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09.15.10

Links 15/9/2010: More MeeGo Wins, DEAct Debate Reactivated

Posted in News Roundup at 2:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Windows 7 vs Ubuntu 10.04

    Despite the bombastic predictions of open-source advocates, and a short-lived spell as the default netbook operating system, Linux remains at the very margins of mainstream computing. Even among PC Pro’s technically literate readership, only 4% are running a Linux OS, according to the visitor stats for this website.

    However, something rather extraordinary is happening in the Linux world. Amid all the distros that have come and gone over the years, one finally has the potential, the momentum and the commercial backing to at least challenge the Windows hegemony.

  • Cracking Linux on the Desktop – A Proposal

    I have been touting the security of Linux on the desktop for several years now. But a question from Artremis on my article Open Source: FOSS Security Updates vs Microsoft Patch Day has me thinking about how to attempt to prove that. I know one “cannot prove a negative”, barring odd philosophical views from odd philosophers on that. But I think we in the FOSS Linux community can do more than just talk.

  • Ballnux

    • HTC Desire Z and Desire HD are Official, Available October in Asia and Europe

      As if the smash success that was the original wasn’t enough, HTC has made official the Desire Z and Desire HD. Both handsets feature aluminum construction but each offer something unique. The HTC Desire HD — which has been floating around as the HTC Ace in leaked screen shots — features a 4.3-inch 480×800 SLCD display, 8MP camera and dual flash capable of 720p HD video capture, and Android 2.2 with a new HTC Sense. This monster packs some hefty specs including a 1GHz processor, 1.5GB of internal storage, and 768MB of RAM. The phone features radio support for HSPA/CDMA and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE.

    • HTC launches the Desire HD: an EVO for the rest of world
  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Wednesday’s security updates
    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat helps NC State open the Garage doors for entrepreneurial action

        The Garage doors are opening for entrepreneurs at North Carolina State University thanks to support from open source software firm Red Hat and the NC State Entrepreneurial Initiative.

        The “Garage,” is a facility for students engaged in entrepreneurial endeavors and provides curricular and extra-curricular opportunities to empower students, whatever their discipline, as entrepreneurial thinkers, doers and leaders.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Founder: Ubuntu’s contribution goes beyond the code tree

          He’s got a point. I remember the excitement generated a few years back when Michael Dell publicly applauded the Ubuntu desktop and Dell’s decision to preload Ubuntu on select PCs. Now that deal per se was not a big success, but it shifted perception about the potential of Linux on the desktop in a far more signifiant way than Red Hat or Novell ever did.

          Both Canonical’s Ubuntu and Google’s Android are open source Linux projects that have advanced the cause of Linux, even if the implementations have stirred controversy within the open source community. That has to be good for open source.

        • Ubuntu 10.10′s Free Culture showcase selections

          The selected video and audio tracks for this cycles Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase initiative have been uploaded to Maverick.

        • New Way To Get The New Official Ubuntu Font Family
        • What I do

          Fortunately for me, my work in Canonical enabling Ubuntu to work on PCs fulfils this passion of mine. My daily work normally involves me looking at obscure firmware issues in PC BIOSs and figuring out what is wrong and how to address and fix the problem.

          Without fixing these issues, quite a few machines would just not function correctly for various reasons. My work involves fixing issues such as Suspend/Resume and Hibernate/Resume hangs, or looking at why hardware is not quite configured correctly after boot or resume. Unfortunately buggy firmware does happen quite frequently and leads to all sorts of weird issues. Hotkeys, LCD backlights, wake alarms, fan controls, thermal trip points and even CPU configuration can be affected by BIOS or ACPI bugs. All these need fixing, so it keeps me busy!

        • Thoughts on upstreams

          Last month I gave a presentation on the interaction between Android and kernel upstream at Linuxcon. The video for that is now available here (requires registration). Contrary to stories you may have heard, I do not dropkick anyone through a window.

          There’s some parallels between the Android/upstream scenario and Canonical’s approach to upstream. Mark wrote a lengthy defence of Canonical’s focus on components that they feel need development, while not putting development effort into things they feel are good enough already. That’s pretty consistent with the discussions I had with him at the Ubuntu development meeting in Oxford over six years ago. Back then the focus was on taking all the excellent software that already existed and concentrating on providing it as a single polished and integrated product. It was successful – what’s easy to forget now is that the first release of Ubuntu was massively more usable out of the box than any other Linux distribution available at the time, and it’s absolutely undeniable that its release spurred increased efforts on the part of competitors. But I don’t think the same focus is being applied any more.

          [...]

          Canonical would be perceived as much better team players if there was an indication of their long-term plan in terms of Unity and the Ayatana projects and getting that code into mainline Gnome and integrating with the Gnome shell. It’s completely unsurprising that they’re viewed with distrust until that happens.

        • copyright assignments gone wild, or why i can not join Canonical’s contributor agreement program

          When it comes to organizations involved in tending to Free software projects, I personally take a view that is probably deeply colored by my previous life experiences in business. Which is to say, it’s probably a bit boring, conservative and balances out my raging enthusiasm for community.

          In my opinion, there is a responsibility for such organizations to identify, define and manage risks related to the responsibility of oversight of what is a very valuable item: the intellectual and creative work embodied in the software products. This is ignored only at great risk to the software, its users and those responsible for the continued development of the software. As a whole, the Free software ecosystem fails more than it succeeds in this, though it is getting better every year.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Sound applet buttons now respect your theme
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora tops 1000 boxes

      English-built, open source games console Pandora has shipped its thousandth unit – not bad considering every one is hand made by geeks in Newcastle.

      The Pandora isn’t just a games console: running a tweaked Ångström Linux it can manage Open Office and Firefox too, all using open source hardware and software in a box the size of a Nintendo DS. Even the fact that it costs twice as much as a DS hasn’t stopped 1000 people buying one.

    • Chinese ARMs

      The Chinese, like me, prefer low cost and efficient IT. Hence their love of GNU/Linux and home-grown chips. There is news that a new dual core ARM CPU has been integrated into the SoC (System on a Chip) design with 1.6gHz and 2gHz speeds.

    • CompactPCI SBC offers eight-core QorIQ SoC

      Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) announced a Linux-ready, conduction- or air-cooled 3U cPCI single-board computer (SBC) based on Freescale’s 1.5GHz, eight-core QorIQ P4080 system-on-chip (SoC). The XPedite5430 is equipped with up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 SDRAM, 16GB of NAND flash, PCI Express or Serial RapidIO expansion, plus gigabit Ethernet, serial, and USB connectivity.

    • NAS devices move up to Intel Atom D525

      The two-drive TS-259 Pro+ (4TB), four-drive TS-459 Pro+ (8TB), five-drive TS-559 Pro+ (10TB), and six-drive TS-659 Pro+ (12TB) all ship with 1GB RAM, RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, iSCSI support, and newly updated Linux-based firmware.

    • Intel shows off Google TV devices as Boxee Box switches to Atom

      At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Intel showed off Atom-based Google TV devices from Sony and Logitech. Meanwhile, Google confirmed Google TV is on schedule, and D-Link switched its Linux-based Boxee Box set-top box (STB) from an Nvidia Tegra 2 to the same Intel Atom CE4100 chipset used by the Google TV devices.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo in with a “chance” against mobile OS rivals

          The open-source mobile operating system is the result of a tie-up between the two tech giants, bringing together Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin. It’s designed for tablets, netbooks and handsets as well as televisions and in-car systems.

        • WeTab Tablet with Open Source MeeGo OS – WOW!

          The MeeGo operating system is an open source Linux project, which is a combination of Intel’s Moblin project and Nokia’s Naemo project. It is able to provide flexible UI and application environments, allows you to do practically anything with it, and supports all popular file formats. It also manages to do this while working with a number of graphical and processor optimisations, meaning it is not only extremely open but also very fast.

        • Splashtop fast-boot tech opens up with new MeeGo version

          DeviceVM previewed a new MeeGo-based version of its Splashtop instant-on distribution at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), effectively opening up the technology to Linux developers. The distribution is already being made available to OEMs, with end user upgrades available in the first half of 2011, says the company.

        • First MeeGo set-top box emerges

          At an Intel Developer Forum (IDF) keynote, Amino demonstrated a new MeeGo-ready set-top box (STB) while discussing its contributions to MeeGo’s Connected TV reference platform. Due to ship in the fourth quarter, the Freedom STB is equipped with Intel’s Atom CE4100 SoC, supports IPTV and traditional broadcast services, and offers both Adobe Flash 10.1 and Microsoft Silverlight.

      • Android

        • Application security moving to center stage on mobile platforms

          Google’s Android platform is the elephant in the room. While open and completely community driven, there are thousands of applications running on Android that are closed source. To protect those applications, Google released its Licensing Service.

          Google’s Licensing Service, which is still in the infancy stages, is a great offering to the development community when it comes to copy protection. Yet, the Licensing Service is easily defeated, depending on how it is implemented.

        • Verizon moves in on Google’s turf again with V CAST Apps

          Verizon appears to be moving further away from Android’s Google and open source core premise this week as it has begun to ask for submissions to its own app store, expected to debut as early as next week. The carrier appears to be following a similar structure to that of Apple, where apps must go through an approval process and revenues are split between Verizon and the developer.

        • Android: Opening A Pandora’s Box of Licensing

          This is a problem that will get worse, not better, as open source moves ever-closer to the heart of consumer electronics, and as more large-scale projects start to put together open source components with many different licences. Android shows how powerful that can be – and the kind of challenges it brings with it. Now that this digital Pandora’s box has been opened, the open source community needs to start thinking about how to manage the consequences in a more structured, scalable way.

        • Seven-inch tablet runs Android on Tegra 2

          Amazon.com opened pre-order sales for a $370, seven-inch, Android 2.2 tablet from Stream TV Network. The eLocity A7 tablet is equipped with a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2, 512MB RAM, 4GB of flash memory, and offers a seven-inch capacitive display, an HDMI port for 1080p output, plus Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 1.3-megapixel webcam, says Amazon.

        • Android May Paddle Samsung Canoe Into Turbulent Web TV Waters

          Yoon Boo Keun, head of Samsung’s TV business line, reportedly said the company is reviewing whether to use Android, an OS more commonly found in various smartphones, in a new line of TV sets.

          Samsung is working on an operating system that can be used for both mobile phones and television, Yoon apparently revealed.

          The Korean electronics could be stepping into a confusing market — it has its own Bada mobile phone OS and also makes Android smartphones. Further, it has just revealed an Android-based tablet, the Galaxy Tab.

        • T-Mobile’s G2 Hurtles Onto Smartphone Scene

          T-Mobile officially unveiled its G2 smartphone, the successor to the world’s first Android-powered mobile phone, touting its faster Web-browsing experience and direct integration with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) services.

          The G2, which is designed specifically for T-Mobile’s new HSPA+ network, features downloads at “4G speeds,” according to T-Mobile. The network is expected to reach more than 100 million Americans in 55 major cities across the country when the smartphone becomes available later this month.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Your Open-Source Smartphone May Actually Be Free

    Of course, in TechCrunch’s world, there’s only two mobile platforms out there. It’s probably too hard to keep track of three. And yes, Symbian as well as MeeGo are open-source platforms. We’ll give TechCrunch a little bit of slack and presume they ignored this fact to get their link bait right.

  • Liferay awards 2010 Partner of the Year to CIGNEX

    Liferay, provider of the leading open source portal solution, today announced it has awarded CIGNEX, the global Platinum partner of Liferay, the Partner of the Year for 2010. This announcement was made at the Liferay West Coast Symposium held at Anaheim, CA on September 8 & 9.

  • CIGNEX and Liferay to extend Liferay Training to customers in Middle East and Africa
  • Verizon Deploys Open Source Database Perst Lite for Field Technicians with BlackBerrys
  • Truly, Free Software For Your Personal and Professional Life

    Just because it say’s “Free” doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Arizona Reporter examines four relevant Open Source applications that reduce overall operating costs for small and large businesses alike.

  • Appeals Court Stops Re-selling of Software

    To get another perspective on the Vernor vs Autodesk case we went to Groklaw. Groklaw is one of the best sources for legal information about the computer industry. The founder of Groklaw, P.J. Jones, has been correct about computer law case outcomes more times than not.

  • Vernor v. AutoDesk – Vacated (first sale) and remanded (copyright misuse)

    There is a ruling [PDF] from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Vernor v. Autodesk, and some of you will hate it.

  • Maven maker Sonatype gets new CEO and $11.6M funding

    Sonatype, the start-up founded by the original author of the open source Maven build and project management software, has announced that it has a new CEO and is receiving $11.6M funding. Maven is an Apache Software Foundation project which is supported by Sonatype.

  • Open Source Groupware Comes to Japan

    Open-Xchange, provider of business-class open source collaboration software, announced today an exclusive distribution agreement with Next IT for hosted and on-premises Open-Xchange products in Japan.

  • CONNECT Open Source Advocates to Gather

    CONNECT includes one or more open source applications for each of the components, plus some private vendor tools such as IBM/Initiate Systems’ master patient index software.

  • Upcoming Event: The Open Source Enterprise

    Free, open-source software (FOSS) is finally a trusted solution in the enterprise, but primarily only in infrastructure layers. The promise of a completely open-source enterprise is nigh, but the nagging question remains: Will it work as a business for the technology industry? New business models are now appearing that bridge the old world of enterprise software with the promise and customizations of open source.

  • Dell comes clean on open source

    While only half a dozen people were affected there is a matter of principle at stake. Companies making use of (GPL) open source enter into a legal agreement to share their developments, so it was important that Dell complied.

  • Global open source alliance to deliver an enterprise monitoring stack

    Opsview, the open source network and application monitoring vendor, today announced it has teamed up with Canonical, the Ubuntu service provider, to help drive the enterprise adoption of Opsview Enterprise with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition. Opsview has grown rapidly within the managed service provider and financial services space; key strategic verticals for Canonical.

  • My Jakarta: Yudha Yogasara, Computer Security and Open-Source Activist

    I’m a college student, a panelist at IT seminars, a tutor at IT workshops, a writer, a moderator and the founder of a few hacker community forums, the head of KPLI — Kelompok Pengguna Linux [Linux User Group] – Tangerang.

    And I do work on some IT projects that I can’t mention here.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla suspends Firefox updates

        The flaw appears to have been introduced in Firefox versions 3.5.12 and 3.6.9, released last week, with the Bugzilla bug-tracking system showing a large number of reported crashes from clients across Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.

        [...]

        While a report over on ComputerWorld suggests that the updates have started flowing once again as of early this morning, there has so far been no official word from Mozilla on whether the root cause of the problem has been addressed.

  • SaaS

    • Cloud.com joins HP AllianceONE program

      Open-source cloud infrastructure provider Cloud.com has announced a big win in the enterprise market: a partnership with HP that will bring Cloud.com into the AllianceONE programme.

    • Cloudera: All Your Big Data Are Belong to Us

      Where Cloudera shines, however, is in taking these different contributions and making Hadoop relevant for enterprise IT, where data mining has waxed and waned over the years. Part of the “waning” has come through the cost and complexity of the systems used to mine corporate data.

    • Yahoo spins cloud web around competitors

      With regard to continually refining its consumer products, Yahoo is working with developers through its open source initiative Hadoop, which is the company’s analytics and data warehousing framework, to constantly improve its compute capabilities, said the executive. The Hadoop framework was made available to the open source community last June and, since then, Yahoo has contributed about 70 percent of all code written, he added.

    • OpenStack sets some Texas-sized deadlines

      OpenStack, the open source cloud project built around a Rackspace API, has set some deadlines for development milestones.

      The most important date is October 21.

      That’s the day for delivering the company’s first release, dubbed Austin. This will be followed by a development conference scheduled for November 9-12 in San Antonio. (Nachos for everyone!)

    • Open source in the clouds and in the debates
    • On innovation and participation

      What makes the Hadoop and NoSQL movements is that their growth is driven less by the itches of the associated vendors than it is the itches of the users/developers. Indeed we see vendors in these markets being led by existing users/developers in trying to figure out the opportunities for commercialization.

  • Databases

    • Xeround scales MySQL for the cloud

      Xeround is based on an in-memory database and has been tested in a number of telco production environments, according to CEO Razi Sharir. The software utilizes virtual partitions where data partitions are decoupled–or abstracted–from physical resources. These virtual partitions hold copies of both the data and the indexes, in order to ensure high availability and performance.

      Despite the ubiquity of open-source MySQL, the database has in the past suffered from scaling issues, which has often led developers down one of two paths: using a NoSQL database to front-end applications; and/or sharding, a process that splits the database into smaller chunks, but requires a high-degree of user sophistication.

  • Oracle

    • Friday Blogosphere Watch: Java and Open Source Industry Vets’ Blogs

      Next, is the blog of Bruce Perens, original author of the “Open Source Definition” and a founder of the Open Source Initiative, the Linux Standard Base, and Software in the Public Interest. The insightful Perens jumped back into blogging after a fairly long absence with some useful posts on the Oracle lawsuit, the Mark Hurd firing and other issues.

    • No News Is NOT Good News

      What do I expect from JavaOne 2010? Well, I am hoping that Oracle will finally put rumours to rest regarding its stance on Open Source. I hope that its plans for Java will include a faster and more open process in defining and releasing improvements to the language and the technology.

      I am hoping that JavaFX will finally get the much needed marketing funds to get developers, as well as device manufacturers, e.g., mobile phones and TVs, to start developing and deploying apps.
      Sun announced the Java Application Store, I hope that this will be released for the global market, rather than for a select few.

    • Illumos Foundation launches OpenIndiana

      OpenIndiana aims to be binary and package compatible with Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express and to act as a “free drop in replacement” for OpenSolaris. The developers compare their development model to the way CentOS project is based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) source. OpenIndiana combines the official OpenSolaris source with free, open source software from the community, such as the XNV X Window System, the Sun Freeware Collection (SFW), the Java Desktop System (JDS), the IPS packaging system and the Caiman installer.

  • Education

    • Curriki Hosts Educational Video Library by Khan Academy
    • Lowering the Price of Higher Education, Here & Now

      Additionally, the cost of developing courses can also be significantly reduced with open source technology. Currently, every university develops its own courses, one of the most costly aspects of running an academic institution. Why do we need so many professors developing courses at so many universities? Just as we share materials online, we must also share talent. If we enlist the top minds in every discipline to create quality courses and then distribute them via open source technology, we can drastically reduce education costs, lessening the economic burden on students.

  • Healthcare

    • EU/GL: International Team Develops Open Source Hospital Information System

      The developers, including specialists from Brazil, Germany, Greece and France, aim to build a system that will manage electronic medical records, hospital information and health information. Its services include prescriptions, billing, patient information, managing epidemiological and statistical data and management of medical stock. The entire project is published using the GNU General Public Licence (GPL), an open source licence.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Loads of info at Software Freedom day

      This Sunday sees Tauranga’s very own Software Freedom Day event.

      The event – an open day to promote free software and free software concepts – is part of a worldwide celebration.

      Organised by the BOP Linux User Group supported by TechnologyWise, the open day will feature volunteers showing visitors the extent of open source software and its capabilities.

      Internationally, the goal of Software Freedom Day is to educate the worldwide public about the benefits of using high quality Free and Open Source Software in education, in government, at home, and in business.

  • Government

    • Open Technology Foundation denied AGIMO support

      A spokesman from the Department of Finance and Deregulation explained that while open source was “in wide use across the Australian Government”, AGIMO took a neutral position on open source.

      “Based on the Committee’s decision, AGIMO formally declined South Australia’s request to be involved in the OTF,” she told iTnews.

      “AGIMO has a policy of informed neutrality regarding open source software with value for money across the total cost of ownership of the software being the overriding principle for its use.”

      But Bryan King of the SA Office of the CIO yesterday told delegates at the open source OSSPAC conference that “open source for Government hasn’t made any major penetration”.

    • What is the advantage of using free-of-charge software in state institutions?

      Communications Minister Valerian Vreme, appointed in this position at the beginning of the month, says he is considering devising a strategy to introduce free-of-charge open-source software, which would see a decline in contracts between the state and software producers, but would mean cost savings for the government.

      [...]

      Vreme (47), who worked for over ten years in IT in the private sector, says first interoperability rules will be set, in order for an institution that uses open-source software to be able to communicate with one that is not using such software. Open-source software, such as the OpenOffice suite, the Linux operating system, and the Firefox browser, is free-of-charge, and can be an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows and Office, produced by the world’s biggest software company.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Yum. Open-source home-made algae.
    • Digital textbooks may end price hikes

      They say open source material puts the information in the hands of students and professors.

      “It gives students the choice as to how much they want to spend,” said Saul Adelman, a finance professor at Miami who had used open source books in his Risk Management class. “I’m concerned about book prices. That’s why I explored this option.”

    • FOSS4G-Barcelona: Open Source Geospatial Software Still Much in Demand

      It was the hard-edged professional, with either a product to push or a geospatial project searching for a solution, who attended this year’s FOSS4G. Perhaps more than any other descriptor I can think of, the word “mature” best defines the state of the free and open source geospatial software industry today. One has to look no further than companies like OpenGeo to realize these are legit outfits, with shrink-wrap software solutions capable of managing geospatial data and applications, from top to bottom, for all but perhaps the largest of users, such as the U.S. Dept. of Defense. Open source GIS software is here to stay, and it’s making big inroads into private and governmental users by the looks of the vendors and attendees at FOSS4G.

    • OpenGeo Releases Training Courses under Creative Commons
    • Are you building a community or a club?

      I’ve never been much for clubs. When I was young, I made a lousy cub scout. I wasn’t a real “joiner” in high school or college either (just enough to get by) and I still don’t get actively involved in many professional associations today.

    • Crowdsourcing Project Hopes to Make Short Work of Transcribing Bentham

      Thousands of unpublished pages of Jeremy Bentham’s manuscripts are ready for transcription with a new crowdsourcing program from University College London’s Transcribe Bentham project.

      Researchers at UCL are counting on Bentham enthusiasts around the globe to help transcribe and digitize thousands of handwritten pages of the influential philosopher’s work. The university has about 40,000 untranscribed pages of Bentham in its collection. It photographed 4,500 pages for the initial phase of the project—accessible through the Transcribe Bentham Web site—and is calling on Bentham scholars, armchair philosophers, or almost anyone with an Internet connection to turn the handwritten prose into machine-readable type.

    • Research Data: Who will share what, with whom, when, and why?

      The deluge of scientific research data has excited the general public, as well as the scientific community, with the possibilities for better understanding of scientific problems, from climate to culture. For data to be available, researchers must be willing and able to share them. The policies of governments, funding agencies, journals, and university tenure and promotion committees also influence how, when, and whether research data are shared. Data are complex objects. Their purposes and the methods by which they are produced vary widely across scientific fields, as do the criteria for sharing them. To address these challenges, it is necessary to examine the arguments for sharing data and how those arguments match the motivations and interests of the scientific community and the public. Four arguments are examined: to make the results of publicly funded data available to the public, to enable others to ask new questions of extant data, to advance the state of science, and to reproduce research. Libraries need to consider their role in the face of each of these arguments, and what expertise and systems they require for data curation.

    • Open Data

      • Who Runs London?: New Guide Facilitates Transparency

        The ‘Who Runs London?’ guide illustrates the web of ministries, assemblies, agencies and councils that together run London in a visual diagram (see example below). Additional information about each organization, including their key relationships and websites, is provided in a brief glossary on the last page. It is finally possible for a lay person to quickly distinguish between, for example, the Olympic Delivery Authority, Olympic Board and the Olympic Park Legacy Company, as well as establish what they do and who they answer to in the wider context of the capital’s governance. This sort of transparency is essential if these organizations are to be held up to public scrutiny and to public account.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Tim Berners-Lee calls for free internet worldwide

        The inventor of the Web has called for everyone to have access to his creation for free.

        Tim Berners-Lee said that he would like to see everybody given a low-bandwidth connection “by default”.

        He said the web could be instrumental in giving people access to critical services such as healthcare.

        Currently, he said, just one-fifth of the world’s population has access to the web.

        “What about the other 80%?” he asked the audience at the Nokia World conference in London.

  • Programming

    • poll: deleting directories containing unversioned files

      What would you like to have happen? My feeling is that there should be a configuration option to choose the policy, and we should perhaps eventually distinguish “junk” (safe to delete) from “precious”, as Baz and GNU Arch did.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Robotics needs a W3C

      That’s because, unlike most Japanese robots, which are either purpose-built or one-offs, and unlike iRobot (which despite its name is a cleaner and military contracting company), the PR2 is built from an open source software base, with modular hardware.

      Willow Garage is not the only open source base on which to build a robot. Urbi went open source last month, with a C++ library and an API. CARMEN is Carnegie-Mellon’s open source robotics toolkit. Orocos also offers an open source platform for robotic control.

Leftovers

  • “Dear Twitter: Stop Screwing Over Your Developers”

    Elhange is an open source developer, which seems to be a big part of the problem. Twitter doesn’t want certain parts of developer’s code to be out in the public. For an open developer, that’s impossible to prevent.

  • Luck: 9.5 minutes of sudden death averted
  • MIPS Technology Challenges ARM’s Cell Phone Chip Design Monopoly

    MIPS Technologies’ (MIPS) stock has skyrocketed recently as it lays the groundwork to challenge ARM (ARMH), the dominant player in cell phone chip design. Savvy investors see the small Silicon Valley company as an emerging threat to ARM, the Cambridge, England firm that licenses the processor designs used in nearly all the leading mobile phones.

  • Security/Aggression

    • ‘Mate crime’ fears for people with learning disabilities

      Steven Hoskin had strong feelings about his killers. They had abused, exploited and humiliated him over a year, taking his money, treating him as their slave and making him wear his own dog’s collar and lead. Eventually, having forced him to swallow 70 painkillers, they took him to the top of a railway viaduct and made him hang from the railings as one member of the gang, a girl aged 16, stamped on his hands until he fell 30 metres to his death.

    • What Happened to Our Facebook Page with 10,000+ Supporters?

      For those of you following along on facebook.com/savebradley (over 10,000 friends!) you might notice that the URL leads to a dead page. The page can now be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/savebradley/114129961964452?ref=ts You’ll notice that the page, with over 10,300 supporters, is rather quiet. That’s because the Bradley Manning Support Network’s administrative rights to the page have been revoked due to a “violation of the terms of service.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Astroturfing the scientific databases: spamming the lobster eye

      The Encyclopedia of Life is a cool tool which is a sort of wikification of taxonomy — it allows a large number of contributors to add descriptions of species with the goal of eventually documenting all 1.8 million known species in a single searchable source. Look at the page for my experimental animal, Danio rerio; lots of information in a standard format with links and references. Thumbs up!

      However, there’s a problem here: the sources. To organize that much data, a large mob of contributors are needed, and that means some fairly open policies to allow contributors have been instituted, and that in turn means that there will be parasites on they system. And a reader sent me an example of a doozy.

      [...]

      I know, this is a truism: don’t trust the Net of Lies, learn to vet your sources, watch out for anything on the net. But it looks to me like the Turkish creationists have been waging a successful astroturf campaign to infiltrate sources that we would normally regard as pretty good, and are thereby corrupting sources even more. It also allows them to pass casual review because their articles are very widely sourced.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Wikileaks, Craigslist and turning the Web analog

      These same Internet values are reflected in the open source movement. Links need to be free, access needs to be unlimited, for open source to maximize its potential. Worrying about the politics of contributors or users is a waste of brain cells.

    • Documents show Homeland Security tracks anti-drill groups in Pa.

      According to recently leaked documents, the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security has been tracking anti-gas drilling groups and their meetings — including a public screening of the film “Gasland,” a documentary about the environmental hazards of natural gas drilling.

      The office has included the information in its weekly intelligence bulletins sent to law enforcement agencies.

      The bulletins are also sent to gas companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

    • Help us to prevent Internet filters in Europe!

      The debate on Internet filters reaches the hot phase now on EU level, as discussions begin in the EU parliament. It is now urgently necessary to make ourselves heard. We cannot lean back now and complain later.

    • Developers pull plug on anti-censorship tool for Iranians

      A program designed to make Iranian internet users safe from government peeking has been pulled by its creators because, er, it opens up their identities to anyone that cares to take a look.

      The program, called Haystack, is designed to hide traffic to and from the internet at large inside what looks like connections to innocuous sites. The Haystack client connects to the company’s servers, which in turn talk to websites on behalf of its users.

    • EFF Says Violating Company Policies Is Not a Computer Crime

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a federal appeals court Tuesday to dismiss charges that would turn any employee use of company computers in violation of corporate policy into a federal crime.

      In U.S. v. Nosal, an ex-employee is being prosecuted on the claim that he induced current company employees to use their legitimate credentials to access the company’s proprietary database and provide him with information, in violation of corporate computer-use policy. The government claims that the violation of this private policy constitutes a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Following a decision issued just last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the District Court ruled against the government, holding that violations of corporate policy are not equivalent to violations of federal computer crime law. The government appealed to the 9th Circuit.

    • Revised Opinion in Privacy Case Blurs Clear Limits to Digital Search and Seizure

      Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit issued an unfortunate revised opinion in United States v. Comprehensive Drug Testing Inc., a case featuring blatantly unconstitutional government action. As the court put it:

      “This case is about a federal investigation into steroid use by professional baseball players. More generally, however, it’s about the procedures and safeguards that federal courts must observe in issuing and administering search warrants and subpoenas for electronically stored information.”

      One shocking example: the government seized and reviewed the drug testing records for hundreds of players in Major League Baseball—and many other people—even though the judicially authorized warrant was limited to the records of the ten players for whom the government had probable cause.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • These Are Not The Addroids You Are Looking For

      George Lucas likes lawsuits. He also really likes the word “Droid“, which Lucasfilm holds the rights to (yes, Verizon actually licenses the word “Droid” for its handsets). In fact, Lucas likes the word so much that he (or at least, his law firm) will threaten to sue you for using it as the name of your company — even the letters DROID make up just part of your company name.

      That’s what Matt Cooper found out this week, when Lucasfilm’s lawyers sent him a cease and desist notice demanding that he change the name of his company, Addroid. Cooper says the new startup is an HTML5-based ad serving platform (hence the ad part of the name), and because it’s digital advertising he thought that a tie to the techie word “android” would be appropriate. In other words, the name stems from the word Android — not the abbreviated “Droid” that Lucas is so fond of.

    • Kroes wants to include developing countries in Internet governance

      Since emerging economies will soon have more web users than the EU and US combined, Internet governance should also be extended to the developing world, Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said at the opening session of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Vilnius yesterday (14 September).

      “Public authorities across the world must now be able, on an equal footing, to effectively carry out their roles and responsibilities when international public policy issues are at stake,” Kroes said, welcoming the fact that ICANN, the organisation coordinating Internet IP addresses, was now reviewing its working methods to include more representatives from the developing world in ‘advisory committees’.

    • Copyrights

      • The 9th circuit gives and it takes away

        Think Congress will take it up? I don’t either. Which means that, while the RIAA has to cut musicians in for more of the cash they bring in, they now have the right to raid your local library and blow all their digital media off the shelves.

      • Red Alert on Net Freedoms! MEPs shall Reject the Gallo Report

        The Gallo report on strengthening copyright enforcement will be voted in the European Parliament on Wednesday, September 22nd. Even if non-legislative, this dangerous text relies on biased figures pushed by producers and publishers’ lobbies to call for an extension of repression. It opens the door to the creation of private copyright police of the Net. All EU citizen can act to help the Members of the European Parliament out of the blind repressive path, and adopt an alternative resolution -more constructive and protective of consumers- instead of the Gallo report.

      • Help fund free culture
      • Spotify closing in on 10 million users across Europe

        How big is Spotify? 10 million users big. Well, it’s about to break that milestone anyway.

        The company is holding a party in London later this month “to celebrate reaching 10 million users across Europe”, according to an invite sent out to press and partners.

      • When You Realize That Copyright Law Violates Free Speech Rights, You Begin To Recognize The Problems…

        Copyright law and free speech are fundamentally in conflict. It bears repeating, because most of those pushing for things like ACTA simply do not recognize this simple fact — and when they then try to export the expression suppressing parts of copyright law without the all important exceptions and guarantees of free speech, it should come as no surprise, at all, that governments use the law the US pushed on them to suppress speech and dissent. What is not acceptable is for US policy makers to continue to ignore this key point.

      • How piracy works.

        I won’t bother analyzing why people copy games and other digital media, as that’s really a moot point. We’ve got an amazingly effective way of distributing culture that is extremely beneficial for humanity, but it clashes with our current economical models. Piracy will win in the long run. It has to. The alternative is too scary.

      • Jack-Booted Thugs and Copyright Enforcement

        The New York Times article goes on to explain that the raid on the environmental group is only a recent example of a growing pattern: “Across Russia, the security services have carried out dozens of similar raids against outspoken advocacy groups or opposition newspapers in recent years.” For those familiar with the hard line copyright maximalist position — which holds that all copyright infringement should be swiftly prosecuted with harsh penalties regardless of the context — it was sadly unsurprising. (This risk is one reason that NGOs around the world choose free and open source tools that avoid the risk of copyright claims altogether.)

      • ACTA

        • ACTA serves up a rejected Telecoms Package clause

          How far will ISPs be held liable for infringement of intellectual property rights under ACTA? On close examination in the EU context, we also come up against another question: is ACTA re-writing the weak “compromise” on Internet users rights that was rejected by the European Parliament in the Telecoms Package?

          In previous drafts of ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), liability for ISPs in enforcing copyright on the Internet was clearly stated. In the latest leaked draft of 25 August 2010, it appears to have been deleted. At least the substantive text requiring countries to implement a liability provision is not there.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • UK government hands £500M copyright enforcement and censorship tab to nation’s Internet users

          The UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills has concluded its consultation on how to pay for all the new copyright enforcement built into the Digital Economy Act.

          The DEA is a sweeping, punishing copyright law that the former Labour government crammed through Parliament without debate in a closed-door, poorly attended vote hours before it called the next election (which it lost). The Act requires ISPs to send letter to their customers warning them that an entertainment company has accused them of infringing copyright (if this fails to reduce national levels of infringement by 70% in 18 months — which it will fail to do — ISPs will then be required to disconnect entire families from the Internet on the unsubstantiated accusation of a rightsholder).

        • DEAPPG

          DEAPPG is an all party parliamentary group based in Portcullis House, Westminster. The group was started by Eric Joyce MP in May 2010 in response to the DE Act (and conversations in social media eg Twitter #DEAct)

Clip of the Day

Broadcom Open Source! Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox and Debian, Tablet News, Magic Trackpad on Ubuntu


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 15/9/2010: WeTab With Linux is Coming, Pandora Linux-based Handheld Sells Out

Posted in News Roundup at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why Linux Is Poised for Domination

    Could 2010 be Linux’ breakout year? Linux is already making huge waves in mobile computing, with the rise of the Android operating system, the momentum behind Meego, a bevy of Linux-powered netbooks, and an army of Linux-toting tablets on the horizon. With Web-based computing becoming the norm, flexible and robust Linux could finally become the OS of choice for device manufacturers.

  • New CSP Program Launched by Linux Professional Institute

    Now you can advance your proficiency in free and open source software solutions as the Linux Professional Institute (LPI (News – Alert)) has launched a brand new program for it service organizations and other technical solutions providers.

  • Canvas Specs: Audience Measurement, Web Apps, Linux On-Board

    “Devices shall be built using the Linux operating system with either glibc or uClibc” (libraries of the C language).

  • Interview Of The Week: Man With An IT Mission

    All new projects would involve GNU/Linux based operating systems. “The state has a successful history of GNU/Linux adaptation, and has a near cent-percent success rate,” observes Dr. Ajay Kumar. “We avoid proprietary software as much as possible. However some applications need legacy software, which are proprietary. In such cases, we are forced to use proprietary softwares,” he admits.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Good News for Linux Users From Broadcom

      Make no mistake: Broadcom didn’t open source this driver to support peace, love and Linux. Companies who have included their drivers in the mainline Linux kernel do so because it benefits them. Once the driver is included in the mainline, the maintenance costs associated with keeping up with kernel changes drop considerably. Also, as Katherine points out, they undertook this work because they see a market and realize that many of their competitors, like Intel, have been enjoying an advantage their open-ness affords them.

    • Strace — The Sysadmin’s Microscope

      Sometimes as a sysadmin the logfiles just don’t cut it, and to solve a problem you need to know what’s really going on. That’s when I turn to strace — the system-call tracer.

      A system call, or syscall, is where a program crosses the boundary between user code and the kernel. Fortunately for us using strace, that boundary is where almost everything interesting happens in a typical program.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Clementine Is a Simple, Amarok-Inspired Music Player for All Platforms
      • do plasma widgets dream of krita wallpapers?

        It’s really impressive how good Krita is getting these days. A look through the Krita showcase demonstrates quite admirably what someone can do with it. What strikes me most while looking through those images is how not all of them look like they were done with a computer, but could just as easily be scans of natural media artwork.

        I have Plasma on the brain, however, so of course I immediately jumped into thinking about what this could mean from a Plasma perspective. Yes, I’m aware that any connection between a great natural media painting app and a component framework for building primary user interfaces is probably not immediately obvious. No, I wasn’t thinking about how to use Plasmoids in Krita, either.

      • plasma documentation writing, friday and saturday

        How will it work? Each attendee can pick the Plasmoid or aspect of Plasma Desktop of their choice, announce their intentions in the irc channel and then start writing about it. You’ll have the support of KDE people to answers technical questions, proof-read and help with wiki-fu as needed. Personally, I’ll be working on documenting the new Activies features and user interface.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.6.0 Has Been Released
      • SystemRescueCd 1.6.0 released

        The SystemRescueCd developer and Partimage author François Dupoux has released version 1.6.0 of the SystemRescueCd Linux distribution. Based on the Gentoo LiveCD and using Xfce as its default desktop, the SystemRescueCd is configured as a tool kit for administering or repairing an operating system and recovering data after a system crash. Supported file systems include Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, VFAT, NTFS, ISO9660 and Btrfs.

      • Tiny Core Linux 3.1 released

        Tiny Core lead developer Robert Shingledecker has released version 3.1 of Tiny Core Linux. Tiny Core is a minimal Linux distribution that weighs in at just over 11 MB in size. The “tiny frugal” desktop distribution features the BusyBox tool collection and a minimal graphics system based on Tiny X and JWM. The core can run entirely in RAM, allowing for very quick booting. With the help of online repositories, Tiny Core Linux can be expanded to include additional applications.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Shuttleworth answers Ubuntu Linux’s critics

          I might add, which Shuttleworth didn’t spell out, that if you need help to do anything with Linux, you’re more likely to find online help on how to do it on Ubuntu than openSUSE, Fedora, Debian, or any other Linux. Ubuntu’s popularity combined with that attitude of helping everyday users get the most from Linux has made it the go-to Linux for users who want and need a helping hand.

        • Upgrading to Ubuntu Lucid

          Notwithstanding these moments of suspense, the upgrade was surprisingly trouble-free. My applications work just as they did before. My scanner and printer both work as well, and because Lucid kept my desktop settings, my windows control buttons are on the right side, and not on the left where Lucid puts them by default.

          All in all, it’s worth going the upgrade route because the longer installation time is more than offset by the time you save from not having to reinstall programs and tweaking your system all over again. In my case, that could mean a savings of a day or more.

        • Save Money for Other College Costs with a Used Laptop and Ubuntu

          CrunchGear, TechCrunch’s hardware-focused sister site, makes a compelling argument for buying a “janky old computer” off Craigslist or from another source, then simply loading it up with Ubuntu and classifying it as a simple work/email/Facebook/MP3 machine.

        • Founder: Ubuntu’s contribution goes beyond the code tree

          Ubuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth shot back against detractors today, pointing out that his project has made Linux more marketable and successful on the desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Tools For Professional Photographers

    If you are a professional photographer or an aspiring one, then the article Photography with Open Source / Linux will be a great help for you. This article written by Nathan Willis delves deep into the various tools that aid you to create photographic masterpieces.

  • Events

    • Draft Document Educonf 2010
    • FOSS.in turns 10

      Bangalore’s premiere Linux event, FOSS.IN, turns 10 this year. What started out as Linux Bangalore in 2001, organised by a group of hackers and Linux technology enthusiasts from the Bangalore Linux Users Group, is today a well-attended conference. In 2004, it was re-christened as FOSS.in.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Five Features to Look Forward to in Firefox 4.0

        Firefox 4.0 is still a bit away from final release, but the time to think about switching is now. The Mozilla Project is releasing Firefox 4.0 beta 6 this week, and the current builds are really good. Why switch? I’ll give you five excellent reasons to jump on the 4.0 train today.

        One of the great things about open source development is that you don’t have to wait for the final product to ship to get your hands on it. Case in point, I’ve been running development builds of the Firefox 4.0 series off and on for weeks. You can too, if you don’t mind some rapid changes and possible instability.

  • SaaS

    • German researchers accelerate Hadoop

      At the VLDB conference in Singapore, researchers from Saarland University have presented the results of the Hadoop++ project which aims to accelerate the distributed computing framework Hadoop when performing analytical queries. The technique involves plugging a kind of query planner into Hadoop using hooks provided for the purpose.

  • Oracle

  • Healthcare

    • A Wikipedia/Linux for global healthcare information?

      The open source movement already has produced innovations like online encyclopedia Wikipedia and the Linux operating system.

      By creating a free or “open” platform that allows people to share and analyze information, the system can tap the collective intelligence of the world to improve technology and solve global problems.

      In other words, 6 billion brains are better than one.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • More Than 60 Schools in Kaohsiung City Signed the Software Freedom Manifesto

      Principals from more than 60 elementary, junior high, and senior high schools of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, signed a “Software Freedom Manifesto” at the invitation of the city’s Education Bureau on Sep 9 Thursday morning in a press conference. Also announced in the conference are the the upcoming events of International Conference on Open Source (ICOS), and the “mother tongue tux usb key” workshops designed for the growing population of Vietnamese mothers in Taiwan.

  • Licensing

    • Linux developer in solo bid to enforce GPL

      Red Hat employee Matthew Garrett says he has written to the US Customs about the fact that Fusion Garage, the maker of the Joojoo tablet, has not provided him with the source code for the operating system that runs the device.

      Garrett sent the letter based on advice offered by former Linux Journal publisher Don Marti on a web forum.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Attention Companies: Your Users Are Your Competitors

      “I can design with tools as good as those that the car companies use, that Intel uses. It’s just cheap software that lets me design, simulate and test,” he said. “Communication costs are also dropping because of the Internet. That lets users actually undertake bigger problems because each one does a chunk of the work. I can do part of Linux. You can do another part of Linux.”

  • Programming

    • Cloud-based source code host adds Git

      Git, he said, is becoming popular because of its association with Linux and its speed, said Marion. Git was authored by Linux founder Linus Torvalds, Marion noted.

    • Smalltalk web framework Seaside reaches version 3.0

      The developers of the Seaside web framework for Smalltalk have announced version 3.0. What had originally begun as development work for a 2.9 version turned out to be such a significant change that the developers say it justified relabelling the release a 3.0. They believe Seaside 3.0 to be a “solid foundation for the foreseeable development” of the Smalltalk web framework.

Leftovers

  • Road deaths among children spiralling in poorest nations, says report

    More schoolchildren are daily being killed by traffic on the highways of the world’s poorest nations than by deadly infectious diseases such as Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, prompting campaigners to call for a UN-backed target to halt the spiralling numbers of traffic fatalities by 2015.

  • New Release of Oracle Secure Global Desktop Now Available

    Applications and desktops that run on Windows, Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux, and other UNIX and Linux versions are supported, as well as mainframe and midrange applications.

  • Security/Aggression

    • I Am Detained By The Feds For Not Answering Questions

      I was detained last night by federal authorities at San Francisco International Airport for refusing to answer questions about why I had travelled outside the United States.

      The end result is that, after waiting for about half an hour and refusing to answer further questions, I was released – because U.S. citizens who have produced proof of citizenship and a written customs declaration are not obligated to answer questions.

    • Worse than Gary McKinnon
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Economic Sense: Why Don’t People Have Any?

      First of all, I’m not calling anyone out to put them down. I have had a long time to think about these topics. I’ve been in the workforce for over thirty years now, including a long period in which I earned the absolute minimum or close to it (in some cases more, in some cases less).

      I earned two associate’s degrees (one of which was in business administration), on bachelor’s degree (business administration), and one master’s degree (information technology) during that time. This means that I have typically had years more education than my bosses. But most of the time, this had little impact on my bottom line.

      During this time, I’ve been a voracious reader with a desire to know and understand what and how and why in things related to business and the economy (and computers, but that’s a different article).

      No matter what your instructor tells you, you have to look deeper. Look at real world data. Very often, what you’ve heard is factually wrong. When I was sitting around with business school classmates who commiserated about the low quality of applicants, I could tell them directly that they chose the worst applicants out of the bunch, because many times I had been one of those they chose not to hire.

      There are very many personal and group decisions that should be made with an understanding of economic principles. It is a pity that so few people ever learn them.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Haystack vs How The Internet Works
    • More on Internet Intellectuals and the Haystack Affair

      So the Haystack Affair (is there a Wikipedia page named after this already?) continues generating food for thought for those of us working at the intersection of free expression, Internet censorship, and media development.

      Yesterday I blogged about what the Haystack Affair suggested about the responsibility of “Internet intellectuals”. Ethan Zuckerman, who was one of the intellectuals I singled out in that post, eloquently responded to my criticism on his blog.

      “I’ve not published on Haystack for a very simple reason: I haven’t been able to conduct a proper evaluation of either the tool or the protocols behind it,” wrote Ethan.

    • Google Confirms Firing Engineer For Privacy Violations

      Google released a statement confirming it fired teen-stalking engineer David Barksdale for “breaking Google’s strict internal privacy policies,” as Gawker first reported earlier today. Our original exclusive, about Barksdale spying on minors’ Google Voice and Talk accounts, has been updated.

    • Censorship resistance attacks and counterattacks

      Related to the recent Haystack hubbub, here’s a basic overview of censorship resistance tools, of which Haystack was an example (unfortunately a fairly broken one).

    • Anti-censorship program Haystack withdrawn

      Software created to help Iranians escape government control of the web has been withdrawn over security fears.

      Haystack was designed to help people in the country communicate via the web without revealing their identity.

    • GCreep: Google Engineer Stalked Teens, Spied on Chats (Updated)

      David Barksdale, a 27-year-old former Google engineer, repeatedly took advantage of his position as a member of an elite technical group at the company to access users’ accounts, violating the privacy of at least four minors during his employment, we’ve learned. Barksdale met the kids through a technology group in the Seattle area while working as a Site Reliability Engineer at Google’s Kirkland, Wash. office. He was fired in July 2010 after his actions were reported to the company. [Update: Google has confirmed the security breach. An update appears below.]

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • HDCP ‘master key’ supposedly released, unlocks HDTV copy protection permanently

      Just as the MPAA is preparing to offer movies to customers at home while they’re still in theaters by limiting playback to DRM-protected digital outputs only, the HDCP protocol they rely on may have been cracked wide open. All devices that support HDCP, like Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and displays with HDMI inputs, have their own set of keys to encrypt and decrypt protected data and if keys for a particular device are compromised, they can be revoked by content released in the future which will then refuse to play. Now, posts have been floating around on Twitter about a supposed “master key” which renders that protection unusable since it allows anyone to create their own source and sink keys.

    • Make your voice heard on Net neutrality!

      Make you voice heard by responding to the European Commission’s public consultation on Net neutrality! The more citizens and NGOs submit their own responses to the questionnaire, the more chance we have to collectively weigh in the EU policy-making process to ensure that the Internet remains a free and open communications architecture. You have until September 30th to send your submission and tell the Commission to protect the Internet.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Piracy Bill – Has Ed Vaizey actually considered this issue at all?

          The Telegraph is reporting today on how the Digital Economy Act will be met in order to tackle online piracy or copyright infrigement. You can read the Telegraphs article here. People may remember that its proposed that alleged infringers of copyright are sent a number of warning letters before sanctions and eventually a ban is put on their connection.

          [...]

          Now maybe here Mr Vaizey is making a joke that I don’t get. If the ISP is to pick up the tab for 25% of the costs for this “enforcement” where does he think the money will come from if not passed onto the customer? Whilst that may be fair for the repeated copyright infringer, how is that fair on me or anyone else who thinks that the material “infringed upon” is not even worth a download for “free” and on the rare occasion when they are interested in a title, actually goes out and buys it? – I think far from help enforce an anti-piracy message, many people will just say “stuff it, Im footing the bill, I may as well jump in too”. Just like in my view, the person who came up with the idea of knock off Nigel, when you get people who really don’t know the subject trying to solve it, you only end up looking silly when it backfires. (For those that don’t know, Knock off Nigel was an ad campaign against piracy, that turned into a cult classic and even gave piracy a little kudos)

        • Rights-holders bear brunt of costs of chasing pirates

          Rights-holders will bear the brunt of the costs for tackling copyright infringers, the UK government has said.

Clip of the Day

rsync_compile_howto.avi


Credit: TinyOgg

09.14.10

Links 14/9/2010: Kubuntu 10.10 [P]Reviewed, Transcript of Zuckerberg Cursing His Clients

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • TurnKey Linux Create a Smart Backup and Migration Tool

    As someone without a technical background, I’m often skeptical of promises like “one-button setup” and “installs in 2 minutes.” Just because it’s easy or obvious for the developer, doesn’t mean it’s easy for the end-user. “Turnkey” isn’t always “turnkey.”

  • Old School Monday: Linux Manifesto

    He’s been listed as one of The 100 Most Influential Inventors of All Time, and was a 2008 inductee to the Computer History Museum.

    In 2004, he was called one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. In 2000, he ranked #17 in Time’s Person of the Century Poll.

    That same year he was awarded an honorary dotor status at the University of Helsinki, a Lovelace Medal and an Award for Industry Achievement by Infoworld.

    But back in 1998, Linus Torvalds was a man with a manifesto and he sat down with boot to discuss the future of open source software and Linux.

  • Does the Linux desktop matter?

    When it all boils down, does Linux on the desktop really matter? Last week, I touched on the problems counting the number of Linux desktops, but the real question is does it really matter?

    Over the weekend I made my annual pilgrimage to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio LinuxFest (OLF). While I’m skeptical that the Linux desktop has more than 5% of the market (all desktops in use) in the general population, the Linux desktop had about 95% of the OLF-attending population. Yet at least two of the talks, including Stormy Peters’ keynote, asked the question “does the Linux desktop even matter?”

  • Server

    • Do the Webminimum

      Learning to administer a new operating system is intimidating. We are expected to combine home experimentation, job experience and vendor certifications to get any real understanding of how operating systems, applications and devices work. With a few exceptions, education programs provide little more than a cursory overview of operating system admin. Major strains of Linux place files in different locations, use different configurations for fundamental tools and are based on different package managers. Many of the skills learned in one major strain will port to another; but coming to grips with the differences is not easy.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Security update for Samba 3.5

      The Samba developers have released version 3.5.5 of Samba, a security update that addresses a buffer overrun vulnerability in their open source file and print server software. According to the developers, the vulnerability affects the sid_parse() function and the related dom_sid_parse() function which do not correctly check their input lengths when reading binary versions of a Windows Security ID (SID); a file share connection – authenticated or unauthenticated – is needed to exploit the issue.

    • Audio Player Review: Qmmp

      Final conclusion: if you like XMMS and use KDE, then Qmmp can be a perfect choice. On the other hand, for those used with collection-oriented players like Amarok will probably not like this player.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Distributions

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Red Hat Family

      • Piper Jaffray Downgrades Red Hat (RHT) to Neutral; Sector Call & Current Valuation

        Piper analyst says, ” Shares have appreciated 394% in the past 22 months, versus 49% for the S&P 500, and we believe they are now fairly valued…We remain optimistic on near-term trends and believe the company is well-positioned for continued growth…However, our sector-wide analysis indicates growth rates for the current cycle are peaking in 2H:10, and as such, deceleration is likely to develop in the subsequent 3 to 6 months.”

      • Mid-Day US Stocks Alert! (Hologic, Inc., Red Hat, Inc., NWL, CDII)
      • Fedora

        • Re: Broadcom wifi drivers in F-14?

          That’s still true of the b43 firmware for older (pre-802.11n) devices, but the firmware to go with their new driver is now in linux-firmware.git.

          Their *original* offering of that new firmware had a stupid licence — you could only distribute it if you promised to indemnify and defend Broadcom from all related third-party lawsuits. They fixed that though, and I merged it.

    • Debian Family

      • Resolution: welcome non-packaging contributors as Debian project members

        Of all those topics, one topic *might* have consensus already: accepting as DDs contributors which have contributed a lot to Debian doing non-packaging work, which intend to continue doing so, and which are ready to uphold our Foundation Documents. My feeling of consensus on that builds upon: in person feedback, private mails, and a growing number of requests on that direction hitting Front Desk (which FD has kindly shared with me). I do have an impression of consensus, but I don’t have any “quantitative” evidence.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Getting physical

          During a small exploration we did internally few months ago, we thought about how Ubuntu could behave if it was more aware of its physical context. Not only detecting the tilt of the device (like iPhone apps) but also analysing the user’s presence.
          This wasn’t really a new concept for me, in 2006 I experimented with a user proximity sensitive billboard idea. I reckon there is a value on adapting the content of the screen based on the distance with who is watching it.

        • Looking back over the past few months…

          I’m pretty new as a Canonical employee overall, only having been with the company for about 7 months, but I must say I’m really thrilled to be part of a large gang of people so involved in making Ubuntu great; with so much pride in all the work accomplished. If there’s one thing that has been constantly motivating me, it has to be the prospect of working every day with the community and with other Canonical employees on making Ubuntu better.

        • The new Ubuntu 10.10 default wallpaper

          After the rather luke-warm reception that greeted the first ‘default wallpaper’ for Ubuntu 10.10 (through no fault of the Design team, more on that here) the latest iteration – and a much more pleasing one at that – has been revealed.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 210

          In This Issue

          * How Ubuntu is Made
          * Daily Dose of Scribus Trunk
          * Edubuntu Gets a New Installer
          * Magic Trackpad Drivers Land in Ubuntu Maverick and Upstream!
          * Making Usability Part of the Development Process
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * Free Banner for Approved LoCo Teams
          * OLF Day 1: Ubucon
          * Recent posts from Planet Launchpad
          * Measuring the Value of Canonical’s Launchpad
          * Cleansweep Updates
          * GTK Impression – Nautilus Breadcrumbs
          * New in Quickly for Maverick
          * Ohio Linuxfest 2010
          * Ruby packaging in Debian and Ubuntu: Mythbusting and FAQ
          * Running Ubuntu on an Amazon “micro” Instance
          * Some progress on Daily Builds
          * This week in design – 10 September 2010
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Canonical’s Attention to Detail Starting To Show Up Big Time
          * Fluendo DVD Player For Sale in Ubuntu 10.10
          * Linaro Beta Released !
          * OMG! Ubuntu! interviews GNOME co-founder, Frederico Mena
          * TurnKey unveils a new kind of smart backup/restore system, powered by Amazon S3
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * Sneak Peek
          * And Much Much More

        • Apple Magic Trackpad drivers land in Ubuntu 10.10 – even supports 10 finger touch!
        • Flavours and Variants

          • A Quick Look at Kubuntu 10.10

            While Kubuntu received some polish this time, the latest version of KDE that powers it (version 4.5.1) might actually work against it. During my testing of KDE 4.5, I found it to have severe graphics problems with certain video cards (this laptop’s Intel card being one of them). The problems I had with KDE 4.5 include window thumbnails being so bright they cannot even be read, slow repainting of the panel (over ten seconds), distortion within transparent objects, and a complete plasma lock up when changing some settings under System Settings. Unfortunately, Kubuntu inherited all of those problems by adopting KDE 4.5, though thankfully the Kubuntu developers somehow fixed the thumbnail issue. I’m hoping that Kubuntu includes the upcoming KDE 4.5.2 release (which might fix these issues) but considering the timeframe for release, I doubt it will. Another downside is that the Plymouth splash screen (which is showed during boot) still doesn’t show anything other than a blinking cursor for me. I hope this gets fixed before release.

            Although Kubuntu 10.10 isn’t out until next month, it’s already a very stable release from what I’ve seen so far. The only problems that Kubuntu has are those caused by using KDE 4.5, and as a result you may experience glitches in graphics, unless KDE 4.5.2 is included or the developers include some of their own tweaks. Other than that, it appears that Kubuntu may finally be on the right track! I’m excited to see how this release turns out come October 10th.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Competition nears for upcoming Apple TV from Google, Roku, Boxee

      Apple’s drastically updated Apple TV won’t ship until late this month. But home viewers looking for simple ways to enjoy Internet video and audio on their HDTVs will get a few other new options soon afterward — or in one case, maybe before Apple TV’s retail rebirth.

Free Software/Open Source

  • “Free” as in Free Software

    I’m constantly amused (and always slightly disappointed) when an Open Source proponent is dismissive of Free Software, or even worse, hostile towards Free Software. Team Apologista may harbor and encourage the worst of the group, but they are not the only ones.

    Just a methodology

    Consider this: if you think Open Source is “just a development methodology” and Free Software is “too idealistic”, it seems quite absurd to get all excited and promotional about Open Source.

    I mean I know some bass players that get a bit preachy about how playing with a pick (instead of fingers) is a terrible affront, but:

    1. No one is really that serious about it
    2. Who cares what bass players think anyway?

    If something is just a methodology or technique — even a far superior one — what is there to get so all fired-up about?

  • Open Source Groupware Comes To Japan

    Open-Xchange, provider of business-class open source collaboration software, announced today an exclusive distribution agreement with Next IT for hosted and on-premises Open-Xchange products in Japan.

    Next IT will expand its portfolio with Open-Xchange by offering customers either: Open-Xchange Hosting Edition to web-hosting companies, ISPs, telecommunication companies and IT service companies; or an on-premises version to be installed and run on the enterprises’, educational institutions’ and government authorities’ own computers.

  • A Call For Open Source

    Bloglines includes an API that could be extended to provide these services. Even if the main interface, the thick reader part of Bloglines was not used, the API could be installed anywhere, on any server, like WordPress. That is, of course, assuming that Bloglines was written with open source tools, as most modern web services are. Ask.com has made a big decision to shut down Bloglines after all these years, but with that decision comes an opportunity to ensure that the code they worked so hard on remains relevant, useful, and popular. Ask.com should release the code to Bloglines as open source.

  • 8 Stunning Blender Made Short Films And Animations

    Blender is a free open source 3D modelling and graphics software widely used for making animated movies. Here is a nice collection of 8 short films and animations made using Blender which I think will give you an idea on Blender’s capabilities. Enjoy the ride.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla renames Firefox 4 Beta 6 to Beta 7

        Firefox 4 Beta 6 will reportedly address a number of issues found in previous development releases, including a critical stability issue on Windows systems. Beltzner notes that a problem related to plugins on Mac OS X that caused rendering and keyboard/mouse focus issues, that left key presses ignored or overlaid grey panels that obscured web pages, has been corrected. Beta 7 will be considered to be the “feature freeze milestone” and is tentatively planned for the “2nd half of September”.

      • Firefox 4 may not get silent updates after all

        Firefox will still download updates automatically as it does now, and offer to install them prior to launching the browser. A silent method would have been nice, since it remove the possibility of a user simply clicking cancel or deny and running an out-of-date version. That system has certainly worked well for Chrome, though Chrome does have one advantage over Firefox when it comes to being “silent.”

  • Databases

  • Government

    • NPfIT – business as usual?

      With only hours notice the Department of Health called a press conference at its HQ in Whitehall. It said there was to be “an announcement on the future of the National Programme for IT”.

      At about the same time a ministerial statement was laid in Parliament; and by lunchtime the media was reporting the death of the NPfIT. The Department’s press release said a review of the National Programme for IT had “concluded that a centralised national approach was no longer required”.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Twitter kills the password anti-pattern, but at what cost?

    I’ve also long embraced the principle that motivates OAuth. You should never have to give your name/password credentials to a third-party application or service so that it can impersonate you. This so-called password anti-pattern is profoundly wrong. When legitimate applications and services ask for permission to impersonate us, we learn that it’s OK to do things that way. It isn’t. Malicious actors can and do exploit our willingness to give up our credentials.

  • Violent Video Games Are Good for You After All

    A new British study of lads (and lasses?) who play shooting video games suggests that all that virtual spatial-navigation improves ability in driving, multitasking, and “reading the small print.” Sure you’re a dehumanized, sociopathic monster, but you drive so well!

  • Award-Winning Haystack Security System Could Risk Iranian Lives

    The naive enthusiasm of an American marketing graduate, hyped by the world media, may have risked the lives of Iranian activists through over-reaching claims for an inadequately understood software system

  • EFF Says ‘Stop Using Haystack’
  • Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Story

    Humanizing the need generated roughly twice the amount of money as the case made with statistics (which I suppose explains those Sally Struthers commercials on late night cable TV).

    But the study didn’t stop there.

    It created a hybrid pitch that centered on Rokia but also included facts and figures.

    Now, what do you suppose happened to the donations?

    As you can see in the chart below. combining factual information with the child’s story actually lowered the donations compared to the money that came in from pure storytelling.

  • Damning Zuckerberg IMs confirmed
  • Steve Jobs Stopped at Japan Airport Over Ninja Stars, SPA! Magazine Says

    Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said he’ll never return to Japan after officials at an airport barred him from taking Ninja throwing stars aboard his private plane, SPA! magazine reported in its latest issue.

    A security scan at Kansai International Airport, near Osaka, detected the weapons inside the executive’s carry-on luggage in July as he was returning home to the U.S. from a family vacation in Kyoto, the Japanese magazine reported, citing unidentified officials at the airport and the transportation ministry.

  • Civil society: only the clampdown is transparent

    World leaders will be meeting at the UN in New York later this month to review progress towards the UN millennium development goals (MDGs) and to chart a course for accelerated action between now and 2015. Today, with just five years to go, there are fears that the goals may not be achieved, due to a lack of will by governments to acknowledge the role of other stakeholders and to work in partnership with them.

  • Science

    • Digital Agenda: EU grid project unlocks processing power of 200,000 desktop computers for European researchers

      EU researchers will have sustainable and continuous access to the combined processing power of over 200,000 desktop computers in more than 30 European countries thanks to the European Commission funded European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) project launched today. The Commission is contributing €25 million over four years to the EGI-InSPIRE project to link the processing capacity of desktop computers when they would otherwise be idle and so give researchers the processing power needed to tackle complex problems in environment, energy or health. The EGI, the largest collaborative production grid infrastructure for e-Science ever created, will enable teams of researchers in different geographical locations to work on a problem as if they were in the same laboratory

    • Quantum Catfight

      Newton sought a deeper understanding of gravity in the concept of an Aetherial Medium with faster than light waves as illustrated in the quote from Opticks above. So too, the explanation for quantum mechanics may lie in some sort of faster than light waves that transmit signals between entangled particles. Another possibility is a “hyperspace” that connects all points in space-time together, bypassing normal space-time. Even more exotic possibilities may exist. Mathematically speaking, one is looking for a deeper, more fundamental equation or equations from which Schrödinger’s Equation can be derived.

    • How galaxies are born inside computers

      The next time you feel like your computer is struggling to keep up with your workload, spare a thought for the physicists at the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC).

      The researchers at the institute, based at Durham University, are tasking their machines with nothing less than recreating how galaxies are born and evolve over the course of billions of years.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The “Indian superbug”: Worse than we knew

      Just about a month ago, the disease-geek world was riveted by news of the “Indian superbug“: common bacteria carrying a newly recognized gene that confers profound multi-drug resistance, and that was linked to travel between Europe and South Asia, especially for medical tourism.

      The gene, which directs production of an enzyme called NDM-1 for short, was briefly Bug of the Week, the spur for alarmist headlines in every Internet echo chamber and the target of denunciations by Indian politicians, who vilified the discovery as a Western “pharma conspiracy” spurred by envy of lucrative medical tourism.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Florida woman jailed, strip-searched after being mistaken for thief who stole her identity

      This is an amazing and scary story: Kimberly Shields, a 23-year-old-manicurist, was mistaken for the woman who stole her identity, locked up in jail, strip-searched, and deloused before the bureaucratic mixup was resolved and she was set free.

    • White House Talk on Mexican Gun Violence Is Cheap

      It’s good to see the White House begin to acknowledge the seriousness of the drug gang violence in Mexico — especially in the cities and towns that border the United States — and which some observers consider a national security threat. But as long as our government officials fail to adopt, strengthen, and enforce laws that could help protect brave men like Edelmiro Cavasos, along with countless everyday Americans, the risks increase for all of us.

    • Another Paris-Mexico flight barred from US airspace

      Despite being a party to international aviation and human rights treaties guaranteeing free passage through international airspace, the US government claims the right to require prior government permission (granted or withheld in secret, without due process, judicial review, or publicly disclosed standards) not just for travel to or from the USA but for transit through US airspace — even on nonstop flights that aren’t scheduled to land in US territory.

      Most such overflights of the US between other countries are to and from Canada, where US control and surveillance of overflights have provoked continuing controversy and opposition.

    • British servicemen suspected of murdering Iraqi civilians
    • US courts must lift lid on torture

      In his decision, Judge Raymond Fisher described the case as “a painful conflict between human rights and national security”. In the UK, we have seen some politicians conflate “national security” with “national embarrassment” – seeking to keep information secret not because its disclosure would create a risk to the nation, but rather because states do not want the details of their illegal activities revealed. Thankfully, British courts have proved relatively effective at policing this.

    • 9/11 anniversary: New York Muslims insist that they are American too

      New York City woke up yesterday to a 9/11 anniversary like no other. Blue skies hummed with the buzz of helicopters as police conducted a major operation to patrol two rival midday protests about Park51, the planned Islamic centre close to Ground Zero. The noise of the aircraft mingled with the sound of church bells ringing across Manhattan, marking the exact time that the first plane struck the World Trade Centre.

    • Robert Fisk: Nine years, two wars, hundreds of thousands dead – and nothing learnt

      Indeed, on this grim ninth anniversary – and heaven spare us next year from the 10th – 9/11 appears to have produced not peace or justice or democracy or human rights, but monsters. They have prowled Iraq – both the Western and the local variety – and slaughtered 100,000 souls, or 500,000, or a million; and who cares? They have killed tens of thousands in Afghanistan; and who cares? And as the sickness has spread across the Middle East and then the globe, they – the air force pilots and the insurgents, the Marines and the suicide bombers, the al-Qa’idas of the Maghreb and of the Khalij and of the Caliphate of Iraq and the special forces and the close air support boys and the throat-cutters – have torn the heads off women and children and the old and the sick and the young and healthy, from the Indus to the Mediterranean, from Bali to the London Tube; quite a memorial to the 2,966 innocents who were killed nine years ago. All in their name, it seems, has been our holocaust of fire and blood, enshrined now in the crazed pastor of Gainesville.

    • Barack Obama to authorise record $60bn Saudi arms sale

      Barack Obama is to go ahead with plans to sell Saudi Arabia advanced aircraft and other weapons worth up to $60bn (£39bn), the biggest arms deal in US history, in a strategy of shoring up Gulf Arab allies to face any military threat from Iran.

      According to the Wall Street Journal, the administration is also in talks with the Saudis about possible naval and missile-defence upgrades that could be worth tens of billions of dollars more over five to 10 years.

    • MoD silence raises fears of custody deaths in Afghanistan
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • GOP fills candidate slate with climate zombies who deny science

      A comprehensive Wonk Room survey of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate finds that nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution. In May, 2010, the National Academies of Science reported to Congress that “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change” because global warming is “caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems.”

    • Your role in wildlife crime

      WHEN 23 people drowned picking cockles on Morecambe bay, UK, in February 2004, it gave us a grim insight into the murky and frightening world of people trafficking.

      The cockle pickers had been smuggled into the UK from the Fujian province in China by transnational criminal networks and used as cheap labour to extract lucrative shellfish from the sands. They were working at night in dangerous conditions, paid just £5 per sack of cockles while their gangmaster Lin Liang Ren received three times as much from the seafood companies at the shoreline. The people who died had hoped that two or three years working in the UK would provide a better life for their families back home. How wrong they were. The case shocked the world.

      As well as highlighting the practice of people trafficking, the tragedy also revealed some stark realities about the international wildlife trade – how it is driven by wealth not poverty, and how it is inextricably linked with organised crime.

    • Green groups press Barack Obama for 60MPG fuel efficiency standard

      Environmental campaigners focus on more modest goals as hopes of US climate legislation dwindle ahead of expected Republican gains

    • Fireball tragedy in California suburb brings gas industry under scrutiny

      The natural gas industry is coming under intense scrutiny today, after a massive fireball ripped through a ruptured pipeline in a suburban town near San Francisco, killing at least four people, injuring dozens more, and burning more than 50 homes to the ground.

    • Scientists investigate massive walrus haul-out in Alaska

      Researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS), who have been tracking walrus movements using satellite radio tags, say 10,000 to 20,000 of the animals, mainly mothers and calves, are now congregating in tightly packed herds on the Alaskan side of the Chukchi Sea, in the first such exodus of its kind.

  • Finance

    • The Mysteries of the Goldman Sachs Partnering Process, Revealed

      Like an emotionally distant lover, the less Goldman Sachs gives us, the more we want. In today’s New York Times, a Goldman spokesman declined to comment on the process by which the firm annually selects its partners, leading the Times to describe the process as “secretive” and driving us wild with curiosity. What kinds of sick things do they make potential partners do, for the firm to decline to speak about it entirely? What secrets lurk in the hearts of the hordes streaming in and out of the building on West Street? We asked a former Goldman Sachs partner to describe how this mysterious ritual works.

    • Misreporting Venezuela’s economy

      The bulk of the media often gets pulled along for the ride when the United States government has a serious political and public relations campaign around foreign policy. But almost nowhere is it so monolithic as with Venezuela. Even in the runup to the Iraq war, there were a significant number of reporters and editorial writers who didn’t buy the official story. But on Venezuel, the media is more like a jury that has 12 people but only one brain.

    • IMF warns of the ‘human cost’ of public spending cuts

      The International Monetary Fund undermined the main thrust of the UK coalition’s economic strategy today after it warned western governments that they risked holding back the recovery and creating a massive pool of disaffected labour if they pursued draconian cuts in spending.

      IMF director general, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, told a conference in Oslo that governments needed to identify ways to generate employment to prevent a generation of workers losing their skills and joining the long-term unemployed. He said cuts in public spending had a “human cost” and could result in “tragedy” for millions of young people.

    • The bankers’ victory dance

      This week it is two years since the US bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, setting off a wave of panic that almost brought down the entire financial sector. It is a truism that the two most important forces in the world of money are greed and fear. For years, during the boom, greed had dominated; now, in the aftermath of the Lehman implosion, fear kicked in, and the world’s banks stopped lending to each other, and to us. The result was the banking crisis, which in turn triggered the recession, which in turn triggered the collapse in the public finances that is going to be the dominant issue in this country for years.

      Given what a big deal the collapse of Lehman turned out to be, you would think that it makes sense for there to be a whole fat book of legislation on the statue books designed to prevent a repetition of the crisis by making banks smaller and safer and more focused on their wider public function. Well, you might have thought that; but if you had, you would have been wrong, because there have been exactly no new laws targeting the causes of the crash. The systemic risks are the same as they were two years ago.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • For sale – one set of Accounts Software: One careful owner, FSH, MOT

      Reading a physical book, giving it to a friend or selling it to a secondhand bookseller doesn’t involve any copyright-restricted acts, so the copyright owner has no control over those acts. An eBook is entirely different: even reading it involves copying, and copying (generally) requires authorisation under the Copyright Act, (like all legal points, it’s not quite as simple as this, as there are some exceptions in the copyright legislation, but their scope is still open to argument) so the copyright owner has a lot more opportunity to intervene and control usage.

    • The HDCP master key: game over, HDMI digital restrictions management

      Why? Simple: using this key — the secret piece of the puzzle — people can now build hardware and free software compatible with HDMI, that can decrypt the encrypted video traversing between HDMI-compliant equipment, without having to obey the restrictions imposed by the HDMI oligopoly. Game over — pirates 1, digital restrictions management AACSholes 0. One more note: using this key might be illegal in some parts of the world — but whoever cares about what’s right can’t afford to care about what’s legal.

    • HDCP MASTER KEY
    • Claimed HDCP master key leak could be fatal to DRM scheme
    • HDCP ‘Master Key’ Found? Another Form Of DRM Drops Dead
    • Why Broadband Prices Haven’t Decreased

      After a new technology is introduced to the market, there is usually a predictable decrease in price as it becomes more common. Laptops experienced precipitous price drops during the past decade. Digital cameras, personal computers, and computer chips all followed similar steep declines in price. Has the price of broadband Internet followed the same model? Shane Greenstein decided to look into it.

      Since there are no public data on what has happened to broadband prices over the last decade, Shane Greenstein, a professor of management and strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, and his co-author Ryan McDevitt, a graduate student at Northwestern University, analyzed the contracts of 1,500 DSL and cable service providers from 2004 to 2009. They found evidence of only a very small price drop, between 3 and 10 percent, nothing like the rates of price decrease that characterize the rest of the electronic world.

    • HDCP Compromised, Time To End DRM?
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why It’s Important Not To Call Copyright Infringement Theft

      This is important. If you are seeking to understand what is happening and how to respond to it, calling it “theft” immediately shuts the door on a variety of important points. It closes off a path to understanding both what’s happening and how one might best deal with it. I find that incredibly dangerous from the perspective of a content creator. Calling infringement theft or not isn’t just a semantic argument from people who like to argue. It’s about actually understanding what’s going on, and that’s simply not possible when you put up a wall to understanding.

    • Seeing Like a Movie Mogul

      Because libertarians reflexively (and correctly) favor strong enforcement of property rights, we need to be careful about too credulously accepting the “property rights” frame for proposals to create or expand legal privileges. Such arguments can be found in a wide variety of fields, including gene patents, the recording industry, and spectrum policy. Clear and predictable property rules are a tremendous engine of economic growth and individual liberty. But Seeing Like a State reminds us that the creation of new property rights can sometimes be a process of expropriation, with the state inventing new rights to transfer wealth to parties with political power.

      Reasonable people can disagree about whether the new property rights whose creation Scott describes in Seeing Like a State had positive consequences in the long run, but it’s hard to deny that some of the short-run consequences were deeply illiberal, transferring wealth from ordinary peasants to those who had the closest ties to the state. When large firms deploy the rhetoric of property rights in defense of creating new legal privileges for themselves, libertarians especially need to employ an appropriate degree of skepticism.

    • Copyrights

      • Artists Make More Money in File-Sharing Age Than Before It

        An extensive study into the effect of digitalization on the music industry in Norway has shed an interesting light on the position of artists today, compared to 1999. While the music industry often talks about artists being on the brink of bankruptcy due to illicit file-sharing, the study found that the number of artists as well as their average income has seen a major increase in the last decade.

      • Gandi.net supports CC

        Some time ago, prompted by truly horrifying customer service and useless web interfaces of certain domain registrars, I decided to move all of CC’s domains to Gandi.net. I had had my personal domains with Gandi for quite some time, and had been very happy with the customer service and web management interface. Also, other people on the tech team at CC commented on the good experiences they had always had with Gandi.

      • How IP Enforcement Can Be Used To Suppress Dissent

        The NY Times ran a bombshell article over the weekend in which it reported that Russia has been using the pre-text of intellectual property enforcement to seize computers from NGO groups involved in advocacy and dissent. The article notes that the authorities have been receiving active assistance from Microsoft, which had been delivering statements describing the company as a victim and asking for criminal charges against the NGO groups. While human rights groups had been pressing Microsoft to address the issue for months, it only responded yesterday after the article’s publication. The company now says it will offer free blanket licences for its products to NGOs to prevent actions under the guise of IP enforcement. It will also establish a new legal assistance program to assist NGOs who need to respond to enforcement actions.

      • GooGoo Dolls Frontman Admits To Using Limewire; Says He Likes Fan-Made Video More Than His Official Video

        Stories like this always amuse me, because, of course, it wasn’t that long ago that all we heard was how evil such “infringers” were, in creating their own videos “using music that doesn’t belong to them.” It’s always nice to see musicians realize that fans making videos are fans making videos, rather than threatening them with infringement claims.

      • Everything is a Remix, Part 1
      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Coalition pledges free appeals for filesharers

          People accused of unlawful filesharing by the music and film industries will have access to a free appeals system, the coalition government said today.

          Tory broadband minister Ed Vaizey said there will be no cost for the public to appeal against Digital Economy Act (DEA) copyright infringement notices, at least initially.

          However, the Department for Business will closely monitor the free appeals system, and reserve the right to introduce “small fees” later, because it “risks the possibility of large numbers of unnecessary appeals”. Appeals will be heard by a new tribunal.

Clip of the Day

Michael Moore: ‘We Should Always Stand Up Against the Angry Mob’


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 14/9/2010: Linux Graphics Survey Results, KDE 4.5 Reflections

Posted in News Roundup at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Modern OS on ancient hardware.

    I am currently using, at this very moment, while I am typing, the latest completely updated version of Gentoo. I can surf the net, play movies and my window manager even has transparency. I am developing my Partalog program on it and transferring files, home movies taken with my Flip, to my home server over the internet. In other words pretty much everything which the average computer user uses.

    [...]

    There is no possible way I could run any windows on this machine and do what I can now do with this little trooper. It yet another reason why I like Linux. It doesn’t matter what I use, what the hardware specs are, I can still run the latest, modern, operating system available.

  • That Other OS is Cripple-ware

    Give me GNU/Linux any day. The licence is easy to understand: you have permission to

    1. use,
    2. examine,
    3. change and
    4. distribute the code.

    That’s so easy and the price is right, usually $0. There is no need for cripple-ware in GNU/Linux. It’s the real thing. Whether you are a large corporation of a young child, you can run top notch software on your PCs and servers, network and clusters. It’s the right way to do IT.

  • Are you happy being second rate?

    However, just owning a computer and using an operating system is not enough. The real measure of whether you are considered a second rate citizen or not, is the after market service, gadgets and thingamajigs available. It is those who manufacturer hardware and the amount of support they give to any particular operating system which, to me, is the real measure of rating level.

  • Open Source: FOSS Security Updates vs Microsoft Patch Day

    It is an ironic coincidence that I have received update notices from Mandriva for software installed on my Linux PC systems as well this weekend. These updates come regularly from the upstream developers through Mandriva to Mandriva end-users. These updates may be simple code fixes for bugs, upgrades to get new versions of software or security fixes to patch possible security problems. While looking at these today I thought it would be interesting to compare vulnerability wise what I am getting from Mandriva today with what Microsoft customers will be getting on Tuesday 14 September 2010.

  • Why Linux Should Never Win

    Remember when Linux was the “upstart,” and it used to drive us crazy? Declaring victory (which is arguably premature at this stage) just sets Linux up to be the target for our next upstart.

    Is Linux doing great? Yes, absolutely. Can it do better? Yes, always. Because even if Linux captures market dominance in every sector, it must always be ready to change and adapt to new consumer, business, or technological needs. Growth, adaptation, and change must forever be a part of the Linux mindset (indeed, any truly successful project).

    Because that which does not grow, dies. And declaring yourself the winner in one game never means you’ll automatically win the rest.

  • Be A Part of Our 200th Issue!!!

    The 200th issue of Linux Journal is just around the corner, and I thought it would be fun if all of you could participate! (No, I’m not just a lazy editor, stop thinking things like that…)

    For our 200th issue, we’re going to put an article in the front called, “200 Things To Do With Linux”, and you get to fill in those 200 things! Just drop your favorite thing to do with Linux in this nifty form, and we’ll try to get ‘em all in. We’ll try to give you credit as well, as long as your name isn’t something really long or really offensive.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • A First Look At The 2010 Linux Graphics Survey Results

        Earlier this month we started once again our annual Linux Graphics Survey in which we poll our readers about their choices and opinions concerning graphics cards, display drivers, and other graphics / X.Org related features of the Linux desktop. While this survey is still going on through the end of September — so you still have time to participate — here are the results from the first 6,300 people to submit their responses. We are publishing the results so far since there is the X Developers’ Summit this week in Toulouse and some of these findings may prove to be useful during those discussions.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Reflection: KDE 4.5

        I have applied the Oxygen KDE theme to Mozilla Firefox and have installed the Oxygen style to OpenOffice.org. I also wanted GTK+ applications to better integrate with KDE 4.5, so I installed the GTK-Qt engines and the QtCurve theme, but try as I might, other GTK+ applications (e.g. Pidgin, the Mint tools) would not look right (though the color scheme, if not the theme itself, was applied properly). Maybe I’m still doing something wrong, but I’ve run out of ideas regarding how to fix the problem.

      • KDEMU – Sebastian Kügler

        This week, a new season of KDE and the Masters of the Universe kicks off with our good friend, KDE e.V. Board Member, Sebastian Kügler (and his two chinchillas).

      • Review: Linux Mint 9 KDE

        A Mint derivative where the main color is BLUE. Yes I know that it is less than a month before Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat arrives, and then Linux Mint will follow with their releases soon after, but Mint 9 KDE warrants special attention.

        For those of you who have been following I have been looking for the perfect KDE 4 distro. Yes I have been neglecting it a little, and I have no excuse for it besides hoping to drag it along that I can review Kubuntu Maverick as part of my quest. The current incarnation of Kubuntu (Lucid) is a wreck.

      • KDE Science: New Forum, Mailing List and News

        If you’d like to get involved, have some ideas or just want to keep an eye on what we’re up to, please join the KDE science mailing list (which, along with the wiki, is the main point of coordination).

      • KDE WordPress Users Unite: You Now Have a KDE Air Theme

        So here we have, lo and behold brought to our attention, a new theme for at least some soon to be happy KDE bloggers out there. KDE-Look.org contributor csslayer has submitted a new WordPress theme based on KDE Air – The aptly titled KDE Air WordPress theme. We must say, it looks stunning.

      • Solutions for KDE 4.5 glitches
      • Clementine: a Port of Amarok 1.4 to QT 4

        Clementine is a port of Amarok 1.4 to QT 4, giving users an application that fits in well with KDE 4 while still resembling the previous version of the library-based music player. As I’ve commented in the past, acceptance of KDE 4 wasn’t helped by the fact that the developers took it upon themselves to redesign some of the most popular apps such as Konqueror and Amarok.

      • 15 minutes of fame screencast

        I recorded a quick screencast today about some 4.6 (and one 4.5.2) things. It ended up being exactly 15:00 minutes long, though that was more accidental than intentional.

  • Distributions

    • Does Linux Offer Too Much Choice?

      Linux doesn’t offer too much choice, “but it may not organize its choices well enough,” says Slashdot blogger David Masover. “The ideal situation “is to provide sane defaults so that people aren’t forced to make choices — but if you remove choice, you remove one of the biggest reasons to use Linux in the first place.”

    • Reviews

      • Minimalistic Computing: TinyCore Linux 3.0

        TinyCore Linux runs completely of RAM, which makes it extremely fast. Having bare minimum applications in a fully operational system further helps this. TinyCore Linux is not all hardware compatible nor does provide a complete desktop with all kind of fancy applications, it provides just enough functionality for someone to download and install application of Internet and customize distribution according to his needs.

        [...]

        In Conclusion, TinyCore Linux might not be suitable or recommended for a modern computer with humongous amount of resource as there are better distributions for such a platform, but for computer severely lacking in resources, TinyCore Linux could prove to be savior. On such a resource constraint system you could customize distribution with your own choice of applications, having only the required applications and services should makes things faster. TinyCore Linux uses applications like TinyX , BusyBox which are meant for Embedded Platform , this makes it as possible alternative for embedded platform(like Intelligent Panels, Netbooks (Maybe ? ), Kiosks. Overall, I had lots of fun playing around with a distribution with footprint of 10MB.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS

        PCLinuxOS or PCLOS is based on Mandrake. The Gnome version comes equipped with an ugly gray colored background. I attribute this to the fact that most PCLOS users are KDE desktoppers and don’t really care what color Gnome is.

        [...]

        Adding software and packages is a snap, this is what Linux is about, not some primitive terminal command (If I want old style, I’ll get out my 8088. It still runs and I remember some of the DOS commands). In addition it uses Synaptic update manager, but the status reload is extremely slow.
        Despite the fact that most PCLinuxOS users are KDE and get most of the support, the Gnome version is very good, I will give this OS an ‘A-’.

    • Red Hat Family

      • NCSU, Red Hat open entrepreneurship ‘Garage’

        N.C. State University on Monday opened a space on Centennial Campus called “the Garage” intended for students working on entrepreneurial activities.

        The N.C. State Entrepreneurship Initiative and Raleigh-based Red Hat, which is headquartered on Centennial Campus, are sponsoring the 2,000-square-foot facility. Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is not disclosing how much it has contributed to the Garage.

      • Options Activity for Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat gained $1.54 (+4.12%) to $38.95.

      • Wall Street Hubbub 9/13: A Higher Bid for ArcSight (ARST)?, Red Hat (RHT) Sees Action On Takeover Talk

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) rose on renewed takeover speculation. Shares are up 4.4 percent.

      • After Yesterday’s Rally of 4.12%, Red Hat Shares Could Pullback (RHT)

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) traded in a range yesterday that spanned from a low of $37.91 to a high of $39.08.

      • Najarian Says Red Hat May Be Acquired (RHT)

        Fast Money’s Jon Najarian said there is speculation that Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) may be acquired, and as a result, its options and common stock are active today.

        Shares of Red Hat are up more than 4% today, gaining $1.63 to trade at $39.04.

      • Red Hat teases: Who is its Australian cloud customer?

        Delegates at a Sydney open source conference this week heard that a cloud provider would launch in Australia shortly.

        In his open source Pacific conference keynote speech yesterday, Red Hat business development manager Colin McCabe said a Red Hat cloud-provider customer would soon launch in Australia.

        He said open source was the “foundation of the cloud”, naming Amazon Web Services, IBM and Savvis as companies that ran public clouds on Red Hat infrastructure.

      • Fedora

        • Linpus Lite 1.4 screenshots

          Linpus Lite 1.4 is the latest distribution that I am currently reviewing. While the review is in progress, I thought posting a few screenshots is in order. If you are not familiar with Linpus Lite, it is developed by Linpus Technologies, Inc. of Taipei, Taiwan. The company’s main distribution was Linpus Desktop, which was based on the old Mandrake Linux (now Mandriva). The Linpus Desktop line is no longer officially available for download (Linpus Desktop 9.6 was the last edition reviewed on this website).

        • OLF 2010, day 1.

          Yesterday the Ohio LinuxFest kicked into high gear, with dozens of talks and sessions geared toward free software aficionados of all skill levels. I don’t know the attendance numbers but I heard people saying the conference felt even bigger and busier than last year. (I was last at Ohio LinuxFest in 2008.)

          We had discovered that, besides the Fedora booth, the generous folks at OLF had also set up a booth for Red Hat, who sponsored the conference in part as well. Since we had a fair number of Red Hatters in attendance — Spot, Ruth, and myself — and had a full complement of Fedora Ambassadors on hand as well, we decided to work that booth. The booths were helpfully right next to each other so we could all easily collaborate and converse with each other during the day.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Reflections on Ubuntu, Canonical and the march to free software adoption

          Nevertheless, the Ubuntu Project does bring something unique, special and important to free software: a total commitment to everyday users and use cases, the idea that free software should be “for everyone” both economically and in ease of use, and a willingness to chase down the problems that stand between here and there. I feel that commitment is a gift back to the people who built every one of those packages. If we can bring free software to ten times the audience, we have amplified the value of your generosity by a factor of ten, we have made every hour spent fixing an issue or making something amazing, ten times as valuable. I’m very proud to be spending the time and energy on Ubuntu that I do. Yes, I could do many other things, but I can’t think of another course which would have the same impact on the world.

        • Why (I think) Ubuntu One exists

          Above all, to extend the power of Ubuntu as an environment. Ubuntu One already allows you to many things beyond the basic file sync we started off with, you can keep your contacts from your phone and desktop (and between other Ubuntu devices) in sync and backed up, notes, bookmarks, all your important files are backed up and synced, you can share them privately or publicly, you can buy music that gets delivered right to your music player, and soon you will be able to stream any of your music to your phone. And this is just today. As the project matures, we are working hard to make it easy for more and more third-party projects to use our platform and out-pace us in ideas and code.
          All of this allows Ubuntu to extend its reach into mobile devices and even other operating systems. It feels like integrating into the real world today, not only the world we want to build.

        • Apple Magic Trackpad drivers land in Ubuntu 10.10 – even supports 10 finger touch!
        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta – Overview & Screenshots

          Here’s what Ubuntu 10.10 has to offer:
          - Linux kernel 2.6.35
          - GNOME 2.31, including Nautilus as a file manager, Rhythmbox as a music player, Totem as the default video player, Empathy Instant Messaging client
          - OpenOffice 3.2 suite, including the Writer, Spreadsheet, Presentation and Drawing, (doesn’t that Oracle logo look awkward when the splash-screen appears?)
          - Mozilla Firefox 3.6.9
          - Evolution 2.30 email client

        • New Ubuntu “Extras” Repository Is Now Live

          …the Ubuntu Extras repository doesn’t have any purpose until after the Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat final release.

        • Maverick Sound Indicator Finally Gets Controls That Match The Radiance Theme
        • Kobo Desktop eReader application also available for Ubuntu
        • Ubuntu 10.10 – Misanthropic Mongoose Tryout
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Peppermint Ice resuscitates an elderly Thinkpad

            Bucking the trend toward ever beefier and bulkier Linux distributions, the Peppermint OS project recently unveiled the first release of a lighter-weight variant of its small-footprint Linux OS. Since “Peppermint Ice” targets netbooks and older, resource-constrained laptops and PCs, I dusted off a well-worn ThinkPad 2662-35U, loaded it up with the new OS, and took it for a spin.

          • Upcoming Artwork For Xubuntu 10.10 Maverick Wallpapers – Themes – Icons

            Upcoming Xubuntu 10.10 based on Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat with Xfce desktop environment coming with many artwork enhancement for Wallpapers, Icons, and Themes.

            Xubuntu Artwork wiki shows new logo, text logo with different dimensions, great wallpapers collection vector, bitmap, and photography wallpapers.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • D-Link Boxee Box now available for pre-order

      D-Link’s Boxee Box can now be ordered from Amazon for November delivery (to US destinations only). Additionally, the company disclosed today that its device is based on an Intel Atom processor CE4100, representing a significant triumph for Intel over ARM Ltd.

      D-Link unveiled its plans last December to build an STB (set-top-box) based on Boxee’s media-streaming software platform, and published preliminary photos and functional specs at that time.

    • Pandora Open-Source Gaming Handheld is Alive and in Demand

      Not to be confused with the music service, Pandora the Linux-based gaming handheld is off to a solid start, according to The Register.

      Pandora’s small team in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, has shipped 1,000 devices since they became available in May. Of course, that’s nothing compared to the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP, but it’s enough for the team to claim that they’re all sold out. Pandora devices are now being sold on pre-order, and the makers hope to ship another 3,000 units by the holidays.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Sesame

    But Venkatesh Hariharan, corporate affairs director, Red Hat, a leading vendor of open source software, says, “Without such a policy, e-government would be a mess of incompatible systems. We are still using land records and maps that date back 400 years. If we store this e-government data in closed proprietary formats, we risk losing this data forever. If we use open, royalty-free standards like those defined by the World Wide Web Consortium, we can ensure the long-term preservation of government data,” says he.

  • Will Cisco Be the Next to Fall to Open Source?

    Cisco has long dominated the networking world. It seems its supremacy is unassailable. Yet open source-based networking just might be its undoing – eventually.

    Open source software, after all, has conquered many arenas. Apache Web servers, Linux-based operating systems and the OpenOffice desktop suite are a few of the well-known areas where open source has carved out a large chunk of the marketplace.

  • Open source IQ test
  • More firms opting for open source software: Is it right for you?

    Many firms that had previously been reluctant to use open source (i.e., free) software have changed their minds. So what’s different now?

    For one thing, open source has evolved. Improvements in the actual software has led to a significant spike in businesses using open source.

    In fact, 98% of firms use some type of open source software – according to a study conducted by Zenoss, Inc., at the annual USENIX Large Installation System Administration conference.

  • Year-old vulnerability endangers OpenX ad server

    A critical security flaw in current and older versions of the popular open source OpenX ad server allows attackers to remotely compromise a server. A few reports (German language link) even discuss successful attacks on OpenX servers in which the vulnerability was exploited.

  • Apache Software Foundation announces new Executive Officers

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced that it held elections for the Foundation’s Executive Officers, who will be overseeing the day-to-day operations of the foundation, during its September 11th board meeting. The non-profit Foundation supports the Apache community’s development of some of the most well-known open source projects, such as the ASF’s first project, the Apache HTTP Web Server, Tomcat and Hadoop.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Banging on about Mozilla Drumbeat

        That will require quite a lot of work, and so I’d also like to propose a trivially easy step towards bringing some much-needed focus: do not ever let anyone on the site refer to “Drumbeat” – it should always be “Mozilla Drumbeat”. However evocative the word “drumbeat” may be, it is completely untethered – it could refer to anything, and certainly has no obvious, inherent links with the Internet or openness. Every time that the “drumbeat” brand is enhanced, Mozilla’s is diminished – and with it the focus on the open Internet. Foregrounding Mozilla in this way would remind everyone who is behind this project, and why, ultimately, they are getting involved.

      • Firefox 4 JavaScript Benchmarks – Showing Improvements

        One of the things that the Mozilla Firefox developers do not want to see happening is that their browser takes the back seat performance wise. That was almost the case, with the recent releases of Opera 10.60, Google Chrome 7 and the preview version of Internet Explorer 9, as all of which left Firefox in JavaScript benchmarks behind.

      • Firefox 4 Freeze Delayed Again, Panorama Gets Big Upgrades

        Mozilla’s goal to release the first release candidate of Firefox 4 in the second half of October may not be realistic anymore as the feature freeze of the software is now already more than two weeks behind schedule. Mozilla’s Mike Beltzner informed developers late last week that the feature freeze would be moved from September 10 to September 15, while the original feature freeze date was September 1.

  • SaaS

    • Announcing vtiger CRM On Demand

      vtiger CRM is a web-based Customer Relationship Management application that delivers enterprise features. vtiger CRM leverages the benefits of Open Source software and adds more value to users by providing advanced features such as Lead, Opportunity, Account and Contact Management, Integration with common desktop applications such as email and office productivity software and support for Quotation and Invoicing, Inventory Management, trouble ticketing and customer support activities.

  • Education

    • Open-Source Lecture Capture

      Lecture capture — the practice of recording lectures, storing them in a library, and allowing students to play them back whenever they want, along with accompanying slides or other media — has become one of the more popular trappings of e-learning. Some research suggests that having lectures available for playback could help students retain lecture content. Another study indicated that it would not prompt students to cut class, as some professors have feared. The number of companies selling lecture capture hardware, software, and services has grown to more than a dozen, with the top providers serving hundreds of colleges. All in all, the lecture capture market did more than $50 million in business last year, according to a recent report from the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. The firm predicts that figure will triple by 2016.

  • Business

    • IT cuts, Open Sauce and harsh reality

      Proprietary software licensing is a dead model, and one the Public Sector can no longer afford.

      Turning to the greater proportion of costs taken up by services, this is precisely the reason that the Public Sector can no longer afford, and must break it’s reliance on, a small handful of enormous ICT companies and move to a triple-Open strategy (Open Data, Open Standards and Open Source).

      By migrating existing infrastructure in line with a triple-Open strategy, the Public Sector enables itself to escape ICT provision from the existing monopolies and oligopolies, freeing itself from lock-in, systemic risk and ruinous costs. In fact there is no choice in this matter (Public Sector ICT costs are unsustainable), but let us assume there is and explain why.

  • Project Releases

    • Lightspark 0.4.4.2 released

      Another week, another bug­fix release for Lightspark! Apart from restor­ing the sup­port for YouTube this release fea­tures the new plu­gin based audio frame­work that makes it pos­si­ble to sup­port other back­ends beside PulseAu­dio. At the moment both an ALSA and Ope­nAL plu­g­ins are being worked on.

  • Licensing

    • Open Source and Software Allergies

      And what about your own code? Do you know every open source package you use? What about code coming in from developers in other groups? Off-shore partners? Have any of them copied and pasted code from the open source community into code they give you?

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Just Because You Make Money, It Doesn’t Mean You Lose Section 230 Safe Harbors
  • Another Australian politician gets caught out by technology

    The latest Australian politician to be caught out by technology is New South Wales Ports and Waterways Minister Paul McLeay. According to ZDNet, he’s been forced to resign after having to admit to accessing porn and gambling websites on a parliamentary computer.

  • MP Paul McLeay resigns over porn and gambling
  • Security/Aggression

    • Pentagon aims to buy up book

      The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing – 10,000 copies – of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources.

      “Operation Dark Heart,” which was scheduled to be published this month by St. Martin’s Press, recounts the adventures and frustrations of an Army reservist, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who served in Afghanistan in 2003, a moment when the attention of Washington and the military had shifted to Iraq.

    • Homeland Security to test iris scanners

      The Homeland Security Department plans to test futuristic iris scan technology that stores digital images of people’s eyes in a database and is considered a quicker alternative to fingerprints.

    • Crims use hacked email to steal house

      An international cybercrime investigation is underway into a sophisticated scam network that left a Western Australian man half a million dollars out of pocket when criminals sold his Perth investment property using stolen credentials.

    • Attackers exploit additional zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Flash and Reader

      Adobe has issued a warning about yet another unpatched hole in its Flash Player and Reader (including Acrobat) products that attackers are already using to infect Windows systems. Just last week, Adobe warned of a hole in Reader that criminals are also using to spread malware on Windows systems.

  • Finance

    • Day One at Summer Davos: It’s all about the Soft Power

      “Summer Davos” is the World Economic Forum’s four-year old conference in China, titled “The Annual Meeting of the New Champions.” It’s all about the economic challenges and opportunities emerging markets. Wandering between panels where heads of multinationals, entrepreneurs, government officials and social entrepreneurs are talking about the Chinese consumer that’s just waking up, trillions in foreign investment and where it’s going and the time-bomb of shortages in food, water and energy as the world population goes from 6.9 billion to 9.1 billion in 2050, two things occurred to me: This is my version of porn, and I’m a total nerd.

    • September 13 2010: Basel III: We Lost, The Banks Won

      Still, while cheering Basel III, you’re cheering the further, continued and deepening screwing of American people, and European, and Japanese, not to mention dirt-poor-to-begin with Africans and Asians, who will for instance increasingly be bid out of what fertile land they once had to feed their children.

      Basically, the banks can continue to do anything they want till 2013, and “just about” anything they want until 2019. Not that they’ll be lending to “consumers”, mind you, unless their governments force them to and/or make it very attractive (50+% credit card charges), and if anyone has anything adverse to say about that, their answer will be that they will need the money to comply with Basel III in 2019. Oh, the lovely irony.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Hoteliers to take their revenge on TripAdvisor’s critiques in court

      Britain’s biggest travel review website, whose critiques of hotels and restaurants can include damning references to Basil Fawlty-style hotel managers, bed bugs and stomach-churning meals, is facing potential legal action from hundreds of hoteliers and restaurateurs who claim their businesses are being damaged by malicious and unfounded reviews.

      More than 400 establishments have indicated they may join a “group defamation action” against TripAdvisor, which carries “unbiased” reviews, written by members of the public, of hotels and other businesses.

      Unless the popular site removes the most wounding criticisms within a fortnight, legal proceedings could begin shortly, according to KwikChex, a Bournemouth-based reputation management firm, which is canvassing support for a case.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • HDCP master-key leaks, possible to make unrestricted Blu-Ray recorders

      Engadget reports that the master key that controls HDCP, the anti-copying system used to restrict the outputs of Blu-Ray boxes, set-top boxes, and many game systems, have been compromised and published. With these keys, knowledgeable users can make their own “source” and “sink” keys for devices that permit copying at full resolution — which means that you should be able to create a hard-drive-based recorder that you can plug into your Blu-Ray player and record shows in real-time. This player would be immune to “revocation” (part of the HDCP specification that allows a cartel of Hollywood studios to remotely disable devices so they won’t interoperate with compromised systems — essentially, the ability to reach into your living room and shut down your equipment).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Vandals’ Bass Player Not A Fan Of The Public Domain, Thinks PD Recordings Will ‘Destroy’ Classical Music

        ormer entertainment industry lawyer, is currently in the middle of a legal fight with Reed Elsevier over a parody logo the band briefly used — but has since stopped using. His discussions of the lawsuit have been interesting and informative, so I’m a bit shocked to see the following article, submitted by a bunch of folks where Escalante goes a bit off his rocker in attacking the public domain as “communism.” Honestly, I had to read it a few times, and am still sort of wondering if this is pure satire. If it is, bravo. If it’s not, Escalante may have taken cluelessness about the public domain to previously unheard of levels.

        At issue? The story we recently covered of how the folks at Musopen wanted to raise money to hire an orchestra to record public domain symphonies, and release the recordings into the public domain. As you’re hopefully aware, while such symphonies are in the public domain already, new recordings of those works are not.

      • Another company fights back against copyright lawsuit

        Another company facing a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Righthaven LLC is fighting back, this time calling the Las Vegas company’s litigation campaign “a parasitical abuse” of judicial resources.

        Righthaven is a company that detects online infringements of Las Vegas Review-Journal stories, obtains copyrights for those stories and then sues the alleged infringers.

      • Bob Marley Family Loses Case Over Hit Records

        Bob Marley’s family lost a lawsuit seeking the copyrights to several of the late Jamaican reggae singer’s best-known recordings.

        U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said the UMG Recordings unit of Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group is the rightful owner of copyrights to five albums that Marley had recorded between 1973 and 1977 for Island Records.

        The albums “Catch a Fire,” “Burnin’,” “Natty Dread,” “Rastaman Vibrations” and “Exodus” were recorded with Marley’s band The Wailers. They include some of Marley’s best-known songs, including “Get Up, Stand Up,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “No Woman, No Cry” and “One Love.”

        [...]

        But Cote concluded that Marley’s recordings were “works made for hire” as defined under U.S. copyright law, entitling UMG to be designated the owner of those recordings, for both the initial 28-year copyright terms and for renewals.

Clip of the Day

CES 2010 : Motorola Backflip


Credit: TinyOgg

09.13.10

Links 13/9/2010: Linux 2.6.36 RC 4, Kongoni 1.12.3, Sidux Becomes Aptosid

Posted in News Roundup at 6:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Windows or Linux: Which is easier to fix?

    Between Linux and Windows, which is easier to fix when broken? It was an interesting question, but one that should be easy to answer (at least in theory). It was time to set up my testing ground. I decided that .NET would be the obvious choice because there is a similar frame work on Linux – Mono. What would happen if I forced the uninstall of each and then re-installed. Would the applications that depended upon those framework applications still work? It should be a simple test. SHOULD.

  • Desktop

    • The Year of the Linux Desktop is not going to happen

      Tablets, slates, and smartphones are growing markets as the traditional desktop market is not growing. Phil believes in a future
      where many of our work day tasks are completed via rapid input with those devices ubiquitously at our sides. HP is very successful in selling Linux-based netbooks – mostly in emerging markets such as China and India. These devices are fun and simple to use for both parents and kids. Can Linux enjoy the glory of the rush to the mobile platform? So far, Linux-based Android and HP’s Palm WebOS platforms have been seen in market share reports by classifying them as separate from the Linux category. Phil exclaims “These are Linux too!” It is time that we celebrate the success of Linux on mobile platforms and fret no-more on winning the Linux desktop.

    • The Linux Sweet Spot

      The future is on the web, how one consumes it is of less importance the the ability to access it. More powerful devices can afford multiple applications that customize web services, but the information is the same. Linux is perfectly positioned to be the operating system of choice for very low cost, portable, almost throw-away devices.

      The Chromium project has the right idea, but is being overshadowed by Android. What I’d like to see is an Android release that only had one app, the browser, and boots directly to the browser to get the device online as fast as possible. Low cost, low power chips, low cost memory, low cost flash storage, and the dropping price of touch screens means that the hardware is ready, will Linux be ready for the sub-hundred dollar tablet?

    • Limitations of Windows PowerShell vs. Linux SSH/bash

      On the flip side, SSH is extremely versatile and flexible. And here’s why. First, you can use ANY SSH client you want. Personally, I use PuTTY. It’s very lightweight, powerful, and has the features that work for me. Copy and paste is very efficiently done. Simply select the text (which is intelligent enough to select line by line, not by cursor position), and the text is automatically copied to the clipboard. Simply clicking the right mouse button (or center mouse button/wheel in Linux) will paste at the cursor position. I use this all of the time for editing documents in a shell, very very easy and powerful. This behavior is also done at the text terminal of Linux as well, with the “gdm” service on (allows the mouse to be used in the text terminal).

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.36-rc4

      So due to travel, it’s been two weeks rather than the usual one, but 2.6.36-rc4 is out there now.

      Nothing in particular stands out, although there’s been more noise in GPU development than I’d like at this point (both Radeon and i915). But that should hopefully all be just stabilization. There’s also been some PCIe/firmware interaction changes, that should fix way more issues than it breaks.

    • Linux 2.6.34.7
    • Linux 2.6.34.7

      It fixes a single bug that a number of users have reported in that their USB devices no longer work properly. Sometimes it causes lost keystrokes, and other times X refuses to boot as it can not communicate properly with some tablet devices.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Security advisories for Monday
    • New Releases

      • Kongoni 1.12.3 (Cicero) released!

        This is the final and stable release of Kongoni 1.12.3 (Cicero). With this release most issues and problems should be solved, also most packages where cleaned-up, updated to the latest version. Kernel upgraded to version 2.6.35.4-libre, improved the stability and speed, re-build with support for more hardware devices, cleaned-up the kernel configuration, set Rekonq browser as the default web browser, Gnash upgraded to verison 0.8.8, KDE upgraded to version 4.5.1, removed Ktorrent and replaced it with qBittorrent, which should be much more faster and lightweight.

      • Linux distro Sidux reborn as aptosid

        The name change is due to conflicts between the developers and the board of the registered non-profit Sidux e.V. association. Disputes between the board and the developers have been going on since mid-August and the developers decided to separate from the association shortly after the first board chairman resigned. As the Sidux domains are registered to the association, the Sidux developers have forked to a new name.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Staring through the keyhole at KNOPPIX

        Perhaps the most common request I get from readers is to review utility distributions. Without question the CD which gets used the most in my digital toolbox is KNOPPIX. The KNOPPIX distribution was one of the first projects to offer a Linux live CD, giving people the opportunity to test drive a Linux desktop without installing any software. It’s also well-known for automatically detecting and using a wide range of hardware without user assistance.

        [...]

        KNOPPIX has a slightly different feel to it. The KNOPPIX live CD isn’t a means to an end (i.e. getting you to install it on your hard drive), the live environment KNOPPIX provides is the means and the end. A lot of the tools a system administrator will want are right there on the disc, it’s well put together and its focus allows for a level of polish. This is a distribution which isn’t chasing the latest cutting-edge technology or trying to wow with eye candy (though it does have some nice desktop effects). Instead, KNOPPIX is a stable system which really delivers useful tools and hardware support. I have used this distro steadily for about five years on a wide range of machines and I have found just one computer, to date, where KNOPPIX wouldn’t boot into a graphical desktop environment.

        The KNOPPIX live discs are dependable and, I’ve found, extremely useful under a wide variety of circumstances. It’s a digital tool I think any administrator should carry with them, whether they’re working in a Linux environment or not.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu makeover paying off

          Clearly nothing happens overnight. More than two years ago, Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth went out on a limb and said that his ambition was to make the Ubuntu desktop better than Apple’s famously good-looking desktop.

          Over the next couple of releases small changes were made to the interface of Ubuntu, some popular and some not so popular. And then in Ubuntu 10.04, released in April this year, a new theme was introduced and slowly the changes started to flow.

          Ubuntu may not yet have a better interface than Mac OS X (depending on your perspective) but it looks like the many changes that have been made, and many others still being added in time for the next Ubuntu release, are showing signs that the interface changes are paying off.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo in with a “chance” against mobile OS rivals

          Intel has defended MeeGo’s progress, saying its mobile joint venture with Nokia is still wanted by the industry.

          The open source mobile operating system is the result of a tie-up between the two tech giants that brought together Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin. It’s designed for tablets, netbooks and handsets as well as televisions and in-car systems.

          The MeeGo platform is “gaining traction,” Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini claimed in a keynote at IDF. MeeGo 1.01 is currently supported by about two dozen netbooks as well as the Nokia N900. Touchscreen support is expected to arrive next month.

          Otellini said room remained for another operating system in the market, suggesting that there was demand by mobile service providers for systems other than Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and those from handset manufacturers or software vendors such as Microsoft.

      • Android

        • O2 upgrades Dell Streak to Android 2.1
        • Piper Jaffray Forecasts 50% Market Share For Android

          Piper Jaffray, an investment banking firm that earned $7.4 million in net income last quarter, is betting on Android in a big way. Today, Piper Jaffray predicted that Android’s market share will pass the 50 percent mark in the next five years.

        • T-Mobile Unveils Its G2, the Successor to First Android Phone

          The carrier didn’t list a price or exact shipment date, merely saying that customers will be able to pre-order the device later in September and pointing to a site on which they can register to do so . Smartphones in this category have been selling for around $200 to $250 with a two-year contract.

        • Android tablets get own app sites, Android Market access denied

          Both Archos and Toshiba will have app stores for their devices because their versions of the Android OS have not been designed for tablets like theirs. The issue of Android tablets being denied access to that operating system’s primary apps market emerged when Google’s global product management director for mobiles, Hugo Barra told a media briefing at the company’s London offices yesterday that, “If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn’t run, Froyo is not optimised for tablets.”

        • Google’s Big Tease on Tablets: Android or Chrome OS?

          Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google, reportedly told UK tech news site TechRadar that Android 2.0, code-named Froyo, “is not optimised” (British spelling) to run on tablets. In addition, the Android Market won’t be available on Froyo tablets, a major shortcoming.

        • Android Overtaking iPhone and BlackBerry With Plenty of Room To Grow
        • Why Android Is Stealing Share from iOS

          In other words, Apple’s loss is Android’s gain. Much as iPhone fans might argue the reverse, it’s also no real surprise. In fact, there are three key reasons Android is stealing iOS’s thunder.

        • Africa and the Imminent Domination of Android

          There is a no doubt that Africa is a vast market whose profitability is mostly unrecognized or just glossed over by firms from advanced countries. With a population of over 850m people, there should be no question at all about how this market can help a firm dominate its competitors.

          For quite sometime, I’ve been wondering why Google still had no Android powered phones here. Earlier this month, that prayer was answered with the introduction of the Android powered IDEOS smartphone in Kenya .

        • 50 Fantastic Free Android Apps

          A free Android app is a wonderful thing. The problem is, the Android App Marketplace is a bit freewheeling, and it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Lucky for you, we’ve done the job for you.

          So let the downloading begin. Yes, you heard right – all of these fantastic 50 are completely free Android apps. Think of them as the best free apps the Android Marketplace has to offer.

          1) ASTRO File Manager

          This app is a full-featured file manager that lets you view and manage the files on your Droid without having to plug it into your computer. You can even use it to backup your Android apps to your SD card.

          2) EStrongs File Explorer

          This local and network file manager provides a file explorer for both the local phone and your remote computer. You can view files on your phone and in your computer’s shared folder and transfer files between them. You can even play audio and video, browse images and view text.

    • Tablets

      • Student E-Reader Startup Kno Raises $46 Million

        Kno says the device will be be available for purchase “by late fall.” The company hasn’t said what the device will cost, but CEO Osman Rashid tells TechCrunch it will sell for under $1,000. Rashid is also the co-founder and chairman of textbook rental startup Chegg, which has raised its own big round last fall.

      • India’s $35 Android 7-inch Tablet to Hit in January

        We’ve been hearing about India’s plans for a $35 computer for a few months now, and for a while we thought it might be all talk. However, it seems India is pushing ahead with plans for the educational tablet.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Could Plexus Help Deliver a Knockout Punch to Facebook?

    It’s very early days, but if it takes off, Plexus could have a very important side-effect. Imagine using it to manage Facebook, say, and then adding the free software replacement Diaspora (assuming it delivers on its promises) too. As the people you follow start to shift across from Facebook to Diaspora (well, I can dream, right?), you would see…precisely nothing, since Plexus would effectively act as a compatibility layer to different social networks, insulating you from the details.

  • Here is the New Open Source

    The reason it’s not a problem for open source as a whole is that what we are seeing in the world of commercial apps is part of something that has been under way ever since free software existed: the software stack is being progressively commoditised by open source code. A less charitable way of putting this is that open source has succeeded when it improves to the point of being able to replace all the rival proprietary systems – and makes that sector somewhat boring as a result.

    This process began at the lowest level, with fundamental operating system code being written to create the basis of an entire free software ecosystem. Once that was on course to overtake commercial systems – and therefore beginning to run out of sufficiently appealing hacking challenges – people started to work on key middleware applications that would run on it, where there were new problems to be solved. That was some time back: remember, Apache has been around for 15 years, as has MySQL, and the LAMP stack combining them with GNU/Linux and programming languages goes back at least to 1998, when the term was coined.

  • Citizen Linus

    I’ll test that myself (but in a bit – I need to go do voter registration and socsec update first, though – I became a US citizen
    last week).

  • Events

    • OpenTech 2010

      In short: Ben Goldacre‘s launching a project to keep track of abandoned or never-published medical trials. Keep also an eye out for Rob McKinnon’s Whoslobbying.com as well. The guys at Young Rewired State showed that despite the relatively poor provision of teaching code in schools, there are some great young talented enthusiastic hackers coming up and making things like this. I missed the talk about Frontline SMS but really like the idea – not everyone has a fancy smartphone after all (see also Terence’s excellent talk on designing for all phones). Finally, I will probably be playing a bit with Scraperwiki and the datasets on data.gov.uk, amongst other things…

    • OpenOffice.org HackFest 2010

      the OOoCon just ended, and we realize how little time we can spend together face2face each year. To properly fix that problem, we hereby announce the next event around OpenOffice.org – a HackFest in Hamburg, specifically targeted to developers, to give all of us more face time & collectively work on the code.

    • Think Tank – Open Source Marketing: “All Change Please”
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4′s bold, browser-specific move with HTML 5 audio API

        With the HTML 5 crowd increasing in volume – both in terms of numbers and noise – Mozilla is looking to regain sole possession as standard-bearer for Web standards. Last Tuesday, with the release of Beta 5 of its upcoming Firefox 4, the organization opened up public comment on its own experiment with a possible browser-based API for audio, which may later open up doors for a video API as well. If it gains traction, it could enable Web developers to develop on-screen tools for visualizing and accessing the data contained within an audio stream.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Free Software PDF Readers

      What would you think about a sign on the highway stating “You need a Volkswagen to drive on this road. Contact your Volkswagen dealer for a gratis test drive – Your Government”? When it comes to PDF reading software, many governments do this every day.

    • Who’s using free software?

      Free software is software you can study, modify and share without restriction. But unlike proprietary software, there is no big budget marketing campaign behind it. Rather, people discover it and come to value the freedom it provides.

  • Blender

    • Blender 2.54 Beta Released

      Note that in the uploaded packages, the OBJ exporter is still broken. Read more below on how to get and install the correct version and more important note from the release logs.

    • Blender Foundation’s Sintel Open Movie Will Have Its Official Premiere in Another 14 Days

      Sintel is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. Between, if you haven’t heard about it yet, you probably haven’t heard about 3 previous open source movie projects by Blender namely Yo Frankie, Elephants Dream and Big Buck Bunny. The initial funding for the project was provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community.

    • Sintel official premiere
  • Government

    • As California goes, so goes the nation?

      Calif. Secretary of State Debra Bowen on open source voting systems and digital literacy

    • Transparency

      I understand your anxiety about the new government’s fixation on what they are pleased to call ‘transparency’, but you are distressing yourself unnecessarily. It afflicts all incoming administrations. It used to be called ‘open government’, and reflects the frustrations they felt when they were in opposition and could not find out what was going on, combined with an eagerness to discover and publicise the deception, distortions and disasters of their predecessors.

    • The government doesn’t look good naked.

      Not so, says Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation, one of the leading advocates for government transparency. On Tuesday at the Gov 2.0 Summit, she made it clear that transparency wasn’t enough. She also wants accuracy, relevance and quality in the data. Instead, Sunlight found $1.3 trillion in inaccuracies on USAspending.gov. She’s also got some choice words for data.gov and other Open Government initiatives. The keynote was a remarkable turn: the administration was completely eviscerated by one of its closest allies. Today, I read that Fast Company’s Austin Carr is similarly disillusioned by this week’s announcement of Challenge.gov. I think it’s safe to say there will be more pieces like this in the next few months.

    • The government doesn’t look good naked.
    • Opening Up Government IT: Better for Less

      It’s true that our new lords and masters (and presumably ladies and mistresses) have made some vaguely encouraging noises about adopting open source, and opening things up in general (which, to be fair, is starting to happen) but so far there’s been precious little evidence of free software actually being used in UK government.

      But moaning is one thing: making concrete suggestions how to get us out of this almighty mess, and to move us to a different procurement regime, quite another. That’s what makes a new report “Better for Less: How to make Government IT deliver savings” particular valuable: it goes beyond pointing out the almost painfully-obvious problems to offering steps that can be taken to address them today.

  • Licensing

    • Dell finally releases sources of GPL licensed software on the Streak

      Today I have received news that Dell has released the source code of the GPL licensed software on the Dell Streak at http://opensource.dell.com/releases/streak. This includes, among other things, the source code to the Linux kernel they are using on the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

    • Google Code now accepting all OSI approved licences
    • Google Ends AGPL Embargo

      In a low-key announcement at the end of last week, Google’s open source supremo Chris DiBona announced that their project hosting service, Google Code, is ending its embargo on open source licenses they don’t like, such as the Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) controversial AGPLv3 (a license designed to make the give-back compulsion of the Gnu GPL apply to web-hosted services like the ones Google provides) and Sun’s CDDL (the licence used by OpenSolaris and by many of the former Sun’s Java projects).

    • Are contributor agreements subversive?

      This is a different issue from that of the license. Many projects licensed under the GPL are still subject to contributor agreements.

      These agreements have their fans, and their purpose. They let business be done centrally, without having every minor decision subject to a veto by developers.

      Having a corporate center to an open source business can be a very good thing, assuring regular updates, a quality Web presence, and software worthy of use by an enterprise.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Widgets, maps and an API make World Bank data sing

        New tools will help tell stories, but they won’t make every aspect of World Bank data analysis easy. For one, World Bank workers have to integrate data input into their business processes, building a regular reporting framework. For another, there’s the classic challenge of instituting governance and quality for all of that data.

      • Wasting Public Money: Birth, Marriage and Death Digitisation

        Anyway, let me go on record now and say this: FreeBMD will complete this transcription, without cost to the taxpayer, given access to the source records. There’s just one condition: we have to be able to publish the complete transcription, free of charge, on the Internet. Of course, it’ll go a bit faster if we do get some money, so I won’t say we wouldn’t accept if it were offered!

      • OpenStreetMap reaches 300,000 contributors

        The OpenStreetMap (OSM) Project has confirmed that it now has more than 300,000 registered contributors. Founded in August of 2004 by SteveCoast, OpenStreetMap is an open source project that is building free online maps, not based on any copyright or licensed map data.

        In recent years, the OSM project has become increasingly popular; in March of 2009 it surpassed 100,000 registered users and, in January of this year, hit its 200,000 user milestone. In mid-April, OSM’s Richard Weait stated that the project “gets hundreds of new registrations a day”. OSM statistics can be found on the OSM Statistics page and on the Stats wiki.

      • Announcing the LOD2 project
  • Standards/Consortia

    • The line between book and Internet will disappear

      What lurks beneath the EPUB spec

      The secret among those who have poked around EPUB, the open specification for ebooks, is that an .epub file is really just a website, written in XHTML, with a few special characteristics, and wrapped up. It’s wrapped up so that it is self-contained (like a book! between covers!), so that it doesn’t appear to be a website, and so that it’s harder to do the things with an ebook that one expects to be able to do with a website. EPUB is really a way to build a website without letting readers or publishers know it.

      But everything exists within the EPUB spec already to make the next obvious — but frightening — step: let books live properly within the Internet, along with websites, databases, blogs, Twitter, map systems, and applications.

    • Adobe adds HTML5 controls to Illustrator
    • Microdata: HTML5’s Best-Kept Secret
    • Disney to Propose Standards for Web-Connected Toys
    • Interop Demo Illustrates Breadth and Power of ODF to Handle Enterprise, Academic and Gov. Needs

      Last week, OASIS held the ODF 1.2 Interoperability Demonstration to showcase support for ODF 1.2 and the interoperability across eight implementations. The Demo showcased both open source and commercial software applications processing ODF documents on the desktop, in the cloud and on mobile devices, including IBM Lotus Symphony, KOffice, OpenOffice.org Novell Edition, Oracle Open Office, the Python programming library IpOD, Nokia Maemo FreOffice, and Open Framework Systems (OFS).

      The ODF 1.2 Interoperability Demonstration was held in conjunction with the OpenOffice.org Conference in Budapest, Hungary, at Central European University. Real-world documents, provided by scenario partner Louvre Labs, many containing images of artwork in various states of restoration, were programmatically extracted and stored as a new ODF presentation file. This new presentation file was reformatted with the lpOD Python programming library, applying templates provided by KOffice and OpenOffice.org for automated styling. The resulting ODF file was read and edited by a number of desktop ODF applications including Oracle Open Office and KOffice. The edited document were then reviewed a colleague using a Nokia N900 smart phone. By accessing the embedded RDF metadata, including the author’s vCard data, the N900 automatically connected to the author where a discussion completed the review and approval process.

    • Understanding ODF – Open Document Format

      The Open Document Format is a means of saving and encoding documents so that they can be freely opened and edited by non proprietary software. As an example, Microsoft’s .doc format for their Word documents is proprietary and requires that you use Microsoft software to open, edit and save the document. In contrast, the Novus .ODT format is an “open document format” and can be freely opened, edited and saved by numerous software applications.

    • Defining Open standards

      Critics of open standards do not like the equalizing effect of openness on the market. Open standards are best for business. Open standards are best for governments. Those two facts make open standards a panacea. Recalling for a moment that in Greek mythology, Panacea was the goddess of healing, we can simply say that open standards are pure goodness. Those who defend them are heroes. Superheroes, even. Little iron men and women working silently in small meeting rooms for hours, days, months, years.

    • HP Holds Navy Network ‘Hostage’ for $3.3 Billion

      Someday, somehow, the U.S. Navy would like to run its networks — maybe even own its computers again. After 10 years and nearly $10 billion, many sailors are tired of leasing their PCs, and relying on a private contractor to operate most of their data systems. Troops are sick of getting stuck with inboxes that hold 150 times less than a Gmail account, and local networks that go down for days while Microsoft Office 2007 gets installed … in 2010. But the Navy just can’t quit its tangled relationship with Hewlett-Packard. The admirals and the firm recently signed another $3.3 billion no-bid contract that begins Oct. 1st. It’s a final, five-year deal, both sides promise, to let the Navy gently wean itself from its reliance on HP. But that’s what they said the last time, and the time before that.

Leftovers

  • Interview with Pastor Jones’ Daughter

    It remains unclear whether Pastor Terry Jones will go ahead with his plan to burn Korans in Florida on Saturday. His daughter Emma has begged him not to go through with it. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, she describes a man who became a victim of his own delusions.

  • Afghans protest US church’s plans to burn Quran
  • End of a nation? ‘Get ready for the break-up of Belgium’

    A top Belgian politician warned the country’s citizens on Sunday to “get ready for the break-up of Belgium,” as King Albert II seeks to relaunch knife-edge coalition talks.

    Leading francophone Socialist Laurette Onkelinx, considered a potential successor to party chief Elio Di Rupo, who gave up on negotiations with separatist Flemish leaders on Friday, gave her prognosis in a newspaper interview.

  • Cisco pays millions to end DoJ probe

    Cisco Systems and distie Westcon Group North America, owned by South African firm Datatec, are to pay $48m to end an investigation by the US Department of Justice into overcharging.

  • Has HP blundered big time?

    Oh dear HP, what have you done, what Pandora’s box have you opened to unleash terror and despair on yourself?

    This is all to do with ejected HP CEO Mark Hurd who is joining Oracle as its co-president.

  • Murdoch’s paywall is down today ‘for maintenance’

    While the website’s homepage is present, clicking on any story leads to a blank page that just has the word “OK” in the top left hand corner. But what would seem like a total meltdown of the Media Mogul’s beloved walled garden’s wall is said to be only “maintenance”.

  • World’s Most Cramped Airline Seat to Launch Next Week

    The SkyRider is a saddle-style airplane seat which will allow airlines to squeeze even more passengers into already cramped cabins. The poor passenger will perch atop a sculpted squab that has more in common with a horse-saddle than a comfy chair.

    The new seats are due to be launched next week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas conference in Long Beach, by manufacturer Aviointeriors. They’re intended to introduce a new cabin-class, below economy. It should probably be called cattle-class.

  • Norwegian newsreader quits in live radio broadcast

    Pia Beathe Pedersen accused her employers at the regional radio station of public broadcaster NRK of putting too much pressure on the staff.

    Pedersen said in the live Saturday broadcast that she was “quitting and walking away” because she “wanted to be able to eat properly again and be able to breathe.”

  • Craigslist lawsuit against SC’s McMaster dismissed

    A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Craigslist against South Carolina’s attorney general, who is trying to prosecute the Internet company for carrying ads for prostitution.

  • Police: Thieves Robbed Homes Based On Facebook, Social Media Sites
  • Science

    • Peak MHz

      This chart demonstrates that we hit the era of what I’m calling Peak MHz in about 2004. That’s the point when processor speed effectively peaked as chip manufacturers began competing along other dimensions. Those other dimensions–energy efficiency, size and cost–are driving ubiquitous computing, as their chips become more efficient, smaller and cheaper, thus making them increasingly easier to include into everyday objects.

    • Stanford and Berkeley teams create ‘electric skin’

      Interestingly, the Berkeley team mentions their prosthetic skin not only has applications for biomedical devices, but also applies to the interactions of artificial intelligence and humans (Data’s artificial skin in First Contact anyone?). They also mention that while such technology has been explored before, it has yet to be created in a cost-effective and sufficiently sensitive way.

    • Spaceflight formation flying test bed takes off

      Getting complicated systems onboard a single spacecraft to operate as one integrated unit can be hard enough but some space agencies are trying to address the challenges of getting multiple spacecraft to fly in formation and operate together as one unit.

  • Security/Aggression

    • 102 Taser-Related Deaths in the United States

      Something is wrong in America when the police electrocute folks on a WEEKLY basis with their taser arsenal … and the public is mute in its response.

    • Mexican Crime, American Guns

      A shocking new report obtained by ABC News says that as many as three out of four guns used in crimes in Mexico and recovered and capable of being traced can be traced to gun stores just across the border in the U.S. The numbers bolster complaints by Mexican officials that the country’s unprecedented bloodshed – 28,000 people have died in drug-cartel violence since 2006 – is being fueled both by the U.S. appetite for drugs, and by American weapons.

    • Report: US must deal with domestic radical problem

      Report says US has failed to create systems to deal with homegrown terror

    • Robert Fisk: The truth about ‘honour’ killings
    • Assange under fire from Wikileakers

      Criticism of Wikileaks mouthpiece Julian Assange is growing, with more voices joining the chorus calling for him to step aside while his various Swedish legal problems are sorted out.

    • Wikileaks will soon post biggest military leak ever
    • The General Gunning for WikiLeaks

      As WikiLeaks prepares a new dump of secret war documents, the feds’ intel SWAT team races to do damage control. Philip Shenon reports on its leader and its inner workings.

      In a nondescript suite of government offices not far from the Pentagon, nearly 120 intelligence analysts, FBI agents, and others are at work—24 hours a day, seven days a week—on the frontlines of the government’s secret war against WikiLeaks.

    • McKinnon family welcomes extradition treaty review

      The coalition government’s decision to review extradition law has been welcomed by family and supporters of Gary McKinnon, even though it’s unlikely to have an immediate effect on his case.

      Home Secretary Teresa May announced plans to review the UK’s extradition arrangements on Tuesday in response to long-running complaints that the existing system, introduced in 2004, is unfair. US authorities are not required to present evidence in making extradition requests, a requirement of reciprocal extradition proceedings from the US to the UK.

    • One in four gives fake net names

      More than a quarter of people online have lied about their name and more than one in five has done something online they regret, says a new report.

    • UK police terror trainers lose USB stick in street

      The curse of the unencrypted memory stick has stuck Manchester Police, which has suffered embarrassment as a drive containing apparently sensitive information was found lying in the street.

      The unsecured data on the drive related to training information on coping with riots, violent suspects, and public disorder. According to the Daily Star, the red top newspaper to which the drive was handed in by a passer-by, some of the information has bearing on terrorism training, including blast control, firearms handling and strategies for dealing with petrol and bomb attacks.

    • Wiltshire policeman bailed over cell attack appeal

      A police officer who was jailed for six months after he was caught on CCTV throwing a woman into a cell has been granted bail pending an appeal.

      Sgt Mark Andrews was filmed dragging Pamela Somerville, 59, through Melksham police station in Wiltshire.

      The 37-year-old was jailed last week after being found guilty of causing her actual bodily harm at a trial in July.

    • DARPA Wants to Install Transcranial Ultrasonic Mind Control Devices in Soldiers’ Helmets

      DARPA has been trying to crawl inside the minds of soldiers for a while now, but a new ultrasound technology could let them get deeper inside than ever. Working under a DARPA grant, a researcher at Arizona State is developing transcranial pulsed ultrasound technology that could be implanted in troops’ battle helmets, allowing soldiers to manipulate brain functions to boost alertness, relieve stress, or even reduce the effects of traumatic brain injury.

    • Chile: the other 9/11 anniversary

      Of the many military coups faced by the republics of Latin America, it is the coup of 11 September 1973 that has engraved itself most permanently on the collective memory. The images of the bombing of the Moneda Palace, of the despair on the face of Salvador Allende shortly before his suicide, of the defiant expression worn by Pinochet behind his dark glasses and of the public burning of books that circulated around the world and became the symbol of military brutality.

    • Fidel Castro says remarks about Cuban model ‘not working’ misinterpreted

      Fidel Castro said today that his comment to a US journalist about Cuba’s system not working had been misinterpreted.

    • Homeland Security Department Begins Using Iris Scanners to Track Illegal Immigrants

      Last month, we reported on Global Rainmakers Inc. (GRI), a biometrics R&D firm that’s bringing iris scanning technology to Leon, Mexico. GRI aims to make Leon “the most secure city in the world” by dotting the city with scanners and creating an iris database to track all residents. Now, it appears the technology will be crossing the border sooner than we expected.

      Today, it surfaced that the Department of Homeland Security is planning to test GRI’s tech at a border patrol station in Texas, where it will be used to monitor illegal immigrants. Rather than continue to rely on oft-unreliable fingerprints, the DHS is experimenting with the scanners to see whether they have a viable future for border security.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Arctic defenders deported from Greenland

      Sadly, all four of our climbers will not be coming back to the Esperanza after all. Jens, Sim, Timo and Matt are flying home to Germany, USA, Finland and Poland respectively. Their personal belongings are still on board and they are going home in spare clothes bought for them by friends in Greenland. I’m sure they’ll be glad to see their families again but we’re really going to miss them on the ship and we haven’t finished our ‘Go Beyond Oil’ tour yet.

    • Activists are not criminals

      After more than two years of political prosecution, my colleagues Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki were this week handed a one-year jail sentence, suspended for three years. Their crime: exposing corruption in the Japanese whaling programme.

      Over the course of their trial, Junichi and Toru produced substantial evidence of embezzlement within the decaying relic that is Japan’s whaling industry. When I came to Japan in February for the start of this trial I was shocked that Junichi and Toru were even in court. What I saw in the Aomori court is deeply concerning.

      [...]

      Greenpeace activists are keenly aware of any risks they may take with life, limb, and liberty, and all are prepared face the consequences of their actions. Activists are not above the law, but neither are the authorities. When activists challenge the authorities they do so in the public interest and not for personal gain. It is unacceptable for authorities to abuse their power to try to silence them.

    • A Symbolic Solar Road Trip To Reignite a U.S. Climate Movement

      As I write this piece, we’re in the midst of a (biodiesel) road trip to Washington, D.C., towing behind us an unwieldy piece of history: a solar panel off the roof of the Carter White House. It’s decades old, though it still makes hot water just fine. In a sense, we’re traveling backward—which in another sense is what I think we’re going to have to do for a while in the U.S. climate movement.

    • Steady Growth of Wind Industry Moves EU Closer to Green Goals
    • New Solar Trees Light Up Angkor Wat, Cambodia

      New solar powered street lights installed in Angkor Wat, Cambodia add much needed public lighting to the area, in a fun, low-energy design that increases night-time safety and facilitates greater earnings for local businesses. Nothing Design Group conceived of the tree-like design, and developed the lights in partnership with Asiana Airlines and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). The project team wished to create lights that would both increase night-time safety and help elevate Cambodia’s image.

    • Mass collaboration to improve climate data — a new frontier in citizen science

      Scientists meeting in the UK this week are crafting a revolutionary new project aimed at transforming their ability to predict meteorological disasters. The goal, as reported by the Guardian, “is to create an international databank that would generate forecasts of unprecedented precision.” To make that happen, the scientists behind the project are contemplating something even more radical: enlisting thousands of ordinary citizens around the world to gather, classify and even help analyze the meteorological data required to build more accurate, real-time models of the Earth’s climate.

    • Sensor networks and the future of forecasting

      Weather has caused great disruption to many lives in both Russia and Pakistan in recent months. While these are separate circumstances, they share common physical factors. The following is a look at how events in one part of the world influence weather elsewhere.

    • BP ultimatum: Let us drill or funds will dry up

      Oil giant BP is telling lawmakers that if it isn’t allowed to get new offshore drilling permits in the Gulf, it will not be able to afford to pay for the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the New York Times reported in its Friday edition.

      The Times reports the UK-based oil giant is on the warpath against a drilling reform bill passed by the House earlier this summer that would effectively bar BP from getting new drilling permits in the US.

      The CLEAR Act, passed by the House in July, includes an amendment (PDF) that states any oil company that has received more than $10 million in safety fines, or has seen more than 10 workers killed in the past seven years, is barred from being granted new drilling permits. The Times notes that, currently, only BP fits that criteria.

    • How Big Oil will stop my children from driving electric cars

      One reason is that the Department for Transport can no longer afford to help me buy one. The government has allocated £43m to subsidise ultra-low-carbon cars, but at £5,000 a car that’s only enough to help the first few thousand of us who switch over. So whether or not I end up with an electric car doesn’t have a great deal to do with consumer subsidies.

  • Finance

    • The problem with economics

      Monetary theory seems to have fallen in disgrace. Very few academics actually focus on macro monetary theory as it is judged irrelevant. Austrians treat money as if it didn’t exist. Keynesians barely scratch the subject. Ironically I had to read marxists to actually make sense of the banking system (critical eye I suppose). Yet the macro cycle, the minsky cycle, receives a huge contribution from monetary levels. As monetary mass increases (say subprime debt) the price of assets run-away in a positive feedback loop (more debt, more money, more expensive assets, better returns, more debt). This is why the initial phase of a monetary minsky cycle is such a political aphrodisiac. Open the money valves and watch your economy grow in nominal and real terms.

    • Analysts: Iraq war ‘partly to blame’ for financial crisis

      The financial crisis that rocked the world in 2008 and still reverberates today was “due at least in part” to the Iraq war, which also made it more difficult for the government to react when economic problems happened, argue two prominent policy makers.

      In an article in Sunday’s Washington Post, former Clinton-era economic adviser Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University public policy lecturer Linda J. Bilmes say that the Iraq war forced the US to take on more debt than it had to, and caused in part the rising oil prices that resulted in large amounts of money flowing out of the US economy.

    • British economy in ‘great danger’, trades union warns

      The government’s programme of drastic spending cuts is putting the British economy in “great danger”, the Trades Union Congress has warned ahead of its annual conference opening in Manchester on Monday.

    • Goolsbee Refuses to Say How Many Jobs Obama’s New Stimulus Will Create

      President Barack Obama spent last week rolling out new plans to help America’s struggling economy — $50 billion in infrastructure spending and about $200 billion in tax cuts for companies’ investments in research and development. But just how many jobs will these pricey proposals create?

    • FTSE 100 executive bonuses close to pre-crisis levels

      Executive bonuses are close to their level before the financial crisis, a survey by business advisory firm Deloitte says.

      It found that the average bonuses for directors of FTSE 100 firms amounted to 100% of their basic salary, rising to 140% in the top 30 public companies.

      However, Deloitte said the days of fast increases in executive salaries were over for the present.

      And in mid-sized FTSE 250 firms, one in seven paid no bosses’ bonus last year.

    • Bankruptcy Court Is Latest Battleground for Traders

      “Now what happens is you have very sophisticated people whose primary objective is material gain,” says Harvey Miller, a veteran bankruptcy lawyer at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. “You’ve changed [bankruptcy] from at least the semblance of a rehabilitative approach to a casino approach of ‘how do I make more money?’”

    • Trustee for Rothstein Law Firm Files Clawback Suits Worth $14 Million

      The bankruptcy trustee for Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler is casting a wider net to recover money distributed by the insolvent Fort Lauderdale, Fla., law firm in the final months before it tanked in a spectacular $1.2 billion fraud.

      Berger Singerman attorney David L. Gay, representing court-appointed trustee Herbert Stettin, filed a series of eight clawback actions late Friday seeking $14.2 million that went out the door within 90 days of the bankruptcy at Scott Rothstein’s law firm.

      The investment commitments illustrate the success of Rothstein’s Ponzi scheme as he recruited investors with promises of annual returns as high as 164 percent.

    • Trading Eludes Dodd-Frank as Investors See Black Box

      It took a Congressional inquiry this year to force Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to disclose how much it made in the mortgage market — and that was only for 2007.

      Goldman Sachs hasn’t revealed mortgage-trading revenue since then, leaving investors to guess how much it contributes to the fixed-income, currency and commodities division, or FICC, which also trades junk bonds, yen, oil and uranium, sells weather derivatives and operates power plants. The division brought in $23.3 billion last year, or 52 percent of the New York-based firm’s total, and by itself would rank 90th by revenue in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, just ahead of McDonald’s Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

      The Dodd-Frank Act, designed to prevent future financial crises, does little to improve investors’ ability to analyze results at the five biggest U.S. firms that trade securities, which together lost $38.6 billion as markets froze in the fourth quarter of 2008. Since taxpayers may have to bail out banks again, firms should be forced to disclose more, said Tanya Azarchs, former head of North American bank research at Standard & Poor’s.

      “The health of the banking system impinges on all areas of the economy,” said Azarchs, now a consultant in Briarcliff Manor, New York. “So their disclosure has to be top-notch.”

    • Banks get years to adjust to new global rules

      Bankers and analysts said new global rules could mean less money available to lend to businesses and consumers, but praised a decision to leave plenty of time – until 2019 – before the financial stability requirements come into full force.

      The so-called Basel III rules, which will gradually require banks to hold greater capital buffers to absorb potential losses, are likely to affect the credit industry by imposing stricter discipline on credit cards, mortgages and other loans.

    • How Many Jobs Do We Need?

      Do those unemployed really need jobs? Some economists suggest that many are just free-riding on the rest of us by taking extended unemployment benefits. In last week’s post, I argued that a focus on the decline in wage and salary jobs is useful, because it sidesteps the assertion that the unemployed are just pretending to want work.

    • New banking rules lift global markets

      A warm response to new global banking rules and robust Chinese economic data shored up sentiment in the markets Monday, with stocks up strongly, the euro climbing over a cent against the dollar and oil prices spiking to a one-month high.

    • Regulators Back New Bank Rules to Avert Crises

      The world’s top bank regulators agreed Sunday on far-reaching new rules intended to make the global banking industry safer and protect international economies from future financial disasters.

      The new requirements will more than triple the amount of capital that banks must hold in reserve, an effort to move banks toward more conservative positions and force them to maintain a larger cushion against potential losses. They come two years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers set off a worldwide banking crisis that required billions in government bailouts.

    • Wis. Harley workers approve contract to freeze pay

      The proposed deal freezes employees’ pay, slashes hundreds of production jobs and assigns large volumes of work to part-time workers. But it also saves at hundreds of other jobs, at least in the short-term.

    • Regulators meeting in Switzerland agree on new global rules to strengthen banks

      Regulators meeting in Basel, Switzerland, on Sunday agreed to take new steps to immunize the financial system from the sort of crisis that pushed the world into recession two years ago.

    • Global banking rules aim to balance safety, growth

      Banks will have to significantly increase their capital reserves under rules endorsed Sunday by the world’s major central banks, which are trying to prevent another financial collapse without impeding the fragile economic recovery.

      The new banking rules are designed to strengthen bank finances and rein in excessive risk-taking, but some banks have protested that they may dampen the recovery by forcing them to reduce the lending that fuels economic growth.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • No recession here: Election spending sets records

      Turns out politics, for all its focus on the gloomy economy, is a recession-proof industry.

      This year’s volatile election is bursting with money, setting fundraising and spending records in a high-stakes struggle for control of Congress amid looser but still fuzzy campaign finance rules.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • MPs backed down from calling Rebekah Brooks to Commons

      Brooks was summoned to give evidence for the committee’s report, Press Standards, Privacy and Libel. Most of the hearings were held in early 2009. But a second round of hearings were held in the summer after fresh allegations about phone hacking were published by the Guardian in July 2009.

      The committee was highly critical of News International, which said that the News of the World’s former royal editor Clive Goodman, jailed for his role in phone hacking, was a rogue reporter. The committee accused Rupert Murdoch’s company of “collective amnesia”.

    • Polls Show Netizens Oppose Craigslist’s Censorship
    • Zimbabwe: Mugabe bans music group over “chicken” song

      Zimbabwe’s government has banned South African group Freshlyground over a music video that portrays President Mugabe as a chicken afraid to relinquish power.

    • Swaziland pro-democracy protesters threatened with torture

      Swaziland has threatened pro-democracy activists with torture as tensions in sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy continue to grow.

      The warning that sipakatane – beating people’s feet with spikes – could be used against protesters was condemned by trade unions in the country after a week in which 50 protesters were arrested and several foreigners treated roughly and deported.

    • Archbishop Bans Pop Music at Funerals

      Eric Idle of Monty Python discusses the popularity of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” one of the songs a Roman Catholic leader in Australia does not want to hear during funerals.

      On Thursday in Australia, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne announced a ban on the playing of pop music at funerals, which, he said, are not to be described as “a celebration of the life of” the deceased.

    • “Magic Words” Trump User Rights: Ninth Circuit Ruling in Vernor v. Autodesk

      In a triumph of legal formalism over reality, the Court held that the copyright’s first sale doctrine – the law that allows you to resell books and that protects libraries and archives from claims of copyright infringement – doesn’t apply to software (and possibly DVDs, CDs and other “licensed” content) as long as the vendor saddles the transfer with enough restrictions to transform what the buyer may think is sale into a mere license.

    • School suspends crying son of murdered man because his eyes were red

      A high school in the town of Trophy Club, TX suspended a 16-year-old boy because he came to school with bloodshot eyes. School administrators say that’s enough to make the case he was using marijuana.

    • Tightened muzzle on scientists is ‘Orwellian’

      Documents reveal federal researchers, whose work is financed by taxpayers, need approval from Ottawa before speaking with media

    • Benioff monitors worker communications

      Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff has been monitoring worker communications to identify key employees.

      Chatter is a Salesforce social networking tool designed to plug into the companies’ customer relationship management software. Chatter lets staff post status updates in a similar manner to Twitter, and review feeds, like Facebook.

    • Once Again, Yelp Not Liable For Reviews Someone Doesn’t Like

      It’s really quite stunning how frequently people sue review sites because they’re unhappy about reviews of their business. You would hope that the lawyers these upset business owners use would know better — but all too often the lawyers appear to be totally unfamiliar with Section 230 of the CDA and with the basic concept of properly applying liability to the party who actually did the action. And every time this happens, the case gets thrown out on 230 grounds. It’s happened yet again, with a dentist having a case against Yelp dismissed thanks to Section 230.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Market Extremism in Spectrum Policy

      So to get back to spectrum policy, the ideal regime would be one in which there was no spectrum rules at all and devices self-organized to avoid interfering with one another. Given that that’s not within the realm of technical possibility, the questions we should ask are: which set of regulations maximizes the freedom of individuals to use the spectrum as they choose? And which set of regulations will lead to the most efficient utilization of spectrum? Jerry’s preferred scheme of exclusive licenses for the entire spectrum doesn’t fit the bill because it puts a thumb on the scale in favor of large, capital-intensive firms that can win multi-billion dollar auctions. (Yes, some firm or charity might win an auction and choose to create a WiFi-style band, but such applications would be very much second-class citizens.) Similarly, a “pure” commons regime doesn’t fit the bill because it only leaves room for small-scale, short-range applications like WiFi. What’s needed is a policy that accommodates both uses.

    • British Telecomm and Cisco’s Network Neutrality Fix

      British Telecomm and Cisco are quietly putting their own answer to Network Neutrality in place: Set up an entirely separate national wide network, Content Connect This will be used to deliver the BBC’s forthcoming Internet video and Video on Demand (VoD) service Project Canvas to users.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • No P2P for Irish Vodaphone customers? – and then a change of mind?

        Vodaphone, the provider of mobile and broadband services has allegedly prohibited the use of p2p protocols on its networks albeit verbally. Whilst a p2p blow to the phone service would be bad enough, the fact that they have taken the step to hit the desktop services aswel would be for many, a step too far.

        Looking past the customers that would be driven to other providers who have not taken this stance, I would like to address a point raised by The Mad Hatter and where previously my own lack of foresight negated to consider a potential problem when p2p was linked with “piracy”.

      • Sarko hit by ‘asshole’ Googlebomb

        Nikolas Sarkozy has become the latest high profile victim of a Google bomb, after bloggers linked his Facebook page to the phrase “trou du cul”.

      • Bollywood ‘recruits DDoS hired guns to fight movie pirates’

        An Indian firm claims it was hired to carry out denial of service attacks against film download and torrent tracker websites at the behest of Bollywood movie distributors in India.

        Girish Kumar, managing director of Aiplex Software, said it was paid to search for sites offering download of newly released films, before issuing copyright takedown notices.

      • Video game piracy: Is it good for business?

        Putting digital diversions in more people’s hands and letting them pay what they want, when they want, has the potential to massively expand gaming’s reach and profitability. By taking the same approach Google has to online advertising, clever game makers could turn rampant copying of games not only into the sincerest form of flattery but into a workable future.

      • Court ruling in Eminem case may raise pay for digital downloads

        In a development that could have fallout in the world of digital music, Eminem stands to gain tens of millions of dollars in a federal court decision handed down Friday.

      • Disruption: how one webcomic welcomes the future that so many fear

        A copy of the famous xkcd comic “Duty Calls” hangs just outside my office door, signed by creator Randall Munroe. I didn’t have to pay for the comic; it was free to view anytime, and I could have printed the (smaller) Web version if I desperately needed it on my wall. But xkcd is funny, Randall comes across as a good guy whose work I’d like to support, the print came signed on thick paper stock and printed at a higher resolution, and it was about $15. The real question isn’t why I paid; it’s why wouldn’t I pay?

        Munroe’s approach to “protecting” his content might be best defined as “lenient.”

      • Copyright and free speech in conflict

        Some very interesting copyright events being reported this weekend. The most concerning is from the New York Times, who report that Microsoft lawyers are co-operating with Russian police to suppress environmental and civil society campaign groups, by taking the groups to court for violations of Microsoft copyright.

        The strategy seems to be to pick government enemies exclusively, and raid their premises to find copyright violations; ie, copied, unlicensed software. Since illicit copying of software is rampant in Russia, the chances of success are high, and the penalties are conveniently very severe.

      • The Super Highway and censorship

        More cars, more highways, stricter copyright, censorship – absolutely primitive ideas!

        In a fragile democracy like the mexican one, with few formal ways of influencing policy, we have to be alert and protest every time copyright is used to censor the voice of citizens or control public space.

        Even though YouTube shows in this broken link that the department of communication of the state of Jalisco as the ones that asking for the removal of the video, the government has issue official statements through Twitter, denying their involvement in the removal of “Via Express en el mundo”.

      • artists and record companies

        Last week the music industry was shaken by court decision on a lawsuit. Universal Music, one of the big four record companies. has been ordered to distribute more of the money collected in royalties to the rap star Eminem.

        [...]

        Universal is unwilling to give creator Eminem 50% of the profits.

        This record company is going to go back to court and fight this.

      • Geist: Significant new costs loom for students

        This is a win-win situation for the educational sector and creators of educational works. The savings happen not by not paying creators, but by getting rid of unnecessary overhead that exists in the educational publishing sector. It also gets rid of the necessity for per-student licensing from organisations like Access Copyright, with the educational sector then calling upon collectives as a “one stop shopping” for the remaining (primarily fiction) materials that students still require that use royalty-based licensing models.

        Will the Canadian educational sector make the right decision, or will they continue to be behind the times in their adoption of Open Access? Lets not take these articles as a justification for feeling sorry for the educational sector’s self-inflicted wounds, but as a reminder that they have some forward-facing choices to make.

      • CC is for Creator’s Choice

        Creative Commons licensing is a marvelous tool that allows creators to get around the detrimental and restrictive aspects of copyright law. Creators can release their work in the way that they want to.

        The reason I love Raffaella Traniello’s film so much is because it does such a good job getting the message across. Every song I’ve heard, every movie I’ve watched, every picture I’ve seen, every bit of art I’ve ever been exposed to, everything that has danced across my senses has been absorbed and makes me who I am. The creativity of others has become part of my life experience, and as it’s distilled through my unconscious and forms the basis of my own creativity. No art comes out of a vacuum; it collaborates with a culture. Art needs to share and be shared, which is why I believe that the current copyright law has already gone too far.

      • Vandals’ Bass Player Not A Fan Of The Public Domain, Thinks PD Recordings Will ‘Destroy’ Classical Music

        We’ve covered how Vandals’ bass player, Joe Escalante, a former entertainment industry lawyer, is currently in the middle of a legal fight with Reed Elsevier over a parody logo the band briefly used — but has since stopped using. His discussions of the lawsuit have been interesting and informative, so I’m a bit shocked to see the following article, submitted by a bunch of folks where Escalante goes a bit off his rocker in attacking the public domain as “communism.” Honestly, I had to read it a few times, and am still sort of wondering if this is pure satire. If it is, bravo. If it’s not, Escalante may have taken cluelessness about the public domain to previously unheard of levels.

      • Online appeal sets classical music free

        The project, Musopen, aims to deal with a problem caused by the way copyright laws work. Although the actual symphonies written by composers in, for example, the 19th century are long out of copyright, there is separate protection for every individual performance by an orchestra. That means that in most cases, the only recordings currently in the public domain are very old performances generally recorded with poor quality equipment and plagued with hiss and crackle.

      • Attribution

        The most basic element included in all of the six standard Creative Commons licenses is “Attribution“.
        In other words, when using the the digital works of others, the license requirement is to give the artist credit for the work we are using. As far as I know, the only CC license that doesn’t require this is the public domain license.

        Even so, I prefer to credit the artist if I know who it is. For pre-digital creative work, a lot of effort can go into trying to find out who the artist was. There’s speculation that Shakespeare didn’t really write the plays he is attributed with having written.

      • ACTA

        • Latest leaked draft of secret copyright treaty: US trying to cram DRM rules down the world’s throats

          Ironically, this DRM push comes just as the US courts and regulators have begun to erode the US’s own extreme rules on the subject. Or perhaps this isn’t so surprising: in the past, the US copyright lobby has torpedoed the courts and Congress by getting USA to commit to international agreements that went far beyond the rules that they could push through on their own at home.

        • ACTA hanging on a camembert ?

          The representatives of Act Up-Paris, April and La Quadrature du Net met on September 10th with one of the French officials in charge of the ACTA negotiations. Strong concerns remain regarding the way this anti-Counterfeiting agreement is bypassing democratic processes. Whether it is access to medicines in poor countries, free communication on the Internet or the protection of Free software, the recent modifications to the text don’t change anything to the dangerous nature of ACTA. Ironically, the hopes to see this illegitimate agreement rejected now depend on the ability of the European Union to defend its camembert, its parmesan and its champagne…

Clip of the Day

Qt for S60 – PLC Realtime data


Credit: TinyOgg

09.12.10

Links 12/9/2010: KDE Coverage, Salix Review, Other Free Software/Open Source News Items

Posted in News Roundup at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Thanks, [Microsoft]

      15 years ago you produced a product so bad that it drove me to use GNU/Linux. Thanks.

      In 2000 I was using Lose 3.1 on my personal PC, a 486DX with some RAM. It would crash on me when I tried to print. I gave that up by then. At work I was using five Pentium Pros in class. Lose ’95 would freeze hourly on one of the other just running a browser or word-processor in 72 MB.

    • The Life of the PC

      Conclusion? We should see PCs sticking around a lot longer. After all the average PC in business is now about six years old and still doing well. It is a waste to change when not necessary. The result could be PCs lasting until ten years of age. Guess what OS works well on older machines? GNU/Linux. Thin clients often use it for puny 300 MHz processors. A 2 gHz machine is a wondrous thing in comparison.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Demystifying OpenGL Desktop Effects

        12. KWin will require OpenGL 3 in 4.6:
        No, please see my blog post where I wrote that I want to have OpenGL 3 support in 4.7.

        13. KWin will require OpenGL 3 in 4.7:
        No, this will also be only an additional feature. KWin supports multiple backends and it does not make any sense to remove a working backend which is required for all mesa users and users of graphic cards which cannot handle OpenGL 3.

      • Watch out KDE! MS now owns Qt by proxy…

        He will be transferring over later in the month. What does this mean for KDE, Qt and Nokia’s part in open source technologies such as MeeGo? It could mean that they slowly pull themselves out of open source due to Microsoft’s influence. They could also decide to stop investing money into it while pretending to contribute.

      • Manage your digital camera in Linux with DigiKam

        For those of you who thought managing external devices like digital cameras in Linux was a challenge, I give you DigiKam. DigiKam is an advanced digital photo management application for Linux, Windows, and Mac. DigiKam allows the user to view, manage, edit, enhance, organize, tag, and share photographs easily in the Linux operating system. It boasts tons of features that rival and/or exceed those of similar applications on other operating systems.

      • David Solbach

        This week the behindkde.org interview is with one of the unknown powers behind the sysadmin team. It’s David Solbach. Click on the image to see where David was during the “Fjällraven Classic”.

        He is the maintainer of reviewboard.kde.org. He not only knows his way around reviewing code, but also knows how to design and develop diagnostic blood analyzers and was hit when the dot com bubble bursted. Enjoy an entertaining and interesting interview with David!

      • Amarok 2.3.2 Beta 1 Review

        The version tested is the 2.3.2 Beta 1 release, put out earlier this year, running on top of Kubuntu 10.10 Beta. Amarok improved a lot since I last took a look at it (I’m still using KDE 3.5 with the old – but stable – Debian Lenny).

      • Burner (Fire Edition) – Bring Some Heat To Your Favorite KDE Media Burner

        I recently had occasion to be perusing KDE-Look.org for some nice new wallpapers the other day when I glanced over to the left at all the site’s category selections and was curious when I saw the category for K3b. With interest getting the best of me I clicked on the K3b category and right up at the top of the results list I found this killer K3b Theme. Although I’m not one to be overly concerned with tweaking all aspects of my Mint KDE setup, one look and I knew I had to install this theme pronto. It just screamed “cool”.

      • Nepomuk+strigi as desktop search

        In the last weeks I – once again – got fed-up with strigi/nepomuk being of no use to me. Since KDE 4.0 I long for a desktop search, i.e. some way of finding files and getting a result list such as google etc. has it, i.e. including some context around the string found in the document and not just a file list. Anything else would just be a faster version of kfind for that task. And since I do not use tags, it is the only desktop search task for me.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • REVIEW: Salix 13.1-rc1 (Live LXDE)

        As I say, Ive deployed Linux quite extensively, from friends and family to friends of friends and our local computer club. Most of these people have no clue what an operating system is or how to install one and merely want an escape from their Windows desktop. When looking at a distro for OpenBytes, I consider two things – would I want this on my main rig? and; How easy will this be to deploy and provide support for to a user who may not have any experience of Linux. In both cases Salix received a favorable answer. Little things like a package that installs the multimedia codecs is very welcome as if I am around a friend’s house installing it on their desktop, I want things handed on a plate, so that I spend as little time as possible.

        The speedy install times, make this a very attractive distro for me to deploy to others too and with the one click installation of all the codecs I could wish for also appeals greatly to me (although is not unique to Salix and Sabayon 5.3 (currently on my main rig, offers the same feature at install time)

        The installation itself was simple and I think shows just how far Linux on the desktop has come. Not so long ago, there were only a handful of distro’s that truly offered a user friendly installation, now it seems a “minimum standard” of any new release.

        Salix (thanks to its LXDE flavour) is very fast. Whilst some will find LXDE too simple looking and would probably migrate towards KDE or Gnome, LXDE affords even the lowest of specs a very fast, functional performance and a great introduction to a Slackware distro. If you are after a Slack distro that spares a thought for the new or inexperienced user, give Salix a go. Either way, seasoned Linux expert or Linux newbie, Salix LXDE is a great release and very worthy of a look.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010 Spring (Gnome Desktop version)

        Mandriva is a pretty cool Linux Distribution (distro) which I have been using since it’s installation borked my Linux Mint partition. The graphical install was very simple but the installer did not recognise my Mint partition and add it to the Boot Menu. I was disappointed with this because my experience with Debian based distros is that they always recognise other Linux partitions and add them to the boot menu. I had created dual boot and triple booting systems before yet I could not get this to work with Mandriva

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ideas get greased at NCSU’s ‘Garage’

        N.C. State graduate student Andrew Misenheimer studies at The Garage, a 2,000-square-foot incubator for student entrepreneurs. It was sponsored by Raleigh-based Linux software company Red Hat.

        [...]

        Miller didn’t have to put on the hard sell to convince Red Hat to sponsor TheGarage.

      • Fedora

        • OLF 2010, day 0.

          I’m writing this from the Red Hat booth at Ohio Linux Fest 2010, which is bustling with visitors, so sorry if this is a little brief. For me Day 0 was yesterday (Friday). Some people, like Mel Chua, Ruth Suehle, and Robyn Bergeron, were here yesterday doing some awesome talks and generally spreading open source gospel here in Columbus, Ohio. Meanwhile, I drove about 2 hours to Baltimore, Maryland to catch my flight to the event. When I landed I met Brian Pepple at the world famous Cup O Joe stand, Spot landed soon after, and Brian took us to the hotel.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The road not taken

          I am not an Ubuntu old-timer. I remember as far back as 5.10, but certainly there is a smaller circle of true Ubuntu veterans.

          And I am definitely not a Linux old-timer. I am a mere babe in the woods, comparatively speaking, and I try my best to remind myself of that fact regularly. There is always someone who knows more than you.

          It has been almost five years since I started out with Ubuntu though, and things have changed dramatically since then.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Triteq designs open source 3D imaging software

      Triteq has completed an open source design for a medical 3D imaging system capable of taking eight 5Mpixel images a second.

      [...]

      For hardware, Triteq chose an i.MX515 microprocessor from Freescale built into a Wi-MX51 module from Digi International, running Linux from Timesys.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Fall to bring Google TV, just in time for Apple TV faceoff

          Google announced Google TV in May of this year during its own developer conference, touting the device as a more open alternative to the closed set-top boxes out there (particularly the Apple TV). Because it will be Android-based and search-driven, third-party developers are expected to hop on board with a plethora of TV offerings—companies like Netflix and Amazon have already created native apps to run on Google TV.

        • Open thread: Will Google TV change your viewing habits?
        • Garmin’s Android Powered Navigation Phone

          The Garmin-Asus A50 is a sleek, full-touch 3G smartphone with a large 3.5-inch screen integrated with Garmin’s robust navigation experience for fast and reliable, on-board navigation. The company claims that A50 has everything users need to stay connected to the people important to them.

        • How to build the perfect Android tablet, part 4: Resolution and aspect ratio

          For this installment I want to return to the display and discuss a different, um, aspect with you. My pick for the 4th most important feature of the perfect tablet is:

          #4: A high resolution display that is wide but not *too* wide

        • STFU about Android and “open” [OPINION]

          Android users and media personnel frequently complain that carriers and manufacturers change the Android experience and that’s not “in the spirit” of open, which is a false statement. The changes those companies make is a direct reflection of open. Google wrote the code, made it available to the OHA, and the OHA members made their tweaks.

          That is why we have to refocus the discussion into the proper terms. If you embrace Android because it is open, then address the negative impacts of that openness appropriately. Don’t rail against companies for changing Android and claim that it violates the spirit of openness. Rail against those companies because those changes don’t meet your tastes or needs. You can’t have it both ways and extol open source as a virtue then complain when companies rightfully change the source to create a product they think consumers want.

          So, everybody, focus on the end results and address them accordingly. Do us all a favor and STFU about open source.

        • Dell Streak Android tablet source code now available

          Dell has released the source code for its Streak and Aero devices. The Streak is a 5 inch Android tablet or smartphone, depending on how you look at it, while the Aero is pretty inarguably a phone.

          Google Android is built on open source software and uses a version of the Linux kernel at its core. While Google keeps some source closed when it’s developing new versions of the operating system, it tends to release them as open source upon launch, allowing smartphone makers and wireless carriers to make core changes to the operating system to meet their needs.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Killed on a Technicality

    In 1994 Eddie Lee Howard was convicted of raping and murdering 84-year-old Georgia Kemp. Kemp was found dead in her Columbus, Mississippi, home by firefighters after a neighbor noticed smoke coming from the house. Investigators determined the fire was set intentionally.

    Kemp’s body was taken to controversial Mississippi medical examiner Steven Hayne, who would later lose his lucrative niche as the state’s go-to guy for autopsies after years of criticism for sloppy work that rarely failed to confirm prosecutors’ suspicions. Hayne concluded that Kemp died of knife wounds and said he found signs of rape, although the rape kit taken from Kemp turned up no biological evidence that the technology available at the time could test for DNA.

  • Wikileaks: Three Digital Myths
  • So people spend a fortune on office chairs?

    On the one hand I accept that you spend a lot of time sitting in chairs when you’re working upon a computer. On the left I find the idea of spending £750+ on a chair a little insane.

    For the past few years I’ve had a kneeling chair over time this has gotten pretty “squished” and “flat”. (Specifically the part where my knees go.)

    So I decided to get a new chair. What did I buy? a large rubber ball!

  • Security/Aggression

    • Internet Scammer Gets Nearly 13 Years for $1.3M Fraud

      A Nigerian man gets sentenced to 151 months in prison for a scam that stole $1.3 million from victims.

    • DHS Cybersecurity Watchdogs Miss Hundreds of Vulnerabilities on Their Own Network

      The federal agency in charge of protecting other agencies from computer intruders was found riddled with hundreds of high-risk security holes on its own systems, according to the results of an audit released Wednesday.

      The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT, monitors the Einstein intrusion-detection sensors on nonmilitary government networks, and helps other civil agencies respond to hack attacks. It also issues alerts on the latest software security holes, so that everyone from the White House to the FAA can react quickly to install workarounds and patches.

    • Do Mummies Have a Right to Privacy?

      The traditionally held assumption that ancient corpses are “fair game” for scientists to dissect and investigate is wilting under new pressure from leading academics. And The New Scientist’s Jo Marchant is on the scene to suss out the moral debate on what can or can’t be probed when dealing with ancient human remains.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Tea Party Suicide – Why Closing The United States Environmental Protection Agency Is Part Of The Platform

      One of the agencies most often mentioned for closure is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Unlike the other agencies that are often cited as not needed, the EPA doesn’t have a direct connection with the public. Compare that to the Department of Education which has a direct connection to anyone who has children, or have attended school themselves! So why is the EPA on the Tea Party’s hit list?

      Several investigations of the Tea Party have indicated that while it claims to be a non-partisan, grass roots group, it is heavily funded by corporate backers. The New Yorker recently ran an article titled Covert Operations – The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. Other media outlets who have carried out investigations have confirmed the connection.

      Koch Industries is heavily involved in the oil and coal industries. The brothers who own the firm are rich by anyone’s standard. They pay a lot of taxes, and produce materials which are either regulated by the EPA, or have effects that are regulated by the EPA.. They have a vested interest in reducing the impact of government regulation, and government costs on themselves and their company. Curiously the very things that the Tea Party is concerned with.

      [...]

      Fake grass roots campaigns have a nasty habit of back firing. Take the Tea Party’s support for closing the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has been responsible for cleaning up some truly horrible pollution.

      [...]

      Koch’s funding of the Tea Party is an attempt to evade responsibility, an attempt that the Tea Party members will not stand for when the connections become clear to them. They don’t like being taken advantage of, and this is what Koch is doing.

      Koch will continue to try and hide the funding connections, and the policy connections. But in the long term they will fail. Too many people are curious now. Too many people are looking at what is happening. Too many people know that many of the Tea Party policies disadvantage Tea Party members. When a group is disadvantaged by it’s policies, there is solid evidence that someone hiding behind the scenes is attempting to use them for his or her own advantage.

  • Finance

    • £32,000 a day for council website as 26,000 face job cuts

      Birmingham Wired have uncovered that Birmingham City Council spend on average £32,000 a day maintaining a council website that has cost the tax-payer over £48 million to date, while councils nationwide prepare to say goodbye to 26,000 jobs due to budget deficits.

    • Not Enough Labor Day

      Today, many Americans will be enjoying a respite from the incessant demands of their jobs. But many Americans will be wishing desperately they could trade the holiday for the incessant demands of a job. This year, given the state of the economy, Labor Day should be called Not Enough Labor Day.

    • Resignation cake sender has invoice cake delivered to People.com
    • Reclaiming Rights

      The U.S. is in an economic, fiscal, and public policy crisis with no end in sight. Indeed, it looks almost certain to get far worse. We can and will talk about what rights need to be reasserted, what programs need to be cut, what sectors of this American life need to be left the hell alone. But until we make a dent in the widespread notion that there always has to be some type of government structure or some taxpayer-financed watchdog to police every imaginable peaceable transaction, any contemplated fix to the mess we’re in will be temporary at best.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Tea Party multi-level marketing scheme

      The mellifluously named TeaPartyBizOpp.info (presumably the .com was taken?) is a pyramid scheme that recruits disgruntled wingnuts to “Get Paid To Stop Liberal Tyranny!” by “helping raise funds to defend our freedom.”

    • BCE-CTV deal remakes media landscape

      BCE Inc. BCE-T has agreed to acquire full ownership of CTV Inc. in a $1.3-billion deal that dramatically reshapes the landscape of Canadian media and telecommunications, and changes the ownership structure of The Globe and Mail.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • O’Brien: Campaign against Craigslist reaches absurd heights

      In the end, Craigslist did the only sensible thing it could do to end the controversy over its adult services ads by shutting them down, as critics demanded. And even that turned out not to be enough to silence the opportunistic campaign against the online classifieds site.

    • US government can demand your cellphone data

      A US federal appeals court said that government agencies do not need a warrant showing probable cause under the Fourth Amendment to demand the mobile phone location records from carriers.

    • ACLU sues over warrantless border laptop searches

      Citing the government’s own figures, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers claim about 6,500 persons had their electronic devices searched along the U.S. border since October 2008. In one instance, according to the lawsuit filed in New York, a computer laptop was seized from a New York man at the Canadian border and not returned for 11 days. The lawsuit seeks no monetary damages, but asks the court to order an end to the searches.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Playstation 3 Jailbreaking an Open Source of Controversy

      A little over a month ago a fellow IP Brief blogger reported on a very interesting decision handed down by the Librarian of Congress granting exemptions to the DCMA. The decision was triumphantly lauded by fair use advocates and not so happily received by certain others.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

‘Free Software and Free Media’


Credit: TinyOgg

09.11.10

Links 11/9/2010: Android Statistics, Motorola MZ600 Linux-powered Tablet

Posted in News Roundup at 6:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Biometric Hardware with Linux and GPL violations

    So I had the chance to watch one of the biometrics terminal boot. What was my surprise when I see on the small LCD a Penguin and the word LINUX.

    Well this product is made by ZK-USA, and consulting their site there is some reference to Linux OS.

    I didn’t had access to the documentation in box but I can’t see anything on their website related to GPL. I’m no specialist at GPL, but I will go deep on this tomorrow, related to the papers that came with the hardware to see if they are violating GPL or not.

  • Desktop

    • Don’t Waste Money on a New Computer for College

      Heading off to college? Here’s my suggestion: buy a used laptop from Craigslist and install Ubuntu onto it. Seriously.

    • Is Linux-on-the-desktop already mainstream?

      Best estimates, according to Martin, is that Linux has a share roughly equal to that of MacOSX; which is certainly not a slouch on the desktop/laptop market.

      Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, people decried the fact that Linux wasn’t mainstream – it’s clear that today, it certainly is. A minority, yes, but a mainstream minority – Linux is not in the same category as, say, IBM AIX. So if you wanted to know “when Linux would be mainstream on the desktop,” the answer is probably “around 2009.”

  • Kernel Space

    • Some numbers and thoughts on the stable kernels

      Much attention goes toward mainline kernel releases, but relatively few users are actually running those kernels. Instead, they run kernels provided by their distributors, and those kernels, in turn, are based off the stable kernel series. The practice of releasing stable kernels has been going for well over five years now, so perhaps it’s time to look back at how it has been going.

      [...]

      A couple of conclusions immediately jump out of the table above. The first is that the number of fixes going into stable updates has clearly increased over time. From this one might conclude that our kernel releases have steadily been getting buggier. That is hard to measure, but one should bear in mind that there is another important factor at work here: the kernel developers are simply directing more fixes toward the stable tree. Far more developers are looking at patches with stable updates in mind, and suggestions that a patch should be sent in that direction are quite common. So far fewer patches fall through the cracks than they did in the early days.

    • The kernel column #91 by Jon Masters

      Linux 2.6.35 was finally released last month after what can only be described as a (comparatively) mundane development cycle. With the high drama of the previous cycle, that was hardly very difficult to achieve. Sure, there were the typical Linus rants of the month (the main one focused on Linus’s dislike of the ‘defconfig’ files that he sees as cluttering up the kernel tree with tens of thousands of lines of reference configuration files that could live elsewhere – like on the websites for the various supported architectures that create them) and there were a few harsh words for one of the C library maintainers. But there was no giant flame war related to graphics, or security modules, nor calls of protest at Linus’s ever ongoing effort to herd the developers into a focus on stability and regression-fighting prior to release. It was, in short, a rather sleepy summer month in which it seemed people were often busy being away on vacation or being at one of the usual round of conference events. I myself managed both of these things to a greater or lesser extent, and I was grateful for a little less mailing list traffic to catch up on.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • TI tip multi-platform ARM Cortex A15 “Eagle” mobile devices

      As Carlson points out, that sort of virtualization isn’t particularly new; earlier this week, VirtualLogix demonstrated Android 2.2, Chrome OS and Ubuntu Linux all running simultaneously on a Texas Instruments OMAP Blaze developer device (pictured above).

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Spam Trends and Android
        • Dell Streak Gets Android 2.1 Update

          Dell’s just released monster of a phone (it’s also a tablet) Streak was famous for running an ancient version of Android OS (1.6). Dell had promised an update to Froyo soon after the launch.

        • Early Android 2.2 Build for Acer Liquid Leaked
        • Best Buy Offering G2 Pre-Sales NOW
        • Froyo on 28% of Android Devices; 2.x Over 70%

          The Android Platform Versions page has been updated yet again, only this time, Froyo (Android 2.2) is holding a large 28.7% slice of the pie. Granted, Eclair (Android 2.1) still clings to a decent lead with 41.7%, but Froyo is creeping up there. Following Froyo is Donut (1.6), with 17.5%, as Cupcake (1.5) rounds out the pack with a mere 12%. This is a huge change compared to a month ago, when Froyo only had 4.5% and Eclair led the pack with a commanding 59.7%.

        • T-Mobile’s Android 2.2 phone launches on 4G-like HSPA+ network

          T-Mobile USA announced an HTC-manufactured heir to its original G1 Android phone, touted as the first handset to support the company’s new 4G-like HSPA+ network. The T-Mobile G2 runs Android 2.2 on a new 800MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7230 processor, and offers 4GB internal and 8GB external flash, dual cameras, and a 3.7-inch screen with a hinge-slider QWERTY keyboard.

    • Tablets

      • Motorola MZ600 Tablet Appears in Verizon Inventory

        It’s almost a certainty that the Moto tablet will end up with some sort of Droid branding as well. Whether it be DroidPad or DroidTab or something entirely different, we can’t see VZW missing out on the built-in marketing for the Droid line giving a big boost for a new tablet. In fact, even though leaks suggest the Galaxy Tab from Samsung will hit the carrier, I wouldn’t be surprised if that tablet is delayed until after the launch of this Motorola device in the same way the Fascinate was held off until after the release of the Droid X and Droid 2.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An algorithm for automated closure during assembly

    Conclusions: The algorithm is useful for small-genome automated finishing projects. Our implementation is available as open-source from http://wgs-assembler.sourceforge.net under the GNU Public License.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome’s and Firefox’s Plans to Unseat IE

      Mozilla, on the other hand, has limited itself to reaching “near or even to” Chrome 5 with respect to JavaScript performance for its next version of Firefox. Still in beta, Firefox 4 is within the 20 percent target performance of Chrome 5, which would make it much more than 20 percent slower than Chrome 6.

  • Oracle

    • Is VirtualBox on the same path as other Sun software?

      OK, truth be told, Sun didn’t always commit to a consistent release cycle either. What frustrates me though is that the latest version of 3.2.8 has brought with it numerous bugs for Linux. One of which involves the corruption of saved states and the other involves general usability in the main application window. None of which I had seen when Sun directed the application’s development.

  • Education

  • Licensing

    • Two Thank-Yous

      Secondly, I need to thank my colleague Chris DiBona. Two years ago, I gave him quite a hard time that Google prohibited hosting of AGPLv3′d projects on its FLOSS Project Hosting site. The interesting part of our debate was that Chris argued that license proliferation was the reason to prohibit AGPLv3. I argued at the time that Google simply opposed AGPLv3 because many parts of Google’s business model rely on the fact that the GPL behaves in practice somewhat like permissive licenses when deployed in a web services environment.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • RepRap repraps RepRap electronics

        Several people are starting to work on having RepRap make electronics. This includes, of course, making its own circuitry. For example, I’m pleased to say that this blog post itself is rather eclipsed by Johnny Russell’s beautifully neat Arduino Mega Shield made in a RepRap here.

      • Robotic Software Platform Behind Projects Like Segway RMP, Lego Mindstorm Going Open Source

        Yet another important project is going open source. This time, it is the popular robotic software platform called Urbi. Widely popular robotic projects like Segway RMP, Lego Mindstorm, Aldebaran Nao etc. runs on Urbi robotic software platform.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Yahoo claims invention of a Google feature?

    Most people by now will have experienced the live search feature Google is debuting. That aside (and we can look forward to the new ”innovation” Bing offers as a response), its being reported that Google instant was invented in 2005 by an ex-Yahoo product manager.

  • GoDaddy.com Goes on the Auction Block

    GoDaddy.com, the closely held website that registers Internet domain names, has put itself up for sale in an auction that could fetch more than $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

    [...]

    In addition to registering domain names, GoDaddy.com sells e-commerce, security and other services to people and businesses looking to manage their online presence. The company posted revenue between $750 million and $800 million in 2009, according to people familiar with the matter.

  • Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury

    Even as Sarah Palin’s public voice grows louder, she has become increasingly secretive, walling herself off from old friends and associates, and attempting to enforce silence from those around her. Following the former Alaska governor’s road show, the author delves into the surreal new world Palin now inhabits—a place of fear, anger, and illusion, which has swallowed up the engaging, small-town hockey mom and her family—and the sadness she has left in her wake.

    [..]

    Sarah Palin’s connection with her audience is complete. People who admire her believe she is just like them, and this conviction seems to satisfy their curiosity about the objective facts of her life. Those whose curiosity has not been satisfied have their work cut out for them. Palin has been a national figure for barely two years—John McCain selected her as his running mate in August 2008. Her on-the-record statements about herself amount to a litany of untruths and half-truths. With few exceptions—mostly Palin antagonists in journalism and politics whose beefs with her have long been out in the open—virtually no one who knows Palin well is willing to talk about her on the record, whether because they are loyal and want to protect her (a small and shrinking number), or because they expect her prominence to grow and intend to keep their options open, or because they fear she will exact revenge, as she has been known to do.

  • To The Governor and President: Fulfill The Purpose (Part I)

    But until we understand that college is not and never has been about job-training (except for certain fields, such as medicine and law), we’ll never be able to help college or their students to cope with the changing society and economy. In particular, we won’t be able to help students and prospective students avoid excessive debt in the pursuit of higher incomes that they will probably never experience.

  • To The Governor and President: Fulfill The Purpose (Part II)

    Now we need to discuss the K-12 education system. It makes sense that fixing the collegiate system cannot be completed until we are ready to tackle the compulsory Kindergarten through twelfth grade system’s problems.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Revenue and Customs boss says he need not apologise

      The UK’s top tax man has refused to apologise after taking the wrong amount of tax from six million people.

      Dave Hartnett, Permanent Secretary at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), claimed media stories of blunders and IT failures were wrong.

    • Everyone May Hate Goldman Sachs, But Goldman Still Loves Itself

      In an online survey of employees at 80 financial companies, conducted by consulting site Vault.com, Goldman Sachs came in as the No. 1 best place to work. Blackstone came in second, and rival JPMorgan came in third. “Employees at the firm noted that — the media attacks aside — Goldman is still a great place to work, and that’s reflected in its No. 1 ranking,” Derek Loosvelt, the finance editor for Vault, told the Post.

    • Goldman’s still got it, at least on Wall Street

      That had an obvious effect on public perception of the company – with opinion surveys showing that Goldman had a worse reputation even than scandal-plagued BP and Toyota.

    • Michael Lewis: World would be better ‘without Goldman Sachs’
    • Goldman’s hedge fund factory winding down

      As Goldman Sachs Group winds down its Principal Strategies group, the firm will be shutting a business that’s produced some of the most successful hedge fund managers in the world.

    • Goldman Sachs Said to Be Fined by U.K. Financial Regulator

      The U.K. regulator found that Goldman Sachs failed to notify it about the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s investigation of the New York-based firm’s Abacus transaction and of employee Fabrice Tourre’s role in it, according to the person, who spoke anonymously because the penalty hasn’t yet been made public.

    • Goldman Sachs Hit With U.K. Fine
    • Goldman Sachs fined £20m by FSA
    • Goldman Sachs Shifts Majority Of Political Contributions To Republicans

      In the latest example of former Obama supporters on Wall Street turning against the administration, Goldman Sachs has pledged more money to Republicans than to Democrats in this year’s election cycle. It’s the first time the firm has leaned Republican in at least 20 years. (Hat tip to The Street)

      Data from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that in every election since 1990 (when the group started keeping records), Goldman has given most of its money to Democrats. This year, though, Republicans got 54 percent of its campaign money, up from 26 percent in 2006. With about $1.7 million in total funds (to Republicans and Democrats combined) donated so far, Goldman is, as usual, leading the Wall Street pack. Morgan

    • Goldman Leans Republican

      Data from the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) shows Goldman giving more money to Republicans than Democrats for the first time since it began keeping records back in 1990.

      During that 20-year time period covering 11 election cycles, Goldman has donated nearly $21 million to Democrats, nearly double the $12 million it has handed out to Republicans.

    • Politico: Is a Goldman Sachs consultant likely to replace Rahm?

      Now that the rumor of Rahm Emanuel leaving the White House has reached full flower, come the buds of the follow-on rumor — who will replace him as Obama’s chief of staff?

      Politico suggest that Thomas Donilon is the “most likely candidate” and Huff Post agrees sufficiently to write a story with that as the lead.

      Are they sniffing each other’s fumes, or does somebody know something? I guess we’ll find out.

    • Glaxo Nabs Goldman’s Half-Trillion-Pound Deal Maker
    • Goldman Sachs M&A chief to join GSK as CFO
    • Goldman Sachs Economist O’Neill Named Asset Management Chairman

      O’Neill, 53, will remain in London and report to Ed Forst and Tim O’Neill, global co-heads of Goldman Sachs’s investment management division, the New York-based firm said today in an e- mailed statement. The appointment to Goldman Sachs Asset Management, or GSAM, is subject to U.K. regulatory approval, the firm said.

    • The privateers of education – How banks collude with the government to inflate college costs. Student loan debt now surpasses total credit card debt.

      One of the more ominous statistics coming from this recession is that student loan debt has now surpassed total credit card debt in the United States. The reason for this is based on the deep impact of the recession. Credit card debt peak at $975 billion back in September of 2008 and is now down to $826 billion.

      [...]

      The student loan market has enriched a few while pushing on the inflated cost of education to the working and middle class of the country. Clearly people can’t afford the cost of education as it stands and thus go into massive debt (just like housing). As usual, this is part of a bigger theme of squeezing out the middle class from an elite and increasingly desperate banking class. The banking class is bent on making money through usury rates and basically skimming money off people via non-productive means. Plus, they are lending taxpayer backed money. There is a specific reason why college costs have gone up (and are still going up) even though the working and middle class are getting poorer.

      [...]

      Banks have dumped trillions of dollars of bad housing debt onto the taxpayers and have been pushing student loan debt onto the taxpayer as well for years. Al Lord and Tim Fitzpatrick, both Sallie Mae big names have pulled in over $400 million over the last decade. Glad that the new mission of education is now paving the way for subsidizing the salaries of big financial lenders.

    • Fidel Castro says his economic system is failing

      It was a casual remark over a lunch of salad, fish and red wine but future historians are likely to parse and ponder every word: “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us any more.”

    • Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents

      One child in 10 in the United States lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The US has a way to shut down Wikileaks, the infamous SDN list

      You may not know what the SDN list (Specially Designated Nationals) is but we´ll explain. It’s the US version of Iran and Chinas state censorship machine. Initially created with good intent to inform the world (and US entities, persons) of Terrorists, Rogue regimes and other wrongdoers. It slowly converted into a censorship list to block free speech on the Internet. You see, by adding a website to the list the U.S authorities could then evoke a closure order on the registrar where the domain is registered. Of course, if it’s a .com or .org then the US can evoke the said closure order anywhere in the world via ICANN.

    • Judge: Movie Studios Can Subpoena Internet Users’ Names, Data In File-Sharing Cases

      A federal judge on Friday allowed the holder of a movie copyright to subpoena the names of people accused of illegally downloading and distributing a film over the Internet.

      Courts have held that Internet subscribers do not have an expectation of privacy once they convey subscriber information to their Internet service providers, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled.

    • Bahrain: Ali Abdulemam, blogger and Global Voices contributor arrested

      Ali Abdulemam, a leading Bahraini blogger and Global Voices Advocacy author, was arrested earlier today by the Bahraini authorities for allegedly spreading “false news” on BahrainOnline.org portal, one of the most popular pro-democracy outlets in Bahrain, amidst the worst sectarian crackdown by the government in years, and accusations of a supposed “terror network” involving several political and human rights activists.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Zero Install Intro


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 11/9/2010: Counter-Debunking the 1% Market Share Myth, Google Adds AGPL as Option in Code Hosting

Posted in News Roundup at 8:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Fanatical Linux Fanboys == Fake Linux Users?

    A comic strip from Mostly Harmful got me thinking, how many are you so-called Linux fanboys actually use GNU/Linux operating system? Do you own a Windows box? or even Apple Mac OS X? How many are you, Linux advocates use GNU/Linux in your daily lives? Claiming that Linux is great and hating every other operating systems, while still (in secret) using them by choice?

  • Windows vs Ubuntu Release Cycle

    Most people fall into one of the following for their operating system upgrades:

    * Upgrade to New Release Every 6 monthsish (Fedora isn’t always on time)
    * Upgrade to a new LTS every two years
    * Upgrade to a new Windows version… Well, whenever the next one comes out!
    * Upgrade Windows? Pff, XP is support till 2020!
    * Upgrade your operating system? I use a rolling release distro!

  • Desktop

    • Counter-Debunking the 1% Myth

      I can’t argue with that. It’s also a really impressive number; the number for total Linux desktop sales (that includes desktops, laptops, and netbooks) will obviously be higher — I don’t know by how much, but the total number is certainly at least 6%.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.4.37.10 + 2.4 EOL plans

      Some of you have noticed that the last update was released 7 months ago. This is long, but these days, very few of the issues reported on 2.6 also affect 2.4, so basically the number of bug reports on 2.4 fades out quite fast. Also, I generally prefer not to release a kernel just for a single non-critical patch, especially if we consider that 2.4 users generally wait a few weeks to a few months before upgrading. Since quite a bunch of fixes started to pile up, I thought it was time to release a new one.

    • Linux backlight control

      Right now, if there’s an ACPI backlight interface then that’s usually the only thing we’ll show you. We can do that because we can identify if there’s an ACPI backlight interface when we parse the ACPI tables at the start of booting, and that information can be registered before we start setting up any other backlights. The problem comes when we have no ACPI backlight interface. We don’t have any idea whether there’s a platform mechanism until a platform driver loads, which could be at any time. As a result, we’ve been reluctant to expose GPU-level backlight control because doing so would often give you two separate backlight controls and no indication as to which should be used. Userspace doesn’t really have a way to make that decision either, so everyone ends up unhappy.

    • Behind the open source turnaround at Broadcom

      Times have changed, and you’ll get many of the details at our newest blog product, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols’ Networking.

      Not only is Broadcom being forthcoming with its downstream suppliers, but it has released Linux drivers for its most popular WiFi chips. It’s a big Biden deal.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Did Hell Just Freeze Over? Here’s Evergreen On Gallium3D!

        With this Git commit is initial Evergreen support in the R600g Gallium3D driver. This 5,000+ line patch adds the necessary shader opcodes, assembler support (sans ARL), uses constant buffers, adds interp instructions in the fragment shader, supports all Evergreen hardware states, and has Evergreen PM4 support. With this patch, the R600g driver is now at the glxgears milestone with ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards.

      • X.Org Server 1.10 Release Plans; Drivers May Still Go In

        With X.Org Server 1.10, as talked about before, the X stack may be de-modularized to the point that X drivers would be merged back into the X.Org Server. At least the protocol headers should be merged into a single package and the input drivers are likely to be moved into the X Server too, but moving back in the GPU drivers is a matter that’s still hotly debated and will certainly be talked about at the X Developers’ Summit. At this point Keith is asking, “Anyone want to volunteer to have “their” driver get merged into the server for 1.10?” Keith’s interest in moving the drivers back into the server is so that they can be re-factored so that mode-setting code can be dropped for hardware where there’s already kernel mode-setting support, etc.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • using configChanged() in your Plasma widgets
      • KDEPIM 4.4.6 Available

        Tarballs for kdepim-4.4.6 and kdepim-runtime-4.4.6 are now available from a mirror near you.

      • 5 Things I Miss From Linux When Using OSX

        I have been a Linux user for over 10 years. I have used it exclusively on my home systems since that time and although it was a struggle at the beginning, I haven’t had any desire to use any other operating system … until now. Recently I purchased a MacBook Pro. Principally because I like the hardware, and can put Linux on it. However, it has also given me the opportunity to use OSX. In fact I’ve been using OSX quite a lot – given I’ve paid for it, I want to really see how it works. However, in the course of using it, I’ve come across a number of features of Linux and the KDE desktop that I greatly miss.

    • GTK/GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+ 2.90.7 Released, Drops DirectFB Support

        While GNOME 3.0 has been delayed to next March, the development releases towards version 3.0 of the GTK+ tool-kit continues in a steadfast manner. After the last GTK+ 3.0 snapshot a few weeks back that ported most of the GTK+ drawing to use Cairo, GTK+ 2.90.7 has been released.

  • Distributions

    • 3 Visually-Pleasing Linux Distributions That Use Enlightenment

      Continuing the recent trend of highlighting lesser-known operating systems, this week we bring you three that should at least look good. As opposed to the usual GNOME or KDE window managers found on most Linux distributions, these have all chosen in favour of Enlightenment.

    • Damn Vulnerable Linux

      Damn Vulnerable Linux – The most vulnerable and exploitable operating system ever!

      Damn Vulnerable Linux is the most complete training environment for IT security with over 500.000 downloads. It includes all tools you need ready to go. Additionally tons of training material and exercises are included. Damn Vulnerable Linux works fine under Windows, Linux and Mac OSX using any virtual machine such as VMware, Qemu or KVM. You can let it run installed natively on a standard PC or even boot it from USB.

    • Reviews

      • Chakra Linux – Distro Review

        Even though Chakra is a very young distribution, it has quickly become my favorite non-Ubuntu based distro. I think we will see some great things from the Chakra team before a 1.0 release of the distribution. This is definitely one worth trying if you are looking for a new distro the play around with.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Which Mandriva is in trouble ?

        I think there are 2 scenarios there: the community is strong enough to reorganize itself, find new hosting for developing the distro, enough contributors to maintain packages, and continue to develop the real value add of Mandriva, the distro: urpmi, msec, auto-inst, draktools, KDE integration, PLF, … all what makes this distrubtion speial to its users. Is it really possible. Well I think I could give a bit more of my time to maintain some more packages and help at my level ontributing to improve it. It would also place it at a similar level to Debian, a pure open source distro, used and developed by its community. Why not, but again if ex-Mandriva firm employee do not have time to contribute anymore, big losses have to be expexted from their departure, and correct replacement will be long and hard to have. Also what about the innovation on the distro then.

        The other and sader scenario is that the new mandriva doesn’t help the community to reform (they host everything today), thus discouraging the good willness of current contributors, making them move to another distro of choice for their activities. I for one, clearly will look at latest fedora and debian version to see which one is the most appealing to me, and which community I may join (my past experience with these 2 doesn’t make that move a very happy one to me, feedbacks welcome here).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Former trade group lobbyist will don Red Hat title

        Bohannon also has served on numerous federal government delegations to bilateral negotiations and multilateral bodies such as The Hague, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and the World Trade Organization.

      • Red Hat partners with the NCSU Entrepreneurship Initiative for idea center.

        N.C. State and Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) will unveil “The Phase I Garage,” a center designed to help students become entrepreneurs, next week.

        Red Hat, which maintains its global headquarters at NCSU’s Centennial Campus, is partnering with the NCSU Entrepreneurship Initiative on the facilty.

      • Fedora

        • Linux Desktops, Servers and the Future

          I think what we can take away with this for Fedora is that we should be focusing on a number of areas:

          1. Try and to the above to increase people using Fedora on the desktop (push fixes of infrastructure, make it easier to make more desktop applications).
          2. Make sure Fedora gets known as a great testbed for the server side. Get more people who use RHEL testing and working on stuff in fedora to improve things down the road on the server side in RHEL.
          3. Even though it’s not ideal in my mind, we should still position Fedora so it’s suited for running web applications (basically a webos/terminal) and a development env for smart phones and web applications.
          4. Try and do the first three things while still allowing all the other various ‘niche’ users to use and enjoy Fedora.

          Anyhow, I thought I would mention this given that the Fedora Board has been discussing Vision and other longer term plans. I think we should try and do what it takes to keep the desktop moving in a direction where it’s likely to expand, while still keeping track of the server and niche users (who we often seem to forget about).

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint’s Debian Delight!

        The Linux Mint version of Debian also includes multimedia codecs, a backup tool, the excellent Mint menus, flash and a host of other things that aren’t in generic Debian. LMDE is essentially Debian on steroids; it provides a bunch of helpful usability enhancements.

        I tip my hat to the Linux Mint developers for this release; it’s a delightful addition to the world of desktop Linux.

      • Distro Hoppin`: Linux Mint Debian Edition

        I was expecting an Install only ISO, but the Mint team managed to offer us a Live environment, in which my computer happily booted. The experience was a smooth one, with no unpleasant surprises, so off I went to the “Install Linux Mint” icon. Here is where the differences start to show. After pressing next on the default English language, I had to select the timezone from this huge list. Goodbye auto-detection, goodbye pretty map… sigh. :D I kid, I kid, it’s not that bad, and I’m sure it will improve over time. The HDD-prepare step is also quite different and a bit less user-friendly than Ubuntu’s, but still doable even by a less-experienced user.

        [...]

        LMDE FTW?

        Certainly! Though a beginner might want to have a helping hand from a more experienced user during the installation process of the system itself and the proprietary drivers, once that’s out of the way, it’s pretty much the same smooth experience as it is with the main edition. That is if you’re luckier than I was with the sound server. The developers did warn that there are some rough edges to be expected and indeed they are. But, considering the fact that this is the first version of the Debian edition, the quality of this OS can only go up from this point, so, needless to say, I have high expectations for the future development of this experiment. If you like keeping your favorite applications up to date at all times, or if you simply hold a silly grudge against Ubuntu, go grab LMDE. Enjoy!

      • Linux Mint “Debian” Screenshots

        Linux Mint has made its name by adding visual polish and implementing Mint-specific tools on top of its Ubuntu base. Times and changing though as we now have something new from the Linux Mint team. This latest release from Linux Mint is the first to be based on Debian Linux. Another surprise is that Linux Mint 9 “Debian” is a rolling release. This means users won’t need to re-install to have the latest and greatest applications. Linux Mint 9 “Debian” features all of the tools that make regular Linux Mint great including the Mint Backup tool, Mint Menu and more. Visit the official release announcement for more info on this release or buy Linux Mint Debian on DVD in our shopping cart.

      • Mint 10 Preview: Menu Search Engines
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Fluendo DVD Player For Sale in Ubuntu 10.10

          Now that Fluendo’s DVD Player has become the first for-purchase item in the Software Center, will we see other Fluendo applications following suit? We can’t know for sure, but without getting into specifics, Fluendo representatives have stated that “we can imagine that other products, like the Fluendo codec pack which already is in the Ubuntu Software center, will join the list.”

        • The Ubuntu Tour Project Needs Your Help!

          Right now, they need contributers in the areas of Authors, Designers, Editors, Programmers, and (eventually) Translators, although Alex Lancey let me know that they’re primarily looking for Authors and PyGTK coders at the moment.

        • Magic Trackpad drivers land in Ubuntu Maverick and Upstream!

          If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll note that I’ve been spending some time adding Magic Trackpad functionality to the current Magic Mouse driver in the kernel. I’m pleased to report that the changes have landed both in Ubuntu and upstream in Jiri Kosina’s HID tree as it awaits merging into Linus’ tree. It will be available in Ubuntu 10.10 and hopefully in Linux 2.6.37.

        • Ubuntu Insurance?

          This idea popped up in a completely different conversation and I haven’t explored the full dynamics of the idea and how it would play out legally but:

          What if Ubuntu users paid into an insurance fund. The fund’s aim would be to record the primary software and hardware used by the customer and to employ programmers and QA people to ensure that this software and hardware works in the next release and with critical updates?

        • More Eyecandy On Its Way For Ubuntu 10.10 Installer Slideshow

          Ubuntu 10.10 Installer is going through massive changes. Canonical is leaving no stones unturned and now even the installer slideshow is getting fair amount of attention. Installer slideshow was introduced during the Ubuntu Lucid release and Canonical aims to bring more polish and simplicity to the slideshow feature.

        • DEB Packages Now Open With Ubuntu Software Center by Default in Ubuntu 10.10

          Canonical makes another small yet significant change in Ubuntu 10.10. Downloaded DEB packages will no longer open with GDebi package installer by default, instead it opens with Ubuntu Software Center!

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sony’s new eBook readers: first-look review
    • Qnap puts Intel’s dual core Atom chip into a NAS box

      Qnap made its name with highly configurable NAS setups that allowed users to install their own Linux distribution, essentially creating a small but capable server.

    • Tanner EDA Tools Now on Linux

      Linux is a mainstream OS used by IC designers worldwide so Tanner EDA has good timing in offering a full-flow Analog IC Design Suite on Linux. Tanner tools started out on Microsoft Windows and now you can choose to use Linux as well. This reminds me of the same OS transition that Viewlogic went through in the 90’s.

    • Hackable, Linux-based flying drone can be controlled by smartphone
    • Phones

      • Do Users Care Much About Mobile Operating Systems?

        Google’s Android initiative likewise is part of Google’s awareness that the mobile market is strategic and crucial for its future relevance.

        Nokia remains the global smartphone market share leader but has seen its share slip as its Symbian (News – Alert) platform struggles to deliver an experience on par with Apple and other competitors. It invested in an entirely new Linux-based platform, called Maemo, for its high-end devices, and it has now merged this platform withIntel’s ( News – Alert) Linux-based Moblin platform to produce MeeGo.

        HP’s acquisition of Palm gives it entry into the smartphone business as well, with Palm’s webOS seen as key to creating value around HP mobile devices through applications.

      • Dumb Trojan Trying To Attack Android Phones

        Unlike ‘secure by obscurity’ operating systems like Windows, this trojan needs your ‘permission’ to download and then install. A smartphone can only be infected if the user manually installs the application. Users of smartphones running Android are asked to download the pornplayer.apk application from an infected webpage in order to view adult content videos. The installation file is only 16.4 KB and during installation the Trojan seeks the user’s consent to send SMS messages – a requirement that a media player is very unlikely to need.

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • The HP Mini 110 Netbook: Almost One Year Later

        Why write about a discontinued netbook now? Well, for one HP has a very similar model (the Mini 210) for sale. Second, there is always the used market. Finally, I’ve actually used the thing long enough to write in an informed way. It’s a pity HP no longer offers Linux preloaded. If they did I would recommend their netbooks to anyone.

    • Tablets

      • Google Hints at New Directions for Android Tablets

        While most of what we “know” about Android-for-tablets operating systems is shrouded in rumor, we are fairly certain that the fork will begin with Gingerbread, a.k.a. Android 3.0, which may be released as soon as this fall. And Honeycomb is thought to be the next iteration of the same fork.

      • Huge Dual-Screen Kno Tablet Launching This Year

        Kno runs on a special version of Linux, but the touchscreen interface looks very similar to those seen in iPhones and Android devices, just with far more screen real estate. The company wants to have an app store for the device and also focus on providing college textbooks through it. While the Kno tablet is larger than any text book, the added space will be perfect for writing notes and drawing diagrams.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Forking is a Feature

    While Linus Torvalds is best known as the creator of Linux, it’s one of his more geeky creations, and the social implications of its design, that may well end up being his greatest legacy. Because Linus has, in just a few short years, changed the social dynamic around forking, turning the idea of multiple versions of a work from a cultural weakness into a cultural strength. Perhaps the technologies that let us easily collaborate together online have finally matured enough to let our work reflect the reality that some problems are better solved with lots of different efforts instead of one committee-built compromise.

    [...]

    Moving forward, there are a lot more lessons we can learn if we build our social tools with the assumption that no one version of any document, app, or narrative needs to be the definitive one. We might even make our software, and our communities, more inclusive if we embrace the forking ourselves.

  • Meet the New Kingmakers: Same as the Old Kingmakers

    The gist of the session comes in the text on slide 3: “When it comes to Enterprise IT adoption, Open Source Has ‘Crossed the Chasm’.” In support of this conclusion, Hammond employs a dizzying array of quantitative metrics derived from three surveys; two from Forrester (Enterprise And SMB Software Survey, North America And Europe, Q408/09 / Dr. Dobbs Developer Technographics Q309) and one from the Eclipse Foundation (2009/2010 Eclipse Community Survey). Besides the metrics, there are models (the software “iron triangle”) explaining mechanisms of OSS adoption, case studies of current users and best practices for would be users. While I might quibble with bits and pieces of the analysis, on balance it’s both thorough and excellent.

  • Does the Robotics Arena Need A Standards Body?

    The open source robotics arena has been steadily building steam for some time, and, recently, the Affero GPL 3.0 version of Urbi arrived. Urbi powers many robotic and pseudo-robotic devices, including the Segway RMP and Lego Mindstorm. Urbi is hardly the only open source robotics platform out there showing signs of promise, though, and we’ve covered a number of the others being developed all around the globe.

  • Liferay Portal 6 Enterprise Edition Raises the Bar for Enterprise Portals

    If Google Apps isn’t cutting it for your business needs but you don’t want to get in over your head trying to create a collaboration system on your own, let Liferay step in and do the heavy lifting, It’s an open source content management system and collaboration tool built for use in the enterprise environment. The company launched a new version this week of its portal framework this week and it’s definitely worth checking out to see why our own Jon Buys “can’t recommend [it] enough.”

  • Project Cauã: John “Maddog” Hall on creating a sustainable network of entrepreneurs from system administrators in Brazil

    I’ve been hearing John “Maddog” Hall talk about Project Cauã for a while now, and I’ve seen mention of it here and there. But his Ohio LinuxFest keynote, “Project Cauã: Creating Sustainable Computing Jobs in the Developing World,” was the first time I got to hear a full description of the plan. In case you haven’t had a chance to read about it either, here’s the plan he outlined.

  • Blender 2.5 Smoke Sim: Save some time when going HiRes
  • Adopting Open-Source Applications

    The use of OSS (open-source software) in the enterprise has come a long way since the days when Linux and other OSS applications were associated with long-haired “evangelists” and were far removed from the mainstream. Many OSS solutions have evolved into reliable, stable, and secure alternatives to commercial applications that can also offer significant reductions in licensing costs.

  • Contribute to the OSS Watch National Survey 2010

    Here at OSS Watch we have just started our National Software Survey for 2010 and we are in the data collecting phase. Everybody active in Higher or Further Education in the UK is invited to take part. This survey, commissioned by JISC for the fourth time, will assess the state of software policies and usage in Further and Higher Education.

  • Open Source Licensing made easy for Italian Public Administrations

    Open source licensing compliance will be at the center of the next conference of the “Focus Group Open Source” series, an initiative sponsored by IBM Italy to promote open source among Italian public administrations. (disclosure: IBM Italy is a client).

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 4 Beautiful Firefox Ads You Would Love to Watch

        Brand new Firefox 4.0 is on its final descent. Be it the introduction of awesome TabCandy feature or the new super fast “JaegerMonkey” JavaScript engine, Firefox 4.0 is all over the news for all the right reasons. I think this is the best time to introduce some cool Firefox commercials/videos. Take a look.

      • Mozilla Asks, ‘Are We Fast Yet?’

        The green line is Google V8, the red line is Apple Nitro, and the orange and black lines are Mozilla’s two engines, JaegerMonkey and TraceMonkey, respectively. The purple lines reflect Mozilla’s new approach of running the engines concurrently. As you can see, it speeds things up.

  • Oracle

    • New Oracle Solaris Is Here

      Oracle Solaris is now developed, tested and supported as an integrated component of Oracle’s “applications-to-disk” technology stack, which includes continuous major platform testing, in addition to the Oracle Certification Environment, representing over 50,000 test use cases for every Oracle Solaris patch and platform released.

    • Oracle and Solaris: What’s the Future?

      As for OpenSolaris and the whole idea of having an open source, cutting-edge version of an enterprise OS — like Red Hat has with Fedora and Novell has with OpenSUSE — well, that might be the way Red Hat and Novell like to develop their enterprise Linux OSes, but it’s not the way Oracle is used to developing its proprietary and highly profitable software offerings. Never has been, and probably never will be.

    • Solaris alternative OpenIndiana to launch next week

      On next Tuesday 14th, the Illumos Foundation will reveal the details of OpenIndiana. OpenIndiana is to be a server or desktop operating system based on Illumos, the recently created fork of OpenSolaris. Project Lead, EveryCity’s Alisdair Lumsden said that, “this announcement will deliver the distribution the community has long sought after.”

    • OpenIndiana – Another OpenSolaris Fork – Coming Next Week
    • Licensing Change for Solaris 10 and Solaris Cluster

      Solaris 10, Oracle Solaris Cluster and the upcoming Oracle Solaris Express got a new license. The downloadable version is now licensed under the “Oracle Technology Network Developer License Terms
      Oracle Solaris, Oracle Solaris Cluster and Oracle Solaris Express” (Legalese: You have to read and interpret the license on your own before accepting it in the download process, my interpretation could be wrong and it’s just my personal interpretation. For an authoritative answer about licensing questions ask your Oracle Sales Rep).

  • CMS

    • EdWeb 2.0 released as open source

      EdWeb 2.0 is now an open source CMS for Education that helps school districts maintain a web presence. When combined with an existing school district web site, EdWeb 2.0 helps to provide a more comprehensive solution compared to a district level web site by itself.

  • Healthcare

    • Q&A: Gunnar Hellekson on open source adoption in government

      Open source software received a high-profile vote of confidence when WhiteHouse.gov chose to use Drupal as it’s web content management system. Agencies also warmed to open source solutions when the Defense Department released a 2009 memo dispelling some common misconceptions around open source software. And just a few months after being urged to embrace open source for its electronic health record system by an industry group, the Veterans Affairs Department says it’s investigating the possibility of using open source software for VistA.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • Open Source Helping To Avoid The Digital Black Hole

      Beyond the personal sphere this could have a huge impact in areas like astronomy, quantum physics or climatology. Specialists in these fields rely on the quantitative analysis of large data sets over a large period of time. For example in measuring human influence on global warming. It would be a disaster for humanity to lose access to this data and the knowledge that can be gained from it.

      Now much of the drama that used to exist around moving data from magnetic tapes to saving it on disks and then in the computing cloud on huge servers is gone.

  • Licensing

    • License Evolution and Hosting Projects on Code.Google.Com

      The longer form of the reason why is that we never really liked turning away projects that were under real, compatible licenses like the zlib or other permissive licenses, nor did we really like turning away projects under licenses that serve a truly new function, like the AGPL. We also think that there were inconsistencies in how we handled multi-licensed projects (for instance: a project that is under an Apache license, but has a zlib component.)

      To rectify this, we decided to add an additional option to the license selector that would accommodate some flexibility around open source licenses. We hope you find it useful and look forward to seeing how you use the site!

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Crowdsourcing peer review

      It is the greatest question in computer science. A negative answer would likely give a fundamentally deeper understanding of the nature of computation. And a positive answer would transform our world: Computers would acquire mind-boggling powers such as near-perfect translation, speech recognition and object identification; the hardest questions in mathematics would melt like butter under computation’s power; and current computer security methods would be as easy to crack as a TSA-approved suitcase lock.

    • Matt Cohler Leads Funding for Scientist Social Network

      The promise of ResearchGATE is that it’s a social network that could help real work get done well. Madisch estimates that nearly 80 percent of research is unpublished, so it’s not shared with the broader scientific community. If the scientific process could be more open and shared, researchers could collaborate with each other, reduce redundancy, and improve their work. The site today contains 500,000 scientist profiles, along with 2,600 collaborative groups and an aggregated index of 35 million scientific articles. It’s already making money through a jobs board. Madisch said he doesn’t aim to disrupt the traditional research journal model, but rather to help scientists out in the formulation phase before they publish a study. He added that down the line he’d love for ResearchGATE to publish its own “journal of negative results” (which could actually be pretty awesome).

    • What cars have the lowest cost of ownership?
    • Open Access/Content

    • Open Hardware

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • It’s Time to Get Behind the Semantic Web

      The fact is that the Web has become so enormous that the likelihood of adopting any other NextGen set of standards that can make it so dramatically more useful is, in my opinion, very, very low. If we don’t get behind the W3C’s Semantic Web vision now, it may be a very long time indeed before we get another chance to make the Web of the future better than the one we rely upon for more and more every day.

    • Microdata: HTML5’s Best-Kept Secret

      Given that HTML5 is still a draft at this point, why bother?

      Actually, despite its lack of publicity and HTML5’s still-incomplete status, microdata is already being used by Google, which has started adding information gleaned from microdata markup to its search result snippets.

Leftovers

  • What Was Alan Turing Really Like? (Post for SJ01)
  • Social Media Blackout

    Eric Darr recently had a moment that a lot of modern parents can relate to. He was watching his 16-year-old daughter click around frenetically on Facebook while juggling several conversations on her iPhone.

    “I was frankly amazed,” says Darr, the provost at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. “I thought, ‘How do you live like this?’ It struck me to think, ‘What if all this wasn’t there?’ ”

    So Darr conceived an experiment designed to parse how one lives with social media — precisely by examining how one lives without it. He decided to pull the plug on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and AOL Instant Messenger for one week. But rather than conduct the experiment within his own home, Darr decided to take advantage of his position as Harrisburg’s provost to tap a much larger sample: his institution’s entire student body, faculty, and staff.

  • Lawyer Files Defamation Suit Against Opposing Counsel in Teen Runaway Case

    A lawyer who represented the Muslim parents of a teenage runaway last year in a high-profile case that captured the attention of Christian fundamentalists is now suing his opposing counsel for defamation.

    Attorney Omar Tarazi contends in a federal lawsuit filed Friday in Columbus, Ohio, that attorney John Stemberger, who represented runaway Rifqa Bary in Florida, falsely said he was unqualified and claimed in a television interview last year that that he has terrorist ties, reports the Associated Press.

  • Intel to launch chipsets with built-in graphics
  • Fibre optic capacity ‘auto-tuned’ by novel device
  • Science

    • E. coli may not be all bad after all

      E. coli, long associated with illness brought on by food poisoning, may hold the key to the future of renewable energy.

      “If we can engineer biological organisms to produce biodiesel fuels, we’ll have a new way of storing and using energy,” says Desmond Lun, associate professor of computer science at Rutgers University–Camden.

      Lun is researching how to alter the genetic makeup of E. coli to produce biodiesel fuel derived from fatty acids.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Exclusive: WikiLeaks Collaborating With Media Outlets on Release of Iraq Documents

      A London-based journalism nonprofit is working with the WikiLeaks Web site and TV and print media in several countries on programs and stories based on what is described as massive cache of classified U.S. military field reports related to the Iraq War. Iain Overton, editor of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, tells Declassified that his organization has teamed up with media organizations—including major television networks and one or more American media outlets—in an unspecified number of countries to produce a set of documentaries and stories based on the cache of Iraq War documents in the possession of WikiLeaks. As happened with a similar WikiLeaks collection of tens of thousands of U.S. military field reports on the Afghan war, the unidentified media organizations involved with the London group in the Iraq documents project will all be releasing their stories on the same day, which Overton says would be several weeks from now. He declined to identify any of the media organizations participating in the project.

    • Wikileaks and the politics of whistleblowing

      Ever since a U.S. army counterintelligence report identified WikiLeaks as a direct threat to the ‘force protection interests’ of the military – a euphemistic term for the United States’ ability to militarily dominate when, where and against whom they choose – the organization has been in the Pentagon’s crosshairs. For those of you who have been living under a rock, WikiLeaks runs a web portal dedicated to publishing government and corporate secrets online. It is, essentially, the new intermediary for potential whistleblowers and many of the 1.2+ million documents it has made public in its four year history have concerned various branches of the U.S. Government.

    • Massive Cache of Iraq War Docs to Be Published by WikiLeaks

      A massive cache of previously unpublished classified U.S. military documents from the Iraq War is being readied for publication by WikiLeaks, a new report has confirmed.

      The documents constitute the “biggest leak of military intelligence” that has ever occurred, according to Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit British organization that is working with WikiLeaks on the documents.

    • X-Ray Pinup Girls Are Just Pixels (NSFW?)

      The X-Rays were in fact part of the EIZO Medical Pin-up Calendar, a clever marketing tool for a niche company whose product most people didn’t even know existed.

  • Finance

    • Does Economy Really Have To Run On Fraud?

      What is the difference between today’s economy and Lehman Brothers just before it collapsed in September 2008? Should Lehman, the economy, Wall Street – or none of the above – be bailed out of bad mortgage debt? How did the Fed and Treasury decide which Wall Street firms to save – and how do they decide whether or not to save U.S. companies, personal mortgage debtors, states and cities from bankruptcy and insolvency today? Why did it start by saving the richest financial institutions, leaving the “real” economy locked in debt deflation?

      Stated another way, why was Lehman the only Wall Street firm permitted to go under? How does the logic that Washington used in its case compare to how it is treating the economy at large? Why bail out Wall Street – whose managers are rich enough not to need to spend their gains – and not the quarter of U.S. homeowners unfortunate enough also to suffer “negative equity” but not qualify for the help that the officials they elect gave to Wall Street’s winners by enabling Bear Stearns, A.I.G., Countrywide Financial and other gamblers to pay their bad debts?

    • UK Government set to endorse the creation of EU financial supervisors; Il Sole 24 Ore: “London knows that it can only limit the damage”

      PA reports that UK Chancellor George Osborne is today set to endorse the proposals for the creation of a European Systemic Risk Board and three new EU supervisors to oversee financial markets in the EU at a meeting of EU finance ministers. A Government spokesman is quoted describing the proposals as “a good deal for us” and arguing: “We are happy with this. Once it has been agreed by finance ministers, the technical details will be sorted out by national officials later this week or next week. But day-to-day supervision [of British banks and financial institutions] remains at national level – that is what we have said all along”.

    • Revenue won’t apologise for underpaid tax blunder

      The country’s top tax official has refused to apologise to the 1.4 million people facing demands for extra money. Dave Hartnett, the HM Revenue and Customs permanent secretary for tax, insisted it was not an “extraordinary” situation.

      Hartnett denied there had been any errors and said he saw no need to apologise. HMRC was also justified in asking those who owed more than £2,000 to repay the money more quickly as they were likely to be the highest earners, he said.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Big Tobacco hired public relations firm to lobby government

      IF YOUR bulldust detector is twitching over outraged retailers warning that plain packaging for cigarettes ”won’t work, so why do it”, you are right on the money.

      The tobacco industry is not only funding the campaign being run by the Alliance of Australian Retailers to stop plain packaging being introduced, it is employing the public relations firm to run the campaign, approving who will do media interviews and managing the strategy for lobbying government.

      As the tobacco industry prepares to pour another $3.97 million, on top of the $5.4 million already spent, into phase two of its campaign to coincide with the finals season of the NRL and AFL this weekend, the Herald can reveal the full extent of the role of Big Tobacco.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Vodafone Prohibits P2P Use for Broadband Customers

      At a time where content producers are increasingly using peer-to-peer technology to distribute data, there are still Internet providers that wont allow such traffic on their networks. This type of discrimination is not limited to mobile or cellular networks either. In Ireland, Vodafone users are not permitted to use peer-to-peer services on their broadband connection.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • John Mellencamp: Takes From Others, But Refuses To Give Back

      Now, obviously, he’s talking in a symbolic way, but the stark contrast shows a rather incredible sense of entitlement. Basically, everything is “his,” and nothing can be anyone else’s. He wants to take possession over anyone else’s work, but refuses to give back, and claims that others doing a similar process are somehow “destroying” his own work.

    • Copyrights

      • “Questionable” whether lawyers can sue 14,000 P2P users in 1 court

        Rosemary Collyer, one of the DC federal judges overseeing the US Copyright Group’s tens of thousands of file-sharing lawsuits, is open to one of the main arguments made by groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and by ISPs: the DC court doesn’t have jurisdiction over random individuals from all over the country.

        In a ruling today, Collyer pointed to several recent “motions to quash” the US Copyright Group subpoenas targeting ISPs. (The subpoenas ask ISPs to connect a specific IP address to a name and physical location.) The motions came from several different states.

      • Righthaven seeks domain name transfer – relief that is not called for under the Copyright Act

        News broke over the Labor Day weekend that Righthaven, that enterprise set up to file copyright lawsuits over alleged infringements of articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, sued Nevada senate candidate Sharron Angle. The complaint [PDF] contains two claims for copyright infringement over allegations that Angle posted two articles on her website without authorization.

        Let’s set aside for a moment any objections or snickering we might have about Righthaven’s approach, or any disdain we may feel about spamigation in general. There’s one paragraph in the Angle complaint which demonstrates a plaintiff mindset that is over the top on just about any reasonable scale.

      • Balanced Copyright For Canada Website (http://balancedcopyrightforcanada.ca) – Attack Of The Corporate Welfare Bums
      • How Social Mores Can Deal With ‘Unfair’ Copying, Even In Absence Of Copyright

        One of the complaints that we hear often from various publishers is the idea that, without copyright, other sites could simply copy all content. In fact, this is the big complaint we keep hearing from newspapers these days — the idea that they do all this expensive “reporting,” and then along comes some “blog” that just copies the work, with a bit of commentary and gets all the traffic. I tend to point out that this is a silly position to take. The thing is I say that even though I’ve experienced being on the “other” side of this discussion, and not with a smaller site, but a larger one. For quite some time a publication (that will remain nameless) that is larger and more well known than us had a habit of “rewriting” stories that were found on Techdirt, as well as a few other moderately popular blogs, without any credit. It became quite obvious that this was happening — especially on stories that I would sit on for a couple weeks for various reasons, only to post them and see a very similar story pop up six hours later on this other site. The timing was uncanny. I finally asked a writer at the site about one such story, and was told that the editor had sent him my story, but said that since he did additional reporting on it, they felt no need to credit me — and even claimed that this was the same stance that “real reporters” took, such as the AP and Reuters. Of course, that’s not quite true, and the AP just changed its credit policies, so that it will clearly credit any publication that publishes a story before they do.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA, “Ex Officio” Enforcement, and Parallel Imports

          In the latest ACTA leaked text, it’s disappointing to see that Canada is endorsing the following proposal on “ex officio” border enforcement, This refers to the giving of power to border officials to detain suspect goods on their own initiative on the basis of suspected IP infringement, without the need of a prior court order.

        • ACTA’s Enforcement Practices Chapter: Countries Reach Deal as U.S. Caves Again
        • Report: ACTA secrecy is all the United States’ fault

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) got a bit more transparent this year, as negotiators held a few meetings with civil society types and released one official draft text some months ago. But this wouldn’t be ACTA without secret meetings and unreleased draft texts, would it?

          This isn’t a serious problem for those who want to read the draft texts after each negotiating session; leaks have become routine, which made this week’s leak (PDF) of the most recent draft text so unsurprising. At this late stage in the negotiations, after so much criticism in the US and Europe, one might expect ACTA negotiators to operate as transparently as they have promised to do. Unfortunately, the US stands in the way.

        • The fishy mandate of ACTA
        • ACTA, “Ex Officio” Enforcement, and Parallel Imports

          In the latest ACTA leaked text, it’s disappointing to see that Canada is endorsing the following proposal on “ex officio” border enforcement, This refers to the giving of power to border officials to detain suspect goods on their own initiative on the basis of suspected IP infringement, without the need of a prior court order.

        • Watered-down ACTA Approaching Conclusion

          Controversial multi-country negotiations on an “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” are within striking distance of conclusion, according to a leaked draft text.

          The secrecy surrounding the talks took another hit this week when Knowledge Ecology International, a Washington-based non-governmental organisation, posted the draft on its website, along with a note stating that the United States was alone among participating governments in opposing the draft’s release.

        • Scrap the ACTA Internet chapter!

          Yesterday we had a debate in the European Parliament on the ongoing negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA. The negotiating parties are trying to keep the agreement secret, but the latest draft has been leaked on the net. Transcripts and videos from the debate can be found here.

          Most or all of the Members of the European Parliament, from all the political groups, were critical of various aspects of the agreement, and the lack of transparency surrounding the process.

        • European Parliament Asks EU ACTA Negotiators to Protect Citizens’ Fundamental Rights

          WD 12 became the official position of the European Parliament on ACTA when it was signed by 377 Members of the European Parliament prior to today’s deadline — more than the required majority of MEPs (369). While the written declaration is not binding on the European Parliament, its adoption by a clear majority sends an important political signal to EU ACTA negotiators at a critical time — just before the next, and possibly final, round of ACTA negotiations taking place in Japan later this month. The European Parliament must give a “consent vote” for the EU to be bound by ACTA; WD 12 should be seen by EU negotiators as a clear statement about how the MEPs will approach that vote.

        • Europe says ‘No’ again to ACTA secrecy

          This morning from Brussels, the European Parliament issued a formal declaration – its second official legal statement of the season – calling upon participants in negotiations for the global Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to share the status of their proceedings with the public at large. At issue is whether governments can decree that Internet Service Providers (most of which are private businesses) keep track of IP addresses that copyright holders believe are involved in infringement and unauthorized distribution, without officially notifying their citizens they’re about to do so.

Clip of the Day

Police Abuse: Cops Caught Plotting To Frame Motorist on Dash Cam


Credit: TinyOgg

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