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Links 10/9/2010: APLcomp Joins The Linux Foundation, Invitation-only Linux Summit Planned

Posted in News Roundup at 2:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • What’s It Like To Be A Linux Journal Blogger?

    Well, first of all, it’s fun, or I wouldn’t be doing it. I work with some intelligent, talented people, like Carlie Fairchild, publisher at LJ, and Katherine Druckman, our Webmistress. My job description as one of the LJ bloggers is to “write about whatever you want, as long as it is Linux related”. That’s pretty much the ideal job description for somebody like me who has been doing Linux full-time since shortly after Slackware first came out in 1993. I feel lucky to be writing for Linux Journal, which is currently celebrating its 16th year of publication, and is the original magazine of the global Linux community.

  • Why the Linux Myths Continue

    Smart marketing could make a difference too. Just consider the huge impact that one television ad–the one in 1984 from Apple where the female athlete threw the sledgehammer toward a Borg-like figure resembling Big Blue–had for Apple. For Linux, the myths propogate and continue because there is no unified message designed to challenge the myths, no coordinated spending on such messaging. The myths don’t propogate because of shortcomings in Linux itself.

  • Server

    • TurnKey Linux brings speedy, small-scale migration to the cloud

      TurnKey Linux has unveiled a system-level backup and restore system called TurnKey Linux Backup and Migration (TKLBAM) that aims to add a level of flexibility to cloud computing. Powered by the Amazon S3 storage cloud, the system brings speed, smarts, and automation to backups, restores, and migration in the cloud — at least on a limited scale.

  • Kernel Space

    • Broadcom makes its Wi-Fi chipsets more Linux friendly

      According to Henry Ptasinski, a principal scientist in the wireless connectivity group at Broadcom, Broadcom has released the source code for the “initial release of a fully-open Linux driver for it’s latest generation of 11n chipsets. The driver, while still a work in progress, is released as full source and uses the native mac80211 stack. It supports multiple current chips (BCM4313, BCM43224, BCM43225) as well as providing a framework for supporting additional chips in the future, including mac80211-aware embedded chips.

    • New Linux Benchmarks Of SilverStone’s HDDBOOST

      The purpose of the HDDBOOST is to increase the disk performance by enabling SSD speeds on the host hard drive while reducing write times to the SSD. From our Linux tests in that article we had a hard time getting this small device to provide any measurable performance gains, but in fact it caused some performance losses.

    • The Linux Foundation Announces Program for 2010 End User Summit

      The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the speaker lineup and details for The Linux Foundation End User Summit. The Summit is a unique opportunity for the most advanced enterprise users to collaborate with leaders from within the Linux community, including the highest-level maintainers and developers.

    • Invitation-only Linux summit announces speakers
    • Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin Offers Sneak Peek at 2010 End User Summit
    • Linux Foundation details 2010 End User Summit programme

      Confirmed keynote speakers include British Telecom’s Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami, who will be giving a talk entitled “Purple Haze to Purple Rain: Why the Cloud Rocks”, and Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin, who will be discussing the next-generation enterprise computing. NASDAQ OMX Vice President Bob Evans will detail what he feels is working today with Linux and what he believes would work in his environment. Other various panels and sessions will cover topics ranging from “What’s next in Linux file systems & Storage”, to virtualisation and tracing.

    • APLcomp Joins The Linux Foundation

      APLcomp is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software vendor that primarily serves the financial services industry. An increasing number of its customers are deploying applications in the cloud and are recognizing the advantages of using an open operating system to support this infrastructure.

    • The Last Barrier to Wireless in Linux Falls

      This advance could be in Ubuntu as early as 10.10 but most others will see it in 2011 as the FLOSS code for the drivers will be merged with Linux 2.6.37. Debian GNU/Linux Squeeze is now up to 2.6.32. We Debianistas may have to build from source for a while yet.

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI Evergreen 3D Code May Soon Go Into Gallium3D

        AMD finally pushed out open-source 2D/3D acceleration code for Evergreen (a.k.a. the ATI Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards) last month, but since then these drivers haven’t received too much attention. AMD’s few open-source developers are beginning to turn their attention to supporting the Radeon HD 6000 series more promptly in the open-source world while the community developers seem to still have their attention on the Gallium3D driver for the ATI Radeon HD 2000/3000/4000 (R600/R700) hardware.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • PyQt comes to OpenSolaris

        For the past month I’ve been honing my PyQt skills and greatly enjoyed it. I’ve been saying to people at conferences — for years already — that Python (or some other scripting language) is the Right Approach ™ to a great many end-user applications for its speed on development and ease of prototyping. Now I finally spent a month testing the truth of that statement.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Interviews from GUADEC, Part 4

        Stormy Peters is the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and when Jeremy Allison from the Google Open Source Programs Office ran into her at GUADEC, he was eager to talk to her about the direction that GNOME is heading. In the video above, Stormy and Jeremy discuss release schedules, GNOME 3, and hackfests. Enjoy!

  • Distributions

    • Friday’s security updates
    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/kFreeBSD Becomes More Interesting

        Since last year we have been talking about Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, one of the official ports for Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” that will bring a 32-bit and 64-bit FreeBSD kernel as an option to using the Linux kernel. Debain GNU/kFreeBSD still has the Debian user-land complete with its massive package repository and apt-get support, but the FreeBSD kernel is running underneath instead of Linux. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD has matured a lot over the past year and most recently it has switched to using the FreeBSD 8.1 kernel by default and also now supports ZFS file-systems.

        In January of this year was our first time benchmarking Debian GNU/kFreeBSD when it was using the FreeBSD 7.2 kernel. With that initial testing, in 18 of our 27 benchmarks Debian GNU/Linux was still faster than Debian GNU/kFreeBSD. We delivered a much larger comparison a week later when comparing the Debian variant to Fedora, FreeBSD 7.2/8.0, OpenBSD, and OpenSolaris. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD performed about average.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • This week in design – 10 September 2010
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint Releases Debian Edition
          • Edubuntu gets a new installer

            One of our goals for the Maverick development was to enhance our installation process.

            Previously in 10.04 we introduced a way to test LTSP straight from the Live DVD and then install it or the Netbook-Edition interface at the end of the install.

            It worked great but we then received reports from users telling us they didn’t see a way to install either LTSP or the Netbook interface during the install.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Xchange 6.18 integrates data from social networks

    Nuremberg-based collaboration software specialist Open-Xchange has released an update, version 6.18, to its email and groupware solution. The company says that the most important of the 100 improvements in the release concern the integration of data from social networks and the option of managing, within Open-Xchange, email from external providers.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • Version 2.0 of NoSQL database Redis released

      Version 2.0 of the NoSQL database Redis database has been released with new features including virtual memory support, a hash datatype and publish/subscribe messaing. Development of Redis is assisted by VMware who sponsor Salvatore Sanfillippo and Pieter Noordhuis, lead developers of the project. Sanfillipo was hired by VMware in March.

      Redis is a BSD licensed, key/value store which is written in ANSI C and runs on POSIX systems like Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, Solaris and others. Libraries to access the store are available for Ruby, Python, PHP, Erlang, Java, Scala, C#, C, Clojure and JavaScript.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • USA Today Latest Media Co. to Realize Open is Better

        USA Today is the latest media company to open up its data via an API, the software interface that makes it easy for outside developers to use another company’s data in their applications. The newspaper — which said that it will launch its open API project later this month — joins a small but growing group that includes The Guardian, the New York Times and National Public Radio. The newspaper says it plans to start releasing APIs for specific sections first, including a sports API that provides access to the paper’s database of salaries for players in Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NHL and other sports franchises.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Connexions is going mobile!

        Just think about the possibilities! No longer are you tied to your computer, reading modules online or in PDF format. No longer are you forced to carry around printouts of your materials. Instead you can access Connexions materials at any time, any place.

  • Programming

    • InfoWorld review: Nine fine Python development tools

      Object-oriented and dynamic, Python encourages rapid, iterative, and almost exploratory development. But good Python development starts with a good Python IDE. In this roundup, I examine nine Python development environments, many open source, but some commercial. They are Boa Constructor, Eric, ActiveState’s Komodo, Oracle’s NetBeans, Aptana’s Pydev, PyScripter, SPE, Spyder, and WingWare’s Wing IDE.


Clip of the Day

Fully replace traditional “gnome-panel” with much more revolutionize “Avant-Window-Navigator” dock

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 10/9/2010: Linux 2.6.36, Google Caffeine Moves System Further Onto BigTable

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

GNOME bluefish



  • KDE 3 appears in ‘The Social Network’ movie?

    Below is a still image from the film’s official trailer, in it you can see what appears to be an old version of the KDE Desktop Environment. This particular still image is from a scene in the movie taking place in 2003, so KDE 3 would be an accurate version for the year.

  • From Vista and 7, to Ubuntu and Jolicloud without a Mac deviation

    Oh-My-God! Not just an OMG, this needed spelling out. The OS was free, and installable (and uninstallable) directly from Windows. It gave the previously snail-speed netbook a new spark, and came with a catalogue of software that you could click and download. Google applications, OpenOffice, Gimp, and what I guess was around 100 open-source applications with which most professionals and private persons could do whatever they want.

  • Server

    • Turnkey Linux Intros Amazon S3 Powered Backup

      TurnKey Linux Wednesday released a smart, fully automated open source-based backup and restore facility powered by the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) cloud.

      TurnKey Linux Backup and Migration (TKLBAM) is based on Ubuntu 8.04.3, was designed to add flexibility to cloud computing, and requires no configuration, according to the Tel Aviv-based developer. The solution delivers speed, intelligence, and automation to migration in the cloud, as well as backup and restore functions, said Liraz Siri, company co-founder.

  • Google

    • Google Chrome OS is for Netbooks, Android for Smartphones & Tablets

      We all know that Google is in the operating system business these days. What hasn’t been clear is exactly what Google has planned for its Chrome operating system. We all know that Android is Google’s Android Linux smartphone and tablet answer. But where does Chrome, a Linux and Web browser-based operating system fit in?

      It hasn’t been an easy question to answer. After all, you can use Android as a desktop operating system and you can use Chrome as a tablet operating system. So, what’s what here? Now, we’re beginning to get come clear answers.

      In a TechRadar interview with Google Chrome senior product manager Anders Sandholm, Sandholm said, “What we are focusing on [in Chrome] is netbooks in terms of form-factor and providing a really good experience for that.”

    • Google: ‘Android not optimised for tablets’

      Google has stated that it currently isn’t using Android on any tablets, hinting that it will have a tablet-centric OS soon.

      Although Gingerbread and Honeycomb have been strongly tipped to be tablet-friendly versions of Android, this is the first time Google has confirmed Froyo isn’t a platform for iPad rivals.

  • ARM

    • Understanding Smartphone processors

      The next generation of smartphones are set to get dual-core processors with improved graphics. We take a look at just what makes a smartphone processor

    • Stronger ARM on the Horizon

      This is an example of the problem ARM has which turns out to be a solution too. The ARM cores are going to be so small it is hard to connect them to the real world. They can connect with other ARM cores properly, however. That makes multiple-core ARM CPUs scale much better than x86. x86 cores are huge. Even Moore’s Law cannot make 16 fit in a tiny cool package. The vast majority of desktop PCs will have everything they need in such a chip and nothing they don’t: fans, PSU, case size and mass. It will be a better way to do IT and it runs GNU/Linux.

    • ARM Unveils Cortex-A15 MPCore Processor

      ARM has pulled the wraps off a new mobile processor called the Coretex-A15. This processor can be had with four cores and is aimed at mobile devices and high-end digital home gear.

  • Kernel Space

    • Matthew Garrett files case with US Customs against Fusion Garage

      Kernel hacker Matthew Garrett has been looking into GPL compliance on various consumer devices, and has evidently gotten fed up with responses from the Joojoo tablet maker. In the comments on the blog posting, someone purportedly from Fusion Garage asked Garrett to contact them, so maybe it will all get resolved soon.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.36 (Part 1) – Graphics

        The Kernel Log thus can now already offer a comprehensive overview of the major changes in the new kernel version scheduled for release in late October. To keep the material palatable, Kernel Log will, as ever, divide this information up into a series of articles which will look at different areas of the kernel. The ‘Coming in 2.6.36′ series kicks off below with a description of changes in the area of graphics hardware support. Articles on network support, storage hardware, file systems, architecture code, drivers and other areas will be published over the next few weeks.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Lubuntu 10.10 Beta Available for Download

      Julian Lavergne announced a few days ago, the immediate availability for download of the first Beta release of the upcoming Lubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) operating system.

    • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 113

      · Announced Distro: openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 1
      · Announced Distro: Ubuntu 10.10 Beta


    • New Final Releases

      • UHU-Linux 2.2 (Nerd)
      • MoLinux 6.0 (Netbook)
      • Untangle 7.4.1
      • Super OS 10.04
      • Super OS 10.04 Is Now Available for Download

        Super OS 10.04 has been released. The Ubuntu derivative sticks pretty close to the original, but aims to make it a bit more user friendly, mostly by including more multimedia codecs and more default packages.

      • Salix LXDE edition 13.1.1 is ready!

        Here’s an update to our LXDE edition! The main selection of software has stayed the same as in the previous LXDE release: Midori is used as the default web browser, claws-mail is the default email client, abiword, gnumeric and epdfview are there for your office needs and exaile, brasero and whaaw! media player are included in the multimedia application section, all running in the same lightweight LXDE desktop. Following the changes in the standard XFCE release, several things have been updated though.

      • Parsix GNU/Linux 3.6 Released

        Earlier today, September 7th, Alan Baghumian proudly announced the immediate availability for download of the Parsix GNU/Linux 3.6 operating system. Dubbed “Vinnie,” the new version brings lots of updated applications, new artwork, new features and many bugs fixed.

    • Red Hat Family

      • A 52 Week High for Red Hat, will it Hold?

        New York, September 9th (TradersHuddle.com) – Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) booked a new 52 week high today by trading above $37.53, traders are definitely monitoring Red Hat’s price action to see if this move attracts further buying into the stock.

    • Debian Family

      • Paradigm Shift

        I had my first day of classes for this school year. The grade nine class made my day. There were a lot of students and I introduced the course with a bit of the history of the PC, nomenclature, care and feeding, and installing an OS. We started installing Debian GNU/Linux over XP at 13:50 and were mostly done by 14:08. It was a network installation and some files were not in the cache so things dragged a bit. The only thing left after class was agreeing to installation of the bootloader.

      • Debian alert DSA-2098-2 (typo3-src)

        The update for TYPO3 in DSA 2098 introduced a regression which could make the backend functionality unusable. This update corrects the problem. For reference the original advisory below.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Booting Ubuntu 10.10 In 8.6 Seconds [Video]

          Ubuntu 10.10 has only entered the Beta. However, it looks like it is doing extremely well in cutting down the boot time.

          James Ward posted a video showing Ubuntu 10.10 in a mere 8.6 seconds. That is the total time it takes from GRUB to get to a usable desktop. According to Ward, he did not do anything special, like disable the drivers etc., to reduce the boot time. But of course, he uses a SSD.

        • Top reasons to install Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Linux)

          Ever since its release back in October of 2004, Ubuntu has quickly become one of the most used Linux distributions available. Focusing on user-friendliness and usability, Ubuntu is highly stable and easy to install for those those just want a great operating system without being chained down by Microsoft.

        • The Commodore 64 Lives Again – as a Modern PC Running Ubuntu

          Some of you may remember the now-infamous Carpet Cleaner Computer that’s Personal (CCCP), an old Bissell carpet washer that I converted to a PC because, well, just because. The fun continues with another entertaining waste of time and money, converting a Commodore 64 to a genuine contemporary PC. Yes, it can be done, again with a little custom engineering and an unusual circuit board.

        • Third update to the Ubuntu Light Themes

Free Software/Open Source

  • Yiy, a song with music video done in Blender

    Phetogo Tshepo Mahasha writes us he made “this music video “ for a prominent indie musician “Muhsinah” with Blender, GIMP and Photoshop.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • First Look: Firefox 4 JaegerMonkey

        Mozilla has published the first Firefox build that integrates a new JavaScript engine that aims to match the performance in IE9 and reduces the gap to Safari, Opera and Chrome.

  • Databases

    • NoSQL takes a seat on Android with new mobile version of CouchDB

      A new mobile version of the CouchDB database system, called CouchOne Mobile, is available for Google’s Android operating system. The mobile version is still at a relatively early stage of development, but it will allow developers to take advantage of CouchDB’s sophisticated replication functionality to synchronize data between desktop and mobile applications.

      CouchDB is a schema-less document-based database that uses JSON as a storage format and JavaScript as a query language. It is popular in the so-called NoSQL community and is increasingly seeing deployment in high-profile business and scientific computing environments.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle VM VirtualBox

      Virtualization is a big word that means, more or less, running one computer system inside another system. You could, for example, have a complete virtual Linux system running in a window inside your Windows 7 computer, or you might have a complete Windows XP system running in a window inside a Linux or OS X or Windows 7 system.


    • RMS to speak in Melbourne

      Free Software Foundation founder Richard M. Stallman will be visiting Melbourne next week and is scheduled to give two talks at educational institutions.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open Sesame

      What happens in open standards?
      All technology/software used for e-governance becomes inter-operable. In other words, any technology platform or software should be able to read government documents, maps, images and datasheets.

      Who gains?

      * Government: Will not have to spend crores on a proprietary standard. Various offices would be able to access data without having same technology/software.
      * Consumers: Will not have to buy proprietary software to access government documents

      Who loses?
      Big proprietary software companies and licensed technology platforms

      E-governance market in India

      * Size: $10 billion
      * Proprietary tech/software 95%
      * Open Source 5%


  • eBay stake in Craigslist restored but no board seat

    A judge on Thursday reinstated eBay Inc’s 28.4 percent stake in Craigslist, but allowed the classifieds site to keep eBay off its board.

  • Welcome to the Nerd Blog

    Today we are introducing our Nerd Blog, a place to talk about what programmer-journalists at ProPublica are working on, announce newly-launched news applications, and to hear from technically-minded readers, as well as our fellow nerdy journalists. We’re going to be writing about each of our projects as we release them, and flagging open source tools we’ve found useful.

  • Google search index splits with MapReduce

    Google Caffeine — the remodeled search infrastructure rolled out across Google’s worldwide data center network earlier this year — is not based on MapReduce, the distributed number-crunching platform that famously underpins the company’s previous indexing system. As the likes of Yahoo!, Facebook, and Microsoft work to duplicate MapReduce through the open source Hadoop project, Google is moving on.

    According to Eisar Lipkovitz, a senior director of engineering at Google, Caffeine moves Google’s back-end indexing system away from MapReduce and onto BigTable, the company’s distributed database platform.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • PSJailbreak: how the Playstation 3 was hacked
    • Business lobbies slam net neutrality

      Leaders of the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the US Chamber of Commerce gathered at a press conference yesterday to whinge about the impending horrors of Internet regulation.

      The business groups wanted to hear from FCC chairman Julius Genachowski about how proposed net neutrality regulation won’t choke off innovation. Their concern is that they are uncertain about what net neutrality regulations will bring. The TIA and NAM also argued that it could also impede the roll out of broadband in rural areas, a seemingly not so veiled threat to stall and obstruct that unless they get their way and are able to block or subvert net neutrality through lobbying.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Swiss supreme court orders company to stop snooping on illegal file-sharing suspects

        The Swiss supreme court has ordered a company to stop snooping on suspected illegal file sharers, saying the practice breaches their right to privacy.

        The Lausanne-based Federal Tribunal says Logistep AG collected personal information on users of file-sharing networks and sold it to film and music companies seeking to protect their intellectual property.

      • Are Swedish Police Violating Copyright Law In Creating Shoe Database?

        The police claim that the law lets them ignore copyright in solving crimes, but an intellectual property professor quoted in the article notes that such an exemption only applies in the direct police investigation of a specific crime — not for the sake of building up a general database. The professor suggests that this appears to be a clear violation of Swedish copyright laws.

      • Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra coming to AMERICA!! (kinda)

        Technically, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra ARE coming to America, but it’s not exactly like you think. To celebrate the 21 years or so of Tokyo Ska, TSPO have set up a little fan event thing in Hawaii for the week of October 1st. Fans will get to tour Hawaii with TSPO, meet and speak with the band members, and enjoy a special acoustic session on an evening cruise on the beautiful island of O’ahu, Hawaii! All for 194,000¥ (roughly $2,200).

      • USTR’s February 10, 2009 memo on Transparency Soup

        On September 3, 2010, we received a letter dated August 30, 2010, with a very incomplete response to that FOIA request. The most interesting document included in the preliminary response was an email with 3 pages of attachments sent by Stan McCoy, the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation, on February 10, 2010. (McCoy joined USTR under the Bush Administration).

      • Copyright Debates Fire Up Popkomm

        “The truth is digital technology has driven a panzer division through copyright law,” Smith said, with perhaps not the most sensitive choice of metaphor given the location. “If 70% of the population are ignoring a law, it’s no longer a law – we have to figure out a new way of working with copyright.”

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Spot Soluzioni Business con Linux – IBM – 2002

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 10/9/2010: Source Code for Linux-based Dell Streak Released, $35 Indian Linux Tablets Claimed Imminent

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How Linux Land Got Better Since Last Summer

    “My favourite change in the world of GNU/Linux this year is that GNU/Linux is being accepted by more people as a better way to do IT on the desktop as well as the server,” said blogger and educator Robert Pogson. “All the advantages of stability, efficiency, security, low cost, etc., that benefit us who use GNU/Linux on the server also apply to those using GNU/Linux on the desktop.”

  • Fact or Fiction? Top 8 Linux Myths Debunked

    In fact, the ranks of businesses and government organizations using Linux grows every day, and for good reason: it’s simply a good business choice. Let’s take a look, then, at some of the top anxiety-causing myths and dispel them once and for all.

  • Project Canvas Will be *Linux* Based

    It’s pretty amazing to read this panegyric to Linux: it shows just how far Linux has come, and how it is taking over the embedded world.

    Even though content will be “protected” – from you, the user, that is – which means the platform can’t really be regarded as totally open, the Project Canvas designers and managers still deserve kudos for opting for Linux, and for publicly extolling its virtues in this way.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE and the Expansion of the Desktop

        KDE developers do not seem to have articulated their purposes so succinctly, but those are the general tendencies in KDE 4. The goal seems to be to add features without straying too far from the basic metaphor of the desktop and making radical changes.

        Desktop icons are intended to put applications within easy reach of users. However, in most desktops on any operating system, one of two problems arises: either you settle on a general set of icons that works reasonably well when you are doing most tasks, but is not perfectly suited to any specific task, or else you add so many that finding the ones you need becomes difficult. In either case, you lose the convenience of desktop icons.

        You can, of course, rely entirely on the menu — and many do — but that can add substantially to the number of clicks needed to start an application. A Favorites menu can help, but, like a desktop covered with icons, it loses efficiency when more than about nine items are placed in it.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Absolute, Dream

        A couple of years ago, one of my first distro-hopping experiences was to tinker with DreamLinux, which (if I remember right) was one of the earliest distros to include Compiz and accelerated graphics by default.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Daily dose of Scribus trunk

          We’ll be using Scribus for much of the DTP internal to Canonical. Our templates etc will be published in Scribus, so folks who need to knock up a flyer or brochure have the pieces they need ready to hand. However, there’s a problem, in that the stable Scribus package is really quite old.

          The Scribus team is making good progress on the next version of Scribus, but I couldn’t find an easy way to test their trunk. So I thought to make a PPA with a daily build. Whenever I’m testing or evaluating a new app I like to check out trunk, just to get a feel for the pace of activity and quality of the work. A crisp, clean, stable trunk is a sign of good quality work, which will likely mean good quality elsewhere like documentation and project governance. Chaos on trunk means… chaos generally, as a rule.

        • No need to complicate your life…

          For some reason people always think that having seperate / and /home partitions is necessary to having a healthy Ubuntu system.

        • New features and changes in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick!

          Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) BETA has been published a few days ago and quite a few brave souls has already upgraded to it. The Beta release gives general idea of what final release will look like when it is due in October 2010.

        • Dell Vostro 3300 and Ubuntu 10.4

          I decided to purchase a Dell Vostro 3300 recently. I took the decision based on the cost, spec and the fact that it is Ubuntu certified (list of certified hardware for each release). I was interested on checking out 10.4 so I looked at what was available with Dell.

        • First Impressions: Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

          So, that concluded my rapid-fire trial of Ubuntu 10.10 beta. There’s a lot to like, and a lot to keep an eye on for bug fixes apparently. I didn’t see anything earth-shattering enough to convince me to replace my LTS release any time soon. Perhaps over the next month of polish and bug-squashing a star will emerge. If it does, you’ll certainly hear about it.

        • Whither with Ubuntu?

          Over the 6 years of life that Ubuntu has had so far, it has changed drastically. At first, it was just a quick and convenient way for me to install Debian. It started becoming more and more popular, and then was like a tidal wave through the Linux community. Today, it is the world’s third most popular operating system. Windows, OSX, Ubuntu, then everything else. There is, however, an untold story.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • [Reviews]: Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox Review ” Isadora “

            I have been using Linux Mint since Linux Mint 5 Elyssa always was interesting in Linux Mint Fluxbox editions because it does not require high hardware specifications using a really lightweight window manager Fluxbox based on Blacbox. First installation for Linux Mint 5 on my Laptop with hardware specifications 1GHz and 256 MB of RAM, so Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox edition is a good choice if you don’t have a good hardware specifications.

          • Linux Mint 9 Xfce or LXDE?

            Another round in the battle between Xfce and LXDE. This time the distro is Linux Mint 9. So far, the Xfce desktop has lost two rounds in a matches with LXDE on the same distro. It has lost both the free memory battle and the quality of distribution battle. On this last round, who is going to be the winner?

            Both installs were from a Live/Install CD for each desktop. No problem with either install, and both use GRUB2. While GRUB2 may have its problems, I like the fact that it automatically finds and correctly boots other Linux distros. To avoid installing GRUB2 on the MBR, you need to click the “Advanced” button on the Ready to Install screen (Step 8 of 8). This screen allows you to select the boot partition.

          • SuperOS 10.04 Screenshots

            SuperOS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that makes Ubuntu more usable while remaining compatible with it. This is done by implementing several beginner-friendly tools and features. Along with over 200 updates from Ubuntu 10.04, SuperOS 10.04 also includes important enhancements like out-of-the-box support for DVD-playback, QuickTime video, Windows Media Video, Flash Video and many others. Other features include portable applications with RUNZ, programs are easier to run with App Runner, WUBI is in place, access the live USB creator cd2usb from the DVD menu, and many other enhancements.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Source code for Dell Streak unveiled

          Thanks to Android’s open-source agreements handsets are having their source codes released left and right. If you’re similar to me, I get quite excited that they released the source code, download the file, and realize… I have no idea what I am doing. Although I am still eager about what our developers will come up with to take advantage of this large screen. Hopefully all the manufactures will follow suit and continue this early release of source codes so that our developers can quickly get up custom ROMS and themes.

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Sakshat, the Laughed-At $35 Indian Tablet, Reportedly Set for Early 2011 Launch

        Defying skeptics everywhere, the gadget with the funny name and an absurdly low price will reportedly arrive in India this January. Rumors concerning the Sakshat — a minimally priced, government-endorsed Indian Android tablet — have circulated for more than a year. The device, which was designed for students and folks typically unable to afford a computer, reportedly has a manufacturer, a price, a release date and detailed specs.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Community Types

    When I am with business people, I often find I need to distinguish between the different kinds of community that are layered around various Free software commons. It’s common to characterise community members as either “developers” (the “open source” worldview often emphasises this) or “users” (the “Free software” worldview often emphasises this). More than that, using the term “community” to apply to every style of gathering leads to confusion, especially regarding motivations for participating.

    As I’ve watched various community engagements by various companies and individuals, and discussed this with various people, it seems to me that there are four different development-related community types, in two bands. These aren’t absolute classifications with hard-and-fast boundaries, and most communities span two of the types, but the distinction is helpful when discussing communities.

  • Oracle

    • FSF Lashes Out at Oracle for its Patent Lawsuit Against Google Android

      FSF finally responds to the whole Google vs Oracle legal tangle and the threat posed by software patents. FSF lashed out at Oracle for suing Google over various Java patents, even calls the actions by Oracle as ‘unjustifiable.’ FSF also adds that, “nobody deserves to be the victim of software patent aggression, and Oracle is wrong to use its patents to attack Android”.

  • CMS

    • For-Profit Automattic Gives WordPress Trademark To Non-Profit Foundation

      “It’s not often you see a for-profit company donate one of their most valuable core assets and give up control,” Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg writes today in a post announcing that the WordPress trademark has been transfered from his company to the WordPress Foundation. “This is a really big deal,” he continues.

    • Something is Drupally in the State of Denmark

      It seems that while many technology conferences are suffering a bit with their attendance, there is no stopping the Drupal community. With almost 1200 attendees, the Copenhagen conference was the most well-attended European DrupalCon yet, likely due in no small part to the promise of a custom-brewed beer and our own bar to drink it in. Suffice it to say that Drupalers work and play hard.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Introducing OpenCharities: Opening up the Charities Register

        A couple of weeks ago I needed a list of all the charities in the UK and their registration numbers so that I could try to match them up to the local council spending data OpenlyLocal is aggregating and trying to make sense of. A fairly simple request, you’d think, especially in this new world of transparency and open data, and for a dataset that’s uncontentious.


  • Commodore Threatens Blogger For Being Skeptical About Its Amiga Plans

    Slashdot recently pointed us to the fact that OSNews received a legal threat from Commodore USA for publishing an article that was highly skeptical of Commodore’s Amiga plans. Slashdot focuses on the fact that the legal nastygram is obviously copied from ChillingEffects.org, including odd formatting and references. While that part is amusing, I don’t think it’s that interesting. While there’s been some discussion about copyright on legal documents, in general, lawyers copy others’ legal language all the time, and it’s (mostly) considered to be okay.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Daily Variety Refuses To Back Down On Vandals Lawsuit

      Where this gets even more interesting (or potentially dangerous, depending on your opinion), is that the band’s bassist, Joe Escalante, is a former entertainment lawyer who is representing the band in the case. Despite not being a litigator, he’s been learning about litigation and even got himself admitted to practice law in Delaware, where the lawsuit was filed (the band is trying to get the case moved to LA). Escalante has been publicizing all of the aspects of the case, and the band is even holding a “fundraising” concert to fund the legal defense.

    • Copyrights

      • Free Comics! Slightly Scanned.

        For comic fans, history fans, and comics history fans, the Digital Comics Museum is offering downloads and scans of public domain comic books from the 1940s and ’50s. There are a massive amount of titles and issues available, from Captain Science to Sherlock Holmes to Frisky Fairy Tales to the chaste Sweet Sixteen Magazine, and many, many more. You can also find the very same horror comics that led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority.

      • 2010 Catalyst Grant Recipients Announced!

        It’s with great pleasure that we announce the recipients of the first CC Catalyst Grants Program. Out of a grant pool consisting of more than 130 applications, seven projects have been selected for awards up to $10,000 each, to catalyze projects that contribute to the commons.

        Thanks to your generous support during the Catalyst Grants campaign, we raised almost $50,000, 100% of which will directly fuel the grant awards.

Clip of the Day

ARM Cortex™-A15 MPcore processor

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 9/9/2010: Debian-based Linux Mint in Review, Android Passes 80,000 Apps

Posted in News Roundup at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • The Key to a Successful Linux Conversion

      People are resistant to change. This is a fact and it is not going to change any time soon. Because of this they will not want their entire computer to change on them all at once. An important fact that a lot Linux Advocates miss is that the conversion to Linux starts on Windows or OSX.

  • Server

    • HPC meets cloud computing with Dell’s new server

      The company announced the PowerEdge C6105 rack-mount server, which can accommodate up to 48 processor cores in a 2U box. The server can create large clusters to run scientific or math applications, and can also scale performance in densely packed cloud-computing environments, company officials said.

    • PCI DSS Standards 2.0 Means Good News For Linux Xen VPS

      Of the 12 new changes to the standards, the best part of the new PCI DSS rules is a change to rule 2.2.1, which specifically allows for virtualization. Such as using a VPS running Linux with Xen. Instead of having just 1 function per server, they now specify you can have multiple virtual servers on one physical server, each performing separate functions. Prior to this the Payment Card Industry, didn’t specifically allow or disallow the use of VPS, and their rule on it, was open to interpretation, and your security team would need to make a judgement call if they thought you will still be in compliance by using Xen, or any other VPS. You will still need at least 2 physical servers, as your database server must be behind a hardware firewall, but you can have web on 1 VPS, email on another, DNS on a third, etc.

      Some people argue that using a VPS is less secure, because you risk having the main server hacked, and then in turn all the VPSs running on it are compromised. However SSH is probably the only port you would have open on the main server, plus that should have an ACL denying all traffic except from one or a couple IPs, it would really be very very rare if were to happen, and it seems like the PCI DSS Council realized that too.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • How to Oxidize KDE 3.5

        As far as putting current software on old computers, this is something to look out for, and (if I say so myself) the theming of KDE 3.5 to look like KDE 4 looks pretty convincing to the untrained eye and makes the desktop (in terms of speed, stability, and appearance) look thoroughly modern.

      • KDE 4.5 Desktop Activities Bring New Meaning to Organization

        KDE 4.5 brings to the table plenty of useful, functional, innovative features. One of those very features is the Desktop Activity. Although many scoffed at the idea (even tried to get the feature pulled), those same naysayers are (hopefully) glad their requests were not followed. Why? The KDE Desktop Activities feature is a great new desktop metaphor that takes the Linux desktop to new levels of organization.

        Prior to Desktop Activities a user could have multiple desktops (thanks to the ever-present KDE pager). You could use one desktop for productivity, one for networking, one for graphics, one for fun, or whatever categories you needed. This was a great way to keep yourself organized. The KDE team saw something that no one else seemed to see — that the Pager idea could be greatly improved.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Chakra Jaz (0.2.1)

        Chakra Linux is a new distribution based on Arch Linux. Chakra Linux comes from the people behind the KDEmod(Modularized KDE). Arch Linux is one of my favorite distribution as it offered a fast, stable distribution with the latest packages(rolling release). I used KDEmod with Arch as the customizations and modularization was better than the vanilla KDE provided by Arch.


        The developers of Chakra have done a great job with their custom scripts. Chakra Linux is still in early stages of development, and it needs some improvements especially in the following areas.

        * Package Management (GUI, packages and dependencies)
        * Installer(Partitioning)

        If you are looking for an easy way to setup a Arch based distribution, then Chakra would be an ideal way. If you have a fair amount of experience with Arch, then I would highly recommend Chakra. If you are a basic user then you may need to wait for a little longer for a perfect Chakra experience.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • HeliOS Store opens to fund the HeliOS Project

        We recently received a huge donation from Dell. It wasn’t computers or monitors but boxes and boxes of stuff we probably will never use. But that’s not to say that it isn’t valuable to someone else. With that in mind, The HeliOS Project has established a presence on Amazon and Ebay. Since Ebay and Paypal are joined at the hip, our preferred way of doing business is through Amazon.

      • yes we can

        There is no way to have an official Debian Facebook page and pretend that we are not, de facto, endorsing Facebook. That’s why I believe having official Debian presence on Facebook, or on any other non Free Software platform, will just weaken our cause. It will send out the message that Free Software it’s something which is good for others to use, but not necessarily for Debian as a project.

      • Can Debian achieve world domination without being on Facebook?

        Facebook is not very popular among free software hackers. When I announced my Facebook page on identi.ca (see here) I got a few replies suggesting it was odd for me to use Facebook.

      • Freedom Box Project
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Charactersets
        • UbuntuOne gets better

          Cloud storage services offers Ubuntu users an ever increasing range of features

          Most users have heard of Dropbox, the online storage application which makes it easy to save files in the “cloud”. As far as consumer-facing cloud storage solutions Dropbox is about the best there is.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint (Debian)

            Summary: An excellent alternative version of Linux Mint for those who prefer a rolling distro to the usual Ubuntu based versions of Linux Mint.

            Rating: 4/5

          • Linux Mint Debian Edition – 1st Impression

            So without further delay, let’s talk about Mint…

            1 – Boot Time – Nothing new, fast as hell…
            2 – Kernel – 2.6.32 – Same as Ubuntu 10.04
            3 – Speed – same as 1
            4 – Update Manager – ok, not very intrusive with all the updates and the wonderful Mint level for update, very nice for beginners
            5 – My samba share appeared on Nautilus and network
            6 – Software: F-spot, Gimp, Thunderbird, Pidgin!!!!!, VLC!!!!!!, MintNanny (it would come very useful for me soon), Giver (file share), root terminal, Openoffice….. Yes, they are better than Ubuntu at choosing packages
            7 – Well, everything else, just like regular Mint, very very nice……

          • Linux Mint Based On Debian Released – And It’s A Rolling Distribution!

            Rolling release means you won’t have to upgrade / do a clean install each time a new Linux Mint Debian version is released to be able to use the latest software versions. As an example: Ubuntu 10.04 shipped with VLC 1.0.x and you cannot and will not be able to install VLC 1.1.x in Ubuntu 10.04 from the official repositories. The only way to install VLC 1.1.x in Ubuntu 10.04 is to use a PPA or upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10. That will not be the case with Linux Mint Debian – you will get updates for all your applications without having to install the latest Linux Mint Debian version.

          • Review: Kubuntu 10.04 Trinity “Lucid Lynx” (Idea by Candid of Linux Today)

            I think Trinity will be able to find a home on many old computers as a viable alternative to LXDE and Xfce; it’s fast, and it’s customizable enough to be quite a looker (as I don’t particularly care for the default look). I wish the developers the best of luck regarding the project’s progress; more choice is always better. I would certainly recommend this to anyone who wants some way to stick with KDE 3.5 or some way to bring KDE onto an older computer.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wind River board partners spin Intel-based embedded kits

      Wind River announced a series of Wind River Linux-ready development kits developed in partnership with eight different embedded board vendors. Embedded Development Kits are now available from Emerson Network Power, Eurotech, and Kontron, with more kits due in the fourth quarter from Advantech, Adlink, Curtiss-Wright, GE Intelligent Platforms, and RadiSys, says Wind River.

    • Phones

      • Do Users Care Much About Mobile Operating Systems?

        Google’s Android initiative likewise is part of Google’s awareness that the mobile market is strategic and crucial for its future relevance.

      • Android

        • Android Now at 80,000 Market Apps

          In case you didn’t catch it late last night in T-Mobile’s press release for their G2, Andy Rubin had some words to say for the successor to the first phone to carry his beloved operating system, Android, and had a quick fact to throw out to us: we’re nowsitting at 80,000 apps. It’s an increase of only 10,000 from the last time we caught word of any official number. In May, it was announced that the market was housing 50,000 apps. At this rate, it’s sounding like we’re approaching the roughly 10,000 apps per month AppBrain had predicted a while back (even if their numbers were unofficial and somehow inflated).

        • Android Market Growing Exponentially – Now with more than 80,000 apps
        • This Little App Went to Market, Part 1

          Reality indicates that most developers don’t make back their investment by publishing an application to the App Store or Android Market.

        • Google Faces Tough Fight Against iTunes
        • More Android tablets break cover

          Navigation device manufacturer Rydeen Mobile Electronics announced a seven-inch, Android-based tablet called the “gPad GCOM701″ at last weekend’s IFA show in Berlin. Also at the show, Foryoudigital demonstrated its five-inch, Android-powered MX10, and Enspert announced that it built the “Identity Tab” Android tablet recently released by Korean carrier KT.

        • Learn your history, the Android way
    • Sub-notebooks

      • UNR – Ubuntu Netbook Revisited

        I’ve spent the last couple of days distro hopping on my netbook and ended up with a pretty impressive UNR (Ubuntu Netbook Remix) 10.04. It had been happily running Linux Mint 8 XFCE with full Compiz effects before that.

        A couple of weeks ago I installed BackTrack as a live USB distro, but got a bit of an awakening when I found I was lost in KDE3.5. It was hunting around the interface for things, as if I’d never seen Linux before, despite KDE3.5 being the first full time Linux DE I used. It was time to branch out a little if only to brush up my skills and not feel so lost when sitting down at another Linux PC. I have a P3 and P4 desktop, neither of which are capable of running anything beyond XFCE, so the netbook was the obvious target.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Inequality, Choices, and Hitting a Wall

    Have you read the Evil HR Lady’s article called Illegal Gender Discrimination in Tech? Hardly.? Suzanne Lucas, a.k.a. Evil HR Lady, says, “Everyone wrings their hands and frets, ‘what can we do about the inequality in X?’ Well, first stop and see if people are making different choices.”

    Ok, so far I can follow what Lucas is saying. I’ve reevaluated my own choices over the years and plugged holes where I found them. I’ve learned the art of salary negotiation, am improving my self-promotion prowess, and am known to be aggressively assertive. But then she loses me… and annoys me.

    Lucas writes, “I know, I know, there is a presumption of discrimination because women are so down-trodden that that they think they wouldn’t be able to succeed because all those men who control the money wouldn’t let them anyway, so why try?”

    Where exactly is this presumption of discrimination? Did she say ‘down trodden’? Really, Lucas does a fabulous job of illustrating what so many of us think keeps women out of tech careers – they don’t feel welcome.

  • SetiQuest Project Could Bring The Goodness of Open Source to Our Search for Alien Life

    SETI or Search for Extra Terrestrial Life is a project that started some 50 years ago. SETI is one of those science projects that had caught the public’s imagination like no other. But with the escalating costs and dwindling manpower, SETI needs a new vision. And if things happened during SETIcon, a weekend conference organized by the SETI Institute to honor SETI’s 50th anniversary, are any indication, the new vision could just be ‘Open Source’.

  • Events

    • OrangeHRM clamors to join million-dollar club

      Open source human resource management software vendor sees quality of service and mobile technology as two key areas to exploit to become a US$1 million company by 2011, reveals CEO.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 Set to Improve Security

        The race to accelerate browser features continues as Mozilla developers race towards the finish line to get the finished version of the Firefox 4 Web browser out the door.

        The first Firefox 4 beta was released in early July of this year and the final release is due by the end of the year. Along the way to its final generally available release, Mozilla developers have been issuing milestone releases with new features and bug fixes. Firefox 4 development is occurring at a time when rival browser vendor Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is updating it Chrome browser to version 6 and Microsoft is working on Internet Explorer 9.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • My introduction to open source

      Co-production first became a solid term when used by a team of scholars at Indiana University in the early 1970s. They were looking at the provision of public safety by examining the structure and operations of police departments. Key here was their precursor idea demonstrated well before that study: a distinction between the provision of a public good (or outcome) and the production of a service.

      Government may be responsible for the provision, or be in charge of it, but it doesn’t have to be the sole producer (the one involved in physically bringing the good into existence). In the case of this public safety study, police performance didn’t vary in expected ways when it came to prime suspects like funding levels. The team suggested the local community was responsible for a lot of producer-like qualities, that in the end, had an effect on the provision of public safety.

      It was a new concept, to scholars, at least. They termed it [and this is a later definition] “co-production”—“a process through which inputs used to produce a good or service are contributed by individuals who are not ‘in’ the same organization.”

  • Business

    • Open Source Microstock Agency: How Stock Photo Agency YayMicro.com was Created Using Only Open Source Technology
    • Open Source Microstock Agency

      The enterprise-class linux distribution was chosen because it has proven to be one of the most reliable and stable distributions. It’s one of the most popular server distributions, meaning it is easy to find solutions and support online. YayMicro is currently running CentOS release 5.5 (Final) that was released in May this year.

      CentOS was an easy choice for Yay, since the developers had experience from RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). The community around CentOS provides the support needed, and the functionality is just as good as RHEL. In fact, CentOS can be regarded as the free edition of the same software that makes Red Hat an enterprise solution. It is incredibly stable, efficient, and secure. It provides the same level of security as other enterprise Linux versions. All updates also coincides with a release of RH, ensuring consistent compatibility.

  • Project Releases

    • NetRecon 1.78

      Taking inspiration from the dnet utility netrecon has undergone a lot of redesign. The dnet utility a rather cool test program that can be found with libdnet. Yes a shameless plug on my part. Nevertheless, the way the dnet code plugs in each smaller test program proved to be the best way to change netrecon. All of the programs in netrecon have been merged into a singular front end. As such the syntax has changed drastically. However, the speed is the same and duplication of code, mainly between elements that use libpcap has been commoned up. There is likely still some deduplication of effort to be done. Lastly, for some odd reason, it seems to execute a lot faster too. I can’t really account for that but I am not complaining.

    • GRASS GIS 6.4.0 released 3 September 2010

      We are pleased to announce the release of GRASS GIS 6.4.0, the first in the new line of 6.4 stable releases. As a stable release 6.4 will enjoy long-term support. The next release (6.4.1) will introduce a few new features which are still undergoing final testing, but after that all further 6.4 releases will be bugfix-only. Due to our highly conservative stabilization policy this is the first official version of GRASS to introduce new features since October 2006 and supersedes the previous stable line of GRASS 6.2. As such the floodgates are open and there are many new features to explore and many new structural improvements to be found in the software.

    • Uniform Server is available for CUBRID 3.0

      Once in our previous video trainings we have already introduced the Uniform Server for CUBRID, which included CUBRID 2.2, Apache 2.2.9, and PHP 5.2.12. Today we have updated the CUBRID Database Server to 3.0. So, now you can download the Uniform Server for CUBRID…

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Free thinking

      Why expensive consultancy firms are giving away more research

    • Do Open Educational Resources Increase Efficiency?

      One of the questions people often ask about Open Educational Resources is “do they really increase efficiency?” Creative Commons has worked with many OER innovators, and their stories indicate that it does. We thought it would be useful to gather pointers to some of these examples. Please read on, and leave a comment with other great examples of how CC-enabled OER can increase efficiency for teachers, students and self-learners. Note of course that increasing efficiency is only one benefit of OER.

  • Programming

    • Google Summer of Code 2010 is over

      Google Summer of Code is over now, and we have mixed results. Unfortunately we lost two students at midterm evaluation in July, and another student at final evaluation in August. On the other hand, we have two very successful projects.

      The first project, by Krzysztof Kosiński, was about porting the whole rendering to Cairo, which resulted in a considerable performance boost itself. But Krzysztof also implemented support for multiple cores/processors to use multiple threads for rendering SVG filters. He is also planning to implement SVG filters in OpenCL, so that rendering could be delegated to GPU where available. The second project, by Abhishek Sharma, was about C++ification of SPLayer and privatization of XML nodes which is also going to help parallel processing.

    • Trivial Lists
    • Subversion vs. Git: Choosing the Right Open Source Version Control System

      As with everything in the open source world, version control systems (VCSs) come in several flavors. The grandfather of open source VCSs is CVS, a tool that was the de facto standard in the industry for several years until the likes of Subversion came along and made it almost obsolete.


  • Bullying Busybody for Senate

    Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal may never have served in Vietnam (despite his recollections to the contrary), but he is a hero in the war on prostitution. Armed with nothing but sternly worded letters, indignant press releases, and a seemingly inexhaustible store of self-righteousness, Blumenthal played a key role in pressuring Craigslist to shut down its “adult services” section, which he called a “blatant Internet brothel.”

    On Friday night, the online classified ad service replaced the hyperlink to the controversial section with a black rectangle labeled “censored.” If Blumenthal has anything to say about it (and you know he will), no one will ever pay for sex again.

  • Apple relents on Flash-derived iPhone, iPad apps

    Four and a half months after an Apple license change led Adobe Systems to scrap a project to bring Flash-derived applications to the iPhone, Apple has reversed the ban.

  • Crookes vs p2pnet fund raiser

    Should Wayne Crookes, owner of Vancouver company West Coast Title Search, be allowed to inspire a new law which would effectively kill online freedom of speech in Canada, ultimately echoing around the world?

  • System for appointing judges ‘undermining international courts’

    A “toxic” system for appointing the world’s most senior judges is fundamentally undermining the legitimacy of international courts, a new study claims.

    Unqualified judges, in some cases with no expertise on international law and in one case no legal qualifications, have been appointed to key positions because of highly politicised voting systems and a lack of transparency, the Guardian has learned.

    Critics say that the practices threaten the future of the international criminal court, which deals with cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and the international court of justice, the UN court which deals with disputes between nation states’ courts.

  • Science

    • Matt Cohler Leads Funding for Scientist Social Network

      ResearchGATE, a social network for scientists aimed to facilitate their collaboration on research, has raised an unspecified amount of money in its first institutional round of funding. The round is notable in part because it was led by Matt Cohler of Benchmark Capital, the early Facebook and LinkedIn executive who’s only made a few venture capital investments so far. Berlin-based ResearchGATE was founded by a group of German scientists including Dr. Ijad Madisch, a medical doctor who is currently conducting research in radiology at Harvard. The site has amassed 500,000 members in the last two years, with strong contingents from biology and medicine, followed by computer science.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Pregnant Traveler: TSA Screeners Bullied Me Into Full-Body Scan

      Pregnant Consumerist reader Mary was recently going through the security checkpoint at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. When she realized that she would be going through a full-body scanner, she told the screeners she wanted to exercise her right to a pat-down — even if it meant experiencing the TSA’s new, icky “enhanced” pat-down. But instead of the screeners doing as she requested, Mary claims they proceeded to bully her into the scanner.

    • £114 fine for getting off train two stops early

      A COUPLE told yesterday how they were fined £114 by a ticket collector – for getting off a train EARLY.

      Emma Clark and her fiance Davyd Winter-Bates had bought discounted single tickets for £6 each on a website.

    • New research suggests general public support CCTV
    • WALTHAM FOREST: Borough’s CCTV “obsolete”

      MOST CCTV systems in Waltham Forest are defunct due to a lack of investment, it has emerged.

      A cabinet report says the equipment used by police and the authority is “significantly past recommended life expectancy”.

      The method of camera control and image recording is described as obsolete and soon to be beyond repair.

      The report, which will be considered by cabinet next Tuesday (September 14) seeks approval for the “urgent” replacement of CCTV systems at a cost of £312,000.

    • School uses thumbprints to register all children as part of hi-tech overhaul

      A SCANNER system that reads thumbprints has been installed at a Plymouth “school of the future” during a multi-million-pound facelift.

      The 1,280 pupils at Estover Community College saw the amazing technology in action as they started a new academic year this week and they said the school has got the “wow factor” with its new buildings, technology and equipment.

    • Sri Lanka’s parliament boosts presidential powers

      Sri Lanka’s parliament voted today to allow the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to seek an unlimited number of terms in office and to tighten his hold on power by giving him total control over the judiciary, police and the civil service.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Koch-funded oil rally calls global warming a “hoax,” dismisses oil spill, and attacks Democrats

      What was billed as an organic grassroots jobs rally quickly descended into attacks on three things the Kochs most oppose: global warming science, oil safety regulations, and Democrats. One of the speakers, Sgt. Dennis Bartow, called global warming a “hoax.” He was joined by Karen Wright, CEO of the gas company Ariel Corporation, who ridiculed climate change as “questionable science” and referred to pollutants as “so-called carbon dioxide emissions.” Wright went on to rail against “so-called green jobs” that were “dubious” and “phony.”

    • ENVIRONMENT: Astroturfing a regional greenhouse gas program

      A conservative action group is coming after a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program organized by northeastern states.

      The group is Americans for Prosperity, and the program in questions is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI – “reggie,” as it’s often called – sets a power-sector carbon cap for the participating states. (New York is one of them.) Then the allowable emissions are publicly auctioned off. At the next auction, scheduled for Wednesday, Americans for Prosperity will protest. It claims that the auctions are secretive, which they aren’t, and that the program will result in drastically higher energy bills. A state environmental group counters those claims here.

    • Koch-Funded “Americans for Prosperity” Astroturfs Regional Greenhouse Gas Program

      AFP also calls the program a “stealth energy tax” and claims that the program will lead to drastically higher energy bills. The cap will actually account for between 0.4 and 1 percent of energy bills. RGGI calims that investments in energy efficiency will eventually lead to reductions in energy bills of 20 to 30 percent, and the program will create new jobs in renewable energy. AFP tries to keep the appearance of being a grassroots organization, but a recent article in the New Yorker magazine revealed the group is bankrolled by billionaire oil company owner David Koch, who has a history of campaigning against climate change legislation and funding climate change deniers. Koch Industries is also one of the nation’s top ten polluters, and fossil fuels are the company’s mainstay.

    • Bees stung by ‘climate change-linked’ early pollination

      Climate change could be affecting pollination by disrupting the synchronised timing of flower opening and bee emergence from hibernation, suggests new US-based research.

      Declining numbers of bees and other pollinators have been causing growing concern in recent years, as scientists fear that decreased pollination could have major impacts on world food supplies.

      Previous studies have focused on pollinators and have linked falling populations to the use of pesticides, habitat loss and disease.

      However, a 17-year analysis of the wild lily in Colorado by scientists from the University of Toronto, suggests other factors may be at play. The study revealed a long-term decline in pollination, which was particularly pronounced earlier in the season.

  • Finance

    • Declare a Jobs Emergency on September 15!

      Job cuts have a way of sneaking up on you — a few teachers here, a police officer there and another fire department that is not open when you need them. In some areas it is a slow bleed, but as every Emergency Medical Technician knows, a thousand small cuts can still kill the patient.

      One group is pushing back against the drip, drip, drip of disappearing jobs and relentless cutbacks in public services. Jobs with Justice (JwJ), the broad-based coalition of faith groups, labor unions, students and grassroots organizations located in 47 communities across the nation, says it simply will not accept a jobless recovery.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Target’s Falling Buzz Score

      The Internet-based market research agency YouGov compiles a weekly report called the Brandweek BrandIndex, that measures “buzz,” or consumer perceptions of the most talked-about brands. A big loser in the agency’s September 3, 2010 report is Target, which drew fire after the retailer donated $150,000 to the Republican-leaning political action group, Minnesota Forward.

    • Dove World Outreach Center: Where Does the Money Go?

      Terry Jones, the controversial pastor behind the recent call to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, runs a church that spends most of its money on administrative expenses and operates a furniture business out his church in Gainesville, FL.

      According to the 2006 tax return—the most recent tax return available on Guidestar.org—filed by Jones’ church, the Dove World Outreach Center, “program services” accounted for 30.5 percent of the church’s expenses, while “Administrative costs” accounted for 69.5 percent.

    • Faux California pol dupes Washington Post journalist

      Washington Post editorial writer Jonathan Capehart had a bone to pick with Jack Kimble, a Republican congressman representing California’s 54th district.

    • The Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” Decision Threatens the 1964 Civil Rights Act

      Libertarian conservatives are motivated to overturn the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision may give them the tools to do so. The Act must be maintained in the face of the threat posed by the Citizens United precedent.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Judge tosses out privacy claim against Michael Moore over ‘Sicko’ segment

      A federal magistrate judge in Tacoma has thrown out key claims in a lawsuit filed against controversial filmmaker Michael Moore and his Academy Award-nominated documentary “Sicko,” the first use of a state law that bars lawsuits targeting conduct associated with free speech and the First Amendment.

      Judge Karen Strombom last week granted Moore’s motion to dismiss claims of invasion of privacy and “misappropriation of likeness” filed by Hoquiam resident Ken Aronson, ruling that Moore’s use of 71 seconds of video belonging to Aronson was based on Moore’s exploration of an issue of significant public concern — health care — and that its use was protected by the First Amendment.

    • ACLU sues DHS over border laptop searches

      Privacy advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union are mounting a legal challenge against the Department of Homeland Security’s policy of searching travelers’ laptops at the border without reasonable suspicion.

      The ACLU announced Tuesday it has filed a lawsuit along with the New York Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) on behalf of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), alleging the policy violates Americans’ First Amendment rights to privacy and free speech.

    • Rackspace Pulls The Plug On ‘Burn A Koran Day’ Church’s Web Site

      Surely by now you’ve heard of the Dove World Outreach Center, the Florida church that plans to hold a “Koran burning day” on September 11, the nine year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Pretty much nobody think it’s a good idea, from Palin to Obama, from Gen. Petraeus to the FBI. Now involved: Rackspace. Yes, the popular Web host has pulled the plug on the church’s Web site, citing a violation in its service’s “hate-speech provision of [its] acceptable-use policy.”

    • Internet cafe lets police browse your web history

      The latest submission to our Guerrilla Sticker Campaign gallery is taken from outside an internet cafe in East London.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Prying Loose the Grip of Broadband Giants

      Recent data on Internet use in Canada suggests that most people reading this subscribe to broadband services and that virtually all those subscribers are with a major telecommunications or cable company. Indeed, the 2010 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission report on communications in Canada found that the incumbent telecommunications and cable companies control 95 per cent of the residential broadband market, a figure that has remained virtually unchanged for the past five years.

      Injecting greater competition into that market lies at the heart of last week’s CRTC decision to require incumbent telecom companies — such as Bell, Bell Aliant, and Telus — to provide independent ISPs with speed-matched open access to their networks (speed matching enables competitors to offer Internet services to their retail customers at speeds that match the speeds provided by the incumbents to their own retail customers).

    • Net neutrality: UK taking first shots at the open Internet

      They were opposed by groups like La Quadrature du Net, ORG and BEUC, alongside Internet companies like Yahoo, Skype and Google. After all, both Google and Skype already understand what can result from closed networks: Skype believe they have suffered from network discrimination on fixed ISPs, and have applications blocked on closed mobile networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • U2 – Stick to the Music!

        Back in January 2010, we criticised U2 front man Bono for warning all creative types to beware of the evils of the Internet and especially us greedy ISP types when it came to illegal file sharing. We recommended Bono should stick to singing.

      • Righthaven: saving the newspaper industry, one lawsuit at a time

        The Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Southern Nevada is a nonprofit that sends trained volunteers to the site of severe accidents, suicides, fires, and violent theft. The volunteers comfort family members, witnesses, and bystanders—traumatized people who can’t be helped by anything found in an ambulance.

        TIP might seem an unlikely target for a federal copyright lawsuit, but it found itself hauled into court last week for posting 14 local newspaper articles about TIP and its volunteers to the group’s website. In most of the articles, TIP volunteers are the main sources for the reporters, providing plenty of quotes and (sometimes jarring) anecdotes about their work.

      • Jimmy Page’s autobiography: £445 is a whole lotta money to pay

        There are only three things necessary to be a Jimmy Page superfan: access to the internet, a sturdy coffee table – and £445 in spare cash. Put the three together and you too could be the proud owner of the leather-bound, silk-wrapped and autographed 512-page collector’s edition of Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page, the long-awaited autobiography by the famously secretive guitarist of Led Zeppelin – one of the most popular and influential bands in the history of rock music.

      • ACTA

        • MEP demand fundamental rights for citizens in ACTA deal

          MEPs yesterday passed a motion strongly criticising the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and urging the European Commission to ensure it respects fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and privacy.

          This is an outstanding success for MEPs and a great victory for European citizens and ORG supporters who joined the lobbying. The ACTA process badly needs strong opposition because of these threats to fundamental rights of citizens.

          Only about a third of British MEPs signed Written Declaration 12/2010 that also called for an immediate publication of all documents related to the negotiating process.

          In a debate in Parliament today MEPs hailed the success of the Declaration and repeatedly criticised the lack of transparency in the ACTA process and demanded to see the final text of the agreement before it is signed.

Clip of the Day


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 9/9/2010: PlayStation 3 Shuts Again

Posted in News Roundup at 9:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Airbus Joins Open Source Think Tank Paris

    Olliance Group and DLA Piper are proud to announce that Airbus, a European consortium producing the Airbus family of passenger aircraft will present a business case with the support of the Eclipse Foundation at the Think Tank Sept 28 & 29. Among the topics to be addressed are; long-term community support models, shared innovation between industry, vendors and the community, and open source in supply chain management. With more than five years of strategic use of open source, Airbus will present sophisticated questions for the Think Tank audience to deliberate.

  • Events

    • A Tentative Schedule For XDS 2010

      For those interested in the X Developers’ Summit (XDS) that is taking place next week at a tobacco factory in France, a tentative schedule has now been published by Matthieu Herrb for the 50 or so people that will be participating in the summit.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

    • Drupal featured on TV quiz

      According to Jo Wouters, Drupal was just featured on “De Canvascrack”, a quiz on Belgian television. I know it is a quiz, but I don’t think Drupal has ever been featured on television in such a mainstream way. Cool!


  • Government

    • UK.gov finally pulls plug on National Programme for IT

      The ailing National Programme for IT has been cancelled, although most of its multi-billion pound spending will go ahead.

      A statement from the Department of Health said a shift to more local procurement would work better, “whilst continuing with national applications already procured”.

    • Barroso’s State of the Union

      The Europe Union institutions copy more elements from the United States than I believe suit the dignity of the European Union. Even the “e pluribus unum“, you may also find that on the US seal, though the current US motto is “In God we trust”, ironically the EU started a competition to come up with a translation of the Latin phrase in its 27 member languages, and even reverse-translated it to Latin, in an odd fashion “In varietate concordia”.

  • Licensing

    • Linux Foundation Simplifies FOSS License Management

      The Linux Foundation used this year’s LinuxCon in Boston to launch its new Open Compliance Program, aimed at making it easier for companies that are new to using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to ensure that their products comply with open source licensing.


  • Ikea to sell second-hand furniture online
  • Science

    • Mars organics get new lease on life

      Martian soil could contain the building blocks of carbon-based life after all, a new study suggests, despite the negative results of an analysis performed by the Viking missions 34 years ago.

      When the Viking landers touched down on Mars in 1976 and scooped up soil samples, scientists were surprised that the two craft failed to unearth evidence that the Red Planet contained any organic compounds. The apparent lack of organic molecules — a basic requirement for carbon-based organisms — helped to cement the notion of Mars as an entity that would not easily support life.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate: New study slashes estimate of icecap loss

      Estimates of the rate of ice loss from Greenland and West Antarctica, one of the most worrying questions in the global warming debate, should be halved, according to Dutch and US scientists.

    • Land of Gas

      At issue now, however, are the steep decline rates observed from shale natural gas wells. Don’t these decline curves imply, axiomatically, that the new miracle of shale natural gas production is doomed?

  • Finance

    • Italian school lunches go organic, low-cost, local

      Rome school district with its 150,000 children, and a cafeteria budget of 140 million euros (or $180.5 million), has already pushed the boundary of healthy food to even greater heights.

      If there is one city that has done the most to shape the Ministry’s guidelines, it is Rome. The city served its first organic menu in late 2007.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Breaking News on EFF Location Privacy Win: Courts May Require Search Warrants for Cell Phone Location Records

      This morning, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia issued its highly anticipated ruling in a hotly contested cell phone location privacy case. EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief and participated at oral argument in the case, arguing that federal electronic privacy law gives judges the discretion to deny government requests for cell phone location data when the government fails to show probable cause that a crime has been committed.

    • Online Ads, Privacy Remain in FTC Crosshairs

      A senior official at the Federal Trade Commission hinted on Wednesday that the agency is planning to prod online advertisers and Web companies to adopt new education tools and data-collection restrictions in an effort to protect consumer privacy.

      “Right now the consumers really don’t understand what’s going on. So I think that is the real issue that needs to be addressed,” Loretta Garrison, a senior attorney at the FTC, said here at the O’Reilly Media Gov 2.0 Summit. “We think they sort of know they’re being tracked, but they don’t really understand the wealth of information that’s being collected and the many different parties that are involved and the various ways in which [information] is being used.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Film industry hires cyber hitmen to take down internet pirates

        The film industry is using pirate tactics to beat the pirates – by employing “cyber hitmen” to launch attacks that take out websites hosting illegal movies.

      • How an Anti-Piracy Firm Became Banned In Its Own Country

        A notorious Switzerland-based anti-piracy tracking company has to stop harvesting the IP addresses of citizens using P2P networks. The Swiss High Court ruled that IP addresses constitute personal information and when Logistep collected them without the owner’s knowledge, that amounted to a breach of privacy laws. From its eDonkey Razorback beginnings, via France through to yesterday’s conclusion, here is the full story.

Clip of the Day

The First Official Interactive Unboxing Of The Nokia N8 — Call Quality

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 9/9/2010: GNU/Linux Market Share Debated, EXT4 and Btrfs Tested in Linux 2.6.36

Posted in News Roundup at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • There’s more to open source than Linux

    In fact, realise the opposite. What open source actually is, is a guarantee. It ensures that one software business never profits from the destruction of an open source software, lawsuit or no lawsuit. Crony capitalism is a myth; Oracle wouldn’t take on Google, just because Steve Jobs was the official wedding photographer at his buddy Larry Ellison’s wedding. It’s all in the percentages.

  • 30 Linux-related Twitter accounts

    Today I want to offer some interesting profiles that I follow on Twitter, I found many useful information following their twittering.

  • Why we are here.

    I want people not to just use Linux, I want them to want to use Linux. I want them to wait anxiously for the next release of Ubuntu or Firefox or whatever.

  • Eight Bogus Beliefs of the Linux Community

    Comparing ourselves to corporations. Every sentence that begins “If Linux wants to win the desktop, it has to…” Linux actually doesn’t want anything – not even a sandwich. That’s because Linux is not a corporation. It does not have a CEO, stockholders, board of directors, a mission statement, or even a headquarters. An easy shot is to go “If Linux were a company, it’d be in the red ink.” Yes, if the avant-garde art movement were a company, it’d be in trouble too. What’s your point?

  • Linux ‘top command’ used in Tron trailer…
  • Desktop

    • The 1% Solution

      The mythology about GNU/Linux share of the desktop continues to be an issue. I have commented frequently that I think the share is much closer to 10% than to 1%. Caitlyn Martin has a similar analysis that comes to 8%. Short of definitive pronouncements from big ISPs or Google, there is not likely to be a good source of web stats and surveys continue to be too expensive.

    • Is Linux market share is 8x larger than most people think?

      If you combine embedded and mobile devices such as Android, Linux server installations and dual-boot installs (where Windows is counted as the default operating system), it’s quite obvious that Linux’s market share in the world of computers isn’t small at all – in fact it’s rather large and steadily growing.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Announces Program for 2010 End User Summit

      The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the speaker lineup and details for The Linux Foundation End User Summit. The Summit is a unique opportunity for the most advanced enterprise users to collaborate with leaders from within the Linux community, including the highest-level maintainers and developers.

    • EXT4 & Btrfs Regressions In Linux 2.6.36

      With the Threaded I/O Tester when doing eight threads of 32MB random writes, the EXT4 file-system performance was maintained between Linux 2.6.34 and 2.6.36. Btrfs meanwhile dropped by 14% between Linux 2.6.34 and 2.6.35 and then between 2.6.35 and 2.6.36-rc3 it has dropped by an additional 11%.

      These results are certainly a shock and not what we were expecting to see when testing the premiere Linux file-systems atop the latest kernel code that will be released as stable in just a month or two. The good news though is that these Linux file-system regressions do not appear across the board, but for example with our Intel Atom system with an HDD that is benchmarking the very latest kernel code on a daily basis at kernel-tracker.phoromatic.com don’t suffer from these massive performance blows. Our investigation shall continue.

    • Graphics Stack

      • nvidia, opengl, compositing: play nice!

        I have a Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T9500 @ 2.60GHz laptop with an nVidia Quadro FX 1600M, 1920×1200 screen and a second 1920×1200 LCD. I’ve loaded the new 256.53 nvidia module. Here are the results…

      • Kernel Log: Videos from LinuxCon and end to maintenance of 2.4 and 2.6.27 nears

        Videos and presentations from LinuxCon and the Embedded Linux Conference provide information about the development status of Btrfs and about problems between kernel hackers and the makers of Android. With the latest stable kernels, Linux 2.6.34 has reached the end of its life; furthermore, there are signs that maintenance of 2.4 and 2.6.27 will soon be discontinued or reduced.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Launching the Revolution: Kickoff’s redesign ideas

      Later, along came Linux and graphical environments for it. Some of them have kept the basic idea of a start menu, like the one on Windows 95. KDE did it, Gnome did it and many others, even the high end ones like Enlightenment, did it. It should be admitted though that this is a very clever idea to work with. It is fast, simple, and very visually engaging. However, this launching model by todays standards seems outdated. At least, this is something that frustrates me every now and then because it is so common. It is time for a revolution, a change.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Iron Man using KDE?!

        According to Invincible Iron Man issue #11, Iron man runs KDE 3.5 inside his suit. Why is he still running KDE 3.5? Apparently he just hasn’t run all his updates on his old suits, as he had to use an older suit in the issue.

      • A Look at KDE Desktop Effects

        KDE’s visual effects for windows and menus technically dates back to KDE 3. Experimental programs like kompmgr provided drop shadows and transparency for windows, and the KDE desktop itself had built-in support for basic menu transparency, shadows, and other effects.

        With the coming of KDE 4, the number of effects has multiplied, and KWin (KDE’s window manager) is now on par with Compiz (a window manager with numerous desktop effects). Moreover, KWin’s primary advantage over Compiz is that it is part of KDE and integrates perfectly with the rest of the desktop. While support for Compiz has been added, there are still some outstanding glitches when run on top of KDE.

      • 10 reasons to make KDE 4.5 your desktop of choice

        From the early releases to the current 4.5 release, KDE has made serious strides toward becoming of the most well designed, user-friendly desktops available. If you don’t believe me, take a look at these reasons why KDE 4.5 should be your desktop.

  • Distributions

    • Various Linux Distro Stickers

      Contains powered by stickers for following Linux distro ..

      – Arch Linux
      – Ubuntu
      – Debian
      – openSuSe
      – Linux Mint
      – CentOS
      – Mandriva
      – Kubuntu
      – Fedora
      – Gentoo
      – Puppy Linux
      – XUbuntu

    • 4 Linux and BSD Firewall/Router Projects

      SmoothWall Express is Linux-based, and installable onto standard PCs with a bootable CD. It was first released in 2000, making it the oldest firewall project of the four discussed here. It is designed with home and small business users in mind. More advanced firewall solutions are available from SmoothWall Ltd.

      SmoothWall Express runs on any Pentium class CPU and above. It has a recommended minimum of 128MB RAM. An IDE or SCSI hard disk with at least 2 GBs of space is also required.

      Like the others, SmoothWall Express provides a stateful inspection firewall and provides NAT. Weekly and monthly traffic stats are provided for each interface and IP. It supports port forwarding, outbound filtering, and timed access. It features Quality-of-Service (QoS) functionality. A network intrusion prevention and detection system (IDS/IPS) is provided by Snort integration.

    • Reviews

      • Spotlight on Linux: Zenwalk Linux 6.4 “Live”

        Advantages of using Zenwalk are good performance, small but welcoming community, and an up-to-date system. It’s easy to use, yet it’s not run of the mill. It’s different without being disconcerting. Hardware support is excellent for Linux supported devices and the desktop is attractive yet unobtrusive.

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint Debian review

        Linux Mint Debian is the latest addition to Mint’s suite of Linux desktops. Mint has long promoted itself as a distribution based on Ubuntu and Debian, a claim that I have long discounted as misleading. This release, while still experimental, is one, as the name implies, that is truly based on Debian.

      • Debian Project News – September 8th, 2010
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Stepping back in time: The evolution of OMG! Ubuntu!

          We’ve had many different looks over the life of this site, so I figured it would be pretty cool to see how the website has evolved over the past year, especially for those who have just started following. For those who have been following the site since it started, prepare to shed a little tear as you remember Keith, the lovable Koala from Karmic!

        • How Ubuntu Plays Nicely With Others: The Sponsorship Process

          The sponsorship process makes it easier for programmers to expose their work to users of the world’s most popular Linux distribution, making their applications more popular. It also helps ensure that those users have the best experience possible with the software they use, while at the same time generating bug reports to help upstream developers improve their code.

        • How Ubuntu is Made

          One way that Zimmerman keeps the project on track is ensuring close communication among members of his team, a disparate organization that mirrors how the Ubuntu community itself builds and develops its Linux distribution. For one thing, While Canonical has offices in multiple countries, most of Zimmerman’s engineers aren’t located in those offices.

          “My team is about 120 people and I think we have less five people who are in offices,” Zimmerman told InternetNews.com.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • A Quick Look at Lubuntu 10.04

            Since there tends to be a problem with the creation of menu entries during package installation, I installed Eye of Gnome and Gwenview (a KDE4 package). For the first time, Eye of Gnome did not appear in any of the menus. However, Gwenview did appear under the Graphics menu. Even better, Gwenview worked without a single hitch. If I started Eye of Gnome from the command-line it worked, but generated a lot of GLib errors. It just not have a menu entry. One of the advantages of starting an application from the command-line is that error message appear that otherwise would be lost in the bit bucket.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Eucalyptus Systems Appoints Said Ziouani Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales

      Eucalyptus Systems, Inc., creators of the leading open source private cloud platform, today announced that Said Ziouani has joined the company’s management team as senior vice president of worldwide sales. Ziouani has primary responsibility for growing and managing sales of the Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition software, an enterprise-grade private cloud computing platform built on the popular Eucalyptus open source software. He reports to Eucalyptus Systems CEO Marten Mickos and will be based in the company’s headquarters in Santa Barbara, Calif.


    • Software is Culture?

      In her short article, Ms Paley makes two major points:

      * In sponsoring a film, Patent Absurdity, that uses a -ND (no derivatives) clause, the FSF fails to uphold the Fourth Freedom (“freedom to improve and release improvements”)
      * Software is culture, and so the distinction between “utility” (Software) and “aesthetics” (Culture) is false.

      These are compelling points, although I recognize rms has addressed the need for certain restrictions on factual works to prevent misrepresentation. I’m not sure that the trade-off of attempting to maintain context is worth the sacrifice of preventing modification, so I tend to lean more toward Ms Paley’s position on this matter.

      The second point is another issue where I tend to agree with Ms Paley: I don’t see a clear distinction between works of utility and works of aesthetics, because I think most works have elements of both.

      I can also understand the argument that the FSF focuses on advocating software issues and not cultural matters in general, but that seems an unattractive distinction to make – especially considering how clearly “Free Culture” is modeled after “Free Software”.

    • Red: Software Freedom Day

      There is an alternative to Windows and Mac operating systems and it’s called Linux and it’s free. Red spoke with Donna Benjamin about Linux and Software Freedom Day at the State Library, Saturday 18th of September.

  • Project Releases

    • bzr 2.2.0 released!
    • GNU Debugger adds D language support

      The GNU Project Debugger release team has published the second point update to version 7.0 of its standard debugger for the GNU software system. The GDB debugger supports a wide variety of programming languages, including Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, FreePascal and Fortran, and, in the new release, adds support for the D programming language.

  • Government

    • Welcome to the Civic Commons

      One of the core reasons why sharing works is that it spreads the effort, and avoids the constant re-invention of the wheel. One area that seems made for this kind of sharing is government IT: after all, the problems faced are essentially the same, so a piece of software built for one entity might well be usable – or adaptable – for another.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly

      There’s no doubt that the livestock system has gone horribly wrong. Fairlie describes the feedlot beef industry (in which animals are kept in pens) in the US as “one of the biggest ecological cock-ups in modern history”. It pumps grain and forage from irrigated pastures into the farm animal species least able to process them efficiently, to produce beef fatty enough for hamburger production. Cattle are excellent converters of grass but terrible converters of concentrated feed. The feed would have been much better used to make pork.

    • Who dares question the industrial food system over GM salmon?

      Last Friday, though, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a potentially dangerous step. The agency ruled that salmon whose genes have been altered so that they grow more rapidly than their wild counterparts are safe for human consumption. In so doing, the FDA opened the door for salmon to become just another unhealthful cog in the industrial-food machine. And it may have foisted upon the public yet another cancer risk.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Amnesty urges rethink on counter-terrorism measures

      Control orders imposed on suspects, secret proceedings leading to deportations and the “virtually unlimited discretion” given to the police to stop and search must be abandoned in the government’s continuing review of counter-terrorism powers, Amnesty International says today.

      Control orders are incompatible with Britain’s human rights obligations under international law, it says, given that they limit individuals’ movements and activities based on secret information not disclosed to the individual concerned nor their lawyers, Amnesty argues in a submission to the government.

    • First Big Brother, now Little Brother, and both are deadly

      Little Brother has got his fingers in your inbox. He gets your emails, reads your texts. No, not yours, of course: but those of anyone remotely well-known or in the public eye or connected to people who are. You may say, so what? If you can’t stand the heat … But it is a kind of oppression, a haunting, which at least deserves to be discussed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Unjust sentence for Japanese anti-whaling activists

      Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki, known as the Tokyo Two, exposed widespread corruption in Japan’s whaling programme – in return, they have been handed a one year suspended prison sentence. However, despite the harsh punishment the two anti-whaling activists stood in court as heroes today, having successfully put whaling on trial, both in court, and in Japan’s national media.


      Greenpeace is appealing this totally unjust, politically motivated sentence. Junichi and Toru have taken great personal risks to investigate and expose embezzlement at the heart of Japan’s tax-funded whaling industry. They intercepted one of numerous boxes of whale meat embezzled from the whaling programme as evidence. These boxes were taken for private use by the crew of the Nisshin Maru in violation of the whaling programme’s regulations, and this amounts to a misuse of public funds.

    • BP spill: White House says oil has gone, but Gulf’s fishermen are not so sure

      No one, it seems, believes the assurances from the White House or government scientists that the oil is largely gone. And no one really believes BP when oil company executives say they will stay in Louisiana for the long haul.

      They have seen one exodus already, just before Tropical Storm Bonnie blew through, about a week after the well was capped in mid-July. BP evacuated work crews and boats; many have not returned.

    • Oil industry regulation: scepticism over new sheriff in the wild wild west

      Oil industry executives in the US call the Gulf of Mexico the “wild wild west”, a place where regulations are rarely enforced and offshore operators can do what they want. Barack Obama has promised to tighten regulations to prevent a repeat of the Gulf disaster but many within the industry are sceptical that much will really change.

    • World’s smallest seahorse faces extinction after BP oil spill

      The minute creatures, barely 2cm tall, were elusive even before the spill, found only among the seagrass in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Now conservationists from the Zoological Society of London’s Project Seahorse team are warning populations could fall precipitously because so much of their habitat could have been lost to the spill.

    • New deep sea drilling is not only irrational, our lawyers say it’s illegal too

      Today our lawyers sent a letter to the UK government threatening legal action over their decision to continue giving licenses for deep sea oil drilling even before we know for certain the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

  • Finance

    • Fed Report Finds Signs That Growth Is Slowing

      The latest regional survey by the 12 district Federal banks, known as the beige book, described an economy in which many sectors, from consumer spending to manufacturing, continued to expand. But there were also “widespread signs of a deceleration,” the report said.

    • Goldman Sachs faces massive fine in UK-FT

      Goldman Sachs (GS.N) is facing a massive fine from the UK’s City watchdog following an investigation into the U.S. investment bank’s international business, the Financial Times said on its website on Wednesday.

    • Goldman seen paying $30 million British fine

      Goldman Sachs & Co. is expected to be fined around $30 million by British authorities following an investigation of the big Wall Street bank’s activities in London, according to news reports Wednesday.

    • Judge slams Credit Suisse’s ‘greedy antics’

      He also said that federal authorities were investigating his ex-wife and others on fraud allegations stemming from events surrounding the bankruptcy. She denied the accusation.

    • Financial crisis panel tells NV leaders to be bold

      Nevada, which leads the nation in unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, had unrealistic growth expectations before the nation’s financial meltdown battered its tourism industry and erased billions of dollars in real estate equity, an economist told representatives of the 10-member commission.

    • Study Shows Drop in Credit Card Use

      According to the results of a November 2009 Javelin survey, 56 percent of consumers said they used a credit card in the last month, down from 87 percent in the same period in 2007. The 56 percent figure is the lowest since Javelin started conducting the annual surveys about six years ago, and Javelin said it expected the figure to drop to 45 percent in this year’s survey.

    • What Can the Long-Term Unemployed Tell Us About Raising The Social Security Retirement Age?

      What can we say? Those approaching the retirement age have been devastated in this current epic recession. Their numbers are high among the worst indicators, including the length of unemployment. Older workers are the slowest to be reintegrated from unemployment to employment and are unemployed the longest, with the human capital depreciation that goes along with that isolation from the workforce, extra vulnerable to swings in the economy. (Question: is there good data on salary drops for unemployed going to employed by age groups?)

    • Financial literacy campaign could save money for citizens, government

      The federal government hopes to help by creating a national financial literacy campaign. At any other time, such an action could be seen as just more busywork for our public officials. But this is a serious matter. What people don’t know about personal finance is costing them and the government a lot of money.

    • Financial crisis panel tells NV leaders to be bold

      Nevada, which leads the nation in unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates, had unrealistic growth expectations before the nation’s financial meltdown battered its tourism industry and erased billions of dollars in real estate equity, an economist told representatives of the 10-member commission.

    • SEC defends $75 million deal with Citigroup

      The bank has nearly $2 trillion in assets.

      Other factors taken into account were the need to deter the alleged violation, remedial steps taken by Citigroup, and the bank’s cooperation with the SEC investigation, the agency said.

    • Obama firm, won’t yield on tax hike for wealthiest

      Politically weakened but refusing to bend, President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that Bush-era tax cuts be cut off for the wealthiest Americans, joining battle with Republicans – and some fellow Democrats – just two months before bruising midterm elections.

    • Michael Lewis: “Goldman Sachs Has A Moral Justification For Bad Behavior”

      Michael Lewis recently offered another interesting explanation for a statement made a few months ago, “Goldman Sachs is doomed.”

      The reason the company is doomed is their status as a public corporation, he told Vanity Fair, because it allows them to justify barely legal activity that stops at nothing to profit.

    • Goldman Sachs, BP Met With Derivative Regulators on Dodd-Frank

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., BP Plc and Vitol Group number among dozens of companies that have met with the top U.S. commodity regulator in the last six weeks as the agency moves to implement the sweeping overhaul of the $615 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market.

    • France: Protests over pensions bring over a million onto boulevards

      Huge numbers of people – 1.1 million according to the government, 2.7 million according to the leading CGT union – turned out throughout France to demonstrate against plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. There was significant disruption caused to trains, planes and public services as a result of the strike. In the capital alone, the CGT union estimated the number of protesters at 270,000.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Beyond “Censored”: What Craigslist’s “Adult Services” Decision Means for Free Speech

      Through this now years-long struggle, Craigslist’s legal position has been and remains absolutely, unequivocally correct: the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (or CDA) grants providers of “interactive computer services” an absolute shield against state criminal law liability stemming from material posted by third parties. Put simply, the law ensures that the virtual soapbox is not liable for what the speaker says: merely creating a forum in which users post ads that may violate state law plainly does not lead to liability for a web site operator.

    • MetGate: A Guide to the Current Issues

      First, there is the issue of what happened within the News of the World newsroom: what the reporters did, what private investigators were contracted to do, what the editor and executives knew about and signed-off, and just how widespread was the use of unauthorised interceptions in producing stories for the newspaper.


      The emerging picture really does not look promising for Mr Coulson, who appears to have either known about this activity or should have known. He may even be forced to resign.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

Clip of the Day

Google Instant Testers

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 8/9/2010: GNU/Linux Market Share Debate, ACTA Meets Barriers

Posted in News Roundup at 6:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Debunking the 1% Myth

      Additional confirmation of the growth in Linux desktop market share last year came from an unlikely source: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Using a slide to visualize OS market share Ballmer had Linux desktop market share as a slightly larger slice of the pie than MacOS. Nobody considers Apple insignificant on the desktop and neither is Linux. Here is, in part, what Mr. Ballmer had to say about Linux on the desktop and the competition for Windows:

      Linux, you could see on the slide, and Apple has certainly increased its share somewhat.


      I think depending on how you look at it, Apple has probably increased its market share over the last year or so by a point or more. And a point of market share on a number that’s about 300 million is interesting. It’s an interesting amount of market share, while not necessarily being as dramatic as people would think, but we’re very focused in on both Apple as a competitor, and Linux as a competitor.”

      Does anyone believe that Microsoft would see Linux as a serious competitor is Linux had captured just 1% of the market? That doesn’t seem very likely, does it? All the figures I have quoted so far represent sales of systems preloaded with a given operating system: Windows, MacOS or Linux. They do not represent actual usage. If you go down to the local brick and mortar computer shop or big box retailer, buy a system with Windows, wipe the hard drive and install Linux that still counts as a Windows system, not a Linux system.

    • Multiple Desktops

      If you run Linux and the KDE desktop environment, you can run up to 20 desktops. Each desktop would be distinct and enable you to do a specific task.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Videos from LinuxCon and end to maintenance of 2.4 and 2.6.27 nears

      Videos and presentations from LinuxCon and the Embedded Linux Conference provide information about the development status of Btrfs and about problems between kernel hackers and the makers of Android. With the latest stable kernels, Linux 2.6.34 has reached the end of its life; furthermore, there are signs that maintenance of 2.4 and 2.6.27 will soon be discontinued or reduced.

    • Linux Foundation details 2010 End User Summit programme

      The Linux Foundation has announced that this year’s End User Summit will take place on the 12th and 13th of October at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City in New Jersey. According to the foundation, the “Summit is a unique opportunity for the most advanced enterprise users to collaborate with leaders from within the Linux community, including the highest-level maintainers and developers.”

    • Assessing the Tux Strength: Part 1 – Userspace Memory Protection
    • Assessing the Tux Strength: Part 2 – Into the Kernel
    • Android/Linux kernel fight continues

      You could argue that Google’s Android, so popular on smartphones now, is the most popular Linux of all right now. There’s only one little problem with that: Android has continued to be apart from the Linux mainstream.

      People became aware of the Android and Linux split when Ryan Paul reported that “Google engineer Patrick Brady stated unambiguously that Android is not Linux.”

      Brady over-stated the case. Android is Linux. To be exact, version, 2.2, Froyo, runs on top of the 2.6.32 Linux kernel. To quote from the Android developer page, Dalvik, Android’s Java-based interface and user-space, uses the “Linux kernel for underlying functionality such as threading and low-level memory management.” Let me make it simple for you, without Linux, there is no Android.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Puts Out A Major Beta Linux Driver Update

        It was just one week ago that NVIDIA released a stable Linux driver update, but today for those wishing to live on the bleeding edge of NVIDIA’s proprietary Linux driver development, the first beta release in the 260.xx series is now available for testing. The NVIDIA 260.19.04 Linux driver brings a lot to the table.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Wednesday’s security updates
    • Zorin 3 – A great distro for newbies

      Zorin aims to be a simple, friendly operating system for Linux newbies. Then again, all distros do that. They all aim to be simple and friendly. When you think about distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint or PCLinuxOS, you have pretty much everything you need. With a small degree of variations here and there, they all offer a complete experience out of the box. So there must be something extra that makes Zorin special.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Old Generals Never Die – They just Wear a Red Hat

        The Red Hat board of directors announced a new chairman Monday, August 30, to replace outgoing Matthew Szulik. Henry Hugh Shelton, retired Special Forces general, has been serving on the board since 2003 after leaving the elite Army division.

        Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat president and CEO, said, “General Shelton is an individual of the utmost integrity. He has excelled in the numerous roles and positions held throughout his career and as a dedicated member of Red Hat’s board of directors for more than seven years. General Shelton possesses the right combination of leadership, experience and industry knowledge to help guide Red Hat toward achieving its future goals.”

    • Debian Family

      • Linux Mint Debian Edition Offers Faster Updates with Rougher Edges

        Previous versions of Linux Mint were based on Ubuntu releases, and users had to wait until the improvements and changes in Ubuntu’s new versions trickled their way “upstream” to Linux Mint. In the “Debian Edition,” changes and updates to the system and apps will flow constantly, so that users never really need to re-install their system.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu separatists

          I don’t understand the Ubuntu fanboi mentality to place Ubuntu apart from the underlying ecosystem that makes it possible. I’m not sure if Canonical encourages this behavior by downplaying how much they borrow (roughly 99%) and up-playing how much they create (roughly 1%) in an Ubuntu distribution, or if it is a side effect of the over-hyped rah-rah “OMG EVERYTHING TO DO WITH UBUNTU IS SO FREAKING AWESOME” cheerleading that permeates Ubuntu-land?

          I’m not sure how you can set up Ubuntu as a good community member while at the same time demand that other people drink from a different water fountain, but I guess we are going to see it attempted.

        • Exciting things in the post!

          A couple of months back Marcus and I got a call from a magazine in Japan who wanted to produce stickers for Ubuntu. We’d _just_ signed off the new logo and word mark and so we collaborated back and forth and finally yesterday the finished article arrived!

        • How Ubuntu Plays Nicely With Others: The Sponsorship Process

          Ubuntu developers have been busy in recent days discussing improvements to the package sponsorship process. Though this might seem at first glance like an esoteric technical topic that matters only to geeks, it fits into the larger picture of Ubuntu in important ways. Here’s why you should care.

          If you’re not an Ubuntu developer or some other kind of geek, chances are good that you don’t even know what sponsorship means in the context of Linux development. As the Ubuntu wiki explains, however, sponsorship is the process by which Ubuntu developers work with other programmers to upload their applications into the Ubuntu repositories, and to make sure they’re maintained properly once they’re there.

        • ‘Software Sources’ Disabled From The Ubuntu 10.10 System Menu

          Why? I didn’t see any discussion over this, but it seems Ubuntu is slowly removing all the “advanced” tools to make everything more user friendly (or at least that seems to be the purpose) – because let’s not forget that aptitude was removed from the default Ubuntu 10.10 installation and Synaptic is going to be removed in Ubuntu 11.04 and replaced by Ubuntu Software Center.

        • Ubuntu One Blog: Ubuntu One Maverick beta update

          Our team has been hard at work resolving them so I thought I’d provide a brief summary of a few of the most recent fixes.

        • A newbie tries to install Ubuntu
        • Official Ubuntu 10.10 Countdown banners revealed
        • Measuring the Value of Canonical’s Launchpad

          Without a doubt, Launchpad’s value has yet to be fully exploited. And with Canonical busy working on a variety of other fronts, Launchpad’s evolution over the years has been slow, if steady. Nonetheless, the website stands at the core of Canonical’s initiatives, while also underwriting many of the features vital to Ubuntu users–whether they realize it or not.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 beta review

          When the Ubuntu 10.10 beta was released on September 2nd, I decided to take a look at it and (briefly) the Kubuntu 10.10 beta as well. To put it through its paces I installed it on an Intel Core Duo machine with 2GB of RAM, a Dell Studio laptop with a Core i7 and 8GB of RAM, and also within VMware Workstation 7.1 for Linux.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android marches forward as iOS slips

          Google’s Android army is marching bravely forward, while Apple’s iOS continues to rapidly lose market share.

          According to Quantcast, Android has put in a “powerful” performance, as measured by the share of mobile web consumption attributable to devices running Google’s operating system.

          Indeed, Android captured share from every major player during the month of August, achieving its best month share gain since November 2009 by capturing 25% of the US mobile market.

        • Google to start TV service in US this autumn

          Google Inc will launch its service to bring the Web to TV screens in the United States this autumn and worldwide next year, its chief executive said, as it extends its reach from the desktop to the living room.

          CEO Eric Schmidt said the service, which will allow full Internet browsing via the television, would be free, and Google would work with a variety of programme makers and electronics manufacturers to bring it to consumers.

        • Caution: Stay away from making your Android app free for a short time
        • Ex-Googler Aims for China’s Mobile Users

          The first is called Tapas, a smartphone operating system based on Google’s Android with a number of features tailored for Chinese users, including software that detects what cities incoming calls are from, syncs contact lists with popular Chinese social networks, and a music player that detects what songs users are listening to and displays the lyrics, karaoke style. It also includes an e-book reader that can be optimized for subway-reading.

        • Kid-Friendly Browser Zoodles Now Available for Android
    • Tablets

      • Is it Time to Take Your (Android) Tablets?

        Aside from this growing flood of new tablets – not quite one a day, even if it sometimes seems like it – there’s one other noteworthy feature of this Android tablet spreadsheet: the fact that it was put together collaboratively. It’s really an obvious approach to take to gathering comparative product information for fast-moving markets with lots of players from different regions.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Selectricity Source

    After a semi-recent thread on debian-devel, I poked around and realized that I’d never actually gotten around to formally announcing the release of source code for Selectricity, a piece of web-based election software designed to allow for preferential decision-making and to provide “election machinery for the masses.” Selectricity is useful for a range of decisions but it targets all those quick little decisions that we might want to decide preferentially but where running a vote would be overkill.

    Things were delayed through a drawn out set of negotiations with the MIT Technology Licensing Office over how to release the code under a free software license of my choosing. I was swamped when things finally came through. Over time, I managed to forget that I never did a formal announcement, never setup a mailing list, and never did all those things that I have tried to teach other people in the Free Software Project Management HOWTO. Code just sort of appeared on my website under the GNU Affero General Public License. It was until the debian-devel thread that I remembered I’d never made a formal announcement. Sorry about that!

  • Open Source WYSIWYG HTML Editor Using jQuery UI

    elRTE is an open-source WYSIWYG HTML-editor written in JavaScript using jQuery UI. It features rich text editing, options for changing its appearance, style and many more. You can use it in any commercial or non-commercial projects. elRTE has been tested in Firefox 3.5+, Internet Explorer 7 & 8, Safari 4, Opera 10 and Chrome.

  • The 6 dimensions of Open Source


    Very close to the political dimension, we are now seeing philosophic interest in open source software. The 20th century saw the creation of a consumer class with a new divide between those who produce and those who consume. This dissociated usage of technology is a self-destroying model, and contributing models (or participative production models) are considered to be the solution to fix our societies for the future. Be a producer and a consumer at the same time and be associated with technology rather than alienated by it. Open source is an early and highly successful manifestation of that.

  • JavaScript framework YUI 3.2 interprets gestures

    Version 3.2.0 of Yahoo’s JavaScript framework, known simply as YUI (Yahoo! User Interface), now supports touch events and gesture controls. Events as touchstart and touchend handle touch controls. YUI recognises flick, whereas developers had to program more complicated gestures like wipes with such events as gesturemovestart, gesturemove and gesturemoveend from scratch. Finger movements on the screen will be recognised as gestures, as will mouse driven device movements.

  • Teaching Open Source Practices, Version 4.0

    This donation gave birth to the Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS), where every year about 100 undergraduates receive stipends to work on open source projects.

    RCOS also identified a need to provide formal education on the practices of Open Source software, and crafted an elective course which has been taught for the last three years during the fall semester. The course is offered to EE and CS majors in particular.

  • Schillix 0.7.1i released with Illumos underneath

    The OpenSolaris distribution Schillix has released a version of its operating system which is based on the OpenSolaris fork Illumos. The new version, 0.7.1i, has no differences between it and the recently released version 0.7.0 which used the open source OpenSolaris Nevada build 147.

  • This is Why You Do It: Open Source Software Saves Charity

    We hear stories every day about open source software deployments in government, school districts, and big business. Its usefulness in saving a non-profit foundation trying to do good works is a great reminder of why many people choose to get involved in the FOSS community in the first place — to make software accessible to those who need it most.

  • Events

    • ELC 2010 videos

      Videos from the Embedded Linux Conference in San Francisco, April 12-14, 2010.

      The 2010 edition of the Embedded Linux Conference was once again a very interesting event. For embedded Linux developers, the Embedded Linux Conference is a perfect place to learn about new technologies, profit from the experience of other developers, and to meet key software developers.

      For people who couldn’t attend this conference, and for single core people who didn’t manage to attend two or three talks at the same time, here are the videos that we managed to shoot. As usual, the videos are released with a Creative Commons Attribution – ShareAlike 3.0 license.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Welcome to Mozilla Labs Gaming

        We are excited to present to you the latest initiative from Mozilla Labs: Gaming. Mozilla Labs Gaming is all about games built, delivered and played on the Open Web and the browser. We want to explore the wider set of technologies which make immersive gaming on the Open Web possible. We invite the wider community to play with cool, new tech and aim to help establish the Open Web as the platform for gaming across all your Internet connected devices.

        Modern Open Web technologies introduced a complete stack of technologies such as Open Video, audio, WebGL, touch events, device orientation, geo location, and fast JavaScript engines which make it possible to build complex (and not so complex) games on the Web. With these technologies being delivered through modern browsers today, the time is ripe for pushing the platform. And what better way than through games? Traditionally games and game developers have been at the forefront of technology, often pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible

      • Firefox and SeaMonkey updates released
      • Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 Arrives

        Today’s a big release day over at Mozilla. First it was a new version of the email client Thunderbird that has still not been announced officially. As of this minute, the Mozilla servers are being filled with new Firefox 4.0 Beta 5 releases. The distribution has not been completed yet, and it is likely that it will take at least a few hours before the official announcement is being made over at the Mozilla website.

  • Databases

    • First alpha for PostgreSQL 9.1 appears

      The PostgreSQL developers have released a first alpha of the PostgreSQL 9.1 with several new major features added since version 9.0′s development. PostgreSQL 9.0 was recently made available as a release candidate and will be finalised soon.

      Among the changes, SQL statements will now allow references to other columns without listing them in the GROUP BY clause, as long as the GROUP BY clause at least refers to primary keys; this should simplify forming more complex SQL statements with many columns referred to. Also added is a “CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS” function, useful when writing scripts to bootstrap a database.

    • CouchOne is the new name for Couchio

      The commercial company behind the Apache CouchDB project, Couchio, are changing their name to CouchOne. CouchDB creator and CEO of the company Damian Katz told The H that “It turns out our current name is not what you call good. Nobody knows how to punctuate or pronounce it and the top-level domain is really bad for search engines”. The name change is another part of the company’s refocussing of CouchDB on mobile devices and offering a mobile development kit for CouchDB.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle vs. Google, not a private rant

      Somebody said this is just the first instalment of a massive and lethal attack on Free Software by Oracle, and accordingly I would be the Neville Chamberlain (or perhaps the Benito Mussolini) in the imminent Oracle vs. Free World War. Scary, but just a few think this can be the true story. Others have just pointed out that Oracle is a corporation, corporations make money, it just makes sense that if there is a revenue stream, the corporation just goes for it, regardless the collateral damages. I find this idea more compatible with the current scenario, but it would be equally scary. Also this could lead to a number of actions, perhaps fewer of them, but equally scary. I cannot entirely rule out that this is the case, absent a binding commitment by the company, and it would silly of me putting my neck on such a bet under the current circumstances.

    • FSF responds to Oracle v. Google and the threat of software patents

      Now Oracle’s lawsuit threatens to undo all the good will that has been built up in the years since. Programmers will justifiably steer clear of Java when they stand to be sued if they use it in some way that Oracle doesn’t like. One of the great benefits of free software is that it allows programs to be combined in ways that none of the original developers would’ve anticipated, to create something new and exciting. Oracle is signaling to the world that they intend to limit everyone’s ability to do this with Java, and that’s unjustifiable.

      Unfortunately, Google didn’t seem particularly concerned about this problem until after the suit was filed. The company still has not taken any clear position or action against software patents. And they could have avoided all this by building Android on top of IcedTea, a GPL-covered Java implementation based on Sun’s original code, instead of an independent implementation under the Apache License. The GPL is designed to protect everyone’s freedom—from each individual user up to the largest corporations—and it could’ve provided a strong defense against Oracle’s attacks. It’s sad to see that Google apparently shunned those protections in order to make proprietary software development easier on Android.

  • BSD

    • BSD and LINUX

      In order to download the magazine you need to sign up to our newsletter. After clicking the “Download” button, you will be asked to provide your email address. You need to verify your email address using the link from the activation email you will receive. If you already subscribed to our list, you will be asked to provide your email address each time you download the magazine. No activation email will be sent and you should see the link for download.

  • Project Releases

    • Remake – Version 0.2

      I am proud to announce new version of “Remake” – unified build system for animation projects. It’s purpose to automatically track changes in your project files and update rendered footage.

  • Government

    • Gov2.0 Presentation: An Open Government Scorecard

      I have to admit it was a real challenge to present an “Open Government Scorecard” in the 10 minutes I had allotted to me but as I prepared my remarks I found that the time constraint really made me focus. There were a number of disappointments that I have in the President’s record that I didn’t mention, such as his calling for — but not acting upon – a centralized database for earmarks, or his promises to push for lobbying reform that has never materialized — but I hit some of the major concerns that I and my colleagues at Sunlight have with the Open Government Directive, Recovery.gov, Data.gov, and USA Spending.gov. (Tomorrow I’ll talk more about our ongoing analysis of the data on that site.)

    • Look Who’s Blogging about Open Source Software…

      It’s clear we’re no longer in, er, Canterbury when a Vice-President of the European Commission not only has a blog, but uses it to write about this:

      I should have mentioned this yesterday, but was in Strasbourg for European Parliament debates and Jose Manuel Barrosso’s State of the Union address.

      We have great news: EU funded open source software can now be downloaded to preserve digital data for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.

    • US government shouldn’t fear foreign participation in Forge.gov

      In a recent blog post, Red Hat public sector strategist Gunnar Hellekson described several of the challenges posed by Forge.mil and explained why it’s important for Forge.gov to be operated as a more inclusive environment. Various security considerations made it necessary for Forge.mil to be developed as a relatively closed ecosystem, one which is only accessible to DoD employees, contractors, and others who have a DoD Common Access Card. The isolation obviously precludes public participation and leads to military-only forks of mainstream public open source projects.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Open High School of Utah Releases Open Educational Curriculum Under CC BY

      The Open High School of Utah is a public online charter high school. As DeLaina Tonks, OHSU’s Director, told us in an interview a few weeks ago, “The objective behind creating open content is to create free and simple access to knowledge and information through collaboration and innovation. The OHSU mission dovetails nicely with that of open education because we are among the first, if not the first, secondary school to create our own OER curriculum and share it worldwide.”

    • Open Source Research

      why tax-funded research should be in the public domain

    • Open Data

    • Open Access/Content


  • Search: now faster than the speed of type

    Search as you type. It’s a simple and straightforward idea—people can get results as they type their queries. Imagining the future of search, the idea of being able to search for partial queries or provide some interactive feedback while searching has come up more than a few times. Along the way, we’ve even built quite a few demos (notably, Amit Patel in 1999 and Nikhil Bhatla in 2003). Our search-as-you-type demos were thought-provoking—fun, fast and interactive—but fundamentally flawed. Why? Because you don’t really want search-as-you-type (no one wants search results for [bike h] in the process of searching for [bike helmets]). You really want search-before-you-type—that is, you want results for the most likely search given what you have already typed.

  • Live From Google’s Search Event: The Importance Of Fast

    Over the last 24 hours there’s been a significant buildup to a special Google event that’s being held this morning at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. The search giant is clearly excited: Google featured a kinetic logo on its homepage yesterday, and they now have a logo that went live last night hints at live updating search. The event is about to kick off, and it’s sure to bring some big news. We’ll be live blogging it below and will also be writing individual posts calling out the biggest news. You can watch a live stream of the event here.

  • Piers Morgan to replace host Larry King on CNN network

    Former newspaper editor and Britain’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan will replace TV presenter Larry King on the US network CNN, it has been announced.

    Morgan’s selection as King’s replacement had been widely expected for the past few months.

    CNN president Jon Klein said Morgan can “look at all aspects of the news with style and humour with an occasional good laugh in the process”.

  • Has Rupert Murdoch’s paywall gamble paid off?

    Faced with a collapse in traffic to thetimes.co.uk, some advertisers have simply abandoned the site. Rob Lynam, head of press trading at the media agency MEC, whose clients include Lloyds Banking Group, Orange, Morrisons and Chanel, says, “We are just not advertising on it. If there’s no traffic on there, there’s no point in advertising on there.” Lynam says he has been told by News International insiders that traffic to The Times site has fallen by 90 per cent since the introduction of charges. “That was the same forecast they were giving us prior to registration and the paywall going up, so whether it’s a reflection on reality or not, I don’t know.”

  • Rupert Murdoch’s Paywall Disaster: Readers, Advertisers, Journalists & Publicists All Hate It
  • Wikipedia, if it were run by academic experts, would look like this
  • Science

    • DARPA alters the speed of light

      Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency have found a way to change the speed of light — very, very slightly.

      The boffins have developed a prototype photonic microchip that uses light instead of electrons to transmit data. The chip uses quantum effects to slow down or stop photons, allowing the device to operate at speeds and efficiencies similar to fiber optic links. Such developments could lead to smaller, faster computers, sensors and communications systems that can overcome the limitations of current electronics, according to scientists.

    • Asteroid buzzes Earth; another one coming

      A small asteroid passed within the moon’s distance from the Earth on Wednesday morning, and another will do likewise later in the day, space watchers say.

      The double encounter is an unusual event that shows the need for closer monitoring of near space for Earth-threatening encounters, according to NASA.

      The objects don’t pose a threat to Earth, and they will not be visible to the naked eye, said Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near Earth Program, which tracks potentially hazardous asteroids and comets within 28 million miles of Earth.

    • Quantum computing – separating hope from hype
    • How and why telephones are going to get a whole lot better
  • Security/Aggression

    • Sussex police try new tactic to relieve snappers of pics

      The problem of police decision-making on who is permitted to take photographs of what is highlighted again in a disturbing incident at the weekend, where film was seized at an anti-fascist protest in Brighton.

    • China in Kashmir???

      This should elicit more attention than it’s been getting; Selig Harrison asserts that the Chinese have between 7,000 and 11,000 soldiers in Pakistan-held Kashmir. The Chinese have had military in and out of the area since they built the Karakorum Highway as far as Gilgit, but so many is abnormal.

    • Police seize protesters film

      A police evidence bag with film shot by local man Glenn Williams of an anti-fascist protest. The film cassette was seized by police on the street under Section 19 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 on Monday 30 August 2010 Brighton, England.

    • Long Island Man Arrested For Defending Home With AK-47

      He was arrested for protecting his property and family.

      But it’s how the Long Island man did it that police say crossed the line.

    • High-tech carts will tell on Cleveland residents who don’t recycle … and they face $100 fine

      It would be a stretch to say that Big Brother will hang out in Clevelanders’ trash cans, but the city plans to sort through curbside trash to make sure residents are recycling — and fine them $100 if they don’t.

      The move is part of a high-tech collection system the city will roll out next year with new trash and recycling carts embedded with radio frequency identification chips and bar codes.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • BP spreads blame over oil spill

      In the 193-page internal report released on its website, BP said that decisions made by “multiple companies and work teams” contributed to the accident, which it said arose from “a complex and interlinked series of mechanical failures, human judgements, engineering design, operational implementation and team interfaces”.

    • BP report spreads blame across Gulf spill actors

      BP’s investigation found that Halliburton used a “likely unstable” cement mix that was not fully tested before it was used. Mark Bly, BP’s head of safety and operations, said in a video accompanying the report that Halliburton “did not conduct comprehensive lab tests that could’ve identified potential problems with the cement.”

      But he added, “We believe that BP and Halliburton working together should have better identified and addressed the issues underlying the cement job.”

  • Finance

    • World Bank on Land Grabs: It’s All Good Unless You’re African, a Woman, Disempowered, or Poor

      The World Bank’s long-awaited report on land grabs is out. I’ve not had time to study it – I only found out an hour ago – but here are some first impressions.

      First, the Bank doesn’t call them land-grabs. Unable to come up with a suitably technical alternative to describe the process whereby the poor are kicked off the land when the rich buy up the ground beneath their feet, the Bank refers instead to ‘global interest in farm land’. It’s a neat euphemism. When you say, “thou shalt not be interested in your neighbour’s ox”, it doesn’t sound nearly as bad does it?

      The Bank report is entitled “Rising Global Interest in Farmland: Can It Yield Sustainable and Equitable Benefits?. The titular question is also a bit of a stretch. Can it yield sustainable and equitable benefits? Well, almost anything can have good if unintended benefits:book burning might encourage people to go to bookshops more and, while they’re looking for kindling, develop an interest in literature; bombing Iraq might propagate curiosity about Mesopotamian scholarship, and so on. It’s unlikely, but it might happen. A more telling question is Has Land Grabbing In Fact Yielded Sustainable and Equitable Benefits? To that question, the Bank provides answers. But you’d never know from reading the Bank’s own spin.

      If you look at the press release, you’ll see quotes from Klaus Deininger – the Bank’s resident free-market-in-land fundamentalist. He says things like “A consistent finding across regions is that better-defined land rights helped in many instances to improve efficiency and equity.” If, in other words, everyone knew what was going on when there were land grabs, there tended to be more equity. Goodness. Deininger also offers this rather cryptic quote: “Figure out a country’s niche and competitive advantage, then investors can help you achieve your goal. They know technology and other things, but you can often get a much better bargain – and investments will be sustainable only if everybody benefits.” I’m not really sure what he’s saying here, but it sounds informed and technical.

    • Q&A: Michael Lewis Talks About the Banks That Brought Down Greece

      Michael Lewis: [Laughs.] Yes, Greece is made for a Jonathan Franzen novel. There are no happy countries any more. Financially speaking, unhappy countries do seem to all be different in their own way. The thing that interests me (in what looks like is going to become a series) is that the raw event seems to be the same in each place: make credit available for people who would never have qualified for it before. How each of the cultures responds to this credit tells you so much about the society in general. Specifically, within the context of Europe, it communicates how different these cultures are that have been glued together by their monetary system. These differences are more riveting than you might have expected, given that global finance has this monocultural flavor to it, where everything seems to be sort of the same from place to place. Although the bankers in Greece kind of look like the bankers in Iceland, who kind of look like the bankers in the United States, in fact they’re not. They are still financially radically different. In a word, yes.

    • EU Probes Hidden Greek Deals as 400% Yield Gap Shows Doubt

      Four months after the 110 billion- euro ($140 billion) bailout for Greece, the nation still hasn’t disclosed the full details of secret financial transactions it used to conceal debt.

    • What does Goldman Sachs Do?

      According to public records of Goldman’s financial filings, only a tenth of its revenues came from investment banking last year and more than three-fourths from trading for its own account.

      In this video, the first in a two part series about unraveling the profit puzzle at Goldman, Economic Correspondent Paul Solman talks to industry insiders and former Goldman executives to find out the real scoop.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Virginia court: Police can use GPS to track suspect

      The same GPS technology that motorists use to get directions can be used by police without a warrant to track the movements of criminal suspects on public streets, the Virginia Court of Appeals said Tuesday.

      In a case that prompted warnings of Orwellian snooping by the government, the court unanimously ruled that Fairfax County Police did nothing wrong when they planted a GPS device on the bumper of a registered sex offender’s work van without obtaining a warrant.

    • ACLU Challenges Laptop Searches and Seizures at the Border

      Today, the ACLU, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) filed a lawsuit challenging the government’s claimed authority to search, detain, and copy electronic devices — including laptops, cell phones, cameras, etc. — at the country’s international borders without any suspicion of wrongdoing.

    • INDECT – privacy ethics in a secret project

      The INDECT Project, funded with almost 11 million euros, aims to research on “Intelligent information system supporting observation, searching and detection for security of citizens in urban environment” but was qualified by The Telegraph last year as the “‘Orwellian’ artificial intelligence plan to monitor public for ‘abnormal behaviour’”.

      Following the article, a lot of public pressure was put from media, civil society and the European Parliament. MEPs addressed to the European Commission 10 questions in the past year related to the project and its privacy ethics.

    • EFF’s E-Book Buyer’s Guide to Privacy v2
    • Groups Urge Craigslist To Eliminate Foreign Adult Services Ads

      Four anti-sex trafficking groups Tuesday praised Craigslist.org for shutting down its adult services ads in the United States but urged the online classifieds ad provider to eliminate similar ads offered on its foreign websites.

      After coming under fire from the groups and 18 state attorneys general who claim the company’s adult ads help promote prostitution, Craigslist this weekend abruptly shut down its adult services ads section on its U.S. website and replaced it with the words “censored.”

    • Future of the Internet Symposium: Lessons in Designing for Privacy

      There is a solution that, though I hesitate to call it generative, would preserve the generativity of the social web: design for social signaling. An example helps illustrate the type of signaling I’m referring to. A social network with photo sharing could easily enable an option to “disallow other users from tagging me in photos” that would technically prevent a metatag with my name from being attached to a photo. This is effectively designing for privacy enforcement. Instead what I would love to see is an option to “notify other users of my preference not to be tagged in photos” that would cause a notification to appear when a friend tried to tag me in a photo, telling him that I prefer not to be tagged.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Leggo My Likeness, Part Deux: Does Starcraft II Violate Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Right of Publicity?

      As comedian Myq Kaplan says, “There’s a spectrum of dorkery from people who use words like dorkery and those who do not.” When Starcraft II was released on July 23, I was one of the millions of uberdorks around the world whose preorder instantly made it the fastest and best-selling computer game of 2010. As an additional testament to my dorkery, I soon thereafter identified a myriad of legal issues with the game.

      Number one, the game destroys graphics cards (especially in laptops) because Activision-Blizzard forgot to include a framerate cap. This small oversight caused thousands of graphics cards like mine to overheat and die during game play. Huge potential for a class-action lawsuit? Possibly, but not very interesting, academically.

    • Twitter Makes Another Run For “Tweet”, “Twitter” Trademarks

      Twitter co-founder Biz Stone promptly clarified the situation in a blog post, stating that it has “no intention of ‘going after’ the wonderful applications and services that use the word [tweet] in their name when associated with Twitter.”

    • Using Google Books To Remove Access To Public Domain Books
    • Public Domain Parasites #2
    • Copyrights

      • Sharron Angle hit with lawsuit

        In a lawsuit filed Friday, Las Vegas-based Righthaven LLC says the Nevada Republican Senate nominee has violated copyright laws by posting two newspapers stories in their entirety on her campaign website.

      • Australian Judge Rules There Is No Copyright In Headlines

        Australia’s federal court has ruled that there is no copyright in newspaper headlines.

        The decision has far-reaching implications for publishers who are seeking to seal off their editorial content from people who do not pay for access to their online material.

        The court dismissed a copyright claim by one of the country’s leading newspaper groups, Fairfax Media, over headlines in its title, the Australian Financial Review (AFR).

      • No ‘Glee’ over no royalties

        Sources tell us Sony CEO Ralph Schmidt-Holtz struck a big soundtrack deal with “Glee” executive producer Ryan Murphy, but the cast — who have sold more than a million albums — were somehow cut out.

        “The ‘Glee’ cast is furious because they feel they were misled by Sony,” a source said. “They have all complained to Ryan that they want a bigger share of the royalties.”

      • Law Firm Puts In Mysterious Offer To Buy Leading Torrent Sites

        The Winnipeg-based law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP has put in offers to acquire several of the largest BitTorrent sites behalf of an unnamed client, TorrentFreak has learned. Although the true source behind the offers has not been officially confirmed, all leads point to a familiar name.

      • P2P Gambling Site is Illegal Bookmaker–Betcha v. Washington

        Betcha is one of those too-clever-by-half dot com ideas that practically beg VCs to roll the dice. Rather than allow illegal gambling on its site, Betcha styles itself as a P2P betting platform. Effectively, it is a messaging service for people making bets with each other, where Betcha charges the parties to talk with each other. Betcha also escrows the wager, but it allows the losing bettor to renege. Exercising that right, however, has bad reputational consequences that I suspect are tantamount to on-site seppuku.

      • Die-Hard Fans Follow Iron Maiden Into the Digital Age

        As music sales plunge and record companies face the future with angst, so-called Maiden heads are still flocking to record stores. Like the band’s zombie mascot, Eddie the Head, Iron Maiden refuses to die, and its continued vitality may offer the troubled music industry some tips on survival.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA Conspiracy Theory

          The latest round in the ACTA talks has finished and KEI (Knowledge Ecology International) has released the leaked version of the text, which seems somewhat toned down. Still, it isn’t over yet. Nor is this an official version.

          Obviously the USTR (United States Trade Representative) is aware that there have been many ACTA leaks. It is reasonable to assume that the people who have leaked the ACTA documents have been as concerned about ACTA’s attempt to make an end run around democracy as I am. Leaking the ACTA documents has been a very risky undertaking with serious consequences if caught. Yet there have been many such leaks.

        • ACTA Action
        • Treaty Negotiators Turn To “ACTA Lite” In Hopes Of Closure

          The most obvious change made headlines throughout internet publications: out of the text are liability exemptions and conditions to make internet service providers eligible for such exemptions. The respective paragraph has been cut from Chapter 2, Section Four: “special measures related to technological enforcement of intellectual property in the digital environment.”

          Remaining in the digital environment section that has shrunken from five to three pages is a general request to ACTA partners to provide for civil and criminal measures to allow action against IP infringers in the digital environment. Enforcement measures in the text would allow protection against infringements like “unlawful file sharing and unlawful streaming,” the new draft version reads. Also still in place are measures against anti-circumvention technology and manipulation of or tampering with electronic rights management information.

        • ACTA Declaration – You Did It!

          Many thanks to everyone who joined me calling MEPs this morning – we did it!

        • Why ACTA is Not a Victimless Treaty

          Now, think about what this is saying: that the FBI could help many more victims of these appalling crimes, but can’t, simply because they don’t have the resources to do so. Now, consider the effects of ACTA, which will add a whole new set of responsibilities that the FBI and others will be required to shoulder.

          To be sure, there may be some increase in funding, but the way these things usually work is that politicians grandstand about all the amazing laws/treaties they have pushed through, but omit to mention that they don’t fully fund them (because that would mean tax rises or cuts elsewhere).

          That leaves the FBI and others being stretched even more thinly, forced to pursue counterfeits of varying seriousness. But worst of all, if the current ACTA text is any indication, they will be forced to spend time trying to stop file sharing, an impossible and hence pointless task.

        • And, Of Course, ACTA Leaks: Some Good, Plenty Of Bad
        • European Parliament Vs. ACTA: Rejection is the only option

          The adoption by the European Parliament of Written Declaration 12 opposing the ACTA agreement sends a strong political signal. European Commission shows its will to quickly conclude the negotiations of this agreement that includes harmful provisions for fundamental rights. ACTA aims at circumventing democracy to impose now and later repressive legislation through secret negotiations. The European Parliament now has a unique occasion to firmly oppose it.

        • European Parliament All But Rejects ACTA
        • EU Parliament Rejects ACTA: Will It Matter?
        • European Parliament passes anti-ACTA declaration

          Today 377 members of the European Parliament adopted a written declaration on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in which they demand greater transparency, assert that ISPs should not up end being liable for data sent through their networks, and say that ACTA “should not force limitations upon judicial due process or weaken fundamental rights such as freedom of expression and the right to privacy.”

Clip of the Day

Linux Mint Debian 201009 released Review Screencast Tutorial

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 7/9/2010: Debate About Choices in GNU/Linux, Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox is Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Gaming modchips – a cat n’ mouse game without end?

    Sony recently put libertarians offside by removing the ability to run Linux on the PS3, which would have been a key selling point for some people. If you read between the lines it was clear that Sony removed the Linux option in an effort to close loopholes for hackers, but it still didn’t sit well with people that Sony was stripping out legitimate features. Hackers set out to restore the Linux option and one can only wonder whether Sony’s actions motivated efforts to develop the wider debug mode hack.

    If the Digital Rights Management wars have taught us anything it’s that anti-piracy efforts generally penalise honest users while failing to stop the pirates getting their own way. Sony’s strike against Linux is a classic example of such an effect and appears set to haunt Sony for quite some time.

  • Migrating a Small Business To Linux

    What is the value proposition in getting a small business to make the switch to Linux?

    Not able to offer a clear answer?

    Then consider this as one possibility – control. Offering small businesses control over their own technology is something that most managers are unaware is even needed. After all, something breaks, they call whomever handles repairs, the problem is fixed.

  • Why Do We Love Linux?

    When you’re a fan of Linux, any blog post entitled “27 Good Reasons to Love Linux” is going to be impossible to resist.

    No wonder, then, that a recent post with just that title has created endless fodder for conversation in the Linux blogosphere of late.

  • LPI

  • Server

  • IBM

    • IBM Code Unfetters Virtual Workloads

      Some of the first fruits of a European Union-funded project led by IBM (IBM) are making their way into the field of cloud computing, in the form of a virtual machine migration technology.

      The technology, sprouting from the Reservoir (Resources and Services Virtualization without Barriers) program, offers a way to move a live, virtualized workload from one server to another, without the need for the two locations to share the same storage space.

    • Prices Jacked on Power Systems Tape Drives and Expansion Drawers

      And so, in announcement letter 310-236, you will find that selected peripherals used across the Power Systems product line, whether you install IBM i, AIX, or Linux on the boxes, have higher sticker prices than they did before the August 17 announcement day.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux + 2.4 EOL plans
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel’s Sandybridge Graphics On Linux

        Back in February we reported on the first signs of open-source support for Intel’s Sandybridge, a.k.a. their sixth-generation Intel graphics processor integrated on their upcoming CPUs that succeed the Clarkdale/Arrandale CPUs. The Sandybridge hardware still has not launched nor will it until late this year or early next year, but the open-source support has been underway for months and from time to time we see new Linux code patches related to Sandybridge.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Brazil Team Spreads the Word at FISL

        KDE is very active in South America as any readers of the blogs at Live Blue will know already. The KDE Brazil team attended this year’s FISL, one of the major free software events in South America, meeting up with some new users of KDE software and spreading the word of Konqui.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Does Linux Come in Too Many Flavors?

      This isn’t the first time that Linux has been criticized for appearing so many flavors that development effort becomes redundant. The argument doesn’t stand on its own, though. One has to include the fact that the many faces of Linux—all the choices—have constantly taken it in the direction of new opportunities. In fact, it’s highly questionable whether Linux even needs any sort of dominance on the desktop at this point to continue to foster meaningful innovation.

    • Choices Choices Choices

      So you still think that there are too many versions of Linux? Sure, we have hundreds. Has that stopped anyone? I don’t think so. People will gravitate to those most popular of distributions. Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, openSUSE, and Mandriva almost always get the majority share. Effectively, that means that in most people’s minds there are only six versions of Linux. Whether or not people realize that there are more is irrelevant. When you go to those distribution’s websites, most of them will present you with a quick link to there most popular version of their distribution, creating the illusion that “there is only one [insert distro name here].” You also have this overwhelmingly wonderful little thing happening in our community… it’s called freedom. As users become accustomed to their distribution of choice they seek to make it their own. This leads to many little Ubuntu derivatives with small but loyal followings. Occasionally, these derivatives become powerful (Ubuntu/Debian, SuSE/Slackware, Mandrake/Red Hat). The most notable outside the examples I just listed is Blag. Blag started as a project to create a completely free version of Fedora. Blag is notable not for its following but for the Linux-libre kernel that was developed off of some Blag software scripts.

    • Even More Linux Distros That Don’t Suck

      LegacyOS – This was formally known as TeenPup which is based on PuppyLinux. The main purpose of this distro is to ensure a smooth user experience on hardware that’s 5-10 years old. If you have an old machine laying around and are looking for a decent suite of software then look no further. Don’t plan on doing any intense processing with it but basic usage it’s great.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Mark Bohannon to Lead Red Hat Governmental Affairs and Public Policy

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Mark Bohannon will join the company as Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Global Public Policy on Oct. 1, 2010. He will lead Red Hat’s worldwide team representing the company’s interests before policy makers in government, industry consortia, and other venues regarding issues such as technology and innovation policy, open source and standards adoption, intellectual property legislation, government technology initiatives, and tax regulation.

      • NCDEX achieves 99.99% uptime by standardizing its IT Architecture on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

        Red Hat, Inc, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, announced that National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange Limited (NCDEX) is powering its mission-critical IT infrastructure on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, NCDEX has designed a reliable, stable, high-performance and cost-effective IT infrastructure that has delivered 99.99 percent uptime for its business applications.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora conference in Switzerland next week

          FUDCon Zurich is the second FUDCon of the year and the only one in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. As well as many Fedora and Red Hat developers from the region, a number of big US-based Fedora names are expected to attend. Jared Smith, who has been working as Fedora Project Leader since the end of June, will be there, and Fedora Engineering Manager Tom “spot” Callaway, Release Engineer Jesse Keating, ‘Fedora QA Community Monkey’ Adam Williamson and Fedora board member Máirín Duffy will also make the trip across the Atlantic.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Installer with ZFS

        Long time no see… Not much hacking in the last few months. Not much ranting either (some of you I’m sure will appreciate ;-).

        Anyway, I recently grew excited to learn that ZFS is coming to Debian. I decided to bite the bullet, patched the missing bits in GRUB and Parted, a few small changes in D-I and there’s now a modified Debian Installer with ZFS support for you to play with. Enjoy!

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Sudo vulnerability
        • Security advisories for Tuesday
        • Canonical’s Attention to Detail is Starting to Show Up in Ubuntu 10.10 Big Time

          These are not all. Things yet to come include new sound theme, a new font, new wallpapers, more community contributed themes to name a few. Watch this space.

        • Well, There Is No i8xx Fix For Ubuntu 10.10

          Back in July we reported on a GEM-free UMS Intel driver coming about that was targeted for owners of vintage Intel 8xx series hardware to circumvent the stability issues and other problems they commonly have encountered since switching to Intel’s newer driver stack with kernel mode-setting and the Graphics Execution Manager. Canonical hoped to ship this UMS code-path in Ubuntu 10.10 that would then be enabled for those with these older Intel integrated graphics processors.

          This GEM-free UMS code-path was never merged though into the xf86-video-intel DDX, as it would add about 50,000 lines of code into this open-source X.Org driver and would likely receive little in the way of work and testing. Adding back this UMS code-path also didn’t solve all of the problems nor does it address the fundamental issue of KMS/GEM not working well for the old Intel chipsets.

        • Previewing and tweaking Ubuntu 10.10

          On September 1st, the Ubuntu development project issued the beta version of Ubuntu 10.10 — aka “Maverick Meerkat” — as a step toward achieving a stable release by October 10th. If a quick test of the beta by LinuxTrends is any indication, this new Ubuntu version could be the most user-friendly, full-featured desktop Linux distribution ever.

        • A Quick Look at Ubuntu 10.10

          Other than that, I haven’t really noticed all that much different from 10.04. It could be possible that there are still changes coming down the pipe at this point in development, or that the release may be focused on perfecting the previous version rather than trying to be daring as most October Ubuntu releases are. If the problems with the splash screen and installer options are fixed before release, I can easily see myself giving this a perfect score. From the looks of things, it appears that Ubuntu 10.10 is going to be outstanding.

        • “Saner Defaults” remix of Ubuntu beta released

          A beta of an unofficial remix of Ubuntu 10.04.1, the “Saner Defaults Remix”, which offers “better default choices” and a Mono-free experience, has been released. The developer also hopes that the saner configuration will be better for newcomers.

          The “Saner Defaults Remix” release replaces Evolution with Mozilla’s Thunderbird 2.0 and the Lightning calendar add-on, Nautilus file manager with the simplified nautilus-elementary and Empathy with Pidgin as it is “a more stable and mature application”. Mono applications are also swapped out with FSpot replaced by gthumb and Gnote standing in for Tomboy; the presence of Mono based applications has been controversial with some and the Saner Defaults Remix looks to avoid that issue.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 beta tips up

          Ubuntu 10.10, code-named “Maverick Meerkat”, got some notice in mid-August after Canonical slapped multi-touch features into the updated Linux OS. The final version of Maverick Meerkat is still set to appear on the brilliantly chosen release date of 10 October 2010 if the feedback from this beta release doesn’t cause any delays.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox Released

            The Linux Mint team has released Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox, the last of the official versions for this release cycle. Linux Mint 9 Fluxbox comes with all of the updates and new features in Linux Mint 9 built around the Fluxbox windows manager.

          • Linux Mint Debian (201009) released!

            Today is very important for Linux Mint. It’s one day to remember in the history of our project as we’re about to maintain a new distribution, a rolling one, which promises to be faster, more responsive and on which we’re less reliant on upstream components. Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) comes with a Debian base, which we transformed into a live media and on top of which we added a new installer. It’s rougher and in some aspects not as user-friendly as our other editions, it’s very young but it will improve continuously and rapidly, and it brings us one step closer to a situation where we’re fully in control of the system without being impacted by upstream decisions.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pocketbook launches five e-readers at IFA 2010

      FIVE E-READERS HAVE been launched by Pocketbook International at IFA 2010 that have features including text to speech, accelerometers and Linux and Android operating systems.

    • Alcatel-Lucent fleshes out Apps Enablement strategy with OpenPlug purchase
    • Alcatel-Lucent acquires OpenPlug
    • : Empower Technologies Investment in Pixon Imaging Expand Sales, Products and Technologies

      As part of the agreement, Empower will provide a license to Pixon Imaging for the right to use, OEM, and to distribute LEOs (Linux Embedded Operating System) software in their products.

    • Phones

      • WebOS 2.0 beta screenshot extravaganza

        There’s also default app selection for filetypes, which is a welcome addition we’ve enjoyed on our Android sets. Just in case all the screenshots go poof, we’ve got them in a gallery below. Let your imagination run wild, or at least in a bigger fence.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Neofonie WeTab now runs MeeGo Linux

          The Neofonie WeTab gained grabbed a lot of headlines when the company first introduced it a few months ago. And why not? The tablet is kind of everything the Apple iPad is not. It has a nice big 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel HD capacitive toushcreen display. It supports HDMI output, has 2 USB ports, and a 1.3MP camera. It also packs 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1.

        • Meego tips up on the Wetab

          GERMAN TABLET MAKER Wetab GmbH said that its tablet, the Wetab, which has been developed with the finest minds at Intel, will be the first one based on the Meego operating system.

        • VIDEO: WeTab – All systems MeeGo

          We first got word of the WeTab (previously called the WePad) back in May, where we were led to understand that the 11.6-inch tablet would be running via a Linux OS and was all set for a July launch.

          And, after a number of delays the tablet has turned up at IFA, and it is indeed running Linux.

          But it is the Linux version that is most intriguing, for the WeTab OS is based on MeeGo – Intel and Nokia’s joint OS effort.

      • Android

        • Five critical apps for Android that you want to find on iOS

          One thing Google gets is the web. With ChromeToPhone you can push links, videos, text, directions, apps directly to your phone. You won’t find this baby on iOS.

          In case it isn’t already evident, I really dislike Apple’s iOS and their new frontier of closed systems. And, the difference between open and closed is not just academic, it limits your ability to do some really cool things with your expensive new toy.

        • Android Opens Up The Operating System For Innovation

          Over the past few years, quite a few Linux-based open mobile OS platforms have emerged: Bada from Samsung, LiMO from the LiMO Foundation, Moblin from Intel, Maemo from Nokia, MeeGO from Intel & Nokia (MeeGO = Moblin + Maemo), Android from Google, and ALP from Access. But Android’s well crafted software stack with software development kits (SDKs) and Novell developer kits (NDKs), ease of programming, Google’s support, large user community, and periodic releases have made it a global, open OS for the wireless future.

        • O2 releases Android 2.1 update for Dell’s Streak

          MOBILE OPERATOR O2 has rolled out Android 2.1 for Dell Streak users in the UK.

          Dell’s 5-inch Android smartphone tablet had been using the archaic Android 1.6 operating system since its launch. Dell has announced that Android 2.2, the current version of the Linux based operating system, will be arriving for its Streak at some point this year though it would not be drawn on specifics. So you can imagine the disappointment when users today were treated to a version that was debuted nine months ago and lacks Adobe Flash support.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Free Jolicloud OS breathes new life into old Netbooks

        Got a Netbook collecting dust? Hey, it happens. Many users find that traditional operating systems, be they Linux or Windows, just don’t work well in compact, low-powered PCs. (I once tried running Vista on one. The horror, the horror.)

        Consider making a switch. Jolicloud is a new Linux-based OS that was designed expressly for Netbooks. Not sure about the “Linux” part? Don’t worry: Jolicloud has decidedly user-friendly trappings. It’s a snazzy, intuitive, well-rounded operating system; one that might just earn a permanent home on your mini PC.

    • Tablets

      • India unveils $35 laptop

        What this device can do is still not entirely clear, but we know some. It can browse the internet, do video conferencing and play media. It uses Linux for now and is solar powered so that it could be used by someone in a poor community.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What’s Next for Google Wave

    Google Wave is kind of like the Snuggie. You either immediately see its genius or can’t figure out why anyone would bother. When Google announced plans last month to shut down development of Wave and open source its code for anyone who wants it, some users were crushed while others just yawned. If you fall into the “I love Wave” camp, then you’ll be glad to know the Google Wave team has new plans for the now defunct project.

  • New Open Source Semantic Engine

    A semantic engine extracts the meaning of a document to organize it as partially structured knowledge. For example, you can submit a batch of news stories to a semantic engine and get back a tree categorisation according to the subjects they deal with.

  • Campsite a Hearty Content Management System for Journalists

    On the developer side, Campsite is built on the LAMP development stack and includes an object-oriented API so users can create their own plugins or alternative interfaces. There’s a robust developer community surrounding the app, but there are also a team of full-time developers working on the project who will quickly create additional features for a small fee.

  • Open Source: Vendors increasingly Turn to Open Source When Building Proprietary Software

    The Zenoss survey we cited in yesterday’s blog found that 98 percent of companies have Open Source software running somewhere in their companies. It turns out that even SAP is changing its mind about Open Source. SAP has long been a symbol of traditional proprietary software company. And in a previous world when things were more black and white, Open Source and proprietary software where distinctly different and opposite things. That distinction is not so clear any more. Claus von Riegen says at SAP that they’ve changed from asking, “Why open source?” to start asking “Why not?” Even Von Riegen’s title at SAP, “director of technology standards and open source”, highlights a change both in SAP strategy and thinking.

  • Open Source Microstock Agency: How Stock Photo Agency YayMicro.com was Created Using Only Open Source Technology
  • Harvest: an open-source tool for the validation and improvement of peptide identification metrics and fragmentation exploration
  • Asia not ready for key apps to go open source

    Organizations in Asia are not as ready to go open source for key business applications, experts in the region say. Over in the United Kingdom and United States, it is a different story with inclination growing, a survey has shown.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Software Bounties Work For Google, And Can Work Throughout the FLOSS Arena

      We’ve written before about the fact that both Mozilla and Google have been offering cash bounties for people who find bugs in their browsers, and it’s also worth noting that the concept of bounties is spreading out across the whole FOSS landscape. For example, Funambol has had good success with a bounty program focused on developers. Now there is new data out about actual cash being paid by Google for its Chrome-focused bug bounty effort, and it’s clear that the program makes a lot of sense for Google.

    • ‘Larry and Sergey’s HTML5 balls drained my resources’
    • Google Chrome Turns Two
    • Mozilla

      • MPL Alpha 2 released

        The MPL team is excited to announce the second Alpha draft of the next version of the Mozilla Public License.

        The text of Alpha 2 is available. We have also published a discussion document, including markup showing the changes made since Alpha 1 and an explanation of those changes.

  • SaaS

    • Skygone Cloud powers Open Source Web Mapping Suite – OpenGeo Cloud Edition

      Skygone Inc., a leader in geospatial cloud computing, today announces the launch of OpenGeo Cloud Edition; the first fully-supported, open source web-mapping software suite delivered to users via cloud computing.

    • Cloud computing: the mother of all lock-ins?

      Ingres points to open source portfolios such as Red Hat Cloud Foundations as particularly valuable because of their open APIs and interoperability.

      “Red Hat Cloud Foundations combines the Ingres, JBoss and Red Hat Enterprise Linux stack with the Deltacloud API to rapidly build applications that are portable between customers’ private clouds and the leading public cloud providers,” says Ingres.

  • Databases

    • Version 2.0 of NoSQL database Redis released

      Version 2.0 of the NoSQL database Redis database has been released with new features including virtual memory support, a hash datatype and publish/subscribe messaing. Development of Redis is assisted by VMware who sponsor Salvatore Sanfillippo and Pieter Noordhuis, lead developers of the project. Sanfillipo was hired by VMware in March.

  • Oracle

    • Major European MSP Partners Up with Oracle

      In an interesting twist, DSP Managed Services blends open source and closed source solutions. For instance, the company uses GroundWork Open Source to monitor customers’ networks, applications and databases. GroundWork, as you may recall, introduced new MSP pricing earlier this week.

    • Oracle’s Hurd for Phillips swap: What’s the customer relations impact?

      Oracle has a new customer relations front man: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd. Oracle’s move to name former Hurd as co-president is going to be interesting to watch from a customer relations perspective. Why? Hurd’s arrival coincides with the departure of Charles Phillips.

  • CMS

    • JForce Project Management Component for Joomla Challenges Mainstream Systems

      The award winning Open Source Content Management System, Joomla!, celebrates its 5th birthday today and on the same day, JForce.com has released its full-featured project management system, JForce PM, built specifically for the same CMS. JForce brings to Joomla! all the features of the popular project management tools available on the web, but incorporated directly into a user’s Joomla! installation.

      Joomla! has experienced tremendous growth throughout its 5 year life and is currently utilized on millions of websites around the globe. For example, there are currently over 5,339 extensions exist for the Joomla! CMS. With recent approval from the Joomla! Extension Directory, JForce PM is positioned to become one of the staples of any business-centered Joomla! website.

  • Education

    • Open source goes to high school

      Before heading out to film this story on the Open High School of Utah, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a lot of the same questions most people would have about an online high school: What kind of students go to high school online? How are teachers building their curriculum from open educational resources and what does it look like? How are the students interacting with their teachers and other students in an online venue?

  • Business

    • Open source business intelligence

      In this podcast, Tim talks about various tools for ETL, reporting, and analytics like Pentaho and Talend — I really enjoyed our conversation as I definitely learned a few things!


    • EU survey on Free Software and standards: make your voice heard!

      The Free Software Foundation Europe is calling on European Free Software businesses to participate in a survey of business attitudes towards the acceptability of including patents in industry standards.

      This survey is a key component of a study that will play the major role in the EC’s reform of standardisation policy. It is open until September 17.

      A major theme in the survey is whether patents that cover standards should be licensed royalty-free (the W3C takes this approach), or whether they should instead be licensed under so-called “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” (FRAND).

    • GNU Guile 1.9.12 released
  • Project Releases

    • Cairo 1.10.0 available
    • uTorrent Linux Server Released, Client Coming Soon

      Earlier this year BitTorrent Inc. promised they would release a Linux client this summer, and today they are one step closer to achieving that goal. The company just released uTorrent Server for Linux, a daemonizable 32-bit binary of the uTorrent core, suited to those familiar with running programs from the command line. A full Linux client is expected to follow in the coming weeks.

    • First Alpha of uTorrent Server for Linux Released
    • CiviCRM 3.2.3 released

      You can download the release from SourceForge – select from the civicrm-stable section.
      The filenames include the 3.2.3 label: civicrm-3.2.3. Make sure you’re downloading correct version: for Drupal or Joomla.

  • Government

    • $50B Infrastructure Plan: Make it Open Source and Transparent

      This has been happening in the humanitarian and development field for the past few years. Through the Open Architecture Network, more than 3,000 projects have been uploaded to the system and range from low-income housing, health and education facilities, public-gathering points and transit nodes. Every project is held under a Creative Commons license allowing others to adapt and share innovative ideas. In less than a month, the system will launch a geo-based mobile app that will allow anyone to find local solutions or discover ones from afar. All managed by a handful of people.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Web/Standards/Consortia

    • Google shows HTML5 love with bouncing balls

      Google’s line of ‘doodle’ home page designs has taken an eye-catching twist with the debut of an interactive bouncing ball design designed to show off the greatness of HTML5.

      In Google’s search page design for the day, as the cursor is moved around the page, the Google logo disintegrates into colourful, scattering and enlarging balls, an interactive feature that demonstrates the way html5 can render visual elements that usually require individual browser plug-ins.

    • W3C Extends Speech Framework to Asian Languages
    • HTML5 May Help Web Pages Talk, Listen

      Sometime in the near future, users might not only read Web pages but hold conversations with them as well, at least if a new activity group in the W3C (World Wide Consortium) bears fruit.

      The W3C is investigating the possibility of incorporating voice recognition and speech synthesis interfaces within Web pages. A new incubator group will file a report a year from now summarizing the feasibility of adding voice and speech features into HTML, the W3C’s standard for rendering Web pages.

    • Advertisers get hands stuck inside HTML5 database cookie jar

      Even casual Internet users know that if you want to hold your privacy in check, it’s good practice to clear out your browser cookies every once in a while. Our recent coverage about “zombie” Flash cookies has shown us, however, that simply clearing your browser cookies the old fashioned way isn’t always enough. As highlighted by a study out of UC Berkeley, some companies have begun using Flash-based cookies that not only recreate themselves when deleted without the user’s knowledge, they reach into the Flash storage bin for the just-deleted user info so that they can keep tracking you and your stored history instead of starting anew.


  • Democracy After Citizens United

    This is the lead article of a forum on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down McCain-Feingold and what it means for our democracy.

    Over the course of this year, Boston Review has published four essays drawn from a lecture series at Harvard University. That series launched a five-year research project to understand and help to remedy the problem of “institutional corruption.”

    Institutional corruption does not refer to the knowing violation of any law or ethical rule. This is not the problem of Rod Blagojevich, or, more generally, of bad souls acting badly. It instead describes an influence, financial or otherwise, within an economy of influence, that weakens the effectiveness of an institution, especially by weakening public trust in that institution. (An “economy of influence” rather than the simpler “system of influence” to emphasize the reciprocal character of such influence, often requiring little or no direct coordination.)


    Instead, this is “corruption” because it weakens the integrity of the institution, of Congress itself. The framers intended Congress to be “dependent upon the People alone.” But the private funding of public campaigns has bred within Congress a second, and conflicting, dependency. As with an alcoholic mother trying to care for her children, that conflicting dependency does not change the good intentions of members of Congress—they still want to serve the public interest they thought themselves elected to serve. But as with an alcoholic mother trying to care for her children, that conflicting dependency distracts members from their good intentions, directing their focus more and more toward the challenge of raising money.

  • Publishing

    • Joint Open Letter to International Publishers

      Scholarly journals and monographs are knowledge created by worldwide scientists and scholars. With the efforts of Chinese libraries and international publishers, China has introduced a large number of international full text STM journal databases in recent years, which has indeed improved the wide dissemination and sharing of knowledge, and has played an important role in the development of Chinese research and education.
      However, in recent years, the prices of international STM journals and their full text databases have continuously been increased well above the general CPI increase rate. Some went up annually at the rate of more than 10%, and a few have raised their prices even at an annual rate above 20%. This has dramatically pushed Chinese library acquisition expenses for international journals to double or even triple within no more than 10 years, causing some libraries to reduce the subscriptions. Facing the international financial crisis, many countries have kept their library budgets under strict caps or even cut library budgets, and Chinese libraries have also experienced severe pressures for rigorously controlling their subscription budgets.

    • “A completely new model for us”: The Guardian gives outsiders the power to publish for the first time

      The Guardian network comes at time when science blog networks populated by writers with particular — and highly focused — areas of expertise are proliferating. Last week, the Public Library of Science, a nonprofit publisher of open-access journals emphasizing the biological sciences, launched its own 11-blog network. PLoS Blogs joins Wired Science, Scientopia, and others. And, of course, science blogs have been in the news more than usual of late, with ScienceBlogs and the scandal that was PepsiGate. That scandal — in which PepsiCo tapped its own “experts” to contribute content to the otherwise proudly independent blog network — didn’t precipitate the Guardian’s own foray into science blog networking, which has been in the works since this spring. However, “it certainly accelerated everything,” Jha says. “I think there was soul-searching going on among the bloggers out there: ‘What do we do next? How do we do it?’ And that, in turn, gave the Guardian staff the sense that, okay, now is the time to do it.”

    • AP Begins Crediting Bloggers as News Sources

      In a letter to its members last week, Associated Press made the announcement that bloggers should be cited as a news source. This is a significant move from the AP, given that they have a history of not exactly ‘getting on’ with bloggers. Given that such a large news organisation has made a point of recognising bloggers as a viable news source, which they should have done a long time ago, it has much wider implications on how bloggers affect the news agenda and overall news industry. We’ve already seen some developments in this area, such as publishers employing bloggers on the ground, but I think this goes one further than that. The announcement has served to recognise the work that bloggers put into breaking and reporting stories. But interestingly they make a point of saying that they must credit information where it occured from a website, so you would hope that this would cover Twitter as well, given that so many stories break on here.

    • Some Newspapers, Tracking Readers Online, Shift Coverage

      Now, because of technology that can pinpoint what people online are viewing and commenting on, how much time they spend with an article and even how much money an article makes in advertising revenue, newspapers can make more scientific decisions about allocating their ever scarcer resources.

  • Schools

    • Repeat After Me: We Can’t Have Great Schools Without Great Teachers

      And when you start with that simple truth, the solutions become pretty clear. Let’s recruit our best and brightest. Develop the ones we have to become better teachers. Reward the ones who are doing a great job. Recruit and train talented principals. And after trying everything, help find another job for those teachers who aren’t cutting it.

    • Schools: The Disaster Movie

      Then Guggenheim mentioned another film he’d made—An Inconvenient Truth—and Canada snapped to attention. “I had absolutely seen it,” Canada recalls, “and I was stunned because it was so powerful that my wife told me we couldn’t burn incandescent bulbs anymore. She didn’t become a zealot; she just realized that [climate change] was serious and we have to do something.” Canada agreed to be interviewed by Guggenheim, but still had his doubts. “I honestly didn’t think you could make a movie to get people to care about the kids who are most at risk.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Congolese chimpanzees face new ‘wave of killing’ for bushmeat

      The scientists who carried out the study believe that the region, in the north of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is home to at least 35,000 of the unusually large sub-species of chimpanzees. This is probably the largest population of chimps in Africa, but such is the hunger for chimp meat that the researchers believe the animals are facing a “major and urgent threat” and that northern DRC is now “witnessing the beginning of a massive ape decline.”

    • How the open source culture could impact climate change

      Ever wonder what you get when you leverage the power of the open source culture to combat global warming? I didn’t. Until I heard about Coalition of the Willing–an animated film about an online war against global warming in a post-Copenhagen world. This is collaboration, participation, and meritocracy coming together to tackle a world-wide issue.

    • BP oil spill robots to report on water pollution

      The news comes ahead of the release of BP’s internal report, expected to be published in the coming weeks, in which BP is widely reported to admit engineers misread pressure data, among other errors. BP has not commented.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Breaking News on EFF Location Privacy Win: Courts May Require Search Warrants for Cell Phone Location Records

      This morning, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia issued its highly anticipated ruling in a hotly contested cell phone location privacy case. EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief and participated at oral argument in the case, arguing that federal electronic privacy law gives judges the discretion to deny government requests for cell phone location data when the government fails to show probable cause that a crime has been committed.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • TalkTalk rapped for failing to talk about malware trial

      ISP TalkTalk has been reprimanded by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for failing to disclose enough about a malware system it was launching

      The ICO said the ISP should have told both it and customers about the trial.

      The system is controversial because it collects the urls of websites visited by TalkTalk customers.

    • Open the airwaves to close the bandwidth shortage

      OpenBTS provides the answer. It’s a simple, open source framework that can create a GSM cellular network at one-tenth current costs. It’s licensed under the AGPL.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EBay, Facebook, Vivendi, General Motors, Ford: Intellectual Property

      Red Hat Seeks Early Examples of ‘Fedora’ Mark Use

      Red Hat Inc. asked members of the Fedora community to gather up examples of the use of the “Fedora” mark for possible infringement actions, according to a request posted on the FedoraProject.org website.

      The legal department of the Raleigh, North Carolina-based software company is seeking to protect marks used with the Fedora, a Linux-based open-source operating system. Fedora is being created by Red Hat employees and the user community.

      Among the items sought are photos or scans of anything like CD’s, T-shirts, key rings and mouse pads, plus webpage printouts from before Jan. 30, 2007. The company is also seeking issues of the Linux magazine and other publications that may mention Fedora published before that date.

    • Copyrights

      • Police in File-Sharing Raids Across Europe, WikiLeaks Host Targeted

        Police in up to 14 countries around Europe have coordinated to carry out raids against suspected file-sharing servers this morning. Locations in The Netherlands, Czech Republic and Hungary were targeted but Sweden appears to have borne the brunt of the action. Seven locations including PRQ, which hosts WikiLeaks, have been raided.

      • Musopen Project Aims to Truly Liberate Already Free Music

        To get in on the project, head over to Kickstarter and pledge a couple of bucks. As we’ve mentioned before, Kickstarter is a great, risk-free way for people to donate money to a worthy cause. If the group reaches its goal, you’re on the hook for your donation. If it doesn’t, you won’t be asked to pony up any cash at all. With the project a mere $700 away from it’s goal, Musopen is likely to raise the funds to rent the orchestra they need to realize the dream of finally liberating music that’s already been free for years.

      • Copyright 4 Educators (ZA)
      • CC Movie
      • Copyright Criminals
      • ACTA

        • Where are ACTA’s “political corruption” provisions gone?

          In a public discourse it is common that angry crowds describe their governments as corrupt, swear on their government policies. That is not what I am talking about here. That would be emotional ranting but not actual political corruption. The case here is different, and it is a clear case. The language was largely borrowed from the so-called development agenda process at WIPO.

        • Secret Copyright Treaty Draft Leaked After Washington Talks

          Another round of negotiations, another leak: Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) published what it says is the latest draft of the secret Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) over the weekend.

Clip of the Day

Motorola Droid 2 v Droid X

Credit: TinyOgg

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