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Links 6/7/2011: Linux 3.1 Predictions, ‘Garshasp’ Comes to GNU/Linux

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

GNOME bluefish



  • ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Running Ubuntu 11.04[Video]

    This is one of the advantages of having an open device running an open OS. ASUS Eee Transformer Pad is already among the fastest selling Android tablets out there and it is powered by latest Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. YouTube user lilstevie89 have managed to install and run Ubuntu 11.04′s classic GNOME desktop in his ASUS transformer TF101.

  • Kernel Space

    • DRM Changes Coming Up For Linux 3.1 Kernel

      There’s still a few more weeks left until the Linux 3.0 kernel will be officially released, but there are already some changes worth looking forward to with the Linux 3.1 kernel as it pertains to the Direct Rendering Manager drivers.

      In going over the drm-next Git tree of David Airlie’s, for what will ultimately go in as the pull request when the Linux 3.1 kernel merge window is opened, there’s a few items to mention at this time:

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Lunch With A Side Of GNOME

        Sometimes your plans for the day are altered greatly because of external circumstances. Nomachine released the latest NX 4 preview last night. We have been very anxious for this technology in order to deploy iPad/tablets, so this was my primary project for today. Prior releases inched closer to our goals, but were *far* too slow to do any beta testing. VNC testing over EVDO was painful as well. At this time no native client is offered for the iPad, instead it works by just using the Safari browser and then connecting to a web server. X is started inside the browser and your desktop appears. Performance on Firefox/Linux/Wired is very snappy and fast. Safari/iPad/WiFi works fairly well as does Safari/iPad/EVDO. So for the first time ever, I was able to take an iPad to lunch with me and log into our new GNOME server. I present, lunch with a side of GNOME:

  • Distributions

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Unity Mail Gets GNOME Keyring Support, Graphical Configuration Dialog

            Unity Mail is a Unity-specific application to display the email unread count on the Unity launcher.

          • Overlay Scrollbars – Update

            When we introduced the new overlay scrollbars we knew it was a bold decision and we were expecting some critics because of the use cases we didn’t support.

            As hoped, we had a lot of very useful feedback. Most of the people very liked this innovation and understood our need to be consistent to our design principles. But because we were hoping for the minimal impact, it was important for us to understand when this wasn’t the case.

          • Ubuntu Linux ‘Natty Narwhal’ debuts in PHL

            Linux and open-source software fans can now keep up with Windows and Mac users with the release of the latest flavor of popular Linux distribution Ubuntu.

            Aside from being free, the open-source Ubuntu release 11.04 —codenamed “Natty Narwhal”— touts the improved graphical user interface (GUI) dubbed “Unity.”

            “Over other Linux desktop [distributions], Ubuntu has the advantage of being easy-to-use, as well as having a solid infrastructure underneath. Ubuntu also has a broader coverage of language support, with the widely used Unicode as the default character encoding,” Zak Elep, head of Ubuntu Philippine Team Local Community (LoCoTeam) said in a statement.

          • Free Official Ubuntu Book For Approved LoCo Teams
          • A new snapshot of Unity 2D
          • Weekend Project: Create Virtual Hosts with Apache
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • HP Debuts TouchPad as Thunderbird Accelerates

        No, the HP TouchPad is not a pure-breed Linux up-front tablet. The HP TouchPad, which was released this past week, runs on HP’s webOS, formerly the operating system used by Palm, which HP acquired in 2010 for $1.2 billion.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSS misfits: Rusty Russell’s take

    It is even less often that a person who has the integrity of Rusty Russell does so. His comments about social misfits in the community – whom he refers to as arseholes (he used the American spelling, assholes) – has not received much attention, understandably, given the insular nature of most commentary about FOSS.

    Russell is a senior kernel programmer, a good guy, very funny and a genuinely impulsive person. He is well-known as a prankster; one of the pranks he pulled in 2010 resulted in the well-known Debian developer Bdale Garbee having to sacrifice his beard at the hands of Linux creator Linus Torvalds.


    And senior FOSS people need to speak out more often about the problems within. Drawing a ring around things will not make problems disappear – when they do see the light of day, they will be akin to Murray Cummings’ blast in 2007.

  • Interview with Libre Graphics Magazine at Libre Graphics Meeting 2011

    I was recently able to attend the 2011 Libre Graphics Meeting in Montreal, and there i had a blast meeting lots of people and founding out about so many great projects. One of these, is Libre Graphics Magazine and the fantastic people behind it: ginger “all lowercase” coons along with Ana Carvalho and Ricardo Lafuente of Manufactura Independente.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • FabFi: An open source wireless network built with trash
    • The Uzebox: An open source hardware games console

      Anybody who has even a passing familiarity with IT — and even most who don’t — encounters open source software on a daily basis. Whether it’s Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser, the Apache HTTP Server, which powers most of the world’s Web sites, or Google’s Android mobile platform, open source software has gone from being solely the domain of geeks to part of many people’s everyday life — and it’s become big business.

  • Programming


Clip of the Day

Minecraft- Redwall Abbey (Survival)

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 6/7/2011: AMD Gets More Linux Devs, AriOS 3.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • L’Independence day with a bit of a twist

    Every year, near this day (July 4), I do a blog post on the independence Linux has brought me and the community at large. But this time around, I want to take a bit of a different approach. This approach was inspired by an outpouring, of late, by other media types, about how Ubuntu is slipping in the ranks at Distrowatch. Their assumptions are all centered around Unity and how Canonical has doomed the perennial user-friendly distribution in one fell swoop. Although not really related to this column today, I have also been watching the rank and file at Distrowatch, and Ubuntu still remains at the top. Possible premature speculation? Maybe — but, on a side note, I will say that the over all opinion about Unity is still very strongly against this desktop remaining as the default Ubuntu desktop. We’ll see if Ubuntu can’t gain some independence from that awkward, buggy desktop.

    What I want to bring up today is how the Linux operating system, and the community around it, is now enjoying an independence from its past. Thinking about the outpouring of speculation about Ubuntu’s ranking on Distrowatch, I wondered about the true relevancy of sites like it. Does a site that ranks the popularity (in downloads only) of a distribution really have any bearing on how much Linux is used today? To that I would answer, “Not in the slightest”.

  • TLWIR 7: Patent Trolls, Superheroes and More
  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • Toyota Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Toyota is its newest member.

      A major shift is underway in the automotive industry. Carmakers are using new technologies to deliver on consumer expectations for the same connectivity in their cars as they’ve come to expect in their homes and offices. From dashboard computing to In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI), automobiles are becoming the latest wireless devices – on wheels.

    • Are Android and Linux the same thing?

      I’ve knocked the sand out of my keyboard, applied aloe to my sunburned skin, and am trying to apply my refreshed and relaxed brain to the following conundrum:

      Is Android Linux?


      Like most classifications of this nature, the decision on where to define the differences between Linux and Android really makes argument go one way or the other. If you point to the kernel, then yes, Linux and Android are very much related to each other. If you look at the application layer, then things get much harder to pin down.

    • 20 years of Linux

      Torvalds thus chose to release Linux under the Gnu General Public License or GPL created by Richard Stallman, the visionary behind free software movement. The license gave end-users and developers four important freedoms:

      •The freedom to use the software for any purpose;

      •The freedom to change the software to suit their needs;

      •The freedom to share the software with friends and neighbors; and

      • The freedom to share the changes they make.

      The decision to go with GPL was crucial because it fueled Linux’s development and use worldwide, eventually transforming it from a hacker’s experiment to the foundation of a large, thriving, commercial eco-system.

    • AMD’s New Open-Source Employees

      Joining John Bridgman and Alex Deucher in working on the open-source driver stack at AMD are two new, but familiar, names: Michel Dänzer and Christian König. These two Linux graphics driver developers are now officially AMD employees.

    • Graphics Stack

      • WebCL: OpenCL For The Browser

        First there was WebGL to bring OpenGL to the web-browser, and now there’s WebCL to do the same for bringing OpenCL to the web. The Khronos Group is getting ready WebCL, to bring OpenCL to modern web browsers with JavaScript support. Early WebCL support is already available for the WebKit rendering engine.

        WebCL is expected to work in a similar way to WebGL, but to instead harness the compute power of modern graphics processors. There are currently a few basic WebCL demos for those running Mac OS X with a modern NVIDIA GPU that supports the OpenCL 1.0+ specification. Samsung is largely behind the work on bringing WebCL to WebKit while Nokia has been working on a WebCL extension for Mozilla Firefox. Those interested in learning more about WebCL can visit the Khronos Group Wiki page.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • The Mistake that is Upgrading to KDEPIM 4.6.0

        I’d like to see if I could downgrade, but Sabayon has removed the older PIM from repositories. So, I guess I’m moving to a new distro tomorrow and risk losing everything else trying to use an older version. Yeah, I have a back-up from right before the upgrade, but that’s a week or two’s worth of mail – some of it important.

  • Distributions

    • There Should Be Only One Distribution!

      What the person is really saying is, they don’t like the distribution, or maybe just Ubuntu and its popularity, and want to be vocal about it. Know what I do when I don’t like something? I don’t use it. There’s a whole pile of stuff in our community that I don’t like, and I rarely, if ever, talk about it. I don’t believe in using Adobe’s Flash, I could go on and on about it when people bring it up, I don’t. I do my thing and move on. Not so with the type of person I mentioned, they’ll bring it up about each and every new derivative of almost every distribution.

      Here’s the funny part too, if they like some derivative of a specific distribution that they already like then it’s perfectly fine.

      Let’s speak about the other group, the smaller group that feels we really do have too many distributions and actually makes an attempt at explaining why they believe having fewer would be better. They will tell you a number of reasons, all fairly sound from the onset, until you start to discuss them.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon Linux 6 Comes Now in Four New Flavours

        After the release of Sabayon Linux 6, Fabio Erculiani is proud to announced the immediate availability for download of four Core editions of the Sabayon Linux operating system.

        Sabayon Linux 6 Core editions are designed for Linux experts and advanced users that want to set up a home server or create their very own operating system, based on Sabayon.

        The four newly updated editions of Sabayon Linux 6 are: SpinBase, CoreCDX, ServerBase and OpenVZ. While the SpinBase and ServerBase editions allow users to make Sabayon spins or set up a home server, the CoreCDX edition allows users to easily obtain a minimal graphical environment of Sabayon.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat appoints new General Manager for the Middle East and Africa Region

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that George DeBono has been appointed as general manager for Red Hat in the Middle East and Africa region. DeBono, who previously held a senior global operations role within Red Hat, will now lead the company’s business in the region.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Modal Dialogs Land in Ubuntu 11.10

            Modal dialogs in Ubuntu 11.10 made their first appearance last week for Unity 2D users. Today they make their appearance in Unity proper.

            The effect is provided by the ‘unity dialog handler’ plugin.

          • ClassicMenu Indicator – Notification area applet for the top panel of Unity desktop
          • Tired of paying for Windows? Try Linux instead

            Surprising revelation: for the last month or so, I’ve been using a Linux-powered laptop as my primary work machine.

            Linux, of course, is the free, open-source alternative to Windows and Mac operating systems. I’ve fiddled with it from time to time, but never considered it a viable replacement for either one.

            Mind you, I can’t abandon Windows altogether. Not only do I write about it for a living, I also rely heavily on certain features and programs not currently available in Linux.

            But this much I’ve learned: If you want to breathe new life into an old and/or slow PC, or you’re just tired of paying for operating systems, Linux rocks.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • AriOS 3.0 Released [Ubuntu 11.04 Remaster]

              AriOS is a really interesting Ubuntu remaster that comes with a clean design and a large default application selection, especially useful for those with poor or no Internet connectivity.

            • Introducing Update Packs in Linux Mint Debian

              One of the strong points of Linux Mint Debian is the fact that it’s a rolling distribution. Users enjoy a continuous flow of updates coming from the repositories, which keeps their system up to date without the need to upgrade to newer releases or to go through the hassle of reinstalling the operating system. When the updates are significant and affect large or sensitive parts of the system, some experience is needed from the user. The new updates might ask you something you’re not familiar with, some post-configuration might be required for things to work as they did, and if you make a mistake and you don’t have the knowledge to fix things up, you might very well end up with a partly or completely broken system.

            • A quick look at Linux Mint LXDE 11
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux gaming handheld targets $10-$20 price — but is it for real?

      Eccentric indie game developer Robert Pelloni (“Bob’s Game”) announced he is developing a gaming handheld prototype based on Linux that will sell for $10-20 by year’s end. The 400MHz ARM-based “nD” device will offer a 2.4-inch, 320 x 240 display, and Wi-Fi, and will be supported soon with a Linux SDK, claims Pelloni, although many are skeptical the device will see the light of day.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Netbooks: RIP or Live Long and Prosper?

        “The netbook has been murdered,” read the article on ITworld that got tongues wagging. “The concept of an inexpensive computing device with high value for the third world has been sufficiently co-opted so as to make the category meaningless.

        “Some called netbooks a sub-category of ‘ultra-light’ or ‘sub-notebooks,’ but netbooks became legitimized by the announcement of the (US)$100 OLPC laptop,” the article went on.

        It wasn’t long before the news spread to Slashdot, where bloggers — as per their wont — expressed a healthy amount of skepticism.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Intel Releases New Open Source Packages

    Intel’s research division Intel Labs recently released a pair of open source software packages, including a distributed scene graph package to increase the maximum number of participants in 3D Web applications, like virtual worlds, by more than 20 times, and an advanced offline ray tracing package to help speed up rendering of photorealistic images on Intel-based systems by 100 percent.

  • Tech Pundits Surrender: The Retreat from Free Software and Open Standards

    All the same, such views seem deeply misguided. They present false dichotomies, often based on an unrealistic definition of quality. All they really do is support the existing state of affairs between manufacturers and end-users, and delay the innovations that free software and open source are in the process of delivering.

  • Picking the Right Web Server for the Right Job

    Both have good reasons for their popularity. Apache is at the core of the LAMP technology stack upon which a lot of server architecture is based: Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl. That’s not just the web server itself but other application servers that use LAMP as a foundation. Among them are popular content management systems (CMSs) as Drupal and blogging platforms such as WordPress. If you need more, many Apache modules enable you to easily incorporate additional functionality into the Web server.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Fixes to memory footprint land in Firefox 7

        Firefox 5 was all about bug stomping and the stillborn channel switcher, Firefox 6 will see the addition of lots of HTML5 and CSS3 features and more privacy controls, and Firefox 7 — at long last — will focus on memory management and performance increases.

        Firefox 6, which moves to the Beta release channel today, introduced a significantly improved about:memory page with buttons that can manually trigger garbage collection (GC) and cycle collection (CC). Garbage collection frees up memory by clearing old and unused JavaScript objects; cycle collection does the same for DOM objects, including web pages. By hitting these buttons repeatedly — or by hitting “Minimize memory usage”, which triggers both processes three times in a row — you can reduce Firefox 6′s memory footprint significantly.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack is getting more and more attention…

      RackSpace and Eucalyptus are definitely taking two very different paths: RackSpace is spending time and effort to set a new standard, yet involving as many actors as they can (read standardization efforts, community building, creating alliances, etc).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • All new e-governance projects must work on open source operating systems: Draft

      Computer hardware and peripherals used by all new e-governance projects must work with Linux and other open source operating systems, says a draft policy. The rules for device drivers – software that make devices such as printers and servers talk to computers – have been put in the public domain by the department of information technology, which will take into account views of hardware makers and other stakeholders before finalising the policy. The proposed policy is expected to save government money as open source systems come cheap.

      Many states are keen to adopt cheaper systems but shy away due to their non-compatibility with latest hardware. The draft effectively rules out use of closed systems such as Apple Macs and iPads. It is also silent on smartphones that run on proprietary software.

      For instance, India’s showcase project, Nandan Nilekani-led Adhaar, makes extensive use of Blackberrys. In general, India has always supported use of open source operating systems but it is the first time a policy is being framed on the use of operating systems and device drivers in government projects. The policy is expected to open a Pandora’s box, as most companies, including makers of PCs, servers, chips, and operating systems, have arrangements to make their products talk to each other.

    • EU Lock-in

      Yeah, they’re locked-in seriously and now they want to swallow the sinker.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Open-Source Car

      Besides a V6 as your engine, your car is very likely to soon be running Linux under the hood. The Linux Foundation will be announcing today that Toyota is joining the Foundation.

      Some of you may be wondering, “What the heck is a car company doing joining the Linux Foundation?” The answer is easy. As the Foundation puts it, “A major shift is underway in the automotive industry. Car-makers are using new technologies to deliver on consumer expectations for the same connectivity in their cars as they’ve come to expect in their homes and offices. From dashboard computing to In-Vehicle-Infotainment (IVI), automobiles are becoming the latest wireless devices – on wheels.”

  • Programming

    • Shed Skin: Another Way To Compile Python Code

      Last week on Phoronix I wrote about Gccpy, which is an effort as part of Google’s Summer of Code to develop a Python front-end to GCC that would allow compiling Python into native system binaries using the GNU Compiler Collection. This was of interest to many readers and the developer behind Gccpy, had commented in more detail in the forums. Following that news article I received an email regarding another Python compiler effort.


  • Finance

    • David Stockman: Ben Bernanke Is Finished!
    • Revealed: Tim Geithner’s Cover Letter to Goldman Sachs

      Among my many other accomplishments: Helping a large number of financial institutions avoid the consequences of their actions. As many of the very large number of our mutual friends (hint, hint) will tell you, the quid pro quo on this — cutting executive salaries and perks while limiting dividends and corporate acquisitions — was strictly window dressing. Remember the bonuses AIG paid to executives in its Financial Services division after receiving $170 billion in bailout?

      Prior to my current position I served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It was in that job, when I got Bear Stearns a $30 billion bailout, that I discovered my true vocation: Giving large amounts of other people’s money to down-on-their-luck wealthy institutions. This was very important to help the economy, no matter what Paul Krugman says. I mean really, what’s he ever done?

      In closing I would just like to say how much I respect and admire your CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, whom everyone agrees is very spry for a man of his age.

    • UPDATE: Goldman, BlackRock Complete E-Traded, Cleared Credit Swap

      Goldman Sachs Group (GS) and $3.65 trillion asset manager BlackRock Inc. (BK) announced Thursday they have completed an index credit derivative trade along the lines of what was envisaged in the 2010 Dodd- Frank financial overhaul law.

      It is Goldman’s first swap trade with a client to be electronically executed and centrally cleared in the spirit of that law. The firm has conducted several trades in a manner largely consistent with the aims of the act with other dealer banks for some time.

      The trade, referencing the CDX North America Investment-Grade Index administered by Markit, was executed on a trading platform run by Tradeweb, and was cleared through Chicago’sCME Group. Other firms in the derivatives market, including Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Barclays Capital, have made similar announcements in recent months.

      Goldman served as the clearing agent, routing the trade through to the CME clearinghouse for processing on its client’s behalf. It also served as the executing dealer on the trade.

      Clearing is when a central counterparty stands between trading parties, guaranteeing their contractual obligations in case a member of the clearinghouse defaults.

    • Goldman Sachs flexes its lobbying muscle

      Facing the wrath of the public and the government after the global financial crisis that hit three years ago, Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has opened a new front for its aggressive business tactics — the nation’s capital.

      Increased federal oversight and the threat to its lucrative investment bank business from investigations and pending regulations have led Goldman to bolster its Washington presence significantly, turning a low-key lobbying operation into a sophisticated, high-powered enterprise.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • US claims all .com and .net websites are in its jurisdiction

        THE US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) wants to take down web sites that use the .com and .net top level domains (TLD) regardless of whether their servers are based in the US.

        Erik Barnett, assistant deputy director of ICE said told the Guardian that the agency will actively target web sites that are breaking US copyright laws even if their servers are not based in the US. According to Barnett, all web sites that use the .com and .net TLDs are fair game and that, since the Domain Name Service (DNS) indexes for those web sites are routed through the US-based registry Versign, ICE believes it has enough to “seek a US prosecution”.

        According to the Guardian, ICE is not focusing its efforts just on web sites that stream dodgy content but those that link to them, something the newspaper claims has “considerable doubt as to whether this is even illegal in Britain”. It points out that the only such case to have been heard by a judge in the UK was dismissed.

Reader’s Picks

Clip of the Day

Google Nexus S vs Apple iPhone 4

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 5/7/2011: GNU/Linux Thrives in Germany, Brazil; More Android Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Apple Unlikely to dethrone HP as leading portable PC vendor

      I have great respect for Digitimes. They have their finger on the pulse of IT, particularly in China, but they are out to lunch with the story that Apple will overtake HP in personal computing even if tablets are considered in the mix. Digitimes’ story assumes that Apple will continue with a huge share of tablets. That will fall apart because Android/Linux is being pushed by more than a dozen players large and small, each with some variation on the basic OS developed by Google. What this will mean is that consumers will be faced with many choices. While Apple has a large and growing following, the world is much bigger than Apple and consumers, particularly in the hot emerging markets will love small cheap Android/Linux tablets and smart phones.

    • Thoughts On Linux

      All in all I am very impressed and I would recommend Linux Mint to anyone who want to save money and not buy the Windows alternative. It is fairly lightweight, responsive and easy to run and configure. 9 out of 10 in my eyes.

    • On Linux on desktops..

      Here in Brazil, Linux usage is gaining more and more adoption for the past decade, and it is quite common to find Linux-based computers in supermarkets, computer shops, and so on. Of course, they are not that widely available as their Windows counterparts, but still, it is hard to find any computer store which wouldn’t have at least some computers running a Linux-based OS, and it is usually enough to do a web search on any Internet shop to find several compatible models which come with Linux pre-installed. Be it Mandriva, Ubuntu, or any other distribution – they all have the common open-source foundation and all the benefits of free software. And yes, they are ready for desktop and casual users to use!

      It is great to know that the Open-Source movement is gaining more and more spread world-wide. I truly believe that it has the power to change the world, and I am really happy to know that it does it.

    • Mac OS X Power Consumption vs. Ubuntu 11.04, Windows 7
    • Nothing But Chromebook For A Week

      Then I grabbed the mini-VGA to VGA adapter, a 24 inch HP monitor, and got it plugged in. Now I have a Chromebook workstation that makes me sing.

    • Hope and Change Inside My Computer – Part III

      I mentioned that my computer does not freeze. It darn well shouldn’t. It has a 64 bit dual core quad processor with 4 gigs of RAM. Windows 7 infuriated me just as much as Windows XP did with it’s intermittent stalls for no obvious reason. To be fair, a few Linux distros had momentary freezes with a slight darkening of the screen but after a bit of research, I turned Compiz off and it stopped doing it. Personally, I don’t see the point as I didn’t find it useful, just wobbly and shiny.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The Kernel Graphics Interface (KGI) Is Effectively Dead

      While the FreeBSD Foundation is now paying for Linux kernel mode-setting and GEM/TTM memory management to be ported to BSD — and they are making some progress — this isn’t the first attempt at moving major parts of the graphics stack into the kernel. Pre-dating Linux KMS/DRM is the KGI Project, which still is technically around, but it’s pretty much dead in terms of new development and any hope of the Kernel Graphics Interface reaching its goals.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Introduces 280 Linux Driver Series

        Now that NVIDIA has officially released the 275.xx Linux driver, they’re onto the 280.xx driver series. Just in time for the US holiday weekend they have released the NVIDIA 280.04 binary Linux driver beta.

        While the 280.04 beta driver marks the introduction of a new series, the official change-log is shockingly small. All that’s officially mentioned for being fixed-up in the 280.04 beta is incremental bug-fixes and preliminary support for the X.Org X Server ABI 11. This is the video ABI that’s being used by X.Org Server 1.11 RC1. It’s good to see NVIDIA still at the top of their game in supporting new kernel and X.Org releases, while AMD continues to lag behind with their Catalyst driver. It will still be several months before AMD Catalyst is expected to support X.Org Server 1.11.

      • Cedar Trail Coming Soon To Open GMA500 Driver

        While Intel’s OSTC (Portland) team is busy at work on Intel Ivy Bridge Linux graphics support for this next-generation hardware due out by year’s end, the same team doesn’t play with Intel’s Poulsbo or other graphics IP that isn’t an in-house Intel creation and part of their open-source driver. It seems, however, that Alan Cox is personally working on early “Cedar Trail” support for the open-source GMA500 driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/Login Managers

    • Light Desktop Environment for Fedora 15 (LXDE or XFCE)

      If you believe that you are not yet ready for Gnome 3 or if your hardware can’t handle the heavy desktop environments then you can always enjoy Fedora 15 Lovelock with your old hardware using light desktop shells like LXDE or XFCE.

    • 5 of the best lightweight window managers for Linux

      If you do a lot of work on a Linux computer, continuously switching between many windows, the right window manager can make you much faster and more productive than an extra 2GB of RAM.

    • LXDM: the wannabe Login Manager

      I love the idea behind LXDM: provide a lightweight, NOT freakingly bloated (in terms of dependencies, == doesn’t pull in half GNOME) Login Manager.
      If it only worked properly. Until yesterday night at least.

      Besides we all know that LXDM (the LXDE Login Manager) is in its early stage of development (kudos to its devs), it doesn’t mean that XDG specifications don’t deserve proper attention, and implementation.

      Until yesterday, in Sabayon land, LXDM wasn’t able to load Desktop Environments correctly, for this reason (lxdm.c): the lxdm_do_login() is in charge of reading user configuration ($HOME/.dmrc or whatever) and fork() the DE loader away.

    • Stability Adventures Part 1 – Adding unit tests to compiz

      As part of the Quality Assurance commitment I am making for compiz, one of the biggest parts of this is unit and regression testing. Previously, compiz has had no such infrastructure for doing so and this has allowed for subtle regressions to be introduced into earlier revisions and then not become noticable until much later ones, making the regression very difficult to track down. One of the more annoying ones is one I have just finished debugging at 3:45AM, bug 804683, where due to the way that clock_gettime () works, it can return time values which are less than what it previously would have returned a few nanoseconds ago. Luckily, I have a fix for this. However, it was difficult to find and a lot of time was wasted debugging one of the problems that came out of it (wallpaper plugin auto-cycling not being called accurately).

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Newlooks – a classic touch for GNOME 3

        The design of the default GNOME 3 theme Adwaita has been optimized for the GNOME Shell where it really shines but it’s not really meant to be used in the Fallback Mode.

      • Top 10 Dazzling GTK Themes

        Gnome shell may have started its bull run but the good old Gtk themes still don’t fail to pack a punch. Have a look at our choice of Gtk 3 themes sourced from the Mecca of all Gnome themes – gnome-look.org

      • Why Gnome 3′s Fallback mode sucks

        Ask every Gnome user. Every Gnome release, developers take away features, while giving us a proverbial carrot, but Gnome 3? They decided to just give us a stick.

        For starters, the GDM, The screen where you log in? There used to be a way to select your keyboard language and other settings. That’s gone in 3.0. (Psst, some people use áccénts on their passwords but I guess Gnome isn’t designed for people)

      • gnome-shell one week in

        Well its almost a week since I upgraded to Fedora 15 and started using gnome-shell. The good news is I’m still using it and generally really like it, although admittedly there’s quite a few bugs, and quite a few regressions that I really dislike. Fortunately a lot of those are fixed in the short tern with a few extensions and gnome-tweak-tools. I’ve also filed quite a few bugs, updated others where I felt I could add useful information, or just added myself onto the bug for easier tracking. There’s a lot of fixes that are being worked on for gnome 3.2 and I appreciate that the gnome team is working hard to balance their vision and design with a workable desktop.

  • Distributions

    • Lightweight Portable Security 1.2.1

      After playing with Lightweight Portable Security for a few days, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed.

    • Porteus 1.0: On the Trail of SLAX

      ISO image of Porteus 1.0 is quite small, well below 300Mb. Of course, it can be burned to CD and ran from there. And also you can put Porteus onto USB drive and run from there. I wanted to use second option. Documentation says that I need to copy files from iso-image when it is mounted as loop device or via archive manager. Then script has to change Master Boot Record on the drive.

    • New Releases

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 154

        · Announced Distro: PCLinuxOS KDE 2011.6
        · Announced Distro: Vinux 3.2
        · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 11 LXDE RC
        · Announced Distro: Mandriva 2011 RC1

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 6

        The Sabayon developers have done a good job at making Gentoo accessible for less technical users. However, this distro is in need of some software management improvements as I noted in the problems section. The Entropy Store needs to be a bit more aesthetically pleasing and it could also use a name change.

        Overall though my experience with Sabayon was pretty positive and there’s not a whole lot to dislike about it. It’s a solid desktop distro that should get the job done for most people.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Executive offers peek under the Red Hat

        I was the first Massachusetts employee – early 2001. At the time we were a completely retail, boxed product. We decided that there was a need to bring Linux to the [business] enterprise, to make Linux enterprise-class. I did a job fair up here. I had 1,500 people show up, 400 of which had some kind of kernel expertise. I did job fairs in other parts of the country, and I would get one or two.

      • Fedora

        • Installed Fedora 15

          Despite all the efforts to make Fedora 15 easier and more user friendly, making power users kind of unhappy by removing functionality and features, it doesn’t look ready yet (please, remove more features! :D).

        • Fedora and laptops – only a brief look …

          When installing Fedora , we can send hardware profile to Fedora Team.

        • Fedora in Public Libraries

          Our local Linux Users Group in my home town of Osijek has started workshops called knowledge exchange in partnership with our public library. So first step was to install Fusion Linux Fedora Remix on their PCs.

          Are there other examples with Fedora being rolled out in public libraries or in some other public institutions? I would be really interested with their experiences.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Now Powered by Simply MEPIS 11

          Firstly, sorry about the lack of posts recently. I kind of function on a post-when-I’m-not-doing-anything-else schedule. Recently, doing anything else has involved, at least computer wise, breaking yet another Ubuntu based installation. This time it was Netrunner, which is a shame as it looked quite nice from what I saw. It was probably my fault. Anyway, I have never actually given KDE a fair shot. I like GTK a bit more, particularly because it is used in more than one environment. Netrunner’s implementation showed me that KDE 4 could actually be quite simple to use and of course, nice to look at.

          So I wanted to keep trying out KDE, but also to escape an Ubuntu base and the instability it brings (at least in my experience, yours may very well be different). This left me with many options. Fedora, Mandriva, PCLinuxOS, OpenSuse, Sabayon, Calculate and Salix all offer KDE desktops, among others. MEPIS, Chakra and Pardus are also great devoted KDE distributions. Still, I wanted stability without losing the package variety I am accustomed to from Ubuntu so I opted for the only Debian stable based distro out of those, MEPIS 11.


          Having used MEPIS for a few days now I can officially say that it is as stable, nice looking, and easy to use as it is said to be.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 10.000 Ubuntu-PCs: “Segen und Fluch”
          • Unified Messaging Menu / MeMenu On The Way [Mockup]

            According to a recent update to the Ubuntu Wiki Messaging Menu page, the MeMenu will be integrated into the Messaging Menu. Further more, the MeMenu Ubuntu wiki page now says it’s obsolete and will be replaced “by an IM status section in the messaging menu”, which makes it pretty clear that the MeMenu and Messaging Menu unification is about to happen.

          • Inner City Boston Ubuntu Hour 2
          • Ubuntu: how to deal with (or not) Unity
          • Why Unity Will Become The Best Thing That Has Ever Happened To Ubuntu

            It has been two full months since Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” was released with the new Unity user interface. With Unity, Canonical has taken a very drastic step and cut down on a lot of customizability that many power users would want. Understandably, many proclaimed that Unity is the best thing that Canonical has ever done. There was even an article claiming that Ubuntu is on a decline due to Unity.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Release Schedule Changed, Alpha 2 Delayed

            The release schedule for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system has been modified last week by Canonical. The second Alpha version was supposed to arrive for testing last Thursday, June 30th, but it was rescheduled for July 7th.

          • Ubuntu wants to become its own brand

            Recently I’ve found that I have a problem with Ubuntu, but it’s not a simple one to explain.

            You don’t expect a distribution at the top of the popularity charts to risk its user base and its wider community standing by making big changes in a single release, yet this is exactly what Canonical has done with Ubuntu 11.04.

          • Inside Natty Narwahl: the all-new Ubuntu

            The latest version of Ubuntu, codenamed Natty Narwhal, isn’t just another release of the iconic distribution. We take a comprehensive look at the new interface.


            Natty is nice. It boots fast, is slick to use, and Unity is the visual upgrade Ubuntu badly needs to compete in this age of Mac OS X and Windows 7. It’s also bold enough to go out on its own limb and not emulate either competing OSs (though it does clearly borrow from Mac OS X). And this is a good thing, because we need fresh ideas every now and then to see if there’s a better way of doing things.

          • Ubuntu Slaps Its Users In The Face

            Second, everyone talks about this bad relationship Ubuntu has with Gnome. This I personally find amusing. If Ubuntu has upset Gnome, and the Gnome foundation so much, why do they accept financial support for them? Canonical sits on the Gnome Advisory Board because they support (donate money to) Gnome. This position allows them to help ‘guide’ the Directors of the Gnome Foundation in the overall direction of Gnome and the Gnome Foundation. Doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of bad feelings there, or neither of the two would be together is my guess.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux for ARM Alpha 1

              If you have used Bodhi before then you may be aware that one of the profiles we offer by default is one that is optimized for touch screen devices.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • HP in Discussions to License WebOS Software, CEO Apotheker Says

        Hewlett-Packard, which makes and sells its own phones and tablets that run the WebOS operating system, rose 1.3 percent to a three-week high of $35.55 in New York trading yesterday.

      • Android

        • Samsung, Google, Canonical: Please Make Honeycomb Work With Ubuntu

          Android and Ubuntu are cousins, they share the same blood stream and DNA code. However, there seems to be some problem between the two brothers (or sisters). Honeycomb uses MTP as the file transfer protocol instead of Mass Storage Device (non-Android OS such as iOS for iPad are even worse as you can’t do anything without risky iTunes.)

          While we can mount and see folders on Honeycomb tablets, we can’t see content inside those folders or take back-up of images or files that we downloaded.

        • China v USA: Who Loves Freedom More?

          Well, it turns out they both love that other OS more than freedom but at least in China, Android and Linux get equal time.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Really Small Cheap Computers

        At 7 inches I found tablets as cheap as $86 CDN. So it’s not the latest and greatest – 4 hours battery life, 800MHz ARM11, Android 2.1, 256MB RAM and resistive touch screen.

      • Tablet operating systems compared

        Each comes with a set of pros and cons and will almost certainly influence your tablet buying decision, so here’s our guide to every major system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An Update on the IFOSS Law Review and Announcing the IFOSS Law Book

    We have written before about the International Free and Open Source Law Review, but it’s worth getting an update as to what was in the last issue. I also want to make you aware of the latest publication coming out of the community of lawyers interested in free and open source software, the IFOSS Law Book.

  • Getting secure with Mantra: An open source penetration testing kit

    Mantra is an open source, browser-based framework for penetration testing and security assessments. It’s based on Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser, so it’s cross-platform, and it’s part of the Open Web Application Security Project — OWASP. Techworld Australia recently caught up with project leader Abhi M. Balakrishnan to talk about Mantra and its goals

  • Events

    • Proposition of Cross-Distro Mini-Conf for Linux.conf.au 2012

      Time has come again to think to our friends down under ! Since I was there in 2007 for a MondoRescue conference I think this is really a place to be in the FLOSS ecosystem when possible; Too bad it’s so far away from France :-( Travel costs are not light either.

    • Debian at several conferences

      The Debian Project is pleased to announce that it will be present at several events in the coming weeks, ranging from developer-oriented conferences to workshops for users and wannabe developers. As usual, upcoming events are also listed on our website.

      From June 27 to July 3, during Campus Party 2011 in Bogotá, Colombia, Debian Colombia invites all to join the special event “Lleva un paquetico en tu corazón (Keep a Little Package in Your Heart)” during which attendees will work on bugs and will create Debian packages. It will also be possible to participate via IRC by joining the channel debian-co on irc.debian.org. Further information (in Spanish) is available on the wiki page.


    • Automake and cmake revisited

      One reason I had for awhile considered cmake so strongly in GNU Telephony is that I choose to experiment with using Qt to build applications, and at the time I thought it rather difficult to build QT applications under autconf/automake. A week ago I revisited this question on my own, and found I was actually wrong about this.

  • Project Releases

    • Gawk 4.0 Is A Major New Release

      Besides releasing libgcrypt 1.5 this week, another GNU project has been updated. Gawk 4.0.0 has been officially released as a major update to this popular free software utility. Gawk 4.0.0 presents several new end-user features along with revamped internals.

    • A New Version Of Libvirt Brings Many Changes
    • Minitunes 1.0 has been released

      Minitunes 1.0 has been released, The new release added a new search box that allow you to search music in your collection , added drag’n’drop, which let us to add songs or entire albums simply by dragging them within the application, adding new translations. Fixed some bugs found in previous versions to improve stability. and more.

  • Public Services/Government

    • AGIMO finalises new open source guide

      Includes procurement guidelines and open source software policy.

      The Federal Government has issued version 2.0 of its Guide to Open Source Software, after seeking public comments on a draft guide in March.

      The new, 67-page document (pdf) replaced a guide that was issued by former special minister of state Eric Abetz in April 2005.

      Australian Government CIO Ann Steward said on Friday that she was “very pleased with the response” to the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)’s call for comments on the draft.

  • Programming

    • Quick Update

      Hey all i am sorry for the last post i have many posts drafted to be posted within the next 2-3 weeks where i am going to discuss my project GccPy as there has been alot happening with it recently, i am working on a paper which shows everything about it so far but i want to have some posts demonstrating the basic principles of compilers and in deed creating an Ahead of Time version of Python on top of GCC and how this actually works. I personally find it a pretty cool topic but first i will am just in a bit of rant mood and its about whats happened since my last blog post:

      Well anyway i’m currently in an awkward position i feel i may leave university but i will see because its simply causing me so much problems in my day to day life, I’ve got onto Google summer of code 2011 yet again to work on Gccpy with Ian lance Taylor but i may focus a little more on working on the Gcc middle-end to make some of my work a little easier. But the problem i am having at the moment with university is i actually failed all my modules last semester which may sound awful. Esp the one in compiler development i am writing a complaint about this at the moment due to the fact i actually took my own time to create a compiler specificity for this language they developed which works i cant emphasize this enough it actually works and demonstrates an IR properly designed and works well and doesn’t segv if you put in a syntax/grammar error i didnt even have to do this for the module.

    • No need to worry as open source contributions decline

      As open source usage has entered the mainstream, are users contributing less time and money to open source projects, thereby putting the future of the project at risk? One CEO of a leading open-source-based company thinks so.

    • GNU Awk gets major tune up in version 4.0.0

      The GNU Awk developers have announced version 4.0.0 of Gawk, aka GNU Awk, the GNU Project’s free software implementation of AWK, the data-driven scripting language for extracting data and creating reports. Gawk 4.0.0 is the result of two years’ work in which the developers made a number of major changes.

      For example, they have added BEGINFILE/ENDFILE allowing Gawk programs to execute rules when they begin or end processing a file and support for indirect function calls and “arrays of arrays” (including an isarray function). There is a new –sandbox option which disables the system() call and redirects input/output and extensions, allowing for “scripts from questionable sources” to be run with minimal access to the system.

    • Introducing Multithreading to Mature Desktop Applications


  • L’Affaire DSK: Presumption of Innocence Lost

    When Dominique Strauss-Kahn first mulled over the idea of running for president of France, he professed concern that his vulnerabilities in the coming election would be the trifecta of “money, women, his being Jewish.” In the week since a housekeeper at New York’s Sofitel Hotel alleged that he assaulted and attempted to rape her, all three of those elements have converged to render any thought of a political future for Strauss-Kahn entirely beside the point.

  • Finance

    • Here’s The Legal Complaint WikiLeaks Is Threatening To File Against Visa, MasterCard

      More than six months have passed since Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and others cut WikiLeaks’ purse strings. And if that blockade lasts six more days, the secret-spilling group plans to take its financial fight to the courtroom.


      WikiLeaks and Datacell (a service provider assisting WikiLeaks) are to sue Visa & MasterCard for engaging in an unlawful, U.S. influenced, financial blockade.

      On June 9th a the law firms Bender von Haller Dragested in Denmark and Reykjavik Law Firm in Iceland acting on behalf of DataCell and WikiLeaks told the companies that if the blockade is not removed they will be litigated in Denmark and a request for prosecution will be filed with the EU Commission. Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe, and Teller (a Danish company licensed to process transactions on behalf of the card companies) are the subjects of the complaint.

      It was pointed out to these companies that their coordinated action on December 7th last year to block all credit card transactions to WikiLeaks and DataCell constituted a serious violation of the Competition Rules of the EU (Article 101(1) and 102). Furthermore, that the actions of these companies have violated Danish merchant laws when they terminated the payment services and by refused to reinstate them.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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Android-контроль и зеленая фигня

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Links 2/7/2011: Cisco to Shop Android, Ubuntu One Comes to Android

Posted in News Roundup at 10:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Hope and Change Inside My Computer – Part II

    In retrospect, I have recently read a large amount of comments and articles on how Linux is not ready for prime time. Honestly, if I had read even a fraction of these articles, I doubt I would have installed it, even with Mark’s endorsement. In the past two months or so, I can honestly say I can not understand how these writers came to such a conclusion. Linux works extremely well for me.

  • Linux IT to underwrite open-source adoption

    Linux IT is aiming to kick-start community-based open-source software adoption among UK enterprises with the launch of an indemnification scheme.

    In what it claims is a world first, the integrator is offering to underwrite any community-based open-source software that meets the requirements of its
    verification process.

    The soon-to-be-launched programme, which is backed by an unnamed insurance firm, enables Linux IT to fix or replace the software if it does not work as expected. Cover to the value of £5m is provided.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • MCSE or RHCE – Which certifications should you be the most proud of?

      The issue with the MCSE is that the tests are glorified word association exams. To pass, all you need to do is learn all the technology names and keywords created by Microsoft, the contexts in which these words are used, and the contexts in which they aren’t used. Obviously an understanding of the technologies behind the buzzwords is helpful, but not essential.

  • Applications

    • 7 of the Best Free Linux Bioinformatics Tools

      Bioinformatics has been defined in many different ways, but it is common ground to regard this discipline as the application of mathematics, computing and statistics to the analysis of biological information. The objective of bioinformatics is to enable the finding of new biological insights, and to create a broader, more critical view from which unifying principles in biology can be perceived.

      Bioinformatics is very important in the field of human genome research. It has become crucial for large-scale measurement technologies such as DNA sequencing, microarrays, and metabolomics. The field of bioinformatics has been aided significantly by Linux-based hardware and software. There are a number of Linux distributions which offer an integrated bioinformatics workstation. The popular distribution Bio-Linux packages hundreds of bioinformatics programs spanning a number of different fields.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • They make Mageia: Jérôme Quelin

        Now that things are well on their way and that Mageia 1 is there, it’s time to discover some more about the persons that are making this a reality.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-based networked DVR can record from 64 cameras

      IndigoVision announced a doubling of capacity to 2TB disks on its NVR-AS 3000 of Linux-based, surveillance-oriented network video recorders (NVRs). The NVR-AS 3000 systems are now available with up to 6TB of usable RAID 5 storage, as well as RAID 0/1 options, and can record full framerate video and audio from 64 cameras, and play back 20 streams simultaneously, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Canonical releases Ubuntu One for Android devices

          LINUX VENDOR Canonical has brought its cloud storage that it calls Ubuntu One to Android devices, saying that in order to stream files, it stores them as plain text.

          Canonical’s Ubuntu One cloud storage service had previously been available from the outfit’s Ubuntu Linux distribution, however with the arrival of Ubuntu One Files on Android, users can access the service on both PCs running Ubuntu and Android devices. The free service offers 2GB of storage space and does not need a PC to operate.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • TouchPad ships to hurrahs for WebOS, but hoots at the hardware

        The Wi-Fi version of the 9.7-inch HP TouchPad tablet went on sale today for $499 (16GB) and $599 (32GB). Early reviews follow the same general pattern as those of the original Palm Pre two years ago: praise for the promise of WebOS, but disappointment over bugs, performance, lack of apps, and limited battery life.

      • Why HP Is Negotiating WebOS License Deals?

        Because WebOS won’t survive if its runs only on HP devices, its as simple as it goes. HP doesn’t command the smartphone market as much as Samsung or Motorola do. In addition HP also needs what matters the most ‘apps’ for WebOS to be successful. Not many developers will be interested in porting their apps for a platform which has a non-existent market.

        Most HP smartphone users are corporate users and they may not want Angry Birds on their devices. If there are no takers, Rovio won’t port Angry Birds to WebOS and if there is no Angry Birds there, many regular users won’t buy WebOS phones. Simple.

        So, HP needs vendors which can take WebOS to consumer segment.

      • Media-oriented Android tablet sports IR remote

        Vizio announced the VTAB1008, an eight-inch tablet that includes infrared “universal remote” capabilities and runs Android 2.3. The company added that it will employ Android and its own Vizio Internet Apps Plus (V.I.A. Plus) additions in forthcoming TVs, Blu-ray players, smartphones, “and more.”

      • Cisco Cius Tablet Set For Release

        In June of 2010, Cisco CEO John Chambers announced the Cius, an Android based tablet that was supposed to be the first enterprise grade tablet. Fast forward to 2011 and the Cius still is not yet generally available, but that’s about to change.

        Cisco today announced that the Cius will become generally available in July and will include a new enterprise AppHQ component for the delivery of mobile applications. Cisco is trying to differentiate the Cius from consumer tablets like the Apple iPad as well as other Android tablets by providing enterprise grade collaboration, security and applications. The device isn’t just a tablet, it can also be docked with a phone and a keyboard as well.

Free Software/Open Source

  • DHS, Georgia Tech seek to improve security with open-source tools

    The Georgia Tech Research Institute has been designated the lead organization in a government project to develop open-source cybersecurity capabilities.

  • Events

    • Calls for papers issued for ELC Europe, Linux.conf.au

      Calls for papers were announced for CELF’s Embedded Linux Conference Europe, co-located with LinuxCon Europe in Prague on October 26-28, as well as the Australian Linux.conf.au, planned for Jan 16-20, 2012 in Ballarat, Australia. Meanwhile, the Linux Foundation announced Kim Blanche’s “Flying Penguins” as the winner of the 20th Anniversary of Linux T-shirt contest, earning her a trip to next month’s LinuxCon Gala in Vancouver.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.4.1 Is Now Available for Download

      A few minutes ago, July 1st, The Document Foundation company announced the first maintenance release of the LibreOfficeb 3.4 open source office suite software for Linux, Windows and Macintosh platforms, bringing several bugfixes.

      LibreOffice 3.4.1 is available now (see download links at the end of the article), for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. The new release fixes some important bugs and updates several translations. Overall it is much stable than the previous release and everyone is encourage to update.

    • Major gaps of Open Office Impress versus Microsoft Power Point: what do you think?

      Yesterday Sergio, a user of OpenOffice Impress, sent to the OpenOffice.org discussion list his list of the “Major Gaps of OpenOffice Impress 3.3 vs. Microsoft Office PowerPoint”.

      Sergio compiled the list because, as much as he likes OpenOffice, “after struggling for over 1 year, sadly he had to stop using Open Office Impress and go back to Microsoft Power Point”.

    • PPAs and LibreOffice

      First I would like to thank everyone for their interest in LibreOffice! Second, I think it’s very important to understand that there’s a difference between PPAs and the default version shipped by Ubuntu. Just like any other distribution, Ubuntu releases a full GNU/Linux system that comes with a set of fully defined and qualified packages. Unless Ubuntu chooses to upgrade these packages themselves, they won’t move or change until the next version of the distribution is released. PPAs are a community based and convenient way to use more up-to-date version of software packages, but do not expect the same quality or to have a fault-proof software running; it’s an upgrade for the users who wish to enjoy their system with more spice and n

    • Ready for Paris? See you there in October!

      It seems I’m continuing my pattern of posting less here, which I find to be a disappointing yet apparently an unescapable trend. If you haven’t seen my “dents” and “tweets” on the side of this page, feel free to follow me on identi.ca (charlesschulz) and on Twitter (ch_s). Note that I’m much more often on identi.ca than on Twitter. Today, I would like to send everyone reading this blog a very special invitation. The first LibreOffice Conference will take place in Paris, from the 12th to the 15th of October. These will be great days to meet face to face and to exchange though conferences and informal, quick talks about several topics related to LibreOffice development, distribution and design. Also, and this is important: our call for papers is open but it will close by the end of July, so feel free to submit your proposal now. I would like to unveil somewhat what we have in store for this event.

  • Education

    • How to teach the next generation of open source with Scratch

      Do you ever wish your kids would do something besides play video games on the computer? What if you could get a head start teaching them to be the next generation of open source developers?

      Computers are increasingly easy to use, but programming is far more complex–and less accessible. For many of us who now have small children, programming began with BASIC programs on computers that forced you to make them do something by offering nothing but a command line.

  • Business

      Semi-Open Source

      • EnterpriseDB Extends PostgreSQL for Itanium

        Enterprise giant Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) has been warning its users this year that it plans to abandon the Intel Itanium architecture that powers HP’s (NYSE: HPQ) Unix operating system. While Oracle isn’t interested in supporting Itanium, others are.

        EnterpriseDB today announced Postgres Plus Advanced Server 9.0, which provides Oracle compatibility and now supportS HP-UX on Itanium.


  • Facebook, Google+, and Centralized Proprietary Monocultures

    This week, Google released Google+, which is basically a social network that’s a lot like Facebook, but run by Google instead of Facebook. The big deal here is that it’s a lot easier to modify privacy settings and configure what information to post to which group(s) (“Circle(s)” in Google+-speak) of contacts. This shows that Google, at least on the surface, takes privacy a lot more seriously than Facebook. I say this because whenever a controversial privacy settings change occurs on Facebook, it’s usually in the direction of less privacy, and only when the users get outraged does Facebook do anything at all (and it’s usually insignificant), because the truth is that Facebook’s business is built upon selling users’ data to companies for marketing, advertising, etc. I’ve also gotten annoyed with Facebook’s chat and constant UI changes that occur for no good reason, so I’m a little more drawn in that sense to Google+ because it integrates Google Chat (which I know works), and all of Google’s applications have kept pretty much constant, simple UIs over the years. Please note that I haven’t actually used Google+, though I have an invitation (it seems like Google can’t process that invitation right now); any statements that make it seem like I’ve used it are actually just my hopes and expectations.

  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s National Day of Divisiveness

    Texas Governor Rick Perry plans to host a “National Day of Prayer and Fasting” on Saturday, August 6 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, in an event is billed as a “non-denominational, apolitical Christian prayer meeting.” Despite the “apolitical” label, the event has some political undertones, particularly since Perry has been flirting with a run for the Republican presidential nomination and currently serves as chair of the Republican Governors Association. Perry has invited the other 49 U.S. state governors to the event. The portrayal of the event as a “nondenominational” ceremony is a misnomer, too, since the event will be exclusively Christian, and no other belief systems will be represented.

  • Walker Plans to Celebrate Budget Bill with Felon Until Union Broadcasts Rendezvous

    Governor Scott Walker will sign the controversial state budget bill into law June 26. He was originally scheduled to sign his budget at Badger Sheet Metal Works, a private business operated by a man with six felony tax convictions, in Green Bay, at 2 p.m. on Sunday. However, now that Gregory A. DeCaster’s tax troubles have been publicized, the governor’s office has announced a new location for the ceremony: Fox Valley Metal Tech, also in Green Bay.

    “While Mr. DeCaster has served his time in jail and paid his debt to society, it is fitting that the governor would choose to sign this budget at a business owned by someone who was once convicted of the felony of tax evasion,” said Marc Norberg, a Wisconsin native and assistant to the general president of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association.

    Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said something quite similar earlier in the day when he told WisPolitics, “Green Bay, and certainly the company that we’re going to, reflects really what this budget and what Gov. Walker’s first term here is all about.”

  • Supreme Court spat got physical
  • Health

    • Insurers’ Bait and Switch

      More and more Americans are falling victim to one of the most insidious bait-and-switch schemes in U.S. history. As they do, health insurance executives and company shareholders are getting richer and richer. This industry-wide plot explains how health insurers have been able to reap record profits during the recent recession as the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured continue to swell.

      It also explains why the insurance industry and its allies are pulling out all the stops to kill a measure in the California legislature that could protect state residents from losing their homes and being forced into bankruptcy if they get seriously sick or injured.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Largely Symbolic: New Jersey Senate Bans Fracking

      While the ban is cause for celebration for those truly in favor of a “clean energy future,” it is largely symbolic because only a tiny sliver of the Marcellus Shale actually touches the state. There is actually some truth to the statement made by Energy in Depth’s Chris Tucker, who stated that the ban, by-and-large, is “irrelevant.”

    • What Happened to Media Coverage of Fukushima?

      Fukushima has been a wake up call about the dangers of nuclear power, and some countries are heeding the information. But it seems the U.S. is still sleeping when it comes to this issue. Light-to-absent coverage of TEPCO’s struggles to bring Fukushima under control, legislators who insist on acting favorably towards the nuclear power industry despite the deteriorated state of our current reactor fleet and an ineffective Nuclear Regulatory Commission have all contributed to a bad combination of a dangerous situation and a complacent American public on this issue.

  • Finance

    • Insurers Spend Big Fighting Regulations, Paying CEOs Huge Salaries

      Nowhere are health insurers working harder to thwart reforms that could save consumers billions of dollars than in California. One measure they are especially determined to kill is a bill that would give state regulators the authority to reject rate increases that are excessive or discriminatory.

      The California Assembly passed a bill to do just that earlier this month over the intense opposition of insurers, including the state’s biggest supposedly nonprofit health plans: Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente.

    • Darrell Issa’s fishy dealings should (but won’t) be investigated by his own House committee

      Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), one of the richest members of Congress and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee who promised a hearing a day after the November 2010 elections, has always been slimy little creature who refuses to accept responsibility for his own misbehavior, everything from car theft to lying about his military history.

    • Goldman Sachs’s Connections With Central Banks Reach Deeper After Hiring

      The fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets said yesterday it hired Bank of England economist Andrew Benito after recruiting Huw Pill from the European Central Bank in May and Naohiko Baba from the Bank of Japan in January. Moving in the other direction, Ben Broadbent, Goldman Sachs’s ex-chief U.K. economist, started at the Bank of England last month. Former vice chairman Mario Draghi will take up the presidency of the ECB in November.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • RIAA: LulzSec & Anonymous Show Why We Need PROTECT IP

        Ah, the RIAA will apparently stoop to pretty much any old ridiculous argument to get PROTECT IP passed, I guess. The RIAA’s Mitch Glazier has written a typically ridiculous blog post defending PROTECT IP. Most of it tries (and fails) to counter the very credible claims of folks like Paul Vixie (who knows this stuff) that PROTECT IP (1) won’t work and (2) will break the internet and cause tremendous collateral damage. The arguments against Vixie pretty much amount to quoting people, who have known associations with those backing PROTECT IP, saying that “eh, things won’t be that bad, and we can minimize unintended consequences.”

Reader’s Picks

Clip of the Day

Greenpeace – The Darkside.mp4

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 1/7/2011: Linux at HP, Mozilla Thunderbird for Ubuntu Default

Posted in News Roundup at 7:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • What WebOS Means To HP, Linux, And You

    In John’s review of the new HP TouchPad, he claimed that “WebOS is the real star of this show. The OS offers true multi-tasking and uses a system of “cards” and “stacks” to display active applications.” I think it’s worthwhile to remind everyone that WebOS is built atop the Linux kernel, and that has several interesting ramifications. HP has continued Palm’s dedication to user experience, and WebOS should make it abundantly clear that “Linux” need not be synonymous with “complex and arcane”. But there’s a lot more than just superficial window dressing to consider.

    HP could have chosen to use Android for their tablet. It would not have been a bad decision, really, but by buying and continuing to develop WebOS, HP is using Linux to better control their own destiny. Jim Zemlin, director of the Linux Foundation, says he sees this “as an anti-Microsoft decision so that they no longer need to rely on a third-party and be beholden when making important business decisions.” This tactic has been tried many times in the past: old-timers will remember various OEMs shipping DR-DOS rather than MS-DOS, and OS/2 rather than Windows 3.1, to fight the Redmond hegemony. But WebOS, and the proliferation of small mobile computing platforms (tablets, phones, printers, etc), allows HP to really own their whole stack, which allows them provide the best experience to their customers according to their own corporate vision.

  • A nice surprise

    Today, I visited the same shop after a particularly hard day of a rather stormy week. I went in looking for an external HD and another clerk brought it to me. I instinctively started turning the box trying to find a Tux signal somewhere and the clerk noticed, so he politely asked me: “Excuse me…What are you looking for?”

    Mentally, I sighed and said to myself “here we go again” before I told him: “I want to know if these devices support Linux”.

  • Server

    • 7 Reasons Why Linux Will Rule The Server Market

      e’ve ranted a lot about Linux not being able to catch up on Windows and Mac in the desktop arena. However, we can never complain about the position Linux enjoys in the server market. Of course 20-22 % is too small a figure to put the penguin in a dominant position, but the growth Linux has seen over the years has been astounding. From big companies like Google to small technology blogs that are read by a handful, Linux — as IBM prophesied in an advert long ago — is everywhere.

      Here are some of the reasons why we think Linux is the future ruler of the server market:

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New Plasma Active Window Switcher

        Last week, Marco and I have integrated a new window switcher into Plasma Active. We had designed and started to implement this rather central component of the shell during the Tokamak sprint a couple of weeks ago, now it finally made its way into Active, so you can update your system to the latest packages and enjoy it. (In order for it to work correctly, you’ll have to delete your plasma-tablet-appletsrc file, as we do not update these automatically at this stage of development). The new window switcher works very well, and is quite snazzy on top of that. It also contains an application launcher! I’ve recorded a small demo video showing these new features.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Nautilus Elementary Ambiance Theme Adds PPA, Looks Better Than Ever!

        Nautilus Elementary Ambiance GTK theme by simplygreat is perhaps the most beautiful mod of default Ubuntu Ambiance theme. We have featured it already in our top themes for Ubuntu 11.04 post. Few things have changed lately and the latest Nautilus Elementary Ambiance theme now comes with a PPA. Installation has now become a breeze.

      • Running GNOME apps in Kubuntu

        These days there is a lot of discussion going on surrounding the future of Ubuntu and GNOME with respect to desktop user interface or “desktop experience”. For me personally I find a lot of good in both Canonical’s Unity and GNOME’s gnome-shell. There is, however, enough issues, both technical and political, that I have been more of a mind to try other desktop environments.

  • Distributions

    • Untangle your network

      Untangle it’s a software appliance (based on Debian) that can help you in managing your network from content security to web caching, remote access to policy enforcement, all from one simple, drag & drop command center.

    • New Releases

      • Calculate Linux 11.6 released

        The new version of the distribution Calculate Linux 11.3 has been released. All editions of distribution are available for download: Calculate Linux Desktop with desktop KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) and XFCE (CLDX), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), Calculate Directory Server (CDS) and Calculate Scratch Server (CSS).

      • The last Zentyal beta installer (2.1-2) available!

        Zentyal Development Team is glad to announce the availability of a new beta installer, Zentyal 2.1-2! This is the last beta version: from July to September a series of release candidates will be published, and in September the next stable release (Zentyal 2.2) will see daylight.

        This installer contains all the improvements and bugfixes done since the release of the previous beta installer (2.1-1 ). Moreover, it also comes with the first previews of three fully new modules: PPTP, Captive Portal and VM Management. It is important to notice that these modules are still under development and they may be in alpha status – They are not intended for production environments.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 RC1 Looks Impressive, Screenshot Tour

        Mandriva, through Eugeni Dodonov, announced a few minutes ago, June 29th, the immediate availability for testing of the first Release Candidate version of the upcoming Mandriva 2011 Linux operating system.

        Mandriva 2011 RC1 contains a huge number of changes, compared to the previous development release, Mandriva 2011 Beta 3. It has updated applications, such as Mozilla Firefox 5.0, Opera 11.50, Pidgin 2.9.0, as well as a new revamped interface with new artwork.

      • A quick note about Mandriva 2011 UI

        Folks, just to drop you a quick note about Mandriva 2011 UI – if you enable Desktop effects, you’ll have a completely different UI experience when compared to the one with them disabled.

      • Reviewed: Mageia 1.0

        Our verdict: A worthy successor to Mandriva that promises to deliver even more in the future. 8/10

    • Gentoo Family

      • Larry the Cow Embraces Freedom

        We encourage our developers and users to create Gentoo artwork based on our newly released Larry.

      • Gentoo Screenshot Contest 2011

        Gentoo Users, Developers, and Staffers are encouraged to submit their sweetest screenshots. This year likewhoa went all out and put together a custom cms for us to use for the contest. Please head over to the 2011 Contest Page for all of the details.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Who Says You Can’t Make Money with Open Source?

        Red Hat’s CEO, Jim Whitehurst, expects the company’s revenue to TRIPLE to three billion dollars in five years. This is a company whose only business is providing service and support for open source software.

        IBM, on its 100th year in business, has been richly rewarded for its billion dollar investment in Linux with a market cap today that eclipsed Microsoft’s back in May. I would argue that IBM has created so much shareholder wealth largely because they got open source and they got it early. They built services and products around open source instead of competing with open source.

      • Red Hat Exec’s $1 Million Sale
      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Packages I’ve added to LibreOffice in Debian Squeeze
      • How to start contributing to Debian?

        I often get requests of persons who would like to contribute to Debian but who don’t know where to start. Let’s try to answer this question properly so that I can give out this URL the next time that I am asked.

        The Debian website has a page explaining how to help Debian. While it provides no less than 10 suggestions in a daunting text-only list, it’s difficult to know what to do next once you picked up something that you could do.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 5 Quick Tips to Improve Ubuntu 11.04 Unity Performance

            In my opinion, one area where successive Ubuntu releases continuously under-performed is on the overall system performance front. Every new Ubuntu release feels more and more bloated, especially so with latest Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. I was quite taken aback by fact that, even the so called Ubuntu “derivatives” like Pinguy OS and Elementary OS were a lot slicker than the original Ubuntu. Having said that, Unity is still very young and I believe it will become vastly improved by the time of next Ubuntu LTS release. But what all can we do to significantly improve overall performance of Ubuntu Unity right now? Lets explore.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • How Linux Mint took over all my computers

              Regular readers will recall that I was pretty darn impressed with Linux Mint 10 on my laptop. I’ve been slowly moving other machines to Mint since then, one at a time. First it was my test-bed machine, with various different versions – Mint 10, Mint 11, Mint Debian. I settled it on Mint 11 64-bit. Then my main desktop, which also got Mint 11 64-bit and is running nicely. The ancient Dell D610 laptop was next to go: that got Mint 10 32-bit.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged AMC module taps dual-core 1.2GHz QorIQ

      Kontron announced its first AdvancedMC (AMC) processor module equipped with Freescale Semiconductor’s QorIQ processors. The single-width, Linux-ready AM4120 module incorporates: a dual-core, 1.2GHz QorIQ P2020 processor with extended longevity support; up to 4GB soldered DDR3 SDRAM; four SERDES lines; three gigabit Ethernet channels; flexible boot options; and under 17-Watt power consumption, says the company.

    • Nokia Will Ditch Users For Microsoft?

      It seems Mr Elop, the ex-Microsoft executive now driving the once master turned mistress Nokia towards Microsoft’s bed, is more determined to turn Nokia into a hardware truck which delivers Microsoft’s mobile OS.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Do We Need An Android Patent Pool?

        Once upon a time a company called iRiver made a name for itself with a line of MP3 players and portable media players. In fact I still have an old iRiver MP3 player lying around which I still use from time to time as a voice recorder thanks to its support for line and mic input. But while iRiver never exactly went away, the company has largely faded into the background after the launch of the iPod touch and iPhone.

      • Motorola XOOM Available In India

        Motorola has announced the availability of Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi and 3G variant tablets in India. Motorola XOOM features a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, front-facing and rear-facing cameras, true multi-tasking functionality, and the latest Google Mobile services on a 25.6 cm (10.1-inch) widescreen HD display.

      • E-Books readers sales rise, but are tablets really lagging?

        You see I’m also on record as saying that the Android Linux-powered e-readers were quickly evolving into tablets. Like what tablets you ask? Try the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color: they’re both powered by Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Further thoughts on the decline of ‘open source’ as a competitive differentiator
  • Open Source is not a Sin, It’s a blessing

    The term open source to me means – no vendor lock-in, it means i can try out (at least a community version) without getting some kind of license key. It means there is likely a mailing list and a bug tracker — you know the stuff that provides transparency.

    What has happened in my view is that some of the commercial open core vendors have so watered down the term open source in their own marketing as to make it meaningless. After all if a so called open core vendor (software based on open source but with added ‘stuff’ around it) has the bulk of the added ‘stuff’ non-open source (often the case), then being open source in that context doesn’t really matter, does it?

  • Do you FOSS or do you FLOSS?

    Recently a person was writing a paper and they used the term “FLOSS” (meaning Free and Li[bv]re Open Source Software) instead of “FOSS” (meaning Free and Open Source Software). The author happens to have been from Latin America and writing for a United Nations sponsored paper. In these types of papers the term “FLOSS” is used quite regularly.

  • Scientist: How to attribute free software contributions in journal article, proceeding and monograph

    Scientists, academicians and researchers are a group of users that benefits greatly from Free and Open Source Software (FOSS / FLOSS). Most them would use free software not only to help in preparing graph and documentation, but also as the main tool in their investigation.

    Although it is not explicitly required by the software license or by software authors, the role of free software should be appropriately attributed by academicians and scientists who used them in their investigations as it would not only acknowledge the contribution of free software authors (some of them are hardworking academicians or scientists themselves), but this will also done to fulfill the academic accountability on the researchers part.

  • Bear Turns Open Source Shark in Deep Water

    On this day he’s wearing his CEO hat. He’s come to talk about SharkCloud, his latest project, which could be a FOSS game changer if he gets it to fly.

  • FUD Barriers For Open Source Non-Profits?

    Are US open source organisations having their applications for non-profit status blocked?

    In a post to a private mailing list I follow, Software Conservancy chief Bradley Kuhn has confirmed that an unexpected problem highlighted recently by CASH Music is indeed a real issue for open source groups in the USA seeking to formalise non-profit status. I asked Bradley if he’d be happy to share some of the information from that posting and he agreed.

    The problem is that, for unexplained reasons, the US tax authorities (IRS) are not approving applications from open source organisations for tax-exempt status very quickly – if at all. As Jesse von Doom notes in the blog posting that drew attention to the matter, “no one wants to draw the ire of the IRS”, but Bradley observes that this is a problem he has been hearing about for over a year.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird Made Default In Ubuntu 11.10, Final Default Email Client Decision Not Yet Taken

        According to a recent change, Thunderbird is now the default email client in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, replacing Evolution. The update should be available for Oneiric users in a few hours.

        But this doesn’t mean Thunderbird will be default in the final Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot release because according to the default email client blueprint, the final decision has not been taken yet. We should find out if Thunderbird will stay as default sometime around Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot Alpha 3, after both Thunderbird and Evolution will be evaluated…

      • Mozilla Thunderbird 5.0, a look at new features!| PPA Ubuntu

        The new Thunderbird comes with a handful of new features such as drag and drop enabled interface, improved add-on manager and account creating wizard and several fixes. The most apparent change you shall notice is definitely the better, minimal and more modern interface. The Add-on manager, Trouble shooting page and many bug fixes!

      • Thunderbird joins Firefox with rapid release
      • Firefox 5 A Success For Mozilla

        Firefox may not have been overwhelming in the features department, but it has accomplished a major goal for Mozilla: The transition of users was accelerated by a factor of 2.

        I cannot quite remember a Mozilla browser that was as controversial as version 5, a version that is loved and hated at the same time. For users, Firefox 5 is an almost insignificant update that does not deliver any tangible benefits with the exception of security updates that are phased for Firefox 4 (there was anyway just one big update.) However, as the days go by, we more and more feel that this is not really a browser that was made with Mozilla’s users in mind. This is a browser that was created as a launch platform for future Mozilla browsers. In some way, Firefox 5 is a browser that Mozilla made for itself.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Oracle’s Response to the Daubert Motion

      Oracle has now filed its brief [PDF] in opposition to Google’s Daubert motion in which Google seeks to exclude Prof. Iain Cockburn, Oracle’s damages expert, as an expert in the patent infringement suit. Google’s arguments largely fell into the category of asserting Prof. Cockburn was ignoring or distorting facts and ignoring well established principles for determining damages.

      In its response Oracle makes a compelling argument that Prof. Cockburn’s determinations are within the bounds of reason, that Prof. Cockburn is an established expert on patent infringement damages, and that, to the extent Google disagrees with Prof. Cockburn’s approach and findings, Google should put forward its own expert or save its criticism of Prof. Cockburn for cross-examination at trial. It is hard to argue that point.

    • Do We Need An Android Patent Pool?

      Patents are dangerous for the innovation and progress in the IT field. Monopolies like Microsoft, Apple and Oracle have stared using the so-called software patents as bane to block innovation and competition in the market.

      America’s controversial software patent law is causing more damage to the IT industry than it is doing good. It’s time US congress must take steps to abolish the IT evil called software patents.

      Smaller players, also known as start-up are living under threat of being bullied by mega-corporates like Microsoft and Apple with some unnamed patent seeking ransom or face legal action.


    • A Python Front-End To GCC Is Brewing This Summer

      It turns out there’s another fairly interesting Google Summer of Code project being worked on this summer beyond the exciting projects and the Mesa/X/Wayland projects that have piqued our interest this year. This project was somehow skipped past when looking at the GSoC information before, but it’s a continued effort (by the same student last year) to write a Python front-end to GCC.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Can Creative Commons solve the digital rights problem?

      The internet has made the sharing and remixing of content into a common pastime but copyright laws, first designed more than 400 years ago, have not kept up. Creative Commons attempts to change that and this week the organisation published a guide, The Power of Open, that shows exactly how the system works.

      Joi Ito, the chair of Creative Commons, told the Telegraph: “If you think about the success of the internet, it allows people to innovate without asking permission.” He said that existing copyright was an obstacle to that and so Creative Commons provided a way to let creators control their rights without stifling innovation.

    • CoLab: An Experiment Into Open Source Science

      Scientific research is exhaustive, time consuming, and often frustrating, especially when the results don’t turn out. What’s more, when publishing research articles, fellow scientists, colleagues, and the general public tend to be unaware of the amount of work put into the research, as the paper published only contains the best of the best in terms of results and findings. All the other data collected, the procedures used, the false starts, unpredictable mistakes and surprises that happen along the way go unnoticed, stored away in boxes to collect dust.

      But why? Why do scientists hide 90% of what they do? Are they afraid of their research being stolen? Are they worried that others in the scientific community may criticize or challenge their findings? Or is it just that they have gotten so used to doing their research behind closed doors that they stopped looking for a new way to do things? Whatever the reason, it seems that scientists should be collaborating and brainstorming together, utilizing the community resources available in order to better their research.

    • Chinese City Allegedly Pursues Open Internet Plan

      At OStatic, we’ve frequently covered one of the most anti-open technology trends in existence: censorship in regions of the world that don’t support open Internet principles. There are many free tools available, including open source tools, that allow for anonymous browsing in these regions, and China remains one of the most restrictive regions of the world in terms of Internet censorship. Now, though, one Chinese city is proposing to break the mold, creating a haven in the center of China for a free Internet.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • EU Commission presents legal package for revised European Standardisation System

      On Wednesday this week the European Commission adopted the legal package on standardisation. It consists of a Communication outlining the strategic thinking and directions for European standardisation and of a Regulation that will lay down the legal principles and constitute the future European standardisation framework. Both texts plus some accompanying material like the Impact Assessment are available from the DG Enterprise website.

      To begin with, the legal package is excellent – highest congratulations to the Commission. It addresses the urgent needs for European standardisation that had been identified in the studies and reports over the last years. Above all, it addresses the needs of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector which has developed different structures globally with well-established fora and consortia being in the lead of ICT standards development. The legal package, following the Digital Agenda, takes this up and provides well-thought-out and sophisticated solutions. They build on the current European standardisation system which proved to be effective and efficient, but complement it with important means taking into account the global realities in ICT.


  • Finance

    • Strauss-Kahn case is ‘close to collapse’, say reports

      The prosecution case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential hopeful accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, is close to collapse, a report in the New York Times has claimed.

      The newspaper reports allegations that significant problems have emerged with the case against the former IMF boss that could see the conditions of his house arrest in New York being relaxed with immediate effect.

      Based on interviews with two unnamed law enforcement officers, it says that “major holes” in the case will be admitted to a federal criminal court in Manhattan as early as Friday. New York Police Department had no comment last night.

  • Civil Rights

    • US authorities have access to European cloud data

      Cloud providers like Microsoft have to provide US criminal prosecutors with access to customer data, as ZDNet reports. This access applies even if the data is stored by firms based in the EU and in European data centres. This was explained by Microsoft’s British managing director Gordon Frazer in London during the launch of Microsoft’s Office 365, when he was asked whether Microsoft could ensure that the data stored at its data centres in the EU would never leave Europe.

    • Do We Need An Android Patent Pool?

      The US Congress has made a decision to start using the proprietary and insecure Skype at a time when there are growing concerns over the security and stability of Skype. In the last month alone, Skype has suffered major outages and exposed security holes.

      A recent report revealed a dangerous exploit in Skype for Mac which can be exploited to create a worm that can take control of Mac PCs. I very much doubt that US congressmen use secure Linux machines, however they may be burning the tax-payer’s hard-earned money on expensive and shiny new Apple Macs.

      On top of the outage problems and security issues, Skype is going through the transition of being acquired by an abusive monopoly, Microsoft, which creates quite a lot of uncertainty about its future.

Clip of the Day

Greek unrest ahead of new vote 29 to 30 June 2011

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 30/6/2011: Ubuntu 11.10 Development Update, HP’s Linux (WebOS) Up For Licensing?

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Hope and Change Inside My Computer

    I was intrigued. My first question to him was “How do I buy a computer with that already on it”, that of course being Linux. Mark explained that it not only acted as a recovery CD but that it could be installed as a permanent operating system and showed me the icon on the desktop.

    I asked him if I could play around with the disk for the evening and he of course said yes.

    After faxing in my story, I logged out of work via computer and began exploring my new digital visitor. I would have occasional fits of “This can’t be working.” and “Can this be legal?” Of course now I know it is but from my narrow perspective, I’ll ask you to understand my doubts.

    I can’t tell you exactly when I made the decision but somewhere between playing with LibreOffice and the webcam software, I found myself dropping and dragging important files from my Windows world onto a portable hard drive.

  • Server

    • Top 10 supercomputers in numbers

      * 548,352 – the number of CPU cores in the K Computer in Japan, the world’s currently fastest supercomputer. It’s the result of having 68,544 SPARC64 VIIIfx CPUs with eight cores each.
      * 1,820,352 – the combined number of CPU cores in the top 10 supercomputers
      * 672 – The number of computer racks that make up the K Computer (one is seen on the image for this post).
      * 8.2 petaflops – The computing performance of the K Computer. It’s more powerful than the five next systems (i.e. position 2-6) combined.
      * 8,200,000,000,000,000 – 8.2 petaflops written out as floating point operations per second (8.2 quadrillion instructions per second).
      * 2.6 petaflops – The computing performance of the second-fastest supercomputer, the Tianhe-1A in China.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • If Brazil Has to Guard Its Rainforest, Why Does Canada/U.S. Get to Burn Its Tar Sands?

      It was big news in Canada when, in 2008, the country slipped from the top-ten list of the world’s most peaceful countries (all the way to eleventh). By this year, it was back in eighth, 74 places above the U.S. and, when liberals in the U.S. feel despairing, what dominates their fantasy life but “moving to Canada?”

      And yet, today, you could make an argument that Canada has actually become one of the earth’s more irresponsible nations — namely, when it comes to the environment. Indeed, you could argue that the world would be better off if the government in Ottawa was replaced by, say, the one in Brasilia, which has made a far better show of attending to the planet’s welfare. It’s a tale of physics, chemistry, and most of all economics, and it all starts in the western province of Alberta.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • From Platform to Frameworks — KDE hackers meet in Switzerland

        One of the primary results of Platform 11 was gaining consensus on making KDE’s development platform more modular, with each library (or technology within it) clearly defined in its purpose and how it can be deployed for use in a Qt or KDE application.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3 vs Unity: Which is right for you?

        With so much controversy surrounding the recent release of GNOME 3 and Canonical’s Unity, there’s only one way to resolve things: a head-to-head battle royale. Gareth Halfacree investigates which next-generation desktop environment might suit you better to set the record straight once and for all…

        GNOME 3 and the GNOME Shell have their fans, who castigate Canonical’s Unity – and vice-versa. There are also those who decry both, claiming that a move to icon-based launchers represents a dumbing-down of the classic GNOME user interface. Worries over compatibility and extensibility cause further concerns, until nobody is quite sure what’s going on any more.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 RC 1 Available – Quick Look

        Almost as if Eugeni Dodonov read my post last night, he answered earlier this evening that the ISOs are now on the mirrors. I had found a copy a couple of hours before his post, so I was already burning. I had been looking forward to seeing the newer Mandriva, but in the end I’m afraid I was slightly disappointed.


        All that looks stuff aside, I was really looking forward to seeing the new Mandriva Control Center that was alluded to in Dodonov’s post last night. But it just looked like the same ole same ole to me. They could have and probably did do some work under the hood, but there was no changes to the appearance. And the issue of setting up graphical drivers mentioned in an earlier post still exists. I looked in the software manager and NVIDIA proprietary drivers were included, but the configuration just seemed broken. Everything else seemed to function correctly as far as I tested. The installer hasn’t changed to the naked eye either except for the main image.

      • PCLinuxOS LXDE 2011.6 – Excellent Lightweight

        Here are my first impressions.

      • Mageia-cal Win Over Humanity

        Am I happier now than I was before Mageia installation? Most likely yes. Mageia proved itself very stable and nicely composed system not only in Live run, but also in full install mode.
        Yes, I still have something to work on before I can make final decision to dump Kubuntu. But that hour is very close I believe.
        And even now I have system which works smoother and quicker then Kubuntu, does not have issues with desktop effects and shutdown. These two facts are more than enough.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 6 KDE review

        Final Thoughts: The K Desktop Environment has all the features required to make an excellent desktop operating system, but one half of the problem lies in the default configuration shipped from the “factory.” The other half (of the problem) lies with distro developers who do not bother to tie the loose ends together. As much as I appreciate the time and effort involved in packaging a distribution, the community would be better off if more is done to ensure a more robust out of the box user-friendliness. Every feature that could work out of the box, should. The pieces are in place, they just need to be tweaked a little bit.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Bridge Construction Set lands on the Software Center

            Chronic Logic’s award winning game, Bridge Construction Set, is officially for sale in the Ubuntu Software Center. In Bridge Construction Set you build a bridge that hopefully does not break, however having a train plunge into the depths below may be fun for some!

          • Ubuntu Community Week Collector Card #1

            Paolo is one of the amazing people out in local Ubuntu communities spreading the word, organizing events, and helping to nurture stronger teams. When you tune into Paolo’s presentation at Ubuntu Community Week, please be sure to ask him to sign your card. (And don’t worry, the bullets he’s referring to are those that appear in nearly every presentation you’ve ever yawned through.)

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Development Update

            We are one week away from Alpha 2, so right now you can see lots of developers trying to get as many things into Ubuntu Oneiric as possible: AirPrint, theme changes and loads of other stuff. After this milestone we will have only 4 weeks left until Feature Freeze at which stage most of the features should have have landed. As always: the status overview should give you a very detailed look on how each feature is progressing.

          • Are Ubuntu’s Glory Days Over?

            “The Ubuntu apologists are making all sorts of noise about how Canonical is targeting a new market (tablets and similar screen resolution devices), but we’ve seen this show too many times before,” explained Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “Red Hat didn’t get to be profitable (something that still eludes Canonical) by dumping their target customers every year to chase new opportunities.”

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Peppermint OS: Cloud Oriented Desktop Distro

              Released in July, Peppermint Two is based on Lubuntu 11.04, an Ubuntu-derived distribution using the LXDE desktop environment (see our overview). Its main distinguishing feature is that it mixes traditional applications with cloud applications that are closely integrated into the desktop.

              Previous versions of this distro made use of Mozilla Prism for running web applications directly on the desktop, but Peppermint has now switched over to Chromium. This means that Chromium is the web browser and also powers the rendering of web applications thanks to the ICE SSB (single site browser), a framework developed by members of the Peppermint OS team.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Will an HP WebOS license deal matter?

        Licensing WebOS could be a double-edged sword for HP though. When you look at the tablet and phone market, as of this moment, Apple and Google are clearly dominating. When it comes to the tablet, the iPad continues to blow away the field. HP gets it turn at bat on Friday when the HP Touchpad hits stores.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The economic value of Open Source software

    What is the real value that Open Source has brought to the economy? This is not a peregrine question. Since most of the current evaluation methods are based on assessing “sales”, that is direct monetization of OSS, we are currently missing from this view the large, mostly under-reported and underestimated aspect of open source use that is not “sold”, but for example is directly introduced through an internal work force, or in services, or embedded inside an infrastructure. Summary: OSS provide cost reduction and increases in efficiency of at least 116B€, 31% of the software and services market.

  • GoldenOrb offers open source variant of Google’s Pregel

    Analytics company Ravel has announced it is releasing GoldenOrb, its massive-scale graph analysis software, as open source. GoldenOrb is based on the ideas behind Google’s Pregel architecture which is in turn inspired by the Bulk Synchronous Parallel Model developed in the 1980s.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird jumps from 3.1 to 5.0 (just like Firefox’s leap from 3.6 to 4.0 to 5.0)

        After dealing with Firefox 3.6.17′s abrupt end of life in favor of 4.0, and then 4.0′s deprecation in favor of 5.0 (and yes, I had to change repositories every time because Linux in general and Debian in particular doesn’t force new software on users), now I learn that Thunderbird is jumping from 3.1 to 5.0.

        I use the Debian Mozilla Team APT archive for all my Mozilla software needs (Firefox/Iceweasel and Thunderbird/Icedove). Now I’ll be dipping into my sources.list files to up the Icedove repo from 3.1 to 5.0 once the Debian Mozilla Team offers the new version (they generally need a little time to package it up).

      • Not much in new Thunderbird 5, but roadmap looks promising

        Mozilla has released version 5 of Thunderbird, the popular open source e-mail client. The update includes some new features, updated components under the hood, and a number of performance and stability improvements.

        Mozilla spun off Thunderbird in 2007, creating a separate organization called Mozilla Messaging. The split was reversed several months ago when Mozilla announced that it would reabsorb the messaging group and integrate it into Mozilla Labs.

        The Thunderbird development model underwent some significant changes alongside the organizational restructuring. Its versioning and development cycle have seemingly been harmonized with that of Firefox. The Thunderbird version number was bumped up directly from 3.x to 5—skipping version 4 entirely. This change allows Thunderbird’s version number to match Firefox and reflect the version number of the underlying Gecko rendering engine that is shared between both applications.

  • SaaS

    • Cloudera Delivers Apache Hadoop Connector for Netezza
    • VoltDB Announces Enterprise-grade Hadoop Integration

      VoltDB, a leading provider of high-velocity data management systems, today announced the release of VoltDB Integration for Hadoop. The new product functionality, available in VoltDB Enterprise Edition, allows organizations to selectively stream high velocity data from a VoltDB cluster into Hadoop’s native HDFS file system by leveraging Cloudera’s Distribution Including Apache Hadoop (CDH), which has SQL-to-Hadoop integration technology, Apache Sqoop, built in.

    • Actuate Announces Support for Hadoop

      Application developers can now use BIRT 3.7 from the Eclipse Foundation to access Hadoop using Hive Query Language (HQL). Not only can BIRT provide native access to Hadoop as a data source for analysis, dashboards, reporting and custom BI and information applications, it can be used to build data sets or data visualizations that seamlessly combine Hadoop data with other data sources including SQL databases, XML data, document archives and flat files.

    • Exclusive: Yahoo launching Hadoop spinoff this week

      As the originator of the Hadoop technology, Yahoo’s official entry into this space should play a big role in shaping how the market of Hadoop-based products evolves.

      Yahoo’s Hortonworks (as in the Dr. Suess book “Horton Hears a Who,” a reference to the elephant logo that Apache Hadoop bears) will be comprised of a small team of Yahoo’s Hadoop engineers and will focus on developing a production-ready product based on the Apache Hadoop project, the set of open source tools designed for processing huge amounts of unstructured data in parallel. It’s a natural step for Yahoo, which uses Hadoop heavily within its own web operations, and which has contributed approximately 70 percent of the code to Apache Hadoop since the project’s inception.

  • Business

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open for Business in Every Way

      What I was keen to do there was not so much the usual “look at all the fun things you can do to money from giving stuff away”, since that by now is well-explored territory (one, moreover, that is visited briefly in the earlier slides of the set below). Instead, I’ll focus on the other ways in which openness of a general kind can provide benefits to businesses that embrace it.

  • Programming

    • Eclipse Indigo Release Train Is Now Available

      The Eclipse Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of Indigo, the 2011 annual release train. This is the eighth successive year in which the Eclipse community has shipped a coordinated release on schedule. Indigo is available for immediate download from www.eclipse.org/downloads.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Rob Weir says…

      Microsoft Office patch today. “Office File Validation Add-in” http://bit.ly/kFXlEA Interesting, uses a “binary schema”


  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • From Nader and Gravel to Assange: There Are Some Parodies Money Can’t Buy

      If you haven’t seen the new fundraising video from WikiLeaks, which plays off an old Mastercard commercial, don’t miss it. It’s smartly done, and doubly effective given that Mastercard is one of the companies that are refusing to process donations to the whistleblowing site. With more than 100,000 views on Vimeo since being posted a few days ago, you have to give Julian Assange credit for knowing how to make a viral video.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Solution to Bad Speech is More Speech

      Speech is never a punishment, and it strikes me as especially dangerous for supporters of free speech to suggest otherwise. If libertarians call it a “punishment” when the government subsidizes your opponent’s political campaign, it’s hard to object when more censorious types call it a “punishment” when a third party runs a nasty campaign ad against a politician. The solution to speech is more speech. I don’t love the Arizona campaign finance system, but I think it’s hard to argue that it runs afoul of the First Amendment.

    • Why Google+ Is Better Than Facebook: Who Owns Your Data?

      Google launched its social networking platform last night. The initial response and reviews are positive. Google+ has exceeded all expectations by bringing all needed features under one roof. The integration with different Google properties and services is amazing.

      Having spent one day with Google+, I can say that finally we have a strong Facebook competitor. It also puts both the companies and products under a direct comparison when it comes to data ownership.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Three companies fined $2.5-million for knock-off Louis Vuitton and Burberry bags

      Three Canadian companies have been ordered to pay roughly $2.5- million for selling knock-off Louis Vuitton and Burberry handbags in what a Federal Court judge described as an “egregious” case of trademark infringement.

    • Copyrights

      • BT flood warning to High Court

        BT has warned the High Court that if an injunction to block access to the Newzbin2 website were to be granted, it would be the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ opening the floodgates to content owners desperate to prevent sites pointing to pirated content. BT told the court that it could face up to 400 applications for injunctions in the next year if the Motion Picture Association (MPA) prevail in an action against the UK telecoms giant.

      • ACTA

        • Council to sign ACTA the cynical way

          Essentially the Council Decision would endorse it permissable that the Commission and the member states together circumvent parliament prerogatives under the Treaties (and Treaty conditions) via an Agreement with third nations using the trade funnel. Outrageous and inacceptable.

        • ACTA Ratification in Europe To Require Approval from All 27 Member States

          David Hammerstein reports that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has been determined to be a “mixed agreement.” This means that the agreement must be approved by both the EU and by the 27 member states. That suggests a long process to obtain individual parliamentary approval throughout the EU (the EU Council is moving quickly on the issue, however).

Clip of the Day

History of the Commodore Amiga Part 1

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 30/6/2011: Knoppix 2011 6.4, Netrunner 3.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • GoDaddy.com adopts Linux Professional Institute Certification

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced that GoDaddy.com (http://www.godaddy.com) , the world’s largest domain name registrar, has initiated a program of LPI training and certification for their technical support staff. The program began this past March and an initial group of IT professionals at GoDaddy.com have successfully obtained their LPIC-1 certification.

  • Ubuntu demonstrated running on Galaxy Tab 10.1, summarily dubbed ‘Tabuntu’ (video)

    Sure, you can run Linux on robots and on desktops and, apparently, on small cats, and we’ve also seen it on plenty of tablets before, but this one is a little different. Max Lee over at Galaxy Tab Hacks created the video below to demonstrate a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 running Ubunbu, but doing it on top of Android such that the tablet’s native OS is running Linux in the background and then using a VM client to launch the UI. In other words: it’s running both operating systems at once, and despite that we think the results are quite usable, even loading up this very website with aplomb. It’s demonstrated after the break and if after watching you just gotta get a piece of that the full instructions are on the other end of the source link below.

  • No Surprise Here: You Can Use Ubuntu on a Galaxy Tab 10.1 [Video]
  • Surprising Power Consumption Of Ubuntu 11.04 vs. Windows 7

    With similar workloads, for the most part the power consumption is comparable between Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows 7 Pro SP1. The only major differences came during Flash-based HD video playback being more efficient under Windows, power consumption while OpenGL gaming, and in select other areas. Ubuntu / Linux actually has the potential to become more power efficient than Microsoft Windows 7 based upon the close findings from today. Once Active-State Power Management (ASPM) is properly fixed up for Linux, there is still a Linux 2.6.35 kernel power regression, a scheduler power regression, and more. Just yesterday on my Twitter feed, the Phoronix Test Suite and I made a discovery of a possible 8% power savings from an entirely different vector. More to come.

  • Linux 2.6.38 power problems confirmed, but workaround appears

    Phoronix has identified the Linux power regression problems it previously noted in Linux 2.6.38 as being related to Active-State Power Management (ASPM) code for PCI Express — and has published a workaround. The problem, which can result in low battery life with Ubuntu 11.04 and Fedora 15, have been confirmed by Tom’s Hardware Guide.

  • Desktop

    • 10 ways the Linux community can fix the mess on the desktop

      That, of course, doesn’t mean all is lost. Quite the opposite. As has been proved over the years, the Linux community is incredibly agile, so this issue can easily be resolved. Here are some possible solutions.

    • Tidying Up The Desktop

      Jack Wallen at Tech Republic has a good article on this subject. see 10 ways the Linux community can fix the mess on the desktop. I don’t think it’s quite as bad as he writes. For instance, I would not agree that Unity should be killed. It is great to have yet another desktop environment. I do think Unity should not be exclusive. Many millions of loyal users of Ubuntu may not want to change desktop environments from GNOME. I think, eventually, Unity may achieve a level of functionality that makes it widely desirable but forcing users to change is undesirable. Users may have to reverse-engineer Ubuntu to put GNOME back or change distros. That is probably a waste of their time, not what IT should be about.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Keynote Interview: Dirk Hohndel

      Continuing in a series of interviews with the Desktop Summit 2011′s keynote speakers, this past week William Carlson traded emails with Dirk Hohndel of Intel, who will give the Summit’s August 6 opening keynote address.

      As a hacker-turned-businessman, Hohndel brings a business perspective of free software to the Desktop Summit. Currently Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist at Intel, Hohndel will talk about the role that large companies play in open source, and how the open source community can work effectively with them.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • BlueBubble + Applets

        On the screen, you can see the lock-keys-appket, as well as gnote, gnome-music-applet and the cpu-frequency-monitor applet. Also visible are the trashcan and the show desktop applets, the ‘fast user switch’ applet (Called gdm-classic-user-switch-applet in the repo) and the gnome-volume-control applet which was sadly missing from the initial BlueBubble launch. I’d like to throw a huge ‘thank you’ to Thomas Scheunemann for helping me out with the gnome-volume-control applet. To prevent some conflicts between old-gnome-media and new-gnome-media packages…

      • Facebook blocked KDE photo applications

        Facebook had blocked applications that use the KDE Image Plugins Interface (KIPI) from uploading photographs to the social network and hid existing photos that were previously uploaded via KIPI. KIPI is used by a number of applications such as digiKam, KPhotoAlbum and Gwenview.

        The problem appears to be that what was meant to be a secret key and application ID for a now deprecated interface into Facebook was included in the KIPI source code. It is suspected that at some point spammers took the key and id and used it for their own malicious applications on Facebook. This hasn’t been a problem for KDE users, but now Facebook has instituted a new scheme to block spam. This new anti-spam scheme correlates negative feedback on applications with their keys and ids and blocks them. The KDE keys, having been apparently poisoned by abusive use by spammers, were then blocked.

      • What price Community?

        KDE prides itself as being a community. Is that justified? I have seen good, hard-working people driven away from projects because they were receiving behaviour from other members of our community that they would not accept from general users. The Code of Conduct, it seems, is for others, not for ourselves.

  • Distributions

    • Red Flag Linux – Going critical

      Red Flag Linux is a curious blend of modern and ancient. It has what you don’t expect it to have and lacks in what seems obvious. To name a few of the flaws, there’s the user setup, graphics card drivers, an outdated application stack, and the package manager problems. But the single biggest problem is the relevance.

      I don’t presume to be able to understand the needs of the Chinese market, so my conclusion might be completely wrong or irrelevant itself. Perhaps the average Chinese users cares nothing about security or the age of his programs. For that matter, Windows XP is not a young or modern system either, but it’s popular and it works well. The way I see it, Red Flag Linux could be a very useful and practical system.

      What it needs is to bring up some of its core elements to a more modern standard. Not necessarily become the next Ubuntu, because there’s already one and there’s no need for another, more sort of tailor its unique nature to become more accessible. Now, it’s entire possible that the distro developers do NOT want or care about foreign market segments, in which case all my arguments are pointless. But with some attention to details, Red Flag Linux could work well for the international user.

      I hope this Linux continues to flourish. It’s not the best in any category, in fact, it’s fairly average overall, but it could achieve what no other Linux distro has done yet – reach a critical userbase. Even if as little as 1% of Chinese people embrace this platform, we’re talking some fifteen million users. Do you understand the implications of this? I do.

      To sum it up: Red Flag Linux, average, needs lots of polish, decent performance, programs need updating, has the potential to make Linux become what no other distro has achieved yet. Final grade: 6/10.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s 1 Billion Reasons to Love Linux

        On the Linux Planet, free and open source software makes the world go around, while in the wider world, it’s often money. There is one Linux vendor that stands head and shoulders above all others when it comes to money. This past week, Red Hat reiterated its commitment and path to be the first Linux vendor to make $1 billion in revenue in one year.

      • Fedora

        • Linpus Lite… a bit too lite…

          Let me translate that into normal people language: Linpus is a Taiwanese company that, from what I understood, wants to bring users simple and intuitive interfaces, through Linux of course. So you can imagine I was at least curios to try an Linux OS more interface-based and see what has been done to it.

          Linpus Linux Lite is a Fedora-based distro that wants to be very easy and intuitive for its users. The first thing i noticed when i slamed the ISO into my VirtualBox is that you can’t boot straight from the CD, you can only install it to the hard drive, which is a pity since i wanted to try it out first.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix 2011 6.4 Review

          Knoppix is a top choice for developers, administrators, or anyone on the move. Unlike many other popular Linux distributions Knoppix stays focused on providing one of the best Linux live CD’s available. Now you can have a huge selection of excellent applications and system tools all without any changes to your current system setup. Knoppix is also a great choice for carrying on a flash drive. Not to mention the fact that Knoppix has very advanced hardware detection. So download this great release today and find out why Knoppix is known by many as one of the best Linux Live CD’s available. Many users have reported that Knoppix was so useful that it is now used as their default installation. And yes Knoppix can be installed to your hard drive without to much trouble but it is not recommended for Linux newcomers.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Puzzle Moppet hits the Ubuntu Software Center

            The newest addition to the Ubuntu Software Center is Puzzle Moppet from Garnet Games. The poor little Moppet is lost and all alone in the wilderness. How are you going to help it get out? This interesting game requires you to solve puzzles to help Moppet find it’s way. Puzzle Moppet is a challenging 3D puzzle game featuring a diminutive and apparently mute creature who is lost in a mysterious floating landscape.

          • Ubuntu Slogan
          • Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) or Linux Mint 11 (Katya)?

            Comparatively, Linux Mint automatically includes out-of-the-box support for Flash, MP3′s, and the playback of most other media files. At the time, this more complete out-of-the-box experience was one of the reasons I ended up going back to Linux Mint 10 (from Ubuntu 10.04). So, now that Ubuntu includes this, (and in fact, installs even more software automatically such as NVIDIA’s proprietary drivers), it has, at very least, removed one of the reasons I had for sticking with Linux Mint.

          • Ubuntu One Files for Android lets you access more than your Music
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 11 LXDE RC released!

              The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 11 LXDE RC.

            • Another Linux distro that I love: Zorin OS 5

              There are so many groovy little details that differentiate Zorin OS from Ubuntu here I can’t go over every one. But for instance, when you minimize a running application to the panel, it gives a lovely thumbnail preview of the app on mouse-over. And the default Start Menu (upper left corner in my screenshot below) is also highly configurable. I think there are about ten different menu styles you can use besides the Windows-like default. (Again, see screenshot below). I totally love the Linux Mint Menu, but after getting used to the different variations in Zorin OS I’ve come to like theirs almost as much. There are many similarities between Zorin OS and Linux Mint; the attention to detail and ease of use make either of them excellent choices for Windows or Mac users to cross over to the Linux side!

            • Netrunner 3.2 Released

              Updated from 3.1->3.2:

              KDE (Desktop) 4.6.2
              Firefox (Browser) 5.0
              Thunderbird (Email Client incl. Lightning Calendar) 3.1.10
              VLC (Media Player) 1.1.10
              Wine (Windows Environment Layer) 1.3.22
              Pidgin (Messenger Client) 2.7.11
              Gimp (Graphic Program) 2.6.11

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Unfazed Intel to press ahead with MeeGo

      Nokia may have launched its first and last Meego-powered smartphone, but Intel remains determined to press ahead with the development of its versatile Linux-based operating system.

      According to DigiTimes, Santa Clara is preparing to launch MeeGo v1.3, which will offer improved support for a variety of devices and platforms, including netbooks, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs and car infotainment systems.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Fox Thinks Apple Is Religion, Bashes Samsung Galaxy Tab

          Clayton Morris of Fox did nothing but proved himself to be a joker the way he compared the iPad with the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The way he blindfolded himself on the camera and did an entire 30 second stint ‘touching’ and ‘feeling’ the Galaxy Tab made me think,”is this how we cover technology?” While he admitted that the Samsung Galaxy looks good, feels better, is lighter and thinner, he doesn’t recommend buying it.

          He said that advancement in hardware and design do not matter. How the product feels in your hand doesn’t matter. He is contradicting himself, and may upset the master Apple. Look at any of the iPad ads and you will find Apple trying to sell using the same points which Morris is trying to tell us do not matter when it comes to Android!

        • Tag Heuer readies €4700 Froyo phone

          Posh watchmaker Tag Heuer hopes you will – it’s working on just such a beast. There’s a teaser on Tag Heuer’s own website, but watch blog A Blog To Read has been mailed some snaps of the gadget and the specs.

        • Top 5 Must-have Android Applications
        • MyTouch 4G Slide focuses on the camera

          T-Mobile unveiled an Android 2.3-based 4G slider phone with an advanced camera. HTC’s MyTouch 4G Slide is equipped with a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch, WVGA touchscreen, and an eight-megapixel camera with dual LED flash, “zero” shutter lag, a backside illuminated sensor, and a wide aperture f/2.2 lens, says the carrier.

        • Half million Android activations a day pave way for Google Nexus Prime

          Google’s Andy Rubin says Android is now being activated on 500,000 smartphones and tablets each day, with 4.4 percent week-to-week growth. Meanwhile, new rumors claim Google’s next Samsung-built Nexus device will run “Ice Cream Sandwich” on a TI OMAP4 processor and be called Google Nexus Prime.

        • Cisco spins enterprise-oriented app stores for Android tablet

          Cisco Systems has announced an app ecosystem for its Android-based Cius tablet. Marking the company’s entry into a crowded landscape, “AppHQ” will focus on IT managers and professionals, according to the company.

        • Android App Downloads Now Total 4.5 Billion
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Tablet launch includes, Ubuntu, Windows, and Android models

        Italian vendor Ekoore announced three tablets with capacitive multitouch displays — two Atom-based tablets that run Ubuntu 11.04 or Windows 7, and an ARM-based tablet running Android 2.3. The 11.6-inch “Perl” offers a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450; the 10.2-inch “Python” moves to the DDR3-ready Atom N455; and the seven-inch Android 2.3-based “Pascal” uses a new 1.2GHz Telechips TCC8803 processor, according to the company.

      • Acer Chromebook goes on sale for $350

        Acer began accepting pre-orders for its Wi-Fi only AC700 Chromebook for $350 on Amazon.com. Following Samsung’s $430 Series 5 Chromebook — and again based on Google’s Chrome OS — the AC700 notebook offers the same dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor, a slightly smaller 11.6-inch display, 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 16GB solid-state disk, a multi-card reader, and a webcam.

      • iRiver preps Android tablet, HD e-reader

        iRiver has reportedly unveiled a seven-inch MX100 Android tablet in China, sporting a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, and is expected to soon ship its six-inch, Cortex-A8-based, 1024 x 768 resolution “Story HD” e-reader. Meanwhile, the Android-based Entourage PocketEdge e-reader has been heavily discounted to $120 as the unique, dual-screen device glimpses the white light of oblivion.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Tux Paint Kids Summer Drawing Contest

    The 2011 Tux Paint Summer Drawing Contest is sponsored by Worldlabel.com and is open to all children aged 3 to 12 who live anywhere in the World!

    Here’s a chance to show off your talent using a great drawing program made especially for kids. Tux Paint is an award-winning drawing program you can download to your computer. Tux Paint was recently awarded SourceForge.net Project of the Month. It will run on all versions of Windows (including Tablet PC), Mac OS X 10.4 and up, Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD. And it’s FREE!

  • Microsoft Office 365 Launch: Zimbra Scores Surprise PR Win

    Either way, Zimbra scored a major victory with the mention in The Wall Street Journal. Before the article, The VAR Guy suspects, most WSJ readers had never heard of Zimbra.

  • Open source based company wins industry award

    Voice over IP services provider Gradwell has won the Federation of Communications Services (FCS) “Communication Provider of the Year” award. Managing Director Peter Gradwell accepted the award, presented at FCS’s 30th birthday celebrations, saying it was a “great reflection of all our hard work… being recognised by the FCS is especially important as they represent the whole industry.”

    As well as hard work, Gradwell’s secret weapon for competitiveness is open source; at the core of the operation is Asterisk VoIP software running on Debian GNU/Linux based systems and nearly all the company’s communications stack is based on open source software. Thanks to this combination, Gradwell says it can sell a complete telephony solution at a price that is closer to a single licence of its competition. It isn’t all about pricing though.

  • Ravel open-sources tool for analyzing graph data like Google

    Austin, Texas-based startup Ravel has released GoldenOrb, an open-source graph database that looks to bring the benefit’s of Google’s Pregel project to the masses. Graph databases don’t get the attention of other big-data technologies such as Hadoop or NoSQL, but every Twitter user is familiar with the result of what graph databases can do.

  • ESA Summer of Code in Space 2011

    The 2011 ESA Summer of Code In Space (SOCIS) starts! Mentoring organization (i.e. open source space-related projects) can apply before 15/07/2011. Modelled after the Google Summer of Code, SOCIS is an European Space Agency pilot project offering students the opportunity to be paid to develop, during the summer, open source code for space related open source projects.

  • Events

    • Python conference to be held in August

      Enthusiasts and users of the open-source Python programming language will gather in Sydney in August for the two-day PyCon AU, the second such conference to be held Down Under.

    • ApacheCon NA 2011: conference programme announced

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has published the programme for this year’s ApacheCon North America. ApacheCon NA 2011, the official user conference of the Apache Software Foundation, will take place from 7 to 11 November in Vancouver, Canada.

    • linux.conf.au issues Call for Papers

      The organisers of linux.conf.au (LCA) have announced a Call for Papers (CFP) for the conference, which will take place at the beginning of 2012 in Ballarat, Australia. Interested parties have until 29 July to submit proposals for papers or presentations.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • What does the future hold for Firefox?

        Firefox was always the coolest browser but it is rapidly losing that crown to Google’s Chrome

        I’ve been a fan of Firefox for the longest time. Over the years I have faithfully installed just about every version of the open source browser and, while I chopped and changed between e-mail clients, web-editors and word processors, I always remained faithful to Firefox.

        That was until about three months ago. That was when I first installed Google’s Chrome browser as more than just a test version. Until then I had always had a copy of Chrome to hand, but only for testing purposes, and never as my day-to-day browser. However, Firefox (I forget which version) was playing up and constantly crashing, so I decided to give Chrome a real chance.

      • More Firefox feature assassination coming up

        So in keeping with the direction the devs at Mozilla have been steering the Firefox browser, plans include more feature assassination (of course), this time in the form of obfuscating useful information — arguably the most important information for users of a web browser — in the address bar.

      • Cross Platform Messaging Client Instantbird 1.0 Released

        Open source and cross platform messaging client Instantbird version 1.0 has been released today. Instantbird is based on Pidgin’s libpurple protocol library and Mozilla’s Firefox technology. It supports all major messaging services and have an extension system for adding extra functionality, themes etc.

      • Mozilla drafts Firefox vision statement

        With a new Mozilla chief executive, a new six-week rapid-release cycle, and new Firefox management, apparently the organization has concluded there’s no time like the present to pin down an answer.

        “Now that we have a solid base to work from, and greatly improved agility, it’s a good time to look at the quickly-evolving landscape and chart our path forward,” Jay Sullivan, Mozilla’s vice president of product, said in a mailing list message on Friday. “To that end, I’ve tried to synthesize and distill countless discussions and ideas I’ve heard from throughout the Mozilla community over the last few years about where we should go with our products to further the Mozilla mission.”

  • SaaS

    • Hadoop: Making Money From FLOSS

      Yes, the world can make its own software and share it. Hadoop is already in use by many players on the web, cloud and just data-processing. From a few (Able Grape search engine for wines) to thousands (Yahoo!) of nodes working together can process a lot of data and keep it safe. The software is sufficiently complex and flexible that training/support should be a lucrative business sufficient in itself to justify the investment in Hadoop. At the same time the whole world benefits from the result.

    • Yahoo! seeds Hadoop startup on open source dream

      Yahoo! is creating a new company with its core Hadoop engineering team, seeking to rapidly expand the scope of the open source distributed number-crunching platform and ultimately bring it to a much wider audience. In growing the Hadoop “ecosystem” through increased work on the core Apache-based open source project, the company hopes to eventually make its money by providing training and support for the platform.

    • ‘Hadoop Alternative’ to Be Open Sourced
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Vs Google-what next?

      The last week saw as set back of sorts for Oracle, as the US patent analysts rejected 17 claims of the 21 infringements claimed by Oracle on one of the seven infringement claims it had filed against Google. However, there are further 122 claims to wade through.

    • OpenOffice.org site goes offline, Oracle declines to comment

      Two URLs including the OpenOffice.org domain owned by software giant Oracle are currently displaying error messages, but the Larry Ellison-run company is declining to explain why the sites are down.

      The openjdk.java.net is also currently failing to load.

      Both sites carry the same “Error 503 – service unavailable” message, and the URLs are owned by Oracle.

      The OpenOffice.org domain is expected to expire on 12 June 2012 and its IP location in California still carries the Sun Microsystem stamp.

    • Reexaminations – Detailed Tables – UPDATED
    • After OpenOffice and Hudson, will Oracle stick with open source?

      In recent weeks, Oracle has taken two premier open source technologies gained through the company’s 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems — the OpenOffice.org productivity suite and the Project Hudson continuous integration server — and donated them to the Apache Software Foundation and Eclipse Foundation, respectively.

  • CMS

    • How open source CMS Joomla grew to 23 million users

      When I began speaking to Ryan Ozimek on the phone, the first thing I asked him was how – in a world where a social networking site gets major coverage for surpassing 10 million users – an open source product like his can quietly reach over 20 million without much fanfare.

      Ozimek, president of the nonprofit that oversees Joomla, the product in question, told me that nonprofits often have less incentive to publicize such milestones. “Joomla isn’t a corporate enterprise,” he explained. “Joomla is made by developers around the world freely giving their time to something they’re passionate about and is managed and run by a leadership team and a nonprofit organization that doesn’t really have any financial stake in the game.

  • Business

    • Actuate Adds Hadoop to Open Source Business Intelligence

      Application developers can now use BIRT 3.7 from the Eclipse Foundation to access Hadoop using Hive Query Language (HQL).

      Actuate (NASDAQ: BIRT) has announced support and services for Hadoop and MapReduce in the new release of BIRT 3.7, the company’s open-source enterprise business intelligence toolset.

      Hadoop is an open source framework for managing vast amounts of distributed data (big data) that works in conjunction with MapReduce, a framework to support distributed computing for large data sets on hardware clusters.

  • Funding


    • Darwin does Free Software

      The evolution of software carries a different pace depending upon the management structure and goals of the project. Here we explore the history of, and potential for evolutionary theories of software development.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NL: Half of all public administrations have open source strategy

      Half of all public administrations in the Netherlands (51 percent) has a strategy for open source or is preparing such a plan, and half (53 percent) has specific plans to use more of this type of software. These are two of the conclusions of a survey by NOiV, the Dutch government’s resource centre on open source and open standards.

      The survey also shows that 66 percent of all public administrations in the country supports the vendor independent electronic document format ODF, and has made it an option for their staff (69 percent). Next, the vendor independent document format PDF is being used to publish non-revisable documents on the web site of 62 percent of the public administrations.

    • Government Names Open Source Guru As Tech Advisor

      Open source enthusiast Liam Maxell has been appointed as technology adviser to the Cabinet Office

      In a move that could hint at the Government’s future direction over open source technology, Liam Maxwell has been appointed as technology adviser to the Cabinet Office.

      Maxwell has worked as an advisor for the Conservative Party regarding technology and is widely considered to be the man behind the Government’s open source strategy drive, which is now being executed by the Cabinet Office. Maxwell was also the IT manager at public school Eton, as well as previously being a Tory councillor for Windsor and Maidenhead, which pioneered the use of virtualisation to cut costs.

    • Government’s new technology adviser is an open source enthusiast

      Conservative local councillor and head of computing at public school Eton, Liam Maxell, has been appointed as technology adviser to the Cabinet Office, in a move that could herald wider use of open source technology in government.

      Maxwell will advise the Efficiency and Reform Group within the Cabinet Office on how technology can deliver better quality, lower cost public services. His appointment, starting from September, is expected to last for 11 months.

    • The obstacles to Open Source in the public sector

      This is what some respondents had to say about systems integrators and Open Source software:

      “Systems integrators are not holding back the take up of Open Source in the public sector it is just paranoid rubbish.”

      “I am sure some systems integrators are holding Open Source in the public sector back, however I know that the more progressive systems integrators aren’t.”

      “I think systems integrators are holding back Open Source. I have no examples but industry sees public sector as a cash cow.”

      “The government IT capability is rarely willing to challenge the views of system integrators.”

      “Money is the reason system integrators hold back Open Source. With open source their profits go down.”

      “System integrators are holding Open Source back. Particularly the reseller SIs who have a significant conflict of interest to deal with and will erode sales margins by doing so. Equally the government employs consultants who aren’t oriented towards open source solutions but aligned and accredited to vendor programmes.”

    • Despite the U.S. CIO’s Exit, Open Source Is Entrenched in the Federal Government
  • Licensing

    • What’s This “…And the Rest” Crap!?!

      The example of this problem that was recently brought to my attention was on Fedora Project’s website. At the bottom of all of the pages of Fedora’s website, there’s “© 2011 Red Hat, Inc. and others”. I’ve dubbed this a “Gilligan’s Island copyright notice” because, while Red Hat is probably a copyright holder some of Fedora, Red Hat employees are also fond of pointing out how many contributors they have from outside Red Hat. Yet, with regard to the website, those contributors aren’t considered important enough to appear in the copyright notice. They’re secondary characters that Red Hat is indicating don’t matter that much: like The Professor and Mary Ann in Gilligan’s Island’s first season.

  • Programming

    • GitHub’s Linguist open sourced

      GitHub has released its Linguist library, designed to identify the programming language in a file, as open source. GitHub, a commercial project hosting service which handles files of numerous types, uses the library to detect which syntax highlighter to use for a file, to work out when to ignore binary files and generated files, and to generate graph data for projects by language.


  • Cablegate

    • The WikiLeaks Palace Revolt

      Julian took WikiLeaks offline early in 2010 to boost donations. And it worked. The organisation made over $200,000 in the first big push. This represented cash like never before. And Daniel’s eyes popped.

      So Daniel argued with Julian argued about the money. Daniel always found something he didn’t like, found a reason to challenge Julian’s wisdom and way of running WikiLeaks, but most of all he argued about the money – he wanted it.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Dark Side of the OECD Oil Inventory Release

      IEA in Paris announced this morning a release of 60 million barrels from OECD inventories. The implications of this extraordinary action are not positive. Let’s first take a look at the most recent global production data, which shows the large downward move of supply coming into March 2011, from the loss of Libyan oil. IEA is pointing to this loss of supply as the prima causa for its decision. | see: Global Crude Oil Production in mbpd (million barrels per day) 2004-2011.

    • China’s Diesel Smile

      Unfortunately, it does not appear OECD nations have been successful in getting the price of oil down below $100. There remains a justifiable suspicion that Saudi Arabia cannot supply the market either with extra light sweet oil, or with extra oil of any grade, for longer than a month or two. If China and Western countries have indeed made an arrangement to swap these oil price knock-downs for support of Western sovereign debt (at the margin), China would be advised to fill its own inventories quickly when these brief, five-to-seven day discounts on oil arrive, only to disappear.

  • Finance

    • Bank of America in $8.5 billion settlement

      In the biggest reckoning of the 2008 financial crisis, Bank of America said Wednesday it will pay $8.5 billion to investors burned by fraudulent mortgage securities.

    • Goldman Sachs Plans To Hire 1,000 In Singapore While Cutting U.S. Jobs

      Goldman Sachs, the country’s fifth-largest bank by assets, plans to hire 1,000 people in Singapore while laying off a significant number of workers at home, according to Fox Business News.

    • Why Some Housing Prices Are Still Falling and Subprime Loans Are Still Sliding

      In October 2007, CNBC’s Diana Olick called me about Countrywide’s so-called plan to modify mortgage loans scheduled to reset to higher rates. Subprime borrowers with a strong payment history would be able to refinance and possibly get prime FHA loans. Current paying borrowers with credit issues would be offered Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loans under a new expanded program.

    • Noise, Not a Recovery

      The State of California reported a loss of 29,000 non-farm payrolls in May. Actually, California added 88,000 jobs in May when using the total employment data for the month. However, as I have pointed out over the past year, these oscillations are just noise. Our nation’s largest state faces a protracted, structural level of unemployment that renders these month to month rises and falls unimportant. The over-focus on this data by the media, however, reveals an ongoing conceptual problem currently afoot in the US: the persistent belief we are in a standard, post-war recession. | see: California Employment in Millions (seasonally adjusted) 2000-2011.

  • Censorship

    • Copyright Interests Force Private Censorship into OECD Communiqué

      Paris, June 29th, 2011 – The final OECD communiqué on Internet Policy-Making Principles has been published. The entertainment industries and a few governments ultimately let blind copyright enforcement repression undermine the text’s support of fundamental freedoms and the Net’s openness. La Quadrature du Net supports the civil society coalition’s rejection of a bad compromise and of the final document.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Citizens, Artists and Consumers in Favour of the Legal Recognition of File Sharing

      The Création-Public-Internet (CPI) platform brings together consumer, artist and citizen organisations such as La Quadrature du Net in France. Today, the CPI is launching a campaign for the legal recognition of not-for profit file sharing between individuals and for instituting new statutory resource pooling for the fair and democratically governed financing of digital creation.

    • Copyrights

      • OECD Draft Internet Communiqué Sacrifices Freedoms to Copyright

        La Quadrature du Net adds its voice to the 80 global civil society groups that have declined endorsing the OECD’s communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy-Making. Although the text puts forward positive recommendations, rights and freedoms online are severely undermined by the call for private policing of the network, opening the door to automated censorship in the name of copyright.

        The 80 global civil society groups represented at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) under the umbrella of CSISAC have rejected the draft communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy-Making. La Quadrature du Net adds its voice to that of CSISAC, and regrets the OECD member countries’ stubborn defense of the entertainment industries’ obsolete business models, which is bound to undermine the very principles that the communiqué rightly puts forward.

      • Will OECD serve Hollywood against our Freedoms?

        Paris, June 27th, 2011 – The OECD countries are finalizing a communiqué about the future of the Internet. The outcome could either be a text favourable to citizens’ fundamental freedoms, or a push towards more repression and private policing of the Internet, in line with the ACTA agreement, the G8′s conclusions and EU copyright strategy.

Reader’s Picks

Clip of the Day

Greek leader ‘dead man walking’, Greek bailout ‘collective punishment’

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 29/6/2011: Munich’s GNU/Linux Migration in Track “on Track”; Linux 3.0 Now in RC 5

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Android and Red Hat Prove Linux’s Merit on Phones and Servers

    Debate over Linux’s viability on the desktop may rage unabated in light of the recent changes made to Canonical’s Ubuntu, in particular, but there’s no questioning the operating system’s strength in the server and mobile arenas.

  • Sony CEO blurs line between Linux and piracy at shareholders’ meeting

    Sony CEO Howard Stringer told shareholders that his company was the target of hacker attacks in April “because we tried to protect our IP (intellectual property), our content, in this case videogames.”

    In April Sony was forced to take its PlayStation Network (PSN) offline for several weeks after hackers broke in and stole information from more than 70 million user accounts, finally relaunching it in May. A similar attack also affected Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) servers, which control Sony’s online role-playing games. Combined, more than 100 million user accounts were affected.

  • Desktop

    • Farewell to Microsoft

      To me this seems to be the perfect combination, you can use all free software out there in your Linux computer (or partition) and also run that special software you really need on the Mac computer (or partition), and at the same time you can forget about the blue screen, you can forget about the poorly done operating system that Windows is.

    • DE: Munich’s move to a vendor independent desktop “on track”

      The German city of Munich’s migration to a vendor independent IT infrastructure is “in time, in budget and on track”, says one of the external consultants involved in the project. The city aims to migrate about 80 percent of all the city’s fifteen thousand desktop PCs to Ubuntu Linux.

      That 20 percent of the city administration’s PCs will remain locked-in to a proprietary operating system has been foreseen from the start, says Andreas Heinrich, a consultant at IBM closely involved in the project, dispelling rumours that the project is missing its target.

      “The project scope is to migrate 80 percent of PCs in the administration. From the onset, it was foreseen that there will be financial or technical constraints where a move to open source is not beneficial.”

    • Munich To Migrate 15,000 PCs To Ubuntu

      The German city of Munich’s migration to a vendor independent IT infrastructure is “in time, in budget and on track”, says one of the external consultants involved in the project. The city aims to migrate about 80 percent of all the city’s fifteen thousand desktop PCs to Ubuntu Linux.

      That 20 percent of the city administration’s PCs will remain locked-in to a proprietary operating system has been foreseen from the start, says Andreas Heinrich, a consultant at IBM closely involved in the project, dispelling rumours that the project is missing its target.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.0-rc5

      The most noteworthy thing may be that only about a quarter of the
      changes are in drivers, filesystem changes actually account for more
      (40%): btrfs, cifs, ext4, jbd2, nfs are all present and accounted for.

      On the driver side, there’s some gpu updates, infiniband, mmc, sound
      and some SCSI target fixes.

      And the normal random smattering of changes all around. Like some
      long-standing compile failure (admittedly you need to enable some
      esoteric resource counting options and disable NUMA to trigger it, but
      still). I think there’s a few more lurking in staging, with fixes yet
      to be merged.

    • Linux Turns 3

      In case you missed it, Linux is turning 3. Well, really, it’s turning 20. 20 years of Linux have come and gone, and yet, until recently, we’ve been stuck in 2.6.x kernel hell. The kernel has been in the 2.6 phase for almost half of that 20 years, in fact. This has caused endless annoyances for developers and distribution managers, sadly.

      You see, because my laptop runs kernel 2.6.32, it is relatively up to date. It includes the Completely Fair Scheduler, and a host of other major improvements over, say, a machine running 2.6.20. One might even suggest that two machines running kernels that far apart are essentially running completely different Linuxes. It’s like the difference between Windows XP and Windows 7.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Putting things together

        Putting things together
        Half a year ago there was a thread on the kde-core-devel mailing list with the topic “why kdelibs?”. I gave a potential answer and this resulted in a series of great discussions. While these discussions were very constructive, it was pretty clear, that we would need an in-person meeting to finally answer the question about the future of the KDE platform.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 RC 1 Released, Almost

        Eugeni Dodonov announced the release of Mandriva 2011 RC1 earlier, but I’m still waiting for it to hit mirrors. He did actually said it was “coming,” so his announcement could be considered a big ole tease. In fact, I hate it when a release is announced and we have to keep checking the mirrors for it to actually become available. But they do this every time.

        Anyway, he said, “The images are built and are undergoing an internal testing right now, and unless any critical issues are discovered, they will be pushed to the mirrors in the coming hours! Those additional testings for RC1 images before their release to the mirrors was intended in order to certify that the final changes for the RC-stage of Mandriva 2011 release, containing the (almost) final UI and Desktop experience, do not result in any unexpected issues.”

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • News from Debian
      • Updated Debian 6.0: 6.0.2 released

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the second update of its stable distribution Debian 6.0 (codename “squeeze”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments to serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source


  • Security

    • John The Ripper Expedites Password Auditing
    • Protecting Linux Against DoS/DDoS Attacks

      When I first heard ridiculous-sounding terms like smurf attack, fraggle attack, Tribal Flood Network (TFN), Trinoo, TFN2K, and stacheldraht, I didn’t take them too seriously for a couple of reasons — I worked mainly on non-Internet facing systems and I was never a victim. I thought it was primarily a network or application administrator’s problem.

      I am not too proud to admit that I was completely wrong. The truth is that I only had a grasp of the impact of such attacks but I didn’t know anything about the methods and the things that can and should be done at the operating system level.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Privacy

    • Facebook spent $230,000 lobbying in 1Q

      Facebook spent $230,000 lobbying the federal government in the first quarter on issues such as online privacy, rules that aim for equitable Internet access and other issues, according to a disclosure report.

      That’s up from $130,000 Facebook spent in the fourth quarter and nearly six times the $41,390 that it spent in the first quarter of last year.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Forget “Skinny Basic”, It’s Time For the CRTC To Mandate Full Consumer Broadcast Choice

      The CRTC vertical integration hearing continues today, following several full days last week in which the Commissioners repeatedly asked whether companies such as Rogers, Bell, and Shaw should be required to offer a “skinny basic” service – a cheaper television package with limited programming. The introduction of skinny basic appears to be one of the CRTC’s preferred responses to the issue, since it is concerned that vertically integrated companies will use their broadcast distribution services to require subscribers to subscribe to their broadcast properties. The major integrated providers have opposed the idea, arguing consumers aren’t interested.

    • Ottawa to contract out spying, but who cares? It’s only the Internet

      Imagine that, because you’re pressed for time, you take a cab to the library. The cab driver is obliged by law to install a device that will monitor where he takes you. While in the cab, you call your friend to talk about your day. The phone company is obliged to track whom you talk to and for how long.

    • Civil Society Groups Reject OECD Internet Policy Principles

      The OECD is meeting this week in Paris for a meeting on the Internet economy. The meeting features many government leaders and is expected to conclude with a Communiqué on Principles for Internet Policy-Making. This builds on the June 2008 OECD meeting in Seoul, Korea that not only placed the spotlight on Internet economy issues, but opened the door to participation of civil society groups in OECD policy making. That was a big step forward, but today there was a major step back as the civil society groups – now representing over 80 organizations from around the world under the name CSISAC – announced that it was withdrawing its name from support of the draft OECD communique.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian ‘Lawful Access’ laws come at too high a price, critics argue

        Hidden deep within the federal government’s comprehensive bundle of crime legislation lies a bill that opponents claim will rob Canadians their right to online privacy as well as their cash.

        During the last federal election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to combine 11 separate crime bills into one omnibus piece of legislation and pass it within 100 days of taking power should his Conservative Party win a majority.

      • Drake Tells Universal Music To Stop Taking Down The Music He’s Leaking

        It’s been an interesting week for Universal Music. The company was outed for their secret war on various hiphop blogs, including some of the sites of their own artists, such as 50 Cent, whose personal site was declared a “pirate” site on a list that Universal helped put together. Now, super popular Universal artist Drake is lashing out at Universal for issuing takedowns over his own music. Apparently, like many artists who value the promotion, he’s been leaking his own tracks to the various hiphop sites and blogs that Universal has declared evil. And Universal has been taking them down, leading Drake to tell them to stop…

      • The AUCC Diagnoses the Problem but Prescribes the Wrong Remedy

        Unfortunately, while the AUCC correctly diagnosed some of the problems, it asks to Board to prescribe the wrong remedy. I am not persuaded that amending the Interim Tariff to require Access Copyright to grant transactional licenses on a per copy basis—as the AUCC requests—is the optimal remedy for these issues. In fact, I am concerned that ordering Access Copyright to grant transactional licenses might actually—under some circumstances—aggravate the problem. While I am confident that this was not the AUCC’s intention, I believe that the remedy that it proposes could inadvertently backfire and serve the interests of Access Copyright to the detriment of Canadian academic institutions.

Clip of the Day

CyanogenMod 7 Gingerbread Detailed Review

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