in the OpenJDK community to develop the leading open source Java environment.

    • Microsoft slags off Open Office

      Apparently it can even affect the grades of students although it did not mention anything about causing kittens to die. The quotes appear to have come from case studies and press articles from the last four years, most of which are hosted on Microsoft.com.

    • Microsoft running scared from OpenOffice.org

      Open-source office suite OpenOffice.org is apparently getting under software giant Microsoft’s skin – so much so, in fact, that it appears to be starting a propaganda campaign to protect its revenue stream.

      Microsoft Office is one of the company’s biggest selling products. It’s near-ubiquitous in the world of business computing, to the point where its file formats have become the norm for sharing content – at the expense of locking out cross-platform, open standards.

    • OOo’s put the willies up Microsoft
    • Oracle Confirms Committment to OpenOffice.org

      As ODF celebrates its fifth anniversary, Oracle said they applaud its efforts and renewed their committment to OpenOffice.org. “Oracle’s growing team of developers, QA engineers, and user experience personnel will continue developing, improving, and supporting OpenOffice.org as open source, building on the 7.5 million lines of code already contributed to the community.” This might be seen in the continuing efforts of developers to release 3.3.x snapshots as well as previews into some of the new features and tools. For example, Ingrid Halama recently posted of some of the new features coming to Chart, (part 1, part 2). Niklas Nebel also shared some improvements in DataPilot.

      This all comes a month after the formation of The Document Foundation and the announcement of LibreOffice. Charles-H. Schulz recently reported that LibreOffice was downloaded 80,000 times its first week and a new user forum quickly followed. A second beta emerged on October 11.

  • CMS

    • Commonwealth Games using Drupal

      Though the games have only one more day to go (they were from October 3rd to October 14th this month), the XIX Commonwealth Games website runs on Drupal, and looks great. This 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in Delhi, and is the largest multi-sport event conducted to date in Delhi and India. Certainly a big win for Drupal!

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Hardware we all want: FSF announces criteria for hardware endorsement program “Respects Your Freedom”

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced today that it has published an initial set of criteria for endorsing computers and other devices. The FSF seeks both to obtain feedback on the criteria, and raise interest in the program among hardware manufacturers. Ultimately, the FSF plans to promote an endorsement mark to be carried on products that meet the criteria: respects your freedom.

      “The desire to own a computer or device and have full control over it, to know that you are not being spied on or tracked, to run any software you wish without asking permission, and to share with friends without worrying about Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)—these are the desires of millions of people who care about the future of technology and our society. Unfortunately, hardware manufacturers have until now relied on close cooperation with proprietary software companies that demanded control over their users. As citizens and their customers, we need to promote our desires for a new class of hardware—hardware that anyone can support because it respects your freedom,” said Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF.

  • Government

    • GOSCON Highlights Benefits of OSS in Public Sector

      With the US mid-term elections coming up, the direction of the US government may be set to maintain its current direction, or change significantly, depending on who wins what election on Nov. 2.

      Whether you think a change (or lack thereof) is a good thing or a bad thing, one direction many governments are trending towards in this economy is the use of open source.

      Faced with budget tightening and cost-control measures that threaten to deplete government services to beyond the bare minimum, local, state, and Federal organizations are taking a very hard look at the cost and performance benefits of open source software–to the point where it’s not a question of if governments will widely adopt open source technologies, but when.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How Crowdsourced Data Can Predict Crisis Impact: Findings from Empirical Study on Haiti

      One of the inherent concerns about crowdsourced crisis information is that the data is not statistically representative and hence “useless” for any serious kind of statistical analysis. But my colleague Christina Corbane and her team at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) have come up with some interesting findings that prove otherwise. They used the reports mapped on the Ushahidi-Haiti platform to show that this crowdsourced data can help predict the spatial distribution of structural damage in Port-au-Prince. The results were presented at this year’s Crisis Mapping Conference (ICCM 2010).

Leftovers

  • Dell settlement approved

    A federal judge on Wednesday approved Dell Inc.’s $100 million settlement with the government of civil fraud charges.

    Approval of the settlement by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon came after company Chairman and CEO Michael Dell assured Leon in a hearing that the computer maker will carry through the reforms it promised.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission had said that Dell improperly used payments from Intel to pump up its profits to meet Wall Street targets over five years.

  • Austin Man Sues Entrepreneur Media, Claims Reverse Domain Hijacking

    An Austin businessman has sued Entrepreneur Media, publisher of Entrepreneur Magazine, after the publication sent a cease and desist to him for registering EntrepreneurOlogy.com.

  • Processor Whispers – About MIPS and MIPS

    When two quarrel, the third rejoices: while ARM and Atom were slinging mud at each other, MIPS could advance unhurriedly. And the abbreviation MIPS – with a different meaning – plays an important role in chip manufacturing, too.

  • Science

    • SpaceShipTwo First Glide Flight Details From The Pilot

      After Sunday’s first glide flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, one of the first thoughts going through the head of test pilot Peter Siebold after coming to a stop on the runway was that it all went by too quickly. He and co-pilot Mike Alsbury had been released from the mother ship, Eve, just 13 minutes earlier at 45,000 feet.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • The FBI is Tracking Whom?

      They’re tracking a college student in Silicon Valley. He’s 20, partially Egyptian, and studying marketing at Mission College. He found the tracking device attached to his car. Near as he could tell, what he did to warrant the FBI’s attention is be the friend of someone who did something to warrant the FBI’s attention.

  • Finance

    • David Faber’s CNBC Program: Goldman Sachs: Power and Peril

      That said, Goldman is potentially everywhere in the financial markets, potentially on any side of a particular risk situation. That’s what being, in effect, as one guest pundit echoed, a publicly-traded hedge fund means. Which is what Goldman Sachs currently is.

      Again, this is hardly news. Entertainment, when packaged sensationally in an hour-long format? Probably for the less-informed viewers.

      But certainly not news. Not really fair….and incredibly biased.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Public to vote for ‘worst EU lobbyists’

      The ‘Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2010′, organised by Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory, LobbyControl and Spinwatch, seek to “clean up the lobbying scene in Brussels, discourage controversial lobbying practices by publicly exposing the worst offenders, and discredit the big business lobby among EU decision-making circles”.

      This year’s nominees were chosen for their attempts to influence EU financial regulation and climate change legislation, because “these two categories best show how EU policymaking has been captured by the corporate world,” according to Paul de Clerck of Friends of the Earth Europe, who launched the awards at a ceremony in Brussels yesterday.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Red Bull Won’t Be Skydiving From Space

      Red Bull has pulled the plug on its plan to have daredevil Felix Baumgartner skydive from the edge of space, because it is being sued by a California promoter who says Red Bull stole his idea.

    • Canon blocks copy jobs by keyword

      Canon has demonstrated Uniflow 5, the latest version of its document management system that can prevent users from printing or copying documents containing specific words.

      Uniflow allows printers, scanners, copiers and multifunction devices to be managed centrally.

    • A community-building perspective on the Gap logo controversy
    • What Monsanto’s fall from grace reveals about the GMO seed industry

      According to The Times’ Pollack, Monsanto’s troubles are two-fold: 1) the patent on Roundup, Monsanto’s market-dominating herbicide, has run out, exposing the company to competition from cheap Chinese imports; and 2) its target audience — large-scale commodity farmers in the south and Midwest — are turning against its core offerings in genetically modified corn, soy, and cotton seed traits.

      I agree with Pollack’s diagnosis, but I want to add a third and even more fundamental problem to the mix: Monsanto’s once-celebrated product pipeline is looking empty. As I’ll show below, its current whiz-bang seeds offer just tarted-up versions of the same old traits it has been peddling for more than a decade: herbicide tolerance and pest resistance. Meanwhile, judging from the company’s recent report on its latest quarterly earnings, the “blockbuster” traits it has been promising for years — drought resistance and nitrogen-use efficiency — don’t seem to be coming along very well.

    • Copyrights

      • Lawyer: BREIN Anti-Piracy Spy Uploaded Pirated Movie To Usenet

        In the legal battle between Usenet community FTD and Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, some controversial allegations have been made. There are claims that not only did BREIN have as many as 15 undercover investigators working at FTD masquerading as regular users, but one of them – allegedly a direct BREIN employee – actually uploaded a ‘pirate’ movie to Usenet and posted its whereabouts on the site.

      • Pirate radio: a revolt that just won’t die (even with $30,000 fines)

        Until a few days ago, Datz Hitz was broadcasting gospel and Caribbean music to Boston neighborhoods Mattapan and Dorchester—plus news and live discussion about local cultural and neighborhood events. Its 99.7 FM signal had a range of a few city blocks—maybe a mile on good days. One of the staffers, with whom we briefly spoke, described the operation as a community radio station.

      • Inflatable Giant Gorilla Attacks Google (for Copyright Infringement)–Scherba v. Google

        Scherba makes giant inflatable gorillas. See an example. A little improbably, it has a copyright registration for a 3D sculptural work called “Gorilla Inflatable”–the work being its inflatable product blown up.

        [...]

        So Scherba sued Google for copyright infringement for showing the picture of an inflated gorilla in its ad copy. All morning, I’ve been scratching my head trying to puzzle through the issues.

      • Details In Mulve Arrest Highlight How Weak The Case Is

        Last week, in talking about how one of the guys behind Mulve was arrested by UK police, we noted the similarities to the arrest a few years ago of OiNK administrator Alan Ellis on “conspiracy to defraud” charges that were eventually thrown out as Ellis didn’t actually break the law.

        TorrentFreak now has the details of the Mulve arrest, where police are using the exact same charges, even with a failure to get those charges to stick against Ellis. And, the article details why such charges are even weaker against the Mulve guy they arrested. First of all, he had nothing to do with the software itself, but merely registered the domain and created the video highlighting how to use the software. But, much more interesting are the details behind Mulve. It’s not even a search engine by itself. It’s simply an interface for an existing search engine on a Russian social network, which anyone could sign up for and get access to already. In other words, going after Mulve totally misses the point, and it’s difficult to see how Mulve itself actually violates UK law.

      • French Subsidy For Music Downloads Gets EU Nod

        France’s strategy to combat illegal music downloads by contributing to the amount young people pay for them won European Union approval and praise for promoting cultural diversity.

        Under the scheme, French residents who purchase a card – the Carte musique – to download music from subscription-based website platforms, will only pay half the cost of a €50 ($70) credit included in the card, with the French government paying the rest.

      • Creative Commons launches Public Domain Mark; Europeana and Cultural Heritage Institutions lead early adoption

        Today, Creative Commons announces the release of the Public Domain Mark, a tool that enables works free of known copyright restrictions to be labeled in a way that clearly communicates that status to the public, and allows the works to be easily discovered over the Internet. The Public Domain Mark effectively increases the value of the public domain by making works that are already free of copyright readily accessible to the public. The Mark makes it clear to teachers and students, artists and scientists, that they are free to re-use material. Its release benefits everyone who wishes to build upon the rich and vast resources that are part of the shared public domain.

      • ACTA

        • “Final” Version of ACTA Must be Rejected as a Whole

          ACTA AS A BULLYING WEAPON FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES

          By putting legal and monetary pressure on Internet service providers (in a most subtler way than in previous versions of the text), ACTA will give the music and movie industries a weapon to force them to police their networks and users themselves. Such a private police and justice of the Net is incompatible with democratic imperatives and represent a real threat for fundamental freedoms.

Clip of the Day

It’s not easy being Green (in South Carolina)


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 14/10/2010: LSE GNU/Linux On Line, Linux Tablets Domination Expected

Posted in News Roundup at 1:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Top 5 Mistakes Made by Linux First-Timers

      1. Expecting Windows

      Humans are creatures of habit, so after years of using Windows–or Mac, if that’s the case–it’s hard not to expect what you’re used to every time you use a computer.

      Ubuntu and recent Linux distributions have incorporated many user-friendliness features from their Windows and Mac competitors in recent years, so there is actually going to be quite a bit of similarity these days–much more than there used to be. When it comes right down to it, though, even consumer-ready Maverick Meerkat isn’t Windows, and you shouldn’t expect it to be.

      This is not–I repeat, NOT–to say that things are harder. Linux is not more difficult to use, especially if you’re on a modern distro like Ubuntu. It is, however, different. It might take you a little bit of time to get used to its slightly different way of doing things. Don’t let that put you off–a small learning curve will gain you a lifetime of advantages.

  • Server

    • Faulty Reasoning

      Many banks use UNIX or GNU/Linux for servers because they want performance and reliability. Why do these guys settle for less? I would guess they have been working on false assumptions for a while to get so locked-in.

    • LSE Switchover to GNU/Linux Imminent

      Talk about price/performance. The software they will be using cost so little, the LSE bought the company and will be selling the product. They expect to get 8 transactions to the millisecond.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Notebook Hybrid Graphics On Linux Still Sucks

        For those of you that have been wondering about the state of hybrid graphics support for notebooks running Linux, sadly the situation has yet to improve, which still puts it in shambles.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Marble: configurable routing profiles

        The thing that needs improvement is bicycle routing. I mean in general it works, but when using it in practice it matters a lot (a) what bike you use and (b) what kind of driver you are. So it’s nonsense to have a single bicycle routing profile. I want:

        * MTB offroad
        * MTB shortest route
        * racing using the shortest route (traffic doesn’t matter)
        * racing using the “nicest” route (cycleways, not too much traffic)
        * family (cycleways only if possible)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • On GNOME Shell

        So I started using the GNOME Desktop last millennium, and over the last more than a decade have overall been quite impressed with the level of polish. It made a nice change in some ways from Enlightenment, and CDE, which were my previous desktop environments, and I coul live with the RAM footprint (after all, enlightenment is using 1.3GB of RAM now).

        The last few years in particular have seen a growing trend to be more (but not quite) Mac-like, with lots of advanced features being buried over time, and over-simplification (for example, with sound controls). These are minor frustrations, but they can typically be worked around without much hassle and the experience remains overall quite good on GNOME 2.0. Things that used to be a hassle – like notifications, events, etc. and lot of plumbing have been worked out nicely by now. I love the work David Zeuthen and co. have done in particular, but many others have done good things.

        [...]

        For now, my advice is to run “desktop-effects” and switch back to regular panels…

      • GNOME Commit-Digest: Issue 105

        This week… 1988 commits, in 187 projects, by 228 happy hackers (and 349 were translation commits).

  • Distributions

    • Cloudera Announces Major Update to Cloudera’s Distribution for Hadoop Beta 3

      Cloudera, a leading provider of Hadoop-based data management software and services, today announced its final major update to Cloudera’s Distribution for Hadoop version 3 beta release. Cloudera’s Distribution for Hadoop (CDH) is the most comprehensive Hadoop-based data management platform available, comprised of an integrated set of the eleven leading Hadoop projects, all available under an Apache license.

    • Cloudera and NTT DATA Partner to Accelerate Hadoop Adoption in APAC Region
    • Why Major Non-Ubuntu Distributions Need to Step up their Game

      Listening to a review of the new Ubuntu release I could not help but notice the amount of hype Shuttleworth’s little distribution can generate. Can you feel it? The buzz is orders of magnitude greater than with any new major distro release. I’ve criticized Ubuntu in the past, but there is no denying that Ubuntu is a milestone in desktop Linux and has done a great deal of good by making Linux adoption easier for the masses.

      I decided to once again examine the Distrowatch distribution rankings. While these are just a very rough estimates based on site analytics, they give us a relatively good picture of the current state in GNU/Linux land. In this article I would like to highlight a few distributions that have, to put it bluntly, left me completely confused as to where the projects are heading.

    • Debian Family

      • About ZFS in Squeeze

        The bad news is that you won’t be able to use ZFS as your root filesystem in Debian Squeeze with the official installer. The blocker is missing support in GNU Parted. Unfortunately the patch I sent in August wasn’t integrated in time for the freeze (and still isn’t, but there’s no hurry now, it’ll hopefully be there for Wheezy).

      • The Bizarre Cathedral – 84
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 10 Slick Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Wallpapers

          Ubuntu 10.10 final is released and we already had a massive post describing the different customizations possible with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Now it’s time for some wallpapers. Here is a quick collection of wallpapers for Ubuntu 10.10, mostly branded ones.

        • Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat 10.10 Review

          By far the most popular Linux distribution ever, Ubuntu has been the forerunner in terms of development and use aimed at new linux users coming from Windows or Mac. This is “the” distro when new Linux users want to experiment and eventually migrate from Windows to the free alternative; Linux.

        • Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 Mockup Looks Impressive, Work On The New UI Already Started

          Ubuntu Tweak is every newbie Ubuntu user’s closest companion and we have already seen how Ubuntu Tweak is slowly evolving into one among the must have installation candidates for Ubuntu in our Ubuntu Tweak review. And with the new mockup UI, the next phase of development for Ubuntu Tweak has only started.

        • Askubuntu.com- Get help with your Ubuntu Problems

          Askubuntu.com- Get help with your Ubuntu Problems

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Kubuntu and package managers

            KPK arrives in Kubuntu 10.10 dressed for success. With an application-centric interface, new features, tools, and improvements, we finally have a default package manager to be proud of. I sure am floored by it.

          • Kubuntu 10.10

            Summary: Kubuntu 10.10 sets a new standard for this distro; it’s almost (but not quite) as polished as Ubuntu itself.

            Rating: 4/5

  • Devices/Embedded

    • SODIMM-sized module uses Freescale’s i.MX28

      Direct Insight announced a SODIMM-sized computer-on-module (COM) based on Freescale’s ARM9-based i.MX28 system-on-chip. The 455MHz, 2.7 x 1.0-inch Triton-TX28 module offers extensive I/O, including Ethernet and USB 2.0 On-The-Go and host, plus an available “StarterKit-5″ baseboard with a Linux board support package, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Palm Pre 2: HP’s first WebOS smartphone?

        French carrier SFR briefly advertised a “Palm Pre 2″ on its website, raising speculation that the Pre 2 is the WebOS-running device HP has slated for early 2011. The Palm Pre 2 has a faster 1GHz processor, improved battery life, faster boot time, and a WebOS 2.0 release that offers push integration, according to the advertisement.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Is Starting To Be Usable On The Nokia N900

          The Nokia N900 mobile-phone was released nearly one year ago with the Linux-based Maemo 5 operating system, but earlier this year is when Nokia and Intel decided to combine their Linux-based Maemo and Moblin operating systems, respectively, to form MeeGo. The MeeGo Linux distribution is now running well on Intel Atom netbooks and other devices and there is is even MeeGo IVI for your car and a MeeGo handset preview. However, support for the N900 within MeeGo hasn’t been up to speed compared to the level of Maemo support or that of other devices playing well with MeeGo. The support though is slowly but surely catching up for the Nokia N900.

        • Nokia introduces the Qt roadmap

          Better modularisation is also on the agenda. For example, as the QtWebkit component for rendering HTML is seeing rapid enhancement, the developers want to be able to easily update that component without updating the entire framework. Another focus of the development work is the full integration of gestures and tactile feedback into the Qt framework.

      • 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.

        • Sony Announces World’s First Google TV

          Sony just made the first actual Google TV official with their new 46-inch GT1 Sony Internet TV. Billed as the first television with the ability to enjoy apps, watch HDTV, and browse the internet on one device, it runs $1,399 and comes with an RF QWERTY keypad remote with integrated optical mouse.

        • Sony offers Google TV on four HDTVs, one Blu-Ray player

          Sony unveiled four Sony Internet TVs and an Internet TV Blu-Ray Disc Player, all running Android-based Google TV software. Employing an Intel Atom-based CE4100 SoC, the new Internet TV devices range from 24-inch to 46-inch HDTVs, ship with a QWERTY-enabled remote, and offer Wi-Fi, HDMI, and USB connectivity.

        • Android key to HTC, Motorola, and Samsung success, says iSuppli

          Android is behind the second-quarter successes of HTC, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, reports iSuppli. Meanwhile, global smartphone sales during the quarter reached 60.4 million units, up from 55.8 million units during the first quarter, representing a growth of 8.2 percent, says the research firm.

        • The Android opportunity is an open source challenge
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Acer netbook happily dual-boots Android and Windows 7

        Acer announced a dual-boot Windows 7/Android netbook, featuring Intel’s dual-core Atom D550 or single-core Atom N450 processors. The Acer Aspire One Happy offers a 10.1-inch, WSVGA display, up to 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard disk drive (HDD), plus 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, Ethernet, three USB ports, and eight hours of battery life, says the company.

    • Tablets

      • Gene Munster: Android-Based Tablets Will Be More Popular Than Apple’s iPad

        I think it will play very much like the iPhone played out. I think for the first year or so, it’s going to be advantage, Apple. But I think that as more of the Android tables come out and get optimized, you’re going to see some very stiff competition.

        As a category, the tablet is undeniably going to be the winning category in mobile computing in the next decade, but as far as the market share win, ultimately we think that Apple won’t have the majority of the market share. It will probably be with Android-based tablets.

        [...]

        Microsoft is coming from a standing start. Unfortunately, for Microsoft, they’ve got a lot of work to do if they want to be relevant.

      • Android tablets will surpass Apple’s iPad, analyst projects

        Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has projected that Android is likely to surpass Apple in a fast-growing tablet market that he says is “fundamentally shaking” the PC industry. The battle between Android tablets and Apple’s iPad will be close, said Munster on BusinessInsider, with the iPad coming up big in a place where you’d least expect it — the enterprise.

      • Android Tablets – a developer’s view

        While Android 3.0 will bring a lot of nifty improvements, for users as well as developers, tablets running earlier versions of the operating system will be perfectly capable devices in their own right. And when we do get 3.0, we’ll be lusting after 3.1 and 4.0 instead – and the circle begins anew…

      • ZTE joins tablet PC bandwagon with Android offering

        ZTE Corp, China’s No.2 telecommunications equipment maker, on Tuesday launched its first tablet PC, the latest entrant to a market that has received a new lease on life with Apple Inc’s iPad launch.

      • Chinese handset giant spins Android tablet

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Inertia, a force to be reckoned with.

    You may have noticed the percentage figure I used before when I said that the computing world is more than ninety percent run on inertia. I chose that figure for a particular reason. Not only is a certain software platform installed on more than ninety percent of computers it is also a fact that more than ninety percent of the users of this platform use it purely because it comes preloaded and not because they choose to use it. They have no real understanding of this operating system and to them a computer is no different to a television or toaster. Much to the delight of spam, virus and botnet maintainers.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Jack Black, America Ferrera Take on “Liars for Hire” in New HCAN Video

      Health insurance industry front groups and their allies are flooding the airwaves with political ads presenting false information about health reform and its supporters, so Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is using laughter to fight back. HCAN, the coalition that led the successful fight for health reform, collaborated with celebrated actors Jack Black and America Ferrera to create a hilarious video lampooning corporate liars for hire—front groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads and 60 Plus Association. These kinds of groups are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on political propaganda to mislead voters in advance of the November election. On the most important questions facing the country’s future—the economy, energy, financial reform and health care—the anti-progressive myth-making machine is going at full tilt, fueled by mountains of campaign cash from unidentified sources.

    • Jack Black Takes on Liars for Hire

      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the health insurance industry and a slew of new front groups that refuse to reveal their funding sources (like the 60 Plus Association and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads), have been pouring millions of dollars into advertising campaigns that present false information about health reform, financial reform and the economy.

    • How to brand a disease — and sell a cure

      If you want to understand the way prescription drugs are marketed today, have a look at the 1928 book, “Propaganda,” by Edward Bernays, the father of public relations in America.

      For Bernays, the public relations business was less about selling things than about creating the conditions for things to sell themselves. When Bernays was working as a salesman for Mozart pianos, for example, he did not simply place advertisements for pianos in newspapers. That would have been too obvious.

      Instead, Bernays persuaded reporters to write about a new trend: Sophisticated people were putting aside a special room in the home for playing music. Once a person had a music room, Bernays believed, he would naturally think of buying a piano. As Bernays wrote, “It will come to him as his own idea.”

      Just as Bernays sold pianos by selling the music room, pharmaceutical marketers now sell drugs by selling the diseases that they treat. The buzzword is “disease branding.”

      To brand a disease is to shape its public perception in order to make it more palatable to potential patients. Panic disorder, reflux disease, erectile dysfunction, restless legs syndrome, bipolar disorder, overactive bladder, ADHD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, even clinical depression: All these conditions were once regarded as rare until a marketing campaign transformed the brand.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Judge Allows Trial of CFAA Claim Against Wiseguys

      While noting that it took seriously the concerns raised by EFF and others in an amicus brief, a federal judge in New Jersey in the case of U.S. v. Lowson yesterday decided to delay a decision on the thorny question of whether the government can use the Ticketmaster website’s terms of use to smack ticket resellers with criminal charges. The Court allowed a federal indictment under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of online ticket vendors to go to trial in order to develop a more complete factual record.

    • Mohammad Reza Shajarian: Protest Through Poetry
    • Opinions Vary Over Billboard

      A new billboard on I-70B between Grand Junction and Clifton is creating quite a stir.

      It is a political cartoon of President Barack Obama. The billboard is being paid for by a local man who wants to remain anonymous. But, the artist he hired met with KJCT News 8 to talk about his work.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • New Democrats lead way on net neutrality

      A new report by the SaveOurNet coalition gives the New Democrats top marks for its political leadership on net neutrality. The coalition – comprised of citizens, businesses, and public interest groups – advocates for clear rules on Net Neutrality and the protection of the Internet’s level playing field.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What is Piracy, Really?

      Piracy is stealing, piracy is a crime, piracy is (fill in the blank). We’ve all heard what piracy is as per RIAA, MPAA among others. But what really is piracy from a consumer point of view?

    • Copyrights

      • Locking Out Lawful Users

        Michael Geist’s edited collection of essays on copyright reform is being released on October 14th, and you are welcome to attend its launch. This exciting and timely publication, entitled ‘From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda’, contains twenty chapters written by copyright scholars from across Canada. It is to Geist’s credit that he was able to pull this book together on a tight timeline over the summer so that the views expressed therein can have a bearing on the reform process as it continues to unfold. Of course, the speed of this process also reflects a keen sense amongst Canadian copyright scholars that something important needs to be said (and heard) sooner rather than later.

        I was honoured to be included as a contributor, and to have this opportunity to add my voice to the chorus of voices expressing concern about latest copyright reform bill, Bill C-32 (the Copyright Modernization Act. My contribution, ‘Locking Out Lawful Users’, explores the proposed fair dealing and other user exceptions, both in their own right and in relation to the proposed anti-circumvention provisions.

      • Launch: From “Radical Extremism” to” Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda

        This book responds to the need for non-partisan, informed analysis of Bill C-32. An exceptional group of Canadian scholars from coast-to-coast have come together to assess Canada’s plans for copyright reform and the digital agenda in this timely volume that features context for the reforms, analysis of its impact on technology, business, education, and creators, as well as a look ahead to future copyright and digital issues.

      • Why the CBC banned Creative Commons music from its shows

        Not a lot of happy Canadians over on the comments page for CBC Radio’s program Spark. The producers for the radio show, blog, and podcast on technology issues have disclosed that the program won’t be using Creative Commons licensed materials any more.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

I Love xkcd


Credit: TinyOgg

10.13.10

Links 13/10/2010: Australian Taxation Office Accepts Desktop GNU/Linux, Linux Foundation-Funded Survey Debated

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Free Linux discs for schools and LUGs!

    Here at Linux Format HQ we’ve got oodles of spare discs from previous issues of the magazine. Instead of sending them all to the recyclers, we’d love to get them in the hands of prospective Linux users. So, if you work in education, run a Linux User Group or have any other opportunity to spread the word of free software, email Mike DOT Saunders AT futurenet DOT com with your address and we’ll put a collection in the post.

  • Good-bye Windows, Enterprise Linux is Taking Off

    The Linux Foundation says Linux is poised for significant growth in the enterprise, some of it at the expense of Windows servers. 76.4% of companies surveyed are planning to add more Linux servers in the next twelve months. 41.2% are increasing their Windows servers, while 43.6% will decrease or stay the same. Over the next five years 79.4% of businesses surveyed plan to add more Linux servers compared to other operating systems, while only 21.3% plan to add more Windows servers.

  • Windows to Linux defections to outpace Unix shifts in 2011
  • Alcatel-Lucent Adopts Linux, Adds Carrier Features for New Enterprise Switch

    Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) is taking aim at the enterprise with a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switching platform that is the cornerstone of its new Application Fluent Networks strategy.

    The OmniSwitch 10K platform can scale up to 256 10GbE ports, delivering up to 5.12 TBS of total switching capacity. The new switching platform includes technologies from Alcatel-Lucent’s experience with service providers. The OmniSwitch 10K is also the first enterprise platform from Alcatel-Lucent to leverage its new Linux-based AOS 7 network operating system.

  • Collaboration Aims to Boost Wireless Network Performance

    Alcatel-Lucent will use Wind River Linux, optimized for the Freescale QorIQ P4080 multi-core processor, to develop and support the common platform.

  • Linux Gaining Share at Windows’ Expense

    The Linux Foundation conducted a survey of nearly 2,000 enterprise users and found that 76.4 percent of respondents are set to add Linux servers in the next 12 months. In contrast, only 41.2 percent of respondents indicated that they planned to be adding new Windows servers during that same period. The picture looks even brighter for Linux when looking at the five year view. According to the Linux Foundation’s data, during the next five years 79.4 percent of enterprises will be adding more Linux servers, while only 21.3 percent will be adding new Windows servers.

  • New Linux Foundation survey shows significant gains for enterprise Linux
  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 118

    The following Linux-based operating systems have been announced last week: openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 2, ArchBang 2010.10, Calculate Linux 10.9 and Ubuntu 10.10.

  • OCZ Announces Proprietary SSD Interface; Icy Dock Intros New Storage Bay; QNAP Unveils Linux NVR

    QNAP has announced its VioStor Pro Series of Linux-based Network Video Recorders (NVR). The company claims the VioStor Pro Series is the world’s first Linux-based NVR to offer PC-less quick configuration, IP monitoring of cameras over a network, and HD video playback on a monitor or TV.

  • Linux users to get AUSkey access before Christmas

    The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has confirmed Linux users will finally have access to its AUSkey authentication software within two months, following compatibility complaints in May when the service eas launched with for Windows and Mac OS X only.

    The initiative comprises the use of an encrypted software key for the Standard Business Reporting (SBR) scheme launched this year, and seeks to save time dealing with up to 12 state and Federal government agencies for financial reporting and to access services.

  • Work on AUSkey for GNU/Linux proceeding apace

    The SBR is an Australian government initiative designed to reduce the reporting burden for businesses.

    When one uses the SBR, users can automatically create and securely send selected forms online directly from financial, accounting or payroll software.

  • Enterprise GNU/Linux Users a Happy Bunch

    The picture that emerges is very consistent: people using GNU/Linux are happy with it, and intend installing more of it, for more mission-critical tasks. Interestingly, they are even beginning to swap out Windows systems as well as the old Unix boxes. An important shift is that GNU/Linux is now sufficiently mature and familiar in this context to be seen as “more strategic” to the organisation in the CIO/management’s eyes. The main driver for adoption among correspondents is Features/technical superiority, ahead of TCO and security.

  • Server

    • SGI’s old-school supercomputer now revved up

      SGI is a venerable name in high-performance computing, but the company was buffeted by the arrival of mainstream technology that could match its highly specialized equipment. Its MIPS processor and Irix version of Unix gradually lost out to Intel and AMD processors and to the Linux operating system. In 2009 hardware upstart Rackable bought SGI and adopted its name and stock ticker.

    • London Stock Exchange completes first live Linux test

      The London Stock Exchange has completed the first “dress rehearsal”, a test with its customers online, of a new Linux-based system due to replace Microsoft-centric architecture.

  • IBM

    • RDP 8.0 Brings Linux Client, New Java Tools to IBM i Developers

      The capability to run the Rational Developer for Power Systems Software (RDP) development environment on Linux-based PCs is one of the big new features that IBM has included with RDP version 8, which was unveiled last week and ships later this month. Also, a new “Power Tools” feature should make it easier to combine Java, RPG, and COBOL development on the IBM i platform.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • 2010 Linux Graphics Survey Results

        Last month we carried out our fourth annual Linux Graphics Survey in which we sought feedback from the Linux community about the most common graphics drivers and hardware in use, what display/GPU-related features desktop users are most interested in, and collect other metrics to aide developers. Here are the results from this year’s survey.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • plasma in 18-24 months?

        First, I’d like to note that none of this would be possible without the fantastic work going on at Nokia’s Qt development offices. They are tackling hard and interesting problems with gusto and producing some very nice results in the process. QtComponents is being developed very much in the open right from the start: an open mailing list for all dev discussion, a public git repo that even contains experiments and early code sketches, a set of use cases and open tasks in Jira. Outreach to community members such as myself, which allowed me to join their design sessions last week, is just one more piece of this. This open from end-to-end, right from the beginning development model is part of the “new Qt” ecosystem that is the culmination of years of consistent effort on the part of many individuals involved with Qt. It’s paying off now, and I hope that all new Qt components undertake a similar, or even the exact same, type of approach.

      • KDE Marble at INTERGEO

        In the Free Software ecosystem, nearly everybody has heard about KDE. People associate us with a great desktop environment and some interesting applications. On other desktops there may be installations of KDE software, but those people may not know a single KDE application. This is why Torsten Rahn and Bastian Holst went to INTERGEO this year to present Marble.

      • activities as homonyms

        In GNOME Shell an “activity” is a virtual desktop, the same thing we’ve all come to know and love since X got support for them in 1989 based on work done earlier at Xerox PARC. Virtual desktops rock, and GNOME Shell has added an enforced overview (with +/- buttons to easily add and remove virtual desktops, something also in KWin these days) along with an integrated application and document launcher sidebar to the idea. They call this “activities” in an attempt to make the abstract and geekish “virtual desktops” more approachable to people. It is not, however, what most humans would call an activity in every day conversation. It’s just a more recognizable name for an old concept that they gave some polish.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ASUS RT-N16 the Perfect Linux Router

      This is going to be a little different from my normal fair as this is going to be a brief overview of a great little router I recently learned about (and purchased). In the future I may do additional guides on it, but for now I’m just going to give it a good overview in-case anyone is in the market and might have use for it.

      Before we get into it though, the topic of focus, the ASUS RT-N16, is a Gigabit and Wireless-N compatible router that uses a Linux kernel based firmware (essentially, the operating system) by default. The default firmware (or, operating system) on the router can be replaced with a different operating system (OS) such as TomatoUSB.

    • Multimedia GUI Development Software supports Linux.

      Timesys Corporation (http://www.timesys.com), provider of award-winning embedded Linux solutions and expert Linux support, today announced the addition of a new solution, LinuxLink for Rich Multimedia User Interfaces (Rich MUI). The new solution allows developers to easily build multi-media UI-based devices and reduces platform and application development startup time from months to days.

    • PogoPlug outs Pro version with integrated Wi-Fi

      The Linux-powered box can stream content to a PS3 or Xbox 360 as well as other devices while still connecting external hard drives to the Internet.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla launches Army of Awesome community support programme

        Mozilla has announced the launch of a new community care programme to help Firefox users get answers to their everyday questions about the cross-platform, open source browser. In a post on the Mozilla Blog, Mozilla Community Builder William Reynolds says that, “Every day, thousands of people tweet their Firefox questions”, and that the developers, “wanted to set up a lightweight way for them to get answers right away from fellow Firefox users”.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle and IBM to collaborate on OpenJDK

      In a move which analysts say demonstrates continual commitment to Java, both vendors announce new initiative to drive the open source platform including Open Java Development Kit and Java Community Process.

    • Java Trap, 2010 Edition

      As a member of the Apache Software Foundation, my views on open source tend to gravitate towards more liberal licenses, like the Apache License (v2.0), BSD, or MIT licenses. I strongly believe in enabling companies to take open source software and do whatever they wish to do with it, placing as little restrictions as feasible under current laws. I believe that better communities for software development are enabled by these liberal licensing situations. Rather than creating a single power with significantly more rights, as seen in the “open core” movement, liberal open source development encourages real, dedicated and sustainable contributions, made by companies with business models other than selling support and ‘enterprise features’.

    • Red Hat hails IBM’s move to Oracle OpenJDK

      Little added that IBM’s commitment to open source development for OpenJDK is consistent with Red Hat’s philosophy and they are happy to support it. Considering that Red Hat has already been at the OpenJDK table for three years, Little’s comments don’t surprise me.

    • Oracle and IBM join together on OpenJDK

      Oracle and IBM announced on Oct. 11 that the companies will collaborate on the OpenJDK reference implementation. OpenJDK is an open-source implementation (most of it under the GPLv2) of Java Standard Edition (SE) 6.

      In a press conference, IBM and Oracle officials said that the collaboration will center on the OpenJDK project and its related Java Development Kit (JDK) and the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). At the same time though, the Java Community Process (JCP) will continue to be the primary standards body for Java specification work and both companies will work to continue to enhance the JCP.

    • Can Openoffice.org rival Microsoft with Libre Office?

      Open source enthusiasts have claimed independence for the free office software Openoffice.org, from Oracle’s Sun Microsystems after 10 years.

      “The community has been discussing this opportunity for years, but Sun and Oracle have not been in the listening mood. It is time to move and become independent, in order to express the entire potential of the project and the community,” says Italo Vignoli, member of Libre Office volunteer group, The Document Foundation.

    • OpenOffice.org 10th Anniversary: 8 Years in Retrospective

      OpenOffice.org went live just ten years ago, on the 13rd of October 2000.Having been a community member for over 8 years, it is a good chance to recap what I have done until now.

    • Oracle Pledges Support for OpenOffice.org

      Oracle sought to dispel any doubts about its commitment to OpenOffice.org on Wednesday, announcing its participation in the ODF Plugfest event in Brussels this week and talking up future development plans for the open source productivity suite.

    • New Chart features in OpenOffice.org 3.3 Beta (part 2)
    • New: OOo-DEV 3.3.x Developer Snapshot (build OOO330m10) available
    • A Brief History Of OpenOffice.org
  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSFE’s opening statement at WIPO SCP/15

      The agenda includes several items of great interest to the Free Software Foundation Europe, and the Free Software or open source community at large. Free Software relies on licenses to give users the freedom to use, study, share and improve a program. These licences in turn rely on copyright. Free Software is, however, fundamentally incompatible with patents on software.

      Free Software underpins an economy the worth of which is approaching 50bn. It has come to be widely used not only in general purpose computers, but even more so in embedded devices such as cars, televisions and elevators.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • How Bristol made a fudge from open source

      Or imagine Microsoft as Ford and that Bristol is seeing the birth of Toyota. The problem is the only work Bristol City Council will have for local open source developers is in support of the Microsoft software they have been forced to buy because proprietary Microsoft standards are as sure a drain on progress as any protectionist trade agreement foisted by European colonial powers on hapless African chieftains.

      That’s not any reason to hate Microsoft, as they say. Not any more than a teenager might hate an overbearing parent.

      It’s all part of growing up. And the turn of generations. Something has to give. Because from Bristol’s perspective, “the only realistic alternatives are revolution or continued dependency”, to quote the development sociologist Ian Roxborough.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The 10 Most Popular DIY Wiki Projects

      In a 2005 interview with the BBC, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee referred to the rise of wikis, or “editable Web spaces,” as meeting his original vision for a readable and writable communications medium. The success of such a medium was already apparent, as Wikipedia (only four years old at the time) had already surpassed 750,000 English language articles and today ranks among the highest trafficked websites on the planet.

    • A hole in the wall: How children learn without a teacher

      Sugata Mitra began with a question: “What would happen if I cut a hole in the wall that separates my New Delhi office building from a neighboring slum… and embedded a computer for children to access?”

    • Open Data

      • Mine Safety and the Story of Openness

        The challenge in working for government transparency is that you are always working against its opposite: opacity. What we don’t see is often what’s most harmful to us. When the Upper Big Branch Mine exploded in West Virginia last April and killed 27 miners, we were surprised because most of us had never seen it coming. The sad thing is, many of the experts didn’t see it coming either.

  • Programming

    • 67% of open-source devs code at work

      The Evans Data Open Source Software Development Survey of over 350 developers also found that 16 per cent of those developers spent more than half of their work hours developing those applications.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open standards explained

      Venky Hariharan explains: “The risk is that they will create a mountain of data and one day end up losing it because the person or company that owns that particular format has disappeared or because the royalty fees that are being charged on that formats are extremely high. By using open standards, you can completely avoid all these issues.”

      In the first part of this two-part series on the importance of open standards, Hariharan details what open standards are, why open standards are appropriate for e-government, and why you should care about how your government preserves your data.

Leftovers

  • Was Taken For Granted, Now Forgotten

    Anyway, the System/360 project had a huge mandate from IBM: the design had to include software which would hide the differences among the different System/360 models. (That software became OS/360, from which experience Fred Brooks wrote the inestimable volume The Mythical Man-month.) The system was a success, despite numerous obstacles, and became so popular that today’s powerful System/390 will still run programs built on the original System/360.

    This philosophy on programming by intentions, rather than to the hardware, gave rise to the compact and highly symbolic (hence immensely popular) C programming language, designed by the originators of the portable Unix operating system.

    [...]

    Some may deride such “old school” studies. My response is to remind them that great work comes from great challenges. The sonnet form gave William Shakespeare a framework for the greatest soliloquies in the English language. What would Georges Seurat’s paintings be like without the slow, dot-by-dot technique? The first running version of Unix was on a PDP-11/20, the very first delivered PDP-11 model, very weak by today’s standards.

  • Andrew Marr angers bloggers, describing them as ‘inadequate, pimpled and single’

    British journalist Andrew Marr has angered bloggers by suggesting they are “inadequate, pimpled and single.” Marr, who was formerly the BBC’s political editor, also said that citizen journalism is “spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night”. He made the comments at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, saying: “A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting. They are very angry people.”

  • Not Being Able To Spy On Everyone Online Is A Feature, Not A Bug

    With the recent news coming out that the feds plan to introduce dangerous legislation early next year to mandate backdoors for wiretapping into every form of internet communications, plenty of people have expressed their horror at such a plan. It’s not just the basic questions of due process and privacy, but the massive burdens lumped upon all sorts of companies, combined with the equally worrisome security holes opened up by such demands.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • European Governments unilaterally slash cost of medicines

      ublic health systems in Europe can no longer pay their pharmaceutical bills and have started to do something about it

      What began in Spain and Greece as a response to budget deficits has now become a general trend. Now national drug-pricing authorities across Europe are taking on run-away health spending in the context of severe financial constraints.
      Underway is a new harmonization in the way governments asses the value of medicines.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Darpa Starts Sleuthing Out Disloyal Troops

      The military is scrambling to identify disgruntled or radicalized troops who pose a threat to themselves or their buddies. So the futurists at Darpa are asking for algorithms to find and pre-empt anyone planning the next Fort Hood massacre, WikiLeaks document dump or suicide-in-uniform.

    • Wiretapping the Internet

      Taking a cue from the authoritarian regimes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, American law-enforcement and intelligence agencies are seeking to re-engineer the Internet and other digital communications networks to make them easier to spy on.

      In the week since the plan became public, it has been roundly condemned by civil liberties groups and security experts — and rightly so. While the proposal described in Monday’s New York Times probably won’t do much to hinder sophisticated criminals or terrorists, it does threaten to undermine the security of global communications and stifle technological innovation.

  • Finance

    • Fed leans toward two-step plan to boost economy

      The Federal Reserve is leaning toward taking two steps to boost the economy: Buying more Treasury bonds to drive down loan rates, and signaling an openness to higher prices later to encourage more spending now.

      Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues appeared to be nearing consensus on those ideas at their September 21 meeting, according to minutes of the closed-door deliberations that were released Tuesday.

    • Bank sues government over debit card amendment

      A Minnesota bank filed a lawsuit Tuesday claiming that a law overseeing debit card swipe fees is unconstitutional and requested that it be overturned.

      The legislation, which Congress passed this summer as part of the wide-reaching financial overhaul package, directs the Federal Reserve to study the fees that banks receive from retailers each time a shopper uses a debit card to make sure they are “reasonable and proportional.” But in the first legal challenge to the law, TCF National Bank says that the language does not allow the Fed to consider all the costs of providing and maintaining consumer debit cards. It also argues that the legislation is unfair because it applies only to banks with $10 billion or more in assets.

    • Dodd Backs Warren for Consumer Bureau, but…

      Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and one of the architects of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law, said Tuesday that the White House was likely to nominate a director for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the coming days, but he was doubtful that a nominee would be confirmed before the new Congress takes over in January.

      Mr. Dodd, speaking at New York University Law School’s fourth annual Global Economic Policy Forum, said he would support Elizabeth Warren, above, the Harvard law professor who is setting up the new consumer bureau, if the White House nominates her to be its director. But he reiterated his view that Ms. Warren, a strong consumer advocate, would have trouble being confirmed because of opposition from Republicans and the financial industry.

    • Proposed rules mean losses for creditors

      Federal regulators are proposing rules that would mean shareholders and other creditors of big failed financial firms seized by the government should expect to suffer losses and won’t receive any taxpayer money.

    • Despite freezes, US still racking up foreclosures

      For most Americans at risk of losing their homes, the brutal business of foreclosure goes on.

      Bank of America halted foreclosures across the country to address paperwork problems, but three other banks did so only in 23 states. Other banks holding millions of mortgages have not suspended any foreclosures.

    • Bailout watchdog probes GMAC foreclosure problems

      A government watchdog is investigating government-owned GMAC Mortgage after a company employee admitted to approving thousands of foreclosures without reading the paperwork.

      The special inspector general for the $700 billion financial bailout is looking into the improper foreclosures, which led GMAC Mortgage to halt foreclosures in 23 states, a spokeswoman for the watchdog said.

    • ForeclosureGate and Obama’s Pocket Veto

      Amid a snowballing foreclosure fraud crisis, President Obama today blocked legislation that critics say could have made it more difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosure proceedings against them.

      The bill, titled The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2009, passed the Senate with unanimous consent and with no scrutiny by the DC media. In a maneuver known as a “pocket veto,” President Obama indirectly vetoed the legislation by declining to sign the bill passed by Congress while legislators are on recess.

    • Who Owns My Mortgage Note…Demand To KNow

      This email came to me from SEIU – Service Employees International Union – a union, who for the most part, supports “the people”. I say, “for the most part” because there are times when I do disagree with them but as far as unions go, this is one of the better ones.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • 2 E-Books Cost More Than Amazon Hardcovers

      Readers of e-books may not be able to turn paper pages, lend their copies to friends or file them away on living room bookshelves. But they do have the comfort of knowing that they paid less for them than for hardcovers.

    • DRM promotes e-book piracy, and e-book piracy is on the rise

      Sooner or later, publishers are going to have to decide which they want: DRM and more piracy, and no DRM and less piracy. While I doubt that anything will ever completely eliminate illicit downloads, I think dropping DRM would go a long way toward cutting their numbers—especially if at the same time publishers focused on building communities the way Baen has. Baen books are very rarely seen on pirate sites, in part because the community gives “faces” to the people who it would hurt.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Papers on the Size and Value of EU Public Domain

        I’ve just posted two new papers on the size of and ‘value’ the EU Public Domain. These papers are based on the research done as part of the Public Domain in Europe (EUPD) Research Project (which has now been submitted).

      • Irish music mafiaa lose a court battle

        IRISH CABLE OPERATOR UPC has won a landmark case against the ‘three-strikes’ punishment of Internet filesharers that is being pushed by the entertainment cartels.

        The Irish High Court has ruled against Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony BMG and EMI Records for leaning on UPC to implement the draconian three-strikes system to prosecute filesharers.

      • 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.

      • Lord of the Rings Online doubles revenue since going free-to-play

        Lord of the Rings Online Executive Producer Kate Paiz announced during a panel at GDC Online 2010 today that Turbine has done it again: Lord of the Rings Online has doubled its revenue and created over a million new accounts since going free-to-play early last month. That’s the second MMO Turbine has taken from a paid subscription to a hybrid microtransactions-based business model, with Dungeons and Dragons Online doing the same thing last year (important to note: Paiz was in charge of both transitions, switching to LotRO in July). Paiz told us after the panel that LotRO wasn’t in trouble, but rather that Turbine did the math and decided the switch would work. “We knew there was more out there for us,” she said.

      • Korea Gets Its Own Dancing Baby Copyright Fight; Says Free Expression Trumps Copyright Concern

        If you follow copyright issues online, by now you’ve undoubtedly heard of the famous Lenz case, involving Universal Music issuing a takedown to YouTube on a 29-second home video a mother took of her toddler son dancing to a Prince song. While Universal didn’t protest the counternotice, the EFF sued, pointing out that it should have taken fair use into account.

      • Copyright mark makes it easier to find royalty free works

        NON-PROFIT ORGANISATION Creative Commons (CC) has announced its release of the Public Domain Mark (PDM), a way of distinguishing works that are free of known copyright.

        CC said the PDM will “increase the value of the public domain” by making those works that carry it easier to find over the Internet. It is being pitched to academics and artists to show that they are able to freely re-use the material without fear of triggering takedown notices or risking litigation.

      • Media Copyright Group Sues US Copyright Group Over Trademark Threat

        We had just written about the rise of a bunch of new pre-settlement shakedown shops, who send out massive amounts of lawsuits over claims of file sharing in order to get people to pay up. Just recently, some had noticed that these firms all seem to copy from each other, and now two of the firms may be heading to court over it. Seriously.

      • Democrat fights back against Fox News lawsuit

        EXCLUSIVE: Last month, Fox News filed an unprecedented lawsuit against Democratic senatorial candidate Robin Carnahan, claiming she violated its copyright by using a Fox News clip in a campaign commercial against her challenger.

        Now, Carnahan has struck back, telling a Missouri District Court that Fox News sued before properly registering copyright on the clip.

      • ACTA

        • How ACTA Turns Private, Non-Commercial File Sharing Into ‘Commercial Scale’ Criminal Infringement

          Notice how the ACTA negotiators conveniently left out the exclusion at the end. So for all the talk of how the new ACTA would only focus on “commercial scale” infringement, by subtly changing (mostly via omission) the definition of “commercial scale,” ACTA now covers an awful lot that most people would not, in fact, consider to be “commercial scale.” We’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader whether these omissions were done through incompetence or for other reasons.

        • BSA Falsely Claims ACTA Is A Treaty That Has Already Been Signed By 37 Countries

          Many ACTA supporters get very upset any time anyone refers to ACTA as a “treaty.” That’s because, technically, it’s an “executive agreement.” Of course, in reality, it is a treaty. The only real difference is one requires Congressional approval and the other does not. Even the State Department seems to admit that. Of course, technically speaking, a treaty can carry the weight of law in the US, while an executive agreement, by itself, cannot. And yet, in reality (again), there is little difference, as lobbyists will point to executive agreements, often calling them treaties, insisting that we need to “comply with our international obligations” and get lawmakers to change the law anyway.

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 13/10/2010: Augen Tablet, LibreOffice 3.3.0 Beta 2

Posted in News Roundup at 1:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Oracle

    • Findbar [OOo 3.3]
    • Behind-the-scenes DataPilot improvements in 3.3 Beta

      Everyone who’s interested in DataPilot in Calc has probably already seen the new pop-up window for sorting and item selection.

    • LibreOffice 3.3.0 Beta 2 released

      The second beta of the newly-forked, community-backed OpenOffice competitor LibreOffice has been released.

    • OpenOffice liberated

      One change I loved: LibreOffice finally has an honest-to-goodness Title Case function that enables you to capitalize the start of every word in a highlighted phrase. Long available on MS Word, this useful function has been long absent from OpenOffice.org, probably, I suspect, due to sheer obstinacy on the part of the original project managers. The willingness of the new foundation to change rapidly is both encouraging and exciting. Besides, doesn’t LibreOffice sound so much cooler than OpenOffice.org?

    • Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2.10 Adds Support for Ubuntu 10.10 and Fedora 14

      Oracle’s VM VirtualBox 3.2.10 has been released. The update is a small release focusing on bug-fixing. However, the latest update brings support for a couple of the most popular and the most recent Linux distributions available, Ubuntu 10.10 and Fedora 14.

  • Licensing

    • GPL violation reports in HTC G2 Android phone

      There have been various reports and blog posts about HTC again committing copyright infringement by not fulfilling the GPLv2 license conditions in their latest Android phone, the G2.

      While at this point I haven’t studied the situation enough in order to confirm or deny any actual violations, let me state this: The number of GPL Violation reports/allegations that we receive at gpl-violations.org on HTC by far outnumber the reports that we have ever received about any other case or company.

Leftovers

  • Duke Nukem Forever developer interview

    Just over year ago, it looked as though the world had seen the last of Duke Nukem. The cigar-chomping, gun-totin’ shooter icon who once towered above the FPS genre looked set for the dustbins of history after developer 3D Realms shut down and laid of its staff due to funding issues. The demise of Duke Nukem Forever didn’t raise too many eyebrows. After all, this was a game that had been in development for the better part of 13 years, so the announcement by the game’s publisher, Take Two, that it was never going to see the light of day wasn’t too hard to believe.

Clip of the Day

How to Choose Strong Passwords


Credit: TinyOgg

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

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