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01.31.12

Links 31/1/2012: Debian 6.0.4, ownCloud 3

Posted in News Roundup at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Weather in UK

      The weather office in UK has quit providing widgets for GNU/Linux desktops thanks to Adobe dropping support for AIR in GNU/Linux. There is a workaround. On my PC, running Debian GNU/Linux, there is an app called “metar”…

    • The satisfaction of an online course on Linux

      My mother, who successfully migrated from Windows to Pardus GNU/Linux, is always alert trying to find news about FLOSS in our little country. Two weeks ago, she called me with information that seemed like a dream: a reputable University that promotes online learning was offering a course named “Linux OS”.

      To be honest, although I really wanted to register, I hesitated. After all, online learning is not fully developed here and the platforms are Windows based. Paying only to discover that you are barred out because the software that the institution uses is not Linux inclusive is, obviously, no fun at all. So, before registering, I decided to find as much as possible about the course program and the platform. My inquiries gave positive results; everything seemed suspiciously fine.

    • Making Music on Linux; It’s A Thing

      I was never a great, or even good, guitar player, but it’s something I really enjoyed doing for a decent chunk of my life. But as life and work grew more complex, it kind of fell by the wayside, a casualty of the demands of adulthood.

      But recently, I’ve been actively trying to carve out time to mess around with my guitar. Because I live in an apartment, I became intrigued by the idea of amp and pedal modeling, where instead of playing through a physical amp or guitar pedal, one plays into a computer, with the amp and pedal sound created by software.

  • Server

    • Oh Boy! Tilera Servers Out in March

      Wow! A Tile processor uses a bunch of RISC CPUs on a chip in a mesh. They have 64bit processing and 40bit addressing. The idea is to get close to one processor per thread so that fewer context switches and massive parallelism will get a lot of throughput at lower cost than x86 with SMP. For servers this makes a lot of sense and because they are optimized for Linux and have tools, porting is trivial. Lots of software that runs on GNU/Linux will be able to move quickly to servers running these things. Sampling is happening and production will happen in March. 2012 will be even more interesting than Android/Linux v world.

    • Linux on POWER

      Anyone familiar with GNU/Linux will not be surprised by the fact that this operating system runs on almost all known processors. However, very few people are aware that mere support just might not be enough. You’ll also need to keep an up-to-date repository of code. This is especially true when it comes to serious hardware such as POWER.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.2 Kernel: What To Consider Before Updating

      There are few things in life more exciting than a new system update for your favorite Linux distribution. Often, system updates can bring performance enhancements or simply address problematic security issues. These updates are generally considered a good thing. But when it comes to installing kernel updates, there are some critical factors that must be considered.

      By now, you’ve likely heard all about the new 3.2 Linux kernel. While the new 3.2 kernel does offer some worthwhile benefits, this doesn’t always mean that everything is going to work as expected for every person upgrading.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Wayland Is Almost Ready For Showing Off

        If you haven’t tried out the Wayland Display Server as of late, after there being a stream of new announcements, you probably should or at least check out the videos in this posting. The Wayland Display Server is becoming more lively and slowly reaching a point where it may be possible for some to use it on a day-to-day basis.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Razor-qt 0.4 – Qt based Desktop Environment

      Razor-qt is a new desktop environment based on the QT toolkit. I installed it from the PPA and gave it a quick go. It’s early days for the project, but it might eventually become a refuge for lovers of KDE 3 in the same way that Xfce has become popular with people who want to recreate the Gnome 2.x experience.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Soup Up GNOME 3 Desktop using Opera Widgets
      • 3 Reasons Why Gnome Shell Is Better Than Ubuntu’s Unity [Opinion]

        There’s absolutely no denying the fact that there has been a lot of bickering between people about which desktop environment is the best. However, in more recent times, the discussion has been expanded and refocused, from not just Gnome vs. KDE but now Gnome Shell vs. Unity, two desktop environments that are both dependent on the Gnome framework.

        The difference between the two is simply the desktop shell, which is much more a difference in looks and functionality than a technical one. However, Gnome Shell has finally started to build itself a place in my heart, while Unity has not.

  • Distributions

    • Arch’ed in a day; a noob experience

      Before beginning with my arch story, let me tell you a bit about myself, or rather about my experience with Linux OS. I am software engineer by profession (used to be…but that is another story) worked in enterprise java and client solutions. My first experience with Linux was in 2003 or 2004 when I learned about an operating system called Red-hat and given a 3-cd install for the OS. I installed the OS in my computer, did not like it at all. Looked very bland and a cheap imitation of windows; I immediately realized being free means being cheap.

    • On switching to Arch Linux

      So you’re thinking about switching to Arch. Here are some things you should probably know first.

      (I’m assuming you already know all the great things about Arch — otherwise, you wouldn’t be thinking about switching — so I’ll skip that part).

    • Dreamlinux 5 review – Splendid

      You all know that I don’t like the Xfce desktop. For some reason, nearly every single implementation thereof lacks something so important, so basic. Recently, it’s been hailed as the replacement for Gnome 2, the new hope for Linux users disillusioned by the cartoon fever of new touch-like interfaces so wrongly mated to the traditional desktop. But I’m skeptical.

    • Tiny Core Linux 4.2 is a complete operating system in 64MB or less

      Once upon a time operating systems shipped on a stack of 1.4MP floppy disks. These days most come on DVDs because the installer files can’t fit on 640MB CDs. And then there’s Tiny Core Linux.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • The Mandriva waiting continues

        According to this laconic post by Jean-Manuel Croset-0, there was not a solution for the Mandriva dilemma. He claims that the financial situation is “better than expected”, which allows the company to try to find a new solution and the new deadline is “mid February”.

      • Mandriva Bankruptcy Crisis Averted, For Now

        Mandriva users have been anxiously awaiting word from corporate whether the first user-friendly distribution would be forced to cease operations. The decision, which has been postponed twice in the last week, has finally come down. Too bad it’s really a “good news, bad news” situation.

      • Mandriva 2011: A Different Linux Experience

        The Linux landscape has become pretty interesting as of late, with all the new desktop environments and changing popularity between distributions. It seems that now is the best time for all the distributions to make their mark and differentiate from each other wherever possible, especially when it comes to major players.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Quietly Joins the OpenStack Effort

        Word is that Red Hat refused to sign on to OpenStack when it was announced, because it didn’t like the governance model. Red Hat also has its own cloud management software projects. But the company that once dismissed OpenStack seems to be coming around. Look closely at the OpenStack community and you’ll find quite a few Red Hat engineers, including some that have become core contributors to OpenStack projects.

      • Red Hat developer explains open source color calibration hardware

        Color management has historically been a weak area for the Linux desktop, but the situation is rapidly improving. Support for desktop-wide color management is being facilitated by projects like KDE’s Oyranos and the GNOME Color Manager.

        Red Hat developer Richard Hughes, who started implementing the GNOME Color Manager in 2009, launched a small company last year to sell an open source colorimeter–a hardawre device that is used to perform color calibration. The Linux-compatible device, which is called the ColorHug, will retail for £60 (early adopters can currently order it at a sale price of £48). He has already received a few hundred orders and is building more units to meet the unexpected demand.

      • Fedora

        • Another Week, Another Round Of Fedora 17 Features

          The last few Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) have seen a large number of features being approved for this next Fedora Linux release due out in May. This Monday’s meeting wasn’t any different with many more features being officially approved for this next Red-Hat-sponsored distribution. Below is a listing of the items that were just approved this week.

    • Debian Family

      • Updated Debian 6.0: 6.0.4 released
      • Download Debian 6.0.4 Squeeze
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 vs. Mac OS X 10.7.2 Performance

            As you can see, the performance results between Mac OS X 10.7.2 and Ubuntu 11.10 are definitely mixed, at least when using the latest-generation Intel Sandy Bridge hardware. One trend though is that using LLVM/Clang 3.0 within Apple’s Xcode4 package these days is a much better option than using the GCC 4.2.1 release they have shipped for a while. Depending upon the particular workload you’re interested in, you can run the given tests relevant to you under both operating systems using the Phoronix Test Suite with OpenBenchmarking.org to determine what platform is able to meet your performance needs, aside from any other software platform features to consider.

          • Beginning Linux : Part 4 – Exploring the Unity interface

            Ubuntu’s Unity interface is a step away from traditional graphical user interfaces. The intention is to make it the basis of a standard interface for everything from PCs to tablets to phones, and it’s implementation has been somewhat controversial. It’s predicated on two main ideas; that most users only ever use a handful of applications, and that people prefer to search for things by typing — as they do on the web — rather than going through going through arcane menus and clicking on drop-downs. I take issue with the second of those, but before abandoning the interface entirely — this is Linux, after all! — it’s worth exploring Unity to see what it has to offer.

          • Canonical Promotes Standard Ubuntu Branding with New Website

            When it comes to branding, the open source world is rarely at the front of the pack. Free software hackers tend to be much better at writing code than they are at designing logos, inventing names and developing elegant color schemes. But Canonical has long stood out as an exception, and its latest stride — a new website devoted to helping the community adhere to Ubuntu branding conventions — is no exception. Here’s a look.

          • Ubuntu’s New ‘HUD’ Factor: A Step Forward or Back?

            Ubuntu seems to have shifted lately “from trying to make a rock-solid desktop distribution to playing around with cool ideas for next-generation interfaces,” observed Slashdot blogger Chris Travers. “A lot of these ideas are very untested in terms of overall usability, and they represent a sort of ‘back to the future’ approach, thinking of the old X applications before menus became prevalent … .”

          • Ubuntu Should Be Forked!

            I have been a long time Ubuntu user, been using it since 2006. I loved it and have been installing it on user’s PC’s until version 11.04 came out with Unity. Before you get a wrong impression let me make it clear that I love to try new things as long as they don’t come in between me and my work. [Also read: You Don't Have To Quit Ubuntu]

            I started using Unity since its alpha days and am currently running Ubuntu 12.04 with HUD and KDE 4.8. The reason is simple — I am curious and love trying new things. I am also running openSUSE with Gnome 3 to stay updated with the latest developments.

          • You Don’t Have To Quit Ubuntu!
          • Why It’s A Good Thing That Unity Is Based On DBus

            With the announcement of Unity HUD, Mark Shuttleworth tried hard not to use a technical language. While I certainly applaud the effort, it seems that it may have been just a little bit too non-technical, seeing the number of people who misunderstood his points.

            He was really announcing two different things; the HUD itself, and the underlying technology that enables it; libdbusmenu. Because so far, it’s only been used to hide menus when they’re not in use and that’s not particularly innovative.

          • More Ideas About Ubuntu HUD Design, Mock-up
          • Sick of Ubuntu’s bad breath? Suck on a Linux Mint instead

            If the jump from the GNOME 2 desktop to the new GNOME Shell or Unity desktop in Ubuntu has left you feeling dissatisfied, one increasingly popular distribution just might offer something that turns out to be the best of both worlds – Linux Mint.

            Originally created as a spinoff of Ubuntu, Mint has long since come into its own and offers a number of advantages over other distros, including a desktop that dares to stay firmly in the Middle Earth of the ongoing desktop holy wars.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 2 Getting Ready For Testing

            Good news for Ubuntu fans. The second alpha of 12.04 is expected to be available tommorow for testing. If you are planning to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 it’s time for you to help the team in testing and ensuring there will be fewer or no bugs in the final release.

          • Featured Ubuntu Software Centre apps for January 2012
          • Full Circle Magazine #57 – out now!
          • How to install Ubuntu the way you’ve never done it before.
          • Ubuntu 12.04 ‘Precise Pangolin’: The Basics of What to Expect

            The first thing I wish to point out about Ubuntu 12.04, is the fact that the new release will no longer be targeting the much loved final ~700MB CD sized ISO. At first, this came as a shock to the Ubuntu community. But any long term users and community members of Ubuntu will know that this is a debate which has been raging among the developers and users for some time. It was always inevitable that Ubuntu would grow beyond a mere 700MB ISO. It was a classic example of not “if”, but “when” it would happen. Fortunately, it has only grown an extra 50MB, which will push the final ISO up to ~750MB. So when Ubuntu 12.04 goes gold, it will require either DVD media or USB stick for installation.

          • Beginning Linux : Part 4 – Exploring the Unity interface
          • Where Mozilla Ubiquity Failed, Ubuntu HUD will Succeed

            The HUD is based on a concept that I really believe in and supported (though my own usage and newb attempt at script) when Mozilla tried the same idea a few years ago with Ubiquity. Mozilla however has this obnoxious habit of killing projects that I like (or in there parlance – putting them on the backburner – ubiquity, prism, skywriter just to name a few). Ubiquity was supposed to become something called Taskfox in Firefox 3.6 but that never happened.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha 2 Getting Ready For Testing

              I am sure you have heard of Ubuntu Studio, an Ubuntu derivated targetted at multi-media, especially film and audio editing. Ubuntu Studio uses XFCE instead of Unity as its DE. The team is also known for one of the best wallpapers. Here is the latest Ubuntu Studio wallpaper.

            • Ozone 3

              Almost there. The default theme for Lubuntu, Ozone, is near to its final version. Lubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin is getting more and more polished. But if you can’t wait, or you have another version (or a distro with the LXDE environment) feel free to test it. Download here.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • A modern Pecora Commission could right Wall Street wrongs

      What shall we make of this surprise pronouncement in President Obama’s State of the Union address? A belated investigation has been launched into the role of fraud in the financial crisis.

    • Is Obama’s ‘Economic Populism’ for Real?

      There is a lot to digest in a recent series of events on the Prosecuting Wall Street front – the two biggest being Barack Obama’s decision to make New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman the co-chair of a committee to investigate mortgage and securitization fraud, and the numerous rumors and leaks about an impending close to the foreclosure settlement saga.

  • Censorship

    • US Government is a Website Vandal

      I can see a lot of lawsuits in the future and liability for taxpayers who may have to pay the bills. I can see people all over the world refusing to store any data on any server in US jurisdiction. This is yet another sign that the USA is going down the technological drain. The world does not need the bureaucracy of the US messing up IT.

    • Twitter users protest new Twitter policy with #TwitterCensored; #TwitterBlackout
    • What Does Twitter’s Country-by-Country Takedown System Mean for Freedom of Expression?

      Right now, we can expect Twitter to comply with court orders from countries where they have offices and employees, a list that includes the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, and soon Germany.

    • Using Wikileaks To Figure Out What The Government ‘Redacts’

      We’ve talked in the past about the ridiculousness of the US government pretending that the State Department cables that were leaked via Wikileaks are still confidential. The reasoning, obviously, is that they’re afraid that declaring anything that’s become public is no longer confidential is that it creates incentives to leak more documents. But the actual situation is simply absurd. Documents that everyone can see easily and publicly… live in this world, a world where anyone in government has to pretend that they’re still secret and confidential. There have even been cases where officials have gotten into trouble for using information from a “public” document, because they’re supposed to create this fiction that it’s not.

      Still, there is one way in which this has actually turned out to be enlightening. A few months ago, the ACLU filed some Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the State Department on some issues, getting some of the very same documents that were leaked via Wikileaks. Except… the kind that came with the FOIA had redactions. The Wikileaks documents, for the most part, do not. That created an interesting opportunity for Ben Wizner at the ACLU. He could now compare and contrast the two version of the document, to see just what the government is redacting, and figure out if they’re redacting it for legitimate reasons… or just to do things like avoid embarrassment.

    • Copyright Industry Calls For Broad Search Engine Censorship

      At a behind-closed-doors meeting facilitated by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, copyright holders have handed out a list of demands to Google, Bing and Yahoo. To curb the growing piracy problem, Hollywood and the major music labels want the search engines to de-list popular filesharing sites such as The Pirate Bay, and give higher ranking to authorized sites.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • DRM

    • The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter: The Series To Date

      Throughout the fall, I ran a daily digital lock dissenter series, pointing to a wide range of organizations representing creators, consumers, businesses, educators, historians, archivists, and librarians who have issued policy statements that are at odds with the government’s approach to digital locks in Bill C-11. While the series took a break over the Parliamentary holiday, it resumes this week with more groups and individuals that have spoken out against restrictive digital lock legislation that fails to strike a fair balance.

    • Apple’s iBook EULA exemplifies Everything that’s wrong with Proprietary Software

      Lovers and users of free and open source software are a hardy bunch. They’ve seen it all: Microsoft EULAs, DRM, UEFI, proprietary software and constant attempts to prevent end users jailbreaking and rooting the devices they paid for with hard-earned cash. If you think you’ve seen and heard it all, well, you haven’t. Apple may have trumped them all with a possibly unique EULA.

  • Copyrights

    • The Sky Is Rising: The Entertainment Industry Is Large & Growing… Not Shrinking

      Today, in Cannes, at the Midem conference, I did a presentation that was something of a follow up to the presentation I did here three years ago, about how Trent Reznor’s experiments represented the future of music business models. This time, the presentation coincided with the release of a new research paper that we’ve spent the past few months working on, sponsored by CCIA and Engine Advocacy, in which we did a thorough look at the true state of the entertainment industry. For years, we’ve been hearing doom and gloom reports about how the industry is dying, how customers just want stuff for free, about analog dollars turning into digital dimes… and (all too frequently) about how new laws are needed to save these industries.

    • The real problem with media pirate culture: Punishing artists for making art

      There is a problem with the world of illegal piracy that we have online today, but it’s not what the RIAA and MPAA want you to think it is. It’s that we’ve become accustomed to participating in illegal copying, and yet it is still illegal. This means that we have the illusion of a body of work that can be built upon, remixed, and combined with new work, but if real artists practice this commercially, we are exposed to legal attack. Being a remixer is revered by culture, but being a commercially successful remixer is punishable by massive lawsuits, and if SOPA ever passes, maybe even prison time.

    • NBC News Doesn’t Understand Fair Use; Demands Mitt Romney Remove Ads That Use TV News Clips

      Here we go again. Four years ago, during the presidential campaign, we had CBS News threaten the McCain campaign for using some news footage clips in a campaign ad. And here we are, four years later, with NBC Universal demanding that the Romney campaign remove an ad it’s using against Newt Gingrich, making use of old TV news footage. This strikes us as bizarre (and ridiculous) as it did four years ago. In many cases, these ads are likely to be considered fair use. But, secondly, is it really any harm to NBC News if Romney uses classic footage? I mean, the news reports are what NBC News had reported in the past. Essentially acting like it hadn’t — by trying to block the use of the footage — just seems silly.

    • UNCENSORED – A personal experience with DMCA – UMG vs Veoh
    • MegaUpload User Data Soon to be Destroyed

      MegaUpload has received a letter from the US Attorney informing the company that data uploaded by its users may be destroyed before the end of the week. The looming wipe-out is the result of MegaUpload’s lack of funds to pay for the servers. Behind the scenes, MegaUpload is hoping to convince the US Government that it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to allow users to access their data, at least temporarily.

    • The SOPA/PIPA Protests Were Not Pro-Piracy… They Were Anti-Crony Capitalism

      And it is that final point that many in Hollywood still fail to understand. They positioned this whole battle as if it was about the right to enforce laws on a lawless internet vs. those who wanted to pirate. But pretty much everyone can see through that facade. And, as we’ve said before (and will say again), this was never about just this bill. You can see that in the continued focus of people on other efforts by these industries to push through bad policies — such as ACTA and TPP. No, this was a rejection of crony capitalism — an attempt by one industry to push through laws that solely benefit some of its biggest players, at the expense of everyone else.

    • Is The ‘Legislative Solution’ To Online Infringement To Create A Content Use Registry?

      However, are there more creative legislative solutions that come from thinking out of the box? Ian Rogers, the CEO of TopSpin, who has been a vocal opponent of SOPA/PIPA, (despite his close relatioinship with many in the recording industry) has an interesting proposal that he’s put forth that’s worth thinking about. It starts from a different perspective. Rather than using the opportunity to directly tackle this undefined “problem,” he looks at solving a different problem: the fact that it’s difficult (to impossible) and expensive to license music for an online service. So his suggestion is really based on dealing with that issue by creating a giant registry whereby copyright holders could indicate what they’re willing to license and at what price. He notes that this is an idea that doesn’t directly need a legislative solution — and, in fact, notes that he’s tried to build something like that in the past. However, multiple attempts to build this haven’t gone very far. He suggests a more official version might be able to really go somewhere.

    • ACTA

      • Debunking the EU Commission’s Lies About ACTA

        The EU Commission is engaging in an all-out offensive to portray ACTA as normal trade agreement harmless to fundamental rights or access to knowledge. In several published documents, the Commission’s attempts to impose ACTA onto the EU Parliament while silencing legitimate criticism. But these misrepresentations don’t resist scrutiny.

01.30.12

Links 30/1/2012: GCC 4.7, Protest Against ACTA

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 184
  • Linux System Administrator Career Kickstart!
  • Desktop

    • Met Office cuts off Linux users with new weather widgets

      Linux users face increased inconvenience getting a weather forecast from March onwards when the Met Office will withdraw its web-based weather gadgets and replace them with desktop widgets – for Windows and Mac only.

      Previously the Met Office’s Firefox and iGoogle weather gadgets allowed anyone with internet access to check the weather from their homepage: now you need to be running either a Mac or Windows OS to get the latest weather news piped to you by the second.

  • Server

    • IBM Throws The Books At Big Power7 Shops

      If you are shopping for a big bad box to run IBM i, AIX, or Linux–or a combination of the three–then Big Blue has a deal for you on its enterprise-class Power 770, 780, and 795 servers. The deal that IBM offered to customers of System p5 590, System p5 595 machines in October 2007 and then in March 2010 on the Power 595 in the wake of the initial Power7-based servers, which came out a month earlier.

    • Tilera Targets Intel, ARM With 36-core Server Chip

      The Tilera chip has attributes of a general-purpose CPU as it can run the Linux OS and applications commonly used to serve web data. The fast throughput chip has fewer parallelized cores but is faster than Tilera’s 64-core predecessor chip, which shipped a few years ago. A 2U server with eight 36-core chips will draw roughly 400 watts of power, the same as eight Tilera 64-core chips in the box.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.12 Steps Closer To Release

        Keith Packard released X.Org Server 1.12 RC2 in time for weekend testing. At the same time, Apple’s Jeremy Huddleston released the X.Org Server 1.11.4 stable version.

        Keith Packard put out X.Org Server 1.12 RC2 (a.k.a. xorg-server 1.11.99.902) as the last release before the non-critical bug window closes in one week. While eating chocolate and drinking beer next weekend, Keith Packard intends to release X.Org Server 1.12 RC3 during FOSDEM 2012 in Belgium.

      • Wayland Can Now Do Surface Transformations

        Patches have landed so that the Wayland Display Server can now handle surface transformations. Separately, there’s also an easy-to-understand guide for using the Qt 5.0 tool-kit with Wayland.

      • Reclocking Hits For Open-Source NVIDIA Driver

        Committed to the kernel repository for the open-source Nouveau driver for providing reverse-engineered NVIDIA hardware is now the initial GPU core/memory re-clocking support.

        A few days back I reported on re-clocking support coming to Nouveau for the newer NVIDIA hardware. Hitting nouveau/linux-2.6 yesterday were a slew of patches that work on the re-clocking code along with support for adjusting the graphics memory timings, among other support work.

      • R600 Gallium3D Can Now Do OpenGL 3.0, GLSL 1.30

        Marek Olšák has made another exciting commit to the Mesa mainline Git repository this weekend… What he’s accomplished now is making it possible to successfully advertise OpenGL 3.0 / GLSL 1.30 support within the R600 Gallium3D driver for the Radeon HD 2000 series and later.

      • Nouveau Reclocking: Buggy, But Can Boost Performance
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Racy Puppy- Wary On Steroids!

      For those of you who don’t know, Puppy Linux is an independently-developed Linux distribution started by Barry Kauler in 2003, with the purpose of creating a modern and fully-functional Linux that could run smoothly on older hardware. Since then, several (it’s in the hundreds now!) derivatives of Puppy have been made, with 3 officially recognized main projects: Puppy (main), Wary, and Quirky. Most puppies being built using the “Woof” development system (puppy can also be built using the original T2 build system, but this is not advised).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • GLE 4.2.4b Released, Available For Fedora 16

          The Fedora team has announced the availability of GLE (Graphics Layout Engine) 4.2.4b. For those who don’t know GLE is a graphics scripting language designed for creating publication quality figures (e.g., a chart, plot, graph, or diagram).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0.4 Released

        Debian, the mother of Ubuntu and Linux Mint, has announced the fourth 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.

      • Debian 7.0 ‘Wheezy’ To Include Linux 3.2
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s HUD: Why It’s A Terrible Idea

            In fighter aircraft the idea of HUD was to allow a pilot to see important stuff while looking through the windscreen for important stuff allowing intricate operations without taking the eye off either. That‘s a good thing. Ubuntu’s HUD is not.

            There are times when searching is useful, say, when you have a zillion things on the table and you need one of them quickly but that’s not what menus are about. A properly designed menu allows a few choices to bring you to what you need. The emphasis is on few.

          • Making the Evolutionary Leap from Meerkat to Narwhal

            I’m very happy with Ubuntu as a desktop operating system. I’ve used it for years with no significant issues. In fact, Ubuntu excels where other disributions fail. Even Linux arch rival Windows, is often left in the last century compared to the innovations perpetrated by the Canonical group. But what about Natty Narwhal? Is the hype worth the effort? I’d have to say, “Yes.” Although, I’m not 100 percent sold on Unity, I’m impressed with its boot speed, shutdown speed, and snappy performance. Oh, and there’s that little matter of The Launcher.

          • Ubuntu HUD: Solving A Problem That Doesn’t Exist

            I found Canonical to be the bravest company that has the courage to introduce a new UI for an LTS version just two months before its release. I don’t know why it has taken Microsoft so many years to release Windows 8! I was shocked when Mark Shuttleworth announced that they are working on HUD, which will ultimately replace menus in Unity applications.

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Strategy Analytics: Consumers are increasingly buying tablets in preference to netbooks and even entry-level notebooks or desktops

        26.8 million is 150% more than the same quarter last year so stay tuned for more growth and more slippage by M$ in the PC market. “Others” includes BlackBerry, WebOS and MeeGO, I suppose. M$ is thick with that bunch… Android/Linux is gradually overtaking iOS. I predict they will be even within a few months.

      • Chromebooks are the electric car of laptops

        The only people I know who own Chromebooks received them for free, from Google. In my case, I have two, both free. But despite the very small-bore hole Chromebooks have made in the laptop market, in the midst of a major project shakedown at Google headquarters, Chromebooks are, apparently, going to be around for a while, and the Chrome OS project has the CEO’s support.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source developer Q&A: Rockbox’s Björn Stenberg
  • Open source community gets WebOS
  • Need software, open source it
  • FLOSS for Science Books December 2011
  • Events

    • SCaLE 10x: Onward and Upward

      As I walked into the Hilton on Saturday morning I knew something was up. I saw lots pf people wearing lanyards with a silhouette of a Penguin seemed SCaLE 10x was upon me already in full swing. I walked right onto the exhibitor floor and ‘did a loop’ through the Expo as it were..

  • Project Releases

    • GCC 4.7 Moves Along Into Stage 4

      GCC 4.7 is still on track with its development plans for an official release in March or April and this popular open-source compiler will deliver on many new features.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • World’s Largest One Stop Shopping for Free Online Courses!

        Looking for free, open source learning materials about any subject, from top experts in the world? I used to think that MIT’s OpenCourseWare and Yale’s OpenYale courses were a “one stop shopping” source for this, until I came across this stunning, worldwide, multi-lingual collection of course materials.

    • Open Hardware

      • Arduino: the face of Free hardware

        ‘Free’ and ‘Open Source’ are today common parlance in the world of technology, software in particular. What was once perceived to be a concept alienated from business, and economically impractical, has now proven to be a business model that not only works but also delivers.

        But when it comes to hardware, the idea of ‘freedom’ or ‘open-ness’ is yet to arrive. Many believe that it is only a matter of time before the idea of Open Source Hardware makes an impact.

Leftovers

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Panic Attack: Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal Finds 16 Scientists to Push Pollutocrat Agenda With Long-Debunked Climate Lies

      A lot of folks have asked me to debunk the recent anti-truthful Wall Street Journal article with the counterfactual headline, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.” I’ll combine my debunking with the rapidly growing list of debunkings from scientists and others. And I’ll update this as new debunkings come in.

      That the WSJ would publish an amateurish collection of falsehoods and half truths is no surprise. The entire global Murdoch enterprise is designed to advance the pollutocrat do-nothing agenda (see Scientist: “The Murdoch Media Empire Has Cost Humanity Perhaps One or Two Decades in Battle Against Climate Change”).

    • Global Oil Production Update: A Strange Future Has Arrived

      Since 2005, European oil consumption has fallen by 1.5 million barrels a day. And, in the same period, US oil consumption has fallen by 2 million barrels a day. If oil was priced at $60 a barrel, rather than $100 a barrel, then a fair portion of that lost demand might return. Instead, since 2005, global crude oil production has been bumping up against a ceiling around 74 million barrels a day. Thus, the tremendous growth in oil demand which emanates from the developing world, in Asia primarily, has been supplied by the reduction of demand in Europe and the United States. Why doesn’t the world simply increase the production of oil to 77, or 78 million barrels a day? After all, that is precisely the history of global oil production: a continual increase in supply to capture the advantage of rising prices.

  • Finance

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Are we too dependent on the USA for “our” WWW

      By now you’ll have heard and experienced the anti-SOPA protest. Wikipedia, Wired, WordPress, Google, Twitpic and even this very tome were joined by probably thousamds of smaller sites as large sections of the web went black to demonstrate what the web might end up like should SOPA be passed. As a Brit I joined in – even though the bill is a US one – because the effects of this nefarious piece of “leglislation” would most certainly be felt on the fair green isles that make up my homeland. The good news is both SOPA and PIPA were shelved after the protest – which proves if nothing else the power of protest. Yes they may wel return in some other form so the fight may not be over but the protest itself (for me) raised another question: is the [English-speaking] web too US-centric?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Senator Ron Wyden’s Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

        It’s been a pleasure to connect with Techdirt readers this week. Just as I appreciate Mike and Techdirt’s involvement in the PIPA/SOPA debate over the last year, your active involvement sent Washington a clear signal that the future of Internet policy can’t be decided without engaging the Internet. I hope you will remain engaged in the policy process, as there are many important debates ahead where your voice will be needed.

      • The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

        The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive, multi-nation trade agreement that threatens to extend restrictive intellectual property laws across the globe.

        The nine nations currently negotiating the TPP are the U.S., Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam. Expected to be finalized in November 2011, the TPP will contain a chapter on Intellectual Property (copyright, trademarks, patents and perhaps geographical indications) that will have a broad impact on citizens’ rights, the future of the Internet’s global infrastructure, and innovation across the world. A leaked version of the February 2011 draft U.S. TPP Intellectual Property Rights Chapter indicates that U.S. negotiators are pushing for the adoption of copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

      • ACTA

        • [ALEV-FULL] Hearing on ACTA (Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)
        • Thousands Take to the Streets to Protest ACTA
        • Malta’s support for controversial ACTA treaty mobilising opponents

          Malta’s decision to sign the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement last Thursday is mobilising opponents to the treaty, who are concerned about its possible effect on the internet.

          Many objectors took to the Internet, including social networking site Facebook, to express their displeasure, as news that a representative for Malta had signed ACTA in a ceremony in Japan broke out.

        • We Have Every Right to Be Furious About ACTA

          If there’s one thing that encapsulates what’s wrong with the way government functions today, ACTA is it. You wouldn’t know it from the name, but the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is a plurilateral agreement designed to broaden and extend existing intellectual property (IP) enforcement laws to the Internet. While it was only negotiated between a few countries,1 it has global consequences. First because it will create new rules for the Internet, and second, because its standards will be applied to other countries through the U.S.’s annual Special 301 process. Negotiated in secret, ACTA bypassed checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens. Worse still, the agreement creates a new global institution, an “ACTA Committee” to oversee its implementation and interpretation that will be made up of unelected members with no legal obligation to be transparent in their proceedings. Both in substance and in process, ACTA embodies an outdated top-down, arbitrary approach to government that is out of step with modern notions of participatory democracy.

        • The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is at Stake and What You Can Do

          The reverberations from the SOPA fight continue to be felt in the U.S. (excellent analysis from Benkler and Downes) and elsewhere (mounting Canadian concern that Bill C-11 could be amended to adopt SOPA-like rules), but it is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that has captured increasing attention this week. Several months after the majority of ACTA participants signed the agreement, most European Union countries formally signed the agreement yesterday (notable exclusions include Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia).

        • Blog blast births boffin boycott of publisher Elsevier

          The ongoing world protests against SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA have helped inspire a revolt among scientists over the role of academic publisher Elsevier and its business practices.

01.28.12

Links 28/1/2012: Acting on ACTA, PacApt

Posted in News Roundup at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top five open source social networking platforms available in the market

    In this era of technology and internet, social networking sites are getting more and more popularity. People are spending hours in front of them. For creating a social media website a platform is necessary, to make this easy came the social networking platforms. In the case of social media software, market the competition is very high. If you are looking to start a social media website then it is difficult to choose the platform. Before choosing social media software just get all available information about it and conclude weather, it will benefit you or not. Let us now take a look of the five most popular open source-networking platforms available in the market

  • Open source: The Best Choice For Big Data

    Just 12 months ago, even the largest organisations lacked the infrastructure, tools and skills to turn large datasets into business insight. Today, though, the world has changed. A combination of low-cost, commodity hardware and great open-source software are lowering the Big Data bar for organisations of all types and sizes. Put simply, open-source solutions are allowing organisations to spin up hundreds of servers to support Big Data services in seconds, and pay only for the resources they use.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome and Chromium: small golden rules to get the perfect browser !

        I bet that when you turn on your PC, one of the first programs that you start is your Browser .
        Indeed, many say that the browser that we have installed in our computer show a part of us! There is, therefore, who prefer Opera: a browser elegant and very
        particular, for those who prefer the aesthetics at the practicality, there are those who, following the mass chose the Firefox browser, which has won a great battle against IE in a recent past.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Web video framework company publishes State of HTML5 Video document

      As Flash’s ubiquity begins to erode, standards-based Web technologies are going to become the path forward for developers who want to offer a user experience that works across all screens. The HTML5 video element is already widely supported in modern Web browsers, but the capabilities and codecs that are available differ between implementations.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Security Theater… Or Why I Had To Go Dumpster Diving At The US Capitol Last Week

      However, at security to get into the Capitol, I was told I could not bring the canteen in, even though it was empty. I asked if there was any reason for this. I was told I just couldn’t bring it in. I asked if there was any place I could “leave” it, and I was told to go outside and there were dumpsters to the right. I even asked if someone could hold it for me, since it would just be an hour or so. No luck. Dumpsters, outside to the right. The canteen isn’t anything special, but I do like it. According to the price tag still on the bottom, it cost $11 when my wife bought it for me. I can buy another canteen, but really, there’s a bit of a principle thing to all of this. If the canteen itself is dangerous, then, putting it in a dumpster outside isn’t going to change that.

  • Civil Rights

    • Hawaii may keep track of all Web sites visited

      Hawaii’s legislature is weighing an unprecedented proposal to curb the privacy of Aloha State residents: requiring Internet providers to keep track of every Web site their customers visit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

01.27.12

Links 27/1/2012: GlusterFS Becomes Truly Open Source, Tablets Become Linuxed

Posted in News Roundup at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • ZaReason Alto 3880 Review: Fastest $1000 14″ Laptop

      At first glance, the Alto 3880 will not strike envy into the hearts of any. Like any standard PC laptop, it’s dressed in glossy, molded plastic pieces. The design decisions here are almost certainly OEM driven as the laptop takes a 3-tone neutral color scheme that presents itself in a bit of an awkward way. The lid emulates a brushed metal look with an attractive ZaReason screen-print right in the center. This is the first of a couple nice touches on ZaReason’s behalf. If this unit is closed on your coffee table, your guests will probably ask you, “What’s a ZaReason?”. In this respect, I think it’s quite effective. The brushed metal look for laptop lids is a little dated now, so this will not trend well in the vanity department.

  • Kernel Space

    • The quiet colossus

      A day in the life of the Linux kernel starts just a few microseconds after midnight. The kernel, a thin layer of software that provides a consistent interface between the hardware of a computer and the systems library, is hard at work at stock exchanges in the US, where it has almost completely supplanted other alternatives. Because the kernel’s licence encourages copying and modifying, the financial industry has done just that, tweaking it to perform at the utmost speed without breaking. Linux handles billions of transactions every second, passing information between processes, and managing multitasking environments for the world’s financial markets. Linux is the most portable piece of software in the world. Despite being over six million lines of code, it has been ported to more hardware platforms than anything else. Its size belies its organisation, though. The functions that any kernel must provide – switching between processes, memory management, access to hardware resources and networking – are clearly separated out, with only the really low-level hardware-dependent functions differing by platform.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Unity Desktop, Nux Get Upstream OpenGL ES 2.0

        The OpenGL ES 2.0 work is part of this Launchpad Blueprint. For a while now the Linaro and Ubuntu developers have been after upstream OpenGL ES 2.0 support for their Unity (non-2D) desktop, and it looks like the goal will be realized in time for the Ubuntu 12.04 “Precise Pangolin” LTS release in April and the Linaro releases shortly thereafter.

      • Announcing The Lima Open-Source GPU Driver

        There’s still one week until the work will be officially announced, but the open-source “Lima” open-source graphics driver project has surfaced.

        The Lima driver? This is going to be the open-source driver built for ARM’s Mali graphics processors. Lima is what the project’s being called for the story Phoronix exclusively broke last week, An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver.

      • Interlaced Support For Intel’s Linux Graphics Driver
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • The Best Linux Distributions For Every User

      On this page, we feature 20 of the best Linux distributions, with a short but extremely detailed description, a link (so you know where to download it from) and our review of the distribution. The distributions are categorised according to their purpose. We hope that our Best Linux Distributions will help you decide which flavour of Linux you’d like to run on your computer.

    • Red Hat Family

      • GlusterFS advisory board established

        A few months after its acquisition of Gluster, Red Hat has established the GlusterFS Advisory Board to oversee and promote the technical development of GlusterFS, the filesystem that is the basis of Red Hat’s Storage Software Appliance. The board includes Anand Babu, a co-founder of GlusterFS, and open source experts from Red Hat, Facebook, Citrix and Eucalyptus. The nine board members do not represent their employers, instead serving on the board as individuals.

      • Red Hat RHEVS Virtualization
      • Red Hat Taking Gluster from Open Core to Open Source

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) wants to return the Gluster filesystem to its open source roots. Red Hat acquired Gluster for $136 million in October 2011 and is now moving to help further accelerate its innovation.

      • Fedora

        • The Grand /usr-fication of Linux

          The Fedora Project is currently mounting a concerted effort to merge Linux filesystem directories into a more organized structure, an effort known as /usr merge.

        • Fedora 17 Moves Forward With Unified File-System

          Fedora 17 is moving forward with plans whereby the entire base operating system will live within /usr by condensing several common directories that have been long-standing to Linux distributions.

          Directories such as /bin, /sbin, /lib, and /lib64 are now being moved to their respective locations within the /usr directory as trying to unify the Fedora file-system. However, as to not break compatibility, symlinks will be in place for redirecting from the old locations. Solaris was actually the first operating system to begin migrating everything into /usr, with the transition having been completed last year with the release of Solaris 11.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s HUD: Why It’s A Great Idea
          • Ubuntu 12.04 to replace traditional menus with new HUD
          • HUD = How Ubuntu Disappoints?
          • A first look at Ubuntu Linux’s Head-Up Display (Gallery)
          • Ubuntu Unleashed 2012 Edition
          • Canonical previews voice driven Heads-Up Display for Ubuntu
          • How Ubuntu 12.04 Is Trying To Drop Power Usage

            After illustrating Linux power regressions and other problems for months, with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS developers at Canonical are finally taking a serious look at Linux power management and how it can be bettered.

            Going back to the last Ubuntu Developer Summit they began working out ways to improve the energy efficiency of Ubuntu Linux. They’re work isn’t really about contributing upstream improvements and optimizations to better the Linux power management situation, but determining what options can be safely enabled or better tuned to drop the Ubuntu power usage for primarily mobile systems. (Separately, they’re finally getting back to looking at the regressing boot performance state.)

          • 10 of the Best Unity Lenses & Scopes for Ubuntu

            It’s somewhat apt that Ubuntu’s ‘Lenses’ feature has brought Unity into clearer focus for many of its initial critics.

            The search-orientated display windows – called ‘Lenses’ – make finding specific files, apps or information easy to do thanks to their tuned ‘search backends’ – called Scopes’.

          • Yup, Ubuntu again. Number 11.10.

            Notice how the eleven comes before the ten. This does signify that eleven is, indeed, louder than ten. Everyone loves hating Unity. It’s new. It’s different. It’s pretty. It’s everything that Linux typically isn’t. People also love hating Ubuntu in general. While people struggle to make their Linux desktops look and feel more like OSX every day and there are over 9000 different OSX-like docks out there, people apparently really hate having something that looks and acts like an OSX desktop. It’s very odd.

            I decided to try Ubuntu 11.10 and make my own judgement. I have to admit that I was loathe to do so, but felt it only fair. So, I downloaded Ubuntu 11.10 Desktop 64. I burned it to a disc. I put in my DVD drive. I rebooted, hit f8, chose the DVD drive, and off I went. Soon, I was at a menu telling me to choose “Try” or “Install”. I was feeling risky so I chose to install.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Video Review: Xubuntu 11.10 – Elegant, Simple XFCE

              Short video on Ubuntu‘s little brother/sister Xubuntu 11.10 with it’s XFCE Desktop Manager. Fast and Simple is what I feel Xubuntu 11.10 is. Fast to load and simple to use. Runs well on a VM if thats all you have. Enjoy and download it free today!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source: the default choice

    When it comes to open source software, the question that needs to be asked today is not which businesses are using open source – but rather which businesses are not.

    So says Obsidian Systems‘ Muggie van Staden, a 17-year veteran of the open source world, who says that for many businesses today, open source software is the default choice for backend systems.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 12 will feature long-awaited New Tab Page and Home Tab

        After a long gestation period, it now appears that Firefox 12 — which moves to the Aurora channel at the end of the month — will feature the long-awaited New Tab Page and Home Tab. The new tab page is very like Chrome’s feature of the same name. The home tab builds off the new tab page popularized by Chrome and Opera, but then throws in ton of Firefox-unique functionality.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Merged executive committee proposed for the JCP

      The Java Community Process (JCP) standardisation body is taking the next step in its reorganisation. The recently proposed JSR 355 (JCP Executive Committee Merge) would combine the currently separate executive committees for Java SE/Java EE (Java Standard Edition/Java Enterprise Edition) and Java ME (Java Micro Edition) development. The reasoning behind this is that “Since Java is One Platform, it ought to be overseen by a single Executive Committee”.

    • Oracle proposal would create single committee to oversee Java specs
  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Finance

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Ryan Heath twitter propaganda or counter-noise

          I guess this is how Parliament would like it to be but they know it’s not. The European Commission is no Government, they are not elected but appointed, and speak with a single voice. Article 17 EU Treaty explains it all.

          I think it is a real pity that the Concours was abolished and replaced by logic riddle testing from the United States. You would expect a person working for the Commission to be better informed about the institutions he speaks for.

Links 27/1/2012: GNOME 3.3.4 Development Release, GhostBSD 2.5 With Graphical Installer

Posted in News Roundup at 10:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • What is Zorp?

    Briefly Zorp is an open source proxy firewall with deep protocol analysis. It sounds very sophisticated at first, however, the explanation below will make it easy to understand.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 9.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

        After the official upgrade to Firefox 9 in Ubuntu 11.10 at the beginning of the month, Canonical announced on January 24th that the Mozilla Thunderbird 9.0 email client is now available on the official software repositories of the Oneiric Ocelot operating system.

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 2.5 – Now with an Easy Graphic Installer

      GhostBSD 2.5 was released a few days ago and the headline on ghostbsd.com reads “Now with an Easy and Secure Graphic Installer.” GhostBSD is obviously a free BSD (and not coincidently, a FreeBSD derivative), but it aims to be a user-friendly free BSD and to improve the GNOME experience on FreeBSD.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Europe Sees Another Mass Migration of Government IT to FOSS, This Time in Spain

      At a time when Europe is facing a hard time in a financial crisis and Apple is worth more than Greece, price cuts of any form are always welcome. Perhaps for this reason, a slew of European countries have moved to FOSS technologies for use in their internal operations. France, Germany and many prominent European economies have started using FOSS technologies, and have benefited hugely in saved IT costs. This time, Spain’s autonomous region Extremadura wants to move to open-source solutions in place of their current proprietary desktop software.

  • Licensing

    • Sorting Out the Sharing License Shambles

      At the heart of the various movements based around sharing — free software, open content, open access etc. — lie specially drawn-up licenses that grant permissions beyond the minimal ones of copyright. This approach has worked well — too well, in fact, since it has led to a proliferation of many different licenses: the Open Source Initiative recognizes over 60 of them for open source. That’s a problem because slight incompatibilities between them often make it impossible to create combined works drawing on elements released under different licenses.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Avoiding The Vendor Perl Fad Diet

      It looks like Red Hat is distributing Perl without the core library ExtUtils::MakeMaker. If you’re not familiar with the details of the Perl 5 build chain, all you need to know is this: without MakeMaker, you’re not installing anything from the CPAN.

      Ostensibly Red Hat and other OS distribution vendors split up Perl 5 into separate packages to save room on installation media. Core Perl 5 is large and includes many, many things that not everyone uses all the time… but the obvious reaction to defining a core subset of Perl 5 that a vendor can call “perl” is another of those recurring discussions which never quite goes anywhere.

    • Binpress Integrates with Github, Adds a Commercial Layer Over Open-Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The High Cost of Allowing Health Insurers To Continue Keeping Us In The Dark

      In his State of the Union address, President Obama said very little about health care reform, but what he did say was a reminder of how tight a grip the insurance industry has on the U.S. health care system — and will continue to have if the Affordable Care Act is not implemented as Congress intended. And it is largely up to the President to make sure that it is.

  • Censorship

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • EFF petitioning to extend legal protection for jailbreaking phones and tablets

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation is petitioning to renew a US Copyright Office ruling that makes smartphone jailbreaking explicitly legal. In 2010, the Office added an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act allowing users to modify phone firmware to run software that’s not approved by the manufacturer. Since exemptions only last three years, however, the ruling must be renewed over the coming months; the EFF is also adding protection for tablets to the new exemption. The Copyright Office is currently taking public comments on the proposed rules.

    • Tales From Ubisoft DRM: Latest DRM Goes From Horrible To Slightly Less Horrible

      We all know Ubisoft. That company that seems to think that piracy is such a huge problem on the PC and that DRM is the only way to stop it — even when fans complain about how horrible the DRM is. So it is really no surprise to find out that Ubisoft is still at it. It still thinks that annoying legitimate customers is going to prevent piracy of its games. This latest story of Ubisoft DRM woe comes from Guru3d.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Dude! Where’s My Data?

        In light of the recent TERMINATION of operation of MegaUpload by Agent Smith and his colleagues, one has to wonder what happens to all the legitimate data that was stored on those servers? Are you one of the unlucky ones who is quite possibly having your private data scoured by the IT department gnomes at BIG BROTHER Central? Disturbing thought, huh?

      • SOPA and PIPA: What Bills Like These Mean to Open Source Software
      • Public Interest Groups Speak Out About Next Week’s Secret Meeting In Hollywood To Negotiate TPP (Think International SOPA)
      • Court Finds Copyright Trolling Lawyer Evan Stone In Contempt; Orders Him To Pay Attorneys’ Fees

        Remember Evan Stone? He’s one of a “new breed” of copyright trolling lawyers, who has been trying to sue large groups of John Does based on IP addresses, claiming they infringed on a client’s work. Of course, the end game of these lawsuits is not to actually take these people to court, but to find out who they are, send them a nastygram… with an offer to “settle,” and then get as many people to settle as possible. It’s basically a way to use the court system to force lots of people to give you money. Thankfully, the courts have been cracking down on many of the more egregious players in these games. Evan Stone was one of the earlier players in this space in the US, but one who made a pretty big mistake last year while representing porn producer Mick Haig. One of his cases came before a judge who recognized how sketchy these lawsuits were, and told Stone that he couldn’t subpoena for the Does’ identities just yet, and in the meantime, he asked Public Citizen and EFF to represent the interests of the still anonymous users. Amazingly, Stone sent the subpoenas anyway. The appointed lawyers discovered this when they heard from one of the Does in question. When they confronted Stone about it, he dropped the case in the most petulant manner possible (basically whining about the judge appointing these meddlesome lawyers who kept him from getting his way).

      • ACTA

        • ACTA: Note from Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament

          As a Member of the European Parliament (EP), I am concerned about the ACTA treaty in the international trade committee (INTA). Please find some information about the procedure of the ACTA treaty in the EU, especially the EP, below. You can reach me on Twitter via @marietjed66, where I will also post a message about this post.

        • ACTA ‘Is More Dangerous Than SOPA’

          While panelists talked about what they saw as the relatively secrecy under which ACTA was authored, ACTA is by no means a new initiative. Posts about the act started emerging online as early as 2008 (the initiation began with the U.S. and Japan in 2006). Canada’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade site offers a comprehensive look at the act, and even tackles the claim that ACTA was built and ratified in secret:

          “This process has not been kept from the public. On October 23, 2007, the partners involved in ACTA at that time publicly announced that they had initiated preliminary discussions on ACTA. Several countries involved in ACTA have conducted public consultations on the key proposed elements of the ACTA.”

          One thing is clear: The temperature is finally rising for ACTA, and at least one Congressman now publicly sees it as a greater threat than SOPA. You can see the entire panel in the exclusive video above.
          What do you think? Is ACTA bigger, badder and more worrisome than SOPA and PIPA, or is Issa simply trying to steer votes to his own legislation?

        • Stop ACTA in Europe

          We’ve been hearing a lot lately about SOPA and PIPA in the United States. In the meantime, ACTA has been creeping along under the radar.

        • Polish Politicians Don Guy Fawkes/Anonymous Masks To Protest ACTA Signing

01.26.12

Links 26/1/2012: Btrfs in Oracle Linux, Linux Mint 13 Chatter, ODF Toolkit

Posted in News Roundup at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • Govt agencies fatten Linux, Unix server environments

      The Federal Government has revealed a 6.4 percent increase in the use of *nix servers among agencies that spend over $2 million a year on IT.

      The increase occurred exclusively in larger agencies between 2008-9 and 2009-10, according to an iTnews’ analysis of figures [xls] contained in a new benchmarking study [pdf].

      The study involved a mix of undisclosed large and medium-sized agencies.

      By the end of 2009-10, surveyed agencies were using a total of 3039 physical machines running *nix software, including Unix, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD “and related platforms”.

      Large agencies deployed 996 new *nix servers between 2008-9 and 2009-10, while medium-sized agencies retired at least 45 *nix units over the same period.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux turns 20

      In August 1991, a Finnish student announced on Usenet that he was developing a free operating system for Intel’s 386 processor. That same month, Tim Berners-Lee released the first code for what he called the World Wide Web, also on Usenet. Twenty years later and both projects have taken over the world: one very visibly – the Web – and one almost invisibly: Linux.

    • Linux vendors urgently patch a security flaw

      OPEN SOURCE Linux distributors are quickly patching a security flaw recently found in the Linux kernel.

    • Btrfs To Go Production-Ready In Oracle Linux

      Btrfs, the quite promising next-generation Linux file-system that’s been in-development for years by Chris Mason and others, is about to take on a big role within Oracle’s Enterprise Linux distribution.

    • Linux Foundation: How to contribute to open source projects

      The Linux Foundation has published a paper titled “Upstreaming: Strengthening Open Source Development “. In the ten-page PDF document, the two authors explain, among other things, why it is in the best interest of everyone involved that in-house improvements to open source software be submitted back to the original authors of that software (upstream) for inclusion in the next version. The document, which can be accessed after registering, also touches on how best to go about this process.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 3.3 (Part 1) – Networking

      Version 3.3 of the Linux kernel offers another way to team multiple Ethernet devices. Support for “Open vSwitch”, a virtual network switch that was specifically developed for virtualised environments, has also been added. Byte Queue Limits are designed to reduce the latencies that cause the much-discussed “buffer bloat”.

    • More Systemd Fun: The Blame Game And Stopping Services With Prejudice

      Systemd, Lennart Poettering’s new init system that is taking the Linux world by storm, is all full of little tricks and treats. Today we will play the slow-boot blame game, and learn to how stop services so completely the poor things will never ever run again.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Beginning To Need Application Workarounds
      • Nouveau For A $10 NVIDIA Graphics Card?

        In this article is a look at the state of the open-source Nouveau Gallium3D driver on low-end NVIDIA GeForce graphics hardware. In particular, a $10 USD NVIDIA retail graphics card is being tested under Ubuntu Linux on both Nouveau and the proprietary NVIDIA driver and is then compared to a wide range of other low and mid-range offerings from NVIDIA’s GeForce and AMD’s Radeon graphics card line-up with a plethora of OpenGL benchmarks.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Arch Linux: Only the Hardcore Need Apply

      In search of a different distro (term of endearment for Linux distributions) to try, I decided to try installing probably one of the harder distros to install, Arch Linux over the weekend. I thought I would gather some thoughts into a post and share what I think of this interesting distro that doesn’t get the press that Ubuntu does.

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Answering questions of Debian users on various support channels

        It’s not always an easy task. Some users are more skilled than others and there might be difficulties related to the language, English is not always the native language of a user who asks a question in English.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Developer Week for 12.04 “Precise Pangolin” announced

            The Ubuntu development team has announced that the Ubuntu Developer Week for the 12.04 “Precise Pangolin” cycle will take place from 31 January to 2 February 2012. Over the course of the three days, contributors and members of the Ubuntu community will present various online workshops including tutorials and hands-on sessions focused on Ubuntu development.

          • Linux users cautiously optimistic about Ubuntu’s Head-Up Display desktop
          • Ubuntu plans shift to mobile

            Ubuntu has embarked on a shift in strategy that recognizes the growing use of smartphones and other non-PC devices for access to data and services.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 will bypass menus via predictive search
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sublime Text on Linux Mint 12

              What particularly draws me to this swift, polished, accomplished, customisable and truly delectable editor is that it is cross platform. And as I’m still in the front end dev contracting game, this is a real boon: Mac, Windows or my own Minority Linux, I can have the same text editor across the board. Delight.

            • Linux Mint 13 gets back to desktop basics

              Bucking the trend of increasingly experimental desktop interfaces, the developers behind the Linux Mint are adopting a simpler desktop for the next version of the open-source Linux distribution.

              Linux Mint 13 will feature an entirely new user interface, called Cinnamon. Earlier this week, the Linux Mint developers released a version of the shell. Previous editions of Linux Mint used a standard version of the Gnome environment.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSS’ Factious Gender Divide

    “For every ‘geeker girl’ there are probably 100,000 that only want to use a PC long enough to get the job done and get away from the stupid thing,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. In the end, “as long as there is a decent workplace so if little Sally wants to be a programmer she can, that should be all that matters. You will NEVER get a 50/50 ratio of women to men in that profession … .”

  • Don’t Do It Yourself – Learning to Trust Open Source

    It’s scary that people don’t know enough about open source and how development in Java is done to rely on well-known and trusted libraries. The runtime library is kept small on purpose. It gives us the most flexibility and power to do what’s best.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • CMS

    • NYSE Takes Stock of Open Source CMS

      Few global organizations can match the size, scale and importance of NYSE Euronext. (NYX). The leading global operator of financial markets, NYSE Euronext’s markets represent fully one third of the entire world’s equities trading-and the company is a major player in derivatives and technology services. NYSE Euronext is in the S&P 500 index and Fortune 500.

    • Joomla gets search, database reinforcements

      The newly released edition of the Joomla open source content management system now comes with a new search engine, and can use Microsoft SQL Server or PostGreSQL, in addition to MySQL.

  • Education

    • Stevens Institute of Technology Moves Financial Systems to Open Source Kuali

      New Jersey’s Stevens Institute of Technology has transitioned its financial systems to an open source platform. To replace its 30-year-old legacy system, Stevens adopted the Kuali Financial System, a tool developed and maintained by a partnership of higher education institutions and private companies.

      The Kuali Foundation is an open source organization for education institutions and other organizations dedicated to developing open source tools for higher education. The Kuali Financial System is Kuali’s flagship project. Based originally on Indiana University’s Financial Information System, KFS is a modular, enterprise-level financial system comprising accounts receivable, general ledger, purchasing/accounts payable, budget construction, and other major financial functions.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU Debugger update brings Python scripting improvements

      The GNU Project Debugger team has announced the arrival of version 7.4 of the GNU Debugger (GDB). The open source debugger is the standard debugger for the GNU software system, and supports a number of programming languages including Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Free Pascal, Fortran and Java.

  • Licensing

    • A Very Short Rant About “Copyrighted” Code

      This morning I was reading a site that regularly covers free and open source software. To protect the guilty party (because I suspect the error was one of rushed writing rather than ignorance), I’ll leave out the publication and author. However, I do want to surface the error. The author wrote about making sure that “copyrighted code” doesn’t get into the Linux kernel. What?

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Build software or community with the Mobility Lab

      Are you fascinated by transportation and passionate about using technology to help people? The Mobility Lab Transit Tech initiative is looking for Software Development Fellows and an Open Source Community Manager to help create innovative technology tools around transportation and foster open source collaboration.

    • Open source research techniques can revolutionize medicine

      What happens when Facebook meets medicine? And I’m not talking about poking your doctor when you want an appointment. What happens if all of a sudden, instead of pharmaceutical companies hiding their recipes behind closed doors and keeping their active compounds a closely guarded secret, they were to share?

      This is exactly what Jay Bradner, a researcher at Harvard and the Dana Farber Institute in Boston, did. When his lab discovered a compound that showed promise against pancreatic cancer and other solid tumors, he asked himself the question: “What would a pharmaceutical company do at this point?” And he did the opposite. Instead of keeping it a secret, he sent the compound out to researchers around the world, who sent back their findings. Instead of keeping his success in house, as a secret until he could patent a product, he created the most competitive research environment possible for his lab.

    • Open Data

      • Graph database Neo4J heads to the cloud

        Version 1.6 of Neo4J, the NoSQL graph database, has been released and includes a beta of Neo4J for the Heroku cloud, an improved query language, and web admin with a full shell. The developers say they are taking a careful approach in their cloud plans, and the beta of Neo4J for Heroku offers the ability to access Neo4j servers through their REST interface. Details of the cloud support are available in the Heroku Dev Center.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Elsevier — my part in its downfall

        The Dutch publisher Elsevier publishes many of the world’s best known mathematics journals, including Advances in Mathematics, Comptes Rendus, Discrete Mathematics, The European Journal of Combinatorics, Historia Mathematica, Journal of Algebra, Journal of Approximation Theory, Journal of Combinatorics Series A, Journal of Functional Analysis, Journal of Geometry and Physics, Journal of Mathematical Analysis and Applications, Journal of Number Theory, Topology, and Topology and its Applications. For many years, it has also been heavily criticized for its business practices. Let me briefly summarize these criticisms.

      • Goodbye Elsevier, Goodbye Tet Lett etc

        Over the last few years my interest in open science has grown, and inevitably I’ve had to confront the power of open access literature, which is a necessary condition for open science if we are to avoid the absurdity of research conducted in the open disappearing behind a subscription once it’s done. My doubts about contributing to a system of closed access journals, which totally dominate organic chemistry, were becoming overwhelming when Tim Gowers’ post came along about the need to declare publicly that we would no longer support the system.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open source controller framework lets you add the finishing touch

        There are plenty of off-the-shelf controllers out there, but what if you fancy something a little more… you? How about fully customized, with a good seasoning of affordability and style? Design student Alex S has built a framework to help you build just that. The units shown above are for DJ-based programs, but you can create interfaces for any software that takes HID or MIDI input, and as they’re modular, create endless ultra-custom set-ups. Keen to dismantle any technical barriers, Alex created a step-by-step Instructable, but you’ll still need to get your hands dirty with Arduino and some circuitry. The whole project is open source, and while it’s a step up from Lego, until we can just print these things,

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • [Neelie Kroes] I’ll be Tweet-chatting next Monday, 30 January
  • Opportunities Lost

    The score: In a decade of error,

    * 10 billion person-years of computing was lost,
    * $100 billion in profits was lost by M$ alone,
    * billions were kept in poverty years longer than they should have,
    * Earth was polluted/raped by the material wasted/used in PCs replaced every few years, and
    * the world spent $billions more fighting the malware and bloat and re-re-reboots of that other OS.

  • Finance

    • Stress Testing Tim Geithner

      Thanks to Occupy Wall Street, in the State of the Union this week President Obama struck some of his most populist themes yet. He wants to tax millionaires, bring back manufacturing and prosecute the big banks. He touted his Wall Street reforms saying the big banks are “no longer allowed to make risky bets with customers deposits” and “the rest of us aren’t bailing you out ever again.”

      But are we safe from the next big bank bailout? Many experts are dubious and Wednesday the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen decided to test the theory in the most direct way possible. They used the administrative law process to formally petition the nation’s top bank regulators to move swiftly to break up Bank of America (BofA) asserting in their petition: “The bank poses a grave threat to U.S. financial stability by any reasonable definition of that phrase.”

    • Goldman Sachs a key player in managing Romney’s wealth

      Romney’s tax returns show portions of his family fortune in an elite division of Goldman open only to clients with more than $10 million to invest and another in bank-run hedge funds.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • How the government will monitor your cell phones

      In general, mobile phone penetration is extremely high in Canada. 78% of Canadian households had a mobile phone in 2010, and in young households 50% exclusively have mobiles. In addition to owning mobile phones, we carry them with us most of the time.

      While many Canadians think of mobile phones as convenient tools to communicate with each other, we tend to not really think of mobiles as surveillance systems that are stuck in our pockets and purses.

  • Civil Rights

    • FBI seeks to track Social Media en masse

      There’s a brand new job alert out there this week, engineers and developers, and you should hop right on it if you want to help the FBI work on a tool which will provide them with an “Open Source and social media alert, mapping, and analysis application solution.” What I want to do right now is, in a very basic way, debunk how this situation will almost certainly be blown out of proportion by the same crew of people that ultimately (and thankfully) took down the SOPA and PIPA bills. This tool, if I’m to trust the job offer I’m reading here from the Federal Business Opportunities website, is not going to be hacking into your personal or secured information in any way. Instead it will be a mass organization and search tool for the FBI to keep track of all social and open source sites on the internet at all times.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • It Ain’t Over: ‘Ireland’s SOPA’ To Pass Without Parliamentary Vote

        Ireland is soon to have a law similar to SOPA passed that would give music and movie companies the power to force Irish ISPs to block access to sites suspected of having copyright infringing material on them.

      • After Years Of Near Obscurity, Atari Turns To Copyright Trolling

        A long, long time ago, Atari was king of the gaming world. It was the manufacturer of the first mainstream home video game console and was making a ton of money. That was until the video game crash of the 80s. Even though Atari was king of the world, it was not able to manage the prospect of home gaming very well and the market became saturated with terrible games that were extremely overpriced. The inability for Atari to rectify the problem ended up with gaming lying on its death bed. While the rest of the gaming world moved on after the video game renaissance, Atari was not able to keep pace with the new generation of consoles and games. After several failed consoles, it fell into obscurity.

      • Once More, With Feeling: It Wasn’t Silicon Valley Or Google That Stopped SOPA/PIPA, It Was The Internet

        Over the last week, after SOPA and PIPA were put on life support, we’ve noticed an incredibly tone deaf response from the supporters of these bills, lashing out at the wrong parties and trying to figure out where to place the blame. The usual target has been “the tech industry,” by which they usually mean “Google.” That’s why the MPAA’s Chris Dodd wants to sit down with “tech companies” at the White House to discuss this. It’s why the head of the movie theaters’ lobbying group, NATO, brushes this whole thing off as Google “flexing” its muscles. As we’ve said all along, that not only misses the point, and is totally tone deaf to what happened, but it pretty much guarantees the wrong response from supporters of the bill.

      • From Deadwood to Opportunity: CRIA Changes Its Tune on the Canadian Online Music Market

        For many years, the most prominent critic of the Canadian online music market has been the industry itself. The Canadian Recording Industry Association (now known as Music Canada) has consistently argued that few would want to invest in Canada due to the state of our copyright laws. For example, in 2009, CRIA President Graham Henderson published an op-ed that said our trading partners were racing ahead of Canada, which he argued was a product of Canadian copyright law. A year later, Universal Music Canada appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and told MPs the legal uncertainty meant that the investment was going to other countries.

      • Seven Lessons from SOPA/PIPA/Megaupload and Four Proposals on Where We Go From Here
      • Bill C-11: copyright, the movie
      • Weak Copyright Laws? Recording Industry Files Massive Lawsuit Against isoHunt

        As the debate over Canada’s copyright reform legislation, Bill C-32, continues to rage before a legislative committee, one of the most frequently heard claims is that tough reforms are needed to counter Canada’s reputation as a “piracy haven”. The presence of several well-known BitTorrent sites, most notably B.C.-based isoHunt, is cited as evidence for Canada’s supposedly lax laws that the industry says leaves it powerless.

      • The SOPA War: A Frantic Call, an Aborted Summit, and Dramatic New Details on How Hollywood Lost
      • Who Really Stopped SOPA, and Why?

        I split my time these days between Silicon Valley and Capitol Hill, and last week was a very good week to be in Washington. In the fall, I witnessed the beginnings of a unique revolt over proposed legislation that would have dramatically changed the Internet’s business landscape. Last week, that revolt achieved a stunning victory, sending Congress into a tailspin of retreat from bills that seemed certain, only months ago, to pass with little notice or resistance.

      • ACTA

        • MEP quits ACTA ‘charade’ in protest at EU signing

          A French MEP has quit the process of scrutinising ACTA for the European Parliament, calling the treaty’s passage through the EU legislative system a masquerade.

          In a statement on Thursday, Kader Arif denounced the signing of ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) by the EU and 22 member states earlier in the day. He said the European Parliament was being undermined and the process was a “charade” in which he would no longer participate.

        • European Parliament Official In Charge Of ACTA Quits, And Denounces The ‘Masquerade’ Behind ACTA
        • ACTA rapporteur denounces ACTA mascarade
        • People In Poland Come Out To Protest ACTA In Large Numbers; Polish Gov’t Calls It ‘Blackmail’

          Wow. We’ve noted that the folks who got revved up around SOPA weren’t just focused on that one bill, but have remained active and interested in related issues — with ACTA being an important one, especially given the effort by the government in Poland to sign on. Following on the big anti-SOPA protests, it seems that a bunch of folks in Warsaw decided to take to the streets in protest of ACTA… and it looks like an awful lot of people showed up, despite this being about a copyright trade agreement and the fact that it was below freezing temperatures outside. There are some photos on the site linked above that show a very large group gathering. This is really fantastic. Just a month ago, you would have never expected over a thousand people to show up in the freezing cold in Warsaw to protest a bad trade agreement about copyright issues. But it shows just how badly the entertainment industry is miscalculating on these things. The further and further the entertainment industry pushes, all it’s doing is educating and activating a large and growing group of folks who are sick of bad copyright laws interfering with their own basic rights and civil liberties.

        • Poland is not lost – could challenge ACTA at the ECJ
        • EU Commission propaganda on ACTA

          The European Commission published a document in defense of ACTA, “10 Myths about ACTA“. It is pure propaganda. The document is widely distributed by polish authorities.

Links 26/1/2012: Toorox 01.2012, Red Hat’s MRG Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • 75 Open Source Apps That Could Improve Your Life

    ‘Tis the season for New Year’s resolutions. But if you’re like many Americans you may have already fallen off the wagon. One study by psychologists at the University of Scranton found that 36 percent of the people who made New Year’s resolutions had already broken them by the end of January, and less than half (44 percent) were still going strong in July.

  • Events

    • LCA 2012 Bruce Perens on Status of Open Source and James Applebaum on Anonymity
    • LCA: Addressing the failure of open source

      Bruce Perens wore a suit and tie for his linux.conf.au 2012 keynote for a reason, he said: it reflects our community’s need to think more about how it appears to the rest of the world. Despite our many successes, he said, we have failed to achieve the goals that our community set for itself many years ago. We have failed to engage and educate our users, and are finding ourselves pulled into an increasingly constrained world. To get out of this mess, we will have to make some changes – and expand our scope beyond software and culture.
      The open source (he always used that term) movement’s goal, he said, was once to help a population that increasingly does everything – from entertainment to finances and voting – through computers. We wanted to enable people to do, not to be done to. But we find ourselves in a world where people are increasingly slaves to their tools. Yes, he said, tools like the iPhone empower their users, but they also constrain those users. They are designed not to allow their users to do things that might reduce the profits of their makers or of a number of related industries.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Solution Finds A Problem

        Google has expressed surprise that Chromebooks are popular with schools. I’m not surprised.

  • CMS

  • Funding

    • The Taxman Cometh for Kickstarter

      It is a truth universally acknowledged that a new business model, recently acquiring financial success, must be in want of taxation. So it appears to be for Kickstarter, as I discovered, now that the first business tax filing deadlines are approaching me.

      It turns out that the taxman is not very pleased with “exchanges that are a mix of commerce and patronage” — he’d really prefer these to be clearly distinct activities. Because gift income or patronage may generally be treated as non-taxable, while commerce is subject to taxes at multiple levels — both as income and as sales.

      Several questions are relatively difficult to determine: is the money you receive in a Kickstart to be interpreted as a payment for delivery of a product (i.e. the reward)? Or is the money a donation (gift) with the reward being a nominal acknowledgment.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Tiny server offers modular design
  • Finance

    • Merkel aims to solve Europe’s debt crisis as Davos leaders say Western capitalism has widened income gap

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed determination Wednesday to solve Europe’s debt crisis through greater political unity, but dashed hopes of a big injection of money for the region’s bailout fund.

      Urging the European Union to act more like a central government for the region, she acknowledged that the countries that share the euro don’t have the “political structures” to make the common currency work properly.

      She spoke at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, where members of the global business and political elite are looking to Germany to prevent a breakup of the euro, which could hurt the economy worldwide. Many participants said they see increasing evidence that Merkel will do so.

  • Copyrights

    • Global failure: No Global e-book library

      While waiting in my doctor’s office with nothing to read, I picked up a copy of the Washington Lawyer, the journal of the DC bar. It had a long piece on the “March Toward a National Digital Library” by Sarah Kellogg that I think worth reading. And pondering. It is online here .

      A lot has been happening, but it remains slow going as the lawyers and the interest groups continue to try to find a workable deal on the remaining issues. Still the author is hopeful. But she also notes that we have had the technology to digitize print matter since 1971 when Project Gutenberg published it first e-book. Forty years. Think about that.

    • New Righthaven To Offer ‘Hosting With A Backbone’; Will Avoid Unnecessary Takedowns

      Last week, some folks here pointed out that the new Righthaven.com — bought during the asset auction of Righthaven’s domain for $3,300, as part of the effort to fulfill Righthaven’s obligation to pay legal fees for one of its (many) bogus lawsuits — had put up a page joining the anti-SOPA/PIPA protests. That certainly seemed encouraging, and suggested that (not all that surprisingly, really), the domain had been bought by someone who took a dim view on copyright maximalism.

    • State Of The Union Address Highlights The Dirty Trick Of Hiding More Draconian IP Rules In ‘Trade Agreements’

      As we’ve been discussing, it’s great that the anti-SOPA/PIPA protests have awakened many to the horrors of ACTA. It seems that this may also help people finally learn about the nefarious practice of industry trade groups and governments to sneak bad IP legislation through “international agreements.” With President Obama mentioning the importance of trade agreements and dealing with infringement in his State of the Union address, many people were wondering if it was a signal about SOPA/PIPA.

    • Once Again, If You’re Trying To Save The $200 Million Movie, Perhaps You’re Asking The Wrong Questions

      I’m a bit behind on this (the SOPA/PIPA stuff took up a lot of time), but filmmaker/actor/director/writer Ed Burns, who came to fame a couple decades ago with the massively successful indie film The Brothers McMullen, likely had every opportunity to follow the path of plenty of successful indie moviemakers: go mainstream. He could have hooked up with a big studio and been filming the latest of those $200 million bubble-gum flicks. And while Burns has appeared in a few big studio films (Saving Private Ryan), over the last few years, he’s really focused on staying close to his indie roots. In fact, he’s stayed so close to them, that you could argue his latest efforts are even more indie than his first film.

    • The Pirate Bay Launches Promo Platform For Artists

      Hollywood and the major music labels frequently describe The Pirate Bay as a piracy haven that ruins their businesses. On the other side, however, there are many independent artists who would like nothing more than to be featured prominently on the world’s largest torrent site. For the latter group The Pirate Bay team have just released a new platform where artists can have their content promoted on the site’s homepage, free of charge.

    • Why SOPA and PIPA are bad for open source

      The widespread internet blackout last week in protest at unbalanced legislation being rushed through the US Congress was dramatic and notable. I did have some questions though on why it was important to the open source community. The way the laws have been framed by their proponents makes them look as if they are all about file sharing and specifically music and video sharing. However, the problem with them is they create badly-bounded new powers that are likely to exploited in ways that fall outside the frame.

    • Discussing SOPA/PIPA Over At On The Media

      Been meaning to get to this for a few days now, but finally had the chance now. Last week the always excellent radio program On The Media from WNYC, I had a bit of a discussion on SOPA/PIPA (and the Megaupload shutdown). I was on the first segment discussing some of the problems with the bills. The actual interview happened Tuesday, before the big protest, before all the politicians dropped off, and before the Megaupload takedown occurred. Otherwise I might have had a few more comments about all of that. There’s probably not too much surprising in what I have to say if you’re a regular reader of my SOPA/PIPA coverage.

    • ACTA

01.25.12

Links 25/1/2012: KDE 4.8, Pandora is Back, Open webOS 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • JavaScript dashboard framework jSlate open sourced

    Rasmus Berg Palm has released his JavaScript dashboard framework jSlate as GPLv3 licensed open source. jSlate allows users to create dashboards which retrieve their data from any web-accessible service. The system, which runs as a service on the jslate.com web site, allows users to create dashboard visualisations based on Highcharts JS interactive JavaScript charts and D3 data-driven documents. Each dashboard element is represented as a window which contains the visualisation and behind each is a JavaScript script which can be edited by the user to completely customise the chart to their needs.

  • Be lazy, be fast

    At its best Open Source software is about accelerating the pace of innovation by enabling unconnected groups to collaborate across organisational borders. It is a software development process that allows people to freely share ideas and implementations among a community of peers while still focusing on their own local needs and business drivers

  • Interview with Ivan Idris author of NumPy 1.5 Beginner’s Guide

    Today’s interview is with Ivan Idris, author of NumPy 1.5 Beginner’s Guide a book for developers or scientists with a little Python experience and wanting to test NumPy’s capabilities. We talk about the book, how it came to be and the experience writing it. Enjoy!

  • Events

    • OSI Reform At FOSDEM
    • Failure Is An Option

      Failure is a word that, understandably, carries a negative connotation. Nobody wants to fail, really. But failure, if you’re doing anything worthwhile, is inevitable. What’s important is to plan for failure, learn from it, try to avoid damage and do your best to recover gracefully. That was the topic of Selena Deckelmann’s keynote, “Mistakes Were Made,” Sunday morning at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE).

    • Canberra to host 2013 Linux conference

      The conference will be held from January 28 to February 2, which includes the Australia Day public holiday. This is not unusual as it happened in Brisbane in 2011 too.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Patches Five Chrome Bugs, Pays $6000 in Bounties

        Google earlier this week updated the Chrome Stable channel to 16.0.912.77 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame, patching four privately reported vulnerabilities in its browser. How come only four, you ask, when the headline clearly mentions five? Actually the fifth was patched a couple of weeks back, but Google mistakenly failed to include it in the release notes.

    • Mozilla

      • JSRuntime is now officially single-threaded

        A single SpiderMonkey runtime (that is, instance of JSRuntime) — and all the objects, strings and contexts associated with it — may only be accessed by a single thread at any given time. However, a SpiderMonkey embedding may create multiple runtimes in the same process (each of which may be accessed by a different thread).

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 2.5 available with GNOME or LXDE

      Following several months of development, the GhostBSD project has announced the release of version 2.5 of its BSD distribution. According to its developers, this update to GhostBSD is the result of many parts of the system being “updated, tweaked and fine-tuned”.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Committee Passes “Open Source City” Resolution

      A Raleigh City Council committee gave its stamp of approval to a resolution that could make public city data easier to access and change the way the city buys software.

      The Technology and Communications Committee, a new group of city councilors created late last year, approved the Open Source Government resolution Tuesday night. It will go to the full council next week.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Contest Highlights R Language’s Big Data Analysis Power

      Revolution Analytics, a commercial provider of software, services and support for the open source R language, awarded $20,000 to contestants in an event designed to highlight the business usefulness of R.

      Hadoop is an open source software framework that enables organizations to process huge amounts of data, huge as in petabytes. R is an open source software programming language popular with statisticians who have long used it for data mining and creating predictive models.

Leftovers

  • Google’s SPDY Incorporated Into Next-Gen HTML, Offers TCP Enhancements

    Google’s efforts to improve Internet efficiency through the development of the SPDY (pronounced “speedy”) protocol got a major boost today when the chairman of the HTTP Working Group (HTTPbis), Mark Nottingham, called for it to be included in the HTTP 2.0 standard. SPDY is a protocol that’s already used to a certain degree online; formal incorporation into the next-generation standard would improve its chances of being generally adopted.

  • Security

    • Windows security breaches on the rise

      It seems like every year, near the closing of the year, Windows viruses and malware seem to creep up from nowhere. Late 2011 was no exception. Beginning in November, Windows viruses and malware started to appear and we experienced a few get through on Windows 7 64-bit with full Symantec Endpoint Protection running, with users running Internet Explorer. Yep, they slipped right on through multiple layers of protection. Meanwhile others mentioned an increase of other popups and strange behaviour with fake “Windows repair” utilities and such. Needless to say, for those supporting Windows, it made for an ever increasing need for extra time to put out these fires. Things seem to have settled down after the new year.

  • Finance

    • Romney Parks Millions in Cayman Islands

      Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.

      A spokesperson for the Romney campaign says Romney follows all tax laws and he would pay the same in taxes regardless of where the funds are based.

    • Sorry, Mr. Speaker, Credit Unions are Not GSEs

      For the second time in a recent presidential debate where he seeks to answer his opponents’ charges about his firm’s years of quite profitable (and, according to most sources, completely legal although an issue he has found tough to defend in today’s “bubble burst” real estate market) consulting engagements with Freddie Mac, former Speaker Newt Gingrich has now twice misstated facts about credit unions so severely in his attempt to deal with these GSE-oriented questions that it has to be either an intentional effort to mislead or he does not understand what credit unions are.

      Either is troublesome for credit unions. And, now that he has done it two times in two separate debates, it cannot be a mere oversight on his part. One of those problems, lack of candor or lack of comprehension, must be the case. And the record must be set straight.

      Sorry, Mr. Speaker, credit unions are not GSEs. Period.

    • David Stockman on Crony Capitalism
  • Privacy

    • Facebook is Mass Surveillance, Says Free Software Founder

      Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation, remains the most outspoken public personality against “non-free” software and recently lashed out against commercial software services that restrict “freedom”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Stop throttling video games, CRTC tells Rogers

      Rogers Communications is breaking the law by deliberately slowing down certain types of Internet traffic, says Canada’s telecom regulator.

      In a letter made public Jan. 20, the CRTC gives Rogers two weeks to show it’s complying with the rules.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Would a SOPA Version of the Canadian Copyright Bill Target Youtube?

        My post this week on the behind-the-scenes demands to make Bill C-11, the current copyright bill, more like SOPA has attracted considerable attention with mainstream (National Post, La Presse) and online media (Mashable, Wire Report) covering the story. The music industry alone is seeking over a dozen changes to the bill, including website blocking, Internet termination for alleged repeat infringers, and an expansion of the “enabler” provision that is supposedly designed to target pirate sites. Meanwhile, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada also wants an expansion of the enabler provision along with further tightening of the already-restrictive digital lock rules.

      • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales: MPAA chairman Christopher Dodd should be fired

        Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had fighting words for Motion Picture Association of America chairman Christopher Dodd, calling the former Senator and current lobbyist out on his recent threats and pronouncing that the MPAA should fire its chief.

        “Candidly, those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake,” Dodd said to Fox News recently. “Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”

      • EMI VP Comes Out Against SOPA/PIPA; Says The Answer To Piracy Is Providing A Better Service

        Over the years, I’ve definitely found that there are plenty of folks working inside the major record labels (and big studios) who really do get what’s going on. The problem is often that their voices are drowned out by others (usually the older guard) who are pretty stubborn in their anti-innovation, anti-consumer ways. It’s always nice, however, when someone from the inside pops up and says something sensible in public, and those folks deserve kudos. The latest is Craig Davis, EMI’s VP of Urban Promotions.

      • My thoughts on S.O.P.A.

        IN THE former Soviet Union, in the late 1950s and 60s, many books that questioned the political system began to be circulated privately in mimeographed form. Their authors never earned a penny in royalties. On the contrary, they were persecuted, denounced in the official press, and sent into exile in the notorious Siberian gulags. Yet they continued to write.

      • Hollywood Astroturf Group Releases Ad Saying It Needs SOPA To Shut Down Megaupload… Five Days After Megaupload Is Shut Down
      • Free Press Action Fund Calls on Congress to Return MPAA’s Dirty Money

        WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, the Free Press Action Fund called on Congress to return campaign donations from the Motion Picture Association of America.

        In an interview last week, MPAA President Chris Dodd, a former U.S. senator, threatened to cut off campaign donations to members of Congress who vote against legislation the MPAA supports.

      • The Tech Industry Has Already Given Hollywood The Answer To Piracy; If Only It Would Listen

        While many in the press have really enjoyed claiming that the SOPA/PIPA fight has been about Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley, we’ve been pointing out for a while just how silly that is. Months ago, we pointed out that it’s a strange “fight” when one side (Silicon Valley) appears to give the other side all the weapons it needs to succeed (only to watch Hollywood then aim those weapons at its own feet). It’s been pointed out time and time again that Hollywood has a habit of looking a gift horse in the mouth… and accusing it of piracy, when it later turns out to be the answer to Hollywood’s prayers.

      • ACTA

        • New Petition Asks White House To Submit ACTA To The Senate For Ratification

          As we noted in our post about people just discovering ACTA this week, some had put together an odd White House petition, asking the White House to “end ACTA.” The oddity was over the fact that the President just signed ACTA a few months ago. What struck us as a more interesting question was the serious constitutional questions of whether or not Obama is even allowed to sign ACTA.

          In case you haven’t been following this or don’t spend your life dealing in Constitutional minutiae, the debate is over the nature of the agreement. A treaty between the US and other nations requires Senate approval. However, there’s a “simpler” form of an international agreement, known as an “executive agreement,” which allows the President to sign the agreement without getting approval. In theory, this also limits the ability of the agreement to bind Congress. In practice… however, international agreements are international agreements. Some legal scholars have suggested that the only real difference between a treaty and an executive agreement is the fact that… the president calls any treaty an “executive agreement” if he’s unsure if the Senate would approve it. Another words, the difference is basically in how the President presents it.

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