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10.17.10

Links 17/10/2010: KDE Netbook Desktop, Angry Birds a Real Hit on Linux Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 5:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ten reasons Linux is the best choice for kids

    You may think your day job is demanding, but it’s often nothing compared with providing tech support for the family. That’s where Linux comes in, says Jack Wallen.

    The problem with working in IT is that when we go home, our job often continues. Sometimes, keeping our children’s computers running can be a bigger challenge than sorting out the adults at work.

    But if you install Linux at home, you can avoid the headaches. That’s because sound reasons exist for migrating young users from other operating systems.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

    • Chrome OS due soon, now in Release Candidate status

      Google’s Chrome operating system may be ready in about a month’s time, since bug comments indicate the code reached Release Candidate status. The information is sure and says the operating system is almost finalized, its latest build being identified as near-ready 0.9.78.1. This is corroborating with a mention of a Google employee referring to a November 11th date when he was asked about a specific feature of Chrome.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Multitouch and Qt

        It’s been 11 days since the Qt announcement of new gesture support, and I wanted to blog about it right away… but alas, now will have to do. The folks at Qt have been working on multi-touch support for a while now. They blogged about gestures, multi-touch, Mac support, Windows support, and then at UDS in Brussels (May 2010), they shared their 4.8 plans for multi-touch with the Ubuntu community.

        Until recently, there has been no MT stack for Linux. The great news is that the folks at Qt are very interested in getting Qt to work with uTouch. Stephen Bregma has been working on the GEIS API that toolkits will have the option of taking advantage of, and we were delighted to hear from Zeno and Denis that the Qt API they have envisioned and planned is very similar to GEIS, and should make for an excellent match. They are going to be talking with the community about this at UDS two weeks from now, in fact :-)

      • The KDE Netbook Desktop – Continued

        I wrote a few days ago about Kubuntu on Netbooks. After a few days of experimentation and discovery, I’m going to continue and expand that topic to the KDE Netbook Desktop in general. This is likely to be pretty long, so if you want to either bail out or get a cup of coffee before you get in too far, now is the time…

        I first installed the KDE Netbook Desktop (via Kubuntu 10.10) on my Samsung N150 Plus. I assumed that it would not be terribly interesting or useful on my HP 2133 Mini-Note netbooks, because of the limited graphic support for the VIA Chrome9 graphic controller. That assumption was also based on the fact that the Ubuntu Netbook Edition, with the new Unity desktop, would not even install on the Mini-Note. However, after seeing how NDE Netbook worked on the Samsung (and basically being blown away by it), and seeing how it handles and configures desktop effects, I started to think that it might actually work pretty well on the Mini-Note despite the limited graphics. So I set out to investigate the possibilities…

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Goals of the Keyring and Seahorse Projects

        In an effort to get better organized, I’ve put together a page listing the goals of the gnome-keyring and seahorse projects. It’s all broken down into tasks, plans, and what’s already done.

  • Distributions

    • What your distro can do for you that upstream cannot

      Some time ago a user on Gentoo Forums has pointed out that gecko-mediaplayer plugin does not load in www-client/chromium. It turns out there is a compatibility issue that leads to a browser hang, so upstream just blacklisted the plugin (based on file name). The browser has a hardcoded list of plugins that it will not load at all.

    • Debian Family

      • Debious – A dubious Debian packaging GUI

        Just some little (unfinished) concept mockup. Seeing that much of it still ends up as a “text box with syntax highlighting” it’d probably make sense to implement it as a gedit plugin.

      • Iceweasel Has To Restart

        I’ve noticed an odd pattern of behaviour in Iceweasel (the unbranded version of Mozilla Firefox that comes with Debian) on Debian Squeeze. It randomly pops up a dialog box telling you that it has to restart Iceweasel to remove or update an addon, and gives you a choice of “restart” or “cancel”. What it does not do is tell you what the offending addon actually is, or what it’s about to do.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • LOK 2010 (Budapest)
        • Canonical, Ltd. Finally On Record: Seeking Open Core

          I’ve written before about my deep skepticism regarding the true motives of Canonical, Ltd.’s advocacy and demand of for-profit corporate copyright assignment without promises to adhere to copyleft. I’ve often asked Canonical employees, including Jono Bacon, Amanda Brock, Jane Silber, and Mark Shuttleworth himself to explain (a) why exactly they demand copyright assignment on their projects, rather than merely having contributors agree to the GNU GPL formally (like projects such as Linux do), and (b) why, having received a contributor’s copyright assignment, Canonical, Ltd. refuses to promise to keep the software copylefted and never proprietarize it (as FSF has always done in assignments). When I ask these questions of Canonical, Ltd. employees, they invariably artfully change the subject.

        • Dual-screen version of Ubuntu 10.10′s default wallpaper

          Dual screen users can now benefit from the beauty of Maverick’s default wallpaper thanks to the following dedicated dual-screen version by Kyle Baker.

        • Auto Bug Expiry on Launchpad

          Launchpad has always advertised that we auto-expire inactive incomplete bugs, but we haven’t done this for awhile now. Some developers are using their own launchpadlib scripts which set bug tasks to the EXPIRED status based on the same criteria that Launchpad will use.

        • Ubuntu 10.10

          So my laptop was crapping out. The wifi wasn’t working. It was getting absurdly slow. I tried running Vista’s recovery and it ran into some sort of infinite loop during the process. I have SATA hard drives so I needed a floppy to load XP. Obviously, I don’t have a floppy drive and I didn’t really want to buy a USB floppy.

          So I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 10.10 and I must say, Linux has come a long way.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source investment to increase – survey

    Has open source reached a tipping point? A new survey has found many organisations are planning to invest more in it, as more perceived benefits are understood beyond the obvious cost advantage over proprietary software.

    Accenture’s survey of 300 large organisations in the private and public sector across the US, UK and Ireland has found many committing to clear strategies and policies for open source software (OSS) development.

  • Web Browsers

    • Web browser speed test: Chrome, Firefox, IE9, Opera and Safari head-to-head

      With Internet Explorer 9 being acclaimed as the fastest ever browser client from Microsoft, DaniWeb decided to put it to the test against Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari and see just how quick it really is in a real world test of web browsing speed.

      [...]

      And so, without any further ado, the results of the Great DaniWeb Browser Speed Shoot-Out are:

      1. Chrome (37/50)
      2. Safari (35/50)
      3. Opera (34/50)
      4. IE9 (23/50)
      5. Firefox (21/50)

    • Mozilla

      • State of Firefox 4.0 on GNU+Linux

        So we’ve probably all seen the mock-ups for Firefox 4.0 by now, but has any of it been implemented? In the Windows version, yes. On the GNU+Linux version, partially. And it looks like it’s going to stay that way. I’m going to show you what’s different in the current development version (nightly 4.0b8pre) from 3.6.

  • Oracle

    • Java: The Unipolar Moment, On distributed governance for distributed software

      Which brings me to IBM. In the good old days everyone knew that Sun defined Java, while BEA and IBM made money from it. These days not so much. But if IBM’s can’t influence the JCP as much as it would like it can now play divide and rule. I expect to see IBM giving Eclipse and OSGi a concerted push over the next couple of years.

      Google is another Java player. It bought Instantiations and is giving away the product. Search company becomes IDE supplier. Weird. But then Instantiations had built some slick tools for building Google Web Toolkit apps. GWT- what’s that? Oh nothing much – just a technology which brings Java and Javascript together in a development model. How many awful Java front end technologies have we seen over the years? Java ServerFaces and so on. Well GWT is a much cleaner approach to application development, and suits web apps – thus Google’s interest. Then we have Google AppEngine- a place to run Java apps. Java in the cloud? So far Google has made all the running in Platform as a Service thinking and delivery.

      EMC VMWare SpringSource is another major center of gravity for Java leadership. SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson after all is the guy that found a way to make JEE not so painful to develop. With his ambition and technical skill, and EMC’s heft- and of course Paul Maritz in the picture- there is now way Oracle will have Java leadership all to itself. It speaks volumes that Rod didn’t even bother to attend Java One this year- then, neither did the RedMonks.

      I’d really like to know your thoughts on the the idea of a multipolar Java world. Who is going to be China?

      My biggest issues is that Oracle seems to think benign neglect will work in the Java world. It won’t. And when your salesmen start denying that your app servers run OSGi, when they do, then you have a problem.

    • Oracle Asks Founders Of The Documents Foundation To Leave

      After Oracle acquired SUN Microsystem, some leading members of the OpenOffice.org community forked OpenOffice.org as LibreOffice. They also set up The Document Foundation to continue the independent works of the OpenOffice.org community.

      However, Oracle is not taking their move well. They want the founders of The Documents Foundation to leave the OpenOffice.org council. According to Oracle, their works with The Documents Foundation and LibreOffice will conflict with that of OpenOffice.org.

    • Oracle Asks OpenOffice Community Members To Leave

      “In an unprecedented move with respect to other forks, Oracle asked the founders of the Document Foundation and LibreOffice to leave the OpenOffice.org Community Council. Apparently there is a conflict of interest, which concerns the Oracle employees.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • In Praise of Copying
    • The Impact of Open Notebook Science
    • Open Data

      • In which I suggest a preprint archive for clinical trials

        The ArXiv preprint archive for research articles in physics, mathematics, computer science and related disciplines was initiated by Paul Ginsparg in 1991. ArXiv enables the rapid dissemination of research articles prior to peer review, and it quickly became very successful in this. ArXiv has not made the peer-reviewed journal obsolete, but rather provides a service that traditional journals – and that also includes Open Access journals – can’t provide. By 1998, more than 90% of all peer-reviewed papers published in high-energy physics first appeared on ArXiv. Nature Precedings was started in 2007 to provide similar services for research in biology, medicine (except clinical trials), chemistry and earth sciences. In addition, many preprints are also hosted in institutional repositories.

    • Open Access/Content

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • In The Neutral Zone
  • Demoscene: Interview with Romeo Knight!

    For many people, Romeo Knight was the defacto musician on the scene. Now, approximately 20 years after I was introduced to the Amiga computer and subsequently Linux, I find myself conducting a Q&A with a person who influenced my computing decisions so many years ago.

  • Directories and how we could do better

    So instead of having to import the media it will be offered to explore the media and choose from there what you want to use. So it cuts out the file chooser dialog altogether. Also you should be allowed to move things to trash inside of the program.

    All this can be done with tracker to get the mimetypes for each of the file types I know but id like to have the file system organisation done in the background anyway and have the applications just looking at the directory lists to get the files for use in the program. So im not for any file explorers like nautilus or even search and other stuff to find files. The applications should do that job for the user and cut out the middle man.

  • Science

    • Devastation and Recovery at Mt. St. Helens

      The 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, which began with a series of small earthquakes in mid-March and peaked with a cataclysmic flank collapse, avalanche, and explosion on May 18, was not the largest nor longest-lasting eruption in the mountain’s recent history. But as the first eruption in the continental United States during the era of modern scientific observation, it was uniquely significant.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Brazil Should Lead on Access to Essential Medicines

      What is Brazil going to do with its new influence? The short and obvious answer is: Brazil is going to pursue the national self-interest of Brazil, just like every other country does. If we asked every Brazilian candidate for federal office, do you think that Brazil should pursue its interests? I would expect them all to say yes.

      But how shall Brazil define the national self-interest that it pursues? Shall it define that national self-interest narrowly, or broadly? Here you have a real debate.

      For example, a few months ago there was a spirited debate in Brazil about Brazil’s role in international diplomacy concerning Iran’s nuclear program. Some politicians and voices in the Brazilian media said: Why is Brazil messing around with this? Brazil should mind its own business. This reflected what the U.S. government and much of the U.S. media were saying: Why is Brazil interfering in our turf?

      But the Brazilian government said: We are minding our own business. If some people in the U.S. government want to use war, the threat of war, or sanctions to prevent Iran from enriching uranium, that’s Brazil’s business, because Brazil enriches uranium, and therefore, it is in the interest of Brazil to defend the right of Iran to enrich uranium. By defending Iran’s rights, Brazil was defending its own. As President Lula said, “When we look at Iran, we see ourselves.”

      I give this example of a dispute over how broadly Brazil should perceive the self-interest that it pursues because it’s an example that one could easily know about from watching the news or reading the newspaper. Regardless of what one thinks about Iran’s nuclear program, this example shows there is a serious dispute, in Brazil and in the world, about how Brazil should perceive its self-interest, narrowly or broadly.

      But there is another very important example which one rarely sees discussed unless one is looking for it, and that is the dispute between countries like Brazil and countries like the United States over what national laws and policies a country like Brazil should have regarding intellectual property claims, in particular, regarding the intellectual property claims of corporations headquartered in the United States and Europe.

      The US and Europe have worked to institutionalize globally a particular set of rules and expectations regarding intellectual property claims. This is a fairly recent phenomenon. Twenty years ago, establishing rules regarding intellectual property claims was largely considered a national affair.

      But in 1994, when the World Trade Organization was created, the US and other developed countries successfully added something called the TRIPS agreement to the founding rules of the WTO. The TRIPS agreement extended to developing countries in the WTO strong protections for the intellectual property claims of corporations based in the US and Western Europe. The promise of the WTO for developing countries was that it would guarantee their access to sell in the markets of the rich countries. So, essentially the US and Europe used the leverage of access to their markets to impose a global set of rules on the treatment of intellectual property claims.

      It’s important to understand that the addition of the TRIPS agreement to the WTO had nothing to do with the classical theory of “free trade.” There is a longstanding, spirited debate about the theory of free trade, and whether the grand claims that have been made about how removing restrictions on international commerce would promote economic growth were oversold. But the TRIPS agreement has nothing to do with the principles of free trade.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Anxiety
    • How propaganda is disseminated: WikiLeaks Edition

      This is how the U.S. government and American media jointly disseminate propaganda: in the immediate wake of some newsworthy War on Terror event, U.S. Government officials (usually anonymous) make wild and reckless — though unverifiable — claims. The U.S. media mindlessly trumpets them around the world without question or challenge. Those claims become consecrated as widely accepted fact. And then weeks, months or years later, those claims get quietly exposed as being utter falsehoods, by which point it does not matter, because the goal is already well-achieved: the falsehoods are ingrained as accepted truth.

      I’ve documented how this process works in the context of American air attacks (it’s immediately celebrated that we Killed the Evil Targeted Terrorist Leader [who invariably turns out to be alive and then allegedly killed again in the next air strike], while the dead are always, by definition, “militants”); with covered-up American war crimes, with the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman frauds — the same process was also evident with the Israeli attack on the flotilla — and now we find a quite vivid illustration of this deceitful process in the context of WikiLeaks’ release of Afghanistan war documents…

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • France hit by new wave of mass pension protests

      A fifth day of protests in France against proposed pension reforms brought 825,000 people on to the streets, police said, although unions put the figure at 2.5m to 3m.

    • Two Faces: Demystifying the Mortgage Electronic Registration System’s Land Title Theory

      Hundreds of thousands of home foreclosure lawsuits have focused judicial scrutiny on the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”). This Article updates and expands upon an earlier piece by exploring the implications of state Supreme Court decisions holding that MERS is not a mortgagee in security agreements that list it as such. In particular this Article looks at: (1) the consequences on land title records of recording mortgages in the name of a purported mortgagee that is not actually mortgagee as a matter of law; (2) whether a security agreement that fails to name an actual mortgagee can successfully convey a property interest; and (3) whether county governments may be entitled to reimbursement of recording fees avoided through the use of false statements associated with the MERS system. This Article concludes with a discussion of steps needed to rebuild trustworthy real property ownership records.

    • Why is Obama putting a Fannie Mae/Goldman Sachs lobbyist/consultant as NSA?

      Obama last week tapped Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor. What’s Donilon’s resume?

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • LobbyLens
    • Concerned Taxpayers of America supported by only two donors

      The group’s rapid creation – and its narrow funding base – illustrates how one or two wealthy donors can have a dramatic impact on political races, particularly in the wake of recent court rulings that have swept away many traditional spending limits. The situation also underscores how the precise motivations and goals of many independent groups can remain stubbornly opaque, even when disclosure is required.

      The Concerned Taxpayers, which lists a Capitol Hill townhouse as its address, has spent $450,000 on television advertising targeting just two lawmakers: Reps. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Frank M. Kratovil Jr. (D-Md.).

      When the group began targeting DeFazio several weeks ago, both he and his GOP opponent, tea party favorite Art Robinson, said they were unfamiliar with the group and were surprised by the ads.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Court says University sanction over Facebook postings violated Charter

      An Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench has issued a precedent setting ruling that relates to Facebook comments and, specifically, whether the Charter of Rights and Freedoms can apply to universities. In the case of Pridgen v. University of Calgary, the court ruled that the post-secondary institution violated two students’ Charter rights when it sanctioned them for posting critical comments about a professor on Facebook. The students were found by the University to have committed non-academic misconduct and were placed on probation as a result of their Facebook comments. They applied for judicial review to set aside that decision on various grounds, including that their right to free expression under the Charter. The University argued before the court that the students had committed acts of defamation on Facebook.

    • The GOP vs. Google and Microsoft in a Leaked Memo on Privacy Law Reform

      The argument for reform of the 1986 law is that it hasn’t kept up with technological advances, meaning that there’s legal confusion over the privacy of our emails, smart phones, text messages, and social networking communications, and that some parts of the law are out of date — leading, for example, to no warrant being needed for police to read your emails after they are 180 days old. The argument against reform is that increasing privacy protections will make it harder for police to track down cyber criminals — the boys in blue most often bring up the specter of child pornographers.

    • 610G settles webcam case

      “Webcamgate,” the Lower Merion School District soap opera about two teens and two school-issued laptops that spied on them, was never supposed to be about money.

      But that’s exactly what brought the whole screwy saga to a close yesterday – a boatload of money.

      The district’s Board of School Directors voted unanimously to pay $610,000 to settle lawsuits filed by the families of Harriton High sophomore Blake Robbins and Lower Merion High graduate Jalil Hasan, both of whom were unknowingly photographed scores of times at home by webcams on Apple MacBooks.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • News Corp. Shuts Off Hulu Access To Cablevision Customers – And Turns It Back On [UPDATED]

      UPDATE: That was fast. People familiar with the situation say that News Corp. is changing tactics and will turn on access to Fox.com and Fox programming on Hulu for Cablevision’s customers. This could take a “few hours” to roll out across the Cablevision footprint, I’m told.

    • Why are U.S. Net Services Slow to Migrate North?

      Netflix, the popular online movie rental service, launched in Canada last month, providing consumers with the option to download an unlimited number of movies and television shows for a flat monthly fee. While the Netflix debut was marred by an ill-advised public relations stunt that involved actors masquerading as excited consumers, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that the long delays in migrating the service north once again raised questions over why popular online services rarely view Canada as a priority destination.

    • Telus CEO touts ‘Switzerland’ approach to content
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Anonymous Takes Out UK Intellectual Property Office Website

      As part of the ongoing slaughter of any institute or company that defends copyright, Anonymous has now taken down the website of the UK Intellectual Property Office. The website of the Government body has been unresponsive for nearly a day after the ‘Operation Payback” attack started yesterday afternoon.

    • Copyrights

      • Canadian Copyright Book Released in Print and Online
      • Big media wants more piracy busting from Google

        At a time when Google is negotiating with television, movie, and music producers for the recently launched GoogleTV and an upcoming digital music service, the company has been sending mixed messages about how much help it will provide in removing links to pirated songs from its search index.

      • Copyright battle in Ohio Gov. race over use of clip to expose ‘steelworker’ as actor

        Given the facts as I know them, I’m with EFF on this one. The Ohio Democratic Party’s use of clip was strictly non-commercial: to make a political point about Kasich’s ad. And the clips they used were very short — just long enough to demonstrate that the “steelworker” really wasn’t. Arginate’s action will have the unfortunate effect of keeping the video off YouTube at the height of the campaign. YouTube can re-post the video at any time; yes, it would lose the DMCA safe harbor as to this video, but it doesn’t need any safe harbor given that the Ohio Democratic Party’s inclusion of the clip is almost certainly a non-infringing fair use. YouTube has taken such a step before; it should do so again.

        [...]

        Copyright battle in Ohio Gov. race over use of clip to expose ‘steelworker’ as actor

Clip of the Day

ThistleWeb: The Digital Prism Screencast – Start


Credit: TinyOgg

10.16.10

Links 16/10/2010: GIMP 2.7 for Testing, Roktober Fundraiser at KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 1:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Applications Are Always Easier with Moxa IO Library

    Linux is an excellent operating platform in automation industry due to its open-source, reliability, stability, and security.

  • Short break and a clean slate

    The more I have played with Linux and added extra features or software, the more I think, “If I had a complete melt down, how easily could I get a new system up and running the way I like it”. Happily there are some quick answers to this from a preparation point of view. Linux Mint, which remains my system of choice to date, comes with a few handy “end of the world” features. The first of which is a general backup tool to back up the contents of your Home folder.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • QEMU 0.13 Final Is Ready With New Features

        QEMU, the processor emulator that can be used alone for running unmodified guest operating systems and can optionally take advantage of KVM (the Kernel-based Virtual Machine) for greater virtualization performance with Intel and AMD hardware, has finally reached version 0.13 after suffering from a few delays. As was reported by us back in January of this year, QEMU 0.13 would focus on bringing new features and with this release they have achieved introducing several new features.

  • Applications

    • 7 of the Best Free Linux Synthesizers

      A software synthesizer, also known as a softsynth, is computer software which creates digital audio. Computer software that generates music is not a recent arrival. However, with processors that offer multiple cores and faster clock speeds, software synthesizers can complete tasks that previously needed dedicated hardware. The advantage, of course, of software synthesizers is that they are less expensive than dedicated hardware, and simpler to integrate with other types of music software.

    • Wallpaper changer for Linux

      Wally is a Qt4 wallpaper / background changer, using multiple sources like files, folders, FTP remote folders, Flickr, Yahoo!, Panoramio, Pikeo, Ipernity, Photobucket, Buzznet, Picasa, Smugmug, Bing, Google, Vladstudio and deviantART images.

    • Gimp 2.7 released for testing and we are Impressed with the outcome!!

      The latest version of Gimp, version 2.7.1 has been released for testing purposes. Compared to its predecessors, it promises to include a host of new features that were previously unavailable. It seems that the developers of Gimp have finally started paying attention to the requests of the community about the serious need to include certain all important changes to the software, so that it can rival its nearest contender and the established benchmark in photo editing software, the almighty Photoshop from Adobe.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Acer to Offer MS Windows and Linux on Netbooks

        Acer has confirmed it will include both Windows and Google Android operating systems on all its future dual-core netbooks. While the idea of a twin-system machine isn’t new, this represents the biggest commitment yet by a manufacturer to the concept.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Databases

    • Strata Week: Army anomalies

      The US Army is vexed by the problem of troops who become disaffected and, by extension, a risk to the operations they’re involved in. Through a DARPA-sponsored research project, the Army hopes to use big data analytics to identify individuals likely to pose a threat.

  • Oracle

    • Microsoft: Open Source Code is Too Expensive, Harms Students’ Grades

      Microsoft attacks OpenOffice (and open-code in general) in a new testimonial-based ad

      Microsoft’s has unleashed a somewhat surprising attack ad (video) against the popular OpenOffice suite, a free, open-source product from Oracle Corp-subsidiary Sun Microsystems according to a report from Information Week.

      The commercial begins with somewhat foreboding music and the text “Considering OpenOffice? Consider this…”

    • [libreoffice-marketing] US marketing list started

      I have just started the US marketing list for LibreOffice.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Open Source Computing

      A number of interesting and accessible programming languages are essentially open source projects, in which source code for interpreters and compilers in the reference implementation is available for all under an open source licence, and where the standard build of the language includes open source libraries. The most obvious examples here are of scripting languages for web based applications such as Perl, PHP and Python, which represent a way in to software development for many who may not have studied academic computing.

  • Semi-Open Source

    • SugarCRM sees record third quarter growth

      Commercial open source specialist SugarCRM has announced that it has achieved record growth in the third quarter of 2010. Discussing the announcement, SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin said, “The continued momentum we are seeing around the world is a testament to the fact that businesses of all types are demanding more flexible, intuitive and open solutions,” adding that, “Businesses are smarter than ever, and understand the value of open solutions”.

  • Project Releases

    • Cinelerra 4.2 Video Editor Released

      While OpenShot and PiTiVi are the two currently most talked about open-source non-linear video editing systems for Linux, that’s not all there is out there. There’s also Kdenlive, Kino, an open-source Lightworks is coming soon, and then perhaps the most advanced open-source video editor of them all: Cinelerra.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Universities in an age of information abundance

        The current debate over higher education funding in the UK ignores the crucial point that information is becoming cheaper and easier to produce, challenging the monopoly of the university in public life.

    • Open Hardware

      • The FSF pushes free (as in speech) hardware

        FSF license compliance engineer Brett Smith said, “Every software component needed to produce endorsable hardware is now available. We have several GNU/Linux distributions that only include free software and are completely functional on the right hardware. We have the Linux-libre kernel that does not include non-free microcode. And we have cutting-edge mobile platforms like Android and MeeGo that are based on free software.

Leftovers

  • Eight Tech Signs the World really might be coming to an End

    2. Enlightenment E17 libraries reach beta. After ten years and several rewrites later of being defined as “alpha” software, E17 has finally reached a beta stage. It is yet to be seen if we will see a 1.0 release any time soon, but for the time being a beta release is a step in the right direction. If you would like to easily check out the E17 beta, take a peek at my Ubuntu E17 LiveDVD.

  • Why Twitter Is Massively Undervalued Compared To Facebook

    Twitter was valued at one billion dollars in its last round of financing, but we believe it may in fact be severely undervalued relative to Facebook because Twitter’s value proposition is less obvious.

  • Science

    • Science Blogs and Caveat Emptor

      If you are a science scholar, you hope that all scientific articles that you read are grounded in fact. There is a lot of background information to guide you, including statistical data on what professional journals are read widely, with papers therein that produce citations by other subsequent papers and in general, influence the direction of forthcoming new science. As scholars publishing in professional journals, we are schooled in the importance of factual reliability and impact of articles we read in science journals. In terms of impact, we know of various collective valuations of journals through metrics like the so-called “Impact Factor”. By extension, editors and reviewers reinforce the meaningfulness of Impact Factors by explicit attention to the reliability of submitted articles; if the Scientific Method has not been adequately followed, then there should be a downwardly adjusted evaluation of impact. The picture of scientifically grounded innovations feeding progress in science is well established. I firmly believe that this system has served science well and that the scientific literature has provided generally reliable information and vast benefits to society over the centuries to the present and will continue doing so into the future.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • MoD braced for painful weight-loss surgery next week

      The outlines of the situation are plain enough. Before the current economic crisis began, even before the Twin Towers fell, the MoD’s plans for buying equipment had been allowed to escalate out of control. In essence, more expensive things were scheduled into the kit programme than the budget had provided for. This situation developed a full decade ago following many ruinous decisions taken in the 1980s and 90s. The current government’s vehement assertions that the whole mess is Labour’s fault are quite untrue – the previous generation of Tories should shoulder an equal share of the blame.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Unprecedented day of action to stop climate change on 10/10/10

      From beaches in South Africa where penguins were rescued, to parks in Moscow, where 3,000 kg of acorns were collected to replant trees in forests devastated by fires this summer, thousands of people got to work yesterday to stop climate change.

    • Princes responds to your letters with empty words

      As part of our campaign to save the oceans, Princes tuna, an industry leader in canned tuna products, has been receiving thousands of emails from people around the world raising questions about the sustainability of their tuna. Princes uses tuna fished with unselective methods that end up taking many sharks, turtles, skates, rays and often young tuna. So in addition to threatening endangered wildlife – Princes are also preventing the proper recovery of the fish stocks that they rely on.

    • Climate change apocalypse NOW

      The ASA ruled, in March of this year, that the ad was OK to air, dismissing claims that the ad was misleading because it presented human induced climate change as a fact, and had exaggerated the possible effects of climate change on the UK with its depiction of “strange weather and flooding”.

    • U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels
  • Finance

    • QE1 vs QE2

      Quantitative Easing, or QE, is a powerful monetary tool available to central agencies under fiat money systems. It is the art of “printing money” to buy assets. This creates asset inflation.

      The FED has done a first round of QE in march of 08, stabilizing the markets and sparking a market rally the likes of which not seen since the great depression. The FED has recently hinted it would do QE2.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Bruce Schneier Calls Facebook Worst Privacy Offender

      A high-profile and widely respected security expert is not pleased with Facebook. Indeed, Bruce Schneier said earlier today at the RSA Security Europe Conference that he believes Facebook is the worst social network when it comes to respecting individuals’ privacy.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Apple Wins Trademark for ‘There’s an App for That’

      Heads up to anyone who wants to borrow “There’s an app for that” or some variation thereon as an advertising slogan: Apple now officially owns the trademark on the phrase. Using it will cost you.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Bay appeal ends, verdict to follow late next month

        The Pirate Bay appeal hearing ended today, but the court’s verdict won’t be revealed until 26 November.

        Officials at the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm, Sweden, have confirmed that a separate hearing will take place for a defendant who has been absent during the re-trial.

      • Anonymous plants pirate flag on MPAA website

        Hacktivists used DNS cache poisoning to deface an MPAA website, according to security analysts.

      • French taxpayer to subsidise music buyers

        The European Commission has approved a French scheme to subsidise music downloads for 15-25 year olds. The taxpayer will contribute €25 per user per year to every “Carte Musique” cardholder, which entitles the user to €50 worth of downloads. The cardholder will stump up the other half of the cost of the card.

      • French to bankroll music-buying
      • Don’t Blame Piracy On Us, Say Google and Leading Russian Web Firms

        Some of the top web companies in Russia have published an open letter to the entertainment industries demanding that they stop blaming them for Internet piracy. Google, Vkontakte, Mail.ru and two leading search engines say that the responsibility for infringements lies with their users and are asking that legal action be directed at them. They are also urging lawmakers to update an outdated legal framework.

      • Ofcom UK Ready to Publish Final Illegal Broadband ISP File Sharing Code of Practice

        Communications regulator Ofcom UK has confirmed that its final Code of Practice for tackling “illegal” internet P2P (File Sharing) copyright infringement by customers of UK broadband providers, which is a requirement of the controversial Digital Economy Act 2010 (DEA), should be published sometime in “the next few weeks”.

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 16/10/2010: GNU/Linux at Alcatel-Lucent, Android 4.0 Rumours

Posted in News Roundup at 7:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to Get Support for Open Source Software

    One of the most persistent myths surrounding Linux and other open source software is that there’s no easy way to get good support. Just this week, for instance, we saw this claim used in Microsoft’s anti-OpenOffice.org video, obviously with the hope of striking fear into business users’ hearts.

  • Nordic Free Software Award 2010 – 7 days left to nominate
  • Open Source Security Camera

    Panasonic39s security cameras at ASIS show innovation in i-PRO. ZoneMinder: Linux Home CCTV and Video Camera Security with Motion . ZoneMinder is a free video camera security application suite, designed for low cost DIY video security including commercial or home CCTV, theft prevention and child or family . WV-SP305 Megapixel Fixed Network Camera, an i -PRO SmartHD productPanasonic System Networks Company of America showcases its expanding line of i -PRO SmartHD products at ASIS 2010, highlighting. . Emphasising open systems interoperability at ASIS 2010, Panasonic will re-launch the expanded and enhanced Panasonic Solution Developer Network PSDN, which now covers a wider array of product lines and provides additional resources including a larger, more responsive .

  • Open Sourcing Your Company

    Innovative, rapid and cost-effective development and market share expansion are leading an increasing number of software vendors to incorporate open source, both as a technology and a business strategy, into their organizations.

  • The question of Why?

    One question that I am often asked is “Why does a big software company like Adobe (or any other) release technologies to open source?”

    The reasons for open source are widespread, but the basic reasons that a software company gets involved are:

    1. Making revenue from selling a product or service that relies on OSS in some way
    2. Reducing the cost of technology and time to market
    3. Providing a community benefit
    4. Enabling customer led innovation

  • What’s the Return on Investment for Open?

    One of the collaborative projects I’ve worked the most on is Subversion (a system for tracking changes — ”versions” — made to files and folders; hence the name). Subversion was started by my employer, CollabNet. They needed a better version control system for their customers, as part of a larger hosted online collaboration service, and realized that ubiquity and clear lack of lock-in would be strong assets. So CollabNet decided to release Subversion as open source software from the very beginning, and they knew, from past experience with open source projects, that they’d need to put some effort into drawing a community around the code and making it easy to collaborate on the project.

  • Firm creates ‘open source’ tech portal in Dayton region

    Open Source Ohio, which recently went live, is an effort to connect displaced workers, students and recent graduates in programming and software development — and those who want to change careers — with companies and organizations that need work performed on smaller, unfunded projects.

    Here’s how it works: companies submit their needs to see if they meet certain criteria, then those projects are posted at opensourceohio.net. Those displaced workers and other developers volunteer to tailor open source software to complete the projects.

  • Events icon set released
  • Events

    • Diversity, Freedom and Education at the Open World Forum

      I have to confess that I went to the Open World Forum expecting to find some pompous, self-referential, corporate driven marketing show. Luckily, that wasn’t the case, and this is what I’ll try to show here. The pounding, rave-style music at the beginning of each session was really depressing. A few talks by some politicians were not among the highest moments of the Forum (Glyn already explained why and I agree with him). This said, the Forum agenda was quite balanced and diverse. Personally I found it an interesting, useful event, one I would have been glad to attend even if I had not had to present my work. The Forum explored many sides of openness, not just the commercial one of Open Source software. Here are just a couple of examples.

    • EU-funded Projects and Open Source

      Open Source sustainability is rare at best among EU-funded projects, basically because projects’ partners tend to loose any interest in the project when funds are over. As a matter of fact most of them close their websites hosting software, documentation, etc.

  • Web Browsers

    • Google Chrome OS is coming

      When Google first announced Chrome OS, a cloud-focused operating system back in July last year, it all seemed a little too vague. Everyone knew that Google could do exactly this, if it wanted to, but the question was why they would want to. The company also said it was aiming to release Chrome OS by the end of 2010.

      Now it looks as if this could indeed be happening. According to Chrome developer forums the current version of Chrome OS is labelled as a release candidate and a final version looks likely to be released by year-end.

      In a statement published on the TechCrunch site Google said: “We are very happy with the progress of Google Chrome OS and expect devices will be available later this year. We’ll have more details to share at launch.”

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 falling behind schedule?

        Mozilla has missed the scheduled date for releasing Firefox 4 Beta 7. The update was originally due in the last two weeks of September, but did not appear then or later. At Mozilla’s most recent developer meeting, there were 17 blockers, problems which could be a reason for delaying a release, for the beta 7 release and an overall total of 901 blockers in the queue for the eventual Firefox 4 release.

  • SaaS

    • Fog Aims to Advance Ruby in the Cloud

      From a technical implementation perspective, Fog is a Ruby library that can be used by any Ruby project or Ruby on Rails application. Beary noted that some of the API decisions for Fog were made to make it feel familiar with the way that Ruby on Rails applications are written.

    • Engine Yard Announces Formal Support for ‘fog’ to Ensure Application Portability in the Cloud

      Engine Yard now formally supports fog, the leading cloud computing library for Ruby applications and a component in the Engine Yard application platform. Specifically, Wesley Beary the creator of fog and engineer at Engine Yard has transitioned to a new role where he will lead the project and manage its community of contributors full-time.

  • Databases

    • OpenTSDB: A Distributed, Scalable Monitoring System on Top of HBase

      Tracking this based on Hadoop world in tweets. StumbleUpon plans to open source ☞ OpenTSDB: a scalable time series database built on top of HBase.

    • SkySQL Delivers an Alternative Source of Software, Services, and Support for the MySQL® Database

      SkySQL Ab, the alternative source for software, services and support for the MySQL database, today formally launched operations with the release of SkySQL™ Enterprise. The company, which is founded by former MySQL AB executives, personnel, and investors, is committed to furthering the future development of MySQL database technologies, while delivering cost-effective database solutions and exceptional customer service.

    • SGI Announces Support and Record Benchmarks for VoltDB Database
    • Cassandra gets performance tuning options

      The open source NoSQL and Big Data database Apache Cassandra has been updated to version 0.6.6 and now allows users to tune performance. The changes that have been made are based on real world experience with customers and users. They include the ability to adjust Cassandras’s indexing interval to make it more memory efficient with large amounts of small rows with “cold data” and the ability to control when the JVM should trigger garbage collection to avoid the database being paused for several seconds.

  • Oracle

    • Microsoft-Oracle: Unlikely Alliance Against Android
    • Is this a text file, or an Excel file?

      http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/is_this_a_text_file

    • Microsoft’s fake validation of OpenOffice.org

      A recently released OpenOffice.org marketing video from Microsoft tries to highlight prospective issues for companies considering alternatives to Microsoft Office. Although the video suggests OpenOffice.org is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, the video also presents insights into Microsoft’s business growth strategy.

      The title of the video, “A few perspectives on OpenOffice.org,” might suggest a balanced view from OpenOffice.org users. However, the quotes are far from balanced and indicate a subtle attempt to dismiss OpenOffice in the guise of a fair discussion.

    • OpenOffice.org 10th Anniversary: 8 Years in Retrospective

      Promoting OpenOffice.org nationally was hard in 2003. Lobbing with some Italian free software organizations – namely Assoli and the Italian chapter of the FSFE – I brought the Director of the information system of our Minister of Education to think that Italian schools needed to know more also about OpenOffice.org.

    • Split JCP: a compromise proposal
    • JCP – Pragmatism or Bust
    • Java 8 Vote
    • Java 7 Vote

      Stephen Colebourne correctly pointed out in his blog this morning that when the Java 7 JSR is proposed to the JCP Executive Committee, that the Eclipse Foundation will vote “yes”. I think that it would be helpful to explain why that is the case.

  • Education

    • FOSS in Indian Schools – A Serious Concern & a Request to Unite.

      I am writing this letter to all for a request to create a task force to advocate FOSS in schools. If we fail to advocate Linux in schools then we will be failed everywhere.
      Most of the computer users like me are using computer from Last 5-6 year or less. They learned everything in college only. Also at our time computer was a costly device. We have not faced much difficult in migrating from Windows to Linux. Now we love Linux based distro and advocate for open curriculum, content , no-patents, no-DRM etc.

  • Healthcare

    • VA will use open source model for health records system

      The Veterans Affairs Department will adopt an open source model to modernize its legacy electronic health records system, the department’s chief information officer said at a Senate hearing Oct. 6.

      The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) runs on an archaic program language called MUMPS, which experts said must be modernized to properly serve the 8 million veterans who receive care at VA health facilities.

  • Business

  • Project Releases

    • coreutils-8.6 released [stable]
    • Gnuaccounting 0.7.8 released

      The Gnuaccounting developers have released version 0.7.8 of their free open-source Java accounting application that embeds OpenOffice and utilises MySQL or OpenOffice’s HSQLDB to create and administrate invoices, credit memos, delivery notes, bills etc. The program is intended for use by small and medium-sized companies and now for the first time supports the deferment of VAT prepayment in countries where VAT is estimated and collected in advance.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Closed bibliography on the Cambridge train

        I came back from the British Library and Imperial War Museum (I’ll tell you why later) on Thursday on the 1615. One of the privilege of the 1615 is that if you get there after 1605 you have to stand or sit on the floor among the folding bicycles. Because I wanted to hack I sat on the floor. I overheard a conversation between two hackers and have caught most of it. They were talking about a book, which I think was about software but I couldn’t see it.

        She: “That looks an interesting book”

        He: “Yes, it’s written by one of the great software gurus”

        She: “What’s it’s called?”

        He: “I can’t tell you?”

        She: “Why not?”

        He: “It’s copyright”

        She: “Yes, I know the book is copyright, but I just want to know the title”

        He: “Sorry I can’t tell you. It’s copyright”

Leftovers

  • The Amazing Contribution Of Telecentres To Our Digital Society

    If you would rather look at the full text of my message to the amazing staff of Telecentre Europe, for their summit in Budapest this week, then read on.

  • The Equality Act is a dangerous joke

    On 1 October the Equality Act 2010 became law. Its stated intention is to end discrimination in the workplace. The likely result is it will poison relationships between colleagues and employer-employee. It urges us all to view ourselves as victims in need of state intervention to police our working lives.

  • OEMs are Reluctant Customers

    Still the OEMs are forced to ship Wintel. They are reluctant customers. Why can they not be allowed to produce what the consumer wants, small cheap computers?

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Global Hydro and Nuclear Power in Perspective

      At the recent ASPO conference in Washington, DC I found myself in a lunchtime conversation discussing the contributions Nuclear and Hydro were making to world energy supply. It’s worth noting that Hydropower did experience an uptick in global use in the past five years. Nuclear meanwhile, which has seen a slowing rate of consumption since the 1980′s, leveled off and fell during the same period. While these two energy sources are worth discussing, they pale in comparison to oil and coal use globally, as the second chart shows.

  • Finance

    • Foreclosure Fraud: Megabanks At Risk As Analyst Identifies New Problems With Mortgages

      Pension funds and other investors who have suffered losses on mortgage-backed securities could have a “strong legal basis” to call into question the very securitized mortgages they purchased stakes in, increasing the pressure facing large Wall Street firms that packaged these securities during the housing boom, a prominent mortgage bond analyst said Thursday.

    • Settlement May Be Near in Countrywide Case

      In June 2009, the S.E.C. filed civil fraud and insider trading charges against Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of Countrywide. The agency also sued two of his top lieutenants: David Sambol, the company’s former president, and Eric Sieracki, the former chief financial officer.

    • Why Is It So Acceptable to Lie to Cut Social Security Benefits?

      We aren’t supposed to use the word “lie” in Washington, probably because the practice is so common, but let’s just use normal English for a moment. NYT Roger Cohen devotes his column to a tirade against the French for their opposition to raising the retirement age. This opposition has taken the form of a general strike that has seriously disrupted the economy.

    • Mortgage Mess May Cost Big Banks Billions

      After scratching their heads for weeks over how much the foreclosure mess will hurt banks’ bottom lines, investors got out their calculators Thursday to tally the potential costs — and sent bank stocks plunging.

      Analyst estimates of the possible toll varied widely, but the fear was evident in the stock market. The share price of Bank of America fell 5.2 percent, while shares of JPMorgan Chase sank almost 2.8 percent.

    • Government reports $1.3 trillion budget deficit

      The Obama administration said Friday the federal deficit hit a near-record $1.3 trillion for the just-completed budget year.

    • House to vote on bonus payment for Social Security

      The House will vote in November on a bill to provide $250 payments to Social Security recipients to make up for the lack of a cost-of-living increase for next year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

      The Social Security Administration is expected to announce Friday that more than 58 million retirees and disabled Americans will go a second consecutive year without an increase in benefits.

    • It’s speed vs. skepticism for Fla. judges facing avalanche of foreclosure cases

      Judges in Florida are under pressure to clear their foreclosure dockets; the state’s crippled real estate market and its lagging economy cannot recover until cases work their way through the courts. Earlier this year, Florida’s legislature allocated $9.6 million to help speed up the processing of foreclosures. Much of that money went to pay retired judges and case managers to help shoulder the load and quickly dispose of cases in special foreclosure courts.

    • Cohen Says Preconditions in Place for Stocks Rally: Tom Keene
  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • ‘Scrapers’ Dig Deep for Data on Web

      PatientsLikeMe managed to block and identify the intruder: Nielsen Co., the privately held New York media-research firm. Nielsen monitors online “buzz” for clients, including major drug makers, which buy data gleaned from the Web to get insight from consumers about their products, Nielsen says.

      “I felt totally violated,” says Bilal Ahmed, a 33-year-old resident of Sydney, Australia, who used PatientsLikeMe to connect with other people suffering from depression. He used a pseudonym on the message boards, but his PatientsLikeMe profile linked to his blog, which contains his real name.

    • Who cares about medical privacy

      On this evidence teenagers also have a much clearer understanding of the meaning of privacy than government policy makers, who have just decided that the NHS Summary Care Records system can continue to be built by the sort of inertia selling that would be illegal for a commercial organisation. In future they will put an opt-out form in the envelope. Big deal. You will still be assumed irrevocably to have consented, regardless of your understanding of what you are being asked, if you fail to use it – on behalf of yourself and your children.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Did The RIAA Really Just Come Out In Support Of ‘Opt-In’ Copyright? [Updated]

        Of course, the MPAA and the BSA apparently disagreed, with the BSA saying copyright should definitely be opt-out rather than opt-in. That said, it is nice to see the MPAA come out in favor of flexible fair use policies, though I’m sure that’s as an alternative to actually improving copyright law.

        I’ve asked the RIAA for comment (updated below) on whether or not this represents a change of position for them, and whether the group would now support an opt-in copyright system that only gives copyright to works that are formally registered (as we had for many, many years). If true, this would really be a huge deal. While an opt-in system has many problems, if set up properly, it’s a lot better than the current opt-out system, which obliterated the public domain. An opt-in system at least makes it much easier to feed the public domain.

        Update: The RIAA responded to my request as to whether or not this was a policy change, in response, I was told:

        His basic point (and I’m quoting from his remarks) was that “we need better ways to distinguish when copyright is a beneficial property right, and when copyright is a meaningless and unwanted right.” He was later asked what he meant by this, and he responded that it may be time for creators to affirmatively assert copyright, rather than have it automatically granted to them whether they want it or not. He also explained that this was a personal view, not an RIAA position.

      • ACTA

        • More Countries React To ACTA; Brazil Says ACTA Is Illegitimate

          We’ve already covered how the EU Parliament is skeptical of ACTA. Ditto the Mexican Senate. In the US, which will undoubtedly sign the agreement, at least some politicians are asking questions about the document. Now news is coming out in a few other countries as well. Down in Australia, unlike in the US, they’re planning to go through a full scrutiny process involving the Parliament and the public. On the flipside, it sounds like Singapore can’t sign the document fast enough.

        • ACTA in the UK

          The final draft of the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been released to the public (unlike previous drafts, which were leaked). Previously we had looked at the possible changes that the agreement would bring to UK copyright law. I am happy to say that at least the worst case scenario did not materialise, but there is still some room for concern.

        • Alvaro asks 9 questions to the Commission about ACTA, including 3 strikes and transparency

          Alexander Alvaro (ALDE) has asked 9 questions about ACTA, including 3 strikes and transparency, or the access by the INTA committee to the drafts documents. He is also asking about changes to substantive patent law (read software patents here).

Clip of the Day

Update: Lehman Bankruptcy


Credit: TinyOgg

10.15.10

Links 15/10/2010: Wine 1.3.5 Out, Ubuntu 11.04 is Developed

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Lenovo ThinkPad W510 Notebook

    Since July we have been testing a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook under Linux and have already published a variety of Linux benchmarks. This Lenovo notebook boasts an Intel Core i7 720QM CPU, 4GB of system memory, a 320GB SATA HDD, and NVIDIA Quadro FX880M graphics. In this review we are taking a closer look at the ThinkPad W510 notebook and have more Ubuntu Linux benchmarks comparing its performance to the ZaReason Verix and an older ThinkPad T61.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4: The KDE SC in Kubuntu and Fedora

        Although not one of my main desktop environments any longer, I have been keeping track of KDE development now and then and feel it has improved a great deal. Ever since the 4.4 releases it actually seems stable and light enough to use and while not all features and functions present in KDE 3.5 may have been replicated (at least Kwikdisk and Kdiskfree are back), the 4.4 series has marked the point where KDE has finally become usable again. I have to admit, it looks good too. I actually enjoy booting into the new KDE.

  • Distributions

    • 6 Linux Distros That Changed Everything

      Linux is all around us. From phones to firewalls, from Macs to PCs, it’s getting hard to find electronics that don’t run Linux. Over the years, there have been many distributions (normally called distros) of Linux. Some are full-featured, others are very small, some are general purpose, and others are designed for specific tasks. Love it or hate it, Linux is here to stay.

      Below is a list of 6 distros that were milestones for Linux adoption. Enjoy.

    • Following the Fragmentation Era, Linux Needs a Federated Front

      Federated marketing of Linux, federated support of it, and more organized community-driven resources for Linux platforms are the next steps. It’s not so easy to get these kinds of federated initiatives going, though, especially as myths about Linux continue. Perhaps the impetus for more progress in this area will come from smart entrepeneurs who see that Linux is fragmenting less, succeeding more outside of the desktop, and represents a free, malleable platform opportunity to leverage.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Mark Shuttleworth talks Project Harmony, Unity, Windicators and more

          If you have done some homework, you might already who Mark Shuttleworth aka SABDFL is.

          As the founder of Ubuntu ,it becomes necessary to interact with the community, however Mark is busy man so it is only limited to an 1 hour IRC session after release.

        • Test Drupal 7 beta for 54 min free thanks to Canonical

          This week two exciting things happened in the open source world. Drupal 7 beta was released for testing and Ubuntu 10.10 was delivered. It just so happens that the timing couldn’t have been better, because Canonical debuted a new feature that lets you test Ubuntu Server Edition in the cloud free for one hour.

        • Better Than Ever Ubuntu 10.10

          Looking for an alternative operating system besides Windows or Mac OS? There’s always Ubuntu Linux. The latest version of Ubuntu called Ubuntu 10.10 or the Maverick Meerkat was unveiled on Sunday in time for the 10/10/10 date. Checking out the updated Ubuntu version will definitely be worth your while since it has several exciting new features.

          Ubuntu 10.10 has several editions, one of them is Ubuntu Netbook Edition which has an improved user interface called Unity that enables netbook users to open their frequently-used applications. Also, it helps make the screen more organized. In addition, Ubuntu 10.10 has the Software Center that provides convenient access to numerous open-source and free apps.

        • Natty Narwhal open for development

          Natty Narwhal is now open for development. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the natty-changes ML, please do so at [1].

        • Ubunchu Chapter 7 in English Released

          Hey there! I’ve just finished the finally editing and correcting for Chapter 7 of Ubunchu. The long awaiting Installfest chapter.

        • This week in design – 15 October 2010

          For a kick off Andrea, a community member who has worked with us on the enhancements to the theme in the new release, has been hard at work thinking about the future of the Murrine theme engine. This engine is the beating heart of our gorgeous default themes and before we’ve even really started on Natty he’s upgraded it to work with the latest version of GTK. As we’re not sure what’s going into the next release just yet we can’t say for certain if all this work will make it in but what we can say is that if you’re a brave and heardy soul you can head over to his blog and get it for yourself.

        • Development Begins On Ubuntu 11.04

          Not even a week has passed since the release of Ubuntu 10.10, but developers are now free to start committing package changes for the next release, Ubuntu 11.04, which is codenamed Natty Narwhal. Matthias Klose has announced that the Ubuntu Natty repository is now open for business.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Ubuntu Privacy Remix 10.04r1 Comes with TrueCrypt 6.3a

            Ubuntu Privacy Remix 10.04r1 has been released, the first stable version of the Ubuntu-based distro. Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) is a specialized Linux distribution for handling highly sensitive data. The latest release comes with several updated packages as well as some custom software.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Palm Hires Ex-Nokia Meego Chief Ari Jaaski

          After a very large number of Palm employees headed to Nokia to work on Meego, perhaps its only fitting that somebody from Nokia heads to Palm. So reports John Paczkowski of All Things D, who writes that that Nokia’s head of the Meego division, Ari Jaaski, will move to the bay area and become the new Senior Vice President of webOS for Palm / HP.

          Paczkowski also notes that Palm is pulling in Victoria Coleman from Samsung R&D to oversee platform and app development as well as a few execs from within HP to run product marketing, sales organization, and product management.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Schools Combine Netbooks, Open Source

        The marriage of low-cost netbooks and open-source technologies to create 1-to-1 computing programs is a relatively new development. Open-source technologies, which evolve when individuals voluntarily contribute their creativity and knowledge to online networks of innovation, were once thought to be too free-wheeling and untested for schools. But that is now changing as schools look for more creative and cost-effective ways to use technology.

      • ‘Ubuntu Netbook’ Linux Adds Multitouch, Looks Tablet Friendly

        As flavors of Linux go, Ubuntu has been pretty popular over the years. The open source operating system can be installed on a wide range of computer hardware, and there’s even a version called Ubuntu Netbook that’s specially made to optimize the relatively tight 1024×600 screen resolution found on many of today’s netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Does “Free as in Speech” or “Free as in Beer” Really Mean?

    In a nutshell, it translates to “zero price” (gratis) versus “with few or no restrictions” (libre).

  • Events

    • Guest Post: The Apache Software Foundation’s Open Source Approach

      ApacheCon, one of the biggest open source conferences of the year, is coming up in Atlanta November 1st through 5th, sponsored by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Of course, from Hadoop to the web server, Apache software platforms have become enormously influential. Ross Gardler, VP of Community at the foundation, provided OStatic with a guest post–one of a series we’ll be doing in conjunction with ApacheCon–on how the Apache Software Foundation approaches open source. Here it is.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • last few days of survey

        If you’re a Thunderbird contributor and you haven’t already done so, please help us understand how we can make the Thunderbird community and contribution process more enjoyable and rewarding by taking a short, 7-question survey at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/376585/Thunderbird-Participation-Survey by this Sunday.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Proof That Microsoft Is Worried About Office’s Competition
    • Microsoft’s fear of an OpenOffice

      Of course, it’s possible that Microsoft sees something the wider market doesn’t yet see: momentum building for Office defections. The Register’s Kelly Fiveash suggests: “By declaring such a threat, it would seem that Microsoft just admitted that it’s worried about losing market share in an area where it has been unshakeable for years.”

      If true, it would seem that the last thing Microsoft would want to do would be to dignify its competition with a formal campaign. Remember its “Get the Facts” campaign against Linux? That one worked wonders for Linux, putting the upstart operating system on the radar screen of a huge swath of CIOs who probably hadn’t given Linux much thought up until that point.

    • Microsoft video proves that Microsoft Office is like cocaine and has dealers inside schools

      When it first appeared, I simply ignored the video. After seeing all the buzz around it and reading two articles that explain some of its weaknesss (1), I gave up and watched it. The first view proved the objections made in those articles, but also made me uneasy. I could feel that there was something more serious, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. So I watched the video again, and a flash of understanding came.

      What Microsoft published is not really a video about office productivity. A good part of that video is about drug addiction and nothing more. It says “we already fell addicted to this specific drug, it feels good and we see no way out. So you should take it too”. This is what I was feeling. Several of those quotes really sound like statements from people who tried to free themselves of cocaine or some other equally destructive substance and failed, simply because they misunderstood their situation or didn’t really care to succeed.

  • CMS

    • Matt Mullenweg

      “I am lucky enough to be able to code, and only have a limited time on this earth, so I want as much of my work as possible to benefit humanity. Having my output be freely available under the GPL is one of the best ways to make the world just a little bit better and more open with every line I write.

      Also, as an anecdote, every good thing that has happened in my life was because I gave something away first, be it time, money, or code. I see no reason to change that now. It’s just good karma.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Pentaho Brings Business Intelligence to Hadoop

        Open source business intelligence company Pentaho unveiled BI and data integration tools for Hadoop this week, but they aren’t available to users of the free community edition of Pentaho.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Why We’ve Learnt to Love the Labs

      This more public kind of lab has been spreading, albeit slowly: we have Mozilla Labs, Apache Labs, Eclipse Labs, the just-announced LinkedIn Labs, as well as the rumoured Facebook Labs and Twitter Labs. I predict we will see many more; indeed, I fully expect every self-respecting software company to set one up.

    • Beautiful technology: The Open Source Satellite Initiative

      His background is electrical engineering and computer science–he completed his Master’s at ICU Engineering in Korea. He works on things like satellites and sophisticated machines designed to avert war.

    • What’s the Return on Investment for Open?

      And actually, that’s the real story here. The quantifiable contribution ratio — 3-to-1, 2-to-1, 4-to-1, whatever — might vary based on a lot of factors. The true “RoI of open” usually shows itself before a given piece of code makes it into the project. Many times one of us, the CollabNet-salaried developers, would post a proposal for a feature design, or even post a concrete implementation, and the non-CollabNet community would find bugs and potential improvements in it. They would also contribute new features themselves, in some cases quite major ones

    • In praise of cheap science

      The era of ‘big science’ in the United States began in the 1930s. Nobody exemplified this spirit more than Ernest Lawrence at the University of California, Berkeley whose cyclotrons smashed subatomic particles together to reveal nature’s deepest secrets. Lawrence was one of the first true scientist-entrepreneurs. He paid his way through college selling all kinds of things as a door-to-door salesman. He brought the same persuasive power a decade later to sell his ideas about particle accelerators to wealthy businessmen and philanthropists. Sparks flying off his big machines, his ‘boys’ frantically running around to fix miscellaneous leaks and shorts, Lawrence would proudly display his Nobel Prize winning invention to millionaires as if it were his own child. The philanthropists’ funding paid off in at least one practical respect; it was Lawrence’s modified cyclotrons that produced the uranium used in the Hiroshima bomb.

    • Open Licenses vs Public Licenses

      It’s critical to distinguish “open licenses” from “public licenses” when discussing IP licensing, especially online — mostly because Creative Commons is so popular and as a result has muddied the waters a bit.

    • Open Data

      • Nobel news blackout lifted: The Party Strikes Back

        Stand by for a major announcement: The Cabinet Office is about to publish the organogram of Whitehall.

      • Departmental structure charts

        As part of its ongoing drive to make Government more accountable and more transparent than ever before, the Cabinet Office is publishing new details about civil servants working at the heart of government.

      • Principles for Open Bibliographic Data

        While first attempts were mainly directed towards libraries and other public institutions we decided to broaden the principle’s scope by amalgamating it with Peter Murray-Rust’s draft publisher guidelines. The results can be seen below. We ask anyone to review these principles, discuss the text and suggest improvements.

Leftovers

  • Heise vs. the music industry – German appeal court rejects link ban

    Since 2005, Heise has been involved in a protracted legal dispute with the music industry. In late 2008, the Higher Regional Court in Munich upheld a ban on Heise placing a specific link. Judges at the German Appeals Court have now found in favour of Heise Zeitschriften Verlag (publisher of heise online and The H’s parent company).

  • The Times of London’s impenetrable but straightforward paywall

    The order to adopt the paywall came directly from Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp, which owns the Times’ parent company News International. Murdoch has been extremely vocal about the importance of implementing paid online content both for financial and principled reasons since spring 2009. But Whitwell explained that the thinking at the paper has suggested for some time that this could be the right move to take.

  • Two mice and two pointers

    So, please, can somebody do this. Is a simple hack, but I am not a programmer. Nowadays to have two mice attached to the computer is easy. Just connect them to two usb ports, but them they will share the same pointer. That would be no good. The idea is to have a pointer for each mouse. Then will mouse typing speed will soar!

  • Joan Siefert Rose on the insanity of entrepreneurship

    Joan Siefert Rose is the president of CED, a 25-year-old organization with 5,500 active members who promote and work to accelerate the entrepreneurial culture in North Carolina and the Research Triangle area in particular. She gave a talk at today’s TEDx Raleigh event outlining the six symptoms of what she called the “Insanity of Entrepreneurship.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Rinderpest virus has been wiped out, scientists say

      Scientists working for the UN say that they have eradicated a virus which can be deadly to cattle.

      If confirmed, rinderpest would become only the second viral disease – after smallpox – to have been eliminated by humans.

    • Eat less meat, save the planet? Livestock nears sustainability limit

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that agriculture accounts for 10-12 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This figure does not include land conversion effects; taking those into account, the number jumps to almost thirty percent, and livestock production accounts for the bulk of these emissions. Rearing livestock also uses a great deal of nitrogen-based fertilizer, which goes into the animals’ feedstock.

      A new analysis of the carbon and nitrogen cycles suggests that livestock production is on a path to unsustainability, and that it will push us beyond Earth’s safe operating limits by the middle of the century.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Twitterphobia and the mainstream media

      IMHO, the experiment was a brilliant success. It highlighted the amazing range of things that the police service is called upon to do, and made that point more forcefully than any official speech by a senior officer or Home Secretary could do.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Confounding Fathers

      Glenn Beck’s view of American history stems from the paranoid politics of the fifties.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Nobel news blackout lifted: The Party Strikes Back

      On October 14th, the Chinese Communist Party’s Propaganda Department relaxed their total news blackout around Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. Major online news portals, including Netease and Sina, seem to have been instructed to prominently position a pair of Xinhua Daily articles that respond to the Nobel announcement.

      The two articles, physically positioned high up on the news portal websites, are titled “From the Dalai Lama to Liu Xiaobo: What the Nobel Peace Prize Tells Us” and “Giving the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo was an Especially Big Mistake.”

      Following days of media blackout, the strong push behind the two articles suggests that the Party’s propaganda apparatus is finally gearing up to ‘lead public opinion,’ a media control strategy used by the Party since 2005. Before 2005, the Party typically responded to negative events by suppressing all related news stories. Over the last five years, however, the Party’s more common reaction to politically sensitive news has been to temporarily block all reports, craft an official version of events, and order media outlets to publish only the official version.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • As Negotiators Launch Talks On Biodiversity, Industry Requests IP Protection

      This week, global attention will be focussed on hopes to find solutions to give the world a better chance to reduce the loss of biodiversity and reach agreement on an international instrument ensuring benefits are being shared. Intellectual Property Watch will be in Nagoya, Japan to report on the negotiations.

      The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) will take place in Nagoya from 18-29 October. Two intense weeks during which member states of the convention will have to agree on the next 2011-2020 strategic plan for the CBD, and finalise a binding international instrument on access and benefit sharing (ABS) of the commercial benefits derived from biological resources, and the prevention of biopiracy.

    • Copyrights

      • Google Music in China… the way it should be everywhere.
      • Public outrage mounts over plan to nab pirated DVD buyers

        Public outrage is mounting over the proposal by the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry to penalise those who buy pirated DVDs and VCDs.

        Accountant Ahmad Huzaimi Ghazi, 27, said it was unfair to take legal action on people who buy such DVDs, when original DVDs were too expensive.

      • Album price ‘should drop to £1′

        The price of music albums should be slashed to around £1, a former major record label boss has suggested.

        Rob Dickins, who ran Warner Music in the UK for 15 years, said “radically” lowering prices would help beat piracy and lead to an exponential sales rise.

      • Former UK Record Boss Proposes $1.60 Album to Fight P2P

        Rob Dickens, former head of Warner Music in the UK, proposes a “micro-economy” in which album sale prices are “radically” reduced, and in which the resulting increase in sales volume more than makes up for the drop in prices.

      • India to align copyright norms with global standards

        ‘The Copyright Amendment Bill 2010 contains better provisions to deal with technology issues by extending protection of copyright material in India over digital networks related to literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, films and sound recordings,’ said Amit Khare, joint secretary in the ministry of Human Resource Development, Friday.

      • MPAA Copy-Protected DRM Site Hacked By Anonymous

        A site run by the MPAA has become the most recent victim of cyber attacks being carried out by Anonymous. CopyProtected.com, a site used to inform on copy protection and DRM on DVD and Blu-ray movie discs, now displays a missive from the anarchic group . After a few seconds it redirects visitors to the homepage of The Pirate Bay.

      • The Impossible Job Of Being The Copyright Czar

        The administration’s “IP czar” (more technically, the “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator”), Victoria Espinel, recently gave a talk at the Future of Music Coalition event in Washington DC, and while I had seen various reports about her speech, and had a few submissions asking me to comment, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Espinel basically said the same things she’s been saying all along. Her job is to “protect the creativity of US citizens.” And, to her credit, she doesn’t just define that as big companies. While reports of her pressuring ISPs, payment processors and registrars to voluntarily block or disable accounts of infringers is… troubling, she is always careful to try to “balance” things. This was evident in the IP Strategic Plan she released a few months back. While it makes some suggestions that clearly makes industry interests happy, at the same time, it tosses some breadcrumbs to those concerned about how over-aggressive IP laws can actually hinder quite a lot of creativity.

      • The “Imbecile” and “Moron” Responds: On the Freedoms of Remix Creators

        “Remix,” in the sense the competition intended, means a creative work that builds upon the creative work of others. That doesn’t mean simply grabbing or using the work of others. It means using the work of others in a way that is transformative, or critical. The rules of the competition expressly required that every entry “recombine[] and modif[y] existing digital works to create a new transformative work.” The recombined or modified work must, the rules specified, be either original with the remixer, in the public domain, or “created under the protection of fair use.” Every entry that I reviewed had a strong, almost certain argument that it satisfied the requirements of “fair use.”

      • FREE – THE JOURNEY
      • ACTA/Hadopi

        • ACTA – PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS!
        • Hadopi? Not Even Scared!

          The Minister of Culture and the Hadopi itself have been prompt to announce the launch of the Hadopi’s operations: here we are, no later than the end of the summer, the Hadopi would ready to send its first mail to Internet users who have been caught in Trident Media Gard’s nets, the private society empowered by rights holders representatives3 to scan file sharing on peer-to-peer networks. However, analysis of enacted laws and decrees calls for more caution on this potential threat. The Hadopi might be unable to impose penalties, but it could be that the Hadopi should not even be authorized to send any warning without prior judicial ruling.

Clip of the Day

iOS4 Error Code 3014


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 15/10/2010: Ubuntu Unity uTouch, Motorola’s Linux-based Phone Proliferate

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Did you ever tried Google Search Engine for Linux users?

    Google offers a good search tool targeted for Linux users.

  • Linux Foundation sets record for stating bleeding obvious

    Until this morning, I was convinced that the late Benjamin Disraeli had it down pat when he said that there are three forms of deception – lies, damn lies and statistics.

  • Server

    • Smart Clusters: Intelligence Is As Intelligence Does

      The following topic scares me for two reasons. First, maybe I read too many sci-fi novels about Artificial Intelligence (AI) going wrong (or right, we’ll get to that in bit). Second, most HPC people are pragmatic individuals who deal with numbers and results that have a firm mathematical underpinning. Talking about AI as an HPC application is not quite a mainstream discussion.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Book Excerpt: Linux Kernel Development, 3rd Edition.

      In this chapter, we introduce some of the basics of the Linux kernel: where to get its source, how to compile it, and how to install the new kernel. We then go over the differences between the kernel and user-space programs and common programming constructs used in the kernel. Although the kernel certainly is unique in many ways, at the end of the day it is little different from any other large software project.

    • LinSched Advances For Testing The Linux Scheduler

      While we are close to seeing the Linux 2.6.36 kernel, this week LinSched for the Linux 2.6.35 kernel was released. LinSched is a simulator that allows testing the Linux kernel scheduler in user-space for modifying and observing its scheduling behavior.

      LinSched is not a new tool, but it comes from the academia world (University of North Carolina) and has since seen adoption by new developers looking to understand the kernel scheduler and is also used by corporations like Google. This new release of LinSched is based upon the Linux 2.6.35 kernel and now supports several additional features of the kernel.

  • Applications

    • Command Line Little Helper: CLI Companion
    • Introducing: Recipe Manager

      Three years ago, Daniel Taylor (of Arista fame) made a small application designed to store and manage your favourite recipes. It was simple, lightweight, elegant. He called it Recipe Manager (got a better, unique name, anyone?) and released a “technology preview” along with the file format spec onto this website.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • HTML5: Up and Running
      • Inside MySQL Character Sets & Settings

        Character sets are ways of storing string or text data in a database. Since the world’s languages use different character sets for their writing systems, a database must support many different types of character sets to store information in those languages. For Western European languages, for example, there are alphabets with many overlapping characters, but in addition some require accents, different currency characters, and so on. For Asian languages with many more characters, a multi-byte character set is required since one byte is not large enough to store all the characters that can be represented in that language.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Using digiKam with MySQL

        By default, digiKam uses SQLite as its back-end for storing important metadata and thumbnails. But the photo management application also provides support for the popular MySQL database engine, and it comes with a database migration tool that can help you to move your data from SQLite to MySQL. Of course, you might wonder why you’d want to switch to MySQL when SQLite already does a good job of managing the data? Using MySQL as digiKam’s database back-end allows you to store the data on a remote server. This way, you can use multiple digiKam installations (e.g., on your notebook and desktop machine) to access and manage your photo collections. You can also use MySQL tools to back up and analyze digiKam’s data.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+ Continues To Become More X11-Agnostic

        As good news for those of you interested in GTK+ applications on Mac OS X and other operating systems, or to even run such applications within a Wayland Display Server on Linux rather than an X Server, this tool-kit used by GNOME continues to become more X11-agnostic and easier to port.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 14 Spotlight Feature: Keeping Secure with OpenSCAP

          Back by popular demand, we’ll again be posting a series of blogs leading up to the Fedora 14 “Laughlin” release, which highlight some of the cool new features planned in the latest Fedora distribution. Up first is a feature that boosts security in Fedora 14: OpenSCAP.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Unity uTouch demo

          One of the more exciting aspects of Ubuntu 10.10 is undoubtedly the Unity shell in Ubuntu Netbook Edition and the uTouch touch screen capabilities bundled with it. In his latest blog entry Canonical’s Gerry Carr unveils this new user experience in a cool video demonstration that shouldn’t be missed…

          “One of the coolest things though is one that will be experienced by the fewest people at this point – touch. Unity is fully touch-enabled – those big icons are screaming out to have a digit poked at them,” explains Carr. “But as ever, the boys in the lab, or in this case Duncan McGregor‘s multi-touch team have gone a step further and created a multi-touch ‘gesture’ library. This allows finger combinations to do groovy things like expand and reduce windows, pull up multiple windows in one workspace, and call up the ‘dash’ automatically. These are in 10.10. In 11.04 we will see a lot more.”

        • The Perfect Desktop – Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)

          This tutorial shows how you can set up an Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • we’re getting fast

        Firefox’s JavaScript engine, Spidermonkey (including the Tracemonkey and Jaegermonkey JITs) is now faster than Webkit’s JSCore on both Sunspider and V8. Great work, team!

  • Oracle

    • Why Is Microsoft So Scared of OpenOffice?

      Microsoft and its supporters have a long history of applying all kinds of FUD to any discussion of free and open source software. Whether it’s Linux or other free alternatives to Microsoft’s high-priced products, it seems no conversation can take place without the inevitable insinuations about higher total cost of ownership, lack of support, and other baseless fearmongering.

    • What does IBM joining OpenJDK mean for Java?

      This week IBM announced it would be supporting Oracle’s OpenJDK. At first glance it seems like “Great!”

      Isn’t it good that two big supporters of Java are getting behind a single open source project?

      Well, in my personal opinion, no. It is bad. Bad for Java. I’ll try to explain why.

      The first point is that IBM are not just saying they will support OpenJDK. They are also saying that are pulling effort out of Apache Harmony. Apache Harmony is a project to build an Open Source JVM under the Apache license, rather than the GPL which is the license under which OpenJDK is available.

  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF initiates “Respects your Freedom” hardware endorsement

      The Free Software Foundation has announced the initial criteria of the “Respects Your Freedom” hardware endorsement programme. Under the programme, the FSF will endorse products that comply with its conditions, which include; using only free software in all parts of the product, ensuring the software can be built using only free software tools and allowing user installation of modified software. The non-profit organisation is seeking to get feedback on these criteria and hopes to use the process to raise the interest of hardware manufacturers.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Net Positive: A Conversation with Clay Shirky

      The Internet has brought about a sea change in the way societies organize and operate. Few scholars anticipated the trend sooner, or articulated it with greater force and optimism, than Clay Shirky. In his 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations, Shirky described how new social structures were being created spontaneously as a result of the Web’s astounding ability to enable people to coordinate—instantly and across distances—not only with other individuals, but with the masses. Shirky’s new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, develops his ideas further. He sees a revolution in the way people are beginning to pool their free time. “Cognitive Surplus,” he says, “is essentially answering the question, What is Wikipedia made of? What is Linux made of? What is YouTube made of? It is made of the coordinated contributions of the world’s connected citizenry.”

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Antidepressant reboxetine no better than a placebo, study finds

      An antidepressant prescribed in the UK over the last 13 years is ineffective and potentially harmful, according to a damning study published today.

      The drug, reboxetine, which is known in the UK under the trade name Edronax, works no better than a placebo, or dummy pill, say scientists in the British Medical Journal, who accuse the manufacturer, Pfizer, of failing to disclose the results of trials which show its inadequacies.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Western lifestyles plundering tropics at record rate, WWF report shows

      The Earth’s population is using the equivalent of 1.5 planets’ worth of natural resources, but the long-term decline of animal life appears to have been halted, a WWF report shows.

      The latest Living Planet report, published today by the conservation group, also reveals the extent to which modern Western lifestyles are plundering natural resources from the tropics at record levels.

    • Deepwater drilling: risks and consequences

      What if officers of corporations in the oil, coal or auto industry were to face arrest and possible prosecution, when their actions in the US – as in Hungary – result in deaths? Might that change the calculation of acceptable risk?

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

Clip of the Day

Java Swing GUI Demo


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 15/10/2010: Fusion Fedora 14, MeeGo 1.1 for ARM

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Five problems Linux still needs to overcome

    Greg Kroah-Hartman’s, a Linux kernel developer and a Novell engineer, Linux Driver Project (LDP), has been creating Linux drivers for years for anything that any vendor brought to the project that needed one made for it for years now. Kroah-Hartman and his crew of open-source developers charge nothing to create Linux hardware drivers. Despite that, a handful of companies still won’t release Linux drives. Other companies, like Wi-Fi chip vendor Broadcom, that have been slow to release Linux drivers has recently taken to making them. So what’s the real problem?

    I think there are several problems hiding under the ‘drivers’ issues. First, even now some hardware doesn’t have any Linux drivers, or, more commonly, the drivers aren’t that good. That’s true of Windows as well, but people seem to give Windows a pass for this kind of thing.

  • Aruba Revs Its Wireless Gear with ArubaOS 6.0 release

    ArubaOS is the underlying network operating system that powers Aruba’s wireless access points and controllers, and is built on top of a Linux base. With ArubaOS 6.0, new spectrum analysis, security and quality of service capabilities are being baked in. The new ArubaOS comes as Aruba is growing its market footprint following a partnership deal with Dell.

  • Linux users to get AUSkey access before Christmas

    The key replaces the need to separately log into online government services with a username and password, and is integrated into commercial software to provide businesses with a point of access to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) portals, its electronic commerce interface, and the Australian Business Register.

  • Desktop

    • Christmas? It’s Still 90 Degrees Here..

      But for us with with The HeliOS Project, it’s one of the most satisfying times of the year…haranguing advertising notwithstanding.

      Last year, between November 1st and December 25th, we built and gave away 41 computers. Three of them I delivered and set up on Christmas Day.

      [...]

      We’ve blown through the machines gathered at this year’s Linux Against Poverty event, planned and hosted by Lynn Bender. Having such an all-encompassing event twice in one year is just too much to ask of anyone…it takes months to plan and over 50 people to execute.

  • Server

    • Linux Foundation highlights growth, but what versions?

      The Linux Foundation survey also highlights continued gains for Linux at the expense of Unix, with 19.8% of respondents indicating a decrease in their use of the OS (compared with 18% decreasing use of Windows and only 1.8% decreasing use of Linux). Those planning on increased use were 76% for Linux, 41% for Windows and 19.5% for Unix. We also wonder whether Oracle’s end of support for OpenSolaris will perpetuate Unix-Linux migration?

  • Google

    • Google Testing Chrome OS Release Candidates. Official Release 1 Month Away?

      At their official unveiling event 11 months ago, Google promised that Chrome OS would be ready to by the end of this year — before the holiday season. It looks like they will be able to keep that promise, as bug comments on their Google Code site for the project indicate that the OS has already hit “RC” status — also known as “Release Candidate”.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Solid-state storage devices and the block layer

      Over the last few years, it has become clear that one of the most pressing scalability problems faced by Linux is being driven by solid-state storage devices (SSDs). The rapid increase in performance offered by these devices cannot help but reveal any bottlenecks in the Linux filesystem and block layers. What has been less clear, at times, is what we are going to do about this problem. In his LinuxCon Japan talk, block maintainer Jens Axboe described some of the work that has been done to improve block layer scalability and offered a view of where things might go in the future.

    • Aava Mobile Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Aava Mobile has become its newest member. It will participate in the MeeGo project with specific emphasis around x86-based devices and the mobile user interface.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Solid Sprint Enhances Key KDE Platform Technologies

        Solid is the part of the KDE Platform that handles interaction with hardware, making it easy for application developers to deal with things like network availability by abstracting underlying libraries within a familiar KDE-style API. As such it is an essential component across all kinds of KDE software. It is getting clear that Solid is becoming a well defined team within KDE and everybody is exited about the idea of attracting more developers interested in hardware support to the desktop, mobile devices, netbooks, media center and beyond. There are now quite a few developers working on Solid so it was a good time to get them all together for a sprint in Madrid, Spain.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fusion Fedora 14 Remix beta Debuts

          Fusion Linux is a completely free and open source based Linux operating system, it is also a Fedora Remix. It is a installable Live DVD/USB image that includes multimedia functionality out of the box with added desktop tweaks for better usability and additional software.

        • First Look – Fusion Fedora 14 beta Gnome – Review

          Conclusion:

          Pros:

          * Very stable for a beta
          * Easy and safety-concious installer rivals or exceeds Ubuntu’s Ubiquity
          * Extra software via the RPM Fusion repositories and others
          * Nice Chrome web browser didn’t crash at all, as it does in some distro’s
          * Fast and no noticeable slowdowns or freezing under load
          * Great detection of video on both my testbed PC’s
          * Stylish and easy-to-use Desktop and menu
          * Rivals or maybe exceeds some aspects of Ubuntu though still beta

          Cons:

          * Somewhat large install, maybe release a Netbook or single CD version (probably already happening
          * Will it support nVidia proprietary graphic’s drivers, including Legacy?

        • Fedora 13: Fixing sound and video for the Lenovo G555

          In order for the “standard” fix to work for sound, I needed 2.6.34 and the full ALSA version 1.0.23 to go with it. Unfortunately, I had to get the missing ALSA bits — meaning the ALSA-driver — from another repo, as they’re not in Fedora 13′s official repository (and seemingly not needed to have working ALSA for reasons that continue to elude).

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity and uTouch

          One of the most exciting things about the Ubuntu 10.10 release has been the delivery of the Unity ‘shell’ in Ubuntu Netbook Edition. For the uninitiated, this delivers a very different user experience to that in the main desktop edition. For a start the icons of the most popular applications are permanently featured on the left-hand side of the screen. This borrows more from the smartphone interfaces but is adapted for use on, in this case, netbooks. So there remains a workspace where users still have sufficient room to watch video, edit photos, create documents, play games, read the web, write emails – all of the usual tasks we use a computer for, day to day.

        • Maverick Upgrade *sigh*

          I’m fairly conservative when it comes to upgrading Ubuntu, every upgrade fails in some way on this System76 laptop. One week after the release of 10.10 and after asking lots of people if they had any problems. I decided to upgrade.

          I shouldn’t have bothered.

        • Installing Ubuntu 10.10
        • 50+ Beautiful Hand-picked Ubuntu Wallpapers

          Ubuntu is a computer operating system originally based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source software with additional proprietary software available.It is named after the Southern African philosophy of Ubuntu (“humanity towards others”). Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. Web statistics suggest that Ubuntu’s share of Linux desktop usage is about 50 percent, and upward trending usage as a web server.

        • Ubuntu – The Flagship Linux Desktop Distro

          The year after Ubuntu’s first release the amount of searches of “Ubuntu” versus searches for “Linux” was 13 to 1

        • 10 Reasons to Install Ubuntu 10.10

          It’s been a few days since I installed Ubuntu 10.10 and my initial good impressions have not only been confirmed, but exceeded. In my PREVIEW and REVIEW articles I covered some concepts and features that I considered innovative, surprising or simply welcome. Today I want to present 10 reasons why this release is totally worth it installing.

        • Spice up Ubuntu 10.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock

          Ubuntu 10.10, the latest edition of the popular Linux distribution, which was just reviewed here, ships with the same blank desktop that has come to identify the Ubuntu desktop. But you do not have to live with it. You can spice it up with a very simple and elegant application. You can go from the default desktop shown below, to a more sexy desktop.

        • Open Source Technologies: Ubuntu 10.10 Cozies Up to Android, iPhone and the Cloud

          The October 2010 release of Ubuntu Linux brings the usual slate of free and open-source software updates, alongside unique new capabilities around cloud services integration. The distribution’s Ubuntu One personal cloud service adds interoperability with Android and iOS-based mobile devices, as well as new support for Windows.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 builds on app store, cloud service strengths
        • Askubuntu Support Site Has Good Pedigree

          All in all, it’s great to see this kind of crowdsourced support for Ubuntu, and given the fact that lack of support is so often cited by IT administrators and users as a shortcoming with open source software, it could make a difference for the new version of Ubuntu. Check it out.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • $250 ARM9 computer supports PoE, sips two Watts

      The Linux-based Gateway Express 2 (GWX2) Embedded Computer incorporates Techsol’s ARM9-based SA2410 Medallion module, and offers up to 64MB of SDRAM, a microSD slot, an Ethernet port, and four USB ports, says the company.

    • Phones

      • The biggest mistake Palm has made with WebOS

        Palm’s WebOS (a Linux variant) based phones have been out for a while but I haven’t had the need to consider them until recently (in the form of my Treo 650 broken down).

        My Treo 650 was a real workhorse, containing hundreds of contacts, thousands of calendar entries (I use the calendar actively and like to keep entries for a very long time for reference), lots of todos and memos. As a long time Linux/Ubuntu user, I have synchronized and backed up my Treo with JPilot, which is an excellent Linux application. In the past, I have used several Palm devices and I was always able to migrate my complete PIM database with ease between the old device and the new one.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo 1.1 for ARM handsets gets closer

          The MeeGo project says MeeGo 1.1 will be available soon for the Nokia N900 smartphone, which will be able to boot into either the MeeGo or Maemo flavors of Linux. Meanwhile, Aava Mobile, which is porting MeeGo to its Intel Atom N6xx based Aava Mobile smartphone reference design, joined MeeGo’s overseer, the Linux Foundation.

        • Nokia Prepares to Give Developers a Look at High-End System

          As previously reported, Nokia has high hopes for the MeeGo operating system, which merges Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo Linux-based operating systems, to lead its next-generation mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.

          [...]

          In the blog post, titled “MeeGo calling – on N900,” Mr. Hakulinen said that after months of work the team is in its last phase of development for MeeGo version 1.1, which will give smartphone application developers something tangible to work with. Mr. Hakulinen also said they’re close on an update that will allow users to run both the current N900 operating system, Maemo, and MeeGo on the device.

      • Android

        • LEGO Launches Robot-Controlling Android App

          Semi-autonomous robots are already available in a number of forms: the most notable being iRobot’s Roomba and Scooba line of single-purpose devices. And the new MINDdroid app isn’t going to replace such commercially available robots. But for now, my son and I can look into using a smartphone to remotely control the robot arm we built a few months back.

        • Opera Mobile for Android Coming Soon
        • HTC Releases Source For T-Mobile G2

          Is it that time already? Like clockwork, HTC has released the source code for the G2 – only this time, it doesn’t appear that they’re being very vocal about it. Instead, a few G2 enthusiasts in the #G2ROOT channel on Freenode have managed to find it while digging through HTC’s site.

        • Google: We’re on Track to Make $1 Billion this Year from Android

          Google held a financial earnings conference call earlier today and threw out some interesting mobile-related stats to prove that their desktop search strategy isn’t the only thing poised to earn them some big bucks. According to Google’s Jonathan Rosenberg, if you take all of last quarter’s earnings and extrapolate the trends over the next year, they could be looking at over $1 billion in revenue. It’s a far cry from the $10 billion goal they’ve set before, but it’s a good first step.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • Java wars: IBM joins OpenJDK as Oracle shuns Apache Harmony

      Prior to acquiring Sun, Oracle was one of several companies that sided with Harmony and called for the test suite to be made available under suitable terms, as stipulated by the JCP policy. Oracle reversed its position, however, after completing its acquisition of Sun. Like Sun, Oracle intends to exercise its control over the test suite licensing in a manner that will drive open source Java adopters towards OpenJDK, the implementation that it controls.

    • Will Oracle and IBM Help Java Move Forward?

      As concerns over Oracle’s allegedly territorial behavior toward Java continue to spread, with its lawsuit aimed at Google regarding parts of the Java code used in the Android mobile OS fueling the wall of worry, Oracle’s agreement to cooperate with IBM on advancing Java is drawing mixed interpretations. Are two of the biggest software titans necessarily going to proceed with the kind of open goals and focus on open standards that Sun Microsystems did?

    • Microsoft Launches FUD VS OpenOffice.org

      Were did all these quotes come from? None other than twelve Microsoft cases studies (You can find a full list/links to these on ArsTechnica). When watching the video you will also notice clever advertising tricks such as a brown colored background whenever they are speaking about OpenOffice and a pleasant blue colored background whenever Microsoft Office is mentioned. This video is nothing other than pure FUD, plain and simple. If Microsoft really does love open source they have a strange way of showing it.

    • http://ostatic.com/blog/will-oracle-and-ibm-help-java-move-forward

      And, this is hardly the first time that Microsoft has shown its poker hand regarding the OpenOffice suite. Jonathan Schwartz, who was Sun Microsystems CEO and had deep involvement in the progress of OpenOffice, started a blog after he left Sun called “What I Couldn’t Say,” which contains very interesting items from his tenure as Sun CEO. In this post from the blog, he notes the details of a meeting that he had with Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates years ago:

      “As we sat down in our Menlo Park conference room, Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, ‘Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.’”

      It’s clearer now, more than ever, that Microsoft takes the OpenOffice suite seriously as competition. Let’s hope Oracle and the OfficeLibre community do right by the suite.

    • Microsoft Starts A FUD Campaign Against OpenOffice.org

      Here is the Microsoft video…

    • Key binding compatibility options

      As I posted on the libreoffice development list, I’m currently working on adding a new option page in the Options dialog, to provide a quick way to switch key bindings between LibreOffice’s default and OpenOffice.org’s for Calc. For the most part, the default key bindings are identical between LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org as far as Calc’s concerned, but there are some differences, which are enough to annoy those users who are accustomed to the old key bindings from OOo Calc.

  • CMS

    • WordPress and Drupal: Convergence?

      Obviously, as a once-upon-a-time core developer for the project, and as someone who continues to work in that community, I am pretty familiar with WordPress. There’s hardly a day that goes by that I’m not hip-deep in WordPress code and news. I’ve watched its evolution over these past 7+ years as it has moved from a simple blogging system towards becoming a more full-featured CMS.

      [...]

      WordPress started with good usability, but a limited architecture and feature set. Drupal started with a strong architecture, but a very developer-centric user experience. But WordPress has been steadily improving its architecture. And Drupal has been working on its UI. They had different origins, and they have taken different paths, but they are both evolving towards CMS Nirvana. And we users get to ride along.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Respects Your Freedom

      Even if consumers have been brain-washed to feel it is OK for manufacturers of hardware and software to restrict their use of IT for commercial advantage, those who are aware should tell them there are alternatives and we should promote alternatives on all levels. Some day the freedom to use a PC free of arbitrary restrictions will be one of the considerations when purchasing PCs and peripherals and the monopoly will be truly broken. That day is coming soon.

Leftovers

  • The latter-day ‘scarlet letter’ of sex work

    In the waning days of the last millennium, I worked as a stripper to pay for university. It requires no courage to admit this now, but had I written it a few years ago, when I taught high school, I would have been fired on the spot. My continued presence in the classroom would’ve set a bad example for the innocent teenagers in my charge, because we can’t let “The Children” think sex-industry workers could ever be decent people or anything.

  • Italy to combat prostitution by cutting trees

    Environmental organisations today expressed outrage over a plan by local authorities in the Abruzzo region of central Italy to combat prostitution with deforestation.

    For decades, local law enforcement and politicians have struggled to police the Bonifica del Tronto road, a haven for the sex trade that runs inland for more than 10 miles from the Adriatic coast alongside the river Tronto. Over the years, cameras have been installed, raids mounted, 24-hour patrols implemented and the mayors of towns near the road have signed bylaws imposing fines on prostitutes’ clients. All to no avail.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Where’s Da Bread?

      If you like cramming Lucky Charms and Wonder Bread into your piehole, you’re probably white. But you’re also probably somebody who should go to this Action Center to End World Hunger deal tonight at 6. Harper’s contributing editor and Vice contributing contributor Fred Kaufman will be there to outline how those dastardly diablos on Wall Street are responsible for starving millions of people and why you may not be able to afford to be such a fat piece of shit for much longer.

      Fred’s cover story for Harper’s June issue, “The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It,” picks apart the relationship between Goldman Sachs and the 2008 food crisis that increased the number of hungry people in the world by a good 250 million. It can be a tough read if you’re not familiar with hedging, selling short, demand shock, perpetually selling long on wheat futures, or any of the weird, made-up bullshit that constitutes finance, but the story should be a wakeup call for those of us who take cheap food for granted, aka probably 99.999999% of us.

    • MERCK SUED: HomeAgain® PET CHIP IMPLICATED IN CANCER

      Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. has been served with a lawsuit over claims its HomeAgain® pet microchip induced cancer in a cat. Animal rights attorney Steven Wise seeks “reasonable compensatory damages” for a malignant tumor “likely” induced by a HomeAgain® ID chip implanted in his client’s cat, Bulkin

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Climate change could lead to Arctic conflict, warns senior Nato commander

      One of Nato’s most senior commanders has warned that global warming and a race for resources could lead to conflict in the Arctic.

      The comments, by Admiral James G Stavridis, supreme allied commander for Europe, come as Nato countries convene on Wednesday for groundbreaking talks on environmental security in the Arctic Ocean.

      The discussions, in the format of a “workshop”, with joint Russian leadership, are an attempt to create dialogue with Moscow aimed at averting a second cold war.

    • Brussels plans strict new controls for offshore oil drilling

      The European commission is to reveal plans for tougher controls on offshore oil and gas drilling tomorrow. It would force national governments to abide by rules set in Brussels and extend liability for oil companies in the event of a disaster, The Guardian has learned.

  • Finance

    • French protesters join forces in last-ditch attempt to derail pension reform

      French workers, students and schoolchildren today joined forces in a last-ditch day of strike action and street protests aimed at derailing Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reform.

    • New wave of French strikes raises spectre of May 1968 protests

      The battle between President Nicolas Sarkozy and the French unions over pension reforms enters a crucial phase today with a new wave of strikes and protests across the country.

    • US bankers set for record pay and bonuses for second year

      US bankers are set for record compensation for a second consecutive year, shattering both the illusion of pay-reform and the expectation that bank bonuses would be tempered while the US economy remains weak.

      With third-quarter figures from JP Morgan expected to begin a bumper profit reporting season today, a study of more than three dozen banks, hedge funds, money-management and securities firms estimates they will pay $144bn (£90bn) in salary and benefits this year, a 4% increase on 2009.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • RepubliCorp

      The Cabal of Multinational Corporations is pleased to formally announce RepubliCorpTM, a new combined entity following our complete merger with the Republican Party.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Schneier: invasions of privacy a “byproduction of the IT society”
    • The Coalition and Civil Liberties

      It was surprising and disappointing to watch as the Labour government – which gave us the Freedom of Information Act – became the most authoritarian British regime in modern times. As we at Big Brother Watch pointed out in our manifesto before the election, the arrival of a new government offered an opportunity to undo some of that work – and indeed, both parties in the Coalition pledged before the election to reverse the rise of our surveillance state, and reaffirmed that intention in the Coalition agreement.

    • Guest Post by Yasin Akgun: Facebook’s Privacy Problem

      There are only two reasons that Facebook is allowed to get away with their overzealous demands over your personal information. They can get away with it because people will simply obey and because there are no national or international laws governing who has a right to demand what personal information you hold and who does not hold these privileged rights. Both issues lie with one group of people, the members of the public. We have the power to do something about it, whether or not we choose to exercise this fast diminishing power is another matter.

    • Bolivian newspapers stage protest

      Several Bolivian newspapers protested last week against a proposed law that would allow the government to shut down media outlets it deems guilty of racism. They carried front pages bearing a single slogan: “There is no democracy without freedom of expression.”

    • The Values of Everything

      Progressive causes are failing: here’s how they could be turned around

    • Liu Xiaobo’s wife under house arrest

      The wife of Liu Xiaobo, this year’s winner of the Nobel peace prize has been placed under house arrest as part of a crackdown by the Chinese authorities aimed at stifling celebration following the award.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Council of Europe Agrees That Net neutrality is Key to Freedom of Expression

      On September 29th, 2010, the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe (CoE) adopted a declaration on network neutrality1. The declaration is overall a very good news for the protection of freedom of expression and communication in Europe. It is one more indication that governments are finally realizing the importance of the Internet’s core architectural principles for the future of rights and freedoms in our democracies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda

        Copyright has long been viewed as one of the government’s most difficult policy issues. It attracts passionate views from a wide range of stakeholders, including creators, consumers, businesses, and educators and it is the source of significant political pressure from the United States. The latest chapter in the Canadian copyright saga unfolded in June 2010 as Industry Minister Tony Clement and Canadian Heritage James Moore tabled Bill C-32, copyright reform legislation billed as providing both balance and a much-needed modernization of the law. The introduction marked the culmination of months of public discussion and internal government debate.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

uTouch on Unity


Credit: TinyOgg

10.14.10

Links 14/10/2010: Mozilla’s New CEO, More on IBM Joining OpenJDK

Posted in News Roundup at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Digital Media: Achilles heal or new cash crop?
  • Should Linux focus on the desktop?

    Linux has been far more successful at just about every application for one simple reason. Linux has the flexibility and ability to easily fill, without overflowing, any container it is poured into and it is not surprising either. It is all due to the real focus of Linux which should not be split.

  • CLI

    • The Trouble With GUIs

      “Like everything else in life, it boils down to having the right tool for the right job … and the command line is like that all-purpose screwdriver that we all have,” said Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “It opens paint cans, makes a handy chisel, pry bar and wedge — we grab it, get the job done, and move on.”

    • The Command Line: Nothing to be scared of

      It’s getting close to Halloween but the Command Line shouldn’t be something that you are spooked about. The good old command line has been around for ages. And it’s still around today and as popular as ever. Why? Because it’s extremely powerful, and allows you to get to the root of most operating systems. Sure, the nice GUI-based applications are great and all, but the command line can greatly simplify some tasks.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 139: Alfresco

      Alfresco is a leading open source alternative for enterprise content management (ECM).

      Guests: Luis Sala, Chief Community Officer and John Newton, CTO for alfresco.com.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel To Have Sandybridge 3D In Mesa Done By Q4

        Intel’s Ian Romanick has just written an e-mail message entitled What I’m working on to the Mesa development list. With Intel’s new GLSL compiler being used by Mesa and can be found within the Mesa 7.9 release, Intel’s open-source graphics developers have worked onto working on some other areas of their 3D driver stack.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE’s Plasma To Be Reworked, Use More OpenGL

        While we already know that by the time KDE Software Compilation 4.7 rolls around it may optionally support OpenGL 3.0 within the KWin compositing manager, but with time KDE’s Plasma may begin using more OpenGL too. Aaron Seigo has written a lengthy blog post about what he hopes to achieve with Plasma and its library going a few releases out into the future. This includes a rather extensive rework of Plasma and its drawing, which would include the use of more OpenGL to allow for greater hardware acceleration.

      • OpenCycleMap server changed – don’t forget to update

        As you probably know, you can download a lot of additional Marble maps with the “Get hot new stuff” framework. The reason for this entry is that OpenCycleMap is now using a different server for their map storage. For all users of the OpenCycleMap in Marble it means that they will have to update their map configuration if they want to see updated maps.

      • Fourteen Reasons to be KDE

        In case you’re sleeping under a rock today, KDE is celebrating its 14th birthday.

      • KWatchman – An Idea given Birth

        First of all: Thank you everyone for you comments and suggestions. They really got me on the road and showed my that there indeed is interest enough to do some more serious work. So I sat down and made myself a little planing and even some (small) coding today.

      • Faenza-Cupertino icons available for KDE

        That Faenza icon set. It gets everywhere. Not content with being one of the most popular icon sets of the year Faenza’s success has spawned an enviable army of ‘spins’ and derivatives including a ‘green’ Faenza-Mint version and the following Mac OS X inspired ‘Faenza-Cupertino’ set.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Arch Linux review

        If after reading this, you want to try Arch Linux, it is a great idea, but it might not be as good as you think if you are beginning with Linux, if you are a newbie, start with Linux Mint, Ubuntu, or Fedora.

        Once you know more about Linux, switch to Arch Linux, you will never miss any other distribution. Arch Linux gives you almost the same control you may find in Gentoo, but it is a lot easier to run.

        The more user friendly distributions, make a lot of things for you, but then, maybe that is not what you need. I mean not always the same configuration is good for everybody, you need to tweak your configuration to fit your needs, and your likes.

    • New Releases

      • Parted Magic 5.6 adds System Stability Tester

        The Parted Magic developers have released version 5.6 of their open source, multi-platform partitioning tool. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with as little as 64MB of RAM. File systems supported include NTFS, FAT, ReiserFS, Reiser4 and HFS+. LVM and RAID are also supported.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World Call For Papers Now Open

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the call for papers is now open for the seventh annual Red Hat Summit and JBoss World. These premier open source events will take place May 3-6, 2011 in Boston at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center.

      • Business-critical logistics systems migrated by Jeppesen to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation

        Already a long-time user of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Network Satellite Jeppesen has migrated business-critical systems to Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15 Might Be Dubbed Malmstrom, Woody

          Rather than coming up with the codename for the next Fedora release deep within Red Hat, the community is leveraged with anyone being allowed to propose a potential name prior to these names being reviewed by Red Hat’s legal department and the voting on the final name then commencing by Fedora contributors. With this open process, there’s also more than a few interesting name proposals with each release. Case in point, Fedora 14 could have been called Fytnargin. With the release of Fedora 14 now being just a month out, name proposals for Fedora 15 have started.

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMepis 8.5 Challenge: Conclusions

        Even though both distributions work with KDE very well, they both have certain issues:
        MEPIS: When opening kmplayer, KDE crashes. I think that it is because of the mess I made with codecs trying to install VLC. Sometimes MEPIS suspends the composition and the effects are therefore disabled temporarily.
        MANDRIVA: The clock sometimes freezes (only in the netbook). This is corrected by enabling the display of seconds in the clock options.

        Concerning performance and ease of use, both distributions can satisfy the needs of users who lack technical computer knowledge or formal Linux training. I feel that SimplyMepis might be a better choice for users who want a simple system and do not really care much for eye candy. In addition, Mepis comes with Java pre-installed, whereas you must install it in Mandriva.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Is Ubuntu 10.10 Worth the Upgrade?

          I’ve been running 10.10 betas and the RC for weeks, and had been running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on a few machines before that. Honestly, it’s hard to see much difference between the two. Plus several points for consistency, but that doesn’t add up to rushing to upgrade at the first opportunity.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Palm Gives WebOS Homebrew Hackers a Little Love

        Up until recently, if you wanted to hack your Palm Pre, you hopped over to the Pre-Central forums for all of your hacking needs, where you could find concise and usually simple explanations from the experts of WebOS Internals and the like. It was all at your own risk, of course, but you were treading a path that someone who knew more than you had already trail blazed (and uploaded screenshots in a how-to form). Well, those days seem to be over–and for the better. Palm has made Rod Whitby’s Preware Homebrew Documentation available for download, and with it they’ve put the knowledge, tools, and know-how of a few years worth of hacking into every WebOS users hands. Now everyone can have thousands of well-made and free applications, patches, themes, and assorted customizations all rolled into one package by a supportive community.

      • Android

        • Motorola to start rolling out Froyo update to European Milestones

          In a post on its Facebook page, Motorola has confirmed that, from next week, it will start user trials of an over-the-air (OTA) upgrade for its European Milestone smartphones that will upgrade the onboard version of Google’s open source Android mobile operating system to version 2.2, code named “Froyo”. The company says that, once the trails are completed, it will go into the approval stage and a roll out to all users is expected by the end of the year.

        • 35 Amazing Android Apps: Inform, Update, Manage

          Have Android app, will travel. In the digital age, managing the steady deluge of information that confronts you every day can be a challenge. But with the right apps, the Android can be a powerful tool to help you stay on top of that deluge.

          There are Android apps to manage your news feeds, gather the weather, find the scores of your favorite sports teams, track your finances and keep up-to-date with your appointments and updates of all kinds.

          To help you find the cream of the crop, here’s a list of 35 of the best Android apps for tracking, managing and updating your information.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Released: Netbook Review

        Its been a little while since my last post and some might be wondering whats been going on in technology here at the PMC, especially since the last post promised insight into some of our production software.

        Well, thats all still coming. We DID get in our new desktop for our Media Center, and I am working on compiling a few videos showing its construction. I’ve also been working on updating and testing the production software to give everyone a better picture of what can be done with our Open Source resources. All that is coming, and you can now receive shorter updates and info through the PMC Tech Blog Twitter and Identi.ca feed (For those of you unaware, Identi.ca is an Open Source microblogging service, similar to twitter). Follow me and get much more frequent updates about things going on here at the PMC and in the Open Source world in general.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Shindig Gets Social

    For developers, including social networking technologies into modern Web applications is often a key priority. The OpenSocial standard, originally developed by Google, is one mechanism that developers can leverage for social networking applications.

    But standards are one thing, and implementation is another. That’s where the Apache Shindig project comes into play. Apache Shindig is an OpenSocial container that enables developers to handle OpenSocial application content and gadgets. The project recently hit its 2.0 milestone as it continues to track the latest OpenSocial standardization efforts.

  • Zimbra Desktop 2.0 integrates Web 2.0 services

    Open source groupware provider Zimbra has announced the arrival of version 2.0 of its Zimbra Desktop client. The new version of the open source, web-based mail and calendaring solution includes significant performance upgrades and introduces a number of new features.

  • 10 Young Open Source Projects to Watch

    New open source projects launch all the time and there’s so many great ones out there it’s hard to find the diamonds in the rough. Here are 10 promising young FOSS projects to keep an eye on as their development grows. Download or use them in the meantime as they develop, they are awesome!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Introducing Gary, Mozilla’s New CEO

        I’m very happy to introduce Gary Kovacs as our new CEO for the Mozilla Corporation. I think he’s going to be great for Mozilla, and that our broad community will like him and be well served by him.

      • Introducing our new CEO: Gary Kovacs

        Prior to joining Mozilla, Gary held senior leadership roles as Senior VP of Markets, Solutions & Products at Sybase (through its acquisition by SAP earlier this year), as General Manager and VP of Mobile & Devices at Adobe and as VP of Product Marketing at Macromedia (through its acquisition by Adobe).

      • Mozilla foot soldiers unleash ‘Army of Awesome’ on Twitter

        Mozilla has hooked itself up to Twitter and created an “Army of Awesome” for Firefox users needing help with the browser.

        In other words, those surfers with a short attention span can now find out all they need to know via 140-character bursts.

  • Oracle

    • An Unexpected Pleasure

      Today’s announcement that IBM is going to join forces and work with Oracle on OpenJDK is good news for Java, and by extension for Eclipse. All of us who live within the Java ecosystem need to recognize that this fundamentally strengthens the platform, enhances the business value of Java and offers the hope of an increased pace of innovation.

    • IBM and OpenJDK

      IBM and Oracle are going to bring their combined resources together to collaborate in OpenJDK. The natural question arises about what this means for the Apache Harmony project.

    • IBM joining OpenJDK – repeat after me “pragmatic”, “pragmatic”, “pragmatic”
    • IBM to join OpenJDK
    • Good For Java?

      List of the people working on Harmony. Not only is the list apparently out of date, it has such a strong IBM contingent (I wonder how many of those “independents” are actually IBM or Intel contractors) that I am amazed it has escaped Apache Board scrutiny for so long.

    • IBM joins Oracle on OpenJDK

      The basic announcement today was that IBM would join with Oracle to work on the OpenJDK. The reciprocal IBM announcement said the same thing.

    • Microsoft posts video of customers criticizing OpenOffice
    • Oracle and IBM Collaborate to Accelerate Java Innovation Through OpenJDK

      Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and IBM today announced that the companies will collaborate to allow developers and customers to build and innovate based on existing Java investments and the OpenJDK reference implementation. Specifically, the companies will collaborate in the OpenJDK community to develop the leading open source Java environment.

    • Microsoft slags off Open Office

      Apparently it can even affect the grades of students although it did not mention anything about causing kittens to die. The quotes appear to have come from case studies and press articles from the last four years, most of which are hosted on Microsoft.com.

    • Microsoft running scared from OpenOffice.org

      Open-source office suite OpenOffice.org is apparently getting under software giant Microsoft’s skin – so much so, in fact, that it appears to be starting a propaganda campaign to protect its revenue stream.

      Microsoft Office is one of the company’s biggest selling products. It’s near-ubiquitous in the world of business computing, to the point where its file formats have become the norm for sharing content – at the expense of locking out cross-platform, open standards.

    • OOo’s put the willies up Microsoft
    • Oracle Confirms Committment to OpenOffice.org

      As ODF celebrates its fifth anniversary, Oracle said they applaud its efforts and renewed their committment to OpenOffice.org. “Oracle’s growing team of developers, QA engineers, and user experience personnel will continue developing, improving, and supporting OpenOffice.org as open source, building on the 7.5 million lines of code already contributed to the community.” This might be seen in the continuing efforts of developers to release 3.3.x snapshots as well as previews into some of the new features and tools. For example, Ingrid Halama recently posted of some of the new features coming to Chart, (part 1, part 2). Niklas Nebel also shared some improvements in DataPilot.

      This all comes a month after the formation of The Document Foundation and the announcement of LibreOffice. Charles-H. Schulz recently reported that LibreOffice was downloaded 80,000 times its first week and a new user forum quickly followed. A second beta emerged on October 11.

  • CMS

    • Commonwealth Games using Drupal

      Though the games have only one more day to go (they were from October 3rd to October 14th this month), the XIX Commonwealth Games website runs on Drupal, and looks great. This 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in Delhi, and is the largest multi-sport event conducted to date in Delhi and India. Certainly a big win for Drupal!

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Hardware we all want: FSF announces criteria for hardware endorsement program “Respects Your Freedom”

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced today that it has published an initial set of criteria for endorsing computers and other devices. The FSF seeks both to obtain feedback on the criteria, and raise interest in the program among hardware manufacturers. Ultimately, the FSF plans to promote an endorsement mark to be carried on products that meet the criteria: respects your freedom.

      “The desire to own a computer or device and have full control over it, to know that you are not being spied on or tracked, to run any software you wish without asking permission, and to share with friends without worrying about Digital Restrictions Management (DRM)—these are the desires of millions of people who care about the future of technology and our society. Unfortunately, hardware manufacturers have until now relied on close cooperation with proprietary software companies that demanded control over their users. As citizens and their customers, we need to promote our desires for a new class of hardware—hardware that anyone can support because it respects your freedom,” said Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF.

  • Government

    • GOSCON Highlights Benefits of OSS in Public Sector

      With the US mid-term elections coming up, the direction of the US government may be set to maintain its current direction, or change significantly, depending on who wins what election on Nov. 2.

      Whether you think a change (or lack thereof) is a good thing or a bad thing, one direction many governments are trending towards in this economy is the use of open source.

      Faced with budget tightening and cost-control measures that threaten to deplete government services to beyond the bare minimum, local, state, and Federal organizations are taking a very hard look at the cost and performance benefits of open source software–to the point where it’s not a question of if governments will widely adopt open source technologies, but when.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • How Crowdsourced Data Can Predict Crisis Impact: Findings from Empirical Study on Haiti

      One of the inherent concerns about crowdsourced crisis information is that the data is not statistically representative and hence “useless” for any serious kind of statistical analysis. But my colleague Christina Corbane and her team at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) have come up with some interesting findings that prove otherwise. They used the reports mapped on the Ushahidi-Haiti platform to show that this crowdsourced data can help predict the spatial distribution of structural damage in Port-au-Prince. The results were presented at this year’s Crisis Mapping Conference (ICCM 2010).

Leftovers

  • Dell settlement approved

    A federal judge on Wednesday approved Dell Inc.’s $100 million settlement with the government of civil fraud charges.

    Approval of the settlement by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon came after company Chairman and CEO Michael Dell assured Leon in a hearing that the computer maker will carry through the reforms it promised.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission had said that Dell improperly used payments from Intel to pump up its profits to meet Wall Street targets over five years.

  • Austin Man Sues Entrepreneur Media, Claims Reverse Domain Hijacking

    An Austin businessman has sued Entrepreneur Media, publisher of Entrepreneur Magazine, after the publication sent a cease and desist to him for registering EntrepreneurOlogy.com.

  • Processor Whispers – About MIPS and MIPS

    When two quarrel, the third rejoices: while ARM and Atom were slinging mud at each other, MIPS could advance unhurriedly. And the abbreviation MIPS – with a different meaning – plays an important role in chip manufacturing, too.

  • Science

    • SpaceShipTwo First Glide Flight Details From The Pilot

      After Sunday’s first glide flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, one of the first thoughts going through the head of test pilot Peter Siebold after coming to a stop on the runway was that it all went by too quickly. He and co-pilot Mike Alsbury had been released from the mother ship, Eve, just 13 minutes earlier at 45,000 feet.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • The FBI is Tracking Whom?

      They’re tracking a college student in Silicon Valley. He’s 20, partially Egyptian, and studying marketing at Mission College. He found the tracking device attached to his car. Near as he could tell, what he did to warrant the FBI’s attention is be the friend of someone who did something to warrant the FBI’s attention.

  • Finance

    • David Faber’s CNBC Program: Goldman Sachs: Power and Peril

      That said, Goldman is potentially everywhere in the financial markets, potentially on any side of a particular risk situation. That’s what being, in effect, as one guest pundit echoed, a publicly-traded hedge fund means. Which is what Goldman Sachs currently is.

      Again, this is hardly news. Entertainment, when packaged sensationally in an hour-long format? Probably for the less-informed viewers.

      But certainly not news. Not really fair….and incredibly biased.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Public to vote for ‘worst EU lobbyists’

      The ‘Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2010′, organised by Friends of the Earth Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory, LobbyControl and Spinwatch, seek to “clean up the lobbying scene in Brussels, discourage controversial lobbying practices by publicly exposing the worst offenders, and discredit the big business lobby among EU decision-making circles”.

      This year’s nominees were chosen for their attempts to influence EU financial regulation and climate change legislation, because “these two categories best show how EU policymaking has been captured by the corporate world,” according to Paul de Clerck of Friends of the Earth Europe, who launched the awards at a ceremony in Brussels yesterday.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Red Bull Won’t Be Skydiving From Space

      Red Bull has pulled the plug on its plan to have daredevil Felix Baumgartner skydive from the edge of space, because it is being sued by a California promoter who says Red Bull stole his idea.

    • Canon blocks copy jobs by keyword

      Canon has demonstrated Uniflow 5, the latest version of its document management system that can prevent users from printing or copying documents containing specific words.

      Uniflow allows printers, scanners, copiers and multifunction devices to be managed centrally.

    • A community-building perspective on the Gap logo controversy
    • What Monsanto’s fall from grace reveals about the GMO seed industry

      According to The Times’ Pollack, Monsanto’s troubles are two-fold: 1) the patent on Roundup, Monsanto’s market-dominating herbicide, has run out, exposing the company to competition from cheap Chinese imports; and 2) its target audience — large-scale commodity farmers in the south and Midwest — are turning against its core offerings in genetically modified corn, soy, and cotton seed traits.

      I agree with Pollack’s diagnosis, but I want to add a third and even more fundamental problem to the mix: Monsanto’s once-celebrated product pipeline is looking empty. As I’ll show below, its current whiz-bang seeds offer just tarted-up versions of the same old traits it has been peddling for more than a decade: herbicide tolerance and pest resistance. Meanwhile, judging from the company’s recent report on its latest quarterly earnings, the “blockbuster” traits it has been promising for years — drought resistance and nitrogen-use efficiency — don’t seem to be coming along very well.

    • Copyrights

      • Lawyer: BREIN Anti-Piracy Spy Uploaded Pirated Movie To Usenet

        In the legal battle between Usenet community FTD and Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, some controversial allegations have been made. There are claims that not only did BREIN have as many as 15 undercover investigators working at FTD masquerading as regular users, but one of them – allegedly a direct BREIN employee – actually uploaded a ‘pirate’ movie to Usenet and posted its whereabouts on the site.

      • Pirate radio: a revolt that just won’t die (even with $30,000 fines)

        Until a few days ago, Datz Hitz was broadcasting gospel and Caribbean music to Boston neighborhoods Mattapan and Dorchester—plus news and live discussion about local cultural and neighborhood events. Its 99.7 FM signal had a range of a few city blocks—maybe a mile on good days. One of the staffers, with whom we briefly spoke, described the operation as a community radio station.

      • Inflatable Giant Gorilla Attacks Google (for Copyright Infringement)–Scherba v. Google

        Scherba makes giant inflatable gorillas. See an example. A little improbably, it has a copyright registration for a 3D sculptural work called “Gorilla Inflatable”–the work being its inflatable product blown up.

        [...]

        So Scherba sued Google for copyright infringement for showing the picture of an inflated gorilla in its ad copy. All morning, I’ve been scratching my head trying to puzzle through the issues.

      • Details In Mulve Arrest Highlight How Weak The Case Is

        Last week, in talking about how one of the guys behind Mulve was arrested by UK police, we noted the similarities to the arrest a few years ago of OiNK administrator Alan Ellis on “conspiracy to defraud” charges that were eventually thrown out as Ellis didn’t actually break the law.

        TorrentFreak now has the details of the Mulve arrest, where police are using the exact same charges, even with a failure to get those charges to stick against Ellis. And, the article details why such charges are even weaker against the Mulve guy they arrested. First of all, he had nothing to do with the software itself, but merely registered the domain and created the video highlighting how to use the software. But, much more interesting are the details behind Mulve. It’s not even a search engine by itself. It’s simply an interface for an existing search engine on a Russian social network, which anyone could sign up for and get access to already. In other words, going after Mulve totally misses the point, and it’s difficult to see how Mulve itself actually violates UK law.

      • French Subsidy For Music Downloads Gets EU Nod

        France’s strategy to combat illegal music downloads by contributing to the amount young people pay for them won European Union approval and praise for promoting cultural diversity.

        Under the scheme, French residents who purchase a card – the Carte musique – to download music from subscription-based website platforms, will only pay half the cost of a €50 ($70) credit included in the card, with the French government paying the rest.

      • Creative Commons launches Public Domain Mark; Europeana and Cultural Heritage Institutions lead early adoption

        Today, Creative Commons announces the release of the Public Domain Mark, a tool that enables works free of known copyright restrictions to be labeled in a way that clearly communicates that status to the public, and allows the works to be easily discovered over the Internet. The Public Domain Mark effectively increases the value of the public domain by making works that are already free of copyright readily accessible to the public. The Mark makes it clear to teachers and students, artists and scientists, that they are free to re-use material. Its release benefits everyone who wishes to build upon the rich and vast resources that are part of the shared public domain.

      • ACTA

        • “Final” Version of ACTA Must be Rejected as a Whole

          ACTA AS A BULLYING WEAPON FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRIES

          By putting legal and monetary pressure on Internet service providers (in a most subtler way than in previous versions of the text), ACTA will give the music and movie industries a weapon to force them to police their networks and users themselves. Such a private police and justice of the Net is incompatible with democratic imperatives and represent a real threat for fundamental freedoms.

Clip of the Day

It’s not easy being Green (in South Carolina)


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 14/10/2010: LSE GNU/Linux On Line, Linux Tablets Domination Expected

Posted in News Roundup at 1:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Top 5 Mistakes Made by Linux First-Timers

      1. Expecting Windows

      Humans are creatures of habit, so after years of using Windows–or Mac, if that’s the case–it’s hard not to expect what you’re used to every time you use a computer.

      Ubuntu and recent Linux distributions have incorporated many user-friendliness features from their Windows and Mac competitors in recent years, so there is actually going to be quite a bit of similarity these days–much more than there used to be. When it comes right down to it, though, even consumer-ready Maverick Meerkat isn’t Windows, and you shouldn’t expect it to be.

      This is not–I repeat, NOT–to say that things are harder. Linux is not more difficult to use, especially if you’re on a modern distro like Ubuntu. It is, however, different. It might take you a little bit of time to get used to its slightly different way of doing things. Don’t let that put you off–a small learning curve will gain you a lifetime of advantages.

  • Server

    • Faulty Reasoning

      Many banks use UNIX or GNU/Linux for servers because they want performance and reliability. Why do these guys settle for less? I would guess they have been working on false assumptions for a while to get so locked-in.

    • LSE Switchover to GNU/Linux Imminent

      Talk about price/performance. The software they will be using cost so little, the LSE bought the company and will be selling the product. They expect to get 8 transactions to the millisecond.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Notebook Hybrid Graphics On Linux Still Sucks

        For those of you that have been wondering about the state of hybrid graphics support for notebooks running Linux, sadly the situation has yet to improve, which still puts it in shambles.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Marble: configurable routing profiles

        The thing that needs improvement is bicycle routing. I mean in general it works, but when using it in practice it matters a lot (a) what bike you use and (b) what kind of driver you are. So it’s nonsense to have a single bicycle routing profile. I want:

        * MTB offroad
        * MTB shortest route
        * racing using the shortest route (traffic doesn’t matter)
        * racing using the “nicest” route (cycleways, not too much traffic)
        * family (cycleways only if possible)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • On GNOME Shell

        So I started using the GNOME Desktop last millennium, and over the last more than a decade have overall been quite impressed with the level of polish. It made a nice change in some ways from Enlightenment, and CDE, which were my previous desktop environments, and I coul live with the RAM footprint (after all, enlightenment is using 1.3GB of RAM now).

        The last few years in particular have seen a growing trend to be more (but not quite) Mac-like, with lots of advanced features being buried over time, and over-simplification (for example, with sound controls). These are minor frustrations, but they can typically be worked around without much hassle and the experience remains overall quite good on GNOME 2.0. Things that used to be a hassle – like notifications, events, etc. and lot of plumbing have been worked out nicely by now. I love the work David Zeuthen and co. have done in particular, but many others have done good things.

        [...]

        For now, my advice is to run “desktop-effects” and switch back to regular panels…

      • GNOME Commit-Digest: Issue 105

        This week… 1988 commits, in 187 projects, by 228 happy hackers (and 349 were translation commits).

  • Distributions

    • Cloudera Announces Major Update to Cloudera’s Distribution for Hadoop Beta 3

      Cloudera, a leading provider of Hadoop-based data management software and services, today announced its final major update to Cloudera’s Distribution for Hadoop version 3 beta release. Cloudera’s Distribution for Hadoop (CDH) is the most comprehensive Hadoop-based data management platform available, comprised of an integrated set of the eleven leading Hadoop projects, all available under an Apache license.

    • Cloudera and NTT DATA Partner to Accelerate Hadoop Adoption in APAC Region
    • Why Major Non-Ubuntu Distributions Need to Step up their Game

      Listening to a review of the new Ubuntu release I could not help but notice the amount of hype Shuttleworth’s little distribution can generate. Can you feel it? The buzz is orders of magnitude greater than with any new major distro release. I’ve criticized Ubuntu in the past, but there is no denying that Ubuntu is a milestone in desktop Linux and has done a great deal of good by making Linux adoption easier for the masses.

      I decided to once again examine the Distrowatch distribution rankings. While these are just a very rough estimates based on site analytics, they give us a relatively good picture of the current state in GNU/Linux land. In this article I would like to highlight a few distributions that have, to put it bluntly, left me completely confused as to where the projects are heading.

    • Debian Family

      • About ZFS in Squeeze

        The bad news is that you won’t be able to use ZFS as your root filesystem in Debian Squeeze with the official installer. The blocker is missing support in GNU Parted. Unfortunately the patch I sent in August wasn’t integrated in time for the freeze (and still isn’t, but there’s no hurry now, it’ll hopefully be there for Wheezy).

      • The Bizarre Cathedral – 84
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 10 Slick Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Wallpapers

          Ubuntu 10.10 final is released and we already had a massive post describing the different customizations possible with Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. Now it’s time for some wallpapers. Here is a quick collection of wallpapers for Ubuntu 10.10, mostly branded ones.

        • Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat 10.10 Review

          By far the most popular Linux distribution ever, Ubuntu has been the forerunner in terms of development and use aimed at new linux users coming from Windows or Mac. This is “the” distro when new Linux users want to experiment and eventually migrate from Windows to the free alternative; Linux.

        • Ubuntu Tweak 0.6 Mockup Looks Impressive, Work On The New UI Already Started

          Ubuntu Tweak is every newbie Ubuntu user’s closest companion and we have already seen how Ubuntu Tweak is slowly evolving into one among the must have installation candidates for Ubuntu in our Ubuntu Tweak review. And with the new mockup UI, the next phase of development for Ubuntu Tweak has only started.

        • Askubuntu.com- Get help with your Ubuntu Problems

          Askubuntu.com- Get help with your Ubuntu Problems

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Kubuntu and package managers

            KPK arrives in Kubuntu 10.10 dressed for success. With an application-centric interface, new features, tools, and improvements, we finally have a default package manager to be proud of. I sure am floored by it.

          • Kubuntu 10.10

            Summary: Kubuntu 10.10 sets a new standard for this distro; it’s almost (but not quite) as polished as Ubuntu itself.

            Rating: 4/5

  • Devices/Embedded

    • SODIMM-sized module uses Freescale’s i.MX28

      Direct Insight announced a SODIMM-sized computer-on-module (COM) based on Freescale’s ARM9-based i.MX28 system-on-chip. The 455MHz, 2.7 x 1.0-inch Triton-TX28 module offers extensive I/O, including Ethernet and USB 2.0 On-The-Go and host, plus an available “StarterKit-5″ baseboard with a Linux board support package, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Palm Pre 2: HP’s first WebOS smartphone?

        French carrier SFR briefly advertised a “Palm Pre 2″ on its website, raising speculation that the Pre 2 is the WebOS-running device HP has slated for early 2011. The Palm Pre 2 has a faster 1GHz processor, improved battery life, faster boot time, and a WebOS 2.0 release that offers push integration, according to the advertisement.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo Is Starting To Be Usable On The Nokia N900

          The Nokia N900 mobile-phone was released nearly one year ago with the Linux-based Maemo 5 operating system, but earlier this year is when Nokia and Intel decided to combine their Linux-based Maemo and Moblin operating systems, respectively, to form MeeGo. The MeeGo Linux distribution is now running well on Intel Atom netbooks and other devices and there is is even MeeGo IVI for your car and a MeeGo handset preview. However, support for the N900 within MeeGo hasn’t been up to speed compared to the level of Maemo support or that of other devices playing well with MeeGo. The support though is slowly but surely catching up for the Nokia N900.

        • Nokia introduces the Qt roadmap

          Better modularisation is also on the agenda. For example, as the QtWebkit component for rendering HTML is seeing rapid enhancement, the developers want to be able to easily update that component without updating the entire framework. Another focus of the development work is the full integration of gestures and tactile feedback into the Qt framework.

      • Android

        • First look at Acer Aspire One D255 with Android

          The Android implementation on Acer’s recently launched dual-boot netbooks feels more like a technology preview than a usable product. It is buggy and inextensible, with no possibility to install extra applications from the Android Market or any other repository. As such, it is limited to basic tasks, such as Internet browsing, web interaction, image viewing and media playback. It’s hard to say who the product is intended for – the Windows crowd will take one quick look and never boot into it again, while any Linux geek will surely prefer a proper Linux distribution or one of the netbook-oriented variants. Perhaps the only positive point is that by providing a Linux-based alternative on its netbooks, Acer was forced to build these computers from Linux-friendly hardware components, so there are no unwelcome surprises when it comes to hardware support.

        • Sony Announces World’s First Google TV

          Sony just made the first actual Google TV official with their new 46-inch GT1 Sony Internet TV. Billed as the first television with the ability to enjoy apps, watch HDTV, and browse the internet on one device, it runs $1,399 and comes with an RF QWERTY keypad remote with integrated optical mouse.

        • Sony offers Google TV on four HDTVs, one Blu-Ray player

          Sony unveiled four Sony Internet TVs and an Internet TV Blu-Ray Disc Player, all running Android-based Google TV software. Employing an Intel Atom-based CE4100 SoC, the new Internet TV devices range from 24-inch to 46-inch HDTVs, ship with a QWERTY-enabled remote, and offer Wi-Fi, HDMI, and USB connectivity.

        • Android key to HTC, Motorola, and Samsung success, says iSuppli

          Android is behind the second-quarter successes of HTC, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, reports iSuppli. Meanwhile, global smartphone sales during the quarter reached 60.4 million units, up from 55.8 million units during the first quarter, representing a growth of 8.2 percent, says the research firm.

        • The Android opportunity is an open source challenge
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Acer netbook happily dual-boots Android and Windows 7

        Acer announced a dual-boot Windows 7/Android netbook, featuring Intel’s dual-core Atom D550 or single-core Atom N450 processors. The Acer Aspire One Happy offers a 10.1-inch, WSVGA display, up to 2GB of memory, a 250GB hard disk drive (HDD), plus 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, Ethernet, three USB ports, and eight hours of battery life, says the company.

    • Tablets

      • Gene Munster: Android-Based Tablets Will Be More Popular Than Apple’s iPad

        I think it will play very much like the iPhone played out. I think for the first year or so, it’s going to be advantage, Apple. But I think that as more of the Android tables come out and get optimized, you’re going to see some very stiff competition.

        As a category, the tablet is undeniably going to be the winning category in mobile computing in the next decade, but as far as the market share win, ultimately we think that Apple won’t have the majority of the market share. It will probably be with Android-based tablets.

        [...]

        Microsoft is coming from a standing start. Unfortunately, for Microsoft, they’ve got a lot of work to do if they want to be relevant.

      • Android tablets will surpass Apple’s iPad, analyst projects

        Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has projected that Android is likely to surpass Apple in a fast-growing tablet market that he says is “fundamentally shaking” the PC industry. The battle between Android tablets and Apple’s iPad will be close, said Munster on BusinessInsider, with the iPad coming up big in a place where you’d least expect it — the enterprise.

      • Android Tablets – a developer’s view

        While Android 3.0 will bring a lot of nifty improvements, for users as well as developers, tablets running earlier versions of the operating system will be perfectly capable devices in their own right. And when we do get 3.0, we’ll be lusting after 3.1 and 4.0 instead – and the circle begins anew…

      • ZTE joins tablet PC bandwagon with Android offering

        ZTE Corp, China’s No.2 telecommunications equipment maker, on Tuesday launched its first tablet PC, the latest entrant to a market that has received a new lease on life with Apple Inc’s iPad launch.

      • Chinese handset giant spins Android tablet

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Inertia, a force to be reckoned with.

    You may have noticed the percentage figure I used before when I said that the computing world is more than ninety percent run on inertia. I chose that figure for a particular reason. Not only is a certain software platform installed on more than ninety percent of computers it is also a fact that more than ninety percent of the users of this platform use it purely because it comes preloaded and not because they choose to use it. They have no real understanding of this operating system and to them a computer is no different to a television or toaster. Much to the delight of spam, virus and botnet maintainers.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Jack Black, America Ferrera Take on “Liars for Hire” in New HCAN Video

      Health insurance industry front groups and their allies are flooding the airwaves with political ads presenting false information about health reform and its supporters, so Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is using laughter to fight back. HCAN, the coalition that led the successful fight for health reform, collaborated with celebrated actors Jack Black and America Ferrera to create a hilarious video lampooning corporate liars for hire—front groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads and 60 Plus Association. These kinds of groups are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on political propaganda to mislead voters in advance of the November election. On the most important questions facing the country’s future—the economy, energy, financial reform and health care—the anti-progressive myth-making machine is going at full tilt, fueled by mountains of campaign cash from unidentified sources.

    • Jack Black Takes on Liars for Hire

      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the health insurance industry and a slew of new front groups that refuse to reveal their funding sources (like the 60 Plus Association and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads), have been pouring millions of dollars into advertising campaigns that present false information about health reform, financial reform and the economy.

    • How to brand a disease — and sell a cure

      If you want to understand the way prescription drugs are marketed today, have a look at the 1928 book, “Propaganda,” by Edward Bernays, the father of public relations in America.

      For Bernays, the public relations business was less about selling things than about creating the conditions for things to sell themselves. When Bernays was working as a salesman for Mozart pianos, for example, he did not simply place advertisements for pianos in newspapers. That would have been too obvious.

      Instead, Bernays persuaded reporters to write about a new trend: Sophisticated people were putting aside a special room in the home for playing music. Once a person had a music room, Bernays believed, he would naturally think of buying a piano. As Bernays wrote, “It will come to him as his own idea.”

      Just as Bernays sold pianos by selling the music room, pharmaceutical marketers now sell drugs by selling the diseases that they treat. The buzzword is “disease branding.”

      To brand a disease is to shape its public perception in order to make it more palatable to potential patients. Panic disorder, reflux disease, erectile dysfunction, restless legs syndrome, bipolar disorder, overactive bladder, ADHD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, even clinical depression: All these conditions were once regarded as rare until a marketing campaign transformed the brand.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Judge Allows Trial of CFAA Claim Against Wiseguys

      While noting that it took seriously the concerns raised by EFF and others in an amicus brief, a federal judge in New Jersey in the case of U.S. v. Lowson yesterday decided to delay a decision on the thorny question of whether the government can use the Ticketmaster website’s terms of use to smack ticket resellers with criminal charges. The Court allowed a federal indictment under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of online ticket vendors to go to trial in order to develop a more complete factual record.

    • Mohammad Reza Shajarian: Protest Through Poetry
    • Opinions Vary Over Billboard

      A new billboard on I-70B between Grand Junction and Clifton is creating quite a stir.

      It is a political cartoon of President Barack Obama. The billboard is being paid for by a local man who wants to remain anonymous. But, the artist he hired met with KJCT News 8 to talk about his work.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • New Democrats lead way on net neutrality

      A new report by the SaveOurNet coalition gives the New Democrats top marks for its political leadership on net neutrality. The coalition – comprised of citizens, businesses, and public interest groups – advocates for clear rules on Net Neutrality and the protection of the Internet’s level playing field.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What is Piracy, Really?

      Piracy is stealing, piracy is a crime, piracy is (fill in the blank). We’ve all heard what piracy is as per RIAA, MPAA among others. But what really is piracy from a consumer point of view?

    • Copyrights

      • Locking Out Lawful Users

        Michael Geist’s edited collection of essays on copyright reform is being released on October 14th, and you are welcome to attend its launch. This exciting and timely publication, entitled ‘From “Radical Extremism” to “Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda’, contains twenty chapters written by copyright scholars from across Canada. It is to Geist’s credit that he was able to pull this book together on a tight timeline over the summer so that the views expressed therein can have a bearing on the reform process as it continues to unfold. Of course, the speed of this process also reflects a keen sense amongst Canadian copyright scholars that something important needs to be said (and heard) sooner rather than later.

        I was honoured to be included as a contributor, and to have this opportunity to add my voice to the chorus of voices expressing concern about latest copyright reform bill, Bill C-32 (the Copyright Modernization Act. My contribution, ‘Locking Out Lawful Users’, explores the proposed fair dealing and other user exceptions, both in their own right and in relation to the proposed anti-circumvention provisions.

      • Launch: From “Radical Extremism” to” Balanced Copyright”: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda

        This book responds to the need for non-partisan, informed analysis of Bill C-32. An exceptional group of Canadian scholars from coast-to-coast have come together to assess Canada’s plans for copyright reform and the digital agenda in this timely volume that features context for the reforms, analysis of its impact on technology, business, education, and creators, as well as a look ahead to future copyright and digital issues.

      • Why the CBC banned Creative Commons music from its shows

        Not a lot of happy Canadians over on the comments page for CBC Radio’s program Spark. The producers for the radio show, blog, and podcast on technology issues have disclosed that the program won’t be using Creative Commons licensed materials any more.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

I Love xkcd


Credit: TinyOgg

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