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11.12.10

Links 11/11/2010: The Linux 2.6.37 FS Benchmarks, MPlayer Turns Ten

Posted in News Roundup at 10:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Does the Operating System Still Matter? Part 4

    We also perceive the shift quantitatively. In October of 2009, “opensolaris vs linux” was the #1 incoming query to RedMonk properties; “linux vs opensolaris” was #7. In October of this year, “opensolaris vs linux” is #13; “linux vs opensolaris” is not in the Top 100.

    The simplest explanation for this might be the decline and acquisition of Sun, and the subsequent deemphasis by new owner Oracle to the Solaris brand generally and OpenSolaris specifically. But for this to be true, we should have expected to see commensurate gains to other operating system related terminology, be that Windows, Linux or combinations of both.

  • Deep Thoughts on Being a Geek

    It was a blog post by Jeff Hoogland that started the ball rolling. Entitled “I am a Linux geek and proud of it,” the post chronicles the story of a misbehaving netbook that led to Hoogland’s realization.

    Hoogland fixed the netbook’s problem without too much trouble, causing him to observe, “Something that at one point would have taken me hours to figure out (and odds are would have required a few forum posts) I had resolved in minutes.”

    Few of us today look like the classic stereotype of the Unix geek, Hoogland concludes. Rather, “Linux users come in all shapes and sizes.”

  • Desktop

    • Why I love Ubuntu

      This is such a huge benefit of Ubuntu (and Linux in general), it is for this very reason that I now do all my college assignments at home, simply because I get them all done way faster. I find it so much faster to multi-task on Ubuntu, although this is limited somewhat because I have a very old computer (Pentium 4 from 2003), but Ubuntu solves this by not frustrating me, it doesn’t throw error dialogs at me, it doesn’t waste precious CPU cycles telling me that there is a serious problem, it just quietly works through it and return’s to normal.

    • ZaReason CEO Keynotes at FOSDEM

      Cathy Malmrose, the CEO of independent Linux vendor ZaReason, Inc., is a keynote speaker at the upcoming FOSDEM conference in Brussels on Feb. 5-6, 2011. FOSDEM bills itself as “the biggest free and non-commercial event organized by and for the community.”

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Link Tech Show #375 11 10 10 [Ogg]
    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 21

      In this episode: Ubuntu may ditch the X Window system for Wayland, Fedora 14 has been released and Nokia takes Symbian back from the Symbian Foundation. Share our fortnight’s discoveries and hear whether we think Qt and KDE should merge APIs.

  • Kernel Space

    • New course will teach developers to make Linux device drivers

      Training and consulting company LinuxCertified has announced a new course that will help developers learn how to create device drivers for the Linux operating system.

      Linux is an open-source operating system that is available for free. Although it trails in popularity behind its commercial competitors, such as Microsoft Windows, Linux has become increasingly widespread.

    • Linux Kernels, Blog-o-Frenzy And Why You Should Care

      Fall is in the air in New England and I am still sifting through the thousands of product announcements from Oracle OpenWorld 2010 (held in September). One of the questions I keep being asked by solution providers is “What does this new Oracle Linux Kernel mean to me?” Knowing how astute the VAR Guy’s readers are, I jumped at the chance to share my thoughts on this exciting announcement.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Linux 2.6.37 Kernel With EXT4 & Btrfs

        Now that the Linux 2.6.37 kernel merge window is closed and this next major release is in the middle of its development cycle, we have new benchmarks to publish looking at the file-system performance of Btrfs and EXT4 compared to earlier releases. The Linux file-system performance is under constant evolution as shown by our five years of Linux kernel benchmarks and more recent file-system-focused articles such as looking at EXT4 and Btrfs regressions in Linux 2.6.36, solid-state drive Linux benchmarks, and even ZFS-FUSE benchmarks, among other similar articles.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Latinoware: first day

        Ok, let’s stop talking about Paraguay. This first day we had all KDE lectures, tomorrow we are going to have Sandro’s mini-course (Desktop and Mobile Developing with Qt 4.7) and in the (almost) last event of the last day my mini-course about programming with DBus (next Friday).

  • Distributions

    • Evaluating desktop Linux systems mini review

      My favorite every day distribution, aptosid, very much a hobbyist distribution, not anywhere near as simple as SimplyMEPIS or PCLinuxOS to manage for beginners, but praised by veterans, aptosid, once called sidux, and evolved from another KNOPPIX inspired distribution, Kanotix, has been described as Debian Sid on mood stabilizers and steroids.

    • Distro Developers Need Dollars!

      Every little bit helps so if you can let a few ads load in your browser, and even click a few you are interested in then you might be able to help support your favorite distros without even having to make a donation.

    • Some interesting stats about gentoo portage tree

      There is interesting question: How old are ebuilds in tree? (in term when they were touched last time)

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: Why to Upgrade – Why to Hold Off

        We lease all of our hardware, which poses some interesting problems in itself, but also gave us a three or four year cycle for upgrading the operating system and software stack. In the past few years, we have transitioned to virtual machines, and gained a bit of hardware independence. Now the hardware can come and go, and we can run the same operating system image without the need, or opportunity, to upgrade the operating system.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 review

          Enjoy more images from Fedora 14.

        • Fedora 15 Has A Release Schedule, But Will It Be Met?

          The Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) has approved the release schedule for Fedora 15, the next release of this community Red Hat Linux operating system that was recently codenamed Lovelock.

          If this Fedora 15 release schedule is met, the official Lovelock release will come on the 10th of May. The alpha release is slated for the first of March and the beta release is penciled in for 5 April. Other important milestones include the feature freeze being on 8 February (and that’s also the point at which Fedora 15 will be branched from Rawhide) and the release candidate on 26 April.

          Of course, this is just the expected release schedule, which may very well slip judging by past Fedora releases. Fedora 14 was going to ship on time as a new feature based upon their poor track record of sticking to their release schedule due to engineering/technical delays, but that didn’t happen. Will Fedora 15 ship on time? We will see. Regardless, Fedora 15 should make it out in May of 2011.

        • Enhanced Fedora Fusion Linux 14 Mere Weeks Away

          One of the main complaints with Fedora is the lack of proprietary drivers and multimedia support. That’s where Fusion comes in. Fusion Linux aims to ship all the best software that will make for a superior desktop experience. The upcoming version, based on the new Fedora 14, is estimated to be about two or three weeks away, but early testers can try the release candidate announced today.

        • Insight into Insight.

          One of the Fedora related things I’m still involved with is Fedora Insight, a Drupal instance I and a few others are trying to learn and launch. We want the capability to pass on interesting tidbits from the Planet, Fedora Weekly News, and even original media in a simple way.

          And we love Drupal, especially because it’s packaged in Fedora and EPEL, and because of its very practical and compatible approaches to licensing (GPL!). However, we could use some help with our work.

        • Fedora bars SQLNinja hack tool

          Fedora Project leaders have banned a popular penetration-testing tool from their repository out of concern it could saddle the organization with legal burdens.

          The move came on Monday in a unanimous vote by the Fedora Project’s board of directors rejecting a request that SQLNinja be added to the archive of open-source applications. It came even as a long list of other hacker tools are included in the bundle and was harshly criticized by some security watchers.

          “It seems incredibly short sighted to reject software based on perceived legal usage,” said Jacob Appelbaum, a full-time programmer for the Tor Project. “They have decided to become judges of likely usage based on their own experience. That is a path of madness.”

    • Debian Family

      • People behind Debian: Joey Hess of debhelper fame

        I decided recently to publish interviews from Debian contributors and I picked Joey Hess as my first target. He’s one of the few who have heavily influenced Debian by creating software that have become building blocks of the project, like the debian-installer (Joey uses the shorthand d-i to refer to it).

        My questions are in bold, the rest is by Joey (except for the additional information that I inserted in italics).

      • Re: Squeeze Artwork: selection of default theme
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Give Ubuntu Unity a Try (Install it in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick)

          Unity is the official Ubuntu Netbook Edition’s new interface and is supposed to replace Gnome as the default environment for the forthcoming Ubuntu releases. Don’t worry, Gnome spin off would continue to be available for all Gnome lovers.

        • Compiz-based Unity coming to PPA tomorrow

          And so it begins! The Compiz-backed version of Unity – to be the default Ubuntu 11.04 desktop – has arrived on Launchpad.

          For those with itchy fingers and brave hearts ‘Unity Compiz’ (‘Compinity’ anyone?) will be available for installation via a PPA tomorrow according to Ubuntu Desktop Experience lead njpatel.

        • PPA!
        • Back to the future

          Looking forward, I’ll be thinking about the longer term direction for the Ubuntu platform. The platform is the layer of Ubuntu which makes everything else possible: it’s how we weave together products like Desktop Edition and Server Edition, and it’s what developers target when they write applications. Behind the user interfaces and applications, there is a rich platform of tools and services which link it all together. It’s in this aspect of Ubuntu that I’ll be investing my time in research, experimentation and imagination. This includes considering how we package and distribute software, how we adapt to technological shifts, and highlighting opportunities to cooperate with other open source projects.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo 1.1 vs Ubuntu Netbook Edition: Comparative Review

          In late 2007 ASUS released the Eee PC, a tiny little laptop that sparked a whole new wave of innovation in the computer world.

          It was the first in the family of ultra mobile computing devices that now comprises a wide range of netbooks from all major manufacturers and even paved the way for a more widespread acceptance of the tablet form-factor.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Cloud OS crowd readies own-brand netbook

        Jolicloud, the company that offers a cloud-centric Linux distro for netbooks, is getting into the hardware business.

      • Jolibook netbook announced by Jolicloud

        According to the makers of Jolicloud, the popular cloud-based netbook distro, something big is about to happen in the world of little computers. Introducing the Jolibook – the ‘Fast, Fun & Connected’ Jolicloud 1.1-powered netbook…

        “Designed for people who live in the cloud, it’s running the new Jolicloud 1.1 and comes pre-loaded with Chromium, Facebook, Spotify, VLC, Skype, and a bunch of cool apps that are one click away,” reads the teaser card sent out to press this morning.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 Beta 7: Moving Toward Completion, Updated Extensions On Deck

        The open source arena is currently loaded with good battles to watch, with both operating systems of various stripes and applications fighting fiercely for dominance, but my favorite open source battle of all is the one going on between open source browsers. Although the majority of users still use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, its market share has tumbled from where it was a few years ago. We’ve made the point many times that Firefox and Google Chrome are setting the innovation bar for browsers. That’s why it’s exciting to see Mozilla arrive at Beta 7 of Firefox 4, which you can download now or which you’ll be automatically updated to if you’re testing the betas, and which is loaded with challenges to Google’s fast-growing Chrome browser.

      • Why can’t I access Gmail in Firefox?

        This is a well-known problem caused by a Firefox add-on called Integrated Gmail. Google recently changed the way in which Gmail works (something it does all the time) and this caused the add-on to malfunction and behave in the way you describe.

      • Your guide to Firefox 4 and its shiny new features

        Firefox 4, with the release of Beta 7, is as good as finished. From now until its release in early 2011, no new features will be added, no significant changes will be made — Beta 7 is, for all intents and purposes, Firefox 4.

      • Blazing fast Firefox 4 beta 7 impresses

        We benchmarked beta 7 on an Ubuntu desktop computer with a six-core Intel i7 980X processor. It blazed through the SunSpider test in a mere 208ms. On the same computer, Chromium 6 took 224ms. Mozilla’s efforts to improve JavaScript performance are clearly paying off. The beta also opens and closes nearly as fast as Chrome and offers smoother scrolling and tab switching than the previous version.

        Users who want to try out the beta themselves can download it from Mozilla’s website. For additional details, you can refer to the official release notes. The final release is expected to arrive next year.

      • Mozilla releases Firefox social networking extension

        WEB BROWSER OUTFIT Mozilla has released F1, an extension that allows users to share content through social networks.

        The extension aims to do away with the numerous “share” buttons that have popped up all over the web with webmasters trying to tap into the advertising potential of various social networks. The service, which is still being expanded, currently supports Facebook, Twitter and Gmail services, all of which use the Oauth protocol for authentication.

  • Databases

    • Is MySQL open core?

      [L]ong before the Nazi comparison it is inevitable that someone will ask “is MySQL open core?”.

  • Oracle

    • Apple Joins OpenJDK To Open Source Mac OS X Java Technology

      Apple just announced that it is joining Oracle’s OpenJDK project to open source Mac OS X. OpenJDK is a free and open source implementation of the Java programming language.

      According to the release, Apple will “contribute most of the key components, tools and technology required for a Java SE 7 implementation on Mac OS X, including a 32-bit and 64-bit HotSpot-based Java virtual machine, class libraries, a networking stack and the foundation for a new graphical client.” OpenJDK will open source Apple’s Java technology to developers.

Clip of the Day

Jim Whitehurst on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6


11.11.10

Links 11/11/2010: Qt 4.7.1 Released, Firefox 4 Much Faster

Posted in News Roundup at 6:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • From stability comes stagnation.

    In summary, the pond is a stable and stagnant ecosystem. It doesn’t change or renew and if you were to drink from it you would become ill. If you were to bathe in it you would end up dirtier than before. The waterfall is a dynamic and constantly changing system. It is continuously renewing itself and as a consequence, it and anything in that system is cleaned and the dirt washed away.

    [...]

    This is one of the reasons I like Linux so much. Linux is a dynamic, constantly changing operating system ecosystem. Flotsam and jetsam does not have a chance to hang around for very long and is eventually washed away by better solutions. I think this is the reason why Linux has evolved far faster than any proprietary operating system I know of.

  • Desktop

    • Reasons Why I Love My Desktop

      Gwibber is an awesome micro-blogging tool. It provides simple and quick access to see all of my accounts together, helps me see a standard set of searches that I care about, and lets me tweet once and have the message go to all of my accounts.

    • Web 0.1 (or, How to Stop Worrying and Keep All Your Data)

      I just wish setting things up this way wasn’t so arcane; I gradually threw all these bits together over several years and I’m sure many of you reading this have similar stuff with your own personal twists set up for your systems, but it is something you need a bit of enthusiasm and technical knowledge to do. It may be inevitable that for most people the only way to get this effect is to rely on some company to do the server end in exchange for access to all your data, but it’s a bit of a shame, really. It’d be nice if we’d somehow managed to make these kinds of setup more accessible. I think it might be interesting if Firefox Sync really takes off, and the Weave protocols prove to be robust enough to handle other types of data from non-Mozilla applications; that could be a really interesting space for app developers to play around in, with a really big potential user base. And it’s a system that’s done right, with privacy built in right from the start and a good commitment to interoperability and the ability to run entirely independent from Mozilla’s own implementation.

    • Minimalist computing – thinning the herd (having nothing whatsoever to do with the Hurd)

      I’ve gotten rid of a great deal of hardware over the past year and then some. I don’t have any desktop systems left in my computer herd.

      We’ve just set up our home office in the home-office space we built more than 7 years ago (another topic, another time, another blog), and I elected to bring my Compaq Armada 7700dmt — circa 1999 — back here for the time being.

      Even though my long-gone white box known as This Old PC was more powerful (333 MHz Pentium II, 256 MB RAM, 10 GB hard drive) than the Compaq, known as The $15 Laptop (233 MHz Pentium II, 144 MB RAM, 3 GB hard drive), I really like the Compaq, a marvel of laptop design and engineering for its technologically ancient time.

  • Server

    • The Economics of Servers Could Soon Change

      Marvell said today that it has built a chip designed for servers that uses the same architecture as chips inside cell phones. The chip’s four 1.6 GHz processors aren’t notable for their performance compared to today’s server chips, which use the x86 architecture used by Intel and AMD. However, the power savings will likely be significant compared with an x86-based chip.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 141: Membase

      Membase is a distributed key-value database management system, optimized for storing data behind interactive web applications.

      Guest: James Phillips for Membase.

    • the_source Episode 12 “Mini” Released

      This is a mini episode from East Bay Mini Maker Faire. I take a look at a couple of exhibits from this years rainy event in Oakland, CA. I talk to a few guys who went all out to build the ultimate gaming chair. Then I learn how to decorate eggs the geeky way.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux open source drivers for Xbox Kinect released

      It didn’t take long for the hacking community to come up with open source drivers for the Kinect … no Xbox required!

      Adafruit offered a $3,000 bounty for open source Kinect drivers, and it’s been won by a clever hacker called Hector Martin (@marcan42). The open source driver supports the RGB camera output and depth camera.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Good old habits: notifications again

        Chani recently blogged about the last progress of the activities management: in the Plasma Desktop workspace 4.6 finally the advantages are starting to be exposed to the user. In brief: can virtual desktops stop and start applications on demand when they switch? can an application be on 2 out of 5 vd? can a vd be stopped and when recreated be restored exactly as it was? (wallpaper, desktop widgets, running applications etc) can the user remove a non empty, non last virtual desktop? Can an application behave in a way that is specific for a certain desktop, like showing only work related contacts?

      • KSnapshot gets social

        When I blogged about the freehand region capture feature I added to KSnapshot a couple of weeks ago, it caught me by surprise that post quickly turned into a wishlist for KSnapshot. I didn’t expect people missed anything in our good old KSnapshot after so many years of development.

      • Open Ballot: should KDE and Qt libraries merge?

        TuxRadar

        “Let’s merge Qt and the KDE development platform. Let’s put all KDE libraries, support libraries, and platform modules into Qt.” So says Cornelius Schumacher, long-time KDE coder and the current president of KDE e.V. Such a bold move would be a “massive effort and require huge changes”, he says – and the community would have plenty to talk about as well. See here for the full story, and then let us know what you think for our next podcast. Is this a good move to simplify the Linux desktop stack and eliminate redundancy, or are the projects simply far too separate and distinct?

      • Kubuntu Todo

        UDS in Florida is over, we flew home and left the sun behind. The main outcome from the conference is a long Kubuntu Todo list.

        In the packaging section we naturally want the latest bits of KDE and Qt. We’d like to try raster in Qt. We’re going to try gtk-oxygen theme. Scott is going to look at automatic bulids on his ARM machines. GStreamer will be investigated. We’ll be looking at whether it makes sense to packaging Owncloud and Plasma Media Centre. Then there’s Project Neon, a top secret relaunch of the project to make daily builds of Qt and KDE.

      • Reviewed: Chakra 0.3 beta 3 (Ashoc) KDE 4.5.3 Preview

        There are many “unknown” linux derivatives nowadays, most of which are not original creations, but rather are unofficial customizations of existing base distributions like ARCH, Slackware, etc. Chakra GNU/Linux is one of these, quoted from their site, “Chakra is a free, user-friendly and extremely powerful GNU/Linux distribution born from Arch Linux, based on a half-rolling release model focused on KDE software, and so targeted at any KDE lover. Its repositories are full of binary packages for KDE, Qt and CLI applications, and there is also a bundle system for other applications.”

        [...]

        Pros:

        * Beautiful and easy-to-use Tribe installer
        * Exquisite and full-featured KDE 4.5.3 Desktop
        * Stable even for a beta
        * Half-rolling-release philosophy translates into a pretty stable system
        * “Bundle” apps are a cool concept and reinforce Chakra’s commitment to a pure KDE experience (gtkfree)

        Cons:

        * It’s unfinished in some areas (Shaman)
        * Some problems with some video drivers (ATI/nVidia 96xx)

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Clonezilla 1.2.6-40 Is Available for Download

        Steven Shiau announced earlier today, November 9th, the immediate availability of a new stable release of his system-cloning Linux distribution, Clonezilla 1.2.6-40. The new version is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.32-27, and it introduces a couple of important bugfixes, as well as many enhancements and changes.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Releases a Slew of Quarterly Updates

        PCLinuxOS is a rolling release distribution, which means users can usually update through the package management rather than perform a fresh install every six months. But a few times a year developers release Quarterly Updates for new users or machines. Recently it was that time again when several varieties of PCLOS saw new releases.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Introducing the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Certification

        Following yesterday’s release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, we are pleased to announce a new certification, Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA). The RHCSA certification allows system administrators to validate their ability to perform the key tasks required of Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administrators in today’s IT environments. The new RHCSA credential will replace the Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) certification. Coverage of the RHCSA exam will be similar to RHCT, but with the addition of some key skills identified in an in-depth survey of Red Hat certified professionals. RHCSA certifications will be issued retroactively to individuals who have earned RHCT on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. With the launch of Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA), Red Hat will be offering a certification with a title that is more aligned to usage in the marketplace and reflective of system administration skills.

      • Linux Curriculum Redesigned to Better Align with Today’s IT Needs

        With the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 yesterday, Red Hat Training has made exciting changes to its Linux curriculum. First, we restructured our Linux curriculum to provide four clear, role-based learning paths to align with our evolving customers’ profiles. Second, following a deep technical survey of Red Hat credential holders, we worked with the Red Hat Certification team to restructure our Linux administration courses and certifications. The sequence of administration tasks we teach map to the contemporary job roles of Linux administrators and senior Linux administrators. Third, we substantially changed our teaching approach by instilling a facilitative and interactive learning methodology designed to actively engage course participants in the learning process. We believe that less lecture and more participation equals better understanding and retention. With these changes to Red Hat Training, our curriculum is better aligned with today’s IT roles and responsibilities, and offers a much more interactive learning experience.

      • For Red Hat’s Matthew Szulik a ‘very humbling honor’

        The honors have come in droves to Matthew Szulik for more than a decade. Perhaps the most precious came Wednesday night as the North Carolina Technology Association presented him with its Outstanding Achievement award.

        “It was very surprising – and very humbling,” said Szulik, who retired as chairman of Raleigh-based Red Hat earlier this year at the age of 53.

        “To be honored with an award given to other leaders such as former Gov. Jim Hunt and Jim Goodmon [CEO of Capitol Broadcasting] is hard to imagine.”

      • Red Hat’s Fedora 14 Boasts Updated Development Tools, New Virtualization Technology

        Fedora 14, the latest release of Red Hat’s fast-moving, community-supported Linux distribution, hit the Internet earlier this month bearing its typical crop of updated open-source software applications, with a particular focus on updated developer tools, such as the latest versions of the Eclipse and Netbeans Integrated Development Environments.

      • Fedora

        • Wacom Bamboo on Fedora 14

          Just a quick update to my earlier article on getting the Wacom Bamboo CTL-460 working in Fedora: I have tested the tablet with F14 now and while it’s still not automatically detected, at least the udev rules part of the procedure I detailed earlier is now obsolete.

        • #fedora-design Meeting
    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMepis 11.0 on Its Way!

        It looks as though 11.0 is going to break the 700 MB CD barrier, propelling it into the DVD-zone. Current alphas are 801 MB, but rumors are floating around that SimplyMepis will now include lots more software goodies since that barrier is down. On the other hand, further speculation is that “lite” for CDROM and USB versions may also be released. We’ll have to wait and see.

        It’s been said that “Warren’s alpha’s are like other folk’s betas, betas like RCs, etc, etc” but several posts to the MepisLovers forum indicate there are hardware issues. Several people, like yours truly, are experiencing boot showstoppers while a others are having graphic issues.

        While 11.0 is definitely on its way, it appears many users will have to wait until the next release to see what’s new. Stay tuned.

      • Security Scanner for Debian and Ubuntu Linux Servers – Buck-security

        Buck-Security is a security scanner for Debian and Ubuntu Linux. It runs a couple of important checks and helps you to harden your Linux system. This enables you to quickly overview the security status of your Linux system.

      • Debian activities

        Most of my recent Debian work has been the usual pkg-telepathy stuff (mainly in experimental while we’re frozen), and hacking on the Quake III engine.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Why should I ever bother filing another bug?

          I was in a serious state of anxiety. Here I was, pouring my heart into this damn thing. And not just coworkers at Canonical, but our immense community contributors, pouring our heart and souls into this release, and to be slapped in the face with failure, ouch! What was he upset about? Some stupid work around he applied 2 years ago to get his stupid Broadcom wireless card working. And on an upgrade it broke.

          As it ends up we’ve reached a new level of what people expect.

          My “linux geek correct” answer would have been “Hey bro, you have a broadcom card, it’s a saving throw; each distro release has different set of variables”. If you’re lucky you roll a natural 20 on a certain release of a distro — and if you’re lucky an upgrade is totally easy. I don’t even know what to say to the people to who own these realtek cards. People are still recommending “ndiswrapper” for these cards. That’s basically “Hey, I can’t fix your problem, so here’s a work around”. That’s not sustainable.

        • Help Improve Ubuntu on ‘Bug Day’ Tomorrow

          Tomorrow, there’s a global online event planned in which anyone can donate a little bit of their time to improving Ubuntu. It’s called Ubuntu Bug Day, and it’s a great opportunity for users and fans to get involved and contribute to the operating system–no training or experience required.

        • Spread Ubuntu site gets slick new look, domain

          The site is a firm favourite of mine – not only does it offer up CD wallets, posters, presentations and other Ubuntu-orientated goodies (many of which we’ve featured here on OMG! Ubuntu!) but it also allows you to submit your marketing materials too.

        • Compiz-based Unity coming to PPA tomorrow

          And so it begins! The Compiz-backed version of Unity – to be the default Ubuntu 11.04 desktop – has arrived on Launchpad.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Lubuntu: Light(er)weight Ubuntu-based Distro

            If you don’t need a standardised, easy to install solution, you could build something similar to what Lubuntu offers, and lighter still, by beginning with a Debian netinstall and then adding LXDE and any other components that you need.

            In many ways, Lubuntu is a example of what’s so great about Linux as it offers yet another balance of options and compromises by positioning itself between the genuinely light weight distributions and the full, mainstream solutions based on KDE and Gnome.

            If you’ve ever wanted to install Ubuntu but wished that it was a bit less resource heavy, Lubuntu might be for you. Although the website claims that it is usable on machines with 256MB and sub 1 GHz processors, it’s clearly going to work best on machines with a CPU that’s a little bit above that level and closer to 512MB of RAM. However, this is an important niche as there are many machines of that speed lying around and in need of a well featured, secure operating system.

            The other target is netbooks. Here too, Lubuntu may well be a valid choice for people who could just about run a more standard distribution but want to get out from underneath the escalating memory footprint and CPU drag of KDE and Gnome and enjoy some extra speed and battery life.

            In both usage cases, Lubuntu could well see some of these machines saying a final farewell to Windows XP.

          • Linux Mint: No to Unity, no to Gnome-Shell

            When Mark Shuttleworth announced that future versions of Ubuntu will use Unity by default on the desktop many users of Linux Mint, a highly polished Ubuntu-derived distribution, were left wondering what it would use.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Qt Mobility 1.1.0 Released

          We are very pleased to announce the release of Qt Mobility 1.1.0. We are especially proud of this release because of the latest announcement on Nokia’s strategy with Qt and Qt Quick as a primary development framework. QML bindings included in this Qt Mobility release is very well aligned with this strategy and will give you a competitive edge in developing stunning applications.

        • Qt 4.7.1 Released

          You can download source and binary packages for this release from the Qt Download Page. Alternatively, you can grab the source directly from the public git repository, where the “v4.7.1″ tag matches the content of the released packages. The Qt 4.7 documentation has also been updated.

      • Android

        • Five features Google needs to deliver in Android 2.3

          Android 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread, is expected to materialize this month. Little is known about Gingerbread’s features, however, because Google develops the operating system behind closed doors and doesn’t publish a roadmap. This has fueled a lot of speculation among Android enthusiasts.

          Google has hinted that 2.3 could bring a user interface refresh that will reduce the need for handset makers to broadly deviate from the standard user experience. Various leaks have suggested that the platform is being overhauled to boost its suitability for tablet devices. Google’s new WebM multimedia format, which uses the VP8 codec, will likely be supported out of the box. It’s also possible that Gingerbread will include some of the music library streaming and synchronization features that the search giant demonstrated this year at the Google I/O conference.

        • Android Update Latest – Edition 365
    • Tablets

      • Kno, a Linux-based Tablet Computer/Digital Textbook for Students

        We have already featured here several tablet computers. Some are designed for the enterprise such as the Cisco Cius and the Avaya, while others are made as multi-purpose tablets like the Shogo. A unique tablet computer that is especially created for students has been recently introduced. Its name is Kno.

        The Kno is a Linux-based tablet PC that can function as an electronic textbook, eBook reader, notebook, and web browser among others. It will be available in two form factors: the cheaper single-screen model with 14-inch touchscreen; the more expensive clamshell dual-screen model with two 14-inch touch-sensitive screens.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Which came first, the customer or the community?

    Sounds like a simple chicken versus egg problem, isn’t it? But in fact, this is a very deep question. How you answer reveals the “soul” of your business.

  • Aerodynamic Elephants and Free Software Without Freedom

    Whether the writers are newcomers with a keep grasp of the obvious or more experienced users with particular grievances, the tone of these articles always seem to resemble a manifesto’s. They demand that free software add support immediately for certain types of hardware, such as smart phones or wireless cards. They insist that the community create — apparently in a process resembling immaculate conception — software such as an exact PhotoShop or MS Exchange. They call on the community to make things just work, to become less geeky and less political, and to develop a more relaxed attitude about using proprietary software

  • Events

    • Open Source Ohio: Bringing FOSS and Business Together

      What happens when you bring together open source projects with businesses and non-profits? A whole lotta awesome, that’s what. One man is making it his mission to do just that. Meet Mark Wyatt of Ardent Technologies. As a former coder, turned software architect, turned executive, Mark has spent the last 20 years bridging the gap between t-shirts and suits (and not in the Don Johnson way). He’s one of the rare people that can translate geekspeak to execspeak and vice versa.

    • PyPy Joins the Software Freedom Conservancy

      Today, the Software Freedom Conservancy welcomes PyPy as its newest member. PyPy joins twenty-two other Conservancy members, who receive the benefit of aggregated non-profit status available to all Conservancy member projects.

    • FOSS.IN/2010: Final List of Selected Talks & Mini-Confs

      This is the second list of selected main session talks for FOSS.IN/2010. Unless there are cancellations, this will be the final list.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Fasten Your Seatbelts – Firefox 4 Beta adds new JavaScript power and faster graphics

        A new release of Firefox 4 Beta is now ready for you to download and test! This release boosts performance in some important ways: it adds the JägerMonkey just-in-time (JIT) JavaScript compiler; adds more support for hardware-accelerated graphics, as well as hardware acceleration for Windows XP and Mac OS X; and enables 3D capabilities, without the need for plug-ins, with WebGL.

      • Mozilla Firefox: a look at six years of better browsing

        Today marks the 6th birthday of the popular Mozilla Firefox internet browser. Taken up from the source code of the Netscape browser, Firefox powers on through today to serve more than 400 million (and 45% of The PC Report’s readers) in performing just what it’s built for.

      • Firefox 4 – Mozilla versus the world

        When you think of a giant lizard-monster stomping through a major metropolitan area, you tend to think of Godzilla. Or maybe Rodan. What you probably don’t think about is a non-profit corporation that helps millions around the world gain access to the information they need in their day-to-day lives…

      • Firefox 4 Beta 7 Released, Feature Complete

        The Mozilla team seems to be back on track with the release of the seventh beta of the upcoming web browser Firefox 4. The release marks a milestone in the development as this is the first feature complete release of version 4 of the Internet browser. What does it mean? That the developers won’t add new features to the browser. All they do from this point in development on is test, test and test to fix bugs and get the browser ready for a prime time release in the beginning of 2011.

      • Firefox 4 gets much, much faster

        One of the major components essential for the future of Firefox just landed in the beta build of the browser, and it gives the open-source browser the page-rendering speed boost that it had been lacking.

  • Oracle

    • New: OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 4 (build OOO330m14) available

      OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 Release Candidate 4 is now available on the download website.

    • What If You Threw a Proprietary Software Party and Nobody Came?

      Let’s not forget that Java, like the Linux kernel, has moved along over the years thanks to contributions and community participation from many deep-pocketed organizations, including Google and the Apache Software Foundation. Now, Oracle is suing Google over aspects of Java, which we’ve already dubbed “the anti-open move of the year.” Under Oracle, questions swirl around the future of Java in ways that they never did under Sun, and, because of the many open source projects that Oracle acquired along with Sun, Oracle’s ability to shake openness in general goes well beyond Java.

      We’ve also noted that as Oracle has taken over stewardship of OpenOffice, many developers have resigned and the project is forking. How many lawsuits, threats and adjustments of major financial contributions is it going to take before Oracle adjusts its policies toward openness?

    • JCP is Salvageable

      In the wake of Doug Lea leaving the JCP, I just want to say that I think the JCP is salvageable. This idea the JCP is an unworkable entity is plain and utter myth. A myth propagated by those that want to see it fail (i.e. SpringSource) or those that want to create their own, and controlled, specification efforts (IBM), or those that are more interested in doing their own thing than collaborating with others (i.e. Google and SpringSource). Don’t believe me? Well, let’s discuss it a little more.

  • Education

    • Open source in higher education – why not?

      There are a few holes in this idea, and it certainly would not be easy to orchestrate. Nonetheless, if University X teamed with RedHat or IBM to finance a few project liaisons to act as go betweens for a single CS elective course that was basically Open Source participation 301, imagine what the press could be like for the involved parties. What percentage of CS students who participate in that course would land desirable positions? How many bugs could the University’s elective course-taking CS body claim to have resolved? How much time/money would those students effectively end up putting toward the projects in which they participate? Letters for your CS major home page detailing, “Open Source participation 301 really put me above my competition, I had a choice of jobs after only a handful of interviews…”. Higher profile businesses start recruiting more from University X, because they know the students who took OSP 301 are intimately familiar with an open source technology on which they rely. Tech businesses recruit because they know that students who worked on open source project Q during their OSP 301 course are experienced with a particular bug tracker, wiki, vcs, etc. that the business uses in their workflow. RedHat/IBM offer press releases, “Just donated $80,000 to open source project Q and University X to support collaborative education/open source learning and programming efforts.”

      Who loses here? I realize that the projects/companies I relayed might be out of reach, but the I would think the right pitch could spark interest from a Mozilla project, PostgreSQL, LibreOffice, and countless others.

      Opensource, Colleges/Universities, CS majors – Can we make something like this happen? Why not?

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Digital Mars Is Wanting To Merge D Into GCC

      Walter Bright of Digital Mars has brought up with the GCC list what steps need to be traveled so that GDC, the GNU D Compiler, can be merged into GCC. Right now the GNU Compiler Collection doesn’t have support for the D programming language, but that may soon change if this merge by Digital Mars is successful.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • It’s the Document, stupid!

      Today the Document Foundation has issued a press release that marks the beginning of something exciting; but it’s likely that not a lot of people will understand what’s being explained through the multiple layers of buzz and general statements that were made. Here’s the statement:

      “”The Document Foundation is about documents and the associated software is pivotal to create, exchange, modify, share and print documents”, says Thorsten Behrens, a software developer and a member of TDF Steering Committee. “LibreOffice 3.3 is the first flavour of this long term strategy, but the journey has just begun, and the enormous advantages of our developer-embracing environment are not yet fully reflected in the upcoming software release”.

      LibreOffice 3.3 is based on OOo 3.3, with code optimisations and many new features, which are going to offer a first preview of the new development directions for 2011 and beyond. TDF founders foresee a completely different future for the office suite paradigm, which – in the actual format – is over 20 years old, to be based on the document (where the software is a layer for the creation or the presentation of the contents).

Leftovers

  • Google News spammer has new site, same trick

    Last week, after CNET pointed out that a company called 70 Holdings Inc. was spamming Google News under the moniker of Red Label News, Google pulled that content from its site. However, over the weekend 70 Holdings popped back up using one of the 44 domains it owns to once again flood Google News with the same type of nearly empty stories tied to search-friendly keywords and advertising.

  • Job killing you? Anxious mob bosses seek psychotherapy

    The mafia boss was having a dreadful time dealing with loss. But he wasn’t struggling with the loss of lives, or even the loss of his freedom.

    “Doc, it’s my hair,” the mobster from the ‘ndrangheta crime syndicate confessed to his psychiatrist in jail. “I’m afraid of losing my hair.

    [...]

    “If you’re a mafioso, and you’re anxious, you’re not trustworthy and you have to be eliminated,” said Lo Verso. “A mafioso is paranoid about everything” — trusting the mafia code of silence (“omerta”) more than the medical code of patient confidentiality.

  • BBC iPlayer to charge users following international rollout

    Although the BBC Trust has yet to release any official statement on the move, BBC Worldwide head Smith declared the plans in an interview with the Telegraph stating: “Not only will that mean international fans of, for example, Doctor Who can get their fix legitimately, but it has the potential of opening up a new revenue stream for the entire UK production industry.”

  • Strange ICANN times ahead: commercial interests seek to infiltrate non-commercial ones.

    Democracy is hard to achieve and harder to maintain, especially when dealing with bodies that, in its name, seek to infiltrate and distort egalitarian processes. This is exactly the case with the Not-for-Profit Organisations Constituency (NPOC), which recently submitted to the ICANN Board a Notice of Intent to form a new constituency existing within the scope, mandate and mission of ICANN’s Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG). According to NPOC’s statement “membership is open to any not-for-profit organization/NGO with missions such as: philanthropic, humanitarian, educations, academic and professional development, religious, community associations, promotion of the arts, public interest policy advocacy, health-related services and social inclusion”. This new constituency does not require that such organizations are commercial or non-commercial in nature or whether they are meant to serve commercial or non-commercial interests. So, what does a constituency that fails to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial interests want within a purely non-commercial group?

  • Hardware

    • AMD teases Bobcat Fusion APUs again, delivers Atom-busting performance (video)

      A quick refresher: Bobcat is AMD’s low-power Accelerated Processing Unit that can handle both computational and graphical duties, Ontario and Zacate are the chips built upon that core, and Brazos is the overall platform that they’ll be doing their work on. Clear enough? We hope so. AMD has finally allowed a few tech pubs to get their hands on Brazos-based systems and, along with feedback about their experience, the guys have come back with some added spec notes. There’ll be two initial Zacate options, the dual-core E-350 running at 1.6GHz or the single-core E-240 clocked at 1.5GHz, while Ontario will offer 1GHz dual-core and 1.2GHz single-core variants.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • TSA agents singled Meg McLain out for special treatment. They yelled at her, cuffed her to a chair, ripped up her ticket and cal…
    • When ‘kiddie porn’ charges go wrong

      The grim-looking mugshots on the right are of Sergio Diaz-Palomino and Alma Vasquez whose family photos “morphed into an immigration nightmare” when a Walgreens worker “flagged pictures of their naked son”, said ABC News.

      Sergio was consequently accused of sexual exploitation, the mildest of the horrifying charges later laid against him.

      The accusations were dropped but the two were found to have entered the US illegally, enmeshing them in the “nightmare” cited in the intro.

    • Waterboarding is torture, Downing Street confirms

      Waterboarding, which was banned by President Barack Obama, helped foil attacks on Heathrow airport, Canary Wharf and a number of US targets around the world, according to Bush.

      In Decision Points, published today, Bush insists the practice – which simulates drowning – is not torture, describing it instead as one of a number of “enhanced interrogation techniques”.

      But Downing Street confirmed the British government still shared Obama’s opinion that waterboarding constitutes torture. “It comes under that definition in our view,” a No 10 spokeswoman said.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • French export drive threatens to crush Europe’s eels

      Tiny, slimy – and pricey. This is the glass eel, the baby of the critically endangered European eel. As market prices hit a record $2800 per kilogramme, France has blocked an agreement to stop European exports, crippling efforts to restock Europe’s increasingly eel-less rivers.

    • Alaskan Bird Deformities Are Puzzling, Creepy

      About one in 16 crows and black-capped chickadees suffer from a condition called avian keratin disorder, which causes their beaks to become morbidly elongated and crossed.

      Rates of the debilitating disorder are 10 times higher than usual. That’s higher than has ever been recorded in any wild-bird population, and most of this rise happened over the last decade. Dozens of other bird species are afflicted. Nobody knows why, but it’s probably not a good sign.

    • Energy Committee Chairman Candidate Says God Promised no More Catastrophic Climate Change after Noah

      Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who will seek the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship maintains that we do not have to worry about climate change because God promised in the Bible not to destroy the world again after Noah’s flood.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • There Are Ever More Ways to Browse With No Name

      There are countless reasons why many people around the globe want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously. In many parts of the world, opressive government regulations threaten free speech, and worse, which has produced an extensive list of technologies that people around the world use to beat the Internet censors. Browsing anonymously is a moving target, with ever more easy-to-use software available that can erase your tracks. Of course, especially if you live in a society where violating Internet usage policies can land you in jail or worse, any attempt to stay anonymous should be approached with extreme caution. Here is an updated collection of resources on some of the tools that are available from the open source community for this purpose.

    • YouTube caught in the middle of China-Japan dispute

      YouTube has found itself in the middle of a heated controversy between Japan and China thanks to a leaked video that shows a Chinese fishing boat crashing into a Japanese coast guard vessel. Google has now apparently turned over its records pertaining to the user who uploaded the video to Japanese prosecutors, who cited breaches of local laws by the anonymous video uploader.

    • How China turns its enemies into heroes

      The media are abuzz today with stories on how China is trying to create an international boycott of the Nobel Prize awards in Oslo. Not surprisingly, it’s blocking Chinese activists who it believes may be leaving to attend the ceremonies, and it’s trying to strong-arm other countries from participating.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Responses to the Consultation on net neutrality, September 2010

      The following public and private bodies and individuals submitted comments in response to the Consultation on the open internet and net neutrality. The corresponding contributions can be accessed by using the links.

      Omitted from the list are those who requested confidentiality. Furthermore, the name of the respondent has been omitted when requested or not provided.

    • Why don’t Americans want broadband?

      Hard as it might be for Webheads to believe, a significant fraction of the US population doesn’t use the Internet at home. In fact, 23 percent of all US households report that no one in the home uses the Internet anywhere. Why not? A detailed new study (PDF) from the Department of Commerce reminds us: many people don’t see the need for this “Internet” thing at all.

      Commerce parsed a big batch of US Census Data, most recently from late 2009, on US Internet use, and found that in general, it has exploded. Between 2001 and 2009, broadband usage in the US increased sevenfold, but a significant number of people just don’t see the need.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Keynote
    • Economics and the limits to growth

      The first and second laws of thermodynamics should also be called the first and second laws of economics. Why? Because without them there would be no scarcity, and without scarcity, no economics. Consider the first law: if we could create useful energy and matter as we needed it, as well as destroy waste matter and energy as it got in our way, we would have superabundant sources and sinks, no depletion, no pollution, more of everything we want without having to find a place for stuff we don’t want. The first law rules out this direct abolition of scarcity. But consider the second law: even without creation and destruction of matter-energy, we might indirectly abolish scarcity if only we could use the same matter-energy over and over again for the same purposes — perfect recycling. But the second law rules that out. And if one thinks that time is the ultimate scarce resource, well, the entropy law is time’s irreversible arrow in the physical world. So it is that scarcity and economics have deep roots in the physical world, as well as deep psychic roots in our wants and desires.

    • Monsanto’s Fall: The End of GMO Seed Industry?

      As recently as late December, Monsanto was named “company of the year” by Forbes magazine. Last week, the company earned a different accolade from Jim Cramer, the television stock market commentator. “This may be the worst stock of 2010,” he proclaimed.

      On Tuesday, Forbes publicly lamented its decision to deem Monsanto “company of the year.” The headline was cutting: “Forbes was wrong about Monsanto. Really wrong.” How did Monsanto go from Wall Street hero to Wall Street doormat?

      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.

    • Copyrights

      • In Search of A Compromise on Copyright

        Last week marked the return of the copyright debate to the House of Commons as Bill C-32 entered second reading. Six months after its introduction, it became immediately apparent that all three opposition parties will be seeking changes to the bill in return for their support.

      • 3D printing becomes the new copyright battleground

        The Public Knowledge think tank has issued a white paper warning that the open source community faces new intellectual property challenges with the growth of 3D printing.

        3D printing uses technology based around thermal inkjet printers to build 3D objects, laying down a strip of molecules at a time. It is likely to be vital to future motherboard manufacturing, and could have much wider uses.

      • Q&A: Dr Adrian Bowyer and open source 3D printing

        Just as computer inkjet printing revolutionised colour document production in the office and home, 3D printing is set to revolutionise how we create and use everyday objects.

        Applying printing technology to the manufacture of actual 3D objects has been possible for some years, but only on large industrial machinery which was expensive to purchase and run.

      • I’m Going To Forecast The Death Of The American Recording And Video Industries

        Their next door neighbors, Britain, have now decided to take the same course. Curiously as has been noted in many places, all of the spending cuts affect the poor and the middle class. The Toffs make out just fine, thank you very much.

        And now the Americans want to do the same thing. And will do the same thing. And will suffer the same fallout. Massive unemployment, massive underemployment. The entire audience that the RIAA/MPAA companies depend upon for their sales will be in the poorhouse, and unable to afford to buy entertainment. After all, food and housing come first. You can survive without entertainment. Life is more fun with it, but life is impossible without eating.

        Possibly this is the reason that the Entertainment Distributors have been so interested in pushing ACTA, in the hope that they’ll be able to increase their sales outside of the United States. Of course the other countries are interested in pushing their creative industries too, so that may not work.

      • Barcelona Events Wrap-up

        Since we last blogged about CC in Barcelona, we’ve been very productive. Two weeks worth of open events have yielded several talks around open educational resources (OER) search, discovery, and policy at Open Ed, recommendations and tools for greater open content reuse at the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival, and a 12 month plan for the future of the Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU).

      • Meet our board members: Jimmy Wales

        Meet Creative Commons board member Jimmy Wales. You probably know him best as the founder of Wikipedia. Here, he talks to us about the importance of Creative Commons, why fundraising is hard, and his crazy travel schedule.

      • Creative Commons Communities Shine in Middle East

        CC communities throughout the Arab World displayed their rich culture and commitment to openness this past week in Lebanon and Qatar, showcasing creative works, inter-regional collaboration, and a focused dedication on legal and copyright issues in the region. Following the Digitally Open conference in Doha and a regional meeting including members of CC’s communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Syria and UAE, Creative Commons co-founder Lawrence Lessig and CC CEO Joichi Ito visited Beirut for the official launch of the Creative Commons Lebanon project.

      • WordPress Blocks Blog Following DMCA Takedown ‘Comment’

        A non-commercial blog which specializes in reporting on Amazon Kindle related news was taken down by WordPress after it linked to site hosting an unauthorized copy of a book. Although this is a legal act under Spanish law, WordPress blocked the site following a complaint from an anti-piracy group who said the blog owner had ignored them, but when one learns how they made that complaint, it’s no surprise he did.

      • 4chan Attack Brings Down MPAA Website

        4chan and movie piracy are closely linked: Many of the anarchic message board’s users frequent sites like the Pirate Bay to download movies they can watch alone in their parents’ basement. Now, 4chan is attacking the champions of anti-piracy efforts.

        The Motion Picture Association of America’s website has been down since this morning, felled by a malicious flood of traffic co-ordinated by 4chan. (A similar attack brought down Gawker briefly this summer.) The assault appears to be in retaliation for the CEO of an Indian tech firm boasting that his company launches similar attacks on movie pirating websites like The Pirate Bay at the behest of film studios. That company’s website was quickly brought down, as the panicked CEO tried to backtrack from his comments.

      • Handicapping the horse-race for Canada’s new copyright bill

        In a fascinating interview with TVOntario’s Search Engine podcast, Michael Geist describes and predicts the likely outcome of the years and years of wrangling over Canada’s new copyright bill, C-61 C-32, which includes a sweeping DRM clause that makes it illegal to modify your own equipment, even if you’re not otherwise breaking copyright law, making it one of the most radical DRM laws in the world. Michael sees reason to hope for a more moderate C-32 in its final form — I hope he’s right.

      • Audio Podcast #66: The End of the Copyfight?

        Bill C-32 will be our new copyright law – Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, explains what that means for our digital rights.

      • Belgian Court Rules That Violating Creative Commons License Subjects You To Copyright Infringement Charge

        There hasn’t been too much case law around the legitimacy of Creative Commons licenses, and some have questioned whether or not they’re really legitimate. I’ll admit that I do have some questions about certain aspects of CC licenses, but over in Belgium a court has pretty clearly claimed that Creative Commons licenses are perfectly legitimate. The case involved a band that had released its music under a CC attribution-non-commercial-no derivatives license. However, a theater apparently used the music (in a modified form) as part of an ad for its upcoming season, and the ad played on national radio.

      • Belgian Court recognises CC licences

        This is an extremely interesting ruling for various reasons. Firstly, it helps to eliminate the typical FUD that tries to undermine Creative Commons as licences that are not valid because they lack case law.

      • ACTA

        • Act on ACTA

          GUE/NGL and I are preparing a draft resolution along with MEPs from other political groups. You are most welcome to comment on the content of the draft here: https://actamotion.co-ment.com/text/GEyBvVpfwDj/view/

        • Latest ACTA leaks: EU boasts of ‘innovative’ Internet enforcement

          How close were we to getting an ISP liability regime in ACTA? New leaked documents reveal more about what went on and how the EU and US are trying to sort out their differences.

          A raft of EU documents discussing changes to the ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement) emerged unexpectedly in the public domain yesterday. The documents, which appear to originate from within the ACTA team in DG Trade, signal that the the US and EU are close to sorting out their differences, with the EU ‘winning’ on some matters.

Clip of the Day

Inkscape Tutorial by heathenx: Convex Icon


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 11/11/2010: Linux-2.6.36-libre, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Posted in News Roundup at 2:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • It’s clamfs chowder time!

    Even though windows viruses do not effect Linux systems those same Linux systems can harbour and transmit viruses to windows clients connecting to them. So it is important to make sure that these systems are kept clean. Especially if you are using the system as a Samba file server.

  • Desktop

    • I’ll Show You Mine, You Show Us Yours

      We are looking forward to seeing your screenshots. Hopefully we get lots of entries, because if my screenshot is the only option, it will make for a sad winner’s circle in our magazine.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Free as in Freedom: Episode 0×02: Needs of the Few

      Karen and Bradley discuss Stormy Peters’ departure from the GNOME Foundation, an issue of deep confusion regarding copyright licensing, and references to Spock in a recent court decision.

      This show was released on Tuesday 9 November 2010; its running time is 00:39:56.

  • Google

  • Ballnux

    • Android 2.2 For Samsung Galaxy S is Now Available

      It seems that finally Android 2.2 Froyo is available for Samsung Galaxy S.This is a good news for the owners of Samsung Galaxy S.For owners of the Samsung Galaxy S waiting for Android 2.2 Froyo is now over. The firmware was finally released yesterday for download. Who Legend in possession of HTC’s is happy because, according to HTC,Froyo will certainly be rolled out in the foreseeable future for the smartphone.Samsung Galaxy S wwill be a much better smartphone than iPhone 4 with this new Android 2.2.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux-2.6.36-libre: turning Linux’s Free Bait into Free Software

      Linux hasn’t got any Freer between the Linux-2.6.33-libre announcement, back in March, and the present announcement, that marks the release of Linux-2.6.36-libre. Linux now contains more non-Free Software, and more drivers in its Free core that require separately distributed non-Free Software to function. The welcome news is that Open Source advocates have joined the Free Software Movement in denouncing the practice of Free Bait or Open Core.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Some Small Progress On Linux GPU Laptop Switching

        A few weeks ago we reported that notebook hybrid graphics switching on Linux still sucks. For these newer laptops that boast dual GPUs — an integrated low-power IGP and a more performance-oriented discrete GPU for demanding environments with switching between the two being done “seamlessly” in real-time based upon usage or via a hot-key — the support under Linux is still virtually nonexistent. There is a crude form of Linux GPU switching, but for the most part it’s not nearly up to par for what’s available in Microsoft Windows 7 or Apple Mac OS X. The situation remains that way, but some small progress has been made.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Recent Activity… uh.. activities

        There’s one unfortunate thing here – the guy who was planning to actually create a set of templates for 4.6 is busy, and the freeze is thursday, and all we have right now is one ugly demo template I threw together in a few minutes. So if you want to create some – well, come pester me to document the process. ;) Hopefully I’ll have time to add a GHNS button to the UI too, and then more templates can be downloaded – but it’d be nice to have more than one shipped with 4.6. :)

      • One plasmoid 3 platforms

        I already extensively talked on this blog about the new QML declarative AppletScript that will be present in the upcoming 4.6 release of the KDE Platform and how is important especially in the light of the QtComponents project.

        [...]

        But wait, there are 3 rss readers shown in that video!

        The other two, shown as standalone windows, they have a very similar and coherent behavior compared to the one on the desktop, but they look completely different and have some important differences in their behavior.

        They are a version targeted to MeeGo Handheld and MeeGo Tablet (the one with a two column layout, that is possible in a larger screen)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Linux Plumbers Conference/Gnome Summit Recap

        Last week LPC and GS 2010 took place in Cambridge, MA. Like the last years, LPC showed again that — at least for me — it is one of the most relevant Linux conferences in existence, if not the single most relevant one.

      • Epidermis theme Manager – Change the Look and Feel of Ubuntu

        Epidermis theme manager is an open source GTK application for managing, automatically downloading and installing themes of various types, in order to transform the look of your Ubuntu desktop, from the moment you turn it on until the moment you turn it off.

      • ‘A New Start’ GTK Theme is Incredibly Cool!

        If Equinox and Elegant GNOME were not good enough themes for you, may be it’s time for something new like ‘A New Start’ GTK theme. It is a little too bright for my taste but still worth mentioning. Check it out.

      • Gnome Panel
      • Browsers in GNOME

        Xan opened the session by surveying the history of browsers in GNOME: Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Chrome. The status of these browsers in GNOME has varying levels of integration but–of those remaining–they have vastly more resources than Epiphany currently does.

      • Setting Goals for GNOME

        Owen opened the session by saying that historically we have relied on the Board and Marketing Team to articulate our goals and that that hasn’t been fair to either of them. The motivation for this session was to set goals as a community.

        He set some guidelines for goals: motivational, realistic, determinative.

    • Xfce

      • Xfce 4.8pre1 is released

        Today the Xfce team released the first official pre-release build of what will later become Xfce version 4.8.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Sabayon 5.4 E17 “Experimental Spin” Review

        Conclusion:

        Pros:

        * Sharp Desktop look
        * Support for installing propriatory Video drivers
        * Very stable system underneath
        * Great support via documentation, forums, and live-chat
        * Advanced Sulfur Package Manager has many options
        * Installer is similar to Ubuntu’s Ubiquity and works great

        Cons:

        * Overall package manager seems slow at times
        * E17 is still buggy in some ways
        * No legacy video driver support
        * Expand the software repositories as 10K packages might not be enough
        * Package management/updates are spread across more than one app and should maybe be combined into one.

    • New Releases

      • Clonezilla Live open source clone system updated

        Clonezilla developer Steven Shiau has announced the release of version 1.2.6-40 of Clonezilla Live. Clonezilla is an open source clone system (OCS) with features similar to Symantec Ghost Corporate Edition and Partimage, and is designed for hard disk partitioning and cloning.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enables Expanded Deployment Flexibility and Application Portability with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 hits Beta as RHEL 6 looms

        Red Hat today announced the first beta for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 — on the eve of a major Red Hat event in San Francisco, where we could be hearing about the release of RHEL 6.

        But first we’ve got RHEL 5.6 (beta) today, providing some updated apps.

      • Red Hat releases RHEL 6

        Red Hat on Wednesday released version 6 of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution.

        “RHEL 6 is the culmination of 10 years of learning and partnering,” said Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s president of products and technologies, in a webcast announcing the launch. Cormier positioned the OS both as a foundation for cloud deployments and a potential replacement for Windows Server.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Installation Process

          After that was date/time setting and Smolt. I’m not going to take a look at Fedora 14, that’ll come when I upgrade my main system. This installation was, as I mentioned at the top, in preparation for another blog post. You’ll get to hear about that when I get to it. Overall, I think the installation process is very good although it is definitely a bit more technical than other installers I’ve looked at in the past. Is that the direction we’re going with Fedora? It’s OK if the answer is yes – that’s why it rocks that there are so many Linux distros out there.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Daily ISO Available For Download

          Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal daily ISO files are available to download starting today.

        • New UbuntuForums.org Design On The Way

          The Ubuntu website and basically all the official Ubuntu related websites have been upgraded to use the new Ubuntu branding, except for Ubuntuforums.

          But that’s about to change. Mike Basinger create a blueprint @ Launchpad regarding this matter which has already been accepted, so it looks like we’ll be getting a new Ubuntuforums design soon (I’m not sure when).

        • First Look At Ubuntu 11.04 aka Natty Narwhal

          Natty Narwhal, as we know it, is going to be the most awaited Ubuntu release ever. Introduction of Unity in the desktop version of Ubuntu could also be a ‘make or break’ situation for loyal Ubuntu users.

          If the transition and expectations are not met, a huge chunk of user-base might move to Linux Mint, which has made clear in an exclusive statement to Muktware that they are neither going for Gnome Shell or Unity.

        • Video: Ubuntu 10.10 + Wayland + Compiz
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Get a $300 Drone and Fly It Using Ubuntu

      Oregonbob from Ubuntu Forums has been successful in compiling an example control on Ubuntu and it works great on his system as he posted a note about it on Ubuntu Forums. Check out the video in a link posted by him. The video includes instructions for compiling and running flight control program on Ubuntu.

    • Matrox Imaging announces Linux support for Matrox Radient eCL Camera Link frame grabber

      “The introduction of Matrox Imaging Library (MIL) support for the Matrox Radient eCL on Linux® gives system developers–who use the open-source operating system–access to this high-performance Camera Link® frame grabber,” explains Michael Chee, Product Manager, Matrox Imaging. “Linux® system developers can now take advantage of the Matrox Radient eCL’s high-bandwidth image capture–up to four Base or two Full mode Camera Link® cameras on a single board–and high-throughput FPGA-based processing capabilities”.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Progress Report
        • The MeeGo Progress Report: A+ or D-?

          [Eight months after the announcement of the MeeGo project by Intel and Nokia, guest author Dave Neary analyses the progress made to date in MeeGo Handset, and the project's prospects for the future]

        • Symbian Foundation to Transition to a Licensing Operation

          “I’m immensely proud of the work we’ve done at the Symbian Foundation. Perhaps most notably, in the last year we’ve delivered the biggest open source project ever in releasing the entire Symbian codebase under an open source license, and we did it four months ahead of schedule.”

          The first phase of the foundation’s transition will involve a reduction in operations and staff numbers. By April 2011, the Symbian Foundation will be governed by a group of non-executive directors tasked with overseeing the organisation’s licensing function.

        • Nokia reabsorbs Symbian smartphone software

          Nokia has taken back control of the Symbian operating system, 18 months after it set up a non-profit foundation to oversee its development.

      • Android

        • 10 Amazing Android Photographs

          Take a look at our 10 fantastic hand-picked photos snapped on Android handsets, and, as always, please do share your thoughts — or any great pics you’ve snapped on your Droid — in the comments below.

        • How to get shell on your Android phone from Ubuntu

          If it’s Linux, you should be able to telnet/ssh to it, right? So yes, Android does have a shell (albeit really limited), which you can access from the phone by installing a terminat app. If you want to type from a real keyboard and you want to be able to copy-paste commands from the net, you can also “telnet” to the device from your computer, by plugging in the USB cable and following some pretty simple steps.

        • Vodafone stormed by Androids

          For quite a while the TV channels are bombarded with commercials (good thing I only watch very little TV) for various phones which have touted as ultimate feature the Android operating system but today I saw something that made me smile: received from Vodafone a quite spammy-but-not-realy-spam presentation (I am the official contact inside our company, they are a big communications provider for us) about they introducing the Samsung Galaxy TAB in the offer.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Laptops Work

        When I started One Laptop per Child (OLPC) in 2004, I said that owning a connected laptop would help eliminate poverty through education, especially for the 70 million children who have no access whatsoever to schools. I still believe this. But what I have learned since—with two million laptops in 40 countries—is that reducing isolation is an even bigger issue, and that goal will be achieved with technology and only with technology. And not just Microsoft’s: the technology I have in mind is free and open software; no-cost, ubiquitous communications; and laptops or tablets that use so little power that you can charge them with a shake. (By the way, all of our two million laptops in the field today can run Windows, but fewer than a thousand do; the buyers or users have chosen Linux instead.)

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source education still needed

    This is according to the general manager at the Linux Warehouse, Shannon Moodley, commenting on the results of the Open Source Survey which attracted 499 IT professionals across various sectors in SA. This survey was carried out by ITWeb in partnership with Linux Warehouse.

  • Lessons learned from Symbian’s journey to open source and back

    With word that the Symbian Foundation is transforming again, this time away from an open source nonprofit to a licensing operation of Nokia and other Symbian developers and backers, there are indeed some lessons for how commercial open source communities work, and how they don’t.

    First, we’ll cover some of the meaning and implications for what remains of the Symbian Foundation, the Symbian OS and its primary backer Nokia. There is no question it is rightfully being viewed as a failure in terms of open source. While Symbian had some of the ingredients for a vibrant open source project — significant developer, manufacturer and user penetration, commercial backing, open source Eclipse Public License and community structure — it also struggled from the start to address one of the greatest challenges for open source projects: balancing control and community. As we’ve seen with other cases in the past, it seems it is difficult for a software project or community to succeed and grow beyond its roots and original supporters if it was not open source from the start. Even when open source from the start, it can be particularly challenging to benefit from corporate interests, investment and participation while still maintaining community independence and enthusiasm among open source developers. We also see continued evidence of this challenge and struggle with Oracle and its ongoing stewardship of and interaction with open source software projects and products that were part of Sun Microsystems, including Java, OpenOffice, and OpenSolaris.

  • The Promise Of Open Source

    Linux and open source technologies have started gaining acceptance and momentum with a host of technologies associated with FOSS having reached levels of maturity that are comparable with the best the proprietary software world has to offer. A perceived lower cost of ownership has been pushing enterprises and SMBs to switch to open source-based solutions.

    According to Springboard Research, Linux on the server platform has grown its way to a prominent position in the Indian server OS market with its adoption rate increasing from 7 percent to 8.1 percent (and rising) over a 13-month period since April 2009.

  • Document Foundation

    • LibreOffice: Document Foundation Steering Committee Public Phone Conference 12-Nov-2010

      The Document Foundation’s steering committee will hold a public phone conference on November 12, 2010, 1400 UTC.

    • ROSE Blog Interviews: The Document Foundation’s Jacqueline Rahemipour

      On October 31, Jacqueline Rahemipour posted a letter on the dev@native-lang.openoffice.org mailing list called Every end is a new beginning. The letter, which was signed by Rahemipour and 32 other OpenOffice.org contributors, addressed Oracle’s response to the recent creation of The Document Foundation. The letter says, “Oracle’s official response to the announcement of The Document Foundation was clear – Oracle will continue OpenOffice.org as usual. The result is now indeed the lately postulated conflict of interest for those community members who are in charge of or representing project, but to whom it is not enough ‘to continue working as we always did’.” The letter ends with the contributors announcing that they are leaving their positions with the OpenOffice.org project: “The answer for us who sign this letter is clear: We want a change to give the community as well as the software it develops the opportunity to evolve. For this reason, from now on we will support The Document Foundation and will – as a team – develop and promote LibreOffice.”

  • Web Browsers

    • World, Meet RockMelt

      Any intro to RockMelt wouldn’t be complete without recognizing all the tremendous work that came before us—and which we’ve built upon. We’re based on Chromium, the open source project behind Google’s Chrome browser, which in turn is based on WebKit, the open source HTML layout engine used by Apple, as well as a host of other projects from Mozilla and others. These projects, which we contribute to, represent the best browser technology out there. RockMelt wouldn’t be possible without these projects, as well as the open APIs, help and support we’ve received from Facebook, Twitter, and others. We’re proud and deeply grateful to be able to build on the shoulders of these giants. Thanks friends!

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • It’s not Apache vs. Oracle; it’s Oracle vs. open source

      Apache is stuck between a rock and a hard place. It can’t certify that its open-source Java, Harmony is Java compatible. Oracle, like Sun before it, won’t release the needed certification tests. Without that Apache can’t certify that Harmony is really Java for legal purposes. Adding insult to injury, IBM, which had been Harmony’s biggest backer, moved away from the project to support, with Oracle, OpenJDK.

      What’s an open-source foundation to do? It can try to force Oracle to co-operate by using its seat in the Java Community Process (JCP) Executive Committee, the group that, in theory, runs Java to vote against approving Java 7 when it eventually comes up for approval. By itself, Apache can’t stop it, but it’s calling on other JCP members to also vote against it to protest Oracle’s refusal to work with Apache on certifying Harmony.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Is the source of open source the root of all evil

        Most open source software does not come from open source companies, or the open source community.

        It comes from proprietary companies. It comes from folks wanting to sell stuff by connecting their wares to the power open source provides.

  • Project Releases

    • MythTV 0.24 Available

      When we released MythTV version 0.23 in May, we promised you a number of exciting new features and improvements. Today, we deliver. MythTV version 0.24 is now available for download, and it includes the brand new OSD, all-new HD audio support, Blu-ray support, and countless other features and fixes.

  • Licensing

    • Telstra promises GPL fix, if necessary

      The nation’s largest telco Telstra has promised to fix any open source licensing issues associated with its new batch of branded products, in response to developer claims that its T-Hub and T-Box products weren’t compliant with the terms of the popular GNU General Public License.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • RLUK and the Democratization of Knowledge

        I’m talking later this week on the Democratization of knowledge to the RLUK conference. RLUK is the professional body for Research Libraries (i.e. mainly University Libraries) in the UK.

        I don’t yet know what I shall talk about. I had hoped that we could generate a bottom-up activity in the domain of libraries which would excite people about the new possibilities and help to grow new activities. I had thought that the Open release of the BL’s catalogue data would excite librarians and give rise to community activities, but I can’t find interest by blogging and tweeting. I’d hoped we could arrange a mini-bookathon in 30 minutes using this as a focus. I wanted at least 15 minutes of the session as constructive but tough discussion.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Plugfest presentations published

      The 12 MB Zip contains all presentations of the Brussels Plugfest, jointly organized by the Belgian governments on October 14 and 15. Both closed and open source products were presented.

Leftovers

  • Carphone Warehouse sells 99p mobile phone

    The Carphone Warehouse has started selling a mobile phone for just 99p – which might come in handy for businesses looking to provide back-up phones for their workers.

  • How To See New York’s Secret City Hall Subway Stop

    New York’s famous City Hall subway station, one of the most gorgeous gems in the world of mass transit, has been closed for decades. Now it can be viewed again by in-the-know riders of the 6 train. Here’s how.

  • Ask retreats from web search market

    Ask.com is abandoning its search technology to concentrate on answering questions using third-party engines.

  • Wikipedia sister Wikia undergoes major redesign

    Wikia’s two million registered users have created over 165,000 wikis since the site was launched.

  • Science

    • Preserving science: what data do we keep? What do we discard?

      In part one of our series on scientific data preservation, we spent some time discussing the challenges of making sure the samples used to generate scientific data get kept around. It might seem that there’s an obvious solution to that issue: document things, digitize them, and take advantage of the rapid increases in hard drive capacity. After all, that’s what we do with data from one-time events, like earthquakes and astronomical events. It’s a nice thought, but two recent developments point out that it’s little more than wishful thinking.

      The first is that, as the LHC has ramped up the pace of its collisions, software filters have kicked in that are starting to determine which events actually get archived. Instead of a “preserve everything” approach to scientific data, the people running the LHC are now taking a “preserve the interesting stuff and a random sample of the rest” approach. As collision intensities continue to ramp up, that random sample will be an ever-shrinking slice of the full complement of events taking place. At full beam intensity, three levels of filtering will take place, each of which will discard all but one of every 10,000 collisions recorded.

    • McMaster scientists turn skin into blood

      In an important breakthrough, scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to make human blood from adult human skin.

      The discovery, published in the prestigious science journal Nature today, could mean that in the foreseeable future people needing blood for surgery, cancer treatment or treatment of other blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions. Clinical trials could begin as soon as 2012.

    • What Are Vectors, and How Are They Used?
    • ‘Gooooooo Science!’

      Olson filmed the squad as they performed at the US Science and Engineering Festival two weeks ago. What the world needs even more than education, Olson says, is the “motivation” to go out and learn. The Science Cheerleaders help do that, he adds.

    • The importance of stupidity in scientific research

      I recently saw an old friend for the first time in many years. We had been Ph.D. students at the same time, both studying science, although in different areas. She later dropped out of graduate school, went to Harvard Law School and is now a senior lawyer for a major environmental organization. At some point, the conversation turned to why she had left graduate school. To my utter astonishment, she said it was because it made her feel stupid. After a couple of years of feeling stupid every day, she was ready to do something else.

      I had thought of her as one of the brightest people I knew and her subsequent career supports that view. What she said bothered me. I kept thinking about it; sometime the next day, it hit me. Science makes me feel stupid too. It’s just that I’ve gotten used to it. So used to it, in fact, that I actively seek out new opportunities to feel stupid. I wouldn’t know what to do without that feeling. I even think it’s supposed to be this way. Let me explain.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Tom Lubbock: a memoir of living with a brain tumour

      For art critic Tom Lubbock, language has been his life and his livelihood. But in 2008, he developed a lethal brain tumour and was told he would slowly lose control over speech and writing. This is his account of what happens when words slip away

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Wikileaks Mutineers Create Rival Organization

      Domscheit-Berg is one of the leaders of the new whistleblower undertaking. The group’s personnel looks to possibly number between half a dozen and a dozen people so far.

      The new organization would not be the only alternative to Wikileaks, as the Wall Street Journal points out. The most prominent rival is probably Cryptome, who have leaked documents concerning Wikileaks.

    • More Stansted shenanigans: scanned 7 year old now afraid to fly

      Hot on the heels of the story of a woman forced to go into a private room to expose scars from her hip-replacement surgery to Stansted Airport security officials, a BBW supporter has written with news of yet another case of intrusive scanning at the airport.

    • UK.gov plans net surveillance by 2015

      In its departmental business plan, published today, the Home Office said it aims that “key proposals [will be] implemented for the storage and acquisition of internet and e-mail records” by June 2015.

    • US senator wants war on Iran

      Iranian officials have warned that any act of aggression by the US and Israel against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be firmly responded to and could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.

    • Conned by Democracy: The Middle East’s Stagnant ‘Change’

      Democracy in the Middle East continues to be a hugely popular topic of discussion. Its virtues are tirelessly praised by rulers and oppositions alike, by intellectuals and ordinary people, by political prisoners and their prison guards. Yet, in actuality, it also remains an illusion, if not a front to ensure the demise of any real possibility of public participation in decision-making.

  • Finance

    • How Obama Saved Capitalism and Lost the Midterms

      If I were one of the big corporate donors who bankrolled the Republican tide that carried into office more than 50 new Republicans in the House, I would be wary of what you just bought.

      For no matter your view of President Obama, he effectively saved capitalism. And for that, he paid a terrible political price.

      Suppose you had $100,000 to invest on the day Barack Obama was inaugurated. Why bet on a liberal Democrat? Here’s why: the presidency of George W. Bush produced the worst stock market decline of any president in history. The net worth of American households collapsed as Bush slipped away. And if you needed a loan to buy a house or stay in business, private sector borrowing was dead when he handed over power.

    • What I’ve Learned, By Skype’s Niklas Zennstrom

      That’s why Niklas Zennstrom is such a role model to entrepreneurs this side of the Atlantic. Not only did he co-found and run Skype, the London-based internet-phone start-up which eBay bought in 2005 for $3.1 billion — a venture more than two dozen venture capitalists turned down flat. He also, with business partner Janus Friis, created the game-changing peer-to-peer software Kazaa, launched the online video-sharing service Joost, and now runs a Mayfair-based investment firm called Atomico which recently raised $165 million.

    • Google scares Aussie banks

      Managers from Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, GM Bank, Rabobank and Spain-based Bankinter chaired a panel discussion at FST media’s Future of Banking and Financial Services conference last week where they were challenged by members of the financial sector on their apparent slack innovation efforts.

      RaboDirect general manager Greg McAweeney told an audience from the finance sector in Sydney last week that companies such as Google and PayPal are more responsive and trusted than banks.

    • Why High-Speed Traders Should Set Up Shop in Siberia

      Ultra-fast computer-assisted trading make up about half the trades in many markets. It’s a realm in which a minute might as well be a day; the smartest trades are made by being milliseconds faster than anyone else. For this reason, many firms set up shop near market exchanges, for the simple reason that being closer translates into getting information quicker. “Even money can’t move faster than the speed of light,” as New Scientist puts it, and our world of ubiquitous digital communications still must obey the laws of physics.

      The insight of the MIT researchers, Alexander Wissner-Gross and Cameron Freer, is that some automated traders–or at the very least, their server farms–will be best positioned in-between certain exchanges. Since some trading strategies capitalize on price fluctuations between separate exchanges in different parts of the world, the optimally located server will receive information from those exchanges at precisely the same moment, gaining that millisecond advantage over the competitor. In some cases that pefect location is the midpoint between the two exchanges, but not always–it depends on whether the exchanges’ prices move at the same speed or not.

    • Government cuts will put legal action out of reach of the poor

      I doubt many Observer readers understand either. To be educated and middle class is to know how to raise your voice without losing your temper; how to ask in an icy tone for a bureaucrat’s name and the contact details of his superior, while leaving the question: “Do you know who I am and how much trouble I can cause you?” hanging in the air.

    • Co-operatives UK in negotiations on new accounting rules that undermine the dividend

      Co-operatives UK is contesting proposed changes to international accounting standards that will result in payments of dividends being treated unfairly, warning that the sector may need to campaign if the standard is not amended.

      The new standard, which is being proposed by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), if implemented, will require co-operatives to treat dividends as refunds and therefore deduct them from their revenue, which in turn will have a significant impact on their accounts and reporting.

    • Colorado DA drops felony hit-and-run charges against billion-dollar financier because of “serious job implications”

      Colorado District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has dropped felony charges against Martin Joel Erzinger, a Morgan Stanley Smith Barney wealth manager who controls $1 billion in investments, because financial rules would require Erzinger to notify his clients that he was charged with a felony, and this would have “serious job implications” for the financier. Erzinger is facing charges for allegedly rear-ending cyclist Dr. Steven Milo, and then leaving the scene of the crime. Milo, a liver transplant surgeon, has spinal and brain injuries, disfiguring scars, and will likely be in pain for the rest of his life.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Protest Works. Just Look at the Evidence — And Start to Fight Back

      There is a ripple of rage spreading across America. It is clearer every day that the people of the United States have been colossally scammed. Everyone can see the bankers who crashed the economy are richer and fatter than ever, on taxpayers’ cash, and the only people the political class is hurrying to help are the super-rich fund who their campaigns. Yet the rage is being directed by a minority in a totally wrong direction – towards building a Tea Party that is dedicated to stripping away even the pathetically puny regulations on the banks and the rich introduced by Obama.

    • The Information Super-Sewer: The Internet Is Hijacked By Corporate Interests

      Interesting article from Chris Hedges on Global Research earlier this year. Author Jaron Lanier is quoted in this article as saying, “Funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from one’s anus to one’s mouth.”

    • EU: Close The Revolving Doors

      Top European Union politicians are rushing from their public positions to become corporate lobbyists. The rules to prevent such abuses are ridiculously weak.

      EU decision-making is being corrupted by these practices, but the European Parliament has now threatened to withhold EU budget money until a new code of conduct is introduced.

    • Nadine Dorries and her blog

      Once upon a time, what happened in social media stayed in the social media.

      What was said on blogs and on Twitter was inconsequential. It didn’t really matter; nobody would notice, nobody would care in the real world.

      However, the astonishing abuse of her blog by an elected member of parliament is challenging such complacent assumptions. For there are now grave questions to be raised as to the weird and worrying conduct of Nadine Dorries, the Conservative MP for Mid Bedfordshire.

      First, a confession. I used to admire Dorries’s blogging in her early days (see my comment here). Accordingly, what I have now to report cannot be dismissed as the smears of some long-time opponent. Instead, it is tinged with the sadness one has when witnessing any decline and fall.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • TV Tropes Self-Censoring Under Google Pressure

      The popular wiki TV Tropes, a site dedicated to the discussion of various tropes, clichés and other common devices in fiction has suddenly decided to put various of its pages behind a ‘possibly family-unsafe’ content warning, apparently due to pressure by Google withdrawing its ads. What puzzles me most is the content that is put behind this warning. TV Tropes features no explicit sexual content, and no explicit violence.

    • Security or student politics

      Is Tom Harris MP correct on civil liberties?

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Audience control, and why net neutrality is no longer about supporting the innovative little guys

      But don’t be fooled into thinking supporting network neutrality is about standing up for internet entrepreneur David against incumbent Goliaths of the technology world.

      Fifteen years ago, sure. Ten years ago, maybe. Ten years ago the internet was still dominated by the telcos and equipment manufacturers. But the real service operators – not the ISPs but the companies providing services via the internet – were already on their unstoppable march to supremacy.

      Whilst the established giants of the software world were figuring out what to do with the internet a new breed of tech companies started to colonise cyberspace. Amazon.com formed in 1994 and launched in 1995. A mere 15 years later and only two other retailers – Wal-Mart and Home Depot – were larger in terms of market capitalisation.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ethics of intellectual monopolies
    • [Glyn Moody's] A Tale of Two Conferences
    • Throwing the Book Against Intellectual Monopoly

      Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine have now engaged Cambridge University Press to publish their book Against Intellectual Monopoly, which is, hypocritically, subject to the artificial reproduction monopoly of copyright. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether this indicts the authors for their selection of publisher, or the reputedly academic publisher for failing to educate themselves with the words they lay claim to and neutralise their monopoly – or both.

    • The Innovation Delusion

      In the United States, innovation has become almost synonymous with economic competitiveness. Even more remarkable, we often hear that our economic salvation can only be through innovation. We hear that because of low Asian wages we must innovate because we cannot really compete in anything else. Inventive Americans will do the R&D and let the rest of the world, usually China, do the dull work of actually making things. Or we’ll do programming design but let the rest of the world, usually India, do low-level programming. This is a totally mistaken belief and one that, if accepted, will consign this nation to second- or third-class status.

    • Copyrights

      • New Zealand internet disconnect

        The New Zealand government signed on as an official record label corporate copyright enforcement agency last year, in the process becoming the, “first country in the world to implement a graduated response [three strikes and you're out] system,” as Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music’s IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) announced.

      • MPAA Lists Major Torrent, Usenet and Hosting Sites In Submission To U.S. Government

        In a response to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the MPAA has submitted a list of “notorious markets” for pirated goods located outside the United States. Among them are some of the world’s leading torrent sites including BTjunkie, Demonoid, isoHunt, KickAssTorrents and The Pirate Bay. Usenet service UseNext makes an appearance alongside file-hosters MegaUpload and RapidShare.

      • 5 Torrent Files That Broke Mind Boggling Records

        BitTorrent was first released by Bram Cohen back in 2001, but it took two years before the new file-sharing protocol gained a notable audience. In the years that followed millions of torrent files were downloaded and shared billions of times. In this article we will discuss five memorable torrent files that each broke a unique record, from the largest in size to the oldest that’s still alive today.

      • The Guardian and The Web

        Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation this week released some figures on the success or otherwise of its experiment in paid online journalism, the project which has put the London Times and Sunday Times behind a paywall.

        It’s being watched around the world by newspapers desperate at the double decline of their sales and advertising revenue. Papers like the Sydney Daily Telegraph, Melbourne Herald Sun, Brisbane Courier Mail and Adelaide Advertiser are expected to go behind a paywall next year.

      • Why The Book Business May Soon Be The Most Digital Of All Media Industries

        Consider it an inauguration of sorts, a celebration of the e-book industry becoming a member of the major media club just as digital music and online video have before them. When you influence a billion dollars, people have to take you seriously. In the book business, it means that traditional publishers can no longer live in deny-and-delay mode; meanwhile, digital publishers get invited to better parties and people in other media businesses like TV and magazines look over and wonder if they could cut a slice of this new pie just for them.

      • eBook Sales to Hit $1 Billion By Year’s End, $3 Billion by 2015

        With the holiday season just gearing up and sales of eBooks and eBook readers likely to go into overdrive, analyst firm Forrester is predicting that 2010 will finish with just under $1 billion in eBooks sales.

      • Should we have fair use in the UK?

        Just to outline some thoughts on introducing a fair use style exception to UK copyright law, especially as it has seemed to pop back up again in the news. One wonders though how one can be prepared to make our IP laws “fit for the internet age” yet still be the land where we have the Digital Economy Act, but one digresses…

        In discussing UK fair use proposals, I assume most people mean introducing the US concept of fair use.

      • Links: Copyright Reform; Who Will Benefit?
      • Oh Look, More Cord Cutters: Time Warner Cable Loses 155,000 TV Subscribers

        Back in August, we wrote about a NY Times article insisting that the cable companies had beaten the internet and the idea that people would “cut the cord” and get their TV from the internet was something of a myth. The centerpiece of the story was a single anecdote of a guy who tried to just watch TV on the internet, but went back to cable. Because, you know, a single anecdote must represent a trend. We noted the irony that the day after that article came out, reports broke that cable TV had suffered its first ever decline in subscribers.

      • EC lobs grenades at copyright’s Ancien Régime
      • BPI file sharing evidence: we ask for a yes or no answer

        At the end of September, we wrote to Geoff Taylor of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to ask about what we believe to be inaccuracies on their website about their “standards of evidence”. Specifically, the BPI are continuing to claim that their evidence has been accepted by the courts as conclusive evidence. We have not as yet received a reply from the BPI.

      • ACTA

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Net providers get Digital Economy Act judicial review

          TalkTalk and BT have been granted judicial review of the Digital Economy Act by the High Court.

          A judge will now scrutinise whether the act is legal and justifiable, and could make wide-ranging recommendations.

Clip of the Day

kubuntu 10.10


Credit: TinyOgg

11.10.10

Links 10/11/2010: Mageia Alpha in December, New ACTA Leak

Posted in News Roundup at 7:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Linux Audio Blog #3

      Some additional comments about operating systems with some more detail including MMUs, Amigas, old computer hardware and where computing is going, 16 minutes duration.

  • Google

    • Google Chrome OS: unlike Android, it’s open source

      Unlike Android, Google Chrome OS is open source.

      Whereas Android is coded behind closed doors — one big-name developer says it’s no more open than Apple’s iOS — Google’s imminent browser-based operating system is built — in large part — where everyone can see it. A portion of the project remains closed — Google’s boot-time-boosting firmware work — but like the browser it’s based on, Chrome OS is a platform that can serve Google’s ad-centric purposes even if its code is set completely free.

    • Chrome OS ARM Powered laptops could debut this month!

      Inventec may be preparing to ship 60-70 thousand ARM Powered laptops running the Chrome OS laptop starting later this month according to Taiwan based rumor and fact website Digitimes.com. This may be the absolute demonstration of the shifting trend to come in laptops, where Intel and Microsoft will not be needed anymore and laptops can run ARM Cortex processors with fast I/O, good RAM, flash based storage, very thin and light form factors with very long battery runtime and instant boot, all running full Chrome web browser OS, one that loads all websites at full speed and provides fast web browsing.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE versus GNOME

      Judging by the analysis above, it may look as if GNOME was a much better desktop manager than KDE, but that’s really not the case. Both are evenly matched on most areas, but there are still some elements making a difference, specially in terms of reliability and ease of use.

      The GNOME development community has lately invested many of its resources on the upcoming GNOME shell release. Because of that, the current GNOME desktop has not been experiencing the aggressive evolution that KDE is enjoying (and sometimes suffering from). As a result, GNOME has become more and more solid with each recent release, which I believe has played to its advantage. On the other hand, KDE is relentlessly evolving, and even if that aggressive development is risky at times, it is already bringing tangible results. I believe it just needs a small effort to rationalize all concepts and settle down a few features to more stable levels.

      If I had to say which one is best today, I would have to go with GNOME, if only because I consider its superior reliability a critical element. Looking forward, though, the picture is anything but clear. The GNOME shell has been heavily criticized and suffers from never ending delays (which may explain why Ubuntu has decided to drop its use and go with Unity). The latest KDE releases are achieving the exact opposite, getting users excited with recent releases and the vast improvements that came with them. I believe that the final release of the GNOME shell and KDE SC 5.0 (which may coincide in the second half of 2011) will be the decisive point that may tilt the balance one way or the other.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Frank Karlitschek Introduces Bretzn

        Current features of the API include categories, screen shots, change logs, commenting, rating, search and update notification. Furthermore, applications can be either free or paid; payment goes directly to the developer. Not all AppStore clients include all features right now. The KDE GHNS (Get Hot New Stuff) client is probably the most complete as it has been around the longest.

        Social features include providing notifications directly to the desktop using the Social Desktop API. This includes categories such as “what my friends like”, “what my friends develop” and Knowledge Base integration.

        The project is 3/4 complete, and the team intends to ship in December. They are working with other openSUSE developers to make a proof-of-concept openSUSE AppStore that they want to ship in the upcoming openSUSE 11.4 release.

      • Martin Eisenhardt

        Five years is a very long time in software; just look back to 2005 and remember how things were back then. Therefore, I do not have a clear vision as such, but rather like to envision a path into the future.

        I believe and hope that KDE will continue to be on the leading edge of modern desktops, and that it keeps developing the kind of neat little (and bigger!) tools that I really like about KDE right now.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Fork Mageia to See Alpha this December

        In light of continuing financial troubles, exiting developers and managers, and the uncertain future of desktop development, a group of former employees and developers–with community supporters–came together to fork Mandriva in order to preserve and further the beloved system. Things have been quiet since the initial announcement of Mageia, until recently. Some details of the plan and a roadmap have now emerged.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14: Who is Reviewing the Reviewers?

          Fedora has had a greatly expanding package set with each successive release… and during each release’s life cycle a significant number of new packages are added to the Fedora Updates repository even though they aren’t updates. A large percentage of packages have updated versions with new features and bug fixes and there are a lot of features for all kinds of users including desktop users. In fact, the amount of software overlap that exists between all of the mainstream Linux distros is a bit scary. There really isn’t that much of a difference with the most commonly used software packages across them.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity

          During the presentation Shuttleworth goes to great lengths to discuss the rational basis of choices made and the history of the project. That helps me understand what it is about. The goals of Unity and how they are progressing towards them seem appropriate and likely to succeed.

        • Linux Mint Not To Switch To Unity

          Mint is one of the most polished GNU/Linux distros based on Ubuntu. Canonical recently announced that they are abandoning the upcoming Gnome Shell and move to Unity along with a long-term plan to replace X with Wayland. This raises the question, what will happen to Linux Mint which is an Ubuntu derivative?

          Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint, told Muktware, “We’re not planning to switch to Unity but to keep our desktop as similar as it is at the moment. So it’s hard to say how we’ll achieve this technically but we’re aiming at using Gnome without Gnome Shell :)”

          This is good news for Gnome fans, who neither wanted the new Gnome Shell or Unity.

        • The Future for Linux Doesn’t Lie in Retracing Old Footsteps

          As the computing model shifts from desktop-centric usage to usage on mobile devices of all stripes, the world of Linux is responding in impressively fleet-footed fashion, but that’s not necessarily true of all users. Many Linux users still see the desktop computer as the Holy Grail, and foresee future success for Linux in mimicking the strategies of companies such as Microsoft and Apple, which historically focused on dominance on the desktop.

          For example, the Muktware blog ponders whether Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth can be the next Steve Jobs. Is that even what Shuttleworth’s goal should be, though?

        • Why Canonical should buy System76

          Canonical seems to be pursuing a very Apple-like strategy with Ubuntu. This might be a winning strategy, but the company is missing one major piece: Its own hardware. Canonical needs to stop waiting on mainstream OEMs to get excited about Linux on the desktop and buy its own OEM, like System76.

          In recent weeks the company has announced that it would be replacing GNOME’s default UI in its next release, and has embraced a replacement for X on the desktop called Wayland. Canonical have been putting much of its development muscle behind Ubuntu One in the last few releases, and on a lot of polish for the desktop look and feel, and they’ve been replacing many desktop applications with simpler software in an attempt to ensure that the Ubuntu desktop is suitable for mainstream users. But all of this isn’t worth diddly if they can’t get Ubuntu in front of more mainstream users — and Canonical is in for a long string of disappointments if they’re hoping Dell, HP, or any other major OEM will back Ubuntu in a real way.

        • on glorious leaders

          Yet, here’s the thing. Wayland’s been around for years. Anyone who’s moderately involved in Linux graphics stuff – even just an interested observer like me, hell, like anyone who reads Phoronix – knew about it already. The vision was out there for anyone who cared. Yet still, Mark saying ‘oh hey this looks neat’ becomes a huge splash. Why? I don’t know, really. Because Mark is Mark, I suppose.

          I’d get much more excited about a blog post from an engineer – oh happy day if it were a Canonical engineer – saying ‘hey, look at all this neat work I’m doing to make GTK+ work with Wayland’ or ‘hey, look at these improvements I’m making in nouveau to support Wayland use’ and then noting ‘this is because we want to take Wayland to the desktop’. But maybe that’s just my prejudice. I think it’s kind of sad that it seems like you need a Glorious Leader to have the world sit up and take notice of something, but especially in software, it seems like it’s the case.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Adventures in Kubuntu: Day two

            Yes, I know it’s been more than a day since the Day One post, but I didn’t really do anything with the Kubuntu machine the next day.

            Today I installed kubuntu-desktop on my laptop to see what it would be like to work all day in the KDE environment. I was emboldened by one of the commenters’ instructions on how to get a more “normal” desktop, so I tried that, and it worked. I figured, if I can just go back to that paradigm to get through the workday, I should be okay.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • First look at MeeGo v1.0 netbook operating system

          MeeGo Linux is a custom operating system designed for netbooks, smartphones, and other internet-connected devices. Today MeeGo v1.0 was released, and this video provides an overview of some of the features of the operating system.

        • Comparing Netbook Desktops – Part 4, MeeGo

          After having looked at three more or less “traditional” Linux desktops on a netbook – Ubuntu Unity, KDE Plasma Netbook and Jolicloud – now I am going to look at a very un-traditional desktop, MeeGo. Descended from the Moblin project, and now being developed jointly by Intel and Nokia, MeeGo is intended to be a user interface for the entire range of mobile products, including netbooks, tablets, smart phones and more. As such, it is designed to be as general and flexible as possible, and is very “visual” and “touch” oriented. It will be intersting to see how this plays out in the market, if/when we finally start to see some MeeGo devices become generally available.

          [...]

          In summary, I would say that I have been quite pleasantly surprised by MeeGo while writing this short review. When I have looked at it previously, both as MeeGo 1.0 and as Moblin before that, I found it quite confusing, and so buggy that it was difficult to determine what parts I didn’t understand and what parts just weren’t working properly.

Free Software/Open Source

  • NZ Open Source Awards winners announced

    This evening the NZ Open Source Awards 2010 celebrated and rewarded the best and most innovative in New Zealand’s open source software at a gala event attended by more than 200 people at the Intercontinental Wellington with Mark Cubey, Producer of Saturday Morning with Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand, as MC.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle

    • Apache declares war on Oracle over Java

      Charging that Oracle has willfully disregarded the licensing terms for its own Java technology, the Apache Software Foundation has called upon other members of the Java Community Process (JCP) to vote against the next proposed version of the language, should Oracle continue to impose restrictions on open-source Java use.

      The nonprofit organization has also indicated that it could end its involvement in the JCP if the licensing restrictions stay in place.

    • The Java Trap
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The LilyPond Report #22

      What’s not to love with GNU LilyPond? Meaning: is it at all possible, either to mildly appreciate it, or perhaps even to hate the hell out of it?

      On our reviews page, I recently stumbled upon Nicolas Sceaux’s statement that he used to have “a love-hate relationship” with LilyPond. Coming from arguably the most skilled LilyPonder in the world, this is somehow surprising.

    • Compiler Benchmarks Of GCC, LLVM-GCC, DragonEgg, Clang

      LLVM 2.8 was released last month with the Clang compiler having feature-complete C++ support, enhancements to the DragonEgg GCC plug-in, a near feature-complete alternative to libstdc++, a drop-in system assembler, ARM code-generation improvements, and many other changes. With there being great interest in the Low-Level Virtual Machine, we have conducted a large LLVM-focused compiler comparison at Phoronix of GCC with versions 4.2.1 through 4.6-20101030, GCC 4.5.1 using the DragonEgg 2.8 plug-in, LLVM-GCC with LLVM 2.8 and GCC 4.2, and lastly with Clang on LLVM 2.8.

    • Is it time for Free software to move on?

      As this section from the initial 1983 announcement of the GNU project shows, Stallman naturally focussed on the key software components of an operating system: kernel plus editor, shell, C compiler, linker, assembler, etc. Once these were available, the idea was to move on to user space – things like text formatters, games and even a spreadsheet.

      Of course, this plan was rather derailed by the difficulty in getting the very first of these – the kernel – sorted out. It was only when a Finnish student working in his Helsinki bedroom offered his “just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like GNU” project that things finally began to fall into place. By then, nearly ten years had passed since the original call to digital arms by RMS, and the computing world had moved on.

      [...]

      Of course, this did not mean that work on the lower levels of free software ceased. Quite the contrary: the Linux kernel and other infrastructural programs continued to advance, and soon came to dominate areas like supercomputing, where 91% of the top 500 machines run some form of Linux, and enterprise systems, where GNU/Linux is now widely deployed in mission-critical roles.

      One particularly important development in free software on the desktop was the appearance of Mozilla, and then Firefox. This reflected the corresponding rise of the internet as the principal motor of computing innovation. Aside from the respectable market share that Firefox now holds, its main effect has been to force Microsoft to support more open Web standards. This creates a level playing field for Web applications, whether or not people are using Firefox.

      [...]

      As this makes clear, all the options of proprietary apps can be mimicked with this new system, including the ability to charge for them. But unlike the mobile apps on the iPhone, say, there will be multiple app stores offering such open web apps: no one company will be able to dictate terms for inclusion. Even better, these new kinds of apps will be cross-platform, thus reversing the tendency to lock users into one particular hardware choice.

  • Government

    • East meets West: the U.S.-India open government dialogue

      Both governments also agreed to work together to advance open government globally and to share best practices, encourage collaborative models, as well as to spur innovations that empower citizens, and foster effective government in other interested countries.

      And when it comes to “collaborative models,” can there be any collaborative model that has been more successful than open source?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Uncovering open access

        To the general public, “doing science” is all about discovery. But in truth, that’s only half the picture. Consider the experience of an obscure nineteenth-century Augustinian monk…

        From 1856 to 1863, Gregor Mendel cultivated and observed 29,000 pea plants and managed to unlock some of the secrets of heredity, including the concepts of dominant and recessive traits.

        In 1865, Mendel presented his findings as a two-part lecture, “Experiments on Plant Hybridization,” before the tiny Natural History Society of Brünn (present-day Brno, Czech Republic). A year later, he published his findings in the society’s Proceedings, of which 115 copies are known to have been distributed. With that, his painstaking work disappeared—virtually without a trace—for 35 years. In scientific terms, an eon.

Leftovers

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Conclusion Nears With “Technical Round” Set For Late November

          Newly leaked documents from the European Union shed new light into the latest ACTA developments, indicating that the U.S. and E.U. are nearing agreement on the outstanding issues and that a further “technical round” – seemingly round 12 by another name – is set for Sydney, Australia from November 30th to December 3rd (or possibly the 4th).

        • EU: ACTA Digital Lock Rules Don’t Cover Access Controls

          Newly leaked documents produced by the European Commission provide insight into the EU’s view on the ACTA Internet enforcement chapter. The analysis confirms what should be obvious from the text – ACTA retains the flexibility that exists at international law in the digital lock rules by linking circumvention with copyright infringement. The EU interpretation again demonstrates that the Bill C-32 digital lock rules go far beyond what is required within WIPO and now within ACTA. Indeed, the European Commission states unequivocally that ACTA does not cover access controls nor acts not prohibited by copyright (would could include fair dealing). This provides further evidence that compromise language that links circumvention with actual copyright infringement is possible within Bill C-32 that will still allow Canada to be compliant with WIPO and ACTA.

        • Draft November II Resolution on ACTA
        • Digital locks, iPod levy are Copyright bill contentions

          Bill C-32 passed second reading in the House of Commons Nov. 5 and has been passed on to committee for debate. At issue are the bill’s protection of digital locks, which can be used to prevent a consumer from copying a DVD to a computer, for example. The bill also excludes the collection of a levy to compensate creators and copyright owners for the legitimate copying of their works.

          The bill is the third attempt by the Conservative government to update Canada’s copyright law. It follows a series of public consultations held over the summer of 2009 by Industry Minister Tony Clement and Heritage Minister James Moore.

          C-32′s digital locks provision is a central element of the bill and those who argue against it are wrong, Moore said in the House during question period.

Clip of the Day

Virtual Desktops


Credit: TinyOgg

11.09.10

Links 9/11/2010: GNOME Shell 2.91.2 Released, Linux Pre-Installed Advice

Posted in News Roundup at 3:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Thanks for the $3700, Linux

    I have a fun question for Linux users today: What will you do with your US$3700?

    That’s the money you won’t have to pay to Microsoft, over the course of your lifetime, to use your computer.

    That number might sound a bit random, but there is a vague resemblance of math behind it.

  • Tales From the Linux Dark Side
  • 24 things we’d change about Linux

    If you use Linux long enough, you’ll soon discover a list of things you wished were different.

    Here are 24 things that we wish were different.

    What would you change? Share your thoughts in the comments.

  • Why You Should Only Buy Linux Pre-Installed on your Systems

    The market share is still based flatly on the number of units sold—the thing business people care about.

  • Linux life savers for paranoid penguins

    Best of Linux So far, in my look at Linux compared to Mac and Windows, I’ve covered music players, photo organizers, and video editors. But all those apps – and all the documents they create – are lost if your hard drive crashes, your laptop takes a spill, or some other catastrophe strikes.

    If you have documents, you must have a backup solution – Mac users at least have the option of Time Machine and Windows offers Live Drive. In this final installment of my look at the Linux desktop, I’ll assess how Linux stacks up against backup solutions for Windows and OS X.

  • Learning to Program

    Linux user who wants to learn computer programming. Linux is an excellent choice for this, because there are a huge number of programming languages available for it….and all free.

  • How do I compile my windows programs under Linux?

    Lets just imagine that we are a programming gurus. We have written all sorts of programs from spread sheets, financial, graphical drawing, GIS and even lotto programs. We have done silly little programs which move animated faces around the screen and written programs for constructing kitchens. When it comes to programming in windows there is nothing we cannot do.

  • Desktop

    • Linux: Does Being Competitive with Windows Matter?

      The difference is that things are happening in reverse this time. Linspire, nearing its demise, was becoming more “open” with their Freespire distribution efforts, while Ubuntu is locking down default installations with its Unity desktop. And the Ubuntu application store is demonstrating a remarkable similarity to that of Linspire’s CNR software management concept.

    • The Linux Alternative To Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 Goes Into Beta

      Userful Corporation, the global leader in Linux desktop virtualization, today released a Beta version of it’s Linux alternative to Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010. The software, named Userful MultiSeat Linux 2011TM, turns 1 Linux computer into 10 high performance independent computer stations. It offers the same features as Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, plus some additional features MultiPoint lacks such as hundreds of free educational software applications, and a suite of tools for managing classroom computers.

      Calgary, AB – Userful Corporation, the global leader in Linux desktop virtualization, today released a Beta version of its Linux alternative to Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010. The software, named Userful MultiSeat Linux 2011TM, turns 1 Linux computer into 10 high performance independent computer stations. It offers the same features as Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, plus some additional features MultiPoint lacks such as hundreds of free educational software applications, and a suite of tools for managing classroom computers. Userful MultiSeatTM also has higher video performance than Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, and at just $59 per seat (education pricing, commercially available Q4 2010), and with no server licensing costs, it is also a lower cost alternative.

  • Server

    • Smackdown: Linux on X64 Versus IBM i on Entry Power 7XXs

      IBM should be grateful that Linux and open source relational databases like MySQL (now from Oracle) and PostgreSQL (which is commercially supported by EnterpriseDB are about as unfamiliar as Vulcan is to those who speak Klingon but have managed a little broken English. (Yes, that was a metaphor for Unix or Linux, IBM i, and Windows.) Because as cheap as the more familiar Windows entry servers are compared to entry and midrange Power7 servers, Linux systems are even less costly.

  • Kernel Space

    • FSFLA: Linux kernel is “open core”

      Linux hasn’t got any Freer between the Linux-2.6.33-libre announcement, back in March, and the present announcement, that marks the release of Linux-2.6.36-libre. Linux now contains more non-Free Software, and more drivers in its Free core that require separately distributed non-Free Software to function.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Nautilus-Elementary is dead, long live ‘Marlin’

        The honeymoon is over folks: Nautilus-elementary is no longer being actively developed.

      • Taking Nautilus Terminal for a spin

        While I keep telling people that you don’t need to use the command line in order to use Linux, I find that it’s a useful and sometimes indispensable tool. I have a number of scripts and utilities that I use at the command line to get various jobs done.

        Why? A lot of the time, especially if I’m trying to process a lot of information or a number of files at once, the command line is faster than a comparable GUI tool. Assuming that there is a GUI tool that can do what I do at the command line.

      • Playing with EDID and rawhide
      • GNOME Shell 2.91.2 released

        GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3 desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a visually attractive and easy to use experience.

  • Distributions

    • Alternative Linux distros that deserve the limelight

      Ubuntu might be the most popular Linux, but there are two other desktop distributions which have a lot to offer but aren’t getting the publicity they deserve, says Ashton Mills.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • KDE 4.5.3 available for Mandriva 2010 !!

        mikala has done KDE 4.5.3 packages for Mandriva 2010 Spring, thank you !! this time (or at least for now) the packages aren’t available in KDE FTP as usual but in Mandriva Italia Backports (MIB) FTP.

      • Expected roadmap for Mageia project.

        December

        * (first alpha version) release
        * project put offline for holidays
        * holidays/new year’s eve message for the project to plan

      • Mandriva Linux first to include the exploitation of virtualization technologies at the system level

        Mandriva, the publisher of the Mandriva Linux operating system, and the OpenVZ project announced today that the system Operating OpenVZ virtualization software will be included as part of the Mandriva Corporate Server 4.0.

        OpenVZ is running on the server system software virtualization technology, built on Linux, which creates isolated, secure virtual environments on a single physical server – enabling greater server utilization and superior availability with fewer performance penalties. The virtual servers ensure that applications are not incompatible and can be rebooted independently.

        Mandriva Corporate Server 4.0 is the basis of an open source infrastructure stable and profitable for organizations building on Linux.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Savvytek achieves Red Hat partnership in Saudi and Qatar

        Savvytek, a Red Hat Premier Business Partner and Certified Training Partner operating in Jordan, has taken an important step in strengthening its partnership with Red Hat by achieving accreditation as a Red Hat Ready Business Partner to operate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Qatar.

      • Fedora

        • Trying on a new Fedora

          In the end the impression I get from Fedora is that it is more a development and testing platform than it is a desktop for your average home user. There is very little multimedia support, no Flash, and (on the live CD) no office suite installed by default and the project maintains a short support cycle (about thirteen months). The project has a more friendly feel to it now than it did six months ago, but it is still targeting the more technically inclined members of the community who don’t mind working around the occasional quirk. If you like to stay on the cutting edge without being cut, or if you want to keep up with the technology going into Red Hat, then Fedora 14 is an excellent choice.

        • Fedora Scholarship Program Encourages Open Source Innovation

          The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!rht/quotes/nls/rht (RHT 43.20, +0.19, +0.44%) sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced the opening of the 2011 Fedora Scholarship program, recognizing college and university-bound students across the globe for their contributions to free software and the Fedora Project. The Fedora Scholarship is awarded to one high school senior each year to assist with the recipient’s college or university education. This will mark the fourth year of this annual scholarship program as the Fedora Project continues to encourage young students to use and contribute to open source software.

        • Fedora Board Meeting, 8 Nov 2010

          Just as a quick reminder, the Fedora Board has been following a new schedule over the past month or so. This new schedule works as follows:

          * Every Monday, the Board will meet via phone at 2 PM Eastern time (1900 UTC atm).
          * Every other Friday (the next one is this Friday, 12 Nov), the Board will hold a public ‘office hours’ style questions & answers session in #fedora-board-meeting at 2 PM Eastern time.

    • Debian Family

      • 5 reasons why a Debian package is more than a simple file archive

        You’re probably manipulating Debian packages everyday, but do you know what those files are? This article will show you their bowels… Surely they are more than file archives otherwise we would just use TAR archives (you know those files ending with .tar.gz). Let’s have a look!

      • Debian Project News – November 8th, 2010

        Welcome to this year’s fifteenth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian and “Google Code-in 2010″
        * Report from openSUSE Conference
        * Debian Installer 6.0 Beta1 release
        * Minutes from mini-DebConf Paris
        * Mini-DebConf in Ho Chi Minh City
        * Bits from the Website Team
        * Further “This week in Debian” interviews
        * … and much more.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The new Linux Desktop: Ubuntu’s Unity

          That’s no accident. Yes, Ubuntu is based on Linux, and the Unity desktop is built on GNOME, but at this point I think Canonical has decided that everyone who’s ever going to use a “Linux” desktop is already there. Therefore, to broaden the Ubuntu Linux desktop base they needed to reach users who know nothing about Linux.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Delayed, Release Schedule Changed

          The release schedule for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system has been modified last week on the Ubuntu wiki. The distribution will still be released at the end of April 2011. The first Alpha version was supposed to be available for testing last Thursday, November 4th.

          For Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), the Ubuntu developers decided to change the release schedule again, to 3 Alpha versions instead of 5, a single Beta release, and a Release Candidate. Here is the new release schedule for Ubuntu 11.04:

          December 2nd, 2010 – Alpha 1 release
          February 3rd, 2011 – Alpha 2 release
          March 3rd, 2011 – Alpha 3 release
          March 31st, 2011 – Beta release
          April 21st, 2011 – Release Candidate
          April 28th, 2011 – Final release of Ubuntu 11.04

        • The new Linux Desktop: Ubuntu’s Unity

          The Linux desktop has been around for more than a decade now. Despite its best efforts, and Microsoft’s dumbest missteps — I’m looking at you, Vista — it’s never owned more than a fraction of the market. Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, plans on changing that with its Unity desktop.

        • Announcing openrespect.org

          Recently I blogged about some concerns that I have had about increasing disrespect in the Open Source, Free Software, and Free Culture communities. My blog entry shared some of the work I started on an OpenRespect Declaration, but I wasn’t sure if I should publish it.

          I did some thinking on this, and reviewed some of the fantastic comments on my blog, and I decided to go ahead and launch openrespect.org. There I have listed the declaration with a few extra points about:

          * the importance of honesty (thanks Jef Spaleta for the suggestion)
          * the importance of remembering that people pour their heart and soul into their work

        • Ubuntu Colored – Beautiful Ubuntu Wallpaper Collection

          A lot of you hate any kind of branding in wallpapers and hence will love the default wallpaper collection for Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. But some of us including me won’t mind a bit of branding in wallpapers especially if the branding is all about Ubuntu and Linux. Try this simple, elegant collection of Ubuntu wallpapers.

        • Canonical axing X Windows: What will it mean for the next version of Ubuntu?

          In yet another recent announcement that had the Linux community looking like the proverbial “deer in headlights,” Canonical has announced that in an iteration of Ubuntu it might very well drop X Windows in favor of Wayland. This comes on the heels of Mark Shuttleworth’s recent announcement that 11.04 would see Ubuntu leave behind the GNOME Shell in favor of Ubuntu Unity. That was a tiny drop in the bucket compared to this latest consideration.

        • It’s All in the Wording

          This headline caught my eye:Ubuntu To Ditch X For Wayland. Note the word ditch. This gives a negative spin on an otherwise positive story. Ubuntu is supporting Wayland which the person writing calls a “more modern alternative” to X and likes the decision. So why write it in a negative light if they are supporting something that is worthy of support?

          There have been hundreds of such posts. Ubuntu Ditches GNOME or Ubuntu Dumps GNOME are examples. The theme here is that Canonical or Ubuntu are bad boys. Words like ditch and dump are succinct, but pejorative, implying that Ubuntu and Canonical are disloyal philanderers or worse.

        • Why Wayland is good for the future of Ubuntu, Canonical, etc.

          Without being a X expert, some of the issues that were critical in the (announced) move from X server to Wayland

          Hardware support : I strongly recommend to run Linux only on hardware with a well supported video driver : without a well supported driver, the experience can be daunting, especially on a thin-client. X was supposed to be hardware independent, lightweight and provide great performance.

          However these fights had been lost long ago : I’ve learned the hard way that not all X drivers are equals : open-source or not, how many XV channels are supported, 3D (what version exactly, etc.). In fact, selecting good quality desktop or thin-client hardware is a service we sold to our customers !

          Size matters : a default X.org server, on my desktop where I wrote this blog is 64Mb (without cache), 180Mb (with cache) on a Ubuntu 10.10, 64 bit with regular 3D effects. Well, on a phone with 256Mb or RAM or on an ARM based thin client with 64Mb, this is not good. I can imagine it also has an impact on battery life on the mobile devices.

        • Shuttleworth: critics would do well to get a clue

          To the logical mind, it is quite clear why Shuttleworth has taken these steps. He has tried, for some time, unsuccessfully, to get upstream projects to follow his vision for what GNU/Linux on devices – the desktop, the notebook, the netbook, the plethora of mobiles – should look and feel like.

          Having failed to convince anyone, he has now decided that if Ubuntu is to continue to make headway, it has to distinguish itself from the rest. His model is Apple, which, despite having a much smaller share of the market than Microsoft, is still a major force with which to reckon in the tech space.

          Shuttleworth isn’t in a great hurry; he appears to be fully aware of the magnitude of the changes he is undertaking, with statements like this about the switch to Wayland: “Timeframes are difficult. I’m sure we could deliver *something* in six months, but I think a year is more realistic for the first images that will be widely useful in our community. I’d love to be proven conservative on that :-) but I suspect it’s more likely to err the other way. It might take four or more years to really move the ecosystem.”

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 217

          This is Issue #217 for the period October 17th, 2010 – November 7th, 2010 and is available in full here.

          In this issue we cover:

          * UWN Catchup, Help the Graner Family
          * Ubuntu 11.04 to Ship Unity
          * Unity on Wayland
          * Emmet Hickory replaces Richard Johnson on Community Council
          * Ubuntu Cloud Community Needs You
          * Yes, we did it: SpreadUbuntu.org is up now!
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * First Mountain View Ubuntu Hour
          * Meet Ian Booth
          * New Features for Bug Supervisors
          * Stéphane Graber: Edubuntu live now available online
          * Daniel Holbach: Much Imporved Harvest Online Again
          * Randall Ross: Wither Brainstorm
          * Matt Zimmerman: Ubuntu and Qt
          * Valorie Zimmerman: Listening to Our Better Angels
          * Raphael Hertzog: Managing distribution-specific patches with a common source package
          * Jorge Castro: How I use Banshee
          * Ubuntu, open source apps use on the rise: Linux Users Group
          * Donate your bandwidth to support Ubuntu downloads
          * Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat: One Hit, One Miss
          * Level Up to IPv6 with Ubuntu 10.10 on Comcast
          * Boosting Ubuntu’s Productivity: 20 Tips
          * Ubuntu Netbook 10.10: Usability vs. Constraints
          * Unity and uTouch
          * Banshee becomes Ubuntu 11.04 default music player
          * Mark Shuttleworth talks Project Harmony, Unity, Windicators and more
          * Mark Shuttleworth denies move to Open Core
          * London Stock Exchange Sets a New World Record in Trade Speed Using Linux
          * Canonical Highlights Touch Support on Ubuntu Netbooks
          * Ubuntu UK Podcast S03E19 – If we only knew
          * Full Circle Podcast #13: The One Where You’re a Rabbit
          * Ucasts 0003: Update Manager Introduction
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security Notices

        • OMG! 5! – Five alternative apps for ALT+F2 functionality in Unity
        • Remmina to be Ubuntu’s new remote desktop app

          GTK app Remmina is to replace TSClient as the default remote desktop client in Ubuntu 11.04.

          The tool is a capable successor to tsclient with many great features and support for multiple network protocols – including RDP – all of which is wrapped up in a consistant and accessible interface.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Quick Look: Ubuntu Muslim Edition 10.10 (Sabily Al Quds)

            A while back, I did a full review of Ubuntu Muslim Edition 10.04 on Desktop Linux Reviews. This time around I’ll be covering the 10.10 version of that distro. The official name of this distro is simply “Sabily,” and this particular release is dubbed “Al Quds.” However, I have simply renamed it “Ubuntu Muslim Edition 10.10″ for this quick look, to make it easier for folks to know exactly what it is.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Procurement jobs: Desktop productivity tools ‘key to open source’

    For those in procurement jobs, the use of desktop productivity tools could be the best way for open source to become more widely adopted across the government, it was argued.

    This is the view of the government’s deputy chief information officer Bill McCluggage, who reckons that there is still a lot to be done over the next few years to get a “level playing field for the open source environment”.

  • Icelandic developer receives Nordic Free Software Award

    Bjarni Rúnar Einarsson, Free Software developer and community builder from Iceland, has received the Nordic Free Software Award.

    This annual prize was awarded on Saturday by Föreningen för Fri Kultur och Programvara and Free Software Foundation Europe at the Free Software Conference and Nordic Summit (FSCONS) which took place in Gothenburg, Sweden this weekend.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Happy birthday Firefox!

        Six years ago today, (9 November 2004), Firefox 1.0 hit the servers.

        Development of the browser was officially announced in April 2003 and originally called Phoenix — raising the ire of the trademark holders. Renaming it Firebird raised the ire of the free database software developers, so it was finally branded Firefox nine months before it’s inital release.

  • Education

    • Shiny open source software for the next generation in schools

      It looks to me like Android, thanks to the phone market, is set to join server Linux as being ‘shiny’.

      So I predict that the first school slates (as trailed in my previous blog) will be Google-Android powered (…or possibly the OLPC) and that young Africans will prefer them to multipoint ancient hardware….or did you pick the Windows 7 slate?

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open core by the numbers

        Given the ongoing and recently increased interest in the open core licensing strategy there have been numerous statements made about its relative popularity, the reasons for its adoption, and the impact it has on collaborative development.

        As part of our recently released report on the evolution of open source-related business strategies we evaluated the strategies of 300 companies that are engaged in generating revenue from open source software.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance

      This past Wednesday, I showed up at Baltimore-Washington International for a flight to Providence, R.I. I had a choice of two TSA screening checkpoints. I picked mine based on the number of people waiting in line, not because I am impatient, but because the coiled, closely packed lines at TSA screening sites are the most dangerous places in airports, completely unprotected from a terrorist attack — a terrorist attack that would serve the same purpose (shutting down air travel) as an attack on board an aircraft.

      Agents were funneling every passenger at this particular checkpoint through a newly installed back-scatter body imaging device, which allows the agency’s security officers to, in essence, see under your clothing. The machine captures an image of your naked self, including your genitals, and sends the image to an agent in a separate room. I don’t object to stringent security (as you will soon see), but I do object to meaningless security theater (Bruce Schneier’s phrase), and I believe that we would be better off if the TSA focused its attentions on learning the identity and background of each passenger, rather than on checking whether passengers are carrying contraband (as I suggested in this article, it is possible for a moderately clever person to move contraband through TSA screenings with a fair amount of ease, even with this new technology).

    • No appetite for prosecution: In memoir, Bush admits he authorized the use of torture, but no one cares

      On Guantánamo, the only comments in the book that have so far emerged are insultingly flippant, which is disgraceful from the man who shredded the Geneva Conventions and authorized an unprecedented program of arbitrary detention, coercive interrogation and torture. In addition, Bush’s baleful legacy lives on in the cases of the 174 men still held, in the recent show trial of Omar Khadr, and in the complacency regarding the basis for detaining prisoners of the “War on Terror” — the Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed by Congress the week after the 9/11 attacks — on which Barack Obama continues to rely, despite its formidable shortcomings.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Sustainable wood’ may still cause damage

      Lisa Kellman of the Environmental Sciences Research Center at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada, and her team have been investigating the impact that forest harvesting has on the underlying soil. It seems that the damage goes deeper than previously thought and lasts for much longer than traditionally assumed.

  • Finance

    • Are Credit Card Lines Growing? No.

      Are banks raising credit card limits? Well, no.

      But there are signs that consumers are asking for more credit.

      The New York Fed released data today that appeared to show total available credit card limits — the amount the banks will let us spend if we wish to do so — rose $69 billion to $2.77 trillion. That figure had been falling for seven consecutive quarters, and the reversal seemed significant to me.

      But after I posted a blog pointing to the trend, the Fed called to say the numbers might be wrong. Then it said they are wrong. The actual total of credit lines is $2.68 trillion, down around $20 billion from the previous quarter.

    • Obama Presses to Complete Free-Trade Deal With South Korea

      The White House is intensifying negotiations with South Korea on revising a free-trade agreement negotiated by the Bush administration, even though the accord still faces opposition from Democratic politicians, labor unions and the Ford Motor Company.

    • Palin Lashes Out At Bernanke, Urging Him To ‘Cease And Desist’ Purchase Of Treasuries

      In an unusual detour, Sarah Palin waded into monetary policy Monday, lashing out at Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and urging him to “cease and desist” his attempt to jumpstart the economic recovery by committing to buy up to $900 billion in U.S. government debt.

    • Amateur Hour At The Federal Reserve

      As any student of Economics 101 realises, you can control the price of something, or the quantity, but not both simultaneously. In announcing its decision to purchase an additional $600bn of treasuries last week, the Federal Reserve was presumably motivated to create additional stimulus to an economy, whose growth trajectory has hitherto been insufficient to make a dent in unemployment. Even Friday’s “good” unemployment numbers, where the US economy added 151,000 jobs, was not enough to reduce the current jobless rate of 9.6%.

    • German exports up 22.5 percent in September

      Germany’s Federal Statistics Office says exports rose 22.5 percent in September compared the same month a year ago as the country continues its recovery from the financial crisis.

    • H. Paulson: an “Interested” Man from Goldman Sachs

      Conflicts of interest abounded in and around Mr. Paulson when he was in office. In 2008, The Huffington Post listed those conflicts in this article.

    • Ben Bernanke’s QE2 is misguided

      It is a somewhat ironic coincidence that on the same day as the American electorate rejected out of hand any more talk of fiscal stimulus, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, writing in the Washington Post, reaffirmed his commitment to a different kind of stimulus – the monetary variety. Starting this month, and continuing up until mid-2011, the Fed intends to buy $600bn of US treasury bonds in the open market. This programme will be known as “quantitative easing 2″ or QE2; its express intention being to tackle unemployment. Unencumbered by an electorate resolutely opposed to a fiscal stimulus, some of the country’s finest monetary economists remain committed to stimulating the economy in an entirely different way.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • What Does Rand Paul’s America Look Like?

      First, Paul believes that the federal government has minimal power to regulate how private property owners use their property, or how private business owners manage their businesses or employees. In Paul’s interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, he explains that he opposes the ban on whites-only lunch counters because he “believe[]s in private ownership.” During his lengthy interview with Rachel Maddow, Paul explained that he supports the parts of the Civil Right Act of 1964 that limit government discrimination, but that he rejects the “one title” of the Act that limits private activities (for the record, there are at least two titles of the original Civil Rights Act that limit private actors. Title II prohibits discrimination by restaurants, hotels and other public accommodations; Title VII forbids employment discrimination). Similarly, in his interview with NPR, Paul explains that his shield surrounding private businesses extends well beyond the civil rights context. When asked how he feels about “the degree of oversight of the mining and oil-drilling industries,” Paul responded “I think that most manufacturing and mining should be under the purview of state authorities.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Neelie on Copyright

        My thinking lately is that the basic concept of copyright is flawed in the digital age. In the days of the first printing presses, the idea was that the creator of a work should have a head-start on the world for copying.

      • LimeWire Resurrected By Secret Dev Team

        Last month, the Gnutella-based file-sharing client LimeWire was effectively outlawed after a U.S. federal judge granted a request from the RIAA to shut the software down. Now, not even a month later, LimeWire is back as good as new. Not only has a secret dev team reanimated the hugely popular client, but they have also made a few significant changes which make it better and more streamlined than before.

      • Operation Payback: That’s All (for now), Folks

        Operation: Payback came roaring into the Internet landscape and left behind a slew of battered websites, a suspended P2P litigation campaign in the UK, an embarrassed law firm, and a humbled KISS frontman. In what may be a new method of Internet activism, or, as some would say, ‘hacktivism’, Operation: Payback has largely concluded its campaign after nearly two months of pillaging various anti-P2P websites. Let’s take look at this bizarre chapter of Internet history.

        It all began innocently enough on September 18, 2010. Members of Operation: Payback concluded recruiting enough people across the 4chan message boards, and launched their raid on the MPAA.org’s website with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A lot of media sources will tell you that 4chan attacked the MPAA, but this is not correct. 4chan was merely used as an organizational platform. You’ll also hear this was organized by Anonymous. This too isn’t totally correct. Supporters of Operation: Payback definitely include some members of Anonymous and of 4chan, but the reality is that participants came from numerous organizations and groups, and indeed loners, from across the Internet.

Clip of the Day

[ubuntu] The Future Is NOW 2010 (Version Finale, Main)


Credit: TinyOgg

11.08.10

Links 8/11/2010: Compiz in Wayland, Telstra Claimed Violating GPL

Posted in News Roundup at 4:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux has the best eye-candy!

    No more 2D dekstop computing. Compiz has some very cool effects that you will enjoy and there are many more to come in the future. Check out our screen shots below on how great Linux looks. If you want a desktop operating system just like ours all you have to do is download one of the distributions of GNU/Linux and customize it anyway you want. The only limitation is your own imagination and creativity.

  • Linux, virtualized. The hard way. Twice.

    Every so often, I’ll consider finding some new and creative way to install Gentoo, my Linux distribution of choice. And sometimes, I’ll do it in such a way that it actually doesn’t blow up in my face. I’ve been trying to convince Shane to give it a try, but he hasn’t got an extra machine he can clean out and turn into a test platform. What he did have, though, was an instalation of VMWare and lots of free time on his hands. So it was high past time to shove an OS inside an OS.

  • Helios

    • It Doesn’t Take a Zealot…
    • Getting Linux Into The Right Hands…

      And as a brief aside…that raging argument about Linux not being a drop-in replacement for any other desktop OS?

      Let it die here.

      It’s worked for our kids, and it works for the majority of people who use it. You can nitpick the small details all you want. The fact remains that our kids have been able to successfully use Linux as their Desktop from elementary school up through graduate school.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Last Week in Amarok
      • How simon learned to talk

        Furthermore the best (open) German voices I could find where HTS voices developed with and for the OpenMARY framework. They should theoretically also work with festival so they could be used with Jovie as well if someone wrote a festival configuration set for it. OpenMARY is cross plattform and provides very high quality synthesis but is a very big and heavy Java dependency which needs a lot of resources and is quite slow – even on current hardware (synthesizing a paragraph of text takes around 10 seconds on a Nettop).

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Canonical and Codethink at Bostom GNOME Summit

        Yesterday Cody Russell and I held a session about getting a gesture API into GTK 3.x. There were a great many questions about the uTouch framework, how we’re handling multi-touch in the absence of MT support in X (coming in XInput 2.1), and what sort of dependencies would be needed (none! if GEIS is present on the system, gesture support will be added at build-time). At the end of the session, there was a consensus for Cody to present his plans to the GTK developers list and then to start getting branches reviewed for merge. We’re hoping to make it for GTK 3.2.

    • Xfce

      • Xfce 4.8pre1 Released

        The Xfce development team is proud to announce the first preview release for Xfce 4.8. Together with this preview release, the Xfce project announces the feature freeze for the final 4.8 release which is set to be pushed out to the world on January 16th, 2011.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Distros You Should Try

      Most Linux distros today, come with a trial CD that you can test drive on your system without ever installing Linux in your hard drive.

      Here’s a list of Linux distros that is worth a try.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu no longer ships debian/changelog since Natty?

        Since a few days, I have started to notice that the “Debian” changelog that normally ships with packages no longer appears with a number of recent package updates. Is this intentional?

      • 25 Ubuntu tips for beginners
      • Making room on the Debian Edu/Sqeeze DVD

        Prioritising packages for the Debian Edu / Skolelinux DVD, which is supposed provide a school with all the services and user applications needed on the pupils computer network has always been hard. Even schools without Internet connections should be able to get Debian Edu working using this DVD.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Can Mark Shuttleworth Be The Steve Jobs Of Ubuntu?

          What Apple has done with BSD, Mark has done with Debian and GNU/Linux. He has packaged the amazing Debian as a much loved consumer operating system called Ubuntu.

          Under his leadership, Ubuntu has created a unique position among the three most popular operating systems in the world. If I put these three (Ubuntu, Windows and Mac) operating systems side by side, I find Ubuntu, as a standalone OS, to have a clear edge over the other two. No, it’s not a biased opinion if one looks deeper into the technical aspects verifying this fact (we will get into that later).

        • Compiz in a strange new land

          Mark Shuttleworth recently proposed an idea that a lot of people have been pondering for a while. The idea is simple: the linux desktop needs a new windowing system. While I don’t have enough expertise to make a fair judgement as to whether it’s time to move away from X11 and to something like wayland , I certainly think the idea is interesting. Why not? We have nothing to lose by at least sticking our toes in the water so to speak, and I certainly wouldn’t mind a challenge. So yesterday I took the plunge and compiled wayland for myself, just to try it out.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Review – 2×2, quad monitor

          Finally got 2×2 to work after installing NVidia unsupported (yes, unsupported, comments not needed) drivers. Here is the kicker. When I placed my mouse cursor in the near center, that is center of the 2×2 screens. The mouse would start bouncing around and I would loose all control. Best guess I could make was the different instances of the window manager were not handing off control of mouse correctly. Anyhow, this required a forced shutdown.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Adventures in Kubuntu: Day one

            I intend to keep using Kubuntu for a while, to give it a fair shot and see if I can adapt to it. Last time I made a change like this, it was from Windows XP to Ubuntu, and it was for a similar reason – because I had heard what was coming with Vista and I wanted to be prepared in case I had to switch. That was a much tougher learning curve, and it yielded excellent benefits. I think I can benefit from this too, now that I have an incentive to stick with it and not go scurrying back to Gnome as soon as something unfamiliar breaks my customary ways of doing things. Maybe it’s time to shake it up a little. I might like it, if I give it a chance.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Fusion Garage’s JooJoo exclaims – We’re Still Alive

        JooJoo seems to be crawling back to its feet with its latest developments relating to app support and the incorporation of Android; however it must be noted that the company must do more to capture the market like providing complete Android flexibility to its users, run promotional campaigns, etc. There is the declaration from Rathakrishnan that the new JooJoos will be sold in retail and by mobile operators, maybe even subsidized. So good times could just be awaiting the first ever tablet maker.

      • Archos 70 Tablet with Android 2.2 Available Now

        Following the release of their Archos 43 internet tablet yesterday, Archos has just dropped the new 7-inch model in their store. The 8GB Archos 70 tablet runs Android 2.2 and retails for a reasonable $279.99. The tablet a has resolution of 800×480, features a 1GHz processor, TV output, WiFi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth, and USB support.

Free Software/Open Source

  • IBM at Events

    • ApacheCon keynote presentation
    • The MIT Systems Thinking Conference

      I recently participated in MIT’s 2010 Systems Thinking Conference for Contemporary Challenges. This annual conference is sponsored by Systems Design and Management (SDM) – an interdisciplinary program between MIT’s School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management. The SDM program aims to provide mid-career professionals with a systems perspective that will help them address and solve large-scale, global, complex challenges. Most of the students in the classes I have taught at MIT are enrolled in SDM.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Being more explicit about “open cloud computing”

      I just had a chance to read David Linthicum’s article in InfoWorld called “What does ‘open’ really mean in cloud computing?”. In the piece, David argues that open needs to be more than a marketing term.

  • Licensing

    • Telstra violating open source licence, claims developer

      The telco launched the products this year and has already achieved a degree of success with the T-Hub integrated telephone and T-Box media centre products, selling a total of around 100,000 units combined by the end of September. The T-Touch Tab is one of a wave of tablets based on Google’s Android operating system to hit Australia over the past several months.

      However, in an extensive blog post published yesterday, Angus Gratton — who appears to be an open source software developer and a technician at the Australian National University’s Department of Nuclear Physics — pointed out that all three products were based on the Linux operating system, which has substantial portions licensed under the GNU General Public License.

      Gratton also posted a link to his claim to the GPL violations mailing list, which aims to track and rectify problems where companies are using the licence.

      The GPL violations site interprets the GPL as requiring that companies who distribute products based on GPL-licenced software must make source code to the software available to customers — for example, include a zip file of relevant files on a documentation CD. In addition, a copy of the GPL licence should be included with licence documentation.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Nissan to surround its cars with safety shields

      In addition to pioneering the world’s first mass-marketed all-electric vehicle — the Leaf — Nissan has been busy developing advanced safety systems that reduce the risk of accidents by wrapping a virtual safety bubble around the car.

      Nissan announced in 1995 that it planned to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in its cars by half within two decades, by introducing a variety of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies into its vehicles. The advanced safety technology involves a combination of intelligent transportation systems, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, and proactive feedback to both the driver and the vehicle.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • David Nutt: I am not a prohibitionist

      Since pointing out this week that alcohol is more harmful than any other drug, I have been painted as an alcohol prohibitionist or, conversely, as someone who wants to legalise all drugs. Neither is true, and this misrepresentation is testament to how sterile this debate has become. We must get beyond this.

      My interest has always been to develop a rational scale of drug harm to enable policymakers to get to grips with a significant social problem, irrespective of legal status. If alcohol was discovered today it would be controlled as an illegal drug alongside similar sedatives such as GHB and GBL. Certainly it is far more dangerous than any other legally available substance. Of course, many people are social drinkers, apparently unharmed by this pleasure. But if only 10% of the 40 million UK drinkers are significantly harmed, this total is still 10 times that of the next most harmful drug, heroin. Many social drinkers also imbibe at well above the safe levels, their health silently damaged.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Does Britain really need the military?

      Six months ago I proposed in the Guardian that if Britain was short of money it should cut defence. I did not mean reduce defence, or trim defence. I meant cut it altogether. We are desperately short of money and absolutely no one is threatening to attack us now or in the foreseeable, indeed conceivable, future. Besides, as we have seen this past week, other ways of ensuring security make more pressing claims on us. We just do not need an army, navy or air force. So why are we paying £45bn for them?

    • WikiLeaks founder urges US to investigate alleged abuse by its troops

      The founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has called on the US to investigate alleged abuses by its troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying it has a “proud tradition” of self-scrutiny.

    • Iraq War Logs throw new light on the Nick Berg mystery

      When Berg was, following the federal court intervention, reluctantly released from US detention, he made his way back to the Al-Fanar hotel in Baghdad. When asked about his experience he unconvincingly laughed it off as a misunderstanding. He refused a free flight out of Baghdad pressed on him by the US Consulate and was last seen alive on 10 April 2004.

    • CIA lawyer: U.S. law does not forbid rendition

      Daniel Pines, an assistant general counsel at the CIA, has asserted in a law journal that the abduction of terrorism suspects abroad is legal under U.S. law, even when the suspect is turned over to countries notorious for torture.

      “There are virtually no legal restrictions on these types of operations,” Pines asserts in the current edition of the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.

    • Limit jury trials says victims’ champion

      The right to trial by jury in many cases involving lesser offences should be stopped in England and Wales as it is slowing down the prosecution of more serious crimes, the Victims’ Commissioner said on Wednesday.

    • Check-in security and common sense

      Faced with demands to take off his shoes, the former Chancellor explained that as a result of surgery he has had to his legs, he is unable to bend down and therefore needs to sit on a chair to remove his footwear. After much grumbling, a chair was provided with what Lord Lawson’s son Dominic describes as “spectacular gracelessness”.

      Following, this a more senior security officer demanded Lawson hand over his passport. He refused. Following this, the officer ‘phoned ahead to the airline’s passenger gate and ordered EasyJet to deny the peer access to the fight for “not having passed through security”.

    • Body scanner “humiliation”

      She tells us that she was subjected to a humiliating experience at Stansted. She has had both her hips replaced and when going security she was taken off to a room and made to undress to show her operation scars to prove that she had had the surgery claimed.

    • Passenger: they made me strip. Stansted Airport: yeah, that’s what we do.

      I challenged the airport about it. Here’s the airport’s response. You’ll see that they try to have their cake and eat it – on the one hand saying that they don’t require pasengers to strip to show scars and, on the other, in saying you have to go to a private room for a further seach, they basically say, yes, we do that.

    • Airports making money from terror checks

      This week, this blog carried news of an unpleasant case of an elderly lady made to undress and expose scars from a recent hip replacement in order to pass through security at Stansted Airport. We also blogged about Lord Lawson’s treatment at the hands of the check-in gestapo.

    • Pilots boycott full-body scanners over health fears

      THE world’s largest pilot’s association has boycotted full-body scanners over health risks but passengers wishing to avoid the devices may instead be faced with “invasive” pat-down searches.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Channel 4′s convenient green fictions

      Environmentalism is not just about replacing one set of technologies with another. Technological change is important, but it will protect the biosphere only if we also tackle issues such as economic growth, consumerism and corporate power. These are the challenges the green movement asks us to address. These are the issues the film ignores.

    • UN report warns of threat to human progress from climate change

      In its annual flagship report on the state of the world, the UN said unsustainable patterns of consumption and production posed the biggest challenge to the anti-poverty drive.

    • Pollution particles can change the weather

      How cloudy is it today? Is it going to rain? The answer might depend on how much pollution is wafting around in the air above you. Two recent studies published in the journal Science show how particles pumped out of power stations and car exhausts alter weather. The first study, by Antony Clarke and Vladimir Kapustin from the University of Hawaii, analysed pollution levels over different areas of the Pacific ocean over the last 11 years. In the more polluted regions (such as parts of the north Pacific) there were more than 10 times as many particles on which cloud water could condense than there were in pristine regions (such as above Tasmania).

  • Finance

    • How to Restore the American Dream

      Fareed Zakaria recently published a very good cover story in Time Magazine – How to Restore the American Dream – which was also the basis for a special edition of his CNN program Fareed Zakaria GPS. Dr. Zakaria is a renowned journalist an author, and an astute observer of the vast economic and political changes taking place around the world. Last June I heard him give an excellent talk at an IBM conference in Shanghai.

      The basic premise of the Time article and CNN special is that while the forces of technology and globalization helped lead America to the forefront of the world stage, they are now hollowing out America’s middles class. The American Dream, – the possibility that anyone can get ahead and achieve success and prosperity through talent and hard work, – may well be disappearing.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Upcoming Report on Election 2010 & the Corporate Agenda

      With the flood of opinions about the meaning of the 2010 election results and the hundreds of millions spent by front groups and special interests, I’ll be taking a deeper look at the results, spending reports and other research in the coming days.

    • Tea Party Front Group Hits in State Ledge Elections. Again.

      Americans for Prosperity, the conservative group founded by billionaire David Koch (the subject of a recent New Yorker exposé on the corporate bankroll behind the Tea Party movement nationally) is working in the background against Democrats at the state level in Washington.

    • A Win in Spin for the Corporate-Backed Tea Party

      In the weeks before the 2010 mid-term elections, the Tea Party and its activities dominated the media, but there was a decided lack of discussion about exactly what the Tea Party is. Major media seemed sold on the idea that the Tea Party is one big homogenous, spontaneous grassroots uprising, but this was not the case. Apart from a single, exhaustive article in the August 30, 2010 edition of The New Yorker (aptly titled “Covert Operations,”) that linked the wealthy billionaire Koch Brothers’ and their corporate interests to the Tea Party, few media outlets discussed which factions of the movement were truly grassroots, which were corporate-backed, and to what extent corporations supported the “movement.”

    • http://www.prwatch.org/node/9583
    • The Worst PR Year for McDonalds

      First, a weird photo of thick, pink, gooey sludge appeared on the Internet that was purported to be the raw material that chicken nuggets are made of. Then, in April, New York photographer Sally Davies purchased a Happy Meal, set the burger and fries on a plate in her apartment and photographed them every day for six months as an art project, only to discover that the Happy Meal looked exactly the same six months later — no mold, no decomposition, nothing. Her “Happy Meal Project” started garnering attention from the media and time lapse video of it appeared on YouTube.

    • Happy Meal Project Rounds Out 2010 As The Worst Public Relations Year For McDonald’s Ever

      The newest installment in the recent obsession/revulsion with fast food is the “Happy Meal Project.” A New York photographer, Sally Davies, set an uncovered McDonald’s Happy Meal burger and fries on a shelf in her apartment for six months. Although you may be picturing maggots and mealworms, the reality is far worse. Did the burger ooze toxic mold? Sprout little meat mushrooms? Reanimate, zombie-style? Even more chilling than any of these gross-out scenarios is this: Nothing happened.

      The time-lapse tells the story: The food remains completely intact and unchanged, albeit getting a little hard, with no indication of any kind of decomposition, which is probably more or less exactly the same process it goes through in your stomach. This is just one of many reports of food from McDonald’s lasting far longer than it should: This nutritionist has kept a burger since 1996 that, when compared to a burger from 2008, looks more or less identical to its younger sibling.

    • Maverick Senator Russ Feingold Felled by Corporate Dollars

      Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, co-author of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, was felled last night by corporate television ad dollars allowed to flood in by a Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC giving corporations the status of individuals

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Who are India’s real traitors?

      The writer Arundhati Roy, once a national heroine for being the first Indian to win the Booker prize, today finds herself a reviled figure. The demonisation of Roy has taken just over a decade, and many will tell you it’s her own fault. She just won’t stop opening her mouth and saying uncomfortable things.

      Roy’s latest sin was to express her doubts about India’s right to rule Kashmir. It’s a rule enforced by 700,000 soldiers and, by all accounts, most ordinary Kashmiris want them gone. They are calling for azaadi, the freedom to determine their own future via the plebiscite called for in UN resolution 47, which since 1948 India has ignored.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Zealand P2P proposal: guilty until proven innocent

        Say you have a DSL connection at home. Should you be liable for big fines over infringements committed using your connection… even if you had nothing to do with them? And should rightsholder complaints carry the assumption of accuracy? New Zealand politicians say yes.

        New Zealand is taking its second attempt at clamping down on illicit peer-to-peer file-swapping. The first time around, in 2009, the country’s legislators had to scrap their Internet disconnection plans after a public outcry over its “Guilt upon accusation” approach. But their second attempt is already stirring up the same complaints.

      • How Annie got shot

        Yet Petty does not intend to acquire a Leibovitz. Not one of the 10 “master sets” of 157 of her prints that have been offered privately at an asking price of more than $3m per set; not even a single photo. “No,” he says firmly. “I nearly bought her portrait of the Queen but then I decided against it. She is obviously well-regarded but it is a distinctively American taste, her style of photography.”

        It is only one collector’s view but it is a straw in a wind that has been blowing fiercely against Leibovitz, who is struggling to repair her finances, having built up multi-million-dollar debts amid a tangle of personal, professional and property troubles. The woes of one of the world’s highest-paid photographers have mesmerised the media and the art world.

      • Ministry of Sound abandon file sharing dragnet

        In the fallout following the accidental leaking of sensitive data concerning thousands of UK internet users by ACS:Law, ISPs including BT woke up to the problems with simply acceding to rightsholders’ demands that they hand over alleged infringer details in bulk.

      • What does Cameron’s copyright announcement mean?

        David Cameron has admitted that UK copyright law is out of date, and needs to be fit for the Internet age. Specifically, he noted that companies like Google in the United States benefit from “fair use” copyright provisions. Roughly speaking, this which allow people do what they like with copyright works, so long as this doesn’t doesn’t stop the copyright owner from making sales. This is open ended. So scanning a book you have bought, indexing content, or changing a CD to an MP3 at home, can be “fair use”.

        People who like the US system say that this allows greater flexibility as the law evolves to fit new, legitimate uses of copyright works.

      • Copyright reform is on the EU Commission’s agenda

        Commissioner Neelie Kroes today announced that the EU Commission wants to reform EU copyright.

      • [Neelie Kroes] Fixing Copyright Offers A World Of Digital Opportunities

Clip of the Day

Lubuntu 10.10 short Demo


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 8/11/2010: Userful Becomes Free Software, Vandalism Suspected Amid Postponed LSE Move to GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Multiseat for Schools

      Userful has just become FLOSS… For years Userful, a company from Alberta, Canada, has pushed a multiseat (multiple simultaneous keyboard/mouse/monitor/users on one PC) solution that is great for schools, libraries and offices. anywhere you have a lot of users in one place. It uses the multiseat capability of X windows, the networked display of GNU/Linux. Now they offer free downloads and an easy installation. All you need are USB keyboards and mice and multiple video cards.

    • The So-Called Death Of Desktop Linux

      And that’s why the article is called ‘The So-Called Death Of Desktop Linux’. Yes, desktop Linux adoption has appeared for years to have been stalled, due to Microsoft’s monopolistic manipulations. But Microsoft is limited. Sure, it’s one of the richest companies in the world. But even it has only so much money to spend.

      Add to that it’s inability to produce an answer to Apple’s media campaign, and people who didn’t know they had an option, now know that they do. Mobile Phones and Tablet Computers are now defined in most people’s minds as ‘Not Made By Microsoft’, just as MP3 players are. About the only success that Microsoft has had outside of it’s traditional markets is the Ford Sync, and Ford acted pretty quickly to make the Microsoft name just about totally invisible.

      It appears that we are approaching a tipping point. I wonder if Microsoft isn’t shortly going to feel like Terry Pratchett’s non-hero Rincewind.

  • Server

    • London Stock Exchange traders concerned over network capacity around new Linux system

      The exchange declined to comment on reports that a contractor was suspended over a “suspicious” network incident.

    • Research, Research, And More Research

      No where in the IDC Press Release did it mention that Windows was installed on 75.3 percent of servers sold worldwide. So where did Mary Jane get this number? So far, no one knows, probably because it’s the weekend. But others picked up on her numbers without confirming them.

      Wikipedia quotes Mary Jane’s numbers as gospel in the OS Market Share/Servers entry. I noticed this when I was doing some research for another article, and since I have a horse in this race so to speak, I didn’t make any changes, instead I left a message on their discussion board…

      [...]

      Conclusions? Well, you can’t trust anything you find in any media. You need to do some research yourself, because no matter how careful some of us are, others just repeat whatever they’ve heard, and all too often it’s wrong. Even those of us who try to be accurate make mistakes.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA have ‘no plans to support Wayland’

        With the current flurry of excitement over the announced aim of Ubuntu the current X server with the promising ‘Wayland’ display server in the near future, NVidia have decided to join in the jamboree by stating their intentions on delivering support for it.

  • Applications

    • Download Compress PDF 1.2 (Nautilus Script)

      Compress PDF is a Nautilus script which uses ghostscript to compress PDF files and comes in 8 languages (English, Portuguese (pt-PT), Spanish (es-AR), Czech, French, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Malayalam). The script lets you choose between 5 different compression levels: Screen-view only, Low Quality, Hight Quality, High Quality (Color Preserving) and Default.

    • Avant Window Navigator Gets Per Dock Intellihide

      An update to the Avant Window Navigator trunk PPA from a few days ago brought per dock/panel Intellihide to AWN (taskmanager).

    • apt-offline – 1.0

      I am very pleased to announce apt-offline, version 1.0.

      This release adds a Graphical User Interace to apt-offline.

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • More on Shuttleworth v X

          Because RedHat and Ubuntu may not see desktop GNU/Linux as a hotspot will not make it go away. It is easier to make money in hot areas like smart-thingies but Ubuntu would be very foolish to abandon the desktop. I think Linton is wrong about that. Mark Shuttleworth may be somewhat bold but he is no fool. If Ubuntu does go –>Unity–>Wayland they will make sure the desktop is well maintained. Wayland is quite compatible for the desktop especially for video/high-end graphics. For that purpose it does not need to work on every piece of hardware out there, just the ones most likely used for such work. The market will sort that out but I can envisage each hardware maker of graphics interfaces producing a product line with a driver for Wayland. The rest of the desktop world can run X, perhaps in a virtual machine running on top of Wayland somehow. The details will be sorted out.

        • Battery Status PPA, Finally Updated With Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Packages

          Battery Status is a GNOME panel applet that shows information about laptop battery state – but has a lot of extra features compared to GNOME’s Power Manager icon. Battery Status applet features a battery status dialog, power statistics, CPU frequency scaling and power management preferences.

        • Compiz to be Rewritten for Ubuntu Wayland

          A few days ago I theorized that Mark Shuttleworth’s move to Unity on Wayland was an effort to focus his operating system more on mobile devices and, ultimately, cloud-based services. Unity’s hardware compatibility is limited in range, at least for now, and Wayland is even moreso, again at least for now. But there’s one part of the equation I failed to consider. What about the X11-dependent Compiz?

          One of the more intriguing aspects of Wayland is that it does away with window managers. Instead it pushes all of the work of managing windows to the application. X11 and application developers have been resisting Ubuntu’s push in that direction for a while. But with Wayland, it’s built-in. This opens the door for one misbehaving application to bring down the whole graphical display – as seen in Windows.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Code Walk-through

          Despite misinformation that has appeared in comments here and on the web that somehow Android is not GNU/Linux, this chart clearly shows that Android is a layer running on top of GNU/Linux. Android is basically GNU/Linux with a virtual machine (Dalvik) running byte-code translated from Java. There’s no Java code in there, Larry.

          [...]

          [comments:]

          Well, GNU/Linux means running the GNU userland toolchain on top of the Linux kernel.
          Android is essentially DalvikVM (not a GNU project) as the userland layer on top of the Linux kernel.
          Therefore Android is DalvikVM/Linux.
          I may stand corrected if you can run the GNU utilities on Android.

          [...]

          libc is BSD. Likely Dalvik depends on libc.

          Development depends on GNU:
          GCC

          They use GNU bison for something:

          bison

          and GRUB

          and glib

          So, you could be right. There is not much GNU in there. There is a lot of BSD stuff but it’s not BSD either. Folks do hack in and run Debian GNU/Linux on their Android devices. It’s a personal computer, just not x86.

        • In the USA, Android Continues to Climb

          Because Android does not lean to anti-competition, it likely will not end with 90%+ share but we shall have to see how far it will go. I look forward to the future when users of Android in mobile will be accepting of GNU/Linux on the desktop/notebook.

        • Replicant- Android For Linux Purists

          Developed by LibrePlanet Italia and Software Freedom Centre, Replicant seeks to be the 100% free software compliant mobile operating system that is built on Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Saving Identica and StatusNet?

    There is a significant spam problem on Identi.ca, and it looks like some fresh ideas are needed to crush it. Here are mine, and a few ideas that I like from other people.

    Identi.ca is the open microblogging site based on the StatusNet software. It’s a fantastic service, with features that leave Twitter in the dust. But spammers are not being caught and banned quickly. Users are becoming frustrated.

  • Web Browsers

    • Top 10 Must-Have Browser Extensions

      Your browser of choice may have changed a lot in the past year, but luckily the best extensions for making your browser better have kept up with all the most popular browsers. Here are our cross-platform, must-have favorites.

  • Oracle

    • The Legacy of OpenOffice.org

      If one just read the headlines over the past month one would get the mistaken notion that LibreOffice was the first attempt to take the OpenOffice.org open source code and make a different product from it, or even a separate open source project. This is far from true. There have been many spin-off products/projects, including:

      * StarOffice
      * Symphony
      * EuroOffice
      * RedOffice
      * NeoOffice
      * PlusOffice
      * OxygenOffice
      * PlusOffice
      * Go-OO
      * Portable OpenOffice

      and, of course, LibreOffice. I’ve tracked down some dates of various releases of these projects and placed them on a time line above. You can click to see a larger version.

      So before we ring the death knell for OpenOffice, let’s recognized the potency of this code base, in terms of its ability to spawn new projects. LibreOffice is the latest, but likely not the last example we will see. This is a market where “one size fits all” does not ring true. I’d expect to see different variations on these editors, just as there are different kinds of users, and different markets which use these kinds of tools. Whether you call it a “distribution” or a “fork”, I really don’t care. But I do believe that the only kind of open source project that does not spawn off additional projects like this is a dead project.

    • Oracle To Monetize Java VM
  • Project Releases

    • Lightspark 0.4.5 Is Bringing The New Graphics Engine

      Lightspark’s advanced graphics engine will soon be released with the forthcoming Lightspark 0.4.5 version. We first talked about this advanced graphics engine in August that uses Cairo and OpenGL for rendering, but finally, after making a lot of progress, it’s ready to be released.

  • Licensing

    • British author faces prison sentence in Singapore

      The British author Alan Shadrake is today facing a possible prison sentence after a court in Singapore convicted him of challenging the integrity of the city state’s judiciary in a book criticising its use of the death penalty.

      Shadrake faces a custodial sentence or a fine – or both – for contempt of court when Singapore’s high court sentences him next week.

Leftovers

  • Goodbye PC

    The last bas­tion of the com­puter will be the office. At this time, it is dif­fi­cult to imag­ine peo­ple ges­tur­ing in front of their com­put­ers as a way to inter­act with them. More likely, tilted touch dis­plays will become the new norm in offices (and by tilted, I mean that the screen would be on the desk at an angle of no more than 20–25 degrees). Those types of changes will take some time to make their ways into cubi­cles and may force busi­ness to even rethink the con­cept of the cubi­cle. The ones that have already will get a head start on their competitor.

  • Why Did TechCrunch Scrub a Post About an Alleged Tech Sexual Assault? (Updated)

    On Thursday, Google technical writer Noirin Shirley accused Twitter software engineer Florian Leibert of sexual assault on her personal blog. TechCrunch staffer Alexia Tsotsis picked up the story, writing the post, “Googler Accuses Twitter Engineer Of Sexual Assault, Trial By Twitter Commences,” late on Friday. By Saturday morning, however, the link was dead.

  • Web browser pioneer backs new way to surf Internet

    Web browser pioneer Marc Andreessen is betting people are ready to try a different way of surfing the Internet.

    That’s why he is backing a new browser call RockMelt, which will be available for the first time Monday after nearly two years in development.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Obama environment agenda under threat from incoming Republicans

      Republican leaders have begun gathering evidence for sweeping investigations of Barack Obama’s environmental agenda, from climate science to the BP oil spill, if as expected, they take control of the House of Representatives in the 2 November mid-term elections, the Guardian has learned.

    • Is climate science disinformation a crime against humanity?

      Disinformation about the state of climate change science is extraordinarily – if not criminally – irresponsible, because the consensus scientific view is based upon strong evidence that climate change:

      • Is already being experienced by tens of thousands in the world;

      • Will be experienced in the future by millions of people from greenhouse gas emissions that have already been emitted but not yet felt due to lags in the climate system; and,

      • Will increase dramatically in the future unless greenhouse gas emissions are dramatically reduced from existing global emissions levels.

      Threats from climate change include deaths and danger from droughts, floods, heat, storm-related damages, rising oceans, heat impacts on agriculture, loss of animals that are dependent upon for substance purposes, social disputes caused by diminishing resources, sickness from a variety of diseases, the inability to rely upon traditional sources of food, the inability to use property that people depend upon to conduct their life including houses or sleds in cold places, the destruction of water supplies, and the inability to live where has lived to sustain life. The very existence of some small island nations is threatened by climate change.

    • Barack Obama’s green agenda crushed at the ballot box

      Californians decisively rejected a measure to roll back the state’s landmark climate change law yesterday, the sole win for environmentalists on a night that crushed Barack Obama’s green agenda.

    • We’ve been conned. The deal to save the natural world never happened
  • Finance

    • Jamming neoclassical economics

      Students at the University of California-Berkeley have launched the first salvo in an international movement to challenge neoclassical economics. They printed the Kick It Over Manifesto [pdf] on bright pink paper and pinned it to the door of Daniel McFadden, a Nobel Prize winner in economics [pdf], and to bulletin boards throughout the department.

    • Is What’s Good for Corporate America Still Good For America?

      “Of course,” you answer, since you’re reading this blog on HBR. And “of course,” I answer, since I ran the editorial page at BusinessWeek for a decade and covered everything from currencies to innovation. But the anti-Big Business chorus is getting louder and louder, with the Tea Party radicals on the right singing a tune CEOs and B-School profs would be foolish to ignore. They should be worried. I sure am.

      The CEOs I have talked to in recent years over drinks, overseas, and in private, are worried too. I have heard this comment at Davos far too many times to ignore: “I am as patriotic as anyone, but when I see where my corporation is investing, where it is doing R&D and especially where it is hiring, I worry about my country. It’s all going outside America. But what can I do?”

      In vino veritas perhaps. Not ALL of his global company’s R&D, investing and hiring is happening in China or India, but so much is that he and his fellow US CEO-buddies talk about it a lot — to themselves. When they do go public, they frame the Big Business issue in terms of complaints — too much regulation, high taxes, government debt to invest in America. The Tea Party old folks, the union people, the millions of white and blue collar Americans laid off — and my Gen Y students — frame the Big Business issue differently — in terms of obligation. They wonder, what, if any, obligations do corporations still feel to the nation, to democracy, to employees, especially after taxpayers bailed out Wall Street, Detroit, and the “system” in general. They wonder about CEOs making so much when employees lose jobs to outsourcing and hedge fund managers pay half the federal tax rate than their secretaries.

    • President Obama: offshoring fears are outdated, unwarranted

      The perception that Indian call centers and back office operations cost U.S. jobs is an old stereotype that ignores today’s reality that two-way trade between the U.S. and India is helping create jobs and raise the standard of living in both countries, U.S. President Barack Obama told a gathering of business executives in Mumbai on Saturday.

      President Obama’s remarks come after some moves in the U.S. that had Indian outsourcers worried that the U.S. may get protectionist in the wake of job losses in the country. The state of Ohio, for example, banned earlier this year the expenditure of public funds for offshore purposes.

    • Unicredit Debt Collection Scam “Serves” Fake Court Papers by Fake Cops and Fake Judges

      This story is so outrageous that I cannot figure out why it has not gone viral on the internet. Unicredit America Inc, a debt collection firm, had people dress up (pretending to be police), serve fake papers to people requiring them to show up in court.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Updated: ABC, NBC, CBS Block Website Access from Google TV

      Google TV was designed to allow users to easily search for their favorite television shows across local television listings and Web sites offering streaming. Google TV can also run Android apps such as Netflix streaming, Pandora Internet radio and Amazon Video on Demand.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Lamebook Sues Facebook Over Trademark Infringement. Wait, What?

      Here’s a head scratcher, at first glance at least: Lamebook, a hilarious advertising-supported site that lets Facebook users submit funny status updates, pictures and “other gems” originating from the social network, is apparently suing Facebook over trademark infringement.

      Lamebook was launched in April of 2009 by two Austin, Texas based graphic designers (Jonathan Standefer and Matthew Genitempo), and was obviously ‘inspired’ by Facebook’s branding when it comes to its name, logo and color scheme.

    • Copyrights

      • [Canada] Bill C-32: Mr. Ricci is wrong about Fair Dealing

        The Globe and Mail published a Bill C-32 Opinion piece by Governor General Award Winning fiction writer Nico Ricci, This updated copyright bill guts Canadian culture.

        The very title of this opinion piece is both inflammatory and misleading. Although Mr. Ricci mayt be qualified to comment on the state of culture, the article is actually exclusively devoted to one small piece of Bill C-32, the expansion of the fair dealing section of Bill C-32 to include educational uses.

Clip of the Day

Gnome Panel


Credit: TinyOgg

11.07.10

Links 7/11/2010: Linux at NASDAQ OMX, Linux 2.6.37 Plans

Posted in News Roundup at 4:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • One month remaining in the SCALE 9x Call for Papers

      In an effort to continue our efforts to promote and educate the public on Free/Open Source Software projects, the Southern California Linux Expo SCALE 9x invites you to share your work with the rest of the FOSS community by submitting a talk for the first-of-the-year Linux expo.

    • CeBIT Open Source 2011: Call for Projects

      or the third consecutive year, CeBIT Open Source invites projects to Hannover, Germany. The conference organizers and Linux Pro Magazine invite open source projects to apply for free exhibit space at CeBIT Open Source 2011.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 puts on brakes

        Despite growing anticipation for Firefox 4, developers have delayed its release until next year.

        In a move that will both disappoint fans and potentially undermine its claim on the browser market, the Mozilla Foundation has said it will delay the release of Firefox 4 until 2011.

  • SaaS

    • Zend Updates PHP IDE, Framework for the Cloud

      PHP has long been used as one of the primary languages for the web. With the help of some new tools, commercial PHP backer Zend is now helping to position PHP for the cloud too.

      At the ZendCon conference in Santa Clara, California, Zend today announced the general availability of the Zend Studio 8.0 IDE (define) and the Zend Framework 1.11 PHP application framework. Both the IDE and framework include new cloud-focused features and are part of a new PHP Cloud Application Platform ecosystem that Zend is now building.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle raises prices for MySQL

      In future, Oracle will offer three paid MySQLEditions at subscription fees of $2,000, $5,000 and $10,000 per year. The previous $600 “Basic” subscription has been dropped, in effect more than tripling the price for some customers. These subscriptions do not represent different levels of support, but rather different mixes of software. The free “Classic” edition provides only an embedded database with a MyISAM back end. The transactional InnoDB is available in the Standard, Enterprise and Carrier-Grade Editions, the Cluster NDB engine only in the Carrier-Grade Edition.

  • Business

    • One on One with Eric Gries of Lucid Imagination

      The conventional wisdom is “It’s open source, it’s free, that’s the competitive advantage”. And true, “free” can be pretty compelling. But that’s not all there is to it. Getting “free” to be useful means getting the flexibility to adapt, and to scale economically. Scaling economically is an absolute necessity given that ongoing growth in the volume of data means search applications must grow and change to keep up. Many search technologies assume that search is a black-box problem; but if you need good results more than half the time, that model just doesn’t work. Search results are unique to each business and its set of users and data, so one size will not fit all, and the flexibility is really the key.

  • Programming

    • ActiveState Launches Python Package Manager Index (PyPM Index)

      ActiveState, the dynamic language experts offering solutions for Perl, Python, and Tcl, has launched its Python Package Manager Index (PyPM Index) to give developers a more complete picture of Python build information and package availability across multiple platforms. PyPM Index shows developers instantly if Python packages they need are available for all the platforms they must deploy on, providing critical information to speed up the design phase of development. With PyPM Index, developers now have direct access via the web to search PyPM repositories (collections of ActivePython packages).

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • IT’S OFFICIAL: America Is Now A Banana Republic

      One of the hallmarks of banana republics, says the NYT’s Nicholas Kristof, is income inequality.

      In some countries, the wealthiest 1% of the population takes home 20% or more of the national income.

    • Our Banana Republic

      The richest 1 percent of Americans now take home almost 24 percent of income, up from almost 9 percent in 1976. As Timothy Noah of Slate noted in an excellent series on inequality, the United States now arguably has a more unequal distribution of wealth than traditional banana republics like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guyana.

      C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker in 1980, but 531 times as much in 2001. Perhaps the most astounding statistic is this: From 1980 to 2005, more than four-fifths of the total increase in American incomes went to the richest 1 percent.

      That’s the backdrop for one of the first big postelection fights in Washington — how far to extend the Bush tax cuts to the most affluent 2 percent of Americans. Both parties agree on extending tax cuts on the first $250,000 of incomes, even for billionaires. Republicans would also cut taxes above that.

    • ‘Griftopia’: The Financial Crisis Easily Explained

      Meet The ‘Vampire Squid’ Of The Financial Crisis

      “What the mortgage bubble was all about was big banks like Goldman Sachs taking big bundles of subprime mortgages that were lent out largely to low-income, highly risky borrowers,” Taibbi says, “and applying this kind of magic-pixie-dust math to these bundles of securities and slapping AAA ratings on them.”

      This wasn’t the worst of it, of course. While Goldman Sachs was selling these bundles, “they turned around and placed massive bets against the mortgage market knowing that it was going to collapse.”

      “They took suckers like AIG, and they placed massive bets that this stuff was going to fail, and AIG stupidly took the bet and that’s what ended up blowing them up,” Taibbi says.

      In Taibbi narrative, Goldman Sachs often plays the villain’s role. “They had an extraordinary amount of political influence that was over and above the other banks,” he says. “No other bank has the same record as Goldman Sachs does in terms of taking former executives and placing them in high-ranking positions in the government.”

      Or, as Taibbi put it in one of his early columns, “The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The Generational Privacy Divide

      Many acknowledged that longstanding privacy norms are being increasingly challenged by the massive popularity of social networks that encourage users to share information that in a previous generation would have never been made publicly available for all the world to see. Moreover, rapid technological change and the continuous evolution of online sites and services create enormous difficulty for regulators unaccustomed to moving at Internet speed.

Clip of the Day

Melody Gardot – Worrisome Heart


Credit: TinyOgg

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